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Submission + - Former World Leaders to Meet with UN to Discuss Drug Decriminalization (ibtimes.co.uk)

EwanPalmer writes: Several former world leaders and members of the United Nations are set to call upon governments around the world to decriminalize drugs.

Former presidents of Brazil, Columbia and Switzerland are among the former leaders who have united to call for proper regulation of drug use and possession, along with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour.

A report, released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, says it is time to "break the taboo" and admit the way on drugs is a "failure" as well as recommending new major reforms for drug prohibition. The Commissioners are also set to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson to discuss the proposals mentioned in the report.

Submission + - PayPal billionaire takes a shine to nuclear fusion startup (power-technology.com)

Dimetrodon writes: Through his venture capitalist firm Mithril Capital, Peter Thiel, co-founder of online payment processor PayPal has contributed more than $1 million to a $1.5 million investment in nuclear fusion start-up Helion Energy. The company, which is headed up by NASA fellow and fusion expert Dr. David Kirtley and Fusion Engine inventor Dr. John Slough, is aiming to develop smaller scale fusion reactors capable of displacing large diesel generators that are used in areas where fuel must be shipped in.

Submission + - Back to 'The Future of Programming'

theodp writes: Bret Victor's The Future of Programming (vimeo) should probably be required viewing this fall for all CS majors — and their professors. For his recent DBX Conference talk, Victor took attendees back to the year 1973, donning the uniform of an IBM systems engineer of the times, delivering his presentation on an overhead projector. The 60's and early 70's were a fertile time for CS ideas, reminds Victor, but even more importantly, it was a time of unfettered thinking, unconstrained by programming dogma, authority, and tradition. "The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you're doing," explains Victor. "Because once you think you know what you're doing you stop looking around for other ways of doing things and you stop being able to see other ways of doing things. You become blind." He concludes, "I think you have to say: 'We don’t know what programming is. We don’t know what computing is. We don’t even know what a computer is.' And once you truly understand that, and once you truly believe that, then you’re free, and you can think anything.”

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