Saturday, September 14, 2013

Four Articles and Four Videos: Computerization of Jobs, Determination, NSA, Jacob Appelbaum and Edward Snowden, United States Torturing Iran, Chomsky, Israel’s Propaganda Machine, and Max Blumenthal’s Breaking Point

Further information at: Not-so-Random Information: Introduction and Table of Contents

1) Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization - “A recent report (which is not online, but summarized here) from the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology attempts to quantify the extent of that threat. It concludes that 45 percent of American jobs are at high risk of being taken by computers within the next two decades. The authors believe this takeover will happen in two stages. First, computers will start replacing people in especially vulnerable fields like transportation/logistics, production labor, and administrative support. Jobs in services, sales, and construction may also be lost in this first stage. Then, the rate of replacement will slow down due to bottlenecks in harder-to-automate fields such engineering. This ‘technological plateau’ will be followed by a second wave of computerization, dependent upon the development of good artificial intelligence. This could next put jobs in management, science and engineering, and the arts at risk.”…

“‘Our findings thus imply that as technology races ahead, low-skill workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerization—i.e., tasks that required creative and social intelligence,’ the authors write. ‘For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.’”

2) Richie Parker: Drive -- SC Featured - “Tom Rinaldi reports on the life of Richie Parker, who overcame being born without arms to become a chassis and body component designer for Hendrick Motorsports.”

3) N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web - “The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

“The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.

“Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.”

4) Whistleblower Award - Jacob Appelbaum answers for Edward Snowden - “Edward Snowden receives the Whistleblower Award. For the first time Transparency International Deutschland e.V. contributes to the award, which is given every two years by the Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW e.V.) and der German Section of the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA e.V.). With the award persons are honored, who reveal malpractices and dangerous developments for humans and society, democracy, peace, and the environment. Due to the courageous actions of Edward J. Snowden the world has gained insights into the surveillance and espionage practices of intelligence agencies. Every single one of us can be affected by them at any time and without there being any grounds for suspicion. The pressing problems associated with whistleblowing are analyzed in a festive dedication to the honorable Edward Snowden. The focus of the lecture by Prof. Dr. Foschepoth is the latitude of the secret services in Germany. Through this ceremony, the awarding organizations wished to strengthen their demand to the German government to offer US citizen Snowden, in gratitude and all sincerity, accommodation and protection in Germany.” Transcript of Snowden’s message available HERE.

5) CIA Confirms Role in 1953 Iran Coup - “Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.”

“The explicit reference to the CIA's role appears in a copy of an internal history, The Battle for Iran, dating from the mid-1970s. The agency released a heavily excised version of the account in 1981 in response to an ACLU lawsuit, but it blacked out all references to TPAJAX, the code name for the U.S.-led operation. Those references appear in the latest release. Additional CIA materials posted today include working files from Kermit Roosevelt, the senior CIA officer on the ground in Iran during the coup. They provide new specifics as well as insights into the intelligence agency's actions before and after the operation.”

6) Noam Chomsky: U.S. Has Been "Torturing" Iran for 60 Years, Since 1953 CIA-Led Coup - “In this web-only exclusive, MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky talks about the past 60 years of U.S.-Iranian relations since the 1953 coup organized by the CIA. ‘The crucial fact about Iran, which we should begin with, is that for the past 60 years not a day has passed in which the U.S. has not been torturing Iranians,’ Chomsky says. ‘It began with a military coup which overthrew the parliamentary regime in 1953.’”

7) Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda - “In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which will oversee the programme, confirmed its launch and wrote that its aim was to ‘strengthen Israeli public diplomacy and make it fit the changes in the means of information consumption’. The government’s hand is to be invisible to the foreign audiences. Daniel Seaman, the official who has been planning the effort, wrote in a letter on 5 August to a body authorising government projects that ‘the idea requires not making the role of the state stand out and therefore it is necessary to adhere to great involvement of the students themselves, without political linkage or affiliation’.

8) Max Blumenthal: Something Snapped when Israel Attacked Gaza - “In Pt 3 of 4 of Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Max Blumenthal talks about the affect on him of Israel's attack on Gaza and his break with American liberalism”

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