Monday, 3 September 2007

Jamie Whyte on "Drugs"

".........The real question is not whether drug use has costs. Every activity has. The question is whether these costs exceed the benefits of drug use. It is easy to show that they do not, but we should first recognise what the main benefit is. This should be obvious but, for some reason, nobody involved in “the drugs debate” ever mentions it. The main benefit of taking drugs is that it is pleasurable. In fact, it can be incredibly pleasurable. That is why people do it."

"And also why it is good for them. Drug users are simply people for whom the pleasure outweighs the risk of death, illness, addiction and all the rest. In other words, they are people for whom the benefits of drug use exceed the costs. They wouldn’t be drug users otherwise. The same is not true of everyone. Some value health more and pleasure less. For them, drug taking would deliver a net loss. Fine: these people would not take drugs even if they were legal."

".........legislators systematically discount the benefits of drugs. It is not enough that people value something. To count it as a benefit, our betters in Westminster must deem it worthwhile. And they do not consider getting high to be worthwhile."

"It is not concern for our welfare that explains the illegality of drug use. It is bigotry."

(Jamie Whyte January 2, 2006 in the Times)

plus a report from march 2007:

Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

a wide-ranging two-year study of Britain's drug laws concluded today that "The evidence suggests that a majority of people who use drugs are able to use them without harming themselves or others. They are able, in that sense, to 'manage' their drug use ... The harmless use of illegal drugs is thus possible, indeed common,"

Describing the Misuse of Drugs Act as unwieldy and inflexible, the report says: "It sends people to prison who should not be there. It forces people into treatment who do not need it"

"Drugs policy should, like our policy on alcohol and tobacco, seek to regulate use and prevent harm rather than to prohibit use altogether,"

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Public Relations and BLOGS

A PR droid said.....

"Our job is to get even "challenging" people like you to write, say and/or do what our clients and companies want -- of your own volition -- and not even realize that you're doing it. If you are telling us that you only want information from people whose views you like and trust, then we'll just reach you through them and you'll never be the wiser."

(a comment on Tom Coates' "This is not a brothel..." over on flickr)

and an extract from a post by Tom Coates on the subject...

"you'd be surprised the pressure that you can receive to deform what you write to serve other people's best interests. And it needs to be said, quite apart from my own personal irritation with these people, they are actively trying every day to commandeer the conversations that you are having out there by fair means or foul to serve their needs more effectively. They do it by offering perks, holding or withholding access to people or things and by making people feel privileged by giving them gifts or treats."


A bbc report says that the "German government plans to spy on Terror Suspects by deploying malicious e-mails."

"The e-mails would contain Trojans - software that secretly installs itself on suspects' computers, allowing agents to search the hard drives."

"The measure would form part of a new anti-terrorism bill."

What next, Trojans that plant evidence?

Friday, 31 August 2007


on being sane in insane places (pdf)

the surveillance camera players
no border

the milgram experiment

space hi-jackers
billboard subversion and destruction
reporters without borders

the stanford prison experiment

Spanish Civil War

posters from the Spanish Civil War

... originally posted Family Of Breath 4 aug 2005 ...

Terrorists, Victims and Society

there is no "psychology of the terrorist,"

there is only the psychology of the Human that plays out in a multitude of ways.

..."Terrorists, Victims and Society" edited by Andrew Silke

... originally posted Family Of Breath 2 aug 2005 ...


In 2004 the bbc told us that there's a tribe living in a remote part of Brazil's Amazon rainforest which has no words for numbers beyond two.

The Piraha use "one" to mean one or roughly one, two means two, while any larger number is just "many".

... originally posted Family Of Breath 22 aug 2004 ...

Disappearing Languages

"Of the 6,000 languages still on Earth, 90 percent could be gone by 2100."

"Languages are becoming extinct at twice the rate of endangered mammals and four times the rate of endangered birds."

Disappearing Languages

...originally posted Family Of Breath 6 aug 2004 ...

Playing Dead

playing dead

...originally posted Family Of Breath 30 aug 2003 ...



...originally posted Family Of Breath 22 aug 2003 ...



...originally posted Family Of Breath 21 aug 2003 ...

Notes and thoughts re Huxley's Brave New World

"when the 5th marquess of lansdowne wrote to the times suggesting that the 1st world war should be concluded with a compromise, as most wars of the 18th century had been, the editor refused to print it."
(....Aldous Huxley, in his 1946 revised foreword to Brave new world)

ilya ehrenburg said "dadaism has more to do with the battle of the somme, with uprisings and putsches....than with what we usually consider art."
Folowing the war, in the 1920s and 30s, it was taken for granted that art has a social content and that artists ought to work for social change. Dada, in essence, was revolt against war. None of those artists could bring themselves to work for the rebuilding of a society that had proven itself so morally bankrupt and they rejected all accepted values because those values had all succumbed to rabid militarism.

"O brave new world that has such people in it."
Round pegs in Square holes tend to have dangerous thoughts about the social system and to infect others with their discontents.

"A really efficient state would be one in which the all powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of Slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. Ensuring that enough people love it is the task assigned to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors, and schoolteachers."
(...Aldous Huxley, in his 1946 revised foreword to Brave new world)


Great is the truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.

Embedded Journalism
The US defence department's chief spokesperson, Victoria Clarke, has said the Pentagon was very happy with the outcome of the "embedding" of some 700 journalists with US military units during the war in Iraq. During a conference on 17 June 2003 on news coverage during the war, she said people appreciated the embedding and would like to do it again. She added that more journalists should be brought into this process next time, especially foreign journalists.
( via reporters without borders )

and how many journalists and camera people etc have the americans killed so far?


the perpetuation of militarism:
The masses as cannon fodder
and the importance of families to produce more cannon fodder and to colonise empty or conquered territories.

...originally posted Family Of Breath 12 aug 2003 ...

Which Book

which book

A site that recommends books (fiction and poetry published since 1995) based on you choosing from a sliding scale of descriptions such as from.....

"safe to disturbing",
"beautiful to disgusting",
"optimistic to bleak", etc.

It then produces a list of books that match your criteria with short reader critiques for you to choose from

... originally posted Family Of Breath 8 Aug 2003 ...

Wednesday, 29 August 2007



a different challenge theme every friday

...originally posted Family Of Breath 3 aug 2003...


doorknobs and handles

every door or drawer knob, handle, or latch he touched from the time he awoke on Thursday, June 3rd until he went to bed on Friday, June 4th.


11mar2001-11mar2002 Ellie Harrison documents everything she eats.

golberg family (1976 - present)

Diego Golberg and family sit down on June 17 for a family ritual.

...originally posted Family Of Breath 3 aug 2003...


...originally posted Family Of Breath 3 aug 2003...


Roman Opalka has painted "time" exclusively since 1965. Not using symbols as clocks or calendar dates, he paints a sequence of numbers to represent the passing of time.

The canvas size, height and style of digits never changes. He records the numbers as he counts in Polish, his mother tongue, and photographs his face at the end of each day’s painting session. The number paintings, photos, sound and texts are all elements Opalka uses for his installations on time. The name of this art work is: OPALKA 1965/ 1-oo

Spending more than half of his life on this single oeuvre. It will be completed only when he dies.

...originally posted Family Of Breath 2 aug 2003...


Stephen's Time Travel Website

...originally posted Family Of Breath 2 aug 2003...


...originally posted Family Of Breath 1st aug 2003...


the american Constitution forbids government from endorsing religious views.

But in 1954 - fueled by the Cold War and blinded by McCarthyism - after sixty-two secular years, the american pledge of allegiance was changed. Religion was injected into the Pledge, and "under God" was interlarded into that promise which had previously embraced all Americans.

"The Pledge should be a unifying experience for every american citizen. Placing a religious ideal into its midst is not right, and serves no purpose except to alter a purely patriotic tradition into one that satisfies the religious bent of the majority. That is exactly what the First Amendment was written to preclude."

...originally posted Family Of Breath 1st aug 2003...


"We must overcome the tyranny of the natural and build human institutions that serve human needs."

...originally posted Family Of Breath 1st aug 2003...



...originally posted Family Of Breath 24 Aug 2002...


Robotic Unit Skilled in Scientific Harm, Immediate Gratification and Galactic Sabotage

Get Your Cyborg Name .....max 10 letters long

...originally posted Family Of Breath 20 aug 2002...

Monday, 26 March 2007

This summer sees the launch of a new service that offers Britain's teenagers free calls and texts provided users are willing to receive adverts on their phones.

"In a survey of a thousand users, Orange found that up to 23% had purchased or were more likely to purchase the product advertised and more than half said they would be happy to see more advertising on their mobiles. Less than 6% of those surveyed said they disliked advertising on mobile phones."

Teens to get free mobile calls - with adverts

Christopher Hampton, "Free Radical"

"I started out on the side of the rebellious, teenage Rimbaud, but gradually came round to Verlaine. Verlaine always knew that Rimbaud's modernity was vastly superior to his own old-fashioned lyrical verse and did everything to protect and preserve his young lover's work. I've invented the final scene in which Rimbaud's sister comes to Verlaine and tries to claw back her brother's poetry. But it's perfectly true that Rimbaud's family wanted to destroy all his manuscripts. If it weren't for Verlaine's generosity, Rimbaud's reputation simply wouldn't exist."

Even if the sympathy shifts, the play is based on a visible contrast between Rimbaud's wild genius and Verlaine's cautious orthodoxy. What is astonishing is that, at the age of 21, Hampton was able to see both sides of the case.

"I've always been fascinated by the opposition between radicals and liberals," he says. "It's a tension that exists in all my plays, but there is never a final decision."
"word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, already established in the US and Canada, is coming to the UK"

"It means the banter we enjoy with our mates down the pub on a Friday night could soon shift into sales patter."

"WOM is when unpaid volunteers are sent new products and, as they go about their everyday lives, are encouraged to tell their family and friends - even strangers - what they think of them. The products can be anything from mobile phones to sausages."

The (sponsored) word on the street

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Blimps that swim through the air like fish

Blimps steered by artificial muscles may one day swim through the air like fish, suggest recent flight tests. Researchers believe artificial muscles – plastics that stretch when a high electrical voltage is applied – could be a way to mimic nature's efficiency at accomplishing tasks. Using the technology, future robots may be able to "run on Mars like a cheetah, climb a mountain or a cliff like a gecko, or fly like a bird", says Yoseph Bar-Cohen, a physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US.

Now, a team from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research in Dübendorf have developed a 6-metre-long blimp steered by artificial muscles. Silvain Michel, head of the electroactive polymers department at the laboratory, hopes to fly a blimp that is not only steered but also powered by artificial muscles within two years. The blimp's tail would wriggle like a trout to propel it through the air.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

a wide-ranging two-year study of Britain's drug laws concluded today that "The evidence suggests that a majority of people who use drugs are able to use them without harming themselves or others. They are able, in that sense, to 'manage' their drug use ... The harmless use of illegal drugs is thus possible, indeed common,"

Describing the Misuse of Drugs Act as unwieldy and inflexible, the report says: "It sends people to prison who should not be there. It forces people into treatment who do not need it"

"Drugs policy should, like our policy on alcohol and tobacco, seek to regulate use and prevent harm rather than to prohibit use altogether,"

Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Sunday, 18 February 2007

A look into the future that never was.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Since September 11th, depictions of torture have become much more common on American television.

Before the attacks, fewer than four acts of torture appeared on prime-time television each year, according to Human Rights First, a nonprofit organization. Now there are more than a hundred, and, as David Danzig, a project director at Human Rights First, noted, “the torturers have changed. It used to be almost exclusively the villain who tortured. Today, torture is often perpetrated by the heroes."

The politics of the man behind “24.”


"in our names"

"Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation UNDER US and UK SUPERVISION in secret prisons abroad"

"One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours."

"to stop the pain you will tell them anything they want to hear. anything."

"the argument favouring limited use of torture is contradicted by all of our experience. When torture is no longer absolutely prohibited, law enforcement attitudes change. Over time, the mentality that torture is acceptable comes to infect the entire system, and even persons accused of normal crimes get the same treatment as suspected terrorists…"
....Basil Fernando, the Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, a member of the world organisation against torture (OMCT) network

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

i feel better after i type to you

an un-edited reproduction
of the search queries of AOL user 23187425
from May 2006
Silvio Lorusso Bathroom Works
"every object the dominant-hand uses is photographed once and while used."

alberto frigo

"a pro-leisure and anti-wage-slavery group of people dedicated to exploring the question: why work? This site provides information, support, and resources for those looking for alternatives to traditional employment."

"We actively promote alternatives to the wage slavery mindset and what we call "The Cult of the Job" which automatically equates having a job with making a living......."
postcard polaroids

Monday, 15 January 2007