Fletch – MK Ultra
Tag Archives | Society
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The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance.
The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA’s mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed. They spoke out to support the agency when NSA contractor Edward Snowden released details of its programs in 2013, and they’ve kept up their advocacy ever since — on television news shows, newspaper op-ed pages, online and at Congressional hearings. But it’s often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.
I wake before my alarm today, relaxed.
And this time, it’s a good “OM”! My last shift, I was way busy with a bunch of locals (in-town runs). But the real red meat was a ride I took to Redwood City. That’s meter and a half!
(If the ride takes you more than 15 miles from San Francisco’s City Hall, MTA rules sees the driver charging meter and a half. The logic being that the driver and passenger should split the gas and time down due to the return trip.)
Anyway, I walked away with $285! Tony Jr. was working check-out at the bullet-proof glass in the afternoon, and there’s a new deal where drivers can pay gate (cab rental) out of their day’s Cabulous take. Needless to say, Tony Jr. was pretty impressed after he saw that I still had around $210 set to hit my bank account (via direct deposit) AFTER paying gate!… Read the rest
Thursday, May 7th | 6-9 PM
in Chelsea at 548 W 28th Street, suite 232.
Exhibition Dates: May 7-May 30, 2015 April 16, 2015 (New York, NY)
Based in Brooklyn, Ann Lewis (gilf!) is one of NYC’s most recognized and provocative female street and activist artists. She creates bold public work and gallery work that inspire thoughtfulness, while simultaneously motivating progressive change within communities. Earlier this year, the artist garnered national media attention when she installed a colossal banner resembling police caution tape that read ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’ at the former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Queens, New York. Since receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Madison, her work has been reviewed in Blouin Art Info, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, Brooklyn Street Art, Gothamist, and Wooster Collective.
Brian C. Muraresku via grahamhancock.com
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“The man of a traditional culture sees himself as real only to the extent that he ceases to be himself. Plato could be regarded as the outstanding philosopher of ‘primitive mentality’ – the thinker who succeeded in giving philosophic currency and validity to the modes of life and behavior of archaic humanity.”1
The Real Hippies
What’s become of religion these days? Seriously. More than a billion people across the planet are religiously unaffiliated. That includes one in every five Americans and Europeans, and – believe it or not – almost half of the British public. Impressive as those numbers are today, just imagine the future of the Western world.
Do you know what’s totally metal? Being in a Black Metal band, but being unable to perform. Because if you do play a gig, you could wind up with your head chopped off.
That’s what the metal lifestyle is like in Saudia Arabia, as this Vice interview with ‘Mephisto’ from Black Metal band Al-Namrood attests. Read on, headbangers:
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Black metal bands have never been keen on religion. However, in parts of the world where religion can actually be oppressive, bands inspired by Bathory and Mayhem and Burzum are few and far between.
That’s presumably because it’s a lot easier to be in an anti-Christian metal band in the US, than in an anti-Islamic metal band in Saudi Arabia. In America, your obstacles extend to overhearing your mom tell a friend you’re just “going through a phase.” In Saudi Arabia, you face social ostracism and the possibility of imprisonment or death.
With that in mind, you’ve got to give it to Saudi Arabia’s only black metal band, Al-Namrood, whose lyrics include all sorts of things that could get them executed.
Mark Walton via Ars Technica:
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How far is too far when it comes to pushing the boundaries of virtual reality? As VR devices grow ever more sophisticated—and the tools to create software for them ever more accessible—where do we draw the line between what’s ethically acceptable in the real world and what’s ethically acceptable in the virtual world?
One of the developers putting this question to the test is Australia-based Paranormal Games. Project Elysium, its entry into the upcoming Oculus VR Jam 2015, treads some shaky moral ground by promising to create a “personalized afterlife experience,” reuniting people with loved ones who have passed on. Exactly how the developer hopes to do this isn’t clear at this point (it will be required to showcase screenshots by April 27, followed by video footage the week after to be eligible for the jam’s grand prize), although a screenshot from Project Elysium’s development does show a friend of the studio being transformed into a 3D model.
Jasmine Wright and Margaret Myers Via PBS.org:
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Hubble’s contributions to space exploration are countless. Its images, explains Hubble Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, have shown the first definitive detection of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. They also have provided measurement of the expansion rate of the universe, and detection (along with ground-based telescopes) of acceleration in that expansion, caused by mysterious “dark energy” that appears to be pushing the universe apart.
“Hubble will go down in history as having changed the textbooks by totally revolutionizing humanity’s view of the universe, and our place in it,” Wiseman says.
Unlike most newborns, on his arrival into the world, my newly-minted son found himself in the arms of someone well-versed in the the most fiercely contested question in contemporary linguistics: is language innate?
Are babies born with grammar hard-wired into their brain? Or is language something bestowed by culture and socialisation?
The early exchanges of gaze, attention and vocalisations with my baby in his first hours, days and weeks were experienced against the melodrama of modern linguistics’ greatest schism. This happens to revolve entirely around the role of mothers and significant others in the development of a child’s language.
In the story of how language emerges in the child, as told by Noam Chomsky, nature is largely the lone hero. The child comes with a “language organ” already installed in her or his brain, as a sudden and isolated gift of evolution – out of nowhere, all-at-once, fully formed and forever unchanging.… Read the rest
Tania Lombrozo via Public Radio East:
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We associate technology with the shiny and new. But humans have been using technology to change the environment and themselves since at least the lower Paleolithic period, when our ancestors were making stone tools.
Is the technology of today fundamentally different? In particular, does it change the way we think of ourselves or our relationships to each other and the environment? Does it change the way we think about what exists (metaphysics), about what and how we can know about it (epistemology), or about how we ought to live (ethics)?
These are traditionally philosophical questions, but they’re questions that some have been revisiting in light of one of today’s most pervasive developments: the rise of the Web.
A few weeks ago, two of us at 13.7 (Alva Noë and myself) participated in a workshop at the Googleplex on the “Philosophy of the Web.” The workshop was organized by Harry Halpin, a research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who has been at the forefront of this emerging area of philosophy.