Thursday, September 30, 2010

rampant cheating on fbi domestic surveillance test

TPM | A significant number of FBI employees cheated on an exam intended to assess their skills on criminal investigations, national security investigations and foreign intelligence collection, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report released Monday.

When taking the computerized 51-question Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), some consulted with others while taking the exam, others used or distributed answers sheets or study guides that provided answers to the test and some employees "exploited a programming flaw to reveal the answers to the exam on their computers."

Supervisors -- including two Assistant Special Agents in Charge and a legal adviser -- were involved in such cheating and almost all of those who cheated falsely certified on the final question of the exam that they had not consulted with others, according to the OIG report.

In addition, some instructors taught to the test during training sessions and gave clues about what would be on the test. Instructors "stomped a foot several times, loudly, when they were covering a question that would be on the exam," and other instructors would mark their Power Point slides "with attention-getting signals - such as a cartoon character - if the information on that particular slide would be on the exam."

The FBI found that over 200 employees had completed the exam -- expected to take two hours -- in 20 minutes or less.

the odds must ALWAYS favor the house..., right?


Video - Black Hat DC 2010: Exploiting Lawful Intercept to Wiretap the Internet 1/6

NYTimes | Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.

James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had “huge implications” and challenged “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution” — including its decentralized design.

“They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet,” he said. “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”

But law enforcement officials contend that imposing such a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers.

“We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

Investigators have been concerned for years that changing communications technology could damage their ability to conduct surveillance. In recent months, officials from the F.B.I., the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, the White House and other agencies have been meeting to develop a proposed solution.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

money - the most powerful social technology

paeconreview | In Issue 53 of the real-world economics review Richard Smith called for ‘a practical, workable post-capitalist ecological economy, an economy by the people, for the people, that is geared to production for need, not for profit’ (2010:42). He suggests economic theorists should ‘go back to the drawing board’ to re-frame how such an economy would operate. In my book The Future of Money I have explored whether the money system could be a possible mechanism for achieving a socially just, democratically administered, sufficiency economy (2010a). A sufficiency economy would be one oriented to meeting people’s material needs to the minimum necessary to enable a high quality of life for all. My case for advocating the money system is that as a socially constructed intangible economic form it is most immediately amenable to collective social action. As Geoffrey Ingham has argued ‘money...is the most powerful of the social technologies’ (2004: 202). A major proviso is that even radial reform of the money system will not eliminate the private ownership and control of tangible economic resources, a key element of the capitalist economy, but it could provide a stepping stone to radical social change.

Those arguing for an ecologically sustainable economy point to the destructive nature of the capitalist market (Scott Cato 2006). This is mainly in terms of externalities and the drive for growth (Scott Cato 2009). Value is attributed to those activities and resources that can immediately access and generate money. Resources not already in private ownership are treated as free goods, and market prices do not take account of long term damage to the environment. The capitalist financial system also drives growth as the search for profits drives competition and expansion together with the reliance on debt-based bank credit to fund the monetary circuit (Rossi 2007, Parguez & Seccareccia 2000). Ecofeminist political economy adds to the ecological critique by pointing out that much of women’s work and lives is excluded from the money-based economy (Mellor 2010b). The market economy and the public economy both frame their activities in money terms, externalising unpaid community and domestic activities. The real economy in ecological and feminist terms would embrace all aspects of the provisioning conditions for human existence to include unpaid work and environmental resources , damage and resilience.

So why see money as the key to developing a sufficiency economy? It is true that money has had a bad press. Love of it is the root of all evil. It commodifies and alienates human relationships. It is the mechanism of the extraction of profit and capital accumulation. At the same time it is arguably a symbol of social trust in that people honour it in their dealings, and it can be, potentially if not actually, an instrument of social policy. What is even more important is the evidence, particularly in the recent financial crisis, that the only mechanism that stands behind money systems is the state as representing the collective economic resilience of the population. While the state can create and circulate money ex nihilo, it still relies on social trust and acknowledgement of that money to enable it to circulate, its power to tax and the collective activities of the people in accepting that money as a reward for labour.

end drug war, save billions in wealth

Cato | A new Cato Institute report examines the budgetary impact of ending the drug war and concludes that $88 billion could be saved each year (about $41 billion from canceled spending and about $47 billion in new tax revenue).

Here’s the executive summary:
State and federal governments in the United States face massive looming fiscal deficits. One policy change that can reduce deficits is ending the drug war. Legalization means reduced expenditure on enforcement and an increase in tax revenue from legalized sales.

This report estimates that legalizing drugs would save roughly $41.3 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. Of these savings, $25.7 billion would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government.

Approximately $8.7 billion of the savings would result from legalization of marijuana and $32.6 billion from legalization of other drugs.

The report also estimates that drug legalization would yield tax revenue of $46.7 billion annually, assuming legal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco. Approximately $8.7 billion of this revenue would result from legalization of marijuana and $38.0 billion from legalization of other drugs.
Saving money that is otherwise wasted is just one of a dozen good reasons to end the drug war. But since policymakers have placed all of us into a financial jam, this report shows one way to improve our position. Voting against the drug war remains a risky vote but more politicians are concluding that it is a less painful vote than voting against other things the government spends money on.

Harvard economist Jeff Miron and his co-author Katherine Waldock have data on the federal budget and all the states. Check out how much money your state is wasting and spread the word to others. Fist tap Dale.

deleveraging is america's future

paeconreview | The latest Flow of Funds release by the US Federal Reserve shows that the private sector is continuing to delever. However there are nuances in this process that to some extent explain why a recovery appeared feasible for a while.

The aggregate data is unambiguous: the US economy is delevering in a way that it hasn’t done since the Great Depression, from debt levels that are the highest in its history. The aggregate private debt to GDP ratio is now 267%, versus the peak level of 298% achieved back in February 2009–an absolute fall of 31 points and a percentage fall of 10.3% from the peak.

water use in southwest heads for day of reckoning

NYTimes | Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands.

For the first time, federal estimates issued in August indicate that Lake Mead, the heart of the lower Colorado basin’s water system — irrigating lettuce, onions and wheat in reclaimed corners of the Sonoran Desert, and lawns and golf courses from Las Vegas to Los Angeles — could drop below a crucial demarcation line of 1,075 feet.

If it does, that will set in motion a temporary distribution plan approved in 2007 by the seven states with claims to the river and by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, and water deliveries to Arizona and Nevada would be reduced.

This could mean more dry lawns, shorter showers and fallow fields in those states, although conservation efforts might help them adjust to the cutbacks. California, which has first call on the Colorado River flows in the lower basin, would not be affected.

But the operating plan also lays out a proposal to prevent Lake Mead from dropping below the trigger point. It allows water managers to send 40 percent more water than usual downstream to Lake Mead from Lake Powell in Utah, the river’s other big reservoir, which now contains about 50 percent more water than Lake Mead.

In that case, the shortage declaration would be avoided and Lake Mead’s levels restored to 1,100 feet or so.

Lake Powell, fed by rain and snowmelt that create the Colorado and tributaries, has risen more than 60 feet from a 2004 low because the upper basin states, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah, do not use their full allocations. The upper basin provides a minimum annual flow of 8.23 million acre feet to Arizona, Nevada and California. (An acre-foot of water is generally considered the amount two families of four use annually.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

dramatically-poisonous-economy-heading-to-catastrophic-collapse


Video - Manfred Max Neef

theintelhub | The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy — Manfred Max-Neef

Acclaimed economist Manfred Max-Neef, author of the award-winning book From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in ‘Barefoot Economics’ recently appeared in a must-see interview on Democracy Now where he says a second, more catastrophic crisis is unavoidable because our economic model is “dramatically poisonous.” Max-Neef explains that “Greed is the dominant value today in the world and as long as that persists, we’re done!” But he doesn’t just mean done economically, he means done as a species.

Going beyond facts and figures to describe economics, his philosophy is based on a macro-world view, where he accounts for the biosphere, human creativity, security and happiness, and life in all of its manifestations. He reveals that the majority of economists have great knowledge, more than ever before, but they lack understanding. The two differ as, “knowledge is a function of science, whereas understanding is holistic,” explained Max-Neef. Using the metaphor of love to simplify: we may read and accumulate great knowledge about love, but we can never fully understand it until we fall in love and experience it.

His philosophy of humanizing economics, or “Barefoot Economics,” stems from spending years living in and studying the culture of poverty to better understand the economics of it. He concludes that the poverty culture has entirely different principles than our modern culture, where they must depend on enormous creativity, cooperation and solidarity of people. In poverty, “you cannot be an idiot if you want to survive,” he quipped.

the utterly dismal theorem

Boulding | First Theorem: "The Dismal Theorem"

"If the only ultimate check on the growth of population is misery, then the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth."

Second Theorem: "The Utterly Dismal Theorem"

This theorem "states that any technical improvement can only relieve misery for a while, for so long as misery is the only check on population, the [technical] improvement will enable population to grow, and will soon enable more people to live in misery than before. The final result of [technical] improvements, therefore, is to increase the equilibrium population which is to increase the total sum of human misery."

Third Theorem: "The moderately cheerful form of the Dismal Theorem"

"Fortunately, it is not too difficult to restate the Dismal Theorem in a moderately cheerful form, which states that if something else, other then misery and starvation, can be found which will keep a prosperous population in check, the population does not have to grow until it is miserable and starves, and it can be stably prosperous."

the dismal science

Wikipedia | "The dismal science" is a derogatory alternative name for economics devised by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century. The term is an inversion of the phrase "gay science," meaning "life-enhancing knowledge", a reference to the technical skills of song and verse writing. This was a familiar expression at the time, and was later adopted as the title of a book by Nietzsche (see The Gay Science).

It is often stated that Carlyle gave economics the nickname "the dismal science" as a response to the late 18th century writings of The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, who grimly predicted that starvation would result as projected population growth exceeded the rate of increase in the food supply. Carlyle did indeed use the word 'dismal' in relation to Malthus' theory in his essay Chartism (1839):

The controversies on Malthus and the 'Population Principle', 'Preventative Check' and so forth, with which the public ear has been deafened for a long while, are indeed sufficiently mournful. Dreary, stolid, dismal, without hope for this world or the next, is all that of the preventative check and the denial of the preventative check.

However, the full phrase "the dismal science" first occurs in Carlyle's 1849 tract entitled Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question, in which he was arguing for the reintroduction of slavery as a means to regulate the labor market in the West Indies:

Not a "gay science," I should say, like some we have heard of; no, a dreary, desolate and, indeed, quite abject and distressing one; what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science.

Developing a deliberately paradoxical position,[citation needed] Carlyle argued that slavery was actually morally superior to the market forces of supply and demand promoted by economists, since, in his view, the freeing up of the labor market by the liberation of slaves had actually led to a moral and economic decline in the lives of the former slaves themselves.

Carlyle's view was attacked by John Stuart Mill and other liberal economists.

The teachings of Malthus eventually became known under the umbrella phrase "Malthus' Dismal Theorem". His predictions were forestalled by dramatic improvements in the efficiency of food production in the 20th century during the Green Revolution; yet the bleak end he proposed remains as a disputed future possibility.

Monday, September 27, 2010

wallyworld svp cracks under the hypocrisy

Watch live streaming video from cgi_plenary at livestream.com

Treehugger | Curveballs aplenty at the special session "Market-based Solutions for Protecting the Environment" at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative. The panel, which included Matt Kistler, the Senior Vice President of Marketing Wal-Mart and Dr. Sanjayan, the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, convened to discuss how business can address issues like water shortages and climate change, and turn a profit in the process. The biggest surprise came at the end of the session, when Kistler teared up discussing the great scope of the problems pursuing sustainability and addressing climate change presents.

Needless to say, it was interesting to hear what Kistler had to say, and not just because of the twist at the end. He discussed the already-apparent benefits that Wal-Mart is seeing from instituting its much touted Sustainability Index, and attempting to green its processes from the supply chain up. Kistler claimed that the company had saved over $200 million dollars by making its shipping fleet more efficient alone. He insisted that every part of the program had been immediately good for the corporation's bottom line; that it was seeing sizable savings as a result.

But at 57:21, check out Kistler's closing remarks about why Wal-Mart will continue to pursue sustainability and climate-friendly policies: because the consumer will demand it, and companies like Wal-Mart may have no choice.

the end of capitalism? - let it die....,

New Deal 2.0 | This is the second installment of “The Influencers,” a six-part interview series that Lynn Parramore, the editor of New Deal 2.0 and Media Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, is conducting in partnership with Salon. She talked to Lewis Lapham, the former longtime editor of Harper’s and the founder of Lapham’s Quarterly, about the nature of American-style capitalism — its beginning, its historical manifestation and, possibly, its end.

Lynn Parramore: Historically, what do you see as the dominant characteristics of America?
Lewis Lapham: It’s faith in the spirit and mechanics and moral value of capitalism. It is a country of expectant millionaires. You have the notions of risk, of labor put to a productive use, deferred pleasure - ideas that come out of our Puritan ancestry. And Puritans, by the way, were also venture capitalists. The plantation in Plymouth, and then in Massachusetts Bay, was intended to bring money to its investors in London.

Capitalism is the promise - it’s the bet on the future. It’s the hope of a new beginning over the next ridge of mountains, around the next bend in the river. It gives the common man a chance. That’s in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The original wording was: life, liberty and property. But happiness and property were almost synonymous in the Calvinist mind!

Capitalism, as you mention, is future-oriented. Do you think it relies on historical amnesia?
Well, there’s a new book called “Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism,” by the eminent historian Joyce Appleby. And her argument - and I think it’s probably true - is that capitalism is an historical phenomenon. It’s not a given. It’s not human nature. It arises at the end of the 16th century in Holland, but then is developed over the next four centuries for the most part in England and America. It’s had a life span of four centuries.

Prior to, let’s say, the 16th century, you had warrior kings who disdained commerce. Commerce existed from the very beginning - you have trading going on in Islam, in the Indian Ocean, in China … this goes back thousands of years. But the hope of the government is stability, hierarchy, order, degree. People knew the stations to which they belonged, to which they were born. Until 1600, 80 percent of the people in England lived on farms, and there was no question of improving their stature. There was no place for their surplus labor to go until you begin to develop commercial venture, trade and so on.

But 18th- and 19th-century European imperialism is a dynamic of private enterprise rather than state enterprise. The Roman legions are in the service of the Roman so-called Republic, or Empire. But the East India Company is acting on behalf of its principal owners and stockholders and, to a certain extent, of the sailors. It’s evolving toward our present sense of venture capital. The capitalist idea is to turn loot to a productive purpose - to yoke it to the wheels of industry. And this, of course, comes along, during the four centuries [17th century to present] with a steeply rising curve of scientific discovery and technological advance, so you get to the steam engine, the railroad, the iron smelter, the telephone, the radio, the TV, the Internet. We shape our tools, and our tools shape us. And by that shaping us, they shape our attitudes, our moral sense, our sense of self-interest. Competition is the spirit elixir of capitalism. This is not true in the more traditional society where the emphasis is on community, hierarchy, order, where people are terrified of starvation.

19 facts about the deindustrialization of america that will blow your mind

The Economic Collapse | The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing. It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II. But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?

Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things. So if the United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself to be a great nation? We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable. Every single month America does into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.

So what happens when the debt bubble pops?

The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country. But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.

For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them. Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.

The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

always after the fact...,

Wikipedia | Libet's experiments suggest that unconscious processes in the brain are the true initiator of volitional acts, and free will therefore plays no part in their initiation. If the brain has already taken steps to initiate an action before we are aware of any desire to perform it, the causal role of consciousness in volition is all but eliminated.

Libet finds that conscious volition is exercised in the form of 'the power of veto' (sometimes called free won't); the idea that conscious acquiescence is required to allow the unconscious buildup of the readiness potential to be actualized as a movement. While consciousness plays no part in the instigation of volitional acts, Libet suggested that it may still have a part to play in suppressing or withholding certain acts instigated by the unconscious. Libet noted that everyone has experienced the withholding from performing an unconscious urge. Since the subjective experience of the conscious will to act preceded the action by only 200 milliseconds, this leaves consciousness only 100-150 milliseconds to veto an action (this is because the final 50 milliseconds prior to an act are occupied by the activation of the spinal motor neurones by the primary motor cortex, and the margin of error indicated by tests utilizing the oscillator must also be considered).

Susan Blackmore's common sense interpretation is "that conscious experience takes some time to build up and is much too slow to be responsible for making things happen."[6]

Libet's experiments have received support from other research related to the Neuroscience of free will.

Video - Benjamin Libet tells us what free will is...

what "pastor" in his right mind?


Video - InternetGuide4Muslims summarizes the "bishop".

WaPo | Bishop Eddie L. Long built a religious empire just outside Atlanta by preaching a blend of the Gospel mixing faith, politics and finance - wrapped up in a flashy style - that propelled him to the pinnacle of the movement of large, independent African American mega-churches across the nation.

Now, after he was slapped with four lawsuits last week alleging he used his position to coerce young male members of his flock into sex acts, Long's future as a towering figure in the one of the country's most accomplished black communities and beyond is in question. On Sunday, Long is expected to take to the pulpit of his sprawling Lithonia church and address his 25,000-member congregation.

Many thousands more will be listening, and some are even flying to witness the event. The allegations have been a hot topic on black radio and Web sites since they came to light Tuesday, and black preachers across the country will continue the conversation from their pulpits Sunday.

It is, parishioners and observers say, a moment of undeniable crisis in the black church.

"The only person in the pantheon of black churches who is bigger than this is T.D. Jakes," said Anthea Butler, a religion professor at the University of Pennsylvania who was among those flying down to Georgia. "And Atlanta is the epicenter of black church life. . . . It's going to rock everything at the church, and people will really start to question these ministers."

Video - "Bishop" used the bible to justify "releasing his passion".

Saturday, September 25, 2010

the queen wanted a little gub'mint cheese....,

The Independent | Ministers were asked if money earmarked for schools, hospitals and low-income families could be used to meet soaring fuel bills. The Queen asked ministers for a poverty handout to help heat her palaces but was rebuffed because they feared it would be a public relations disaster, documents disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

Royal aides were told that the £60m worth of energy-saving grants were aimed at families on low incomes and if the money was given to Buckingham Palace instead of housing associations or hospitals it could lead to "adverse publicity" for the Queen and the Government.

Aides complained to ministers in 2004 that the Queen's gas and electricity bills, which had increased by 50 per cent that year, stood at more than £1m a year and had become "untenable".

The Royal Household also complained that the £15m government grant to maintain the Queen's palaces was inadequate.

In search of more money-saving schemes, the Queen's deputy treasurer wrote to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ask whether the Royal Household would be eligible for a grant to replace four combined heat and power (CHP) units at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

He asked: "Community Energy can fund up to 40 per cent of the capital costs of implementing a community heating scheme... Since we are already grant-in-aid funded [the Queen receives £15m a year for the upkeep of her palaces] we would like to know whether the Household [would] be able to benefit from these grants. I look forward to your comments." Under this scheme administered by the Environment department, schools, hospitals, councils and housing associations have been awarded £60m for heating programmes which benefit people on low incomes.

the limits of permaculture...,


Video - Toby Hemenway - How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but Not Civilization

Duke Environment | Hemenway is a frequent teacher, consultant and lecturer on permaculture and ecological design throughout the U.S. and other countries. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review and American Gardener. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Graduate Education at Portland State University, a Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and a biologist consultant for the Biomimicry Guild. Fist tap Dale.

peak food soon?


Video - Survival Gardening Part I

Ragblog | Will we soon experience a global peak in food production, similar to peak oil?

It is too difficult and too soon to predict a global peak in world food production, but it is easy to see that some such event cannot be delayed much longer, and is quite likely to occur within the next five years. This despite the fact that global grain reserves seem to be adequate for now.

The World Bank writes that "it is too early to make conclusive statements on the impact of the very recent global wheat price spikes at the national and household level." The FAO has likewise stated that there does not currently appear to be a crisis, but that it is concerned about the amount of volatility in food markets. And that volatility might bode ill for progress toward overcoming challenges like those laid out in the Millennium Development Goals being discussed at the U.N. this week.

"These recent global staple price increases raise the risk of domestic food price spikes in low income countries and its consequent impacts on poverty, hunger and other human development goals," according to the Bank.

Peak food is pretty hard to determine compared to peak oil, partly since so much of its production is local. Global food demand can restructure in its demand over time to accommodate a reduction in food supply. Those who are hungry will tend to shift their consumption to cheaper calories, often at the expense of its nutritional content. Globally, the wealthier tend to favor animal protein produced from grain, foods imported from afar, and in general less energy efficient foods.

Grains are the most important global food commodities to focus on because they provide such a large percentage of the world's total food calories, and because they can be stored and traded to reduce local food shortages. Wheat and rice are the top human food grains by tonnage. Other commonly used animal feed grains like corn are termed coarse grains. Wheat tends to be more used globally to prevent regional hunger, whereas rice provides cheaper food calories but is more often produced and consumed locally.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Itutu (coolness)


Fate told Wisdom
I must Act
Wisdom told Fate
I must Sit

Fate took North
Wisdom took South
Fire and Cool
Insentient and Introspect

Fate says
Bacteria came in Fire
Wisdom says
Humans grew in Cool

They created Portals
East and West
Light and Dark
2 became 4

Fate told Wisdom
I am Destiny
Wisdom told Fate
I am Choice

© nanakwame

manufacturing dissent


Video - Star Trek And the Children Shall Lead Conclusion

Globalresearch | In this article, we focus on a related concept, namely the process of "manufacturing dissent" (rather than "consent"), which plays a decisive role in serving the interests of the ruling class.

Under contemporary capitalism, the illusion of democracy must prevail. It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent.

To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition, with a view to preventing the development of radical forms of protest, which might shake the very foundations and institutions of global capitalism. In other words, "manufacturing dissent" acts as a "safety valve", which protects and sustains the New World Order.

To be effective, however, the process of "manufacturing dissent" must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement.

"Funding Dissent"
How is the process of manufacturing dissent achieved?

Essentially by "funding dissent", namely by channelling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites --which control major foundations-- also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people's movements rely heavily on both public as well as private funding agencies including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

immune response feeds parasite


Video - Original Star Trek Day of the Dove Conclusion

The Scientist | Salmonella is able to out compete resident gut microbes by deriving energy from the immune response that is supposed to combat the pathogen, according to a study published this week in Nature.

"It was a surprise," said microbiologist Samuel Miller of the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. "[Salmonella] is using [the host immune response] to its own advantage."

It's an "interesting story," added Brett Finlay of the University of British Columbia, who also did not participate in the study, in an email -- "a real twist on pathogenic mechanisms."

Salmonella enterica (specifically, serotype Typhimurium) is a gut parasite known to cause diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. The inflammatory response is part of a multipronged host immune response aimed at eliminating the bacteria, but recent studies have suggested that inflammation does just the opposite -- enhances Salmonella growth and transmission.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ecological dominance, social competition, and coalitionary arms races

jayhanson | Human cognitive abilities are extraordinary. Our large brains are significantly modified from those of our closest relatives, suggesting a history of intense natural selection. The conditions favoring the evolution of human cognitive adaptations, however, remain an enigma. Hypotheses based on traditional ecological demands, such as hunting or climatic variability, have not provided satisfying explanations. Recent models based on social problem solving linked with ecological conditions offer more convincing scenarios. But it has proven difficult to identify a set of selective pressures that would have been sufficiently unique to the hominin lineage. What was so special about the evolutionary environments of our ancestors that caused them, and them alone, to diverge in such astonishing ways from their close relatives and all other life forms? Richard Alexander proposed a comprehensive integrated explanation. He argued that as our hominin ancestors became increasing able to master the traditional “hostile forces of nature,” selective pressures resulting from competition among conspecifics became increasingly important, particularly in regard to social competencies. Given the precondition of competition among kin- and reciprocity-based coalitions (shared with chimpanzees), an autocatalytic social arms race was initiated, which eventually resulted in the unusual collection of traits characteristic of the human species, such as concealed ovulation, extensive biparental care, complex sociality, and an extraordinary collection of cognitive abilities. We term this scenario the “ecological dominance–social competition” (EDSC) model and assess the feasibility of this model in light of recent developments in paleoanthropology, cognitive psychology, and neurobiology. We conclude that although strong or direct tests are difficult with current data, Alexander's model provides a far-reaching and integrative explanation for the evolution of human cognitive abilities that is consistent with evidence from a wide range of disciplines.

waiting for "superman"


Video - Trailer for Waiting for "Superman"

Salon | It's no good blaming bad schools on poverty and economic segregation (as traditional social scientists have done) when ambitious educators have proven that even kids from the worst possible neighborhoods can thrive in school.

But there's almost as much in this movie that is downright baffling, beginning with the quotation marks in the title (to differentiate the DC Comics Man of Steel from the Nietzschean √úbermensch? Or what?) and moving on to Guggenheim's blithe certainty that he has all the answers, and his apparent lack of awareness that virtually every frame of his film is likely to piss somebody off. "Waiting for 'Superman'" was constructed to become a key element in a social-media activism campaign, much as were "Inconvenient Truth" and "Food, Inc." (not to mention less successful examples like "The End of the Line" or "Countdown to Zero"). But building a broad social consensus around addressing climate change looks like child's play compared to the poisonous realm of educational debate, where every question of fact is in dispute and where adults engage in ideological proxy wars, almost totally divorced from the question of how to educate children.

Pick your villains or your heroes: Teachers' unions, self-perpetuating bureaucracies, meddlesome state legislatures, corporate-style reformers, charter-school visionaries, testing and "accountability" mavens, the grand schemes and big promises of every president from Lyndon B. Johnson to Bush and Obama. Whoever you'd like to praise and castigate on that list, let's assume for the moment that they all mean what they say, and genuinely want to improve American schooling. They have also all manifestly failed to do it. As Guggenheim observes, educational spending per student has doubled since the 1970s (yes, that's adjusted for inflation), while our educational system has steadily lost ground to those of other countries.

Launching a campaign aimed at cutting through all the political noise and focusing on proven solutions sounds like an admirable goal -- but it assumes that there are proven solutions and that we know how they work. Many of the hottest issues in the contemporary educational debate never come up at all in "Waiting for 'Superman," including the compulsive and universal over-reliance on standardized testing. It never occurs to Guggenheim to question the exaggerated "academic" focus of early-grade education -- including the longer school day and school year, and homework in first grade or before -- which many researchers now believe is counterproductive on various levels. (Another recent documentary, "Road to Nowhere," addresses those issues well.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

fair enough?


Video - UbyKotex unamiguously beautiful woman commercial.

StanfordAlumni | Being buff and beautiful is nice, but attractiveness doesn't confer merit. And if we're prone to think it does, how should we deal with discrimination based on looks? Professor Deborah L. Rhode's odyssey into the unseemly world of beauty bias began a decade ago with too-tight shoes. She was in London for a conference. The Tube was closed because of a bomb scare. Traffic was jammed for the Queen Mother's birthday. Rhode and her colleagues had to get across town on foot, except, she recalls, "I was with a group of very high-powered women who were hobbled by their footwear."

The irony of their high heels' sacrifice of function for form was not lost on Rhode, who sent an op-ed to the New York Times wryly calling the women's shoe industry "the last acceptable haven for misogynists." Rhode was surprised that the Times took it—"after years of turning down my earnest op-ed pieces on far more important issues!"—but even more surprised by what happened next. Women commiserated. Footwear companies mailed catalogues. Podiatrists sent research on shoe-related maladies. "I don't think anything I've ever written has gotten more of an outpouring of immediate response," says Rhode, who has written 20 books.

A few years later, after learning that women were having toe surgery to fit into what she dubs "killer shoes," Rhode decided to do a little more research into the pains people take to keep up appearances. "And then of course I got hooked," she says. "The more that I read about the beauty industry and saw what the women's movement was up against, just in terms of the $200 billion grooming-products industry stacked up to make us feel anxious about our appearance, I thought this was an issue that deserved some attention."

In her new book, The Beauty Bias (Oxford University Press), Rhode laments not just crimes against feet, but also decries a much larger system that penalizes the plain, the overweight, the short, the frumpy and anyone else who doesn't fit within certain parameters of attractiveness. That, she says, is a serious problem: "Prejudice based on appearance is the last bastion of socially and legally acceptable bigotry."

Although the book's focus is largely on legal matters, it treads on turf that researchers at Stanford and elsewhere are exploring about the provenance and nature of appearance biases, those that reward or disadvantage people for their physical traits. Appearance bias is powerful, Rhode argues, and has real consequences in the workplace, schools, the justice system and other arenas we suppose to be meritocracies. But where does it come from, why does it persist, and is there anything we can do about it? Fist tap Arnach.

scientifically tested tests

NYTimes | AS children, teachers and parents sprint, slink or stumble into the new school year, they also find themselves laboring once again in the shadow of standardized tests. That is a real shame, given that there are few indications that the multiple-choice format of a typical test, in which students are quizzed on the specific formulas and bits of information they have memorized that year, actually measures what we need to know about children’s education.

There is also scant evidence that these tests encourage teachers to become better at helping individual children; in fact, some studies show that the tests protect bad teachers by hiding their lack of skill behind narrow goals and rigid scripts. And there are hardly any data to suggest that punishing schools with low test scores and rewarding schools with high ones improves anything. The only notable feature of our current approach is that these tests are relatively easy to administer to every child in every school, easy to score and easy to understand. But expediency should not be our main priority when it comes to schools.

Instead, we should come up with assessments that truly measure the qualities of well-educated children: the ability to understand what they read; an interest in using books to gain knowledge; the capacity to know when a problem calls for mathematics and quantification; the agility to move from concrete examples to abstract principles and back again; the ability to think about a situation in several different ways; and a dynamic working knowledge of the society in which they live.

This task is not as difficult as one might think. In recent years, psychologists have found ways to measure things as subtle as the forces that govern our moral choices and the thought processes that underlie unconscious stereotyping. And many promising techniques already used by child development experts could provide a starting point for improving school assessments.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the ringing-bell reverberation part is amusing....,

NYTimes | Consciousness is not simply about quantity of information, he says. Simply combining a lot of photodiodes is not enough to create human consciousness. In our brains, neurons talk to one another, merging information into a unified whole. A grid made up of a million photodiodes in a camera can take a picture, but the information in each diode is independent from all the others. You could cut the grid into two pieces and they would still take the same picture.

Consciousness, Dr. Tononi says, is nothing more than integrated information. Information theorists measure the amount of information in a computer file or a cellphone call in bits, and Dr. Tononi argues that we could, in theory, measure consciousness in bits as well. When we are wide awake, our consciousness contains more bits than when we are asleep.

For the past decade, Dr. Tononi and his colleagues have been expanding traditional information theory in order to analyze integrated information. It is possible, they have shown, to calculate how much integrated information there is in a network. Dr. Tononi has dubbed this quantity phi, and he has studied it in simple networks made up of just a few interconnected parts. How the parts of a network are wired together has a big effect on phi. If a network is made up of isolated parts, phi is low, because the parts cannot share information.

But simply linking all the parts in every possible way does not raise phi much. “It’s either all on, or all off,” Dr. Tononi said. In effect, the network becomes one giant photodiode.

Networks gain the highest phi possible if their parts are organized into separate clusters, which are then joined. “What you need are specialists who talk to each other, so they can behave as a whole,” Dr. Tononi said. He does not think it is a coincidence that the brain’s organization obeys this phi-raising principle.

Dr. Tononi argues that his Integrated Information Theory sidesteps a lot of the problems that previous models of consciousness have faced. It neatly explains, for example, why epileptic seizures cause unconsciousness. A seizure forces many neurons to turn on and off together. Their synchrony reduces the number of possible states the brain can be in, lowering its phi.

Relating Introspective Accuracy to Individual Differences in Brain Structure

Science | The ability to introspect about self-performance is key to human subjective experience, but the neuroanatomical basis of this ability is unknown. Such accurate introspection requires discriminating correct decisions from incorrect ones, a capacity that varies substantially across individuals. We dissociated variation in introspective ability from objective performance in a simple perceptual-decision task, allowing us to determine whether this interindividual variability was associated with a distinct neural basis. We show that introspective ability is correlated with gray matter volume in the anterior prefrontal cortex, a region that shows marked evolutionary development in humans. Moreover, interindividual variation in introspective ability is also correlated with white-matter microstructure connected with this area of the prefrontal cortex. Our findings point to a focal neuroanatomical substrate for introspective ability, a substrate distinct from that supporting primary perception. Fist tap Dale.

the school of hard drives

NYTimes | This interview is for a special issue on education and technology, so let me start by asking you about computers in classrooms. As the secretary of education, do you think every kid in America needs a computer?
I think every student needs access to technology, and I think technology can be a hugely important vehicle to help level the playing field. Whether it’s in an inner-city school or a rural community, I want those students to have a chance to take A.P. biology and A.P. physics and marine biology.

What does that have to do with having a computer?
We have thousands of students today taking online classes. We actually have virtual schools today.

How horrible. How can you compare the experience of acquiring knowledge from a beloved high-school teacher to acquiring information from a machine?
There are schools that don’t have a beloved high-school teacher to teach A.P. physics. That’s what I’m talking about.

Did you see the study that showed that the only category in which American students remain No. 1 is self-esteem? We have great confidence in ourselves, even if our competence has declined.
As a country, we have dropped. The brutal truth is that we have fallen from first to ninth in the world in the percentage of college graduates in a generation.

Which country has the highest percentage of college graduates?
South Korea is one that I watch very closely. South Korea, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Norway are the top five.

Have you seen the new film “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary opening this week that makes public education in this country seem totally dysfunctional?
I did. I think it’s going to help the country to understand the tremendous sense of urgency that I feel. We have parents who know their child is getting a subpar education. That is devastating to them and ultimately it’s devastating to our country.

chinese exchange-value follies....,

NYTimes | These days, Khotan is mad about jade, or at least the riches it has brought to a city whose previous bout of prosperity occurred a few thousand years ago, when traders from ancient Rome and Constantinople were making their way toward Xi’an, then the capital of the Chinese empire and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.

Ounce for ounce, the finest jade has become more valuable than gold, with the most prized nuggets of “mutton fat” jade — so-named for its marbled white consistency — fetching $3,000 an ounce, a tenfold increase from a decade ago.

The jade boom, which appears to have reached a frenzy in the past year or two, has been fueled by the Chinese, whose new wealth and a 5,000-year affinity for the stone has turned Khotan cotton farmers into jade tycoons.

“The love of jade is in our blood, and now that people have money, everyone wants a piece around their neck or in their home,” Zhang Xiankuo, a Chinese salesman, said as he opened a safe to show off his company’s most expensive carved items, among them a pair of kissing swans that retails for $150,000 and a contemporary rendition of a Tang dynasty beauty, her breasts impertinently exposed, that can be purchased for $80,000.

In a region convulsed by ethnic strife, it is notable that the manna appears to have enriched both Khotan’s native Uighurs, Turkic-speaking adherents of Islam, and the more recently arrived Han Chinese, who are often viewed unlovingly as rapacious colonizers.

The Uighurs have largely made their fortune harvesting jade from the river and selling it to Chinese middlemen. Because devout Muslims are proscribed from dealing in certain representational images, the Han have come to monopolize the carving and sale of Buddhist figurines, stalking tigers and the miniature cabbages that are popular among Chinese consumers.

“Jade has no meaning for our culture, but we are thankful to Allah that the Chinese go crazy for it,” said Yacen Ahmat, a Uighur who spends seven days a week working the crowds at Khotan’s jade bazaar, a frenetic marketplace dominated by prospectors trying to unload their catch on savvy wholesalers — or hapless tourists who often return home with overpriced rocks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

children's future requests for computers and the internet

Latitude | Innovation-Thinking: Many brilliant innovations come about by transposing one solution onto a new category of problem, the result of which may strike us as a kind of curious juxtaposition. (Blogging by e-mail, anyone? How about systems thinking and children’s toys?)

Kids Solve Problems
Children are naturally more fluent with ideas than adults, unfettered by the “necessity” and experience of applying their underlying thinking ability to knowledge areas in conditioned ways, within the boundaries of what is practical and possible. (Rote learning is an extreme example of the thinking “refinement” we undergo on the way to adulthood.)

A child’s knowledge and experience are limited and so the problem solutions are often impractical. But what matters is the way the child’s mind uses the limited material at its disposal.
When children were given the “political” problem of stopping a cat and a dog from fighting, their ideas went far beyond the approaches used by politicians.
Edward de Bono, Children Solve Problems

In a 2006 Developmental Psychology study by Zheng Yan, children between the ages of 9 and 13 were asked to represent pictorially what the Internet looks like. Some of the drawings (c & d below), convey a complex understanding of a system that even most adults struggle to comprehend.

The Merlin Factor: Putting Kids’ Solutions to Practical Use
It takes some insight and patience (the more you look, the more you find) for an adult to appreciate the creativity in children’s responses because they are often unconventional or “impossible.” Thus, questions posed to children should be targeted and thoughtful–a structured problem-solving objective should exist–to elicit solutions that manifest the power of children’s undamped creativity.

For example, asking children: “If you wanted to build a house more quickly, how would you do it?” ultimately requires children to generate solutions for how to make an existing process faster and more efficient. (Example from Edward de Bono’s, Children Solve Problems).

Latitude 42: Children’s “Future Requests” for Computers & the Internet
As part of its 42s: An Innovation Series, Latitude is launching a generative thought study around Web technology–with the help of children ages 12 and under.

What would be really interesting or fun to do on your computer/the Internet that your computer can’t do right now? Please draw a picture of what this activity looks like.

Additionally, the study will explore: how children use and understand Web technology, which environmental factors contribute to these understandings, and the extent to which children can think “innovatively” (beyond the bounds of their known environment).

We expect to be impressed. We also expect to learn a few things from our participants. Fist tap Dale.

why "scientific consensus" fails to persuade

NSF | Individuals with competing cultural values disagree about what most scientists believe. Whether a scientist is seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy depends on a person's cultural values. Suppose a close friend who is trying to figure out the facts about climate change asks whether you think a scientist who has written a book on the topic is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert. You see from the dust jacket that the author received a Ph.D. in a pertinent field from a major university, is on the faculty at another one, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Would you advise your friend that the scientist seems like an "expert"?

If you are like most people, the answer is likely to be, "it depends." What it depends on, a recent study found, is not whether the position that scientist takes is consistent with the one endorsed by a National Academy. Instead, it is likely to depend on whether the position the scientist takes is consistent with the one believed by most people who share your cultural values.

This was the finding of a recent study conducted by Yale University law professor Dan Kahan, University of Oklahoma political science professor Hank Jenkins-Smith and George Washington University law professor Donald Braman that sought to understand why members of the public are sharply and persistently divided on matters on which expert scientists largely agree.

"We know from previous research," said Dan Kahan, "that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment."

In the study, subjects with individualistic values were over 70 percentage points less likely than ones with egalitarian values to identify the scientist as an expert if he was depicted as describing climate change as an established risk. Likewise, egalitarian subjects were over 50 percentage points less likely than individualistic ones to see the scientist as an expert if he was described as believing evidence on climate change is unsettled. Fist tap Dale.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

haiti next steps - cleaning up the rubble


Video - Bill Clinton on Haiti next steps.



Video - Bill Clinton advice to Obama - go sell it, elections are about the future.

a design revolution doing more with less


Video - Buckminster Fuller Challenge - a design revolution doing more with less.

challenge.bfi.org | "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award"
-Metropolis Magazine on the Challenge, 2010

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. It attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.

» Applications are now being accepted: How to Enter
» Deadline is Monday, October 4, 2010 at 5pm, Eastern Standard Time

critical path redux


World Game Synergy


Critical Path | With legal planning of their lawyer-advised banking leaders, the "haves" have now succeeded in cornering all the world's monetary gold as well as the preponderance of the world's petroleum resources - along with their refineries and world-around petro-delivery systems together also with acquisitions of all the atomic power-generating plants, originally paid for by the US taxpayers - and thereafter in severing the monetary system from the wealth system while marking up the negotiable equity value of gold and petroleum tenfold.

They also have contrived their own game of international monetary banking of international balances of trade and credit accounting, greatly aided by the priorly established existence of 150 "sovereign" nations around planet Earth.

That division of world political power into 150 sovereign nations is a consequence of thousands of years of successive and individually independent contriving of history's most powerful leaders. The number-one strategy of the successful leaders of history's successively established supreme socioeconomic control systems has always been to induce the spontaneous self-divisioning of those designed to be conquered and to keep them spontaneously self-dividing and their divisions lethally interarrayed against one another in order to keep them conquered.

The longer the self-divisionings can be self-perpetuating, the more spontaneously are the divisions accepted institutionally by the successive generations as being "natural" divisions ... The prime vulnerabilities of humanity, which make it subject to spontaneous self-dividing, are those of different speech patterns, skin color, religions, social customs, class or caste systems, political preferences and all varieties of individually unique "troubles", suffering and discontent.

The historical consequence of this aeons-ago-commenced employment of this grand strategy of 'divide to conquer and keep divided to keep conquered" accounts for the "natural" acceptance today by world peoples of the seemingly "God-given" existance of 150 sovereign nations of the world and their respective geographical division of all the world's dry land. ...

The plotted curve of the rate of gain for increasing proportions of all humanity being thus swiftly advantaged by the doing more for more people with less and less matter and energy per function - all accomplished with computers, satellites, alloys, etc. - indicates that 100 percent of all humanity will be thus advantaged before 2000 A.D. In less than twenty years (less than one generation) all humanity is scheduled by evolution (not by any world planning body) to become physically more successful and,metaphysically more interestingly occupied than have any humans ever been in all known history-provided that humanity does not commit ignorance-, fear-, and -panic-induced total-species suicide.

Why might they panic? All the present bureaucracies of political governments, great religious organizations, and all big businesses find that physical success for all humanity would be devastating to the perpetuation of their ongoing activities. This is because all of them are founded on the premise of ameliorating individual cases while generally exploiting on behalf of their respective political, religious, or business organizations the condition of nowhere- nearly- enough-life-support-for-all and its resultant great human suffering and discontent.

Reason number two for fear-wrought panic is because all of the 150 nations of our planet are about to be desovereignized by evolution; that is, they are about to become operatively obsolete - about to be given up altogether. There are millions in the U.S.A., for instance, who on discovery that their government was about to become bankrupt and defunct would become activist "patriots," and might get out their guns and start a Nazi movement, seeking dictatorially to reinstate the "good old days." If people in many of the 150 nations succeeded in re-establishing their sovereignties and all the customs-barrier, balance-of-trade shacklings, it would soon be discovered that the 150 nations represent 150 "blood clots" imperiling the free interflowing of the evolution-producing metals and products recirculation as well as of the popular technical know-how disseminating.

We have today, in fact, 150 supreme admirals and only one ship - Spaceship Earth. We have the 150 admirals in their 150 staterooms each trying to run their respective stateroom as if it were a separate ship. We have the starboard side admirals' league trying to sink the port side admirals' league. If either is successful in careening the ship to drown the "enemy" side, the whole ship will be lost.

Long ago the world's great religions learned how to become transnational or more effectively supranational. Next the world's great ideologies learned how to become supranational. Most recently the world's largest financial- enterprise corporations have become completely supranational in their operation. Big religion, ideologies, and businesses alike found it intolerable to operate only within 150 walled-in pens. Freeing themselves by graduating into supranational status, they have left all the people in the 150 pens to struggle with all the disadvantages of 150 mutually opposed economic policies. The European Economic Community is a local attempt to cope with this world problem.

The United States of America is not a nation. Nations are large tribes of humans that have been geographically isolated for millennia and have progressively inbred the physical types surviving under those unique geographical conditions. As mentioned, the U.S.S.R. had 146 naturally evolved nations" to integrate, the physiognomies of each U.S.S.R. nation looking quite different from the others'. The United States of America is a crossbreeding integration of humans from all the nations of the planet Earth; though often speaking of itself as the United States of America, it is not America. Its population is only one-half that of North and South America. The North Americans, consisting of Canadians, the U.S. citizens, and Mexicans, are evolutionarily cross-breeding into a single hybrid family of world humans. ...

It is the invisibility of the alloys and chemistries and of the electronic circuitry of the design science revolution which finds that revolution to be as yet uncomprehended and ignorantly opposed by humanity's reliance only on yesterday's politically visible means of problem-solving. It is both the invisibility and misinformedness that occasions the lack of spontaneous popular support of the invisible design science revolution by the most powerful political and money-making systems. Big government can see no way to collect taxes to run its bureaucracy if people are served directly and individually by daily cosmic-energy-wealth income. Money-makers cannot find a way of putting meters between people and the wind, Sun, waves, etc. Neither big government nor big business pays any serious attention to the fact that we can live on our energy income, rather than on nature's energy savings account (fossil fuels), or by burning our Spaceship Earth's physical hull, which consists entirely of atomic energy in the form of matter. ...

World Game will become increasingly effective in its prognoses and programming when the world-around, satellite-interrelayed computer system and its omni-Universe-operative (time-energy) accounting system are established. This system will identify the kilowatt-hour-expressed world inventory of foods, raw and recirculating resources, and all the world's unique mechanical and structural capabilities and their operating capacities as well as the respective kilowatt-hours of available energy-income-derived operating power with which to put their facilities to work. All the foregoing information will become available in respect to all the world-around technology's environment-controlling, life-sustaining, travel- and communication-accommodating structures and machines. - Buckminster Fuller - Critical Path