Saturday, 30 October 2004

baby with cigarette and umbilical cord
Lasers Bring Brain Interfaces "Out of the Dark Ages"

Lasers may allow brain-machine interfaces that far exceed the capabilities of existing devices, permitting people to control artificial limbs through brain-linked fiber optic cables.

Currently, neural interfaces mainly stimulate nerves through electrodes wired to the brain. However, the researchers say, the electric method is not ideal as large areas around target neurons are also affected because of the way electricity travels through the tissue.

Unlike electricity, the laser light could pick off single cells and didn't affect surrounding neurons. Down the road, the researchers believe, a possible application could include an array of fiber optic threads that run from the brain to a prosthetic limb in an optical neural interface.


Brain-linked Robot Arm Closer to "Plug-and-play"
hmv: chant-sensitive ball-robots game

HMV is a board game from //////////fur////. The players can move semi-autonomous ball robots by making sounds. Form and gravity collude with voice, board and chance. Each ball listens to a certain pitch and starts to move if the right frequency was hummed or sung.
rebecca allen


Mindball is an experience product, a game where two players control a ball with their brain waves. The player being most relaxed wins the game. The brain waves are detected by sensors attached to the headbands. The sensors (electrodes) are connected to a biosensor system. The biosensor system, registers the electrical activity in the brain – so called EEG.
Human Connectedness

projects include...

a range of connected furniture for awareness of daily routines and rhythms between distant family members


Breakout for Two
an exertion interface for sports over a distance... or how to play soccer with someone who is at the other end of the planet.
By playing games, like pass-the-parcel, a University of Hertfordshire team is finding out how future robot companions should react in social situations.

The group is now working on Bins and Benches to be installed in The Junction (London). These urban furniture are able to roam free in the Piazza area. The benches and bins move and flock, drifting across the space, frolicking amongst the other species that inhabit their world, exploring their Piazza.

The benches love to be sat on, and they often take up position in new spaces to make themselves more attractive to potential human sitters. Sometimes, when it rains, they move themselves to drier, shadier areas of the square. To attract potential human sitting folk, they like to form patterns - the benches moving in to shapes in the centre of the piazza.

Each bench drifts slowly around the square, no faster than a strolling human, and is equipped with sensors that detect the presence of objects in its immediate vicinity, coming to a complete halt when any object is coming close.

The bins are a little more solitary. It's a tough life being a bin, and they like to contemplate their humble lot on their own.

When the mood takes them, the surniture like to burst in to song. Sometimes, small clusters gather together and sing a tight six-part harmony, and occasionally, though much more rarely due to their shyness, the bins join in with their sweet soprano voices.
(via we-make-money-not-art)
after living: The Process OF Mummification with martha stewart


how to make a zombie
(via screenhead)
true facts
November 2, 2004 is Election Day in the USA. November 2, 2004 is the "Day of the Dead" in Mexico
The Humanoid Robotics Laboratory
Are you ready to find out what your penis says about you according to the ancient art of phallomancy?
The Official Phyllodocida Appreciation Page
Ian's Shoelace Site
Shoelace Knots - How To Tie Your Shoes
(via Cliff Pickover's RealityCarnival)
rust fetish
dedicated to the love of rust and all that rusts.
Singularity Fun Theory

"Our worries about boredom in autopotent entities (a term due to Nick Bostrom, denoting total self-awareness and total self-modification) stems from our intuitions about sphexishness (a term due to Douglas Hofstadter, denoting blind repetition; "antisphexishness" is the quality that makes humans bored with blind repetition).  On the one hand, we worry that a transhuman will be able to super-generalize and therefore see all problems as basically the "same"; on the other hand we worry that an autopotent transhuman will be able to see the lowest level, on which everything is basically mechanical.

In between, we just basically worry that, over the course of ten thousand or a million years, we'll run out of fun."
Humpty Dumpty: The King James Version
Because bigger is better, right?
"Bush Relatives for Kerry" grew out of a series of conversations that took place between a group of people that have two things in common: they are all related to George Walker Bush, and they are all voting for John Kerry.
Japanese business man is tired
(via the presurfer)
evil clown generator
The Grocery List Collection
collection of found grocery lists
(via j-walk blog)
(via octopusdropkick)
"amazing info on homosexuals"
"2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes"
Revolutionary Minds
(via monkeyfilter)
Sixteen Ways to Leave Your Body
well told tales
almost human
Japanese trailer for Godard's "Weekend"
mobile death vans
Yasser Arafat

winner of a competition for The German language's most beautiful word.


the abc game
The Brownshirting of America
A country in which 42% of the population is totally misinformed is not a country where democracy is safe.


Why I believe in our president, by Thomas F. Schaller

100 Facts and 1 Opinion: The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration
death dot com
Suicide isn't so bad, give it a chance
Josh Draper's Chessboard made of Apples.
baby shake

the procedures of packing a fresh brain for shipment

the Male Pelvic Trainer and Prostate Trainer
cliff richards calender 2005 pdf

Male Madonna tribute

shucks50 and an obsession about Robert Evans

plus check out the overblown david hasselhoff flash intro

baa baa imperial sheep
2004 us Candidates In Drag

The Bush Raps (Re)Mix Contest
(via grow a brain)
god faq

5 numbers
another 5 numbers
game: nucleus

spam request

cunning stunt


cursor catcher

F4 Phantom Jet Hits Concrete Wall at 500 MPH
(via b3ta)
video mashup: Twilight Zone: Planet of the Apes

Monday, 25 October 2004

brain prosthesis has passed the first stages of live testing

The microchip, designed to model a part of the brain called the hippocampus, has been used successfully to replace a neural circuit in slices of rat brain tissue kept alive in a dish. The prosthesis will soon be ready for testing in animals.

The device could ultimately be used to replace damaged brain tissue which may have been destroyed in an accident, during a stroke, or by neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is the first attempt to replace central brain regions dealing with cognitive functions such as learning or speech.
Viewers to be able to shape TV

New Media for a New Millennium (NM2), an ambitious new 7.5m euro (£5.1m) project funded by the European Union, will have as its endgame the development of a completely new media genre, which will allow audiences to create their own media worlds based on their specific interests or tastes. Viewers will be able to participate in storylines, manipulate plots and even the sets and props of TV shows.

Imagine editing Titanic down to watch just your favourite bits or cutting out the slushier moments of Star Wars to leave you with a bare bones action-fest."Viewers will be able to interact directly with the medium and influence what they see and hear according to their personal tastes and wishes. Media users will no longer be passive viewers but become active engagers."
Fully Autonomous Robot Builds Its Own Brain and dreams

a robot has built its own synthetic central nervous system and then learned not only to walk, but how to autonomously enter and navigate the corridors of complex buildings.

neural networks spontaneously connect themselves in a matter of seconds into the neural circuitry required for extremely ambitious robotic brains. The resulting neural network architecture both resembles and functions like a brain, a collection of individual neural networks fused into a contemplative system that can form complete models of their worlds, consider alternative scenarios, and finally choose that alternative best suited to a given problem.

Even more exciting is the methodology used to accelerate the learning and the bootstrap toward creative behaviors. Rather than carry robots to various world settings and wait for different kinds of challenging scenarios to arise in order to enrich their learning experience, IEI’s robots effectively go to sleep and enter a virtual dream world wherein they experience myriad settings and situations against which they may pit their accumulating knowledge and creativity. When they awake, they may apply their dream state training to the real world, or use such experience to devise even more ambitious responses to newly arising environmental scenarios.

Recently, in a dramatic experiment conducted for the DoD, IEI scientists and engineers built a complex hexapod robot that effectively began life as a kind of “cybernetic road kill,” essentially a heap of tangled legs and electronics that learned how to walk in a period of only minutes. Continuing its learning in virtual reality, it self-originated new methodologies for navigating complex facilities and landscapes, as well as novel kinds of locomotion wherein it assumed bipedal stances to quickly evade threats. Awakened from its virtual reality test environment, it could then carry out similar behaviors in reality.
(via we-make-money-not-art)
super soldiers via exo-skeletons, cosmetic surgery, and removing their need for sleep and food. Nicholas Turse on darpa.

The military has long been interested in creating an always-on, 24-hour fighting man. During the Vietnam War, the Army undertook extensive studies on the effects of sleep deprivation. now the Air Force Research Laboratory's Warfighter Fatigue Countermeasure program is looking into a drug known as Modafinil which can reportedly keep people awake for up to 88 hours without sleep;

During World War II, it has been estimated that as few as 15-20% of American infantry troops actually fired their weapons at the enemy. last year, writing in the Village Voice, Erik Baard raised the specter of the creation of a "guilt-free soldier," noting that researchers from various universities across the U.S. (including Harvard, Columbia, NYU, and UC-Irvine) were working on various methods of fear-inhibition and also memory-numbing by using "propranolol pills

while if DARPA scientists have their way, the implants du jour of the future may be the product of the "Brain Machine Interface Program" which seeks "new high-density interconnects for brain machine interfaces that will allow [researchers] to monitor the brain patterns associated with a wide variety of behaviors and activities relevant to DoD [the Department of Defense]." Monkeys, with electrodes implanted in their brains, have already been taught to use thought-power to do such things as move a robotic arm. But why stop there?

plus Foodless Fighters? Water-free Warriors?

In a world where many still lack access to adequate clothing, despite it being decreed a basic human right in 1948, DARPA is pouring massive sums into building costly robotic suits.

In a world where 800 million people suffer from malnutrition and 1 billion lack access to potable water, food and water are only made 'sexy' when DARPA researchers figure out how a few (well armed) people in the global North can do without them on military missions (generally in the global South).

There's no DARPA-esque organization involved in actually solving the most pressing problems in the world. And yes, while some in the developing world could benefit from possible DARPA spin-off, trickle-down innovations like futuristic prosthetic limbs, many, many more could benefit from low-cost, low-tech public health initiatives. Of course, many would have no need for high-tech prosthetics if, for so many years, the U.S. military hadn't pumped so much money into weapons, especially landmine research and production.
(via cyborg democracy)
uk Navy approves first ever Satanist

but former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe said she was "utterly shocked" by the Royal Navy's decision.

"Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere, including the armed forces, are their own affair but I hope it doesn't spread." She added: "The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships.

"God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat."

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: "We are an equal opportunities employer and we don't stop anybody from having their own religious values."
Neural Interface Technology

We begin by growing living rat cortical neurons on multielectrode arrays (MEA) from MultiChannel Systems which consist of 60 electrodes arranged in an 8x8 grid.


'Brain' In A Dish Acts As Autopilot, Living Computer

The "brain" -- a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat's brain and cultured inside a glass dish

DeMarse experimental "brain" interacts with an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator through a specially designed plate called a multi-electrode array and a common desktop computer. "It's essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a grid at the bottom," DeMarse said. "Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network – a brain."
electrical outlet

Sunday, 24 October 2004


Only by recognising the terrorism of states is it possible to understand, and deal with, acts of terrorism by groups and individuals which, however horrific, are tiny by comparison.

"Few of us", wrote the playwright Arthur Miller, "can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied."

It is time we stopped denying it.

BBC reporters never report Israelis as terrorists: that term belongs exclusively to Palestinians imprisoned in their own land.

On 7 September, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 16 Israelis in the town of Beersheba. Every television news report allowed the Israeli government spokesman to use this tragedy to justify the building of an apartheid wall - when the wall is pivotal to the causes of Palestinian violence. Almost every news report marked the end of a five-month period of "relative peace and calm" and "a lull in the violence". During those five months of relative peace and calm, almost 400 Palestinians were killed, 71 of them in assassinations. During the lull in the violence, more than 73 Palestinian children were killed. A 13 year old was murdered with a bullet through the heart, a five year old was shot in her face as she walked arm in arm with her two-year-old sister. The body of Mazen Majid, aged 14, was riddled with 18 Israeli bullets as he and his family fled their bulldozed home.

None of this was reported in Britain as terrorism. Most of it was not reported at all. After all, this was a period of peace and calm, a lull in the violence.

The truth about Chechyna is similarly suppressed. On 4 February 2000, Russian aircraft attacked the Chechen village of Katyr Yurt. They used "vacuum bombs", which release petrol vapour and suck people's lungs out, and are banned under the Geneva Convention. The Russians bombed a convoy of survivors under a white flag. They murdered 363 men, women and children. It was one of countless, little known acts of terrorism in Chechnya perpetrated by the Russian state, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, has the "complete solidarity" of Tony Blair.

On the atrocity at Beslan, Blair is allowed to say, without irony or challenge, that "this international terrorism will not prevail". These are the same words spoken by Mussolini soon after he had bombed civilians in Abyssinia.
Project For The New American Century (Quicktime) 25mb
The American prison company whose director set up Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib jail is bidding to run a number of prisons in Britain.

Saturday, 23 October 2004

Big Brother's next step: show that lasts forever

Germany's version of the Big Brother reality TV show will take a giant leap next spring with the opening of a small town mimicking The Truman Show concept.

There will be a forest, a town square with shops and a church, schools and businesses. Contestants will, it is hoped, live there for years, falling in love, going to school, even getting married. The producers hope to lure in businesses to employ them, as well as teachers and doctors.

He said they would handpick the "very best group, all unemployed" to live in what will be a cross between the Truman Show and Disneyworld.

Smart fabrics make for enhanced living

Imagine a handbag that warns you if you are about to forget your umbrella or wallet, and which you can later turn into a scarf that displays today’s pollution levels. Or how about creating a wall hanging that glows if someone tries to use your home’s wireless internet connection?

All these objects could soon be possible thanks to a system of computerised fabric patches developed by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Each patch contains a functional unit of the system - a microprocessor and memory plus either a radio transceiver, a sensor, a microphone, batteries or a display. Put the patches together in different ways and you can create a variety of information-providing or environment-sensing objects, say developers Adrian Cable, Gauri Nanda and Michael Bove at MIT’s Media Lab.

To keep it waterproof, the circuit board inside a patch is coated with a hard transparent resin. It is then padded with a thin layer of foam and encapsulated in the chosen fabric. It can be populated with a variety of components, from Bluetooth transmitters to a cut-down PC motherboard.

The patches are joined using Velcro, which has been modified to enable electrical as well as physical connections. Wires from the circuit board are attached to silver-coated contacts in the Velcro. In this way, data and power can flow from one module to the next. Using square or triangular patches the user can fashion, and refashion, useful objects such as bags, belts, curtains or scarves. “You could wear a system as a scarf today and a belt tomorrow,” Bove says.


Radical fabric is one atom thick

A new class of material, which brings computer chips made from a single molecule a step closer, has been discovered by scientists. Called graphene, it is a two-dimensional, giant, flat molecule which is still only the thickness of an atom.

The nanofabric's remarkable electronic properties mean that an ultra-fast and stable transistor could be made. Graphene is part of the family of famous fullerene molecules, discovered in the last 20 years, which include buckyballs and nanotubes.
"Don't let your preoccupation with reality stifle your imagination" ........Robert A. Cassanova and Sharon M. Garrison
The number of robots helping us out with the cleaning, security and entertainment in the home is set to soar sevenfold by 2007, says the UN.

meanwhile the luddites and bio-conservatives of the world unite.....

Yucel Bozak, Turkey says.... "I think that we must use the robots for all our dirty works but not as a pet or friend. To accept them as a friend kills our emotions. The robots can be strong, useful and fast, but they don't have a heart."

Jo, Peterborough says... "Haven't we seen enough dodgy movies to learn that, ultimately, robots will take over the planet and enslave humankind? This is a bad idea!"

Dave Hands, Birmingham, UK says..... "Since the introduction of labour-saving devices there has been a noticeable increase in mental illness, silly ideas, depression, stress and anxiety. Arguably this is due to the amount of time we now have to sit around wondering what to do. I don't mean that we should return to the days of endless hard work just getting the washing done/house cleaned. But there is a limit. More machines means more isolation which in turn will lead to more illness, more depression and more anxiety. One wonders whether we will live to see a "bonfire of the micro chips", when people burn their computers, robots, mobile phones etc in an attempt to get their privacy and minds back?"

Ryan, Poole, UK says.... "I think it is actually quite scary, I'm all for techno-advancement; but it could end up being like The Terminator one day when computers rise up to dispel their war-mongering creators. You only need to look at how hackers are already recruiting networks of thousands of 'bot computers to wage virus war against millions of innocent people."

Jason, UK..... "What do you mean, "is it right to get robots to do our dirty work?" That's like asking, "is it right to use a car to get you from place to place!?" It's a ridiculous question, robots are machines, tools and nothing more. I know how it might be nice to think of films like Millennium Man or I Robot or The Matrix and give robots an intelligence they simply do not posses at this time (and it's very doubtful they ever will). A modern robot is nothing but a fancy spanner. Would I let it do my dirty work? Yes!"

Roma , Middlesex, UK says.... "There is no substitute for warm human contact, real emotion, compassion,and understanding. Above all a sincere heart. Let's move with the times but lets not forget the need for the more basic things in life, love and affection, only a real friend, dog etc can offer these things.Robots are fine in their place but I don't think the home is that place."

Charles Martin, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear says.... "I have to say it seems to scary to be honest. Although I do like the idea of cleaning robots. Lets just hope and pray they don't take over the world! I'm half and half about the whole robot idea."
ArtFutura 2004 . Realidad Aumentada 28 al 31 de Octubre
"No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
....E. Roosevelt
Parenting for Youth Liberation an interview With Cynthia Peters

"There is no getting around -- nor should there be -- the fact that parents have a lot of power over children. We exercise the greatest power of all, which is deciding to bring children into the world, or, as in the case of adoption, deciding to bring children into our families. Once I bring a child into my family, I continue to exercise a lot of power over her. I decide where she will live, what her name will be, who she will live with, whether she will have siblings, which community subcultures she will experience, what language she will speak, what she will eat, how often she gets a bath, and how much she will be held...

as a parent, I experience many social and economic and cultural pressures which significantly affect the options I can make available to my child, her opportunities, and values. Making these institutions less oppressive is probably the single most important thing we could do to influence parents to be less oppressive towards their children...

We can prioritize developing relationships with our kids based in mutual respect, not fear. Our authority should be rooted in honestly trying to do what's best for the child. When you say to your kid, "Sure, you can play outside, but please don't cross the street," you're not arbitrarily throwing your weight around. You're looking out for your kid's best interest according to your best judgement of how safe your kid would or wouldn't be crossing the street. Ideally, your kid understands this and basically takes it for granted since you have a long track record of taking good care of him, and he, astutely, has noticed. Thus, the child can get down to the serious work of playing in the yard. If on the other hand, your track record is one of inconsistent use of power, arbitrariness, and mixed signals about how much you care, then your kid is unlikely to pay any attention to even your sensible rules because he, again astutely, has noticed that you care more about being in control, than you care about him...

In a large institution like a school, kids can’t stray too far from the average range -- in academics or behavior. Rules, norms, remedial programs, disciplinary actions, rewards, expectations and even medications work to pull children as close to the curve as possible. Millions of children are diagnosed with learning disabilities, prescribed ritalin, bribed, punished, or just gently coaxed to stay with the program. If children stray from prescribed norms, how can a class of 30 or a school of hundreds, possibly thousands, function? Furthermore, how will children move from the educational world to the work world if they haven’t learned to tolerate boredom; respond easily (if numbly) to rules, expectations and meaningless hierarchies; squash organic desires and replace them with externally generated ones; consume grades, certificates and other rewards for a job well done; meanwhile accepting the “bitter pill” explanation for all that is dull, boring, and relentlessly draining around us.

Imagine the consequences if kids were empowered to reject monotony, develop internal incentives, question authority, and refine the ability to think deeply and thoroughly, rather than skittishly and superficially, about topics that move them. They might actually question the necessity of boring rote work and bosses. They might rebel against the notion that they have more to offer society than what can be extracted from them in terms of their productivity - whether it’s filling in the proper oval with their number 2 pencil (as a student), or making consumer gadgets (as a worker) and then conuming them (during their meager leisure time)."
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power)

"Actually, I happen to have been very lucky myself and gone to an experimental-progressive Deweyite school, from about the time I was age one-and-a-half to twelve. And there it was done routinely: children were encouraged to challenge everything, and you sort of worked on your own, you were supposed to think things through for yourself -- it was a real experience.

And it was quite a striking change when it ended and I had to go to the city high school, which was the pride of the city school system. It was the school for academically-oriented kids in Philadelphia -- and it was the dumbest, most ridiculous place I've ever been, it was like falling into a black hole or something. For one thing, it was extremely competitive -- because that's one of the best ways of controlling people. So everybody was ranked, and you always knew exactly where you were: are you third in the class, or maybe did you move down to fourth? All of this stuff is put into people's heads in various ways in the schools -- that you've got to beat down the person next to you, and just look out for yourself..."
Ageing: the future is affordable
The real problem in the 'pensions crisis' is not demographics, but our mean-spirited attitude towards the elderly.

"there is no basis for maintaining that ageing is unaffordable. On the contrary - we should be looking forward to greater prosperity for people of all ages. The genuine problem we face, as in so many other areas today, is not financial or economic but is our negative and cynical view of the future. Our real problem is that ageing is perceived to be a problem. Actions taken because of the fear of this older future are already having deleterious effects for lots of older people. If these irrational anxieties are allowed to fester and this direction of policy continues, it will be to all our detriments."
Daily Mail-o-matic
A new Daily Mail headline every time you click the green button.

Friday, 22 October 2004

Most products we see on the market want to increase our productivity, organize our screen joyfully or make wonders with our sound card, but NaDa does nothing. This is a revolutionary whole new approach, a concept far beyond what you usually expect from the software industry. Download it and forget it.
flash: treasure box
(via octopusdropkic)
spray-on Astronaut Bio-Suit System from The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts

In many respects, the Bio-Suit System mimics Nature (biomimetics).  For example, a second skin is envisioned, capable of augmenting our biological skin by providing mechanical counter-pressure. Perhaps the ‘epidermis’ of such a second skin will be a ‘spray-on’, organic, biodegradable layer offering protection in extremely dusty planetary environments. 

Incorporated into the second skin will be electrically actuated artificial muscle fibers to enhance human strength and stamina.  Locomotion and performance are further enhanced by implementing biomimetic locomotion algorithms to actuate performance-enhancing hardware. 

Wearable technologies will be embedded throughout the Bio-Suit System to place the explorer in an information-rich environment enabling real-time mission planning, prediction, and visualization.  Human-in-the-loop modeling algorithms will be developed to calculate metabolic exploration costs and to plan and dynamically update optimal astronaut traverses that account for changing mission requirements. 

The Bio-Suit System addresses the feasibility of further augmenting human capabilities by coupling human and robotic abilities into a hybrid of the two, to the point where the explorer is hardly aware of the boundary between innate human performance and robotic activities.
(via cyborg democracy via we-make-money-not-art)
The bag that won’t forget its contents

"RFID-enabled bag has sensors that will let it know when its being picked up - it scans to make sure you’ve got what you brought, and has a voice synth declare (as it were), “Cellphone: yes. Wallet: yes. Keys: no!” hey, anything that makes it easier for us not to think is just fine. They’re also planning on adding a version that checks the weather to make sure you’ve brought an umbrella. Science marches on."
(via endgadget)
M-TRAN II: Self-Reconfigurable Modular Robot
(via stumbling tongue)
Experts fear escape of 1918 flu from lab

The 1918 flu virus spread across the world in three months and killed at least 40 million people. If it escaped from a lab today, the death toll could be far higher. “The potential implications of an infected lab worker – and spread beyond the lab – are terrifying,” says D. A. Henderson of the University of Pittsburgh, a leading biosecurity expert.

Yet despite the danger, researchers in the US are working with reconstructed versions of the virus at less than the maximum level of containment. Many other experts are worried about the risks. “All the virologists I have spoken to have concerns,” says Ingegerd Kallings of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control in Stockholm, who helped set laboratory safety standards for the World Health Organization.
Injectable chip destroys cancer cells
Transhumanism at the Crossroads
"To survive and thrive, transhumanism must become an inclusive social movement"
Protest against Iran blog arrests

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

"The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public."
(......Former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, the New York Times, April 9, 1944)
Bertrand Russell (Authority and Individual, 1949)

"There is over a large part of the earth's surface something not unlike a reversion to the ancient Egyptian system of divine kingship, controlled by a new priestly caste...gone to lengths which would have astonished the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries both in England and in America.

Individual initiative is hemmed in either by the State or by powerful corporations, and there is a great danger lest this should produce, as in ancient Rome, a kind of listlessness and fatalism that is disastrous to vigorous life. I am constantly receiving letters saying: `I see that the world is in a bad state, but what can one humble person do? Life and property are at the mercy of a few individuals who have the decision as to peace or war. Economic activities on any large scale are determined by those who govern either the State or the large corporations. Even where there is nominally democracy, the part which one citizen can obtain in controlling policy is usually infinitesimal. Is it not perhaps better in such circumstances to forget public affairs and get as much enjoyment by the way as the times permit?'

I find such letters very difficult to answer, and I am sure that the state of mind which leads to their being written is very inimical to a healthy social life. As a result of mere size, government becomes increasingly remote from the governed and tends, even in a democracy, to have an independent life of its own. I do not profess to know how to cure this evil completely, but I think it is important to recognise its existence and to search for ways of diminishing its magnitude."
(via libertarianoid)
the faith-based presidency

extracts from Without a Doubt By Ron Suskind

bush truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.

The president has demanded unquestioning faith from his followers, his staff, his senior aides and his kindred in the Republican Party. Once he makes a decision - often swiftly, based on a creed or moral position - he expects complete faith in its rightness.

open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker.

through the summer of 2001 a cluster of particularly vivid qualities was shaping George W. Bush's White House: a disdain for contemplation or deliberation, an embrace of decisiveness, a retreat from empiricism, a sometimes bullying impatience with doubters and even friendly questioners. Already Bush was saying, Have faith in me and my decisions, and you'll be rewarded. All through the White House, people were channeling the boss. He didn't second-guess himself; why should they?

"What I started to see at this point was the man that would emerge over the next year - a messianic American Calvinist. He doesn't want to hear from anyone who doubts him."

It was during a press conference on Sept. 16, in response to a question about homeland security efforts infringing on civil rights, that Bush first used the telltale word "crusade" in public. "This is a new kind of - a new kind of evil," he said. "And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while."

In a speech in Alaska two weeks later, Bush again referred to the war on terror as a "crusade."

 In the summer of 2002, , I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

which explains everything.... They aren't lying – they're creating "new realities."

How does one debate a ruler who has the power to "create new realities"? The answer is: one doesn't. In this new conception of America's chief executive, Bush isn't the president, or even a monarch in the traditional sense, but the virtual embodiment of the American hyperpower: accountable to nothing and no one, either human or divine. The cruelty of Abu Ghraib, the needless slaughter of the war and its aftermath of planned chaos, the campaign of deception that made it all possible – none of this matters to our Promethean overlords, who, in "creating new realities" in the Middle East – nay, the world! – are beyond good and evil.These Actors of History are the creators of our destiny, while the rest of us are just along for the ride.

George W. Bush and his team have constructed a high-performance electoral engine. The soul of this new machine is the support of millions of likely voters, who judge his worth based on intangibles - character, certainty, fortitude and godliness - rather than on what he says or does. The deeper the darkness, the brighter this filament of faith glows, a faith in the president and the just God who affirms him.

The leader of the free world is clearly comfortable with this calculus and artfully encourages it. In the series of televised, carefully choreographed "Ask President Bush" events with supporters around the country, sessions filled with prayers and blessings, one questioner recently summed up the feelings of so many Christian conservatives, the core of the Bush army. "I've voted Republican from the very first time I could vote," said Gary Walby, a retired jeweler from Destin, Fla., as he stood before the president in a crowded college gym. "And I also want to say this is the very first time that I have felt that God was in the White House." Bush simply said "thank you" as a wave of raucous applause rose from the assembled.

A recent Gallup Poll noted that 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as evangelical or "born again."

"You think he's an idiot, don't you?" I said, no, I didn't. "No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!" In this instance, the final "you," of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

 "To me, I just believe God controls everything, and God uses the president to keep evil down, to see the darkness and protect this nation," Billington told me, voicing an idea shared by millions of Bush supporters. "Other people will not protect us. God gives people choices to make. God gave us this president to be the man to protect the nation at this time."


the theory and practice of oligarchical collectivism
"The essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies, all this is indispensibly necessary."

Monday, 18 October 2004

recycled link...
creatures in my head
The Call of Cthulhu Teaser trailer
barcode art
disney deaths

"Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." ......George Santayana

"Have you not noticed that Americans don't give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies ... I don't give a rat's ass if our election is going to have an effect on your worthless little life. I really don't. If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah - and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals." - (Wading River, NY) american replies, after the guardian newspaper launched Operation Clark County to help uk readers have a say in the American election by writing to undecided voters in the crucial state of Ohio.


An American scapegoat in London
"I don't like what is happening in Britain, and am dismayed at the level at which anti-Americanism has peaked in recent months. In Britain, America-bashing is so bad that I fear for my safety." writes Carol Gould

Which America Hating Minority Are You?

Are you listening, America? global issues that a president cannot ignore

If Americans Knew ...... what every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine

A history of the Iraq war, told entirely in lies

proposition911 U.S. citizens have a reason, a right and a responsibility to demand the whole 9/11 Truth from George W. Bush

plus... With 30 states poised to smack down women's rights again, the one true savior emerges .......Oprah

Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed

vote scam

fuck the vote

plus in the past week or so stories have circulated regarding.....

mutiny in the ranks? army Unit Refused Iraq Mission, Military Says
Harold Casey said his grandson, Justin Rogers, 22, called him Saturday to tell him that he and other soldiers were put under armed guard after refusing to deliver the supplies. another soldier old her family "We had broken down trucks, non-armored vehicles and, um, we were carrying contaminated fuel. They are holding us against our will. We are now prisoners,"

Confusion over ousted Iraqi deputy PM Tariq Aziz's Death.... "An Arab TV channel has claimed that the former Iraqi deputy prime minister and former foreign minister Tariq Aziz has died under US custody. But the US military said it had “absolute confirmation” that Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former deputy prime minister, was still alive."

and Bin Laden está en China according to El Mundo .... "However, Bin Laden could now see himself trapped in his refuge in the turbulent Muslim provinces of China, in the Northwest of the Great Wall nation. As we speak, Washington is negotiating a highly secretive agreement with Beijing, the Chinese capital, in which China would hand over to the United States the most wanted terrorist in the world." could this be bush's october surprise?

........"Theresa, the wife of the senator and democratic candidate, John Kerry, gave to understand that another October surprise could be imminent. Two weeks ago, she surprised the political advisors of her husband by declaring in public: "I wouldn't be surprised if, prior to the elections, president Bush were to capture Osama." Since then, Mrs. Kerry rejected to further comment on her explosive declaration. However, there are rumors in the intelligence community that both she and her husband had been advised that any further comments concerning an agreement that would include the capture of Bin Laden could comprimise the national security of the U.S. 

Furthermore, also the Washington analyst, Al Santoli, the national security advisor and Californian Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, and the editor of the respected bulletin China Monitor, affirmed that "an October surprise wouldn't surprise me in the least."

the original october surprise was played out towards the end of the presidency of Jimmy Carter, a secret deal was signed between the then future president of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, and Iran, in which the American diplomats, who had been kidnapped in Teheran, the Capital of Iran, would be freed the very day that Ronald Reagan would be inaugurated to the White House. According to Ari Ben-Menashe, the former national security advisor of the Israeli government of Yitzhak Shamir, " they paid an enormous sum of money to the Ayatollas of Iran." Ben-Menashe affirms that this deal formed a pivotal piece in the negotiations that later became known as Reagan's October surprise. 


Hussein Link to 9/11 Lingers in Many american Minds.
around this time last year it was reported that seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this.

while an equally staggering 45% of Americans believe that their news media is .....wait for it....... 'too liberal'.

but what can you expect from a country where thirty two percent of Americans questioned in a survey about views on life after death believe hell is "an actual place of torment and suffering where people's souls go after death".
"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic" .......Joseph Stalin

"Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong?" ....Holly Near
uk Soldiers' parents join 70,000 - 100,000 at anti-war rally

people from more than 70 countries rallied yesterday in Trafalgar Square against the Iraq war, calling for troops to be pulled out and Tony Blair to be tried in the international courts.

"I believe that the government is to blame for my son's death for sending him to Iraq without enough training - he had only done six months." said Rose Gentle. Mrs Gentle's son, Private Gordon Gentle, 19, from Glasgow was serving with the Royal Highland Fusiliers when he was killed in a roadside blast in Basra in June this year.
uk Prison suicides soar
UK boost for biomass fuel crops

The UK is to encourage the production of biomass, crops grown specially for use as environmentally friendly fuels. The government is setting up a task force to stimulate biomass supply and demand, and offering a range of grants.

Ministers hope this will help the UK to meet its targets for using renewable energy, and that it will also boost farming, forestry and the countryside.
uk Blasphemy law to be scrapped
Spaces in this world lead to others

"According to the emerging paradigm, "matter" and "consciousness" no longer seem to be essentially different. This opens a new avenue for understanding consciousness. One of the most challenging dimensions of this deeper understanding is the question of whether altered states of consciousness offer us a valid, perhaps more comprehensive, picture of reality. Different levels of consciousness disclose different levels of reality. To limit knowledge only to the products of the rational mind (which is the rationalistic-scientific paradigm that emerged in the seventeenth century and has since dominated Western culture) is nothing else than a form of reductionism, though an extremely successful one from the point of view of technology."

Paralysed man sends e-mail by thought

In June 2004, surgeons implanted a device containing 100 electrodes into the motor cortex of a 24-year-old quadriplegic. The device, called the BrainGate, was developed by the company Cyberkinetics, based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Each electrode taps into a neuron in the patient's brain.

The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head.

The team now plans to implant devices into four more patients.

Historical Anatomies on the web

foot binding

Retinal Surgery

St. Mary's Grade 2 Class students' drawings about the human body

"It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It's like disapproving of rain." .....Francis Maude

"From my point of view, being out is not about anything political. It's just because I can't be bothered to be in." .....Rupert Everett

Linda Harvey is president of Mission America, a "pro-family" organization which monitors homosexual activism in youth culture.

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" ..... Ernest Gaines

"homosexually oriented males account for more than half of male youth suicide problems"

US bishop 'regret' over gay split

"The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." .....Lynn Lavner

......"How beautiful when a bride can say to her husband on their wedding night, “I have kept this garden virginal for you, and now, with God's permission I am giving you its key, knowing that you will enter into it with reverence.” This touching piece of writing would be a lovely gift of truth for a young girl or even for a young boy to read in the proper context"...... (

"Sincerity is the most important thing in all relationships. Once you can fake that, you've got it made."
(....... Oscar Wilde)

"Manners are a way of getting what you want without appearing to be an absolute swine."
(........Quentin Crisp)

the good_wifes_guide

The Victorian Sex Cry Generator

vulva puppets

Couples vote sex hotel a hit The Liberty Hotel squats in the Leicestershire countryside on the edge of the A5, a convenient 10 minutes from the M1 and the M6. BMWs and Mondeos line up in the car park. It looks a comfortable stop for a sales rep. But at weekends Liberty becomes Liberation, a high-class club for swingers that is set to transform the seedy image of swinging and the staid hotel industry. "What once seemed an outré lifestyle is fast becoming a common secret for an estimated 500,000 couples in middle England."


Magna Carta for Sex Work

Whore Activist Network

Prostitute's Education Network

International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture and Education

Coalition to Decriminalize Prostitution

Prostitutes of NY (PONY)

COYOTE- Los Angeles

Exotic Dancer's Alliance

Coalition on Prostitution


We're single... and proud

'meal for one' society

Babies with three parents ahead
subversive cross stitch
the box doodle project


m p 3

oddio overplay

Sunday, 17 October 2004

the robot hall of fame

Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with the Carnegie Science Center, inducted the second class of robots into the Robot Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony on Monday, Oct. 11

The robots selected this year are: ASIMO Honda's humanoid robot; Shakey, the first mobile robot to reason about its actions, developed by SRI International; Astro Boy, a Japanese animation of a robot with a soul; Robby the Robot, from MGM's 1956 science-fiction epic "Forbidden Planet;" and C-3PO, from the Star Wars series.

victimless leather: Jacket Grows From Living Tissue

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr at the Tissue Culture & Art Project are focused on growing living tissue into a leather-like material and having it mature in the form of a miniature, stitchless, coat-like shape.

Grown using a combination of mouse and human cells, the jacket is currently quite tiny (about 2 inches high and 1.4 inches wide) and would just fit a mouse.

Cells used in the project so far have come from so-called immortalized cell lines, or cells that divide and multiply forever once they are removed from an animal or human host, essentially forming a renewable resource.

"For example, the 3T3 mouse cells which are very common in scientific research centers around the globe can be weighed in tons or even tens of tons and they all came from one mouse in the 1970s."
(via gravity lens)

The Dicshunary aims to provide a home for all the small, endangered werds that might only exist in the language of one neighbourhood, one family or even one person

A Growing Dictionary of Old and New Words

The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form

An exercise in finding meaning in nonsense.
Click the Generate button to view a new word. Keep clicking until you see a new word that suggests a meaning to you. When you generate a word you'd like to see listed in the WordGizmo Dictionary, please submit a definition.

What concepts do not exist in the English language?

1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

60s slang

swearsaurus is the world's largest resource of multilingual swearing

jesus h ......
(via green fairy)


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.

Monkeys Turned Into Workaholics With Brain Gene Suppression

the chimpanzee could be extinct in around 50 years

the great ape project: equality beyond humanity
Animal Astronauts
Paul Hurley: 'Earthworm Man'

a series of performances, "Becomings Invertebrate" investigates humanity in the natural world.

In one of his earlier performances, Hurley coated himself in KY Jelly and played the role of a slug and has also performed as a snail licking the inside of a greenhouse.

inviting some of the homeless men on London's streets to display their belongings those carried in their pockets, or in a bag.
(via geisha asobi blog)
"Why it's OK for transgenic plants and animals to spread" by Ronald Bailey @

kitchen Created by bertrand sereno @


How to Make Fried Oreo Cookies
(via grow-a-brain)


the sandwich project

monkey pops

Friday, 15 October 2004

(via grow-a-brain)

The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear

thank god for Adam Curtis. a rare and vitally refreshing tv presence.

Adam Curtis' excellent previous tv series was the century of the self. an acclaimed examination of the rise of the all-consuming self against the influential backdrop of the Freud dynasty.

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; his nephew Edward Bernays, credited as the inventer of public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund's devoted daughter; and Sigmund's great grandson and present-day PR guru Matthew Freud. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? the me generation, self-help movements, gurus, and mottos such as "change yourself and you'll change the world". corporations and politicians soon realised that this new self was their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality.

now, starting next Wednesday, BBC2 is to broadcast Curtis' latest three-part documentary series The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear.

"Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death". ...hitler

Much of the currently perceived threat from international terrorism, the series argues, "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media." The series' explanation for this is even bolder: "In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power."

During the three years in which the "war on terror" has been waged, high-profile challenges to its assumptions have been rare. The sheer number of incidents and warnings connected or attributed to the war has left little room, it seems, for heretical thoughts.

Adam Curtis, who wrote and produced the series, acknowledges the difficulty of saying such things now. "If a bomb goes off, the fear I have is that everyone will say, 'You're completely wrong,' even if the incident doesn't touch my argument. This shows the way we have all become trapped, the way even I have become trapped by a fear that is completely irrational."

"Almost no one questions this myth about al-Qaida because so many people have got an interest in keeping it alive," says Curtis. He cites the suspiciously circular relationship between the security services and much of the media since September 2001: the way in which official briefings about terrorism, often unverified or unverifiable by journalists, have become dramatic press stories which - in a jittery media-driven democracy - have prompted further briefings and further stories. Few of these ominous announcements are retracted if they turn out to be baseless: "There is no fact-checking about al-Qaida." not in the mainstream media at least.

"Insecurity is the key driving concept of our times," says Durodie, director of the international centre for security analysis at King's College London. "Politicians have packaged themselves as risk managers. There is also a demand from below for protection." The real reason for this insecurity, he argues, is the decay of the 20th century's political belief systems and social structures: people have been left "disconnected" and "fearful".


Poll reveals world anger at Bush
George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11 with public opinion in 10 leading countries - including some of its closest allies - growing more hostile to the United States while he has been in office. in britain alone 73% of British voters say that the US now wields an excessive influence on international affairs. A majority in Britain also believe that US democracy is no longer a model for others. and a majority of British voters - 51% - say that they believe that American culture is threatening our own culture.



"Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability In An Uncertain Age" by Frank Furedi

"Creating the enemy" by Brendan O'Neil

the angry brigade, the weatherman, and Baader-Meinhof


When one of Plato's friends came to his deathbed and asked him to state his philosophy in one simple sentence, Plato is said to have replied: "Practice to die"
"Most people think life sucks, and then you die.  Not me.  I beg to differ.  I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe."  .....Denis Leary

Thursday, 14 October 2004

what brand are you


the bland leading the blind.

the prevalent cult of labels is something i will never understand. why do so many people want to ally themselves with prominent brands?. theres a man on the telly showing us some of his wardrobe. he pulls out a very ordinairy looking t-shirt and he feels it nescessary to mention whatever label it is and how it cost whatever excessive amount of money. he pulls out an ordinairy looking striped shirt and tells us its paul smith and however much it cost. he pulls out a stripey jumper, tells us its d and g and that it cost another kerzillion pounds. etc etc. his entire wardrobe is drab and non-descript. it could have been bought from anywhere, at any time, at any price.

he ends the segment by saying "all my life i've felt the need to fit in, but..." he points to his open wardrobe.... "i like to stand out aswell."

i guess that for him the specialness is contained in the brand names and the expensive price tags, but the irony is that those very ingredients make it all the more uniform and mass-meaningless.

"When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened."
.....Sir Winston Churchill
Servers seized by FBI returned - but who wanted what?

The Indymedia hardware seized in London last week were put back in place over the last 24 hours. the circumstances of the seizure still remain unclear: who took them, why were they taken, and under which court order? Indymedia is not aware as to whether Rackspace is still under gag order.

Although the data on the drives appears intact, Indymedia is treating them as potentially compromised, and won't boot them or take the servers live until they've been verified.

Richard Allan, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, has tabled a Parliamentary question to the Home Office asking David Blunkett "what recent discussions he has had with US law enforcement agencies concerning the seizure of material from UK-based internet hosting providers; and if he will make a statement." This is to be dealt with tomorrow. MPs in the National Union of Journalists' Parliamentary Group are also tabling questions.

plus... Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a non-profit civil liberties organisation founded on January 10, 1997. Its main purpose is to promote free speech and privacy on the Internet and raise public awareness of these important issues.
the most cash-drenched presidential battle ever

The US presidential contest is set to be the first billion dollar election in political history and a crass reminder of what so called "democracy" is really all about.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Shares of Applied Digital Solutions soared early Wednesday after the company and its majority-owned partner Digital Angel received approval of the VeriChip implantable microchip for use with humans from the Food and Drug Administration.

About the size of a grain of rice, the radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip is implanted in the triceps area between the elbow and the shoulder of the right arm. Inserting the chip involves a brief, painless procedure using local anesthetic, and once under the skin, the VeriChip is invisible to the naked eye, the companies said.


Barcelona clubbers get chipped
VIP clients have syringe-injected microchip implanted in their upper arms. gives them special access to VIP lounges, also acts as a debit account from which they can pay for drinks.

human trials are set to begin on a brain-computer interface involving implants
four-square-millimeter chips will be placed beneath the skulls of paralyzed patients. If successful, the chips could allow patients to command a computer to act -- merely by thinking about the instructions they wish to send.

Micro-robots capable of manipulating human cells are no more than a year away, scientists have claimed

Analog Chips Mimic Retina
Efforts to overcome blindness with artificial devices. a new approach that uses analog chips instead of digital chips to replace defective areas in the human retina, the optic nerve and the wiring of the brain itself.

Microchip promises smart artificial arms

Synapse chip taps into brain chemistry
"A microchip that uses chemicals instead of pulses of electricity to stimulate neurons has been created. It could open the way to implants that interact with our nervous system in a far more subtle way than is possible now."

an artificial hippocampus. Unlike devices like cochlear implants, which merely stimulate brain activity, this silicon chip implant will perform the same processes as the damaged part of the brain it is replacing.

local bbc tv news reported the trial chip-implant tagging of children.

kevin warwick

the bbc site asks..... Who watches murder videos?

"Footage of Ken Bigley's murder is widely available on the internet, along with that of other hostages killed in Iraq. Who is watching the videos and why?....."

well heres the response i sent in, (which as usual probably won't get published. i guess the bbc receives thousands).....

"democracy is all about diversity and recognising that different people have different tolerance levels and differing priorities about what is or isn't taboo. death, along with sex and excretion, are facts of life that we are too overly and unnescessarily "protected" from. the war industry continues to be our biggest money spinner perhaps only because it remains distant and sanitised. in a media dominated age i want to personally experience and be able to deconstruct source messages that are influencing and manipulating the world i exist in."

two points that i didn't bother trying to include are the fact that the horror in these poor quality videos is contained in the soundtrack. the sound they make as their throats are being slit. turning the sound off is a different experience and highlights for me how easily such emotive videos can be faked. and i've forgotten the second point for now..... oh yes, i don't automatically assume that the men carrying out the executions are arabs or the specified terrorists. they could just as easily be a bunch of fat americans (or israelis) on a day off from torturing other "innocent" "folk" at Abu Ghraib Prison (or Facility 1391). keeping us terrorised is all that matters, to somebody, but exactly who that somebody is i'm not sure.

meanwhile i've sifted out a selection from the replies that the bbc has so far published...

I regularly watch the execution videos on the Internet. I don't enjoy them. I watch them to get a glimpse of reality. I try to imagine myself in his position, to imagine his fear, so I can understand that killing is wrong. So tell me, why should we blame the people who watch execution videos, when we elect (and re-elect) those that drop bombs and kill thousands of people in more gruesome ways? The hypocrisy is obscene.
Adam, Yokohama, Japan

I have watched an American and Korean execution and feel that it is an important part of what is happening in the world. Although foul, we cannot shy away from real events happening to real people. It is just as important to watch the hostage takers in these videos and listen to what they say as most describe in great detail the reasons for the execution.
anon, anon

I think a lot of it does have to do with curiosity. I haven't seen the videos, nor do I want to. However, I have in the past seen pictures of gruesome accidents/bodies on the net. I found them by accident (misleading Google search), then couldn't take my eyes away!
Sarah, Brussels, Belgium

I've seen many videos of this ilk. It makes you feel sick, yet sometimes it's hard to not look for them. It makes you realise just how sick life can be. I don't think you can be angry about people watching the videos out of curiosity, it is after all, real life.
Mark, Leeds

I think the fact that most of the downloads come from the UK, USA and Canada is important. A puritanical official attitude towards such imagery exists. The media self censors images because 'we might find them offensive'. Other countries manage not to descend into moral turpitude when such images are shown in their media. The upshot of all this is that we have developed a morbid curiosity towards this material.
Iain Buchanan, Cumbernauld, Scotland

It's awful but we have no option but to watch because it's happening.
Sichipolo Gas, Lusaka, Zambia
on this day 1988: uk Government loses Spycatcher publication battle

Law Lords ruled the media can publish extracts from former MI5 officer Peter Wright's memoirs, because any damage to national security has already been done by its publication abroad.

In his memoirs as an MI5 officer Mr Wright alleges the security service operated ....wait for it...... beyond the law. gasp!

Some of his more controversial revelations include the claim that Prime Minister Harold Wilson was the target of an MI5 conspiracy and that ex-chief of MI5, Roger Hollis, was a Soviet mole in the 1960s.

The Spycatcher affair began in 1985, when the British Government started proceedings against the book being published in Australia. It lost the action in 1987.

By late 1987 Spycatcher was the number one hardback bestseller in the US, selling 400,000 copies.

Although the government had succeeded in gagging the British media for a time it failed to prevent the book's disclosure anywhere abroad.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." ....Aldous Huxley

"Music is essentially useless, as is life." ....George Santayana
the PAPERFORMERS universe
more than fifty PDF versions of paper cutout models of various Autobots and Decepticons.
(via memepool)

rewind: brian eno on.. "Lessons in how to lie about Iraq"

The problem is not propaganda but the relentless control of the kind of things we think about.

"When I was young, an eccentric uncle decided to teach me how to lie. Not, he explained, because he wanted me to lie, but because he thought I should know how it's done so I would recognise when I was being lied to.

When I first visited Russia, in 1986, I made friends with a musician whose father had been Brezhnev's personal doctor. One day we were talking about life during 'the period of stagnation' - the Brezhnev era. 'It must have been strange being so completely immersed in propaganda,' I said.

'Ah, but there is the difference. We knew it was propaganda,' replied Sacha.

In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective. Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice it - or laugh at the notion it even exists.

It takes something as dramatic as the invasion of Iraq to make us look a bit more closely and ask: 'How did we get here?' How exactly did it come about that, in a world of Aids, global warming, 30-plus active wars, several famines, cloning, genetic engineering, and two billion people in poverty, practically the only thing we all talked about for a year was Iraq and Saddam Hussein?

It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about. When our governments want to sell us a course of action, they do it by making sure it's the only thing on the agenda, the only thing everyone's talking about. And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false 'intelligence' and selected 'leaks'. (What else can the spat between the BBC and Alastair Campbell be but a prime example of this?) weapons of Mass Deception."

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind" ....Ralph Waldo Emerson ("Self-Reliance," 1841)