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
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):
… Read the rest
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.
A lot of robot talk today, but this video is worth checking out.
… Read the rest
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.
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:
… Read the rest
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.
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)
Crime 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:
… Read the rest
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.
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
Why do the notorious Koch Brothers want to end so-called “Net Neutrality” (i.e., the rule that everyone should have equal access with equal speed to the Internet)? Jason Koebler investigates for Motherboard:
A mysterious conservative group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has been bombarding inboxes with emails filled with disinformation and fearmongering in an attempt to start a “grassroots” campaign to kill net neutrality—at one point suggesting that “Marxists” think that preserving net neutrality is a good idea.
The emails, which come with subject lines like “Stop Obama’s federal Internet takeover,” come from American Commitment, an organization that is nonprofit in name only and has been called out time and time again by journalists and transparency organizations for obscuring where it gets its funding.
In an email I received, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that reclassifying the internet as a public utility is the “first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether” and says that the FCC is plotting a “federal Internet takeover,” a move that “sounds more like a story coming out of China or Russia.”
The email, sent as an ad to people who have registered to read the Washington Times, asks readers to sign a petition asking FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to acknowledge that reclassifying the internet as a Title II utility is a “lawless Obama administration power grab.”
KERPEN SUGGESTS THAT RECLASSIFYING THE INTERNET AS A PUBLIC UTILITY IS THE ‘FIRST STEP IN THE FIGHT TO DESTROY AMERICAN CAPITALISM ALTOGETHER’
… Read the rest
“Americans have been getting faster and faster Internet speeds because of competition in the free economy, not because of anything the government has done,” the petition reads.
Want to know what it feels like to be electrocuted with a Taser (without actually experiencing it)? Photographer Patrick Hall filmed people’s reactions as they get tased with a handheld stun gun and their facial expressions tell you all you need to know:
Just what I wanted to hear after finishing up a reading binge of Philip K. Dick’s short stories.
via CNet (Please follow the link to read the entire article.):
… Read the rest
What have you done for society lately, huh? Nothing. It’s not your fault. You’re just past it. You should accept it. You just sit on the sofa all day, eating Kettles New York Cheddar chips and watching “Frasier” reruns.
-You’re strangling me.
-It’s for your own good. Well, for the good of us all, really.
And so might end a beautiful human life, one that promised so much and, as so many lives do, delivered slightly less.
Such is a scenario recently posited by Nell Watson at a conference in Malmo, Sweden. Watson is an engineer, a futurist, CEO of body-scanning company Poikos and clearly someone who worries whether engineering will always make life better.
The words ‘Occupy’, and the concept of the 99% and the 1% have become so enmeshed in our daily lives, hardly an American alive can deny their importance. Still, when pundits deign to look back upon the short history of the movement, and recent years’ progressive activism in general, they wonder “what good has it done”, and “where have they gone”, and “why couldn’t they just play by the rules?” The underlying implication is that such protests are somehow outside the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the political landscape, and therefore should be easily forgotten. But their ideas demand the attention of people everywhere, from Gezi Park to Taiwan, from Brazil to Ferguson, and anywhere citizens have been forced to exert their rights by literally occupying their own turf against tyrannical powers.… Read the rest