Tag Archives | Alternatives

Why Nobody Cares What You Think (And What You Can Do About It)

Electro-CollarLet me start off by stipulating that I am TOTALLY in your corner, homes. I completely feel your pain, the frustration of having to repeat even the simplest proposition over and over and over (and over) again and just not being heard. It’s a real cross to bear, no?

But we can’t just drop it because some lunkhead refuses to see sense. We’ve got a point here, and even if we personally are not inclined to waste our time on trying to educate some feeble-minded half-wit, the integrity of our position is at stake. It’s not like we can just abandon ship in midstream here. Not without seeming to concede our point to some feckless, illiterate buffoon, anyhow.

I’m sure that’s what most of the problem is here. These people just don’t have the smarts or technical background or personal experience to see things our way. After all, they say, “No sense, no feeling.” That HAS to be why they seem to absorb round after round of our impeccably crafted logical salvos and still keep coming back parroting the same tired old chestnuts in response, as if they hadn’t heard a think we’ve said.… Read the rest

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Anarchism and Steampunk

Aerial HouseExploring the radical roots of a popular science fiction genre. Via Airships, Anarchists, & Anachronisms:

Steampunk began as a radical satirical form of fiction, but today it encompasses much more. What precisely is steampunk? As the editors of Steampunk Magazine explain, steampunk is “a vibrant culture of DIY crafters, writers, artists, and other creative types, each with their own slightly different answer to that question.” By its diverse nature, steampunk resists definition. Furthermore, in the ever evolving nature of steampunk, “as each new iteration of the idea be­comes more ambitious, the mutations are delightfully limitless and unpredictable.”

This definition seems in line with Rachel A. Bowser and Brian Croxall’s statement that, “Steampunk is more about instability than any other single characteristic. It resists fixedness by unsettling the categories from which it cribs.” Yet, the authors do provide a definition for those looking for the quintessential steampunk. They write:

That being said, one common element arguably shared by all steampunk texts, objects, or performances is the one on which this journal is predicated: the invocation of Victorianism.

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The Stories We Tell and the Future We Create

Rade writes at A Lament for the Tir Nan Og:

It is fashionable, and unfortunate, that among people interested in living sustainably, having children is often seems as part and parcel with the downfall of everything good.  The usual statistics showing how the average America uses an exorbitant amount of energy and resources per-capita are presented, which I think in a subtle way, denigrates the message of a sustainable life.  It is as though people who are most committed to sustainable living are telling a story that says their children will follow the usual path of leaving home, setting out on their own and will eventually become SUV driving, McMansion dwelling boobs.  The question of who will take the sustainable way of living into the future is not dealt with (in most cases).  This is perhaps what I see as the biggest problem with the Permaculture movement as I understand it (aside from the fact that, like every movement, there seem to be a great many who want to put the “cult” in Permaculture).

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The Wild Unadulterated Joy of Revolt

Natalie W. and Aaron Cynic write at Diatribe Media:

For more than a week, a coalition of Chicago activists including patients and staff from the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic, representatives from the Mental Health Movement, STOP Chicago, and Occupy Chicago have been protesting the closure of six mental health care facilities as part of austere city budget cuts. In order to save a reported $2.3 million, the city has already closed two neighborhood clinics, and plans to shut down an additional four. Officials argue that by shutting down these facilities, they will be able to restructure and provide more options for consumers and say they’ve invested $500,000 already in expanding services for psychiatric care and plan to increase access to services. Such measures are a kick to the guts of the people most in urgent need of mental health care. Those most wholly affected by this are poor, held hostage by not only their health needs but limited access to funding for care.… Read the rest

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Advanced Dinosaurs May Rule Other Planets

Fantastic Adventures 1940 Oct coverOkaaaay, Dr. Breslow, let's hear your theory... (via TG Daily):
It sounds like the plot to a science fiction story, but new scientific research hypothesizes that "advanced dinosaurs" may have evolved on other planets in the universe. According to Dr. Ronald Breslow, the advanced versions of T. rex and other dinosaurs would likely be monstrous creatures with the intelligence and cunning of humans. "We would be better off not meeting them," Breslow concludes in a study that appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In his report, Breslow discusses the age-old mystery of why the building blocks of terrestrial amino acids (which make up proteins), sugars, and the genetic materials DNA and RNA exist mainly in one orientation or shape...
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World Peace through Egalitarianism

EqualTo achieve world peace, one has to focus on international, national, local, and personal issues. The three most important goals in achieving world peace are egalitarianism, ecological wisdom, and emotional maturity. Participatory and consensus democracy and the reduction of hierarchy in government and in the workplace are integral components in attaining egalitarianism.

Considering the rapid growth of world population, environmental degradation, the vast disparity between the rich and poor nations, the dangers of nuclear energy and weapons, and the effects of corporatocracy — it is necessary to view the world as one organism, even if that is not what it is. Take the healthy human body. The heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys do not compete. They cooperate.

The ecosystem is being overloaded by unsustainable growth, species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, drilling for oil easily is reaching its peak, and global injustice and inequality are on the increase. Ross Jackson in his book Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform presents evidence that the planet is under siege and our civilization is already in the middle of a global collapse.… Read the rest

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The Politics of Belief

Aboriginal War Veterans Monument

Photo: Padraic Ryan (CC)

A tribal shaman was once interviewed by a skeptical anthropologist and asked whether or not he actually believed in the truths behind the spiritual medicine he practiced. The shaman’s reply was surprisingly candid, for he admitted that his technique was completely fraudulent, and yet he still defended it for the simple reason that it often seemed to heal the patients.  This brief exchange cuts to the core of the issue of why some people are religious and others are not. It all boils down to two simple questions – “Is it true?” and “Is it good?”

An atheist is someone who answers “no” to the first question, and usually (but not always), “no” to the second question as well. As such, there are a variety of tactics that atheists will employ in promoting arguments against religion. Charles Darwin, for example, was supposed to have been nudged permanently over the cusp into disbelief after having studied the behavior of a certain species of parasitic wasp.… Read the rest

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A World of Religion

In honour of the recent "world's largest" gathering of atheists in Washington D.C, a reminder of their place in the great scheme of things — there are less than 150 million of them at last global count: Religion Still beats the Wiccans, Bahai'i and Yazidis combined. On the other hand, secularism (separation of church and state) counts as 1.1 billion. Reference: 'Graphic: A demographic breakdown of the world of religion', National Post, 23 March 2012
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