Tag Archives | Voices

Colonialism of the Mind, Part I

Dady Chery writes at CounterPunch:

“Les intellectuels ont toujours été des courtisans. Ils ont toujours vécu dans le palais.”

“Intellectuals have always been courtesans. They have always lived in the palace.” – Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975)

Western journalists increasingly assume the voices of subjugated countries’ natives while muzzling them by denying them access to the press. In the United States, the more visible venues of the alternative press, such as online news sites Truthout, Common Dreams, and Huffington Post are essentially closed to native writers. This colonialism of the mind is rampant when it comes to Haiti.

Inspect the US alternative press for news of Haiti. You will find articles there by Beverly Bell, Mark Weisbrot, Robert Naiman, Jane Regan, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Lendman and others, but you will be hard put to find a Haitian name. Westerners, whatever their political leaning, do reserve their right to rule the world, and the right to pontificate to the ignorant natives is very much a part of it.

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Storing Millions Of People’s Voices In A Voice-Recognition Database

Slate on software, already being sold to governments and corporations, making it possible to store and identify the unique sound of everyone’s speech. The obvious question is, can it be thwarted by pitch shifting or other modification?

Intercepting thousands of phone calls is easy for government agencies. But quickly analyzing the calls and identifying the callers can prove a difficult task. Now one company believes it has solved the problem—with a countrywide biometric database designed to store millions of people’s “voice-prints.”

Russia’s Speech Technology Center, which operates under the name SpeechPro in the United States, has invented what it calls “VoiceGrid Nation,” a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. The idea is that it enables authorities to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices—of known criminals, persons of interest, or people on a watch list.

Alexey Khitrov, SpeechPro’s president, told me the company is working with a number of agencies in the United States at a state and federal level.

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Voters Favor Deep-Voiced Politicians

Barry White would have been the ultimate politician

Barry White (1944–2003) would have been the ultimate politician.

Via ScienceDaily:

Candidates with lower-pitched voices may get more votes in the 2012 election. A new study by biologists and a political scientist shows that both men and women prefer political candidates with deeper voices. The results also suggest that biology — not just partisanship or ideology — can shape voters’ choices.”We often make snap judgments about candidates without full knowledge of their policies or positions. These findings might help explain why,” said Duke University biologist Rindy Anderson.

“It’s clear that our voices carry more information than the words we speak. Knowing this can help us understand the factors that influence our social interactions and possibly why there are fewer women elected to high-level political positions,” she said.

To test voters’ preference on voice pitch, Anderson, Duke biologist Susan Peters and University of Miami political scientist Casey Klofstad recorded men and women saying, “I urge you to vote for me this November.” The scientists then edited each recording to create a higher- and lower-pitched version of the original …

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