Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bush is Big in Middle East

Bush is Big in Middle East


Disliking Bush is one thing, but working up enthusiasm for Kerry is another - and there's little sign of that in the Middle East. What interests Arabs most is America's attitude towards the Palestinian people. Although the US under a President Kerry might be expected to re-engage in the peace process, Kerry's emphatically-declared support for Israel does not inspire Arabs with hopes of an even-handed approach.


Bush's messianic view, some argue, will bring more polarisation in the Middle East if he gets a second term, simultaneously benefiting the most impatient reformers and the Islamist militants: the reformers will be encouraged by continuing US pressure on Arab regimes, while al-Qaida and its likes will look to Bush for further help with their recruiting.


On the surface there would seem to be little to unite the Aryan racialists of the neo-Nazi movement with the terrorists of radical Islam. To the neo-Nazis, Muslims are almost all members of "inferior" races; and to the Islamic terrorists, the neo-Nazis are almost without exception either atheists or members of fringe quasi-Christian sects.But the reality is that there has been close cooperation between Muslim extremists and Fascists ever since the founding of the Nazi movement in the 1920`s. For all of their differences, Muslim extremists and Nazis have always been united by a common group of beliefs and goals: hatred of Judaism (and conventional Christianity), hatred of democracy, and a desire for the destruction of Israel and the United States.


Check it out: Bush is Big in Middle East

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Jungian Psychology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jungian psychology is a theory developed by Carl Gustav Jung, and is central to the Neopsychoanalytic school of psychology. Jungian psychology is geared largely toward the nature of symbolism and the effects of attachment upon the ability of people to live their lives in ignorance of their deeper "symbolic" natures. His ideas center around the understanding that a symbol loses its symbolic power when it is "attached" to a static meaning. The attached, and therefore static meaning renders an amorphous symbol (like the sphere or the ourobouros ) to a mere definition; no longer does it have the ability to be active in the mind as a "transformer of consciousness," free to associate with new experiences and thinking. "Symbolic power" transcends and permeates through all conscious thinking.

Key concepts

Jung is best known for his term "archetype" which connotes a structural view of psychological life. The term archetype can be understood as quite similar to — and was probably directly influenced by — Kant's term "a priori." Jung often seemed to view the archetypes as a sort of psychological organs, directly analogous to our physical, bodily organs: both being morphological givens for the species; both arising at least partially through evolutionary processes. Current Jungian-influenced thinking has explored nearly diametrically opposing paths from Jung's structural thinking. Some have pursued deeply structural views, along the lines of complexity theory in mathematics, and some have tried to work with Jung's ideas in a seeming post-structuralist way (most obviously, James Hillman). Jung's work with mythology and archetypes was one of the most significant influences on mythologist Joseph Campbell.

Perhaps the most important archetype to Jung would be what he termed the "self." It could be described as the ultimate pattern of psychological life; he characterized it as both the totality of the personality, conscious and unconscious, and the process of becoming of the whole personality. It could be described as both the goal of one's psychological life and that which pulls one toward it teleologically. One important point to note here about Jung's thinking is that he did not hold to be absolute the four-dimensional space-time continuum that we conventionally conceptualize (see synchronicity).

We can better understand Jung's views of the self by looking at two other archetypal or structural views that were highly important to him: the idea of "the opposites" and his work describing many old, largely despised and forgotten alchemical texts. Jung saw these texts as valuable psychological treatises rather than dry descriptions of arcane magical practices.

Clinical theories

Jung's writings have been of much interest to people of many backgrounds and interests, including theologians, people from the humanities, and mythologists. Jung often seemed to seek to make contributions to various fields, but he was mostly a practicing psychiatrist, involved during his whole career in treating patients. A description of Jung's clinical relevance is to address the core of his work.

Jung started his career working with hospitalized patients with major mental illnesses, most notably schizophrenia. He was interested in the possibilities of an unknown "brain toxin" that could be the cause of schizophrenia. But the majority and the heart of Jung's clinical career was taken up with what we might call today individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, in gross structure very much in the strain of psychoanalytic practice first formed by Freud.

It is important to state that Jung seemed to often see his work as not a complete psychology in itself but as his unique contribution to the field of psychology. Jung claimed late in his career that only for about a third of his patients did he use "Jungian analysis." For another third, Freudian analysis seemed to best suit the patient's needs and for the final third Adlerian analysis was most appropriate. In fact, it seems that most contemporary Jungian clinicians merge a developmentally grounded theory, such as Self psychology or Donald Winnicott's work, with the Jungian theories in order to have a "whole" theoretical repertoire to do actual clinical work.

Early in Jung's career he coined the term and described the concept of the "complex". Jung claims to have discovered the concept during his free association and galvanic skin response experiments. Freud obviously took up this concept in his Oedipus complex amongst others. Jung seemed to see complexes as quite autonomous parts of psychological life. It is almost as if Jung were describing separate personalities within what is considered a single individual. But to equate Jung's use of complexes with something along the lines of multiple personality disorder would be to stretch the point beyond breaking.

Jung saw an archetype as always being the central organizing structure of a complex. For instance, in a "negative mother complex," the archetype of the "negative mother" would be seen to be central to the identity of that complex. Which is to say, our psychological lives are patterned on common human experiences. Interestingly, Jung saw the Ego (which Freud wrote about in German literally as "the I", one's conscious experience of oneself) as a complex. If the "I" is a complex, what might be the archetype that structures it? Jung, and many Jungians, might say "the hero," that who separates from the community to some extent to ultimately carry the community further.

The "I" or Ego is tremendously important to Jung's clinical work. Jung's theory of etiology of psychopathology could almost be simplified to be stated as a too rigid conscious attitude towards the whole of the psyche. That is, a psychotic episode can be seen from a Jungian perspective as the "rest" of the psyche overwhelming the conscious psyche because the conscious psyche effectively was locking out and repressing the psyche as a whole. John Weir Perry's book The Farside of Madness explores and fleshes out this idea of Jung's very well.

Some major caveats: This is a psychological description of a psychotic episode. It is clear that Jung hypothesized a medical basis for schizophrenia that was beyond the understanding of the medical science of his day (and it must be said seems to still be beyond present medical science in any satisfactory sense). Twin studies and plenty of clinical material seem to point clearly to a medical basis for schizophrenia. It perhaps can best be said that schizophrenia is both medical and psychological. A medical understanding (again, as yet still lacking) would not change the fact that schizophrenia is lived by those who have it psychologically; that is to say, as theorists and scientists, we may be able to say that schizophrenia happens in genes, brains, and the electrochemical, but for one who has schizophrenia it also happens in their mind, which is to say psychologically. This is to say a purely medical treatment of major mental illness is inadequate, as is a purely psychological treatment of major mental illness.d some have tried to work with Jung's ideas in a seeming post-structuralist way (most obviously, James Hillman). Jung's work with mythology and archetypes was one of the most significant influences on mythologist Joseph Campbell.

Source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

100,000 Iraqi Deaths?

A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months after the U.S. invasion than would be expected based on the death rate before the war.

Click here for more.

Big Brother Wide Awake in California

Secretive, unaccountable company sits at the information-sharing nexus of the country's law enforcement agencies.

By A.C. Thompson

THE LAW ENFORCEMENT Intelligence Unit's digital file cabinet could be one reason anticorporate rebels like Jon Sellers of Berkeley's Ruckus Society and freelance rabble-rouser David Solnit have found badge-wearers tailing them from protest to protest over the past several years. Never heard of LEIU? Few have.

The secretive organization is headquartered on California Department of Justice property and receives its funding from an array of police agencies, which pour detailed information on criminals and suspected criminals into a central computer database. In the not-so-distant analog past, LEIU was caught keeping hundreds of three-by-five-inch index cards on political dissidents – anti-Vietnam War activists, labor leaders, civil rights crusaders, and the like – many of whom were guilty of nothing more serious than a traffic infraction.

Just what the organization is doing today is largely a mystery to anyone outside its very tightly controlled orbit. Though the group is bankrolled by taxpayer dollars and inextricably intertwined with the public sector, its status as a private, nonprofit corporation means it has to disclose almost nothing to the masses about its activities. Shielded from any kind of government oversight, LEIU is, in many ways, the ultimate spy agency: so sleek and quiet almost nobody knows it even exists.

"They're still around?" gasps John Crew, a police practices analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

But don't get the wrong idea. LEIU is just one well-concealed component of the surveillance and intel matrix that's taken shape since 9/11 (see sidebar), a golem that may prevent another horrific attack or may be dooming us to a dystopian future.


Start asking questions about LEIU, and you'll hit walls real quick. LEIU itself won't say much – and until recently the organization didn't even have a public Web site. The state Justice Department won't give up much either, even though it houses LEIU's computers and two state officials play key roles at LEIU.

Through a formal legal request to the San Francisco Police Department, the Bay Guardian was able to obtain a slim document titled "LEIU History, Purpose, and Operations," which offers a very brief background sketch. "In the mid 1950's, local and state law enforcement agencies around the United States recognized that there was no single agency responsible for receiving, collating, maintaining or disseminating information on organized crime subjects," it states. LEIU was born during a 1956 meeting in San Francisco attended by 26 police agencies looking to fill that void.

From its origins combating gangsters, it soon morphed into a clearinghouse for information on all types of criminal behavior, not to mention dissident political activity. By the 1960s the organization had become the bane of civil libertarians who'd gotten a few peeks at the kind of data LEIU was hoarding. As Sheila O'Donnell, a licensed private investigator based in Marin County and an expert on LEIU, puts it, "They were clearly only trying to stop the left. They were trying to stop people from organizing against the war."

The files of that era were blatantly political: one person's crime was being an "admitted active Muslim," another was guilty of being a "capable public speaker," and a third was a "longtime communist party member." In one instance, the SFPD forwarded LEIU info on a labor activist they spied walking picket lines.

Much of the info was bunk. "The lack of accuracy and plethora of unverified reports and innuendos in the LEIU's files prompted investigations of the LEIU by local, state and federal agencies," notes an LEIU timeline compiled by Political Research Associates, a well-respected Massachusetts-based think tank. "The federal General Accounting Office found that only a small percent of the information recorded on the LEIU cards could be completely documented."
Leaks about LEIU's spy-on-the-lefties program provoked a string of civil suits, including one in California brought by the ACLU, which in 1980 went to the state Supreme Court. The ACLU argued it should have access to LEIU's files since they were the work product of public servants and, in many cases, of dubious investigative value; the court told it to get lost.


Lately, LEIU has sought to cultivate a slightly more open, slightly less creepy image, probably, in part, because a crew of determined protesters crashed the group's convention last year in Seattle. It now has a public Web site, on which it's posted its current "Criminal Intelligence File Guidelines."

Those guidelines, which go out to LEIU's 240 agencies, pointedly exclude keeping tabs on people simply because they support "unpopular causes" or belong to a particular ethnic group. Still, the rules are pretty wide open. Any individuals or businesses "suspected of being involved" in criminal activity are fair game.

At this point LEIU monitors the whole spectrum of crime, tracking everything from loan-sharking to securities fraud to "destruction of property" and "threats to public officials and private citizens" – breadth that leaves plenty of room for domestic dissidents.

The lone document we received from the SFPD indicates the department pays at least $495 annually to belong to LEIU's network and can access information through a "secure internet site." It also notes that the SFPD should have, in its files, the LEIU constitution and by-laws, bulletins, an LEIU membership roster, and other information, none of which was provided to us, though we asked for that type of paperwork.

LEIU is registered as a California nonprofit corporation. Yet for some reason it hasn't filed its nonprofit tax returns – known as IRS 990 forms – with the state. "There should be a 990 for this organization because their gross receipts were over $25,000 for this particular year," Tony Salazar at the Registry of Charitable Trusts, the state office that oversees nonprofits, explains via e-mail. "A letter will be sent to the organization requesting their 990 form."

The group's articles of incorporation reflect its overlap between the private and public realms. A man named Bob Morehouse is listed as LEIU's chief financial officer. Morehouse is also an employee of the California Department of Justice, assigned to the department's investigations bureau.

At Justice, spokesperson Hallye Jordan told us Morehouse and another Justice staffer are paid by LEIU to maintain its database, which ties into two other regional computer networks.


As far as LEIU boss Dick Wright is concerned, the excesses of the '60s and '70s were all a big misunderstanding. Wright, a captain with the Simi Valley Police Department, tells us that there were few guideposts for police intelligence squads during those turbulent days, that nobody really knew just what was acceptable. He even tips his hat to the ACLU, saying its lawsuits helped to define exactly what's legal when it comes to collecting intel on Americans.

Today's LEIU is a different beast, Wright argues. "LEIU was one of the leaders in establishing intelligence standards that balance the needs of law enforcement with the right to privacy," he says.

At this point, LEIU maintains it has absolutely no interest in compiling dossiers on law-abiding citizens, no matter how divergent their political beliefs. "There are people out there who think LEIU is a secret organization trampling on people's rights," Wright says. "That's simply not true."

Still, he admits, political demonstrations pose a "thorny issue." LEIU compiles no files on protesters engaged in lawful First Amendment-protected activities – there has to be, Wright says, at least the intention to engage in criminal behavior.

This, of course, is just a little problematic: all cops have to do is say they "suspect" someone of planning to commit a crime, and they can start building a dossier accessible to other cops around the country, and even to agencies in Canada and Australia.

And there's another problem. What if a protester breaks the law but doesn't have the slightest intention of doing anything felonious? In other words, is LEIU compiling info on, say, middle-aged Buddhists and Quakers who stage a sit-in in front of a federal office building, or queer activists who organize a march without official permits?

Questions like these worry private investigator O'Donnell. "What they have been doing is antidemocratic," she rails. "I believe what they're doing now is the same thing they were doing in the '60s and '70s, only now they're using terrorism as a cover."

No way, Wright counters. "We don't intend to be secretive. The whole purpose is to facilitate the exchange of information on criminal organizations."

Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"Hobbit" Discovered: Tiny Human Ancestor Found in Asia

"Hobbit" Discovered: Tiny Human Ancestor Found in Asia
Hillary Mayell for National Geographic NewsOctober 27, 2004

Scientists have found fossil skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child (See pictures). The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia as recently as 13,000 years ago.

Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered bones of the miniature humans in a cave on Flores, an island midway between Asia and Australia.

Scientists have determined that the first skeleton they found belongs to a species of human completely new to science. Named Homo floresiensis, after the island on which it was found, the tiny human has also been dubbed by dig workers as the "hobbit," after the tiny creatures from the Lord of the Rings books.

The original skeleton, a female, stood at just 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall, weighed about 25 kilograms (55 pounds), and was around 30 years old at the time of her death 18,000 years ago.

Read the full story

The Jesus Landing Pad

It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the President's Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.

But now we know.

"Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," barked Pentecostal minister Robert G. Upton when asked about the off-the-record briefing his delegation received on March 25. Details of that meeting appear in a confidential memo signed by Upton and obtained by the Voice.

The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and Solomon's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.

Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."

Three weeks after the confab, President George W. Bush reversed long-standing U.S. policy, endorsing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank in exchange for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

In an interview with the Voice, Upton denied having written the document, though it was sent out from an e-mail account of one of his staffers and bears the organization's seal, which is nearly identical to the Great Seal of the United States. Its idiosyncratic grammar and punctuation tics also closely match those of texts on the Apostolic Congress's website, and Upton verified key details it recounted, including the number of participants in the meeting ("45 ministers including wives") and its conclusion "with a heart-moving send-off of the President in his Presidential helicopter."

Upton refused to confirm further details.

There is much more here: The Jesus Landing Pad

Monday, October 25, 2004

Northern Michigan

Can you see why I love it here?

The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect

Snip from the American Institute of Physics' Website:

In the 19th century, scientists realized that gases in the atmosphere cause a "greenhouse effect" which affects the planet's temperature. These scientists were interested chiefly in the possibility that a lower level of carbon dioxide gas might explain the ice ages of the distant past. At the turn of the century, Svante Arrhenius calculated that emissions from human industry might someday bring a global warming. Other scientists dismissed his idea as faulty. In 1939, G.S. Callendar argued that the level of both carbon dioxide and temperature had been rising, but most scientists found his arguments implausible. It was almost by chance that a few researchers in the 1950s discovered that global warming truly was possible. In the early 1960s, C.D. Keeling measured the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it was rising fast. Researchers began to take an interest, struggling to understand how the level of carbon dioxide had changed in the past, and how the level was influenced by chemical and biological forces. They found that the gas plays a crucial role in climate change, so that the rising level could gravely affect our future. (This essay covers only developments relating directly to carbon dioxide, with a separate essay for Other Greenhouse Gases. For related theoretical issues, see the essay on Simple Models of Climate. )

See The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect


Surveillance and the War on Terrorism What's in a name?
Jim Harper
Friday, October 15, 2004

Ask any CEO about the power of branding, and you'll get an earful. Most corporate chiefs would give anything to have the positive brand recognition of a Coke, a Kodak or a Google.

The architects of the surveillance state are using brand management, too, but with precisely the opposite purpose: to escape negative recognition. A case in point is a provision in an intelligence reform bill that passed the Senate last week. It calls for a "trusted" government surveillance network.

Few have forgotten the Defense Department's doomed surveillance proposal, Total Information Awareness. It would have comprehensively scanned the commercial activities and communications of all Americans in an attempt to weed out terrorists. It was lamely rebranded "Terrorism Information Awareness" before Congress terminated the program.

But Total Information Awareness may not stay dead all that long. The Senate intelligence bill, now being reconciled with similar House legislation, calls for a new "trusted information environment." The bill is, at best, ambiguous about how widely it would sweep as it conscripts privately held data for surveillance purposes.

Of course, Congress cannot decree that such a network will be "trusted." That is up to the American people. If government investigators are going to put citizens' eBay listings and credit-card records in the same pool as information about Hamas leaders, one doubts that trust will be forthcoming. And calling this surveillance network an "environment" will not make it more palatable either.

The idea for a "trusted" information network comes from a group assembled by the Markle Foundation, a New York nonprofit, that articulated such a program late last year. The group has tried to grab the high ground by painting opponents of comprehensive surveillance as anti-technology Luddites. Defending Total Information Awareness, the Markle group said, "We are disappointed that Congress found it necessary to ban research and development of technologies that would make use of privately held data."

But searching privately held data without a warrant is not a technology: It is a policy, and a bad one. The Markle group has analyzed the federal laws that control government access to private-sector information, a road map of sorts for law changes that will fold private data even further into national surveillance.

If there is to be a network, the mission should define the network, rather than the network defining the mission. Let there be networked delivery of warrants dealing with particular suspects, and networked responses to those warrants. Using technology consistent with the Constitution is perfectly acceptable, and there is no need for new legal authority if a network serves an existing legitimate purpose. But any technology that promises something "better" than law enforcement consistent with the Constitution -- well, that's just not better.

The rebranding of government surveillance programs continues with CAPPS II, the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System -- now called "Secure Flight." The Transportation Security Administration put together this intrusive traveler background-check system to fight a crucial battle in the war on terrorism, but one that has probably passed as the terrorists move to new techniques. CAPPS II fell under the weight of congressional scrutiny when it abjectly failed to provide adequate protections for due process, privacy and other interests, as found by a Government Accountability Office study.

When he announced the supposed end of CAPPS II, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge joked about putting a dagger through its heart. Even a wooden stake, garlic and holy water would not have worked, unfortunately, because his foe is far more resilient than any vampire or zombie. CAPPS III/Secure Flight is up and walking around. It will soon be tested using data commandeered from the airlines regarding everyone who traveled domestically during June 2004. CAPPS III shares many hallmarks of the failed CAPPS II, though little information about the program is available yet. Foremost, Privacy Act protections will not apply, due to a law enforcement/national security exception to the act. This treats every American who flew domestically during June 2004 as a terrorism suspect. Travelers will not be allowed to decline participation.

The CAPPS III/Secure Flight program places no limits on how long data will be retained. Mission creep will inevitably lead the program to maintain records of Americans' travels well beyond the time when there is a legitimate terrorism-prevention purpose.

Finally, CAPPS III will use data compiled by commercial data aggregators in ways that have yet to be defined. This is an end run around the Privacy Act that deserves debate before federal agencies assume it is acceptable. Renaming CAPPS II "Secure Flight" does not change or make its avoidance of the Privacy Act acceptable.

Some consumer data companies, retailers and Internet companies may view the government surveillance market as a good one for them. They should think twice. The companies that sell data to government for this purpose, and the companies that sell data to those companies, may find themselves needing to re- brand because of public revulsion at the practice.

Jim Harper is director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute (

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Wilhelm Reich's 'The Mass Psychology of Fascism', as scripted by the Surveillance Camera Players, is viewable here.

U. G. Krishnamurti

"If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place."

"Whether you are interested in Moksha, Liberation, Freedom, Transformation, you name it, you are interested in happiness without one moment of unhappiness, pleasure without pain, it is the same thing."

"We don't want to be free from fear. All that we want to do is to play games with it and talk about freeing ourselves from fear."

"Your constant utilization of thought to give continuity to your separate self is 'you'. There is nothing there inside you other than that."

"When the movement in the direction of becoming something other than what you are isn't there any more, you are not in conflict with yourself."

See U. G. Krishnamurti

Some call it Palestine, some Israel, but first it was Phoenicia

The original inhabitants of Jerusalem were Phoenician Canaanites. Jerusalem was originally a village built on a hill. The name "Urushalim is first found on Egyptian statues, circa 2500 B.C. "Urushalim", in fact is a word of Canaanite derivation; the prefix "uru", meaning "founded by", and the suffix "salem" or "Shalem," Phoenician Canaanite god of dusk. This evidence is reinforced by archaeology and by tablets found in Elba, Syria, dating back to 3000 B.C., on which the god Shalem being venerated in a city called Uruksalem is mentioned. The old name of the city Urushalim figures also in the Egyptian texts called Texts of Proscription of XII dynasty 'ws'mm pronounced in Akkadian language Urushalim city of god.

See Canaanite Phoenician Jerusalem, Urushalem, The City Founded by Shalem, Phoenician God of Dusk

Abstinence, Aggression and the Bush White House

Citing objections about health workers being allowed to discuss condom use, last year the US voted against a United Nations resolution to fund global AIDS education and prevention. Intriguingly, the only others voting with the States against the UN resolution were Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Syria and the Vatican.

See Make War Not Love: Abstinence, Aggression and the Bush White House

Moon Brings Novel Green Power to Arctic Homes

If successful, the project could herald far wider use of predictable tides in green energy and generate millions of dollars in orders. Windmills, by contrast, are useless in calm weather and have to be built to withstand hurricane-force winds.

See Moon Brings Novel Green Power to Arctic Homes

Tesla: The greatest hacker of all time

After setting up his lab, he tuned his gigantic Tesla coil through that year, trying to get it to resonate perfectly with the earth below. And the townspeople noticed those weird effects; Tesla was electrifying the ground beneath their feet on the return bounce of the wave.

See Tesla: The greatest hacker of all time

The Re-Education of Joseph Stiglitz

From 1997 to 2000, he served as senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank-a title that did not stop him from publicly criticizing the bank's sister institution, the International Monetary Fund. In a series of speeches and articles that culminated in a scathing April 2000 essay in The New Republic, Stiglitz blasted the IMF for being every bit as secretive, undemocratic and indifferent to the poor as its critics claimed.

See Rebel With a Cause: The Re-Education of Joseph Stiglitz

McKenna's "Stoned Ape" theory of human evolution

When a person takes small amounts of psilocybin visual acuity improves. They can actually see slightly better, and this means that animals allowing psilocybin into their food chain would have increased hunting success, which means increased food supply, which means increased reproductive success, which is the name of the game in evolution.

See McKenna's "Stoned Ape" theory of human evolution

America’s First Anti-Globalization Protest: The Boston Tea Party

"Resistance was organizing and growing and the Tea Act was the final straw. The citizens of the colonies were preparing to throw off one of the corporations that for almost two hundred years had determined nearly every aspect of their lives through its economic and political power. They were planning to destroy the goods of the world’s largest multinational corporation, intimidate its employees, and face down the guns of the government that supported it."

See America’s First Anti-Globalization Protest: The Boston Tea Party

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ancient City of Teotihuacan a Modern Battleground Between Conservationists, Wal-Mart

Published on Friday, October 22, 2004 by Knight-Ridder

Ancient City of Teotihuacan a Modern Battleground Between Conservationists, Wal-Mart
by Susana Hayward

SAN JUAN TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico - A Wal-Mart store rising near the 2,000-year-old pyramids of the Teotihuacan Empire has ignited the wrath of Mexican conservationists and nationalists, who say the U.S. retailer is destroying their culture at the foot of one of Mexico's greatest treasures.

Since news broke last May of Wal-Mart's plan to construct a 71,902-square-foot store near the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, the entranceway of the primordial city has turned into a carnival of demonstrators, most protesting the plans, though some welcoming the 180 jobs the store will bring.

Demonstrators wearing long feathered headdresses, bright indigenous costumes and loincloths dance around fires spewing incense and implore "gods" and the government to halt construction. Signs charge "Yankee Imperialism," "Foreign Invasion, Get Out!" and "We'll be here until victory."

An Aztec descendant spews incense into a fire during a protest against the construction of a Wal-Mart subsidiary in Teotihuacan, Mexico. (KRT Photo/Janet Schwartz)

The store, with 236 parking spots, is to open any day, but protests are snowballing and its future is uncertain.

On Wednesday, protesters blocked the entrance of Mexico's National Institute for Archaeology and History in Mexico City because it gave Wal-Mart its permit. They remained there Thursday, preventing employees from reporting for work.

On Tuesday, Gerardo Fernandez, a national director of Mexico's Democratic Revolutionary Party, filed charges with the federal attorney general's office to block the store. He charged that Wal-Mart damaged archaeological relics during construction, a crime subject to imprisonment, and accused government officials of illegally fast-tracking the project.

Last week, 63 prestigious artists and intellectuals, in a letter published in Mexican newspapers, asked President Vicente Fox to stop the structure. They see it as a battle pitting Mexico's heritage against encroaching U.S. influence. Wal-Mart is already Mexico's largest retailer, with 664 stores in 66 cities, with sales of $12 billion.

"The struggle for Teotihuacan is a war of symbols," they wrote. "The symbol of ancient Mexico against the symbol of transnational commerce; genetically modified corn against the Feathered Serpent (the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, Kukulcan in Mayan) and Mexico's traditional foods; the Day of the Dead against Halloween; skeletons against jack-o-lanterns."

Mysteriously abandoned around 700 A.D., Teotihuacan was called "the place where the gods were created" by the Aztecs, who re-encountered the city in 1300. The ethnicity of the builders is unknown.

"Don't small towns have the right to have access to the same level of quality goods that Mexicans have in larger cities?" Wal-Mart said in a statement late Wednesday. "Today, residents of Teotihuacan have to travel 15 miles to get to the closest department store."

Opponents see Wal-Mart's modern capitalism as an assault on native culture.

"Wal-Mart's aim is to destroy our identity, replace our symbols with the dollar sign," said Jaime Lagunez, 44, a molecular biologist. "The construction at Teotihuacan was made by the people who built their homes and temples with dignity."

Emanuel D'Herrera, who coordinates the Civic Front coalition, which has stopped other controversial projects, recently sued numerous government agencies for granting "an illegal" building permit.

Wal-Mart's subsidiary, Bodegas Aurrera, won its permit to build by arguing that the store's site lies outside the area that the United Nations' chief cultural agency, UNESCO, declared in 1987 was a World Heritage Site. The National Institute for Archaeology and History said excavations in 1984 confirmed that there was nothing of archaeological value in the area. Fox and local municipal officials reviewed the permits and endorsed them.

The permits required that inspectors from the archaeology institute be on site during construction. They also set a number of restrictions on everything from construction materials to the color of exterior paint. The store's height was limited to avoid obstructing the view of the nearby domes of the 1548 Church of St. John the Baptist.

On Aug. 25, archaeology institute inspectors found a 3-foot-square altar 1 foot under Wal-Mart's parking lot. The altar was excavated and conserved on-site, but it touched off new claims that the store was destroying archaeological treasures. Nevertheless, UNESCO gave the structure its blessing this week, as did the Paris-based International Council on Monuments and Sites, a group that advises UNESCO.

Noting the endorsements, Wal-Mart said: "We will continue investing, generating jobs and economic development to strengthen our vision, which is to contribute to improve the quality of life for Mexican families."

From the top of the 200-foot-tall Pyramid of the Sun, visited by tens of thousands of people annually, Wal-Mart is barely visible. On the ground, the construction site is humming as workers rush to install lighting, air conditioning, refrigerators - and shrubbery, intended to conceal the 30-foot-tall, ochre-colored building.

"I make good money here at Wal-Mart and live well," guard Jose Garcia said.

Martin Becerra, 50, who's worked on the store's construction and will work full time at the store when it opens, said he had a "great job, with better pay than in other places. We want to buy so many new things we haven't seen before."

Teotihuacan and Wal-Mart, centuries and cultures apart, share one thing in common: Both blossomed from trade.

Teotihuacan, which flourished between 250 and 600 A.D., controlled an intricate network of commercial routes that stretched north, west and south, reaching a thousand miles to the Classic Maya civilization of southeastern Mexico and Guatemala.

Tens of thousands were employed there in crafts. Some estimates say there were 100,000 traders. Among goods exchanged were valuable gray and green obsidian used in knives, instruments, mirrors and jewelry, and bartered for faraway sea salt, shells, Quetzal feathers, jade and chocolate.

No one knows why the civilization eventually failed, though no one doubts its sophistication; Teotihuacan's streets were aligned with the planets and stars.

In contrast, the modern town around it has a haphazard feel, and grazing sheep still stroll through it.

Mario Hernandez, 53, the owner of a small shop that sells sodas and chips, said most people welcomed Wal-Mart. He said he wasn't concerned about the retailer's reputation for putting smaller stores out of business or the alleged threat to archaeological treasures.

"We are far enough from the archaeological site," he said. "We respect our roots, but we don't want to stop progress."

Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondent Janet Schwartz contributed to this report.

Source: Common Dreams News Center

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Northern European Shamanism

Shamanism has come to be associated almost exclusively, in American popular thinking, with the aboriginal inhabitants of the Americas. This not only inaccurately reflects the extent of shamanism's practice (it is found from Australia to the Arctic) but also, sadly, contributes to a neglect by those of European descent of the shamanic practices of their own ancestors.

One cause of this neglect has been the carefully fostered image of Europe as the wellspring of Western Civilization, by which tribal origins and traditional life are often glossed over. However, I was delighted to discover, when I examined ancient sources, that I did not need to borrow from other traditions; it is clear that tribal Europe had as strong a shamanic tradition as, for example, any of the American Indian tribes. It is fitting that other people, too, of European descent examine this European Shamanic tradition; it is a rightful part of our heritage so there need be no accusations of theft or exploitation, and its images and symbols ring more truly in our collective unconscious than those of other cultures.

This is a survey of a few shamanic elements that occur within Western shamanic traditions, obscured as they are by time and cultural discontinuity. I will be using material from many Northern European cultures, on the assumption that each one may have retained some element that the others have lost. The similarities between them all have convinced me that there actually was, once, a unified European system, and Hilda R. Ellis Davidson, in Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe (1988), shows in depth how the Celts and the Germanic tribes were at one time, before the establishment of the Roman empire, one people.

See Northern European Shamanism

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Society of the Spectacle

Self-proclaimed leader of the Situationist International, Guy Debord was certainly responsible for the longevity and high profile of Situationist ideas, although the equation of the SI with Guy Debord would be misleading. Brilliant but autocratic, Debord helped both unify situationist praxis and destroy its expansion into areas not explicitly in line with his own ideas. His text The Society of the Spectacle remains today one of the great theoretical works on modern-day capital, cultural imperialism, and the role of mediation in social relationships.

See The Society of the Spectacle


Considered by many to be the "bible" of the emerging global Living Democracy Movement, When Corporations Rule the World has become a modern classic with a message that seems increasingly prophetic with each passing day. Its central message is a clear and unequivocal wake up call to humanity. The global economy has become like a malignant cancer, advancing the colonization of the planet's living spaces for the benefit of powerful corporations and financial institutions. It has turned these once useful institutions into instruments of a market tyranny that is destroying livelihoods, displacing people, and feeding on life in an insatiable quest for money. It forces us all to act in ways destructive of ourselves, our families, our communities, and nature. This destructive process is driven by a combination of institutional forces and an extremist ideology of corporate libertarianism that invokes the theories of Adam Smith and market economics to advance policies that systematically undermine both the market and democracy.

Human survival depends on a community-based, people-centered alternative beyond the failed extremist ideologies of communism and capitalism. This alternative is already being created through the initiatives of millions of people around the world who are taking back control of their lives and communities to create places where people can live and grow in balance with the living earth. When Corporations Rule the World provides an agenda of national and global reforms by which we may reclaim our power to localize economies while globalizing consciousness.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Reminiscent of the Origins of Consciousness?

This is from three years ago.

"Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems."

See IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History

Please don't call them gypsies..

There are more than twelve million Roma located in many countries around the world. There is no way to obtain an exact number since they are not recorded on most official census counts. Many Roma themselves do not admit to their true ethnic origins for economic and social reasons. The Roma are a distinct ethnic minority, distinguished at least by Rom blood and the Romani, or Romanes, language, whose origins began on the Indian subcontinent over one thousand years ago. No one knows for certain why the original Roma began their great wandering from India to Europe and beyond, but they have dispersed worldwide, despite persecution and oppression through the centuries.

There have been several great migrations, or diaspora, in Romani history. The first was the initial dispersal from India about a thousand years ago. Some scholars suggest there may have been several migrations from India. The second great migration, known as the Aresajipe, was from southwest Asia into Europe in the 14th century. The third migration was from Europe to the Americas in the 19th and early 20th centuries after the abolition of Romani slavery in Europe in 1856-1864. Some scholars contend there is a great migration occurring today since the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.

See A Brief History of the Roma

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The WE Story

Beyond Cluetrain Conversation: The WE Story

I need a larger canvas, but this itty-bitty postcard-sized blog will have to do for now. I want to present the tiniest of snippets of a powerful chapter "Telling the WE Story" in the book, The Art of Possibility. This is true conversation. It's beyond Cluetrain. As Drucker notes, you can be having a conversation - yes, even with a human voice - and yet no communication occurs.

I often struggle to connect two disparate (divisive entrenched) sides - build bridges - evangelize - market - relate. So the timing is impeccable. I'll draw from it again in more posts I'm working on. If you have a chance, read at least this chapter in its entirety - I've had to leave out all the stories and anecdotes and so much more. Snippet below:

More often than not history is a record of conflict between an Us and a Them. We see this pattern expressed across a broad spectrum: nation to nation, among political parties, between labor and management, and in the most intimate realms of our lives...What can we invent that will take us from an entrenched posture of hostility to one of enthusiasm and deep regard?

To begin the inquiry, we have distinguished a new entity that personifies the "togetherness" of you and me and others. This entity, the WE, can be found among any two people, in any community or organization, and it can be thought of, in poetic terms, as a melody running through the people of the earth. [Is this amazing, another musical metaphor?] It emerges in the way music emerges from individual notes when a phrase is played as one long line, in the way a landscape coalesces out of the multicolored strokes of an Impressionist painting when you get some distance, and in the way a "family" comes into being when a first child is born. The WE appears when, for the moment, we set aside the story of fear, competition, and struggle and tell its story.

The WE story defines a human being in a specific way: It says we are our central selves seeking to contribute, naturally engaged, forever in a dance with each other. It points to relationship rather than to individuals, to communication patterns, gestures, and the in-between. Like the particle-and-wave nature of light, the WE is both a living entity and a long line of development unfolding. This new being, the WE of us, comes into view as we look for it - the vital entity of our company, or community, or group of two. Then the protagonist of our story, the entity called WE, steps forward and takes on a life of its own.

By telling the WE story, an individual becomes a conduit for this new inclusive entity, wearing its eyes and ears, feeling its heart, thinking its thoughts, inquiring into what is best for US. This practice points the way to a kind of leadership based not on qualifications earned in the field of battle, but on the courage to speak on behalf of all people and for the long line of human possibility...

Usually what we mean by the pronoun "we" is "you-plus-I," so the questions "What shall we do?" or "What will work for us?" generally refer to a compromise between what you want and what I want...

The practice of the WE offers an approach to conflict based on a different premise. It assumes there are no fixed wants nor static desires, while everything each of us thinks and feels has a place in the dialogue...

Traditional methods of resolving conflict, all the I/You approaches, tend to increase the level of discord because they attempt to satisfy the dictotomous positions people take, rather than providing the means for people to broaden their desires. I/You methods deprive people of the opportunity to wish inclusively. They do not give people the chance to want what the story of the WE says we are thirsting for: connecting to others through our dreams and visions.

While the WE practice can enhance any aspect of your life, it also poses a risk. It is not a technique for arriving at a decision based on known quantities; it's an integrative process that yields the next step. It asks you to trust that the evolution you set in motion will serve you over the long line. What happens after that is not in your control, but springs spontaneously from the WE itself.

More here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Secret Traditions of Islam

The initiatic journey to Islamic soil has been a repeated theme of European esotericism, ever since the Templars settled in Jerusalem and the mythical Christian Rosenkreuz learnt his trade in "Damcar" (Damascus). We find it in the lives of Paracelsus and Cagliostro, then, as travel became easier, in a whole host that includes P. B. Randolph, H. P. Blavatsky, Max Theon, G. I. Gurdjieff, Aleister Crowley, Rene Guenon, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, and Henry Corbin. There was very likely some element of this in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign of 1797, when he announced to an astounded audience that he, too, was a Muslim..
- Joscelyn Godwin

See Secret Traditions of Islam

Monday, October 11, 2004

Escaping the Matrix

The academic term for laissez-faire economics is “economic liberalism,” and hence the Reagan-Thatcher revolution has come to be known as the “neoliberal revolution.” It brought a radical change in actual reality by returning to the economic philosophy that led to sweatshops, corruption, and robber-baron monopolies in the nineteenth century. It brought an equally radical change in matrix reality – a complete reversal in the attitude that was projected regarding government. Government policies had always been criticised in the media, but the institution of government had always been respected – reflecting the traditional bond between capitalism and nationalism. With Reagan, we had a sitting president telling us that government itself was a bad thing. Many of us may have agreed with him, but such a sentiment had never before found official favour. Soon, British and American populations were beginning to applaud the destruction of the very democratic institutions that provided their o­nly hope of participation in the political process.

See Beyond Left and Right - Escaping the Matrix for more.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Now, KERRY's Hometown Paper Endorses Bush

What a political circus. O­ne nominee for the president has his hometown paper endorse his rival and then the other's hometown paper endorses HIS rival. Is this some kind of joke? What are the chances? Is this some experiment? Is the Skull and Bones society so strong that they are able to manipulate papers across the nation? Is this the kind of hype designed to augment the sense of rivalry between the two candidates? That is the kind of thing that would be necessary to maintain a sense of legitimacy about the election, with two Skull and Bonesman running against each other, with electronic voting machines making it easier to fix an election, and with what is, actually, little difference, overall, in the two's platforms (what few differences there are may be important ones - granted). May we live in interesting times indeed!

See Now, KERRY's Hometown Paper Endorses Bush

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Statement by Ralph Nader before the Skull and Bones Headquarters

When asked about their membership in Skull and Bones, George W. Bush o­nly said “it’s so secret I can’t talk about it.” Kerry was asked what it meant that both he and Bush are Bonesmen, he responded, “Not much because it’s a secret.”

See Statement by Ralph Nader before the Skull and Bones Headquarters

The Founding of the American Republic: The Enlightenment Impetus

The natural law philosophy is grounded in metaphysics. That is, it is grounded in something beyond the physical; it is not accessible to the senses directly. No o­ne can see, hear, taste, feel (tactilely), or smell natural laws. If they are real, their reality is vouchsafed in some fashion other than through direct sensual contact. Their reality should not be understood as a becoming, either, as made up of ideals which may be fulfilled in the course of time. The founders of these United States were not idealists in this sense; they did not conceive of natural laws as something it would be desirable to see established. o­n the contrary, they were understood as being already everywhere established, inviolable, and finished.

See The Founding of the American Republic: The Enlightenment Impetus

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Viral & Buzz Marketing Association: Marketing or Mind Control?

According to PR Newswire and Yahoo Newswire, there is a new mission and new principles over at the Viral + Buzz Marketing Association (VBMA). To follow is a verbatim of the press release if you would like to take a gander. The fact that it is based o­n London, UK, and that it is Viral and Buzz marketing makes me think of that fine visionary novel by William Gibson called Pattern Recognition, which partly took place in London -- or at least Blue Ant and all the Viral Marketing did. Blue Ant was a very fancy London agency that, among other things, buzz markets using meatspace guerilla marketing strategies, such as putting pretty girls into bars to order name-brand vodkas. The main focus is a higher-level buzz marketing strategy that results in a worldwide whirlwind of film clips and subtext and a cult-like obsession with an elusive underground movie that really must mean something. By whom was it made and why? Talk about buzz marketing! Source, Loins

More here.

GW's Hometown Paper Endorses Kerry, Publishes Searing Criticism of Bush

The primary newspaper in George W. Bush's hometown has endorsed John Kerry for president. Here is a searing editorial from that newspaper. The publishers write: "Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq."

More here.

Arctic sea ice declines again in 2004, according to U. of Colorado study

The latest satellite information indicates the September 2004 sea ice extent was 13.4 percent below average, a reduction in area nearly twice the size of Texas, said Mark Serreze of CU-Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC. In 2002, the decline in arctic sea ice during September -- which traditionally marks the end of the summer melt season -- was about 15 percent, a record low, said CU-Boulder researcher Walt Meier of NSIDC.

See Arctic sea ice declines again in 2004, according to U. of Colorado study


Dear Mr. President: As professors of economics and business, we are concerned that U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since you took office in January 2001. Real GDP growth during your term is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower now than at the time of your inauguration. The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.

Yep. You read that right. Here's the text and the signatories.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

JFK Assasination - Chomsky Excerpt


"The doctrines of the faith, in the case of the JFK assassination debate, are quite restrictive: in short, there is no debate. The case is closed. Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. There was no conspiracy. Anyone who says that there was a conspiracy is 'God forbid' a "conspiracy theorist" and anyone who believes in conspiracy theories might potentially be the kind of person who would blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City and murder 168 innocent men, women and children. That is precisely the argument put forth in the 'mainstream' media following that tragedy."

See: JFK Assasination - Chomsky Extract

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Mystical Core of the Great Traditions

Six great religions have shaped the major civilizations that exist today: the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and the three Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism/Confucianism). These religions seem to be quite at odds with each other when we look at their outer, or exoteric, forms.....If we dig more deeply, however, we find within each of these religious traditions an inner, or esoteric, stream of teachings given by their mystics—those men and women who claim to have had a direct Realization, or Gnosis, of the Ultimate Nature of Reality.

See The Mystical Core of the Great Traditions

Monday, October 04, 2004

Mushroom cloud photographed in Utah.

Survival Research Laboratories

San Francisco-based SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES was conceived and founded by Mark Pauline in November, 1978. Since its inception SRL has operated as a volunteer organization of creative technicians dedicated to redirecting the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry and science away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or warfare. Since 1979 SRL has staged over 42 mechanized presentations in the United States and Europe . Each performance consists of a unique set of ritualized interactions between employed in developing machines, robots, and special effects devices themes of sociopolitical satire. Humans are present o­nly as audience or operators .

See Survival Research Laboratories



Countless cultures around the world have disappeared, along with the myths that once united them. Authors Stanley Krippner, Ann Mortifee and David Feinstein write in The Futurist of the need of creating a new unifying mythic vision for the future-using the word "myth" in the sense of an expression of the customs, traditions, institutions, attitudes, etc., of a people:

If we are going to avoid the fate of the Easter Islanders, we must change the myths that are leading us toward extinction and find inspiring visions of a plausible and appealing future. The old myths have collapsed, but no new ones have emerged to fill the vacuum. For transformation to occur, human beings must actively shape the future, an enterprise that goes to the heart of mythmaking. If we are each a cell in what Peter Russell calls "The Global Brain", then this is an individual as well as a collective venture.

Framing a problem in mythological terms can point toward solutions at deeper mythic levels. For centuries, the guiding myth of Western culture has been what might be called the "Grand Narrative of Progress." It is the story of movement toward a goal-achievement, improvement, and conquest. Modern science and technology have propelled this myth, extending the human life-span, harnessing natural resources and the power of the atom, carrying sounds through the atmosphere, and exploring outer space by defying gravity itself….

But as the Grand Narrative of Progress came to dominate other values and views, it cast a malignant shadow….Indeed, the Grand Narrative of Progress is a myth that stands in need of criticism…

Philosopher Sam Keen has urged us to shift from the myth of progress to a myth of sustainable growth in order to create the compassionate political order needed to avert humanity from its self-destructive course. Keen has identified some of the radical changes in values and principles of political action needed to achieve the myth of sustainable growth. They include:

Shifting personal identity from the egocentric to the community-rooted person.

Shifting from competition to economic co-operation.

Shifting from sanctified violence and the myth of just wars to peaceful means of conflict resolution.

Shifting from population explosion to zero population growth.

Shifting from a secular view of nature as raw material to the belief that nature is sacred.

Shifting from a world divided between the poor and the rich to a more just distribution of wealth and resources….

Yet, if systems design and policy planning veer away from the Scylla of the Grand Narrative of Progress and the Charybdis of the a Millennium Myths, it is still possible to foster mythologies based on sustainability and connection. The inhabitants of Island Earth can avoid the fate of the Easter Islanders as we set sail for the twenty-first century.

More here.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Behind the Attack on Alternative Medicine and the Natural Health Movement

One vitamin supplier in Scandinavia was pursued by police for supplying vitamin C tablets that exceeded 200mg. In other words, the amount of vitamin C contained in three oranges made this supplier a criminal. Further to that, possession of o­ne popular supplement, DHEA, in Canada now attracts the same penalties as crack cocaine. The Canadian regulator is now empowered to classify any substance as a drug, even if it is a food that has been safely consumed for millions of years. They have the power to recall or remove it from the market.

See Behind the Attack on Alternative Medicine and the Natural Health Movement

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fair Expectations

George W. has always o­nly had to "exceed expectations", which are always set low to begin with. He has never actually had to "win" a debate; he wins by not losing, or in some cases, even by not losing badly.


Fair Expectations

Seduced by the Image of Reality

Whatever each us may be looking for, we all tend to pursue our desires by pursuing images: symbols of the things we desire. We buy leather jackets when we want rebellion and danger. We purchase fast cars not for the sake of driving fast, but to recapture our lost youth. When we want world revolution, we buy political pamphlets and bumper stickers. Somehow we assume that having all the right accessories will get us the perfect lives. And when we construct our lives, we often do it according to an image, a pattern that has been laid out for us: hippie, businessman, housewife, punk.


Seduced by the Image of Reality

Friday, October 01, 2004

Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided by Federal Government

Freak Radio has been raided after almost 10 years of broadcasting for the Santa Cruz community and listeners around the world via o­nline streaming, and has received strong support from community members, including the Santa Cruz Mayor and City Council: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in defiance of federal regulation.

See Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided by Federal Government

The War and the Spectacle

"Socially and psychologically repressed, people are drawn to spectacles of violent conflict that allow their accumulated frustrations to explode in socially condoned orgasms of collective pride and hate. Deprived of significant accomplishments in their own work and leisure, they participate vicariously in military enterprises that have real and undeniable effects."

See The War and the Spectacle

Organic farming a realistic alternative

"Crop yields, on average, were 20 per cent lower using organic methods, but they required 56 per cent less energy per unit of yield. Organic plots also had 40 per cent greater colonization by fungi that help plants absorb nutrients, three times as many earthworms and twice as many pest-eating spiders."

See Organic farming a realistic alternative


Imagine being able to land a jumbo jet without ever taking control of the stick. NASA scientists recently demonstrated the ability to control a 757 passenger jet simulation, using only human muscle-nerve signals linked to a computer.

Please see Wetware, a compilation of snips I assembled some time ago.

Also see:


Transhumanism: The New Master Race?

Don't be duped by post-debate spin

Several recent media reports have addressed the role post-debate spin played in the 2000 presidential campaign. O­n September 29, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz recalled how Republicans succeeded in shifting the media's focus after the first debate; o­ne day before, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted that "after a few days, Mr. Bush's defeat in the debate had been spun into a victory"; and o­n September 26, TIME magazine correspondents Karen Tumulty and John F. Dickerson wrote: "It wasn't until a day or two after the first debate in 2000 that the analysis turned to Gore's exaggerated claims and his patronizing sighs. ... A study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center found nonviewers' opinions of Gore eroding as the coverage of his manner grew more negative."


How the GOP Spin Machine Changed Viewers Opinions After the 2000 Debates