Sunday, November 23, 2014

aggregate intelligence


radiolab |   What happens when there is no leader? Starlings, bees, and ants manage just fine. In fact, they form staggeringly complicated societies -- all without a Toscanini to conduct them into harmony. This hour of Radiolab, we ask how this happens.

We gaze down at the bottom-up logic of cities, Google, and even our very own brains with fire-flyologists, ant experts, neurologists, a mathematician, and an economist.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Órale buybull buddies - use culo-calming ointment if you go and see this movie...,




quantum solution to the arrow of time dilemma?


physorg |  Entropy can decrease, according to a new proposal - but the process would destroy any evidence of its existence, and erase any memory an observer might have of it. It sounds like the plot to a weird sci-fi movie, but the idea has recently been suggested by theoretical physicist Lorenzo Maccone, currently a visiting scientist at MIT, in an attempt to solve a longstanding paradox in physics.
 
The laws of physics, which describe everything from electricity to moving objects to energy conservation, are time-invariant. That is, the laws still hold if time is reversed. However, this time reversal symmetry is in direct contrast with everyday phenomena, where it’s obvious that time moves forward and not backward. For example, when milk is spilt, it can’t flow back up into the glass, and when pots are broken, their pieces can’t shatter back together. This irreversibility is formalized through the second law of thermodynamics, which says that entropy always increases or stays the same, but never decreases.

This contrast has created a reversibility paradox, also called Loschmidt’s paradox, which scientists have been trying to understand since Johann Loschmidt began considering the problem in 1876. Scientists have proposed many solutions to the conundrum, from trying to embed irreversibility in physical laws to postulating low-entropy initial states.

Maccone’s idea, published in a recent issue of , is a completely new approach to the paradox, based on the assumption that is valid at all scales. He theoretically shows that entropy can both increase and decrease, but that it must always increase for phenomena that leave a trail of information behind. Entropy can decrease for certain phenomena (when correlated with an observer), but these phenomena won’t leave any information of their having happened. For these situations, it’s like the phenomena never happened at all, since they leave no evidence. As Maccone explains, the second law of thermodynamics is then reduced to a mere tautology: physics cannot study processes where entropy has decreased, due to a complete absence of information. The solution allows for time-reversible phenomena to exist (in agreement with the laws of physics), but not be observable (in agreement with the second law of thermodynamics).

In his study, Maccone presents two thought experiments to illustrate this idea, followed by an analytical derivation. He describes two situations where entropy decreases and all records of it are permanently erased. In both scenarios, the entropy in the systems first increases and then decreases, but the decrease is accompanied by an erasure of any memory of its occurrence. The key to entropy decrease in the first place is a correlation between the observer and the phenomenon in question. As Maccone explains, when an interaction occurs between an observer and an observed phenomenon that decreases the entropy of the correlated observer-observed system, the interaction must also reduce their quantum mutual information. When this information is destroyed, the observer’s memory is destroyed along with it.

the arrow of time


informationphilosopher |  The laws of nature, except the second law of thermodynamics, are symmetric in time. Reversing the time in the dynamical equations of motion simply describes everything going backwards. The second law is different. Entropy must never decrease in time. 

Many natural processes are apparently irreversible. Irreversibility is intimately connected to the direction of time. Identifying the physical reasons for the observed irreversibility, the origin of irreversibility, would contribute greatly to understanding the apparent asymmetry of nature in time, despite nature's perfect symmetry in space. 

In 1927, Arthur Stanley Eddington coined the term "Arrow of Time" in his book The Nature of the Physical World. He connected "Time's Arrow" to the one-way direction of increasing entropy required by the second law of thermodynamics. This is now known as the "thermodynamic arrow."
In his later work, Eddington identified a "cosmological arrow," the direction in which the universe is expanding, as shown by Edwin Hubble about the time Eddington first defined the thermodynamic arrow.
There are now at least five other proposed arrows of time (discussed below). We can ask whether one arrow is a "master arrow" that all the others are following, or perhaps time itself is just a given property of nature that is otherwise irreducible to something more basic, as is space. 

Given the four-dimensional space-time picture of special relativity, and given that the laws of nature are symmetric in space, we may expect the laws to be invariant under a change in time direction. The laws do not depend on position in space or direction, they are invariant under translations and rotations, space is assumed uniform and isotropic. But time is not just another spatial dimension. It enters into calculations of event separations as an imaginary term (multiplied by the square root of minus 1). Nevertheless, all the dynamical laws of motion are symmetric under time reversal. 

So the basic problem is - how can macroscopic irreversibility result from microscopic processes that are fundamentally reversible? 


Friday, November 21, 2014

struggley looking the wrong way for the "infinitely great and "incorporeal" intelligence"...,


NYTimes |  Bloggers have noticed the religious symbols in the movie. There are those 12 apostles, and there’s a Noah’s ark. There is a fallen angel named Dr. Mann who turns satanic in an inverse Garden of Eden. The space project is named Lazarus. The heroine saves the world at age 33. There’s an infinitely greater and incorporeal intelligence offering merciful salvation.

But this isn’t an explicitly religious movie. “Interstellar” is important because amid all the culture wars between science and faith and science and the humanities, the movie illustrates the real symbiosis between these realms.

More, it shows how modern science is influencing culture. People have always bent their worldviews around the latest scientific advances. After Newton, philosophers conceived a clockwork universe. Individuals were seen as cogs in a big machine and could be slotted into vast bureaucratic systems.

But in the era of quantum entanglement and relativity, everything looks emergent and interconnected. Life looks less like a machine and more like endlessly complex patterns of waves and particles. Vast social engineering projects look less promising, because of the complexity, but webs of loving and meaningful relationships can do amazing good.

As the poet Christian Wiman wrote in his masterpiece, “My Bright Abyss,” “If quantum entanglement is true, if related particles react in similar or opposite ways even when separated by tremendous distances, then it is obvious that the whole world is alive and communicating in ways we do not fully understand. And we are part of that life, part of that communication. ...”

I suspect “Interstellar” will leave many people with a radical openness to strange truth just below and above the realm of the everyday. That makes it something of a cultural event.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

is "second-order science" any kind of science at all?


constructivism |   Context: The journal Constructivist Foundations celebrates ten years of publishing articles on constructivist approaches, in particular radical constructivism. Problem: In order to preserve the sustainability of radical constructivism and regain its appeal to new generations of researchers, we set up a new course of action for and with the radical constructivist community to study its innovative potential. This new avenue is “second-order science.” Method: We specify two motivations of second-order science, i.e., the inclusion of the observer, and self-reflexivity that allows second-order science to operate on the products of normal or first-order science. Also, we present a short overview of the contributions that we have collected for this inaugural issue on second-order science. Results: These six initial contributions demonstrate the potential of the new set of approaches to second-order science across several disciplines. Implications: Second-order science is believed to be a cogent concept in the evolution of science, leading to a new wave of innovations, novel experiments and a much closer relationship with current research in the cognitive neurosciences in particular, and with evolutionary and complexity theories in general.

wikipedia |  One version of social constructivism contends that categories of knowledge and reality are actively created by social relationships and interactions. These interactions also alter the way in which scientific episteme is organized.

Social activity presupposes human beings inhabiting shared forms of life, and in the case of social construction, utilizing semiotic resources (meaning making and meaning signifying) with reference to social structures and institutions. Several traditions use the term Social Constructivism: psychology (after Lev Vygotsky), sociology (after Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, themselves influenced by Alfred Schütz), sociology of knowledge (David Bloor), sociology of mathematics (Sal Restivo), philosophy of mathematics (Paul Ernest). Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy can be seen as a foundation for Social Constructivism, with its key theoretical concepts of language games embedded in forms of life.

Constructivism in philosophy of science
Thomas Kuhn argued that changes in scientists' views of reality not only contain subjective elements, but result from group dynamics, "revolutions" in scientific practice and changes in "paradigms".[3] As an example, Kuhn suggested that the Sun-centric Copernican "revolution" replaced the Earth-centric views of Ptolemy not because of empirical failures, but because of a new "paradigm" that exerted control over what scientists felt to be the more fruitful way to pursue their goals.
"But paradigm debates are not really about relative problem-solving ability, though for good reasons they are usually couched in those terms. Instead, the issue is which paradigm should in future guide research on problems many of which neither competitor can yet claim to resolve completely. [A decision is called for] and in the circumstances that decision must be based less on past achievement than on future promise."
—Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . p. 157
The view of reality as accessible only through models was called model-dependent realism by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.[4] While not rejecting the idea of "reality-as-it-is-in-itself", model-dependent realism suggests that we cannot know "reality-as-it-is-in-itself", but only an approximation of it provided by the intermediary of models.[5] These models evolve over time as guided by scientific inspiration and experiment.

In the field of the social sciences, constructivism as an epistemology urges that researchers reflect upon the paradigms that may be underpinning their research, and in the light of this that they become more open to consider other ways of interpreting any results of the research. Furthermore, the focus is on presenting results as negotiable constructs rather than as models that aim to "represent" social realities more or less accurately. Norma Romm in her book Accountability in Social Research (2001) argues that social researchers can earn trust from participants and wider audiences insofar as they adopt this orientation and invite inputs from others regarding their inquiry practices and the results thereof.

the latent nature of global information warfare


springer |  Let us return to the nature of information warfare. In the past, war has always and only been real, in the system + model sense, like the bed in which you sleep and the apple you eat. The hard facts of war were inevitably accompanied by their informational shadows: the human shouting, the smell of horses, the sounds of trumpets in battles, the rhythm of machineguns, the pitched whistles of bombs falling from the sky, the smell of napalm, the marks left by the tanks’ tracks. For a short time, in the eighties, passive mass media and digital consumerism made us mistakenly think that war could be experienced by the public as virtual: a televised or computerized game, involving only representations to which nothing corresponded, like shadows without objects, simulacra in Baudrillard’s terminology. Thus, in 1991,4 Baudrillard argued in The Gulf War Did Not Take Place that the hi-tech fighting on the American side during the first Gulf War had transformed a conflict into propaganda and mass-mediated experience. The analysis was correct both in perceiving a difference and in identifying that difference in the decoupling between the system and the model. But it was wrong in selecting models as the new battlefields. Global information warfare is not virtual. It is mostly latent, that is, it is in the world but not experienced as part of the world. It is a war without shadows. You cannot see it, and cannot hear it, it silently happens everyday, can hit anyone anywhere, and we can all be its unaware victims. Take for instance distributed denial-of-service attacks. According to Arbor Networks, more than 2,000 of DDoS occur worldwide every day.5 Their number is increasing and more and more countries are involved that are not officially at war with each other. Similar attacks are very cheap. According to TrendMicro Research a week-long DDoS attack, capable of taking a small organization offline, can cost as little as $150 in the underground market. This is just an example. Conflicts in the infosphere—not just DDoS attacks, but also trade wars, currency wars, patent wars, marketing wars, and other silent forms of informational battles to win hearts, minds, and wallets—are increasingly neither real nor virtual, but latent to most of their victims. They are nonetheless dangerous and wasteful. They require special interfaces to be perceived. They will require a special sensitivity to be eradicated.

big data and their epistemological challenge


springer |  It is estimated that humanity accumulated 180 EB of data between the invention of writing and 2006. Between 2006 and 2011, the total grew ten times and reached 1,600 EB. This figure is now expected to grow fourfold approximately every 3 years. Every day, enough new data are being generated to fill all US libraries eight times over. As a result, there is much talk about “big data”. This special issue on “Evolution, Genetic Engineering and Human Enhancement”, for example, would have been inconceivable in an age of “small data”, simply because genetics is one of the data-greediest sciences around. This is why, in the USA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have identified big data as a programme focus. One of the main NSF–NIH interagency initiatives addresses the need for core techniques and technologies for advancing big data science and engineering (see NSF-12-499).
Despite the importance of the phenomenon, it is unclear what exactly the term “big data” means and hence refers to. The aforementioned document specifies that: “The phrase ‘big data’ in this solicitation refers to large, diverse, complex, longitudinal, and/or distributed data sets generated from instruments, sensors, Internet transactions, email, video, click streams, and/or all other digital sources available today and in the future.” You do not need to be an analytic philosopher to find this both obscure and vague. Wikipedia, for once, is also unhelpful. Not because the relevant entry is unreliable, but because it reports the common definition, which is unsatisfactory: “data sets so large and complex that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools”. Apart from the circular problem of defining “big” with “large”, the definition suggests that data are too big or large only in relation to our current computational power. This is misleading. Of course, “big”, as many other terms, is a relational predicate: a pair of shoes is too big for you, but fine for me. It is also trivial to acknowledge that we tend to evaluate things non-relationally, in this case as absolutely big, whenever the frame of reference is obvious enough to be left implicit. A horse is a big animal, no matter what whales may think. Yet, these two simple points may give the impression that there is no real trouble with “big data” being a loosely defined term referring to the fact that our current computers cannot handle so many gazillions of data efficiently. And this is where two confusions seem to creep in. First, that the epistemological problem with big data is that there is too much of them (the ethical problem concerns how we use them; see below). And second, that the technological solution to the epistemological problem is more and better techniques and technologies, which will “shrink” big data back to a manageable size. The epistemological problem is different, and it requires an equally epistemological solution.

it knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!


WaPo |  According to Google, I am a woman between the ages of 25 and 34 who speaks English as her primary language and has accumulated an unwieldy 74,486 e-mails in her life. I like cooking, dictionaries and Washington, D.C. I own a Mac computer that I last accessed at 10:04 p.m. last night, at which time I had 46 open Chrome tabs. And of the thousands and thousands of YouTube videos I have watched in my lifetime, a truly embarrassing number of them concern (a) funny pets or (b) Taylor Swift.

I didn’t tell Google any of these things intentionally, of course — I didn’t fill out a profile or enter a form. But even as you search Google, it turns out, Google is also searching you.

This isn’t exactly new news. Google has, since 2009, published a transparency tool called Dashboard, which lets users see exactly what kind of data the Internet giant has on them and from which services. But the issue of data collection has provoked renewed anxiety of late, perhaps spurred by recent investigations into personal data and search engines in Europe and Asia — as well as the high-profile hacking of celebrities’ personal data and the shadow of last year’s National Security Agency revelations.

According to a recent survey by the consumer research firm Survata, people care more about Google accessing their personal electronic data than they do the NSA, their boss, their parents, or their spouse. Which is unfortunate, given that your parents and boss will probably never see everything you search, e-mail and click — while Google logs that material more or less all the time.

“Google knows quite a lot,” said Ondrej Prostrednik, the author of a recent Medium post about Google data collection that has begun making the Reddit rounds. “People outside of Google can only guess. But it is important to realize that we are the ones giving it all the data they know.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ethical heroism in the face of institutional religion and self-righteous clericalism...,


WaPo |  As a Protestant, I have no particular insight into the internal theological debates of Catholicism. But the participants seem to inhabit different universes. One side (understandably) wants to shore up the certainties of an institution under siege. Francis begins from a different point: a pastoral passion to meet people where they are — to recognize some good, even in their brokenness, and to call them to something better. That something better is not membership in a stable institution, or even the comforts of ethical religion; it is a relationship with Jesus, from which all else follows.

Instead of being a participant in a cultural battle, Francis says, “I see the church as a field hospital after battle.” First you sew up the suffering (which, incidentally, includes all of us). “Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds.” The temptation, in his view, is to turn faith into ideology. “The faith passes,” he recently said, “through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus; in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. . . . The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.” 

The message seems simple. It actually highlights a complexity at the heart of Christianity: Its founder coupled a call for ethical heroism (don’t even lust in your heart) with a disdain for institutional religion and self-righteous clericalism. And this has been disorienting to institutionalists from the start. 

Francis has devoted serious attention to reforming the institutional expression — particularly the finances — of the Catholic Church. But he has chosen to emphasize the most subversive and challenging aspects of Christian faith. He really does view rigidity, clericalism and hypocrisy as just as (or more) damaging as sexual matters. Liberals want to incorporate this into their agenda. But the pope has his own, quite different agenda — which has nothing to do with our forgettable ideological debates. It is always revolutionary, and confusing to the faithful, when a religious leader believes that the Sabbath (including all the rules and institutions of religion) was made for man, and not the other way around.

is pope francis smart, conservative, or something less familiar?


NYTimes |  In Pope Francis’ most significant move yet to reshape the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, Blase J. Cupich took his seat in Chicago on Tuesday as archbishop of the nation’s third-largest Catholic archdiocese and called on the church not to be afraid of change.

In a multilingual installation Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, with American bishops, his large extended family and Mayor Rahm Emanuel looking on, Archbishop Cupich was handed the golden crosier, a shepherd’s staff, that belonged to a powerful liberal predecessor, Cardinal George Mundelein, who became archbishop of Chicago 99 years ago and served for 24 years.

“We as a church should not fear leaving the security of familiar shores, the peacefulness of the mountaintop of our self-assuredness, but rather walk into the mess,” Archbishop Cupich said in an upbeat and plain-spoken homily.

With Archbishop Cupich now seated, Pope Francis gets a media-savvy American communicator in tune with his message of reinvigorating the church by stressing mercy over judgmentalism, change over stasis, and the imperative for all Catholics to go to the margins of society to serve the poor, migrants and those without hope. It is a message that not every bishop has enthusiastically embraced.

contempt for conservatism, religion, and history among social scientists..,


cs.nyu.edu |  The analysis in (Duarte et al. 2014) of the bias in the social sciences against conservatives and conservatism is important and timely. (I am not at all competent to evaluate either the effectiveness or the reasonableness of their proposed remedies, and therefore will not discuss them.)  

If anything, the article understates the blatant, explicit contempt shown to conservative views in the published scientific literature. For instance, Wilson, Ausman, and Mathews (1973) wrote: The “ideal” conservative is characterized as conventional, conforming, antihedonistic, authoritarian, punitive, ethnocentric, militaristic, dogmatic, superstitious, and antiscientific.

After that long stream of insults, the reader is quite prepared to be told that conservatives also smell funny. Obviously, most or all of those adjectives could be have been replaced with equally accurate adjectives of a neutral or positive valence e.g. respectful of tradition, uneccentric, abstemious, forceful, stern, patriotic, and so on. They proceed to characterize conservatism as a “syndrome” that has to be “explained” whereas, by implication, being liberal is just the way normal people are, and as such demands no particular explanation. (Stankov (2008) also refers to the “Conservative syndrome”.) This kind of language would be appropriate for an article in Mother Jones, but seems entirely out of place in a scientific paper in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Duarte et al. are primarily concerned with the damage that this kind of bias does to social science research. Equally or more important is the poisonous impact of these kinds of publications on the state of political discourse, particularly when echoed gleefully in articles in liberal publications such as (Mooney 2014). First, such claims obviously increase the dislike and distrust of scientists and science among conservatives, and the sense that the pronouncements of science are merely a liberal conspiracy. Second, the last thing that liberals in this country need at this time — and I write as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal — is more reasons to feel smugly superior. Third and most importantly, democracy is based on political discourse, and meaningful political discourse depends on, to some extent, taking what your opponent says seriously and engaging with it on that basis. If liberals believe that conservative opinions are atavistic remnants of attitudes that were adaptive when we were all living in caves or on the savannah, and can therefore be dismissed out of hand, then no serious discourse is possible.

If these negative views of conservatism were in fact entirely valid, then the scientific community would be in the difficult position of balancing the scientists’ commitment to truth against the good of society. However, since, as Duarte et al. demonstrate at length and in detail, they are certainly one-sided, often exaggerated, and sometimes false, there is no justification for it.

In this note, I want to add to the argument in Duarte et al. by making two further points. First, parallel to the contempt for conservatism, and related to it, is a pervasive contempt for religion in psychological studies of religious belief. This connection is explicit in works such as Kanazawa’s (2010) paper, “Why Liberals and Atheists are More Intelligent”. Second, the contemptuous views of both conservatism and religion are exacerbated by a lack of historical perspective and an uninterest in historical accuracy. I conclude with some general comments about the risks attendant in this kind of research and the caution that needs to be exercised.

you know who you are...,


WaPo |  Some people just can't seem to keep a beat.

You know the ones: They seem to be swaying to their own music or clapping along to a beat only they can hear. You may even think that describes you.

The majority of humans, however, do this very well. We clap, dance, march in unison with few problems; that ability is part of what sets us apart from other animals.

But it is true that rhythm — specifically, coordinating your movement with something you hear — doesn't come naturally to some people. Those people represent a very small sliver of the population and have a real disorder called "beat deafness."

Unfortunately, your difficulty dancing or keeping time in band class probably doesn't quite qualify.
A new study by McGill University researchers looked more closely at what might be going on with "beat deaf" individuals, and the findings may shed light on why some people seem to be rhythm masters while others struggle.

processing structure in language and music


springer |  The relationship between structural processing in music and language has received increasing interest in the past several years, spurred by the influential Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH; Patel, Nature Neuroscience, 6, 674–681, 2003). According to this resource-sharing framework, music and language rely on separable syntactic representations but recruit shared cognitive resources to integrate these representations into evolving structures. The SSIRH is supported by findings of interactions between structural manipulations in music and language. However, other recent evidence suggests that such interactions also can arise with nonstructural manipulations, and some recent neuroimaging studies report largely nonoverlapping neural regions involved in processing musical and linguistic structure. These conflicting results raise the question of exactly what shared (and distinct) resources underlie musical and linguistic structural processing. This paper suggests that one shared resource is prefrontal cortical mechanisms of cognitive control, which are recruited to detect and resolve conflict that occurs when expectations are violated and interpretations must be revised. By this account, musical processing involves not just the incremental processing and integration of musical elements as they occur, but also the incremental generation of musical predictions and expectations, which must sometimes be overridden and revised in light of evolving musical input.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

can sing a note and a harmonic

a little air and sunlight'll clear up that nasty turner diaries infection...,


anonymous |  Anonymous has revealed a list of KKK members in light of the Ferguson protests as part of #OpKKK and a cyberwar against the organization. The ‘de-hooding’ of Ku Klux Klan members has spurred threats and attacks against Anonymous over social media, with @KuKluxKlanUSA stating “You messed with us, now it’s our turn to mess with you.”

The threat comes in response to the campaign Anonymous began online, to name KKK members in the Ferguson and St. Louis area after it was discovered that the KKK members have been distributing fliers. The fliers warn Ferguson protesters of the consequences of a continuation of their fight, stating they have “awakened a sleeping giant,” and that they [KKK] will use “lethal force” against protestors if they continue. The fliers handed out justify the lethal force as a form of “self-defense.”

Anonymous won’t tolerate racism in any form, or the suppression of the right to protest. Many of the names listed are also accompanied by photos of the members without their hoods. One member is a known police officer, while another works in education. An image posted, displays a KKK member standing quietly amongst the Ferguson protestors.

Anonymous will continue to monitor the KKK servers and disrupt their websites. [1]

The list, accompanied by images, can be found here.

pope francis new right hand man in america...,


HuffPo |  Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley wants the Vatican to move quickly to discipline bishops who helped cover up child sex abuse.

The Cardinal’s remarks came during an interview with 60 Minutes that touched a range of hot topics within the church -- including clergy sex abuse, treatment of the American Nuns and women’s ordination.

Choosing to wear the brown habit of the Capuchin Franciscan order instead of a Cardinal's red robes, O’Malley addressed the scandal surrounding Kansas City-St. Joseph’s Bishop Robert Finn. The bishop was convicted in 2012 of a criminal misdemeanor for failing to report a pedophile priest within his diocese.

The priest in question, Rev. Shawn Ratigan, was sentenced to 50 years in jail on child pornography charges, Crux reports, while Finn was given two years of probation. Finn is still holding on to his post as bishop.

But O’Malley agreed that Finn wouldn’t even be allowed to teach Sunday School in Boston. And as one of Pope Francis’ top American advisors, the Cardinal's opinions carry weight.
“It’s a question the Holy See needs to address urgently,” O’Malley said about whether Finn should continue in his role.

The Vatican sent O’Malley to the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002, with the task of cleaning up the sex abuse scandal that rocked one of the oldest bastions of American Catholicism. He admits he was “terrified” at first. Pope Francis gave his work a stamp of approval by choosing O’Malley as the head of the church’s new commission to protect children. 

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests, told The Huffington Post that O'Malley's comments were "more of the same -- talk and speculation."

"We aren't hopeful [about the commission]," Clohessy said via email. "There have been hundreds of Catholic church panels that have created policies and protocols that are essentially public relations and that are honored most often in the breach."

As part of the interview, O’Malley also addressed the issue of women’s ordination. While maintaining that women can play important roles in the church as directors of charities and schools, O’Malley emphasized that he still supports traditional Catholic doctrine that bars women from the priesthood. 

“If I were founding a church, you know, I'd love to have women priests,” O’Malley said. “But Christ founded it and what he he has given us is something different.”

On the other hand, he called the Vatican’s crackdown on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious a “disaster.” The LCWR represents about 80% of American nuns, Crux reports, and has been criticized by the Vatican for focusing on social justice issues instead of advancing Catholic teachings on abortion and sexuality. The Vatican has appointed three bishops to oversee the organization.

surprise, surprise, demoted former highest-ranking american cardinal raymond burke was the archbishop of st. louis...,


usatoday |  In a move that reflects the loosening posture of the Vatican on major social issues, conservative U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke was removed by Pope Francis from yet another top post.
Burke, who has long been vocal about denying communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion, was dismissed as head of the Holy See's highest court and given the post of Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial job overseeing charity to seniors.

At 66, Burke is considered young by church hierarchy standards. The dismissal is a set-back to his Vatican career as well as a clear message from Pope Francis to those not hewing to his progressive view of the Catholic Church.

The move was expected by Vatican-watchers given that Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, had openly criticized Francis' less doctrinaire approach to the faith. Last year, Francis had removed Burke from the Congregation for Bishops, a group tasked with the appointment of new bishops worldwide.

demoted cardinal raymond burke of st. louis was so flamboyant he would've made liberachi blush...,

stpeterslist |  Listers, it is no secret that St. Peter’s List has great adulation for our Prince of the Church, Cardinal Burke. Previously, SPL published a list of photographs from when the Prince visited the Notre-Dame de Fontgombault, in which there are wonderful shots the the Cappa Magna.


“On the feast of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, September 15, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, visited the foundation of the Sisters Adorers in Switzerland on the first anniversary of its establishment. Located in the Diocese of Basel, Switzerland, quite near the border with France, the House of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus is nestled in the Alps, which provide a very appropriate atmosphere for prayer, work, and community, in the spirit of the Sisters’ Patrons, St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, and St. Madeleine Sophia Barat.” – Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.3

Monday, November 17, 2014

the ineffable lucidity of school in a matinee..., accept no substitutes!

guardian | “I’ve always loved films that approach sound in an impressionistic way and that is an unusual approach for a mainstream blockbuster, but I feel it’s the right approach for this experiential film,” said Nolan. “Many of the film-makers I’ve admired over the years have used sound in bold and adventurous ways. I don’t agree with the idea that you can only achieve clarity through dialogue. Clarity of story, clarity of emotions — I try to achieve that in a very layered way using all the different things at my disposal — picture and sound.”
One scene in which some viewers struggled to hear dialogue featured Michael Caine’s character revealing key information to Jessica Chastain’s from his hospital bed. “We are following the emotional state of Jessica’s character as she starts to understand what he’s been saying,” said Nolan. “Information is communicated in various different ways over the next few scenes. That’s the way I like to work; I don’t like to hang everything on one particular line.”

a wrinkle in time