Glenn Greenwald delivers a terrific TED talk on "Why Privacy Matters." He describes privacy as the "realm" "in which creativity and exploration and dissent exclusively reside," and describes the "two destructive lessons" that mass surveillance teaches people: one, that anyone who wants privacy is "by definition a bad person," and two, that only those "willing to render (themselves) sufficiently harmless" can be "free of the dangers of surveillance." (And in case you were wondering why conservatives really hate Jeremy Bentham, you'll get the gist of that at about the 8:08 mark. Just remember that by "conservative" I mean almost no one who calls themselves conservative today.)
You may have heard that the government of Ireland plans to end the notorious tax loophole folks cheekily call the "Double Irish," but Citizens for Tax Justice instructs us that the Irish not only plan to let corporations exploiting the loophole "wind down" such exploitation over a period of five years, but the Irish also plan to give out patent tax breaks as another sort of compensation. Nobody needs to coddle corporations like this!
Hospital worker Abby Norman describes, at length, the difficulty of working in hazmat ops, much of which centers around the donning and discarding of personal protective equipment (or PPE), which is more difficult and involved than you might think. You'll come away more sympathetic to the health care workers who've been infected with ebola -- dismissing them as lazy or negligent, as some have done, not only demonstrates heartlessness, but it won't help us protect ourselves.
Louisiana Republican Senate candidate (and U.S. House Rep.) Bill Cassidy wants to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70. In a reasonable political climate, such a statement would doom his chances of victory -- particularly against Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu, who must be getting tired of winning nail-biters -- but in our sick, immoral, and decadent society, where Democrat power-brokers throw up their hands at the first sign of trouble, he'll probably win. (Though I suppose he could still lose the second spot in a Louisiana runoff to Tea Partier Rob Maness, who at least had the sense to disagree with Mr. Cassidy.)
Finally, an Italian corporation has built a 3D printer that can manufacture homes out of mud and fibers. As we know, building homes out of mud isn't a new idea -- they still do it out in the Southwest -- but WASP has apparently improved on the process by pumping out bricks with less surface area (so they dry faster) and which are constructed slightly differently to save on materials without losing strength. Many of the drier, poorer areas of the world could benefit -- but first their leaders will have to accept that the support of their people is more important than the support of some carpetbagging multinational corporation.