William Faulkner on Writing and Why We Create

via Brain Pickings:

The writer’s duty, William Faulkner (September 25, 1897–July 6, 1962) asserted in his magnificent Nobel Prize acceptance speechin 1950, is “to help man endure by lifting his heart.” Faulkner’s idealism about and intense interest in the human spirit permeated all of his creative pursuits, from his views on writing and the meaning of life to his only children’s book to his little-known Jazz Age drawings.

In 1957 and 1958, the period halfway between his two Pulitzer Prizes, Faulkner served as a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. On the last day of his residency in May of 1958, he read from his favorite novel, The Sound and the Fury, at an event open to the general public. After the reading, he answered questions — wonderfully Southern-drawled questions — from the audience. The surviving recording, found in the University of Virginia’s Faulkner archives, is of questionable audio quality but makes up for it in sheer richness of insight into Faulkner’s views on writing and the project of art.

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This is What Heavy Multitasking Could Be Doing To Your Brain

 

By Ryan Ritchie via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Ryan Ritchie via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Psyblog:

Using laptops, phones and other media devices at the same time could be shrinking important structures in our brains, a new study may indicate.

For the first time, neuroscientists have found that people who use multiple devices simultaneously have lower gray-matter density in an area of the brain associated with cognitive and emotional control (Loh & Kanai, 2014).

Multitasking might include listening to music while playing a video game or watching TV while making a phone call or even reading the newspaper with the TV on.

Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, said:

“Media multitasking is becoming more prevalent in our lives today and there is increasing concern about its impacts on our cognition and social-emotional well-being.

Our study was the first to reveal links between media multitasking and brain structure.”

The study used scans of people’s brains along with a questionnaire about their use of media devices, newspapers and television.

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Beaten by IDF & Cousin Murdered by Israeli Radicals: American Teen Seeks Justice

Abby Martin reports on the case of Mohammed Abu Kheidr, who was savagely burned alive by a group of Israeli settlers in a revenge killing for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers, speaking with family members of the victim including his 15 year old cousin, Tarek Abu Kheidr, who was arrested and beaten by Israeli police after attending a protest seeking justice for the death of his cousin.

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OpenBazaar: P2P Marketplace to Undermine our Corporate Overlords

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Around the turn of the century, Amazon, eBay and other online marketplaces provided revolutionary new venues for small-business entrepreneurship, but they have since grown into heavy-handed corporate behemoths that treat sellers like share croppers while exerting an ever-expanding influence over government and the economy. In the future, online marketplaces will be publicly shared via distributed p2p networks. There will be no fees, no trade restrictions, no corporate overlords running the show. The concept is gaining traction; the technology is already here.

One promising effort in this direction is OpenBazaar. They hope to offer a full release in 2014, and are currently seeking beta testers:

OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for peer to peer commerce online—using Bitcoin—that has no fees and cannot be censored. Put simply, it’s the baby of eBay and BitTorrent.

Right now, online commerce means using centralized services. eBay, Amazon, and other big companies have restrictive policies and charge fees for listing and selling goods.… Read the rest

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Carl Jung: In Defense and Critique

Mandala on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

From Modern Mythology

Much has been said about Carl Jung over the years, and despite the fact that many now in psychiatry and even some therapists seem to find him irrelevant, the amount that has been written about his ideas belies this claim. So much as is possible in a short article, I would like to consider both his contribution as well as provide a possible critique of some of his thought. Through that I hope to highlight the value of relating to symbols as psychological facts.

I think it best to begin with a psychological event that Jung himself considered important enough to mention in at least two of his published works. (Man and His Symbols and Memories, Dreams and Reflections.) This was a reoccurring dream he apparently had for some time, and we might turn some of his own approach toward it, though not nearly as thoroughly as there is only one point I’m looking to get at, rather than building an individual’s personal mythologywhich is the means by which Jungian psychology can effectively get its teeth as something more psychological and less merely analytic.

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CIA Admits It Watched Over Destruction Of Journalist Gary Webb

Gary Webb In His Own Words 623.jpg

Gary Webb is posthumously achieving recognition for his “Dark Alliance” investigative report of the CIA’s involvement in the importation of cocaine to finance its illegal involvement in backing the Contras in Nicaragua. There’s a movie coming out portraying Webb and now The Intercept reveals the CIA’s admission that it was closely watching Webb’s activities and eventual death:

Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

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Michael Lewis on the Federal Reserve and the Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

2013 Federal Reserve Bank of New York from Maiden LaneMichael Lewis is the former Wall Streeter who wrote the bestselling books Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and Flash Boys (among others). His dissection for Bloomberg View of the Carmen Segarra tapes (listen here) recorded while she was employed by the Federal Reserve is well worth a read. For those who don’t know, the main revelation is a recording of a discussion at the Fed in which a Goldman Sachs deal is described as “legal but shady”:

…First, a bit of background — which you might get equally well from today’s broadcast as well as from this article by ProPublica. After the 2008 financial crisis, the New York Fed, now the chief U.S. bank regulator, commissioned a study of itself. This study, which the Fed also intended to keep to itself, set out to understand why the Fed hadn’t spotted the insane and destructive behavior inside the big banks, and stopped it before it got out of control.

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Bigger than Heartbleed? Bug in bash leaves millions of web servers vulnerable

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[Editor's note: Apple has responded to the shellshock security risk, saying that most users are not at risk.]

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Andrew Smith, The Open University

A first and quite reasonable thought readers may have will be to wonder: what is bash?

When you use a computer you probably interact with it through a point-and-click, visual interface such as Windows or Mac OS. More advanced users or specific tasks might require a text-only interface, using typed commands. This command line program is known as a shell, and bash is the acronym for Bourne Again SHell (a successor to the Bourne shell, written by Stephen Bourne – that’s geek humour right there), known to everyone as bash.

So what you need to know is that a shell is essential, and that bash as the most common shell in use is installed on pretty much every machine that runs a flavour of Linux or Unix.… Read the rest

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Chris Hedges on Willful Blindness, Climate Corporatism & the Underground Revolt

Abby Martin speaks with journalist and author, Chris Hedges, going over where the recent mass climate change demonstrations in New York fall short, as well as why he believes revolt is the only solution to restoring a functioning American democracy.

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