inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #151 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 12 Jan 17 12:07
    
If you want to get a better sense of the world, read GlobalVoices:
https://globalvoices.org/  Here's a sampling:

Digital activists are disappearing in Pakistan:
https://globalvoices.org/2017/01/12/digital-activists-are-disappearing-in-paki
stan/

"... reports are emerging from families and civil rights
organizations that as many as nine Pakistani bloggers went missing
within the first week of 2017. Four of the missing activists are
known for their secular and left-leaning views."

Kenyans fear a possible Internet shutdown during their 2017
presidential election:
https://globalvoices.org/2017/01/12/kenyans-fear-a-possible-internet-shutdown-
during-2017-presidential-election/

"Kenyans online have started expressing fears of a possible shutdown
of social media by the government in the run up to the 2017
presidential elections, set to take place in the month of August."
(Such a shutdown in the USA would've put @realDonaldTrump out of
business...)

Ukraine bans Russia's one independent TV station:
https://globalvoices.org/2017/01/12/ukraine-bans-russias-one-independent-tv-st
ation/

"According to a press release posted on the council's website, the
decision to ban Dozhd, the last remaining Russian TV station
licensed to be broadcast in Ukraine, was made after the channel
aired two films on December 31, 'Faster than Rabbits' and 'What Else
Do Men Talk About?', which popularized 'the law enforcement agencies
of the aggressor-state [Russia].'"
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #152 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 12 Jan 17 12:14
    
The press pool at Trump Tower happened to notice that Marine Le Pen
was hanging out there, sipping coffee:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/what-is-marine-le-pen-doi
ng-at-trump-tower/512951/ 

Neither Trump's people, nor Le Pen's, say the two were scheduled to
meet. Maybe she thinks the Trump tower has better coffee than
France? 

"The visit comes at an important time for Le Pen, who is scheduled
to officially launch her presidential campaign next month in Lyon
and who is expected to reach the second round of the presidential
election this year. Le Pen is one of the clarion voices of the
European nationalist right, and has in recent years made efforts to
reform her party’s xenophobic image in a 'de-demonization'
campaign."

Trump has a convincing argument by now that demons are really okay
to have around; no "de-demonization" necessary this side of the
pond.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #153 of 198: Jeffrey Vagle (jvagle) Thu 12 Jan 17 12:40
    
Le Pen and Lombardi stopping to have coffee in Trump Tower (before
Hollande has set foot in the place) is not likely to go unnoticed by
France, Germany, and the UK, who could read this as a signal of
US-Russia alignment along far-right lines and US meddling in their
domestic affairs. 
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #154 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Thu 12 Jan 17 13:05
    
*Getting up to speed with European digital politics.  Even most
Europeans never get wind of this stuff.


=======================================================================
5. EDRi.org: Best of 2016
=======================================================================

One of EDRi's goals for 2016 was to reach a wider audience and raise
awareness of the digital rights issues. As it turns out, with the
help
of our members and supporters, we were successful! Our blogposts and
articles were read widely, and our most popular publication was
downloaded more than 23 000 times. Here is a selection of the most
read
articles.

Net neutrality wins in Europe!
We are not able to report on positive policy developments as often
as we
would like. However, we were happy to report that the new net
neutrality
guidelines from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic
Communications (BEREC) confirmed strong protection for net
neutrality
and for the free and open internet. Readers were just as excited as
we
were: this was our most read article in 2016.
Read the blogpost here:
https://edri.org//net-neutrality-wins-europe/

Big Brother Awards Belgium: Facebook is the privacy villain of the
year
Our readers appreciated the news on the Belgian Big Brother Awards
2016,
where the negative prize for the worst privacy abuser was
unanimously
granted to Facebook for harvesting and generating personal data from
people all around the world, particularly in the context of the
acquisition of WhatsApp. Recent news from the European Commission
show
that we were not alone in our concerns.
Read the blogpost here: https://edri.org//bba-belgium-2016/

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Support our work with a one-off-donation!
https://edri.org/donate/
-----------------------------------------------------------------

New copyright directive fails at every level
There were some legislative proposals worse than others, but the
queen
of all was the Copyright Directive. It includes a proposal to
potentially filter all uploads to the internet in Europe – a
provision
that would require internet companies to block uploads of perfectly
legal material.
Read the press release here:
https://edri.org//press-release-new-copyright-directive-fails-every-level/

Next year, you’ll complain about the Terrorism Directive
In December 2015, the European Commission proposed a Directive on
combating terrorism. The proposal was drafted in two weeks, with no
impact assessment. Since then, the legislative process has been
rushed
through. Provisions that undermine human rights online and offline
have
been added. Despite a difficult political environment, we did manage
to
achieve some successes in the Directive. We don’t give up and keep
pushing for human rights.
Read the blogpost here:
https://edri.org/enditorial-next-year-youll-complain-about-the-terrorism-direc
tive/

Your privacy, security, and freedom online are in danger
The EU has a chance to protect citizen's rights and freedoms in the
upcoming e-Privacy reform. At the same time, we want people to learn
about how to actively defend their privacy and to keep enjoying
their
freedoms. Our series of blogposts on privacy, security, and freedom
proved to be a success.
Read the blogpost series here:
https://edri.org/privacy-security-freedom/

New leaks confirm TiSA proposals that would undermine civil
liberties
Trade agreements pose potentially serious threats to freedom of
expression and protection of personal data of European citizens. In
November 2016, German blog Netzpolitik.org in association with
Greenpeace published leaked documents concerning the Trade in
Services
Agreement (TiSA). The documents confirmed that TiSA would undermine
civil liberties.
Read the blogpost here:
https://edri.org//new-leaks-confirm-tisa-undermine-civil-liberties/

Your guide to Digital Defenders
In 2016 we also witnessed an increase of downloads of our
publications.
A big success came with the privacy for kids booklet, which was
downloaded more than 23 000 times. The booklet will soon be
available in
many other languages, and so we expect the number to continue
rising.
Download the booklet in English here:
https://edri.org//files/privacy4kids_booklet_web.pdf
Download the booklet in other languages here:
https://edri.org/digital-defenders-help-kids-defend-their-privacy-around-europ
e/

Our other popular publications were, among others, booklets on data
protection and net neutrality.
Download the data protection booklet here:
https://edri.org//files/paper06_datap.pdf
Download the net neutrality booklet here:
https://edri.org//files/EDRi_NetNeutrality.pdf

(Contribution by Zarja Protner, EDRi intern)
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #155 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 13 Jan 17 03:52
    
*Investigations are continuing in the Occhionero Italian cyberspy
case.  Even though this is a super-contemporary case, and a clear
harbinger of things to come, and therefore of interest to a WELL
SOTW, I really dislike writing about computer crime suspects as if
they were already convicted.  It has an unethical witch-hunt
ambience.  The defendants are not proven guilty of anything.

*But man, are this brother and sister pair ever in all kinds of
trouble.  They'd be lots better off if they'd broken all four of
their thighbones.

*There's some suggestion that the Occhionero pair will claim that
they themselves are victims of hacking; that their computers were
penetrated and they themselves had no idea of the mayhem going on. 
I've seen that tried before in major computer crime cases.  You
might call that the "wasn't me, it was the Unknown Illuminati"
defense.  I don't think I've ever seen it work, except with
somebody's open wifi.

*Also, it's clear that whoever was doing this spy work was really
patient, really sly, really interested in the sort of things that
would interest a paranoid, snoopy Roman real-estate guy, and not
very technically skilled.  Why the sister was also arrested, that's
not clear yet.  I'm guessing that, like a lot of low-key geek guys
with an amazing secret life, he badly needed someone to confide in. 
The psychological pressure must have been terrifying.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #156 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 13 Jan 17 03:53
    

*On the plus side (if there is one) it appears that, although the
malefactors were using ten-year-old RAT remote-access malware, they
didn't actually use it for ten years.  They used it for more like a
year and a half, before the FBI caught on, because, for some reason,
they were spying on Italy from out of the USA.  I wouldn't have
picked that locale as a platform for intra-NATO raids, but, well,
there's no accounting for taste.

*Also, the Italian Mom entered the picture, because, being Italian,
she's still alive, though her kids are in their mid-forties.  She
points out in the Italian press that her kids drive used cars and
eat pizzas, they can barely afford to go on vacation.  Not exactly
the profile of high-end cyberthieves or foreign espionage assets.  

*Maybe they were really clever and hid their insider-trading money
in Delaware.  Due to centuries of practice, Italians can be
extremely good at money-laundering.  But even a guy with an IQ high
enough to boil water would be hard-put to spy on dozens or hundreds
of politicians, and also deftly cash-in, through running a two-man
operation.  How would the guy find the time?

*In any case, the Italian press and public seem much less frantic
than they were a few days ago.  The moral panic has faded quickly,
Andrei Karlov style.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #157 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 13 Jan 17 03:57
    

*In similar unbelievable modern-hacker news, "Guccifer 2.0," the
hacker who penetrated the Democratic National Committee and probably
dumped it to Wikileaks, is complaining that the CIA is libeling him
by claiming he's a Russian.  I frankly doubt that Guccifer is a
Russian or even in their pay.  The odds seem quite high that
Guccifer is basically just another Occhionero.   Occhionero is an
existence-proof that pretty much any patient, committed guy can pull
a Guccifer.

*I think that the CIA probably sincerely believes that he's Russian,
though.  If you're CIA it's existentially horrifying to think that a
no-nothing clean-skin non-threat like Occhionero can knock over
democratically elected governments.  With what?  Nothing more than a
little spearphishing and a bad attitude.  

*Far, far better, far less disturbing, if it really is a
peer-competitor intelligence agency.  In that case, you've still got
a reason to live.  To ask for funding.  Otherwise you're like an
elephant perishing from asymmetric, profoundly malarial mosquito
bites.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #158 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 13 Jan 17 03:58
    

*Also, who exactly isn't a Russian agent now?  Snowden's supposed to
Russian, Assange is supposed to be Russian, Trump is supposed to be
Russian, all of Trump's advisers are supposed to be Russian… how
plausible is all that?  Before the Trump election, nobody but cranks
would allege such things.

*If you go looking from some actual secret Russians, like, say, The
Vladimir's older daughter, it turns out Masha Putin is married to
some nice Dutch guy and living in The Netherlands.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #159 of 198: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Fri 13 Jan 17 22:41
    
From Brian Slesinsky, via email:

I'm wondering what our shiny new machine learning infrastructure
looks
like when it's become old and decrepit. This paper suggests that if
you start cutting back on maintenance, it might go downhill quickly:

"As a special case of glue code, pipeline jungles often appear in
data
preparation. These can evolve organically, as new signals are
identified and new information sources added. Without care, the
resulting system for preparing data in an ML-friendly format may
become a jungle of scrapes, joins, and sampling steps, often with
intermediate files output. Managing these pipelines, detecting
errors
and recovering from failures are all difficult and costly. Testing
such pipelines often requires expensive end-to-end integration
tests.
All of this adds to technical debt of a system and makes further
innovation more costly."

Machine Learning: The High Interest Credit Card of Technical Debt
https://research.google.com/pubs/pub43146.html

What happens to a Stack when it becomes yesterday's news, starts
losing money, and talent heads elsewhere? Last year's big example
was
Yahoo, which shows what happens when you cut back on security. But
that was older tech, mostly.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #160 of 198: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 14 Jan 17 05:29
    
Virtual Design:
http://www.bitrebels.com/technology/virtual-architecture-reality-designers/?ut
m_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bitrebels+%28Bit+Reb
els%29

Kind of cool...we've come a long way from CadCam
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #161 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 14 Jan 17 07:11
    <scribbled by jonl Sat 14 Jan 17 07:13>
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #162 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 14 Jan 17 07:13
    <scribbled by jonl Sat 14 Jan 17 07:13>
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #163 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 14 Jan 17 07:14
    
Sorry about those scribbles... trying to get the links right...

It's hard to resist focusing on the Trump election, and I suppose
the "state of the world" depends on it.  Journalists and comedians
are feasting. The world feels broken and uncertain, if you think
it's held together by national politics.

But people go on about their business, and the world is arguably
getting better for the crazy humans that are bounding across its
surfaces.  The Economist in September wrote "People are predisposed
to think that things are worse than they are, and they overestimate
the likelihood of calamity. This is because they rely not on data,
but on how easy it is to recall an example. And bad things are more
memorable. The media amplify this distortion. Famines, earthquakes
and beheadings all make gripping headlines; '40m Planes Landed
Safely Last Year" does not." This in a review of the book "Progress:
Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future" by historian Johan
Norberg.  
http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21706231-human-life-has-improved-
many-ways-both-recently-according-swedish-economic And I mentioned earlier the optimistic outlook of Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker - here's that link again: http://www.vox.com/2016/8/16/12486586/2016-worst-year-ever-violence-trump-terr
orism

I've studied and practiced journalism in the past, and I understand
why reporting is saturated with bad news inspiring fear, loathing,
doubt and pessimism.  It's a survival-enhancing characteristic of
the human species to scan for alerts, to be watching for danger -
and there's always plenty of that, too.  We've seen terrible wars,
famines, dictatorships, criminal conspiracies etc. Seeing the
prevalence and persistence of these manifestations of humanity's
darker side, it's hard to see progress and hope as present,
persistent, and viable. Especially if you're a victim, or if you
know victims; if your own life is weighted with tragedy. 

I'm hopeful when I consider something like the bodhisattva ideal in
Buddhism, which is personified in anyone who foregoes personal
'nirvana' to help others out of suffering.  However terrible humans
have been and can be to each other, to the planet, to its other
inhabitants - however prevalent the darkness - we also have
potential lightness of being, we have people who put compassion
ahead of self-interest.  I suppose it's most realistic to see a
balance in the world of pessimism and despair with optimism and
hope, and the best hope is that we find ways to help each other
out...
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #164 of 198: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Sat 14 Jan 17 07:55
    
It's certainly possible to build software that keeps working indefinitely
with no maintenance. But yeah, most people don't. Kids these days.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #165 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 14 Jan 17 08:26
    
Steven Levy:

"We will try to err on the side of accuracy. More than ever, we
believe that must be a reporter’s job in 2017."

https://backchannel.com/what-a-reporters-job-is-in-2017-a20e77457ca2#.olrkwret
i
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #166 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 14 Jan 17 08:41
    
From a useful interview with Joi Ito, who as Director of MIT's Media
Lab is what you might call a pragmatic futurist:

"People want a culture change, and this moment reminds me of the
beginning of punk rock, or the beginning of the hippie movement. But
I’d hate for Trump to be our millennial Sex Pistols or Timothy Leary
or the Beatles. We need something like the Beatles that captures the
hearts and minds of people. We’re ripe for a new cultural movement.
Culture movements and art and punk rock thrive under bad presidents.
The music was better under Reagan and Nixon than it was under Obama.
I think that the doomsday scenarios tend to promote the arts."

Also (re. compassion):

"I’ve been working closely with a monk named Tenzin Priyadarshi. We
teach a class together called Principles of Awareness. He used to
work with the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa. He talks about
discipline and compassion. Compassion is just being able to be nice
to compassionate people you like. Discipline and compassion is to be
able to be compassionate and loving to people you hate or are
otherwise harming you. It’s something you’ve got to train. What I
want to do is take kids along a journey where they have a path to
nonviolence."

https://backchannel.com/joi-ito-explains-why-donald-trump-is-like-the-sex-pist
ols-943db42c9f47#.7h9qcba2n
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #167 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 14 Jan 17 09:11
    
*The Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum.

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GRR17_Report_web.pdf

*Yeah, I also read that thing.  Every year.  Also, I find it a lot
more credible than the similar patriotic effort from the United
States "intelligence community."

*The spooks are not a "community."  Too bad for them.  The planet's
Davos rich guys are much more a "community."  Too bad for us.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #168 of 198: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 14 Jan 17 13:50
    
LOL...*The spooks are not a "community."  Too bad for them.  The
planet's
Davos rich guys are much more a "community."  Too bad for us.

It irks me that they are such a rich resource of materials...I get a
lot of good stuff from WEF
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #169 of 198: Roland Legrand (roland) Sun 15 Jan 17 01:45
    
Not the WEF, but Human Rights Watch here: they just published a
lengthy report about populist demagogues.
End next week the mightiest nation on this planet will have a
president who suggests the use of torture, mass deportations and who
blocks unfriendly media.

In Europe we had Farage, the man who admitted happily that he lied
during the Brexit-debate, while Le Pen in France, Wilders in the
Netherlands and Grillo in Italy want to destroy the European project
which helped us live in peace and democracy for all those years.

Social media and comments sections in newspapers are overwhelmed by
people who, in their fear and uncertainty, embrace those populist
leaders and admire folks like Putin.

There is too little pushback by those who realize what's really
happening. It's not enough to preach to the choir. We should keep
discussing with the others, tell them their fears and the problems
they perceive are real, but that the solutions proposed by the
populists are fake.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/12/world-report-2017-demagogues-threaten-huma
n-rights
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #170 of 198: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 15 Jan 17 06:28
    
“There’s a danger on the internet that you think you’re
accomplishing something. So you see an article about a disease and
retweet it and think ‘It’s cured now!’ And you’ve fooled yourself
into thinking that you’ve done something productive.... I’m trying
to transition from making comments on social media to choosing one
or two organizations to work with and support so that I feel like
I’m actually being a positive part of the process. You don’t want to
be a crank.” 

~ Judd Apatow,
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/14/opinion/sunday/judd-apatow-freaking-out-ove
r-donald-trump.html
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #171 of 198: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sun 15 Jan 17 06:37
    
Newspaper comments sections are a whole nother story (excepting a
few cases like the NYT where they are moderated).  But if the lot of
ordinary people is fear and uncertainty, bad things will happen on
the political front, as we have just seen here in the US.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #172 of 198: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sun 15 Jan 17 15:44
    
<170> think that nails it Jon...We might get a few SOPA petitions
stopping things...but the real work is local, drudgery and time
consuming...it's not click
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #173 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Mon 16 Jan 17 03:34
    
*Well, we're about to roll it up for 2017, and I've got to leave
town and head for the mountains for a few days.  So, I thought I'd
conclude with a few potentially useful musings.

https://voicerepublic.com/talks/digital-bauhaus-summit-2016-end-talk-luxury-co
mmunism-what-is-to-be-done

*Here I am hanging out on stage in Germany with some colleagues of
differing disciplines, thinking about radically different economic
models than the toxic one we've got.  "Luxury Communism" after a
universal income is somehow administered, that sort of thing. 

*Prominent among my colleagues is the late Mark "K-Punk" Fisher, a
talented intellectual who got into pop music and kinda graduated
into new-media, political theory, left-wing economics, etc.  A guy
whose sensibility was always grimmer than mine, but definitely a man
of my milieu.

*Mark had been struggling with depression since his teen years, but
it looks like 2016 finally got on top of him.  So Mark killed
himself.   

*Okay, don't do what he did.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #174 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Mon 16 Jan 17 03:35
    

*If you're some brainy WELL fringe-pundit who is similarly upset
like Mark was, you should gain a few useful lessons from Mark's
action here.  Mark's on the gallery floor with Andrei Karlov, only
by his own hand, and, y'know, that did not improve our general
situation.  In fact, if Mark was still around now, he'd probably be
doing the same acerbic, melancholy stuff he'd been doing for
donkey's years, only he'd have more credibility and a bigger
audience.

*I'm not religious, so I'm not going to do all kinds of moral
finger-waving about Mark's willful act of ending his own life, but,
frankly, this should be judged as a vicious activity.  Think of the
host of young, vital guys who are driving jihad suicide trucks
nowadays.  Even if you think you're downing your Oxycontin for some
entirely different motive than these kamikazes, these guys are your
true contemporary colleagues.  In fact, they're your avant-garde and
you're a mere copycat by comparison.  You don't want to be
shoulder-to-shoulder with them.  They're not proper thought-leaders.


*The clock's gonna continue to tick, and some day this will all be
quaint period retrospect, just like our other WELL musings. 
Continuing to live, keeping your eyes and ears open, that's just a
better idea all around.
  
inkwell.vue.495 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2017
permalink #175 of 198: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Mon 16 Jan 17 03:35
    

https://thewalrus.ca/bring-on-the-flood/

*A critic really digging the dystopia here.  He jabs his thumb deep
in it when he declares that the true joy of the post-apocalypse is
getting today over with.  

*Okay, I get it why dystopia is popular now, but that is a genuinely
problematic sensibility.  Today really WILL be over with, it's
crumbling, we're gonna be knee-deep in the ruins of the
unsustainable.  However, we don't have to get all ruin-porn about
that.  Even if that is our cultural sensibility, we could up our
game and do it with better taste.

*Scary political disaster, Nazism, Fascism -- okay, a lot of people
simply lived through that historic period.  It didn't last all that
long.  In fact it was only melodramatic creeps like Hitler who
really thought it was a Thousand Year Reich that deserved to end in
a totalizing scorched-earth Gotterdammerung.  If you tremble all
over from a prospect like that, you're actually buying into the
worldview of the problem.

*Germany, Italy and Japan were all smoldering ruins in the 1940s and
quite lively, prosperous, inventive places in the 1960s.  Strange,
but true.
  

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