A Harvard professor has set up a fake social media network to get a glimpse at the inner workings of China’s Internet suppression practices; the head of the NSA modeled a war room after “Star Trek”; meanwhile, the Israeli government is running a medical cannabis distribution center. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Academics Launch Fake Social Network to Get an Inside Look at Chinese Censorship New research shows China’s online censorship relies on a competitive market where companies vie to offer the best speech-suppressing technology and services.

“Tip-of-the-Tongue Syndrome,” Transactive Memory, and How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter “The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision,” Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary in 1946, decades before the internet as we know it even existed.

Desperate U.K. Turns to Shale Gas Proposed U.K. government policies to encourage hydrofracking of natural gas ignited a firestorm of protest this summer, with critics complaining that they were not consulted and that rules will restrict local planners’ authority.

Weird: America’s Top Surveillance Czar Had a Star Trek Room Build in His ‘Information Dominance Center’ It has been previously reported that the mentality of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander is captured by his motto “Collect it All”.

Medical Marijuana Industry Sprouts Up in Israel Mimi Peleg’s job is to teach people how to use pot—how long to inhale smoke or vapor, how to administer sublingual drops, or how to ration out a pot cookie.

Promoting the Myth of ‘Sustainable Coal’ In July of 2013, a group of prominent Democrats formed the CoalBlue Project to promote the idea of “sustainable coal.”

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