Sunday, December 23, 2018

timothy leary in the 1990s &/or how to talk nineteen to the dozen like a digital maniac even if you aren't

The great abyss inframince;
Crows in Berg (Inter) View & Pillage (for more see here);

"Leibniz saw in his binary arithmetic the image of Creation... He imagined that Unity represented God, and Zero the void... [And] alas! What was once hailed as a monument to monotheism ended in the bowels of a robot."
Laplace vs. Tobias Dantzig

"... [nous assistons à] la FRACTALISATION de l'étendue se doublant de celle des durées relatives à ce continuum d'une Histoire générale, en voie d'abolition instantanée..."
Paul Virilio
"... avec l'effraction de l'instant, la fractalisation du tempo historique, les nanochronologies de l'effet de réel entrouvrent la possibilité inouïe d'un dépassement de l'économique à l'avantage de l'astronomique..." 
Paul Virilio
"... le moment où la conscience opérant ce retour sur soi-même se révèle elle-même à elle-même et voit la production vouée à sa consumation est précisément celui où le monde de la production ne sait plus que faire de ses produit."

"Once again we are entering a phase of scientific development when pioneering investigations can be done by non-professionals... there are computers in millions of homes. There are more people with leisure than ever before."
Rupert Sheldrake 
"There are two experiences: One is movement in relation to other things; the other is the sense of flow. The movement of meaning is the sense of flow. But even in moving through space, there is a movement of meaning. In a moving picture, with twenty-four frames per second, one frame follows another, moving from the eye through the optic nerve, into the brain. The experience of several frames together gives you the sense of flow. This is a direct experience of the implicate order."
David Bohm as Gilles Deleuze's (interview)
"What's great about this country is that... President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke... A Coke is a Coke and no money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking... when Queen Elizabeth came here and President Eisenhower bought her a hot dog I'm sure he felt confident that she couldn't have had delivered to Buckingham Palace a better hot dog than that one he bought her for maybe twenty cents at the ballpark... Sometimes you fantasize that people who are really up-there and rich and living it up have something you don't have, that their things must be better than your things because they have more money than you. But they drink the same Cokes and eat the same hot dogs and wear the same ILGWU clothes and see the same TV shows... All this is really American."
Andy Warhol

"Let me quote the wise old drug experimenter, Thomas de Quincey: 'the machinery for dreaming and the imagination was not implanted for nothing'" (xii);
"It turns out that the brain is a galactic network of a hundred billion neurons" (xiv);
"Around 1900, physicists (Einstein, Heisenberg, etc.) demonstrated that the elements of all energy matter in the universe, out there or down here, consist of quanta of information. Light. During the Roaring 20th Century, the equations of quantum physics led to the development of quantum appliances that allowed humans to receive, process, and transmit electronic images. Telephone, cinema, radio, television, computers, compact discs, fax machines; suddenly humans were creating digital realities that were accessed on living-room screens. This universe of electronica signals, in which we now spend so much time, has been called Cyberia" (3);
"The advent of personal and interpersonal computers, digital editors, and audio-video gear (1976-90) turned the average American home into an electronic information center..." (7);
"Just before yesterday, around 1984, a combination of American creativity and Japanese precision suddenly mass-produced inexpensive, do-it-yourself home appliances for individuals to electronify, digitize, and transmit personal realities. Digital communication translates the recording of any sound or photograph of any image into clusters of quanta or fuzzy clouds of off/on information. Any image digitized by an individual human can then be flashed on telephone lines around the world inexpensively at light speed... The basic elements of the youniverse, according to quantum-digital physics, can be understood as consisting of quanta of information, bits of compressed digital programs. These elements of pure (0/1) information contain incredibly detailed algorithms to program potential sequences for fifteen billion years—and still running. These information-jammed units have only one hardware-external function. All they do is flash off/on when the immediate environment triggers a complex array of 'if-if-if-if... THEN!' algorithms" (14);
"In the cybernetic age now dawning, 'Digital Power to the People' provides everyone the inexpensive option to cast, script, direct, produce, and distribute his or her own movie. Custom-made, tallorized, in the convenient sizes—mammoth, giant, regular, and byte-sized mini" (16);
"The equipment used by this family costs less than a standard 1990 television set, that pathetic junk-food spud-box with no power to store or process electronic information" (19);
"Nothing from our rich, glorious past will be eliminated... we will drive cars, as we now ride horses, for pleasure" (20);
"The film industry's never been able to do anything with Gravity's Rainbow" (27);
"Hesse was hanging out in Basel, home of Paracelsus" (30);
"Computers will not replace real people. They will replace middle and low-level bureaucrats" (33);
"The human brain has a hundred billion neurons, and each neuron has the knowledge-processing capacity of a powerful computer. The human brain has more connections than there are atoms in the universe" (35);
"Much of Steve Job's astounding success in developing the Apple and the Mac was explicitly motivated by his crusade against IBM, seen as the archenemy of the 1960s counterculture" (40); 
"Physicists are traditionally assigned the task of sorting out the nature of reality. So it was Eistein, Planck, Heisenberg, Bohr, et. al, who figured out that the units of energy/matter were subatomic particles that zoom around in clouds of ever-changing, off-on, 0-1, yin-yang probabilities" (45);
"Next time you boot up your Mac, breathe a word of gratitude to Emerson, Stein, Yeats, Pound, Huxley, Beckett, Orwell, Burroughs, Gysin—all of whom succeeded in loosening social, political, religious linearities, and encouraging subjectivity an innovative reprogramming of chaotic realities... Imagine what James Joyce could have done with MS Word or a CD-ROM graphic system or a modern data base! Well, we don't have to imagine—he actually managed to do it using his own brainware" (47);
"People spend more time gazing at electrons than they do gazing into the eyes of their loved ones, looking into books, scanning other aspects of material reality. Talk about applied metaphysics! Electronic reality is more real than the physical world. This is a profound evolutionary leap. It can be compared to the jump from ocean to the shoreline..." (48);
"Perceptive observers realized that Orwell's nightmare of a Big-Brothers society was too optimistic. In 1984 the authoritarian state used television to spy on citizen. The actuality is much worse: citizens docilely, voluntarily lining themselves up in front of the authority box, enjoying the lethal, neurological fast food dished out in technicolour by Newspeak. Visionary prophets like Marshall McLuhan understood what was happening. He said, 'The medium is the message.' Never mind about the junk on the screen" (49);
"'Cyberpunk is, admittedly, a risky term. Like all linguistic innovations, it must be used with a tolerant sense of high-tech humor. It's a stopgap, transitional meaning-grenade thrown over the language barricades to describe the resourceful, skillful individual who accesses and steers knowledge-communication technology towards his/her own private goals, for personal pleasure, profit, principle, or growth" (67);
"The cyberpunk code: Think for yourself, question authority (TFYQA)" (69);
"This global youth movement cannot be discussed in the terms of politics or sociology or psychology. We are dealing with a new, post-Darwinian, genetic science" (71).
"Psychedelic concepts like glasnost and perestroika are based on the common-sense principles of quantum physics—relativity, flexibility, singularity" (73).
"Countercultures go back at least as far as Hermes Trimegistus, and include Socrates, Dada, Gurdjief, and Crowley" (74).
"The stated purpose of the student in Tien Men Saquare in June 1989 was to brig the 1960s to China"(76).
"The Chinese students want something that is not mentioned by Marx or Margaret Thatcher... Gorbachev was dismayed to find that many Soviet youth, given freedom of the press, were more interested in UFOs, punk rock, astrology, and hashish than in political issues" (76).
"Just as the USSR and the U.S. controlled the world for forty years by distributing weapons to every compliant dictatorship, now Japanese and Silicon Valley companies are liberating the world with an endless flood of electronic devices designed for individuals" (77).
"But 'think for yourself' (TFYQA) does not mean 'think selfishly. It means 'think independently' (90).
"I don't care what people think as long as they have thought for themselves. So if you end up a Republican, right wing, it's okay with me, as long you have done it having had a gourmet, a connoisseur's selection of all the options. As long as you haven't done it out of fear or laziness" (90). 
***Everything from Timothy Leary's Chaos & Cyber Culture (Berkeley: Ronin, 1994/2014);

See also:
5G?! get real...
Facebook community, nudity;
The Doors of Perception & the learned foolery of research;
- Desubicarse (Lucrecia Martel);
- Godard's Sympathy for the Devil;
- Cinema Novo's Judgment Day;
And also:
The House that Jack's Built's simple equation;
Nature's Horror and Grand Style in Lars von Trier's Antichrist;
- ERRATA list for "Narrative Outbreak in Contemporary Conflict Cinema: A Case Study of Steve McQueen’s Hunger";- "Narrative Outbreak in Contemporary Conflict Cinema: A Case Study of Steve McQueen’s Hunger";
Beyond Subjectiveness: Non-Realism and Ontology in Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park;
- The Blindness of Meirelles;

Thursday, December 13, 2018

5G?! internet of things & the crap... (AI Debunked &/or Your Own Titanic Odessa's steps)

Raffaello Santi's Angelo (1500-1501), Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon (1902);
Katja Kolm and Maria Dragus in Barbara Albert's Mademoiselle Paradis &/or Mesmer against Society of the Ugly Wigs (Austria/Germany, 2017), Tiziano Vecellio's Amor Sacro e Amor Profano (1514);
***For more invitations & photography see here;
James Bridle (from the Youtube & Verso website);
The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy (Vice & Jeremy Rifkin); 
Mary Robinson & Vandana Shiva: The Injustice of Climate Change (Oxford Climate Society);
Vandana Shiva Calls War On Bill Gates: Valhalla Movement Network;
Why renewables can’t save the planet (TEDx Talk & Michael Shellenberger);
Michael Moore, filmmakers respond to criticism (Planet of the Humans) (The Hill); 
Miguel Nicolelis' interview to Ricardo Cavallini;

"... and I just couldn't stop looking at her, because I was so fascinated-but-horrified. Her hands kept crawling, they couldn't sleep, they couldn't stay still..."
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
"It seems the electronic brain went berserk playing six-dimensional chess with the Technician and released every subject in the Reconditioning Center."
William S. Burroughs

"Even more curious than the wearing of mountains of artificial hair was the use of powder. This certainly did not originate with Louis XIV, who disapproved of it..."
"Hats, strangely enough, were worn indoors and even at dinner."
"The extreme width of women's dresses at this period was the cause of some inconvenience, since it was impossible for two ladies to pass through a door side by side or even sit on the same couch."
"George Colman the Younger describes a contemporary headdress: 'A towering toupee pulled up all but by the roots and strained over a cushion on the top of her head, formed the centre of the building; tiers of curls served for the wings; a hanging chignon behind defended her occiput like a buttress; and the whole fabric was kept tight and water proof by a quantity of long single and double black pins.'"  
"The cushion was a pad stuffed with tow, wool or horsehair, and because it induced headaches, it was later replaced by a wire frame over which the natural hair was drapped, with false hair added. The whole was plastered with pomatum and covered with white powder. Such a structure, which sometimes remained untouched for months, soon became the resort of vermin, and the little ivory claws on the end of a long stick which antique dealers still refer to as 'back scratchers' were really made to insert into the headdress in an endeavour to relieve the intolerable itching. The headdress was sometimes crowned with the most fantastic objects: a ship in full sail, a windmill with farm animals grouped about it, a garden with real or artificial flowers." 
James Laver (Costume and Fashion)

"So my relation to the Sex Pistols was a direct link to that existential angst-ridden early motive... By the dawn of the seventies, the philosophy was that you couldn't do anything without a lot of money. So my philosophy was back to, 'Fuck you, we don't care if we can't play and don't have very good instruments, we're still doing it because we think you're all a bunch of cunts. I think that's what really created the anger—the anger was simply about money, that the culture had become corporate, that we no longer owned it and everybody was desperate to fucking get it back."
Malcolm McLaren (Please Kill Me)
"Everyone's telling Debbie she's gonna be the next Farrah Fawcett, and she was saying that she didn't want to be Farrah Fawcett. All she wanted to do was sing."
James Sliman (Please Kill Me)
"They give this stuff to us just to keep us stoned, I don't even want it. You fucking take it. They just keep giving it to us! That's all the fucking guys give us! They want, they want, they want, and for that they give us this shit! James, this is for you, I don't even want it, my hotel room is full of it."
Blondie/James Sliman (Please Kill me)

"It is happening now, an evolutionary advance that needed only the practical mapping of the nervous system onto digital memory. It would be the master thrust of cyber-capital, to extend the human experience toward infinity as a medium for corporate growth and investment, for the accumulation of profits and vigorous reinvestment"
(ironic—DeLillo, Cosmopolis)
"... la quotidienneté d'une période marquée par la précarité et l'instabilité du tempo des collectivités locales en proie à l'effroi causé par les dégâts d'un progrès technologique interactif qui n'est jamais que celui d'un délirant empressement, voir d'un emportement collectif qui n'est autre que celui d'une panique soudain devenue pandémique, occasionnée par l'effet de réel d'une accélération de l'information..."
Paul Virilio
"... what happens in today’s society, with its decline of the Master-Signifier and the rise of consumption, is the exact obverse: the basic fact is the loss of symbolic identity, what Eric Santner called the ‘‘crisis of investiture,’’ and what we get in exchange for this loss is that we are all bombarded with forms and gadgets of enjoyment... The key point here is that the expert rule of ‘biopolitics’ is grounded in and conditioned by the crisis of investiture; this crisis generated the ‘post-metaphysical’ survivalist stance of the Last Men, which ends up in an anemic spectacle of life dragging on as its own shadow."
Slavoj Zizek
"Je vous confirme que ledit Foyer Médico-Psychologique (FMP) est en pleine crise maintenant, 'comme d'hab'... Les crédits diminuent, plus personne ne veut devenir psychiatre, on manque d'infirmières, et nos locaux surpeuplés débordent de patients aux pathologies innommables, si l'on suit les découpages des enquêtes et autres évaluations délirants dont nous assomment des technocrates déments aux commandes d'une société qui préfère ignorer que la folie existe..."
Sylvia Leclercq (Thérèse mon amour)

"Malgré les secours que quelques cuistres célèbres ont apportés à la sottise naturelle de l'homme, je n'aurais jamais cru que notre patrie pût marcher avec une telle vélocité dans la voie du progrès. Ce monde a acquis une épaisseur de vulgarité qui donne au mépris de l'homme spirituel la violence d'une passion."
Charles Baudelaire (Préface des Fleurs)
"Il est encore une erreur fort à la mode, de laquelle je veux me garder comme de l'enfer. — Je veux parler de l'idée du progrès... Cette idée grotesque, qui a fleuri sur le terrain pourri de la fatuité moderne, a déchargé chacun de son devoir, délivré toute âme de sa responsabilité, dégagé la volonté de tous les liens que lui imposait l'amour du beau: et les races amoindries, si cette navrante folie dure longtemps, s'endormiront sur l'oreiller de la fatalité dans le sommeil radoteur de la décrépitude... Demandez à tout bon Français ce qu'il entend par progrès, il répondra que c'est la vapeur, l'électricité et l'éclairage au gaz, miracles inconnus aux Romains..."
Charles Baudelaire (Exposition uiverselle)

"Mais alors, n'est-ce pas que ces éléments, tout ce résidu réel que nous sommes obligés de garder pour nous-mêmes, que la causerie ne peut transmettre même de l'ami à l'ami, du maître au disciple, de l'amant à la maîtresse, cet ineffable qui différencie qualitativement ce que chacun  a senti et qu'il est obligé de laisser au seuil des phrases où il ne peut communiquer avec autrui qu'en se limitant à des points extérieurs communs à tous et sans intérêt, l'art, l'art d'un Vinteuil comme celui d'un Elstir, le fait apparaître, extériorisant dans les couleurs du spectre la composition intime de ces mondes que nous appelons les individus, et que sans l'art nous ne connaîtrons jamais? Des ailes, un autre appareil respiratoire, et qui nous permissent de traverser l'immensité, ne nous serviraient à rien. Car si nous allions dans Mars et dans Vénus en gardant les mêmes sens, ils revêtiraient du même aspect que les choses de la Terre tout ce que nous pourrions voir..."
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, La Prisonnière)

"On entre avec les Tarahumaras dans un monde terriblement anachronique et qui est un défi à ce temps. Mais j'ose dire que c'est tant pis pour ce temps et non tant pis pour les Tarahumaras."
"... en présence d'une race comme celle-là, nous pouvons par comparaison conclure que c'est la vie moderne qui se trouve en retard par rapport à quelque chose et non pas les Indiens Tarahumaras qui seraient en retard relativement au monde actuel. Ils savent que tout pas en avant, toute facilité acquise par la domination d'une civilisation purement physique implique aussi une perte, une régression... Les vraies traditions ne progressent pas puisqu'elles représentent le point le plus avancé de toute vérité."
A. Artaud (Trois textes à propos des Tarahumaras)

"[Ein wohlgerathner Mensch] reagirt auf alle Art Reize langsam, mit jener Langsamkeit, die eine lange Vorsicht und ein gewollter Stolz ihm angezüchtet haben, — er prüft den Reiz, der herankommt, er ist fern davon, ihm entgegenzugehn."
"... das Leben krank an diesem entmenschten Räderwerk und Mechanismus, an der 'Unpersönlichkeit' des Arbeiters, an der falschen Ökonomie der 'Theilung der Arbeit'. Der Zweck geht verloren, die Cultur: — das Mittel, der moderne Wissenschafts-Betrieb, barbarisirt..."

"The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces... She asked me I was going to Araby... I could not find any sixpenny entrance and, fearing that the bazaar would be closed, I passed in quickly through a turnstile, handing a shilling to a weary-looking man... Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger."
"... comment ne pas voir que les seuls esclaves ce sont les adorateurs du progrès matériel. Qu'ils soient riches ou pauvres, communistes ou fascistes; qu'ils s'appellent Monsieur de Wendel ou Madame ta concierge, Monsieur Marx ou Madame Mussolini, mais mon vieux! ils aiment tous la même merde."
André Masson (Lettre à Georges Bataille, 8 novembre 1935)

"This society has produced all sorts of discoveries and technology, but if it leads to destruction, either through war or through devastation of natural resources, then it will have been the least successful society that ever existed."
David Bohm (interview)
"... if particle physics was solved then there was nothing left for high energy physics theorists to do. Unwilling to pack their bags and leave the field... [they] began to look around for a new far-out cult to believe in... many made their offerings at the shrine of grand unification..."
Andrew Pickering
"If the momentum of science gets absorbed into technology, we end up with 'extended present.' A technical product, as everybody expects, has to fulfil the purpose implemented in its construction. It is first and foremost an answering machine..."
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger
"... nothing succeeds like success..."
Maxim (quoted by Hacking, Why is there philosophy of Mathematics at all)
"... c'est un fait que les faibles triomphent; c'est même l'essence du fait..."
Deleuze, Nietzsche et la philosophie

"... aucun progrès ne permet d'ignorer que jamais, en chiffre absolu, jamais autant d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants n'ont été asservis, affamés ou exterminés sur la terre."
Jacques Derrida, Spectres de Marx
"Faire partager le bien-être aux ouvriers qui l'on produit? — bien sûr, mais le vrai bien-être ce serait peut-être autre chose qu'une salle de bains, une auto ou un briquet à ressort — ce serait peut-être de fabriquer moins d'objets inutiles et affreux."
André Masson (Letre a Charles Bataille, 6 octobre 1935)
"Felicità Eterna is a resplendently beautiful, blonde young woman whose nudity denotes her contempt for perishable earthly things... Felicità Breve is a lady whose dress yellow and white signifies satisfaction. She is adorned with precious stones and holding a vessel full of gold and gems." 
"Quando as pessoas pensam em consumo, às vezes pensam em consumismo, como se o crescimento do consumo se refletisse no que é supérfluo. Isso ignora a realidade do Brasil, a miséria de milhões de pessoas excluídas do mercado consumidor e que têm um padrão de vida muito mais baixo do que seria digno. Quando essas pessoas não estão gastando todo o dinheiro que ganham para se alimentar, tendem a consumir mais coisas. Um cabeleireiro, cultura, restaurante, serviços. Bens essenciais para que passem do nível da pobreza. São eletrodomésticos básicos, geladeiras, celulares. As pessoas olham para esse período de redistribuição de renda na base [durante o governo Lula], que teve muito esse consumo, e acham que isso é condenável. Eu acho que isso é parte sim do que a economia brasileira precisa para ser retomada, o que não não significa que eu defenda o modelo de capitalismo mundial, que fica incentivando a troca de bens tecnológicos. São coisas diferentes."
Laura Carvalho (Revista Trip)

Artificial Intelligence (i. e.  Mechanical Bêtise/Unvernunft) Debunked:

twenty years later, this should sound like a collection of platitudes, but it really doesn't:
"The human nervous system does not process any information (in the sense of discrete elements existing ready-made in the outside world, to be picked up by the cognitive system), but interacts with the environment by continually modulating its structure... certain tasks should never be left to computers..."
"'... those of us who have contributed to the new science of cybernetics... stand in a moral position which is, to say the least, not very comfortable. We have contributed to the initiation of a new science which embraces technical developments with great possibilities for good and for evil... Let us remember that the automatic machine is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor' [Norbert Wiener, 1946]..."
"... computers and the many other information technologies developed in the meantime are rapidly becoming autonomous and totalitarian, redefining our basic concepts and eliminating alternative worldviews... all forms of culture are being subordinated to technology, and technological innovation, rather than the increase in human well-being, has become synonymous with progress..."
"This spiritual impoverishment and loss of cultural diversity through excessive use of computers is especially serious in the field of education... the powerful computer industry... encourages teachers to use computers as educational tools at all levels... The use of computers in schools is based on the now outdated view of human beings as information processors, which continually reinforces erroneous mechanistic concepts of thinking, knowledge, and communication. Ideas are integrating patterns that derive not from information but from experience..."
"In the computer model of cognition... language is seen as a conduit through which 'objective' information is communicated. In reality... language is metaphoric, conveying tacit understandings shared within culture. In this connection it is also important to note that the language used by computer scientists and engineers is full of metaphors derived from the military—command, escape, fail-safe, pilot, target, and so on—which introduce cultural biases, reinforce stereotypes, and inhibit certain groups..."
"... when an animal is study while it is awake and behaving... its neural responses can no longer be interpreted in terms of stage-by-stage information processing... the most ordinary visual tasks, even by tiny insects, are done faster than is physically possible when simulated sequentially...  a shift in focus, from symbols to connectivity, from local rules to global coherence... from information processing to emergent properties of neural networks... nonlinear mathematics... the living system also specifies which perturbations from the environment trigger [structural changes]... even a bacterial brings forth a world of warmth and coldness, of magnetic fields and chemical gradients... Francisco Varela describes cognition as embodied action..."
****Everything from Fritjof Capra's The Web of Life (1998, p. 68-71, 265-68).

"A fair amount of recent philosophy of mind and cognitive science has emphasized the non-conceptual or aconceptual aspect of the human mind... For a physicalist it is natural to ask what the proposed physical or computational concomitants of such aconceptual mental processes might be. Connectionist models are one candidate for the computational concomitants. But, as e.g. Pauli Pylkkö [The Aconceptual Mind: Heideggerian Themes in Holistic Naturalism, 1998] has pointed out, these are (mostly) mechanically computable and thus deterministic. They are thus an implausible candidate to be the physical aspect of a truly non-mechanical level of aconceptual mental processes," Paavo Pylkkänen's "Fundamental Physics and the Mind – Is There a Connection?" (in H. Atmanspacher's, C. Bergomi's, T. Filk's, K. Kitto's, Quantum Interaction 2014: 8th International Conference, Filzbach, Switzerland, June 30 - July 3, 2014);

Preposterous (if not plainly stupid) arrogant passages in Marvin Minsky's Society of Mind (which has also some brilliant insights): 
"It really is amazing how certain sciences depend upon so few kinds of explanations. The science of physics can now explain virtually everything we see, at least in principle, in terms of how a very few kinds of particles and force-fields interact [why is this preposterous? see for instance here]."
"In physics [?], we're used to explanations in terms of perhaps a dozen basic principles."
"We're often told that certain wholes are 'more than the sum of their parts.' We hear this expressed with reverent words like 'holistic' and 'gestalt', whose academic tones suggest that they refer to clear and definite ideas [?]. But I suspect the actual function of such terms is to anesthetize a sense of ignorance."
"... the word life has already lost most of its mystery, at least for modern biologists [?], because they understand so many of the important interactions among the chemicals in cells [?]."
"... only in logic and mathematics do definitions ever [?] capture concepts perfectly."
"A common [?] concept of the soul is that the essence of a self lies in some spark of invisible light, a thing that cowers out of body [?], out of mind [?], and out of sight [?]."
"We make ourselves behave by exploiting [?] our own fears and desires, offering ourselves rewards, or threatening the loss of what we love."
"... How can you tell which beliefs are true? How can you tell what is good? These questions seem different on the surface, but all of them share one quality that makes them impossible to answer: all of them are circular [?]!"
"A thing with no parts provides nothing that we can use as pieces of explanation."
"... the mind has merely found some secondary pathway in the brain, through which one can mechanically dislodge each doubt and difference from its rightful place! This may be what happens in some of those experiences that leave a person with a sense of revelation..."
"... to offer hospitality to paradox is like leaning toward a precipice. You can find out what it is like by falling in [?], but you may not be able to fall out again."
"... a mind that wats to change itself could benefit from knowing how it works. But such knowledge might as easily encourage us to wreck ourselves [?]... Just see how everyone [?] is entranced by any promise to transgress the bounds of normal pleasure and reward."
"Plants and streams don't seem very good at solving the kinds of problems we [?] regard as needing intelligence."
"An author's job [?] is using words the ways other people do, not telling other how to use them [?]."
"... it does help, philosophically, to replace our feeling of mystery about creativity by more specific and concrete questions about the efficiency [?] of processes."
"... memory can't really take us anywhere..."
"... making changes in your mind might only  make things worse! As people often say, 'You shouldn't argue with success.'"
"... it is no accident that there are no [?] exceptions to the rules in those mathematical worlds: there, we start with the rules [?] and imagine only objects that obey them [?]."
"How do the signals that come through those nerves give rise [?] to our sense of 'being in' the outside world? The answer is that this sense is a complicated illusion [?]."
"Artificial [?] realms like mathematics and theology are built [?] from the start to be devoid of interesting inconsistency [?]."
"If you can already play the piano well, it is easy to start playing the organ in the same way... the easiest course is to keep applying your old technique..."
"... there's little evidence that any of our adult memories really go way back to infancy..."
"... memory can't really bring things back..."
"... real-time experience is just as indirect [?]..."
"... we can design our new machines as we wish, and provide them with better ways to keep and examine records of their own activities—and this means that machines are potentially capable of far more consciousness than we are."
"On higher levels, we need protection against acquiring lethal goals like learning to suppress our other goals entirely—the way that certain saints and mystics do."
"In a sense, that's just what mathematics is—the quest for absolute consistency."
"Mary proceeds step by step, to construct a new version of p—call it q—inside her own mind."
"Our sense of constant contact with the world is not a genuine experience."
"What would a Martian visitor think to see a human being laugh? It must look truly horrible..."
"In certain sense, there's really nothing humorous about most jokes..."
"Minds share none of the usual properties of things, like colors, sizes, shapes, or weights."
"Whatever actions we may 'choose,' they cannot make the slightest change in what might otherwise have been—because those rigid, natural laws already caused the states of mind that caused us to decide that way. And if that choice was in part made by chance—it still leaves nothing for us to decide."
"... freedom of the will... we know it is false..."
***The brilliant insights (most of them are connected to the recognition of the architecture of thought processes, which operate interdependently, or also in parallel, like a multiplicity, and could be viewed as a real "bureaucracy of agents"; one should note, however, that multiplicity does not precludes unity, something that Minsky seems to ignore completely):
"We make our new ideas by merging parts of older ones—and that means keeping more than one idea in mind at once."
"... the kinds of mental states that this 'hierarchical' type of memory produces will be based more on stereotypes and default assumptions than on actual perceptions. Specifically, you will tend to remember only what you recognized at the time... These 'K-line memory-trees' lose certain kinds of details, but they retain more traces of the origins of our ideas."
"This policy of connecting new K-lines to old ones must be used in moderation. Otherwise no new agents would ever be included in our memories."
"Eventually, all of our knowledge-structures become entangled with various sorts of exceptions, shortcuts, and cross-connections."
"... hierarchies always end up getting tangled and disorderly because there are also exceptions and interactions to each classification scheme."
"As S-agents excite K-agents and vice-versa, a sort of spiraling activity would ensue. Overt time, the location of that activity might tend to drift upward or down and might also tend to spread out; without some control, the system might soon become chaotic."
"... the importance of Papert's conception is in emphasizing not merely the ingredients of reasoning, but how they're organized: a mind cannot really grow very much merely by accumulating knowledge..."
"Without a many layered management, we couldn't use the knowledge in our low-level agencies; they'd keep getting in one another's way."
"Many of our body joints can move in two independent directions at once... My hypothesis is that we do this by training little interaction-square agencies, which begin by learning something about each of the nine possible motion combinations."
"Genetically, the swarms of social ants and bees are really multibodied individuals whose different organs more around freely."
"... even inside the mind, no one really learns alone, since every step employs many things we've learned before, from language, family, and friends— as well as from our former Selves."
"... we often think in terms of causes, similarities, and dependencies. What do all these forms of thinking share? They all use different ways to make chains."
"Each serial connection makes a structure weaker, while each parallel connection makes it stronger."
"Something amazing happens when you go around a loop like this [diagram for the language-agency]!"
"... the significance of any agency's state depends on how it is likely to affect the states of other agencies."
"When we represent the agents this way, we see that they can all be simple evidence-weighing agents, only with different threshold values."
"... other agencies that share the same representation of location are likely to be forced to become engaged with the same object. Then this becomes the momentary 'it' of one's immediate concern."
"But what's an IT? The ability to focus attention could start with some machinery for keeping track of simples polynemes for object-things. In later stages, an IT could represent more complex processes or scripts that keep track of entire Trans-actions with their various pronomes for Objects, Origins, Destinations, Obstacles, Trajectories, and Purposes. Eventually our ITs develop into complex systems of machinery that represent the things that are 'on one's mind' at the moment..."
"Polynemes are permanent K-lines. They are long-term memories. Pronomes are temporary K-lines. They are short-term memories... One hypothesis would be that we don't really have temporary K-lines, but that after a pronome's K-line is used, it becomes permanent, and the pronome machinery gets connected to another, previously unused K-line. However this works, we know little about it..."
"Both isonomes and polynemes are involved with memories—but polynemes are essentially the memories themselves, while isonomes control how memories are used. Pronomes are a particular type of isonome;  there must also be 'interruption isonomes' that work similarly..."
"By learning to manipulate our isonomes, we become able to combine mental representations into structures that resemble bridges, chains, and towers."
"In English, almost every sentence form demands some sort of Actor noun—and I think this reflects the need to find a motive or a cause. Consider how we place that it in 'Soon it will begin to rain.' We are always chopping complex situations into artificially clear-cut chunks which we perceive as separate things."
"Humor must have grown along with our abilities to criticize ourselves, starting with simples internal suppressors that evolved into more sophisticated censors. Perhaps they then split off into B-brain layers that became increasingly able to predict and manipulate what the older A-brains were about to do. At this point, our ancestors must have started to experience what humanists call 'conscience.'"
"... our brain cells are all immersed in a liquid that conducts electricity, which means that every cell has at least a small effect on every other cell. If we tried to imitate your brain with a network of computer chips, many of those tiny interactions would be left out."
"... it can make sense to think there exists, inside your brain, a society of different minds."
"This suggests that certain pronomes can operate in several different realms at once. Let's call them 'paranomes' to emphasize their parallel activities."
"... other forms of metaphors are as complex as can be. In the end there is little to gain by cloaking them all under the same name 'metaphor,' because there isn't any boundary between metaphorical thought and ordinary thought."

From J. A. Scott Kelso's Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behaviour (MIT Press, 1995): 
"I resonate to the theme that concrete reality may, on the one hand, be represented in abstract and mathematical ways, and on the other, that mathematical concepts may achieve a kind of concrete reality. This is what I mean when I propose that the linkage across levels of description in complex systems is by virtue of shared dynamical principles... The sought-after oneness or globality of thought emerges, in my view, as a collective,  self-organized property of the nervous system coupled, as it is, to the environment."
"The conspicuous  lack of a one-to-one relationship between self-organized coordination patterns and the structures that realize them is a central feature of the present theory, and surely constitutes one of the basic differences between living things and mechanisms or machine."
"The cerebral cortex, it seems, does not plan its actions on the level of muscles. The self-assembly process appears to be spatially determined and hence far more abstract than the language of muscles."
"Talk about the need to identify relevant collective variables in complex systems! To measure every single biomechanical degree of freedom in the human mouth and the elephant's trunk would be impossible and irrelevant."
"The fact that speech perception is so robust is lucky for humans, who seem to extract the message no matter what, and has sparked a long and continuing search for the source of such invariance. To be blunt, no one has found this particular holy grail. Betty Tuller and I think that part is not all of the problem rests with the entire idea of invariance in language and speech."
"Articulatory gestures place constraints on what can be acoustically realized and perceived. The more we learn about these constraints the better we will understand the entire communicative act... we've seen, using our phase transition methodology, such collective variables encompass production, acoustics, and perception, and offer new light on the time-honored invariance issue."
"... the connection between relative coordination and intermittent dynamics suggests that biological systems tend to live near the boundaries separating regular and irregular behaviour. They survive best, as it were, in the margins of instability."
"Both relative and absolute coordination fall out of the broken symmetry version of the coordination dynamics."
"How is it that the will to act, from the setting up of the intention and its eventual realization by the muscles, takes longer than the reaction itself?"
"The full coordination dynamics—spontaneous coordination tendencies perturbed or forced by specific parametric influences (here, intention)—is an open informational unit, not a closed physical system acted on from the outside."
"Far from one thing changing, typically observed as improvement in a single task, I will present evidence that the entire attractor layout is modified and restructured, sometimes drastically, as a given task is learned. Learning doesn't just strengthen the memory trace or the synaptic connections between inputs and outputs; it changes the whole system."
"Returning to evolution itself and specifically the origin of species, I find exhilarating recent work that suggests that it is the dismantling of genotypic constraints, described by words such as 'internal balance' and 'genetic homeostasis,' that effects speciation."
"... the problem of perception is a kind of mirror image of the problem of action. Very large numbers of degrees of freedom are involved on both sides of the coin."
"... self-organizing principles lie at the level of patterns themselves, supported by a multitude of different kinds of material substrates and mechanisms."
"I stress the word tendency in contrast to pure mode locking, which if not wrong, is overly restrictive."
"Leyton and Sherrington demonstrated beautiful context sensitivity in the cortex. It's not a static keyboard playing out a 'motor program' at all. Localization depends on a history of stimulation. That history takes the form of hysteresis and multistability, predominant features of self-organized, nonlinear, dynamical systems."
"... not just one dynamic pattern was modified through learning, but the entire coordination dynamics or attractor layout was qualitatively and/or quantitatively changed."
"It can hardly be overemphasized that the patterns formed by the nervous system depend on environmental or task requirements. The brain does not exist in a vacuum, detached from context. If teh brain is intrinsically chaotic, possessing, by definition, an infinite number of unstable periodic orbits, it has the capacity to match an equally unpredictable environment."

Clipping & More:

'the colonisation of everyday life by information processing...'
'The internet of things isn’t a single technology. About all that connects the various devices, services, vendors and efforts involved is the end goal they serve: capturing data that can then be used to measure and control the world around us.'
'Ask restaurateurs and front-of-house workers what they think of OpenTable, for example, and you will swiftly learn that one person’s convenience is another’s accelerated pace of work, or worse. You’ll learn that restaurants offering reservations via the service are, according to the website Serious Eats, “required to use the company’s proprietary floor-management system, which means leasing hardware and using OpenTable-specific software”, and that OpenTable retains ownership of all the data generated in this way. You’ll also learn that OpenTable takes a cut on reservations per seated diner, which obviously adds up to a significant amount on a busy night.'
'... the largely preconscious valuations, priorities and internalised beliefs of the people who devised Google Home. As throughout the industry, that is a remarkably homogeneous cohort of young designers and engineers. But more important than the degree of similarity they bear to one another is how different they are from everyone else.'
'Internet-of-things devices are generally conceived by people who have completely assimilated services such as Uber, Airbnb and Apple Pay into their daily lives, at a time when figures from the Washington DC-based Pew Research Center suggest that a significant percentage of the population has never used or even heard of them.'
'...the main problem with the virtual assistant is that it fosters an approach to the world that is literally thoughtless, leaving users disinclined to sit out any prolonged frustration of desire, and ever less critical about the processes that result in gratification,' *****Rise of the machines: who is the ‘internet of things’ good for? (The Guardian) (if you read the entire article you are going to realize that Adam Greenfield's criticism is still greyfully & disgracefully mild, because definitely no, 'it wouldn't be foolish to dismiss' the internet of things' rhetoric out of hand, we should have done that already; it is just pseudo-innovation, it doesn't even make the best of what we have in AI, it doesn't improve the world, it doesn't give you more time, instead, it helps big corporations to keep things structurally the way they've been, stealing the little time you've been left with, stimulating your complacent laziness and passivity);

'The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering attempts to meet climate change targets and straining grids as demand by power-hungry server farms storing digital data from billions of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected devices grows exponentially.'
'The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions.'
'A 2016 Berkeley laboratory report for the US government estimated the country’s data centres, which held about 350m terabytes of data in 2015, could together need over 100TWh of electricity a year by 2020. This is the equivalent of about 10 large nuclear power stations.'
'The data will be stored in vast new one million square feet or larger “hyper-scale” server farms, which companies are now building. The scale of these farms is huge; a single $1bn Apple data centre planned for Athenry in Co Galway, expects to eventually use 300MW of electricity, or over 8% of the national capacity and more than the daily entire usage of Dublin. It will require 144 large diesel generators as back up for when the wind does not blow,' *****‘Tsunami of data’ could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025 (The Guardian) (cf. ''Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable,' The Guardian);

'Programmed to learn through trial and error, it shows just how difficult it is to teach a robot to complete a simple chore that we can do without thinking. This clumsy steel toddler may be at the cutting edge of AI and robotics, but here it struggles to even do the laundry. Domination by our robot overlords seems a safe way off.'
'Most of the domestic items on show... are seemingly geared towards the same end: saving us time [great! but why should we all have to live in such a tearing hurry first of all no one asks]... But these labour-saving devices have increasingly been revealed to be serving a different purpose: the collection of masses of monetisable data. Simply by going about our business in our voluntarily surveilled homes, we are unwittingly carrying out huge amounts of valuable market research for the tech companies and online retailers waiting to sell us more stuff,' *****Drunken droids and solar-powered shirts: what the smarthome will look like (The Guardian);

'With more than 6m CCTV cameras in the UK, and 420,000 in London, we are primed to think that facial recognition technology is like CCTV and any concerns are soothed by arguing that “if we have nothing to hide, we nothing to fear” and that it’s worth sacrificing privacy and civil liberties if it helps to catch criminals. This misses the dangers that this technology poses. It does not work as well on people with darker skins, women and children – well over half the population – who are at risk of being misidentified and having to prove their innocence. This violates a core tenet of living in a liberal democracy – that we are innocent until proved guilty,' *****Facial recognition is now rampant. The implications for our freedom are chilling (Stephanie Hare/The Guardian);

'A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a worker at a British private airport. “I see things that really shouldn’t be happening in 2019,” he wrote. Every day he sees Global 7000 jets, Gulfstream G650s and even Boeing 737s take off from the airport carrying a single passenger, mostly flying to Russia and the US. The private Boeing 737s, built to take 174 passengers, are filled at the airport with around 25,000 litres of fuel. That’s as much fossil energy as a small African town might use in a year. Where are these single passengers going?' *****For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

The Very Good News and/or when you realize people are not that stupid lazy bitches corporations take them to be (there should be more, but even The Guardian is only complacently critical, after all, what would be of voracious countries like ex-imperialist England without a global army of addicts and their unspeakable swarm of infantile-demential global gadgets?):

Parallel topics (on the total idiocy of the contemporary consumer, yes you get your glorious genetic physician together with trash food, so the 0,001% become richer & richer and everyone is a consummate imbecil totally lost in the void):
'... the profits in olive oil crime are, as one EU official puts it, "comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks", and the regulations less effective than at any time in the last two millennia.'
'They got rich on the back of the incomprehensible twist in European law that, until 2001, allowed any olive oil bottled in Italy to be sold as "Italian olive oil", which, absurdly, is what we all pay most for. In fact, even now 80% of the oil Bertolli uses comes from Spain, North Africa and the Middle East. It it is still flogged in bottles with "Lucca" and "Passione Italiana" on the label. Today, Italy still sells three times as much oil as it produces.'
'"Gentle", "smooth" and "not peppery on the throat" are the sort of words Bertolli and its rivals used in ads promoting their generic extra virgin oil. But true extra virgin oil is peppery – it bites the back of the throat so fiercely it can make you cough. The flavours are vivid.'
'But you could tell the same story of almost any artisan's product we put in our mouths, from bacon to cheddar cheese or smoked salmon. Industrial production techniques and the supermarket's tendency to strip out quality in order to give "value" will debase any foodstuff once it becomes popular to the point where the producer has to abuse his animals, sin against tradition or commit fraud in order to stay afloat,' Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller – review (The Guardian) (cf. Extra virgin '100% real' olive oil goes on sale in UK, The Guardian);

And just in case you don't wanna be the-next-plastic-homogeneous-hermetically-sealed-downright-stereotypical-immutable-imortal-unbreakable-impervious-doll:
'This newfound embrace of grey hair is, according to Prof Dr Carolyn Mair, who specialises in the psychology of fashion, an extension of the “anti anti-ageing movement that is taking hold”. She notes that “this outward display of self-acceptance and self-confidence brings a sense of empowerment and authenticity,' Glad to be grey: how women changed the debate on hair colour, (The Guardian);

What looks like an interesting book (unfortunately I didn't as yet read): '... we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age,' James Bridle's New Dark Age (Verso, 2018);

About Jeremy Rifkin & the so-called Third Industrial Revolution: 

"Overall, I found that Jeremy Rifkin's ideas are not ‘radically new’, but merely a new version the same old ‘more is better’ paradigm — more technology, more energy, more people, more jobs, more work, more impact, more control. There is an increasing number of people who disagree with this..."
"Many of the essential elements of a third Industrial Revolution (and the technology it requires, produces, and advocates) are REE’s, extracted from Rare Earth Minerals (REM’s) or obtained as a byproduct of mining metals like tin, zinc and copper. Despite their name, REM’s are quite common in the Earth’s crust, yet all but a few reserves are utterly inaccessible for us. Those REM’s (and several other crucial elements needed to produce any advanced technology) are indeed getting increasingly scarce, as easily accessible reserves are being depleted at record rates. The mining of mineral ore and the extraction of REE’s causes "severe environmental damage" and creates some of the most toxic chemical compounds known to mankind, as well as, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, a "tremendous amout" of solid waste. For each ton of REM’s mined, one ton (!) of radioactive waste is created, dwarfing the environmental impact of the much-criticized nuclear sector."
"Several major ecological catastrophes were directly caused by the mining and extraction of REE’s, such as the Samarco tailings dam collapse (2015) in Brazil or the silicon tetrachloride spill by a solar energy company in Henan province, China (2008), and, as implied by a  recent, peer reviewed estudy (paywall) in the prestigious journal Nature, there is no reason to believe that this risk is going to decrease if global demand rises as predicted by all involved scholars and institutions. The study finds that there is no less harmful way to extract, refine and process REE’s in sight, and that more environmental restrictions to limit pollution will inevitably lead to a soaring increase in the price of those essential elements (and concomitantly in all technological gadgets)" (A ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ Would Seal Our Fate — Why Jeremy Rifkin is Dead Wrong, Medium & David B Lauterwasser, April 30 2018);

"... what's happened here and this is really enormous — this year the cost of solar and wind, the levelized cost of scaled solar and wind has now plummeted below the cost of nuclear, below the cost of oil, below the cost of coal and now below the cost of natural gas. So what's happening is we're sitting on the biggest bubble in history — stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry — because now the cost of solar and wind are cheaper, it means all of the gas-fired power plants and the pipelines and the refineries and all the way to the gas stations are stranded assets. They will not amortize out..."
"... the digital communication internet has to join with an energy internet and a mobility internet. And we have to transform all the buildings to internet-of-things-smart platforms. Businesses don't do infrastructure. It is up to local governments and it's up to regional governments and national governments. They have to lay out the infrastructure to make possible the new business opportunities and the new jobs." 
"... all the money is there through public pension funds and other investments, they've all gotten out of fossil fuels but now the cities have to step up. The regions have to step up. Countries have to step up. Governments have to help lay out this infrastructure — involve their communities in this transformation and that's where the millions of new jobs will come from" (Taking a look at Jeremy Rifkin's 'The Green New Deal'DW & Malte Rohwer-Kahlman, 09/10/2019);

***Also, from Vandana Shiva's debate with Mary Robinson for Oxford Climate Society (see the video above): "... there are now scientists saying we should change the patterns or the colours of the clouds to reflect the sunlight back and engineer the climate, but they have no idea what else it would do because they never look at these things as a system. Sadly Bill Gates is a very big promoter of geoengineering. Second is genetic engineering. You can't genetically engineering your way out of the climate crises. Those salt-tolerant and flood-tolerant rices that we sale in our resource seed banks have helped farmers get back after every cycle. This has been evolved by nature and farmers over millennia. They aren't genetically engineered, they are pirated, their genome might be mapped. But the complexity of environmental resilient traces are in the plant that I use, not in the one gene that is extracted or the genome that is mapped... [And] even with the discourse on nature based solutions, there is the disease of offsetting... in a way, these false solutions are indulgences of the polluting corporate world, and if you look during the Kyoto protocol, emissions increased 15% and the polluters became much richer. That is of course a totally failed solution, carbon offsets... we can only address these foundational injustices by removing the colonisation paradigm and decolonising, getting rid of the fossil poor paradigm, including all the categories it creates, the category of productivity so fraudulent, because my work in agriculture has shown that when we work with nature, when we work with biodiversity, we can produce far more nutrition and food. We measured nutrition and health per acre, we could feed two times India by conserving the earth. We can heal the broken carbon and nitrogen cycles... so we do need to go deeper into science, but a science of ecology, a science of relationship. And through that we realize that when we do honest calculations everyone can live better. The people who live well today don't have to be called primitive and their economy destroyed. The people who have been trapped into the fossil age don't have to continue to be trapped... 100% of the lands should have gardens, pavements should have gardens, balconies should have gardens, schools should have gardens, and they'll give us more food, they'll regenerate biodiversity, they'll bring back the disappearing insects, but most importantly: many, many, many millions of gardens there together will have the capacity to drawn down nature's excess carbon and nitrogen and heal the cycles."

Some history, philosophy & child psychology: 

"... the big acceleration towards microelectronics did indeed begin with the invention of the integrated circuit, when at first small and later large circuits were formed on a single chip fo silicon. The net result was systems far larger and far more complex than could even have been dreamed of before..."
"The forerunner of today's devices was the point-contact transistor made by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at Bell Laboratories in December 1947, hailed by some as the most important invention of the 20th century..."
"Within ten years the transistor itself underwent massive changes and emerged in new applications in integrated circuits (ICs)..."
"... the key to the whole future of semiconductor work was the planar process developed by the new Fairchild Semiconductor Company from 1958 to 1960."
"... silicon integrated circuit... enabled miniaturization to be pushed to such limits that the essential components of a computer that would outperform ENIAc (one of the first digital electronic computers, which occupied a volume of over 100m3) could be held easily in one hand..."
"The U.S. military proved to be a major marked for electronics as well as a major source of finance as the nation went through the Cold War, the space race, and the Vietnam war."
"In twenty years the industry's most complex devices have changed from chips containing one component in 1959, to about 10 in 1964, about 1000 in 1969, about 32000 by the mid seventies, and around 250000 by the late seventies... Costs have also fallen dramatically... The industry may run out of adjectives if the trend continues, though some see signs that economic limits are being approached..."
"... electronic computers have given us undreamt of powers for 'number crunching' and logical manipulation..."
"... in 1843... Charles Babbage was at work designing an 'analytical engine,' the first design for a genuine computer. It was to be a full-scale, general-purpose mechanical computer with a memory, arithmetic unit, Jacquard-type punched cards for input and output, and card-controlled programs that allowed iteration and conditional branching... This machine was never built partly because of Babbage's hunt for perfection and partly because of the limitations of the mechanical engineering of the day; but the design incorporated the major features of today's digital computers except that they were to be achieved mechanically instead of by electronics... Lady Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, worked closely with Babbage and today is honoured with the title of the world's first computer programmer..."
"... digital computers are the successors to the abacus and Babbage's Analytical Engine..."
"Programming a computer involves breaking down the problem to be solved into small steps and then instructing the machine how to perform them. Around the time of the French Revolution a famous French engineer called M. R. de Prony, who is also remembered for his dynamometer, was given the task of calculating a vast set of mathematical tablets that were to be bigger and better than any previously made or even conceived. He solved this immense problem by using a handful of mathematicians who broke the work down into relatively simple tasks of addition and subtraction, which were then performed by a small army of mathematical slaves. In a sense Prony had programmed a computer of around 90 people."
****Everything from W. A. Atherton's From Compass to Computer (1984, p. 237-304).
[Besides all the mysterious mystifying names, one should note that all the hardware developments referred above depend on insights going back to Faraday's experiments with electricity and magnetism, later mathematised by Maxwell. Further innovations rely also in paradoxical theories such as quantum mechanics, but the overall approach has always been mainly computational, that is, derived from a mechanistic and stereotypical, that is, ROUGH, if not primitive understanding of information processing processes. Or perhaps, to be really fair, it is better to say that what seems most refined depends on the systematic linear repetition of the same strategy of approximation (that is never itself refined): "The proposition that whatever can be expressed by means of an irrational sequence is susceptible of representation by means of a sequence of rational numbers is of fundamental importance. It assigns to rational numbers a special role in the theory. Inasmuch as any real number [including irrationals and transcendentals] can be expressed by infinite convergent rational sequences, the rational domain, reinforced by the concepts of convergence and limit, will suffice to found arithmetic, and through arithmetic the theory of functions, which is the cornerstone of modern mathematics... this fact is of just as great importance in applied mathematics. Since any rational sequence can be represented as an infinite decimal series, all computations may be systematized. By limiting himself to a certain number of decimal places, the computer may obtain a rational approximation to any irrational or transcendental problem. And what is more, the degree of accuracy of this procedure not only can be readily estimated, but even assigned in advance," Tobias Dantzig, Number: the language of science (2007, p. 159). Even if our own minds operate just like computers, would it not be much more interesting to focus on the reverse side, on the total nonlinear transfiguration of the entire process?]

Even High Energy Physics detectors, including accelerators and colliders "are only sensitive to electrically charged particles, since in different ways they all register the disruption produced by such particles in their passage through matter," Andrew Pickering, Constructing Quarks (1984, p. 24).  

"In 1936, Alan Turing showed that no mechanical procedure could solve the 'halting problem.' The halting problem is the question of wether a given computer program will eventually stop. A real number is computable if there is a computer program for calculating its digits one by one. Surprisingly, almost all real numbers are not computable," Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph (2000, p. 224).

"The noun 'algorithm' and the adjectives 'computable, 'recursive', and 'effective' are all used by mathematicians to denote the mechanical operations that can be performed by theoretical machines of this type—the Turing machines," Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind (1989, p. 47); "... the complete details of the complication of the structure of Mandelbrot's set cannot really be fully comprehended by any one of us, nor can it be fully revealed by any computer. It would seem that this structure is not just part of our minds, but it has a reality of its own... The Mandelbrot set is not an invention of the human mind: it was a discovery," Penrose (p. 95); "... in certain sense, the complement of the Mandelbrot set (i.e. the white region) is recursively enumerable. If the complex number c is in the white region, then there is an algorithm for ascertaining the fact. What about the Mandelbrot set itself—the black region? Is there an algorithm for telling for sure that a point suspected to be in the black region is in fact in the black region? The answer to this question seems to be unknown, at present," Penrose (p. 125); "... in fact when a neuron 'fires' it emits a whole sequence of such pulses in quick succession. Even when a neuron is not activated, it emits pulses, but only at a slow rate. When it fires, it is the frequency of these successive pulses which increase enormously... The interconnections between neurons are not in fact fixed, as they would be in the above computer model, but are changing all the time," Penrose (p. 395-96); "... the kind of obviousness that a child can see—tough that child may, in later life, become browbeaten into believing that the obvious problems are 'non-problems'... What happens to each of our streams of consciousness after we die; where was it before each was born; might we become, or have been, someone else; why do we perceive at all; why are we here; why is there a universe here at all in which we can actually be? These are puzzles that tend to come with the awakenings of awareness in any one of us—and, no doubt, with the awakening of genuine self-awareness, within whichever creature or other entity it first came," Penrose (p. 448).


"Physics employs sophisticated mathematical models of physical situations. Economists also construct complicated models. They run computer simulations of gigantic structures they call 'the economy' to try to figure out what will happen next or in ten years' time. The economists are as incapable of understanding the reasoning of the physicist as most physicists are of making sense of modern econometrics. Yet they are both using what we call mathematics, and the skills are to some extent transferable. Witness the post-Cold War exodus of high-energy physics PhDs to Goldman-Sachs (etc.) a few years before the near collapse of the global banking system," Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all? (2014 p. 51).

And also:  

Friday, December 07, 2018

right truths to slay the enemy, snippets from a Olavo de Carvalho's interview & THE OTHER SIDE

LHOOQ (potlatch invitation, for more see here);
Slavoj Zizek's interview (Alex Miller/Vice);
Bonna Petit!! &/ou Helena Ignez Transcendental;
L'évangile d'après Salò;
Noam Chomsky, History of US Rule in Latin America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Dec 2009 [see transcription below];
Janaina Pascoal & Marcelo Freixo (a lesson in Nietzschean psychology);
Mangabeira Unger's definition of Brazilian Workers Party (PT) governments as a kind of national-consumerism in which only consumption was democratized, with a backsliding on the quality of Brazilian production  (regressing to the exportation of cheap commodities like soy), and no real transformation and upgrading in educational areas (he also criticises the dependence of other Brazilian governments on foreign capital, defending, however, the necessity of fiscal balance);
Ciro Gomes about Olavo de Carvalho (see the end of the video: "um lunático completo... e um gozador completo! [an outright maniac & a clown]");
Roberto Freire's interview to Poder360: one of the best parts is Freire's unequivocal defense of a certain globalism (a very rare stance on the Brazilian left) and his criticism of archaic and anachronistic forms of nationalism.

"... el Anticristo estaba en el mundo y se llamaba República..."
El Consejero (Mario Vargas Llosa, La guerra del fin del mundo)
"No les vamos a regalar el Brasil a los jacobinos..."
Barón Cañabrava (Mario Vargas Llosa, La guerra del fin del mundo)
"I don't care what people think as long as they have thought for themselves. So if you end up a Republican, right wing, it's okay with me, as long you have done it having had a gourmet, a connoisseur's selection of all the options. As long as you haven't done it out of fear or laziness."
Timothy Leary
"La transgression suppose l'ordre existant, le maintien apparent des normes au bénéfice d'une accumulation d'énergie qui rend la transgression nécessaire... La perversion (l'insubordination des fonctions de vivre) par des actes qu'elle inspire (notamment l'acte sodomite) ne tire sa valeur transgressive que de la permanence des normes (telle la différenciation normative des sexes)."
Pierre Klossowski (Le Philosophe Scélérat)
"What's great about this country is that... President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke... A Coke is a Coke and no money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking... when Queen Elizabeth came here and President Eisenhower bought her a hot dog I'm sure he felt confident that she couldn't have had delivered to Buckingham Palace a better hot dog than that one he bought her for maybe twenty cents at the ballpark... Sometimes you fantasize that people who are really up-there and rich and living it up have something you don't have, that their things must be better than your things because they have more money than you. But they drink the same Cokes and eat the same hot dogs and wear the same ILGWU clothes and see the same TV shows... All this is really American. The idea of America is so wonderful because the more equal something is, the more American it is... a lot of places give you special treatment when you're famous, but that's not really American."
Andy Warhol
"Me chamaram de nacionalista em todos os tons... Mas sou obrigado a lhe confessar, por mais que isto lhe penalize, que eu não tenho nenhuma noção do que seja pátria política, uma porção de terra fechada pertencente a um povo ou raça. Tenho horror das fronteiras de qualquer espécie, e não encontro em mim nenhum pudor patriótico que me faça amar  mais, ou preferir, um brasileiro a um hotentote ou francês."
Mário de Andrade (Carta a Sousa da Silveira, 1935)
"O Brasil hoje é melhor do que seria se nós — o outro lado — os tivéssemos derrotado. Mas não eram necessários tantos crimes bárbaros, tanta violência, tanta tortura, tanta gente morta... Do nosso lado muitos tiram proveito pessoal ainda hoje, de maneira absurda, se promovendo."
Marcelo Netto (Memórias de uma guerra suja)
"Para acomodar quem me cobrava uma posição política, me assumi 'hiponga comunista com um pé no americanismo.'"
Rita Lee

Even if he was mad... truth is hidden in madness, plain sight, and also irony (who's irony? one might ask):
(1) "como disse aquele idiota do Mino Carta, “ano passado o comércio com a China nos deu 20 milhões de superávit”, muito bem. A China só fez isso porque o governo Lula e Dilma e o Temer também estavam distribuindo dinheiro para os amigos deles, os amigos da China: Cuba, Angola, Venezuela, etc: 1 trilhão. Levamos 20 milhões e distribuímos 1 trilhão. Que beleza, né?"
(2) "Essa coisa anti-americana pueril é coisa de estudantezinho comunista de 1950, naquele tempo havia um livrinho que os comunistas distribuíam, a Editora Brasiliense, que é comunista para caramba, chamado “um dia na vida do Brasilino” e tudo o que ele consumia era americano. Só que se você retirasse todos aqueles produtos, o Brasilino retornaria à Idade da Pedra."
(3) "Você conhece um tal de Dicionário Crítico do Pensamento de Direita? Eu escrevi um artigo a respeito. Os caras se propõem a apresentar um pensamento da direita. Quando você vai ler o dicionário, todos os pensadores importantes da direita estão ausentes e no lugar deles colocaram meia dúzia de nazistas absolutamente alucinados. Eles escondem as ideias do adversário e ainda colocam falsificação no lugar delas. É uma obra coletiva feita por 104 professores universitários subsidiados com dinheiro público. Para mim, todos esses são estelionatários."
(4) "O PT dirige, dirigiu durante anos, o Foro de São Paulo, em parceria com as Farc, que são organizações criminosas, que inoculam 200 toneladas de cocaína por ano no Brasil. E estavam os dois lá de mãozinhas dadas dirigindo o Foro de São Paulo, que é a coordenação estratégica da esquerda no continente, e a mídia apoiando e acobertando e escondendo a existência do Foro de São Paulo. Durante 16 anos todos – Estadão, Folha, Globo, Veja – esconderam a existência do Foro de São Paulo."
(5) "... seria preciso levantar todas as teses levantadas na área de filosofia e ciências humanas, em todas as universidades, nos últimos 40 anos, e você vai ver a onipresença de autores marxistas ou influenciados pelo Marx. E só. Não tem mais nada. É só isso que tem. Então você tem o discurso monopolístico sendo repassado tese em cima de tese. Isso dá para provar quantitativamente... Pior ainda, é possível provar que o número de analfabetos funcionais produzindo teses universitárias e sendo aprovados têm aumentado ao longo dos anos. Eu mesmo tenho alguns exemplos, pego de vez em quando uma tese para examinar e mostro “o autor é analfabeto funcional por isso, por isso e por isso, não poderia ter recebido jamais o seu certificado universitário”. E está lá o rapaz fazendo propagandinha comunista e sendo aprovado."
(6) "As opiniões políticas que um filósofo tenha em razão dos acontecimentos do dia devem ser interpretados em função dos princípios mais permanentes de sua filosofia. Isso é uma regra universal. Se você não conhece princípios do existencialismo, você não vai poder entender o que o Jean Paul Sartre está falando sobre aquilo que aconteceu. Agora, todo mundo vem me entrevistar e não quer saber, não leu meus livros, não sabe o que eu penso, inventam um Olavo de Carvalho que é a imagem do que eles chamam da direita e raciocinam a partir daí. Estão conversando com o estereótipo que eles mesmos inventaram. Não se manda uma pessoa sem preparo filosófico para entrevistar um filósofo, um repórter sem cultura literária entrevistar um escritor."
(7) "Eu não sei onde se alinha com o pensamento do governo. Eu realmente não sei. Eu sei o seguinte: parece que o Bolsonaro e os filhos dele leram algo do que eu escrevi e concordaram. Não sei até onde e o quanto eles leram, mas são pessoas de boa vontade para comigo e me tratam muito bem. Isso é tudo o que eu sei. São pessoas pelas quais tenho simpatia pessoal. Não há um acordo ideológico, não houve um diálogo ideológico nenhum. Aliás, se pensar, qual é a minha ideologia? Eu não tenho nenhuma. Eu tenho ciência política."
***see Olavo de Carvalho's full interview here:
- "Já gastei o meu estoque de ministros" (Beatriz Bulla, Estadão);

Also, from a recent book:
"Finalmente, diante de um Eichmann, a própria psicopatologia encontra seu limite: não há doença que explique a rotinização burocrática da monstruosidade" (O futuro do pensamento brasileiro, 4a edição, Vide Editorial, 2016, p. 26).
"O Duque de Caxias anteviu que, se prosseguíssemos a guerra do Paraguai após a tomada de Asunción, acabaríamos nos tornando genocidas e o Império se desmoralizaria completamente. Quando a guerra terminou, 95% da população masculina do Paraguai tinham morrido, e o Império brasileiro começava sua dolorosa jornada para o fundo do poço..." (p. 30).
"Carpeaux, por escandaloso que isto seja, nunca lecionou, nunca teve a cátedra universitária que merecia, embora chegasse a ser diretor de duas bibliotecas universitárias. O melhor emprego que obteve no Brasil foi o de redator do Correio da Manhã..." (p. 167).
"... continua meticulosamente escondido da opinião pública que o general Franco subiu ao poder com o apoio das comunidades judaicas de Tanger e de Valência, que ele jamais fez uma concessão sequer a Hitler em troca dos armamentos recebidos da Alemanha por ocasião da Revolução, e que o governo franquista salvou das garras do nazismo mais de 50 mil judeus..." (190).
"Uma das primeiras providências tomadas pelo marechal Castelo Branco após assumir o poder foi desmontar meticulosamente os movimentos de direita paramilitares — estes, sim, fascistas no sentido rigoroso do termo — contra os quis já advertira em seu discurso como chefe do Estado-Maior do Exército em 1963, e que reuniam, àquela altura, pelo menos vinte mil homens muito bem armados com metralhadoras, bazucas e até helicópteros, e prontos para desencadear uma matança de comunistas" (p. 198, n. 87).

***and here, for an insightful analysis of Olavo de Carvalho's place in Brazilian cultural wars:
"Evidentemente, a questão da alternância de poder é legítima, e acho saudável que o Olavão coloque a discussão nesses termos. Verdade seja dita, o Olavão não vai se alinhar com discursos antidemocráticos ou totalitários, não obstante o número de viúvas e viúvos de regimes autoritários que admiram o Olavão. Acho injusto condenar o Olavo por associação com esse ou aquele filhote, ou exigir dele mais coerência do que exigimos de nossos pares vinculados à esquerda histórica e que várias vezes falam barbaridades sobre figuras do calibre do Fidel Castro ou do Maduro, apenas para ficar em dois exemplos" Fabrício Pontin, IHU;

The other side (of the mule):

"... l'insécurité du territoire est portée à son comble et la souveraineté territoriale de l'État de droit des nations risque de s'effacer à jamais devant la menace hypercolonialiste de fonds souverains accaparant le sol, tous les sols et leurs ressources... cet espace virtuel des marchés financiers interconnectés, le flash trading des traders de haute fréquence jouant ici, tous les jours, le sort du monde à la roulette d'une guerre éclair dont l'armement est celui de systèmes cybernétiques de très haute volée..."
"... une économie politique tyrannique... l'administration de la peur publique se déplaçant du champ de bataille du passé en direction du marché, autrement dit d'une vie quotidienne bientôt rendue impossible..."
Paul Virilio (Le Grand Accélérateur)

***on the other hand, it is true that Brazilian rightwing intellectuals (and I don't believe there is much difference in relation to North America) are not only reactive & regressive, but sometimes aggressive &/or outrightly destructive; they are frequently dishonest, and behind their "liberal" facade lurks unabashedly the most vicious abusive kind of authoritarianism:
'Unqualified, dangerous': the oddball officials running Bolsonaro's Brazil (The Guardian);
- Jovem Pan e Record Protegem Apresentador 'Sem Mimimi' (The Intercept);
- PM e ex-PM são presos pelo assassinato de Marielle Franco (O Globo);
- Crise de candidatos laranja se agrava, fecha cerco a PSL e complica Bolsonaro (El Pais);
- Milícia no Rio de Janeiro: como é a vida em Rio das Pedras (BBC);
- Flávio Bolsonaro: entenda as suspeitas e o que o senador eleito diz sobre elas (BBC);
- Como Flávio Bolsonaro ocupou um cargo na Câmara dos Deputados (BBC);
- The Corruption Cabinet: Jair Bolsoaro Promised to end corruption in Brazil (The Intercept);
- "Brazil classrooms become a battleground in a culture war" (The Economist);

***below you find an interesting and critical dissertation about the Mises Institute in Brazil; it is written from a more traditional and academic "marxist" perspective; one should be very careful here, because, INDEED, generally speaking, these academics frequently also flirt with outright antidemocratic tendencies; they rarely show any explicit awareness of the very serious dangers of the totalitarian tendencies of the left; and perhaps because of Brazil's huge real shameful problems of inequality, they tend to display an inconsequential contempt for notions such as private property (whose unequivocal importance was demonstrated, one should note, by people like Hannah Arendt, who distinguished it from the mere accumulation of wealth, The Human Condition, 2nd Ed., The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998, p. 66-67); the dissertation fairly exposes, on the other hand, the sometimes totally demential mix of naivety and amateurish frivolousness of the material that goes publicized as "scientific" by "think & stink tanks" in Brazil (they madly reproduce the many oversimplifications one can already find in the rather flawed works of professional academic pamphleteers such as Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Lew Rockwell):
Instituto Ludwig von Mises Brasil: Os arautos do anarcocapitalismo, Raphael Almeida Dal Pai (Unioeste, PPG História, Marechal Cândido Rondon, 2017);

***that the international far-right is either totally DEMENTIAL or blatantly OPPORTUNISTIC can be inferred from Steve Bannon's recent statement that Bolsonaro is "an incredibly charismatic man, embodying very strong intellectual and practical capabilities" ("Steve Bannon: governo Bolsonaro precisa de 'uma só voz' e Mourão se tornou 'dissonante'"/BBC);

Light at the end of the tunnel &/or a more equitable perspective:

"I would side with Foucault and argue that to understand the neoliberal project, including its epistemology, its economic and political rationalities, its thresholds, and potential points of instability and disturbance, it is necessary to do so historically, and to do so by understanding the conditions of its emergence and then the lines of descent that developed subsequently. This type of approach will not appeal to everyone, particularly to those who want (or wanted) to think about the recent crisis as a point of rupture that contained the promise of a decisive break from the past. Instead, for me, history is a resource for thinking critically about the present, rather than a distraction from the politics of the ‘now’. The challenge is to think about the new or neo– in terms of its continuities as well as the discontinuities that signal the emergence of a qualitatively different situation. History is a reminder that the epistemological and political basis of neoliberalism, as well as its organization through think-tanks that connected figures such as Hayek to front-bench politics, was forged out of a long struggle against classical liberal ideas, on the one hand, and leftist ideas (including those of Saint-Simon, Marx and Mill) on the other," Nicolas Gane's "Thinking Historically About Neoliberalism: Nick Gane's response to Will Davies" (Theory, Culture & Society, May 28, 2014);

*****Rupert Sheldrake on holism, religion and politics:
"Hegel's “dialectic” had it that a thesis would be opposed by an antithesis, which would then result in a new, higher-level synthesis, which included both of the previous steps within a larger whole. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels applied these principles to matter, and argued in terms of the appearance of new higher-level wholes through a process that would now be called “emergence.” There was therefore a holistic aspect to Marxist materialism that Western reductive materialism lacked, and I think this played a part in the thinking of Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould, both of whom were influenced by Marxism. In the present context, mapping holism onto politics is not a straightforward matter. The political categories in Europe and the U.S. are completely different. The religious right does not really exist as a phenomenon in Europe. Partly, this is because religion is much weaker in most parts of Europe than in the United States, and also because, at least in Britain, socialist movements have had a strong religious influence," Rupert Sheldrake's interview (TBS);

see also:

Just as Important

I would usually dismiss much of the narrative of Chomsky's video [see Youtube video above] as unreliable conspiracy theory; but since totally incredible things such as Trump, Brexit & Bolsonaro indeed turned up as totally REAL, what would be fair to believe in?! at least Chomsky gives a clear narrative from the opposite side of what has now "succeeded"; what he says about the so-called War on Drugs reminds me of Burroughs and seems particularly important: 
"... you have to really ask yourself whether controlling coca production has anything to do with the purpose of all of this... for decades the United States has been fighting what is called the drug war, to try to get rid of the opium production... it has essentially no effect on opium production, but it has had other effects, perfectly predictable effects... in the United States it is a technique for reintroducing slavery.... black life was criminalised and you had a new slave class... for a couple of decades after the Second World War, there was a substantial economic growth, industrial growth, so black men could get job as other workers and start moving into a relatively decent life... well, but by the 70s that essentially was over... the economy moves towards financialization, towards the elimination of industrial production, the neoliberal policies were introduced, you got this huge superficial population again... what do you do with them? throw up them into jail... and in fact that is exactly what happened; so the consequences of the drug war here was primarily, domestically to reincarcerate a large part of the black population, and also Hispanic population... and in fact they are again factory labour, they are cheap and easy exploitable labour... it is called voluntary, but when you are in jail voluntary has a special meaning... and you know when people complain about say... Guantanamo, it is all kind of a little ironic, because American prisons aren't that much different, they are torture chambers, it is a horrible system... and there were other consequences: it is a way of frightening the rest of the population here, imposing what is called law & order; so if you want to frighten and control the population, they have to be afraid of something; and they can be afraid of, you know, Hispanic narcotraffickers that are trying to destroy us and that sort of thing... the fact that it consistently fails in its alleged purpose, namely, reducing drug use, or even availability of drugs, doesn't matter, because it is succeeding in its actual purpose... in fact three, quite conservative, Latin American ex-presidents, Zedillo, Cardoso and Gaviria... put out a study which calls for just the elimination of the drug war, they said it's got nothing to do with controlling drugs..." (Noam Chomsky, History of US Rule in Latin America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Dec 2009);
Chomsky also talks about the importance of North-American Christian protection groups not only in Central America but around the world: 
"... a very substantial mass movement developed, of solidarity, which was something totally new in the history of imperialism... I mean thousands, probably ten of thousands of people, many from church groups, many from evangelical groups went down to Central America to live with people in very dangerous situations to help them and just to give them some protection by the presence of a white face... that never happened in the whole history of imperialism... like nobody from France ever went to live in an Algerian village to protect people, in Vietnam, no one ever thought of it... it turned into a major mass movement... I remember going to Kansas, to rural Kansas, where people know more about Central America than everybody around here... certainly more than the CIA (but that is not much of a compliment)... a lot of them stayed... specially the evangelicals... and out of there grew other movements like Witness for Peace and Christian protection groups which are all over the world, and they do very important things... they are in the Middle East, they are in Asia..." (Noam Chomsky, History of US Rule in Latin America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Dec 2009);

*****Pseudoerasmus on Chilean economy under Allende:
"... the Allende government cranked up the printing press. Almost the entire budget deficit was financed by money creation.
The largest single factor in the deterioration of public finances as of 1971 was clearly the higher spending on wages and benefits. This was a deliberate part of the populist programme of the Allende government to achieve income redistribution by raising nominal wages while freezing or even reducing menu prices."
"... By 1973, the single biggest factor behind public sector deficits was the subsidy to state-owned enterprises other than copper. The Chilean government had, de jure or de facto, nationalised large portions of the private economy..." Pseudoerasmus, "Did the 'Invisible Blockade' against Allende's Chille worked?";

*****Philip Goff on taxation:
"Outside of academia, almost everyone assumes that the money I get in my pay-packet before the deduction of taxes is, in some morally significant sense, ‘mine’. This assumption, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused. There is no serious political theory according to which my pre-tax income is ‘mine’ in any morally significant sense. Moreover, this matters: this confused assumption is a major stumbling block to economic reform, causes low and middle earners to vote against their economic interests, and renders it practically impossible to correct the economic injustices that pervade the modern world..."
"... Left libertarianism will certainly rule out some forms of taxation as immoral. If I have acquired land or natural resources in a way that is consistent with the equal moral claim of others, and by my own labour increase the value of those resources, it is wrong for the state to tax that wealth away from me. But Left-libertarian theories leave considerable latitude for the state to alter the distribution of wealth, perhaps through taxation, if some take more than their fair share of natural resources. Crucially, the claims of future generations must also be taken into account, leading naturally to an inheritance tax (or at least restrictions on the right to bequeath) to ensure that each future individual has a fair share of natural resources..."
"... On the Right-wing libertarian view, it is perfectly morally acceptable for one person to claim a vastly unequal proportion of land and resources for himself, resulting in his propertyless neighbours being forced to work for him to avoid starvation. By what right can the natural world be appropriated in this way? It is one thing to say that one has exclusive natural rights over oneself, but how can we justify exclusive natural rights over the natural world?" Philip Goff, "Is taxation theft?" (Aeon);

***Ultimate piece on Snowden and his ring (written by a woman):
"[In five years since Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance], we’ve learned much more about how Big Tech was not only sharing data with the NSA but collecting vast troves of information about us for its own purposes. And we’ve started to see the strategic ends to which Big Data can be put. In that sense, we’re only beginning to comprehend the full significance of Snowden’s disclosures... This is not to say that we know more today about Snowden’s motivations or aims than we did in 2013. The question of whether or not Snowden was a Russian asset all along has been raised and debated... [NSA's PRISM, whose documents were leaked by Snowden and disclosed by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman] secured cooperation between the Internet companies and the NSA at the point when an individual suspected of involvement in terrorism had been targeted and the NSA wished to retrieve that suspect’s messages from the companies’ servers. Many Americans will still feel that this program constituted an unwarranted breach of privacy, but what PRISM does not do is vindicate the idea of a “deep state” operating entirely independently of the rule of law. Although this might seem like a fine distinction to some, it is an extremely significant one. But the narrative of deep-state lawlessness was too appealing... Assange’s allies, Milne included, have made clear that their allegiance doesn’t lie with liberal democracies and their values. They have taken sides with authoritarianism in their fight against the hypocrisy of liberal democracies... Assange, a former libertarian, has called Russia under Putin “a bulwark against Western imperialism”... For his part, Greenwald has repeatedly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decried as Russophobia the findings that Putin ordered interference in the 2016 US presidential election—even appearing on Fox News to do so. The very term “Russophobia” obfuscates the distinction between Vladimir Putin’s regime and Russia; the two clearly can’t be identified with one another... The distinction between left and right, he argues, will increasingly be replaced by the opposition between people who are pro-establishment and anti-establishment. But being anti-establishment is not a politics. It defends no clear set of values or principles. And it permits prevarication about the essential choice between criticizing and helping to reform liberal democracy from within or assisting in its demise. It encourages its partisans to take sides with a smaller, authoritarian state in order to check the power of the one whose establishment it opposes... In their book Red Web: The Kremlin’s War on the Internet, the Russian investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan recounted the experiences of human rights activists who were summoned via an email purportedly from Snowden himself, to a meeting with him at Moscow airport when he surfaced there with Sarah Harrison, to find they were joining the heads of various pro-Kremlin “human rights” groups, Vladimir Lukin, the Putin-appointed Human Rights Commissioner of Russia, and the lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Henri Reznik. It was clear to the independent activists that Kucherena had organized the meeting... So whether we trust [Snowden] matters. It matters whether we view him as a bad actor, or as a well-intentioned whistleblower who has shown bad judgment, or as someone who has allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn of the Russians... In a 2016 lecture by video-link at Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden discouraged his audience from pursuing the legal and political remedies that liberal democracies offer... If there’s one thing Greenwald, Assange, and their followers got right, it’s that the United States became a tremendous economic and military power over the last seven decades. When it blunders in its foreign or domestic policy, the US has the capacity to do swift and unparalleled damage. The question then is whether this awesome power is better wielded by a liberal-democratic state in an arguably hypocritical way but with some restraint, or by an authoritarian one in a nakedly avowed way and with no restraint. In the five years since Snowden’s revelations, we have seen changes, particularly the election of Donald Trump with his undisguised admiration for strongmen, that compel us to imagine a possible authoritarian future for the United States," "Edward Snowden Reconsidered" (Tamsin Shaw, The New York Review of Books, 09/13/2018);

***What should have been the ultimate piece on Glenn Greenwald (& still much more on Assange): 
"What’s astonishing about their ascent to heroism is the breadth of their support. The embrace of the antiwar left and the libertarian right was to be expected. But effusions of praise for the leakers can also be found throughout the liberal establishment... Contrary to [Snowden's] claims, he seems to have become an anti-secrecy activist only after the White House was won by a liberal Democrat who, in most ways, represented everything that a right-wing Ron Paul admirer would have detested... In several cases over a five-year span, Greenwald represented Matthew Hale, the head of the Illinois-based white-supremacist World Church of the Creator, which attracted a small core of violently inclined adherents... Greenwald’s other clients included the neo-Nazi National Alliance, who were implicated in an especially horrible crime. Two white supremacists on Long Island had picked up a pair of unsuspecting Mexican day laborers, lured them into an abandoned warehouse, and then clubbed them with a crowbar and stabbed them repeatedly. The day laborers managed to escape, and when they recovered from their injuries, they sued the National Alliance and other hate groups, alleging that they had inspired the attackers. Greenwald described the suit as a dangerous attempt to suppress free speech by making holders of “unconventional” views liable for the actions of others... most of [Greenwald's] writings, his critique of America abroad was congenial both to the isolationist paleo-Right and to post–New Left anti-imperialists... Along those lines, Greenwald found common ground with the upper echelons of right-wing free-market libertarianism... When bloggers confronted Greenwald about his associations with libertarians, the darling of the netroots and MSNBC left angrily batted the claims away as distortions. He need not have reacted so forcefully. Accused of working for Cato, for example, he might simply have said that he believed in addressing any organization that wanted to hear from him and left it at that. Instead, Greenwald attacked his critics as “McCarthyite” purveyors of “falsehoods, fabrications, and lies”... In 2010, Greenwald began attacking the Obama administration from the left on a variety of domestic issues, attacking Wall Street corruption, opposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and decrying inequality. Yet even as he insisted on his left liberalism, he remained a steadfast promoter of Ron Paul—“far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party.” (After Paul’s son, then senatorial candidate Rand Paul, questioned the Civil Rights Act, Greenwald agreed with criticism that the remark was “wacky,” but insisted that the real “crazies” in American politics were mainstream Democrats and Republicans.)... During his political pilgrimage, Greenwald became consumed: For him, the national security apparatus is not just an important issue; it is the great burning issue of our time... In the wake of the WikiLeaks frenzy, Assange often tried to clarify where he stood politically. His simultaneous embrace of leftist icons such as Noam Chomsky and right-wing libertarians seemed to indicate that he was open to ideas from either end of the political spectrum, so long as they were directed against authoritarianism. Finally, in 2013, Assange proclaimed, “The only hope as far as electoral politics presently ... is the libertarian section of the Republican Party”... Yet even that declaration was misleading. In practice, Assange has a history of working closely with forces far more radical than the Republican Liberty Caucus. Late in 2012, Assange announced the formation of the WikiLeaks Party in Australia. It had been expected that WikiLeaks would ultimately throw its support to the Green Party—especially after the party’s National Council voted in favor of such a move. Instead, WikiLeaks aligned with a collection of far-right parties. One was the nativist Australia First, whose most prominent figure was a former neo-Nazi previously convicted of coordinating a shotgun attack on the home of an Australian representative of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Members of the WikiLeaks Party blamed the flap on an “administrative error”; mass resignations from the party’s leadership followed. Those who quit cited a lack of transparency in the party’s operations, and some pointed to remarks Assange had made blasting a Green Party proposal to reform Australia’s harsh treatment of asylum seekers... Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange have largely set the terms in the debate over transparency and privacy in America. But the value of some of their revelations does not mean that they deserve the prestige and influence that has been accorded to them," "Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought" (Sean Wilentz, The New Republic, 19/01/2014);

"The Seven Commandments of Fake News" (Adam B. Ellick, Adam Westbrook and Jonah M. Kessel, The New York Times):