The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Did the Oscars Just Prove That We Are Living in a Computer Simulation? - The New Yorker

And so both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the N.Y.U. philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is support for the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.

via www.newyorker.com

This is one of those ideas that is so strange, so bizarre, so off-beat that it isn't true.

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sessions pushes tougher line on marijuana - POLITICO

"Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot," Sessions said during an exchange with reporters at the Justice Department. "I believe it's an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago."

via www.politico.com

Stick it to the man! Or something!

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Elon Musk and SpaceX Want to Go to the Moon. Can They? | Time.com

"Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind," a statement on the SpaceX site said. Invoking Apollo had more resonance than it seems. If the mission flies when promised, it will occur close to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission, which was a similar swing for the fences that NASA launched in Christmas week 1968. Musk knows rockets, but he also knows marketing, and this is not likely to have escaped his notice.

via time.com

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Obamacare gut check: Do Republicans love freedom as much as Democrats love big government? | Washington Examiner

Republicans actually have a one-time opportunity to do what they've long promised — which is to fully repeal Obamacare, with all its taxes, and spending, and regulatory overreach — and to replace it with a market-based system that provides more choices, lowers costs, and puts patients in charge of their own healthcare. If they get this done, even if they lose their majorities, it will have been worth it. They can say that when they had power, they used it to advance something they believed in and made a real difference. If they flub this, then we know what will happen. Democrats will eventually take power again, and they'll have much of the foundation of Obamacare left to build on. They will add subsidies and regulations, and perhaps an additional government-run plan, and the nation will be further on its way to single-payer.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

You know where my money is.

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Practical Quantum Computers - MIT Technology Review

Inside the blue cylinders—essentially supercharged refrigerators—spooky quantum-mechanical things are happening where nanowires, semiconductors, and superconductors meet at just a hair above absolute zero. It’s here, down at the limits of physics, that solid materials give rise to so-called quasiparticles, whose unusual behavior gives them the potential to serve as the key components of quantum computers. And this lab in particular has taken big steps toward finally bringing those computers to fruition. In a few years they could rewrite encryption, materials science, pharmaceutical research, and artificial intelligence.

via www.technologyreview.com

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Practical Quantum Computers - MIT Technology Review

Inside the blue cylinders—essentially supercharged refrigerators—spooky quantum-mechanical things are happening where nanowires, semiconductors, and superconductors meet at just a hair above absolute zero. It’s here, down at the limits of physics, that solid materials give rise to so-called quasiparticles, whose unusual behavior gives them the potential to serve as the key components of quantum computers. And this lab in particular has taken big steps toward finally bringing those computers to fruition. In a few years they could rewrite encryption, materials science, pharmaceutical research, and artificial intelligence.

via www.technologyreview.com

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California dreaming: Legislature to take up single-payer system « Hot Air

Both Colorado and Vermont gamed out the possibilities of a single-payer health care system, only to discover that it would create a fiscal nightmare. Colorado voters shot it down, while Vermont governor Peter Shumlin had to cancel his own campaign pledge after studies showed that budgets couldn’t possibly keep up with costs. Moreover, the failure of ObamaCare co-ops show that government-run insurance doesn’t work without access to massive amounts of red ink.

So of course California wants to take a third shot in the last 15 years to impose socialized medicine within the Golden State:

via hotair.com

Take the supertrain to see your doctor.

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence? - Scientific American

These technologies are also becoming increasingly popular in the world of politics. Under the label of “nudging,” and on massive scale, governments are trying to steer citizens towards healthier or more environmentally friendly behaviour by means of a "nudge"—a modern form of paternalism. The new, caring government is not only interested in what we do, but also wants to make sure that we do the things that it considers to be right. The magic phrase is "big nudging", which is the combination of big data with nudging. To many, this appears to be a sort of digital scepter that allows one to govern the masses efficiently, without having to involve citizens in democratic processes. Could this overcome vested interests and optimize the course of the world? If so, then citizens could be governed by a data-empowered “wise king”, who would be able to produce desired economic and social outcomes almost as if with a digital magic wand.Pre-programmed catastrophes

via www.scientificamerican.com

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Army places Muslim chaplain in charge of ministering to 14,000 troops | McClatchy DC

In January, Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz received the call every Army chaplain dreams of, the call that validates years of intense study and hard work toward keeping the U.S. military in good spiritual health.

He was offered the job of chaplain for an entire division, an honor for anyone in his field but a milestone in his case. After a ceremony this summer, Shabazz will become the first Muslim division-level chaplain in the history of the U.S. military – a Muslim spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.

via www.mcclatchydc.com

Only the Army could come up with this.

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Daily Pennsylvanian | Why fraternity—but not sorority—members were required to attend The Vagina Monologues this year

“For especially something like the Vagina Monologues that does cover a lot of sensitive and potentially triggering topics, I felt that it was counterproductive to mandate women to go,” Ohlson said. “I also thought that it was a show that a lot of people would be interested in seeing on their own, so I wanted to make sure that we were able to support the show ... and promote the event, but not require people to go.”

via www.thedp.com

Ai yi yi.

February 28, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)