Thursday, 13 December 2012

Video: What if Money didn't matter (Alan Watts)



"How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object?"

A wonderful short talk from Alan Watts.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Documentary: WikiRebels (2010)



In Wiki Rebels: The Documentary we learn more about Julian Assange, Wikileaks dedicated founder and the values that drive his organization and supporters around the world.

Speech: Sir Ken Robinson - Educating the Heart and Mind



Sir Ken Robinson speaks during the Dalai Lama Center's Educating the Heart Series. He discusses the importance of an education that educates not just the mind, but also the heart.

http://www.dalailamacenter.org


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Speech: Polly Higgins - Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace



Polly Higgins, lawyer for the Earth, speaks about Ecocide at the TEDx talk in Exeter. Polly outlines her vision for Ecocide to a TED audience on the theme of environmental sustainability.

"The neologism ecocide can be used to refer to any large-scale destruction of the natural environment or over-consumption of critical non-renewable resources. The destruction of the environment includes damage to fauna and flora of an area, depletion of resources such as minerals, misuse of water and land, pollution of the atmosphere and indirect effects of intensive fossil fuel burning resulting in global warming by way of large release of CO2. Ecocide is also a term for a substance that kills enough species in an ecosystem to disrupt its structure and function.

It has also been defined as the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished."

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Story: I Want The Earth, Plus Five Percent



This video based on a story of Larry Hannigan is about money and how it is created, how the banks control the world with money. They create money out of thin air and charge interest for it, and how this leads to world domination.

Story is based on:
http://www.larryhannigan.com/EarthPlus.htm
Original video link:
http://www.neueimpulse.org/dvd-projekte/fabian-film-ansehen/

Subtitles for full movie http://zeon.uw.hu/fabian/Fabiansub-en.html

Monday, 1 October 2012

Stand-Up: Doug Stanhope's "Deadbeat Hero"
















Deadbeat Hero is Doug Stanhope's standup comedy show recorded at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, Washington in 2004, originally produced by Shout Factory, and released as part of the Ad Lib Breakout Comedy Series.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Speech: Elizabeth Gilbert - Your elusive creative genius



Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Speech: Charlie Morley - Lucid Dreaming, Embracing Nightmares



Charlie Morley is a Lucid Dreaming teacher and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism specializing in the use of both Western scientific and Tibetan Buddhist dream practices with the aims of bringing mindful awareness into all stages of dream, sleep and waking life. He is the co-creator of a new holistic approach to conscious sleeping and lucid dreaming called "Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep". This new approach includes practices which aim to help us sleep better, dream more lucidly and wake up with more awareness, clarity and joy!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Video: Exclusive interview with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy



Uruguayan journalist Jorge Gestoso interviews Julian Assange from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Originally aired on GamaTV, August 30, 2012.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Speech: Kirby Ferguson - Embracing the Remix



Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators both borrow, steal and transform.

Speech: Philip Zimbardo - The Psychology of Evil



Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how we can rise to the challenge.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Video: Graeber on Bloomberg: Debt, Greece and Occupy



What is the true nature of money? Why is debt considered such a moral issue? And do we truly live in a democracy? Anthropologist David Graeber reflects.


The anthropologist and political activist David Graeber, who was one of the early co-founders of the Occupy Movement and who coined its famous slogan ‘We Are the 99%’, appeared on Charlie Rose’s talk show on Bloomberg TV for a fascinating interview well worth sharing. I am currently reading his Debt: The First 5,000 Years (probably one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in recent years). Make sure to check back for a review in early September.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Video: The Julian Assange Show - Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali (E10)



"A surprise Arab drive for freedom, the West's structural crisis and new hope coming from Latin America. That's the modern world in the eyes of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali, two prominent thinkers and this week's guests on Julian Assange's show on RT."

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Video: Sex, Lies and Julian Assange (ABC)



When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won't receive justice if he's taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.

Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?

"I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court." Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén

Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.

"Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lapdog and it's not a matter we're particularly proud of." Assange supporter

"The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it's simply a matter between the UK and Sweden." Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia

Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" being made against Assange - which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange's supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI's attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.

"Sex, Lies and Julian Assange", reported by Andrew Fowler and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 23rd July at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th July at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm Saturday, ABC iview and at 4 Corners.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Documentary: Sicko by Michael Moore



Documentary look at health care in the United States as provided by profit-oriented health maintenance organizations (HMOs) compared to free, universal care in Canada, the UK, and France. Moore contrasts U.S. media reports on Canadian care with the experiences of Canadians in hospitals and clinics there. He interviews patients and doctors in the UK about cost, quality, and salaries. He examines why Nixon promoted HMOs in 1971, and why the Clintons reform effort failed in the 1990s. He talks to US ex-pats in Paris about French services, and he takes three 9/11 clean-up volunteers, who developed respiratory problems, to Cuba for care. He asks of Americans, "Who are we?"

Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com> for imdb


Friday, 15 June 2012

Speech: Slavoj Žižek in Conversation with Jonathan Derbyshire at Central Saint Martins



New Statesman culture editor Jonathan Derbyshire will be in conversation with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. A wide-ranging discussion, taking in topics from Hegel to the Occupy movement, followed by an audience Q and A.

Friday, 8 June 2012

They Live! (Movie - 1988)



John Carpenter's masterpiece. Hidden beneath the illusion of everyday life, alien economists are developing the Earth as their own third world. Roddy Piper stumbles onto their plan and the shit hits the fan.

A telling social commentary on greed, consumption, a crippled economy, propaganda and the growing schisms between the rich and poor. As relevant as ever. 

Starring Roddy Piper, Meg Foster, Keith David.


Speech: Nick Hanauer - Inequality



"Here is the much-talked-about TED talk on inequality given by Nick Hanauer. We (TED) are posting it here to promote public discussion on an important issue. For more background on this, see this blog post from TED Curator Chris Anderson: http://tedchris.posterous.com"


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Essay: A call for Sobriety

Original Article by Y. Peppas for Passive Observers

From Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece to the Middle Ages and modern Europe, the consumption of alcohol-containing beverages is evident throughout the history of our civilization. The explosion of financial corporatism, which has gained its momentum by instilling consumerism in the core of human behaviour, has transformed alcohol from a home- or locally-made product into a highly profitable commodity and a symbol of the subculture called Western Lifestyle. In this way, we have reached an era where alcohol accounts for 5% of the global disease burden and is responsible for more than 4% of deaths worldwide [Beaglehole et al 2009]. This tragic realization has

Monday, 4 June 2012

Why Socialism?


Article by Albert Einstein for   Monthly Review (May 1949)
Why Socialism?

Albert Einstein is the world-famous physicist. This article was originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949). It was subsequently published in May 1998 to commemorate the first issue of MR‘s fiftieth yearThe Editors
Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.
Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological differences do exist. The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Speech: Matthieu Ricard - Change your Mind Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions



If happiness is an inner state, influenced by external conditions but not dependent on them, how can we achieve it? Ricard will examine the inner and outer factors that increase or diminish our sense of well-being, dissect the underlying mechanisms of happiness, and lead us to a way of looking at the mind itself based on his book, Happiness: A Guide to Life's Most Important Skill and from the research in neuroscience on the effect of mind-training on the brain.

Speaker Bio: Matthieu Ricard, a gifted scientist turned Buddhist monk, is a best selling author, translator, and photographer. He has lived and studied in the Himalayas for the last 35 years.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Speech: Carne Ross - An independent diplomat



After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross became a "freelance diplomat," running a bold nonprofit that gives small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations a voice in international relations. At the BIF-5 conference, he calls for a new kind of diplomacy that gives voice to small countries, that works with changing boundaries and that welcomes innovation.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Speech: Brené Brown - The power of vulnerability (TED)



Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Documentary: Zeitgeist - Moving Forward (2011)



Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, by director Peter Joseph, is a feature length documentary work which presents a case for a transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.

This subject matter transcends the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and moves to relate the core, empirical "life ground" attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a "Resource-Based Economy".

http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com

Video: Carne Ross on Being Agents of Change



If you're disillusioned about government, know that you aren’t entirely powerless to create change. So says Bill's guest Carne Ross. Once the rising star of British diplomacy and now a global activist, Ross’ book The Leaderless Revolution outlines ways to create alternative systems of governance and commerce.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Documentary: Catastroika (2012)



The creators of Debtocracy, a documentary viewed by millions of people around the world, present their new production, entitled CATASTROIKA, on the website www.catastroika.com.

The documentary uncovers the forthcoming results of the current sell-off of the Greek public assets, demanded in order to face the country's enormous sovereign debt. Turning to the examples of London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and Rome, CATASTROIKA predicts what will happen, if the model imposed in these areas is imported in a country under international financial tutelage.

Slavoj Zizek, Naomi Klein, Luis Sepulveda, Ken Loach and Greg Palast talk about the austerity measures, the Greek government as well as the attack against Democracy on Europe, after the general spreading of the financial crisis. Academics and specialists like Dani Rodrik, Alex Callinicos, Ben Fine, Costas Douzinas, Dean Baker and Aditya Chakrabortty present unknown aspects of the privatization programs in Greece and abroad.

Just like Debtocracy, CATASTROIKA is co-produced by the public, which contributed both financially and with ideas to its creation. The documentary will be available free of charge, under creative commons license. High-resolution files will be available for TV and cinema broadcasts in various languages.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Documentary: The Argentina Experiment



A documentary film about the economic collapse of Argentina (2001-2002), accelerated by the International Monetary Fund which was supposed to assist the country.
By the journalist Yorgos Avgeropoulos, part of the internationally awarded series "Exandas Documentaries" (NET). With English subtitles (unofficial).


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Video: Kim Dotcom Exclusive Interview: "I will fight this and win"

Campbell Live has spoken exclusively with Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom in his first TV interview since being arrested.
Dotcom faces a barrage of FBI charges relating to the operation of his file sharing company Megaupload.

John Campbell spoke with the internet millionaire about the charges -- which include racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering -- the internet, his time in jail and the whole business model surrounding Hollywood.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Quote: Not everyone is ready to be unplugged

"The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."


- Morpheus (The Matrix, 1999

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Documentary: The Power of Nightmares - by Adam Curtis (2004)

The Power of Nightmares , Episode 1
Baby It's Cold Outside



The first part of the series explains the origin of Islamism and Neo-Conservatism. It shows Egyptian civil servant Sayyid Qutb, depicted as the founder of modern Islamist thought, visiting the U.S. to learn about the education system, but becoming disgusted with what he saw as a corruption of morals and virtues in western society through individualism. When he returns to Egypt, he is disturbed by westernisation under Gamal Abdel Nasser and becomes convinced that in order to save society it must be completely restructured along the lines of Islamic law while still using western technology. He also becomes convinced that this can only be accomplished through the use of an elite "vanguard" to lead a revolution against the established order. Qutb becomes a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and, after being tortured in one of Nasser's jails, comes to believe that western-influenced leaders can justly be killed for the sake of removing their corruption. Qutb is executed in 1966, but he influences the future mentor of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to start his own secret Islamist group. Inspired by the 1979 Iranian revolution, Zawahiri and his allies assassinate Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat, in 1981, in hopes of starting their own revolution. The revolution does not materialise, and Zawahiri comes to believe that the majority of Muslims have been corrupted not only by their western-inspired leaders, but Muslims themselves have been affected by jahilliyah and thus both may be legitimate targets of violence if they do not join him. They continued to have the belief that a vanguard was necessary to rise up and overthrow the corrupt regime and replace with a pure Islamist state.

At the same time in the United States, a group of disillusioned liberals, including Irving Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz, look to the political thinking of Leo Strauss after the perceived failure of President Johnson's "Great Society". They come to the conclusion that the emphasis on individual liberty was the undoing of the plan. They envisioned restructuring America by uniting the American people against a common evil, and set about creating a mythical enemy. These factions, the Neo-Conservatives, came to power under the Reagan administration, with their allies Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and work to unite the United States in fear of the Soviet Union. The Neo-Conservatives allege the Soviet Union is not following the terms of disarmament between the two countries, and, with the investigation of "Team B", they accumulate a case to prove this with dubious evidence and methods. President Reagan is convinced nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                          

The Power of Nightmares , Episode 2
The Phantom Victory



In the second episode, Islamist factions, rapidly falling under the more radical influence of Zawahiri and his rich Saudi acolyte Osama bin Laden, join the Neo-Conservative-influenced Reagan Administration to combat the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. When the Soviets eventually pull out and when the Eastern Bloc begins to collapse in the late 1980s, both groups believe they are the primary architects of the "Evil Empire's" defeat. Curtis argues that the Soviets were on their last legs anyway, and were doomed to collapse without intervention.

However, the Islamists see it quite differently, and in their triumph believe that they had the power to create 'pure' Islamic states in Egypt and Algeria. However, attempts to create perpetual Islamic states are blocked by force. The Islamists then try to create revolutions in Egypt and Algeria by the use of terrorism to scare the people into rising up. However, the people were terrified by the violence and the Algerian government uses their fear as a way to maintain power. In the end, the Islamists declare the entire populations of the countries as inherently contaminated by western values, and finally in Algeria turn on each other, each believing that other terrorist groups are not pure enough Muslims either.

In America, the Neo-Conservatives' aspirations to use the United States military power for further destruction of evil are thrown off track by the ascent of George H. W. Bush to the presidency, followed by the 1992 election of Bill Clinton leaving them out of power. The Neo-Conservatives, with their conservative Christian allies, attempt to demonise Clinton throughout his presidency with various real and fabricated stories of corruption and immorality. To their disappointment, however, the American people do not turn against Clinton. The Islamist attempts at revolution end in massive bloodshed, leaving the Islamists without popular support. Zawahiri and bin Laden flee to the sufficiently safe Afghanistan and declare a new strategy; to fight Western-inspired moral decay they must deal a blow to its source: the United States.

                                                                                                                                          

The Power of Nightmares , Episode 3
The Shadows in the Cave



The final episode addresses the actual rise of al-Qaeda. Curtis argues that, after their failed revolutions, bin Laden and Zawahiri had little or no popular support, let alone a serious complex organisation of terrorists, and were dependent upon independent operatives to carry out their new call for jihad. However, the film argues that in order to prosecute bin Laden in absentia for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, US prosecutors had to prove he was the head of a criminal organisation responsible for the bombings. They find a former associate of bin Laden, Jamal al-Fadl, and pay him to testify that bin Laden was the head of a massive terrorist organisation called "al-Qaeda". With the September 11th attacks, Neo-Conservatives in the new Republican government of George W. Bush use this created concept of an organisation to justify another crusade against a new evil enemy, leading to the launch of the War on Terrorism.

After the American invasion of Afghanistan fails to uproot the alleged terrorist network, the Neo-Conservatives focus inwards, searching unsuccessfully for terrorist sleeper cells in America. They then extend the war on "terror" to a war against general perceived evils with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The ideas and tactics also spread to the United Kingdom where Tony Blair uses the threat of terrorism to give him a new moral authority. The repercussions of the Neo-Conservative strategy are also explored with an investigation of indefinitely-detained terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, many allegedly taken on the word of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance without actual investigation on the part of the United States military, and other forms of "preemption" against non-existent and unlikely threats made simply on the grounds that the parties involved could later become a threat. Curtis also makes a specific attempt to allay fears of a dirty bomb attack, and concludes by reassuring viewers that politicians will eventually have to concede that some threats are exaggerated and others altogether devoid of reality. "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."

Article: Noam Chomsky and the Struggle Against Neoliberalism

Original Article written by Robert W. McChesney for Chomsky.info - Thursday 1, April 1999


Neoliberalism is the defining political economic paradigm of our time - it refers to the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit. Associated initially with Reagan and Thatcher, neoliberalism has for the past two decades been the dominant global political economic trend adopted by political parties of the center, much of the traditional left, and the right. These parties and the policies they enact represent the immediate interests of extremely wealthy investors and less than one thousand large corporations.

Aside from some academics and members of the business community, the term neoliberalism is largely unknown and unused by the public at large, especially in the United States. There, to the contrary, neoliberal initiatives are characterized as free market policies that encourage private enterprise and consumer choice, reward personal responsibility and entrepreneurial initiative, and undermine the dead hand of the incompetent, bureaucratic, and parasitic government, which can never do good (even when well intentioned, which it rarely is). A generation of corporate-financed public relations efforts has given these terms and ideas a near-sacred aura. As a result, these phrases and the claims they imply rarely require empirical defense, and are invoked to rationalize anything from lowering taxes on the wealthy and scrapping environmental regulations to dismantling public education and social welfare programs. Indeed, any activity that might interfere with corporate domination of society is automatically suspect because it would impede the workings of the free market, which is advanced as the only rational, fair, and democratic allocator of goods and services. At their most eloquent, proponents of neoliberalism sound as if they are doing poor people, the environment, and everybody else a tremendous service as they enact policies on behalf of the wealthy few.

The economic consequences of these policies have been the same just about everywhere, and exactly what one would expect: a massive increase in social and economic inequality, a marked increase in severe deprivation for the poorest nations and peoples of the world, a disastrous global environment, an unstable global economy, and an unprecedented bonanza for the wealthy. Confronted with these facts, defenders of the neoliberal order claim that the spoils of the good life will invariably spread to the broad mass of the population - as long as the neoliberal policies that exacerbated these problems are not interfered with by anyone!

In the end, proponents of neoliberalism cannot and do not offer an empirical defense for the world they are making. To the contrary, they offer - no, demand - a religious faith in

Friday, 11 May 2012

Speech: Rory Sutherland - Perspective is everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Documentary: Debtocracy



www.debtocracy.gr

For the first time in Greece, a documentary produced by the audience. “Debtocracy” seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions sidelined by the government and the dominant media. The documentary is distributed online under creative commons licence since April 6, 2011, subtitled in six languages.

Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi discuss with economists, journalists and intellectuals from all over the world, who describe the steps that led Greece to the current debt trap –to debtocracy. The documentary follows the course of countries like Ecuador, which created Audit Commissions, and tracks the similar process in Greece.

Debtocracy features the academics David Harvey, Samir Amin, Costas Lapavitsas and Gerard Dumenil; the philosopher Alain Badiou; the head of Ecuador’s Audit Commission Hugo Arias; the president of CADTM Eric Toussaint; journalists like Avi Lewis (co-creator of the documentary “The Take”) and Jean Quatremer; as well as public figures like Manolis Glezos and Sahra Wagenknecht (from the German party Die Linke).

The creators of “Debtocracy” worked pro bono. In order to avoid any kind of dependencies, they turned to syndicates and workers’ unions for funding. Mainly though, they turned to the citizens, who helped in co-producing the film. The public’s response was overwhelming and it led us to undertake a new project: the documentary Catastroika, on which you can read more here: http://www.catastroika.com.

Article: Those Revolting Europeans

Original Article written by Paul Krugman for The New York Times (Opinions) - Sunday 6, May 2012

The French are revolting. The Greeks, too. And it’s about time.

Both countries held elections Sunday that were in effect referendums on the current European economic strategy, and in both countries voters turned two thumbs down. It’s far from clear how soon the votes will lead to changes in actual policy, but time is clearly running out for the strategy of recovery through austerity — and that’s a good thing.

Needless to say, that’s not what you heard from the usual suspects in the run-up to the elections. It was actually kind of funny to see the apostles of orthodoxy trying to portray the cautious, mild-mannered François Hollande as a figure of menace. He is “rather dangerous,” declared The Economist, which observed that he “genuinely believes in the need to create a fairer society.” Quelle horreur!

What is true is that Mr. Hollande’s victory means the end of “Merkozy,” the Franco-German axis that has enforced the austerity regime of the past two years. This would be a “dangerous” development if that strategy were working, or even had a reasonable chance of working. But it isn’t and doesn’t; it’s time to move on. Europe’s voters, it turns out, are wiser than the Continent’s best and brightest.

What’s wrong with the prescription of spending cuts as the remedy for Europe’s ills? One answer is that the confidence fairy doesn’t exist — that is, claims that slashing government spending would somehow encourage consumers and businesses to spend more have been overwhelmingly refuted by the experience of the past two years. So spending cuts in a depressed economy just make the depression deeper.

Moreover, there seems to be little if any gain in return for the pain. Consider the case of Ireland, which has been a good soldier in this crisis, imposing ever-harsher austerity in an attempt to win back the favor of the bond markets. According to the prevailing orthodoxy,

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Article: Word order: The internet as the toy with a tin ear

Original Article written by Lewis H Lapham for Al Jazeera (English) - Monday 30, April 2012
  

How have communication advancements degraded the way people use languages today?

  
"I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse" - Emperor Charles V

But in which language does one speak to a machine, and what can be expected by way of response? The questions arise from the accelerating data-streams out of which we've learned to draw the breath of life, posed in consultation with the equi
pment that scans the flesh and tracks the spirit, cues the ATM, the GPS, and the EKG, arranges the assignations on Match.com and the high-frequency trades at Goldman Sachs, catalogues
the pornography and drives the car, tells us how and when and where to connect the dots and thus recognise ourselves as human beings.
Why then does it come to pass that the more data we collect - from Google, YouTube, and Facebook - the less likely we are to know what it means?

The conundrum is in line with the late Marshall McLuhan's noticing, 50 years ago, of the presence of "an acoustic world", one with "no continuity, no homogeneity, no connections, no stasis", a new "information environment of which humanity has no experience whatever". He published Understanding Media in 1964, proceeding from the premise that "we become what we behold", that "we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us".

Media were to be understood as "make-happen agents" rather than as "make-aware agents", not as art or philosophy but as systems comparable with roads and waterfalls and sewers. Content follows form; new means of communication give rise to new structures of feeling and thought.

To account for the transference of the idioms of print to those of the electronic media, McLuhan examined two technological revolutions that overturned the epistemological status quo. First, in the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg's invention of moveable type,

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Speech: Cameron Sinclair - Open-source Architecture

Accepting his 2006 TED Prize, Cameron Sinclair demonstrates how passionate designers and architects can respond to world housing crises. He unveils his TED Prize wish for a network to improve global living standards through collaborative design.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Article: The European Stabilization Mechanism, Or How Goldman Sachs Captured Europe

Original Article written by Ellen Brown for Global Research - Thursday 19, April 2012


The Goldman Sachs coup that failed in America has nearly succeeded in Europe—a permanent, irrevocable, unchallengeable bailout for the banks underwritten by the taxpayers.

In September 2008, Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, managed to extort a $700 billion bank bailout from Congress. But to pull it off, he had to fall on his knees and threaten the collapse of the entire global financial system and the imposition of martial law; and the bailout was a one-time affair. Paulson’s plea for a permanent bailout fund—the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP—was opposed by Congress and ultimately rejected.

By December 2011, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, former vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe, was able to approve a 500 billion Euro bailoutfor European banks without asking anyone’s permission. And in January 2012, a permanent rescue funding program called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was passed in the dead of night with barely even a mention in the press. The ESM imposes an open-ended debt on EU member governments, putting taxpayers on the hook for whatever the ESM’s Eurocrat overseers demand.

The bankers’ coup has triumphed in Europe seemingly without a fight. The ESM is cheered by Eurozone governments, their creditors, and “the market” alike, because it means investors will keep buying sovereign debt. All is sacrificed to the demands of the creditors, because where else can the money be had to float the crippling debts of the Eurozone governments?

There is another alternative to debt slavery to the banks. But first, a closer look at the nefarious underbelly of the ESM and Goldman’s silent takeover of the ECB . . . .


The Dark Side of the ESM
The ESM is a permanent rescue facility slated to replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility and European Financial Stabilization Mechanism as soon as Member States representing 90% of the capital commitments have ratified it, something that is expected to happen in July 2012. A December 2011 youtube video titled “The shocking truth of the pending EU collapse!”, originally posted in German, gives such a revealing look at

Friday, 20 April 2012

Discussion (RSA): Mindfulness: The key to a healthier society?

Could slowing down and noticing more help us deal with stress, anxiety and ill-health?

Speakers: Dr Jonty Heaversedge, GP and Ed Halliwell, co-authors of "The Mindful Manifesto" (Hay House, September 2010) and Tim Parks, celebrated author of "Teach us to sit still"

Chair: Dr Jonathan Rowson, RSA Projects

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Speech: Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard says we can train our minds in habits of well-being, to generate a true sense of serenity and fulfillment.




Saturday, 14 April 2012

Speech: Frans de Waal - Moral behavior in animals

Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Documentary: The U.S. vs John Lennon (2006)



The U.S. vs. John Lennon is a 2006 documentary film about English musician John Lennon’s transformation from a member of The Beatles to a rallying anti-war activist striving for world peace during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film also details the attempts by the United States government under President Richard Nixon to silence him. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. It was released in New York City and Los Angeles, California on 15 September 2006, and had a nationwide release on 29 September. A soundtrack composed of John Lennon tracks was released by Capitol Records and EMI on 26 September 2006.

The film explores the political activism that Lennon became strongly involved in with the Beatles and after the band ended. John Lennon is established as being a potential political threat to the American government, and therefore much of the film covers the theme of ‘silencing’ him and other popular figures that became involved in anti-war activism. Throughout the film the audience can see both sides of the situation: the audience sees the protests and events Lennon and Yoko Ono organised, such as the famous “Give Peace A Chance” rally and concepts such as bagism and bed peace.

We also see the increasing fear experienced by the US government and CIA. This build-up of paranoia and fear for control led to the eventual deportation notice sent to John

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Speech: How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries



Adam Savage (the host of "MythBusters" on the Discovery Channel) walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Research: Kony 2012, Viewed Critically

The recent new media campaign KONY 2012 has gone extremely viral, raising awareness about Kony's horrible actions in Uganda and East Africa but also raising a lot of questions about hidden agendas behind the campaign (supporting military intervention?), about the credibility of the creators (Invisible Children) as a controversial activist organisation, their work and the effects of their most recent viral short documentary.

This post is dedicated to the Kony campaign criticism. I think there is no doubt that Joseph Kony is causing great suffering but that won't justify a campaign with false aims which might be serving hidden agendas. I believe it is something one needs to look more into, before supporting it.

/od

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Article 1 - VISIBLE CHILDREN, Kony viewed critically 
A LOT of information and discussion around the Invisible Children organisation on this blog dedicated to this matter only. The author has been asked (but denied) interviews by Al Jazeera English, FOX, NBC’s Today show and BBC World Service.
NOTE: This blog has been blocked by facebook. Source

Article 2 - The TRUTH behind the KONY 2012 movement
Key facts discussed here: The documentary was filmed in 2003, Uganda Oil Reserves Rival Saudi Arabia's, Says U.S. Expert, CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp) weighs Uganda refinery, Obama sends 100 troops to combat LRA in Uganda

Article 3 - Kony 2012 Campaign: Too simple, Too dumb
KONY2012's viral campaign shows the effectiveness of new media -- and the problem with over-simplifying a message

The happy story of the Kony viral video obscures the realities of the Pentagon in Africa


There is growing outrage in Uganda over the viral internet film viewed by more than 32 million people in four days that suggests Africa’s longest-running conflict is still raging in the country’s north.

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A quote from a thread in reddit.com (which can be found here) concerning the organisations financials:
I'd like to bring your attention to the non-profit that is organizing this marketing blitz, Invisible Children.
I went through their financials in the original thread on the front page, and I'd like to share with you my concerns...
Of the $8.9 million they spent in 2011, this is the breakdown:
  • $1.7 million in US employee salaries
  • $357,000 in Film costs
  • $850,000 in Production costs
  • $685,000 in Computer equipement
  • $244,000 in "professional services" (DC lobbyists)
  • $1.07 million in travel expenses
  • $400,000 in office rent in San Diego
  • $16,000 in Entertainment etc...
Only 2.8 million (31%) made it to their charity program (which is further whittled down by local Ugandan bureaucracy) - what do the children actually get?
Source on page 6 of their own financial reportTheir rating on Charity Navigator is because they haven't had their financial books independently audited. ...which is not a surprising given the use of cash noted above.
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Some Videos Following:



Article: Does Cannabis Boost Creativity?

Original Article written by David Jay Brown for Santa Cruz Patch - Monday 12, January 2012

New scientific studies suggest that getting high on marijuana can genuinely make you more creative.

For many years, numerous highly-acclaimed artists, scientists, writers, musicians, and creative people of all sorts have claimed that marijuana holds enormous potential to enhance creativity and inspire the imagination.

Now, new scientific studies are beginning to confirm these claims, and researchers are starting to understand the psychological mechanisms behind how cannabis can improve the creative process.

There’s a common myth, perpetuated by the mainstream media, that people often mistakenly think that they’re brilliant and creative while under the influence of cannabis, only to find that their creations are worthless, or that their insights are meaningless nonsense, upon returning to normal everyday consciousness.

Let’s dispel this pervasive myth about cannabis right now, by taking the many anecdotal reports to heart, and looking at what the scientific studies have to say.

From Charles Baudelaire to George Carlin, Shakespeare to Carl Sagan, Louis Armstrong to Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer to Jack Nicholson, the list of accomplished creative people who have claimed a positive influence from their use of cannabis is truly impressive.

I’ve personally spoken with many accomplished people who made claims about how essential cannabis was for their creative process. For example, when I interviewed the late

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Video: What Does it Cost to Change the World?

Speech: Susan Cain - The power of introverts



In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Our world prizes extroverts -- but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Quote: Disciplined Militancy

"The struggle of those who obey against those who command, when the mode of commanding entails destroying the human dignity of those underneath is the most legitimate, most motivated, most genuine action that exists."

- Simone Weil


The author has written numerous books and articles. This quote is from a collection of essays entitled Oppression and Liberty that was published in the early 1940s. Highly recommended, especially for readers who have the will and time to actually contemplate upon what they have just read.

Speech: Luis von Ahn - Massive-scale online collaboration



After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Article: Western intervention in Syria will do more harm than good

Original Article written by Kevin Ovenden for The Guardian - Friday 17, January 2012

Syrian army defectors join anti-regime protesters in Homs province, January 2012
Syrian army defectors join anti-regime protesters in Homs province, January 2012. Photograph: AP

After decades of selling arms to dictators in the Middle East, the west's talk of humanitarian intervention rings hollow

Calls for aggressive intervention in Syria are growing as the country slides further into sectarian civil war. The shrillest are from the Republican right, joined this week by Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. The same people are campaigning for confrontation with Iran, threatening a major war. Elliot Abrams, a neoconservative architect of the Iraq disaster, spells out the connection: Syria, he says, provides a "proxy opportunity" to heat up the cold war with Tehran.

Regime change and ensuring that the Arab spring yields only the wizened fruit of governments as accommodating as Saudi Arabia cannot be sold on their own terms. Instead they are wrapped in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention, tapping the sentiments of those genuinely moved by the suffering in Syria.

We've been here before. The war in Libya was purportedly to save lives. In fact, the killing intensified on all sides, including from Nato bombs. Estimates of the number dead reach 30,000. The outcome is not democracy and human rights. Amnesty International is the latest NGO to report the torturing to death of prisoners under the new regime and rival militias. The town of Tawergha, home to 30,000 largely black Africans, has been virtually wiped off the map. But the cameras have moved on, just as they did more than a decade ago following Nato's bombardment of Serbia and Kosovo. That, too, was supposed to save

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Article: Silencing the Critics

Original Article written by Paul Craig Roberts for PaulCraigRoberts.org - Monday 20, February 2012

In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI — the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots” — called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”
Subpoenas were issued to compel antiwar protestors to testify before grand juries as prosecutors set about building their case that opposing Washington’s wars of aggression constitutes giving aid and comfort to terrorists. The purpose of the raids and grand jury subpoenas was to chill the anti-war movement into inaction.

Last week in one fell swoop the last two remaining critics of Washington/Tel Aviv imperialism were removed from the mainstream media. Judge Napolitano’s popular program, Freedom Watch, was cancelled by Fox TV, and Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC. Both pundits had wide followings and were appreciated for speaking frankly.

Many suspect that the Israel Lobby used its clout with TV advertisers to silence critics of the Israeli government’s efforts to lead Washington to war with Iran. Regardless, the point before us is that the voice of the mainstream media is now uniform. Americans hear one voice, one message, and the message is propaganda.

Dissent is tolerated only on such issues as to whether employer-paid health benefits should pay for contraceptive devices. Constitutional rights have been replaced with rights

Monday, 20 February 2012

Speech: How Online Communities are changing the world



Kaustubh Katdare is the founder of CrazyEngineers.com

Crazy Engineers is one of the world's biggest and most popular websites for engineers and students around the world with a passion to innovate and build.

A Leading Blogger from Nagpur, He was selected for "Once in a Lifetime 2.0″ Project. At TEDxNagpur - He speaks on How Online Communities are changing the world !