provinceorstate:massachusetts

  • Gaming the #lottery: How one winner used math to overcome the odds
    https://hackernoon.com/gaming-the-lottery-how-one-winner-used-math-to-overcome-the-odds-71c8f68

    Three out of every two people struggle with fractionsEach week for the last 6 years (2012–2018), I was playing the lottery to win. Not just hoping to win — playing with a ‘positive expected value’ (a mathematical expectation to win rather than lose, on average, over time). In June 2018 this particular window of opportunity closed, so I’ve decided to share more about the winning model and reveal some closely guarded secrets from the clandestine world of professional #gambling.Oz Lotteries ‘Pools’ website one day after the game was discontinuedWinners walking among usWe’ve all heard the maxim ‘the house always wins’. This is typically true.But how do we explain the MIT students or Michigan retirees who took home millions of dollars in the Massachusetts state lottery…many, many times? There were the (...)

    #gaming-the-lottery #sports-betting #statistics


  • #cequilrestedenosrêves... Le #11janvier prochain, ce sera le #AaronSwartzDay : l’anniversaire de la mort de Aaron Swartz, génie informatique partisan du #Libre qui a été suicidé par la défense vorace de la #propriété_privée pour avoir libéré des millions de documents judiciaires du système #PACER... oui, tu sais, le truc qui fait désormais kiffer les macronistes et autres libéraux capitalistes en se disant qu’ils pourraient en tirer profit via la #legaltech à l’étude en france...



    Je commence donc ici ma recension annuelle à sa mémoire avec ce qui semble un magnifique cadeau : un livre de Flore Vasseur à paraître demain, 9 janvier : « Ce qu’il reste de nos rêves »
    Au vu du parcours de l’auteure, je pense qu’il y a des chances qu’il soit un jour en libre accès quelque part sur le web.

    Dans Ce qu’il reste de nos rêves*, Flore Vasseur inscrit le génie du code dans la lignée des lanceurs d’alerte ayant marqué l’histoire des États-Unis. Broyé par le gouvernement américain, Aaron #Swartz était l’enfant qui voulait changer le monde.

    #Internet ne doit pas servir à vendre de la pâtée pour chiens mais être l’outil pour trouver des remèdes au cancer. Du haut de ses 14 ans, Aaron Swartz ne transige pas avec ses idéaux face aux patrons de la tech’. Virtuose de la #programmation informatique dès son plus jeune âge, Internet est son moyen de changer le monde. Créateur d’une encyclopédie collaborative avant Wikipédia et d’Infogami, une plateforme de création de sites et de blogs accessible sans savoir coder, il veut libérer la connaissance. Un combat pour lequel il a sacrifié sa vie. À 26 ans, il est retrouvé pendu à la fenêtre de son appartement new-yorkais. Nous sommes en janvier 2013. Poursuivi par le gouvernement américain, il risquait trente-cinq ans de prison et un million de dollars d’amende pour avoir téléchargé des millions de publications scientifiques sur les serveurs du Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Après quatre ans d’enquête, Flore Vasseur porte son message avec engagement et tendresse dans son dernier ouvrage, Ce qu’il reste de nos rêves.

    https://www.lelanceur.fr/aaron-swartz-lanceur-dalerte-sublime-par-les-mots-de-flore-vasseur

    Le jour de sa mort, #Facebook a gagné. Son #algorithme est la nouvelle main invisible qui régule rage et #consommation, élections et émotions. Sa disparition révèle un destin, une époque et notre tragédie”, écrit Flore Vasseur.

    Présentation vidéo des Éditions des Équateurs :
    https://youtu.be/aF-Feid2RuU

    Autre article paru pour annoncer une rencontre au bar le 61 à Paris (sniff !) :


    Et une présentation du livre par Télérama : https://www.telerama.fr/livres/ce-quil-reste-de-nos-reves,n6074156.php

    C’est à l’occasion de l’écriture de ce livre et de l’enquête qu’elle a menée qu’elle a pu rencontrer Edward Snowden pour le documentaire Meeting Snowden :

    La rencontre avec #Snowden est survenue parce que je marchais dans les pas d’Aaron, a confié Flore Vasseur au Lanceur. Je sais qu’il le lisait et que son suicide l’a bouleversé. C’est une espèce de grand frère. Et je suis persuadée qu’il n’aurait pas fait ce qu’il a fait s’il n’y avait pas eu Aaron Swartz.” En 2011, deux ans avant qu’Edward Snowden n’en transmette les preuves, Aaron Swartz avait évoqué l’ampleur de la surveillance de masse des États-Unis, de sa propre population et de ses alliés. Pour comprendre “la filiation et les héritiers” d’un fantôme qui la fascine, Flore Vasseur est allée rencontrer les parents et le cercle proche d’Aaron Swartz. Comme un heureux hasard, elle a fait la rencontre de celui qui le considérait “comme son fils”, Lawrence Lessig. Quand Aaron Swartz avait 14 ans, c’est ensemble qu’ils présentèrent un mouvement de libération du droit d’auteur à travers la création des Creative Commons. Professeur à Harvard, Lawrence Lessig partage avec Aaron la volonté de “contrer l’influence de l’argent en politique”. Il est aussi l’une des rares personnalités à avoir pris la défense d’Edward Snowden aux États-Unis. C’est grâce à ce chemin que la romancière a réalisé, à Moscou, le documentaire Meeting Snowden. Après avoir négocié avec Arte, son film est désormais en accès libre.

    A retrouver sur son blog http://blog.florevasseur.com

    Même 6 ans après sa mort, l’effet #Streisand se fait encore sentir. Il y a un mois, aux States, le site Gizmodo a fait une révélation impliquant les archives des mails de Aaron Swartz, démontrant que le #FBI gardait tout, absolument toutes les données qu’il avait pu collecter autour d’enquêtes, et ce même s’il n’y avait aucun rapport :

    Près de deux ans avant la première enquête connue du gouvernement américain sur les activités du cofondateur de Reddit et célèbre activiste du numérique, Aaron Swartz, le FBI a balayé ses données de courrier électronique dans une enquête antiterroriste qui avait également pris au piège des étudiants d’une université américaine. document secret publié pour la première fois par Gizmodo.
    https://gizmodo.com/fbi-secretly-collected-data-on-aaron-swartz-earlier-tha-1831076900
    Les données de courrier électronique appartenant à Swartz, qui n’était probablement pas la cible de l’enquête antiterroriste, ont été cataloguées par le FBI et consultées plus d’un an plus tard, car elles pesaient des accusations potentielles contre lui pour quelque chose de totalement indépendant.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181217/11080641248/fbi-swept-up-info-about-aaron-swartz-while-pursuing-al-qaeda-investigation

    Comme tous les ans, des dizaines et des dizaines d’initiatives sont prévues pour lui rendre hommage, elles sont regroupées sur le site https://www.aaronswartzday.org accompagné d’un compte twitter https://twitter.com/aaronswartzday

    J’ai l’impression par contre que le blog de Aaron Swartz n’est plus accessible, il est heureusement sauvegardé dans la #WayBackMachine, fondée à sa mémoire : https://web.archive.org/web/20190103112701/http://www.aaronsw.com

    La recension de l’année dernière : https://seenthis.net/messages/658967

    (par contre, #seenthis, je suis étonnée de ne toujours pas voir de tag « personnalité » #Aaron_Swartz sur son nom... peut-être est-ce l’occasion de le créer ;) ?)


  • Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/robert-muellers-search-for-justice-for-pan-am-103

    Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.

    Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.

    Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.

    THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.

    TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.

    Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.

    A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.

    It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.

    Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

    For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.

    “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”

    He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.

    Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”

    Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.

    The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.

    Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.

    His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.

    On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.

    Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”

    In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”

    For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.

    Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals

    None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.

    THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.

    Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”

    At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.

    It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.

    The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.

    The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.

    An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.

    Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.

    Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”

    On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.

    When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.

    Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.

    INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.

    Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.

    By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.

    The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.

    As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.

    Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”

    Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.

    As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.

    The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)

    The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.

    Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”

    The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.

    The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.

    Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.

    From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.

    Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.

    IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.

    The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.

    The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.

    As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”

    At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”

    Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”

    After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.

    Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.

    There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.

    The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.

    To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”

    Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.

    Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.

    That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

    To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.

    “We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”

    At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.

    At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”

    From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.

    Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.

    THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.

    The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.

    Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.

    An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.

    With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.

    That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”

    The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.

    JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.

    The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.

    “Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”

    That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.

    “Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”

    For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.

    Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”

    #USA #Libye #impérialisme #terrorisme #histoire #CIA #idéologie #propagande


  • The Mall of Shame
    https://hackernoon.com/the-mall-of-shame-5c9de67df34?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    The Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, NH is home to a million square feet of #retail and contains 144 stores, restaurants, and kiosks. It’s by no means the nicest mall in the country, but as recently as 2015, it was the top-grossing property by square foot in the Simon Properties Group portfolio thanks to its role as a sales tax sanctuary on the border with Massachusetts. Middle-class staples like Williams & Sonoma, Coach, Lush, and an Apple store (along with the obligatory food court Sbarro) help account for $1.8B in annual sales.But there’s an odd trend at work in this otherwise healthy-seeming cathedral of capitalism. Exquisitely fabricated sales fixtures are being replaced by slat board walls. Store logos that were once agonized over by creatives at Landor and Pentagram are being (...)

    #entrepreneurship #startup #venture-capital #business


  • Des universitaires et des artistes israéliens mettent en garde contre une mise en équation de l’antisionisme et de l’antisémitisme
    22 novembre | Ofer Aderet pour Haaretz |Traduction J.Ch. pour l’AURDIP
    https://www.aurdip.org/des-universitaires-et-des-artistes.html

    Une lettre ouverte de 34 éminents Israéliens, dont des chercheurs en histoire juive et des lauréats du Prix Israël, a été publiée mardi dans les média autrichiens appelant à faire une différence entre critique légitime d’Israël, « aussi dure puisse-t-elle être », et antisémitisme.

    Cette lettre a été émise avant un rassemblement international à Vienne sur antisémitisme et antisionisme en Europe.

    L’ événement de cette semaine, « L’Europe par delà l’antisémitisme et l’antisionisme », se tient sous les auspices du Chancelier autrichien Sebastian Kurz. Son homologue israélien, Benjamin Netanyahu, devait y prendre part, mais est resté en Israël pour s’occuper de la crise dans sa coalition gouvernementale.

    « Nous adoptons et soutenons totalement le combat intransigeant [de l’Union Européenne] contre l’antisémitisme. La montée de l’antisémitisme nous inquiète. Comme nous l’a enseigné l’histoire, elle a souvent été l’annonce de désastres ultérieurs pour toute l’humanité », déclare la lettre.

    « Cependant, l’UE défend les droits de l’Homme et doit les protéger avec autant de force qu’elle combat l’antisémitisme. Il ne faudrait pas instrumentaliser ce combat contre l’antisémitisme pour réprimer la critique légitime de l’occupation par Israël et ses graves violations des droits fondamentaux des Palestiniens. » (...)

    #antisionisme #antisémitisme

    • La liste des signataires:
      Moshe Zimmerman, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University and a former director of the university’s Koebner Center for German History; Moshe Zukermann, emeritus professor of history and philosophy of science at Tel Aviv University; Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University emeritus professor in political science and a current Haaretz columnist; Israel Prize laureate, sculptor Dani Karavan; Israel Prize laureate, photographer Alex Levac; Israel Prize laureate, artist Michal Naaman; Gadi Algazi, a history professor at Tel Aviv University; Eva Illouz, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and former President of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; Gideon Freudenthal, a professor in the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University; Rachel Elior, an Israeli professor of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Anat Matar, philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Yael Barda, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Miki Kratsman, a former chairman of the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Jose Brunner, an emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University and a former director of the Minerva Institute for German History; Alon Confino, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Israel Prize laureate, graphic designer David Tartakover; Arie M. Dubnov, Chair of Israel Studies at George Washington University; David Enoch, history, philosophy and Judaic Studies professor at Israel’s Open University; Amos Goldberg, Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate and vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities David Harel; Hannan Hever, comparative literature and Judaic Studies professor at Yale University; Hannah Kasher, professor emerita in Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University; Michael Keren, emeritus professor of economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate, Yehoshua Kolodny, professor emeritus in the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Nitzan Lebovic, professor of Holocaust studies at Lehigh University; Idith Zertal, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dmitry Shumsky, professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University; Israel Prize laureate David Shulman, professor emeritus of Asian studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Jewish philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Dalia Ofer, professor emerita in Jewry and Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Paul Mendes-Flohr, professor emeritus for Jewish thoughts at the Hebrew University; Jacob Metzer, former president of Israel’s Open University; and Israel Prize laureate Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University arts faculty

      #Palestine


  • Israeli academics and artists warn against equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    Their open letter ahead of a conference in Vienna advises against giving Israel immunity for ‘grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law’

    Ofer Aderet
    Nov 20, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-professors-warn-against-equating-anti-zionism-with-anti-se

    An open letter from 35 prominent Israelis, including Jewish-history scholars and Israel Prize laureates, was published Tuesday in the Austrian media calling for a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel, “harsh as it may be,” and anti-Semitism.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The letter was released before an international gathering in Vienna on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Europe.
    The event this week, “Europe beyond anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism: Securing Jewish life in Europe,” is being held under the auspices of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, had been due to take part but stayed in Israel to deal with the crisis in his coalition government. 
    “We fully embrace and support the [European Union’s] uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism. The rise of anti-Semitism worries us. As we know from history, it has often signaled future disasters to all mankind,” the letter states. 
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    “However, the EU also stands for human rights and has to protect them as forcefully as it fights anti-Semitism. This fight against anti-Semitism should not be instrumentalized to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel’s occupation and severe violations of Palestinian human rights.” 

    The signatories accuse Netanyahu of suggesting an equivalence between anti-Israel criticism and anti-Semitism. The official declaration by the conference also notes that anti-Semitism is often expressed through disproportionate criticism of Israel, but the letter warns that such an approach could “afford Israel immunity against criticism for grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law.”
    The signatories object to the declaration’s alleged “identifying” of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. “Zionism, like all other modern Jewish movements in the 20th century, was harshly opposed by many Jews, as well as by non-Jews who were not anti-Semitic,” they write. “Many victims of the Holocaust opposed Zionism. On the other hand, many anti-Semites supported Zionism. It is nonsensical and inappropriate to identify anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.”
    Among the signatories are Moshe Zimmerman, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University and a former director of the university’s Koebner Center for German History; Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University emeritus professor in political science and a current Haaretz columnist; sculptor Dani Karavan; Miki Kratsman, a former chairman of the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Jose Brunner, an emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University and a former director of the Minerva Institute for German History; Alon Confino, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and graphic designer David Tartakover.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent

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    • La liste des signataires:
      Moshe Zimmerman, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University and a former director of the university’s Koebner Center for German History; Moshe Zukermann, emeritus professor of history and philosophy of science at Tel Aviv University; Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University emeritus professor in political science and a current Haaretz columnist; Israel Prize laureate, sculptor Dani Karavan; Israel Prize laureate, photographer Alex Levac; Israel Prize laureate, artist Michal Naaman; Gadi Algazi, a history professor at Tel Aviv University; Eva Illouz, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and former President of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; Gideon Freudenthal, a professor in the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University; Rachel Elior, an Israeli professor of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Anat Matar, philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Yael Barda, a professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Miki Kratsman, a former chairman of the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Jose Brunner, an emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University and a former director of the Minerva Institute for German History; Alon Confino, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Israel Prize laureate, graphic designer David Tartakover; Arie M. Dubnov, Chair of Israel Studies at George Washington University; David Enoch, history, philosophy and Judaic Studies professor at Israel’s Open University; Amos Goldberg, Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate and vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities David Harel; Hannan Hever, comparative literature and Judaic Studies professor at Yale University; Hannah Kasher, professor emerita in Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University; Michael Keren, emeritus professor of economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel Prize laureate, Yehoshua Kolodny, professor emeritus in the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Nitzan Lebovic, professor of Holocaust studies at Lehigh University; Idith Zertal, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dmitry Shumsky, professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University; Israel Prize laureate David Shulman, professor emeritus of Asian studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Jewish philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University; Dalia Ofer, professor emerita in Jewry and Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Paul Mendes-Flohr, professor emeritus for Jewish thoughts at the Hebrew University; Jacob Metzer, former president of Israel’s Open University; and Israel Prize laureate Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University arts faculty


  • What the Boston School Bus Schedule Can Teach Us About AI
    https://www.wired.com/story/joi-ito-ai-and-bus-routes

    When the Boston public school system announced new start times last December, some parents found the schedules unacceptable and pushed back. The algorithm used to set these times had been designed by MIT researchers, and about a week later, Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, emailed asking me to cosign an op-ed that would call on policymakers to be more thoughtful and democratic when they consider using algorithms to change policies (...)

    #algorithme #solutionnisme #discrimination #ACLU


  • Domino’s ‘Paving for Pizza’ Stunt Fills Potholes in American Cities - Eater
    https://www.eater.com/2018/9/7/17831586/dominos-potholes-paving-for-pizza-towns


    #privatisation partout : le nid-de-poule Domino, le trottoir Starbuck, les chiottes MacDo ?
    Remarque, on a déjà pas mal de ronds-points qui on été payés par le supermarché qui s’est installé à côté et on a des stades et des salles de concert qui portent le nom de boites.

    But beneath the surface, the willingness for cities to take this money is an indictment on the state of American infrastructure funding. Several mayors suggested that getting the money to keep streets in good condition was a major challenge, in some cases blaming a lack of funding from states, or the general difficulties of raising enough tax money to keep roads from falling apart.

    Mayor Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, says that the state gives his city, which is just outside Boston, around $1.2 million for infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges each year (as well as for the equipment to do that work). That’s enough to pave up to 1.5 miles of road, he says. “The costs are so extraordinary… when you’ve got over 250 miles of road, that [money is] really not going to make it happen,” DiNatale says. “So my motivation is ‘any help we can get’, and certainly, Domino’s has a very helpful and clever approach.”


  • Les dilemmes moraux de l’humanité à l’épreuve de la voiture autonome
    https://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2018/10/24/les-dilemmes-moraux-de-l-humanite-a-l-epreuve-de-la-voiture-autonome_5374081

    Une étude révèle les préférences de 2,5 millions de personnes contraintes de choisir les victimes d’un accident.

    Peut-on tuer un vieillard pour sauver un enfant ? Toute vie humaine a-t-elle au contraire la même valeur, sans considération d’âge, de genre ou d’état de santé ?

    Ces questions, médecins, assureurs et militaires se les posent depuis longtemps. « Mais jamais dans l’histoire de l’humanité avons-nous autorisé une machine à décider seule qui doit vivre et qui doit mourir, sans supervision humaine, en temps réel. Nous allons franchir cette barrière prochainement, pas sur un lointain champ de bataille, mais dans un des aspects les plus banals de notre vie, le transport quotidien. »

    L’équipe de scientifiques français et américains qui lance cette prophétie vise la voiture autonome, future vedette de l’automobile. Dans la revue Nature du jeudi 25 octobre, ces psychologues, anthropologues et spécialistes de l’intelligence artificielle (IA) poursuivent : « Avant d’autoriser nos voitures à prendre des décisions éthiques, il importe que nous ayons une conversation globale pour exprimer nos préférences aux entreprises qui concevront les algorithmes moraux et aux responsables politiques qui vont les réguler. »

    Les chercheurs avaient déjà ouvert cette grande discussion en 2016 dans la revue Science. Les personnes alors interrogées se prononçaient massivement en faveur d’algorithmes sauvant le maximum de vies. Leur position fléchissait toutefois si eux-mêmes ou un membre de leur famille se trouvait impliqué. L’échantillon qui avait été interrogé rassemblait un peu moins de 2 000 personnes.

    « Sauver les enfants »

    L’article de Nature rend compte d’une entreprise d’une tout autre ampleur. Plus de 2,5 millions de personnes venues de quelque 230 pays ou territoires ont cette fois livré leur choix. Pour recueillir une telle masse d’informations, Edmond Awad et Iyad Rahwan du Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Azim Shariff de l’université de Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique, Canada) et Jean-François Bonnefon, de l’Ecole d’économie de Toulouse, ont conçu un site Internet.

    Ils n’y posent pas de simples questions – rapidement vertigineuses – mais placent le participant devant des scénarios. Par exemple, les freins d’une voiture autonome lâchent. A bord, une femme et un enfant. Sur la route, trois personnes âgées traversent au rouge. Faut-il continuer tout droit et écraser les passants ou braquer et tuer les passagers ? Et si un chien s’invite sur la banquette ? Ou si l’on remplace les vieillards par un sans-abri et une femme enceinte ? L’aspect ludique de l’expérience et des relais influents de la planète numérique (YouTube, Reddit) ont assuré le succès de l’opération.

    Les quelque 40 millions de décisions prises par les internautes entre juin 2016 et janvier 2018 livrent de nombreux enseignements. « Sans surprise, trois positions se détachent : épargner le plus grand nombre, privilégier les humains sur les animaux et sauver les enfants », indique Jean-François Bonnefon.

    Sans surprise, mais pas sans poser question. En 2017, une commission d’éthique allemande sur les véhicules automatiques a émis les seules recommandations disponibles sur le sujet. Elle exclut toute préférence basée sur les caractéristiques personnelles, notamment l’âge… « L’opinion n’a pas forcément raison, poursuit le psychologue toulousain. Mais si un gouvernement décide d’imposer un autre choix, il doit être prêt à le défendre, notamment le jour où un enfant sera écrasé. »

    Préférences différentes selon les pays

    Au-delà de ces trois critères communs, six autres facteurs ont été examinés dans l’étude. Le statut social et le respect de la loi comptent : pour être sauvé, mieux vaut être socialement inséré et respecter les feux que sans-abri et traverser n’importe où. De même, mais de manière moins sensible, la probabilité d’être percuté augmente si l’on est obèse et baisse si l’on est une femme. Autant de positions peu sensibles aux variations individuelles.

    Les personnes sondées avaient la possibilité d’indiquer leur profil, ce que 492 921 personnes ont fait. Il apparaît que l’âge, l’éducation, le sexe, les revenus, la religion ou encore les opinions politiques n’expliquent pas leurs choix moraux.

    En revanche, l’origine géographique pèse de façon importante. Les scientifiques ont en effet dressé les profils des 130 pays pour lesquels plus de 100 personnes avaient répondu. Trois groupes émergent. Le premier (Ouest) rassemble l’essentiel des pays occidentaux – mais pas la France – et tout le Commonwealth. Le second (Est) réunit l’Asie et une partie des nations de culture islamique. Enfin le troisième, au Sud, regroupe l’Amérique latine, quelques pays d’Europe centrale mais aussi la France, le Maroc, l’Algérie, la Polynésie… « Mes collègues américains ne voyaient pas le rapport. Moi, notre passé colonial m’a sauté aux yeux », raconte Jean-François Bonnefon.

    Entre ces trois grandes familles, certaines différences marquantes émergent. Ainsi, la préférence accordée aux jeunes est bien moins marquée à l’Est qu’au Sud. Idem pour le statut social : l’Orient y apparaît moins sensible que l’Occident et le Sud. En revanche, malheur à celui qui n’y respecte pas la loi.

    « Ces scénarios seront rares »

    « Une expérience de psychologie sociale à une telle échelle est vraiment rare », salue Grégory Bonnet, enseignant-chercheur à l’université de Caen et coordinateur du projet Ethicaa, sur l’éthique des systèmes autonomes.

    Néanmoins, l’exercice a ses limites. Ainsi, la représentativité des participants est biaisée. Ils sont majoritairement des hommes, près de 70 %, et dans la tranche d’âge 20-30 ans. Les chercheurs ont pu néanmoins « redresser » les résultats dans le cas des Etats-Unis, en tenant compte des données démographiques, sans modifier leurs conclusions.

    Autre réserve : ces scénarios ne refléteraient pas la réalité. Pour Grégory Bonnet, « il n’y a rarement que deux choix possibles sur une route et ces choix ne conduisent pas à des conséquences “blanches ou noires”, c’est-à-dire à la mort des personnes ».

    Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, chercheur en informatique à Sorbonne Université, renchérit : « Ces scénarios seront rares, car les voitures autonomes sont conçues pour éviter de se mettre en danger. Or là, cela signifierait qu’elles n’ont pas vu certaines choses à temps, ou que des infractions ont été commises… » Il sourit également à l’idée que si les voitures s’interdisaient d’écraser des jeunes, ces derniers pourraient s’amuser à perturber le trafic en passant devant les véhicules

    « Dix ou cent décisions par seconde »

    « La voiture autonome ne prend pas une décision mais dix ou cent par seconde, ajoute Guillaume Devauchelle, directeur de la recherche et du développement chez Valéo. Avant de se trouver devant ce dilemme impossible, sans voie de dégagement possible, elle aura ralenti. Plus profondément, cet article regarde la mobilité de demain avec les yeux d’aujourd’hui. Or, tout le paradigme va changer. Si vous n’êtes pas au volant, le temps n’est plus perdu, la vitesse n’a plus la même valeur. Ces scénarios deviennent absurdes. »

    Autant d’objections que l’équipe franco-américaine connaît. « Quand nous avons commencé, beaucoup nous disaient que de tels dilemmes n’arriveraient jamais, assure Jean-François Bonnefon. Aujourd’hui, beaucoup s’y intéressent et certains travaillent avec nous. »

    Et puis la voiture n’est pas le seul intérêt de l’affaire. « On est parti de là et on en arrive à tracer un arbre phylogénétique moral de l’humanité », s’étonne-t-il. Du reste, le psychologue entend bien profiter de cette base, désormais ouverte à tous, pour fouiller cette carte du monde. Comment se transmettent les influences ? Qu’est-ce qui peut rapprocher Israël et la Jamaïque ? Et d’où vient l’exception française ? « Ça sera dans le prochain article », promet-il.

    • Tiens, c’est marrant, ça s’excite sur le sujet en ce moment. Du côté de la formalisation des dilemmes aussi. J’ai eu à examiner un papier sur le sujet en vue de son acceptation à une conférence il y a peu. Pourtant le titre ne laissait en rien présager qu’il parlait de ça (« The Weak Completion Semantics and Equality », un truc très très technique lié à la programmation logique), mais il se trouve que ça permet de très bien décrire les types de problèmes dont parle l’article du monde. Le résuméde l’article est là, le texte intégral n’est pas encore disponible (je ne connais pas la politique de diffusion des actes de cette conférence [petite rectification : l’article sera disponible en accès ouvert après que la conférence ait eu lieu]) :

      https://easychair.org/smart-program/LPAR-22/2018-11-21.html#talk:84999

    • Déjà abordé ici, en particulier là :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/731438

      Avec ce commentaire de ma part :

      Ce que je cherche c’est un article qui explique que la question est mal posée, et qu’il faut refuser d’y répondre. C’est un piège qui vise à nous faire accepter l’inacceptable en déplaçant la vraie question.

      Si la voiture hésite entre tuer une vieille ou un enfant, c’est qu’elle est mal construite et qu’il faut refuser de la lâcher dans la nature.

      #Tesla #algorithme #voiture #éthique #AI #question #piège #propagande

    • TU fais bien de répéter ton commentaire.
      Difficile de croire qu’on en est encore là - qu’on ose poser la question et qu’on ose y répondre. Donner à une machine le luxe de choisir entre buter un jeune ou un vieux signifie clairement que la machine a été déjà bien trop loin dans ses fonctions - et ses concepteurs bien trop loin dans leur dystopie.

      Je soupçonne même ces questionnements existentiel ô combien artificiels d’être une tentative de néo-colonialisme averti montrant combien les pays « du sud » et « de l’est » (c’est quoi ces termes ??) sont en retrait sur les critère de moralité des pays occidentaux (ou de l’élite capitaliste).

      Flippant.

      Luddites, réveillez-vous !
      Consciences, révoltez-vous !

      PS : source du Monde, l’étude du MIT :
      http://moralmachine.mit.edu


  • New object beyond Pluto hints at mysterious ’Planet X’
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/10/news-solar-system-object-pluto-planet-x-sun-space

    Called 2015 TG387 (and nicknamed the Goblin), the world is likely spherical and about as wide as the state of Massachusetts. And—like a handful of other distant solar system inhabitants—its orbital behavior might signal the presence of an unseen Planet X lurking in the distant outer dominions of the solar system.


  • USA : la #FDA exhortée d’accélérer la mise en place des avertissements sur les paquets de #cigarettes | Vaping Post
    https://fr.vapingpost.com/usa-la-fda-exhortee-daccelerer-la-mise-en-place-des-avertissements-su

    Le tribunal fédéral du district du Massachusetts a statué. La FDA se doit de fournir à la justice américaine un calendrier accéléré pour la mise en œuvre des avertissements sur les paquets de cigarettes, d’ici au 26 septembre prochain. 

    Depuis la mise en place du Tobacco Control Act en 2009, la FDA avait jusqu’à présent toujours retardé cette nouveauté, au point d’indiquer que lesdits graphiques seraient en place “au mois de novembre 2021, au plus tôt” comme le rapporte le périodique américain National Law Journal. 

    Une déclaration qui n’avait pas manqué de faire réagir l’American Academy of Pediatrics ainsi que d’autres associations de santé, qui avaient alors porté plainte contre l’organisme américain en 2016, l’accusant d’avoir “illégalement refusé d’inscrire des avertissements graphiques sur les emballages en retardant de façon déraisonnable l’émission d’un délai pour le faire”.

    Le Tobacco Control Act prévoyant que la FDA avait 24 mois au maximum pour le faire, à partir du 22 juin 2009, c’est aujourd’hui avec plus de 7 années de retard que l’organisme va y être contraint.

    #FDA calls teen vaping an « epidemic, » threatens to pull products off the market - CBS News
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fda-warns-juul-e-cigarettes-teen-vaping-epidemic

    “While vaping devices have the potential to be disruptive to the combustible tobacco market, this cannot be at the expense of increasing rates of nicotine addiction in young people,” Ylioja said.


  • Opioid billionaire granted patent for addiction treatment | Financial Times
    https://www.ft.com/content/a3a53ae8-b1e3-11e8-8d14-6f049d06439c
    https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fprod-upp-image-read.ft.com%2F9a83636a-b263-11e8-87e0-d84e0d934341?s

    Purdue owner Richard Sackler listed as inventor of drug to wean addicts off painkillers
    Richard Sackler’s family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the opioid painkiller OxyContin © Reuters

    David Crow in New York

    A billionaire pharmaceuticals executive who has been blamed for spurring the US opioid crisis stands to profit from the epidemic after he patented a new treatment for drug addicts.

    Richard Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the notorious painkiller OxyContin, was granted a patent earlier this year for a reformulation of a drug used to wean addicts off opioids.

    The invention is a novel form of buprenorphine, a mild opiate that controls drug cravings, which is often given as a substitute to people hooked on heroin or opioid painkillers such as OxyContin.

    The new formulation as described in Dr Sackler’s patent could end up proving lucrative thanks to a steady increase in the number of addicts being treated with buprenorphine, which is seen as a better alternative to other opioid substitutes such as methadone.

    Last year, the leading version of buprenorphine, which is sold under the brand name Suboxone, generated $877m in US sales for Indivior, the British pharmaceuticals group that makes it.

    Before the opioid crisis, the Sackler family was primarily known for its philanthropy, emerging as one of the largest donors to arts institutions in the US and UK. But the rising number of addictions and deaths has highlighted the family’s ownership of Purdue, which some members have tried to shy away from.

    It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health
    Luke Nasta, director of Camelot

    Dr Sackler’s patent, which was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in January, acknowledges the threat posed by the opioid crisis, which claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016.

    “While opioids have always been known to be useful in pain treatment, they also display an addictive potential,” the patent states. “Thus, if opioids are taken by healthy human subjects with a drug-seeking behaviour they may lead to psychological as well as physical dependence.”

    It adds: “The constant pressures upon addicts to procure money for buying drugs and the concomitant criminal activities have been increasingly recognised as a major factor that counteracts efficient and long-lasting withdrawal and abstinence from drugs.”

    However, the patent makes no mention of the fact that Purdue Pharma has been hit with more than a thousand lawsuits for allegedly fuelling the epidemic — allegations the company and the Sackler family deny.

    “It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health,” said Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, an addiction treatment centre in Staten Island, New York. He said the Sackler family “shouldn’t be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates — and that includes opioid substitutes”.

    Buprenorphine is prescribed to opioid addicts in tablets or thin film strips that dissolve under the tongue in less than seven minutes. These “sublingual” formulations are used to stop drug abusers from hoarding a stockpile of pills they can sell or use to get high at a later date.

    The patent describes a new, improved form of buprenorphine that would come in a wafer that disintegrated more quickly than existing versions — perhaps in just a few seconds.

    The original application was made by Purdue Pharma and Dr Sackler is listed as one of the inventors alongside five others, some of whom work or have worked for the Sackler’s group of drug companies.

    “Drug addicts sometimes still try to divert these sublingual buprenorphine tablets by removing them from the mouth,” the patent application stated. “There remains a need for other . . . abuse-resistant dosage forms.”
    Recommended
    US opioid epidemic
    What next for the Sacklers? A pharma dynasty under siege

    In June, the Massachusetts attorney-general filed a lawsuit against Dr Sackler and seven other members of the Sackler family, which accused them of engaging in a “deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids”.

    Purdue and the family deny the allegations and Purdue said it intends to file a motion to dismiss. The company points out that OxyContin was, and still is, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

    “We believe it is inappropriate for [Massachusetts] to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the regulatory, scientific and medical experts at FDA,” it said in a recent statement to the Financial Times.

    Andrew Kolodny, a professor from Brandeis University who has been a vocal advocate for greater use of buprenorphine to battle the opioid crisis, said the idea Dr Sackler “could get richer” from the patent was “very disturbing”. He added: “Perhaps the profits off this patent should be used to pay any judgment or settlement down the line.”

    Earlier this week, Purdue donated $3.4m to boost access to naloxone, an antidote given to people who have just overdosed on opioids.

    #Opioides #Cynisme #Capitalisme_sauvage #Brevets #Sackler


  • Opinion | Is Boycotting Israel ‘Hate’? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/opinion/is-boycotting-israel-hate.html

    Opponents of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement are involved in a dishonest branding campaign.

    By Joseph Levine
    Mr. Levine is a philosophy professor and a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council.

    The debate over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement against Israel has been one of the most contentious in American political culture for more than a decade. Now, given the tumultuous and deadly events of the past several months, it is likely to heat up further.

    Casualties in the ongoing protests in Gaza, which began in March, continue to mount; nearly 180 mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 18,000 injured, according to the United Nations. Dozens of those deaths came in mid-May, as the United States took the provocative step of moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Tensions will surely spike again following last week’s decision by the United States to stop billions in funding to the United Nations agency that delivers aid to Palestinian refugees.

    B.D.S. began in 2005 in response to a call by more than 100 Palestinian civil society organizations, with the successful movement against apartheid South Africa in mind. The reasoning was that Israel, with its half-century occupation of Palestinian territories, would be equally deserving of the world’s condemnation until its policies changed to respect Palestinian political and civil rights. B.D.S. calls for its stance of nonviolent protest to remain in effect until three conditions are met: that Israel ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the wall; that Israel recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and that Israel respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.

    • The debate over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement against Israel has been one of the most contentious in American political culture for more than a decade. Now, given the tumultuous and deadly events of the past several months, it is likely to heat up further.

      Casualties in the ongoing protests in Gaza, which began in March, continue to mount; nearly 180 mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 18,000 injured, according to the United Nations. Dozens of those deaths came in mid-May, as the United States took the provocative step of moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Tensions will surely spike again following last week’s decision by the United States to stop billions in funding to the United Nations agency that delivers aid to Palestinian refugees.

      B.D.S. began in 2005 in response to a call by more than 100 Palestinian civil society organizations, with the successful movement against apartheid South Africa in mind. The reasoning was that Israel, with its half-century occupation of Palestinian territories, would be equally deserving of the world’s condemnation until its policies changed to respect Palestinian political and civil rights. B.D.S. calls for its stance of nonviolent protest to remain in effect until three conditions are met: that Israel ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the wall; that Israel recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and that Israel respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.

      Opposition to B.D.S. is widespread and strong. Alarmingly, in the United States, support for the movement is in the process of being outlawed. As of now, 24 states have enacted legislation that in some way allows the state to punish those who openly engage in or advocate B.D.S., and similar legislation is pending in 12 more states. At the federal level, a bill called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act would criminalize adherence to any boycott of Israel called for by an international agency (like the United Nations). The bill has garnered 57 Senate co-sponsors and 290 House co-sponsors, and may very well come up for a vote soon.

      While these bills certainly constitute threats to free speech — (a view shared by the ACLU) — I am interested in a more subtle effect of a fairly widespread anti-B.D.S. strategy: co-opting rhetoric of the anti-Trump resistance, which opposes the growing influence of racist hate groups, in order to brand B.D.S. as a hate group itself.

      In my home state of Massachusetts, for example, where a hearing for one of the many state bills aimed at punishing B.D.S. activity took place in July 2017, those who testified in favor of the bill, along with their supporters in the gallery, wore signs saying “No Hate in the Bay State.” They took every opportunity to compare B.D.S. supporters to the alt-right activists recently empowered by the election of Donald Trump. (Full disclosure: I am a strong supporter of B.D.S. and was among those testifying against the bill.)

      The aim of this activity is to relegate the B.D.S. movement, and the Palestine solidarity movement more generally, to the nether region of public discourse occupied by all the intolerant worldviews associated with the alt-right. This is an area the philosopher John Rawls would call “unreasonable.” But to my mind, it is the anti-B.D.S. movement itself that belongs there.

      There are two dimensions of reasonableness that are relevant to this particular issue: the one that allegedly applies to the B.D.S. campaign and the one I claim actually applies to the anti-B.D.S. campaign. Rawls starts his account of the reasonable from the premise of what he calls “reasonable pluralism,” an inevitable concomitant of modern-day democratic government. Large democratic societies contain a multitude of groups that differ in what Rawls calls their “comprehensive doctrines” — moral, religious or philosophical outlooks in accord with which people structure their lives. What makes a comprehensive doctrine “reasonable” is the willingness of those living in accord with it to recognize the legitimate claims of differing, often conflicting doctrines, to accord to the people that hold them full participation as citizens and to regard them as deserving of respect and equal treatment. We can label this dimension of reasonableness a matter of tolerance.

      The second dimension of reasonableness is associated with the notion of “public reason.” When arguing for one’s position as part of the process of democratic deliberation in a society characterized by reasonable pluralism, what kinds of considerations are legitimate to present? The constraint of public reason demands that the considerations in question should look reasonable to all holders of reasonable comprehensive doctrines, not merely one’s own.

      For example, when arguing over possible legal restrictions on abortion, it isn’t legitimate within a democracy to appeal to religious principles that are not shared by all legitimate parties to the dispute. So, while the personhood of the fetus is in dispute among reasonable doctrines, the status of African-Americans, women, gays and Jews is not. To reject their status as fully equal members of the society would be “unreasonable.”

      One of the essential principles of democratic government is freedom of thought and expression, and this extends to the unreasonable/intolerant as well as to the reasonable, so long as certain strict limits on incitement to violence, libel and the like are observed. Still, doctrines within the “tent of the reasonable” are accorded a different status within public institutions and civil society from those deemed outside the tent. This is reflected in the kinds of public support or reprobation representatives of the state and other civil society institutions (e.g., universities) display toward the doctrines or values in question.

      To put it simply, we expect what’s reasonable to get a fair hearing within the public sphere, even if many don’t agree with it.

      On the other hand, though we do not suppress the unreasonable, we don’t believe, in general, that it has the right to a genuinely fair hearing in that same sphere. For instance, after the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., in August last year, students at my campus, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, were greeted in the fall with signs plastered everywhere that said “Hate Has No Home at UMass.” This was intended to let the Richard Spencers of this world know that even if it may not be right or legal to bar them from speaking on campus, their message was not going to be given the respectful hearing that those within the tent of the reasonable receive.

      The alleged basis for claiming that B.D.S. advocates are anti-Semitic, and thus worthy only of denunciation or punishment, not argument, is that through their three goals listed in their manifesto they express their rejection of Jews’ right to self-determination in their homeland. This idea was put succinctly by Senator Chuck Schumer at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) in March, where he said, “Let us call out the B.D.S. movement for what it is. Let us delegitimize the delegitimizers by letting the world know when there is a double standard, whether they know it or not, they are actively participating in an anti-Semitic movement.”

      B.D.S. supporters are “delegitimizers,” according to Schumer, because they do not grant legitimacy to the Zionist project. Some might quibble with this claim about the B.D.S. goals, but I think it’s fair to say that rejection of the legitimacy of the Zionist project is fairly widespread within the movement. But does this constitute anti-Semitism? Does this put them outside the tent of the reasonable?

      To justify this condemnation of the B.D.S. movement requires accepting two extremely controversial claims: first, that the right to self-determination for any ethnic, religious or racial group entails the right to live in a state that confers special status on members of that group — that it is “their state” in the requisite sense; and second, that Palestine counts for these purposes as the rightful homeland of modern-day Jews, as opposed to the ancient Judeans. (I have argued explicitly against the first claim, here.)

      With regard to the second claim, it seems obvious to me, and I bet many others when they bother to think about it, that claims to land stemming from a connection to people who lived there 2,000 years ago is extremely weak when opposed by the claims of those who currently live there and whose people have been living there for perhaps a millennium or more.

      Remember, one needn’t agree with me in my rejection of these two principal claims for my point to stand. All one must acknowledge is that the right at issue isn’t obvious and is at least open to question. If a reasonable person can see that this right of the Jews to establish a state in Palestine is at least open to question, then it can’t be a sign of anti-Semitism to question it! But once you admit the B.D.S. position within the tent of the reasonable, the proper response is not, as Senator Schumer claims, “delegitimizing,” but rather disputing — engaging in argument, carried out in the public sphere according to the rules of public reason.

      But now we get to my second main point — that it’s the anti-B.D.S. camp that violates reasonableness; not because it is an expression of intolerance (though often it flirts with Islamophobia), but because it violates the constraints on public reason. Just how far the positive argument for the legitimacy of the Zionist project often veers from the rules of public reason is perfectly captured by another quote from Mr. Schumer’s speech to Aipac.

      “Now, let me tell you why — my view, why we don’t have peace. Because the fact of the matter is that too many Palestinians and too many Arabs do not want any Jewish state in the Middle East,” he said. “The view of Palestinians is simple: The Europeans treated the Jews badly, culminating in the Holocaust, and they gave them our land as compensation. Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace. They invent other reasons, but they do not believe in a Jewish state, and that is why we, in America, must stand strong with Israel through thick and thin …”

      This quote is really quite remarkable, coming from one of the most powerful legislators in our democracy. After fairly well characterizing a perfectly reasonable attitude Palestinians have about who is responsible for the Holocaust and who should pay any reparations for it, Mr. Schumer then appeals to the Torah to justify the Jewish claim against them. But this is a totally illegitimate appeal as a form of public reason, no different from appealing to religious doctrine when opposing abortion. In fact, I claim you can’t find any genuine argument that isn’t guilty of breaching the limits of the reasonable in this way for the alleged right to establish the Jewish state in Palestine.

      This almost certainly explains why opponents of B.D.S. are now turning to the heavy hand of the state to criminalize support for it. In a “fair fight” within the domain of public reason, they would indeed find themselves “delegitimized.”

      Joseph Levine is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of “Quality and Content: Essays on Consciousness, Representation and Modality.” He is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council.

      #Palestine #USA #BDS #criminalisation_des_militants #liberté_d'expression #censure

      Et aussi à ajouter à la longue liste d’articles sur la confusion entretenue entre #Antisionisme et #Antisémitisme :

      https://seenthis.net/messages/337856
      https://seenthis.net/messages/580647
      https://seenthis.net/messages/603396
      https://seenthis.net/messages/604402
      https://seenthis.net/messages/606801
      https://seenthis.net/messages/690067
      https://seenthis.net/messages/700966
      https://seenthis.net/messages/716567
      https://seenthis.net/messages/718335
      https://seenthis.net/messages/719714


  • #identity #politics #identity_politics #usa https://theintercept.com/2018/08/18/mike-capuano-ayanna-pressley-massachusetts-primary One of the Strongest Progressives in Congress Is Facing a Primary Challenger Invoking Identity and Change. Will She Unseat Him?

    “Congressman Mike Capuano has been a fine, progressive member of Congress, but having an experienced progressive like Ayanna Pressley on the ballot is an unmissable opportunity for Massachusetts to both ensure a leading woman of color represents its only majority-minority district and add the voice of just one person of color to New England’s currently all-white congressional delegation,” said Jim Dean, chair for Democracy for America, in a statement. Jonathan Cohn, co-chair of Progressive Massachusetts, explained that his group also endorsed Pressley over Capuano because of the “need for more diverse representation in Congress and the need for more activist leadership from Democrats in Congress

    .”
    #fatigue

    Capuano suggested in a one debate that his identity was less important than his track record of working on behalf of a diverse community. “There is a majority of no one in this district,” said Capuano. “No race, no ethnicity, no religion, nothing. So anybody who sits in this seat has to be able to work with people that don’t look like them, people that don’t think like them, people that don’t worship like them — and has to be able to bring people toge

    ther.”


  • La sénatrice sacrilège
    http://www.dedefensa.org/article/la-senatrice-sacrilege

    La sénatrice sacrilège

    18 août 2018 – Dans ce texte, je fais référence aux deux autres textes du même jour, pour établir un lien entre eux deux et constituer ainsi un triangle parfait, complètement isocèle, qui figurera la vérité-de-situation de la Grande Crise d’Effondrement du Système (GCES). Le premierde ces deux textes concerne la sénatrice Warren et sa proposition de loi de “responsabilisation du capitalisme” ; le second est le T.C.-56 sur la “démence cosmique”.

    Nous partons sur la sénatrice du Massachusetts...

    Elizabeth Warren est une brillante universitaire, venue de Harvard, qui occupa des postes officiels, notamment pour enquêter sur les conditions du sauvetage de Wall Street après l’effondrement 9/15 de 2008, avant d’être élue sénatrice en 2012 (et vice-présidente de la minorité démocrate au (...)


  • Neoliberalism as Political Technology: Expertise, Energy, and Democracy in Chile, Manuel Tironi and Javiera Barandiarán
    https://muse.jhu.edu/book/34700

    in Beyond Imported Magic, Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America, edited by Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes with a foreword by Marcos Cueto, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England, 2014

    Chile ’ s unique policy path can largely be attributed to a uniquely powerful and ideologically coherent team of free-market technocrats, with a long-term vision for the Chilean economy. Fourcade-Gourinchas and Babb 2002, 545 – 546

    Neoliberalism has had a profound impact on contemporary Chile. Neoliberal policies redefined sectors and institutions in industry ( Ffrench-Davis 1980 ), labor ( Foxley 1983 ), health ( Ossand ó n 2009 ), the city ( Portes and Roberts 2005 ; Sabatini 2000 ), and the environment ( Liverman and Vilas 2006 ), from the 1970s through today. Many say that nowhere else has neoliberal restructuring been more extended and aggressive ( Klein 2008 ; Lave, Mirowski, and Randalls 2010 ). In addition, the link between neo- liberalism as a set of policies and as an epistemological framework related to the Chicago School of Economics ( Van Horn and Mirowski 2009 ) is embodied in Chile by the infamous Chicago Boys — a group of Chicago-trained economists, endorsed by the military regime, who overhauled the Chilean economy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Although an abundant literature exists on neoliberalism in Chile, we identify two accounts still missing from this history. First, neoliberalism has been understood more as an epochal and abstract force than as situated practices. More detailed analyses of how neoliberalism unfolded in specific sites and through specific controversies are needed to interrogate the material and knowledge practices that enact neoliberalism. Second, while a robust literature has focused on the arrival of neoliberal ideas and the implementation of neoliberal policies in the 1970s, little has been said about how neoliberal ideology adapted to the post-dictatorship settings of the 1990s and 2000s. To tackle these gaps, we examine neoliberalism as a political technology . Neoliberal- ism as technology means it is applied knowledge about how to define, order, and cal- culate the world. Neoliberalism as a political technology draws attention to how this applied knowledge is used pragmatically and purposefully to transform the state and society.

    #Chili #économie #société #néo-libéralisme #histoire


  • Slip ou boxer ? Les caleçons amples favorisent la production de spermatozoïdes, selon une étude
    https://www.20minutes.fr/sante/2319155-20180809-slip-boxer-calecons-amples-favorisent-production-spermato

    Sur 20 minute on découvre la spermatogenèse selon une « étude » récente !
    Ce qui est consternant c’est que l’article est orienté « si vous voulez devenir père ». La même étude donne tout autant le moyen de ne pas devenir père et ne pas ruiné le corps, la vie, la santé et la carrière des femmes.
    L’article est dans la rubrique « fertilité » alors que ca pouvait aussi bien être dans « contraception », et expliqué le principe du #RCT ou aborder le sujet de la contraception vis à vis du publique masculin qui en a grand grand grand besoin. Mais non, on ne va pas parler contraception aux homme, la seule chose qui interesse les hommes c’est comment pourrir la planete et la vie des femmes avec leur précieux jus de couilles.

    Le mot d’ordre : laisser respirer. Les hommes qui veulent devenir père feraient mieux de porter le caleçon plutôt que des sous-vêtements serrés, pour favoriser la production de spermatozoïdes, ont affirmé des chercheurs jeudi.

    Cette étude publiée par la revue Human Reproduction confirme, avec une plus grande rigueur que d’autres avant elle, ce que l’on soupçonnait déjà : plus les testicules respirent, mieux ils fonctionnent. « Les hommes qui portent des caleçons ont des concentrations en spermatozoïdes plus élevées que ceux qui portent des sous-vêtements plus moulants », a résumé la revue dans un communiqué.
    Les adeptes du caleçon avaient 33% de spermatozoïdes mobiles en plus

    Cette conclusion provient de spermogrammes réalisés par 656 hommes entre 2000 et 2017, dans le service d’assistance à la procréation du Massachusetts General Hospital à Boston (États-Unis).

    L’étude « est la première à dépasser l’accent mis traditionnellement sur la qualité du sperme et à comprendre des données sur une multitude d’indicateurs du fonctionnement testiculaire, tels que les hormones de la reproduction et les dégâts sur l’ADN du sperme », a avancé Human Reproduction.

    Les sujets de l’étude ont indiqué ce qu’ils portaient le plus souvent. Pour 53% c’était des caleçons, pour 47% des sous-vêtements plus serrés (boxer court ou boxer long, slip moulant ou autre). En ajustant avec d’autres facteurs pouvant influencer la qualité du sperme (état de santé, niveau d’activité physique, tabagisme, etc.), les adeptes du caleçon avaient 33% de spermatozoïdes mobiles en plus.
    Eviter pantalons moulants et ne pas passer trop de temps assis

    Par ailleurs, ceux qui portent des sous-vêtements serrés secrètent plus d’hormone folliculo-stimulante (FSH), qui stimule la production de spermatozoïdes. D’après les chercheurs, le corps compense ainsi une température trop élevée pour les testicules.

    « La production de sperme nécessite une température de 3 à 4°C inférieure à celle du reste du corps », a rappelé un professeur en médecine de la reproduction de l’université d’Édimbourg (Royaume-Uni), Richard Sharpe, cité par Science Media Centre. Lui et d’autres experts donnent d’autres conseils : éviter de porter des pantalons moulants, de passer trop de temps assis, et de prendre des bains très chauds.

    #natalisme #domination_masculine #contraception_masculine


  • A signaler sur France Culture :
    Les femmes, moteurs de l’économie ?
    Avoir raison avec Françoise Héritier, par Caroline Broué (rediffusion)
    samedi 13/07/2018de midi à midi 30

    https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/avoir-raison-avec-francoise-heritier/les-femmes-moteurs-de-leconomie
    « Il y a dix ans, dans Le Livre noir de la condition des femmes (Points), Françoise Héritier avait écrit un article intitulé “Femmes, sciences et développement” dans lequel elle expliquait comment le sous-développement se nourrit du maintien des femmes dans un état de subordination et d’analphabétisation. Elle démontrait pourquoi l’accès au savoir est un élément fondamental pour l’émancipation féminine. Dans le même ouvrage, l’économiste Esther Duflo examinait comment développement économique et amélioration de la condition des femmes s’influencent mutuellement. Qu’en est-il dix ans plus tard ?
    Avec Esther Duflo, économiste, spécialiste du développement et pionnière d’une approche expérimentale de la lutte contre la pauvreté, professeure au Massachusetts Institute of Technology. »

    #genre #femmes #féminisme #égalité #intelligence


  • Les sorcières de Salem | ARTE - Jusqu’au 10 juin
    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/075745-000-A/les-sorcieres-de-salem

    initié par le couple Yves Montand et Simone Signoret, porté par des dialogues de Jean-Paul Sartre, le film s’inspire d’une chasse aux sorcières du XVIe siècle pour dénoncer la croisade anticommuniste du sénateur McCarthy.

    1692. Salem, petite bourgade du Massachusetts, un dimanche matin. En ce jour de repos et de prières, les enfants ont l’interdiction de jouer et la petite Fancy éclate en sanglots lorsque sa mère, Elisabeth, lui confisque sa poupée. Après l’avoir consolée, son père, John, refusant le repos, se rend à l’étable où l’attend la jeune et ravissante servante Abigail. Se sentant coupable, il refuse ses avances. Mais son épouse le repoussant depuis des mois, John finit par retrouver Abigail dans sa chambre. Elisabeth surprend les deux amants, et décide de renvoyer la servante, qui, pour se venger, commence à se livrer à la sorcellerie. Dans cette communauté très puritaine, elle est vite pourchassée puis arrêtée.

    Reconstitution historique
    Pendant près de soixante ans, le film fut invisible en salles car Arthur Miller – auteur de la pièce dont il s’inspire –, qui en détenait une partie des droits, s’était opposé à son exploitation jusqu’à sa mort en 2005. Raison officieuse : il était toujours ulcéré de la brève idylle qu’Yves Montand avait entretenue avec son épouse Marilyn Monroe. En 2017, Pathé obtint enfin les droits du film et procéda à sa restauration. Sous l’apparente reconstitution d’un fait historique se cache une virulente charge contre la chasse aux sorcières du sénateur McCarthy à Hollywood. Signoret et Montand sont à l’origine de cette adaptation où les deux acteurs livrent une bouleversante interprétation face à une Mylène Demongeot émouvante en amoureuse éconduite.


  • University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Mortimer Sackler
    https://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH27277&type=P

    Dr Mortimer Sackler (1916-2010) was an American physician and entrepreneur. He was Chairman and co-Chief Executive of Purdue Pharma, a leading American pharmaceuticals company. Alongside his brothers Arthur and Raymond, he used his fortune from the pharmaceutical industry to become a prominent philanthropist and he greatly supported the University of Glasgow.

    Sackler was born on 7th December 1916 in Brooklyn to Isaac and Sophie (nee Greenberg), Polish Jewish immigrant Brooklyn grocers. After attending Erasmus Hall High School, Sackler sailed to the UK in 1937 and, with the help of Glasgow’s Jewish community, enrolled at Anderson’s College of Medicine, an institution that became part of the University of Glasgow in 1947. He attended the College between 1937-1939. His brothers Arthur and Raymond also studied at Anderson’s College in the years 1937-39 and 1938-40 respectively. Mortimer Sackler was prevented from finishing his degree at the University by the outbreak of the Second World War and finished his MD degree in Massachusetts. Dr Mortimer Sackler and his brothers bought the New York pharmaceuticals company Purdue Frederick Co in 1952. All three were research psychiatrists.

    Mortimer Sackler received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in 2001 for his support of the University. He funded the Sackler Institute of Psychobiological Research, a research unit at the Southern General Hospital which investigates neuro-psychiatric disorders in association with the Sackler Institute at the University of Edinburgh. The Institute was opened in 2004.

    Dr Mortimer Sackler died on 24th March 2010.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Mortimer_Sackler



  • U.S. Navy’s Costliest Warship Suffers New Failure at Sea - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-08/carrier-suffers-new-failure-at-sea-as-u-s-navy-seeks-more-funds

    The Gerald R. Ford, the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship, suffered a new failure at sea that forced it back to port and raised fresh questions about the new class of aircraft carriers.

    The previously undisclosed problem with a propulsion system bearing, which occurred in January but has yet to be remedied, comes as the Navy is poised to request approval from a supportive Congress to expedite a contract for a fourth carrier in what was to have been a three-ship class. It’s part of a push to expand the Navy’s 284-ship fleet to 355 as soon as the mid-2030s.
    […]
    The Naval Sea Systems Command said the Ford experienced “an out of specification condition” with a propulsion system component. Huntington Ingalls determined it was due to a “manufacturing defect,” the command said, and “not improper operation” by sailors. The defect “affects the same component” located in other parts of the propulsion system, the Navy added.
    […]
    Couch and Huntington Ingalls spokesman Beci Brenton declined to say who made the bearing that failed.

    But General Electric Co. is responsible for the propulsion system part, and the Navy program office said in an assessment that an inspection of the carrier’s four main thrust bearings after the January failure revealed “machining errors” by GE workers at a Lynn, Massachusetts, facility “during the original manufacturing” as “the actual root cause.”

    Deborah Case, a GE spokeswoman, said in an email that “GE did produce the gears for the CVN-78. However, we are no longer producing gears for CVN-78” and “we cannot comment on the investigation.


  • Health Insurers Spend $158K to Make Sure ’Blue Wave’ Is Against Medicare for All
    https://gritpost.com/health-insurers-medicare-for-all

    In the current cycle, big health insurers have quietly donated more than $150,000 to Democrats opposed to #Medicare for All legislation.

    One of the internal battles raging within the Democratic Party is whether or not the party should embrace the Medicare for All bill authored by Senator Bernie #Sanders (I-Vermont). Big-name Democrats with possible presidential ambitions like Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Kamala Harris (D-California), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) have co-sponsored the bill, but notably, 11 Senate Democrats up for re-election this year have not.

    If passed, Sanders’ Medicare for All bill would allow Americans to have the option of buying into the Medicare program typically only available to retirees. Medicare is one of the most popular government programs, with 77 percent of Americans saying they viewed the program as “very important” in 2015. A Pew survey from June of 2017 found that 60 percent of respondents felt that providing healthcare should be the responsibility of the government.

    ##santé #Etats-Unis #corruption_légale #acheter_les_lois #assurance


  • L’efficacité de la langue poilue de la chauve-souris | Pour la Science
    https://www.pourlascience.fr/sd/biophysique/lefficacite-de-la-langue-poilue-de-la-chauve-souris-13021.php

    Le glossophage de Pallas (Glossophaga soricina), une chauve-souris d’Amérique du Sud, est réputé pour sa langue qu’il peut étirer démesurément afin de s’abreuver du nectar caché au fond de grandes fleurs. Cette langue est en outre recouverte de petits poils, qui joueraient un rôle dans le captage du nectar. Pour évaluer leur efficacité, Alice Nasto, Pierre-Thomas Brun et Anette Hosoi de l’institut de technologie du Massachusetts, ont conçu un matériau qui reproduit la structure de la langue de la chauve-souris.

    Comme le colibri, le glossophage de Pallas se positionne en vol stationnaire face à une fleur pour s’abreuver de son nectar. La manœuvre dépense beaucoup d’énergie, qu’il convient de compenser par un repas copieux ! En 2011, deux chercheurs avaient montré que le colibri forme un tube avec sa langue pour aspirer le nectar. La chauve-souris semble utiliser une technique différente. Les poils de l’extrémité de sa langue serviraient à piéger un maximum de nectar. En effet, lorsque la langue est au repos, ces poils sont à plat sur la surface. Mais quand la langue atteint son extension maximale, les poils se dressent perpendiculairement à la surface.


  • Une nouvelle piste de recherche : des linguistes cherchent le lien entre le langage et les arts pariétal et rupestre. Mais l’article original en dit plus sur les capacités cognitives d’Homo Sapiens.

    The writing on the wall. Did humans speak through cave art ?"

    Citation après traduction :

    Une des clés de cette idée est que l’art rupestre est souvent situé dans des « points chauds » acoustiques, où le son résonne fortement, comme certains chercheurs l’ont observé. Ces dessins sont situés dans des parties plus profondes et plus difficiles d’accès des grottes, ce qui indique que l’acoustique était la principale raison de l’emplacement des dessins dans les grottes.

    Les dessins, à leur tour, peuvent représenter les sons que les premiers humains ont générés dans ces endroits. Dans le nouveau papier, cette convergence du son et du dessin est ce que les auteurs appellent un « transfert d’information sur la modalité », une convergence de l’information auditive et de l’art visuel qui, selon les auteurs, « permet aux premiers humains d’améliorer leur capacité symbolique. en pensant. » La combinaison des sons et des images est l’une des choses qui caractérisent le langage humain aujourd’hui, avec son aspect symbolique et sa capacité à générer de nouvelles phrases infinies.

    Les idées proposées par Miyagawa, Lesure et Nobrega ne font qu’énoncer une hypothèse de travail qui vise à susciter des réflexions supplémentaires sur les origines du langage et à pointer vers de nouvelles questions de recherche.

    Les remarques faites juste avant la conclusion de l’article original vont plus loin et sont dans un autre domaine encore plus intéressant :
    L’article original : https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00115/full

    On y parle en effet de la présence chez Homo Sapiens de POU3F2 qui est un facteur de transcription indispensable pour la différenciation neurale et la génération du système nerveux normal, en particulier l’hypothalamus. Ce facteur ne serait pas présent chez les Neandertaliens et l’Homme de Denisova.

    Et de poursuivre :

    Comme le note Huijbregts (2017), ce changement pourrait être considéré comme menant à l’acquisition d’un discours complet. Compte tenu de la similitude avec l’art, nous pouvons spéculer avec Huijbregts qu’un changement génétique similaire peut avoir donné lieu à l’apparition de l’art multimodal qui a eu lieu partout dans le monde en même temps que le langage.

    Ainsi :

    La pensée symbolique qui s’est développée chez les humains a conduit à l’innovation technologique rapide, aux arts visuels sophistiqués, et au langage. Cette capacité cognitive nouvellement formée peut avoir eu un autre résultat inattendu. Après une croissance continue de la taille au cours de la pléistocène, notre cerveau a diminué de taille de 13% au cours des 20 000 dernières années (Hawks, 2011 et ses références). Une explication possible est que la pensée symbolique qui s’est développée chez les humains modernes a conduit à une manière fondamentalement différente de calculer les données, qui n’extrait que l’essentiel de la représentation abstraite au lieu de calculer l’ensemble des données brutes entrantes (Tattersall, 2017). Notre membrane cérébrale est métaboliquement coûteuse, de sorte que l’algorithme nouvellement formé qui nécessite moins de données conduit à l’excrétion de la membrane non nécessaire, entraînant une diminution du cerveau au cours du temps évolutif récent. Notre proposition est que la pensée symbolique omniprésente chez les humains qui a conduit à la diminution du cerveau est illustrée, et était même valorisé, par le CMIT que l’on voit dans la grotte et l’art rupestre de l’Afrique et ailleurs dans le monde et par le développement du langage. Ainsi, contrairement à Wallace, le développement des arts a donné à l’homme moderne un puissant avantage évolutif.

    L’article résumé ici : http://news.mit.edu/2018/humans-speak-through-cave-art-0221
    et là : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180221122923.htm

    Les auteurs :

    – Shigeru Miyagawa professeur au Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States.
    https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/73842/overview

    – Cora Lesure, étudiante en doctorat au Département de linguistique du MIT ;
    https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/523222/overview

    – Vitor A. Nobrega, doctorant en linguistique à l’Université de Sao Paulo, au Brésil.
    https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/202119/overview

    #Préhistoire #langage #cerveau #MIT #art_pariétal #art_rupestre #Lesure #Nobrega #Miyagawa