The stalk of crab grass that hung lazily from his mouth contained a water molecule that had once passed through the Buddha, a minke whale and the famous dancing pig of Allapacca County. It cannot be proven otherwise. Go Ahead and Pop It. The Supply is Endless
Being a day behind and far too forward, I'd like to take you on a spin through Propaganda Land. Number 9, Number 9....
|"In those times when everything collapses around you, and what's left won't go right, don't forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have what ever predicament you're having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there's a little of each one hidden in both."|
What Crap !! Anyone blogging for bucks has bollocks for brains and has sold selfness for selfishness. New biz on the blog
|"The information revolution has led to information overload, and people are confronted with hundreds of messages each day. Although few studies have looked at this topic, it seems fair to suggest that many people respond to this pressure by processing messages more quickly and, when possible, by taking mental short-cuts.|
Propagandists love short-cuts -- particularly those which short-circuit rational thought. They encourage this by agitating emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending the rules of logic. As history shows, they can be quite successful."
From the mouths of armed butches comes the Bible of Bilge - lest we let our attention wander.
|"Weblogs are one of the few things online still capable of generating both media buzz and bucks."|
|"Humanizing leaders. This technique paints a more human portrait of US and
friendly military and civilian leaders. It humanizes them so that the audience
looks upon them as similar human beings or, preferably, as kind, wise,
Things that will not be mentioned in this evening's State of the Distraction speech:
- ongoing chemical warfare by the U.S. against South American farmers and biodiversity
- the dependance of the U.S. economy on weapons production and their use
- the dependance of the U.S. economy on incarceration and the "drug war"
- increasing domestic economic disparities
- decreasing domestic human rights
- American culpability for training, arming and supporting their current "enemies"
- U.S. responsibility for international economic terrorism causing massive civilian casualties
- International opinion on any of the above
Stand Up for Freedom, Security and Human Rights
The U.S. War on Drugs: Political Economics of a New Slavery
|"Amnesty International may not be able to stop our government from shredding American values, but we sure are going to try. We are here at the White House to say: We will not be intimidated. We will not be frightened. We will not be silenced. The stakes are too high; the suffering is too great; the cruelty is too blatant; the hopes are too green."|
Waging Chemical Warfare in Colombia
|"Metaphorically, the criminal justice pipeline is like a slave ship, transporting human cargo along interstate triangular trade routes from Black and Brown communities; through the middle passage of police precincts, holding pens, detention centers and courtrooms; to downstate jails or upstate prisons; back to communities as unrehabilitated escapees; and back to prison or jail in a vicious recidivist cycle."|
|"Drug production in the Andes has remained constant. The programs have just moved it into other areas. The major area now is the Colombian Amazon. What we're doing now is spraying tons of pesticides (and mutant fungi) into the Colombian Amazon," its soil and its watershed. People, too, are being fumigated."|
Herbs have been declared obsolete, and often illegal, in service of the Pfizer-ific shareholders. All appropriate disclaimers apply... Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder
|"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."|
We are stardust, no need to pave paradise. Space Elevators, Space Hotels, and Space Tourism
|"The green leaves of certain strains of medical marijuana appear to provide the best therapeutic effects for RBS. Experiments with Marinol seem to indicate that THC is involved, but is not the primary therapeutic agent."|
Long-Term Growth As A Sequence of Exponential Modes by Robin Hanson points to a singularly obvious point.
|"Most NASA programs would surely evolve to make use of the space elevator facility. In particular, the focus of NASA's manned space program is likely to move beyond low Earth orbit, to the Moon, Mars, or the asteroid belt. Lunar development in particular could reduce the cost of large construction projects in Earth orbit by supplying materials for lower launch costs.|
The International Space Station might get relocated to Lagrange point One (L1), where it could serve as a staging area for missions to a Mars base. NASA astronauts would then book passage on a commercial flight to the space hotel, then catch a space taxi over to their space station."
The "Longage of the Critters" by Jay Hanson
|"In this paper we have thus attempted the neglect task of more formally describing long term world product growth as a sequence of exponential growth modes. We found that a time series of world product over the last two million years can be comfortably described as either as a sum of four exponentials, or as a CES-combination of three exponentials. (An earlier period of exponential growth in brain sizes may be the relevant previous growth mode.)"|
The order of order is the chaos of control...A Philosopher of Change - An Interview with Yasuhiko Kimura by Carter Phipps
|"In the last phase even staffing of the regulating agency is accomplished by drawing the agency administrators from the ranks of the regulated."|
More details about the current paradigmatic association complex - the worship of man: Paradigms as Association Complexes, and Powerful Instrument of Establishments
|"...not only is the body of information growing but also the accessibility of metaformational insight becomes greater. Compared to hundreds of years ago, people are really becoming much more aware of that which is eternal. So we live at an exciting moment in history, when both metaformation and information are gaining tremendous momentum. We are transforming transformation itself."|
Trust (!) the military's anal-ysis (um, a rectal deity?) - Fortress Europa: European Defense and the Future of the North Atlantic Alliance
|"Inter alia, it suggests:|
a) Life is consumption, up to and including the savouring of here-and-now direct experience, particularly in a social context (by the way, this is pleasant for the consumption industry);..."
In closing let me reiterate that private autoevolution is not a possibility for a distant future nor is it a science fiction. It is with us now, albeit at an early enough phase to have escaped most people's attention. Autocatalytic self-evolution is poised to engage us immediately. It falls within our time-scale of concern. Expect it. ... The most significant legacy of our age will not be nuclear power, computers, political achievements or a static ethics for a "sustainable" society. It will be the closure of our rational intellect around our evolution. The Moral Imperative of Our Future Evolution
|"France cannot accept a politically unipolar world or the unilateralism of a single
|"What has the future in store for humanity? Will our descendants succumb to pollution, the population explosion, exhausted resources or grinding poverty? Might they arrive at permanent prosperity or enter the golden age of leisure? Each vision has its advocates and ethical implications. I predict that human destiny is to elevate itself to the status of a god and beyond. We will transform ourselves by evolution, the same creative process which raised our branch of life to the level of Homo sapiens."|
When will we resist?
If you haven't already, just go to the Edge
|"There is a wonderful expression that very precisely and ironically catches our unacceptable helplessness, our passivity and inability to help ourselves now when our strength is most needed. The expression is: will the last person to leave please turn out the lights? We are that close to a kind of upheaval that will leave very little standing and perilously little left even to record, except for the last injunction that begs for extinction."|
The fire last time
|"Mr President, it is the United States of America who long ago brought the evil of prohibition upon the world, and still holds the power to prevent the rest of us from seeking freedom from prohibition. Mr President, you could win the war on terrorism, not by fighting, but by refusing to fight the war on drugs."|
retro-forward, lets go back - A Very Brief History of Time
|"One of the military commanders accused of civilian massacres in the Ukraine asked the question, 'What's the difference between lining people up against a wall and dropping bombs on them?' I tried to find an answer and couldn't, other than the fact that the one killing took place horizontally, and the other vertically."|
Spirit of Now
|"Now for the fly in the cosmological ointment. As we have seen, it is the nature of the cognitive self to formulate models incorporating ever-higher levels of change (or time). Obviously, the highest level of change is that characterizing the creation of reality. Prior to the moment of creation, the universe was not there; afterwards, the universe was there. This represents a sizable change indeed! Unfortunately, it also constitutes a sizable paradox. If the creation of reality was a real event, and if this event occurred in cosmic time, then cosmic time itself is real. But then cosmic time is an aspect of reality and can only have been created with reality. This implies that cosmic time, and in fact reality, must have created themselves!"|
|"Why do we fear so much? Why are we not at peace? Why are we so caught up in the past and future we miss present moment? These are the questions we must ask.|
Our global crisis is, at its root, a crisis of consciousness; and until we tend to the root of our problems the crises around us will continue to proliferate and deepen."
Here in Canada we are going to be experiencing a couple of leadership campaigns. The first of these, this weekend, is for that of the New Democratic Party (NDP, ostensibly Left) whose obvious choice is Stephen Lewis who has recently been heading up AIDS-Africa for the U.N. He is not running.
This exemplifies the problem any party will have defeating the entrenched Liberals in the next general election - the best won't run and the rest can't win. Even worse however is the inability of the NDP to come up with a cohesive vision, one that could at least challenge the arrogantly entrenched centrists and call them to account from the position of a strong official opposition.
Worldwide, sane discourse on issues has disappeared down the tube of accelerating spin; a perhaps inescapable whirlpool propelled by two reinforcing currents. 1) An historically consistant force has been the virtually unquestioned paradigm of unbridled growth, fatally cancerous in its malignant capitalist form which exerts a constant pressure to 'succeed' and exceed. Rachael Carson implored us to recognize that our dis-Gaian dis-temper has the potential to respond to intelligent treatment. A ray of sound hope in our apparently inevitable self-destructive de-mean-or else.
Far more ominous than the correctable socio-economic misunderstandings, given a broadly acceptable rational will to do so, is 2) the maleficent application of psyops by those in control of the media, directed at the masses and the memetic infusion that that implies. There are only personal responses to this threat (may you culture jam well !), that may, in aggregate, providentially engineer a diversion sufficient to free our human submersion.
Attention to trans-cultural beauty (and indeed any enhancements of enlightened poly-cultural intensity) is cumulatively rarified by the projective ubiquity of the ideological set and setting, and set by socio-pathological, dehumanized, penultim-apes. To grok the imminent danger requires the above generally insightful intelligence to make a cognitive leap to transmemetic, freely personal understanding. Our hope is that we can.
Distracted beyond belief we have been neglecting to follow the money. Investment Espionage And The White House
The Keystone Report provides a ballooning and bountiful bevy of connections to articles of varying merit concerning the so-called terrorist attacks of 11/9/01.
|"European reporters found that most of the suspicious pre-attack trades passed through Deutschebank and especially via CIA Executive Director A.B. Krongard's former Alex Brown investment division by means of a procedure called portage, which assures the anonymity of individuals making the transactions. But Congress has not publicly revealed whether they will call Krongard and other Alex Brown traders to testify in open hearings, or whether they will subpoena the pre-attack documents in question."|
Lest our beguiled attention be spun away from the global endgame that U.S. America is pursuing, let's turn our gaze south. Ecuador's Lucio Era Begins
|"If you're a peace activist, now is the time to study up on the crimes committed by the FBI's COINTELPRO operation against anti Vietnam protesters. Because that socially misfit loser with the bio-war bad breath standing next to you, you know, the one trying to get you to "make a statement" by committing an illegal act, is probably an undercover FBI informant."|
In the absence of hard data on mycotoxins potentially present in the Fusarium oxysporum and Pleospora papaveraceae strains being considered for use as mycoherbicides against drug crops, we can only speculate on what these strains may contain. Below, therefore, is our informed speculation based upon previous research on Fusarium mycotoxins.
|"Remember Fusarium Oxysporum? You know, the nasty genetically-engineered fungus that supposedly only affects coca and poppy (much like the Glyphosate Fumigations were supposed to only affect large-scale coca growers) that the US and Colombia claim is not being used against campesinos? Recently, Adolfo Maldonado, a doctor working with the local group, Accion Ecologica, conducted several tests in the Sucumbios region of Ecuador, which borders Putumayo in Colombia where the heaviest fumigations are taking place. The results of these tests showed the heightened presence of Fusarium fungus in soil and plant samples. According to Maldonado, this does not necessarily mean the US and Dyncorp are spraying fusarium, but he attributes it to two possibilities; an unforeseen side effect of intensive fumigation with the deadly Glyphosate cocktail, or someone is spraying fusarium fungus. The Glyphosate side effect hypothesis seems unlikely. At this point, the results are inconclusive, but several campesinos have reported a coffee-colored powder emanating from the very same planes that fumigate with Glyphosate. The seriousness of this possibility cannot be overestimated and could have serious unforeseen ecological and medical ramifications."|
|"Fusarium mycotoxins may leach into the soil, causing damage to plants and animals through leaching even after the fungus is no longer active. Indeed, a very real risk may be extrapolated for humans, also."|
Eduardo Galeano - Our World is a Great Paradox That Turns Around in the Universe
|"At the rate we are going, the owners of the planet will soon outlaw hunger and thirst in order to forestall shortages of food and water."|
the dominant code of globalization is not networking nor the economic expansion of global corporations nor the global reach of terrorism. Rather it lies in the virtualization of the vision machine. This virtualization rests on the binary of the 'actual'/'virtual' which splits the 'real' creating a 'reality effect'.
Paul Virilio: The Politics of 'Real Time'
|"Our contemporary situation is the inverse of that of the primitive. It has to make its path in the midst of the proliferation of references, rules and orders. That is why the process of organizing perception seems to me so little suitable to the period. An actualization of perception ought to be at work in the composition of the immediate image: to see should not be constantly to re-see. Today we are no longer truly see-ers [voyants] but already resee-ers [revoyants], the tautological repetition of the same, at work in our mode of production (industrial) is at work equally in our mode of perception."|
Arbusto-san, being Himself a sociopath excavating the foundation of free civilization, is unlikely to care about the Likely Humanitarian Scenarios of a conflagration in Iraq.
John Cage waxes dithyrambic - Anarchist Poem
|"...the humanitarian interventions are likely to be required for a protracted period of time, certainly longer than one year, and may include: |
Further bridging, material handling, and transport - Milling and iodizing capacity - Food and necessities for, at a minimum, 23 million - Health supplies to treat injuries for approximately 0.5 million - Health supplies to treat up to 23 million - Nutrition items for 3.03 million - Water treatment equipment for 18.24 million - Chemicals and consumables for 18.24 million - Sanitation materials and chemicals - Total range of services for 2 million IDPs, some of whom may well become refugees. The number that may eventually be in this category cannot be assessed with any confidence - Emergency shelter for 3.6 million - Family reunion facilities for unaccompanied minors - Facilities for 1.4 million Iraqi refugees, 900,000 entering neighbouring countries and 500,000 remaining along the border but inside Iraq - Initiatives to invigorate the economy. Livestock and plant production materials. Mine Action activities, (demining, UXO clearance, mine awareness)."
Psychopathy and Consumerism - The Brave New World of Childcare
|"We don't need government |
We need utilities."
The Natural Child Project has A Conversation with John Holt. Our children, and so our potentials, are systematically, actually, rendered dull by current education practices.
|"...Bit by bit, without ever looking at the big picture, the experts trained in our "Schools of Social Welfare" seem to be taking us straight to Brave New World. They look at isolated social problems, such as working parents with pre-school children, or teenagers who hang out on the streets after school, then propose some "service" as a solution to each. They seem to try to avoid thinking about the inevitable final result of their logic: a society where all the adults are at nine-to-five jobs and where all the children are at day-care centers, schools, or after-school programs all day, every day..."|
J.R. Mooneyham continues to put together definitive reports on the main issues facing our species and planetship. The hidden costs to society of 'right-wing' political governance
|What is your philosophy of learning?|
"Basically that the human animal is a learning animal; we like to learn; we need to learn; we are good at it; we don't need to be shown how or made to do it. What kills the processes are the people interfering with it or trying to regulate it or control it."
Once when John Holt was speaking to a school audience, describing his views on the their structured curriculum, a student asked him, "But surely there must be something important enough that everyone should learn it?" He thought for a moment and replied, "To learn to say 'I'm sorry', 'I don't know', and 'I was wrong'.
|"Right-wing governments tend to accentuate feelings of isolation and lack of support in many citizens, which combined with less fortunate circumstances in the distribution of wealth leads to increased suicide rates. On the other hand, left-leaning governments are usually more community-oriented and inclusive, thereby reducing the isolation felt by many among the populace, and causing lower numbers of people to take their own lives."|
Not generally prone to projecting personal insights gained by omphaloskepsis (oh, c'mon, look it up!), I have always thought that "life" does not have a definitive diminuative departure point. Bacteria are small, viruses are tiny, the Prions - Puzzling Infectious Proteins are truly primal.
Kuru: The Dynamics of a Prion Disease
|"So, a couple new ground rules now seem to govern infectious diseases. The first is that naked proteins--prions--can be infectious and can cause infectious diseases. The second and potentially more troubling is that, like other infectious agents, prions can jump species' barriers and cause deadly diseases in humans."|
I can imagine a symbiosis. Like most arrangements of this sort the net effect is beneficial, with assorted gross exceptions proving the rule. An off-the-cuff hypothesis I've dreamt is that consciousness is a neurochemical bath cohabiting in a 'chicken-or-egg' relationship with prionic drive. This is what comes to mind persuing penultimately petite proteins whilst indulging my apparently prionic need for greenery. Does consciousness exist?
|"According to Cohen et al., prions cause a variety of degenerative neurologic diseases that can be infectious, inherited, or sporadic in origin. The cause of the sporadic forms is unknown; inherited forms are caused by up to twenty different mutations of the human PrP gene; and the infectious forms are transmitted through contact with or consumption of previously infected tissues."|
While Darwinizing Culture provided scientific validity for industrial age genocide, I think we are now either headed for the endplay of cultural Darwinism as represented by capitalist scientism (A Short History of the Metameme), or the beginning of an age of transcultural humanism informing the ethical appropriation of scientific understanding.
|"We cannot go in circles disproving consciousness by questioning spontaneity of action and disproving spontaneity of action by questioning the presence of consciousness. We must realize that the proof of existence of this 'I' or consciousness is based solely on our personal subjective experience and the assumption that since I am feeling this 'I' it must be present in all those similar to me."|
How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destinies is a remarkable essay by Nicholas Tesla that demonstrates his polymathic spirit-uality; and his retrospective age.
|"Dan Dennett has argued that Darwin's "dangerous idea" is an abstract algorithm, often called the "replicator dynamic". This dynamic consists of repeated iterations of selection from among randomly mutating replicators according to some criterion. Replicators, in turn, are units of information with the ability to reproduce themselves using resources from some material substrate."|
gettin' totally down - Nanosocialism
|"Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heaven, that does not exercise some control over its destiny -- not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science."|
|"The case against capitalism is not very difficult to make. For example, the U.S. has an enormous underclass which does not share in wealth per se. Homelessness, infant mortality rates, childhood poverty, and illiteracy are unacceptable anomalies in the world's self-proclaimed economic archetype. They aren't anomalies at all; they are symptoms.|
Capitalism's failure to foster "social technology" has been made elsewhere. Enough to reiterate, technology which happens to produce a pronounced social benefit is not the sine qua non of capitalism. At best, the humanitarian nature of capitalism technology is accidental."
If you are up for a sizable cognitive feast, Brian Rotman elaborates on Becoming Beside Oneself
Make the ultimate escape - create your own universe
|"And what of becoming? Becoming beside oneself, is not to be identified with imitating, reproducing, splitting or doubling oneself; or identifying with, assimilating, or incorporating something into oneself; or being reborn; though it can couple with or be traversed by all these. It is rather a form of atemporal change, becoming party to a condition other than one's own, a question of self difference, of standing to the side of oneself. At the same time it engenders a condition of de-singularity in which, by acceding to an aboriginal multiplicity, one becomes not one."|
Massimo Pigliucci has an animated internal dialogue with Bertrand Russel: On death, thoughts of an optimistic atheist; and wins.
The use of torture is not confined to the Dark Ages or to any religious sect or government. People are being tortured at this very moment in places all over the world. A Heretic's Final Journey - warning, will cause nausea and an intense interest in Amnesty International.
|"..there is no reason to fear death, since where it is, we are not, and where we are, it is not."|
Bush and Uribe Undermine UN Security Council
|"In order to justify their behavior, they turn their theories into dogmas, their bylaws into First Principles, their political bosses into Gods and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils. This idolatrous transformation of the relative into the Absolute and the all too human into the Divine, makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good. And when the current beliefs come, in their turn, to look silly, a new set will be invented, so that the immemorial madness may continue to wear its customary mask of legality, idealism, and true religion."|
Propaganda Techniques - based upon "Appendix I: PSYOP Techniques" from "Psychological Operations Field Manual No.33-1" published by Headquarters; Department of the Army.
|"Given the track record of these two leaders, it should not come as a surprise that they would work together to implement a scheme that violates all existing UN Security Council protocol.|
For his part, Uribe will receive even more U.S. military support as he escalates the conflict in Colombia by seeking a military solution to primarily social and economic problems. As for Bush, it is just the latest in a series of statements and actions that clearly illustrate his total lack of respect for the United Nations.
While this latest act of subterfuge by the Bush and Uribe administrations has undermined the legitimacy and effectiveness of the United Nations in international affairs, it also does not bode well for those U.S. and Colombian citizens who are struggling to preserve or establish domestic democratic institutions that respect the rule of law."
Transparency - tries to make things clear
|"One of the goals of this web site is to help readers break the symbiotic tie to our (their) culture and to help free people up from intellectual, emotional and political dependence on, and fear of, those in power."|
David Brin thinks that non-transparency is not an option, and has staked his entire literary pot on this play. As with any application of science, technology does not go away by decree, ignore-ance, or act of will. We can attempt to enact laws that may have a temporary balmative effect, but this may have a long term rebound in that we can't break the law - they can.
I am desperately loathe to agree with David's analysis, as I believe that privacy is not a negotiable part of freedom. Yet he is beyond convincing - I am afraid (literally) he is right. The Transparent Society - Will Technology Force us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?
Consider the pig. Where we stand
|"Now suppose we try to improve things by passing laws and sending forth regulators with clipboards -- commanding that all restaurants erect a maze of paper shoji screens to keep customers from ogling other patrons. Will this prevent staring, or increase it?"|
Consider the rat. Policy, Strategy, Action Key to Homeland Security
|"TSA is designing a computer system that can screen airline passengers by instantaneously retrieving and analyzing information about them from commercial and government databases. The system would scrutinize data such as previous travel habits, past criminal convictions, visa status, financial condition (!), employment circumstances (!) and more."|
Consider the eagle. - We All Live in a See-All World
|"The need for homeland security today, however, is as much tied to the vulnerability of American society as it is to any specific terrorist threat. Simply put, we are at greater risk and more vulnerable to attack because we are a free and open society."|
Consider the owl. - Surveillance Camera Players
|"He is quick to add, however, that all new technologies potentially can help and threaten the U.S. military, and DigitalGlobe is looking for guidance from the Defense Department about how best to mitigate the risks."|
Consider the Lizard - Weekly Defense Monitor
|"The "decentered" state is the bright side of globalization, and crime is the dark side. Got that? It's simple enough: crime is bad, and the global State is good.|
But the specter of Orwell still hasn't gone away, even for Reg Whitaker, who concludes his book with remarks more suited to someone who loves rather than resists Big Brother. "One area in which states do have a comparative advantage over corporations is in the exercise of coercion," Whitaker writes in his book's weird last chapter. "The technologies of surveillance and repression may be developed and exercised more by states, and by state networks. Here is where Big Brother comes back as an outsourced consultant. [...] Big Brother is needed once again, but -- and this point must be underlined emphatically -- only as a functionally specialized consultant, not to run the show itself." Got that? A good Big Brother, one who knows his proper place and function (to murder "criminals" and "terrorists" only); a Big Brother who doesn't get too greedy and blow it all for everyone else, like last time."
We Do Need Cave Paintings
|"History's most fundamental lesson is that military force usually spawns opposition, not compliance. [President George W.] Bush imagines that by smashing Iraq the USA will coerce other aspirants to regional power to abandon their ambitions. Rome had similar visions, as has every momentary hegemony. Nearly all undermined their power by abusing it in that manner."|
|"In the process, we change the world that surrounds us -- but we also change how our descendants will understand that world. If our stories always tell of our tribe's brutal victimization by another, our children cannot view the other except through the lens of grievance. Once the impressionists showed us how light disassembles and restructures colors and cathedrals and irises, we could never unsee those images, never again view the world as solid and immutable. Once we have heard the Bach B Minor Mass or seen the Chartres Cathedral, we cannot unimagine the grandeur of God with which they are infused. Once we have read Dilbert and Pogo and Vonnegut and Doonesbury, we can no longer view our institutions and our leaders as wholly sane; art, after all, is often about speaking truth to power."|
What the Teddy !!?? An intersesting perspective on today's American world-view comes from Roosevelt 1 - The Winning of the West. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1906)
For another short blast into the past, there's nothin' like Bear Hunting in Tennessee with David Crocket.
|"What has occurred in Hayti is what would eventually have occurred in our own semitropical States if the slave-trade and slavery had continued to flourish as their shortsighted advocates wished. Slavery is ethically abhorrent to all right-minded men; and it is to be condemned without stint on this ground alone. From the standpoint of the master caste it is to be condemned even more strongly because it invariably in the end threatens the very existence of that master caste. From this point of view the presence of the negro is the real problem; slavery is merely the worst possible method of solving the problem. In their earlier stages the problem and its solution, in America, were one. There may be differences of opinion as to how to solve the problem; but there can be none whatever as to the evil wrought by those who brought about that problem; and it was only the slave-holders and the slavetraders who were guilty on this last count. The worst foes, not only of humanity and civilization, but especially of the white race in America, were those white men who brought slaves from Africa, and who fostered the spread of slavery in the States and territories of the American Republic."|
|"The morning came, and we packed our horses with the meat, and had as much as they could possibly carry, and sure enough cut out for home. It was about thirty miles, and we reached home the second day. I had now accommodated my neighbour with meat, enough to do him, and had killed in all, up to that time, fifty-eight bears, during the fall and winter."|
A Tack in the Shoe: Neutralizing and Resisting the New Surveillance is a must-read-keeper of a paper by Gary T. Marx, that enlightens us with Eleven behavioral techniques of neutralization intended to subvert the collection of personal information....
Also available by G.T. Marx are Sex, Truth and Video Tapes: The Case of the French Babysitter, a case study, and Technology and Social Control: The Search for the Illusive Silver Bullet, in which we are reminded that A well known, if often na´ve expression given social inequality, holds that where there is a will there is a way. This speaks to the role of human effort in obtaining goals. With the control possibilities made available by science and technology this may be reversed to where there is a way there is a will.
Hope, with cautions, from a socialist perspective: The Internet: Capitalism's extraordinary mistake
|"'Distorting moves' manipulate the surveillance collection process such that, while offering technically valid results, the inferences drawn from a test or inspection about performance, behavior or attribute are invalid. This contrasts with 'switching' in which the socially misleading inference involves identity."|
A State of Terror - How many 'terrorist' groups has your government established, sponsored or networked lately?
|"Elimination of privacy is the major threat that the Internet poses today, with associated implications for freedom of association. Modern technologies and systems are being designed to track Internet users wherever they are, with an accuracy of a few city blocks. For a technology that is nominally geography independent this is a major change."|
The good soldier - now there's a concept
|"What appears does not equal what is. Protest must be carried out in support of yourself upon a daily basis.|
Unity and empathy are our planet's best hope.
When the consequences are worth it, the odds are never too great."
I am you and you are me, XYZ to ABC. You, me, us, we are one.
(Pop Will Eat Itself, "XYZ", Care for Sanity album, BMG Records, 1990)
|"In Vietnam, a good American soldier there was defined by his countrymen as a stupid monster, and in many cases he probably was. Friendly fire deaths were rampant and the only time a soldier looked glamorous was when he was calling in an air strike, often on the wrong target. Technology was on the rise and the soldier was sinking.|
Soldiers seem old-fashioned now, like needles on record players.
We need peacekeepers, but actual soldiers? Canada doesn't have many of them. This annoys the United States, but it is beginning to make Canada look ahead of its time."
What to expect of this time, defined by me as Gaia Year 3, is of course uncertain. Heisenburg aside, trends and intuition are our best guides. In the short-term the trends are obvious: greater wealth disparities with the increasing poverty issues that that implies, a planetship absorbing increasing abuse from its' human inhabitants, our EuroCanadAmericicAustral (ECAA?) people requiring more from every social service whilst pirated wealth escapes true usefulness, indigenous cultures' ever-decreasing input, PanOptiCorp's ever-increasing output and, lest we forget, major water woes worldwide.
Intuition tells me that we are at The Cusp. The width of this intersection escapes prediction because we are not sure (Terrance McKenna notwithstanding) of the baseline (excepting its exponential appearance). The height is of course only relative since life = zero cannot be fathomed without undue distortion; and the direction is inescapable. What we are left with is intensity, which is not graphical in two dimensions.
Stretching our understanding to encompass drive (which is not the same as intention, a notably gaseous whim), the transcultural memeplex offers little solace. There are binary forces at play here, in which each yes/no is a potential; intelligibly indecipherable yet actually involved. Are we thus entirely lost?
A superb start in addressing Job is to recognise the question as mis-placed. Looking at only the post cold war period, the direction and height in our two dimentional model becomes directly apparent leaving the parameters of how long and how hard as needing a quantitative analysis.
The spread (how long) of what will commonly come to be known as "the singularity" is not even relevant, in the same way that we can observe retrospectively the defining moment of the invention of the printing press as of world-changing importance, and so the timeness may be left open to historical interpretation.
Each of us hope we are moving toward a common Friendliness, and an emphasis on responsible use of emerging technologies is vital in that endeavor. Eliezer Yudkowsky, Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, has dedicated the very fabric of his being in general, and his Very Large Brain in particular, to exploring methods of ensuring our safety when machine-based general artificial intelligence outgrows the sandbox of its creators.
This work, along with similar and equally important efforts to recognize and limit the dangers of nanotech, biotech and chemtech, are but thin gossamer attempting to hold a baby of unimagined and perhaps unimaginable dimension when mature. Resources that only can be assembled by society-wide concern are needed.
I will try to limit my distraction and talk to as many receptive people about this as I can. If you pick me up hitch-hiking into town for supplies be assured the conversation will turn to this or other dire predicaments facing our adolescent homogaian (sapient?) species - or perhaps whither the weather...
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Martin Rees, the UK Astronomer Royal, recently mentioned 'replicating nano-machines' as a potential cause of mankind's extinction. The irony-replete Washington Post mooned its discontent with the content of worry. Yet I can't help but be struck by the distance between (Bill) Joy's apocalyptic message and the humble materials chemists proudly assembling their quantum dots.
|"Here is the place where we mark the end of one cycle and the beginning of
another. It's an arbitrary placemark, but it's a communal placemark. A
time set aside by tradition to ask each other, and more importantly,
ourselves: "The wheel has turned; did it move forward?" One day, within
the year, set aside as a reminder of the cycle; like one second, within a
day, set aside for your alarm clock to ring in the morning.|
Evolution has direction, but no purpose. Purpose is the privilege of
intelligence alone. Are you taking advantage of it?"
Eliezer Yudkowsky - new year's koan
A mind-refreshing, short overview of the highly-hyped and little-understood Microsystems & Nanotechnology may help to clarify the necessity of concern - if only because of the overt exuberance of the possibilities.
|"Toyota currently uses nano-particles in its frames to make its cars lighter but more resilient, and Kraft Foods is in association with 15 universities and laboratories to develop food from the nanoscale up in line with its nano-technology initiative. There are no regulations to change things at the atom level, so this $45.5-billion industry is existing in the marketplace without regulations..."|
Life and Leadership: A Systems Approach concisely conveys Fritjov Capra's seminal message - lessons well heeded are we to breach the Wall.
Corporations and the Global Village is a review by Victor Ferkiss of The Future of Corporate Globalization: From the Extended Order to the Global Village. Author Jeremiah J. Sullivan prognosticates that our profligate profusion will probably lead to a version of McLuhan's vision. Note: ...this book was written before Enron and other corporate scandals showed how corrupt major American firms were.
|"In summary, the new understanding of life implies the following four lessons for the management of human organizations."|
|"...a shift from twentieth-century homo economicus rooted in a world of transactions aimed at future well-being to twenty-first-century communal man embedded in orderly, just, and virtue-enhancing processes focused on living well in the present."|