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Neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan designed SCI-HUB to free science from parasitic capitalism, by outsmarting it.

A US judge ordered that scientific document aggregator SCI-HUB be shut down. The site's creator, Alexandra Elbakyan, was fined $15 million. Except the long arm of US copyright greed can't reach her in Russia, and the 29-yr-old neuroscientist from Kazakhstan doubts capitalism's goons can outsmart the science community which favors open science. In fact Elbakyan's is a fait accomplit. While the late Aaron Swartz got caught swiping too much at once from JSTOR's digital vault, Alexandra started about the same time, 2011 - she was 22, but she set the rate to single file and crowd sourced pressing the enter key. By 2015, she'd liberated 50 million scientific papers and dispersed the files to research archives everywhere. Why you're not hearing much about this story, or only a skewed portion of it, is because the media and its publishing arms are trying to walk back on Elbakyan's success. If you don't know open access won, in effect, it will not have. For starters, an injunction has shuttered various iterations of sci-hub.org domains, but hashtag #scihub keeps turning up new mirror sites, and you don't need nameservers for IPs (80.82.77.83 and 80.82.77.84). Meanwhile mainstream media, including Wikipedia, falsely compares Elbakyan's project to Pirate Bay or even the JSTOR stash of Aaron Swartz (though Swartz's manifesto was obviously an inspiration). As Elbakyan explains on her blog Engineuring, Sci-Hub's cache of liberated scientific articles is just a byproduct of its main function, as a mechanism to access scientific knowledge on demand, for free, through someone's paid academic license, if, explicitly, not yours. Think of it as deciding that an ADMIT ONE ticket, for science, ought to be interpreted to mean one humanity. Most of the articles in question were publicly funded but subsequently privatized by a profiteering publishing scheme that has resisted reform. It drove open access advocate Aaron Swartz to suicide. Editorials opposed to open access make a defense for gate-keeping. Scientists, researchers, academic institutions, and the inquiring public should pay for the value added by gate-keepers. Yeah no. What reporters are downplaying, and what Elbakyan is taking personal legal risk to explain, is that 50 million scientific papers have already been liberated. That cumulative scientific knowledge is now entrusted with myriads of digital repositories across the globe, where it belongs. Only 4.3% of Sci-Hub's new download requests require fresh retrieval behind paywalls. Schrödinger's paper is out of the bag. If western authorities catch Alexandra Elbakyan she'll share the fate of Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange at best. But our thanks to her. NOTES: Elbakyan wrote to US Judge Sweet in 2015, in her own self defense: --- Case 1:15-cv-04282-RWS Document 50 Filed 09/15/15 --- Dear Mr. Robert W. Sweet, I am writing to clarify some details on Elsevier v. Sci-Hub, Case # 15-cv-4282. I am the main operator of sci-hub.org website mentioned in the case. That is true that via sci-hub.org website anyone can download, absolutely for free, a copy of research paper published by Elsevier (Elsevier asks for 32 USD for each download). I would

Forget Earth Day, apparently we have to save science, without which we wouldn’t have our environmental mess.

My sign read WE HAVE A POLITICAL SCIENCE PROBLEM because "science" is doing what it's supposed to, serving its masters. By which I don't mean politicians have coopted science. Repurposing science and technology to serve the people means an ideological challenge. Of course to anyone who's attended a US college, "political science" means nothing. It's a department that may as well be teaching underwater basket weaving to spiders. Absolutely useless and contrived. As neoclassical economics is to economics, which is all the US economics departments teach as well. To overcome capitalism will require a revolution first in US education, not genuflecting before the altar of science. Our "March For Science" felt like an evangelical revival, everyone sharing testimonies of how they've been saved by science, or the imperative to put our faith in science. As if it wasn't science that delivered us into the dire circumstances that require the human community to mark Earth Day. Conservation, not science, is the only recourse we have for better stewardship of the environment. That went unsaid. Also left unsaid by everyone except the socialists: scientists need to spend less energy making weapons.

The Poor Peoples Potty Project

Pause You Who Read This. In Great Expectations, Dickens writes, "Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link of one memorable day."   Again; I ask the reader to pause and think for a moment; think of our human species, that has come so far in many of our improvements under the conditions we inherited here on planet earth; improvements in our sanitation, shelters and food. These improvements were not some idle whimsy idea, they were made because we needed and wanted to survive as a species, we come to understand that shelter, food and sanitation were the ingredients for longevity. We most often take these normal functions of the human body for granted without thinking as we live our daily lives in suburbia, moving with the speed of light from our jobs to our homes. Should you doubt, you have only to try a small experiment; For a few days camp in your back yard, without the use of your kitchen to cook your meals for nourishment, the shelter that provides warmth and a bed to rest after the toil of a long weary day, the toilet that allows you to clean and relieve your natural body functions. These are the basics of every human on planet earth, there are no exceptions to these rules. So now I'm thinking of the human mind that figured out how to fly a machine to a comet and land there, wow! What an incredible feat, what an incredible cost of money to accomplish this project. It clearly demonstrates the power of the human mind and our ability to solve a problem. And then I read the second story of humans who have no shelter here on planet earth, no food for nourishment, no toilet to relieve their normal body functions. So I ask myself; When that space ship left planet earth to land on some distant comet, did it leave behind a human race who have lost their way; on compassion and empathy for our fellow travelers of planet earth? Are we moving so fast through this vast wilderness of space that we cannot see with compassion those in need of the most simple function of all humans. Is there a solution to the problem? I believe there is. We have a chance to tell our fellow humans, homeless travelers that they are not alone, we need only look into our hearts and rekindle our compassion that was given each of us as a gift. A simple solution might look like this; we identify where the homeless congregate, we find solutions to zoning for portable toilets, set up in discreet places, arrange for the portable potty to be serviced and maintained. It is an effort to reclaim our humanity, our compassion, and say that we care about all as we travel this amazing journey called life. It only takes one person with

Too much superficial evaluation by two sexes superficially judging each other

I am shocked (not particularly) to see that the scientific evidence shows this... Both genders stare equally hard at women’s body parts: study ... What next will science 'discover'? That both sexes stare equally hard' at men's wallet and porfolio parts?   I do declare! What would we do without science? Speaking of which, Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmo Mag just died! ON the next day the 'scientific report' was made known to us non-scientists???? I do declare! I could have sworn she died centuries ago? Helen Gurley Brown, Who Gave ‘Single Girl’ a Life in Full, Dies at 90. 'In 1963, the Browns moved to New York. Two years later, the Hearst Corporation asked Ms. Brown to take over Cosmopolitan...' Oh thank you, William Randolph Hearst. You are such a prince!

For the Climate Deniers…

Bill O'Lie-ly said this January was the coldest on record. Perhaps he could learn a little science, specifically mathematics. If not then he could learn how to ask people whose business it is to provide scientifically sound information to for instance the Shipping Industry, farmers and the U.S. Military, none of whom are much noted for Radical Left Wing thought processes. Like NOAA, who reported that the average global ground temperature Increased by very nearly a full degree C. The IBM corporate model is founded in a mission statement they made back in 1945. When they got the funding to build the first "supercomputers" (Analog Calculators, actually, the "AC" part of their names) ENIAC and UNIVAC. That they would be able to predict major weather events a year in advance. This on "computers" which had less calculating power than this "dinosaur" 10 year old desktop I'm typing on right now. It's a spectacular example of Corporate Welfare gone terribly wrong. Bill-ionaire O'Reilly knows quite a bit about Corporate Welfare, but as it's his beneficiary on the Gilded Road to Hell, he's not going to squeak about it very loudly. Or, at all. So they extended the accurate predictions for major weather events from 5 days to 7. Big Hairy Deal, yes? Well, in a way. The failures of that business model, (for which they're still drawing royalties, an interesting economic term in what's supposed to be a "free" market) led to some pretty remarkable mathematic theories and applications of Chaos Theory. One is that not only the Earth but the Universe is a closed mathematic system. Finite. Iterations of what are supposed to be infinite variations, repetitions and patterns where the Patterns would have fallen apart if the system were infinte. So, how does an established pattern in a finite system develop such a major rift? But all that is above the heads of Bill-do and his demented fans. They're instead pushing the provincial notion that a small portion of the small system (relative to the universe) that hits us with snow in winter? The notion that snowstorms in winter would actually have become so anomalous that it's newsworthy should be a clue. But the Dumbass Patrol can't get a clue if somebody rubs their noses in it. I've got relatives. Of course. Some of them live in an almost Medieval Backward Poverty Zone called Cleburne, Texas. There's a joke in Cleburne on the lines of the maps you get in Johnson County only show Johnson County, and at the county line the world drops off. On the mythical maps the edges around the county line are filled with notations like "Terra Incognito" (Thet thar's where them Terrists live, boy) and "Here Be Dragons!!" There are people in Johnson County who have never made the arduous journey to Ft Worth. Ft Worth city limits are like two miles from the county line. Dallas is a myth they use to frighten their kids (Eat your vegetables and go on to bed. You know what happens to kids

Technology, is it science or alchemy?

Woman and man? The X and Y for creating life? Actually, symbols for copper and iron, designated by the alchemists; curiously, X/Y to the Bronze Age overtaken by Iron, the supremacy of technology. Our sixth-graders are learning that alchemy was a science that is no longer practiced. I must be oversimplifying the lesson, because it occurs to me that modern science, on the contrary, has become exclusively alchemist. Not in its eastern spiritual form seeking enlightenment, nor the pre-Chemistry Islamic alchemy of Geber, but its indecorous European operation in pursuit of wealth-conjuring. We call it applied science, it's the academic denomination which gets the funding, whose patrons justify their investment in exchange for technological leaps, intent to deliver mankind from the laws of nature, by spinning straw into gold. It feels no less heretical to say it. Because we know something of alchemy's prospects. As distinguished from the spiritual seekers, the European alchemists were charged by their monarchs to make gold. They had very little to go on, except that lead was a substance closely resembling gold, it had the heft and malleability, it needed only luster. Those kings inclined to invest in laboratories jumped into the technology race. The more their scientists came to understand the material properties, the closer it seemed they got. Eventually of course we can all see on the Periodic Table that the alchemists had only to nudge Pb just a couple of frames over. But now we understand elements are as intractable as prime numbers. In their early grasping at straws, the alchemists figured the seven heavenly bodies which moved across the stars, might have an influence over the metals they hoped to manipulate. Maybe not so strangely, they were never closer to the truth. No, and not even. A Wiki-tangent: the seven celestial objects visible to the ancients already held influence over the days of the week. They were, in order of proximity to the Earth from farthest to nearest: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun, Venus, Mercury, and the moon. The Romans believed that these beings kept watch over the Earth in hourly turns, repeating in cycles of seven. Thus the English days of the week are named for which god/planet took the first hour that day, starting with Saturn's day, Sunday, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus (we substituted their Norse god counterparts: Tiw, Wodan, Thor and Frigg). The celestial bodies were associated by many cultures with the classic elements, earth, fire, water, air. When the alchemists correlated the planets to the known metallic elements, the sun became gold; the moon, silver; Mercury, itself; Venus, copper; Mars, iron; Jupiter, tin; and Saturn, lead. Interesting alignment isn't it? Lead and tin seemed the choicest starting blocks from which to morph a precious metal, but astronomically, they were the furthest away. The answer was literally in the stars, and could have saved a lot of trouble. Eventually man learned that he couldn't change the elements. Since then, the gold-from-lead alchemist has gone the way of the druid. But

Animal experimentation is messed up

The homes of two UC Santa Cruz researchers were attacked by animal rights extremists with fire bombs, purportedly for using lab animals in UCSC scientific experimentation. "I don’t know what they did to deserve that," a 19-year-old student bystander told the NYT "I think that’s kind of messed up to do that to someone’s home.”   Sure it's messed up. Too bad not even the news articles about this case could spare a sentence about how lab animals are mistreated. What is it that has the animal liberation extremists so upset?

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