quinta-feira, 30 de abril de 2009

Capital Science Lectures

Cooperation and Collective Behavior : From Bacteria to the Global Commons


Simon A. Levin, George M. Moffett Professor of Biology and director of the Center for BioComplexity at Princeton University, delivers the first of his two 2008 Pardee Distinguished Lectures, on the role group behaviors play in nature - and how such cooperation can benefit human societies on a global scale.

Hosted by Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future on October 27, 2008.

China: Forcing the World to Rethink Its Economic Future

World Affairs Council of Northern California

Lester R. Brown, President and founder of the Earth Policy Institute; founder of the Worldwatch Institute; author of more than 50 books and papers including Plan B 2.0 and Who Will Feed China? Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Convincing new evidence from China shows that its existing fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy cannot sustain progress much longer. Lester Brown will look at both China's current consumption of basic resources, which now exceeds that of the U.S., and at China's future consumption in 2031 when its income is projected to reach that of the U.S. today. Dr. Brown will discuss ways to restructure the global economy so that it can sustain economic progress through renewable energy, the reuse and recycling of materials, and a diverse transport system.

quarta-feira, 29 de abril de 2009

Interdisciplinary Lessons from the Natural and Social Sciences

The need to develop a better understanding of human decision making is of great importance in today’s society. The individual decisions we make have a broad impact on many pressing, large-scale issues, including our personal well-being and the well-being of our families, work-life balance, retirement planning, conflict resolution, the health of our planet, and the stability of our global financial systems. This symposium will convene leading neuroscientists, behavioral economists, computer scientists, psychologists, and legal scholars to discuss empirical and theoretical advances in understanding human decision making and the approaches they are investigating to improve decision making.
If by chance, you know where I can find and/or watch/download the videos of this series of lectures, I would appreciate to be informed. Thanks a lot.

The economist as therapist:

Behavioural economics and "light" paternalism

George Loewenstein is the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University

We review methodological issues that arise in designing, implementing and evaluating the efficacy of 'light' paternalistic policies. In contrast to traditional 'heavy-handed' approaches to paternalism, light paternalistic policies aim to enhance individual choice without restricting it. Although light paternalism is a 'growth industry' in economics, a number of methodological issues that it raises have not been adequately addressed. The first issue is how a particular pattern of behavior should be judged as a mistake, and, relatedly, how the success of paternalistic policies designed to rectify such mistakes should be evaluated – i.e.,the welfare criterion that should be used to judge light paternalistic policies. Second,paternalism, and especially light paternalism, introduces new motives for attempting to understand the psychological processes underlying economic behavior. An enhanced understanding of process can help to explain why people make mistakes in the first place,and, more importantly, provide insights into what types of policies are likely to be effective in correcting the mistakes. Third, there is an acute need for testing different possible policies before implementing them on a large scale, which we argue is best done in the field rather than the lab. Fourth, in addition to methodological issues, there are pragmatic issues concerning who will implement light paternalistic policies, especially when they involve positive expenditures. We discuss how economic interests can be rechanneled to supportendeavors consistent with light paternalism.
IAREP - International Association for Research in Economic Psychology

Principles of Ecological Economics:

Guidance for a Sustainable Society

What is ecological economics?

Robert Costanza will explain the key concepts of ecological economics – notably, how ecosystems and their functions provide vital goods and services that directly benefit people, and how the valuation of ecosystem services in dollar terms gives critical economic justification for ecological sustainability. He will also discuss how the framework of ecological economics will promote and sustain human health and well-being.

Dr. Costanza is professor and director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, a premier institution studying the relationships between human, ecological and economic systems. He is the cofounder and past president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, is past chief editor of the society's journal, Ecological Economics and currently serves on editorial boards of various journals and steering committees of many organizations relating to sustainability.

Lecture materials:
Audio recording of the lecture: Part 1 (69 MB MP3 file)
Audio recording of the lecture: Part 2 (22 MB MP3 file)
PowerPoint handouts for Dr. Costanza's lecture: Principles of Ecological Economics: Guidance for a Sustainable Society (3.5 MB)
Two-page information sheet: Principles of Ecological Economics: Guidance for a Sustainable Society (171 KB)
link to the lecture video

terça-feira, 28 de abril de 2009

Origins Symposium

Science, Society and The Merchants of Light

A conversation between Roger Bingham and Richard Dawkins, AC Grayling, Brian Greene, Lawrence Krauss and Steven Pinker.

Origins: Exploring Questions at the Edge of Knowledge: From the Universe to Humanity

domingo, 26 de abril de 2009

Why We Believe in Gods - Andy Thomson - American Atheists 09


Andy Thomson gives his talk titled 'Why We Believe in Gods' at the American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Filmed and edited by Josh Timonen.

What Will the Creationists Do Next?

Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc. explores how the failure of Intelligent Design to survive a legal test of its constitutionality led it to evolve new strategies which call for teaching the "strengths and weaknesses of evolution" or the "critical analysis of evolution" which are creationism in disguise.
Watch this program:
UCTV / UCSD-TV / YouTube

sábado, 25 de abril de 2009

“Credit as a Public Utility: The Solution to the Economic Crisis

This is a six-part professional-quality video that is over two hours in length. Each part consists of a lecture by Richard C. Cook on the economic crisis and its solution. The video was made on March 16, 2009, in the Maryland Room of the Prince George’s County Library, Hyattsville, MD. This is the most in-depth and complete critique of our debt-based monetary system ever made. The video concludes with a complete program of reform based on the draft American Monetary Act, implementation of a Greenback-type currency, and a citizens’ dividend/basic income guarantee. The material is deeply rooted in the history of American public finance and the author’s experience of 21 years as a U.S Treasury Department analyst. His recommendations would replace the existing financial system, which mainly serves the interests of the financial oligarchy, with a new monetary system that would serve the needs of “We the People” and our producing economy. It would also replace Federal Reserve Notes with a new system of United States currency.
Part One:

Early U.S. statesmen, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Andrew Jackson worked to free the nation from control by the bankers who had been behind the establishment of the First and Second Banks of the United States. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln implemented a true democratic currency by spending Greenbacks directly into circulation without borrowing from the banks. These measures allowed the U.S. to develop for much of the 19th century largely free from bankers’ control. By the end of the century, this had changed, and the bankers were taking over.

President Lincoln’s Greenback system worked but was undermined and replaced by the financiers who got Congress to pass the National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864, then the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The United States now became a nation dominated by the financial elite, the banks, and a debt-based monetary system. Consequently, the 20th Century was one of constant cycles of inflation and deflation resulting in the economic chaos we see today.

The collapse we are seeing today began in the financial system, not the producing economy. The crisis started with the housing bubble which the Federal Reserve created by cutting interest rates and then brought own by raising them. The trigger of the 2008 bank meltdown was refusal by European banks to purchase any more “toxic” U.S. debt based on mortgages and sold as securities. Now, with the decline in equity values, the burden of debt in our economy has grown even larger. Thus a renewal of bank lending will not solve the problem, while the economic stimulus program of the Obama administration is likewise insufficient to restore economic health.

Part Four:

Fractional reserve banking is the process by which banks create credit out of thin air. But despite abuses of the system, credit is still a crucial part of modern economics. An enlightened concept of governance would view credit as a public utility. This means that government must take back the control of credit from the private financiers.

Part Five:

One of the most important and least understood concepts in modern economics is the existence of a gap between prices and purchasing power. This gap results when a portion of prices must be set aside as business and private savings. The money is then used by the financial system for lending and speculation. Keynesian economics takes control of some of the savings through government deficit spending but is still a compromise with control of the economy by the financiers. In fact Keynesian economics has helped cause the collapsing debt pyramid. A better system would be to provide consumers with a National Dividend as a way to monetize the continuous appreciation of the producing economy.

Part Six:

The U.S. should convert to a system where the money supply is created by the federal government by being spent into circulation without government borrowing or taxation as was done with the Greenbacks. The Federal Reserve should no longer be a bank of issue. Additionally, a National Dividend should be paid directly to the people. The “Cook Plan” calls for the initial distribution of vouchers in the amount of $1,000 a month plus a new system of community savings banks. Greenbacks combined with a National Dividend will create a non-inflationary democratic currency and transform the economy of the United States.

sexta-feira, 24 de abril de 2009

This is the uncut Jill Mytton Interview from the Channel 4 TV program 'The Root of All Evil?', hosted by Richard Dawkins.

Jill Mytton left a religious cult as a young adult, and now helps counsel people who are struggling with life after leaving cult environments.

quinta-feira, 23 de abril de 2009

The Real News Network: Unions in America

Elaine Bernard is the executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Bernard's writings often focus on workers in the telecommunications industry, and the role technological change plays in altering work. In the last several years, she has publicly discussed how advancing technology will change how labor unions function (especially in regard to member-to-member and union-member communication and organizing)

Pt.1: Private sector union membership has plummeted while the public sector has increased April 11, 2009
Pt.2: Legislation in the US a major obstacle to worker organization April 13, 2009
Pt.3: The biggest barrier to unionization is the law April 19, 2009
Pt4: A successful labor movement socializes their gains - or they weaken themselves April 21, 2009
Pt5: To build a movement, unions need to organize unemployed workers to demand jobs April 22, 2009

quarta-feira, 22 de abril de 2009

Staying Sharp

The Dana Foundation

Dr. Jordan Grafman, chief of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke outside of Washington, DC, and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, is your guide as we cover what to expect from the aging brain and what we can do to 'stay sharp.' Throughout this program we draw on insights from top neuroscientists committed to helping more people know about what happens to our brain as we age and the brain healthy behaviors that we can incorporate into our daily lives. The Staying Sharp program is a joint project of NRTA: AARP's Educator Community and The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. For a free DVD of this program please contact stayingsharp@dana.org.

"The Present Threat of the Religious Right

to Our Modern Freedoms."

Eddie Tabash, lawyer in the Los Angeles area. After a lifetime of spiritual search, I have concluded that the best evidence, to date, makes it much more likely than not that there are no supernatural beings involved in our universe and no God or gods.

Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest


Eugenie Scott

Bummer. The recent claim by two Georgia men to have discovered the remains of a Bigfoot corpse turned out to be a hoax.

Sure, you didn't fall for it, but somehow a couple of blockheads and a frozen gorilla costume did manage to capture public attention and create a minor media stir.

After all, Bigfoot, Yeti, and hordes of other cryptoid missing links have been igniting human imagination for ages. Even the most skeptical of us must wonder if it's possible there really could be large, undiscovered primates on earth, still unknown to us humans.

Can we be so sure we've found them all? And if some enticing evidence presented itself, how would we test it scientifically?

Tonight physical anthropologist Eugenie Scott will help us answer the question of whether or not we might one day be able to welcome some long lost relatives to the family tree.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Bay Area Skeptics

terça-feira, 21 de abril de 2009

The Role of Science

Peter Gleick, Lawrence Krauss and Dorothy Shore Zinberg speaking at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival. Michael Lemonick moderates.

Aspen Ideas Festival Closing:

What Can I Do?

Some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world all gathered in a single place - to teach, speak, lead, question, and answer at the 2006 Aspen Ideas Festival. Throughout the week, they all interacted with an audience of thoughtful people who stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought, and discussion.

domingo, 19 de abril de 2009

The Atheism Tapes

Jonathan Miller talks to the philosopher Colin McGinn about atheism and anti-Theism. This interview was done for the BBC series Atheism: A rough history of disbelief.

Why People Perform Rituals

Pascal Boyer is Henry Luce Professor of Individual and Collective Memory at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches in the Psychology and Anthropology departments.Pascal Boyer works in the Memory and Development Laboratory of the Psychology Department, Washington University. He also manages the the Luce Program in Individual and Collective Memory.

View the lecture

CSR - Video Archives

sábado, 18 de abril de 2009

A Brief History of Disbelief

The Final Hour

"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping the common people quiet." The quote by Napoleon Bonaparte

Deist philosopher Thomas Paine was one of the most influential thinkers of England ever produced and he inspired founders of the US.

Jonathan Miller investigates that how secularism shaped the world throughout 19th century and guided the new ideologies.

The British Humanist Association

A Brief History of Disbelief

Noughts and Crosses

"There is in every village a torch: the scoolteacher and an extinguisher: the priest." The quote by Victor Hugo.

Some works of Aristotle and Plato supported the new Christian theology in the middle ages, however materialist philosophers such as Epicurus, Democritus and Lucretius were dismissed.

This is the story of re-emerging of atheism under the dogma and Christianity.

A Brief History of Disbelief

Shadows of Doubt

"I do not believe in any religion. I will have nothing to do with immortality. We are miserable enough in this life without speculating upon another." The quote by Lord Byron

Suspicion and disbelief always clashed with the religious belief since ancient times. The writings and thoughts of the Greek philosophers became a real threat under the hegemony of Christianity in the middle ages.

World Routes in Mali with Oumou Sangare

Listen to the programme

Lucy Duran visits the West African Republic of Mali, home to one of Africa’s best-loved divas: Oumou Sangare. Duran travels to the remote region of Wasulu in search of Oumou’s roots, and talks to this iconic African about her music, her background and the controversial subject of women’s rights.
The Global Economic Crisis and EU Responses – Beyond the G20

Video of the debate on the G20 between Walden Bello and the EU commission oficial Gert Jan Koopman.

Originally published by The Guardian
"The recession is turning into a depression in an unprecedented manner and at an unprecedented pace … The degree of fiscal expansion may not be enough but the possibilities for [it] will diminish … The situation in Europe is grim and ­getting grimmer …"

"This is the paradox of the paradigm. When a system is in crisis it relies on the same old failed institutions to explain and deal with a phenomenon that no longer fits the paradigm … This is a crisis caused by global over-production and over-consumption and the solution ­requires the transformation of capitalist economic systems."

The run-up to the EU spring summit this week and the G20 summit in London on 2 April has seen a deluge of reports, interviews, statements and lobbying declarations flood inboxes, submerging any clarity of thought and purpose.

So it was a pleasure and delight for this correspondent to chair, for the Trans­national Institute of Amsterdam, a two-hour debate on EU responses to the crisis – beyond the G20 – between Gert-Jan Koopman, director of structural reforms at the European commission's directorate general for economic and financial affairs, and Walden Bello, a Filipino sociology professor, head of the Freedom from Debt Coalition and author of the concept of "de-globalisation".

Koopman, who uttered the first quote above, and Bello, who voiced the second, jousted intellectually at a level of intensity that made the often mediocre and bland utterances of well-intended politicians – with a few notable exceptions such as Jacques Delors (see below) – regulators, central bankers and business lobbies seem beside the point.

They did so with sober passion and, not least, humour and mutual respect, commodities sadly lacking in most of the contributions so far. And for older commentators such as this one, alarmed that a reprise of the depression 80 years later could trigger worldwide violent political extremism of the kind that wrecked European civilisation in the 1930s, they went at least close to the heart of the problem. What kind of capitalism or post-capitalism will or should emerge from the crisis? What social and economic order are we willing to embrace or able to agree on? If the economic crisis is over-arched by the planetary one of global warming can we really envisage and implement a "green new deal" or a sustainable society that breaks with the past and deals resolutely with poverty, exclusion and injustice?

Of course, the panel of two delivered no definitive answers. But in a city where policy wonks debate issues from breakfast to post-dinner and the audience emerges little or none the wiser, it was refreshingly provocative and radical. And there was even, surprisingly, a degree of consensus between a proponent of (amended/reformed/regulated) globalisation and one of its fiercest critics.

Koopman, thrown into a lions' den of largely anti-capitalist NGO campaigners, stoutly defended the EU's responses to the crisis against Bello's repeated criticism that it depended heavily on "failed multilateral institutions" or FMIs (a play on the French version of IMF: Fonds Monétaire International) that required radical reform.

Bello – drawing on the experience of 1944 when, in the middle of war, more than twice as many countries as in the G20 turned up at Bretton Woods for the (now discredited) new world order – wants the UN to play the key role in deciding BW2; Koopman thinks that body too unwieldy given the urgency of the crisis.

The pair argued extensively over issues such as the likelihood or not of an implosion of euroland under the weight of credit default spreads, budget deficits, mega-unemployment et al. It's a prospect viewed as increasingly imminent by Delors. In a melancholy and angry interview with the German magazine Capital he assails Germany for failing to offer prior consultation on its own responses or adequate solidarity. "I could well imagine that the pressure of the strong on the weak to carry out better policy or leave the monetary union is growing … I'm pessimistic about the future of the euro."

Delors, co-architect of the EU's crowning glory, the single market, says Europe is in full protectionist retreat and reacting "slowly and ploddingly in areas such as new rules in financial supervision or on cleaning up banks". It was a view endorsed by Bello, who wants a ban on derivatives, hedge funds and short-selling and "the extension of criminalisation to certain economic and financial activities".

Koopman, of course, countered that the EU is already leading the way in proposing tougher, more extensive regulation such as outlined in the recent Lamfalussy and De Larosière reports (reprised by Adair Turner in his 122-page FSA paper this week).

But this was, above all, not a meeting of closed minds between the north and the south. We emerged into a sunlit European Quarter with agreed notions that a 80% cut in CO2 emissions on 1990 levels by 2050 will be inadequate; on the need for an inter-generational pact to tackle the demographic challenge in mature economies; on the urgency of genuine solidarity with the fathomless pool of the discarded unemployed in the north and of the excluded, innocent poor of the south; and of a permanent brake on consumption and greed.

Europe may be peering over the edge of an abyss but at least there are some thinkers and policy-makers searching for ways to drag us back.

Building on the idea of a green new deal

The world is in the grip of a fourfold crunch - the crises of ecology, economy, equity and ethics. We face these crises with both concern and hope: concern for the misery they are creating and hope that we have the courage to look deeply into their causes and find lasting solutions.

Governments are putting new money into circulation and bailing out banks; they are focused exclusively on reflation whatever the cost. At best, this amounts to short-termism.

So what else can we do?

We need a new approach - to save the economy by investment in saving the planet through measures that will benefit all of us (including the bankers).

Building on the idea of a green new deal, this document addresses three crucial questions: What can we do now? What transformation must follow? What might the future look like?
The E4 Declaration

quarta-feira, 15 de abril de 2009

Consuming Culture and Greed

Education for Citizenship Series

This installment in our Education for Citizenship series on virtues and vices examines greed, a selfish and excessive desire for more than is needed. How much is enough? What enables advertisers to convince citizens to consume more than is reasonable? Are seductive images of comfort, convenience, and sexual stimulation that bombard us in advertising edging out non-market values of care, community, love, and public service? Are market values changing college campuses? Join us for a conversation that casts a critical eye on the effects of greed on individual and collective life.

David Loy, Besl Professor of Ethics, Religion and Society, Xavier University
Buddhist philosopher David Loy recently moved from the faculty of International Studies at Bunkyo University in Japan to Xavier University in Ohio. His 1997 article, “The Religion of the Market,” sparked an ongoing discussion about the nature of consumer capitalism which, he claims, is “the first truly world religion, binding all corners of the globe more and more tightly into a worldview and set of values whose religious role we overlook only because we insist upon seeing them as ‘secular.’” His books include A Buddhist History of the West, Lack and Transcendence, The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory, and Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution.
Juliet B. Schor, Chair and Professor of Sociology, Boston College
Juliet Schor’s research over the last ten years has focused on issues pertaining to trends in work and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, and economic justice. Her most recent book is Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. This book is an account of marketing to children from inside the advertising agencies and an assessment of how these activities are affecting children. She is also the author of the national bestsellers, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, The Overspent American: Why we Want What We Don’t Need, and Do Americans Shop Too Much? She was appointed a Guggenheim Fellow for her work on consumer society, and in 2006 she won the Leontief Prize for contributions to expanding the frontiers of economic thought.

Mark Gonnerman (moderator) is director of the Aurora Forum

Interview: Food Industry

Is Pursuing Big Tobacco's Strategy

Kelly D. Brownell is a psychologist who has written widely on the relationship between the U.S.’s obesity epidemic and the way our food is grown, processed, packaged, and sold. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, recently turned his attention to an important and intriguing topic: How the major food companies — in an effort to persuade consumers to buy their products — employ business, political, and legal strategies that are strikingly similar to those used for decades by the tobacco giants. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Brownell discusses the playbook common to both industries — from marketing campaigns promoting supposedly safer products to massive lobbying efforts aimed at blocking regulatory action.

terça-feira, 14 de abril de 2009

The God Delusion


See the webcast of this lecture

When Professor Richard Dawkins published The Selfish Gene in 1976, it became an immediate international bestseller. Its sequel, The Extended Phenotype, was then followed by The Blind Watchmaker, River out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain, The Ancestor’s Tale and his most recent publication, The God Delusion.

His many bestselling books have been influential in bringing understanding of evolutionary theory to a mass audience, but it is The God Delusion that has perhaps courted the most controversy, exploring his opinion that belief in God is both illogical and harmful to society.

Professor Dawkins has won several literary and scientific awards including the Royal Society of Literature Award, the Los Angeles Times Prize and the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society.

Neuroscience and Sociology: Aspen Festival 2008

Neuroscience and Sociology (1 of 3)

Neuroscience and Sociology (2 of 3)

Neuroscience and Sociology (3 of 3)

David Brooks became an op-ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. He had been an editor at The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, and a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic. Currently a commentator on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, he is also the author of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. He has contributed essays and articles to many publications, including The New Yorker, Forbes, The Public Interest, The New Republic, and Commentary. He is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio, CNN’s Late Edition, and The Diane Rehm Show.

Believing the Unbelievable:

The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World

Sam Harris speaking at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world all gathered in a single place - to teach, speak, lead, question, and answer at the 2006 Aspen Ideas Festival. Throughout the week, they all interacted with an audience of thoughtful people who stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought, and discussion.

segunda-feira, 13 de abril de 2009

Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child

and the New Consumer Culture

Juliet B. Schor’s research over the last ten years has focussed on issues pertaining to trends in work and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, women's issues and economic justice. Schor's latest book is Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Scribner 2004). She is also author of The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure and The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting and the New Consumer. She has co-edited, The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience, The Consumer Society Reader, and Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century. Earlier in her career, her research focussed on issues of wages, productivity, and profitability. She also did work on the political economy of central banking. Schor is currently is at work on a project on the commercialization of childhood, and is beginning research on environmental sustainability and its relation to Americans’ lifestyles.

Schor is a board member and co-founder of the Center for a New American Dream, an organization devoted to transforming North American lifestyles to make them more ecologically and socially sustainable. She also teaches periodically at Schumacher
The Four Horsemen: Hour 1

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RichardDawkinsFoundation.org and filmed by Josh Timonen.

All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings against religion - some positive, and some negative. In this conversation the group trades stories of the public's reaction to their recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough questions about religion that face the world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.
The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins argues that there is no rational or moral reason to believe in God or any other supernatural higher power. He says that because atheists are discriminated against in the United States they tend not to be vocal about their views, even though collectively they could be an influential political and social force. Professor Dawkins also reads selections from his new book, talks about his love for science, and answers questions from the Randolph-Macon audience.

domingo, 12 de abril de 2009

John Pilger - Freedom Next Time


Journalist, author, film maker John Pilger speaks in Chicago at Socialism 2007: Socialism for the 21st Century.
June 16, 2007
filmed by Paul Hubbard

"The African Evidence for the Origins

of Modern Human Behavior"

Curtis Marean, Paleoanthropologist; Professor, Institute of Human Origins, School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University at Tempe

Curtis Marean will be presenting his research on archaeological studies of the earliest Homo sapiens found to date in South Africa, and discussing the broader issue of the origins of modern humans—where it happened, why it happened, and why it makes the coastline of South Africa particularly significant.

2008 Nobel Conference Gustavus Adolphus College

Exploring Questions at the Edge of Knowledge:

From the Universe to Humanity

Announcing the new Origins Initiative at ASU with Lawrence Krauss as Director. A University-wide initiative to focus on deep and foundational questions ranging across the entire spectrum of scholarship at ASU is being developed with support from a faculty advisory committee with representatives from all schools and colleges at ASU.

Questions of origins resonate across all academic disciplines and among the general public because they directly confront the mysteries associated with our existence, our past, and our future. Questions such as:How did the Universe Begin?
  • How did life arise?

  • How does life evolve?

  • What is the Origin of Human Uniqueness?

  • What is the origin of disease?

  • How does consciousness arise?

  • How do human institutions arise and develop?

  • What will be the technologies of the future?

These are questions that provoke fascination and heated debate whenever they arise, and are, at the same time, central to forefront research at the edge of human knowledge. The Origins Initiative at ASU will continue a tradition of transdisciplinary activity, and an unusually strong existing research emphasis on origins issues from evolutionary biology to nanotechnology, from human institutions to the origin of the universe. It will have a two-pronged thrust: by bringing together scholars from different disciplines we will explore how a broader and more inclusive perspective may arise in addressing these fundamental questions. At the same time, progress in addressing key fundamental disciplinary questions can occur by bringing together a critical mass of experts, both within the university and from the outside.

The Origins Initiative will foster both activities, and at the same time a key component of Origins will involve public outreach and education, as well as exploring new paradigms for undergraduate education. We will incorporate the new insights gained from our activities to foster ASU's educational mission and to disseminate knowledge to the broader community, both in the region and around the world.

Origins Symposium Video Archive

Gore Vidal: ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’


The whip-smart and ever-sly Gore Vidal visited “Real Time” on Friday, giving his historical and sometimes hysterically funny take on the state of the United States. He also revisited a few key moments from his personal history, illustrated by some priceless archival footage found by Bill Maher’s crack research team. Is it too soon to make an Amelia Earhart joke? It’s not too late to make one about Sarah Palin, apparently.

sábado, 11 de abril de 2009

Unions in America

Elaine Bernard is the executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Bernard's writings often focus on workers in the telecommunications industry, and the role technological change plays in altering work. In the last several years, she has publicly discussed how advancing technology will change how labor unions function (especially in regard to member-to-member and union-member communication and organizing).
The Real News Network - Home
World Routes in China 2008

In the first programme of two programmes recorded on location in China, Lucy Duran explores the music of three of the country's 56 different ethnic groups. Featuring the songs of the Hani and Yi people in Yunnan Province. Living high up in the mountains near the borders with Vietnam, Laos and Burma, they make instruments from grass to accompany songs that were born in the world's most spectacular paddy fields.

Bringing Sustainable Practices to Your Community

This is a 50-minute video clip (RealPlayer) of Torbjorn Lahti and Sarah James giving a talk to City of Madison municipal employees.

Sarah James is the principal of a city and town planning consulting firm specializing in participatory planning methods. She co-authored the American Planning Association's Planning for Sustainability Policy guide, and has published articles and given workshops throughout the United States on this subject.

Torbjörn Lahti is the project director for Sustainable Robertsfors, a five-year sustainable community demonstration project. He was the project planner for Sweden's first eco-municipality, Övertorneå, and was instrumental in the formation of SeKom, the Swedish national association of eco-municipalities.

North Carolina Town Prints Own Currency

to Support Local Business

We take a look at how one North Carolina town is trying to become more self-sufficient by moving toward being able to feed, fuel and finance itself. The town of Pittsboro houses the nation’s largest biodiesel cooperative, a food co-op, a farmers’ market and, most recently, its own currency, the Pittsboro Plenty. Pittsboro is one of a number of communities across the country printing their own money in an attempt to support local business.

Lyle Estill, community activist and writer in Pittsboro, North Carolina. He is president of Piedmont Biofuels, which runs the largest biodiesel cooperative in the United States. He is also involved in sustainable farming and is a leading supporter of the Pittsboro Plenty, a local currency. He is author of two books, including Small Is Possible: Life in a Local Economy.
Solidarity Economy Emerging in North Carolina

The Political Mind

WGBH Lecture

George P. Lakoff discusses his new book, The Political Mind, and explores how the mind works, how society works, and how they work together.

Lakoff, author of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, Whose Freedom?, Don't Think of An Elephant!, explores the connections between cognitive science and political action. Why do many Americans vote against their own interests? Humans, he argues, are not the rational creatures we've so long imagined ourselves to be. And savvy political campaigns, therefore, should not assume people will use objective reasoning when deciding how to vote.
Psychology: Free WGBH Online Lectures

Discovering bacteria's amazing communication system

TED Talk

Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria "talk" to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry -- and our understanding of ourselves.

sexta-feira, 10 de abril de 2009

World Music in Mozambique

In two special programmes Lucy Duran travels to the rarely visited Southern African country of Mozambique. After decades of civil war, it's home to many diverse musical traditions which have rarely been recorded or heard by outsiders. She visits the beautiful Ilha do Mocambique to hear traditional Tufo songs of the women. Plus there's panpipe music from the very hot north, and in Maputo, the first gig in four years by the country's best-loved veteran band

quinta-feira, 9 de abril de 2009

World Routes in Zanzibar

Lucy Duran heads to Zanzibar, and gets to know the Swahili Arab-influenced musical style Taarab, and visits Ikwan Safaa, Africa's oldest music club, which celebrates its centenary.
Listen to Part 1

Lucy Duran presents the second of two programmes from Zanzibar. She visits the world-famous Culture Musical Club, and meets the singer and 2005 Womex award-winner Bi Kidude, who at the age of 94 is still teaching young women and girls the art of good sexual practice through her songs.

quarta-feira, 8 de abril de 2009

Richard Louv : The Abundant Childhood : Nature, Creativity & Health


On Thursday, November 8, 2007, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Eagle Creek Park Foundation, Inc. and nine co-sponsoring organizations presented a lecture by journalist and futurist Richard Louv called The Abundant Childhood: Nature, Creativity and Health.

Remember romping around the woods or building tree houses as a kid? According to author and futurist Richard Louv, today's children are in danger of losing the benefits of unstructured outdoor play. In Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Louv draws a connection between exposure to nature's physical and spiritual bounty, and improved health, creativity and empathy. Outdoor play is proven to inspire children to embrace the abundance of the planet with all their senses and to help them become environmental stewards. Hear Louv speak and be part of a renaissance in connecting youth with nature.

This program was part of the 2007 Spirit & Place Civic Festival.

terça-feira, 7 de abril de 2009

Helena Kennedy explains why she will be speaking at the Convention on Modern Liberty


Estelle Morris talks to civil liberties champion and Queen's Counsel Helena Kennedy about her experiences with young people, asking why she feels some are being failed by the education system.

Kennedy talks about her work in education, through her reports as well as the Helena Kennedy Foundation, which offers a second chance at higher education for people in challenging circumstances.

Former education secretary Morris asks about Kennedy's recent report on disengagement in politics, especially among young people, and asks what role teachers and schools can play in reversing this trend.

segunda-feira, 6 de abril de 2009

Convention on Modern Liberty

We are building an archive of material from the Convention on Modern Liberty, so you can read, watch and listen to what happened across the country on February 28th. On this website you can find video and audio recordings of many of the London sessions (with more to come shortly), and also photos, pledges, transcripts and write-ups from the day.

Here is the first plenary, Citizens and the state: The crisis of liberty, featuring Dominic Grieve QC MP, Helena Kennedy QC, Ken Macdonald QC and Sir David Varney.

Watch this space if you want to stay involved - and remember to read and discuss the Convention’s co-directors’ views on what next and join our user-led social network

The Obama Deception

YouTube - HQ Full length version

The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests of the American people.

The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global slavery.

We have reached a critical juncture in the New World Order's plans. It's not about Left or Right: it's about a One World Government. The international banks plan to loot the people of the United States and turn them into slaves on a Global Plantation.

Covered in this film: who Obama works for, what lies he has told, and his real agenda. If you want to know the facts and cut through all the hype, this is the film for you.

Watch the Obama Deception and learn how:
  • Obama is continuing the process of transforming America into something that resembles Nazi Germany, with forced National Service, domestic civilian spies, warrantless wiretaps, the destruction of the Second Amendment, FEMA camps and Martial Law.

  • Obama's handlers are openly announcing the creation of a new Bank of the World that will dominate every nation on earth through carbon taxes and military force.

  • International bankers purposefully engineered the worldwide financial meltdown to bankrupt the nations of the planet and bring in World Government.

  • Obama plans to loot the middle class, destroy pensions and federalize the states so that the population is completely dependent on the Central Government.

  • The Elite are using Obama to pacify the public so they can usher in the North American Union by stealth, launch a new Cold War and continue the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.The information contained in this film is vital to the future of the Republic and to freedom worldwide. President Barack Obama is only the tool of a larger agenda. Until all are made aware, humanity will remain captive to the masters of the New World Order.

Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

CSI Bailout

Bill Moyers Journal

William K. Black suspects that it was more than greed and incompetence that brought down the U.S. financial sector and plunged the economy in recession — it was fraud. And he would know. When it comes to financial shenanigans, William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, has seen pretty much everything.

Now an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, William K. Black tells Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL that the tool at the very center of mortgage collapse, creating triple-A rated bonds out of "liars' loans" — loans issued without verifying income, assets or employment — was a fraud, and the banks knew it.

And while there is no law against liars' loans, Black points out that there are, "many laws against fraud, and liars' loans are fraudulent. [...] They involve deceit, which is the essence of fraud."

Only the scale of the scandal is new. A single bank, IndyMac, lost more money than the entire Savings and Loan Crisis. The difference between now and then, explains Black, is a drastic reduction in regulation and oversight, "We now know what happens when you destroy regulation. You get the biggest financial calamity of anybody under the age of 80."

William K. Black, author of THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN ONE, teached economics and law at the University of Missouri — Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.

Black developed the concept of "control fraud" — frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a "weapon." Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae's former senior management.

domingo, 5 de abril de 2009

Flexible Employment, Stable Society?

LSE Space for Thought lecture series

Wolfgang Streeck is professor of sociology and director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany.

How does the de-regulation of employment relate to the evolution of other social structures, in particular the family? And what are the consequences for the role of the state in society?

A video of the event can be watched at LSE Live

The Space for Thought Lecture series celebrates the completion of the New Academic Building and is supported by the LSE Annual Fund. You can see a list of all the lectures in this series at Space for Thought Inaugural Lecture Series.

A podcast of this event is available to download from the LSE public lectures and events podcasts channel.

The Real News Network

Too big to fail? Nationalize

Leo V. Panitch is the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and a Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto. Panitch is also the author of "Global Capitalism and American Empire" and his most recent release "American Empire and the Political Economy of International Finance".

sábado, 4 de abril de 2009

Obama should save banks not bankers

Thomas Ferguson is a political scientist and author who studies and writes on politics and economics, often within an historical perspective. He is a Political Science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is also a a contributing editor of The Nation. He is also the author of several books, the recent of which is Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political System