You ever notice how supposedly smart people are often too dumb to realize that there are different kinds of intelligence. I mean, Jimi Hendrix probably wouldn’t be able to write code for shit, but he could play the hell out of a guitar. Last time I checked, Henry Miller isn’t a science legend and LeBron James isn’t a technological icon. I love that sermon that Jesus gave about organic chemistry. I’m pretty sure that’s the one that got him killed. Man, what’s at the movies this weekend? Yeah, a bunch of new films about how to make better computers, totally. I suppose the reason I mention this has to do with the fact that in the last week or so I’ve stumbled upon roughly 5 different articles by highly respected scientists informing me that computers are going be smarter than humans in the near future. Anytime anyone says something like this the appropriate response should be, what the fuck are you talking about?… Read the rest
I have a confession to make, one that a good number of readers will find disgusting and emetic and prevent many of them from reading further. Others, however, might relate or find it interesting regardless, and so those people will continue to read, which, I suppose, is good enough for me. You see, when I was a child, from a very early age, probably as early as I can remember, I felt all around me the “Presence of God.” It was and is, in all actuality, an impossible feeling to properly describe, but I suppose to some extent that I could say that I felt some sort of “immanent-transcendent energy” “flowing” through me and through my surroundings. Having lived in a rural area hours away in any direction from something resembling civilization, many of my childhood memories consist of me sitting in the backseat of a Toyota 4Runner driving somewhere else, usually toward civilization somewhere.… Read the rest
Military tensions, cyber espionage accusations, a brewing currency war; with every passing day, the headlines paint a convincing portrait of an emerging cold war between China and the West. But is this surface level reality the whole picture, or is there a deeper level to this conflict? Is China an opponent to the New World Order global governmental system or a witting collaborator with it? Join us in this in-depth edition of The Corbett Report podcast as we explore China’s position in the New World Order.
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Anyone who has followed our coverage of online media probably knows that I am in favor of media entities giving their readers the option to comment — even though comment sections are often filled with trolls, flame wars and spam. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I think Reuters is making a mistake by removing the option to comment from its news articles. Even though Reuters is a newswire service with mostly corporate clients, I think the reasoning behind its decision is flawed.
In a post about the decision, Reuters Digital executive editor Dan Colarusso describes it as a necessary evolution, brought about by changes in reader behavior. In other words, he argues that the Reuters website doesn’t really need to have comments on its news articles any more because people are commenting elsewhere — primarily Twitter and Facebook:
“Much of the well-informed and articulate discussion around news, as well as criticism or praise for stories, has moved to social media and online forums.
Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas. Few truly new ideas are developed without abandoning old ones first. As theoretical physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) noted, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” In other words, science advances by a series of funerals. Why wait that long?
What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?
Ideas change, and the times we live in change. Perhaps the biggest change today is the rate of change. What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?
John B. Kelly writes at CounterPunch:
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The story about Brittany Maynard, who on Sunday died under Oregon’s assisted suicide program, dominated American news for the last month. As former New England Journal of Medicine editor and leading assisted suicide advocate Marcia Angell wrote October 31 in the Washington Post, “Maynard, the 29-year-old with incurable brain cancer, is the new face of the movement to give dying patients the choice to end their lives faster and more humanely. Her youth and attractiveness have helped make her a national media story.”
Indeed. The celebrity rag People put Maynard on its cover,and CNN, NPR, PBS, the New Yorker, and a host of others gave her and her backers a forum to promote their cause. Maynard especially targeted her home state of California. Assisted suicide, typically sanitized by supporters as “Aid in Dying” and “Death with Dignity,” is also legal in Washington state and Vermont.
Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core:
On the eve of Veterans Day, President Obama announced that he will send another 1,500 Americans troops to Iraq to advise the Iraqi military on how to fight militants in a civil war.
While not seeking Congressional approval for the troop surge, the White House intends to request $5.6 billion for this latest military campaign, the end of which is nowhere in sight. This at a time when cost of the decade-long war in Iraq has exceeded $2 trillion ($6,250 for each American citizen), which makes it one of the most expensive clusterfucks in modern history. Yet war spells profit for numerous weapons manufacturers (roughly half of all the weapons in the world are sold by the United States), military contractors, and oil companies, all of which have joined hands with the mainstream media to churn out war propaganda and lies while funding the election campaigns of unscrupulous politicians who later vote to re-direct taxpayer dollars to their corporate sponsors.… Read the rest
In a recent international human rights forum at Oslo where Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and other jailed Occupy Wall Street protesters such as Cecily McMillan were not invited, BBC revealed (21 Oct. 2014) that, “it is an open secret at this meeting … that plans were hatched for the demonstrations (in Hong Kong) nearly two years ago … perhaps more than 1,000 of them have been given specific training to help make the campaign as effective as possible.” The forum is filled exclusively by well-funded non-western “dissidents” who demonstrate no interest in echoing the voices of the 5,500 anti-US military protesters in Okinawa, or the suffering of the victims of U.S. nuclear tests in the Pacific without compensation, or the extrajudicial killing of almost a thousand unarmed civilians and children within five years by U.S. drone operations in Pakistan alone. The protesters in Hong Kong enjoyed an overwhelming support from the Oslo Freedom Forum, while the death of 5,000 civilians across America since 9/11 by the brutal and trigger happy U.S.… Read the rest
Within four hours of the polls closing in Kentucky, this year’s midterm elections already had their viral image [not pictured due to copyright, please follow the link]: Alison Lundergan Grimes at the podium in her campaign headquarters, half sheepishly smiling, half grimacing after her concession speech to Mitch McConnell.
It was as if the entire Democratic party that night had been summed up in a single image. There she was, trapped in a race that was pretty much hopeless from the start, trying desperately to peel a few votes off of McConnell while also rallying her base, to offer a little something to everyone and in doing so offering nothing to anyone. And after this strategy inevitably failed, she still had to try to look dignified, displeased with the results, but magnanimous in defeat. But instead she just looked goofy, like a video game villain right after being bopped in the head by one of the Mario brothers – or in this case, the Koch brothers.… Read the rest
Georgie Wingfield-Hayes writes at openDemocracy:
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It’s easy to blame the economic system for causing social and environmental problems, but what is that system built on? Isn’t it us?
John Newton (1725-1807) is best known for penning the hymn Amazing Grace in the later years of his life as a minister in the Church of England. In 1788 he published a pamphlet entitled Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade, in which he spoke out strongly against what he called “a disgraceful branch of commerce.” But for much of his life Newton worked on slave ships, including four years as captain of his own vessel taking stolen African men and women to the American colonies.
Newton’s transition from slaver to minister and activist was inspired by one particular event. On a return journey to Liverpool in 1748, a great storm had threatened to sink his ship, and the fear he was forced to face affected him profoundly, changing his views about the people who were imprisoned beneath his feet.