Boing Boing 

Can a game show us what would happen under far-right rule?

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In a nifty series of articles, my friend Dan Griliopoulos has been modeling the United Kingdom's major political parties' stances in the simulation game Democracy 3. The latest piece tackles creepy far-righters UKIP, and the model isn't so favorable:

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Lessons from a brain tumor diagnosis

Jeff writes, "I received my diagnosis late on Friday afternoon of what would be a very long weekend. I had really hoped to avoid brain surgery in my life."

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New Hugo Award categories for puppies

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The "Puppies" are a coalition of right-wing and white-supremacist groups who pushed a slate of ideologically pure nominees onto the Hugo Award ballot, complaining that you could no longer judge books by their covers, and that science fiction had changed to reflect the world since the 1970s.

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Marissa Mayer makes 1,100 Yahooers jobless, calls it a "remix"


Why would a CEO be so tone-deaf as to call a mass-firing a "remix?" Because the only audience that matters today are shareholders, not the public.

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Privilege: you're probably not the one percent


If you live near a Whole Foods, if you don't have a relative in jail, if you don't know anyone on meth, you're not in the one percent.

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Drowned in the Mediterranean: Libyan refugees tell their stories

James Bridle writes: "There's huge debate in the UK about the deaths of people in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, but we rarely see or hear the people themselves."

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Helen Keller, feminist, radical socialist, anti-racist activist and civil libertarian


Helen Keller's activism on behalf of people with disabilities was rooted in her radical socialism, which held that the problems of the most vulnerable in society were the fault of capitalism, not genetics or industrial accidents.

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How to Teach Adults: Get a Job; Plan Your Class; Teach Your Students; Change the World

Dan Spalding's How to Teach Adults (free download) is an extraordinary document that mixes the practical and the philosophical, a book that explains how to be a better teacher, and how better teachers make a better world. Read the rest

On the Hugo Award hijacking

A group of right-wing Internet users calling themselves "Sad Pupping" have hijacked the Hugo Award ballot this year, buying voter-only memberships to the World Science Fiction Convention in order to fill the ballot with stories aligned with their political agenda, including one published by "Patriarchy Press," calling on Gamergate supporters to join in with them in seizing control of the award.

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NSA declares war on general purpose computers


NSA director Michael S Rogers says his agency wants "front doors" to all cryptography used in the USA, so that no one can have secrets it can't spy on -- but what he really means is that he wants to be in charge of which software can run on any general purpose computer.

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Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

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Icelandic Pirates soar: citizenship for Snowden?

The Icelandic Pirate Party is out-polling all the country's other parties, with 24% of the population backing them.

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Clinton's sensitive email was passed through a third-party spam filtering service


It's been years since the spam wars were at the front of the debate, but all the salient points from then remain salient today: when you let unaccountable third parties see your mail and decide which messages you can see, the potential for mischief is unlimited.

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Mysociety is looking for a new CEO


The nonprofit, which created Writetothem, Fixmystreet, and other crucial, ground-breaking civil society projects, is looking for a new CEO to help it spend its £3.6m Omidyar Network grant.

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Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology tells Cameron Tor is good, unstoppable


David Cameron has vowed to ban crypto if he wins the UK election, but Parliament's lead technical experts have told him that he can't, and shouldn't, mess with Tor and other cryptographic tools.

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IT feudalism: the surveillance state and wealth gaps


My latest Guardian column examines the relationship between technology, surveillance and wealth disparity -- specifically the way that cheap mass surveillance makes it possible to sustain more unequal societies because it makes it cheaper to find and catch the dissidents who foment rebellion over the creation of hereditary elites.

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Proposed 1913 highway system separates cars and trucks

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An early proposal for the US highway system came from the National Highways Association. That wasn't a government office and didn't have much influence on congress, but as an evangelizer of "good roads," the NHA presented citizens with one of the first visions of interstate travel. Its 1913 maps advocate for three types of highways: main roads, truck roads, and links. Such infrastructure was not only important for national defense, but also for moral turpitude:

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The precedent for our current roadmap, below, came from the American Association of State Highway Officials in 1926. A huge version of the map, with routes you're likely familiar with, is available by clicking on the image at the bottom of the io9 story.

highway3 A Map Of The First Proposed U.S. Highway Network [io9]