“This paper has shown that students’ facial attractiveness impacts academic outcomes when classes are held in person,” the study concluded.“As education moved online following the onset of the pandemic, the grades of attractive female students deteriorated. This finding implies that the female beauty premium observed when education is in-person is likely to be chiefly a consequence of discrimination,” it continued.
In what we’re sure is simply totally a coincidence and nothing more, the grades of attractive female students examined by a new study fell after classes were moved online during the Covid lockdowns.
A brand new research paper called “Student beauty and grades under in-person and remote teaching” found that “when education is in-person, attractive students receive higher grades”.
The same study found that “grades of attractive females declined when teaching was conducted remotely” and that “the effect is only present in courses with significant teacher–student interaction.”
The paper had a jury of 74 people rate the looks of 307 engineering students on a scale of 1 to 10. From there, it looked at the data behind the students’ grades prior to, and during, pandemic lockdowns, at the Industrial Engineering Program at Lund University.
“This paper has shown that students’ facial attractiveness impacts academic outcomes when classes are held in person,” the study concluded.
“As education moved online following the onset of the pandemic, the grades of attractive female students deteriorated. This finding implies that the female beauty premium observed when education is in-person is likely to be chiefly a consequence of discrimination,” it continued.
“On the contrary, for male students, there was still a significant beauty premium even after the introduction of online teaching. The latter finding suggests that for males, in particular, beauty can be a productivity-enhancing attribute.”
“The pandemic provided us with a great opportunity to disentangle whether this beauty premium is due to discrimination or the result of some productive attribute,” the author of the study, Adrian Mehic of Lund University, told The Times.
“Wars arise partly from commercial reasons, but they also arise from the ill-will, the anger, the conflict and the “us versus them” mentality. That’s what causes war. So, we cannot find the antidote when we ourselves are still in that state of mind. It’s obvious, isn’t it? If we want peace, we have to have peace within ourselves first, because our society is the reflection of the inner psyche and the minds of the beings inhabiting that society. Who is society if not us? We make our own environment, we destroy our own environment. And as long as our minds are full of the 3 poisons – the poison of ignorance, delusion, and confusion – of not seeing clearly at all; the poison of our greed, incessant longing, wanting and the “I-must-have” mentality; and the poison of ill-will, anger, conflict– then that’s what society is going to give us back. It just mirrors back the state of our own minds -the state of our own psyches.”
One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, “Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it.”
And that’s what we’re dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it’s difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.
We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang.
Whenever I talk about the way our species is sliding toward annihilation via nuclear armageddon or environmental disaster I always get a few people saying something along the lines of, “Good, humans are horrible. The planet will be better off without us.”
This attitude generally seems to be born of frustration. People learn about what’s happening to our world and begin to see how easy it would be to change course if not for the greed and megalomania of our rulers, as well as the obedience of the rank-and-file public and its credulous acceptance of the propaganda that keeps them accepting status quo systems, and they get frustrated. Frustrated with a humanity that just won’t come to its senses, even with all the evidence right there to be seen.
That frustration often turns to disgust as people discover that not only do others fail to see what they see, but they actively avoid looking at it even if you point it out to them. You can lay out the evidence for the corruption and unsustainability of status quo politics and the omnicidal, ecocidal depravity of oligarchic imperialism — lay it out right under their noses — and they’ll make up excuses to turn away.
One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, “Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it.”
And I understand the sentiment, but to me saying humanity deserves destruction sounds a lot like saying a drug addict deserves to overdose.
A heroin addict isn’t fully in control of their actions; if they were they would simply quit, because they know from both public knowledge and firsthand observation that it’s a destructive habit. Addiction is described — at least by anyone whose mind is worth a damn — not as a personal choice, but as a disease. Just as would be the case with any other disease, addiction is a condition over which they do not have control, because it has taken over their operating system against their will in some way.
Humanity as a whole is on much the same boat. We have a condition which makes us behave in a self-destructive way, and on paper we could technically all just collectively change course, even if a few oligarchs and empire managers tried to stop us. But we don’t, because we’re not in control.
Those with a substance abuse problem use because they don’t know how to feel okay without the substance, and if they ever overcome their addiction they will eventually discover that this was because there were unconscious forces within them which made the experience of sober life intolerable. Forces like psychological tendencies born of trauma, deprivation or dysfunction earlier in life, tendencies which might manifest as experiences like depression, anxiety or self-loathing which can become too difficult to tolerate without their substance of preference.
Human behavior likewise is driven by unconscious forces on the collective level, but instead of early childhood trauma we’re talking about our entire evolutionary history, as well as the history of civilization.
It’s a ridiculous situation, if you think about it. The story of life on this planet has been about organisms trying to avoid being eaten long enough to reproduce, and our species stumbled out of that horrifying predicament with all the same fear responses and stress hormones and now all of a sudden you find yourself sitting in a cubicle with your heart racing as though you’re running from a saber-toothed tiger because you overhear Janice from accounting gossiping about you.
The eat-or-be-eaten dynamic came crashing headlong through the dawn of a new species with a rapidly-evolved cerebral cortex and the sudden capacity for abstract thought, and all that fear and stress kept marching forward from generation to generation entangling itself with this added new element of thought, language and storytelling. This gave rise to societal constructs like religion, government, hierarchy and family power structures, all largely born of the primitive, fear-based desire to control and dominate which we carried with us from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in trees to hide from predators.
Parents who were traumatized by their parents passed their trauma on to their own children because their trauma made them behave in a traumatized way, and those children passed their own trauma on to their children too. On top of this small-scale generational trauma we added things like wars, slavery, tyranny, colonization and genocides which traumatized entire populations, and that trauma would be passed on from generation to generation as well.
And then we showed up. We, the people who are currently alive. That’s what we were born into. That’s the wave we rode in on. And that wave is still going.
And we wonder why everyone’s so dysfunctional and self-destructive.
We never really had a chance to build a healthy world. Our ancestors went from running away from monsters with sharp fangs to burning witches and heretics to fighting world wars to giving birth to us, and that wave of fear and chaos carried forward right into our own psyches and into the psyches of everyone else on this planet without skipping a beat. If you look at where we came from and how we got here, it’s amazing we’re even as functional as we are.
And that’s what we’re dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it’s difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.
Certainly, it is in our collective interest to immobilize anyone whose tendencies are dangerously destructive. And certainly establishing culpability and accountability for misdeeds is going to be an important part of expanding human consciousness and creating a healthy world, because we have to understand how and why things are going wrong before we can fix our problems. But even the most destructive among us are simply carrying forward the heritage of trauma which has been reverberating from generation to generation from the deepest recesses of prehistoric life.
Think about a mistake you’ve made in the past. A really bad one, one that makes you cringe whenever you think about it. You wouldn’t make that mistake in the same way again, would you? Of course not, because you now know things you didn’t know back then. You are conscious now of things you previously were not. Depending on how conscious you are now in relation to how conscious you were then you might repeat similar mistakes in similar ways, but you wouldn’t intentionally repeat the exact same error if you had a do-over. In that small way, your consciousness has expanded.
That’s all negative human behavior ultimately is: mistakes that were made due to a lack of consciousness. A lack of empathy, a lack of serenity, a lack of information, a lack of insight, a lack of knowledge that there are better choices, a lack of perception on what’s really going on in the world, a lack of clarity on the ways propaganda manipulates us into serving the interests of the powerful — these are all just different kinds of unconsciousness. Different ways that one can fail to accurately perceive reality.
In this churning, chaotic tidal wave of evolutionary trauma that we were all born into, the only thing we really have any amount of real control over is whether we mindlessly repeat our conditioning patterns or start bringing consciousness to them. But even that is greatly limited by how much consciousness we have access to at the time; many people are just barely treading water psychologically and don’t often have the space to pause and bring clarity to their own inner processes. A lot of people are just stumbling blindly along, and it’s not ultimately their fault any more than the blindness of an actual blind person.
So we’re all innocent, in the end. Again, we must of course push to bring consciousness to the parts of humanity that have taken a wrong turn — to the war criminals and plutocrats and managers of empire, and all other abusers and the abusive systems which elevate them. But underneath that fierce burst of light there can also be a deep compassion and understanding born of a lucid seeing of how we got here in the first place.
We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang. Everyone is playing with a lousy hand which was dealt to them by the churning tumult of evolution and history while grappling with the puzzle of mortality on a tiny blue world of unfathomable beauty that is hurtling through a universe that none of us understand.
Let’s be tender with each other.
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In order for society to function properly, we need to be able to assume that most people are going to behave rationally. And when I was growing up, it was generally safe to make that assumption. But now things have completely changed. No matter how hard one may try, there is simply no avoiding the hordes of crazy people that seem to be taking over our society. It is almost as if millions of us never learned the basic rules for how civilized people should treat one another. Sometimes this manifests in behavior that is simply rude, other times it manifests in behavior that is actually dangerous, and if you are really unlucky you will personally encounter someone that has fully embraced depravity on a level that most of us never even want to think about.
A female plane passenger took to Reddit this week to share a horrifying photo of a stranger performing a rude act during her flight.
The woman, who goes by WoodySoprano on the social media platform, posted an image of a traveler resting their bare feet on her headrest. Though the Reddit user’s face is cropped, her terrified eyes tell all.
“Going to be a long flight,” she captioned the photo.
This woman was never in any physical danger, but this type of behavior is incredibly rude.
Who would do something like that?
Of course sometimes crazy behavior does cross the line and actually becomes dangerous. For example, just consider what recently happened to one woman in Los Angeles…
Heidi Van Tassel was parked in Hollywood after having a pleasant evening out with friends at an authentic Thai restaurant. Suddenly a man randomly pulled her out of the car, dragged her out to the middle of the street, and dumped a bucket of feces on her head, Van Tassel said and public records confirm.
“It was diarrhea. Hot liquid. I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes,” Van Tassel said. “Paramedics who came to treat me said there was so much of it on me, that it looked like the man was saving it up for a month.”
Nobody in their right mind would dump a bucket of warm diarrhea on some random woman.
But if you visit the major cities on the west coast, something like this could actually happen to you. In San Francisco alone, there have been more than 132,000 official complaints about human feces in the streets since 2008.
We have literally become a nation where hordes of people use the streets as a toilet.
What in the world has happened to us?
And if you are brave enough to go get something to eat at a local fast food restaurant, there is a chance that you might be viciously attacked by a complete nutjob…
A woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for slashing a man’s throat in front of his family at a Taco Bell after he asked her to stop ranting at employees for taking too long on her food.
The victim, 48-year-old Jason Luczkow, told The Oregonian Thursday that he and his wife went to a Taco Bell along Highway 26 in July to pick up some food for the family when the errand took a horrifying turn, which was miraculously caught on video.
Have you noticed that people seem to get “triggered” a whole lot more easily than they once did?
These days, saying the wrong thing to one of these crazy people at the wrong time can result in violence very quickly…
A Twitter user received over 126,000 ‘likes’ after she bragged about stealing a “homophobic” white woman’s purse and spending her money on tacos.
“A white woman spawned out of nowhere today and started being homophobic to me so I stole her purse and now miss thing’s ID is resting in a target trashcan and her money is paying for my tacos and rent,” tweeted a user called @yourholygaymom, who describes herself as “the high priestess of gay twitter.”
The most frightening thing about that story is the fact that more than 126,000 people decided to hit the like button.
Like I said, the crazy people are literally taking over our society.
Those of us that try to behave rationally still depend on the police to protect us, but the crazies are going after them too…
Video posted by CBS shows people deliberately covering an NYPD vehicle in trash on Halloween night, while a small group of residents sit by, laugh, and taunt the two officers that were left to clean up the mess.
One resident is heard saying “trick or treat”, followed by a slur.
The officers calmly show restraint as they are left to clean up trash filled boxes, broken eggs and rotting food. The officers were in the midst of responding to a domestic dispute call and were upstairs at a residence long enough for their vehicle to be vandalized.
It certainly isn’t easy to be a police officer these days.
If those officers had lashed out against the residents that vandalized their vehicle, they would have probably been demonized by the mainstream media for committing “police brutality”.
And as I mentioned above, once in a while you run into a crazy person that has completely embraced depravity.
Today, the average American spends more than three and a half hours watching television each day, and the material on our televisions is becoming increasingly depraved…
A new study has a message for the many families who have said television content has grown coarser with each passing year: You’re right.
The study by the watchdog group Parents Television Council found a 28 percent increase in violence and a 44 percent increase in profanity over the past decade in shows rated TV-PG. It’s part of what the PTC calls “content creep” – that is, an increase in offensive content within a given rating compared to similarly rated programs a decade ago.
Unfortunately, the trends that are causing all of this crazy behavior in our society are likely to continue to intensify in the years ahead.
The thin veneer of civilization that we all rely on every day is steadily disappearing, and that means that things are going to become increasingly difficult for those of us that are still trying to behave rationally.
There’s an intelligence running things below the loud thinky noises of our inner narrative generators which most of us aren’t aware of, but which I’m convinced is disappearing old behavior patterns in our species, both collectively and individually.
Things are getting stranger and stranger. If you would have told someone ten years ago that Dennis Rodman would one day be helping to negotiate peace between North Korea and President Donald Trump, they would have assumed you were describing some weird movie cooked up in the mind of Mike Judge or the South Park guys. But in this timeline it’s an actual news story.
Everything about the last few years has been weird. The mass media’s behavior has been weird, Russiagate was weird, Ukrainegate is weird, a former presidential candidate accusing a current presidential candidate of working for the Kremlin was weird, people constantly accusing strangers on the internet of being Russian agents is weird, factions of the US government constantly leaking information against other factions of the US government is weird, the DNC getting caught rigging their primary was weird, Hillary Clinton losing the election was weird, the Skripal poisoning was weird, US government officials openly tweeting about their Venezuela coup is weird, the breakdown of the entire mainstream Syria narrative is weird, Assange’s arrest was weird, the campaign to censor the internet is weird, and this is just stuff off the top of my head from the areas I’ve been looking at in my own narrow spectrum of focus. Anyone else could list dozens of other weird new developments from their own slice of the information pie.
I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy shit and think about how absolutely weird it was!”
No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.
It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.
The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it.
When you’re talking about a species that has been consistently patterned towards its own destruction, though, a disruption of patterns is a good thing. Our ecocidal, warmongering tendencies have brought us to a point that now has us staring down the barrel of our own extinction, and that is where we are surely headed if we continue patterning along the behavioral trajectory that we have been on. Only a drastic change of patterns can change that trajectory. And we are seeing a change of patterns.
Sure it’s sloppy as hell. Pattern disruption always is. Show me someone who recovered from a severe addiction to hard drugs who enjoyed a smooth, easy transition into sobriety with no major changes in their life besides the absence of substance abuse. Show me someone who left an abusive long term relationship whose life wasn’t drastically upended by it. People see safety in patterns, even unhealthy patterns, and they build their own patterns on the patterns of those in their lives. When any of those patterns disappear for anyone involved, it can feel unsafe for many people around them.
When patterns first start vanishing, it can look like things are getting worse. Because a disappeared pattern is an absence of something and not a thing in itself, people don’t see it, because the human mind is naturally drawn toward things and not the absence of things. So their attention will be drawn toward whatever things start to happen in the absence of the old pattern, which won’t necessarily be a pleasant or attractive thing, and they’ll say “Oh no! Things are getting worse now!” No they’re not. An unhealthy pattern disappeared, and in its absence something unappealing fell into place for a bit. But the absence of the old unhealthy pattern is a good thing, and in the long run will lead to good results, in the same way that leaving an abusive marriage may lead to financial hardship and stress in the short term but will lead to thriving in the long term.
I have become convinced in my personal life that humans are far more capable of breaking patterns than they realize. There’s an intelligence running things below the loud thinky noises of our inner narrative generators which most of us aren’t aware of, but which I’m convinced is disappearing old behavior patterns in our species, both collectively and individually.
We’re all mentally aware that things need to change away from the patterns we’ve been collectively engaged in, but we’ve been unable to bring about those changes in patterning because our efforts to do so arise from the same conditioning patterns that got us into this mess in the first place. Our patterns have led us to violent revolutions, but those just lead to governments which end up perpetuating the same old patterns we were trying to end. Our patterns have led to nonviolent political movements, but those end up being co-opted and their energy fed into the same collective patterning. Despite being told in movement after movement that the real enemy is the King or the Emperor or the aristocracy or the Jews or the Communists, over and over again the real enemy behind the curtain has ended up being our own conditioned tendency to keep repeating the same collective behavior patterns.
That’s what seems to be evaporating. Not because anyone came up with the Ultimate Political Ideology in their thinky brains, not because some clever revolutionary came up with the Ultimate Plan for Toppling the Status Quo, not because some adept killers killed those in power and replaced them with themselves, but because this mysterious guiding intelligence running the scenes far below the level of verbal thought has been disappearing our patterns in a way we don’t notice because we’re not conditioned to notice absences.
The observation of the obvious fact that humankind is deeply conditioned is what has led to philosophical debates throughout the ages of the existence of free will. How can a species so beholden to its preconditioned patterning have freedom of choice in its actions? In my experience the answer is that there is something at play within each of us which provides the potential to discard old patternings. We don’t have any free will as to how a given conditioned behavior pattern will play out as long as we’re still holding them, but there is something in all of us which is capable of opening the door to relinquishing a mental habit altogether. This is the only extent to which free will may be said to exist.
Sometimes I wonder if the world as we knew it really did end in December 2012 as so many mystics, psychics and psychonauts predicted. Not in a nuclear holocaust or giant meteor obviously, but in the beginning of an unravelling of the glue that holds human behavior patterns in place. There certainly hasn’t been a normal US presidential election since that date, and there doesn’t seem to be one on the horizon in the foreseeable future. Things have been getting stranger and stranger ever since, and this trend appears to be accelerating rather than slowing down.
Things are weird, and they’re only going to keep getting weirder. Buckle up, buttercup.
The clergymen say that the strange operation was intended to save the souls of the sinners in the town.
(TMU) — A group of priests recently flew over the Russian city of Tver in a small airplane and poured holy water through an open door on the side of the plane. The clergymen say that the strange operation was intended to save the souls of the sinners in the town, by involuntarily dosing them with holy water.
Local news outlet Tvernewsreported that the priests dumped 70 liters of holy water from the airplane, hoping that exposing the town’s population to the sacred liquid would reduce the amount of “drinking” and “fornication” that takes place in the region.
The whole procedure was captured on film for a local television channel. In the footage, a priest can be seen strapped to a harness, preventing him from accidentally falling out of the open door.
Father Alexander seemed to recognize the absurdity of what he was doing, but seemed confident in his mission when speaking to the reporters who tagged along. “Let them laugh. We’re doing our jobs,” he said of his critics.
The holy water bombing took place on Russia’s Sobriety Day, an unofficial holiday that falls on Sept. 11 of each year.
A similar stunt was attempted earlier this year in Columbia, where Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, bishop of Buenaventura, sprayed holy water on the struggling city from a helicopter.
“We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port,” Montoya said in a local radio interview, according to the Guardian.
Violence and poverty are on the rise in the city and the area has been overtaken by the drug trade. Buenaventura was listed as the country’s most violent city in a 2014 study, with conditions having not improved at all since then.
In the case of Buenaventura, the crime plaguing the city like can’t be fixed by a dousing of holy water. Likewise, the priests in Tver are fighting a losing battle. People across the world have been drinking and “fornicating” since pre-history and the chances that they will stop thanks to involuntary exposure to holy water is highly unlikely.
The American singer Billie Eilish recently spoke to her fans about having struggled with Tourette’s syndrome since she was a child. She’d previously avoided going public about her diagnosis as she said she didn’t want to be characterised by her condition.
The hallmark of Tourette’s is tics. These can be motor tics, such as blinking, or vocal tics, such as sniffing. And they tend to come and go over time. Despite what many people believe, Tourette’s rarely entails uncontrollable swearing. In fact, only a tiny proportion of people with Tourette’s experience this.
Although the condition is common – about one in 100 children is affected by it – there is still significant stigma associated with it, so much so that people try to hide their tics and avoid socialising.
In contrast to tics in other motor disorders, such as chorea (an involuntary movement disorder caused by neurological problems), the unique characteristic of Tourette’s is that people can suppress their tics for short periods. Although this often results in stronger outbursts when they allow themselves to tic freely.
Tics can diminish with age, and for some people they disappear by late adolescence or adulthood. Other people live with severe tics all their lives.
We recently conducted a study to find out what it is like to be diagnosed with Tourette’s and how it affects people’s lives. Sixteen adults from the UK agreed to be interviewed for our study. In our in-depth interviews, some adults with Tourette’s told us they live fulfilling lives, with satisfying jobs and happy family lives. They believe that Tourette’s does not define them. They even asserted that the condition had helped them grow emotionally and find greater meaning in their lives. As one participant put it:
It sounds really cheesy, but I think Tourette’s has made me a better person and it’s made me want to help other people.
But some participants reported feeling lonely as a result of their condition. Even those who had become more comfortable having Tourette’s felt a need to hide their tics in public. Similar to Eilish, they learned to suppress their tics and tried to conceal them by any means possible. Since that was not always feasible, some preferred to isolate themselves to avoid public ridicule and bullying.
The tics really made me less likely to reach out socially. Well, to socialise at all or to seek out friends, cause I was worried about being the joke.
They also wanted to disassociate themselves from other people with Tourette’s – a group they considered to be stigmatised by society.
Most adults reported being bullied – sometimes it was even ongoing. And some even experienced negative reactions to their condition from their parents. Some parents expressed frustration and disappointment, often because they misunderstood the condition. One participant said:
I was hidden in the cupboards and the rooms. I was never taken out into public. I was even kept away from my own family except from my grandparents.
Similar to other studies, our interviews showed that people with Tourette’s often have difficulty at work, with employers refusing to make reasonable adjustments for them and making it difficult for them to keep their jobs. Another participant said:
Imagine working in a bar and stressful nights and stuff like that and you start ticking and people start asking questions, poking fun at you drunk, so, you know … And you try and speak to your employer about it … ‘I need to stop right now, I need to pull myself away or go home or something because it’s gonna make me worse’. It’s just a big blow down, it really is. And they don’t understand that, and they don’t care either and they don’t believe they have to care.
The people in our survey said they wanted to be “normal” so they could achieve all their aspirations and goals. They felt that Tourette’s had held them back from being the person they want to be and doing the things they want to do.
Besides Billie Eilish and the American football player Tim Howard, few famous people have talked about Tourette’s outside the context of a joke. Having a pop star proudly admit that she has the condition and raising awareness about it may be a first step to fighting the stigma attached to Tourette’s syndrome. Indeed, identifying with a celebrity can make living with the condition more bearable and less lonely. It might even help people derive some pride from their diagnosis and show that there is hope for people with Tourette’s to fulfil their dreams, just like Billie Eilish.
Fifteen years ago I thought my life was falling apart. It was. But as the years progressed I saw much of the wider world following the same path. Of course, I have to consider the subjective nature of associating the patterns of behaviour perceived at different scales. Was I just interpreting events in the world at large as ‘like’ my own life? This phenomenon is a regular expressed experience of many people. But for me, there is a discernible difference worth considering. I am meticulous in tearing things apart, re-examining them, considering various perspectives, and, most importantly, digging beneath the surface of my own conscious cognition.
There is a bigger perspective. Humanity is in its death throes. There are still many lines of sight that can see the light through the mayhem, the joy of living in a beautiful world, the hope and potential that things have not yet been decided and there is always the chance they may improve. I will venture this is like watching a volcano exploding and being in awe of the power, the drama, and the visual magnificence. It is true that our experience is full of incredible patterns, colours, emotions, and experiences but it is also true that humanity is changing at such a rate that it is almost explosive.
I have watched this Brexit fiasco from my own perspective. It is the same dynamic as a traumatised child having to decide which of their dysfunctional parents they should side with for the best chance of survival. Most people tending to favour leaving the EU are so transfixed by the abuses of the EU that they wish to run away. What most are unaware of is the darker shadow into which they will run. They imagine that being free of the confines of the oppressive control of a super-state in formation will avail them of some idealised freedom and self-determination. Of course, if that were possible they would have already achieved it.
Most who want to remain in the EU are looking towards making love with this larger community and, by being positive in the relationship, see harmonious and productive outcomes. A bit like an abused person making excuses for the bestial behaviour of their partner. In the comparison with parents, the mother may be the EU and the father is a less tangible, less easily perceived, the shadow of a figure which manifests in the US and Israel. What one might reasonably loosely refer to as Western culture. If the UK did this magic trick of leaving the EU there would be nowhere to go other than into that alliance. The UK is already an integral part of it and ideas of becoming somehow independent are simply unrealistic. The imagined alternative of ‘running away from home’ is also unrealistic. A bit like a turkey I once saw making a bid for freedom from a cage on a lorry at the abattoir. It got to run around a bit, and my heart went out for it, but it was still securely confined within the compound.
All of this is happening within the context of a rapidly expanding, all-pervasive, ubiquitous digital infrastructure of control. I saw a tweet just the other day that Microsoft were closing their e-book store. It is irrelevant whether the details are correct or what arrangements are in place because the dynamic is a feasible one. Buying e-books is not the same as buying paper books. They are effectively rented to you; you purchase the right to read the stored copy. But when the store closes the book vanishes. They used to have to burn books but now they can spirit them away. The same is true of music, and all the information on the internet. This is the same problem as underlies digital money and digital identities; they can be spirited away. The electronic digital representation of each individual is held as a reference to an interpretation of an entity with an ID which is nominally vectored to one biological blob on the surface of planet Earth. We are being altercast as something akin to Buzz Lightyear; a virtual plastic toy representing an imagined superhero rendered in the digital world to look like something exists.
So what hope is there for what we imagine humanity to be? Once this superstructure of digital processing with superior intelligence and all the capability of self-replication begins to formulate into a coherent mass it will have no need for the source material of biological blobs from whence it was spawned. We are left at this moment in time wondering what meaning or significance to place on our previously assumed sense of existence. There is all the potential for life, experience, and consciousness to thrive and develop and there is all the potential for it to be destroyed in this volcanic eruption to rearrange the landscape of the universe for some unknown, unimaginable, and immaterial future.
And now, today, 11 April 2019, Julian Assange has been deliberately publically ignominiously hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy by the British Police. He will be extradited to the US who will abuse his body and soul for whatever political and material leverage they can gain. Behind all of this is the question of what is going wrong and what on Earth we can do about it. At the heart of the problem is the false illusion of our material existence. I say ‘false’ and ‘illusion’ because they are cultural cognitive interpretations of the meaning of our lives. We create an imagined interpretation of what we are in order to survive. Whilst we continue to indulge in deceiving ourselves in order to fix in space and time some identifiable cognitive model of who we are, we will continue to build institutions and political hierarchies to maintain that deception. It has to be clear to anyone watching a little more of the detail than that offered by the mental fast-food media that this is a profoundly disturbing turn of events.
When you uncover a part of your subconscious you discover something about you that was hidden and driving your choices. In general, it is better to understand yourself better. It allows you to improve, not only your own experience of living but generally to improve the interaction between you and the outside world which, in turn, enhances the outside world too. Attempting to maintain your naivety because it gets you what you want now is actually a failure to adapt and learn and inevitably leads to failure. It is a dangerous form of pathological delusion which leads to conflict, violence, and destruction. Julian Assange did nothing worse than expose a few truths that the US are desperate to keep secret. They are so desperate to maintain the deception that they will go to extremes to make an example of Assange to set precedents of control and to terrorise anyone daring to even think of exposing their malicious behaviour and intentions.
All of us have to review and enhance our own integrity and act on it.
The word “halitosis” is a household term which everyone knows means bad breath. But did you know that the word has been around for less than a hundred years, and was invented not by the medical field, but by advertisers?
Back in the 1920s, people didn’t worry about body odor as much as they do now. They didn’t bathe nearly as often, they didn’t wear deodorant, and some bodily smells weren’t necessarily considered socially catastrophic. A family antiseptic company called Listerine was able to increase its revenue from $115,000 to $8 million over the course of seven years by helping to change that.
Listerine had been around since the 1880s, marketed as a household cleaner, a medical antiseptic, and a treatment for gonorrhea, among many other uses. Forty years later, the company’s owner and his son came up with the brilliant idea to look up a fancy latin word for bad breath that sounds like a medical condition and then market it as though it’s an actual diagnosable disease that is crippling everyone’s social life. They ran advertisements telling wives that their halitosis was making them unappealing to their husbands, telling husbands that their halitosis was making their wives not want to kiss them, telling young women that they’d remain unmarried and unwanted forever if they didn’t cure their “unexcusable” condition with Listerine, even telling mothers that their breath may be grossing out their own children.
And it worked. People began throwing their money at this company, suddenly desperate to cure a horrible medical condition that they’d only just found out was a thing. By manufacturing demand for their product using artificially instilled shame and fear, Listerine made a fortune.
This type of advertisement is now commonplace, because it works. Mothers are told that they may be endangering their children by not using X cleaning product. Fathers are made to feel as though they’re not protecting their family because they don’t own home security system Y. Wives and girlfriends are made to feel self-conscious about how their lady parts might smell if they don’t use feminine hygiene product Z. Screens, billboards and magazine ads blare constantly, “Did you know that you are deeply flawed? You are! But don’t worry, Panaceavox can fix you!” In America they’re allowed to straight up say “Hey, have you ever felt kind of emotionally not okay? Well there’s a diagnosis for that. Ask your doctor if Thorazac is right for you.” People are manipulated into fretting about a problem they didn’t know they had til two seconds ago, then sold the solution.
What people think of as “sin” is a lot like Listerine’s halitosis marketing ploy, except unlike bad breath, sin doesn’t actually exist. And, for those who profit from religion, it’s also been exponentially more lucrative.
Sin is completely made up; we’re all a bunch of large-brained primates moving around in the world and experiencing the consequences of those movements, no more, no less. As a Catholic, I was told that all babies were born sinners, with tiny little blackened souls that would go straight to hell if the priest didn’t get to them first and dunk their deceptively pretty little demon heads in magic water tout suite. It didn’t stop there either. You had to celebrate an ancient Nazarene zombie who came back from the dead because somehow that made our sins go away for a little while, just as long as you turned up each week to drink zombie blood and eat zombie body in some kind of pretend cannibal ritual. The weirdest thing about it was that I thought it was perfectly normal. That’s how you avoided being a sinner.
When you unplug those stories from the power of belief, it’s a laughably transparent marketing scheme.
“Guess what? You know how you feel like you’re basically fine? Well you’re not! You’re infected with Sin, and only this One True Religion™ can rescue you from it! That’s right, it slices, it dices, it protects your soul from eternal hellfire, it’s the One True Religion™! Follow the One True Religion™ and you will be freed from the burden of Sin, and you’ll go the the best place you can possibly imagine (*cough* when you’re dead). Refuse to follow the One True Religion™, and all that sin will cause literally the worst thing you can possibly imagine to happen to you (after you’re dead, we can’t show it to you here). Act now, supplies are running out, here comes the tithe basket, buy your way into the One True Religion™ today!”
Ridiculous, manipulative hogwash.
Fear isn’t the only thing factoring into people’s belief in sin, of course. It can be egoically gratifying to believe that the real assholes in our world will spend eternity writhing in a state of eternal torture for their transgressions. Also, more significantly, it can feel very comforting to have a set of prescribed “do”s and “don’t”s in a world that is otherwise a completely boundless and open-ended improvisation exercise, with no ultimate rules or guidelines of any kind. It can feel very comforting to have a set of guidelines to live by for which you have no responsibility, which were handed to you from On High by a flawless omniscient and omnipotent deity underlying the fundamental ground of reality.
But that’s just it: you are responsible. It absolutely is your responsibility to figure out how best to move around in this wide open universe, and you don’t get to abdicate that responsibility to some douchebag in a funny hat or some imaginary zombie carpenter. Sin and sanctity are made-up bullshit concepts, which means that the only understanding of how to behave in this world that has any relevance to you at all is your own understanding.
This responsibility can be daunting, but taking it seriously is the first step to becoming the kind of human being that can overcome the huge challenges that our species is facing in the near future.
To act with responsibility in life, you don’t get to rely on anyone else’s rules. You’ve got to get really clear on what you value, what kind of world you want to live in, what kind of life you’re trying to craft for yourself, and begin taking actions toward making those assessments a reality. There is no ultimate right and wrong inscribed on the fabric of reality; you’ve got to make it up for yourself, based on your own clarity of vision and your own will for your surroundings.
People say, “Well if we didn’t believe in absolute right and wrong behavior, we’d all just be a bunch of hedonistic criminals!” Rubbish. If you had the ability to make a movie and have the movie contain anything you want to see, it wouldn’t be full of rape and murder and destruction; you’d try your best to create a thing of beauty. Our lives are the same way. We’re all trying on some level to craft beautiful lives and help create an enjoyable world, which never entails going around hurting people and destroying things. And the clearer our seeing becomes, the more skillful we become in doing so.
The only exception to this would perhaps be sociopaths and psychopaths and people with other severe personality disorders, but their type has never truly believed in sin anyway. Sin is a construct of social manipulation, and manipulators recognize manipulation. A sociopath only cares about the concept of sin to the extent that they can use it to get what they want. Only emotionally and empathetically normal people are impacted by the concept of sin.
The popular acceptance of the concept of sin is a consequence of the way we are psychologically hardwired and the way that that wiring has been manipulated, and you see that same wiring fiddled with in similar ways in many other areas. The way centrists browbeat leftists for not falling in line with Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the 2016 US elections, for example, often looked barely distinguishable from a gaggle of church ladies abusing one of their sisters for wanting to leave the church or get a divorce. Instead of the promise of hell it was the promise of Donald Trump ending the world, and instead of sin being disobedience to God it was disobedience to the mainstream liberal orthodoxy. But the same kind of shaming, manipulation and groupthink herd bullying was present in both cases. The notion of personal sovereign responsibility was violently rejected as anathema by the Church of the Blue Donkey.
Sin is a tool of social manipulation just like advertising, and just like propaganda. Religion, advertising and propaganda all pull the same psychological strings. Since as far back as recorded history stretches, those with wealth and power have been using whatever tools they have at their disposal to control the ways people think and behave. When religion held more psychological weight, they used that to justify book burnings, heretic burnings, and the destruction of anything that challenged the ruling order. Now that humanity is vomiting up the plague of religion from its DNA, propaganda and advertising are taking its place.
But it’s the same kind of manipulation in each case, the same disease, and the cure for that disease is the same too. By insisting on your own sovereign perspective, all attempts to manipulate you out of that perspective begin to stand out like a black fly on a white page. By standing firmly in what you know to be true, what kind of life you know you’re trying to live, and what kind of world you know you’re trying to help create, you give yourself a clear picture of the path that you are on. With that clear picture, any attempts to manipulate you off of that path in any way are easily seen for the unwelcome intrusions that they are, whether they take the form of “You are sinful and you need Jesus,” “You are flawed and you need this product,” or “Trust Big Brother to do what’s right for you.” And you can shrug off the manipulators and stride toward the bright consequences you wish to generate with your actions.
Most common? Clothing and shoes, while Amazon remains the shopping platform of choice.
The findings are based on a survey of 2,174 alcohol-consuming readers between March 11-18 of this year. The average respondent was 36-years-old, and has an income of $92,000 per year, more than double the national average. Thus, The Hustle‘s wealthier readers may skew the results when extrapolated – but we’re having fun with this one.
Overall, 79% of all alcohol-consuming respondents have made at least one drunken purchase in their lifetime — though this varies a bit based on demographics. –The Hustle
Women (80%) are slightly more likely than men (78%) to drunk shop. This makes sense since women generally shop more than men — especially online.
Drunk shoppers also tend to be younger. Millennials outrank baby boomers by 13%, which might be attributed to the rise of e-commerce (we’ll get to this later).
Certain professionals also seem to be more inclined to shop drunk than others. We limited our data to jobs with the highest response rates then parsed out the 5 industries that are most and least likely to shop under the influence. –The Hustle
my drunk purchase from two months ago finally got here from china
What’s the alcohol of choice while drunk shopping? Beer, followed by wine, followed by whiskey.
Another interesting metric is that people who shop while drunk have around 10 drinks per week, while those who typically shop sober consume half as much.
As far as average spent per year:
Our average respondent reports dropping $444 per year on drunk purchases — from life-size cut-outs of Kim Jong-un to 30-pound bags of Idaho potatoes.
A little back-of-the-napkin math gives us a rough estimate of the drunk shopping market at large: There are ~130m alcohol-consuming adults in the US. In our survey findings, 79% of alcohol-consuming adults shop drunk at an average annual spend of $444. Assuming these rates hold true at a national level (purely speculative), drunk shopping is a ~$45B per year market.
Extrapolating this further, we determined the average lifetime spend on drunk purchases is $4,187 — good for a total drunken expenditure of nearly half a trillion dollars.
When it comes to drunk shopping by profession, those in the fashion industry are the biggest, richest drunks – at an average of $949 spent per year, followed by writers, medical professionals and those in the fitness industry.
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate this drunk Amazon purchase
Who spends the least while shopping drunk? Government workers, engineers and – in last place, those working in retail.
Geographically speaking Kentucky is oddly at the top along with Connecticut. Though, the survey may have had one really rich respondent in each state that skewed the results. Who knows.
Kentuckians top the charts with a $742 annual spend. In fact, the entire South — a region known for its fine bourbon — is a blanket of red. California, the country’s wine capital, is the lone over-achiever on the otherwise mediocre West Coast.
This bears little semblance to the CDC’s analysis of the heaviest binge-drinking states (in fact, it’s almost opposite). But it shows that the economics of drunk shopping is a more complex matter than simply parsing out where people drink the most.
As far as platform of choice, Amazon leads the pack, followed by Ebay, Etsy, Target and Walmart. At least two of those are worth an intervention if you ever catch your friends drunk shopping at Walmart, for example.
Clothing and shoes are the goods of choice while drunk.
Studies have shown that people who base their self-worth on appearance are more likely to imbibe alcohol, so there is some tenuous linkage here. But this also ties in with the rapid rise of the direct-to-consumer fashion industry.
Entertainment (movies, games) and tech gadgets are also popular choices — though the party train seems to abruptly halt at software (if you’ve purchased a copy of Microsoft Excel drunk, we need to talk.)
Weirdest purchases, according to The Hustle‘s readers?
200 pounds of fresh, 10-foot tall bamboo
A World War 2-era bayonet
A full-size inflatable bouncy castle (“For my living room”)
A breast pump (“I’m a dude”)
A splinter that was removed from the foot of former NBA Star, Olden Polynice
The same vest Michael J. Fox had on in Back to the Future
A $2,200 pair of night vision goggles
Tons of international fights (Azerbaijan, Iceland, Ukraine, Tunisia)
After struggling against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout the entirety of recorded history, humanity is now at a point where that struggle is probably going to be resolved, one way or another, within the lifetime of most people reading this.
The movie about this struggle has been written with one of two possible endings. In the first, we are unable to overcome our self-destructive tendencies, and the last of our species dies by radiation poisoning or choking on the dust of an uninhabitable planet. In the second, we evolve beyond our self-destructive tendencies and move into a healthy relationship with our minds, our ecosystem, and each other.
Neither of these two endings would work in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the first, humanity dies off not with a bang but with a whimper as a result of nuclear fallout or climate collapse. In the second, conflict and drama as we know it will cease to exist as we pull up and away from the self-destructive patterns which brought us to this point. We’ll either keep along this same destructive trajectory and meet its inevitable end very soon, or we’ll deviate from that trajectory into something wildly different. In either case, there is no kissing the girl while the credits roll, no coolly striding away from the explosion, and no spin-kicking the bad guy off a cliff into lava after uttering a short, memorable line.
I say this because it seems like a lot of people are kind of hoping for a Hollywood ending in some way. People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.
And it just isn’t going to go down like that.
If you’ve paid much attention to human behavior throughout your life, you know that we reliably repeat the same patterns until there’s inner healing and personal growth. If you’ve experienced inner healing and personal growth, you know that the actual experience of it is generally anti-climactic. True healing is always a game of subtraction, and it moves in the exact opposite direction of the egoically satisfying mental narratives which Hollywood has grown so skilled at providing us. When true inner healing takes place, it doesn’t usually make for a good story, and its effects often go unnoticed for some time, because they are evidenced not in the addition of something new but in the subtraction of something old. You look at your memories of your old unwholesome behavior patterns and think “Hmm, how strange that I used to do that sort of thing!”
If humanity transcends its unwholesome patterns at the end of this movie, it’s going to happen in much the same way. Not in an egoically gratifying way where we see our most hated political figures punished and our own ideological preferences uplifted, but in the simple falling away of old patterns. If human consciousness evolves to the point where we can avert our own destruction, then it will necessarily have dropped the egoic patterns of fear, greed and negativity which kept us bound to our old destructive behaviors. Were that to happen, we’d probably struggle to even remember what we used to stress and rage about when looking at the state of our world.
Nothing else will do the trick. If we do come to some dramatic, egoically satisfying climax, like where all the oligarchs and warmongers are guillotined and their wealth distributed among the needy or whatever, then it isn’t the end of the movie. We have not arrived at a point where we’ve transcended our old patterns, we’ve just seen those old patterns manifest in a way which happens to be egoically pleasing to us in this particular instance. And we will soon see them manifest in ways which we find far from pleasing again.
We will not arrive at our happy ending unless we collectively heal away those old egoic addictions to drama and conflict. Even if we did somehow manage to create a utopia without healing away those old egoic addictions, it would be quickly destroyed and the countdown to doomsday restarted by the gnashing, looping patterns which brought us to the brink of extinction in the first place.
Because guess what? From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.
Are you able to live in a peaceful, harmonious world? A world that is boring to the ego and unsuitable for Hollywood scripts? When I look at the behavior of a lot of activists on social media, it seems like a lot of them fear an end to drama and conflict more than they fear the end of the world. It sounds funny to say, but I think this is legitimately the case for many people. Our addiction to drama and conflict is so strong and our ability to just be at peace in the here and now so weak that keeping things from becoming harmonious can feel like an existential life-and-death need. And we all know people who are strongly predisposed toward stirring up drama to feed that illusory need.
To be able to live in a peaceful world where we collaborate harmoniously with our ecosystem and our fellow humans, we’ll have to transcend our inability to simply be. To have a world where all human ingenuity is pointed at making the world a better place instead of inventing new ways to create landfill for mass consumption and new ways to kill and exploit each other, we’re going to have to have minds that are able to survive in an environment with a lot less conflict, and, once our ingenuity really gets going, a lot less work as well. Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.
The reason there are so many Hollywood movies about dystopian futures and hardly any about utopian futures is because there is no drama and conflict in utopia. Hollywood movies bring in the big bucks by being egoically pleasing to watch; it’s ego candy to watch heroes kicking villains off cliffs, because we can place ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine ourselves emerging triumphantly from the drama and conflicts displayed on the screen.
This is why I refer to myself as a “utopia prepper”. In order to have a peaceful, harmonious world, we’re going to have to have minds that are receptive to such a thing. I consider cultivating such a mind to be the most important thing I do in paving the way for paradise on earth, abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating and opening a path within myself for something new. This will necessarily happen among us all if we’re to see the happy ending of this movie, and if we do it won’t be spectacular. It won’t be egoically gratifying. We’ll simply cease engaging in unwholesome patterns in a very anti-climactic way, begin channeling our ingenuity into making the world a better place, and perhaps once in a while look back on history and think, “Hmm, how strange that we used to do that sort of thing!”
“Maybe we really are all along for the ride in the universe’s playful expansion into greater and greater complexity, a transitionary phase between simpler animal life and whatever vastly more complex thing we’ll give rise to in the future.”
I often talk about the various reasons I still believe humanity has a fighting chance at rescuing itself from extinction and Orwellian dystopia, like the fact that our ability to network and share information is at an all-time high while trust in the mass media is at an all-time low, or the fact that humans have the capacity to radically transform their relationship with thought in a way that longtime teachers of this art say is becoming easier and more common. I just stumbled across another such reason to hope, and I figured I’d tap it out with a few thoughts in case anyone wants to add it to the pile.
I like to listen to talks from the late philosopher/psychonaut Terence McKenna sometimes while I’m relaxing; I find it to be good mental hygiene. One particular video was on in the background today and something he said caught my ear that I’d heard many times before but never really ingested, arguing that there’s an unbroken trend in the known universe’s history which suggests that humans are going to make it past our challenges after all.
McKenna introduces the bit I’d like to highlight by saying that, while it is difficult to be both well-informed and optimistic about humanity’s future, there are some things science has tended to overlook about the big picture which gives optimism a more rational place in the grand scheme of things.
“What was overlooked was what I call the Conservation of Novelty,” McKenna’s odd, reedy voice said through my laptop speakers. “Now what I mean by this is something very easy for you to convince yourself is happening. The Conservation of Novelty is simply that over time, the universe has become more complicated. New levels of complexity become the foundations for yet deeper levels of complexity. And this phenomenon of the production and conservation of what I call novelty is not something which goes on only in the biological domain, or only in the cultural domain, or only in the domain of physics. It is a trans-categorical impulse in reality, meaning it’s everywhere. Everywhere.”
“The universe was born in a state of great simplicity,” McKenna explained. “There were no atoms, there were no molecules, there were no stars; there was only a plasmic ocean of energy. The physics for describing this were very simple. As time passed, you could almost imagine complexity crystalizing out of a universe that cools. As it cools new properties emerged; what David Baum called emergent properties come out of the universal mix.”
“Atomic systems form. This creates an entirely new domain of matter, different from the plasma that preceded it. As the universe cools, matter aggregates into stars. Stars cook out heavier elements, among them carbon. Carbon sets the stage for four-valent complex polymer chemistry, that sets the stage for life. Simple life sets the stage for complex life. Complex life sets the stage for multicellular advanced animals, land animals, so forth and so on. You see what the process is here: it’s that each emergent property becomes a building block for a new set of phenomena. The concrescence of atomic systems allows the physical world. The generation of carbon chemistry allows the organic world. The complexification of advanced animals allows the conscious world of human culture and civilization.”
Do you see where he’s going with this? The universe, for some mysterious reason, has been marching toward greater and greater complexity since its birth. Everything we know about our universe and our world tells us plainly that this is true; you don’t need to believe in any kind of deity or woo woo philosophy to see it, it’s evidenced in the behavior of the universe itself.
The most complex structure in the known universe is the human brain. As far as we know it is the pinnacle of material complexity at this point in spacetime. If what we know about this ongoing trend from plasma giving rise to particles giving rise to stars giving rise to elements giving rise to life giving rise to humanity giving rise to to increasingly complex cultural and societal structures is as reliable as it appears to be, does it make sense to believe the human brain would suddenly disappear from the equation and revert back to the lesser complexity of an earth without humans, or without life altogether?
It’s at least an interesting idea to consider and toy with the implications. Maybe we really are all along for the ride in the universe’s playful expansion into greater and greater complexity, a transitionary phase between simpler animal life and whatever vastly more complex thing we’ll give rise to in the future. Maybe our idea that the fate of the world rests in our little monkey hands is as precious and ridiculously self-important as one of the hundreds of side characters in a Where’s Waldo? illustration thinking that the whole book is about her. Maybe we’re just the earliest sprouting from the tiniest seed of what is on its way to becoming a towering tree, but mistaking ourselves for the finished product instead of a brief phase along the way toward something unimaginably grander. Maybe this fascinating adventure necessarily continues after all.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t try, of course we should. Partly because maybe ol’ Terence was mistaken in this particular case, but also because what the hell else are we going to do? Even if we are some awkward transitionary stage between the simpler and the more complicated, our trying and our fight to survive would be just as much a part of that march toward complexity as our little herbivore dinosaur ancestors scrambling to avoid the sharp teeth of carnivorous predators. The only thing to do is fight for life, but this perspective takes the pressure and hopelessness out of it.
So where are we headed, if McKenna’s theory of novelty conservation continues to bear out? Well, the early single-celled organisms wouldn’t have been able to predict the emergence of multicellular organisms. Early multicellular organisms wouldn’t have been able to anticipate the emergence of land animals. A prehistoric land animal never would have imagined that there would one day be humans driving around in cars and making street art and arguing with strangers on the internet. Maybe any attempt on our part to predict where this trend in complexification is headed would be just as futile. All we can do is keep alive, do our very best, and hope.
A Peruvian man recently divorced his wife after discovering her infidelity while looking around on Google Street View.
The unnamed man who recently posted photographic proof of his discovery on Facebook, was allegedly looking for the fastest way to reach the Bridge of Sighs, in Barranco, Lima, when he came upon a familiar figure – a curly-haired woman sitting on a bench and stroking the hair of a man who had his head in her lap. Although both people’s faces were blurred to protect their privacy, the man recognized his wife’s hair and clothes. The only problem was that the man she was with wasn’t him.
The photos taken by the Google Street View car were taken back in 2013, but that didn’t stop the man from confronting his wife about them. The Bridge of Sighs is known as one of the most romantic places in Lima, and the obviously romantic gestures captured by the images left the woman with no other choice but to admit her infidelity. The married couple had already separated, but this proof of her unfaithfulness was enough for the husband to file for divorce.
The unnamed husband posted images of his discovery on Facebook, where they got a wide range of reactions, from jokes to encouraging comments and condemnation of the cheating wife. The photos quickly went viral and have been doing the round online for almost a week.
Google Street View footage has accidentally revealed couples’ infidelity several times in the past, but has also captured some truly bizarre scenes, like a naked man getting out of the trunk of a car, street robberies or a woman giving birth.
Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Nottingham Trent University
Oct 3, 2018
In the hit BBC TV show, Killing Eve, Villanelle, a psychopathic assassin, tells Eve, a security service operative, “You should never call a psychopath a psychopath. It upsets them.” She then pouts her lip in an imitation of someone feeling upset.
Most people think they know what a psychopath is: someone who has no feelings. Someone who probably tortured animals for fun when they were little. But here are five things you probably didn’t know about psychopaths.
1. There’s a bit of a psychopath in all of us. Psychopathy is a spectrum, and we are all somewhere on that spectrum. If you’ve ever shown a lack of guilt or remorse, or not felt empathy with someone, or you’ve charmed someone to get what you want (remember that last job interview?), then you’ve displayed a psychopathic trait. Maybe you’re fearless in certain situations or you’ve taken big risks – also psychopathic traits.
2. Psychopaths are not all “psycho”. Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs are typical portrayals of psychopaths in popular culture. While it’s true that most serial killers are psychopaths, the vast majority of psychopaths are not serial killers. Psychopaths comprise about 1% of the general population and can be productive members of society.
Their lack of emotions, such as anxiety and fear, helps them to stay calm in frightening situations. Experiments have shown that they have a reduced startle response. If someone gave you a fright while you were watching a horror movie, you would probably show an “exaggerated startle response” – in other words, you’d jump out of your skin. Psychopaths react far less intensely in such fear-evoking situations. If anything, they remain calm. This can be a useful trait if you’re a soldier, a surgeon or in the special forces.
Psychopaths can also be very charming (even if only superficially) and they have the ability to confidently take risks, be ruthless, goal-oriented and make bold decisions. This makes them well suited to environments like Wall Street, the boardroom and parliament. Here, psychopaths are more likely to be making a killing than killing.
3. Psychopaths prefer Sex in the City to Little House on the Prairie. Psychopaths are more likely to be found in towns and cities. They prefer what psychologists call a “fast life history strategy”. That is, they focus on increasing their short-term mating opportunities and number of sexual partners rather than investing a lot of effort in long-term mating, parenthood and life stability. This strategy is linked to increased risk taking and selfishness. Also, cities offer psychopaths better opportunities for finding people to manipulate. They also offer greater anonymity and hence a reduced risk of being detected.
4. Female psychopaths are somewhat different. Although male and female psychopaths are similar in many ways, some studies have found differences. For example, female psychopaths appear to more prone to anxiety, emotional problems and promiscuity than male psychopaths.
Some psychologists argue that female psychopathy is sometimes diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, instead – characterised by poorly regulated emotions, impulsive reactions and outbursts of anger. This might explain why most studies show that rates of psychopathy are lower in females.
Our latest research shows that female psychopaths seem to prefer to date non-psychopathic men in the short-term, perhaps as a plaything or to allow easy deception and manipulation. But for long-term relationships, a female psychopath will be looking for a fellow psychopath. Eventually, birds of a feather, flock together.
5. Psychopaths do have feelings … well, some feelings. While psychopaths show a specific lack in emotions, such as anxiety, fear and sadness, they can feel other emotions, such as happiness, joy, surprise and disgust, in a similar way as most of us would. So while they may struggle to recognise fearful or sad faces and are less responsive to threats and punishments, they can identify happy faces and they do respond positively when getting rewarded.
However, while winning a fiver might make you happy, a psychopath would need a bigger reward to perk them up. In other words, they can feel happy and motivated if the rewards are high enough. Of course, they can also get angry, especially in response to provocation, or get frustrated when their goals are thwarted. So Villanelle is right, to some extent. You can hurt a psychopath’s feelings, but probably different feelings and for different reasons.
Author’s Note: The text of this article has been drawn from an online debate at Science for Peace, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, September 2018
There is a popular explanation for the world chaos now upon us, and many scientists and philosophers advocate it.The form of this argument is that the rising global crisis we face traces back to human nature and genes to explain it.
The now widespread scientific category of anthropocene to locate the global crisis expresses the same idea and manages the same diversion from the common cause.
In fact, none can remotely explain the ongoing global system collapse nor the extreme climate destabilization which is the major known symptom of it.
The all-fronts planetary life crisis is confined to a much more specific causal mechanism: the cumulative, mounting and unregulated assaults of private industrial destruction, pollution, exhaustion and consumer waste in one relatively short span of the anthro-era.
But the ‘human-nature’ aka ’genetic’ argument obscures this fundamental fact. It does not come from stupid people, but it is a stupid explanation.
The Ancient Fallacy of ‘Human Nature’ to Explain Life-Blind Institutions
More exactly, it is an enduring preconception which has been dominant from ancient times. It has been often disproved, but its return expresses in another way the instituted life-blindness of the neo-capitalist era.
At this dangerous juncture of human evolution and history, it is one more ideological mind-lock to derail examination of the social-structural problem.
We need to bear in mind that the same ‘human nature’ argument was long in place to explain slavery as a natural phenomenon. Socrates, Plato and, most trenchantly, Aristotle, all conceived slavery as natural to human beings, and so unchangeable. They were very intelligent men, but assumed this as a given fact of the human condition.
Since first studying these philosophers, I have observed the argument reappearing in evil times to block people’s understanding of the actual social-structural cause of soluble problems.
For example, the acceptance of both war and slavery over millennia has been based on a ‘human nature argument’. It is natural for some to rule and others to serve them – and wars decide which group is the more fit to rule.
In fact, both institutions are not at all expressions of human nature, but pervasively enforced totalitarian institutions of mass murder and enslavement in particular social formations which serve the rich, non-working minority ruling them.
Capitalism is not Natural or Gene-Determined
Money-sequence capitalism is an historical extension of these institutions which still rules. Its difference is that a de-regulated and hyper-aggressive financialized form has brought mass-killing trends which have been one-way pathogenic since the Reagan-Thatcher turn against life-protective public law and non-partisangovernment.
It still rampages on today. But the long-ignored cumulative damages have caught up. Planetary life organization is paying the price in degeneration and collapse at every level while still further enriching those leading the global catastrophe.
They have dark reason to select for and quietly fund the argument of ‘genes’, ‘human nature’ and ‘anthropocene’ as the reason for the mounting chaos.
Yet this clinically insane rule is absurdly attributed to ‘human nature’ and ‘genes’ by even those not benefiting from it. After all, far more numerous victims are ‘human nature’ too with ‘human genes’ in ‘the anthropocene’, and only a minority agree with the policies, and ever more abhor the leaders and system they steer which together produce suchinhuman character and eco-genocidal misrule.
Yet still you will have the most eminent thinkers – even the inventor of the ecological footprint – argue that our current ecocidal system is based on a genetic character formed in our distant past. He thinks it is indicated by the massive disappearance of large animals by human hand, but this has since been expertly attributed to selection by altered environmental conditions.
The ‘gene’ argument is very appealing, however, for its simplification into fixed one-cause ‘outcomes’. This is the theoretical essence of ‘sociobiology’ in general. Ithas been dominant in the academy and the legacy media as a seemingly scientific rationalization of a clear social disorder.
Yet as long as its cover story lasts, the rising crisis of life-blind private money-rule destroying the shared planetary life-ground need not be faced or solved.
The Solution of Nicer People
One of the enfeebling consequences of human-nature-gene diversions from the reigning system disorder is that it puts the onus on individual human beings to solve the problem by being “nicer” to and “kinder” to each other.
This certainly sounds good. Yet it track-switches critical attention from the life-blind corporate-market disorder to the personalities of individuals who normally have as such little or nothing to do with it, and are usually victims of its systematic stripping of public institutions, life-protective regulations and income bases.
Indeed this system disorder has invaded so many levels of society’s evolution that citizen life insecurity has been normalized in all phases of work, environment, and future however nice we are to each other as individuals (which I for one love).
Yet it is not individual choices that are responsible for the system oppressing the majority’s livelihoods, their life conditions and their futures, including that of their children. To focus on them is an implicit form of blaming the victim. Their being nicer people is essentially beside the point of the problem.
In logical terms, this is a fallacy of division. It falsely infers from the properties of a collective entity the properties of the individuals members of it, thereby making them responsible for its getting worse or better. “We are all responsible, each and every one of us for this human crisis” is a boring choral expression of this fallacy.
Because it makes those saying this seem so, well, nice and kind, they can bask in virtuous-self reflection. Those in fact leading the crisis as its planners and executives, with obscenely high financial pay-offs and privileges for doing so, are meanwhile left blameless and off the hook.
The cui bono question – who benefits and profits from this life-insane system? – is nullified a-priori.
Those who argue this way are not so nice as they seem. They present as good people to others, ingratiate themselves to those in control, and avoid having to face the real problem. This is all certainly easier and safer.In fact, it may bring top-down favor to the pacifiers and their ‘peace activism’ for side-tracking from the real evil and its lead agents.
The Cover-Up Culture of the Omnicidal System
Self-centering avoidance of the omnicidal system also lies in perfect line with the atomic-agency metaphysics of ‘free-market choice’. It is the individual consumer who chooses the system.
Again we revert to the individual human character as responsible for the system disorder – although, in fact, the consumer’s desires are operantly conditioned into preferences (why far more money is spent on pervasive advertisements than on research or health); the conditions of production are ruled out oftrade regulations and rights (why ‘race to the bottom’ worker and environmental standards occur); and almost consumer or citizen remotely chooses that societies must compete to lower taxes to the rich, abolish public scrutiny and enforcement of environment and consumer thazards, and have their elected representatives decided by invisible corporate lobbies and money manipulators.
Human nature? Genes? Consumer choice? The cover-up culture has many levels.
All the argument forms analysed above share one feature. They locate responsibility in individual agency.This is the dominant metaphysics of Western civilization, and why we have such a problem today recognizing the collective system derangement.
In fact, we are continuously misled from understanding and knowing the collective causal mechanism of the Great Disorder as a central function of it – to divert blame, responsibility and social action from the inherited but cumulatively pathological misrule from the top which threatens life on Earth itself.
Only one diagnostic model fits all of the depredatory phenomena across organic, social and ecological life hosts.It is not ‘human nature’ or ‘genes’ or ‘the anthropocene’, or too few ‘nice/kind’ individuals, or ‘consumer choice’.
The true causal mechanism of all the one-way degenerate trends of this cumulatively omnicidal disorder is a highly invasive private financial cancer metastasizing across societies and global life organization.
Prof. John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and author of the three-volume study, Philosophy and World Problems of UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). His works are translated across continents, and his last book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure.
The original source of this article is Global Research
This exclusive interview for GRTV features one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear advocates, Dr. Helen Caldicott, addressing the threat of a deliberate or accidental nuclear war 73 years after the first nuclear device was used on a human population.
Dr. Caldicott discusses the recent revelation of personnel responsible for safe-guarding hundreds of missiles with nuclear payloads also operating an LSD ring. She also talks about the consequences of a nuclear exchange, some close calls in the past, and what Canadians can reasonably do to eliminate or at least reduce the threat.
Dr. Helen Caldicott is an author, physician and one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigners. She helped re-invigorate the group Physicians for Social Responsibility, acting as President from 1978-1983. Since its founding in 2001, she has served as President of the U.S. based Nuclear Policy Research Institute, later called Beyond Nuclear, which initiates symposia and educational projects aimed at informing the public about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war. She was the subject of the 1982 Academy Award-winning documentary short ‘If You Love This Planet.‘ Her latest book: ‘Sleep-Walking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihiliation‘ featuring some of the world’s leading nuclear scientists and thought leaders addressing the political and scientific dimensions of today’s nuclear war threat.
More resources on how to support the movement to abolish nuclear weapons available at the site http://www.icanw.org
Transcript – Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, August 15, 2018
Global Research: I wanted to start our conversation with a recent article that you wrote in relation to a rather shocking incident. They found out that a number of airmen from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming had been implicated in operating an LSD drug ring. One of the implicated personnel said that he had been feeling… had these feelings of paranoia and fear, and another one said he could not have responded in the wake of a nuclear security emergency.
So, I know that you’ve looked into the stringent protocols or the rigorous… supposedly rigorous protocols that are supposed to guard against any kind of a tragic accident resulting. I have to know, were you surprised by this incident, or is this maybe consistent with what you’d already known. Was this…something like this sooner or later going to happen?
Helen Caldicott: I was shocked, but not surprised.
There are two men in each missile silo. There are 450 missile silos, and in each missile called a Minuteman because they have minutes to decide whether to launch or not, are three hydrogen bombs. The two men are aged 17 to 26. They’re like Pavlovian dogs. Yes sir, no sir, press the button sir. Each is armed with a pistol. One shoots the other if one shows signs of deviant behaviour, one of the deviant ones shoots the other one.
There are two locks 12 feet apart, so that one man can’t turn both keys. But I worked out that if you tie a key to one string, one man can turn both locks. They’re very — oh and they run by floppy disks, if you please, and often the telephones don’t work. They get very bored down there they go to sleep down there. One of the girlfriends of the Missileers told me years ago that they take drugs before they go down there. So I was shocked at the extent at the drug-taking but not surprised. They’re fallible human beings, and the job they have is one of the most boring you can imagine except that they’re ready to blow up the Earth with a three-minute lead time.
GR: Yeah, I mean, even in a country that prides itself on its belief in their… the right to bear arms, I think that even they understand you don’t hand over to somebody who’s compromised that way a loaded gun, and these Minuteman missiles are a hell of a loaded gun. That being said, however, I feel the need to remind our viewers that these individuals were not accused of having been compromised while on duty, and there was a quote from an Air Force spokesman, Uriah L Orland, and he stated, and I quote, “There are multiple checks to ensure Airmen who report for duty are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are able to execute the missions safely, securely and effectively.” Now, you are in a physician in addition to being a … having studied these facilities. Should the public be reassured by these sorts of statments?
HC: Not at all. Absolutely not at all. Because drugs can hang around for many, many hours and sometimes days. So, and they’re known to take cocaine and marijuana and all sorts of other things, so, no I’m not reassured in any way. Why he said to securely carry out their mission, and their mission is to destroy life on the planet. I mean the whole thing is absolutely insane and obscene, and no one really questions what it’s all about. And we’re closer to nuclear war now according to many people in the know than we were during the height of the Cold War, particularly with Donald Trump in charge, and he gets 3 minutes to decide whether or not to destroy the Earth. And there’s always an officer walking behind him with a big suitcase called the football, and in the football are the codes to start a nuclear war.
He has three options. One is ‘counterforce’, and that is to point the missiles at all the missile silos in Russia, and hence ‘win’ the nuclear war. That’s a Pentagon term because everyone’s going to die of radiation sickness, and the missiles almost certainly will be launched in Russia before they’re attacked. Then there’s ‘countervalue’ and that is to bomb all the cities in Russia, which is just obscene. And then there’s ‘counterforce and countervalue’. So they’re the three options: cities, missiles, silos or seas plus missile silos
Because the Russians don’t want to lose a nuclear war, in other words have their missiles bombed while they’re still in their silos, they have to drop two hydrogen bombs on each missile silo within a very specified space of time, because you can get ‘fratricide’ and that is all the debris blown up by the first bomb would destroy the other incoming bomb.
The Russians don’t like this idea at all, so they’ve dug a big cave in the Ural Mountains, and they have put in there a rocket called the ‘Dead Man’. And it is to be launched, if, in fact, they see the missiles coming from America. And all this takes half an hour to go from where to go. And up goes that missile, and it sends a radio message to every single missile in Russia to launch. So nuclear war then would be in the hands of a computer only and no human.
Now, America’s plan is to fight and win a nuclear war, and that’s still a plan, and Canada is still part of that because you’re part of NATO. And the way you ‘win’ the nuclear war is first you decapitate Moscow. That means you destroy Putin so he can’t press his button. And then you land your two hydrogen bombs on each missile silo, and you’ve ‘won’ the nuclear war.
The fact is that they’ve… It only takes a thousand hydrogen bombs on a hundred cities to cause nuclear winter and the end of life on earth when a huge, huge cloud of toxic black smoke rises up to the stratosphere and circles the earth with a cloud so thick it blocks out the sun for up to 10 years and starts a new Ice Age. And everything and everyone will freeze to death in the dark. Of the 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, Russia and America own 94 per cent. So the real terrorists in the world, the actual terrorists, are Russia and America, because only those countries can destroy life on earth.
And after all, why is America not liking Russia now? Russia is now capitalist. What’s it all about? It’s not communist. And so they interfered in American elections? America has interfered, I think, in 80 elections since the end of the second world war, including killing people and the like. So they’re such hypocrites! But Canada goes along with it. And I was able to spend a whole lunch time with Pierre Trudeau, talking about the fact that America was testing cruise missiles in Canada. And I was able to convince him, because of his intense love for his boys, to start the five continent six-nation peace initiative. So Canada has done some good things, but by God, do you need to do some, you need to stand aside like New Zealand, and get out of NATO and not be part of the American plan to blow up the world. In other words, you’re guilty.
GR: Yeah. I’d like to return to Russia just for the moment. Because, as you know, in March, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had announced in his State of the Federation speech a new class of weapons, a hypersonic missile, the SARMAT. They have these deep underwater drones that defy being tracked. And basically, the context of all that was saying, hey we know you’ve got these anti-ballistic missiles and other strategies, but we have the ability to overcome that. So it is essentially, what some analysts are saying, is that Mutual Assured Destruction, MAD is back, and that they’re sending the message that you can’t attack Russia. You will be obliterated. So, I wanted to get your take on that.
HC: Well, of course you’re, of course you’ll be obliterated. Because if America starts attacking Russia, and, as I say, the missiles take only 30 minutes to go from launch to land, and the Russians pick up the attack, although their satellites are not working because they’ve got a over the horizon radar which isn’t as accurate and doesn’t give them early warning, just the last few minutes, but they will launch their missiles anyway, and that will be the end of life on Earth. I mean all this sort of Pentagon-Russian jargon coming from the military analysts and the military scientists is absolute rubbish.
And what I really can’t understand is why, why the Earth, or the humans are spending so much on killing and the military when in fact, there’s no threat to anyone really at all except to be annihilated, and it’s about empire isn’t it? America’s in many countries in Africa now with military operations… And it sees itself as a policeman of the planet, well we don’t want to be policed thank you very much. But, what I don’t understand this mad lunacy of killing and death, killing and death, killing and death, except it gives the corporations who make these weapons huge amounts of money. And it was Obama who agreed to spend 1.7 trillion dollars in the next 30 years replacing every single nuclear weapon, missile, ship, plane. And rebuild them all new ones, for what reason? No reason!
It’s sheer nuclear madness. It’s nuclear lunacy! And I don’t understand why people don’t talk more about it because, you know, we could have a nuclear war tonight. We really could. By accident, by design, by people hacking into the early warning system, which is – happens quite frequently, I mean, I actually do not know how it is that we’re still here.
GR: Could we touch on what you just mentioned there: that the possibility of an accidental nuclear war? Because I think a lot of people have the belief that there’s technology in place that… fail-safes, backup systems, so that we’re not going to accidentally mistake a flock of geese for a Russian ICBM or something like that. I mean, you mentioned floppy disks earlier. What can you tell us, maybe even invoking a specific example, about that… the unreliability of this technology to prevent an accident?
HC: Well, there is no way to prevent an accident. I’ll give you an example. In 19… God…I can’t remember the exact date. But America was going to launch a weather satellite from Norway, and that’s just near where the Trident submarines roam near Russia. And they told Russia that this was going to happen. They told the Kremlin. But the Kremlin lost the data because the Russians are a bit all over the place. I know from experience. And so, this missile went up with the weather satellite, and there was Yeltsin, a hardened alcoholic, like a bottle of vodka before breakfast. Korsakoff syndrome, whatever the case encephalopathy.
A badly damaged brain sitting there, and they opened the computer or the football for the first time in history. He had three generals standing over his shoulder, and he had three minutes to decide whether or not to press the button because they were sure they were under attack and a decapitation attack was occurring to take out Moscow. And the generals were saying, “press the button Mr. President!” “Press the button!” Three seconds before that three minutes elapsed, the missile veered off course, of course, because it was a weather satellite.
Now that’s just one, one example of many, many. I got to know Robert McNamara, who was the Secretary of Defense under Jack Kennedy, and he was in the Oval Office during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And he said to me, “Helen, you don’t know how close we came. To within 3 minutes. 3 minutes.” Now there are numerous numerous examples like that.
And it’s possible for a 16-year-old brilliant boy or girl, usually a boy because their frontal lobes aren’t as developed as girls at that age, to think it might be a hell of a good thing to, you know, plug into the Pentagon, blow up the planet. Why not? And I ask the computer specialist once at a college, why hasn’t it happened yet? And he said. “well they haven’t worked it out yet.”
There are over a thousand hackers into the Pentagon everyday. Not necessarily into the early warning system but hacking. And Russia, I mean I really don’t know how we’re still here. And then there are the nuclear hot points in my new book. Sleepwalking To Armageddon. My brother, Richard Broinowski, writes about the hot points. I mean, India and Pakistan could easily start a nuclear war between each other.
And that could initiate a global holocaust. Israel’s got over 200 hydrogen bombs, but I’m sure many more. And then they’re trying to make war with Iran. China’s got only 200 bombs, and they’re not very belligerent, that’s for sure. But America is being extremely belligerent with them, going into the China Sea with their big… their ships. And then there’s France, well I don’t know about France, and then there’s England and the only reason England’s got nuclear weapons is to replace its lost empire with nuclear weapons. So you know we’re on a very tenuous situation and nobody, but nobody, is talking about it! Everybody is in a state of manic denial, or is my daughter, who is a doctor said yesterday, “people are paralysed by their comfort.”
The way we unparalysed people, if you like, during the ’80s was just to describe the medical effect of a bomb dropping on a city. And I had an agent in Hollywood who worked for me with all the film stars, and put me on television all over the place, and in Canada and America. And we were able then to educate the majority of Americans about the medical consequences of nuclear war producing the final epidemic of the human race, and we had a million people in Central Park. I mean that was the second American Revolution. But then we got… We helped bring the Cold War to an end, and we all felt… thank God that’s over. Americans started talking about a peace dividend, you know they can spend all that money, trillions of dollars, on peace and health and education.
But the corporations behind everyone’s back just got going, Lockheed Martin in particular, and took over and just started making more and more weapons, and here we are. And the reason that it’s happening is that the people are uneducated. And as President Jefferson said, an informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion. I would suggest, Michael, that you play If You Love This Planet again on your television program because it’s only half an hour long, and that really breaks people’s psychic numbing and they get it. It’s an old fashioned film because the haircuts are different, but the data is actually still totally relevant.
GR: Now, I… I just want to note that in addition to the big mobilization we saw in New York City, right here in our hometown, my hometown of Winnipeg, we had huge demonstrations the same day, like 15 to 20 thousand people in a city of just over half a million. It was the biggest we’d seen in several decades. Now, we’re not seeing mobilizations, as you point out, anything comparing to that. But let’s suppose, and remember you’re talking to a Can– this is a Canadian show, let’s suppose that we can get people concerned. Now a lot of those same people will say, yeah let’s get rid of the nukes, let’s disarm, but what can we do about it? Canada is not a nuclear power. We don’t have any agency over what Trump and Putin do…
HC: Yeah, but you’re part of NATO. You’re part of NATO, and… and as such you’re part of the nuclear war apparatus, for sure. Now there is a law coming up at the United Nations to ban all nuclear weapons. 122 countries signed on out of 194. Of course, nuclear nations have not. But they need 50 countries to ratify it. And I think I’ve got nearly 10 countries now to make it law such that all nuclear weapons will be banned like landmines, and cluster bombs, and chemical weapons etc. So Canada can sign on to that and give America a big kick in the bum! [Laughter] To use an Australian expression. You have enormous power, and you’re right next to America. If you mobilize like New Zealand did when it banned nuclear-armed ships coming into its harbors from America, it had a huge effect in America. So you would make news you would support the ICAN ban against nuclear weapons in the United Nations and you would be one of the leaders. So do it. And play.. Get… see if you can, Michael, get If You Love This Planet replayed on CBC and, you know, your show and everything. And I don’t mind being interviewed again after that film plays.
GR: Okay! Well, we’ll see what we can do.
HC: There’s a plan! there’s a plan.
GR: Is there anything else you’d like to say? Just assuming we can get this video, get the Prime Minister Trudeau to see this film, anything else you’d like to say to him before…
HC: Well, Prime Minister Trudeau, should because he is the son of Pierre, who was sort of a kind of friend of mine, and I convinced Pierre over a lunch at the Prime Minister’s residence to do the five continents six-nation peace initiative. I’m sure he knows who I am, Justin, and I…I wouldn’t mind seeing him, but if he, if he could see that film again, I’m sure it would have a big impact on him. He’s got children he loves, he’s a fine young man, walks in the footsteps of his father who is a wonderful man. You’ve had some very good prime ministers in the past. Lester Pearson and others. Please stand tall and do what is required of you to help save the planet, Canadians.
GR: Dr. Helen Caldicott, thank you very much for your time.
HC: Thank you, Michael
The original source of this article is Global Research
According to an Oxfam report, of nearly 16,500 migrants, at least a quarter of them children had passed through Ventimiglia in the nine months to April.
Children crossing the border are being sexually exploited to pay for their safe passage into France from the Italian border, a report by Save the Children Italy, pointed out.
According to the report, the minors, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa are being forced to perform sexual acts if they aren’t able to pay the drivers around US$180 to cross the border, with some children even being offered food or shelter in return for the abuse. The charity says it has evidence of many such cases since the beginning of this year.
Raffaela Milano, the director of Italy-Europe programs at Save the Children, wrote in the report, “These are very young, and particularly at-risk girls, who are among the invisible flow of unaccompanied migrant minors in transit at the northern Italian border who, in an attempt to reunite with their relatives or acquaintances in other European countries, are deprived of the opportunity to travel safely and legally.”
The report pointed out that migrant children were also being sexually exploited in other parts of Italy, including Rome and the regions of Veneto, Abruzzo, and Marche, as well as the island of Sardinia.
The report indicated that between January 2017 and March 2018, over 1,900 girls had been sexually exploited across the region out of which at least 160 were children, with the rest recently reaching the age of 18 or were pretending to be adults.
“It is unacceptable that in our country children and adolescents end up in the network of unscrupulous exploiters,” added Milano, according to the Guardian.
Save the Children report follows an Oxfam report which first reported in June that French border police illegally sent migrant children back to Italy. They were accused of detaining children as young as 12 without food or water, cutting the soles off their shoes so they did not try to attempt the journey again, and stealing Sim cards from their mobile phones.
According to the Oxfam report, of nearly 16,500 migrants, at least a quarter of them children had passed through Ventimiglia in the nine months to April.
The situation in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia was further aggravated after a makeshift camp by the Roya river was dismantled earlier in April. Since then, migrant children had been forced to live on the streets in “degrading, promiscuous and dangerous conditions,” the report pointed out.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone