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Ukraine: US offers Putin summit with Biden in effort to stop slide to war

Guardian:

Ukraine: US offers Putin summit with Biden in effort to stop slide to war

Move comes amid ‘frank and substantive’ talks in Geneva and announcement by Russia of new military exercises

FAZ:

SZ:

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A sanctioned parking site for unhoused people

San Francisco Chronicle:

Salesforce Tower is seen at a distance as Items are strewn on the ground at the City-run RV-site on Carroll Avenue in San Francisco, California Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

San Francisco quietly opened a large sanctioned parking site for unhoused people this week, providing dozens of spots in the Bayview for those who live in RVs and cars.

Despite fierce opposition, including a lawsuit from some neighbors, the “vehicle triage center” at the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area welcomed residents Wednesday, marking the start of a two-year program intended to provide a safe location for vehicle dwellers to park, sleep and be connected with services.

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See because there’s Antifa Westberlin, but then for that little something extra, there’s Antifa+ – you know, for when Antifa alone isn’t quite enough.

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Apple und Google sollen Telegram verbannen

FAZ:

Bundesinnenministerin Nancy Faeser (SPD) will Apple und Google wegen Gewaltaufrufen und Hetze auffordern, die Telegram-App aus ihrem Angebot zu verbannen. Sie wolle die beiden Anbieter für Apps auf mobilen Endgeräten an ihre „gesellschaftliche Verantwortung“ erinnern, sagte die Ministerin am Mittwoch in Berlin nach einer Besprechung mit den Innenministern der SPD-geführten Landesregierungen.

Telegram habe sich zu einem „Brandbeschleuniger“ für Reichsbürger, Verschwörungs­theoretiker und Rechtsextremisten entwickelt, sagte der niedersächsische Innenminister Boris Pistorius (SPD). Bei pornografischen und islamistisch-terroristischen Inhalten habe das Unternehmen schließlich gezeigt, „dass sie können, wenn sie wollen“.

„Das soziale Netzwerk Telegram und vergleichbare Anbieter dienen Menschen in Deutschland als Vernetzungsebene von Querdenkern, Corona-Leugnern und Rechtsradikalen“, hieß es in einem gemeinsamen Papier der Innenminister. Man wolle zu diesem Problem gemeinsam mit den europäischen Partnern stärker mit ausländischen Regierungen in Austausch treten „und unsere Erwartungen auch auf hochrangiger politischer Ebene deutlich vertreten“.

It often seems important to me just to record things like this, in part to recall a time when it seemed impossible for this to happen. After the 2016 US election I read several articles half-jokingly – but only half – saying present realities forced science fiction authors to revisit their concepts of dystopia.

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Norman Solomon, CounterPunch:

While outsized profits keep benefiting the upper class and enriching the already obscenely rich, the cascading effects of extreme income inequality are drowning the hopes of the many.

Corporate power constrains just about everything, whether healthcare or education or housing or jobs or measures for responding to the climate emergency. What prevails is the political structure of the economy.

Class war in the United States has established what amounts to oligarchy. A zero-sum economic system, aka corporate capitalism, is constantly exercising its power to reward and deprive. The dominant forces of class warfare — disproportionately afflicting people of color while also steadily harming many millions of whites — continue to undermine basic human rights including equal justice and economic security. In the real world, financial power is political power. A system that runs on money is adept at running over people without it.

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Both parties continue to champion what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” When King described the profligate spending for a distant war as “some demonic, destructive suction tube,” he was condemning dynamics that endure with a vengeance. Today, the madness and the denial are no less entrenched. A militaristic core serves as a sacred touchstone for faith in America as the world’s one and only indispensable nation. Gargantuan Pentagon budgets are taken for granted, as is the assumed prerogative to bomb other countries at will.

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Good lives

Ian Sample, Guardian:

‘There’s no good reason to think that life in VR will be meaningless or valueless,’ says Chalmers.
Photograph: Aleksandr Zamuruiev/Alamy

It is hard to imagine humans spending their lives in virtual reality when the experience amounts to waving your arms about in the middle of the lounge with a device the size of a house brick strapped to your face.

But this is where humanity is heading, says the philosopher David Chalmers, who argues for embracing the fate. Advances in technology will deliver virtual worlds that rival and then surpass the physical realm. And with limitless, convincing experiences on tap, the material world may lose its allure, he says.

Chalmers, a professor of philosophy and neural science at New York University, makes the case to embrace VR in his new book, Reality+. Renowned for articulating “the hard problem” of consciousness – which inspired Tom Stoppard’s play of the same name – Chalmers sees technology reaching the point where virtual and physical are sensorily the same and people live good lives in VR.

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Another January, a long time ago and far away

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