Saturday, 28 February 2004

what the world thinks of god

29% of Israelis and only 25% of Britons say they never prayed.

95% of Nigerians and as much as 67% in the US claim to pray regularly.

Almost 30% of all atheists surveyed said they sometimes prayed.

In most of the countries covered, well over 80% said they believed in God or a higher power. In Nigeria the figure was 100% and in the US 91%, with the UK scoring lowest though still at 67%.

Those willing to die for their God, or their beliefs, included more than 90% in Indonesia and Nigeria, and 71% in Lebanon and the US.

Among Israelis only 37% were willing to take this ultimate step, and only 19% of Britons, 29% of britons said the world would be more peaceful without beliefs in God. Very few people in other countries agreed with this.

In Nigeria 91% of people said they regularly attended a religious service, contrasting with 21% in the UK and only 7% of Russians. The average across the 10 countries was 46%.

plus jesus-loves-you sandals
Germans Protest Radio-ID Plans

Activists recently discovered RFID chips embedded in the Metro Extra Future Store's customer loyalty cards. They also found them in products for sale there, including goods from IBM, Gillette and Procter & Gamble. Metro failed to notify customers that they were being tracked. Although Metro told activists the chips worked only while customers were inside the store, activists discovered that a kiosk used to deactivate the chips didn't completely disable the tags.

An RFID tag consists of a microchip the size of a grain of sand attached to an antenna that transmits information whenever it passes in front of an RFID reader.

Product manufacturers and stores have expressed interest in placing the tags on consumer items to manage inventory, track consumer interest, speed checkout time and thwart thieves.

Critics say the tags would let businesses monitor the movement of citizens and collect information for marketing purposes. Information transmitted by the tags can be read up to 10 feet away.
Fighting for Right Not to Show ID

Next month, the Supreme Court will consider whether people have the right not to show identification to the police. At stake, advocates say, is whether our society will have to "show papers" in daily life.
Why would you give a cactus human hair? Or grow wings for pigs? And as for redesigning the butterfly... Artists are appropriating biotechnology for their own ends. New Scientist tracked down three of them working in this wild new place: Laura Cinti, Oron Catts and Marta de Menezes
Miniscule "Musclebots" Powered by Rat Cells

Rat muscle tissue has been used to power tiny robots, a development that could lead to stimulators that help paralyzed people breathe and "musclebots" that maintain spacecraft by plugging holes from micrometeorites. The silicon robots, just half the width of a human hair, were created by microengineer Carlo Montemagno at the University of California, Los Angeles.

It is the first time muscle tissue has been used to propel a microelectromechanical system. MEMS are tiny machines that range in size from a micron - a millionth of a meter - to a millimeter - a thousandth of a meter.
(new scientist)

Tuesday, 24 February 2004

backwards into the future

Bush endorses amendment BANNING gay marriage

Mr Bush said he wanted to stop activist judges from changing the definition of the "most enduring human institution".

once upon a time 40 states in america forbade the marriage of a white person to a person of color. In other words, people could not marry a person of the "wrong" race. Marriages between whites and persons of color were decried as "immoral" and "unnatural". Overwhelming numbers of Americans agreed. A Virginia Judge upheld that State's ban on interracial marriages saying:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Despite the public opposition to interracial marriage, in 1948, the California Supreme Court led the way in challenging racial discrimination in marriage and became the first state high court to declare unconstitutional a ban on interracial marriage. Perez v. Lippold, 32 Cal.2d 711 (1948). The Court pointed out that races don't marry each other, people do.

steve gough, ........who recently completed his walk of the length of britain, land's end to john o'groats, while continuously unclothed, despite extended interuptions by the uniformed and suited forces of law and "public order".............. has been arrested again, both yesterday and today, in london, as he embarks on another unclothed stroll. he was released from the first arrest without charge, but we wait to hear the oucome of today's arrest.

naked protest links
Britons embark on computer love affair

a survey, which was carried out by pollsters MORI, found that 28% of adult users and 60% of children were extremely fond of their computer.

One in three adults and 44% of youngsters even went so far as to class their machine as a "trusted friend", while 16% of adults and 13% of 11 to 16-year-olds said: "I often talk to my computer."

Spending time on a computer often made 8% of adults and 17% of children happier than if they had been with a partner or friend.

Many were convinced that the emotional attachment to laptops or terminals would grow stronger.

Thirty-seven per cent of children and 34% of adults among the 2,500 people surveyed thought that, by 2020, computers would be as important to people as family and friends.
forum: back to reality
Snail Brain Merged with Microchip

A network of snail brain cells has been cultivated on a silicon chip, an advance that its creators claim is a big step towards microchip implants that can control artificial limbs, restore sight and revive memory function.

Researchers from Calgary University in Alberta, Canada grew the nerve cells on a microchip and found that they could learn and memorize information that could be transmitted to the chip.

"The nerve cells not only regenerate their synaptic connections on the silicon chip but also exhibit memory traces that were successfully read by the chip," says neurobiologist Naweed Syed. "We've made a giant leap in answering several fundamental questions of biology and neuro-electronics that will pave the way for us to harness the power of nanotechnology."
Asylum seekers stitch up mouths

three failed asylum seekers have sewn up their mouths and gone on hunger strike in Glasgow.

Farouk Haidari, Farnborz Gravandk and Mokhtar Haydary arrived in Scotland three years ago claiming they had been beaten up in jail.

Their appeals for refugee status have failed and the men have now been told they will be sent back to Iran.
yesterday's observer editorial
At present, 14 foreign nationals suspected of terrorist activity are being held in Britain without access to a trial. Moreover, they are thought to be held on the basis of evidence secured under duress, torture included, from suspects held in other countries......Britain must never accept evidence gained through torture; such evidence is anyway notoriously unreliable. Parliament must remain vigilant about human rights.
the black panther party
10 point programme
black panther newspaper collection

In October of 1966, in Oakland California, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. On April 25th, 1967, the first issue of The Black Panther, the party's official news organ, goes into distribution.

the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, began a program called COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program) to break up the spreading unity of revolutionary groups that had begun solidifying through the work and examaple of the Panthers, killing leading members of the party who they know cannot be otherwise subverted. Following these mass killings would be a series of arrests, followed by a program of psychological warfare, designed to split the party both politically and morally through the use of espionage, provocatures, and chemical warfare.

On April 6, 1968, in West Oakland, Bobby Hutton, 17 years old, is shot dead by Oakland police. In a 90 minute gun battle, an unarmed Bobby Hutton is shot ten times dead, after his house is set ablaze and he is forced to run out into a fire of bullets. Just two days earlier, Martin Luther King is assasinated, after he had begun rethinking his own doctrines of non-violence, and started to build ties with radical unions. Two months later on the day of Bobby's death, Robert Kennedy, widely recognised in the minority commmunity as one of the only politicians in the US "sympathetic" to the civil rights movement, is also assasinated.

In January, 1969, The first Panther's Free Breakfast for School Children Program is initiated at St. Augustine's Church in Oakland. By the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school.

A few months later, J. Edgar Hoover publicly states that the Panthers are the "greatest threat to the internal security of the country".

On December 4th, at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, thanks to information from an FBI informant , Chicago police raid the Panthers' Chicago apartment, murdering Fred Hampton while he sleeps in bed. He is shot twice in the head, once in the arm and shoulder; while three other people sleeping in the same bed escape unharmed. Mark Clark, sleeping in the living room chair, is also murdered while asleep. Hampton's wife, carrying child for 8 months, is also shot, but survives. Four panthers sleeping in the apartment are wounded, while one other escapes injury . Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was executed, Mark was 17 years old. According to the findings of the federal grand jury, Ninety bullets were fired inside the apartment. 1 came from a Panther - Mark - who slept with a shotgun in his hand. All surviving Panther members were arrested for "attempted murder of the police and aggravated assault". Not a single cop spent a moment in jail for the executions.

plus: without sanctuary

Sunday, 22 February 2004

Fiction suit
steve mann. life as a cyborg
solar powered Gadget Jacket
Tattooists' blog

"I take pictures of my customers using my camera phone."
(via b3ta)
"His first patent was for a Device for the Autonomous Generation of Useful Information, the official name of the Creativity Machine.

His second patent was for the Self-Training Neural Network Object.

Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One. Think about that. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One!
Robot Surgery Good for Kids' Hearts

"The first direct comparison of robot-assisted and traditional surgery for kids' heart defects has found that in exchange for a slightly longer operation, kids get faster healing and have less trauma and scarring."

"The findings, by researchers from the University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center in Ann Arbor, suggest that minimally invasive techniques using surgeon-controlled, camera-guided robot systems are a better choice for treating congenital heart defects."

"Robot-assisted surgery has already shown quite a bit of promise in the adult population."

"Ohye and colleagues began using robot-assisted surgery in November 2002, one year after they acquired a robot system called da Vinci that's made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, California.

With the da Vinci Surgical System, three tiny incisions in the chest take the place of the large incision and broken rib cage that are the hallmarks of open-heart surgery.

The system uses pencil-sized incisions through the chest wall. The arms of the robot and a tiny camera are then placed through these incisions. Surgeons sit at a computer console, peer through two lenses and manipulate the robot arms using three-dimensional images from the camera inside the patient.
WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE (wnbr) - Saturday, June 12, 2004
Rats engineered to grow bigger leg muscles following weight training have prompted discussion of genetic enhancement in sports.
Meat-Scented Air Fresheners
Now you can get air fresheners that capture the fragrance you really crave... MEAT!
remote control

"The possibility of scientific annihilation of personal identity, or even worse, its purposeful control, has sometimes been considered a future threat more awful than atomic holocaust... These objections, however, are debatable."

So wrote Dr Jose Delgado in his 1969 book Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilised Society.

rewind to the early 1960s: Delgado entered a bullring and, at the press of a button, stopped a charging bull dead in its tracks.

in 2001: remote controlled cockroaches
cockroaches equipped with high-tech "backpacks" - tiny microprocessor and electrode sets. Wings and antennae are removed. Where the antennae used to be researchers fit pulse-emitting electrodes. With a remote, researchers send signals to the backpacks, which stimulate the electrodes. The pulsing electrodes make the roach turn left, turn right, scamper forward or spring backward.

in 2002: remote controlled rats
US scientists revealed a team of rats that could be remote-controlled from a laptop. Electrodes in the rodents' brains activate their pleasure centres while steering them left or right.

in his memoirs the late neurologist John Lilly, who began his career working on the electrical stimulation of animal brains, recalled seeing a military film of a donkey being remotely steered up a hillside in the 1950s.

Dr Philip Kennedy of Neural Signals has developed an implanted device that allows JR, a paralysed 53-year-old volunteer, to move a mouse cursor around a computer screen using thought alone. There are no wires - a small antenna, connected to the implant, pokes out of the top of JR's skull.
The Commercial Closet

The Commercial Closet Association is a non-profit educational and journalism organization that works to improve societal perceptions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through better portrayals in the most powerful cultural medium of our time--mainstream advertising. The project manages the world's only LGBT ad archive, with 1,500 ads from over 33 countries spanning 85 years.
"Bio-ink" Could Print Organs

Self-assembling cellular blobs have been used to print tissue tubes, suggesting that they could form the basis of a biological ink for devices that print organs on demand.
The "bio-ink" was created by Gabor Forgacs and colleagues from the departments of physics and biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Troops accused on Iraq killings

The Ministry of Defence is facing the prospect of a string of lawsuits over the deaths of at least 18 Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by British soldiers, the Guardian revealed.

These incidents, hitherto unreported, are separate from the suspicious deaths of seven Iraqis who were being held by British troops in the notorious Camp Bucca detention centre near the port of Umm Qasr, south of Basra.

Inquiry as CCTV captures police beating

An investigation is under way after a police officer was captured on closed-circuit television repeatedly kicking a black man as he was held down on a pavement by other officers.

The 20-minute footage appears to show an officer assaulting Delbo King, a former paratrooper, as he was held down in Manchester city centre. A minute after he was handcuffed, an officer is seen to kick Mr King, who is 5ft 10in and heavily built, on at least three occasions.
ray ceaser galleries
king of the dead

The King leads the list of top-earning dead celebrities. Elvis, rumoured to be dead for more than 26 years, leads the list of top-earning deceased celebrities for the third year in a row, to the tune of $40 million for the year ending September 2003.

Runner-up on the list was Peanuts cartoon creator Charles Schulz, earning $32 million. Third at $22 million was writer J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings books have been transformed on screen into a lucrative movie franchise.

Former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison earned $19 million and $16 million, respectively, putting them fourth and fifth on the list, based on estate earnings.

New to the list were Broadway musical composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with $7 million, as well as songwriters Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, and Dr. Robert Atkins -- whose popular books and products promoting high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are all the rage again -- who all earned about $6 million each.

Rounding out the top 10 were children's book author Dr. Seuss, race-car driver Dale Earnhardt, rapper Tupac Shakur, reggae star Bob Marley and movie star Marilyn Monroe.

Frank Sinatra and James Dean returned to the list at 19 after falling off in 2002.
animation: bangcubes
"A Celestial Journey to Space for Departed Loved Ones..."

"Celestis is the world leader in providing these unique space memorial services. Cremated remains can be launched into space; to orbit around the Earth; to fly to the Moon; or to travel into deep space."
what to rent

"The single greatest question troubling mankind at this time is, "What movie should I rent ?". We are here to answer that question! What to Rent is a website that will recommend a movie for you to watch based upon your personality and the type of film experience you are looking for."
my last email

"preparing today for tomorrow"

" is a unique online service, which allows you to leave messages for those you care about - to be emailed after your death..."

Wednesday, 18 February 2004

grey album

"DJ Danger Mouse's recent Grey Album, which remixes Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles White Album, has been hailed as a innovative hip-hop triumph. Despite that and the fact that only 3,000 copies of the album are in circulation, EMI sent cease and desist letters yesterday to Danger Mouse and the handful of stores that were selling the album, demanding that the album be destroyed."

download the album here

Saturday, 14 February 2004

police chief would prefer phaser guns

One of the police chiefs in charge of national policy on firearms has said: "What we would like in the future is a Star Trek-style phaser that, perfectly safely, temporarily switches someone's brain off so that officers move in," he told Jane's Police Review Magazine.
Protester released after eight months in Greek jail

after 8 months in prison, during which he went on a seven-week hunger strike, the British activist Simon Chapman, who was accused of throwing Molotov cocktails during an anti-capitalism protest at last year's European Union summit, was freed from a Greek jail yesterday.

media footage appeared to show that the police had planted the Molotov cocktails and other weapons on Mr Chapman.

the video evidence presented to the court clearly showed Mr Chapman's bag changing from a blue rucksack when he was arrested to the black bag which contained the petrol bombs.
the United States remains the world's leader in arms sales.

One third of countries spend more on the military than they do on health-care services.

Nearly half (42 per cent) of countries with the highest defence burden rank among the lowest in human development.

In 2000, the world's leading countries agreed to a 2015 deadline for halving the number of people in poverty, and cutting by two-thirds the number of children dying before the age of five.

American-led opposition threatens to derail ambitious proposal for a doubling of global aid to $100bn (£55.5bn) a year.

"The US would rather have the Millennium Challenge Account", a Washington official said, referring to President Bush's drive to ensure US aid cash is spent in countries that agree to strict conditions on open markets and clean governance set by Washington.

plus: bush family values
and grandfather bush and the nazi connection

Friday, 13 February 2004

Outlawing dissent

Spying on peace meetings, cracking down on protesters, keeping secret files on innocent people -- how Bush's war on terror has become a war on freedom.
(via my analog life)

"US bombers strike civilians in Baghdad"
The final death toll was 314 including 130 children.

Thursday, 12 February 2004


"If the public knew the truth, the war would end tomorrow. But they don't know and they can't know."
- 1914, Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George,
to Manchester Guardian editor C.P. Scott,
As quoted by Philip Knightly in his book
'The First Casualty: From the Crimea to Vietnam - Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth-maker'

"The Pentagon recently justified its’ position on censorship by insisting: ‘If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war.’"
- from ‘Military Blunders’ – article by Geoffrey Regan in ‘Night and Day’ (Mail on Sunday supplement) 23rd January 2000
EDWARD BERNAYS (1891 - 1995)

"Public relations embraces the "engineering of consent" based on Jefferson's principle that 'in a truly democratic society, everything depends upon the consent of the public.' This fundamental truth is the basis of my life's work."
(from 'The Future of Public Relations' by Edward L. Bernays)

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

"We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. . ."

"No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and cliches and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders..."
(excerpts from Edward Bernay's Propaganda -1928)

"The relative importance your newspaper gives to an occurrence affects your thought, your character, and your children's thought and character. For few daily habits are as firmly established as the habit of reading the newspaper."
('Crystallizing Public Opinion', bernays 1923)
No Pants Day 2004 is Friday, May 7th

......Did you know that in Britain "pants" means underwear? Shouldn't it be No Trousers Day instead?

.........."No Pants Day just sounds catchier, doesn't it? And besides, this gives British people something to mention when you bring up 'No Pants Day 2004' around them. They laugh and say, "In Britain, 'pants' means...." etc, etc, and they feel good for being the center of attention. So bully for them!"
(.........a compact journey from the 19th to the 21st century.....)

the initial victories of the mid 19th century european revolutions were short lived.

Why is it that the authorities, the forces of order and repression, who were chased from office in the mid 19th century, returned to power within just a year or two?

Once upon a time, in early 19th century italy, there were a network of secret societies who challenged the traditional absolutist order. they sought to oppose the suppressive measures of petty despots who preserved their rule through Austrian domination.

austria could always rely upon the threat of military intervention.

italian resistance to Austrian domination, was characterized by a growing movement for the unification of Italy and independence. it was known as the Risorgimento. Italian schoolbooks celebrate an adventurer and freedom fighter, the most famous soldier of the Risorgimento, the patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 - 1882).

Garibaldi said: "I offer neither pay, not quarters, nor food. I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely his lips, follow me." he is portrayed as a brilliant guerrilla fighter and his skills at rousing the masses are credited with making the unification of Italy possible.

the rest of Europe was astounded at the remarkable success of Garibaldi's handful of men, and his successes were highly contagious. many europeans, within the intervening half century since the 1789 french revolution, had been fermenting and congregating around the revolutionary slogans of "liberty, equality, fraternity".

thus europe wide, collectives for equality and movement took aim at absolutist and feudal or seigneurial institutions; "they advocated the granting of basic civil rights, an end to privilege and the realization of equality before the law, and the creation of representative institutions, and generally felt that all these measures required the framework of a nation."

however, throughout europe the collective parties of order proved to be more unified than their libertarian opponents. they proved better at mobilizing the powers of repression and coercion, and were more coordinated at an international level.

"Ironically throughout europe the extent of the support for the regimes of order was revealed by the overthrow of the absolutist authoritarian pre-1848 european regimes and by the creation of a freer and more open public life. it similarly allowed them to organize themselves effectively. These supporters of order were the mirror image of those of the party of liberty, rallied largely from the same causes, just with opposite effects."

"even in mid 19th century russia, for Marx and Engels there came a cessation of political activity, which lasted for many years. All traces of free political activity were obliterated. Labour unions were strictly forbidden. Free press had perished in the turmoil of 1849. The reaction which had commenced in 1819 was gaining in intensity and reached its climax in 1854."

generally throughout 19th century europe attempts to extend the "Declaration of the Right of Man" to all humanity caused far more controversy than consensus. it becomes impossible to comprehend the 1848 national revolutions with all their complexities. but as the european parties of movement fragmented, the parties of order were re-emerging as a major political force.

above all, 1848 was different from the french revolution of 1789 because in 1848 all sides had the advantage of remembering what had happened in 1789 and acted on those memories, thus creating a different outcome. plus the newly arising middle classes often took charge of revolutionary groups, ignoring or diluting the more radical demands of their working class brothers and sisters.

therefore a new and an extremely important political question arose, for all Europe and especially the revolutionists within the different countries. "What attitude were the revolutionists and socialists now to assume?"

the answer? the re-ascendance of the parties of order led directly to the systematic use of terror, or of an unanticipated violence - wether against governments, or the public or individuals - in order to achieve a political objective.

"and terrorism as a primary tactic was to be used by the revolutionary forces aswell as by the forces of order."

"from the revolutionistic perspective, terrorism was a legitimate means because the dominant states were too strong militarily to be openly confronted on the field of battle."

and from the party of order's perspective terrorism was a legitimate tool to use because..... well, hitler later summarised it best, when he said "Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death".

throughout much of the 20th century it was the communists who were to be branded the official terror bogeymen de jour. back in 1864 the First International was founded, giving Marx a chance to return to immediate revolutionary work, only this time on an international scale.

it was the threat of "communist terrorism"in 1933 that ensured the germans voted the nazis into power and gave excuses for other nations to do business with hitler. and ever since it was the perceived threat of communists that was used to 'justify' the bloody hand of american interference, found in nearly every international horror story of the 20th century.

the 20th century was the "american century".

indisputably the oscar for the 20th centuries greatest acts of state sanctioned terror goes to the american foreign policies of henry kissinger. though america can also claim to have perpetrated the single greatest terrorist act so far, when it dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (80,000 dead) and Nagasaki (40,000 dead).

terrorist tactics in the 20th and early 21st centuries, especially when its revolutionary-terrorism used against the state-terrorists, has an increased impact by being magnified through the lens of editorial mass communications. terrorist actions, via mass media institutional filtering and control, ensures that millions of people throughout the world are impacted simultaneously and repeatedly.

following the publication of the 19th century pronouncement that god was dead, the fledgling mass-media had poured smoothly into the imprint left by god's almighty absence. this new authorative voice was louder, brighter, sassier, and every bit as omnipresent. never before had the eternal void been filled with so much promise, and all in the here and now rather than some distant afterlife. in the beginning was the word and then came the transmission of moving pictures, worth a thousand words.

by the start of the 21st century the new commandments are the dictates of a concentrated extreme minority of multi media merchants. a tiny elite who own and control almost every one of the endless and seemingly seperate media formats. the illusion of variety of mass influential mediums, music, movies, books, news, is in reality a million writhing snakes on the heads of a few corporate gorgons.

decisions regarding what is to be included or disincluded within the babel-babble of our master's mainstream voice is controlled not through a covert conspiracy of like mindedness among media employees, but because we live in an an era of network news cutbacks and staff layoffs, resulting in too many reporters being reluctant to pursue stories they know will upset management. "People are more careful now," remarked a former NBC news producer,

so the question remains, what are the choices for today's spectrum of revolutionaries, patriots and freedom fighters alike? it is true that in some cases a fight for liberation can also be conducted using non-violent methods, as demonstrated by ben kingsley in attenburrough's ghandi movie. plus all sides are capable of deploying the emergent strategies of meme-warfare. but it is likely that terrorism, especially terrorism related to specific issues, will undergo an inordinate expansion. utilized by a variety of groups, such as the neo-Luddites that reject technology, or those opposed to abortion and taxes, like certain groups in the US.

and if theres any similar expansions in the ranks of "comedy terrorists", we can only pray they'll be a lot funnier than the uk's own Aaron Barschak, who did nonetheless successfully cause a stir by breaching security at the future king's party?

the serious issue is that right now, throughout the world from australia to zimbabwe, governments and businesses are practicing terror whilst simultaneously using the fear of unsanctioned terrorism to justify a rapid sacrifice of the human rights and fundamental freedoms that we've fought so hard for.

and the weather forecast? expect plenty more opportunities for state sanctioned pre-emptive terror and behind-the-scenes blackmail. expect prolonged mass suffering, fear and disappeared people as a result of state actions bearing sanitized and absurd code-names. (feel the nostalgia already for the almost shakespearian genius that was "operation enduring bloody freedom".)

does it remain true to say that no matter how dark the present, the faith of visionaries will continually ignite the future?

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

the Most understanding secretary... ever!
(via b3ta)
garth marenghi
A New Kind of Science

"Physicist and computer scientist Stephen Wolfram has made his seminal work, A New Kind of Science, available for free online. Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments, Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe."
..................CLICHES SAVE TIME. COMPLEXITY TAKES TOO LONG...............

its staggering, the persistence of mainstream news outlets in continually insulting and understimulating their audience's intelligence, and how mainstream news simultaneously disenfranchises and consistently fails to represent vast swathes of it's audience's daily realities.

no wonder some folk resort to terrorism to get their message across.

obviously underfunded colleges retching up a debt-ridden media-workforce all over our lives, have a tendency to teach contemporary thought but rarely practice it.

the mantras of institutional career track curriculae must go something like:
- oversimplify and then oversimplify some more;
- obedience to self censorship is essential and its criteria is set in stone,
- and most importantly, report nothing without knee jerk old cliches generously heaped into the final edit. "cliches save time. complexity takes too long."

cliches save time. complexity takes too long.

oh and repetition repetition repetition.

i mean there's a scottish PRIMARY school practicing a more revolutionary approach to learning and thinking than most universities (the room 13 site is here). they're not even 12 year olds and what they're putting into practice is so way beyond most of our adult institutions, (for which students are paying, out of huge long lasting debts).

anyway, recently there have been 4 mainstream news presentations, bursting full of cliches, that have grated especially, (and maybe i'll get round to focusing on each one in later seperate posts):
1- tabloid opinion polls focused on maxine carr's early release;
2- the guardian's report regarding the sentencing of the german cannibal;
3- telly appearances by the grieving family of a murder victim who are now blaming and campaigning against some internet porn sites;
and 4- the bomb on the moscow underground.

heres an initial attempt at knitting words related to the emotive traps within those 4 themes and stories. and i guess to begin its important to underline that "stories" is exactly what they are. complex real life events that are super-condensed into bite size media narratives. unless we are characters involved in the real events, our knowledge regarding the events only comes via the over-simplified and overly-repeated story versions (which themselves come from a desire to sell things....more papers, higher advertising revenues, and of course the things contained in the ads) and they are story moments amongst an infinite snow storm of other story moments. stories about celebrities, about lifestyles, and histories, and new products, about the media itself, and quiz shows and stories that are escapist fictions blah dee blah.

any single news dispenser, tv or print, is a pot-noodle of story moments with the inclusion of advertising especially guaranteed. all minced up words and visuals, narratively spliced together. deaths, crimes, celebrities, sport. all tumble drying as one. and every newspaper and news show is perpetually twinkling for our attention, as part of the infinite constellation of our mediated existences.

it is a meta-dada dream in excelsior.

dada was always more than just an artistic mind game. dada was a social revolution. it was spawned as a reaction to the absurdity and the mass horrors of world war one. here in the early 21st century we exist as a direct consequence of dadaist intent. dada r us. we are living full immersion inside the art of cut-up and recontextualised narrative. it is as the air we breathe, invisible, unconscious, constant.

so its handy that the dadaist pioneers also bequeathed us a number of strategies for best dealing with fractured realities.

Monday, 9 February 2004

and the winner of this year's i'm a celeb in the jungle is.......
Blair unveils plan for 'British FBI'
Tony Blair today announced a historic overhaul of Britain's law enforcement strategy, confirming government plans to create an FBI-style national force.

Israeli legal challenge to barrier
"israel's supreme court today heard petitions from two Israeli human rights groups opposed to the West Bank separation barrier..."
"in amadeus, mozart talks about how he's able to move around inside his compositions, as though the music has an architecture, like its a house he's building."
(.... grant morrison's millenial epic "the invisibles")

"JUST ONE MONTH after their gay marriage rocked the world, ecstatic newlyweds Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have adopted a shaved-ape baby to make their family complete."

"And while the news is sure to set terrorists' hearts aflutter, the animal-rights group that delivered the chimp to a go-between who promised that the 9-month-old was going to a "good home" say they were lied to -- and they want the little critter back."

"But it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon, because nobody -- not even the CIA with its Al Qaeda moles -- has any idea where Osama, Saddam and Robert, their new son, might be."

plus: "OSAMA Bin Laden has enlisted Adolf Hitler's 46-year-old clone to help him mastermind and win the war on terror that began with the 9-11 terror attacks on New York and Washington and could result in another spectacular strike on the United States before the year is out."

...In a top-secret memo to President George W. Bush, CIA director George Tenet warned that the Nazi madman's clone "complements and amplifies Osama's own evil genius" and presents "a clear and present danger" to the United States, both at home and abroad....

"The memo went on to say that efforts to find and kill Osama -- and the Hitler clone -- are of paramount importance . . . more important, suggests Tenet, than rebuilding Iraq, keeping the Taliban from regrouping in Afghanistan, shoring up the U.S. economy -- and putting Americans back to work."


1:, an online casino that paid British streaker Mark Roberts to paint its internet address on his chest then run naked on to the Super Bowl playing field, saw an immediate 380 per cent jump in web traffic.

2: I'm A Celebrity... get me a cool million out of this charade!

"They headed Down Under mocked as nonentities scraping the bottom of the barrel for the last vestiges of fame. They have endured the degradations of eating cockroaches, grubs and fish eyes for public entertainment. For many cynics, there is just one question: why?

Now comes the answer: Ratings have neared 12 million. While the contestants of ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! toil in the Australian jungle, their agents are already under siege from thousands of offers of advertisements, book contracts, endorsements, interviews, photo shoots, record deals, TV shows and even pantomime roles. Tabloid newspapers are engaged in ferocious bidding wars.

they will return to Britain to find themselves, fleetingly at least, hotter properties than film stars or Premiership footballers - and cashing in at least £1 million each. one tabloid group alone is to pay the model Jordan half a million pounds for her story. and Virgin Megastore ordered extra copies of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. sales of the Pistols’ seminal punk album are now up an incredible 184 per cent."

plus: Rotten, Razor and Rambo.....
dogma issue 006

"Dogma is a monthly log of opinion, reviews, news and previews covering music, politics, art, protests, cinema, science, ideas and movements from independent bloggers, journalists, philosophers, artists, critics, musicians, DJs and others from all over the world."

Sunday, 8 February 2004

Hellboy playmobil set
Living Machines

Technology and biology are converging fast. The result will transform everything from engineering to art - and redefine life as we know it.
John Sperling Wants You to Live Forever

For the past seven years, Sperling has quietly assembled an unorthodox team of researchers poised to use all relevant technology - including, ultimately, therapeutic cloning, stem cell medicine, and genetic engineering - to alleviate human suffering and the fear of death. Sperling oversees the effort by doling out funds from his own fortune.

Counting the stock he owns in the Apollo Group companies, that fortune is fast approaching $3 billion, most of which he says he plans to donate to research when he dies. If he follows through, Sperling will have created the single biggest private program to enhance human biology. Used to create an endowment, Sperling's money would generate at least $150 million a year - forever.

"Those who believe suitably programmed computers could enjoy conscious experience of the sort we enjoy must accept the possibility that their own experience is being generated as part of a computerized simulation.

It would be a mistake to dismiss this is just one more radical sceptical possibility: for as Bostrom has recently noted, if advances in computer technology were to continue at close to present rates, there would be a strong probability that we are each living in a computer simulation.

but even if computers cannot sustain consciousness (as many dualists and materialists believe), there may still be a strong likelihood that we are living simulated lives."

The molecule DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychoactive chemical that causes intense visions and can induce its users to quickly enter a completely different "environment" that some have likened to an alien or parallel universe.

The transition from our world to theirs occurs with no cessation of consciousness or quality of awareness. In this environment, beings often appear who interact with the person who is using DMT. The beings appear to inhabit this parallel realm. The DMT experience has the feel of reality in terms of detail and potential for exploration. The creatures encountered are often identified as being alienlike or elflike. Some of the creatures appear to be three-dimensional. Others appear to lack depth.

Author Terence McKenna has used DMT and feels that, "Right here and now, one quanta away, there is raging a universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien... What is driving religious feeling today is a wish for contact with this other universe." The aliens seen while using DMT present themselves "with information that is not drawn from the personal history of the individual."

dmt link 2

dmt 3
"the ego (is) a maladaptive behavioural complex in the psyche that gets going like a tumour. If it is not treated - if there's not pharmacological intervention - it becomes the dominant constellation of the personality."

"Our model that everything is pushed by the past into the future, by the necessity of causality, is wrong. There are actual attractors ahead of us in time - like the gravitational field of a planet. Once you fall under an attractor's influence, your trajectory is diverted."
Gene Could Let Humans Produce Healthy Fish Fat

Usually mammals cannot produce omega-3s from the more abundant omega-6 fatty acids, which do not have the health benefits of omega-3s.

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, which means that they are essential to human health. Because the human body can't manufacture them, however, they must be obtained from foods such as coldwater fish and plant oils

Genetic engineering has turned mice into a source of healthy omega-3 fat and could let humans produce it themselves.
engineered Mice Rebuild Damaged Muscles

Mice engineered to regenerate damaged muscle have provided insight into stem cells and their use to heal humans.

Such regenerative ability is natural in animals at the embryonic stage of development but is lost shortly after birth.
If you kick a robotic dog, is it wrong?
Mice Make Monkey Sperm

Mice with grafted testicle tissue have produced monkey sperm, a step towards preserving endangered primates and new reproductive options for infertile men.
gay penguins