Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa.
That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.
Perhaps this all sounds fantastical, absurd, and more than a little nuts. We couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons we love conspiracy theories — the more awesomely insane, the better. Each week during 2012, when the Mayans tell us to expect the apocalypse, Danger Room will peel back a new layer of crazy to expose those oh-so-cleverly hidden machinations powering this doomed plane of existence. Welcome — back — to Tinfoil Tuesday.
According to Basiago and Stillings, Obama isn’t just lying about his identity. He’s lying about his military service record, too. While his political opponents in 2008 attacked him for never serving, in truth, he was concealing his participation in a hidden CIA intergalactic program hosted at a California community college in 1980.
Officially, the White House says Obama never went to Mars. “Only if you count watching Marvin the Martian,” Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council, tells Danger Room. But that’s exactly what a secret chrononaut wants you to believe.
The CIA offers an electronic search engine that lets you mine about 11 million agency documents that have been declassified over the years. It’s called CREST, short for CIA Records Search Tool. But this represents only a portion the CIA’s declassified materials, and if you want unfettered access to the search engine, you’ll have to physically visit the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, historians and researchers have urged the CIA to provide them with their own copy of the CREST electronic database, so that they can seek greater insight into U.S. history and even build up additional checks and balances against the government’s approach to official secrecy. But the agency won’t do it. “Basically, the CIA is saying that the database of declassified documents is itself classified,” explains Steve Aftergood, a senior research analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, who oversees the federation’s government secrecy project.
It’s an irony that represents a much larger problem in the world of declassified government documents. According to Aftergood — a researcher some have called the “the Yoda of Official Secrecy” — most government agencies haven’t even gone as far as the CIA in providing online access to declassified documents, and as it stands, there’s no good way of electronically searching declassified documents from across disparate agencies.
“The state of the declassified archives is really stuck in the middle of the 20th Century,” says Aftergood. He calls it a “fairly dismal picture,” but he also says there’s an enormous opportunity to improve the way we research declassified materials — and improve it very quickly — through the use of modern technology.
That’s the aim of a new project launched by a team of historians, mathematicians, and computer scientists at Columbia University in New York City. Led by Matthew Connelly — a Columbia professor trained in diplomatic history — the project is known as The Declassification Engine, and it seeks to provide a single online database for declassified documents from across the federal government, including the CIA, the State Department, and potentially any other agency.
The project is still in the early stages, but the team has already assembled a database of documents that stretches back to the 1940s, and it has begun building new tools for analyzing these materials. In aggregating all documents into a single database, the researchers hope to not only provide quicker access to declassified materials, but to glean far more information from these documents than we otherwise could.
- The Declassification Engine: Your One-Stop Shop for Government Secrets (wired.com)
- A Search Engine For Government Documents (personalliberty.com)
- Building a Declassification Engine (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
- Declassified Documents Reveal Extent of CIA Influence on ZERO DARK THIRTY Script (collider.com)
Iran’s technological prowess has reached an all-time high. It claims to have solved the metaphysical conundrums associated with time travel.
Ali Razeghi has not created a flux capacitor, and probably doesn’t own a DeLorean. But the managing director at the delightfully-named Centre for Strategic Inventions claims to have put together a device that fits into a “personal computer case” whose algorithms can discern key details about the next five to eight years of a user’s life based merely on a fingertip impression.
“It will not take you into the future,” Razeghi told the state-run Fars news agency, according to the Daily Telegraph, “it will bring the future to you.” With that, Razeghi becomes the most significant scientist since Albert Einstein.
Taking Razeghi at his word, today marks the day that Iran becomes a global economic and military superpower. It no longer matters how many aircraft carriers or afloat staging bases packed with laser cannons the U.S. idles near Iranian shores. The commandos who operate in secret across the Persian/Arabian Gulf are now irrelevant. Iranian air defenses will now know precisely where and when Israeli jets seeking to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities will enter their airspace.
Iran’s woes at constructing an intercontinental ballistic missile now appear trivial. Nothing matters more than accurate, predictive intelligence for discerning an adversary’s move before he makes it. An Iranian chrononautical effort gives the Islamic Republic a near omniscience: the ability to access, process and utilize data before it even enters existence. It is entirely possible that the implications of Iranian trans-chronal access are already rippling backward in time across the multiverse, transforming reality in ways that are difficult to comprehend.
There are limited countermeasures Iranian adversaries can design or field. One option would be to design son-of-Stuxnet malware to attack the device itself. But there is great likelihood Razeghi’s machine will have already warned the Iranian security apparatus of a forthcoming cyberattack. A more fruitful option might be to out-invent Iran, and create a better forecasting device than the Iranians possess. Such a move carries heavy implications for the fabric of reality, but Razeghi has already crossed a Rubicon, and U.S. policymakers must now ask themselves how long they are prepared to tolerate an Iranian monopoly on time travel.
- I have invented time machine – Iranian scientist (independent.ie)
- Iranian scientist invents ‘time traveling machine’ – GMA News (gmanetwork.com)
- Iranian scientist claims to have invented ‘Time Machine’ that can predict the future (independent.ie)
- Iranian Scientist Claims He Invented a Time Machine (on.aol.com)
- Iranian Scientist Says He Invented A ‘Time Machine’ That Can Predict The Future (businessinsider.com)
- Design Fiction: Iranian fake inventions (wired.com)
Very cool . . .
via Gadget Lab | Wired.com
Companies from Google to Comcast to Electric Imp are trying to connect home devices and appliances to the web, but the internet of things remains more of a complicated, distant dream than a reality. Spark Devices wants to start off simple, with one of the most used items in your house — the light bulb.
Spark Devices launched on Kickstarter with a working prototype of what it calls the Spark Socket. All a user needs to do to get their lights on the web is screw a regular light bulb into the Spark Socket and screw that into a regular light fixture. They can then control their lighting — on, off, and dimming — through an iOS or Android app, which opens up entirely new avenues for home lighting. Users can schedule their lights when they’re away, set them to slowly turn on in the morning, and even set them to flash when someone calls their phone.
MORE . . .
- Spark Offers Light Bulb Control via API (programmableweb.com)
- Are ‘Smart Bulbs’ The Next Bright Idea In Energy Efficiency? (earthtechling.com)
- Are ‘smart bulbs’ the next bright idea in energy efficiency? (midwestenergynews.com)
- Bright idea? Philips’ Hue app-controlled lighting system makes light bulbs interesting (almost) (digitaltrends.com)
- Govt-mandated light bulbs release UV light (douglassreport.com)