Li'l NSA Spy Kit
Every week, and sometimes every day, there is a new revelation about the shady practices of the NSA. After the news broke that the spy agency targeted thirty-five heads of state, not to mention the head of the UN, General Keith Alexander and Obama were on the defensive again and the cartoon ideas were frolicking in my head.
Then, while reading up on the latest NSA story, I found what I think is one of the more disturbing tidbits to date. There, almost as an afterthought, Scott Shane of the New York Times mentions that the NSA, "remains the largest employer of mathematicians in the country." What the?! Maybe everyone else already knew that, but I find that shocking and pretty depressing.
Call it a utopian pipe dream, but just think what we could do if we skimmed off the bulk of those mathematicians and had them work on things like, space exploration, new energy sources or, um, teaching kids. If we weren't so busy tracking every human being's metadata, maybe we'd have cold fusion by now, who knows?
And while you're thinking about the possibilities, do me a favor and pass along the animation on the Intertubes. You can also find out more about the stories behind this animation on my site.