Assange blocked from internet, so supporters bring down US sites

Wikileaks has been releasing hacked e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton, so–surprise!–the head of that enterprise, Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, has had his access to the internet cut off. In retaliation, his supporters are hacking into major American service providers, bringing down major sites, such as Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Reddit, and more.

Assange, who can’t leave the embassy lest he be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, is telling his supporters that they have made their point and should call off the attacks, which have mainly affected the East Coast.

We depend on the internet, but how fragile it is!

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Luther and technology

David Gibson of Religious News Service tells about three major exhibitions opening this month on Luther’s Reformation:  at the Morgan Library in New York City; at the Minneapolis Art Institute; and at Emory University in Atlanta. These sound extremely interesting and worth going to.

I was struck by what the Morgan library curator says about Luther’s use of the new information technology of the time (with the assistance of artist and printer Lucas Cranach).  See what he says after the jump.  But read Gibson’s whole article, which includes the point about how Luther became the model for “speaking truth to power.”
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The internet as god

The internet is everywhere.  It knows everything about you.  It will solve all of our problems.  It will protect us.  The singularity will create a new world.  When we download our consciousness into the web, we will have eternal life.  Doesn’t that sound as if the internet is a god?

Werner Herzog’s documentary film Lo and Behold:  Reveries of the Connected World. explores the religious dimensions of the internet.  Martyn Smith, in a review of the film excerpted after the jump, draws them out. [Read more…]

The piety of cosmonauts

Remember when that Russian cosmonaut went up in space and when he came back reported that he didn’t see God?  Things are different now for Russian space travelers. [Read more…]

A pig with a human brain

The ethical issues involved in combining human DNA with animal DNA are so great–and so obvious–that the federal government at first refused to fund those kinds of experiments.  But now, reports Timothy Willard,  the National Institute for Health has rescinded the ban.

Willard reports on the kind of experimentation your tax dollars will be going towards:  A researcher from the University of California, Davis, that is planning to inject human embryonic stem cells into a pig embryo.  The fetus will then be implanted into the womb of a pig, who will give birth to the human/pig organism (known as a “chimera” for the mythological monsters who are combinations of various animals).

The researcher says he is doing this for the universal excuse of some day curing disease and making more compatible organs to transplant.  But he openly acknowledges what can go wrong.

Since he can’t really control what those human stem cells might turn into, if two adult chimeras mate, the result might be a a human baby with a pig as his or her parents.  Or we might have a pig with a human brain and human consciousness.

But don’t worry, he says.  If anything goes wrong, he will abort the fetus.  This is apparently what convinced the NIH that the experiments can be ethical.

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Young men living the dream

Research shows that young men 18-30 are more likely to be living with their parents than with a woman.  And that the large number of the unemployed in this demographic are not only living with their parents but spending virtually all of the time they would normally be working playing video games.

But here is the kicker:  They LIKE living this way.  It isn’t that poor economic prospects are causing them to retreat into a depressing isolation.  They consider this a good life.  Expending their sexual impulses in internet pornography, rather than marriage or dating that could lead to marriage, and channeling all of their aggression into first person shooters, instead of the military or ambition or earning a living or protecting a family, this generation is happy, content, and living the dream.

So says Samuel D. James, drawing on the research of Erik Hurst and the insights of Russell Moore, excerpted and linked after the jump.

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