14659
YouTube -- RussiaToday: Keiser Report: End of No-Alternative-To-Dollar Era (E641)
'In the second half, Max interviews Dr. Michael Hudson about the war machine, Judge Griesa's ruling, super imperialism and the end of a 60 year cycle in which there was no alternative to the dollar.'
economics  america  empire  dollar  reservecurrency  MichaelHudson 
yesterday
The Daily Bell -- Beware of Kafkatrapping by Wendy McElroy
'The term "kafkatrapping" describes a logical fallacy that is popular within gender feminism, racial politics and other ideologies of victimhood. It occurs when you are accused of a thought crime such as sexism, racism or homophobia. You respond with an honest denial, which is then used as further confirmation of your guilt. You are now trapped in a circular and unfalsifiable argument; no one who is accused can be innocent because the structure of kafkatrapping precludes that possibility. Kafkatrapping twists reason and truth into self-parodies that serve victimhood ideologues who wish to avoid the evidence and reasoned arguments upon which truth rests. -- A separate problem arises if the accuser honestly believes the kafkatrapping. A woman who believes all men are oppressors is unlikely to cooperate with them in a good will attempt to solve social problems. She is more likely to seek a position of dominance over men, which she justifies in the name of self-defense or as a payback that is her due. This heightens tension between the sexes and obstructs sincere attempts to resolve problems. A kafkatrapper true believer becomes increasingly isolated from people who are seen as "the enemy" because they disagree; the true believer becomes increasingly unable to even communicate with or have empathy for a broad spectrum of people. The kafkatrapper 'wins' the argument but loses a shared humanity.'
irrationality  feminism  victimhood 
4 days ago
The Daily Bell -- Freedom Is No 'Fantasy,' as the NY Times Is Finding Out
'Dominant Social Theme: Those who believe in freedom are unrealistic. -- Wherever you look these days, US – and Western – institutions are failing: The IRS stands accused of using its awesome power to attack conservative/libertarian groups; the military-industrial complex, having failed in Afghanistan, now begins to bomb Iraq yet again after losing cities it once presented as "liberated"; central bank policies have not been able to generate employment even after six years of trying. -- Even the European Union – never mind the euro – is struggling. Krugman's willful blindness to government corruption and dysfunction is evidently and obviously wrong-headed, though not a mystery: He is an ideologue with a determined point of view. What IS mystifying is why the Times lends platform to articles that are so easily discredited and that in aggregate are destroying what is left of the Times's business model. -- Of course, we know part of the answer. The Times was part of an elite group of mainstream publications that participated in the CIA's Operation Mockingbird. During the height of the Cold War many top US publications vetted stories with US Intel and there's plenty of suspicion that this practice has never stopped. -- In other words, the nation's media – consolidated and corporatized as it is – is also regularly "scrubbed" to ensure that reports are not inimical to entrenched interests. This is not only discouraging to those who rely on information for personal or professional decision-making, it also compromises the businesses themselves. -- Officials at Facebook, Google and many other tech titans have recently found out that close working relationships with the military-industrial complex, while lucrative, can generate distrust that results in the abrogation of commercial opportunities abroad. China, for instance, will not do business with certain US tech firms because of questionable relationships. -- This does not enter into Krugman's calculations. There is something called "government" that for him exists in an exalted state of purity, decoupled from the petty concerns and conflicts-of-interest of those who actually run the extraordinarily powerful institutions that comprise modern government. -- As government is not subject to competition, there is no "governor" on agency activities and inevitably, the most powerful and wealthiest entities will come to control these agencies in ways that will benefit insiders at the expense of the general public. -- In this Internet Era, such conflicts of interest and corruption are increasingly clear. The movement toward libertarianism, or at least the current repugnance that many feel regarding the evolution of Western governments, is not only apparent, it is also quite understandable. -- It is not going away, despite Mr. Krugman's protestations. In fact, we've been predicting that disaffection with government and the activities of the power elite generally will continue to grow. It's not a reversible phenomenon. Eventually it will "peak" but not because people like Krugman are swaying public opinion, He's more likely "fanning" it ...'
statism  mercantilism  minitrue  PaulKrugman 
4 days ago
Ribbonfarm -- The Economics of Pricelessness
'Predictable irrationality due to cognitive biases is almost a rounding error when it comes to the irrationality of markets. The reputation economy is the greatest irrationality in the market, and it arises not from our cognitive biases, as a set of paleolithic software bugs, but from our deeper ape-nature, as a fundamental feature. -- The important thing to understand about the reputation economy is this: it’s entire purpose is to use deep play and priceless economic transactions to create a stable hierarchical social order, with an alpha at the top who is God’s legitimate representative on earth, and the most sinful and fallen at the bottom. Buying tomatoes, coffins or medical care is secondary. -- To repeat, this is only a huge, collective irrationality in markets from a trader perspective. From the saint perspective (equivalently, the collectivist perspective), it’s a feature. From the point of view of guardian sensibilities, the market economy is the horrendous, even fatal bug. -- When material economic costs are sufficiently high that shadow-boxing in the reputation economy becomes too inefficient to keep up, requiring direct dealing in commerce, trader markets appear. For saints, this represents a fall from virtue, and a slide towards increasing moral decay. -- Not surprisingly, markets tend to level stable hierarchies when they penetrate previously closed and guarded borders of saintly economies. This is the reason markets are considered profane. Economists are people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing, say saints. By that they mean traders are people who do not get what is or is not priceless. -- Traders view deviations from markets as distortions, and fail to appreciate that to saints, it is recourse to markets that is distortionary, relative to the economics of pricelessness. Except that they call it “corruption and moral decay” instead of “distortion.” To trade at all is to acknowledge one’s fallen status and sinfulness.' -- Use value (left-brain profane) vs Sign value (right-brain sacred)
economics  markets  value  usevaluevssignvalue  ideology 
4 days ago
OpEdNews -- Article: Malaysian press charges Ukraine government shot down MH 17
'A Thursday article in the New Straits Times, Malaysia's flagship English-language newspaper, charged the US- and European-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev with shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 in east Ukraine last month. Given the tightly controlled character of the Malaysian media, it appears that the accusation that Kiev shot down MH17 has the imprimatur of the Malaysian state. -- The US and European media have buried this remarkable report, which refutes the wave of allegations planted by the CIA in international media claiming that Russian president Vladimir Putin was responsible for the destruction of MH17, without presenting any evidence to back up this charge. -- The New Straits Times article, titled "US analysts conclude MH17 downed by aircraft," lays out evidence that Ukrainian fighter aircraft attacked the jetliner with first a missile, then with bursts of 30-millimeter machine gun fire from both sides of MH17. The Russian army has already presented detailed radar and satellite data showing a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet tailing MH17 shortly before the jetliner crashed. The Kiev regime denied that its fighters were airborne in the area, however. -- The New Straits Times article began, "Intelligence analysts in the United States have already concluded that Malaysia flight MH17 was shot down by an air-to-air missile, and that the Ukrainian government had had something to do with it. This corroborates an emerging theory postulated by local investigators that the Boeing 777-200 was crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a jet that had been shadowing it as it plummeted to earth." -- ...the New Straits Times and Parry both cited retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko, who has pointed to photographic evidence of MH17 wreckage suggesting that cockpit panels were raked with heavy machine gun fire from both the port and starboard sides. "Nobody before Haisenko had noticed that the projectiles had ripped through the panel from both its left side and its right side. This is what rules out any ground-fired missile," Parry wrote.'
america  empire  falseflag  war  perpetualwar 
4 days ago
NYTimes.com -- Inside the Dark, Lucrative World of Consumer Debt Collection
'...When debtors stop paying those bills, the banks regard the balances as assets for 180 days. After that, they are of questionable worth. So banks “charge off” the accounts, taking a loss, and other creditors act similarly. These huge, routine sell-offs have created a vast market for unpaid debts — not just credit-card debts but also auto loans, medical loans, gym fees, payday loans, overdue cellphone tabs, old utility bills, delinquent book-club accounts. The scale is breathtaking. From 2006 to 2009, for example, the nation’s top nine debt buyers purchased almost 90 million consumer accounts with more than $140 billion in “face value.” And they bought at a steep discount. On average, they paid just 4.5 cents on the dollar. These debt buyers collect what they can and then sell the remaining accounts to other buyers, and so on. Those who trade in such debt call it “paper.”'
debt 
4 days ago
Tomkins Institute -- When positive affects are thwarted, shame happens
'The Purpose of Shame: Shame helps us define the boundaries of our positive pursuits. Otherwise, what are the limits of excitement, of joy? These positive affects are so rewarding that one could ask why we don’t pursue them always and all the time? This is where shame comes in. As organisms, we need to learn when to stop and why. Shame has a negative valence, so that it can compete for your attention while you are in the midst of pursuing a rewarding experience. Shame brings the interruption to our attention so we recognize the problem and deal with it. And because of shame’s role as an auxiliary of positive affects, it shows up pretty much wherever positive affects show up; it is ubiquitous and inevitable. "The experience of shame is inevitable for any human being insofar as desire outruns fulfillment. The essential condition for the activation of shame is 'I want, but . . . '" (Exploring Affect p.406) -- Shame modifies the positive affects, interest and enjoyment. While excitement, joy, fear, anger, distress and startle are affects with their own conditions for innate activation based on patterns of neural activity, shame’s activator is the incomplete reduction of excitement or joy. Tomkins stresses that the incomplete attenuation of positive affect is the critical aspect of what makes shame what it is. -- "In shame the individual wishes to resume his or her commerce with the exciting state of affairs, to reconnect with the other, to recapture the relationship that existed before the situation turned problematic. In this respect shame is radically different from disgust and dissmell. In disgust, the bad is spit out. In dissmell, the bad is kept at a distance." (Exploring Affect p. 400) -- This is a critical distinction when considering self-evaluation, wherein shame is a much more desirable experience than self-disgust or self-dissmell or contempt... -- "To the extent to which I maintain interest in myself or enjoy myself, I can be ashamed of myself. If, however, I reject myself completely, then I may respond with contempt and disgust for myself." -- #Shame and the Face: The facial expression of shame is the impulse to hide the face. The shame response is an act which reduces facial communication . . . By dropping his eyes, his eyelids, his head, and sometimes the whole upper part of his body, the individual calls a halt to looking at another person, particularly looking at the other person’s face, and to the other person’s looking at him, particularly his face. (AIC Vol II p. 120) -- Shame can be understood to be “face-consciousness” and in this respect shame’s connection with self-consciousness is made evident. Tomkins wrote that unlike all the other affects, shame calls attention to the self, and in doing so plays a central role in our motivational system. "Why are shame and pride such central motives? How can loss of face be more intolerable than loss of life? How can hanging the head in shame so mortify the spirit? In contrast to all other affects, shame is an experience of the self by the self. At that moment when the self feels shame, it is felt as a sickness within the self. Shame is the most reflexive of affects in that the distinction between the subject and object of shame is lost. Why is shame so close to the experienced self? It is because the self lives in the face."
psychology  shame  emotions 
6 days ago
Tomkins Institute -- Nine affects, present at birth, combine with life experience to form emotion and personality
Since the terms used to talk about feelings and emotions are often confusing, let’s take a moment to define a few of the terms of Tomkins’ system, and then we’ll return to focus on the nine innate affects. #Affect is the innate, biological response to the increasing, decreasing or persistent intensity of neural firing. This results in a particular feeling, facial and body display, and skin changes. Affects feel rewarding, punishing, or neutral in their own ways. Affect makes things urgent. #Awareness of an affect is a feeling. #A feeling plus memory of prior similar feelings is an emotion. #Often, out of awareness, we develop “rules” to try to get more positive and less negative affect. Tomkins calls those rules scripts. #The pattern of scripts that a person uses to modulate affect make up his or her personality. -- Emotions have a much bigger impact on our experience than affects. We notice emotions, we give them thousands of names, we write poems, books, and movies about them. And yet, in their bulk, they mask the much more fleeting workings of affect. These affects, hiding in plain sight, are often given short shrift by researchers who tend to study something their instruments can measure, and their subjects can name. But increasingly, with new developments in affective neuroscience, we are able to study smaller and smaller units of human experience. -- Because we have evolved with an affect system with some affects that feel good and some that feel bad, each human is motivated to: #1. Maximize positive affect #2. Minimize (reduce) negative affect #3. Both of these actions work best when all affect is expressed. #4. Anything that helps the performance of these three rules is good for human life; anything that interferes with them is bad for us. -- This is how we are wired, and this is what humans “want.”'
psychology  affectregulation  emotions 
6 days ago
Tomkins Institute -- Teaching Affect to Teachers
'....very frequently in these workshops teachers ask about ADHD and spectrum disorders. “I usually encourage them to see ADHD kids as ones who have a glitch in their affect system so that too many things at once trigger interest-excitement, and consequently it is their triggering of interest-excitement that acts as an impediment to other [kids'] I-E, triggering shame affect and Compass of Shame scripts.” -- And what about kids on the spectrum? “With spectrum kids the question usually revolves around the kid’s ability to empathise with other\s – which is where I find it helpful to talk about the cognitive and affective aspects of empathy and that the spectrum kids can still do the cognitive (perspective-taking) but might have trouble with the affective resonance bit.” -- Does this framework seem valid to teachers? “It seems to ‘explain’ or at least describe the acting out that most ADHD kids suffer from,” says Graeme. “And this understanding of kids on the spectrum seems to gel with their experience.”'
psychology  affectregulation  shame  ADHD 
6 days ago
Tomkins Institute -- Affect and Neuroplasticity
'Increasing and decreasing affect density, a function of neurotransmitters: ...A core issue for me in the following excerpt is Tomkins’ positive affect pair, excitement (increase) and enjoyment (decrease), and adaptations to emotionally induced neural patterns as per neuroplasticity. Doidge [The Brain That Changes Itself] is discussing the effects of the neurochemicals dopamine and oxytocin: “Whereas dopamine induces excitement, puts us into high gear, and triggers sexual arousal, oxytocin induces a calm, warm mood that increases tender feelings and attachment and may lead us to trust” (119). This coincides, as I read it, with Tomkins’ suggestion that the affects are the more general motivational system for the organism, over something such as the more specific sex drive. Dopamine aids in amplifying the triggering signal, which could be sexual, but could equally be an infinite number of other potentially exciting stimuli. Oxytocin, on the other hand, a neurochemical, maps nicely onto Tomkins’ suggestion that the affect enjoyment-joy indicates a decrease in neural firing as one settles into the contentment of post-stimulation. Doidge shows no indication of ever having heard of or read Tomkins, and Tomkins certainly does not appear in the works cited.'
psychology  affectregulation  dopamine  oxytocin 
7 days ago
Tomkins Institute -- The Depressive Posture
Excerpt from: Emotional Rescue: Shame and the Depressive Posture in George Eliot by Joseph Adamson -- 'Depressives beget depressives: As an adult the depressive often finds himself relating to his own child or to others in the way he himself was socialized: “So is forged the depressive dyad in which there is great reward punctuated by severe depression. The depressive creates other depressives by repeating the relationship which created his own character” (AIC 3:325). As a grownup he now seeks to win love and respect, either like the depressive child, by doing something that keeps the rapt eyes of others on him, or, like a depressive parent, by exercising control of others and showing concern for them and their success or failure. Not surprisingly, then, depressives predominate among particular types of creative people, “such as the great actors, the great educators, the great jurists, the great statesmen, the great writers, in short, among all those who are concerned conjointly with man, with control of man, and with excellence in goodness or in achievement which excites man” (AIC 3:325). A relationship with the depressive, which is never an easy one: -- "The depressive, like his parent before him, is not altogether a comfortable person for others with whom he interacts. As a friend or parent or lover or educator he is somewhat labile between his affirmations of intimacy and his controlling, judging, and censuring of others. His warmth and genuine concern for the welfare of others seduces them into an easy intimacy which may then be painfully ruptured when the depressive readily finds fault with the other. The other is now too deeply committed and too impressed with the depressive’s sincerity to disregard the disappointment and censure from the other and is thereby seduced further into attempting to make restitution, to atone, and to please the other." (AIC 3:325) -- This combination of disapproval and love defines the depressive dyad, in which, as Tomkins observes, “there is great reward punctuated by severe depression. The depressive exerts a great influence on the lives of all he touches because he combines great reward with great punishment, which ultimately heightens the intensity of the affective rewards he offers others.” (AIC 3:325)'
psychology  shame  depression  control  codependency 
7 days ago
YouTube -- Honey Badger Radio [Published on 10 Jul 2014]
00:41:45: "For a while I used didn't think that feminists see men as vulnerable, but that's not true, they do see men as vulnerable but they use those vulnerabilities to hurt men because they do not see women as strong. Women seen as strong can only have compassion for men for the vulnerabilities of men, if they are seen as strong. But feminists see women as weak, and that equates to: women need to take advantage of men's vulnerabilities and abuse them because, well, women are weak. And it's bullshit. It's horrific for men, and it supports women being abusive based on the idea women are weak... When you see a woman as a victim then you support her abuse of men because you see that she is incapable of being powerful in any way. So until a woman sees herself as strong, she will never know how to be compassionate towards a man. Women who are not compassionate towards men only see themselves as weak."
men  women  agencyvspatiency  victimhood  predation  feminism 
7 days ago
The New Inquiry -- The Silence of the Masses Could Be Social Media
'Postauthenticity (social media plus Big Data) makes our will superfluous. Rather than existing in some “real,” the media overlay on reality means we exist in statistical models that purport to measure reality but in fact are tautological, capable only of grasping what it is has already predicted and modeled. -- Social media are a huge effort to prevent the masses from being silent in Baudrillard’s subversive sense — if the masses are silent, they move beyond manipulation, beyond influence, beyond desire, beyond control, beyond comprehension by the forces attempting to exercise sovereignty over them. If the masses seem to speak, as they now do in social media (and through all the other means for surveilling their everyday activities with “smart” devices), they yield the data that appears to make them manageable. They become “social” again, in the sense of being amenable to the mechanisms of social control. -- But data collection only raises more questions than it answers about the populations under surveillance; as Kate Crawford explains here, the more data you have, the more crises of interpretation you confront, leading to more data collection and deeper crises. -- ...we have desire, subjectivity, selfhood served to us, which threatens to close a feedback loop — the self Big Data is trying to capture ends up just being the one which it has already reported to us. This, Baudrillard hopes, will eventually suffocate the system, while the masses enjoy the spectacle of themselves as a kind of consumer good. Simply liking what we are told or expected to like becomes deeply subversive to a system that depends on our innovating new desires, new demand. “The deepest desire,” he argues, “is perhaps to give the responsibility for one’s desire to someone else.”'
kipple  socialmedia  #socialization  datamining  malgorithms  circumscription  bravenewworld  thematrix 
8 days ago
Mike Bulajewski -- The Cult of Sharing
'...The former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir confirmed this principle when, asked if she believed in God, replied “I believe in the Jewish people, and they believe in God.” -- The true formula of a cult brand is similar: “I believe in the community and the community believes in the brand.” That’s what allows you to be inspired by a figure who you know is a fraud: the community believes in her, and you don’t want to shatter their delusions. -- Atkin claims that the internet solves the hypocrisy problem because the truth is readily available. But as he himself notes, cult members attachment to the abstract ideology is secondary. Their first commitment is to very real, tangible bonds of community, the affirmation and sense of belonging that they receive from it. But the community is sustained by the mythos of the cult, so a threat to the belief system is a threat to the community, which is in turn a threat to the cult members’ sense of belonging and psychological well-being. -- Cult brand turn out to be remarkably resilient even when its members know that it doesn’t live up to the ideals. They’re not naive, they may know the truth perfectly well. But they disavow it, paraphrasing Golda Meir to say “I know the brand is a lie. But I believe in the community, and the community believes in the brand.” -- When marketing executives at “values-led” companies try to cultivate communities around ethical consumerism, it creates a new class of problems. Much like religious cults, cult brands manipulate their customers’ emotional and psychological needs and encourage them to construct their identities and lives around the brand. The collapse of the ideal would be felt as a personal catastrophe for its community, so the brand becomes practically immune to criticism.'
consumerism  cults  truebelieversyndrome 
8 days ago
YouTube -- TEDtalks: Hubertus Knabe: The dark secrets of a surveillance state
'Tour the deep dark world of the East German state security agency known as Stasi. Uniquely powerful at spying on its citizens, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the Stasi masterminded a system of surveillance and psychological pressure that kept the country under control for decades. Hubertus Knabe studies the Stasi — and was spied on by them. He shares stunning details from the fall of a surveillance state, and shows how easy it was for neighbor to turn on neighbor.'
statism  surveillance  stasi  thoughtpolice  facecrime  snitching  1984 
8 days ago
Nir and Far -- The Sweet Spot: Where Technology Meets the Motivational Brain
'...It’s actually when the probability of reward hovers at around 50% that dopamine flow is maximal. When the probability of getting it is as high as the probability of not getting it — the point of maximum uncertainty. That’s what turns us on the most. -- In that sense, the sweet spot is the perfect technological reflection of the brain’s fundamental formula for achievement motivation. We try hardest (and are most thrilled and enticed) when the game is hard enough but not too hard. -- But why are video games so addictive? Start with the notion that most addictive drugs, and most addictive activities, are products of technology. Heroin comes from opium, but it passes through a lot of chemical manipulations first. Booze comes from distilleries and breweries. Porn comes from cameras. Gambling requires, at the very least, a deck of cards or a pair of dice, and the rows of slot machines in Vegas or Tokyo? — simply technological upgrades. Technology finds ways to make things more efficient or more effective. Technology evolves as an outcropping of human (cultural) evolution, serving its needs and desires with ever more refined versions of what we want. -- As with heroin, meth, whisky, and porn, technology serves the workings of the motivational brain. We desire winning, getting, achieving — but not constantly. Even drug addicts get utterly bored when they have unlimited supplies of whatever it is. The hunt is more thrilling than the act itself. The momentous feeling of moving forward, from the present to the immediate future — the next scene, the next screen, the next belt, hit, shot, snort, or rush — is really what we’re after. And the sweet spot keeps us going for it.'
technology  temes  psychology  dopamine  motivation  addiction  intermittentvariablerewards 
14 days ago
The Progress Report -- The UK's Financial Times: Tax Down Bubbles
'This 2014 excerpt of the Financial Times, Jly 25, is by Adair Turner, senior fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and former chairman of the UK Financial Services Authority. -- Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, illustrates rising wealth-to-income ratios in all advanced economies. They are primarily explained by one factor: rising property prices. And the rises mainly reflect not new investment in housing stock but the rising value of the land on which existing housing sits. As the lucky ones grow richer, they spend an increasing share of their income on competing to own homes in desirable locations. -- Technological progress drives down the price of many goods and services but up the value of the oldest and most physical thing of all – land. -- By 2010, more than 70 per cent of all advanced-economy bank lending was against property. The more credit is available, the more prices rise. Credit-driven price rises encourage borrowers to demand more credit and banks to supply it – until land soaks up so much money that the cycle goes into reverse. Property booms and busts have been central to all recent financial crises.'
geoism  economics  land  rent  rentseeking  "capitalism"  landcycle  businesscycle 
14 days ago
YouTube -- Honey Badger Radio: Veteran Mental Health
Karen/GWW: "When a woman on facebook, when she gets engaged what does she do? She almost never posts a profile pic of her and her fiancé. What does she post? Her $15,000 engagement ring. The $15,000 ring that declares: 'I am granting you exclusive access to my vagina until death do us part or I decide I want a divorce.' And then we wonder why women freak out so bad when they get raped. $15,000 is grand larceny! If they see their sexuality as a commodity to be sold, of course they're going to flip right out when it's stolen."
men  women  sexuality 
14 days ago
Global Guerrillas -- iWar 101: Kicking the Squirrel
'Given the coverage this video is getting, it won't be long before these men are identified in real life and villified and harrassed....This is going to become an increasingly powerful technique in the near future. Why? Your reputation will be critical to doing anything, from getting a date to buying or selling anything both online and off, much sooner than you think.'
internet  immunesystem  equiveillance  reputation  vigilantism 
15 days ago
The Progress Report -- Individual Sovereignty by Fred Foldvary
'Power is always exercised by individual persons, not by mental constructs. Governments and states are mental constructs, having no reality other than what people believe. If a government exercises its sovereign power, in reality, it is the president or prime minister applying the forces of government, ultimately its army, police, and prison guards. Arbitrary state power is ultimately the unequal power of some individuals over others. There is no moral authority or legitimacy for government other than to enforce the universal ethic, which implies that it is immoral for government to interfere with peaceful and honest individual sovereignty. If government makes theft legally a crime, it is already morally a crime, and government simply acts as an agent of the people to enforce moral law, although if it does that, the financing must also be moral. -- Therefore individual sovereignty implies peaceful anarchism, with no imposed government, because even if the government confines itself to enforcing the universal ethic, the rulers are human beings who have no greater wisdom, in general, than others, and they could end up imposing their wills to alter peaceful choices. Therefore, pure equality implies that there be no rulers imposed on unwilling persons.' -- Who defends against "the defenders"?
statism  anarchism  voluntaryism  geoanarchism  geoism  FredFoldvary 
16 days ago
Global Guerrillas -- ISIS Opens The World's Biggest Bazaar of Violence
'ISIS isn't a state and it's not your typical insurgency. It's much more interesting than that. ISIS is a marketplace – a freewheeling bazaar of violence – and it is rapidly expanding. -- This success is due to the fact that ISIS isn't trying to build a "state." It's not a government. It's a bazaar in an autonomous zone. It operates outside of the global system. It doesn't want to be a state (which would make it vulnerable). This bazaar was built for one purpose: perpetual expansion and continuous warfare. To keep things running, ISIS offers a minimalist, decentralized governance. Day-to-day life is governed by a simple, decentralized rule set: Sharia Law. Participation is open to everyone willing to live under Sharia and able to expand the bazaar to new areas.'
phyles  war  perpetualwar 
16 days ago
Aeon -- Can you have self-worth without self-love? by Simon Blackburn
'The proud person might take pleasure in having done something that deserves to be admired, but to the vain person the admiration itself becomes the goal. Vanity is greedy for the admiration of others, regardless of whether the admiration is deserved: the vain person enjoys being flattered, even if the flattery is hollow. Vanity is often the consequence of a fragile self-esteem – a fear of falling short in the eyes of others that results in a constant demand for reassurance. As such, it is often a better target for sympathy or pity than for censure. -- If vanity is overly concerned with the admiration of others, and often arises from a more fundamental insecurity, conceit takes us in the other direction. It means having a sufficiently high opinion of oneself to have no need of the applause of other people. The conceited person is so sure of himself that reassurance from others become irrelevant. It is annoying in a way that vanity is not since, by ignoring the voices of others, the conceited person tells them that they do not count; they are as nothing to him. Arrogance, pig-headedness, and overweening self-confidence and hubris mark the path of conceit. It is the typical vice of politicians, surrounded by courtiers, constantly flattered, and all too often self-deceived by their own claims to leadership, wisdom, insight and ability.'
psychology  shame  narcissism  selfesteem 
22 days ago
NYTimes.com -- When a Robot Is a Caregiver
'...The robots proposed as “caring machines” fool us into thinking they care about us. Maintaining eye contact, remembering our names, responding to verbal cues — these are things that robots do to simulate care and understanding. -- So, Miriam — a woman who had lost a child — was trying to make sense of her loss with a machine that had no understanding or experience of a human life. That robot put on a good show. And we’re vulnerable: People experience even pretend empathy as the real thing. But robots can’t empathize. They don’t face death or know life. So when this woman took comfort in her robot companion, I didn’t find it amazing. I felt we had abandoned Miriam.'
relationalobjects  simulacra  SherryTurkle 
22 days ago
The Progress Report -- As Robots do the Jobs, Should We Own the Robots?
'Ed. Notes: If you want to live in the privacy of your own home, won’t you need that right and to own the house? And what about the land beneath it? And the land beneath the factories? And the land above those resources? And the locations in the EM spectrum? Somebody does and will own all those valuable aspects of nature. Which is fine. But should they keep the rents for those valuable locations or pay them? -- By analogy, you may have a child, but do you own that child’s labor? Even after paying so much for the child’s upbringing? A better example. You park downtown or at a park in the country, because space is limited and the people excluded by your presence deserve compensation. Similarly, you as an owner of land would not keep the rent from your community but pay it to your neighbors, just as they would pay you. -- Everyone would pay land dues (like land taxes) into the public treasury and get rent dividends back (like Singapore does). Plus, extra awesome is this: as technology progresses, it pushes up site values; look at Silicon Valley. So if your society is recovering and sharing those values, then the farther hi-tech advances, the fatter your dividend check grows. Finally, it would not matter at all how many jobs disappear — and property rights could stay the same.'
economics  geoism  land  rent 
22 days ago
The Progress Report -- New York Times: Perhaps a Land Value Tax?
'Ed. Notes: Brave of him to cite land as a tax base (once again). Of course he had to cover his butt and add “perhaps”. Which is the difference between mainstream media, constantly catering to fear, and alternative media, always trying to lay it on the line. -- Bear in mind that “land” here refers to location, not just downtowns but also sites above oil fields and the oil itself. And not just tangible land but also the intangible, such as the EM spectrum (a frequency is a location there). And not just land, the good, but also ecosystem, the service. Finally, what the tax or fee or lease or dues falls on is not land, the stock, but its rent, the flow.'

This flow of money that we spend for the nature we use need not fund government; government can get by charging fees for its services. Instead, all those rents for all those locations could be disbursed as dividends to citizens. Receiving a fair share, citizens could get by with much less government, making the whole taxation question much more tolerable.
economics  land  rent  geoism 
22 days ago
Paul Craig Roberts -- UPDATE of the Latest US Government Hoax
'The anti-Russian propaganda campaign being conducted by Washington follows in the footsteps of the campaigns conducted against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, and Iran. Washington’s campaign of lies against Russia proves the absence of integrity in the US government and is reckless as it can lead to war. -- Peter Duveen, who commented on my article exposing the State Department hoax, explained that having foreknowledge of news events that Washington orchestrates allows Washington to control the explanation before any evidence is available. By the time evidence is gathered, the narrative is established and the evidence ignored: -- “Part of the US propaganda mill’s effort is into forming the conversation. Once certain narratives take hold, true or untrue, they edge out other narratives. So the effort is to get control of the narrative, to form the conversation with whatever materials, usually false, are available. Then, of course, the false information will be referenced as true, and the direction of the narrative will be fixed. The narrative being lowered into place, for example, is that Russia was somehow responsible for the downing of Flight 17. With the help of the media, the hope is that the narrative will gain momentum. Eventually, if it catches properly, it will be impossible to question, just as people are considered freaks who question the official narrative of 9-11. That is why the narratives are introduced as quickly as possible. Thus, we saw how quickly it was announced that Flight 17 was brought down by a surface to air missile. That would lead me to believe that it was actually not brought down by a surface to air missile. So also with this incredibly amateurish effort regarding Russian shelling of Ukrainian positions. Russian reaction is never obtained in the articles about it, and it is no longer mentioned that Russian territory has been shelled by the Ukrainian military.”'
america  empire  minitrue  war  perpetualwar  1984 
22 days ago
The Daily Bell -- Washington Is Escalating the Orchestrated Ukrainian "Crisis" to War by Paul Craig Roberts
'Despite the conclusion by US intelligence that there is no evidence of Russian involvement in the destruction of the Malaysian airliner and all lives onboard, Washington is escalating the crisis and shepherding it toward war. -- Twenty-two US senators have introduced into the 113th Congress, Second Session, a bill, S.2277, "To prevent further Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes." -- Note that prior to any evidence of any Russian aggression, there are already 22 senators lined up in behalf of preventing further Russian aggression. -- Accompanying this preparatory propaganda move to create a framework for war, hot or cold with Russia, NATO commander General Philip Breedlove announced his plan for a deployment of massive military means in Eastern Europe that would permit lightening responses against Russia in order to protect Europe from Russian aggression. -- There we have it again: Russian aggression. Repeat it enough and it becomes real. -- In its dealings with Washington Europe has grown accustomed to the efficacy of bribes, threats, and coercion. Captive nations are inured to diplomacy's impotence. Europeans see diplomacy as the weak card played by the weak party. And, of course, all the Europeans want money, which Washington prints with abandon. -- Russia and China are disadvantaged in their conflict with Washington. Russia and China have emerged from tyranny. People in both countries were influenced by American cold war propaganda. Both countries have educated people who think that America has freedom, democracy, justice, civil liberty, economic wellbeing and is a welcoming friend of other countries that want the same thing. -- This is a dangerous delusion. Washington has an agenda. Washington has put in place a police state to suppress its own population, and Washington believes that history has conveyed the right to Washington to exercise hegemony over the world. Last year President Obama declared to the world that he sincerely believes that America is the exceptional nation on whose leadership the world depends. -- In other words, all other countries and peoples are unexceptional. Their voices are unimportant. Their aspirations are best served by Washington's leadership. Those who disagree–Russia, China, Iran, and the new entity ISIL–are regarded by Washington as obstacles to history's purpose. Anything, whether an idea or a country, that is in the way of Washington is in the way of History's Purpose and must be run over. -- In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Europe faced the determination of the French Revolution to impose Liberty, Equality, Fraternity upon Europe. Today Washington's ambition is larger. The ambition is to impose Washington's hegemony on the entire world. -- Unless Russia and China submit, this means war.'
america  empire  exceptionalism  war  perpetualwar 
22 days ago
PaulCraigRoberts.org -- Government of Ukraine Collapses
'Today the Ukrainian government resigned. The prime minister Yatsenyuk, or “Yat” as affectionately called by Victoria Nuland who put Yat into office, resigned along with the entire Cabinet. The parliament refused to vote the harsh conditions demanded by the IMF. I am not sure what this means. Perhaps it is just a tactic to force the parliament to do as the IMF says. Or perhaps Yat, Washington’s stooge, has realized that IMF or no IMF, Ukraine’s economy is imploding and wants to get out of the blame. -- The point for now is that I checked the BBC, the New York Times, and CNN and there is not one word about the collapse of the government of Ukraine. -- I did notice that the BBC, now a reliable element of Washington’s Ministry of Propaganda, reported, as if it were true, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf’s claim that the Russian military is shelling Ukrainian forces. When Harf tried this out today on a roomful of journalists, they laughed her out of the room. Evidence, evidence! they demanded. Why, Harf was asked, do you think something is made true by you saying it!? -- So, as usual, real news is missing from the Western press, but fake news is reported.'
america  empire  minitrue  war  perpetualwar  1984 
22 days ago
YouTube -- RussiaToday: 'US 'proof' so unprofessional - social media propaganda' - Frmr WSJ Editor [Paul Craig Roberts]
'The US State Department has released satellite images via email which it says act as “evidence” that Russia is firing rockets at Ukrainian troops across the border.'
america  empire  minitrue  propaganda  twominuteshate 
22 days ago
The Intercept -- Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
'“Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” says Hina Shamsi, the head of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.”'
statism  terrorism!  precrime  facecrime  1984 
27 days ago
YouTube -- RussiaToday: British Spies Controlling the Past, Present and Future | Interview with Annie Machon
"...all these MPs are aware that they might have files on them; all of them are aware they're not allowed to see those files; and all of them are very aware that if they step out of line and don't give the spies the powers and resources that they demand, then nasty little stories could appear in the British media about them. And most MPs – most of our elected representatives – have some little guilty secrets floating around somewhere, be it expenses fiddling or kiddie fiddling or mistresses or lovers, or whatever. So they're very weary of taking on the intelligence agencies."
statism  bigbrother  surveillance  stasi  thoughtpolice  1984 
27 days ago
YouTube -- RussiaToday: Main Scream Media: Western press pin blame for MH17 crash on Russia
His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats. The most savage yells of all came from the schoolchildren. The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker’s hand. He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different. Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia!
america  empire  minitrue  twominuteshate  duckspeak  war  perpetualwar  1984 
27 days ago
YouTube -- RussiaToday: CrossTalk: MH17 Spin
'Washington has a mountain of evidence but isn't disclosing it. What is Washington hiding? Will the investigation show something the West doesn't want to see? And do we hear a drumbeat of war?
CrossTalking with Vladimir Suchan, Eric Kraus and Eric Draitser.' -- How many fingers, Winston?
twominuteshate  minitrue  america  empire  war  perpetualwar  1984 
27 days ago
The Progress Report -- Vanity Fair's Michael Kinsley: a Doable Tax
'Ed. Notes: People plot to tax wealth after the rich already got it rather than redirect our spending so that no insiders could corral it and become the 1%. “Our spending” here refers to both public and private. Take public spending: we could abolish corporate welfare and disburse revenue directly to citizens as a dividend. -- Take private spending. Presently, our spending for things that nobody created — like land, natural resources, the EM spectrum, ecosystem services, and privileges that force consumers to pay “tolls” (jacked up prices) to the privilege holders — go to banks, oil companies, and other insiders, creating that 1%. Instead, we could institute land dues rather than tax buildings, purchases, and earned incomes. When the public gets those values (via the dividend), then they’re not available for the more grasping to amass into fortunes. -- We could stop worrying about how much anyone has by redirecting what everyone spends for our common heritage, which should belong to us all already. It’s called geonomics and it has worked wherever tried, to the degree tried.'
economics  geoism  rentseeking  mercantilism  corporatism  "capitalism" 
27 days ago
The Progress Report -- Thirsty Detroiters Take to the Streets After Shutoff
'Ed. Notes: Is the City charging more than the cost of delivering water? If so, are they using the profit to lower bad taxes or pay residents a dividend? And why are so many residents poor? -- Poverty has an easy economic solution, and that is geonomics. #One, don’t subsidize insiders, that only makes it easier for them beat competitors, and competitors keep prices low and wages high. #Two, don’t tax people’s efforts, that only makes it harder to hire helpers. #Three, don’t fail to recover socially-generated land rents, which merely rewards speculators; when owners pay “land dues” they put locations to best use, which attracts investment and creates employment. And #Four, disburse surplus public revenue as a dividend, which is substantial in cities where site values are higher than skyscrapers. Dividends mean people can always afford water. -- The problem is not that there isn’t any solution. The problem is that people have no interest in fundamental solutions and prefer to just blame one another: rich are greedy, poor are lazy. If humans could get over that and rekindle their innate curiosity, they’ll discover what works — geonomics.'
economics  geoism  poverty 
27 days ago
The Progress Report -- European Environment Agency: Shift Taxes Now
'Ed. Notes: Shifting taxes from wages to pollution is one of three big green tax shifts. Another is to shift from purchases (e.g., VAT) to extraction of resources. The most powerful shift is the least obvious and well known: off buildings onto exclusive use of locations. -- When owners pay land rent to their community rather than receive it from tenants or buyers, then they take no more land than they need and use that wisely. In urban areas, using land efficiently makes for compact towns that use fewer materials (the goal of the depletion tax) and less energy (the aim of the pollution tax). -- Other powerful advantages of recovering rents is that doing so grows the tax base rather than shrinks it (since owners develop their lots), raising enough revenue to afford a dividend to citizens, merging everyone’s need for money with their love for Earth. Proposing land dues challenges society to see the worth of Earth as part of the commons. And shifting the property tax off buildings, onto land is something localities can do without waiting for states or nations or unions. So get busy geonomizing now.'
economics  environmentalism  geoism  land  rent 
27 days ago
Share The Rents -- How the West Garrotes itself
'...It’s true that millions of families in the West are suffering. They can’t “make ends meet” – and so, the blame is placed on wages that are deemed to be too low. -- Really? -- Dig deeper. And what we find is that a disproportionate share of wages and salaries is devoted to the cost of accommodation. -- Immigrants are raising rents at the lower end of the property market. And eastern investors are raising property prices at the top end of the market. But what’s stopping the industrialised countries from building enough dwellings to equate supply with demand? The problem is not with the cost of building materials. Affordability is not determined by constraints in the supply of bricks and mortar. The problem relates exclusively to property rights in land (the supply of land is fixed by nature, for practical purposes, in places where people want to live and work), and with the way governments distort income distribution through their fiscal policies. -- If Indigenous wages are under pressure, it’s not because of Immigrants. It’s because of home-grown policies that are shaped to enrich the rent-seekers, at the expense of people who work for their wages.'
economics  geoism  land  rentseeking  FredHarrison 
27 days ago
The Daily Bell -- Stephan Kinsella on Libertarian Legal Theory, Self-Ownership and Drug Laws
'Daily Bell: Another major question for libertarians involves when and why agreements are legally enforceable or in other words, how rights are voluntarily transferred. Can you offer some insight? -- Stephan Kinsella: ...Contracts are just transfers of title, or ownership, to a scarce resource, by the owner, by some sufficient communication of his consent. Outside of this, actions that are crimes or torts – invasions of the borders of others' owned resources – can also be considered to be transfers of rights. For example if A attacks B, now B has a right to punch A. A has in a sense given up his right to object to this force. The right has been transferred, or forfeited. Or if A negligently harms B, now B is entitled to claim some of A's money as damages; that too results in a transfer. But notice that intentional aggression, sometimes called "crime," and torts, are all intentional actions, as are contracts. These are all basically actions human actors can take that result in some kind of change in the rights landscape. This is one reason I am not hostile to the idea of positive rights – so long as they are the result of one's action. If you push someone in a lake, you now have an obligation to rescue them even though a stranger does not. If you create a dependent child by copulation, then you have certain parental obligations to care for this child. It's a positive obligation but one that you created by your free action. Libertarians IMO are not against positive obligations — we are just against unchosen positive obligations. -- Daily Bell: Why does making a promise or agreeing or "committing" to do something result in a transfer of rights from the promisor to the promisee? To many – even to many libertarians – it seems elementary and obvious: If you promise to do something, you may be forced to do it. -- Stephan Kinsella: We are used to thinking this way because the state's legal system has characterized it this way for some time. The idea now is that promises should be binding, if they are made with the right formalities. One theory that is used to back this up is that people rely on your promises and would be harmed, would suffer damage, if you were to be free to renege. But this reasoning is circular, of course—if the law did not enforce promises it would be unreasonable for promisees to "rely" on that promise. (See notes 22-23 of my contract theory article noted previously.) So as Rothbard recognizes, the "binding promise" theory of contract is not coherent. Contract really simply means a transaction or arrangement whereby the owner of a resource exercises his ownership power to grant permission or even to transfer ownership of the resource to someone else. That is all that contracts are: title-transfers, with various conditions (triggers) attached to the transfers.'
law  contracts  StephanKinsella 
29 days ago
Libertarianism and Georgism: The Philosophical and Practical Relationship by Harold Kyriazi
'The dictionary definition of libertarian is someone who believes in freedom of thought and freedom of action. We are not going to concern ourselves today with freedom of thought. It is probably a little bit outdated, back to the time when religion was very authoritarian and oppressive. At that time the whole freedom of thought movement was a big deal. -- We are going to focus on freedom of action. It is useful to break up the universe into three different categories. Us, fellow citizens, sentient beings. The second category is 3-dimensional space. A third category is matter, that is, the stuff of the universe besides us. Freedom of action can be thought of as freedom to interact with all three of these categories. If you and I interact with each other, that is called freedom of association. If we interact with 3-dimensional space by moving around, we call that the right to travel and we travel over public right of ways. That is an important part of freedom, that we have public right of ways. -- The third category is interacting with matter. Here on earth we think of that as using the earth. This is where Georgism falls out of Libertarian philosophy. We believe in freedom of action, and part of that is the right to interact with the earth. That is where I see Georgism fitting, and of course there is the Georgist remedy of community collection of ground rent. We geo-libertarians really must avoid the word "tax" when we talk to libertarians. That is something the government levies with no real firm ties with what they are providing. Rent is something where you get what you pay for. -- From this interaction of us with matter we generate the fourth category of things in the universe, and that is our stuff. We generate private property. Libertarians tend to get confused on this issue or argumentative because they think that land should be considered private property. They don't understand that land and all the other raw matter in the universe is something we all have a right to interact with. When we do that and create things that we all need to live, we create tools, that is what we really own, and that becomes part of us. -- It is important to understand that there is a labor component to genuine property, and this goes back to John Locke and the labor based theory of property. This is not to be confused with Marx's labor theory of value. The point here is that Georgism is a part of Libertarian philosophy. -- I think when Georgism becomes part of a Libertarian campaign it really helps the candidate "sell" the philosophy more than just plain libertarianism. I had been unable to talk to working people on a meaningful level. All the run-of-the-mill Libertarian can say is, well, we want to get government out of your pocketbook. The working man really feels he is being oppressed, and now I realize he is being oppressed. He is not perhaps being oppressed by the people he thinks he is being oppressed by; he doesn't see that the real villain in this case is the landlord as landlord. It really allows a Libertarian to make a much more effective campaign if he can say, "Yes, I understand you are having to struggle hard to survive." -- But government isn't the only problem, as most libertarians think. Working people tend to think of government as their friend and someone they need to help them. -- Another way Georgism can help a Libertarian campaign is by saying we won't need big government as much when we have community collection of ground rent. If we institute Land Value Taxation it will free up land by ending the incentive for speculation in land. That will allow more efficient creation of wealth. We will have more competition for labor, and with more competition for labor we will have higher wages. That is where the traditional Libertarian element comes in -- you will be able to keep all your wages. How will we pay for government? Well, that will come out of land rent that we collect. Georgism can help Libertarians run more effective campaigns.'
economics  land  geoism  libertarianism  minarchism  politics 
29 days ago
Paul Craig Roberts -- What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner?
'...In my previous article http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/17/sanctions-airliners-paul-craig-roberts/ I reported on the BBC news report which I heard and which was obviously primed to place all blame on Russia. The program ended with a BBC correspondent breathlessly reporting that he has just seen the youtube video and that the video is the smoking gun that proved Russia did it. There is no longer any doubt, he said. Somehow the information got on a video and on youtube before it reached the Ukrainian government or Washington. -- The evidence that Putin did it is a video made prior to the attack on the airliner. The entire BBC report aired over National Public Radio was orchestrated for the sole purpose of establishing prior to any evidence that Russia was responsible. -- Indeed the entire Western media spoke as one: Russia did it. And the presstitutes are still speaking the same way. -- Possibly, this uniform opinion merely reflects the pavlovian training of the Western media to automatically line up with Washington. No media source wants to be subject to criticism for being unamerican or to find itself isolated by majority opinion, which carries the day, and earn black marks for being wrong. As a former journalist for, and contributor to, America’s most important news publications, I know how this works. -- On the other hand, if we discount the pavlovian conditioning, the only conclusion is that the entire news cycle pertaining to the downing of the Malaysian airliner is orchestrated in order to lay the blame on Putin. -- Romesh Ratnesar, deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, provides convincing evidence for orchestration in his own remarks of July 17. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-17/the-malaysia-airlines-shootdown-spells-disaster-for-putin?campaign_id=DN071814 Ratnesar’s opinion title is: “The Malaysia Airlines Shootdown Spells Disaster for Putin.” Ratnesar does not mean that Putin is being framed-up. He means that prior to Putin having the Malaysian airliner shot down, “to the vast majority of Americans, Russia’s meddling in Ukraine has largely seemed of peripheral importance to U.S. interests. That calculus has changed. . . . It may take months, even years, but Putin’s recklessness is bound to catch up to him. When it does, the downing of MH 17 may be seen as the beginning of his undoing.” -- As a former Wall Street Journal editor, anyone who handed me a piece of shit like Ratnesar published would have been fired. Look at the insinuations when there is no evidence to support them. Look at the lie that Washington’s coup is “Russia’s meddling in Ukraine.” What we are witnessing is the total corruption of Western journalism by Washington’s imperial agenda. Journalists have to get on board with the lies or get run over. -- The flaw in Putin’s diplomacy is that Putin’s diplomacy relies on good will and on truth prevailing. However, the West has no good will, and Washington is not interested in truth prevailing but in Washington prevailing. What Putin confronts is not reasonable “partners,” but a propaganda ministry aimed at him.'
america  empire  war  perpetualwar  minitrue 
29 days ago
The Daily Bell -- What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 by Ron Paul
'While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report. -- They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored "regime change," it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened. -- The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons. -- They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets. -- They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called "measured and moderate." -- They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians. -- They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack. -- They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have. -- They will not report that the separatists in eastern Ukraine have inflicted considerable losses on the Ukrainian government in the week before the plane was downed. -- They will not report how similar this is to last summer's US claim that the Assad government in Syria had used poison gas against civilians in Ghouta. Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with US-backed rebels and the US claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions. Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. At the last minute public opposition forced Obama to back down – and we have learned since then that US claims about the gas attack were false. -- Of course, it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft. The real point is, it's very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda. At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?'
america  empire  war  perpetualwar  minitrue 
29 days ago
Paul Craig Roberts -- Sanctions and Airliners
'Washington’s empire is beginning to crack, a circumstances that will bring desperate action from Washington. Today (July 17) I heard a BBC news report on National Public Radio about a Malaysian airliner being shot down in Ukraine. The reporting might have been honest, but it sounded like a frame-up of Russia and the Ukrainian “separatists.” As the BBC solicited more biased opinions, the broadcast ended with a report from social media that separatists had brought down the airliner with a Russian weapon system. -- No one on the program wondered what the separatists had to gain by shooting down an airliner. Instead, the discussion was whether once Russian responsibility was established, would this force the EU to endorse tougher US sanctions against Russia. The BBC was following Washington’s script and heading the story where Washington wanted it to go. -- The appearance of a Washington operation is present. All the warmongers were ready on cue. US Vice President Joe Biden declared that the airliner was “blown out of the sky.” It was “not an accident.” Why would a person without an agenda be so declarative prior to having any information? Clearly, Biden was not implying that it was Kiev that blew the airliner out of the sky. Biden was at work in advance of the evidence blaming Russia. Indeed, the way Washington operates, it will pile on blame until it needs no evidence. -- Senator John McCain jumped on the supposition that there were US citizens aboard to call for punitive actions against Russia before the passenger list and the cause of the airliner’s fate are known. -- The “investigation” is being conducted by Washington’s puppet regime in Kiev. I think we already know what the conclusion will be. -- The probability is high that we are going to have more fabricated evidence, such as the fabricated evidence presented by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN “proving” the existence of the non-existent Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.” Washington has succeeded with so many lies, deceptions and crimes that it believes that it can always succeed again. -- At this time as I write, we have no reliable information about the airliner, but the Roman question always pertains: “Who benefits?” There is no conceivable motive for separatists to shoot down an airliner, but Washington did have a motive–to frame-up Russia–and possibly a second motive. Among the reports or rumors there is one that says Putin’s presidential plane flew a similar route to that of the Malaysian airliner within 37 minutes of one another. This report has led to speculation that Washington decided to rid itself of Putin and mistook the Malaysian airliner for Putin’s jet. -- RT reports that the two airplanes are similar in appearance. http://rt.com/news/173672-malaysia-plane-crash-putin/ -- Before you say Washington is too sophisticated to mistake one airliner for another, keep in mind that when Washington shot down an Iranian airliner over Iranian air space, the US Navy claimed that it thought the 290 civilians that it murdered were in an Iranian fighter jet, a F-14 Tomcat fighter, a US-made fighter that was a mainstay of the US Navy. If the US Navy cannot tell its own workhorse fighter aircraft from an Iranian airliner, clearly the US can confuse two airliners that the RT report shows appear very similar. -- During the entire BBC frame-up of Russia, no one mentioned the Iranian passenger airliner that the US “blew out of the sky.” No one put sanctions on Washington.'
america  war  perpetualwar 
4 weeks ago
YouTube -- RussiaToday: The Truthseeker: 'Genocide' in Eastern Ukraine (E43)
''Degeneration into genocide' as President Poroshenko calls for the murder of 'hundreds' of rebels for each of his troops killed - more than Nazi Germany ordered as punitive reprisals in World War Two; eyewitnesses report Kiev death squads going 'house to house' executing all men under 35 on the spot, 'crucifying' babies and forcing their mothers to watch - unspeakable atrocities under a complete mainstream media blackout. On Sunday Ukraine's missiles killed and injured civilians in the Rostov region, the latest bombing on Russia.'
america  empire  puppetry  perpetualwar  war 
5 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- New York Land Prices High From Global Dirty Money
'Ed. Notes: Real estate in New York is like oil in Texas. Wherever land costs a lot (and pays off a lot), and wherever oil is deposited, you find bullies hurting people and raking in fortunes. Easy money always attracts loose morals. -- It does so inside and outside government, both the bribe givers and the bribe takers. (What’s the difference between a bribe and a campaign contribution of millions? Time’s up.) The real state is real estate and always has been, from the days lords and kings to the present day of landlords and bank lenders. -- The only antidote is realize natural rents belong to us all, to share them a la Singapore, and to keep promulgating that realization.'
geoism  economics  land  rentseeking  landlordism  statism 
5 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- Canadians Pushing for Basic Income Guarantee
'Ed. Notes: It’s ironic to me that the proponents of BI use the word “guarantee”, presupposing that’s something governments can do, yet don’t breathe a word about from where would come the money? -- I’d rather see proponents focus on our common wealth, which by its nature (being common property), is something we should share, something that all of us are already entitled to a share. -- Indeed, it is immoral that the vast majority of us do not receive our share while a small handful of people capture the shares of millions of fellow citizens. However, eventho’ this situation is not ethical, nobody’s behavior is unethical. To behave badly, one must first know what’s right and wrong and most people are not even aware that common wealth exists, so how could they realize that hogging it is wrong? -- What is our common wealth? It is the worth of Earth. Nobody made land and resources and all of us make them valuable, by our demand for usage of various locations. Each of us has a right to land and to compensation when we’re excluded from land. Plus, each of has the duty to compensate those whom we exclude from our land. -- Economic value in practice is spending, herein our spending for all the locations and ecosystem services that we use. This flow is a surplus since it does not reward anybody’s labor or capital; Earth was created by whatever created us. This surplus is social since it is society’s recognition of property rights that makes it possible to use and exchange use of locations. -- If society did institute land dues, then it could do away with counterproductive taxes. If society did institute rent dividends,then it could do away with addictive subsidies. Minus the interference of taxes and subsidies – both of which distort prices and thus behavior – economies could operate at peak efficiency and government bureaucracies could shrink. -- Dues and dividends are the policy of geonomics. Wherever tried, to the degree tried, it has always worked. So rather than propose an unfunded BIG, propose a Citizen’s Dividend. Dividends by definition are shares of surplus, so the details of the proposal are built in.'
geoism  economics  land  rent 
5 weeks ago
Designing Behavior -- Delayed Social Development: The Cost of Texting Instead of Talking?
'...Traditionally, we received such instantaneous feedback in the social realm. Poor or rude behavior was met with a sneer or furrowed brow, while charming and kind words were met with a smile and, perhaps, a reciprocated compliment. The feedback loops for our social behaviors were tight, and so we grew and matured as civic beings with a staggering speed. Our less than desirable behaviors were shunned while our good behaviors were nurtured. -- Today, this development still occurs. However, we have also introduced a large time gap into our social maturation with the advent and frequent usage of asynchronous communication mediums like text messaging, email, etc. While it’s easy to tell whether or not a joke went over well in a face to face interaction, texts are often left unanswered for hours – leaving us to wonder: “Did I say something wrong?”. If that text goes unanswered, we get no true feedback. We can take the lack of a response as a signal that the joke was bad or inappropriate. However, it may have actually been quite terrific, garnering a large chuckle when read; but, in the middle of a busy day, the other person just didn’t remember to respond. Without a positive response, it’s unlikely that we’ll continue to say similar jokes in similar future contexts. Though, this would be a mistake – a mistake created by a newly introduced feedback delay we’ve created in a newly created communication medium.'
literaryculturevsoralculture  communication  asynchronous  latency  shame 
5 weeks ago
Melting Asphalt -- Personhood: A Game for Two or More Players
'#Reasonable-ness or use of reasons: The society of persons runs on the "currency" of reasons. This isn't a real currency, of course, just a metaphorical one — but the metaphor is fairly strong. We give each other reasons, accept or reject the reasons of others. Reasons, like money, can be good/bad/sound/etc., and we are always (like a shopkeeper being handed a suspicious-looking bill) evaluating the reasons of others, testing them for soundness. Sometimes we're called upon to give an account of our behavior, i.e., to show our reasons as we might open our books to an auditor. In fact we're auditing each other so frequently that we've created a strong incentive to produce counterfeit reasons: pretexts, confabulations, rationalizations, justifications, etc. We even dabble in credit, as in giving credit to a friend when he behaves strangely, but when we don't know the full story, or in giving someone the "benefit of the doubt," though his reasons may seem a bit fishy. -- But(!) however tricky it is to peddle in reasons — however prone such a currency is to inflation, debasement, and Gresham's Law — it beats the knickers off the alternative: violence. Threats, counter-threats, shoving or shouting matches. If you want one of your fellow humans to undertake a specific action, it's far more civilized to ply him with reasons than coerce him with fists. -- So the criterion of 'reasonable-ness' actually devolves into two related criteria: Giving reasons i.e. legibility. Accepting reasons i.e. amenability. -- #Standing: This one's a little weird, but extremely important. In order for others to do business with you — accept your reasons and promises on credit — you need to have something to lose; you need some table stakes or collateral. Let's call this standing. -- You need some 'skin in the game' before anyone will be willing to trust you. If you have nothing to lose — if you just drifted into town, for example, and have no reputational capital here — what incentive do you have not to lie and make false promises, or otherwise violate the contract of personhood? Society can't trust you unless it has you by the short hairs. -- When conservatives emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, I think this is what they're talking about. The less we hold ourselves responsible for our actions (ex ante), the less we can be trusted to act properly. And an important corollary of this: The more lenient society is with its members, the weaker the social contract, and the harder it is for everyone to interact with each other — a sobering thought.'
self  masks  status  reputation 
5 weeks ago
The New Inquiry -- No Life Stories
'Big Data benefits by persuading us that we are the least trustworthy processors of data about ourselves. The degree to which we believe our own life stories are unreliable, to others and to ourselves, is the degree we will volunteer more information about ourselves to data miners for processing. -- As the recent Facebok mood-manipulation study shows, social-media platforms aim to reshape our experience of the self in terms of what Andrejevic describes as “statistical proxies for affective intensities.” Correlations in data sets are used to shape user experiences (ostensibly to make their use more satisfying), which in turn feedback the behavior model- ing led the administrators to expect. You may never know that you have been affected by the discovery that, to use a speculative example Andrejevic offers, “someone who purchased a particular car in a particular place and buys a certain brand of toothpaste may be more likely to be late in paying off credit card debt.” But it will dictate your economic opportunities and thereby reinforce it’s “truth.” And because the members of these groups don’t even know they have been put together for purposes of control, they can’t form the sort of solidarity necessary to object to this mechanism of administration. -- ...the algorithm becomes responsible for our political impotence, an alibi for it that lets us enjoy its dubious fruits. By trading narratives for Big Data, emotions are left with no basis in any belief system. You won’t need a reason to feel anything, and feeling can’t serve as a reliable guide to action. Instead we will experience the fluctuation of feeling passively, a spectator to the spectacle of our own emotional life, which is now contained in an elaborate spreadsheet and updated as the data changes. You can’t know yourself through introspection or social engagement, but only by finding technological mirrors, whose reflection is systematically distorted in real time by their administrators.'
data  soma  malgorithms 
5 weeks ago
Relief of Impediment by Donald L. Nathanson (PDF)
'The evolved function of shame affect is to act as an analogic amplifier of whatever was the impediment and to focus our attention on that impediment. It is only when we refuse to focus on the impediment that we move to the Compass of Shame, which is really not about shame as affect but about our scripted responses to moments of shame affect in which we don't obey the call of the spotlight. The moment we pay attention to the spotlight, shame dwindles and then disappears. All is right with the world when we obey the call of the innate affects. -- The complete relief of ANY negative affect triggers enjoyment-joy, and the degree of that resulting positive affect is directly proportional to the preceding degree of negative affect (or pain).'
psychology  shame 
5 weeks ago
Sometimes It's Wrong to be Right by Vernon C. Kelly (PDF)
'Whenever the shields are up and access to our partner's inmost self prevented, whatever interest in that partner is maintained must be rewarded by shame. These two people were, therefore, triggering and retriggering shame in one another but neither identifying nor solacing it. With each repetition of such a scene, the possibility of intimacy decreases, intensifying the pain of relatedness and therefore magnifying defenses from the Withdrawal pole of the compass of shame. As he withdrew physically from the relationship to spend more time with his friends, she became more and more jealous of him and what he was doing. He insisted that he was not having an affair – a fact he reiterated quite believably during individual sessions. She wanted to believe him also but could not get it out of her mind that she was probably a fool (Attack Self) if she did not follow his moves closely. -- he absence of one partner creates an impediment to intimacy in any relationship; when the partner has decided to escape the relationship because it is troubled, the impediment triggers more shame for several reasons. First of all, any old unresolved feelings of inadequacy and unloveability will resonate with the current shame and produce an affect loop between past and present and a mood that can dominate one's thinking and become very difficult to modulate. -- Secondly, the intensity of initial interest-excitement diminishes naturally in successful intimate relationships as the partners learn that they can depend on one another to be there and to be close; novelty must decrease over time. Recall, too, the process Tomkins (1992) defined as habituation – the learned capacity to perform daily repetitive actions with such skill that they require little conscious attention. These are the actions that he described as occupying the "valley of perceptual skill" because what we do works without further "thinking." The advantage of habituation is that it keeps our limited channel of consciousness relatively free of the mundane, allowing attention to be more easily directed toward stimuli that might carry important messages about survival. When the troubles in a relationship become prominent and the possibility of a breakup is near, habituation is reduced as one pays more and more attention to each and every little detail in the interactions with the other, looking for clues about where one stands with the other and where the relationship is headed. The resulting increase in stimulus acquisition is experienced as interest-excitement, and fear-terror if the increase is too great. Since the intensity of a shame reaction will be directly proportional to the intensity of the interest-excitement impeded, intense shame is triggered under these conditions.'
psychology  shame  relationships 
5 weeks ago
Stress and Tension by Donald L. Nathanson (PDF)
'[The] difference between gradient and density triggers for affect is important. If you look at the derivation of the word "fear," you note roots that convey the sense of danger, ambush, or sudden calamity; "anxiety" derives from the root for choking. These are gradient triggers because something new is happening, and it is happening at a rate that is too much for the organism. Nothing new is involved in the steady stimulation that triggers distress or anger. Some "anxiety disorders" involve the biology and the psychology of the affect fear- terror (the sense of onrushing danger) while the sort of "constant anxiety" or "tension" physicians treat with benzodiazepines such as Xanax or low dose phenothiazines like Stelazine is more properly understood as distress-anguish. Syndromes involving fear require strategies for the assessment of danger, while syndromes involving distress demand search for and reduction of sources of chronic overload. Distinctions of this sort are essential to competent cognitive therapy, in which much precision is required in order to decrease the morbidity associated with whatever symptoms have brought someone into treatment. -- his brings up an additional difference between the traditional language of our field and that of affect theory: It is unlikely that there would be any serious or life-threatening endocrinologic sequelae of affect that was permitted expression. A situation that triggers affect is not likely to become noxious as long as the affect can be expressed freely. It is only when conditions of nurturance preclude affective expression in the developing child, or sociopolitical forces suppress the cry of distress and the roar of rage that the response to stress becomes deadly in the medical sense. Tomkins suggested that "much of what is called 'stress' is indeed backed-up affect and that many of the (reported) endocrine changes . . . are the consequence of backed-up affect as of affect per se. It seems at the very least that substantial psychosomatic disease might be one of the prices of such systematic suppression and transformation of the affective responses" (AIC III p. 14.) -- Go back to the paragraph quoted from DSM-IV in order to verify these assertions. For each of the "stressors" indicated in our manual, try to imagine which of the six negative affects might be involved. Check out whether your clinical skills are improved when you look for fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliation alone or in their various combinations. See if your understanding of the specific psychosocial and biological triggers postulated for each of these affects can lead to the development of treatment strategies more sophisticated than the search for methods of "stress reduction." Watch your patients perk up when you teach them how to partition their emotional discomfort into easily recognizable categories that permit highly specific systems of solace. And smile with contentment as the work of psychotherapy is made just a little bit easier by this new approach.'
psychology  emotion  stress  anxiety  health  repression  psychotherapy 
5 weeks ago
The Case Against Depression by Donald L. Nathanson (PDF)
'Our awareness that an affect has been triggered is called by Basch a feeling (this is the moment that the biology of affect turns into psychology), and the association of an affect with previous experiences of that affect is called an emotion (this is the interface between biology and biography.) We use the term mood to speak of the internal loops through which affect and memory reinforce each other to produce the relatively continuous experience of any emotion. Through this mechanism, any negative affect may be experienced over a considerable period. -- Persistent distress-anguish is often called sadness, persistent fear-terror is known as steady anxiety, persistent mild anger-rage is irritability or annoyance, persistent anger-rage at a higher density is thought of as being in a bad temper. Persistence of the affect shame-humiliation, when experienced at the withdrawal pole of the compass of shame, is a state of loneliness, hurt feelings, and bad thoughts about the self; when admixed with fear-terror it may be called guilt. -- The bad moods associated with dissmell and disgust make us keep others at a distance and promote a wide range of interpersonal styles when paired with other negative affects. There are, then, six families of bad mood, each of which when dense is likely to be described by its subject as depression. -- To those trained in affect theory, the persistent experience of shame is treated quite differently from the persistent experience of distress; for shame we investigate impediments to the positive affects of interest-excitement and enjoyment-joy, while for distress we try to reduce steady-state stimulus load. Both treatments are "antidepressant." If I am correct that the steady experience of any negative affect will be described as depression by anyone naive to the nomenclature of innate affect, then attention to the nature and source of any negative affect is antidepressant.'
psychology  depression  emotion  mood  affectregulation 
5 weeks ago
On Boredom by Donald L. Nathanson (PDF)
'I recalled that Basch proposed that another affect may exist – boredom. He thought that boredom was an affect resulting from below-optimal levels of stimulation. What opinions/comments do you, Don, Vick, or anyone have about this proposition? -- There can be no such thing as a stimulus too soft to trigger affect – as long as something can be called a stimulus (because it has set off the neurological apparatus of some sensor or other), that stimulus comes in at a gradient or a level and triggers an affect. -- What, then, is boredom? It can't be an affect because it doesn't have a specific or unique pattern of facial muscle contraction and relaxation. Most of the time when you look at the face of someone who is bored, you see the downturned lips of distress-anguish. It seems really clear to me that boredom is that special case of distress in which we have been left with our own thoughts (many of which are indeed unwanted) and have no distraction from the outside world that can spirit our concentration/consciousness/attention away. -- Boredom is nothing more than the name we give to the situation in which we are unable to "amuse" ourselves and are stuck with thoughts we've gone over time and again and for which we still have no answer. No optimal gradient to trigger interest-excitement; no faster than optimal gradient to trigger fear-terror; nothing going on at a steady level to trigger anger-rage. Only the steady buzz of our own thoughts humming along at a low level while we hope for something from the outside world to let the spotlight of affect distract us elsewhere.' -- Ruminatory autoregulation
psychology  affectregulation  boredom 
6 weeks ago
Prologue: Affect Imagery Consciousness by Donald Nathanson (PDF)
'My own studies suggest that shame is the dominant negative affect of everyday life, far more varied in its triggers and presentation than any other displeasure. Most of the problems of interpersonal life can be traced to shame-based issues; the majority of advertising and marketing campaigns are designed to deal with issues of self-esteem and the valence of personal identity. Just as each of us longs for pleasurable excitement and reasonable amounts of joy, the ubiquity of situations that interfere with the experience of positive affect makes shame – no matter how disguised – our constant companion. One of the factors that made shame so difficult to study until Tomkins offered this realm of explanation is the reality that each of us has different interests and a history of enjoying different scenes, the incomplete interruption of which triggered our own shame experiences. So deeply personal and uniquely individual are our own scenes of shame that (sadly) nobody else ever seems to “know” exactly what shame means to us. I dealt with this puzzle in the 1991 book Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self, which Tomkins regarded as the logical extension of his theoretical work on shame affect into the lived world of scripts.'
psychology  shame 
6 weeks ago
Dr Katrina Wood Podcast: Donald Nathanson
"[Shame is the result of a brief or ongoing] impediment to positive affect – to joy or excitement, to anything pleasurable. It's very rare that life allows us to enjoy anything for very long because our joy can annoy somebody else, or [someone will inevitably interrupt our being interested in something.] And we are interrupted constantly all our lives when we're in the throes of positive affect. Therefore shame affect (which is an amplified analogue of the impediment to positive affect) only occurs when we're having a good scene – when something wonderful is happening. And [shame 'feels'] different for every one of us because we're interested in different things. Since the experience of positive affect is the thing we most want in life, we're always looking for the good scene, the good time – and since we're often impeded as we're having a good time, then the affect shame is the most commonly experienced unpleasant emotion in human life."
psychology  shame 
6 weeks ago
A Primer of Affect Psychology by Vernon C. Kelly, Jr., M.D (PDF)
Shame-Humiliation is the result of an 'impediment to ongoing positive affect. -- When an impediment blocks our interest in something, the resulting shame can feel like: frustration or disappointment (I can’t do what I want to do); rejection (my interest in my lover is blocked because she doesn’t want me anymore); loneliness (my interest in people being interested in me is blocked because I’m all by myself and cannot find a date); feeling ashamed or embarrassed (my interest in people seeing me as perfect and loving me is blocked because I said a stupid thing or did something awful or have a blemish on my face and everyone will find out); and at its most intensely negative, mortification (what happened is so awful that my interest in living is blocked). -- It is somewhat ironic that in order to be aware we are missing something that feels good we have to feel bad, but it makes sense when you think about it. Would we pay attention to the thing that initially felt good but was then blocked if the feeling that replaced it was another good feeling? I do not think so. Evolution has provided us with a very effective mechanism. Without the information that something is preventing us from feeling good, we would be unable to either achieve or maintain a healthy balance between positive and negative emotion. -- Shame affect provides the motivating information for the uncovering and removal of impediments to our interests. The intensity of the negative feeling is in direct proportion to how interested you were.'
psychology  shame  emotion 
6 weeks ago
The Name of the Game is Shame by Donald L. Nathanson, M.D. (PDF)
'Let's define some terms: 1) We use the term "affect" to represent any of the nine families of physiological mechanisms that underlie all emotion. The affects are a group of highly patterned muscular and circulatory actions primarily displayed as "facial expressions" but also as certain odors, postures, and vocalizations. It is the evolved role of the affect system to add meaning to information derived from other systems. 2) When we accept or pay attention to the affect that has been triggered by one of the mechanisms I'll describe below, it becomes what we conventionally call a "feeling." 3) The combination of an affect with our memory of previous experiences of that affect is given the formal name of an "emotion." I've suggested that affect is always biology, whereas emotion always represents biography. Each of us has the same nine innate affects, but our life experience makes our emotions quite different. -- In order for any of us to really know the other person we have to know something about the history of that individual's affective life. 4) Just as each time an affect is triggered we delve into memory to check our previous experiences of that affect, we can spend a variable amount of time reliving these past experiences brought to consciousness as "associations" to that affect. When we get stuck in those reminiscences, a "mood" is brought into play because rather than the operation of innate affect, which normally lasts only a second or so, we continue to think of situations that trigger only that one affect. Any fresh source of affect can turn off normal mood, but normal mood can last a long time. 5) Yet there are people who cannot turn off their moods no matter what they do, and if there is no psychological reason for them to remain preoccupied with the history of their affects, it often turns out that there is something wrong with the biology of their affect mechanisms. These "disorders of mood" are what the psychiatrist treats with medication; the purpose of psychiatric medication is not to produce a constant experience of any affect (that's why people take recreational or street drugs), but to return the affect system to its normal plasticity or capacity for immediate shift to whatever might need attention. -- What, then are these innate affects, and what do they "mean"? Each affect is set in motion not by a perception as such, but by the way information enters the central nervous system. Thus, the range of affective experience characterized by the range from surprise to startle (in the language of Tomkins called surprise-startle) is triggered by any stimulus that has a sudden onset and a sudden offset, like a pistol shot, hand clap, or automotive backfire. The function of this particular affect is as a reset button for the affect system; it cancels anything we had been thinking about or concentrating on at the moment and prepares us for what might come next. The affect is expressed by raised eyebrows, a blink, and the lip formation with sudden intake of breath we come to imitate as the vocalization "OH!" As you can see in the example of the very sudden and brief character of the affect surprise-startle, each innate affect is both an analogue of its stimulus characteristics and (in that an affect calls attention to its triggering stimulus) an amplifier of that stimulus. In general, affects are expressed on the display board of the face long before they are experienced anywhere else; innate affect is seen clearly on the face of an infant much too young to have "perceived" anything in the way we normally consider necessary for the formation of an adult emotion. Again, the evolved function of each affect is to call our attention to its triggering stimulus. A stimulus that involves information that comes into the system as "too much, too fast" triggers affect over the range from fear to terror (fear-terror), with blanched cheeks, furrowed brow, stiff body, face and eyes averted from the now frightening stimulus; pulse and respiration will increase to an unpleasant speed. Any stimulus that enters the system at an optimally rising gradient, as in any pleasant situation we experience as novel, triggers the affect interest-excitement, characterized by the facial display of "track, look, listen" with the characteristic frown of interest (or what we sometimes call "deep thought"), slightly open mouth, head tilted a bit to the side (we laugh when we see this in dogs, but it is the same affect even though we don't have a tail to wag as part of the affect display.) Any time a stimulus of any sort decreases in intensity and/or frequency, this decreasing gradient of stimulation triggers the affect enjoyment-joy, with mouth widened, the corners of the lips turned slightly up, eyes shining, and the general look of pleasure. If the decreasing gradient is rather rapid, a laugh is triggered; in general, this is the mechanism responsible for the pleasant feeling of contentment. -- When a stimulus is relatively constant and above a certain level of density, it triggers the affect distress-anguish, with sobbing (obviously an analogue of constant density stimulation because of its constant characteristic), the corners of the lips characteristically turned down, arched eyebrows, and flailing limbs. Any stimulus that is both constant and much higher density than that required to trigger distress becomes a trigger for anger-rage, with the roar of anger, reddened cheeks, flailing limbs, and a characteristic steady state of muscular tension. These six innate mechanisms are triggered by nothing more than the densities and gradients of neural stimulation. It is only after an affect has been triggered that we are motivated to pay attention to whatever triggered it. I have described these innate affects as something like a bank of spotlights, each of a different "color," each flicked on by a different mechanism, each calling our attention to its triggering stimulus and thus making us use our best neocortical thinking apparatus in a style controlled by that affect. In the infant, a constant density stimulus like hunger or cold or fatigue or loneliness or mild pain will always trigger sobbing for which the mothering caregiver will have to decode the triggering cause from other data. Affect highlights the source, brings it into consciousness, and allows our best attempt for solution of the problem represented. No stimulus can possibly get our attention until and unless it triggers an affect, and affect is the only doorway to consciousness. Finally, despite that an older psychology claimed that each stimulus is followed by a response (what has been called Stimulus-Response Pairs), no stimulus can achieve a response of any kind unless it first triggers an affect. Life really is a matter of stimulus-affect-response sequences, and any time we need to figure out behavior that seems strange or dangerous to us, we must first learn what affect preceded it. Although we tend to say that children model their "behavior" on what they see at home, it is the affect part of the stimulus-affect-response sequence that needs our attention rather than the response behavior as such. -- There are three other innate mechanisms that have evolved from other sources but have become incorporated into the affect system: bad odors quite naturally trigger an innate mechanism as the result of which the upper lip is raised, the nose wrinkled, the head drawn back and away from the offending odor, and the sound "eeoo" emitted; for this instrument Tomkins coined the name dissmell. Dissmell comes to operate as a metaphor and involve any situation in which we reject something before sampling, and therefore is the affect mechanism underlying prejudice; coupled with anger it becomes the sneer of contempt. For some chemical substance that affects the taste buds outside a predetermined range of possibilities, the lower lip is automatically pushed out and downward, the tongue and head thrust forward, and the sound "yucch" emitted; this is the pre-wired mechanism called disgust. Disgust is the affect of rejection after taking something into our system; like dissmell, it comes to operate as a metaphor in interpersonal relationships and account for our rejection of people we once loved and now find “unpalatable.” When coupled with the affect of anger, this becomes the predominant emotionality seen in divorce. The final innate mechanism involved in the human emotion system is responsible for the shame family of emotions. The physiological mechanism is triggered only when we have been in the throes of one of the two positive affects (the only ones that feel good), interest-excitement or enjoyment-joy. As I mentioned above, an affect is both analogous to its trigger and calls attention to that trigger. Thus, whenever anything interrupts one of these two pleasant types of feeling, the interruption itself is amplified as an affective reaction through which the head and neck slump, the eyes droop and are turned away, the upper body goes limp, the face (and sometimes neck and upper chest) become red, and all communication with the other person is lost for a moment. The mechanism produces what I have called a "cognitive shock," honoring comments by sages such as Darwin and Sartre that no one can think clearly in the moment of shame. Almost everything we call "hurt feelings" comes from this affect mechanism. It is the quintessential affect of feeling shorn from the herd, of being alone and rejected. As if that weren't bad enough, this kind of rejection comes to join with the affective experiences of self-dissmell and self-disgust to make shame truly awful in some situations. Most likely the experience of shame is toxic in direct relation to the intensity of those latter components. -- I have categorized the eight types of experience in which shame affect will be triggered; save for the condition in which a biological glitch makes us feel shame on a more or less constant basis even when nothing has happened to trigger the affect, any moment of shame may be traced to one of these … [more]
psychology  emotion  affectregulation  shame  sociology  * 
6 weeks ago
Behavior Online -- A Conversation with Donald Nathanson
'...the affect Tomkins calls shame-humiliation starts out as a mechanism triggered whenever one of the good feelings is impeded. Even the slightest impediment to the experience of interest, or the mildest interference with the experience of laughter, whether during an interpersonal interchange or when we are by ourselves, will trigger shame affect. -- We say that each affect is an analogue of whatever triggered it (the moaning or sobbing of distress-anguish is steady-state, like its trigger; the action of startle is as sharp and brief as its trigger, etc.) and by calling the trigger to our attention, therefore an analogic amplifier of its trigger. Well, the affect of shame-humiliation is an analogic amplifier of an impediment by making the impediment all the more salient. Whatever has caused a momentary interference with our interest in something will now be experienced as a very significant interference with it. (Naturally, the interest-excitement that powered our attention to a television program is turned off completely when the electricity goes off, thus removing the video information as a possible source of interest; that situation does not trigger shame affect.) -- But as Tomkins was so fond of saying, shame affect is recruited any time desire outruns fulfilment. Any time we reach higher than our grasp and are “disappointed,” that failure, that impediment to the positive affect that had powered our reach will now trigger shame affect. It is experienced by the organism as an amplification of impediment, and therefore an intensification of impediment. Whatever affect had been powering or motivating our attention is now turned off, and with it, the kind of neocortical activity associated with that attention. Remember—in higher organisms, only through amplification by affect can any source of information that causes a neural event move from background to foreground and become the subject of conscious activity by higher neocortical centers. This is so for all the affects: Even though we pay strict attention to something that frightens or disgusts or enrages or amuses us, most of what we call “normal attention” is neocortical activity on data made into a source of attention by the affect interest-excitement. It is for this reason that I have commented so often that “Attention Deficit Disorder” is not a defect in neocortical processing mechanisms but a defect in the maintenance of the affect interest- excitement probably related to the mechanism for shame affect as triggered when any episode of interest is impeded. -- At the WITHDRAWAL pole lie all the ways we obey the physiological action of shame affect itself. We withdraw when we turn away from the offending stimulus, hide, act shy, run away, grow silent in a therapy session. Each script library contains a full range of behaviors from the most mild and normal to the most seriously pathological. We use scripts from the withdrawal library when, as little kids, we hide behind mother’s leg while trying to scope out a stranger, just as when in the throes of a morbid depression we may not be able to meet the eyes of another person for years. You have heard me say for years that I am the sole member of an international commission devoted to stamping out the use of the term “depression,” and it is for reasons like this that I take this position. Everything we call depression is actually the stable experience of one or another of the six negative affects. Prolonged shame is what we call “atypical depression,” while the specific coassembly of shame affect with fear of reprisal is what we call guilt and therefore typical of “classical depression.” The term “depression” is far less useful for the patient than a careful survey of the actual affects being displayed. -- Little as any of us likes the Withdrawal pole of the compass of shame, there are those among us (again because of scripts formed as the result of life experience) for whom the moment of withdrawal produces a literally terrifying period of isolation and the feeling of abandonment. In such situations, every moment of shame is dangerous and must be handled in such a way as to prevent isolation. It is in these moments when any of us (all of us some of the time, some of us all of the time) react by addressing others as if they were much, much bigger and more powerful than we, and to put ourselves down in order to curry favor with them. The normal range of the ATTACK SELF pole of the compass includes all the ways we are deferential to others (“Yes, officer, thank you. Yes, sir, of course I’ll be more careful next time. Thank you for the advice, sir.”) when to do otherwise would be dangerous. But it also includes ways we demean ourselves in order to curry favor from truly monstrous others in the mode we call masochistic. I’ve never seen any benefit from calling people masochistic—they quite rightly take that as a shaming assault. But it has proved very useful to explain to people that this system of trading loneliness for dangerous safety can be altered when its basis in shame is understood. -- Ah, but there are other times for all of us, and a lifetime for some of us, when any moment of shame is unbearable. Anything we do to make the feeling go away without dealing with its causes can be subsumed under the rubric of AVOIDANCE, the third pole of the compass of shame. Shame is soluble in alcohol and boiled away by cocaine and the amphetamines. When we distract the eye of the shaming other toward whatever brings us pride (“Hey, look at my new car! Look at these great pectoral muscles! Lookie here, lookie there, but don’t look where I can’t stand to see myself.”) we have used scripts from the avoidance pole of the compass. Drugs, hedonism, disavowal, and machismo are all examples of this system; the assignment of degree of pathology is directly proportional to the fraction of the self being so disguised. It does little or no good to inform a patient that they are narcissistic, because that is too shaming. Freud was right when he talked about the “stone wall of narcissism.” Those who are already overdosed on negative self-images cannot stand any new insight because it can only bring more shame. Treatment works far better when we explain the nature of shame, indicate that it is a universal and inevitable physiological experience, and demonstrate ways of handling it that are not so toxic to interpersonal life. -- Finally, there are all those moments when by our own hand we can do nothing to increase our own self-esteem, periods in our life when everything that happens serves only to prove that we are inferior. You’ve had them, I’ve had them, and they are awful moments. It is at such a time that we act according to the Chinese proverb “He who lands the first blow was the first to run out of arguments.” We use ATTACK OTHER scripts when we can feel better only by reducing the self-worth of another person, and we accomplish this reduction by put downs, banter, physical abuse, contempt, character assassination, calumny, blackmail, and sexual sadism. Any time we define a shaming remark as an insult or an example of disrespect, and respond by attacking with words or harmful actions, we are involved in an attack other script. -- In fact, everything we have earlier called sadistic behavior is only action undertaken to reduce shame—a fact that makes treatment much more approachable. It will, of course, be obvious to this readership that people with attack self and attack other scripts hang together because they need each other; this is quite an upgrade on the concept of sadomasochism because the latter is based entirely on sexual drive language, and the new system is based on what we now know about the nine innate affects and makes the clinical situation far more accessible to treatment. -- Even the most cursory study of social and political history must suggest to a psychotherapist that in our civilization, over the past 40-50 years, the dominant, culturally expected, normative response to shame has shifted from Withdrawal and Attack Self to Avoidance and Attack Other. We have gone from a culture of politeness and deference to a culture of narcissism and violence, all of which must be understood as alterations in scripted reactions to shame affect. -- There is no such thing as shame, no unitary definition of an emotion called shame, embarrassment, mortification, etc. There are four shames, four patterns of response to a physiological affect mechanism that must be triggered any time there is an impediment to the wonderful feeling of positive affect. And our concept of human emotion must be upgraded to accept that each moment of emotion, no matter how intense or how mild, is a gestalt phenomenon—for every emotion there must be a triggering source, a physiological affect, a scan of previous experiences stored as scripts, and a pattern of response directed by those scripts. -- An emotion is the entire gestalt of Stimulus-Affect-Response, and emotion is best capable of understanding and perhaps alteration when seen as nested within the entire life experience of the individual. Through the action of the affect Tomkins called shame-humiliation and our complex responses to it, we learn about the nature of our self and the range of our limitations. The study of shame teaches much about everything that is beautiful and everything that is ugly within the human soul; this study is central to the development of competence as a contemporary psychotherapist.'
psychology  emotion  affectregulation  shame  ADHD  defencemechanisms  narcissim  depression 
6 weeks ago
The Effect of Affect on Reading - The Compass of Shame and Learning to Read - Dr. Donald Nathanson
'#Ambiguity, Shame, and Cognitive Shock: ...there’s nothing natural about learning to read. In a sense, we trick the child into paying attention to words on a page as if he or she is going to be able to understand those words. Oh sure, we can say C-A-T spells cat, see Dick run, or look at the dog, and those words are probably pretty easy for the kid to decipher. But just as soon as the child runs into words that are more ambiguous, that a child can’t figure out immediately, that child goes through a process that’s been poorly understood until recently. -- What happens as you look at something that because of your interest and attention you think you’re going to understand, but you can’t understand it? The amount of interest that you’ve put into that moment of study is impeded because something has become so ambiguous, so problematic that it interferes with the emotion that was powering attention at that moment. -- Any acute interruption in the affect we call interest, (in a situation when it is logical for that interest to continue), triggers another physiologic mechanism that we call the physiology of shame or shame affect. Now this is not trivial because just as soon as shame affect is triggered it brings about in the mind of the child what we call a cognitive shock. -- Scholars all through history have noted that the moment of shame makes them unable to think clearly. And this moment of cognitive shock is followed by other physiologic mechanisms: shoulders slump, the face is turned away from what a moment ago seemed interesting, and then we begin to reflect on other experiences we’ve had of this shame happening. Experiences of inefficacy, inadequacy, unpreparedness; all of a sudden our mind, our consciousness is flooded not with the printed material on the page, but flooded with a whole bunch of experiences that have to do with our worst possible self. -- ... the acute experience of shame during the process of failing to decode what’s on the page is a feed forward mechanism because it prevents us from understanding what we might have been able to understand and it makes the whole reading experience unpleasant, more difficult, challenging. -- That might be acceptable if we’re sitting by ourselves trying to read something. But when we’re in a classroom situation, that moment of shame is multiplied by how we feel because we’re in the eyes of everybody around us. There’s a big difference, for instance, teaching a child to learn one-on-one at home, tutoring, because then if we’re in the presence of someone we know loves us, if we feel safe, that moment of shame is brief and not very toxic. But when we’re in school and every other kid there is constantly at risk of shame, if every other kid, like the young reader we’re making the subject of this discussion, is afraid of what embarrassment he or she might experience then all of them are happy that ha ha, he can’t get it, he didn’t do it, and they feel better because they can put down or diminish somebody else. -- If a great many times that we’re reading the ambiguity triggers a moment of shame and we begin to associate reading with the pain of shame, then wouldn’t we be stupid to keep reading? What happens is that the child says I can’t read or I don’t want to do this or you can’t make me do this or reacts in a number of ways that frustrate the intent of the teacher. -- This business of being unable to decipher what’s on the printed page has huge consequences for a child’s self esteem. That is the child’s general concept of who he or she is has huge consequences for how we see ourselves relative to our peers and forces us to defend against this bad feeling in a number of ways that I call the Compass of Shame. -- The four poles of the Compass of Shame: Withdrawal (hiding), Attack Self (deference), Avoidance (look where I want you to look) and Attack Other (put down]). -- #Shame is a Learning Prompt: If there’s too much shame then we can’t think. But if we feel loved and safe, which the school environment usually isn’t, if we feel loved and safe then we can go from the moment of shame to focus again, come on Billy, you’re going to do it. -- Maybe the easiest way to understand the effect of shame on the learning process is the difference between the words can’t and won’t. Can’t is something that happens to us when we’re trying to figure out a code that doesn’t make any sense. Won’t is what happens when we decide since I have this awful feeling of failure every time I try then I’m not going to do it. And all learning is dependent on this difference between “difficulty with,” which is at the edge of can’t, and “the decision to avoid,” which is won’t. And at that border between can’t and won’t is learning.'
psychology  affectregulation  shame  defencemechanisms  ADHD  learning  teaching  parenting 
6 weeks ago
YouTube -- [Donald Nathanson]: The Compass of Shame
'In this clip from the DVD "Managing Shame - Preventing Violence" Dr. Donald Nathanson, a pioneering leader in the development of our understanding of affect theory and affect script theory, describes his "Compass of Shame" model.'
psychology  shame  defencemechanisms 
6 weeks ago
Psychology Today -- Shame as Unrequited Love
#Still Face Experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0 -- 'This early experience of mis-attunement, of the mother's failure to empathize with her baby's emotions and to mirror them back (perhaps because she's depressed, self-absorbed or overwhelmed by her own emotional difficulties) -- this misattunement produces shame. Shame as the result of unrequited love, if you will. It's not the kind of shame caused by social messaging but something more basic and fundamental. If that baby's experience were to be repeated, if the attachment relationship failed to develop normally and the mother consistently fell short on an empathic level, it would deform the baby's developing self and lead to a kind of structural affliction I refer to as basic shame.'
psychology  attachment  affectregulation  shame 
6 weeks ago
Proof of Position
'Proof of Position stores your real-world geographic location in the Bitcoin block chain. Who you are (Twitter handle) and where you were (lat / long) accessible to all future generations.'
bitcoin  location  sousveillance  equiveillance  anonequiveillance 
6 weeks ago
Swarm -- Real crowdfunding
'Using the power of the Bitcoin 2.0 technology, Swarm enables unprecedented and ongoing possibilities of interactions between investors and investees. Create a project on Swarm, issue your own coin, raise funds with it and then - when the project is successful - share the upside with your backers.'
bitcoin  investing 
6 weeks ago
The New Inquiry -- Free to Choose A or B
'...the main thing seems to be that Facebook distorts what users see for its own ends, as if users can’t be trusted to have their own emotional responses to what their putative friends post. That Facebook seemed to have been caught by surprise by the anger some have expressed — that people were not pleased to discover that their social lives are being treated as a petri dish by Facebook so that it can make its product more profitable — shows how thoroughly companies like Facebook see their users’ emotional reactions as their work product. How you feel using Facebook is, in the view of the company’s engineers, something they made, something that has little to do with your unique emotional sensitivities or perspective. From Facebook’s point of view, you are susceptible to coding, just like its interface. Getting you to be a more profitable user for the company is only a matter of affective optimization, a matter of tweaking your programming to get you pay more attention, spend more time on site, share more, etc. -- Facebook’s excuse for filtering our feed is that users can’t handle the unfiltered flow of all their friends updates. Essentially, we took social media and massified it, then we needed Facebook to rescue us, restore the order we have always counted on editors, film and TV producers, A&R professionals and the like to provide for us. Our aggregate behavior, from the point of view of a massive network like Facebook’s, suggests we want to consume a distilled average out of our friends’ promiscuous sharing; that’s because from a data-analysis perspective, we have no particularities or specificity — we are just a set of relations, of likely matches and correspondences to some set of the billion other users.' -- If you're using it, it's for you.
facebook  algorithms  malgorithms  affectivelabour  soma  themediumisthemassage 
6 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- 4th of July Goal: Independence from All Rulers
'Ed. Notes: Except there is no political solution in the sense of stronger laws and better politicians. There is only an economic solution, and that is to share the common wealth. It is our failure to share the common wealth that allows the most grasping among us to gather up for themselves that which belongs to everyone, in the process making themselves into an upper class many times richer and more powerful. We can not continue to leave trillions of dollars on the table each year and expect results any different from what we now endure. To win your political independence you must first demand your economic independence, generated by everybody getting a fair share of society’s surplus, of the values of land, natural resources, EM spectrum, and other aspects of nature that our demands and technologies have given economic value. Once we all start paying in land dues and getting back rent dividends, the problem of power, class, and hierarchy will be solved once and for all.'
geoism 
6 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- When You Don't Pay to Park Upfront, You Pay Big Later
'Ed. Notes: It’s not just drivers who should pay to park — it’s all land users should pay to use land. Every time you displace others who want to use the same spot, then you should compensate them, just as they would compensate you. -- You buy or build a house, you pay for the underlying land, but not to an individual seller who’s departing the land but rather to your surrounding community. No individual seller made the land nor made it valuable. The community creates the land’s value (by creating demand for locations) and it’s the members of the community who get excluded. -- In effect, we’d rent from our neighbors as they’d rent from us. Continually paying rent would spur us to take no more than we need and to use that wisely. Society would get to enjoy the most efficient land use possible and the healthiest environment. Plus, the land dues could replace counterproductive taxes and the rent dividends (the compensation) could replace addictive subsidies. We could streamline government and save vaults of money. Just adopt the geonomic principle of pay for what you take, not what you make.'
economics  geoism  land 
6 weeks ago
ROUGH TYPE -- The soma cloud
'I for one am looking forward to Facebook’s Oculus Rift experiments. Once the company is able to manipulate “entire experiences and adventures,” rather than just bits and pieces of text, the realtime engineering of a more harmonious and stabilized emotional climate may well become possible. I predict that the next great opportunity in wearables lies in finger-mountables — in particular, the Oculus Networked Mood Ring. We’ll all wear them, as essential Rift peripherals, and they’ll all change color simultaneously, depending on the setting that Zuck dials into the Facebook Soma Cloud.'
facebook  soma  penfieldmoodorgan  PKD 
6 weeks ago
Telegraph -- The coming digital anarchy
'Bitcoin is giving banks a run for their money. Now the same technology threatens to eradicate social networks, stock markets, even national governments. Are we heading towards an anarchic future where centralised power of any kind will dissolve?'
cryptoanarchism  decentralisation  bitcoin 
6 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- Corporations Own Judges, too, Not Just Lawmakers
'Ed. Notes: The money that corporations spend on office holders is not to persuade anybody, since they all have the same values and worldview, but to keep flow of public money to each player flowing ever faster. There is no political solution. Reformers want electoral campaigns to be publicly funded, but the nations already doing that still wage war and waste public revenue. -- But there is an economic solution. That is, let citizens spend public money by having government disburse a dividend. And don’t let government tax whatever it wants but only recover socially generated values (don’t tax earnings, purchases, or buildings but rather charge polluters, resource depleters, and land displacers). -- Once politicians can’t grant favors, nobody will want to lobby them. Then we can abolish corporate welfare and deny rent-seeking. There won’t be anyone unduly rich to try to influence the power structure left. Such geonomic reform begins not by focusing on one’s opponents but on a vision of how to run things right. Share the common wealth!'
geoism  rentseeking  "capitalism"  corporatism  statism  cronyism  corruption 
6 weeks ago
The Art of Manliness -- Communities Vs. Networks: To Which Do You Belong?
'Networks are typically artificial; they rarely form organically. And they’re invariably created, and then governed, in a top-down fashion. Policies and regulations are decreed from on high with little or no input from the majority of the people who make up the network. Because those at the top are so removed physically and psychologically from those at the bottom, the solutions ultimately proffered are often out of touch and highly ineffective. -- Because networks are so large, anonymity reigns. Members do not meet face-to-face, do not know if the people they interact with digitally are even who they say they are, and may have no idea who also belongs to the network. Because of the lack of physical intimacy, a culture of honor and shame cannot function, necessitating the erection of numerous rules and regulations to check and control members’ behavior. -- If a community gets too big, people get overlooked. And because members no longer face the social scrutiny of their peers, they can opt out of contributing without shame or consequence. Once that disengagement happens, community life slowly begins to crumble. -- Because there are so many people in a network, members assume someone else will take care of problems that arise. But because that’s what everyone else is thinking, nothing gets done. People will step around someone in distress on the street in a big city, or pass the collection plate at a giant church, figuring other people will help. The anonymity of the crowd allows the passive bystander to escape shame. -- Networks not only breed passivity, but encourage consumption. They’re all about what you can get, rather than what you must give. Oftentimes you can buy your way into networks, and because you’re paying for the service, you don’t feel obligated to offer any other form of contribution. The network doesn’t ask for anything either. It’s a business transaction. -- In contrast, in communities you get and you give; you can take from the collective pot, but you’re required to add to it too. There’s a sense of duty and obligation on this point. In a community, the group is small enough that people know who is and who isn’t being taken care of, and who is and who isn’t stepping in to help. If you don’t pull your weight and you’re perfectly capable of doing so, you face social repercussions. -- For most of human history we ran in small, intimate tribes. We’re social animals, and our brains are evolved for life in close groups. We crave the bonds and sense of belonging and stability that communities provide. In the modern age, these vital communities have disappeared, so we have turned to networks to fulfill our social needs. -- But networks can never be a fully satisfying replacement for communities. They’re not designed for social intimacy and fulfillment — they’re designed for efficiency and growth. And yet we continue to hold out hope that networks can perform a function for which they are fundamentally unsuited. -- Gatto describes the sad, shallow nature of networked life: “With a network, what you get at the beginning is all you ever get. Networks don’t get better or worse; their limited purpose keeps them pretty much the same all the time, as there just isn’t much development possible. The pathological state which eventually develops out of these constant repetitions of thin human contact is a feeling that your “friends” and “colleagues” don’t really care about you beyond what you can do for them, that they have no curiosity about the way you manage your life, no curiosity about your hopes, fears, victories, defeats. The real truth is that the “friends” falsely mourned for their indifference were never friends, just fellow networkers from whom in fairness little should be expected beyond attention to the common interest.”'
communities  networks  retribalization 
6 weeks ago
PaulCraigRoberts.org -- US War Against Russia Is Already Underway - PCR Interviewed by Voice of Russia
PCR: "...the Chinese have said that it is time to de-americanize the world. And the Russians said recently that we need to de-dollarize the payment system. And so, we have this agreement with Russia and China on the large energy deal which is going to be outside the dollar payment system. -- We see the BRICS, the five countries – India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa – and they are talking about settling their trade imbalances in their own currencies. And they are even talking about creating a bank between themselves, like an IMF or a World Bank. -- So, those are the developments that come from America’s misuse of the dollar as world reserve currency. Washington uses the dollar to bully, they use it to sanction, they use it give their financial institutions hegemony over others. And over time, all of this creates animosity, worries. -- ...We already know that the US has announced a pivot to Asia, reallocating 60% of the American navy to the South China Sea to control the flow of resources on which China depends. The US is contracting to build a series of new air and naval bases running from the Philippines to Vietnam in order to block China. -- We have witnessed this century the US withdraw from the ABM treaty with Russia. We witnessed the US construct an ABM system and began deploying it on Russia’s borders. The purpose of an ABM is to neutralize the strategic deterrent of the other country. -- We’ve seen the US change its war doctrine, nuclear weapons are no longer to be used only in retaliation to an attack. They are now a preemptive first-strike force. This is clearly directed at Russia. The Ukraine is directed at Russia. So, the war is already started, it is underway. That’s what the Ukraine is about. It is the war against Russia. -- And the war against China is in preparation. The US takes the side of every country that gets into a dispute with China, even over small things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the US. -- The US is surrounding both countries with military bases. The US wants to put Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin that was part of Russia for two or three hundred years, they want to put that into NATO. They are going to put Ukraine into NATO. -- Washington broke all the agreements that Reagan and Gorbachev had about not taking NATO into eastern Europe. NATO is now in the Baltics. It is all across eastern Europe. The former members of the Warsaw pact are now members of NATO. -- So, the war is already underway, it is clear. The US has been preparing for years. And the Russians, they must be aware of this. If they are not, they are in really deep trouble. -- VOR: Can the US afford it? -- PCR: Of course! Sure! The reserve currency can pay its bills by printing money. And that’s what Washington does. Washington prints the money. -- VOR: But like you said, that creates a lot of risks. -- PCR: Until the reserve currency role is lost, there is no limit. Recently I read that one of the advisors to Putin said that Russia needs to form some kind of alliance with other countries and bring down the dollar as the world reserve currency, that this is the only way to stop Washington’s military aggression. Of course, he is completely right. But the question is – can they organize something that quick enough that succeeds – because Europe is an American puppet state. Those European governments are not independent. They are no more independent than Hungary and Czechoslovakia and Poland were of the Soviet Communist Party. And Japan is a puppet state, it is not an independent country. -- So, if you have the euro backing the dollar and you have the yen backing the dollar, that’s a fairly strong position to be in. And so, it is going to be difficult for Russia and China or whoever is interested to make inroads in any sort of a rapid way. -- ...What does the State Department tell people – do what we say or we will bomb you into the Stone Age. Remember? They told that to the Pakistani leader. Do what we say. Now! -- So, if you have that type of attitude, it doesn’t matter whether you tell the truth or tell lies, because you are the ruler, you are the one, you are the Caesar. And what you say goes, true or false. And so, it is not important to you that it is true, because you are not working on a diplomatic level. -- This is something that Putin and Lavrov – the Foreign Minister – don’t seem to understand. They keep thinking that they can work something out with Washington, if the Russian government is just reasonable enough and shows enough good will. -- This is a Russian delusion. Washington has no good will. -- VOR: Are there any unintended consequences to that strategy, the way you see it? -- PCR: Only if people catch on and see at some point the reality–and this is what Putin is relying on. At some point, what happens in Germany and France? Will they realize and say – hey, look, the Americans are driving us into a mess. What do we gain from the American hegemony over the world? How do we gain from a conflict with Russia or China? Let’s stop this. Let’s pull out. -- If some country were to pull out of NATO or pull out of the EU, then the cover up of Washington’s war crimes by “the coalition of the willing” would have dissenters. Washington has actually told the Congress that if the White House has NATO’s backing, the president doesn’t need the permission of Congress to go to war. The old quote – ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is attributed to Lord Acton. It is safe to conclude that Washington has been corrupted by power. -- I think one unintended consequence of Washington’s brutal use of power is that it causes the NATO countries to realize that they are being driven towards a conflict by a government that is essentially insane and taking a fantastic risk with everyone’s life and with the planet. -- So, perhaps, the realization by others of Washington’s danger to life is what Putin is hoping for. He is hoping that the more Russia is reasonable and not provocative, and doesn’t take provocative actions, the greater the chance that the German Government or the French Government will realize that Washington’s agenda does not serve mankind, and that Europe will take some steps to extract themselves and their countries, and their people from Washington’s control, in which case the American empire falls apart. -- So, I think that’s what Putin is betting on. He is not a fool, certainly not, and he realizes the threat of a war, he can see it. And so, this is probably why he’s asked the Russian Duma to rescind the permission to use the Russian forces in Ukraine. He is trying to show the Germans, the French – look, it is not me, it is not us. -- I hope he succeeds. The future of the world really depends on whether Putin’s use of diplomacy can prevail over Washington’s use of force."
history  america  empire  dollar  metastasis 
7 weeks ago
Forbes -- Facebook Doesn't Understand The Fuss About Its Emotion Manipulation Study
'One usable takeaway in the study was that taking all emotional content out of a person’s feed caused a “withdrawal effect.” Thus Facebook now knows it should subject you to emotional steroids to keep you coming back.'
facebook  soma  addiction 
7 weeks ago
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