CIO Magazine – More Than Human

Dec. 15, 2004 Issue of CIO Magazine | Essential Technology
More Than Human
Transhumanism—the practice of enhancing people through technology—sounds like science fiction. But when it arrives (and it will), it will create unique problems for CIOs.

BY FRED HAPGOOD

THINKING AHEAD | This fall, the editors of a leading public policy magazine, Foreign Policy, asked eight prominent intellectuals to identify the single idea they felt was currently posing the greatest threat to humanity. Most of the suggestions were merely old demons: various economic myths, the idea that you can fight “a war on evil,” Americaphobia and so on. Only Francis Fukuyama, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, came up with a new candidate: transhumanism.

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NYT – Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate

The New York Times
January 3, 2005
COMMUNICATIONS

Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate
By JOHN SCHWARTZ

As the horror of the South Asian tsunami spread and people gathered online to discuss the disaster on sites known as Web logs, or blogs, those of a political bent naturally turned the discussion to their favorite topics.

To some in the blogosphere, it simply had to be the government’s fault.

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NYT – The Art of the Fan

The Art of the Fan
By CHOIRE SICHA
Published: January 2, 2005

Fan Web sites, from Adam-Brody.com to Absolutely Zooey Deschanel (fan-sites.org/zooey/), share certain traits: gushy tributes, copyright-infringing use of paparazzi shots, a whiff of stalker enthusiasm. A new site, cremasterfanatic.com, is unusual for the subject it obsesses over – the Conceptual Art star Matthew Barney – but otherwise it hews to the norm. It borrows pictures of Mr. Barney with his wife, the pop singer Bjork. It summarizes each of his five “Cremaster” films. It even posts tribute poetry:
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lycos finance: Swiss Blocks Accounts in Oil Co. Probe

Swiss Blocks Accounts in Oil Co. Probe

3 December 2004, 4:26pm ET

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss justice authorities have blocked bank accounts containing $100 million in an investigation of an alleged bribery scandal tied to a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., the oil services company formerly headed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

Geneva state investigator Daniel Dumartheray confirmed a report in the daily Tribune de Geneve that the freeze was imposed after France asked Switzerland to grant judicial assistance for its investigation in the case. He declined to identify the accountholders or the banks involved.

It was unclear whether the frozen money was part of the total $180 million allegedly paid by an international consortium to win contracts for a natural gas project in Nigeria between 1995 and 2002.

The French investigation, launched in October 2003, centers on allegations that the TSKJ consortium paid illegal commissions in connection with a $4 billion contract it won in 1995 to build and expand a Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant.

The four partners in the consortium were M.W. Kellogg Co., a subsidiary of Dresser Industries; Technip SA of France; ENI SpA of Italy; and Japan Gasoline Corp.

Halliburton acquired Dresser in 1998 _ three years after Cheney began his 1995-2000 tenure as Halliburton’s CEO _ and combined its Brown & Root subsidiary with M.W. Kellogg to form engineering and construction unit KBR.

The consortium got other contracts involving the Nigerian plant in 1999 and 2002.

Last month, Halliburton said an ongoing internal investigation by the Houston-based conglomerate had still not found any evidence that supports claims of bribery.

The U.S. Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and Nigerian officials also are investigating.

In June, Halliburton fired two consultants including former KBR chairman A. Jack Stanley, for violating the company’s business code of conduct by receiving “improper personal benefits” related to TSKJ’s construction of the Nigerian plant.

Halliburton shares rose 13 cents to close at $38.74 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

LA Times – Alternate Reality (Rick Caruso’s Malls)

Alternate reality
Rick Caruso’s outdoor malls are a cleaned-up facsimile of city life.

By Tina Daunt, Times Staff Writer
December 1, 2004

Multimillionare developer Rick Caruso is walking past the shops on Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter, surveying the streetscape with all its architectural elegance and decay.

Little escapes the notice of the Los Angeles businessman: the ornately carved crown moldings, the wrought iron balconies, sizzling gas lanterns, cypress shutters, cracked sidewalks, leaning walls, bare wires. The place is beautiful but worn out. To Caruso, it looks like a dump.

“They certainly haven’t spent any money on maintenance,” he says. “I don’t see any reason to ever come back here again.”

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan opposed Caruso’s effort to remove Parks as chief, but says he admires the developer’s business sense.

“His father is a wealthy man, so he came to it the easy way,” Riordan says. “But he never let that make him lazy.

“I think he’s ready to take over Los Angeles.”

NOTE

The text of this story was taken down at the request of the LA Times (May 14, 2008). The timing of this request to remove the text is probably related to the recent opening of Caruso’s Americana mall in Glendale, which was lavishly and flatteringly covered by the LA Times.

The story which was taken down was an interesting portrait of Caruso as a born-wealthy Republican fundraiser with an avowed hatred for the disorder of living cities. It’s an interesting picture, especially given the rumors of his possible run for LA mayor. Sadly, the original link to the story on the Times website is now broken. However the full text of this article seems to be available for purchase for just $3.95.

Four bucks may seem like a lot just to read a short biographical article from 2004. But clearly the Tribune-owned LA Times knows how to run a profitable business, so rather than question their economic decisions, let us simply wish them the best.

The Face of Nature Changes as Art and Science Evolve

The New York Times
November 23, 2004
The Face of Nature Changes as Art and Science Evolve
By CARL ZIMMER

Artists and scientists, so the story goes, glare at each other across a cultural divide. The scientist coldly hacks nature into pieces. The artist is unwilling to do the hard work necessary to understand how the world works.

This story is mostly fiction, as the work of the printmaker Joseph Scheer makes abundantly clear.

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