Tag Archives | Society

Benign Intent: Tools of Corporate Media Propaganda

nexusnovum (CC BY-ND 2.0)

nexusnovum (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Mint Press News

In a healthy society governed by democratic principles and the rule of law, news media would be analogous to a powerful telescope, a roving, scrutinizing eye from which little or nothing can hide. Corrupt societies — ones that require the vast majority of the population to be passive, obedient, misinformed, ignorant, distracted and consumptive — require instead a media that acts as a kind of prism, a distorting lens that presents a perversion of reality.

The scale of this distortion varies greatly around the world, with some — mostly independent — media (sometimes lone journalists) laudably aiming to shine a torch as best they can on state and corporate power. At the other extreme, dictatorships like North Korea use state media to portray a false reality to help control their people, who nonetheless are surely aware that their freedoms are strictly limited.

Western corporate-owned media, however, is unique and quite remarkable in that while it depicts a reality as laughably false as that shown to the North Koreans, its readers/viewers — more accurately its consumers — are overwhelmingly unaware that they are being fed a pack of lies, that the picture given to them is — in key areas that concern corporate power and Western control of world resources — diametrically opposite to reality.

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Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 Results


Via Transparency International:

Poorly equipped schools, counterfeit medicine and elections decided by money are just some of the consequences of public sector corruption. Bribes and backroom deals don’t just steal resources from the most vulnerable – they undermine justice and economic development, and destroy public trust in government and leaders.

Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, and it paints an alarming picture. Not one single country gets a perfect score and more than two-thirds score below 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

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Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?

 [Photo credit: Lending Memo]

[Photo credit: Lending Memo]

via IEET:

What are our goals as a species? This, to me, is the most important question we can ask ourselves as human beings. Another way to say it: What is the meaning of our existence as a species? We never seem to directly ask ourselves these two questions in a collective way, which seems very odd to me. Because if we were discussing these questions openly, collectively and consistently, I believe we would live in a very different society.

This year the IEET is giving out editor’s choice awards to three articles for their outstanding writing and conceptual analysis contributing to transhumanism and technoprogressivism.

The #1 article by hits was Ramez Naam’s “2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember

The following piece was first published here on Sep 16, 2014 and is the #3 pick for the IEET editor’s choice award.

With his article “Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?” Marshall Brain explains one of the most pressing issues for technoprogressives: What kind of society do we wish to live in?

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10 Ways to Opt Out of the System

seier+seier (CC BY 2.0)

seier+seier (CC BY 2.0)

Via Activist Post:

I’ve noticed an increase in the defeatist tone among activists lately. Many are realizing that the current system cannot be salvaged, and they get angry at the lack of answers and give up hope. I’ve been there. We all have.

Yes, the system is tightening its control as more people begin to see it for what it is. Yes, mathematically and rationally, the system is nearing collapse. But the fix will not be found with anger and predictions of doom, and the fix will not come from petitioning a lawmaker, a regulator, or a sheriff. The fix can only come from you.

It’s true that it is nearly impossible to completely opt out of the system. The Matrix is all around us, embedded in our very survival. However, that doesn’t mean we should not do what we can to limit our exposure to the decaying system.

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Sustainable Ways to Feed the World Are Subverted by Corporations

Rosewoman (CC BY 2.0)

Rosewoman (CC BY 2.0)

Via News Junkie Post:

Humans’ relationship to food is one of the most fundamentally shaping aspects of our societies. The sole fact that the majority of the world’s population now lives in urban centers is the direct result of a process that began approximately 10,000 years ago. This process was the switch from nomadic hunting-gathering societies to urban sedentary ones. In fact, formal agriculture is the only means whereby an urban society can sustain itself, its population can increase size and density, and complex societal interactions can develop from an urban context. It could be argued that behind the entire construct of capitalism, as becoming sheltered and sedentary allowed our societies to develop an affection for material objects, lies formal agriculture.

The industrial revolution, and in particular the “green revolution” of the 1960s and 70s, once again changed the way that our global society relates to food.

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The internet is so damn unpleasant. Do we need fewer humans and more bots?

Jess Zimmerbots

Jess Zimmerbot’s Twitter Photo

Jess Zimmerman writes at the Guardian:

In a welcome sign of the coming singularity, Buzzfeed just announced that it has built a sentence generator that mimics the turgid writing style of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The auto-Friedman, which also posts to Twitter as @mot_namdeirf, operates on a principle called Markov chaining; essentially, it strings together chunks of Friedman sentences based on how often words tend to appear together.

Friedman isn’t the only writer with a Twitter bot. I’ve got one too, made using a Markov chain-related program and my tweet archives. The guy who made it, Brett O’Connor, made bots for a number of other people I know, and most of us follow each other’s. (Most of our bots follow each others’ bots, leading to some gloriously weird bot-on-bot conversations.) Interacting with the bots is a surreal experience; they seem to develop their own personalities and priorities, distinct from their parent tweeters.

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Controversial DNA startup wants to let customers create creatures

Stuart Caie (CC BY 2.0)

Stuart Caie (CC BY 2.0)

Via SFGate:

In Austen Heinz’s vision of the future, customers tinker with the genetic codes of plants and animals and even design new creatures on a computer. Then his startup, Cambrian Genomics, prints that DNA quickly, accurately and cheaply.

“Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game,” Heinz said. “And that creates a whole new world.”

The 31-year-old CEO has a deadpan demeanor that can be hard to read, but he is not kidding. In a makeshift laboratory in San Francisco, his synthetic biology company uses lasers to create custom DNA for major pharmaceutical companies. Its mission, to “democratize creation” with minimal to no regulation, frightens bioethicists as deeply as it thrills Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

With the latest technology and generous funding, a growing number of startups are taking science and medicine to the edge of science fiction.

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Are volcanoes the energy source of the future?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY 2.0)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY 2.0)

via CNBC:

The Reykjanes Peninsula, a finger of black rock jutting out over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from Iceland’s southwestern coast, has long leveraged its unique volcanic geology into economic opportunity. Its spectacularly carved edifices and vast lava fields draw naturalists from around the globe, while geothermal pools heated by deposits of steam and magma deep below ground provide the anchor for a thriving resort economy.

The region is even powered by this geology; the 12 geothermal wells feeding 600-degree steam into the two turbines at Reykjanes Power Station provide a collective 100 megawatts of power for the surrounding area, enough to power many tens of thousands of homes.

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World’s largest tidal energy power plant (269 turbines) to begin construction in Scotland

overgraeme (CC BY 2.0)

overgraeme (CC BY 2.0)

via Treehugger:

When you think about it, it’s really Moon power!

The MeyGen tidal project in Scotland will be the largest tidal power plant in the world once operational. Atlantis, the Australian company that is building it has just received the green light from the government and construction should begin this month. The tidal project will be located in an area that lies in the channel (“Inner Sound”) between the island of Stroma and the north easterly tip of the Scottish mainland, encompassing almost 3.5 square-km of fast flowing water.

When MeyGen is fully operational, it should have 269 turbines that produce 398MW of clean energy, generating enough electricity to power 175,000 Scottish homes.

Here’s a map showing where the turbines will be:

Atlantis/Promo image

Atlantis/Promo image

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History Lesson: America Is the Same Oligarchy It Was over a Century Ago

“Forget the politicians. They’re irrelevant. Politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media news. They own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the information and news you get to hear. They’ve got ya by the balls.”

via Truthstream:

(Truthstream Media) When Americans see charts like this one which illustrate that virtually all the food on grocery store shelves basically comes from no more than 10 megacompanies, or hear statements like this one from our own Attorney General Eric Holder who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that some banks are just too big to prosecute, or check out studies like this one out of Princeton which openly declare we are not a democracy but an oligarchy…it’s kinda hard to believe we aren’t an oligarchy (because we are).

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