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Hate Speech, Sex Speech, Free Speech: Nicholas Wolfson …

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Hate Speech, Sex Speech, Free Speech: Nicholas Wolfson …
Oct 032015

A powerful indictment of contemporary attacks on free speech, this book argues for a vigorous First Amendment jurisprudence protecting even offensive types of speech. In recent years, political activists, academics, and legal specialists have attacked traditional notions of free speech protection as they concern hate speech, obscenity, and pornography. They have called for changes in Supreme Court doctrine in defining the First Amendment and have argued that the traditional view of free speech actually creates and perpetuates a society in which the weakwomen, minorities, the poorhave no voice. While recognizing their fears, Nicholas Wolfson argues that it is impossible to separate bad speech from good speech without fatally compromising the uniquely American concept of free speech, and that efforts to modify our concept of free speech for a greater egalitarian good can only result in undue state influence over private speech. In a keenly argued analysis, he finds that, in the end, the preservation of free and vigorous speech requires a strong First Amendment protection for even the most hateful of speech.

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The Best Definition of Singularity

 The Singularity  Comments Off on The Best Definition of Singularity
Sep 082015

The term Singularity has many definitions.

The everyday English definition of Singularity is a noun that designates the quality of being one of a kind, strange, unique, remarkable or unusual.

For a more specific definition of Singularity we can search The Wiktionary where we get the following five Singularity definitions:

1. the state of being singular, distinct, peculiar, uncommon or unusual 2. a point where all parallel lines meet 3. a point where a measured variable reaches unmeasurable or infinite value 4. (mathematics) the value or range of values of a function for which a derivative does not exist 5. (physics) a point or region in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density; associated with Black Holes

What we are most interested in, however, is the definition of Singularity as a technological phenomenon — i.e. the Technological Singularity. Here we can also find a variety of subtly different interpretations of the definition of Singularity.

John von Neumann was quoted as saying that “the ever accelerating progress of technology … gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.” His definition of the Singularity was that the Singularity is the moment beyond which “technological progress will become incomprehensively rapid and complicated.”

Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel Marooned in Realtime(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay the Coming Technological Singularity (1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine:

“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. […] I think it’s fair to call this event a singularity. It is a point where our models must be discarded and a new reality rules. As we move closer and closer to this point, it will loom vaster and vaster over human affairs till the notion becomes a commonplace. Yet when it finally happens it may still be a great surprise and a greater unknown.”

I.J. Good, who greatly influenced Vinge himself, never used the term Singularity itself. However, what Vinge called Singularity Good called intelligence explosion and by that he meant a positive feedback cycle within which minds will make technology to improve on minds which once started will rapidly surge upwards and create super-intelligence. This definition of Singularity is also known as the intelligence explosion hypothesis.

Ray Kurzweil is associated with the third and most popular interpretation of the Technological Singularity, often referred to as the accelerating change thesis. In his book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology Kurzweil defined the Technological Singularity as:

“… a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lifes, from our business models to the cycle of human life, including death itself.”

Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine

Singularity is the point at which “all the change in the last million years will be superseded by the change in the next five minutes.”

James Martin, a world-renowned leading futurist, computer scientist, author, lecturer and, among many other things, the largest donor in the history of Oxford University.

Singularity “is a break in human evolution that will be caused by the staggering speed of technological evolution.”


Since all of the above refer to the same broad occurrence, I will simply define the Technological Singularity as the event, or sequence of events, likely to occur at or after the birth of Artificial Intelligence. (especially when AI surpasses human intelligence)

If anything, it has to be clear that we really do not know what the Singularity is (or will be) so we are just using the term to show (or hide) our own ignorance.

For more on this topic check out 17 Definitions of the Technological Singularity

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THE singularitiy, not the tech one. Not rated yet I am puzzled that THE singularity is barely mentioned on this site – the singularity before which time, space, matter and energy did not exist – (not

Singuarity or Chaos?Not rated yet Perhaps it will be the time when the number of recongized, recorded & real-time shared “patterns” will be so unfathomably large that all around “us” will

Singularity And The Infinite InvisibleNot rated yet The Universe continues to expand from its point of origin (Alpha point) since its inception at the Big Bang. As such, time itself expands along with it,

D’Count Lessismore of Moran-OvaNot rated yet D&D’s take on all this is: That super AI equals human irrelevance. The soon to come very few super power leaders will voraciously control

The third factor of intelligenceNot rated yet I am thinking of a new theory. At least to me it is new. I am thinking of the point when artificial intelligence is measured as equal or greater than human

The SarkhhoobadNot rated yet Singularity is best explained by the “sarkhoobad”, a mysterious phenomenon which if unraveled would shed light on many of the difficult to explain questions

bliss to ignorance ratioNot rated yet singularity transcends human comprehension as a linear event, therefore if it occurs we will be incapable of detecting its existence. time, place and

Albert Not rated yet I agree that human evolution is heading in this direction, namely trans humanism. Earth will probably experience another extinction event, so humans should

Time TravelNot rated yet I do not believe that there is much more to be done technologically (in a vastly more incomprehensible way) than what has already transpired with the exceptions

Ananda Jaisingh, VedantinNot rated yet Singularity means Brahman, satyam gyanam anantam, brahman as it is the source of all knowledge and therefore must be conscious, without limit or boundary,

Noone ScientistNot rated yet Singularity is the initial point which everthing that exist, has existed and will exist, is acted upon by the magic magnetic first particle of matter,

singularityNot rated yet We would not be able to recognise a singularity in a future sense, we would experience the now or the present event prior to the singularity,then pass

Mr. Ronald finn.Not rated yet Singularity is where everything meets you, no matter where you are or whatever you are doing it still relates to you and only you. A single direction without

Dr.Not rated yet A singularity is a point in the future where an intelligence explosion takes place.

Splitting of the SpeciesNot rated yet Single body, many minds vs many bodies single minds. Singularity? Iit means individualism while joining with many others in a single unit. Single does

Margie Call ) artistNot rated yet If because of exponential growth, and thoughts are things it seems to me everything would get so entangled that there will be a big bang that converts

Paul BennettNot rated yet In the “Electric Kool-aid Acid Test” it is ‘said’ that you are either “on the bus” or “off the bus” in the event of a technological singularity you will

George Anstadt MD FACPMNot rated yet the Singularity: When the relentless drive of DNA to survive commands a being with the power of artificial intelligence.

Good, Bad, WeirdNot rated yet The Singularity, as defined above, is an unknown unknown. That means this whole thing is a random event. In the future there is a point, which statistically

Continuation of the Human RaceNot rated yet The essence of what we call the human race has to be evolved into a form of transmittable energy that will transcend the limits of the observable universe.

The Universal Grand IllusionNot rated yet This will be the point when the self-absorbed intellectual elites reach the apex of the Ego, becoming convinced that we have fully digested the essence

human beingNot rated yet singularity is the moment when we have the capacity to understand all knowledge from the past and from the future in the present

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The Best Definition of Singularity

Review of Our Posthuman Future

 Posthuman  Comments Off on Review of Our Posthuman Future
Sep 072015

Francis Fukuyama, the well-known author of The End of History and the Last Man, takes on a subject far from his usual field of international political economy: biotechnology. Yet, in his introduction, he shows that there is indeed a link: his 1989 book met with a great deal of criticism, and one argument he found impossible to refute was that there could be no end of history unless there was an end of science. This new book takes that concept further, and considers the impact of modern biology on the understanding of politics.

Being a child of the 1950s, Fukuyama cites two books that were not only decisive in forming his worldview, and that of others growing up in the same period, but which act as templates for examining how our world might evolve. George Orwells 1984, which posits a world of centralized control, never came to be as such, partly because the Internet which developed is the opposite of the centralized system shown in this dystopia. But Aldous Huxleys Brave New World still gives us food for thought, as the biotechnology revolution gets underway. In Huxleys world, drugs were made to ensure that peoples every need and desire be met, essentially abolishing human nature. Fukuyama argues that, Huxley was right, that the most significant threat posed by contemporary biotechnology is the possibility that it will alter human nature and move us into a posthuman stage of history.

Fukuyama seems worried more by the possibility that the biotech revolution will have political consequences rather than any specific effect on individuals. He sees the potential for class wars, as the rich have access to drugs and techniques that make them, and their children, smarter, stronger, and longer-living. This is indeed a different issue than the more basic moral questions than arise, and he is right to raise it. For what would happen in a world, which is already strongly polarized between haves and have-nots, when the haves not only enjoy better goods, food and living conditions, but also life, by purchasing extra years of living, new organs when the old ones break down, or by designing their children before their births.

As the floodgates of biotechnology open, there are several areas of exploration that, unfortunately, get conflated or confused. The main issues are not limited to human cloning, which has gotten by far the greatest amount of press. Other issues involve cognitive neuroscience, and the possibility of controlling behavior; neuropharmacology, and the creation of drugs that enhance certain emotions and repress others; genetic engineering, where new plants and animals can be created, or where humans can be modified; and the prolongation of life, either through the use of chemicals or transplants, or other, as yet undiscovered techniques.

What Fukuyama succeeds in showing in this book is the extent to which the biotechnology revolution can and will affect us. Far beyond the simple debate over human cloning and stem-cell research, which have led to distinct camps digging into the trenches, defending either scientific or religious beliefs, the myriad issues involvedsome of which are already present, others which may or may not exist, according to the success or failure of scientistswill have a great effect on the future of our civilization. But will the effect be greater than other revolutions, such as the agricultural and industrial revolutions? Fukuyama calls for common sense and the regulation of experiments and applications, so mistakes are not made through precipitation.

In short, this is an essential book, for two reasons. First, because its lucid, objective presentation of the issues and their context allows the reader to understand what is at stake without undue religious or racist leanings which have often, over the years, been lurking behind many of these questions. And second, because, like it or not, these issues exist, and choices will have to be made, and soon.

Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn ( is a freelance writer and translator living in a village in the French Alps. You can find out all about him at his web site,

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Review of Our Posthuman Future

Astronomy | Define Astronomy at

 Astronomy  Comments Off on Astronomy | Define Astronomy at
Aug 292015

Contemporary Examples

Occult literally means hidden from view, which is why we use it both in astronomy and to refer to secret knowledge.

After To Die For, Affleck moved to New York and attended Columbia University for two years, majoring in physics and astronomy.

His specialty was astronomy, a subject in which he had made several major discoveries.

Cosmic ray observations are more challenging than many other forms of astronomy.

Muslims made many discoveries in mathematics, chemistry, physics, medicine, astronomy and psychology.

British Dictionary definitions for astronomy Expand

the scientific study of the individual celestial bodies (excluding the earth) and of the universe as a whole. Its various branches include astrometry, astrodynamics, cosmology, and astrophysics

C13: from Old French astronomie, from Latin astronomia, from Greek; see astro-, -nomy

Word Origin and History for astronomy Expand

c.1200, from Old French astrenomie, from Latin astronomia, from Greek astronomia, literally “star arrangement,” from astron “star” (see astro-) + nomos “arranging, regulating,” related to nemein “to deal out” (see numismatics). Used earlier than astrology and originally including it.

astronomy in Science Expand

astronomy in Culture Expand

The science that deals with the universe beyond the Earth. It describes the nature, position, and motion of the stars, planets, and other objects in the skies, and their relation to the Earth.

astronomy in the Bible Expand

The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmanent (Amos 5:8; Ps. 19). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the “morning star” (Rev. 2:28; comp. Isa. 14:12), the “seven stars” and “Pleiades,” “Orion,” “Arcturus,” the “Great Bear” (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), “the crooked serpent,” Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, “Castor and Pollux” (Acts 28:11). The stars were called “the host of heaven” (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22). The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the “ordinances of heaven” (Gen. 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35; 33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the “zodiac.” The word “Mazzaroth” (Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, “the twelve signs” of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the “new moons,” the “passover,” etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God’s wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens (Ps. 8; 19:1-6; Isa. 51:6, etc.)

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Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 292015

Freedom is a novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and released on August 31, 2010.

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, and was ranked one of the best books of 2010 by several publications.

Freedom follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration.

Freedom opens with a short history of the Berglund family from the perspective of their nosy neighbors. The Berglunds are portrayed as the most ideal liberal middle-class family, and they are among the first families to move back into urban St. Paul, Minnesota, after years of white flight to the suburbs. Patty Berglund is an unusually young and pretty homemaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor; her husband Walter is a mild-mannered lawyer with strong environmentalist leanings.

They have one daughter, Jessica, and a son, Joey, who early on displays an independent streak and an interest in making money. Joey becomes sexually involved with a neighborhood teen named Connie and begins to rebel against his mother, going so far as to move in with Connie, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend Blake, making Patty and Walter increasingly unstable. After several unhappy years, the family relocates to Washington, D.C., abandoning the neighborhood and house they worked so hard to improve. Walter takes a job with an unorthodox environmental project, tied to big coal.

The second portion of the book takes the form of an autobiography of Patty Berglund, composed at the suggestion of her therapist. The autobiography tells of Patty’s youth as a star basketball player, and her increasing alienation from her artistically inclined parents and sisters. Instead of attending an East Coast elite college like her siblings, she gets a basketball scholarship to the University of Minnesota and adopts the life of the athlete. She meets an attractive but unattainable indie rock musician named Richard Katz, and his nerdy but kind roommate, Walter Berglund. After her basketball career-ending knee injury, Patty suddenly becomes desperate for male affection, and after failing to woo Richard, she settles down with Walter, who had been patiently courting her for more than a year. We learn that Patty retained her desire for Richard and eventually had a brief affair with him at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin.

The novel then jumps ahead to New York City in 2004 and shifts to the story of Walter and Patty’s friend Richard, who has finally succeeded in becoming a minor indie rock star in his middle age. His hit album Nameless Lake tells the story of his brief love affair with Patty at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin in Minnesota. Richard is uncomfortable with commercial success, throws away his new-found money, and returns to building roof decks for wealthy people in Manhattan. Walter calls him out of the blue to enlist his help as a celebrity spokesman for an environmental campaign. Walter has taken a job in Washington, D.C. working for a coal mining magnate who wants to strip mine a section of West Virginia forest before turning it into a songbird preserve of future environmental value. Walter hopes to use some of this project’s funding to hold a concert to combat overpopulation, the common factor behind all his environmental concerns, and he believes that Richard will be able to rally well-known musicians to his cause. Meanwhile, Walter’s marriage to Patty has been deteriorating steadily, and his pretty young assistant Lalitha has fallen deeply in love with him.

In parallel, the Berglunds’ estranged, Republican son Joey attempts to finance his college life at the University of Virginia by taking on a dubious subcontract to provide spare parts for outdated supply trucks during the Iraq War. While at college, he marries his childhood sweetheart but dares not tell his parents. After visiting his roommate’s family in the DC suburbs, he also pursues his friend’s beautiful sister Jenna and is exposed to her father’s Zionist, neoconservative politics. After months of pursuing Jenna, when she finally wants him to have sex with her, he cannot maintain an erection. Later he becomes conflicted after making $850,000 selling defective truck parts to military suppliers in Iraq. In the end Joey gives away the excess proceeds of his profiteering, reconciles with his parents, settles down with Connie, and moves into a sustainable coffee business with the help of his father Walter.

Now, Richard’s re-appearance destroys Walter and Patty’s weakening marriage. Richard tries to convince Patty to leave Walter, but she shows Richard the autobiography she wrote as “therapy”, trying to convince him that she’s still in love with Walter. Richard deliberately leaves the autobiography on Walter’s desk, and Walter reads Patty’s true thoughts. Walter kicks Patty out of the house, and she moves to Jersey City to be with Richard, but the relationship only lasts six months. Later, she moves to Brooklyn alone and takes a job at a private school, discovering her skill for teaching younger children. When Patty leaves him, Walter has a catharsis on live television, revealing his contempt for the displaced West Virginian families and his various commercial backers. Local rednecks respond by dragging him from the platform and beating him up. He is promptly fired by the environmental trust, but his TV debacle makes him a viral video hero to radical youth across the nation. He and his assistant Lalitha become lovers and continue their plans to combat overpopulation through a concert to rally young people in the hills of West Virginia. Lalitha is killed in a suspicious car accident a few days before the concert is due to take place. Shattered, and having lost both of the women who loved him, Walter retreats to his family’s lakeside vacation house back in Minnesota. He becomes known to a new street of neighbors as a cranky old recluse, obsessed with house cats killing birds nesting on his property.

After a few years living in Brooklyn, Patty’s father dies and she is forced to settle the fight that erupts within her family of spoiled bohemians as they attempt to split up the much-diminished family fortune. This experience helps Patty to mature. After a few years of living alone, she appraises the emptiness of her life and honestly faces her advancing age. She decides to hunt down Walter, the only man who had ever really loved her. She drives to the lakeside cabin in Minnesota, and despite his rage and confusion, he eventually agrees to take her back. The book ends in 2008 as they leave as a couple to return to Patty’s job in New York City, after turning their old lakeside vacation home into a cat-proof fenced bird sanctuary, named in memory of Lalitha.

After the critical acclaim and popular success of his third novel The Corrections in 2001, Franzen began work on his fourth full-length novel. When asked during an October 30, 2002 interview on Charlie Rose how far he was into writing the new novel, Franzen replied:

I’m about a year of frustration and confusion into it…Y’know, I’m kind of down at the bottom of the submerged iceberg peering up for the surface of the water…I don’t have doubt about my ability to write a good book, but I have lots of doubt about what it’s going to look like.[1]

Franzen went on to suggest that a basic story outline was in place, and that his writing of the new novel was like a “guerilla war” approaching different aspects of the novel (alluding to characters, dialogue, plot development etc.).[1] Franzen also agreed that he would avoid public appearances, saying that “…getting some work done is the vacation” from the promotional work surrounding The Corrections and How To Be Alone.[1]

An excerpt entitled “Good Neighbors” appeared in the June 8 and June 15, 2009 issues of The New Yorker.[2] The magazine published a second extract entitled “Agreeable” in the May 31, 2010 edition.[3]

On October 16, 2009, Franzen made an appearance alongside David Bezmozgis at the New Yorker Festival at the Cedar Lake Theatre to read a portion of his forthcoming novel.[4][5] Sam Allard, writing for North By Northwestern website covering the event, said that the “…material from his new (reportedly massive) novel” was “as buoyant and compelling as ever” and “marked by his familiar undercurrent of tragedy”.[5] Franzen read “an extended clip from the second chapter.”[5]

On March 12, 2010, details about the plot and content of Freedom were published in the Macmillan fall catalogue for 2010.[6]

In an interview with Dave Haslam on October 3, 2010 Franzen discussed why he had called the book Freedom:

The reason I slapped the word on the book proposal I sold three years ago without any clear idea of what kind of book it was going to be is that I wanted to write a book that would free me in some way. And I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom'; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.[7]

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, particularly for its writing and characterization. Shortly after the book’s release, the front cover of a TIME magazine issue showed a picture of Franzen above the words “Great American Novelist,” making him the first author to appear on the front cover in a decade.

Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times and Benjamin Alsup of Esquire believed it measured up to Franzen’s previous novel, The Corrections. Tanenhaus called it a “masterpiece of American fiction,” writing that it “[told] an engrossing story” and “[illuminated], through the steady radiance of its authors profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew.”[8] Alsup called it a great American novel. “[9] In The Millions, Garth Risk Hallberg argued that readers who enjoyed The Corrections would enjoy Freedom. He also wrote that they’re “likely to come away from this novel moved in harder-to-fathom waysand grateful for it.”[10] An editor for Publishers Weekly wrote that it stood apart from most modern fiction because “Franzen tries to account for his often stridently unlikable characters and find where they (and we) went wrong, arriving atincrediblygenuine hope.”[11]

Benjamin Secher of The Telegraph called Franzen one of America’s best living novelists, and Freedom the first great American novel of the “post-Obama era.”[12] In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones called him “a literary genius” and wrote that Freedom stood on “a different plane from other contemporary fiction.”[13]

Michiko Kakutani called the book “galvanic” and wrote that it showcased Franzen’s talent as a storyteller and “his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.” Kakutani also praised the novel’s characterization, going on to call it a “compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times.”[14]The Economist wrote that the novel contained “fully imagined characters in a powerful narrative.” The reviewer went on to say that it had “all its predecessor’s power and none of its faults.”[15]

Not all reviews were raving. Most lukewarm reviews praised the novel’s prose, but believed the author’s left-wing political stance was too obvious. Sam Anderson, in a review for New York magazine, thought the characterization was strong, but perceived the politics as sometimes too heavy-handed: “Franzen the crankmighty detester of Twitter, ATVs, and housing developments” occasionally “overpower[s] Franzen the artist […] but if crankiness is the motor that powers Franzen’s art, I’m perfectly willing to sit through some speeches.”[16]Ron Charles of The Washington Post also felt less favorably, remarking that it lacked the wit and “[freshness]” of The Corrections. Charles praised Franzen’s prose and called him “an extraordinary stylist,” but questioned how many readers would settle for good writing as “sufficient compensation for what is sometimes a misanthropic slog.”[17] In addition, Ruth Franklin of The New Republic believed the novel resembled a “soap opera” more than it did an epic, and that Franzen had forgotten “the greatest novels must […] offer […] profundity and pleasure.”[18]

Alexander Nazaryan criticized its familiarity in the New York Daily News remarking that the author “can write about a gentrifying family in St. Paul. Or maybe in St. Louis. But that’s about it. Nazaryan also didn’t believe Franzen was joking when he suggested “being doomed as a novelist never to do anything but stories of Midwestern families.”[19]Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio found the novel “[brilliant]” but not enjoyable, suggesting that “every line, every insight, seems covered with a light film of disdain. Franzen seems never to have met a normal, decent, struggling human being whom he didn’t want to make us feel ever so slightly superior to. His book just has too much brightness and not enough color.”[20]

Ross Douthat of First Things praised the “stretches of Freedom that read like a master class in how to write sympathetically about the kind of characters” with an abundance of freedom. Yet, Douthat concluded the novel was overlong, feeling the “impression that Franzen’s talents are being wasted on his characters.”[21]

Freedom won the John Gardner Fiction Award. Additionally, it was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The American Library Association also named it a notable fiction of the 2010 publishing year.

Oprah Winfrey made Freedom her first book club selection of 2010, saying, “this book is a masterpiece.”[22][23] US President Barack Obama called it “terrific” after reading it over the summer.[24]

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Illuminati – RationalWiki

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Illuminati – RationalWiki
Aug 232015

The Illuminati, originally called The Order of Perfectibilists, was a small freethinker society founded in 1776 in Bavaria by a man named Adam Weishaupt. Among the group’s goals were the opposition of prejudice, superstition, and abuse of political power. In the universe that rational people agree to recognize as reality, the Illuminati ceased to exist in 1787, when Karl Theodor, Prince-Elector of Bavaria, had the group banned for conduct inciting people to rebel against state authority after some of the organization’s writings were intercepted.

In the parallel universe where the likes of Henry Makow and David Icke hang their hats (and the snakes living therein), they not only have continued to exist, but have developed such enormous capacity for secrecy, power, and control that the complete absence of evidence for their existence, power, and control …proves their existence, power, and control.

The spread of the Illuminati legend and continued belief in them today can be traced back to the book Proofs of a Conspiracy by John Robinson, a 1798 anti-Freemasonry book (the Freemasons and Illuminati are often regarded as one and the same by conspiracy theorists). Proofs of a Conspiracy has become a source of inspiration to many conspiracy theorists since its initial publication and has been reprinted by, among others, the John Birch Society. Many modern variations of the Illuminati conspiracy have them being a controlling influence in the New World Order. Another influential series was Mmoires pour Servir a l’Histoire du Jacobinisme by Abb Augustin de Barruel (1799).

The alleged continued existence of the “Illuminati” looms large in many conspiracy theories, tall tales by evangelical Satanic Panic-fakers like Mike Warnke and John Todd, crank anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic writings, pseudolaw theories, etc. Depending on which version of the “Illuminati” story one believes, they are either a Satanic, Masonic, Zionist, atheist, reptilian,[2] or secular financial conspiracy. Despite the many different versions of the conspiracy, each version claims to have evidence that they are correct. They secretly control world events and their symbol, the all-seeing eye, is on the back of the U.S. $1 bill. This belief, in whatever version, is patently ridiculous but it persists. When the Founding Fathers designed the Great Seal, the all-seeing eye was proposed by members of design committees who were not Freemasons (since conspiracy theorists regard Freemasons and the Illuminati to be practically the same). It was also not named the “all-seeing eye,” as the cranks believe, but rather the “eye of providence,”[3][4] a symbol for God[5].

Several 20th century conspiracy theory books such as those by William Guy Carr and Des Griffin combined John Robinson’s allegations about the Illuminati and Freemasonry with those of the hoax book, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, to come up with an explicitly anti-Semitic version of the Illuminati theory. Jack Chick and Alberto Rivera on the other hand promoted an anti-Roman Catholic variant of the theory, alleging the Illuminati was a creation of the Vatican.

Pat Robertson’s version, on the other hand, is just plain weird since it somehow touches on both the French Revolution and gay marriage.[6]

Robertson, it seems, has company among other theocratic media weirdos personalities. Rick Wiles is under the impression that the Illuminati is not only linked to the 9/11 attacks but that the new One World Trade Center is actually a tribute to what he terms the “Free Mason/Illuminati New World Order.”[7]

Mike Warnke and John Todd, mentioned above, are two fake “ex-Satanist” Protestant evangelists. They have both described the Illuminati as the highest level of Satanism. Warnke claimed he learned of the Illuminati when attending a high-level conference of Satanists and Witches, shortly before he dropped out of Satanism to join the Navy and convert to Christianity. Todd claimed to have been a member of the Illuminati himself, which he said was a high council of druids secretly working to destroy Christianity and make witchcraft the official religion of the United States. Belief in the Illuminati as a Satanic conspiracy continues to be held by many evangelical Christians, despite both Warnke and Todd being exposed as frauds.

To the true believer, exposing them as frauds only goes to show how far the Illuminati are willing to go to malign opponents.

To this day there are many Youtube videos of people claiming to be “ex-Illuminati” members, whistleblowers, etc. The only problem is why there are so many. Why doesn’t the Illuminati take these videos down? Oh, something as simple as an auto correct of “NWO” to “NOW” in the comments section will make people say the Illuminati doesn’t want people to know about the NWO, but they refuse to take down people who are blatantly saying they exist! Another problem is that all the stories have contradictions with each other. You would think these guys would be telling the same story, but no two stories are the same!

The Illuminati plays a role in books like Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and the joke religion of Discordianism.

It is also a kick-ass card game put out by Steve Jackson Games.

Not to mention video games that flat out depict the Illuminati as either an actual faction or even a playable one, such as Funcom’s “The Secret World”.

The Illuminati are “well-known” to be behind Hollywood[8] and the fnord Ford Motor Company.[9] It would seem that just about any organization you can name has been accused of being an Illuminati front.

They also have a “tendency” to put hidden symbols and clues to their existence around the world, and on money, for no apparent reason.[10] Nearly every popular culture icon, including television shows, politicians, musicians and any celebrity, are said to be somehow connected to the Illuminati in some way, from something as normal as a triangle[11] to a hand sign.[12][13] Maybe it’s because they want you to know their evil plans, or maybe it’s because they’re bored at their broadcasting job.[14]

Probably the best example of this would be Tupac Shakur, whose last album issued before his death, entitled The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory, led to many theories.[15] The word “killuminati” (a portmanteau of the words “kill” and “Illuminati”) is interpreted as Pac saying that he is speaking out against them and killing Illuminati. The truth being that he heard about them in prison and used logic the majority of these conspiracy nuts lack, that is: “If this organisation is so secret, how the fuck does everyone know about it?”[16] There is also the claim that Tupac faked his death and will be coming back (since 2003[17])[18]. This is mainly because a while before he died, Tupac was planning on permanently changing his rap name to Makaveli after the 15-16th century writer Niccol Machiavelli.

An equally good example would be rapper Jay-Z, who is supposedly very high in the Illuminati’s hierarchy of celebrities. The hand gesture that he flashes has been cited as “proof” (in a very, very loose sense of the word) even though it’s meant to represent the diamond of Roc-a-fella Records and is thrown up as frequently as the “East” or “West” hand signs. Some has compared it to that Temple of Astarte logo.[19] He is also accused of selling his soul, amongst other things.[20] As with Tupac, theorists just turn to bullshit to prove their points, interpreting that the name of his newborn daughter, Blue Ivy, backwards (Yvi Eulb) is Latin for “Lucifer’s daughter,” even though there is nothing to imply this.[21] (Even the Church of Satan debunks this! [22] Jay Z has denied all these claims; his response to the conspiracy theorists can be heard in Rick Ross’s song “Free Mason.”[23]

It can be very difficult to find anyone who isn’t actually connected with the Illuminati. All of the claimed affiliations involve an occult symbol in a music video or photo (usually the “all-seeing eye,” the Star of David, or a Pentagram). This is most likely to get people talking and get publicity. For example, if Rihanna has a newspaper cutout that says “Princess of the Illuminati” in a music video, millions of people will go watch the video. In fact, there are even whole websites like this that are dedicated to finding pop stars who are part of the Illuminati. Basically, everyone.

Michael Jackson is a very interesting case. One faction of the conspiracy community considers him a member of the Illuminati, employed to brainwash the public. Another faction, however, says that Jackson was not a member, but actually was fighting to expose their control of the music industry and media. Jackson was supposedly killed for this very reason. Either way the theorists have all the bases covered.

Spelling Illuminati in reverse and entering it as an URL leads to the NSA website.[24] This is merely someone purchasing that domain and redirecting it to a government website as “inconclusive proof” even though anyone can do so.[25]

And finally, there is the trend of blaming the Illuminati for the death of apparently anybody with any degree of fame. This is usually explained as the assassination of those who were just about to expose the conspiracy, or as one of the Illuminati’s ritualistic, demonic “sacrifice.”[26]

Whenever so-called symbolism is refuted, the Conspiracy theorist usually says that the Illuminati “created” that refutation as a cover-up to make the symbolism less blatant.[27]

One has to wonder… If the Illuminati controlled all the media, why won’t they censor websites like PrisonPlanet and Vigilant Citizen? There are whole websites dedicated to “exposing” the Illuminati, but those are generally left alone!

There are many Youtube videos claiming that a popular singer like has “sold their soul” to the Devil. However, there are four major problems with this:

And the most obvious and common:

One popular type of Youtube video is to cherrypick what celebrities say in speeches, and shoehorn the Illuminati into it, even when the Illuminati have nothing to do with what they’re saying.[29]

If the UN even ACKNOWLEDGES a music video, then, that video is Illuminati.[30]

Celebrities are getting a lot of attention from this, so they’re getting less and less subtle with the imagery. Rihanna went as far as to have a music video with the words “Illuminati Princess”, and of course Mark Dice caught on to this before anyone else.[31] Lady Gaga is taking advantage of it to the point where she is starting to claim she’s having dreams about the Illuminati: though what she is exactly dreaming about varies.[32][33] Celebs are even going so far as to use terms such as “I swear to Lucifer” instead of “I swear to God”[34] and Katy Perry jokes about selling her soul to the Devil.[35]

When Amy Winehouse was killed, CTs made a big deal of how she made joke of refusing to “be molded into a triangle” in her last interview.[36] Of course, coincidences happen all the time, so this isn’t exactly proof on its own.

Often, theories will be made of symbolism over speculation. For example when Kim Kardashian was undecided on what to name her baby, everyone decided to throw in their shoehorning.[37] Only, they were blatantly wrong and didn’t even get the name right.

The Deus Ex series of games feature the Illuminati, though they are constantly fighting other shadowy organizations at the same time like the UN New World Order, or the Knights Templar, or a Corporate Takeover of Earth or something, or FEMA death camps (or were those run by the Illuminati?).

Unsurprisingly, whenever anyone tries to show evidence against the Illuminati, or refute bogus evidence for the Illuminati, said person is called a shill to spread disinformation,[citationneeded] or that the evidence against them was created by the Illuminati to keep people from believing they exist. This makes the theory unfalsifiable.

Youtube is the only website where you can blow the whistle and expose The Powers That Be without worrying about being assassinated. Due to this, it is advised that you only use Youtube[38] as a source, as you don’t have to worry about misinfo.

Seriously, though… Youtube is a horrible place to get evidence for… well, anything. It’s probably THE largest repository of crank videos, despite the fact that Google is often accused of being in the cahoots with the Illuminati. It’s a great place to find Conspiracy Documentaries and even lower-quality homemade ones. Some are as little as two-minute long montages of Mainstream Media[39], most stretch across about three hours of content, and a select few can be tens of hours long!

The bad thing about Youtube is that it actually gives nutjobs a way to get to otherwise sane, yet weak-minded skeptics. The type of “evidence” can range from a celebrity almost as crazy as them claiming the Illuminati Exist[40], those celebrities siblings claiming the same[41], and pretty much everything else. Expect every interview by the POTUS/Google/UN to be quote-mined, and expect a shitton of Illuminati whistleblowers too (And every other Conspiracy Theory too, actually).

Yes, these people can be fun to watch sometimes, but dear god, please tread lightly, don’t stay for too long, and make sure you aren’t logged in if you absolutely must watch these videos. And you’ll probably be better off if you steer clear from the comments, but that generally applies to any Youtube video that has comments anyway.

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Illuminati – RationalWiki – Texas Secession, Texas independence …

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Aug 172015


I know that this article will catch lots of grief and criticism, but I and millions of Texans are fed up with the rhetoric, misleading reporting, and just plain naivete or stupidity of the press in the handling of Obama and the present Islamist situation we have in this world.

Every day we actually watch the truth of the Muslim world on TV. My God, when you see it, how can you not believe it? Radical Islam has declared war worldwide! Now, from Bill OReilly to our local news reporters, everyone – including the retired generals interviewed about the subject – all say the same thing: We cannot understand why Obama does not do more about the violence from Islamist radicals. We dont understand why Obama will not engage. Why does Obama want to raise taxes and continue to write mandates through executive orders that harm America? All I hear is that he is a good family man, and nice guy, and maybe he just doesnt understand.

Fellow Texans, he not only understands, but he knows exactly what he is doing! Did you read his book Dreams From My Father? He hates America! He hates a red Texas. He is a supporter of the Muslim religion. He orchestrated the Arab Spring and covered it up with a move for democracy. Those countries wouldnt know democracy if they stepped in it! It was a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and was supported by Obama. The political correctness and nice guy reporting must stop, and people better wake the hell up because we are sliding into a cesspool that we will never get out of.

Obama is a socialist, Islamist apologist, America-hating radical who is pulling off what he told all of us when he got elected the first time: We will fundamentally change America. Can everyone wake up and see that he is doing exactly that?

To the Governor of Texas, the legislature in Texas, the spineless Congress in Washington DC: I know the majority of you only care about power, money, and your next elected office, but you damn well better start telling the truth about Obama, his administration, and his ultimate goal of destroying America, or as they say in the not listened too part of America, the you-know-what will hit the fan! We common everyday folks can see through this like a glass door and will not stay quiet any longer!

When the SHTF scenario begins – and it will – all of you from the press to the sitting elected plutcocrats will have no one to blame but yourselves. We all know that you will label patriots as home-grown terrorists, right wing radicals, Bible toting gun lovers, but, in reality, they are good people who saw through the BS of this government a long time ago; people who will not give up their freedom and liberty at any cost. It will be the People who understand that Obama and his minions are evil!

We in Texas demand of those who can make a difference: stand up! Take care of Texas by getting us out of this situation. The next two years of this administration will cause the fall of all the states and the US government, or worse yet, a civil war that will make the Civil War of 1861 look like a skirmish!

Can we return to a small government led by and founded on the God-given rights as laid out by our Founding Fathers? Will you say the truth of the real evil that runs DC now? Will you stop lying to the people who know that what you say are lies? If not, people of Texas, it is time to get off the couch, take firm action with our elected leaders, and do not surrender our beloved home, our Texas, to those that lie and refuse to act!

Deny this if you will, but most know it to be true. Those that know will be enough to change things. I believe that, because there is nothing else left to believe in anymore!

God Bless Texas, Cary Wise Freedom Texas

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Jeremy Benthams Attack on Natural Rights |

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Jul 222015

June 26, 2012 essays

Smith discusses the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and why it so alarmed the defenders of natural rights.

In my last four essays, I discussed the ideas of Thomas Hodgskin. No discussion of Hodgskin would be complete without considering his great classic, The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832). But in order to understand and appreciate this book, we need to know something about the doctrine that Hodgskin was criticizing, namely, the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). I shall therefore devote this essay to Bentham and then resume my discussion of Hodgskin in the next essay.

Natural-rights theory was the revolutionary doctrine of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, being used to justify resistance to unjust laws and revolution against tyrannical governments. This was the main reason why Edmund Burke attacked natural rightsor abstract rights, as he called themso vehemently in his famous polemic against the French Revolution, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). Burke later condemned the French Constitution of 1791, which exhibited a strong American influence, as a digest of anarchy.

Similarly, Jeremy Bentham, in his criticism of the French Declaration of Rights (1789), called natural rights anarchical fallacies, because (like Burke) he believed that no government can possibly meet the standards demanded by the doctrine of natural rights. Earlier, a liberal critic of the American Revolution, the English clergyman Josiah Tucker, had argued that the Lockean system of natural rights is an universal demolisher of all governments, but not the builder of any.

The fear that defenders of natural rights would foment a revolution in Britain, just as they had in America and France, alarmed British rulers, causing them to institute repressive measures. It is therefore hardly surprising that natural-rights theory went underground, so to speak, during the long war with France. Even after peace returned in 1815 a cloud of suspicion hung over this way of thinking. Natural rights were commonly associated with the French Jacobins Robespierre and others who had instigated the Reign of Terror so a defender of natural rights ran the risk of being condemned as a French sympathizer, a Jacobin, or (worst of all) an anarchist.

Thus did British liberalism don a new face after 1815, as an atmosphere of peace resuscitated the movement for political and economic reforms, and as many middle-class liberals embraced a non-revolutionary foundation for economic and civil liberties. The premier theory in this regard, which would become known as utilitarianism, was developed by Jeremy Bentham and popularized by his Scottish protg James Mill (the father of John Stuart Mill) and by many other disciples.

Bentham did not originate the utilitarian principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number; we find similar expressions in a number of eighteenth-century philosophers, such as Hutcheson, Helvetius and Beccaria. For our purpose, the most significant feature of Benthams utilitarianism was its unequivocal rejection of natural rights.

Natural rights, according to Bentham, are simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense, nonsense upon stilts So-called moral and natural rights are mischievous fictions and anarchical fallacies that encourage civil unrest, disobedience and resistance to laws, and revolution against established governments. Only political rights, those positive rights established and enforced by government, have any determinate and intelligible meaning. Rights are the fruits of the law, and of the law alone. There are no rights without lawno rights contrary to the lawno rights anterior to the law.

The significance of Bentham does not lie in his advocacy of social utility, or the general welfare, or the common goodfor this idea, by whatever name it was called, was regarded by many earlier classical liberals as the purpose of legislation, in contradistinction to its standard.

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Jeremy Benthams Attack on Natural Rights |

Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free …

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Jun 202015

Libertarianism in the United States is a movement promoting individual liberty and minimized government.[1][2] The Libertarian Party, asserts the following to be core beliefs of libertarianism:

Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.[3][4]

Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 17%- 23% of the US electorate.[5] This includes members of the Republican Party (especially Libertarian Republicans), Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, and Independents.

In the 1950s many with classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as “libertarian.”[6] Academics as well as proponents of the free market perspectives note that free-market libertarianism has spread beyond the U.S. since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties[7][8] and that libertarianism is increasingly viewed worldwide as a free market position.[9][10] However, libertarian socialist intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Colin Ward, and others argue that the term “libertarianism” is considered a synonym for social anarchism by the international community and that the United States is unique in widely associating it with free market ideology.[11][12][13]

Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s libertarian-oriented challenge to authority had a major impact on the libertarian movement,[14] through his book The Conscience of a Conservative and his run for president in 1964.[15] Goldwater’s speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[16]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarchist libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum[17][18] and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance.[19]

The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[20] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, Jr., in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to divorce libertarianism from the freedom movement. He wrote: “The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded.”[21]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[22] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[23]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[24] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, “Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia.”[25]

Texas congressman Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the Republican Party presidential nomination were largely libertarian. Paul is affiliated with the libertarian-leaning Republican Liberty Caucus and founded the Campaign for Liberty, a libertarian-leaning membership and lobbying organization.

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Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free …

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

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Apr 132015

Libertarianism the philosophy of personal and economic freedom has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and its growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement.

Boaz has updated the book with new information on the threat of government surveillance; the policies that led up to and stemmed from the 2008 financial crisis; corruption in Washington; and the unsustainable welfare state. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas. His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism at the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABCs Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNNs Crossfire, NPRs Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, The McLaughlin Group, Stossel, The Independents, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.

Virginia: April 16 Hampden-Sydney College: The Libertarian Mind with Author David Boaz April 18 Young Americans for Liberty state convention, Blacksburg:

Texas: April 22 Southern Methodist University: April 22 Americas Future Foundation, Dallas, TX:

Missouri April 30 St. Louis July 7 or 8 Kansas City Public Library

Nevada July 8-11 FreedomFest, Las Vegas

Washington D.C. July 26 31 Washington D.C. Cato University

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Download Analytical Use of Fluorescent Probes in Oncology Nato Science Series A PDF – Video

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Apr 112015

Download Analytical Use of Fluorescent Probes in Oncology Nato Science Series A PDF
Browse And Download This Book now. Download now at- and Registration First.

By: Dijee Oppai

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Officer Denies First Amendment Rights – Video

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Apr 112015

Officer Denies First Amendment Rights
What the hell is the difference, it matters not what I give for a description, I will still be called every name in the book for posting this video. Hey, I have an idea, you all go to hell…

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Officer Denies First Amendment Rights – Video

Synopsis | Tax Havens And Offshore Finance By Richard Anthony Johns – Video

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Apr 032015

Synopsis | Tax Havens And Offshore Finance By Richard Anthony Johns
THE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK =— Where to buy this book? ISBN: 9781472510273 Book Synopsis of Tax Havens and Offshore Finance by Richard Anthony Johns If you want to…

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Synopsis | Tax Havens And Offshore Finance By Richard Anthony Johns – Video

Another SEO book by David Amerland? – Video

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Apr 022015

Another SEO book by David Amerland?
Yes – Another book by +David Amerland!* I just got a word of another book David's about to release. Apparently it's an alternate version of his last book, version that hasn't hit the shelves…

By: Oleg Moskalensky

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Another SEO book by David Amerland? – Video

Rahman holds up Rosmah as example of free speech

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Mar 282015

Umno minister ignores Zunar harrassment, but cites Perkasa and Isma for ‘high blood pressure’

KUALA LUMPUR: Ignoring police actions against cartoonist Zunar, an Umno minister has held up criticism of Rosmah Mansor, the prime ministers wife, as an example of how free speech was existent in Malaysia.

Speaking at a students conference today, Abdul Rahman Dahlan said: What (is it that) you want to talk about that you cant? You want to talk about government inefficiency, corruption, scandals? You can talk about almost anything in this country, Malaysiakini reported.

In this day and age, everyone can talk, he was quoted as saying. You can even talk about the wife of the prime minister, and Rosmah has not done anything to you (in retaliation).

However, Abdul Rahman, who is housing minister, did not mention the series of police actions and frequent harrassment of political cartoonist Zunar (Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque), who has been one of Rosmahs most prominent critics and whose cartoon books frequently focus on Rosmah and Najib, linking them to political scandals and financial mismanagement.

In January, police seized more than 150 copies of a cartoon collection in a raid on his offices. In earlier raids, police seized more than 500 copies of his books in an action that also included bookshop raids across the country. He has also been arrested under the Sedition Act. Early this month police seized copies of his latest cartoon collection while they were being delivered to the book launch.

While also ignoring other police actions against free speech, such as arrests of activists ordered by the Inspector-General of Police based on remarks made on Twitter, Abdul Rahman also made a sarcastic response to the statements of Malay and Islamist rights pressure groups Isma and Perkasa.

He said: I think I will have high blood pressure if I think about Perkasa and Isma all the time.

Abdul Rahman then praised the prime minister, Najib Razak, and advised the students at the conference: I always believe the person you should listen to and take heed of is the prime minister himself. Nothing else matters.

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Synopsis | Travels On The Continent, Sicily, And The Lipari Islands (1829) – Video

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Mar 142015

Synopsis | Travels On The Continent, Sicily, And The Lipari Islands (1829)
THE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK =— Where to buy this book? ISBN: 9781104513382 Book Synopsis of Travels on the Continent, Sicily, and the Lipari Islands (1829) by Richard Duppa…

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Synopsis | Brandishing The First Amendment: Commercial Expression In America – Video

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Mar 142015

Synopsis | Brandishing The First Amendment: Commercial Expression In America
THE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK =— Where to buy this book? ISBN: 9780472117925 Book Synopsis of Brandishing the First Amendment: Commercial Expression in America by Tamara…

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Why science denial is about much more than corporate interests

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Mar 142015

Its not An Inconvenient Truth yet. But for a movie focused on climate change, Sony Pictures Classics Merchants of Doubt based on the widely read book of the same name by historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, and directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) is already generating a huge volume of discussion. It seems poised to become a must-watch film in the climate debate.

The film, which opens today in Washington, D.C., explores along history of challenges tothe science behind a variety of environmental and public health risks. Smoking. CFCs. Acid rain. Climate change. In many cases, these challenges were linked to corporate interests thus the tobacco industry, for many years, questionedthe emerging science of smokings risks.

Merchants of Doubtis certainly landing in the right news cycle. It comes out in the wake of reports includingby The Washington Post about energyinterests funding of climate skeptic researcher Willie Soon, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In a statementposted on the Web site of the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, Soon responded thathe had been the subject of attacks in the media, but acknowledged that his research had been partly supported by some energy producers something he said had long been a matter of public record. Soon added that in submitting my academic writings I have always complied with what I understood to be disclosure practices in my field generally, consistent with the level of disclosure made by many of my Smithsonian colleagues.

It all plays into a common narrative: That industry doesnt want government regulations, so it tries tocast doubt on the science behind them. Many of those who go to see Merchants of Doubt will, I suspect, go with such a narrative in their minds.

But the film itself presents a more complex picture. True, Merchants of Doubt focuses a great deal on the role of industry in supporting scientific argumentsthat are consistent with less regulation. But it alsoshows that denial of science on issues like climate change is about much more than that. Its aboutcertain deep seated beliefs and ideologies particularly those championing the free market and individual liberty (which we tend to call libertarianism).

None of this is about the science, says Oreskes, a Harvard historian and co-author of the book behind the film, in the movie. All of this is a political debate about the role of government.

In another segment, the film follows libertarian-leaningSkeptic magazine founder Michael Shermer as he tries to convince his ideological compatriots that climate change isnt just something that liberals made up. Shermer concludes that the whole issue has become tribal. Indeed, you can see the emotion on screen at one point as Shermer is challenged from the audience at a libertarian gathering, where hes gone to present the case for climate change being real.

So whatreallydrives attacks on certain bodies of environmental and public health science? Is there a root cause?To address that question in the context of Merchants of Doubt, Icalled the woman behind it all Oreskes. In our conversation, I asked Oreskes whom Ive known for a long time about my concern. And she brought up what I considered a very goodanalogy to help both address it and also explain it.

Thats the chicken and egg thing, she explained. Theres two stories to be told: One is the supply of disinformation, and the other is the demand, why do people accept it, and buy it. Our book is definitely a supply side story, because we stumbled across a supply side story. I think the demand side is also important to understand.

Supply and demand.It fits the situation nicely.Supply in this context would refer to the volume of arguments and claims in the public arena that challenge mainstream science with respect to environmental or public health risks. For many of these issues, these claims take a similar form. Scientists have asserted the existence of a risk say, smoking causes lung cancer and the claims in question then sow doubt about this conclusion. (Hence the film and book title.)

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Why science denial is about much more than corporate interests

Synopsis | Papers On Presidential Disability And The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: By Six Medical – Video

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Mar 132015

Synopsis | Papers On Presidential Disability And The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: By Six Medical
THE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK =— Where to buy this book? ISBN: 9780819169204 Book Synopsis of Papers on Presidential Disability and the Twenty-fif…

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What 'dark net' drug buyers say about their dealers

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Mar 132015

The now-defunct Silk Road site, with drugs for sale (AP)

But what is actually on the dark net? Despite all this noise, relatively little is known. It is, of course, incredibly difficult to research. What we do know is that 2.5 million people use the Tor Browser each day. Tor can be used to browse anything online, and is much-used by civil liberties activists, journalists, and suprisise surprise law enforcement themselves. A decent fraction use Tor to get into the dark net, where there are an estimated 60 thousand or so websites an uncensored blend of the good, the bad, and the very very ugly.

The busiest sites on the dark net are probably the notorious and numerous anonymous markets. Here, anything can be bought and sold: class A narcotics ordered with a click, paid for with the crypto-currency Bitcoin, and delivered direct to your home. For my book, The Dark Net, I spent a lot of time on these sites, trying to work out how and why they worked and even going through the process of buying a small amount of cannabis from one known as Silk Road 2.0.

It turns out the key to their success is not clever encryption, or Bitcoin, or even Tor. It’s good old-fashioned customer service. Every visitor to the site, after using his or her drug, leaves a piece of written feedback about the gear and gives a score out of 5. It’s a little surreal, but users take it pretty seriously, because it creates the genuinely informed competition and choice which keeps the market ticking over:

Decent coke at a reasonable price. Stealthy packaging. 5/5

First order was lost…I got a reship and now im very happy…Heaven is one of the best dealers on the road!!! Very friendly and good communication too. I will be back soon 😉 5/5

What 'dark net' drug buyers say about their dealers

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism