The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

 

I am a ridiculous person. Now they call me a madman. That would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent it, they are all dear to me now, even when they laugh at me—and, indeed, it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I could join in their laughter—not exactly at myself, but through affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as I look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh, how hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth! But they won’t understand that. No, they won’t understand it.

In old days I used to be miserable at seeming ridiculous. Not seeming, but being. I have always been ridiculous, and I have known it, perhaps, from the hour I was born.… Read the rest

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Our Government is Violent and Cruel Because We are Violent and Cruel

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Photo by Flickr user katesheets (CC)

“After all the analysis of the normalized dysfunction of democracy in America,” writes David Masciotra at Alternet, “launched with the assumption that the political system fails to represent the will of the people, the question remains: what if it actually does represent the will of the people? That the system is actually succeeding in upholding its representational promise might be the simplest and most probable answer to the mystery of America’s comatose slumber in a nightmare of torment for the oppressed and treasures for the oppressors.”

It seems police can get away with anything: choking men who have surrendered; shooting unarmed teens; knocking pregnant women to the ground. While the issues involving race, civil rights and the relationship between law enforcement and communities are essential for examination and correction, few are talking about how all of this fits into the larger pattern of America’s cultural decline and decay.… Read the rest

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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated: Wave-Particle Duality and Quantum Uncertainty Are Same Thing

Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Researchers have now shown that this 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise. Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore; CC-BY

“Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Researchers have now shown that this ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise.”

Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore; CC-BY

Via ScienceDaily:

Here’s a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

“The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system.

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‘The Interview’, A Sony False Flag Hack and Hollywood’s Empire of Mediocrity

Patrick Henningsen writes at  21st Century Wire:

ACTION: On Monday morning Nov. 24th, Sony employees log into their computers only to be greeted by a neon red skeleton on their monitor screens accompanied by the words, “#Hacked by #GOP,” (no, not the Republican Party), followed by lots of threats to release data and post Hollywood secrets online in text-sharing sites like PasteBin, frequented by ‘hactivists’.

Worst of all, the hack attack upset what is by far America’s utmost important group of individuals – actors (including the one in the White House).

The whole affair is said to be very traumatic for Angelina Jolie, and Adam Sandler, and has also exposed a bitter turf war between the agents of both Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson. So studio execs are panicking, actors are traumatized, narcissistic sensibilities have been rattled, and publicists are really stressed-out too.

To make matters worse, these unknown, nameless and faceless hackers also oppose the release of Sony’s new political ‘comedy’ (we’ll use that term loosely), entitled, The Interview, which lovingly portrays the violent assassination of North Korea’s Dear leader Kim Jong Un.

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WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Tips for Traveling Spies

CIAJust in time for spies traveling home for the holidays Yahoo News/AFP reports on a new disclosure from WikiLeaks showing how CIA does it:

WikiLeaks on Sunday released two CIA documents that offered tips to help spies maintain their cover while using false documents as they crossed international borders.

The two documents, dating from 2011 and 2012, are marked classified and “NOFORN,” which means they were not meant to be shared with allied intelligence agencies, WikiLeaks said.

The documents outline a number of strategies for agents to avoid secondary screening at airports and borders.

Some are obvious: don’t buy a one-way ticket with cash the day before flying. Others perhaps less so: don’t look scruffy while traveling on a diplomatic passport.

“In one incident during transit of a European airport in the early morning, security officials selected a CIA officer for secondary screening,” one of the documents reads.

“Although the officials gave no reason, overly casual dress inconsistent with being a diplomatic-passport holder may have prompted the referral.”…

[continues at Yahoo News/AFP]

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Misfiring in the brain’s control system linked to OCD

Allan Ajifo (CC BY 2.0)

Allan Ajifo (CC BY 2.0)

via Medical News Today:

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD) have frequent upsetting thoughts that they try to control by repeating certain rituals or behaviors.

Though healthy people also have rituals – including checking to see that the stove is off before leaving the house – people with OCD obsessively perform their rituals, even though they interfere with daily life.

“While some habits can make our life easier, like automating the act of preparing your morning coffee, others go too far and can take control of our lives in a much more insidious way, shaping our preferences, beliefs, and in the case of OCD, even our fears,” notes Prof. Trevor Robbins, a study author from the Department of Psychology at Cambridge.

He and Dr. Claire Gillan led a team of researchers to investigate the idea that compulsions in OCD result from an “overactive habit-system.”

Read Here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287291.php

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How One Indigenous Woman Took On a Multinational Mining Corporation… And Won

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Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

For over three years, indigenous Peruvian farmworker Maxima Acuña de Chaupe has refused to allow a U.S.-based multinational corporation to turn her land into an open-pit gold mine, withstanding multiple violent eviction attempts by corporate and state agents.

On Wednesday, Acuña de Chaupe finally saw victory when a Peruvian appeals court struck down a lawsuit levied by the Yanacocha mine—which is 51 percent owned by Colorado’s Newmont Mining Corporation—that had sought to expel and imprison the family for “invading” their own land.

The ruling is an important win in a case that has become a rallying point for local resistance to multinational plunder.

In 1994, Acuña de Chaupe and her family built their home in Tragadero Grande in the region of Cajamarca next to the Blue Lagoon of Celendin. This lake was sought after for the building of the open-pit Conga gold mining project—an extension of the one at Yanacocha.

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