Sick of this market-driven world? You should be

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting read from The Guardian about neoliberalism and its erosion of human values within the market.

via The Guardian:

The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate

To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. It can be achieved only through a disavowal of what surrounds you. To be at peace with yourself within a troubled world: that, by contrast, is an honourable aspiration. This column is for those who feel at odds with life. It calls on you not to be ashamed.

I was prompted to write it by a remarkable book, just published in English, by a Belgian professor of psychoanalysis, Paul Verhaeghe. What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society is one of those books that, by making connections between apparently distinct phenomena, permits sudden new insights into what is happening to us and why.

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David Lynch Does Ice Bucket Challenge and Nominates Vladimir Putin

Instead of being vague and click-baiting everyone, I went ahead and put the spoiler in the headline. I don’t want to make everyone watch yet another ice bucket challenge video. But I wanted to share because, after all, it is David Lynch. Besides, often will you get to see Lynch playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow horribly on a trumpet as iced espresso is dumped over his head?

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Scottish Independence: Why I Changed From a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes.’

scotland[disinfo ed.'s note: A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014.]

I despise nationalism. I despise patriotism. I hate bagpipes, I hate kilts and tartan and I hate the cringe inducing shouts of “wha’s like us” in bars across the nation at closing time on drunken Saturday nights. I love the other countries we share this little island with. I am not what you could ever call a patriot or a nationalist and I would call myself European long before I’d ever call myself Scottish. I believe in cultural and ethnic integration. I believe in a world where nationalities blur into one another rather than divide on tribal lines. I have been, until fairly recently, a staunch ‘No’ voter. However, all things considered, I now feel I am left with no choice but to vote Yes in the forthcoming referendum.… Read the rest

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Ralph Nader: How Corporate Espionage on Nonprofit Watchdogs Goes Unpunished

Ralph_Nader_in_Waterbury_12,_October_4,_2008

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaking at a campaign event in Waterbury, CT at 195 Grand St. By Sage Ross via Wikimedia Commons.

Just thought the Disinfo crowd might find this piece interesting. It was posted originally on AlterNet, so click through the link to read the entire thing.

via AlterNet:

Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: corporations conduct espionage against US nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.

Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.

The evidence abounds.

For example, six years ago, based on extensive documentary evidence, James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones on a major corporate espionage scheme by Dow Chemical focused on Greenpeace and other environmental and food activists.

Greenpeace was running a potent campaign against Dow’s use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics.

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James Randi’s “Evidence” Against ESP Turns Out to Be Fabricated

James-Randi-LIAR

Some Disinfonauts might recall that last month I posted a rather scathing commentary in regards to the career of blow-hard skeptical debunker James Randi. Of course I hope people realize that I write polemic rants like this to reflect the negativity that the closed minded “skeptical” community, hardline materialist types, and religious people alike have been directing at anyone with alternate spiritual practices for the vast majority of recorded history. We deal with this condescension constantly and to pretend there isn’t a bias against things like Shamanism, the Occult, or Psi is sort of like pretending there’s no homophobia or misogyny, or that racism is just a thing of the past. For the record, we’re not talking about a fictional “sky-god” but rather the potentiality of the human imagination. It’s incredibly bizarre how many people desperately want to believe that this potentiality doesn’t exist and will eat up anything that reinforces this deeply held belief no matter how short on facts or evidence their claims happen to be.… Read the rest

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The Feds Continue to Spread Misinformation About Marijuana

Some cannabis bud, which is well-cured (i.e. dried slowly following a specific procedure). The strain is Sweet Tooth #3

Some cannabis bud, which is well-cured (i.e. dried slowly following a specific procedure). The strain is Sweet Tooth #3

Or maybe it’s more disinformation than misinformation. Either way, I’m guessing that none of you are surprised.

via AlterNet (Please follow the link to read the entire piece):

In her latest blog post, US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that “science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?

Writes Volkow: “Besides being addictive, marijuana is cognitively impairing even beyond the phase of acute intoxication and regular use during adolescence may cause a significant, possibly permanent IQ loss.”

Or, more than likely, it may not. In fact, the very study Volkow relies on to make this questionable claim was publically repudiated in a 2012 review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Watch a Robot Ride a Hovercycle

Screenshot from video below.

Screenshot from video below.

A lot of robot talk today, but this video is worth checking out.

via Popsci:

A white plastic robot zooms a hoverbike over the English countryside, grains blowing beneath the bike’s four fans. The robot’s 3-D printed body is lightweight, and where its face would be there’s a GoPro camera instead, filming the flight. This isn’t a scene from a dystopian science fiction movie; The bike is less than four feet long, and combined robot and bike weighs a maximum of 15.4 pounds. Created by Malloy Aeronautics, the Drone 3 hoverbike is a 1/3rd scale model of the version ultimately intended for human pilots and passengers.

The hoverbike is available as a reward for Kickstarter backers pledging just shy of $1000 USD. The campaign, which concludes on August 31st has already surpassed its goal. Making and selling Drone 3 is just the first part of the plan for Malloy Aeronautics.

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World Health Org Wants Ban On Electronic Cigarettes Indoors

Jessica Nyx Smoking - 2013 AVN Expo Photos Las Vegas (8413506464)I recently was seated on a full airplane next to a nervous man chain-smoking an e-cig (electronic cigarette). Sunlight streaming through the window easily showed the vapor emission, and I could just as easily smell its sickly sweet odor. To say that I wasn’t thrilled to be inhaling his second hand e-cig “smoke” would be an understatement. The World Health Organization (WHO) now confirms my suspicion that you really don’t want to breathe in this stuff, reports BBC News:

The World Health Organization says there should be a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors and that sales to children should stop.

In a report the health body says there must be no more claims that the devices can help smokers quit – until there is firm evidence to support this.

WHO experts warn the products might pose a threat to adolescents and the foetuses of pregnant women.

But campaigners say regulations must be proportionate.

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Only the Strong Survive: Fear, Stereotypes, and Myths

This is an excerpt from “Don’t Believe It! How Lies Become News” by Alexandra Kitty.

Only the Strong Survive (snippet from Chapter Nine: Fear, Stereotypes, and Myths)

533936Crime and tragedy befall many people, yet not all their stories make the news. So what separates newsworthy grief from the nameless variety? The newsworthy misfortune should be violent, cruel, unexpected and have a photogenic and winsome victim.

A crime meeting those requirements befell a young, attractive, upwardly mobile Boston couple expecting their first child. A husband and his pregnant lawyer wife seemed to be doing everything right, yet something went horribly wrong on their way home from the hospital. To the middle class posse, it was an unspeakable crime: nice, well-heeled couples weren’t supposed to get attacked after attending a birthing class.

The chilling details were recounted in the October 24, 1989 edition of the Boston Globe:

A Reading man and his pregnant wife were shot in Roxbury last night by a gunman who forced his way into their car after the couple left Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Propaganda Posters

U.S. Patriotism Poster

U.S. Patriotism Poster

One of my favorite things to collect are old propaganda posters. There’s something both chilling and comforting in the way that the systems of power have so crassly and transparently strived to manipulate us, using incredibly similar techniques for so many generations. And, of course, the illustration work is as fascinating as the history behind it.

Some associates have started a new resource for collecting together these old images, and I hope it will become a more robust database as time goes on. If Disinfonauts are interested, it’s free to edit and easy to upload images and info to propaganda.silk.co. As of writing this, so far there are only categories for US and UK WWII art, so I hope people soon add WWI, the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet posters and anything else that is historically significant and visually stimulating. It may also become a good forum for discussing what propaganda is and how it works.… Read the rest

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