Saturday, June 19, 2010

the limits of magic

ArchdruidReport | There’s a rich irony that one of the few contemporaries of Hitler who could match his understanding of the nonrational was Mohandas K. Gandhi. Gandhi was not a reasonable man, either, but his mind rose as far above the level of reason as Hitler’s sank below it. In many ways, the task of prying loose “the jewel in the crown” of the British Empire from its overlords was a more astonishing feat than pulling Germany out of its post-1918 death spiral, and Gandhi did the job without any of the institutional tools Hitler relied on to work his magic. The spectacle of the largest empire in human history forced to submit to the gentle will of a single elderly mystic may be taken as an example of the positive potential of magic; the cataclysmic failure of the Twelve Year Reich show just as clearly its potential downside.

The difference in results unfolded partly from the moral distance between the two enchanters. Ethics are as important in magic as sanitation is in surgery, and for the same reason; neglect either one and you can count on things going septic. Still, there are also differences of means and ends, and these bear directly on the theme of this essay. In order to accomplish his purpose, Gandhi needed only to affect the thoughts and decisions of people in Britain, India, and any other countries that might influence one or the other. His work, in other words, was ultimately a matter of causing changes in consciousness, and that was something that symbolic action could and did accomplish.

Hitler, for his part, started out working on similar lines. To bring his vision of a triumphant Germany into reality, he had to cause changes in the consciousness of the German people, on the one hand, and in the minds of the leaders of other European nations on the other, and the magical knowledge he got on the fringes of the Vienna occult scene proved more than adequate to that task. Once he went past those goals to pursue the fantasy of military conquest, though, he passed out of the range of effects that could be accomplished by changes in consciousness, and into a realm that depended on the hard material realities of oil, steel, and geography. Once he crossed that line he was doomed; magic can transform a failed state into a unified nation, but it can’t make a world empire in an industrial age out of a modestly sized European state with few resources, no petroleum, and no defensible borders.

All this is simply to say that magic, like any other tool, is very well suited to carry out some jobs and completely useless for others. If the troubles faced by an individual or a community are primarily a function of consciousness, magical methods can be extraordinary effective in dealing with them. If the troubles that have to be faced has its roots in the world of matter, though, there are hard limits to what magic can do. You can’t use incantations and rituals, for example, to put oil in the ground if it was never there in the first place, or if the oil fields have already been pumped dry. You can’t even use magic to run a successful coal-to-liquids program if the net energy of the technology you’re using is too low; Hitler’s regime did its level best to accomplish that, with some of the world’s best scientists and engineers, the substantial coal reserves of occupied Europe, and an unrestricted supply of slave labor – and the Wehrmacht still ran out of fuel.

These examples are particularly relevant to the present, because the movements led by Hitler and Gandhi both had plenty in common with revitalization movements. Both emerged in response to drastic social stresses resistant to any more practical or reasonable approach – the post-Versailles near-collapse of Germany on the one hand, the economic and social burdens of British imperial rule over India on the other. Both drew heavily on symbolism, incantation, ritual, and the rest of the hardware in the magician’s toolkit, and both became mass movements characterized by the wild enthusiasm and millenarian expectations common to revitalization movements everywhere. The success of Gandhi’s project and the failure of Hitler’s thus points up, among other things, the difference between what a revitalization movement can do and what it can’t.

oxytocin and group aggression

WorldScience | A chem­i­cal some­times called the “trust hor­mone” or “bond­ing hor­mone” be­cause of its role in so­cial rela­t­ion­ships can al­so pro­mote a type of con­flict, new re­search sug­gests.

Sci­en­tists have found that the com­pound, called ox­y­to­cin and pro­duced in the brain, leads hu­mans to sac­ri­fice their in­ter­ests for their own group while act­ing against out­side groups per­ceived as threat­en­ing.

The find­ings were pub­lished June 11 in the re­search jour­nal Sci­ence.

The re­search­ers, Carsten de Dreu of the Uni­vers­ity of Am­ster­dam and col­leagues, said the find­ings offer a bi­o­log­i­cal ex­plana­t­ion for why con­flicts be­tween groups es­ca­late when oth­er groups are seen as threat­en­ing. When such threat is low, for ex­am­ple be­cause there are phys­i­cal bar­ri­ers be­tween the group ter­ri­to­ries, con­flict es­cala­t­ion is less like­ly.

De Dreu and col­leagues con­ducted the study aim­ing to learn why ox­y­to­cin would pro­mote al­tru­is­tic be­hav­ior. Where­as clas­sic eco­nom­ic the­o­ry has trou­ble ex­plain­ing al­tru­ism, an ev­o­lu­tion­ary per­spec­tive sug­gests al­tru­ism func­tions to strength­en one’s own group, from which the in­di­vid­ual ben­e­fits in the long run.

Be­cause ag­gres­sion to­wards com­pet­ing groups may help one’s own group to be­come rel­a­tively stronger, ag­gres­sion is an in­di­rect form of al­tru­is­tic, loy­al be­hav­ior to­wards one’s own group, some bi­ol­o­gists the­o­rize.

Charles Dar­win noted that groups whose mem­bers are al­tru­is­tic to­wards their own are more likely to pros­per, to sur­vive, and spread. De Dreu’s team rea­soned that if this is true, mech­a­nisms should have evolved that sus­tain al­tru­ism to­wards the own group, and ag­gres­sion to­wards com­pet­ing oth­er groups. The new find­ings sup­port this per­spec­tive, they ar­gued.

Friday, June 18, 2010

capitalism and corporate journalism

medialens | n his latest excellent book, 'Beyond the Profits System', the British economist Harry Shutt observes that one of the most striking features of the financial crisis has been:
"... the uniformly superficial nature of the analysis of its causes presented by mainstream observers, whether government officials, academics or business representatives. Thus it is commonly stated that the crisis was caused by a combination of imprudent investment by bankers and others [...] and unduly lax official regulation and supervision of markets. Yet the obvious question begged by such explanations - of how or why such a dysfunctional climate came to be created - is never addressed in any serious fashion."
Shutt continues:
"The inescapable conclusion [...] is that the crisis was the product of a conscious process of facilitating ever greater risk of massive systemic failure." (Harry Shutt, 'Beyond the Profits System: Possibilities for a Post-Capitalist Era', Zed Books, London, 2010, p.6)
In several books and articles, David Harvey, a social theorist at the City University of New York, has cogently written of how capitalism has shaped western society, risking and even destroying nations, populations and ecosystems. Not only are periodic episodes of "meltdown" inevitable, but they are crucial to capitalism's very survival. The essence of capitalism is self-interest; and any talk of reforming it through regulation or by imposing morality - a kinder, gentler capitalism - is both irrational and deceitful.

The bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered the latest crisis of capitalism. Drastic action was required to save the system. And so, observes Harvey, a few US Treasury officials and bankers including the Treasury Secretary himself, a past president of Goldman Sachs and the present Chief Executive of Goldman, "emerged from a conference room with a three-page document demanding a $700 billion bail-out of the banking system while threatening Armageddon in the markets."

Harvey continues:
"It seemed like Wall Street had launched a financial coup against the government and the people of the United States. A few weeks later, with caveats here and there and a lot of rhetoric, Congress and then President George Bush caved in and the money was sent flooding off, without any controls whatsoever, to all those financial institutions deemed 'too big to fail'." (David Harvey, 'The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism', Profile Books, London, 2010, p. 5)
Shutt translates "too big to fail", that over-used defence employed by capitalists and their cheerleaders, as meaning that a tiny super-wealthy clique recognised that they risked losing vast fortunes if the markets were allowed to take their course free of intervention from the state. Wholesale nationalisation of insolvent banks would have posed an existential threat to elite power; or even led to the collapse of the capitalist profits system in its entirety. Rather than accept such a fate, rich investors tried to ensure that their toxic assets be "largely transferred to the state, thereby adding unimaginable sums - officially estimated at $18 trillion world-wide - to already excessive public debt." (Shutt, op. cit., p. 36)

As ever, the public were made to pay the price for private greed. In simple terms: it's socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the rest of us.

tony hayward stonewalls

you couldn't make this stuff up....,

Video - Michael Caine as Tony Hayward in On Deadly Ground.

joe barton's public teabagging demonstration

Thursday, June 17, 2010

open biology's quest to explode data

The Scientist | A “science commons” at the data-intensive layer will encourage scholarly collaboration and communication—and spur drug discovery.

Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet and the founder of 3Com, observed that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. This is known as Metcalfe’s Law, and it goes a long way toward explaining why we can create and realize so much value from the Web. As more users get online, the network gets more valuable, spurring more users to get online, and so on.

Getting Metcalfe’s Law to operate for data is a long-held goal of science. Indeed, the Web was created to share data—physics data—by making it easier to link, find, download, and browse information on disparate computers. But we don’t have the functionality of the consumer Web for biological data. And we’re not getting network effects for data in the spaces that would most dramatically affect our lives—in the study of human disease.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Studying human disease is complex and almost incomprehensibly expensive. And recent studies from inside the pharmaceutical industry itself draw on 60 years of data to show us that drug discovery is essentially a random process. It’s hard to force network effects onto this world.

That’s because it’s difficult to start an “open” biology process from scratch. The cost of entry is still in the tens of millions of dollars to develop a meaningful corpus of data sets one can legally share and analytic tools one can legally place under open source licenses. Even then you’d have to find incentives to get scientists to share their new data, their models of disease, their software tools—when they’re not rewarded for doing so. It is a tall hill to climb.

shock and age

The Scientist | The accumulation of misfolded protein marks the accrual of years as the body ages. Could heat shock proteins be used to reduce the effects of aging and diminish the risk of disease by untangling improperly folded proteins?

What does a molecular thermometer look like? This seemed to be a simple question, not much different from the many science fair projects I had done in grade school and high school in Chicago. But rather than the simple solutions I’d present on triptych posterboards, the answer to this question has kept me fascinated for my entire career. The cell’s thermometer appears to be a network of stress-sensing transcription factors and specialized proteins—molecular chaperones—that function as the guardian of the proteome, sensing damage and keeping the cell’s proteins properly folded as they roll off the production line of ribosomes. Exciting as that was, none of us working on this question at the time could have predicted that this thermometer might also control the body’s fountain of youth and provide new ways of thinking about disease.

Proteins are fundamental building blocks for the cell; they are the predominant products of the genome that provide much of the shape and functionality of cells, tissues, and organisms. The proper synthesis, folding, assembly, translocation, and clearance of proteins is essential for the health of the cell and the organism. Proteins also provide the essential parts to replenish molecular machines for biosynthetic processes and ensure their efficient functioning in the adult cell, a process critical for longevity. At the root of the problem is a fundamental process: protein folding. When quality control—as overseen by heat shock proteins and molecular chaperones—slips, errors occur and persist. This interferes with molecular processes, which can lead to disease. When these events occur in neurons, the consequences can be devastating, leading to major classes of neurological disorders, like multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

genetic fix for hiv?

The Scientist | Genetically modifying the stem cells of HIV patients may one day prove to be an effective, one-time therapy against the hard-to-kill virus, according to the results of a proof-of-principle trial published this week in Science Translational Medicine.

In contrast to the widely used highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which patients must continue for their entire lives to control the virus, such a genetic treatment has the potential to be "a single administration therapy," said bioengineer David Schaffer of the University of California at Berkeley, who was not involved in the trial, "where you introduce [a gene] into somebody's cells, and it stays there the rest of their lives. [That] has the potential to be a major plus," eliminating many of the toxic effects and financial costs of HAART.

Because of these potential advantages, gene therapy -- the integration of new genetic material into a patient's genome -- has been proposed as a treatment for HIV. In past clinical trials, however, the new genetic material has failed to persist more than 8 months or a year. But taking advantage of a golden opportunity in which a handful of HIV patients had to undergo bone marrow transplants, molecular geneticist John Rossi of the City of Hope cancer center in California and his colleagues introduced three different therapeutic genes into patients' blood stem cells, then found evidence of those genetic elements in the blood up to 24 months later.

"It showed us that you can introduce genes into somebody's blood cells, and it can stay around for years," said Schaffer, who wrote a perspective about the paper.

"That's a major finding," Rossi added. While the number of cells expressing those genes was too low to provide any therapeutic benefit, it's "proof of principle" that gene therapy may provide long-term HIV treatment, he said.

microcosmic mafia wars

The Scientist | When searching for an appropriate description of the mammalian immune system, the vast majority of scientists settle on the metaphor of a war. It’s a battle scene, with the foot soldiers of the immune system (e.g., killer T cells) battling the bacterial or viral particles in an open field (the host’s body). Painting a picture in such strong terms is a good way to attract attention (and funding), and in many ways, it is a good fit—one paper I stumbled on as a graduate student that elegantly modeled the conflict generated nearly identical equations to those used in traditional models of warfare, which predict that military losses are proportional to the size of enemy forces.

Over the last several years, however, scientists have begun to realize that the molecular interactions between a pathogen and its host are quite a bit more complex than simple open field battle, where the power of one’s army is measured by bodies alone. The immune system is a multifaceted defense system, and pathogens have evolved numerous molecular strategies to evade its wrath, including methods that resemble more the devious tactics of organized crime than those of traditional warfare, such as setting up fronts to conduct covert operations, going undercover to infiltrate the opposing gang, and terrifying the enemy into admitting defeat (or committing Seppuku).

In the late 1990s, the discovery of pathogenicity islands—large regions of bacterial and viral genomes unique to pathogenic species—led researchers to recognize that many pathogens were involved in some complex racketeering, says immunologist and microbiologist Igor Brodsky of Yale University. Encoding specialized systems to inject virulence proteins into cells, pathogens are able to manipulate cellular processes in the host for their own benefit, such as initiating immune cell death and blocking a continued immune response.

This prompted the field to start identifying specific virulence factors important for a particular pathogen—either by mining databases for genes that might be behind those factors, knocking them out, and observing the effects on the pathogen’s ability to infect its host, or doing random mutagenesis. Once scientists identified some factors important for virulence, “then the question was what were these genes or proteins doing,” Brodsky says.

viruses provoke organelle creation | Highlights:
* RNA viruses generate specialized RNA replication organelles enriched in PI4P lipids
* Host PI4KIIIβ enzyme is co-opted by the virus to generate PI4P lipid-rich organelles
* Enteroviral RNA polymerases specifically and preferentially bind PI4P lipids
* PI4P microenvironment is essential for enteroviral and flaviviral RNA synthesis
Many RNA viruses remodel intracellular membranes to generate specialized sites for RNA replication. How membranes are remodeled and what properties make them conducive for replication are unknown. Here we show how RNA viruses can manipulate multiple components of the cellular secretory pathway to generate organelles specialized for replication that are distinct in protein and lipid composition from the host cell. Specific viral proteins modulate effector recruitment by Arf1 GTPase and its guanine nucleotide exchange factor GBF1, promoting preferential recruitment of phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase IIIβ (PI4KIIIβ) to membranes over coat proteins, yielding uncoated phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P) lipid-enriched organelles. The PI4P-rich lipid microenvironment is essential for both enteroviral and flaviviral RNA replication; PI4KIIIβ inhibition interferes with this process; and enteroviral RNA polymerases specifically bind PI4P. These findings reveal how RNA viruses can selectively exploit specific elements of the host to form specialized organelles where cellular phosphoinositide lipids are key to regulating viral RNA replication.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

why have we not been able to get together on energy?

Video - President James Earl Carter Crisis of Confidence (Energy) Speech.

extinction level event?

Video - Busta Rhymes Gimme Some More.

TheOilDrum | As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don't feel bad, there is much that doesn't make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there...

First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".

That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...

emotiv mind control

Tan Le, co-founder and president of Emotiv Systems, gives a live demo of a mind control device that uses a person's thoughts to input computer commands.

how words color your world

Guardian | This tale begins with a Liberal leader and his innovative exploration of the colour blue. Not Nick Clegg and the Tories, but William Gladstone and his concern about Homer's use of colour in The Iliad and The Odyssey. Gladstone was the first prominent intellectual to notice something awry with the Greek poet's sense of colour. Homer never described the sky as blue. In fact, Homer barely used colour terms at all and when he did they were just peculiar. The sea was "wine-looking". Oxen were also "wine-looking". And, to Gladstone, the sea and oxen were never of the same colour. His explanation was that the Ancient Greeks had not developed a colour sense, and instead saw the world in terms of black and white with only a dash of red.

Guy Deutscher's interest in the Homeric eye is less about evolution or optics than it is linguistic. Can we see something for which we have no word? Yes. The Greeks were able to distinguish shades of blue just as vividly as we can now, despite lacking a specific vocabulary for them. Yet, writes Deutscher, even though Gladstone was wrong about the Greeks' sense of perception, his hunch about the emergence of colour words was "so sharp and far-sighted that much of what he wrote . . . can hardly be bettered today".

It turned out that it wasn't just the Ancient Greeks who never said the sky was blue. None of the ancient languages had a proper word for blue. What we now call blue was once subsumed by older words for black or for green. (In fact, this is why in Japan green lights are actually a bluer shade of green than in the rest of the world. The word used for the green of traffic lights is ao, which used to mean "green and blue" but now means blue. Rather than change the word, they changed the colour.)

Deutscher has a lot of fun relating the discovery that colour words emerge in all languages in a predictable order. Black and white come first, then red, then yellow, then green and finally blue. (Although sometimes green is before yellow.) Red is probably first because it is the colour of blood and of the easiest dyes to make in the wild. Green and yellow are the colours of vegetation. And blue is last because – with the exception of the sky – few naturally occurring things are blue and blue dyes are very difficult to make.

It takes Deutscher half his book to tell the story of blue, and fascinating and well written though it is, the discussion is a diversion from the point he really wants to make, which is that language can affect how we perceive the world. Is it possible that two people may think about the world differently purely by dint of the language they speak? Deutscher believes that this is the case, and he provides three examples: Guugu Yimithirr is an indigenous Australian language – it gave us the word kangaroo – that does not have words for "left" and "right". Instead, all directions are given in terms of where the speaker is standing in relation to the points of the compass. Experiments have shown that Guugu Yimithirr speakers have "perfect-pitch for directions": regardless of visibility conditions, or whether they are stationary or moving, they know where north is. This is the most striking example, says Deutscher, of how speech habits can have "far-reaching consequences beyond speaking, as they affect orientation skills and even patterns of memory".

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

feds under pressure to open u.s. skies to drones

AP | Like many robots, the planes have advantages over humans for jobs that are dirty, dangerous or dull. And the planes often cost less than piloted aircraft and can stay aloft far longer.

"There is a tremendous pressure and need to fly unmanned aircraft in (civilian) airspace," Hank Krakowski, FAA's head of air traffic operations, told European aviation officials recently. "We are having constant conversations and discussions, particularly with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, to figure out how we can do this safely with all these different sizes of vehicles."

There are two types of unmanned planes: Drones, which are automated planes programmed to fly a particular mission, and aircraft that are remotely controlled by someone on the ground, sometimes from thousands of miles away.

Last year, the FAA promised defense officials it would have a plan this year. The agency, which has worked on this issue since 2006, has reams of safety regulations that govern every aspect of civilian aviation but is just beginning to write regulations for unmanned aircraft.

"I think industry and some of the operators are frustrated that we're not moving fast enough, but safety is first," Krakowski said in an interview. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Iraq. This is a part of the world that has a lot of light airplanes flying around, a lot of business jets."

One major concern is the prospect of lost communication between unmanned aircraft and the operators who remotely control them. Another is a lack of firm separation of aircraft at lower altitudes, away from major cities and airports. Planes entering these areas are not required to have collision warning systems or even transponders. Simply being able to see another plane and take action is the chief means of preventing accidents.

The Predator B, already in use for border patrol, can fly for 20 hours without refueling, compared with a helicopter's average flight time of just over two hours. Homeland Security wants to expand their use along the borders of Mexico and Canada, and along coastlines for spotting smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens. The Coast Guard wants to use them for search and rescue.

The National Transportation Safety Board held a forum in 2008 on safety concerns associated with pilotless aircraft after a Predator crashed in Arizona. The board concluded the ground operator remotely controlling the plane had inadvertently cut off the plane's fuel.

Texas officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, have been leaning on the FAA to approve requests to use unmanned aircraft along the Texas-Mexico border. FAA recently approved one request to use the planes along the border near El Paso, but another request to use them along the Texas Gulf Coast and near Brownsville is still pending.

50 statistics about the u.s. economy too crazy to believe

endoftheamericandream | Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is in bad shape, but what most Americans don't know is how truly desperate the financial situation of the United States really is. The truth is that what we are experiencing is not simply a "downturn" or a "recession". What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end for the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen. Our greed and our debt are literally eating our economy alive. Total government, corporate and personal debt has now reached 360 percent of GDP, which is far higher than it ever reached during the Great Depression era. We have nearly totally dismantled our once colossal manufacturing base, we have shipped millions upon millions of middle class jobs overseas, we have lived far beyond our means for decades and we have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world. A great day of financial reckoning is fast approaching, and the vast majority of Americans are totally oblivious.

But the truth is that you cannot defy the financial laws of the universe forever. What goes up must come down. The borrower is the servant of the lender. Cutting corners always catches up with you in the end.

Sometimes it takes cold, hard numbers for many of us to fully realize the situation that we are facing.

So, the following are 50 very revealing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe....

Monday, June 14, 2010

in the singularity movement, humans are so yesterday...,

NYTimes | Some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world’s ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven’t noticed, the Valley’s most-celebrated company — Google — works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans.

Larry Page, Google’s other co-founder, helped set up Singularity University in 2008, and the company has supported it with more than $250,000 in donations. Some of Google’s earliest employees are, thanks to personal donations of $100,000 each, among the university’s “founding circle.” (Mr. Page did not respond to interview requests.)

The university represents the more concrete side of the Singularity, and focuses on introducing entrepreneurs to promising technologies. Hundreds of students worldwide apply to snare one of 80 available spots in a separate 10-week “graduate” course that costs $25,000. Chief executives, inventors, doctors and investors jockey for admission to the more intimate, nine-day courses called executive programs.

Both courses include face time with leading thinkers in the areas of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, energy, biotech, robotics and computing.

On a more millennialist and provocative note, the Singularity also offers a modern-day, quasi-religious answer to the Fountain of Youth by affirming the notion that, yes indeed, humans — or at least something derived from them — can have it all.

“We will transcend all of the limitations of our biology,” says Raymond Kurzweil, the inventor and businessman who is the Singularity’s most ubiquitous spokesman and boasts that he intends to live for hundreds of years and resurrect the dead, including his own father. “That is what it means to be human — to extend who we are.”

But, of course, one person’s utopia is another person’s dystopia.

rubbing, rubbing, rubbing - flashpoints for global war

neithercorp press | As the economic collapse progresses through 2010 and its fiscal consequences become more certain, the field of view reaching towards our social and political future has become more vague and unclear. Every analyst or researcher of the New World Order and the global elite now seems to have a different insight into how our situation will develop once the financial implosion peaks, and people actually start to react to the obviously severe circumstances.

While having a microphone in the middle of the annual Bilderberg conference in would surely clarify the details of exactly how the globalists plan to conduct themselves over the coming year, this is unfortunately not an option, and reports leaked from Bilderberg cannot always be taken at face value. One element nearly all of us can agree on, though, is the distinct possibility of expanded wars in the near term, used as a diversion by the elites to pull the focus of the masses away from their dire economic atmosphere, away from the bankers that created the meltdown, and towards an overseas adversary.

War on a broad scale creates fear, and fear often inspires a senseless brand of collectivism and misguided patriotism in those uninformed subsections of the public, a patriotism based on blind zealotry instead of individual liberty. The average citizen faced with an ample and immediate threat by a foreign enemy tends to fall in line with establishment policy, even if the conflict with that foreign enemy is entirely fabricated, even if establishment policy is ultimately a greater threat. War has always been utilized as a tool by aristocrats and monarchy to not only expand kingdoms and empires, but to keep the “peasants” of their empires weak, weary, and subservient.

The size of these wars seems to reflect the scope of the goal the globalists wish to accomplish at the moment, and today the stakes are very high. The world has reached a point of no return as far as the economy is concerned, and only two conclusions are possible: the people stand down, the elites prevail, and global government is established, or, the people stand firm, the elites fall, and their designs are put to an end perhaps forever. It is an all or nothing scenario, and one of the few tricks the globalists have left to turn the tide fully in their favor is war on a magnitude so humbling that it intimidates champions of free society into conceding without attempting a defense. To paraphrase the Chinese tactician, Sun Tzu: the best generals win without ever having to fight a real battle. They simply give their enemy the impression that fighting back would be utterly futile and force them to surrender before the battle ever begins.

In this article, we will examine some of the regions around the world in which such a “shock and awe” campaign could begin, facilitating the escalation of global war.

international energy outlook 2010

Video - Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy Outlook 2010
On May 25, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the latest edition of the agency's long-term assessment of world energy markets at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Howard Gruenspecht, EIA's Deputy Administrator, will presented the briefing.

The International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010) includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2035; electricity generation by fuel type; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Among other topics, Dr. Gruenspecht will discuss EIA's view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, projections for global natural gas markets, prospects for worldwide growth in the use of renewable energy, and energy demand growth among the developing nations.

EIA | The International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010) presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2035. U.S. projections appearing in IEO2010 are consistent with those published in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010), (April 2010).

The Powerpoint presentation by Deputy Administrator, Howard Gruenspecht at the IEO2010 press conference on May 25, 2010 can be viewed on the EIA web site: