Archive | News

China’s Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans


Jay Stanley, writing for the ACLU:

China is launching a comprehensive “credit score” system, and the more I learn about it, the more nightmarish it seems. China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, “authoritarianism, gamified.” Read this piece for the full flavor—it will make your head spin. If that and the little other reporting I’ve seen is accurate, the basics are this:

  • Everybody is measured by a score between 350 and 950, which is linked to their national identity card. While currently supposedly voluntary, the government has announced that it will be mandatory by 2020.
  • The system is run by two companies, Alibaba and Tencent, which run all the social networks in China and therefore have access to a vast amount of data about people’s social ties and activities and what they say.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

University of Minnesota owes mistreated psychiatric subjects an apology

University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus
I think they owe a little bit more than a paltry apology.

Carl Elliott via StarTribune:

Thanks to a former Fairview Hospital patient with the courage to speak out about his mistreatment, the University of Minnesota is finally ending a controversial research practice. As of last month, the university will no longer test experimental drugs on mentally ill patients who have been involuntarily confined to a locked psychiatric unit under a 72-hour hold (“U halts recruiting of confined patients,” Sept. 26).

Yet instead of thanking the patient who spoke out, or apologizing for recruiting him under coercive conditions, the university has done its best to discredit him.

In July 2007, Robert Huber came to Fairview for help. He was hearing voices and feeling panicked. His treating psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Olson, used a 72-hour emergency hold to confine Huber to a locked psychiatric unit. Then Olson asked Huber to sign up for a research study testing an experimental drug.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Trade 4 People

Trade deals should work for the people that they affect – duh!

But it’s amazing how much they don’t – haven’t and won’t.

With the TPP deal now finalized, we ramp up the fight against all these corporate takeovers masquerading as “free trade” deals.


View the full episode

Read the rest

Continue Reading

PolitiCon in Los Angeles, TYT, and Industry Talk with Babs Romen

From the Indie Bohemians.

Greetings from Los Angeles! Ron Placone is in LA for the first-ever PolitiCon. He talks about the conference, the Young Turks studio, and the way he’s evolved towards southern California.

Angie Dorin rocks a Monkey Minute and Krish Mohan a FFON.

Later, Ron chats with Babs Romen. Babs is an LA-based Producer who has worked on projects such as the Green Room on Showtime, the Aristocrats, and Set List. She has worked for some of the top Talent Agencies in the world as well as for the legendary Comedy Store. Lastly, Ron attempts to befriend a stray cat.

If the above player doesn’t work, please go here.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

We Should All Be Weird as Fuck

“We Should All Be Weird as Fuck” says Renée Padgham at Medium, and who are we to argue with that, disinfonauts?

“You’re so weird,” they say, smiling at me. It doesn’t matter who they are – they are a slew of friends, acquaintances, teachers, store clerks, strangers becoming friends – 80% of everyone who has ever spoken to me in my life. “You know you like it,” I’ll smile back.

People Have Always Been Weird

But why? I’ve spent a lot of time journeying, mentally and physically, in the past year trying to figure myself out. How do I relate to people in a way that makes them happy? How do I relate to people in a way that makes me happy? What causes friction in my life? What causes acceleration? I moved to New York (and back), I travelled Europe (15 cities, 10 countries), and I most recently threw myself out into the desert to burn some man down (sorry bro).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Embracing the Call to Your Shamanic Initiation


Our friends at Evolver are hosting another Learning Lab. Here are the details:

Embracing the Call to Your Shamanic Initiation

Learn about initiation from leading shamanic practitioners trained in indigenous lineages from around the world.

Host: Itzhak Beery

Special Guests:

John Perkins
Oscar Miro-Quesada
Christina Pratt
Lewis Mehl-Madrona
Uncle Agaangaq Angakkorsuaq

5 Sessions • Starts October 22

To see the schedule and purchase the package, go here.

We are all being called upon to transform through a profound shamanic journey. But too often we are held back by ignorance and fear. We feel alone and uncertain about the best way forward.

How do you know when you have received the “call” to enter onto the shamanic path?

Why, when you go through your initiation, do you have to face your own dark night of the soul?

When might plant medicines be helpful in the initiation process, and how might they lead to connection to Source without entheogens?… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Runners’ High May Be From Endocannabinoids

The well-known “runners’  high” may not just be about endorphins; Scientific American reports on a new study suggesting that it comes from the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s THC:

After a nice long bout of aerobic exercise, some people experience what’s known as a “runner’s high”: a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. For decades, scientists have associated this phenomenon with an increased level in the blood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides thought to elevate mood.

Runner girl in grey

Now, German researchers have shown the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—may also play a role in producing runners’ high, at least in mice (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, DOI: 10.1072/pnas.1514996112).

The researchers hit upon the endocannabinoid system as possibly being involved because they observed that endorphins can’t pass through the blood-brain barrier, says team member Johannes Fuss, who’s now at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Humans are still evolving and we don’t know what will happen next

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 10.35.03 PM

Malcolm T. Nicholson writes at Hopes&Fears:

Evolutionary biology is not a slow-moving science. Just last month a new species of hominid (Homo naledi) was unveiled at a news conference in South Africa. When did modern humans branch off as an independent species? What have been our most important adaptations? And, most importantly, what is the next evolutionary step for humanity?

We reached out and spoke to five of the foremost experts on human evolution, who shared their expertise and predictions.

MICHAEL RUSEProfessor of philosophy at Florida State University who has written extensively on the philosophy of biology. He founded the journalBiology and Philosophy and was a key witness in McLean v. Arkansas arguing against teaching creationism as science in public schools. He has published dozens of books on the philosophy of science, including The Philosophy of Human Evolution (2012) and Darwinism and Its Discontents (2006).


Read the rest
Continue Reading

Scholarslip: A documentary about the student debt crisis

Determined to speak up about America’s crumbling higher education system, three students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism rallied the voices of an indebted generation. The trio of aspiring journalists—Alex Lancial, Tara Molina and Jake Stein— produced a documentary entitled “Scholarslip”.

h/t Sgt Doom.

Read the rest

Continue Reading