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What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

 Posthumanism  Comments Off on What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press
Jun 242016
 

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Beyond humanism and anthropocentrism

Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanity’s place in the world by both the technological and the biological or “green” continuum in which the “human” is but one life form among many? Exploring this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanitys place in the world by both the technological and the biological or green continuum in which the human is but one life form among many?

Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfeone of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theoryranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandins writings, Wallace Stevenss poetry, Lars von Triers Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Enos My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture.

For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

Cary Wolfe holds the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Chair in English at Rice University. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside, Observing Complexity: Systems Theory and Postmodernity, and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

Wolfe offers a smart, provocative account of posthumanism as an idea and as a way of thinking that has consequences extending from the way universities are organized to decisions regarding public policy bioethics. Although his writing is complex and demanding, the ethical and ecological urgency with which he frames his readings combines with the wide, diversified scope of his scholarship to make this a work to be reckoned with.

Wolfes book, without a doubt, supplies important insights.

Wolfe has created an incredibly useful primer on posthumanist theory. For anyone attempting to engage in academic work relating to these theories, this book is a highly recommended starting point.

Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley

It is one of those books that sucks you in almost immediately.

ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

Readers . . . will find Wolfes analysis of both visual and audio culture to be thought-provoking.

Science Fiction Film and Television

It is a profound, thoroughly researched study with far-reaching consequences for public policy, bioethics, education, and the arts.

Science, Culture, Integrated Yoga

What Is Posthumanism? is an intelligent, extensively argued and challenging work.

Wolfes work shifts the tired terms of the debate in new and needed directions, offering strength and strategies to all those for whom simplistic, technophilic accounts of the posthuman condition are a smooth road to nowhere different.

Electronic Book Review

Tremendous intellectual, scholarly, and artistic breadth.

As a blueprint for where a posthumanist approach could take cultural theory, his book is conceptually invaluable.

Wolfes posthumanism is brilliant in the way it allows us to realize that each of these species might have different forms of perception, different ways of being in the world, and that those differences are actually analogous with otherness among human beings.

Wolfe deserves credit for a rich set of discussions that, taken together, bring out the interest of the intellectual trend that he calls posthumanism.

UMP blog: Discovering the HUMAN

3/24/2010 Part of the unfortunate fallout of the conceptual apparatus of humanism is that it gives us an overly simple picturea fantasy, reallyof what the human is. Consider, for example, the rise of what is often called transhumanism, often taken to be a defining discourse of posthumanism (as in Ray Kurzweils work on the singularitythe historical moment at which engineering developments such as nanotechnology enable us to transcend our physical and biological limitations as embodied beings, ushering in a new phase of evolution). As many of its proponents freely admit, the philosophical ideals of transhumanism are quite identifiably humanistnot only in their dream of transcending the life of the body and our animal origins but also in their investment in the ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, autonomy, and agency. Read more …

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What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

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Retreat (survivalism) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Survivalism  Comments Off on Retreat (survivalism) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 172016
 

A retreat is a place of refuge for those in the survivalist subculture or movement. A retreat is also sometimes called a bug-out location (BOL). Survivalist retreats are intended to be self-sufficient and easily defended, and are generally located in sparsely populated rural areas.

While fallout shelters have been advocated since the 1950s, dedicated self-sufficient survivalist retreats have been advocated only since the mid-1970s. The survival retreat concept has been touted by a number of influential survivalist writers including Ragnar Benson, Barton Biggs, Bruce D. Clayton, Jeff Cooper, Cresson Kearny, James Wesley Rawles, Howard Ruff, Kurt Saxon, Joel Skousen, Don Stephens, Mel Tappan, and Nancy Tappan.[citation needed]

With the increasing inflation of the 1960s, the impending US monetary devaluation, the continuing concern with possible nuclear exchanges between the US and the Soviet Union, and the increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures, a number of primarily conservative and libertarian thinkers began suggesting that individual preparations would be wise. Harry Browne began offering seminars in 1967 on how to survive a monetary collapse. He worked with Don Stephens, an architect, survival bookseller, and author, who provided input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat. He provided a copy of his original Retreater’s Bibliography (1967) for each seminar participant.

Articles on the subject appeared in such small-distribution libertarian publications as The Innovator and Atlantis Quarterly. It was also from this period that Robert D. Kephart began publishing Inflation Survival Letter[1] (later renamed Personal Finance). The newsletter included a continuing section on personal preparedness by Stephens for several years. It promoted expensive seminars around the US on the same cautionary topics. Stephens participated, along with James McKeever and other defensive investing, hard currency advocates.

In 1975, Kurt Saxon began publishing a newsletter called The Survivor, which advocated moving to lightly populated regions to “lie low” during a socio-economic collapse, and setting up fortified enclaves for defense against what he termed “killer caravans”[2][3] of looters from urban areas.

In 1976, Don Stephens popularized the term “retreater” and advocated relocating to a rural retreat when society breaks down.

Writers such as Howard Ruff warned about socio-economic collapse and recommended moving to lightly populated farming regions, most notably in his 1979 book How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, a best-seller in 1979.

For a time in the 1970s, the terms “survivalist” and “retreater” were used interchangeably. The term “retreater” eventually fell out of favor.[4]

One of the most important newsletters on survivalism and survivalist retreats in the 1970s was the Personal Survival (“P.S.”) Letter (circa 1977-1982) published by Mel Tappan, who also authored the books Survival Guns and Tappan on Survival. The newsletter included columns from Tappan himself, as well from Jeff Cooper, Al J. Venter, Bill Pier, Bruce D. Clayton, Rick Fines, Nancy Mack Tappan, J.B. Wood, Dr. Carl Kirsch, Charles Avery, Karl Hess, Eugene A. Barron, Janet Groene, Dean Ing, Bob Taylor, Reginald Bretnor, C.G. Cobb, and several other writers, some under pen names. The majority of this newsletter revolved around selecting, constructing and logistically equipping survival retreats.[5] Following Tappan’s death in 1980, Karl Hess took over publishing the newsletter, eventually renaming it Survival Tomorrow.

Survivalist retreat books of the 1980s were typified by the 1980 book Life After Doomsday[6] by Bruce D. Clayton, advocating survival retreats in locales that would minimize fallout, as well as specially constructing blast shelters and/or fallout shelters that would provide protection in the event of a nuclear war.

Several books published in the 1990s offered advice on survival retreats and relocation. Some influential in survivalist circles are Survival Retreat: A Total Plan For Retreat Defense by Ragnar Benson, Strategic RelocationNorth American Guide to Safe Places by Joel Skousen, and The Secure Home, (also by Skousen).

In recent years, advocacy of survivalist retreats has had a strong resurgence after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, the 2002 attacks and 2005 attacks in Bali, the 2004 Madrid train bombings in Spain, and the 2005 public transportation bombings in London.[citation needed]

Several books published since 2000 advocate survival retreats and relocation. Some that have been particularly influential in survivalist circles are How to Implement a High Security Shelter in the Home by Joel Skousen, Rawles on Retreats and Relocation by James Wesley Rawles, and Life After Terrorism: What You Need to Know to Survive in Today’s World by Bruce D. Clayton.[7]

Online survival websites, forums, and blogs (such as SurvivalBlog) discuss the best locales for survival retreats, how to build, fortify, and equip them, and how to form survivalist retreat groups.[8]

Economic troubles emerging from the credit collapse triggered by the 2007 US subprime mortgage crisis have prompted a wider cross-section of the populace to modify their homes as well as establish dedicated survival retreats.[9] James Wesley Rawles, the editor of SurvivalBlog was quoted by the New York Times in April 2008 that “interest in the survivalist movement ‘is experiencing its largest growth since the late 1970s’. He also stated that his blog’s conservative core readership has been supplemented with “an increasing number of stridently green and left-of-center readers.”[9]

Mel Tappan was quoted in 1981 by then AP correspondent Peter Arnett that: “The concept most fundamental to long term disaster preparedness, in retreating, is having a safe place to go to avoid the concentrated violence destined to erupt in the cities.” [10]

Common retreat locale selection parameters include light population density, plentiful water, arable land, good solar exposure for gardening and photovoltaics, situation above any flood plains, and a diverse and healthy local economy.[11] Fearing rioting, looting and other unrest, many survivalists advocate selecting retreat locales that are more than one tank of gasoline away from any major metropolitan region. Properties that are not in “channelized areas” or on anticipated “refugee lines of drift” are also touted.[12]

One of the key goals of retreats is to be self-sufficient for the duration of societal collapse. To that end, plentiful water and arable soil are paramount considerations. Beyond that, a priority is situation on isolated, defensible terrain. Typically, retreats do not want their habitations or structures jeopardized by being within line of sight of any major highway.

Because of its low population density and diverse economy, James Wesley Rawles [13] and Joel Skousen [14] both recommend the Intermountain West region of the United States as a preferred region for relocation and setting up retreats. Although it has higher population density, Mel Tappan recommended southwestern Oregon, where he lived,[15] primarily because it is not downwind of any envisioned nuclear targets in the United States.

Mel Tappan was disappointed by the demographics of southwestern Oregon after the survivalist influx of the late 1970s. “Too many doctors and lawyers” relocated to Oregon, and “not enough plumbers, electricians, or carpenters.”[15]

While some survivalists recommend living at a rural retreat year-round,[16] most survivalists cannot afford to do so. Therefore, they rely on keeping a well-stocked retreat, and plan to go there “at the 11th hour”, as necessary. They keep a bug-out bag handy, and may have a dedicated bug-out vehicle (BOV). This is a vehicle that the owner keeps prepared in the event of the need for an emergency evacuation. Typically a BOV is equipped with a variation on the bug-out bag that includes additional automotive supplies, clothing, food and water. Survivalists tend to favor four wheel drive trucks and SUVs due to their greater off-road abilities. In the event of a nuclear catastrophe, survivalists may opt into maintaining an older vehicle since it most likely lacks critical electronic components that would otherwise be damaged by the electromagnetic pulse that accompanies a nuclear explosion.

Most survivalist retreats are created by individuals and their families, but larger “group retreats” or “covenant communities” are formed along the lines of an intentional community.

Jeff Cooper popularized the concept of hardening retreats against small arms fire. In an article titled “Notes on Tactical Residential Architecture” in Issue #30 of P.S. Letter (April, 1982), Cooper suggested using the “Vauban Principle”, whereby projecting bastion corners would prevent miscreants from being able to approach a retreat’s exterior walls in any blind spots. Corners with this simplified implementation of a Vauban Star are now called “Cooper Corners” by James Wesley Rawles, in honor of Jeff Cooper.[17] Depending on the size of the group needing shelter, design elements of traditional European castle architecture, as well as Chinese Fujian Tulou and Mexican walled courtyard houses have been suggested for survival retreats.

In both his book Rawles on Retreats and Relocation and in his survivalist novel, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, Rawles describes in great detail retreat groups “upgrading” brick or other masonry houses with steel reinforced window shutters and doors, excavating anti-vehicular ditches, installing warded gate locks, constructing concertina wire obstacles and fougasses, and setting up listening post/observation posts (LP/OPs.) Rawles is a proponent of including a mantrap foyer at survival retreats, an architectural element that he calls a “crushroom”.[18]

Bruce D. Clayton and Joel Skousen have both written extensively on integrating fallout shelters into retreat homes, but they put less emphasis on ballistic protection and exterior perimeter security than Cooper and Rawles.

Anticipating long periods of time without commerce in the future, as well as observing documented history, retreat groups typically place a strong emphasis on logistics. They amass stockpiles of supplies for their own use, for charity, and for barter. Frequently cited key logistics for a retreat include long term storage food, common caliber ammunition, medical supplies, tools, gardening seed, and fuel. In an article titled “Ballistic Wampum” in Issue #6 of P.S. Letter (1979) Jeff Cooper wrote about stockpiling ammunition far in excess of his own needs, keeping the extra available to use for bartering.

In their books, Joel Skousen, Mel Tappan and Howard Ruff all emphasize the need to have a one-year supply of storage food.

Mainstream economist and financial adviser Barton Biggs is a proponent of well-stocked retreats. In his 2008 book Wealth, War and Wisdom, Biggs has a gloomy outlook for the economic future, and suggests that investors take survivalist measures. In the book, Biggs recommends that his readers should assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure. He goes so far as to recommend setting up survival retreats: Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food, Mr. Biggs writes. It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily breaks down.[9]

Survivalist retreats, both formal and informal exist worldwide, most visibly in Australia,[19] Belgium, Canada,[20] France,[21] Germany[22] (often organized under the guise of “adventuresport” clubs),[23] New Zealand,[24] Norway,[25] Russia,[26] Sweden,[27] the United Kingdom[28] and the United States.[9]

Construction of government-built retreats and underground sheltersroughly analogous to survivalist retreatshas been done extensively since the advent of the Cold War, especially of public nuclear fallout shelters in many nations. The United States government has created Continuity of Government (COG) shelters built by the Department of Defense and Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”). These include the massive shelter built under the Greenbrier hotel (aka Project Greek Island), military facilities like Cheyenne Mountain Complex, and the Raven Rock Mountain Complex and Mount Weather sites. Other nations’ facilities include the Swiss redoubt fortress system and its dual use facilities like the Sonnenberg Tunnel and Norway’s Sentralanlegget bunker in Buskerud County.

Robert A. Heinlein featured survivalist retreats in some of his science fiction. Farnham’s Freehold (1964) begins as a story of a small group in a survivalist retreat during a nuclear war. Heinlein also wrote essays such as How to be a Survivor[29] which provide advice on preparing for and surviving a nuclear war, including stocking a fallout shelter and retreat.

Malevil by French writer Robert Merle (1972) describes refurbishing a medieval castle and its use as a survivalist stronghold in the aftermath of a full-scale nuclear war. The novel was adapted into a 1981 film directed by Christian de Chalonge and starring Michel Serrault, Jacques Dutronc, Jacques Villeret and Jean-Louis Trintignant.[30]

Lucifer’s Hammer by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven (1977) is about a cataclysmic comet hitting the Earth, and a group of people struggling to survive the aftermath.

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles (2009) describes how the lead characters establish a self-sufficient survival retreat in north-central Idaho.

Jericho (2006) is a TV series that portrays a small town in Kansas after a series of nuclear explosions across the United States. In the series, the character Robert Hawkins uses his prior planning and survival skills in preparation of the attacks. Although it is not fortified, the town effectively becomes a large scale retreat, for its residents.

The text of some books discussing survivalist retreats can be found online:

Read more from the original source:

Retreat (survivalism) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Cystic fibrosis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Cf  Comments Off on Cystic fibrosis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 152016
 

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine.[1][2] Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. Other signs and symptoms include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes, and infertility in males, among others. Different people may have different degrees of symptoms.[1]

CF is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein.[1] Those with a single working copy are carriers and otherwise mostly normal.[3] CFTR is involved in production of sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus.[4] When CFTR is not functional, secretions which are usually thin instead become thick.[5] The condition is diagnosed by a sweat test and genetic testing.[1] Screening of infants at birth takes place in some areas of the world.[1]

There is no cure for cystic fibrosis.[3] Lung infections are treated with antibiotics which may be given intravenously, inhaled, or by mouth. Sometimes the antibiotic azithromycin is used long term. Inhaled hypertonic saline and salbutamol may also be useful. Lung transplantation may be an option if lung function continues to worsen. Pancreatic enzyme replacement and fat-soluble vitamin supplementation are important, especially in the young. While not well supported by evidence, many people use airway clearance techniques such as chest physiotherapy.[1] The average life expectancy is between 42 and 50 years in the developed world.[6][7] Lung problems are responsible for death in 80% of people with cystic fibrosis.[1]

CF is most common among people of Northern European ancestry and affects about one out of every 3,000 newborns.[1] About one in 25 people are carriers.[3] It is least common in Africans and Asians.[1] It was first recognized as a specific disease by Dorothy Andersen in 1938, with descriptions that fit the condition occurring at least as far back as 1595.[2] The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic fibrosis and cysts that form within the pancreas.[2][8]

The main signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis are salty-tasting skin,[9] poor growth, and poor weight gain despite normal food intake,[10] accumulation of thick, sticky mucus,[11] frequent chest infections, and coughing or shortness of breath.[12] Males can be infertile due to congenital absence of the vas deferens.[13] Symptoms often appear in infancy and childhood, such as bowel obstruction due to meconium ileus in newborn babies.[14] As the children grow, they exercise to release mucus in the alveoli.[15]Ciliated epithelial cells in the person have a mutated protein that leads to abnormally viscous mucus production.[11] The poor growth in children typically presents as an inability to gain weight or height at the same rate as their peers and is occasionally not diagnosed until investigation is initiated for poor growth. The causes of growth failure are multifactorial and include chronic lung infection, poor absorption of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract, and increased metabolic demand due to chronic illness.[10]

In rare cases, cystic fibrosis can manifest itself as a coagulation disorder. Vitamin K is normally absorbed from breast milk, formula, and later, solid foods. This absorption is impaired in some cystic fibrosis patients. Young children are especially sensitive to vitamin K malabsorptive disorders because only a very small amount of vitamin K crosses the placenta, leaving the child with very low reserves and limited ability to absorb vitamin K from dietary sources after birth. Because factors II, VII, IX, and X (clotting factors) are vitamin Kdependent, low levels of vitamin K can result in coagulation problems. Consequently, when a child presents with unexplained bruising, a coagulation evaluation may be warranted to determine whether there is an underlying disease.[16]

Lung disease results from clogging of the airways due to mucus build-up, decreased mucociliary clearance, and resulting inflammation.[17][18] Inflammation and infection cause injury and structural changes to the lungs, leading to a variety of symptoms. In the early stages, incessant coughing, copious phlegm production, and decreased ability to exercise are common. Many of these symptoms occur when bacteria that normally inhabit the thick mucus grow out of control and cause pneumonia. In later stages, changes in the architecture of the lung, such as pathology in the major airways (bronchiectasis), further exacerbate difficulties in breathing. Other signs include coughing up blood (hemoptysis), high blood pressure in the lung (pulmonary hypertension), heart failure, difficulties getting enough oxygen to the body (hypoxia), and respiratory failure requiring support with breathing masks, such as bilevel positive airway pressure machines or ventilators.[19]Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the three most common organisms causing lung infections in CF patients.[18] In addition to typical bacterial infections, people with CF more commonly develop other types of lung disease. Among these is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, in which the body’s response to the common fungus Aspergillus fumigatus causes worsening of breathing problems. Another is infection with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a group of bacteria related to tuberculosis, which can cause a lot of lung damage and does not respond to common antibiotics.[20]

Mucus in the paranasal sinuses is equally thick and may also cause blockage of the sinus passages, leading to infection. This may cause facial pain, fever, nasal drainage, and headaches. Individuals with CF may develop overgrowth of the nasal tissue (nasal polyps) due to inflammation from chronic sinus infections.[21] Recurrent sinonasal polyps can occur in as many as 10% to 25% of CF patients.[18] These polyps can block the nasal passages and increase breathing difficulties.[22][23]

Cardiorespiratory complications are the most common cause of death (~80%) in patients at most CF centers in the United States.[18]

Prior to prenatal and newborn screening, cystic fibrosis was often diagnosed when a newborn infant failed to pass feces (meconium). Meconium may completely block the intestines and cause serious illness. This condition, called meconium ileus, occurs in 510%[18][24] of newborns with CF. In addition, protrusion of internal rectal membranes (rectal prolapse) is more common, occurring in as many as 10% of children with CF,[18] and it is caused by increased fecal volume, malnutrition, and increased intraabdominal pressure due to coughing.[25]

The thick mucus seen in the lungs has a counterpart in thickened secretions from the pancreas, an organ responsible for providing digestive juices that help break down food. These secretions block the exocrine movement of the digestive enzymes into the duodenum and result in irreversible damage to the pancreas, often with painful inflammation (pancreatitis).[26] The pancreatic ducts are totally plugged in more advanced cases, usually seen in older children or adolescents.[18] This causes atrophy of the exocrine glands and progressive fibrosis.[18]

The lack of digestive enzymes leads to difficulty absorbing nutrients with their subsequent excretion in the feces, a disorder known as malabsorption. Malabsorption leads to malnutrition and poor growth and development because of calorie loss. Resultant hypoproteinemia may be severe enough to cause generalized edema.[18] Individuals with CF also have difficulties absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

In addition to the pancreas problems, people with cystic fibrosis experience more heartburn, intestinal blockage by intussusception, and constipation.[27] Older individuals with CF may develop distal intestinal obstruction syndrome when thickened feces cause intestinal blockage.[28]

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency occurs in the majority (85% to 90%) of patients with CF.[18] It is mainly associated with “severe” CFTR mutations, where both alleles are completely nonfunctional (e.g. F508/F508).[18] It occurs in 10% to 15% of patients with one “severe” and one “mild” CFTR mutation where there still is a little CFTR activity, or where there are two “mild” CFTR mutations.[18] In these milder cases, there is still sufficient pancreatic exocrine function so that enzyme supplementation is not required.[18] There are usually no other GI complications in pancreas-sufficient phenotypes, and in general, such individuals usually have excellent growth and development.[18] Despite this, idiopathic chronic pancreatitis can occur in a subset of pancreas-sufficient individuals with CF, and is associated with recurrent abdominal pain and life-threatening complications.[18]

Thickened secretions also may cause liver problems in patients with CF. Bile secreted by the liver to aid in digestion may block the bile ducts, leading to liver damage. Over time, this can lead to scarring and nodularity (cirrhosis). The liver fails to rid the blood of toxins and does not make important proteins, such as those responsible for blood clotting.[29][30] Liver disease is the third most common cause of death associated with CF.[18]

The pancreas contains the islets of Langerhans, which are responsible for making insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose. Damage of the pancreas can lead to loss of the islet cells, leading to a type of diabetes that is unique to those with the disease.[31] This cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD) shares characteristics that can be found in type 1 and type 2 diabetics, and is one of the principal nonpulmonary complications of CF.[32]Vitamin D is involved in calcium and phosphate regulation. Poor uptake of vitamin D from the diet because of malabsorption can lead to the bone disease osteoporosis in which weakened bones are more susceptible to fractures.[33] In addition, people with CF often develop clubbing of their fingers and toes due to the effects of chronic illness and low oxygen in their tissues.[34][35]

Infertility affects both men and women. At least 97% of men with cystic fibrosis are infertile, but not sterile and can have children with assisted reproductive techniques.[36] The main cause of infertility in men with cystic fibrosis is congenital absence of the vas deferens (which normally connects the testes to the ejaculatory ducts of the penis), but potentially also by other mechanisms such as causing no sperm, teratospermia, and few sperm with poor motility.[37] Many men found to have congenital absence of the vas deferens during evaluation for infertility have a mild, previously undiagnosed form of CF.[38] Approximately 20% of women with CF have fertility difficulties due to thickened cervical mucus or malnutrition. In severe cases, malnutrition disrupts ovulation and causes a lack of menstruation.[39]

CF is caused by a mutation in the gene cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The most common mutation, F508, is a deletion ( signifying deletion) of three nucleotides[40] that results in a loss of the amino acid phenylalanine (F) at the 508th position on the protein. This mutation accounts for two-thirds (6670%[18]) of CF cases worldwide and 90% of cases in the United States; however, there are over 1500 other mutations that can produce CF.[41] Although most people have two working copies (alleles) of the CFTR gene, only one is needed to prevent cystic fibrosis. CF develops when neither allele can produce a functional CFTR protein. Thus, CF is considered an autosomal recessive disease.

The CFTR gene, found at the q31.2 locus of chromosome 7, is 230,000 base pairs long, and creates a protein that is 1,480 amino acids long. More specifically the location is between base pair 117,120,016 to 117,308,718 on the long arm of chromosome 7, region 3, band 1, sub-band 2, represented as 7q31.2. Structurally, CFTR is a type of gene known as an ABC gene. The product of this gene (the CFTR) is a chloride ion channel important in creating sweat, digestive juices and mucus. This protein possesses two ATP-hydrolyzing domains, which allows the protein to use energy in the form of ATP. It also contains two domains comprising 6 alpha helices apiece, which allow the protein to cross the cell membrane. A regulatory binding site on the protein allows activation by phosphorylation, mainly by cAMP-dependent protein kinase.[19] The carboxyl terminal of the protein is anchored to the cytoskeleton by a PDZ domain interaction.[42]

In addition, there is increasing evidence that genetic modifiers besides CFTR modulate the frequency and severity of the disease. One example is mannan-binding lectin, which is involved in innate immunity by facilitating phagocytosis of microorganisms. Polymorphisms in one or both mannan-binding lectin alleles that result in lower circulating levels of the protein are associated with a threefold higher risk of end-stage lung disease, as well as an increased burden of chronic bacterial infections.[18]

There are several mutations in the CFTR gene, and different mutations cause different defects in the CFTR protein, sometimes causing a milder or more severe disease. These protein defects are also targets for drugs which can sometimes restore their function. F508-CFTR, which occurs in >90% of patients in the U.S., creates a protein that does not fold normally and is not appropriately transported to the cell membrane, resulting in its degradation. Other mutations result in proteins that are too short (truncated) because production is ended prematurely. Other mutations produce proteins that: do not use energy normally, do not allow chloride, iodide, and thiocyanate to cross the membrane appropriately,[43] degrade at a faster rate than normal. Mutations may also lead to fewer copies of the CFTR protein being produced.[19]

The protein created by this gene is anchored to the outer membrane of cells in the sweat glands, lungs, pancreas, and all other remaining exocrine glands in the body. The protein spans this membrane and acts as a channel connecting the inner part of the cell (cytoplasm) to the surrounding fluid. This channel is primarily responsible for controlling the movement of halogens from inside to outside of the cell; however, in the sweat ducts it facilitates the movement of chloride from the sweat duct into the cytoplasm. When the CFTR protein does not resorb ions in sweat ducts, chloride and thiocyanate[44] released from sweat glands are trapped inside the ducts and pumped to the skin. Additionally hypothiocyanite, OSCN, cannot be produced by the immune defense system.[45][46] Because chloride is negatively charged, this modifies the electrical potential inside and outside the cell that normally causes cations to cross into the cell. Sodium is the most common cation in the extracellular space. The excess chloride within sweat ducts prevents sodium resorption by epithelial sodium channels and the combination of sodium and chloride creates the salt, which is lost in high amounts in the sweat of individuals with CF. This lost salt forms the basis for the sweat test.[19]

Most of the damage in CF is due to blockage of the narrow passages of affected organs with thickened secretions. These blockages lead to remodeling and infection in the lung, damage by accumulated digestive enzymes in the pancreas, blockage of the intestines by thick faeces, etc. There are several theories on how the defects in the protein and cellular function cause the clinical effects. The most current theory suggests that defective ion transport leads to dehydration in the airway epithelia, thickening mucus. In airway epithelial cells, the cilia exist in between the cell’s apical surface and mucus in a layer known as Airway Surface Liquid (ASL). The flow of ions from the cell and into this layer is determined by ion channels like CFTR. CFTR not only allows Chloride ions to be drawn from the cell and into the ASL, but it also regulates another channel called ENac. ENac allows sodium ions to leave the ASL and enter the respiratory epithelium. CFTR normally inhibits this channel, but if the CFTR is defective, then sodium will flow freely from the ASL and into the cell. As water follows sodium, the depth of ASL will be depleted and the cilia will be left in the mucous layer.[47] As cilia cannot effectively move in a thick viscous environment, there is deficient mucociliary clearance and a buildup of mucous, clogging small airways.[48] The accumulation of more viscous, nutrient-rich mucus in the lungs allows bacteria to hide from the body’s immune system, causing repeated respiratory infections. The presence of the same CFTR proteins in pancreatic duct and skin cells are what cause symptoms in these systems.

The lungs of individuals with cystic fibrosis are colonized and infected by bacteria from an early age. These bacteria, which often spread among individuals with CF, thrive in the altered mucus, which collects in the small airways of the lungs. This mucus leads to the formation of bacterial microenvironments known as biofilms that are difficult for immune cells and antibiotics to penetrate. Viscous secretions and persistent respiratory infections repeatedly damage the lung by gradually remodeling the airways, which makes infection even more difficult to eradicate.[49]

Over time, both the types of bacteria and their individual characteristics change in individuals with CF. In the initial stage, common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae colonize and infect the lungs.[18] Eventually, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (and sometimes Burkholderia cepacia) dominates. By 18 years of age, 80% of patients with classic CF harbor P. aeruginosa, and 3.5% harbor B. cepacia.[18] Once within the lungs, these bacteria adapt to the environment and develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Pseudomonas can develop special characteristics that allow the formation of large colonies, known as “mucoid” Pseudomonas, which are rarely seen in people that do not have CF.[49]

One way infection spreads is by passing between different individuals with CF.[50] In the past, people with CF often participated in summer “CF Camps” and other recreational gatherings.[51][52] Hospitals grouped patients with CF into common areas and routine equipment (such as nebulizers)[53] was not sterilized between individual patients.[54] This led to transmission of more dangerous strains of bacteria among groups of patients. As a result, individuals with CF are now routinely isolated from one another in the healthcare setting, and healthcare providers are encouraged to wear gowns and gloves when examining patients with CF to limit the spread of virulent bacterial strains.[55]

CF patients may also have their airways chronically colonized by filamentous fungi (such as Aspergillus fumigatus, Scedosporium apiospermum, Aspergillus terreus) and/or yeasts (such as Candida albicans); other filamentous fungi less commonly isolated include Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus nidulans (occur transiently in CF respiratory secretions) and Exophiala dermatitidis and Scedosporium prolificans (chronic airway-colonizers); some filamentous fungi like Penicillium emersonii and Acrophialophora fusispora are encountered in patients almost exclusively in the context of CF.[56] Defective mucociliary clearance characterizing CF is associated with local immunological disorders. In addition, the prolonged therapy with antibiotics and the use of corticosteroid treatments may also facilitate fungal growth. Although the clinical relevance of the fungal airway colonization is still a matter of debate, filamentous fungi may contribute to the local inflammatory response and therefore to the progressive deterioration of the lung function, as often happens with allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) the most common fungal disease in the context of CF, involving a Th2-driven immune response to Aspergillus.[56][57]

Cystic fibrosis may be diagnosed by many different methods including newborn screening, sweat testing, and genetic testing.[58] As of 2006 in the United States, 10 percent of cases are diagnosed shortly after birth as part of newborn screening programs. The newborn screen initially measures for raised blood concentration of immunoreactive trypsinogen.[59] Infants with an abnormal newborn screen need a sweat test to confirm the CF diagnosis. In many cases, a parent makes the diagnosis because the infant tastes salty.[18]Trypsinogen levels can be increased in individuals who have a single mutated copy of the CFTR gene (carriers) or, in rare instances, in individuals with two normal copies of the CFTR gene. Due to these false positives, CF screening in newborns can be controversial.[60][61] Most states and countries do not screen for CF routinely at birth. Therefore, most individuals are diagnosed after symptoms (e.g. sinopulmonary disease and GI manifestations[18]) prompt an evaluation for cystic fibrosis. The most commonly used form of testing is the sweat test. Sweat-testing involves application of a medication that stimulates sweating (pilocarpine). To deliver the medication through the skin, iontophoresis is used to, whereby one electrode is placed onto the applied medication and an electric current is passed to a separate electrode on the skin. The resultant sweat is then collected on filter paper or in a capillary tube and analyzed for abnormal amounts of sodium and chloride. People with CF have increased amounts of sodium and chloride in their sweat. In contrast, people with CF have less thiocyanate and hypothiocyanite in their saliva[62] and mucus (Banfi et al.). CF can also be diagnosed by identification of mutations in the CFTR gene.[63]

People with CF may be listed in a disease registry that allows researchers and doctors to track health results and identify candidates for clinical trials.[64]

Couples who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy can have themselves tested for the CFTR gene mutations to determine the risk that their child will be born with cystic fibrosis. Testing is typically performed first on one or both parents and, if the risk of CF is high, testing on the fetus is performed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends testing for couples who have a personal or close family history of CF, and they recommend that carrier testing be offered to all Caucasian couples and be made available to couples of other ethnic backgrounds.[65]

Because development of CF in the fetus requires each parent to pass on a mutated copy of the CFTR gene and because CF testing is expensive, testing is often performed initially on one parent. If testing shows that parent is a CFTR gene mutation carrier, the other parent is tested to calculate the risk that their children will have CF. CF can result from more than a thousand different mutations, and as of 2006 it is not possible to test for each one. Testing analyzes the blood for the most common mutations such as F508most commercially available tests look for 32 or fewer different mutations. If a family has a known uncommon mutation, specific screening for that mutation can be performed. Because not all known mutations are found on current tests, a negative screen does not guarantee that a child will not have CF.[66]

During pregnancy, testing can be performed on the placenta (chorionic villus sampling) or the fluid around the fetus (amniocentesis). However, chorionic villus sampling has a risk of fetal death of 1 in 100 and amniocentesis of 1 in 200;[67] a recent study has indicated this may be much lower, approximately 1 in 1,600.[68]

Economically, for carrier couples of cystic fibrosis, when comparing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) with natural conception (NC) followed by prenatal testing and abortion of affected pregnancies, PGD provides net economic benefits up to a maternal age of approximately 40 years, after which NC, prenatal testing and abortion has higher economic benefit.[69]

While there are no cures for cystic fibrosis, there are several treatment methods. The management of cystic fibrosis has improved significantly over the past 70 years. While infants born with cystic fibrosis 70 years ago would have been unlikely to live beyond their first year, infants today are likely to live well into adulthood. Recent advances in the treatment of cystic fibrosis have meant that an individual with cystic fibrosis can live a fuller life less encumbered by their condition. The cornerstones of management are proactive treatment of airway infection, and encouragement of good nutrition and an active lifestyle. Pulmonary rehabilitation as a management of cystic fibrosis continues throughout a person’s life, and is aimed at maximizing organ function, and therefore quality of life. At best, current treatments delay the decline in organ function. Because of the wide variation in disease symptoms, treatment typically occurs at specialist multidisciplinary centers, and is tailored to the individual. Targets for therapy are the lungs, gastrointestinal tract (including pancreatic enzyme supplements), the reproductive organs (including assisted reproductive technology (ART)) and psychological support.[59]

The most consistent aspect of therapy in cystic fibrosis is limiting and treating the lung damage caused by thick mucus and infection, with the goal of maintaining quality of life. Intravenous, inhaled, and oral antibiotics are used to treat chronic and acute infections. Mechanical devices and inhalation medications are used to alter and clear the thickened mucus. These therapies, while effective, can be extremely time-consuming.

Many people with CF are on one or more antibiotics at all times, even when healthy, to prophylactically suppress infection. Antibiotics are absolutely necessary whenever pneumonia is suspected or there has been a noticeable decline in lung function, and are usually chosen based on the results of a sputum analysis and the person’s past response. This prolonged therapy often necessitates hospitalization and insertion of a more permanent IV such as a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line) or Port-a-Cath. Inhaled therapy with antibiotics such as tobramycin, colistin, and aztreonam is often given for months at a time to improve lung function by impeding the growth of colonized bacteria.[70][71][72] Inhaled antibiotic therapy helps lung function by fighting infection, but also has significant drawbacks like development of antibiotic resistance, tinnitus and changes in the voice.[73] Oral antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin or azithromycin are given to help prevent infection or to control ongoing infection.[74] The aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g. tobramycin) used can cause hearing loss, damage to the balance system in the inner ear or kidney problems with long-term use.[75] To prevent these side-effects, the amount of antibiotics in the blood is routinely measured and adjusted accordingly.

Several mechanical techniques are used to dislodge sputum and encourage its expectoration. In the hospital setting, chest physiotherapy (CPT) is utilized; a respiratory therapist percusses an individual’s chest with his or her hands several times a day, to loosen up secretions. Devices that recreate this percussive therapy include the ThAIRapy Vest and the intrapulmonary percussive ventilator (IPV). Newer methods such as Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation, and associated clearance mode available in such devices, integrate a cough assistance phase, as well as a vibration phase for dislodging secretions. These are portable and adapted for home use.[76]

Ivacaftor is an oral medication for the treatment of cystic fibrosis due to a number of specific mutations.[77][78] It improves lung function by about 10%; however, as of 2014 is expensive.[77]

Aerosolized medications that help loosen secretions include dornase alfa and hypertonic saline.[79] Dornase is a recombinant human deoxyribonuclease, which breaks down DNA in the sputum, thus decreasing its viscosity.[80]Denufosol is an investigational drug that opens an alternative chloride channel, helping to liquefy mucus.[81] It is unclear if inhaled corticosteroids are useful.[82]

As lung disease worsens, mechanical breathing support may become necessary. Individuals with CF may need to wear special masks at night that help push air into their lungs. These machines, known as bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilators, help prevent low blood oxygen levels during sleep. BiPAP may also be used during physical therapy to improve sputum clearance.[83] During severe illness, a tube may be placed in the throat (a procedure known as a tracheostomy) to enable breathing supported by a ventilator.

For children, preliminary studies show massage therapy may help people and their families quality of life.[84] It is unclear what effect pneumococcal vaccination has as it has not been studied as of 2014.[85]

Lung transplantation often becomes necessary for individuals with cystic fibrosis as lung function and exercise tolerance decline. Although single lung transplantation is possible in other diseases, individuals with CF must have both lungs replaced because the remaining lung might contain bacteria that could infect the transplanted lung. A pancreatic or liver transplant may be performed at the same time in order to alleviate liver disease and/or diabetes.[86] Lung transplantation is considered when lung function declines to the point where assistance from mechanical devices is required or someone’s survival is threatened.[87]

Newborns with intestinal obstruction typically require surgery, whereas adults with distal intestinal obstruction syndrome typically do not. Treatment of pancreatic insufficiency by replacement of missing digestive enzymes allows the duodenum to properly absorb nutrients and vitamins that would otherwise be lost in the feces. However, the best dosage and form of pancreatic enzyme replacement is unclear, as are the risks and long-term effectiveness of this treatment.[88]

So far, no large-scale research involving the incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in adults with cystic fibrosis has been conducted. This is likely due to the fact that the vast majority of people with cystic fibrosis do not live long enough to develop clinically significant atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease.

Diabetes is the most common non-pulmonary complication of CF. It mixes features of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and is recognized as a distinct entity, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD).[32][89] While oral anti-diabetic drugs are sometimes used, the only recommended treatment is the use of insulin injections or an insulin pump,[90] and, unlike in type 1 and 2 diabetes, dietary restrictions are not recommended.[32]

Development of osteoporosis can be prevented by increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, and can be treated by bisphosphonates, although adverse effects can be an issue.[91] Poor growth may be avoided by insertion of a feeding tube for increasing calories through supplemental feeds or by administration of injected growth hormone.[92]

Sinus infections are treated by prolonged courses of antibiotics. The development of nasal polyps or other chronic changes within the nasal passages may severely limit airflow through the nose, and over time reduce the person’s sense of smell. Sinus surgery is often used to alleviate nasal obstruction and to limit further infections. Nasal steroids such as fluticasone are used to decrease nasal inflammation.[93]

Female infertility may be overcome by assisted reproduction technology, particularly embryo transfer techniques. Male infertility caused by absence of the vas deferens may be overcome with testicular sperm extraction (TESE), collecting sperm cells directly from the testicles. If the collected sample contains too few sperm cells to likely have a spontaneous fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be performed.[94]Third party reproduction is also a possibility for women with CF. It is unclear if taking antioxidants affects outcomes.[95]

The prognosis for cystic fibrosis has improved due to earlier diagnosis through screening, better treatment and access to health care. In 1959, the median age of survival of children with cystic fibrosis in the United States was six months.[96] In 2010, survival is estimated to be 37 years for women and 40 for men.[97] In Canada, median survival increased from 24 years in 1982 to 47.7 in 2007.[98]

Of those with cystic fibrosis who are more than 18 years old as of 2009, 92% had graduated from high school, 67% had at least some college education, 15% were disabled and 9% were unemployed, 56% were single and 39% were married or living with a partner.[99]

Chronic illnesses can be very difficult to manage. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic illness that affects the “digestive and respiratory tracts resulting in generalized malnutrition and chronic respiratory infections”.[100] The thick secretions clog the airways in the lungs, which often cause inflammation and severe lung infections.[101][102] If it is compromised, it affects the quality of life of someone with CF and their ability to complete such tasks as everyday chores. It is important for CF patients to understand the detrimental relationship that chronic illnesses place on the quality of life. According to Schmitz and Goldbeck (2006), the fact that cystic fibrosis significantly increases emotional stress on both the individual and the family, “and the necessary time-consuming daily treatment routine may have further negative effects on quality of life (QOL)”.[103] However, Havermans and colleagues (2006) have shown that young outpatients with CF who have participated in the CFQ-R (Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised) “rated some QOL domains higher than did their parents”.[104] Consequently, outpatients with CF have a more positive outlook for themselves. Furthermore, there are many ways to improve the QOL in CF patients. Exercise is promoted to increase lung function. Integrating an exercise regimen into the CF patients daily routine can significantly improve the quality of life.[105] There is no definitive cure for cystic fibrosis. However, there are diverse medications used, such as mucolytics, bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics, that have the purpose of loosening mucus, expanding airways, decreasing inflammation, and fighting lung infections.[106]

Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-limiting autosomal recessive disease among people of European heritage.[108] In the United States, approximately 30,000 individuals have CF; most are diagnosed by six months of age. In Canada, there are approximately 4,000 people with CF.[109] Approximately 1 in 25 people of European descent, and one in 30 of Caucasian Americans,[110] is a carrier of a cystic fibrosis mutation. Although CF is less common in these groups, approximately 1 in 46 Hispanics, 1 in 65 Africans and 1 in 90 Asians carry at least one abnormal CFTR gene.[111][112] Ireland has the world’s highest prevalence of cystic fibrosis, at 1:1353.[113]

Although technically a rare disease, cystic fibrosis is ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases. It is most common among nations in the Western world. An exception is Finland, where only one in 80 people carry a CF mutation.[114] The World Health Organization states that “In the European Union, 1 in 20003000 newborns is found to be affected by CF”.[115] In the United States, 1 in 3,500 children are born with CF.[116] In 1997, about 1 in 3,300 caucasian children in the United States was born with cystic fibrosis. In contrast, only 1 in 15,000 African American children suffered from cystic fibrosis, and in Asian Americans the rate was even lower at 1 in 32,000.[117]

Cystic fibrosis is diagnosed in males and females equally. For reasons that remain unclear, data has shown that males tend to have a longer life expectancy than females,[118][119] however recent studies suggest this gender gap may no longer exist perhaps due to improvements in health care facilities,[120][121] while a recent study from Ireland identified a link between the female hormone estrogen and worse outcomes in CF.[122]

The distribution of CF alleles varies among populations. The frequency of F508 carriers has been estimated at 1:200 in northern Sweden, 1:143 in Lithuanians, and 1:38 in Denmark. No F508 carriers were found among 171 Finns and 151 Saami people.[123] F508 does occur in Finland, but it is a minority allele there. Cystic fibrosis is known to occur in only 20 families (pedigrees) in Finland.[124]

The F508 mutation is estimated to be up to 52,000 years old.[125] Numerous hypotheses have been advanced as to why such a lethal mutation has persisted and spread in the human population. Other common autosomal recessive diseases such as sickle-cell anemia have been found to protect carriers from other diseases, a concept known as heterozygote advantage. Resistance to the following have all been proposed as possible sources of heterozygote advantage:

It is supposed that CF appeared about 3,000 BC because of migration of peoples, gene mutations, and new conditions in nourishment.[134] Although the entire clinical spectrum of CF was not recognized until the 1930s, certain aspects of CF were identified much earlier. Indeed, literature from Germany and Switzerland in the 18th century warned “Wehe dem Kind, das beim Ku auf die Stirn salzig schmekt, er ist verhext und muss bald sterbe” or “Woe to the child who tastes salty from a kiss on the brow, for he is cursed and soon must die,” recognizing the association between the salt loss in CF and illness.[134]

In the 19th century, Carl von Rokitansky described a case of fetal death with meconium peritonitis, a complication of meconium ileus associated with cystic fibrosis. Meconium ileus was first described in 1905 by Karl Landsteiner.[134] In 1936, Guido Fanconi published a paper describing a connection between celiac disease, cystic fibrosis of the pancreas, and bronchiectasis.[135]

In 1938 Dorothy Hansine Andersen published an article, “Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas and Its Relation to Celiac Disease: a Clinical and Pathological Study,” in the American Journal of Diseases of Children. She was the first to describe the characteristic cystic fibrosis of the pancreas and to correlate it with the lung and intestinal disease prominent in CF.[8] She also first hypothesized that CF was a recessive disease and first used pancreatic enzyme replacement to treat affected children. In 1952 Paul di SantAgnese discovered abnormalities in sweat electrolytes; a sweat test was developed and improved over the next decade.[136]

The first linkage between CF and another marker (Paroxonase) was found in 1985 by Hans Eiberg, indicating that only one locus exists for CF. In 1988 the first mutation for CF, F508 was discovered by Francis Collins, Lap-Chee Tsui and John R. Riordan on the seventh chromosome. Subsequent research has found over 1,000 different mutations that cause CF.

Because mutations in the CFTR gene are typically small, classical genetics techniques had been unable to accurately pinpoint the mutated gene.[137] Using protein markers, gene-linkage studies were able to map the mutation to chromosome 7. Chromosome-walking and -jumping techniques were then used to identify and sequence the gene.[138] In 1989 Lap-Chee Tsui led a team of researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto that discovered the gene responsible for CF. Cystic fibrosis represents a classic example of how a human genetic disorder was elucidated strictly by the process of forward genetics.

Gene therapy has been explored as a potential cure for cystic fibrosis. Results from trials have shown limited success as of 2013.[139] A small study published in 2015 found a small benefit.[140]

The focus of much cystic fibrosis gene therapy research is aimed at trying to place a normal copy of the CFTR gene into affected cells. Transferring the normal CFTR gene into the affected epithelium cells would result in the production of functional CFTR in all target cells, without adverse reactions or an inflammation response. Studies have shown that to prevent the lung manifestations of cystic fibrosis, only 510% the normal amount of CFTR gene expression is needed.[141] Multiple approaches have been tested for gene transfer, such as liposomes and viral vectors in animal models and clinical trials. However, both methods were found to be relatively inefficient treatment options.[142] The main reason is that very few cells take up the vector and express the gene, so the treatment has little effect. Additionally, problems have been noted in cDNA recombination, such that the gene introduced by the treatment is rendered unusable.[143] There has been a functional repair in culture of CFTR by CRISPR/Cas9 in intestinal stem cell organoids of cystic fibrosis patients.[144]

A number of small molecules that aim at compensating various mutations of the CFTR gene are under development. One approach is to develop drugs that get the ribosome to overcome the stop codon and synthesize a full-length CFTR protein. About 10% of CF result from a premature stop codon in the DNA, leading to early termination of protein synthesis and truncated proteins. These drugs target nonsense mutations such as G542X, which consists of the amino acid glycine in position 542 being replaced by a stop codon. Aminoglycoside antibiotics interfere with protein synthesis and error-correction. In some cases, they can cause the cell to overcome a premature stop codon by inserting a random amino acid, thereby allowing expression of a full-length protein.[145] The aminoglycoside gentamicin has been used to treat lung cells from CF patients in the laboratory to induce the cells to grow full-length proteins.[146] Another drug targeting nonsense mutations is ataluren, which is undergoing Phase III clinical trials as of October 2011[update].[147]

It is unclear as of 2014 if ursodeoxycholic acid is useful for those with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease.[148]

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10 Utopian Intentional Communities with Distinct Values

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Jun 122016
 

Stephanie Rogers 4 years ago

From tree house villages in Costa Rica to yoga communes in Hawaii, these 10 intentional communities are havens of peace, creativity and sustainability.

Imagine waking up to the sound of bells from a temple to share in a morning yoga ritual overlooking the mountains of Peru, or the glittering Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. Picking fresh vegetables from your neighborhood garden to cook in a community-wide meal in a spacious, shared kitchen. Building your own non-toxic, mortgage-free cob house in a low-impact neighborhood of like-minded nature lovers. Stepping out of your very own treehouse to gaze at a network of aerial walkways that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. These 10 intentional communities, from utopian eco-villages to cute historic houses in urban Los Angeles, bring people together with common goals of harmonic living, artistic exploration and sustainability.

Polestar Yoga Community, Big Island, Hawaii

What could be more relaxing than a yoga community in Hawaii? Polestar offers an energizing lifestyle of daily yoga and meditation, karmic yoga or service projects, and outdoor adventure opportunities. Though it bills itself as a spiritual community, people of all faiths are welcome at this cooperative living retreat which is home to full-time residents and also open to visitors and apprentices. Awakened each morning by the sound of music from the temple, a shrine dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, guests enjoy daily routines involving organic food grown on site, volunteer service, art and lots of community involvement.

Eco Truly Park, Peru

It looks like something out of a fairy tale: adorable little cone-shaped buildings topped with colorfully painted spires, dotting the hillside on the Pacific coast of Peru. This ecological and artistic community, an hour north of Lima, was founded on principles of non-violence, simple living and harmony with nature. Both the architecture and the values of the community are inspired by traditional Indian teachings and lifestyles. Eco Truly Park has a goal of being fully self-sustainable, and currently boasts a large organic garden. Open to volunteers, the community offers workshops in yoga, art and Vedic philosophy.

Synchronicity Artist Commune, Los Angeles, California

Embodying the laid-back lifestyle of sunny Southern California, Synchronicity is a relaxed and welcoming intentional living community in the historic West Adams District of Los Angeles. Though its small nowhere near the size of the rest of the communities on this list Synchronicity is a great example of the thousands of similar shared households around the United States. Synchronicity has eleven residents and focuses mostly on artistic actions and holding monthly artistic salons that are open to the public.

Earthhaven Ecovillage, Asheville, North Carolina

Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Earthaven is just one of many similar intentional communities focusing on sustainable living. Youll find virtually every type of natural building here, including earthships, cob houses and rustic cabins, with construction methods that eliminate toxic materials, logged timber and mortgages. Set on 320 lush acres 40 minutes southwest of Asheville, Earthaven frequently holds natural building workshops and welcomes the public to learn about permaculture, organic gardening and other sustainable topics. They offer camping and visitor accommodations as well as live-work arrangements.

Milagro Cohousing, Tucson, Arizona

Twelve minutes from downtown Tucson, Arizona, Milagro is a co-housing community with 28 passive-solar, energy-efficient adobe homes on 43 acres. Set against the Tucson mountains, Milagro is simply a community of people who want to live a green lifestyle, surrounded by like-minded neighbors. Each resident has access to 35 acres of undeveloped open space, as well as the 3,600-square-foot Common House, which has meeting and dining space, a library, a playroom and storage space. Gardens, workshops and a solar-heated swimming pool make it even more enticing.

Finca Bellavista Treehouse Community, Costa Rica

If youve ever watched Star Wars and wished that you could live with the Ewoks in their magical tree house community, take heed: such a thing actually exists. And its in Costa Rica. Finca Bellavista is a network of rustic, hand-built tree houses in the mountainous South Pacific coastal region of this Central American nation, surrounded by a jungle that is brimming with life. The off-grid, carbon-neutral tree houses are connected by aerial walkways and include a central community center with a dining area, barbecue and lounge. Gardens, ziplines and hiking trails make it even more of a tropical paradise. Prospective community members can design and build their own tree houses. Additionally, some of the tree house owners rent out their homes, and there are visitor accommodations available.

Tamera Peace Research Village, Portugal

Aiming to be a totally self-sufficient community, the Tamera Peace Research Village is in the Alentejo region of southwestern Portugal and is home to 250 coworkers and students who study how humans can live peacefully in sustainable communities, in harmony with nature. It includes a non-profit peace foundation, a SolarVillage test site, a permaculture project with an edible landscape, and a sanctuary for horses.

Dancing Rabbit Eco Village, Missouri

Another showcase of the beauty of natural building techniques, the Dancing Rabbit Eco Village is a sustainable community located near Rutledge, Missouri advocating low-impact living and dedication to social change. Everything from members diets to the way they use water is dictated by a commitment to living lightly on the earth. The village is on 280 acres including six ponds, a small creek and 40 acres of woodland, plus 30 acres where they have planted over 12,000 trees as part of a restoration program.

EcoVillage at Ithaca, New York

What would the ideal sustainable community look like? The EcoVillage at Ithaca is one example that is already thriving in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. It includes three co-housing neighborhoods called Frog, Song and Tree as well as an organic CSA vegetable farm, community gardens and over 100 acres of protected green space. The houses are all energy-efficient and share facilities like a common house, wood shop, metal shop, bike shed, playgrounds and centralized compost bins.

Conceptual Community of Tiny Houses

Its not yet a reality, but tiny house enthusiasts have a dream: idyllic neighborhoods where people who have committed to living in very small spaces can get together and share resources and camaraderie. Tiny house communities are hard to come by because of various city and county ordinances, which favor large houses and conventional utilities. At TinyHouseCommunity.com, people who live in tiny houses or want to build their own some day get together to talk about making these villages happen. There are two tiny house communities currently in planning phases, in Washington D.C. and Texas.

Top photo: Dancing Rabbit Eco Village

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10 Utopian Intentional Communities with Distinct Values

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Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics … – Libertarianism.org

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Jun 012016
 

Transcript

Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. Im Trevor Burrus.

Aaron Powell: And Im Aaron Powell.

Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Thomas C. Leonard, research scholar at the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and lecturer at Princeton Universitys Department of Economics. He is the author of the new book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era. Welcome to Free Thoughts.

Thomas Leonard: Thanks. Nice to be with you.

Trevor Burrus: So Id like to start with the title which says a lot by itself. Why Illiberal Reformers?

Thomas Leonard: Well, everyone knows that the scholars and activists who dismantled laissez faire and built welfare state were reformers. They dont call it the progressive era for nothing. But its my claim that a central feature of that reform, central feature of erecting the regulatory state, a new kind of state, was the producing of liberties in the name of various conceptions of the greater good. Not just economic liberties, property rights, contract and so forth, thats sort of a well-known part of the transition from 19th century liberalism to 20th century liberalism, but also I maintain civil and personal liberties as well.

Trevor Burrus: And what time period, are we talking about just after the turn of the century or the turn of the 20th century or going back further than that?

Thomas Leonard: Well, the idea is the architecture, if you will, the blueprints were drawn up sort of in the last decade and a half of the 19th century and they gradually made their way into actual sort of legislation and institutions, government institutions in the first 2 decades of the 20th century. Sort ofto use the usual scholarly terms kind of late gilded age and then the progressive era.

Trevor Burrus: So, who are these people, these reformers? Are they politicians mostly or are they in some other walk of life?

Thomas Leonard: Eventually they are politicians, but the politicians have to be convinced first. So the convincers in the beginning are a group of intellectuals or if you like scholars. They are economists, sociologists, population scientists, social workers.

Trevor Burrus: Population scientists, are those basically Malthusians or?

Thomas Leonard: No. Today we call them demographers.

Trevor Burrus: We dont use that term anymore. We call them what today?

Thomas Leonard: No. No. Today, we would call them demographers.

Trevor Burrus: Oh, okay.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Its not quiteit doesnt have to sound that sinister. But one of the interesting things, Trevor, about social science in this kind ofin its very beginnings in the late 19th century is itsits only beginning to become an academic discipline which is part of the book story. And a lot of social science kind of social investigations, fact-finding, research reports, a lot of that is being done outside the academy in the immigrant settlement houses, to a lesser extent in government administrative agencies, in investigations funded by the brand-new foundations and eventually in this brand-new invention called the Think Tank.

Aaron Powell: Was this increasing influence by what these people are ultimately working is largely academic, so is this new for academics or academics this influential before this?

Thomas Leonard: No. It is new. Its a revolution in academia. If we could transport ourselves backwards in time to Princeton, say, in 1880, we wouldnt recognize the place. American colleges, you know, just after the Civil War were tiny institutions. They werent particularly scholarly. They were denominational. They were led by ministers. In Princetons case, they would have been finishing southern gentlemen and you wouldnt recognize it at all.

If, however, we could transport ourselves back to, say, 1920, just at the end of the progressive era, you would recognize everything about the place. The social sciences had been invented and installed. Theres the beginning of the physical sciences in academia and its no longer just the classics, theology and a little bit of philosophy and mathematics. Part of the story of the rise of reform is the story of this revolution in American higher ed which takes place between 1880 and 1900.

Trevor Burrus: In the book, you discussed how Germany figures into this to some degree, which I thought was kind of interesting because Germany also figured into reforming our public education below higher ed but Germany status in the intellectual world was very influential on Americans in particular.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, thats quite right. The German connection is crucial for understanding the first generation of economists and other reformers. In the 1870s and into the 1880s, if you wanted to study cutting-edge political economy, Germany was where you went and all of the founders of American economics and indeed most of the other sort of newly hatching social sciences did their graduate work in Bismarck in Germany. And its only sort of beginning in the 1890s that American higher end catches up but, boy, does it catch up quickly. Thats why we use the term revolution.

But the turn of the century, you know, the number of graduate students in the United States getting Ph.D.s is in the thousands. You know, sort of after the Civil War even as late as 1880, it would have just been a handdful.

Trevor Burrus: So what did these people start thinking aboutI mean these illiberal reformers, what did they get in their head partially from Germany, partially from other sources which we can talk about later? But in the sort of general overview when they looked at society, what did they sort of maybe not suddenly but at that moment, what did they decide they wanted to do with it?

Thomas Leonard: Well, another thing to understand is that most of them, in addition to sort of having this German model of how an economy works and also a German model of how an economy should be regulated, there were also evangelical protestants, most of them grew up in evangelical homes, most of them were sons and daughters of ministers or missionaries and they had, you know, this extraordinary zeal, this desire to set the world to rights. And they looked around them during the industrial revolution and they saw what really was extraordinary, unprecedented, economic and social change which we cannot gather under the banner of the industrial or at least the American industrial revolution.

And when they looked around them, they saw injustice. They saw low wages. There was a newly visible class of the poor in the cities. They saw inefficiency. They saw labor conflict. They saw uneducated men getting rich and this upending of the old social order in their view was not only inefficient, it was also un-Christian and immoral and it needed to be reformed, and they were sort ofits important to say unabashed about using evangelical terminology. They referred to this is the first generation of progressives. They referred to their project as bringing a kingdom of heaven to Earth.

Aaron Powell: Then how did theyso theyve got this project. Theyve identified these issues that they want to change. How did they go about turning that concern and the expertise that they thought they had into control of the reins of power or influence within government?

Thomas Leonard: Great question. It wasnt easy. They understood that they had a tall task in front of them. They had to persuade those in power that reform was needed and reform was justified. And it helped that 2 other students, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson went on too famous as politicians and so did other progressives at lower levels too. Part of the idea of academic economics in this sort of beginning stage was that you didnt just spend time in the library or do blackboard exercises. Your job was to go out and make the world a better place.

So, I think the best way to think about it was they, along with many other reformers, wrote for the newspapers, went on the lecture circuits, bent the air of politicians first at the state level and then later at the federal level and said its a new economic world. The old economic ideas, laissez faire as they called it, are not only is it immoral, its economically obsolete and we need to build a new relationship not unlike the model that Germany provided between the state and economic life. And very gradually it happened.

Trevor Burrus: They were talking about also the emergence of the administrative state comes into this too because then they can take over posts in government that are not necessarily elected where their expertise is supposed to be utilized.

Thomas Leonard: Thats exactly right. The crucial point is that we think about the progressive era as a huge expansion in the size and scope of government and indeed it is that. But the progressives didnt just want bigger government. They also wanted a new kind of government, which they saw as a better form, as a superior form of government. Famously the progressives werent just unhappy with economic life which was one thing, they were also unhappy with American political life and with American government which they saw and rightly so as corrupt and inefficient and not doing what it should be doing to improve society and economy. So they wanted to not only to expand state power but also to relocate it, to move government authority away from the courts which traditionally had held quite a bit of regulatory power and away from legislatures and into what they sometimes called a new fourth branch of government, the administrative state.

Trevor Burrus: And youre right, youre right in your book which I think this is a very succinct way of pointing it. Progressivism was first and foremost an attitude about the proper relationship of science and its bearer, the scientific expert, to the state and of the state to the economy and polity. And so these expertsI also want to think we should make clear, this was not a fringe group of intellectuals and academic professors. This waswould you say it was the mainstream or at least a kind of whos who of American intellectuals and all the great Ivy League institutions?

Thomas Leonard: Absolutely. Its the best and brightest if I can use an anachronistic phrase. Now, we have to be a little careful with Ivy League because the centers of academic reform are at places like Wisconsin and to some extent at Columbia and at Johns Hopkins and to some extent at Penn. But the old colonial colleges like Harvard and Yale were a little late to catch up. It took them a while to catch on to this new German model of graduate seminars and professors as experts and not merely instructors.

Trevor Burrus: So how did they conceptualize the average worker that needed their help? You have this great line in your book which I think says something about modern politics too. Progressives did not work in factories. They inspected them. Progressives did not drink in salons. They tried to shudder them. The bold women who chose to live among the immigrant poor and city slums called themselves settlers, not neighbors. Even when progressives idealized workers, they tended to patronize them. Romanticizing a brotherhood that they would never consider joining.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. I think its fair to say and its not exactly a revelation that the progressives were not working class, but neither were they, you know, part of the gentry class. They were middle class and from middle class backgrounds, as I say sons and daughters of ministers and missionaries. So, they were unhappy when they looked upward at the new plutocrats who were uneducated and in their view un-Christian and potentially corrupting of the republic, but they also didnt like what they saw when they looked downward at ordinary people particularly at immigrants. If you dont mind, I feel like I should circle back to this fourth branch idea

Trevor Burrus: Please.

Thomas Leonard: as a conception of the administrative state. I didnt finish my thought very well. I think that the way that the progressives thought about the fourth branch is very important because the administrative state is as everyone knows has done nothing but grow since its blueprinting and its sort of first construction in Woodrow Wilsons first term. I think the key thingsort of these two key components that make this a new kind of government in the progressive mind. The first is that the independent agencies like the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and the Permanent Tariff Commission were designed to be independent of Congress and the president. That was by design.

They were supposed to be in some sense above politics. They served for 7 years. They had overlapping terms. Oftentimes, they would be balanced politically and the president could not remove one of these commissioners except for cause and neither could Congress impeach them. So they occupied a kind of a unique place, a new place did these bureaucrats.

The second thing that matters I think for understanding the administrative state is that administrative regulations have the full force of federal law, right? Regulations are laws no different than you know, Congress had passed one. Moreover, the fourth branch, the administrators are also responsible for executing regulations and third, of course, theyre responsible for adjudicating regulatory disputes. So theres this combination of statutory and adjudicatory and executive power all rolled up into one, which is why I think the progressives called it the fourth branch. And the growth of administrative government I think is a much better metric for thinking about the success, if you will, or the durability of the progressive vision than simply looking at something like government spending as a share of GDP.

Aaron Powell: Can we decouple at least for purposes of critique the ideology of the progressives from the methods? Because obviously they ended up once they had the power, ended up doing a lot of really lamentable or awful things with it. But the basic idea of having experts in charge of thingsI mean you can see a certain appeal to that especially as, you know, science advances, technology advances, our body of knowledge grows. We understand more about the economy and more about how societies function just like you would want, you know, experts in the medical sciences overseeing your health as opposed to just laymen. Is there anything just inherently wrong or dangerous about the idea of turning over more of government to experts distinct from just the particular ideas of this set of experts?

Thomas Leonard: I dont think so. I think the question is more a practical one of what we think experts should do whether theyre working in government or in the private sector. And the progressives had what you might call a heroic conception of expertise. They believed that they not only could be experts serve the public good but they could also identify the public good and thats what I mean by a heroic conception. Not only do we know how to get to a particular outcome, we know also what those outcomes should be.

Now theres nothing about expertise per se that requires that heroic vision which in retrospect looks both arrogant and nave. It makes good sense for the state to call upon expertise where expertise can be helpful. So I dont think its an indictment of the very idea of using science for the purposes of state. Its more about what sort of authority and we want experts to have. Going as we sort of move into the new deal era, which is another great growth spurt in the size of the state, we get a slightly less heroic vision of what experts do. Thereswell, after World War I, that sort of nave heroic view of expertise is simply outmoded.

Trevor Burrus: So they definitelytheyre pretty arrogant as you mentioned. They haveso Im going to ask you sort of a few things about the way that theyre looking at society and what they think that they can do with it and what theyre allowed to do with it. So, how did they view individual rights and as a core layer, I guess, how do they think of society as opposed to the individual in terms of the sort of methodology of their science or state craft or whatever you want tohowever you want to describe it?

Thomas Leonard: Thats a great question. I think one of the most dramatic changes that we see in sort of American liberal thinking and its transition from 19th century small government liberalism to 20th century liberalism of a more activist expert-guided state is a re-conception of what Dan Rogers calls the moral hole, the idea of a nation or a state or a social organism as an entity that is something greater than the individual people that make it up. And I think this fundamental change is one of the sort of key elements in this progressive inflection point in American history. Up until that point if youre willing to call an era a point, forgive me. Up until that moment, I think thats what we should say.

Trevor Burrus: I think thats good, yes.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, right. We would have said the United States are and after the progressive reconceptualization, its the United States is. Instead of a collection of states of federation, now the idea is that theres a nation. Woodrow Wilsons famous phrase at least famous in these precincts was Princeton in the nations service and this desire to identify a kind of moral hole, a nation, a state or a social organism. They gave it different names. I think the great impetus to the idea that it was okay to trespass on individual liberties as long as it promoted the interests of the nation or the state or the people or society or the social organism.

Trevor Burrus: So how doesand this is another big factor because its kind of interesting. We have awe talk about them as evangelicals and then progressives, which a lot of people might be surprised, the people who call themselves progressives now. But we also have them as evangelical but with Darwin and evolution having a huge influence on their thinking which also seems to not go with the way we align these things today. How did Darwin and evolution come in to their thinking and what did it make them start to conclude?

Thomas Leonard: Right. Well, remember the quote you had before about progressivism as being essentially a concept that refers to the relationship of science to government and of government to the economy. The science of the day or at least the science that most influencedthe economic reformers was Darwinism. And theres just no understanding progressive era reform without understanding the influence of Darwinism. It was in the progressive view what made these brand-new social sciences just barely established scientific. Thats one of the reasons we do history. Economics today doesnt have a whole lot to do with evolution or with Darwinism and has a lot to do with mathematics and statistical approaches. But at the turn of the century and until the end of the First World War, evolutionary thinking was at the heart of the science that underwrote economics and the other new social sciences, which were at least in the progressive view to guide the administrative state in its relationship to economy and polity.

Aaron Powell: What does Darwinian thinking look like in practice for the policy preferences of the progressives? I mean I see were not just talking about we need to breed out undesirable traits or something of that sort. How does the specifics of Darwin apply to their broader agenda?

Thomas Leonard: Well, Darwin does many things for the progressives. Darwin by himself is sort of a figure that they admire, sort of hes a disinterested man of science concerned only with the truth and uninterested in profit like, say, a greedy capitalist, uninterested in power like, say, a greedy politician. I mean Darwin is kind of a synecdoche if you like for the progressive conception of what a scientific expert does.

More than that, I think that, you know, the progressives andand by the way, many other intellectuals too, socialists and conservatives alike, were able to find whatever they needed in Darwin. Darwin was so influential in the gilded age and in the progressive era that everybody found something useful for their political and intellectual purposes during the gilded age and the progressive era.

Take competition, for example. If you were a so-called social Darwinist, you could say that competition was survival of the fittest, Herbert Spencers phrase that Darwin eventually borrowed himself and that, therefore, that those who succeeded in economic life were in some sense fitter. The progressives could use other evolutionary thinkers and say Wait a second, not so. Fitter doesnt necessarily mean better. Fitter just means better adapted to a particular environment. So competition would be an example of Darwinian thinking that was influential in the way that progressives thought about the way an economy works.

Trevor Burrus: But they werent particular. I mean they werent laissez faire and I know at one point you mentioned that theI think you said that it was either the American Economic Association or maybe sociology was started partially against William Graham Sumner. Was it sociology? William Graham Sumner was very influential on creating counter-movements to him and he is sort of a proto-libertarian or a libertarian figure who was laissez faire but they were absolutely not.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Thats quite right. Sumner is the bte noire of economic reformers. He was of a slightly earlier generation, the generation of 1840, and he was the avatar as you say of free markets and of small government and Sumner was the man ElyRichard T. Ely, sort of the standard bearer of progressive economics said that he organized the American Economic Association to oppose. Yeah, Sumner was in the end the only economist who is not asked to join the American Economic Association. So much was he sort of personally associated with laissez faire.

Trevor Burrus: Now, of course, they were accused and this is an important historical point because you mentioned the social Darwinism and I think I can almost hear your scare quotes through the line because that idea of Sumner and Herbert Spencer being Darwinists of a sort of wanted to let people die is a little bit overextended. Spencer definitely had some evolutionary ideas about society, but the social Darwinism doesnt only come in until the 50s if I understand correctly.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Social Darwinism is really an anachronism applied to the progressive era. I think we can safely, you know, ascribe the influence of that term to Richard Hofstadter who coined it in his dissertation which was published during the Second World War. It is true, of course, that you could find apologists for laissez faire or you could find people who said that, you know, economic success was not a matter of luck or a fraud or of coercion but was deserved, was justified.

There were lots of defenders of laissez faire on various grounds and Spencer and Sumner find they fit that description. But neither of them were particularly Darwinian. Spencer was a rival of Darwins. He thought his theory waswell, it was prior. He thought it was better and he coined the term evolution. And Sumner really wasnt much of a Darwinist at all if you look through his work, its only dauded with a few Darwinian references. I think what Hofstadter did, and he was such a graceful writer, is he coined a new term that sounded kind of unpleasant.

And if you look through the entire literature which Ive done, you will be hard-pressed to find a single person who identifies him or herself as a social Darwinist. You wont find a journal of social Darwinism. You wont find laboratories of social Darwinism. You wont find international societies for the promotion of social Darwinism.

Trevor Burrus: But ironically, eugenics, you will find all of those things.

Thomas Leonard: You will find all of those things.

Trevor Burrus: Actually, could you explain what eugenics is before we jump into the truly distasteful part of this episode?

Thomas Leonard: Well, eugenics is just in the progressive era what it meant, the period of my book, is the social control of human heredity. Its the idea that human heredity just like anything else guided by good science and overseen by socially-minded experts can improve human heredity just like it can improve government. It can make government good. It can make the economy more efficient and more just and so too can we do the same for human heredity.

Trevor Burrus: And eugenics wasI mean I think big is even an understatement of at least the first two decades of the 20th century and into the third and fourth decade but especially the first two decades.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, there was an extraordinary intellectual vogue for eugenics all over the world, not just in the United States. Eugenics, its very difficult viewed in retrospect that is viewed through the sort of crimes that were committed by Nazi Germany in the middle of the 20th century. Its very difficult to see how what is a term that is a dirty word could actually be regarded as sort of the height of high-mindedness and social concern. But it was, in fact, at the time.

And across American society, eugenics was popular. It was popular among the new experimental biologists that we now called geneticist. It was certainly popular among the new social scientists, the economists and others who were staffing the bureaus at the administrative state and sitting in chairs in the university. And it was popular among politicians too. There were many journals of eugenics. There were many eugenics societies. They had international and national conferences. Hundreds probably thousands of scholars were happy to call themselves eugenicists and to advocate for eugenic policies of various kinds. Theres a book published in I think around 1924 by Sam Holmes who was a Berkeley zoologist and theres like 6000 or 7000 titles on eugenics in the bibliography.

Aaron Powell: How did the eugenicists of the time think about what they were doing or think about the people that they were doing it to?

Trevor Burrus: Well, first we should ask what they were doing. We havent actually got to that.

Aaron Powell: But I mean in generallike the attitude towards the very notion of this because we can even setting aside the horrors of what Nazi Germany did from our modern perspective looking back at this with the debates that we have and the struggle we have to allow people to say define the family, the way that they choose and just the overwhelming significance in, you know, the scope of ones life and the way one lives in that decision to have children and become a parent. And eugenics, no matterI mean no matter the details of it is ultimately taking that choice away from someone or making that choice for them and it seems just profoundly dehumanizing and did they consciously or unconsciously was there a dehumanizing element to it? Did they think of the people that they were going to practice this on as somehow less and so, therefore, deserving of less autonomy? Or was there a distancing from that element of it?

Thomas Leonard: Well, its important to rememberthe answer to the question is yes. The professionals, if you will, in the eugenics movement sort of the professionals and the propagandists certainly saw immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, immigrants from Asia, African Americans, the mentally and physically disabled as inferiors as unfit. Theres just no question about it. But what we needone important caution here again is that there were very few people at the time proposing anything like hurting inferiors into death chambers.

Eugenic policies were much less extreme. So when we encounter it in the context of, say, economic reform, it comes up In immigration, for example. If you regard immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and from Asia as unfit, as threats to American racial integrity or as economic threats to American working mens wages, thats a eugenic argument. Youre saying that when you argue that they will sort of reduce American hereditary vigor, thats a eugenic argument. It doesnt have to involve something as ugly as, say, coercive sterilization or worse.

Theres many ways of which I think are, you know, strange to us in retrospect of thinking about the law, be it immigration reform or minimum wages or maximum hours as a device for keeping the inferior out of the labor force or out of the country altogether.

Trevor Burrus: Yeah, lets goyeah, the last third of your book kind of goes with this. We have a chapter called Excluding the Unemployable. So can you talk a little bit about what that entailed?

Thomas Leonard: Sure. The unemployable is a kind of buzz phrase that I think was probably coined by Sidney and Beatrice Webb who were Fabian socialists, founders of the London School of Economics and whose work was widely read by American progressives and with whom American progressives had a very kind of fruitful trans-Atlantic interaction with. Its a misnomer, of course, because the unemployable refers to people who many of whom were actually employed. And the idea here is that a certain category of worker is willing to work for wages below what progressives regarded as a living wage or a fair wage and that these sorts of people who were often called feeble-minded when they were mentally disabled or defectives when they were physically disabled were doing the sort of transgressing in multiple ways.

The first thing was by accepting lower wages, they were undermining the deserving American working men or American really means Anglo-Saxon. The second thing is because they were willing to accept low wages, the American worker was unwilling to do so to accept these low wages and so instead opted to have smaller families. That argument went by the name of race suicide. The undercutting inferior worker because he was racially predisposed to accept or innately predisposed to accept lower wages meant that the Anglo-Saxon native, if you willscare quotes around nativehad fewer children and as a result the inferior strains were outbreeding the superior strains and the result was what Edward A. Ross called race suicide.

Trevor Burrus: Now that sounds like the movie Idiocracy. Have you ever seen this movie?

Thomas Leonard: Im not familiar with it.

Trevor Burrus: Oh, well. So, but I want to clarify something that might shock our listeners thatand you mentioned this briefly a little bit like for the economists, for members of the American Economic Association, at the time some of them thought of the minimum wage as valuable precisely because it unemployed these people. So whereas now were actually having this fight about whether or not the minimum wage unemploys anyone. It seems like there were a few doubts that it did unemploy people and the people it unemployed were the unemployable, unproductive workers who shouldnt be employed in the first place.

Thomas Leonard: Thats right. Theres a very long list of people who at one time or another just almost comically if it werent sad, long list of groups that were vilified as being inferior. As I say, physically disabled, mentally disabled coming from Asia or Southern Europe or Eastern Europe, African American, although the progressive werent terribly worried about the African Americans, at least outside the south until they started the great migration and became economic competitors in the factories as well. So, this very long list of inferiors creates a kind of regulatory problem which is how are we going to identify them and so you can, if you think for example that a Jew from Russia or an Italian from the mezzogiorno is inferior, how are you going to know that theyre Jewish or that theyre from Southern Italy. Their passport doesnt specify necessarily.

So one way, of course, is to take out your handbook, the dictionary of the races of America or another more clever way ultimately is to simply set a minimum wage so high that all unskilled labor will be unable to legally come to America because theyll be priced out.

Trevor Burrus: And that was also true ofit goes a little bit past your book but the migration of African Americans north had some influence on the federal minimum wage of the New Deal if I remember correctly.

Thomas Leonard: Yes, it did, and also Mexican immigrants as well. The idea of inferiors threatening Americans or Native Americans is a trope that recurs again and again and again, not just in the progressive era but also in the New Deal. And it is I suppose shocking and bizarre to see the minimum wage as hailed for its eugenic virtues. But one very convenient way of solving this problem of how do we identify the inferiors is to simply assume that theyre low-skilled and, therefore, unproductive and a binding minimum wage will ensure that the unproductive are kept out or if theyre already in the labor force, theyll be idled. And the deserving, that is to say the productive workers who were always assumed, of course, to be Anglo-Saxon will keep their jobs and get a raise. Its a very appealing notion.

And youre quite right that today, you know, most of the debate or a good part of the minimum wage debate concerns a question of how much unemployment you get for a given increase in the minimum. But theres no question that any disemployment from a higher minimum is a social cause thats undesirable. The progressive era was not seen as a social cause. It was not seen as a bug. It was seen as a desirable feature and this is why progressivism has made a virtue of it precisely because it did exclude so many folks who were regarded as deficientdeficient in their heredity, deficient in their politics, deficient in many other ways as well.

Aaron Powell: What struck me when you were running through the policies that they wanted so the minimum wage in order to exclude these people or the concerns about immigration is how many of them maybeI mean not in the motives behind them necessarily, not in the stated motives but in the specifics of the policies and some of the concerns look very much like what you hear today, you know. There seem to be conventional wisdom about the need to keep out unskilled immigrants. You hear stuff about, you know, theres too many of them in the population and that that will ultimately cause problems if they, you know, tip over into a majority or the existing minimum wage, but they dont seemthey dont have the what we think of as terrifically ugly motives behind them.

And so is therelike that historic change because it seems odd that if the motives and the desires and the attitudes have shifted, we would have seen the resulting policy shift. So how did thathow do we get that transition from, you know, keeping the desire for the policies of the progressive era but shifting our attitudes, our sense of virtue to something that would see the motives behind the policy of the progressive era as so repugnant?

Thomas Leonard: Well, I think that, you know, we teach freshmen in economics to make this fairly bright distinction between the so-called positive and the normative, right? So the positive question is what are the effects of the minimum wage on employment and what are the effects of the minimum wage on output prices and what are the effects of the minimum wage on the income distribution. And you can sort of think about these questions without sort of tipping over onto the normative side which isis it a good thing or a bad thing that a particular class of worker namely the very unskilled are likely to be harmed at all? So you canI think in a way its partly a parable about, you know, the capacity of sorting so-called scientific claims from so-called normative or ethical matters.

You know, my own view is one can be a supporter of the minimum wage, of course, without, you know, having repugnant views about the folks who are going to lose their job if we raise the minimum wage too high.

Trevor Burrus: Yeah, of course. That

Thomas Leonard: Goes with I think that goes without saying.

Trevor Burrus: Well, thats an interesting question about what are the lessons

Thomas Leonard: Yeah.

Trevor Burrus: from this. But I wanted to ask you about one more thing before we kind of get to that question which is aboutbecause theres another one that we didnt touch on which might surprise people, which is excluding women. So we gotwe went therethere were some sterilization, which weve been talking about much but you mentioned excluding unemployable. We had about immigration and now we also have excluding women and people might be surprised to hear that progressives were actually interested in doing this.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. This is awell, all of these accounts are complex. The story of womens labor legislation is probably the most complex of all and thats partly because in the progressive era, most labor legislation was directed at women and at women only, not all but sort of the pillars of the welfare state which is to say minimum wages, maximum hours, mothers pensions which eventually evolved into AFTC and welfare. Those pillars werethose pillars that legislation was women and women only.

Now, there are different ways of thinking about it. I think that the thing to remember is that a lot of these legislation to set a wage floor to set a maximum number of hours to give women payments women with dependent children payments at home were enacted not so much to protect women from employment, the hazards of employment but rather to protect employment from women.

And when you look at the discourse, you do find a kind of protective paternalistic line where, for example, the famous Brandeis Brief which was used in so many Supreme Court cases in defensive labor legislation just sort of boldly asserts that women are the weaker sex and thats why women as women need to be protected from the hazards of market work. They didnt worry so much about the hazards of domestic work.

Trevor Burrus: And Brandeis was a champion ofI mean hes considered a champion of progressive era, but he did write this unbelievably sexist brief in Muller versus Oregon.

Thomas Leonard: Indeed he did and he collaborated with his sister-in-law, Josephine Goldmark, and its regarded as sort of not only the case but the brief itself is regarded as sort of a landmark in legal circles. So theres also a second class of argument which still lives on today, I might add, which is called the family wage and this is the idea that theres a kind of natural family structure wherein the father is the breadwinner and the mother stays at home and tends the hearth and raises the kids and that male workers are entitled to a wage sufficient to support a wife and other dependents, and that when women work for wages, they wrongly usurp the wages that rightly belong to the breadwinner. Thats another argument for regulating womens employment. Thats not really protecting women. Thats protecting men, of course.

And there were a whole host of arguments. Another argument was worried about womens sexual virtue that if women accepted, you know, low wages at the factory, theyll be tempted into prostitution. The euphemism of the day was the social vice and John Bates Clark pointed out that if 5 dollars a week tempts a factory girl into vice, then 0 dollars a week will do so more surely.

Trevor Burrus: Its really hard to decide when youre going through all this stuff and you include immigration and all these issues whether or not these people arewhen were talking about progressives, so thats the name we all call them now. But if were going to use modern term, are they liberals or are they conservative? I mean if the immigration thing looks conservative now and the protecting womens virtue and supporting the family looks conservative and the racism, you know, but the minimum wage wanting that. So there seemed to be a hodgepodge of something that doesnt really map to anything now.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, I think thats right. I think its a mistake. I mean one of the problems that we face looking backwards from today is that progressivism todaya progressive today is someone on the left, someone on the left wing of the democratic party and thats not what progressive meant in the progressive era. There certainly were plenty of folks on the left who were progressives but they were also right progressives too. Men like Theodore Roosevelt would be a canonical sort of right progressive. Roosevelt ran as you know on that progressive ticket in 1912 handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson in so doing.

Yeah, I thinkyeah, one of the, you know, the historiographic lessons of the book is be careful projecting contemporary categories backwards in time. You know, the original progressives, they defended human hierarchy. They were Darwinists. They either ignored or justified Jim Crow. They were moralists. They were evangelicals. They promoted the claims of the nation over individuals and they had this, of course, heroic conception of their own roles as experts. Thats very different from what 21st century progressives are about. The 21st century progressives couldnt be more different in some respects. Theyre not evangelicals. Theyre very secular. They emphasize racial equality and minority rights. Theyre nervous about nationalism but they donttheyre not imperialists like the progressives were. Theyre unhappy with too much Darwinism in their social science. So, in these respects contemporary progressives are very different from their namesakes.

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Portland SEO Expert | Search Engine Optimization Pros

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Apr 242016
 

To expand your business reach, you need to use effective and helpful methods. In the highly advanced world of today, websites are an effective medium that businesses use for promoting their activities and events. There are many things that you need to consider before you start to make use of search engine optimization services.

They include the following: your visitors interests, the scope and size of your business and much more. PDX SEO is a great option if you are looking to generate massive amounts of traffic to your website. We have an entire team of experienced SEO professionals ready to assist you. Our knowledge of Search Engine Optimization will help to set your business apart from your competitors.

The following are some of the major benefits that a Portland SEO Firm can provide to you:

Create a user-friendly and functional website:

PDX SEO assists business owners, particularly those who are new to creating websites, build a friendlier, faster and better website for their online business. When it comes to Search Engine Marketing, it involves focusing on the quality of the user experience that your visitors have as much as it does to please the search engines.

When your visitors are pleased with your website, the search engines will also be happy. SEO involves the rearrangement of links and the architecture of the website to make navigating through the pages of a website a much easier thing to do. PDX SEO utilizes first-rate on-page SEO methods to improve your visitors user experience, which creates several long term and short term benefits.

Generate traffic:

One of the greatest advantages you will get from hiring a Portland SEO Company is all of the added traffic that is generated for your site. The main way this is achieved is through selecting the proper keywords. It has been repeatedly proven that it increases the amount of traffic to a website.

Our firms art of SEO also helps you convert your visitors into customers. The experts at PDX SEO ensure that they use only the finest and most effective Search Engine Optimization methods that can increase your website traffic significantly. The more traffic that you receive, the higher the sales will be for your business.

Stay ahead of your competition:

One of the easiest and fastest ways to get ahead of the competition is to optimize your website with help from experts in Portland Search Engine Optimization. Consider two businesses that are selling the same products and the same prices within the same industry. One has a non-optimized web presence, and the other one utilizes SEO.

With everything else being equal, the business that has an optimized website will be much more successful since it can obtain many more customers via Search Engine Marketing. This will allow the business to expand much faster.

Improve your brands credibility:

Obtaining the top rankings position will provide you with a significant number of impressions. That is why getting your website to the top spots in the results pages provides your website with increased exposure. There is a simple reason for this: everybody trusts that Google and other popular search engines will deliver results that are the most relevant to their queries.

When you hire Portland SEO services, it will normally result in your site ranking at the top of the search results. That means that the more high ranking pages you have, the more chances you have of your target customers seeing you and your brand improving.

High Return On Investment:

It will require an initial investment to have your website built and to hire a Portland SEO Agency for providing various SEO services. However, since those services can be expected to produce great results, you will be able to generate a great return on investment. Whether your site is a non-commerce or e-commerce website, PDX SEO can offer you a quantifiable result and will monitor your progress.

Therefore, you will not need to worry about gaining your initial investment back. They are equipped with all of the necessary tools for tracking virtually all aspects of the SEM services they are providing, including conversion rates, daily ranking changes and increases in traffic. They offer a comprehensive analytic program with the ability to drill down to see website metrics, demographic information and other types of engagement metrics, allowing you to have a clear view of the areas that you can improve upon.

Find potential customers:

When you hire PDX SEO, if you have the ability to target precisely the type of audience that you want, which is those people that are especially searching for the services and products that you offer. That will certainly lead to an increase in sales overall as well as profit margins.

Improve conversion rates

Portland SEO service companies ensure that your site is optimized well. That means that it is compatible with various mobile devices, is easy and convenient to use and that it runs fast. Another thing that will improve conversions is to have a mobile-friendly website.

Provides permanent results:

Unlike traditional advertising methods, Portland SEO services can deliver long-term results. The effects that you can achieve from SEO services that are of high quality will not stop suddenly after you stop using the services of the professional SEO firm. Some maintenance work will need to be done to make sure that your website stays in the top spot. However, if you get it into that position, there is a very good chance that other websites will have a tough time trying to surpass you in the rankings.

Long term results:

Unlike other methods such as PPC, you can enjoy ranking on the major search engines on a long term basis with assistance from Portland SEO. This can prove to be among the best marketing strategies that you can use since their services are so cost-effective and affordable.

If you are thinking about using Portland SEM services to take care of your business SEO needs, then there are a few things that you need to carefully consider. First of all, research the track records of several service providers to determine how capable the firms will be regarding the type of work that you need for them to do for you. Ask if they can customize their services to provide solutions to you that specifically meet your business needs. Also, be sure to compare the prices being charged by several service providers to ensure that the rates are reasonable. After you have completed this process, you can then hired Portland SEM services to help your business achieve its objectives.

PDX SEO is a great way to promote your services and products to a broad range o customers. It will provide your business with increased visibility, and each day of the year.

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Portland SEO Expert | Search Engine Optimization Pros

Goldman Sachs Files Patent for Cryptocurrency System …

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Jan 182016
 

Goldman Sachs is seeking to create its own cryptocurrency for post-trade settlement, according to a recently released patent filing.

The cryptocurrency, called SETLcoin, would be the architecture behind a new securities settlement system for the banking giant that would reduce delays in the transfer of assets; the time between when the transaction is initiated and finalized can take days.

SETLcoin guarantees instant execution and settlement, according to the filing, submitted October 2014.

“As implemented by the described technology, a trader no longer trades securities by meeting at an exchange with an indication of cash for security and then settles the transaction meanwhile bearing all of the associated credit risk in the interim,” it says.

Goldman isn’t the first to patent its own cryptocurrency. Citi and Bank of New York Mellon have also created them, CitiCoin and BK Coins respectively, for internal testing of blockchain technology.

Banks have become increasingly interested in blockchain technology this year. Goldman Sachs was one of the inaugural members of the R3CEV consortium, which now has 30 members and is expected to announce more soon. That firm is developing a similar distributed ledger-based settlement platform with which its members can experiment.

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How to Browse Anonymously With Tor

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Sep 232015
 

Everything you do online can be traced back to your IP address. Even if youre accessing encrypted websites, networks can see the websites youre accessing and the websites themselves know your IP address. Use the Tor network to browse with anonymity.

Tor is an encrypted network that can route your traffic through relays, making the traffic appear to come from exit nodes. Unlike with proxies, the exit node itself doesnt know your IP address or where you are.

When you use a Tor client, your Internet traffic is routed through Tors network. The traffic travels through several randomly selected relays (run by volunteers), before exiting the Tor network and arriving at your destination. This prevents your Internet service provider and people monitoring your local network from viewing the websites you access. It also prevents the websites themselves from knowing your physical location or IP address theyll see the IP address and location of the exit node instead. Even the relays dont know who requested the traffic theyre passing along. All traffic within the Tor network is encrypted.

Image Credit: The Tor Project, Inc.

For example, lets say you access Google.com through Tor. Your Internet service provider and local network operator cant see that youre accessing Google.com they just see encrypted Tor traffic. The Tor relays pass your traffic along until it eventually reaches an exit node. The exit node talks to Google for you from Googles perspective, the exit node is accessing their website. (Of course, traffic can be monitored at the exit node if youre accessing an unencrypted website.) The exit node passes the traffic back along the relays, and the relays dont know where it ends up.

Tor offers anonymity and a path through Internet censorship and monitoring people living under repressive regimes with censored Internet connections can use Tor to access the wider Internet without fear of reprisal. Whistleblowers can use Tor to leak information without their traffic being monitored and logged.

Its not a great idea to use Tor for normal browsing, though. While the architecture does a good job of offering anonymity, browsing through Tor is significantly slower than browsing normally.

If you want more detailed information about how Tor works, check out the Tor Projects website.

The Tor Project recommends the Tor Browser Bundle as the safest, easiest way to use Tor. The Tor Browser Bundle is a customized, portable version of Firefox that comes preconfigured with the ideal settings and extensions for TOr. You can use Tor with other browsers and browser configurations, but this is likely to be unsafe. For example, Flash and other browser plug-ins can reveal your IP address the Tor Browser Bundle disables plug-ins for you and provides a safe environment, so you dont have to worry about your browser settings. It also includes the EFFs HTTPS Everywhere extension, which enables HTTPS on websites with HTTPS support. HTTPS provides encryption between the exit node and destination website.

Tor recommends that you not download document files, such as DOC and PDF files, and open them in external applications. The external application can connect to the Internet to download additional resources, exposing your IP address.

After downloading the Tor Browser Bundle, double-click the downloaded EXE file and extract it to your hard drive. The Tor Browser Bundle requires no installation, so you can extract it to a USB stick and run it from there.

Launch the Start Tor Browser.exe file in the Tor Browser folder.

The EXE file will launch Vidalia, which connects to the Tor network. After connecting, Vidalia will automatically open Tors customized Firefox browser.

Vidalia automatically launches the Tor Browser once it connects. When you close the browser, Vidalia automatically disconnects from Tor and closes.

Vidalia creates a local proxy on your system. The Tor Browser Bundle is configured to route all your traffic through it by default, as we can see here in the Tor Browsers connection settings window. You can configure other programs to access Tor through the proxy, but they may reveal your IP address in other ways.

Use the Tor Browser to browse the web just as you would with a normal browser. Its pre-configured with Startpage and DuckDuckGo, search engines that respect your privacy.

Remember not to provide any personal information say, by logging into an account associated with you while using the Tor browser, or youll lose the anonymity.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He’s as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

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America in Prophecy: A Transhuman Replicant Future | Paul …

 Transhuman  Comments Off on America in Prophecy: A Transhuman Replicant Future | Paul …
Jul 212015
 

The Bible warned about global government with the account of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel, mankinds first global government. The Tower of Babel and Babylon were not the product of primitive cultures. It is very possible that the charismatic leader, Nimrod, who planned and organized the Tower of Babel, was a genetically enhanced super-being, who was the product of interspecies breeding between fallen angels and human women. As such, Nimrod would have been one the worlds first posthuman leaders and a Nephilim. This would have supported the thesis that some human civilizations before the Flood of Noah were highly technologically advanced and that the Tower of Babel was a stargate or portal, which allowed entities from different dimensions access to planet earth. These ancient Babylonian occult religions and their technology may have reappeared on the scene after the Flood. Francis Bacons ideas of a New Atlantis, which seems to be the secret philosophy upon which America was built, appears to be acting like a nano-technology guidance system that is reshaping Americas body electric. Just as electrical signals can cause eyes to be grown in a frogs stomach, so ideas can radically transform America as we know it. Transhumansim and global government, managed by a scientific elite, appear to be the plan for the United States of America. The NATO Summit in Chicago, which may look like something out of the movie Blade Runner, could be the dream of global governance in Daniels prophecy of a Revived Roman Empire. Instead of Roman legions, there could be Russian Special Forces troops protecting the empire.

Currently Russian soldiers are training near Fort Carson, Colorado as part of a bi-lateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia in order to improve skills related to fighting terrorism. In an April 23, 2012 article entitled, Blade Runner: What It Means to Be Human in the Cybernetic State by John W. Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, Whitehead writes:

If Michelangelo were alive in Ridley Scotts future world, rather than portraying God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he would likely paint the human creators of the Tyrell Corporation, the worlds leading manufacturer of replicants which has just introduced the Nexus-6, a replicant with far greater strength and intelligence than human beings. These latest-model replicants represent an obvious potential danger to human society, and their introduction on Earthan offense calling for the death penaltyhas been strictly outlawed. When the replicants somehow make their way back to Earth, they are systematically retired (but not killed since they are inhuman) by special detectives or Blade Runners trained to track down and liquidate the infiltrators.

The signs of the times that Jesus Christ warned us about are happening right before our eyes. Jesus Christ predicted that there would be wars and rumors of wars, nation fighting nation, which comes from the word ethnos, which could imply conflict between ethnic and racial groups. A comprehensive translation of the words of Jesus would include earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, famines, plagues, lawlessness, anarchy and immorality, in what the Bible calls the Last Days. But Christ also warned of a coming charismatic politician who would unite the world into a one world government.

The signs are now occurring with increasing intensity and frequency. A super volcano under Yellowstone could trigger a global chain reaction connected to other super volcanoes. Earthquakes are shaking every continent on planet earth and earthquakes near the Canary Islands could send a five hundred foot high wall of water across the Pacific Ocean and submerge parts of the coastlines. The tsunamis produced by powerful earthquakes could submerge part of the West Coast of the United States and put parts of Europe under water.

A pervasive lawlessness and immorality is engulfing every nation. Human sex trafficking that includes little babies is becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. Israel was reformed as a nation in 1948, as the ancient Hebrew prophets predicted, and the Revived Roman Empire that the prophet Daniel outlined may still arise from the chaos of the European Union. Yet, one nation seems conspicuously absent from the ancient Biblical prophecies and that is the United States of America.

People ask me all the time, Paul where is America in Bible prophecy? They cannot understand how a nation as large and powerful as the United States would not be mentioned by name in the Bible. The answer to that question may simply be that America will no longer exist as a separate and distinct nation. It will either exist under a different name or America will become part of the Revived Roman Empire or coming one world government. A clue to Americas prophetic destiny may be in the architecture and symbolism of our nations capitol, Washington D.C. Washington D.C. and its architectural design are built on the ideas of ancient Rome. In fact, the Capitol building is designed after the Roman Pantheon, which was dedicated not to the Judeo-Christian God, but to the pagan gods.

Through the influence of a Rosicrucian-Masonic brotherhood, Washington D.C. seems to be constructed to be the capital of Francis Bacons vision of the New Atlantis, which is likely to become the center of the New World Order. On the back of the dollar bill we read the words Novus Ordos Seclorum, which means New Order of the Ages or New World Order. These words are found below an Egyptian pyramid with the all-seeing eye of Lucifer above it, inside of a smaller pyramid. This occult symbolism signifies that in the New World Order, a Luciferian elite will rule the masses; or to use the terminology of the Fabian socialists like H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell, a scientific elite. This is the restructuring that is going on in America right now.

Nimrod ruled the first global government in Babylon and built the Tower of Babylon as an astrological worship portal that would place men to rule like gods in the heavens. Ancient Babylon, along with its mystery religions, is the spiritual fountainhead for the New World Order. The Freemason architects astrologically aligned the U.S. capital with the constellation Virgo (Isis). There is a picture of George Washington wearing a Masonic apron during a ceremony which dedicates the Washington capitol to these unseen pagan gods or entities that were allegedly present during the ceremony.

If you look carefully at Washingtons apron, you see the symbolism of a radiant eye or the all-seeing eye of Lucifer. The occult ceremony was an invitation for participation by the Egyptian god Horus or Osiris, which is the Greek god Apollo. The Roman gods Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are an important part of astrology, but they are also the names of many of the NASA space programs. Is this merely coincidence?

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Prof. Kyung Wook Seo – 2011 GSCT Colloquium (4/14) – Video

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Apr 082015
 



Prof. Kyung Wook Seo – 2011 GSCT Colloquium (4/14)
Title: A Theory of Relativity in Space Date: April 14, 2011, 4:00 pm Lecture by Prof. Kyung Wook Seo (Dept. of Architecture, Kyonggi University)

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Bitcoin TLV `14, #32 – Paul Snow – The Architecture of a Cryptocurrency Based Project – Video

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Jan 292015
 



Bitcoin TLV `14, #32 – Paul Snow – The Architecture of a Cryptocurrency Based Project
The lecture took place in the Inside Bitcoins Tel Aviv 2014 conference, organized by the Israeli Bitcoin Association and Buzz Productions, on October 19-20, …

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Bitcoin TLV `14, #32 – Paul Snow – The Architecture of a Cryptocurrency Based Project – Video

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Rochester NY SEO Service by YourProfitWeb, Inc. of Rochester, NY – Video

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Sep 112014
 



Rochester NY SEO Service by YourProfitWeb, Inc. of Rochester, NY
h mrtn f Site Architecture n Support f a Quality Rochester NY SEO Service Web developers ftn perceive site's architecture frm completely dffrnt perspective…

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Rochester NY SEO Service by YourProfitWeb, Inc. of Rochester, NY – Video

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How To SEO: Website Silo Architecture | Semantic Mastery – Video

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Jan 312014
 



How To SEO: Website Silo Architecture | Semantic Mastery
Semantic Mastery started life in 2013 in order to pioneer the 'New SEO' also known as Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web. In this Hangout, Bradley Benner talks abou…

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5 SEO Touch-Points During Website Design & Development by @JeffBiomecca

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Oct 312013
 

My career began at a dedicated search agency, often working with third party vendors and IT teams to accomplish SEO objectives. While I experienced many successes there, I now truly realize the importance of tight-knit collaboration and building SEO into the integrated marketing conversation.

For some this might seem repetitive, but based on my experience in the industry there are too many people who believe creating a document and handing it to the client will result in 100% implementation of the recommendation. Working at an integrated agency, I now have the opportunity to oversee implementation of search programs and weigh their impact on design, development, IA, and KPI framework construction. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Step 1 IA (Information Architecture) Development

One of the best parts of stepping into this role is having the opportunity to learn that the sitemap and IA are much more complex than I had experienced in the past. We need to consider consumer research, competitive research, business objectives, federal regulations, etc.

It is easy to tell that in our case, search strategy is more informative and less imperative. Ideally we will be able to achieve the best of all worlds, but contributing to the massive research before the construction of a website gives us the opportunity to weigh keyword optimization & schema with messaging, etc. Long story short, having the opportunity to conduct thorough keyword research and use it as an influence on the final sitemap rather than a concrete road map results in a final product which integrates comprehensive user research, search strategy, and modern IA strategies. What a great way to start a project.

Step 2 Copywriting

Now that the sitemap for a new site has been determined, we can conduct another round of keyword research, this time in a much more focused (and less exploratory) manner. The best part about mapping out keywords in this stage is having the ability to oversee their implementation, and you dont have to work alone. For an SEO professional, I feel it is incredibly important to gather feedback from all parties involved. Whether its working with your creative team to find out how the keywords mesh with their vision for a site, or discussing with the development team how keyword selections may affect technical implementation, this stage is a great opportunity to encourage collaboration and accomplish your SEO objectives while gathering feedback from your peers. Once again, search is truly integrated.

Step 3 Design

This is where as an SEO, you get to pull out your fine-tooth comb. While it may not be the most glorious of tasks, making sure image naming conventions are in place and teaching designers about a/b testing can be incredibly rewarding in the big scheme of things. I personally am careful to never mess with creative juices, but sometime there are search ranking factors that need to be explored during the design phase that can impact how much copy goes on to a page and how well optimized your site is to send users through conversion funnels. I love pulling out studies on click through rates for social share buttons and giving examples of how imagery can effect user behavior. Working with design is part education and part intricate planning.

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How to Do SEO for Now and Forever

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Sep 272013
 

I see so many allegedSEO tactics that just waste time and moneywithout having any positive affect on the website. In many cases, things done in the name of SEO actuallyhurt websites more than help them. Which is why I write a whole lot about what not to do in SEO.

While its easy to saywhat SEO isnt, its a lot harder to pin down exactly what SEO is these days. On the other hand, SEO is still the same thing I said it was when I first started writing about it over a decade ago that is, making your website the best it can be both for people and search engines.

Still, that broad definition probably doesnt mean much to many of you. Youre likely left wondering how exactly you should go about making your site the best it can be. So today Ill explain how you can do just that.

Time or Money

First when youre talking about having the best anything, theres no quick fix. Whether you want the best website or the best body, its going to take a huge investment on your part. That means youre going to have to spend lots of money or lots of time (or in many cases both) to make it happen. Just as your big fat belly isnt going to disappear overnight, great websites arent slapped together in a day. You will need some major resources at your disposal if you truly want your website to appeal to both people and search engines. This means either hiring smart people to work diligently on your website and its marketing, or spending most of your time doing it yourself. Your best bet probably a combination of both.

Understand Your Target Audience

To get started having the best website ever, you have to trulyunderstand your target audience. You need to know who they are and what they would be searching for at Google. If you dont know this information, start researching. If you have an existing customer base, do customer surveys. If youre working on a new business, then be sure to research the heck out of the industry youre getting into. You should have done this before ever deciding to start a business, but if you didnt, youd better do it before ever attempting SEO.

Create a User-Friendly and Search Engine-Friendly Site Architecture

Once youve got your resources and users figured out, its time to get to work. The first thing youll need to do is to create a crawler- and user-friendly website. (See how your site architecture and navigation affect SEO here.) This is a crucial step that you cannot skip. If you are working with an existing website, youll need to determine whether what you currently have is friendly to people and search engines. You need to set it up to meet their needs every step of the way. If it is, then youre lucky, because if its not, you may need to start from scratch with a redesign.

Content Creation

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Illuminati Architecture 2/10 – Video

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Jan 272013
 



Illuminati Architecture 2/10
Part 2/10 All seeing eye: http://www.whale.to In 1776, Adam Weishaupt, Professor of Catholic Church Canon Law at the University of Ingolstodt, Bavaria (Germany), founded the Order of Illuminati (Lucifer light bringers/bearers). Although trained as a Catholic Priest, he believed in Satanism and humanism. Humanism taught that a person could attain great power like unto God with the help from demons. He spent about five years writing on methods of world revolution under orders and pay from the Rothschild Dynasty with the aim of establishing One World Government. He called this government “The Novus Ordo Seculorum” (New Age or New World Order), which is also the title of his book published in May 1, 1776. This Latin phrase is printed on the reverse side of the one-dollar bill together with the year 1776 in Roman numeral at the bottom of the Masonic pyramid. On top of the pyramid is the eye of Lucifer with the inscription “Annuit Coeptis” which means he (Lucifer) has smiled on our undertakings. Most persons believe that the date 1776 honors the Birth of the US No, it honors Weishaupt's One World for Satan. In this part we look at some of the various artworks on architecture, starting with the All Seeing Eye inside an Equilateral triangle, which features in mainly Catholic Churches around the world, starting with Vilnius (a city in Lithuania filled with Roman Catholic Cathedrals/Churches), see the Holy Trinity Gate as it's known, or Baroque gate of the Basilian (Uniate) and monastery …

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Michael W. McConnell: The Architecture of the First Amendment – Video

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Nov 182012
 



Michael W. McConnell: The Architecture of the First Amendment
The Meiklejohn Lecture: The Architecture of the First Amendment Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Brown University A look at how the language, structure, and drafting of the First Amendment affects how we interpret it. Michael W. McConnell is Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Before joining Stanford in 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has argued thirteen cases in the United States Supreme Court, most recently CompuCredit v Greenwood, in 2011. McConnell is a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, the relation of individual rights to government structure, originalism, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law. He is author of numerous articles and co-author of two casebooks: The Constitution of the United States (Foundation Press) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen). He is co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale University Press). McConnell is currently a visiting professor at NYU Law School. Taubman Center for Public Policy American InstitutionsFrom:BrownuniversityViews:4 0ratingsTime:01:19:36More inEducation

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution