I’ve grown up in the Himalayas — there’s no cash economy there. People are wealthy at zero dollars a day.
The point is that you need to have a clean stream. If your forest is intact and your stream is flowing and your knowledge is with you, and you can grow your food and you recognize the herbs that can cure you and you have mutuality of labor exchange, so that you come and work on my farm, and I come and work at your farm, why on earth would you need either dollars or rupees? On the other hand, if the water is commodified, if our seeds are commodified, if our medicine is monopolized, if there are no jobs. If the entire system is meant to merely be a source of profits for a handful of corporations, actually, you just have do your arithmetic, life becomes too expensive to buy. You can’t buy life. And now that they are trying to commoditize the very basis of life and own it and sell it back to us, basically the consequence is disposable people. Because for most people, then, life becomes unaffordable in any case, a life of that kind, even for those those who can afford it, is not life anymore. —
The human mind is capable of being excited without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this, and who does not further know, that one being is elevated above another, in proportion as he possesses this capability. It has therefore appeared to me, that to endeavour to produce or enlarge this capability is one of the best services in which, at any period, a Writer can be engaged; but this service, excellent at all times, is especially so at the present day. For a multitude of causes, unknown to former times, are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and, unfitting it for all voluntary exertion, to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. The most effective of these causes are the great national events which are daily taking place, and the increasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a craving for extraordinary incident, which the rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies. To this tendency of life and manners the literature and theatrical exhibitions of the country have conformed themselves. — The folly of sensationalism: William Wordsworth on the news … in 1798. (via explore-blog)
(Source: , via jjarichardson)
This scene in Inglourious Bastards, this particular part, was so brilliantly written. The characters are playing a game where you sit in a circle and write a famous person’s name on a card, flip it over, pass the card to the person next to you and stick it to your head without looking. Then you ask everyone questions to figure out who it is. This man- a Nazi commander- asked “Am I American?” (no but..) “Have I visited America?” (yes) “Was my visit fruitious?” (no) “Did I go against my will?” (yes) “Am I from a place you’d call exotic?” (yes) “Am I from the jungle?” (yes) “Did I go by boat?” (yes) “And when I got there was I bound with chains and presented in front of a crowd?” (yes!) “Well then. I know who I am. An African slave. No? Oh then I’m King Kong.” — and in one instance the viewer realizes the metaphor which King Kong was to the African slave trade (a truly Tarantino way of inserting social awareness through dialogue spoken by social oppressors) as well as takes a moment of almost comic relief to a very strange middle ground since we see just how intelligent and foolproof this man is. This is good filmmaking.
(Source: fstardust, via jjarichardson)
The Official White House Tumblr: The White House, Tumbling Things -
We see some great things here at the White House every day, and sharing that stuff with you is one of the best parts of our jobs. That’s why we’re launching a Tumblr. We’ll post things like the best quotes from President Obama, or video of young scientists visiting the White House for the science…
Eschew the norm
1. All beliefs in whatever realm are theories at some level. (Stephen Schneider)
2. Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong. (Dandemis)
3. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. (Francis Bacon)
4. Never fall in love with your hypothesis. (Peter Medawar)
5. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. (Arthur Conan Doyle)
6. A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong. (Francis Crick)
7. The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that is most interesting. (Richard Feynman)
8. To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact. (Charles Darwin)
9. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. (Mark Twain)
10. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. (Thomas Jefferson)
11. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. (Arthur Schopenhauer) — Prospero’s Precepts – 11 rules for critical thinking from history’s great minds. (via explore-blog)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
A Contact Lens that Detects Blood Sugar Levels? -
Tom Cruise’s futuristic contact lenses in the new Mission Impossible movie may not be as far off as you think. Desney Tan and Microsoft’s Computational User Experiences group have formed a collaboration with Professor Babak Parviz and his Bio-Nanotechnology Lab at the University of Washington to build a contact lens that provides the wearer with a fully configurable display of digital information.
Illustrated Misconception: NASA is already over-funded, and will not be affected by the recent budget cuts.
In a 1997 poll, people were found to estimate NASA’s share of the federal budget was around 20%. “Had this been true,” Launius writes, “NASA’s budget in 1997 would have been $328 billion.” In actuality NASA receives less than one percent of the Federal budget each year- a budget that has been diminishing since the early 1990s. [Launius 174, “Public Opinion Polls and Perceptions of US Human Spaceflight”]
For those of you who want to continue NASA’s progress- you’re not alone! Popular television host and “Big Think” speaker, Bill Nye, has this to say on the matter: “If the Earth gets hit by an asteroid, it’s game over. It’s control-alt-delete for civilization.” The benefits of improving the budget for NASA don’t just end at defense, but to improve current technology, including noninvasive medical technology.
Anonymous nay-sayers to the idea of stopping the 2013 budget cuts to NASA funding say ”Perhaps NASA needs to sharpen its priorities, and drop the whiz bang stuff. “Because its there” is not a sufficient justification for a bunch of new toys.” (sfbaywalk, Washington Post) However, if you enjoy satellite television, artificial limbs, MRI and CAT scans, breast cancer screenings, heating protection materials used by firefighters, freeze-dried food, solar energy, water filters, smoke detectors, or even memory foam mattresses then you have NASA to thank for these devices, and the lists goes on and on and on…
[Visit here to learn more about “Penny 4 NASA”]
The children of the wealthy will never, ever be subject to MOOC-based education, and the elite institutions they attend–who are perfectly happy to publish some courses on-line for free viewing by the public–will never, ever allow their students to take MOOCs for course credit. (Or if they do, they will be extremely restricted in the total number of MOOC credits they allow to count for major and graduation.) These kids are being prepared to be leaders and bosses of the poor mooks who are gonna be subject to MOOCs, so they need real education. Just like the Tom Friedmans of the world don’t eat cheap greasy fattening nutrient-poor corporate swill at Denny’s, they don’t allow their kids to be subject to shitteasse greasy educational corporate swill like MOOCs. —
Massive On-Line Open Course (MOOC)-Based Higher Education Is A Class-Warfare Scam (via azspot)
One would think that the existence of the modern Internet would make education far more accessible and expansive. But of course, the profit motive compromises this ideal.
MOOC education, particularly for degrees (in the United States), is a for-profit, synthetic, indebting produce, rather then the egalitarian educational tool it has the potential to be. Of course, we have the means to significantly educate ourselves with new technologies, but outside of the dimension of formal qualifications, which these vapid online degrees only pander to the notion of.
Of course, interpersonal learning will always be irreplaceable, but the commodification of higher learning, in the United States particularly, undermines the universal utility that could be achieved in pursuit of society’s education as well.(via jjarichardson)