Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXLII Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXLII
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    Default Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXLII

    Another lovely day for remaining cooped up inside reading the Internet

    • The Prophecies of Q - A detailed examination of the history and probable destination of the bizarre collection of conspiracy theories currently gaining momentum amongst the more intellectually challenged: ”QAnon is emblematic of modern America’s susceptibility to conspiracy theories, and its enthusiasm for them. But it is also already much more than a loose collection of conspiracy-minded chat-room inhabitants. It is a movement united in mass rejection of reason, objectivity, and other Enlightenment values. And we are likely closer to the beginning of its story than the end. The group harnesses paranoia to fervent hope and a deep sense of belonging. The way it breathes life into an ancient preoccupation with end-times is also radically new. To look at QAnon is to see not just a conspiracy theory but the birth of a new religion.”

    • Don’t Fear the Robot - ”You probably know my robot. I’ve been inventing autonomous machines for over 30 years and one of them, Roomba from iRobot, is quite popular. During my career, I’ve learned a lot about what makes robots valuable, and formed some strong opinions about what we can expect from them in the future. I can also tell you why, contrary to popular apocalyptic Hollywood images, robots won’t be taking over the world anytime soon.” The story of the Roomba by its creator.

    • There's a Massive Antarctic Exploration Vehicle Lost Somewhere at the Bottom of the World - ”It's quintessentially American to drive everywhere. This must've occurred to the planners of the United States Antarctic Service Expedition in 1939 when the joint government-private sector project ran into the question of how best to traverse Antarctica's frozen wastelands. The obvious answer? A car. A really, really, really big car.” Thomas Poulter's Antarctic Snow Cruiser is still there, somewhere.

    • ‘Milestone’ Evidence for Anyons, a Third Kingdom of Particles - Particle physicists are making things even more complicated again: ”Every last particle in the universe — from a cosmic ray to a quark — is either a fermion or a boson. These categories divide the building blocks of nature into two distinct kingdoms. Now researchers have discovered the first examples of a third particle kingdom.”

    • The Confessions of Marcus Hutchins, the Hacker Who Saved the Internet - ”As he stood barefoot on the mansion's driveway wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, Hutchins noticed a black SUV parked on the street—one that looked very much like an FBI stakeout. He stared at the vehicle blankly, his mind still hazed from sleep deprivation and stoned from the legalized Nevada weed he'd been smoking all night. For a fleeting moment, he wondered: Is this finally it?” Great article on how Hutchins killed the WannaCry malware only to find his youthful follies catching up with him.

    • John Peel Sessions - Huge list of links to JP sessions, compiled by Dave Strickson. Here’s Stiff Little Fingers, recorded on the 12th September 1978 and broadcast on the 18th. (N.B. bands with names beginning with “The” are under “T”.)

    • The Strange, Smelly Chores That Keep Natural History Museums Running - ”Even during a pandemic, someone’s gotta feed the flesh-eating beetles.” A look at all the unusual jobs that lead to some museum workers being classed as “essential”.

    • Snakes have friends too - Research shows that snakes like to hang out with other snakes but are quite choosy about which ones: ”The idea that snakes have close friends may be surprising, but such relationships are increasingly being found throughout the animal kingdom, from flamingos to bats to elephants.”

    • Allied Psychological Warfare to Capitalise on the Dambusters Raid - Saturday was the 77th anniversary of Operation Chastise. Here, Lee Richards looks at the ways Allied political warfare units capitalised on the morale-destroying potential of the raid: ”Numerous newspapers and illustrated magazines were produced in the French language by the British Political Warfare Executive and the US Office of War Information… The issue of Courrier for 20 May 1943 carried news of the dams raid as its main story under the headline: ‘Immense Damage to the Ruhr: A Blow to the Heart of the German War Machine’. News of the raid covered two of the four pages of the newspaper including large before and after photographs of the Moehne dam and a picture of [Wing Commander Guy] Gibson.”

    • Геологический институт Российской академии наук: Карты по неотектонике - Or, for those of us less well versed in Russian, “Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Neotectonic Maps”. From Google Translate’s version of the page: ”Cartographic materials are presented here, reflecting the neotectonic structure and the history of the latest development of the Earth. First of all, maps of the latest tectonics and active faults, schemes of seismotectonics and seismic zoning are included. In addition, tectonic maps of the general and deep structure of the regions, geodynamic models, geophysical materials, as well as geomorphological maps, maps of Quaternary sediments, and paleogeographic reconstructions are presented.” In other words: pretty maps! Google Translate gets confused if you try to go to the actual map images, so the easiest thing is to follow the “Main Sections” links on the translated page to see the lists of map links, then switch back to the original and follow the corresponding links from there. (Or just learn Russian.) This is a (much reduced; the original is over 5000px wide) geothermal map of Russia from 1995, edited by A. A. Smyslov.

    Happy invoicing!

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    Robots not a threat? He's Miles Dyson isn't he?
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 18th May 2020 at 15:50. Reason: threat not thread. WTF?
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    Very interesting. I will have to get the A3 paper out to print some of the cartographic images.
    "A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices," George Orwell

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