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Di seguito gli interventi pubblicati in questa sezione, in ordine cronologico.
 
 
By Admin (from 01/12/2010 @ 12:00:01, in en - Science and Society, read 2600 times)

Politics Explained

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Source: sjgames.com

 
By Admin (from 23/11/2010 @ 16:25:05, in en - Science and Society, read 1972 times)

Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites represent "one of several threats" to the future of the world wide web, its founder, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has warned.

Some of its "most successful inhabitants", such as Facebook and big telecommunications companies, had begun to "chip away" at its founding principles, Sir Tim wrote in a Scientific American essay published this week.

Social networking sites that do not allow users to extract the information they put into them is a "problem" that could mean the web is "broken into fragmented islands", he said. Google accused Facebook this month of leaving its more than 500 million users in a "data dead-end" with their contact details and personal information "effectively trapped".

Although Facebook, the world's most popular social network, recently began allowing users to download profile information, including status updates and photos, it has been roundly criticised for leaving users' networks of contacts "walled" inside its own site.

Sir Tim warned that such a "closed silo of content" risked leaving the web fragmented.

"The web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles," he said. "The web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways...

"The more you enter, the more you become locked in. Your social networking site becomes a central platform - a closed silo of content, and one that does not give you full control over your information in it."

Sir Tim said there was a worry Facebook could become "so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation".

Source: smh.com.au

 

... CONTINUES.

The Heliocentric Theory of the solar system was first publicly suggested by Copernicus in 1543, the year he died (Hewitt 20). For a period of two millenia prior, Aristotle’s theory that the Earth was the center of the universe, and that all other things moved about it had been the commonly accepted viewpoint, with strong backing from the Church. With trepidation, and at the urging of his closest contemporaries, Copernicus presented his findings, which were based on observation and critical analysis. The methods he used to discern the difference and the general concepts that both the Sun and the Earth were distinct bodies, at least one of which was able to move, were not new. Copernicus used both the observational methods of the time and the concept of heavenly bodies in motion to arrive at his conclusion, making a connection, using these pre-existing ideas. While his findings were contradictory to the accepted norms of the time, they weren’t new as much as they were different. Consider also the dual wave and particle nature of light defined by Einstein’s photon. Einstein combined the wave theory of Huygens with the quantum theory advanced by Planck, mathematically proving that light has properties of both waves and particles dependent on what it interacts with (Hewitt 560). At the same time, he made another scientific discovery, the Special Theory of Relativity, modifying and combining the findings of Newton and Maxwell (Hewitt 635). Each of these discoveries, while novel in presented form, is simply a combination of previous ideas. Since the time of Copernicus, who was the precursor to and inspiration for Galileo’s scientific method, Man has made scientific discoveries based on the findings and methods of those who came before them (Hewitt 21).

Whether they contradict, combine, or expand accepted knowledge, scientific discoveries are not original thought. This serves to illuminate a concept which, in my opinion, is worthy of celebration: any student of the scientific method could be the next Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, or Einstein. While it is highly improbable that a person will invent a truly novel idea, it is quite probable, and even likely that future scientists will expand, combine, or contradict previously accepted scientific knowledge. I say this due to the great volume of scientists who have contributed in such a way over the past 2000 years and in ever-increasing numbers within the past century. As science leads human beings directly to technology, the main contributor to improved quality of life, this distinction can hardly be viewed negatively. Sir Isaac Newton was not ashamed that his discoveries had benefited from the work of his predecessors. If anything, his words paint him as proud to be a part of the bigger picture; the ongoing pursuit of knowledge, and the celebration inherent in discovery. In this light, so-called “intellectual materialism”, or ownership of ideas, especially those scientific in nature, is an affront to the enormous body of work leading to each nuance that is discovered about our universe and its properties through the scientific method. The US Patent and Trademark Office claims to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries” (USPTO). To whom, then, go the rights? Scientific discoveries, being not original to any one person or team, cannot be attributed to any one person or team. They must be attributed to the entire body of scientists who provided the background research that made the discoveries possible. So states the old proverb, “Credit where credit is due.”

Science is a tool meant to help us gain knowledge for the benefit of all people, and is the result of the work of many contributors. Each contributor along the way must remember that the distance of their vision comes from the lofty perch they have attained by standing on the shoulders of those who have come before them, and that they too will provide such a place for future contributors to stand and gaze into the unknown.

Bellis, Mary. “The Invention of the Wheel.” about.com. The New York Times Company, 2010. Web. 27 Feb. 2010.

Hewitt, Paul G. Conceptual Physics. 8th Ed. Reading: Addison Wesley, 1998. Print.

“The USPTO: Who We Are.” uspto.gov. United States Patent and Trademark Office, 30 Dec. 2009. Web. 8 Mar. 2010.

Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com

 

... CONTINUES.

Consider, for example, the wheel. Mary Bellis, credited by Forbes Best of the Web for her contribution of information about inventors and inventions, states in an article at about.com that the wheel was very likely first invented in 3500 BC in Mesopotamia (Bellis). Inventions prior to this had, for the most part, been very basic extensions of the human being such as bone, stone, or wooden tools used to carry out tasks the fingernails or arms alone could not. As such, the inventor of the wheel did not have a previous model to work from. As Ricky Gervais says in his comedy special “Animals”, “…it’s not like he saw some on holiday and went ‘that would be good …’ he made it up!” Despite the comedic nature of Gervais’s comments, he makes an astute point about the basis of original thought. A truly novel concept does not draw from previous findings and does not have a parallel in precedent. While the wheel was also “invented” by other civilizations, the precedent had already been set in Mesopotamia, nullifying the novelty in the larger scheme of things. These latter inventors are akin to children, who believe that they are the original creators of ways to get around the rules, in that they perceive themselves to be thinking originally in that respect. In a closed system, certainly they may be thinking quite originally. However, as is often stated by the children’s parents, the concepts are not in and of themselves novel. The phrase used by my parents around my house when I was a child was “I pulled the same stunts at your age; don’t think you’re so smart.”

In considering scientific discovery in the light of these definitions and examples, a marked distinction is made: the difference between the aforementioned concepts, and that of the connection of ideas associated with scientific discovery itself. This process is neither truly original as in the case of the invention of the wheel, nor is it original in perception as in the case of the child’s isolated system. While Merriam-Webster defines discovery as “the act or process of obtaining sight or knowledge of for the first time”, implying that discovery is a process based in originality, I believe this definition to be imprecise when applied to the products of science. I am referring to the body of scientific discoveries which, whether by accident as in the case of chewing gum, or by the fruition of directed and applied research as in the case of the laser, are made by following the scientific method. Merriam-Webster defines this method as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses”. This definition, along with several examples, will help to further illustrate the difference to which I refer.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

 

“If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Inventions and discoveries today are often treated as property, and in most cases, a single person or team is given credit for, or ownership of, the invention or discovery in question. While this may be an unfortunate necessity in the face of today’s capitalist society, it is in direct opposition to the true nature of science. Sir Isaac Newton knew when preparing to write what would become his defining work, the Principia, that he alone was not responsible for the ideas contained within it. Just as an artist draws from previous works for inspiration, so do scientists draw from the entire body of prior scientific discovery. To the layman, great leaps in scientific discovery may seem to be completely original, especially when considering some of the earliest discoveries such as the Heliocentric Theory. In such cases, the prevailing attitudes of the time period were quite nearly opposite in nature to the discoveries themselves. In the earliest periods, these ideals were so widespread and so dogmatically believed that such discoveries were initially decried as blasphemy (Hewitt 3). However, in each case, the advances were made based upon the use of both methods and knowledge of discoveries past. Such theories, as they lay outside the bounds of common thought, would be considered by all but those privy to knowledge of both their precursors and the relationships used to form them as original thought. While the average person, untrained and unmotivated to think in the same manner as those who made these discoveries, might think them entirely novel, the fact is that each scientific discovery after the inception of the scientific method has been an addition or amendment to, and thus derived from, a pre-existing body of knowledge. Scientific discovery, as it is based in expanding, narrowing, or contradicting prior discovery, cannot be defined as original thought.

What, then, is original thought? The online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines thought as “the action or process of thinking”, thinking being defined as “to exercise the powers of judgment, conception, or inference”. It defines original as “not secondary, derivative, or imitative”. Combining these literal definitions, original thought can be defined likewise as “the action or process of exercising the powers of judgment or conception in a manner not secondary, derivative, or imitative”. I will exclude inference from the combined definition, as it directly refers to derivation of a general idea from specifics, and thus requires a predefined set of examples from which to draw a conclusion, being in opposition to the definition of original. Using this definition, the very existence of modern original thought is debatable. It could be argued that unless something external to our accumulated body of knowledge were introduced (for example, by extraterrestrial life forms), it is highly unlikely that anything thought of by any person could be without influence or precedent. However, this is only to say that it is improbable, and not that it is impossible. From another point of view, specifically that of certain monotheistic religions, original thought has never been possible as God is defined in part by his omniscience, and thus all human knowledge is mere duplication. Considering a human-only frame of reference, I believe that original thought can and does exist, but that one must be careful to make a distinction between true originality, and perceived originality.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

 

... CONTINUES.

We are often allured into loving god, state, family, friends and even enemies before we love our own selves; taught that we are inferior to god, are dirty sinners that should beg for forgiveness on our knees; are worthless; that it is wrong to love oneself; that selfishness and pride are vices even if it means to stand for one's own rights or disallow anyone to insult one’s intelligence; and forgiveness is a virtue even in cases when a state chooses to unjustly steal one’s life to which they have no right but the one they have granted to themselves in their imagination, while shamelessly hiding behind state laws and religious prejudices. Haven’t all borders, countries, national traditions, costumes, beliefs, cultures, food, regulations, rules, policies, expectations, prejudices, superstitions, laws and even histories been created and or interpreted by us, our own selves with our own biases? Haven’t we been born free into this world of no borders, laws, prejudices or religious fanatics claiming that millions have been and are being slaughtered in the name of god according to his divine plan? Why allow anyone to submerge, destroy or corrupt our intellectual and spiritual power; deceive us into ever doubting our own potential; insult our intelligence or abuse our human rights? I believe and also propose that we abandon the illusionary road of love of someone else, whether it is god, state, man, friend or enemy and accelerate towards a road of love of one’s self. We must discover our own selves first, our beauty and ingenuity, find ‘I’, introduce ourselves to our own selves and develop a high sense of self-respect, build confidence and self-awareness. No one is better than I; I am no better than anyone else. I have no right to anyone's life; no one has a right to my life.

So, finally, who are the mysterious masterminds? I am entering an unknown territory – I truly don’t know – I can only speculate. I believe there is a very small group of people, the smartest of the smart and I by no means refer to the average person that graduated from ivy-league schools and are occupying high posts such as the presidency and so on. I believe there are men who possess the sharpest vision of the world, how it operates, a very clear understanding of human nature & behavior and how to manipulate it. They have a particular agenda driven by an insatiable greed for money & power. Here I am referring to the power of owning the world and nothing less; and in their eyes there is nothing that can or have ever stopped them from being victorious. I could be very wrong but at this level of my awareness, I admire their skill in running the whole world as if one was running a family, corporation or country and believe that there is much wisdom that can be learned from the strategy. What I cannot tolerate is that these men operate this endeavor at the expense of others’ lives and most importantly my future. I find this mesmerizing game governed by unfair and dishonest rules; therefore, it is unacceptable. I could be wrong but I do believe that there is a great chance of these men being lost and tortured souls and that all their money and power will bring them nothing but never ending anxiety, fear and hysteria over its preservation.

Therefore, I would like to state: these men are not worth our attention, they are in very small numbers whose weapon is simple hypnosis. They are very powerful, no doubt about that, but we must understand that they are imposing their philosophies on millions of also lost and tortured souls they manipulate. They are incapable of operating on their own; they must have the support of those queens, presidents, priests, and obedient and frightened citizens of the world who accepts the obsolete ideologies of Marxism, communism, fascism, patriotism, nationalism, and terrorism and shovel their absurd and laughable theories down our throats. But I have noticed that less and less people of different cultures, backgrounds and aspirations are willing to absorb that propaganda much longer; every new person deprogrammed and awakened will bring us closer to liberation. Therefore, we must focus on our primary goal - our minds must be revolutionized - we mustn't fight - we must simply reconsider our culture, gain knowledge which is power, open our minds to the views of others, learn from experience and apply that to the everyday decisions we make!

Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com/English%20NL%20Aug-Sep-2010.pdf

 

I was born in the Soviet Russia in 1978. Now when I reflect on it, I believe I was born free into this wonderful world just like anyone else. I was born a human being with a life in me, intelligence, virtues, talents, ingenuity, and potential. I knew nothing about the country in which I was born into, which other countries it bordered with, which political, monetary, and social systems and agendas it followed, which war it was involved in at the time, which human beings it was depriving of homes and lives, which nations it hated and considered its enemies, what its religion and superstitions were, which laws its citizens were forced to abide by and what it will cost me in financial, intellectual, spiritual, and sexual means to be allowed to exist in that particular environment. The first breath I took, I became a Russian Orthodox female, born into the Soviet Union with an authority shouting out loud and confident that everyone never disregarded the fact that their lives, property, talents, and even thoughts belonged to the state. The first breath I took, I became a slave to a society, its culture, prejudices, and expectations. My freedom was suspended right then and I was well on my way to being transformed into a robot with as few aspirations, dreams, passions, beliefs, and principles of my own as possible; the obedient citizen who lacks critical, analytical, skeptical, and daring thinking; and a “drug addict” that doesn’t question the outside authority or norms of the society.

I believe many can envision a person put under hypnosis. The more I observed the world and its inhabitants, the more clearly I could recognize zombies moving around, overdosed on deceit, wars, blood, agony, misery, death, financial booms and busts, racism, sexism, patriotism, nationalism, antidepressants, reality shows, consumerism, super bowls, and video games to name a few; and drowning in their own fears, worries, insecurities, complexes, sexual frustrations and uncertainties; and what was puzzling to me, pleading for more.

Who is the magician and why on earth does his interest lie in such a boring and unrewarding activity? Who and why would want to surround himself with uninspiring and spiritless creatures that perish without ever discovering their talents, without ever bringing their share of greatness, brightness and sharpness to the table of our collective wealth of intelligence, wisdom and ingenuity, and making this world as strong, beautiful, prosperous, resourceful, progressive, and rewarding as it ought and could so much easily be so that we could all enjoy it, including the hypnotizer?

I do not know but I have a few thoughts on who or what it could be, how the world manipulated into insatiable killing, deceit, abuse, destruction and even self-hatred, and what is the benefit that the hypnotizer seeks.

What happens between that first breath of freedom we all take and the moment we are released from propaganda factories as highly qualified & specialized machines trained to follow precise instructions and react in certain ways when exposed to specific sounds, body shapes, colors, odors and flavors? Kings, queens, tzars, sultans, emperors, presidents & prime ministers, TV & radio sets, newspapers & magazines, literature & poetry, educators & parents mouths discharge a steady and contagious flow of hypnosis that flows into the ears of those who are tuned in, reaching, confusing and corrupting their minds and hearts. Some are faster and more susceptible to this deadly cancer than others. May I speculate that most of these sources and individuals manipulate the perceptions of others simply because they have been intimidated to do so by the hypnotizers of their own time and they should be considered victims of their own conspiracy and circumstances they find themselves in? I don’t believe that we should mistake all queens, tzars and others of blue blood, so they believe, for being the main generator of deadly poison. If we do, this will be an overestimation of their intellectual and character abilities. My observations could be wrong and conclusions made too early but I highly doubt presidents' exceptional or superior intellectual powers. I do believe that there is much randomness in every aspect of our life and the existence of our planet. However, I also believe that we are lead by some in certain directions. Do we doubt that we are manipulated into wars which allow a small clique of elites to make incomprehensible profits; divided & made to believe that one nation aims to destroy another? Or that one culture, race, sex, religion or intelligence is superior to another, while we are made frightened of another social class, allured into a financial bliss, taken advantage of and then let go crashing in a midst of the next bust; spirit broken into devastating acceptance of our own worthlessness and obediently enter of torture rooms or gas chambers, walk to a firing squad, acceptance of to be burned alive, hanged, stoned to death and or beheaded?

TO BE CONTINUED ...

 
By Admin (from 09/11/2010 @ 13:00:36, in en - Science and Society, read 1422 times)

Mycologist Paul Stamets studies mycelium and lists 6 ways that this astonishing fungus can help save the world. Cleaning polluted soil, creating new insecticides, treating smallpox and maybe even the flu … in 18 minutes, he doesn’t get all the way through his list, but he has plenty of time to blow your mind. An audience favorite at TED2008. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 18:18.)

Source: blog.ted.com

 
By Admin (from 08/11/2010 @ 11:00:14, in en - Science and Society, read 1596 times)

For years I just sort of assumed that cells were self-reproducing blobs of protein. Maybe you did too. Turns out they’re way smarter than that. You will be amazed at this video. Dr. Bonnie Bassler from Princeton University presents a beautiful TED talk on how bacteria communicate with each other by forming words out of simple molecules.

She also explains…

  • How bacteria strategize together on how to ‘take down’ their host
  • Elegant systems of bioluminescence
  • Symbiotic relationships between organisms
  • Cells speak multiple languages

Enjoy this remarkable presentation.

Source: cosmicfingerprints.com

Further Reading: Nature Magazine on the sophisticated community behavior of Myxobacteria

 

Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007), the American author of 33 influential books, became, at various times, a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, futurist, polymath, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and a Saint of Discordianism, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings, interviews, and strolls.

Wilson described his work as an "attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth." His goal being "to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything."

Source: en.wikipedia.org

 
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