domingo, 30 de agosto de 2009

Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Globalization

No community is more directly impacted by economic globalization than the world’s 350 million indigenous peoples, yet their voices have been largely excluded from the globalization debate. And so we are very pleased to offer the second edition of: Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Globalization.

Co-edited by IFG founder Jerry Mander and IFG board member Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Director of the Tebtebba Foundation/ Indigenous Peoples International Centre for Policy Research and Education, and the elected Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues), this new edition contains 28 articles on every phase of the global struggle for indigenous rights, and the stories of resistance.

With many of the planet’s remaining natural resources on indigenous lands, traditional indigenous practices of biodiversity preservation have, ironically, made these lands targets for global corporations seeking the last forests, genetic and plant materials, oil, and minerals to feed their unsustainable growth. But native peoples refuse to be victims. Their stories of resistance and growing success are inspirational.

Participating authors include Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Winona LaDuke, John Mohawk, Arthur Manuel, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Debra Harry, Oronto Douglas, and indigenous activists from South America, among others, as well as non-indigenous writers and activists Jerry Mander, Vandana Shiva, Atossa Soltani, Mark Dowie, Victor Menotti, and others. Specific themes include:
  • The growing assault on indigenous lands, where the planet’s increasingly scarce natural resources are located;
  • The specific rules of global bureaucracies like the WTO, IMF, World Bank and others that accelerate the loss of native sovereignty and native political and cultural rights;
  • The devastating impact of extractive industries, with case studies on the problems and the resistance to today’s model of development;
  • An overview of globalization’s other impacts: global marketing of cultural objects; loss of languages; impacts of tourism; impacts of giant conservation NGOs driving native peoples off their lands; the toll from climate change, et. al.;
  • The report also details some extremely positive trends, for example in South America where indigenous people are now on the rise, especially in Bolivia and Ecuador; the new role played by American Indians in a safer energy future; new initiatives for impacting WTO rules; and major progress within the U.N.
  • International Forum on Globalization
  • The Pachamama Alliance

Lecture with Patricia Churchland, B.Phil., University of California, San Diego

Brains navigate the causal world by recognizing and categorizing events they need to care about. Contrary to the widespread assumption that a subject must apply a general rule in deciding what ought to be done, rule-application is only occasionally a factor, even in human decision-making. Learn about the complex balance of drives, emotions, learned habits, pattern recognition, and sensitivity to time-constraints that typically bring the system to a workable decision.
Earth Evolution: The Formation of Our Planet
Joaquin Ruiz, Dean of the College of Science and Professor of Geosciences, tells the story of how the Earth evolved from its fiery beginnings to the habitable planet we all enjoy.
Life's Cognitive Edge: The Role of the Mind & What it Means

On February 13, 2008,
Dr. Anna Dornhaus, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, gave lecture at the College of Science The Edges of Life Lecture Series: "Life's Cognitive Edge: The Role of the Mind and What it Means to be Human." Dr. Dornhaus says " Our human mind distinguishes us from other animal life-or does it? Recent research has revealed culture and social learning, tool use, complex communication, self-recognition, and planning for the future are not unique to the human experience. With these new findings, science is finally getting closer to understanding exactly what makes us human."

sábado, 29 de agosto de 2009

Dr. Elena Plante - Next : Visualizing Human Thought

Dr. Elena Plante, Professor and Head of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona, presented this lecture on March 3, 2009. It was the fifth lecture in the College of Science's "Next: Science that Transforms" lecture series.

The ability of the human brain to think and communicate one's thoughts is fundamental to our experience. For centuries, our ability to understand how human thought is represented and communicated had to be inferred from observing behavior following brain damage. The recent advent of new tools for noninvasive study of the normal brain has revolutionized our understanding of brain function, allowing us for the first time to visualize human thought. And we are only just beginning.
GIDP: Neuroscience explores the many facets of neuroscience, as well as providing in-depth training in chosen areas of specialization. Educational and research opportunities include molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, cognitive, theoretical, and clinical neuroscience.
Culture and Cognition International Summer University 2007
Central European University Budapest

Daniel Fessler : Taboos, emotions and cultural evolution

Culture and Cognition

In July 2007, we had a great summer schoool on culture and cognition at the Central European University in Budapest organised by György Gergely and Dan Sperber. The proceeding were video-recorded and many of the lectures (by Rita Astuti, Pascal Boyer, Susan Carey, Gergely Csibra, Dan Fessler, György Gergely, Pierre Jacob, Dan Sperber) and of the students presentations (by Coralie Chevalier, Claire Cooper, Christophe Heintz, Olivier Mascaro, Vlad Naumescu) are now visible online at the school's Youtube channel here.

sexta-feira, 28 de agosto de 2009

Podcasts from 'Metarepresentation, communication and culture'

Metarepresentation, communication and culture was a one and a half day workshop organized by Dan Sperber and collaborators. The workshop explored to what extent the abilities to attribute mental states to others and form representations of representations underlie the formation of human culture.

More information about the programme, speakers as well as downloadable abstracts can be found here.

Downloadable talks in mp3 format (still more to come):

Hugo Mercier - 'Reasoning as a metarepresentational device'

Dan Sperber - ‘Demonstrations’
Making Your Mind: Molecules, Motion, and Memory

What is mind?
Can molecular biology help us understand mental function?

Eric R. Kandel, M.D. and Thomas M. Jessell, Ph.D.of Columbia University will help us understand how the nervous system turns an idea into action—from the complex processing that takes place in the brain to the direct marching orders the spinal cord gives to the muscles. Modern neuroscience equates mind with the organ we call the brain, an astounding network more than 100 billion neurons connected in a vast complicated web. The presenters will help us puzzle out how the brain is organized and identify the seat of human memory. The question of understanding how the brain functions is rivaled by the question of how such a complex network of cells develops in the first place.

quarta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2009

The Science Reader: Liars, Lovers & Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are

Liars, Lovers, and Heroes combines cutting-edge findings in neuroscience with examples from history and the headlines to introduce the new science of cultural biology, born of advances in brain imaging, computer modeling, and genetics.

Terrence J. Sejnowski is an HHMI investigator, the Francis Crick Professor, and Director of the Crick-Jacobs Center for Theoretical and Computational Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is also a Professor of Biology at UC San Diego.
Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

This morning, just like any other day in America, more than a quarter of the population of this nation is in classrooms of some kind, going about the business of educating. The business, perhaps – but is there yet a science of educating?

Brains R Us brings together researchers, educators, policymakers, parents, and students in a town hall forum to discuss the state of the science of educating, from the synapse to schoolroom, from neurons to neighborhoods. Come discover why timing is everything.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology explores the damage caused by sugary foods.
Health Matters: Behavior and Our Brain

What makes us who we are? What makes us fall in love, become addicted to chocolate, or become a musician? Renowned neuroscientist Terry J. Sejnowski, whose cutting edge research has unlocked many of the mysteries of the brain, joins our host, David Granet, to discuss this fascinating topic.

terça-feira, 25 de agosto de 2009

Richard Wiswall discusses the business of organic farming (30 mins)

Contrary to popular belief, a good living can be made on an organic farm. What’s required is farming smarter, not harder.

In The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, Richard Wiswall shares advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient, better manage your employees and finances, and turn a profit. From his twenty-seven years of experience at Cate Farm in Vermont, Wiswall knows firsthand the joys of starting and operating an organic farm—as well as the challenges of making a living from one. Farming offers fundamental satisfaction from producing food, working outdoors, being one’s own boss, and working intimately with nature. But, unfortunately, many farmers avoid learning about the business end of farming; because of this, they often work harder than they need to, or quit farming altogether because of frustrating—and often avoidable—losses.

In this comprehensive business kit, Wiswall covers:
  • Step-by-step procedures to make your crop production more efficient
  • Advice on managing employees, farm operations, and office systems
  • Novel marketing strategies
  • What to do with your profits: business spending, investing, and planning for retirement
A companion CD offers valuable business tools, including easy-to-use spreadsheets for projecting cash flow, a payroll calculator, comprehensive crop budgets for forty different crops, and tax planners.

Richard Wiswall started Cate Farm in East Montpelier, Vermont, where he has farmed since 1981. Known for his work on farm profitability and appropriate business tools, Wiswall consults with other farmers, and writes and speaks frequently on organic-farm business issues. To learn more about Wiswall and Cate Farm, visit

segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2009

Big Bucks, Big Pharma - Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs

Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry's marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.

Featuring interviews with Dr. Marcia Angell (Dept. of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Former Editor New England Journal of Medicine), Dr. Bob Goodman (Columbia University Medical Center; Founder, No Free Lunch), Gene Carbona (Former Pharmaceutical Industry Insider and Current Executive Director of Sales, The Medical Letter), Katharine Greider (Journalist; Author, The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers), Dr. Elizabeth Preston (Dept. of Communication, Westfield State College), and Dr. Larry Sasich (Public Citizen Health Research Group).

Source :

domingo, 23 de agosto de 2009

The Social Animal

A landmark text that maintains its relevance and unique approach edition after edition, The Social Animal offers a brief, compelling introduction to modern social psychology. Through vivid narrative, lively presentations of important research, and intriguing examples, Elliot Aronson probes the patterns and motives of human behavior, covering such diverse topics as terrorism, conformity, obedience, politics, race relations, advertising, war, interpersonal attraction, and the power of religious cults.

For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the investigations over wiretapping and U.S. attorney firings, FRONTLINE examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney's way of looking at the Constitution.

"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. "He believes the president should have the final word -- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."

After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.

"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk's 10th documentary about the Bush administration's policies since 9/11.

In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.

"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"

As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."

Goldsmith's battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department's finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.

But Goldsmith's victory was temporary, and Cheney's Law continues the story after the hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration's system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.

As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of what's formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.

Frontline - The Merchants of Cool (2001)


They spend their days sifting through reams of market research data. They conduct endless surveys and focus groups. They comb the streets, the schools, and the malls, hot on the trail of the "next big thing" that will snare the attention of their prey--a market segment worth an estimated $150 billion a year.

They are the merchants of cool : creators and sellers of popular culture who have made teenagers the hottest consumer demographic in America. But are they simply reflecting teen desires or have they begun to manufacture those desires in a bid to secure this lucrative market? And have they gone too far in their attempts to reach the hearts--and wallets--of America's youth?

FRONTLINE correspondent Douglas Rushkoff examines the tactics, techniques, and cultural ramifications of these marketing moguls in "The Merchants of Cool." Produced by Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin, the program talks with top marketers, media executives and cultural/media critics, and explores the symbiotic relationship between the media and today's teens, as each looks to the other for their identity.

Teenagers are the hottest consumer demographic in America. At 33 million strong, they comprise the largest generation of teens America has ever seen--larger, even, than the much-ballyhooed Baby Boom generation. Last year, America's teens spent $100 billion, while influencing their parents' spending to the tune of another $50 billion.

But marketing to teens isn't as easy as it sounds. Marketers have to find a way to seem real: true to the lives and attitudes of teenagers; in short, to become cool themselves. To that end, they search out the next cool thing and have adopted an almost anthropological approach to studying teens and analyzing their every move as if they were animals in the wild.

Take MTV. Long considered to be the arbiter of teen cool, the late 1990s saw MTV's ratings on the wane. To counter the slide, MTV embarked on a major teen research campaign, the hallmark of which was its "ethnography study"-- visiting teens' homes to view first hand their lives, interests and ask some quite personal questions.

But what lessons do MTV and other companies draw from this exhaustive and expensive study of teenagers' lives? Does it result in a more nuanced portrait of the American teen? In "The Merchants of Cool," FRONTLINE introduces viewers to the "mook" and the "midriff" -- the stock characters that MTV and others have resorted to in order to hook the teen consumer.

The "midriff"--the character pitched at teenage girls, is the highly-sexualized, world-weary sophisticate that increasingly populates television shows such as Dawson's Creek and films such as Cruel Intentions. Even more appealing to marketers is the "midriff's" male counterpart, the "mook." Characterized mainly by his infantile, boorish behavior, the "mook" is a perpetual adolescent: crude, misogynistic--and very, very, angry.

But also very lucrative. To appeal to the "mook," MTV has created programs such as Spring Break -- a televised version of teen beach debauchery--as well as a weekly program capitalizing on the current wrestling craze.

"What this system does is it closely studies the young, keeps them under constant surveillance to figure out what will push their buttons," says media critic Mark Crispin Miller. "And it blares it back at them relentlessly and everywhere."

Of course, there is resistance to the commercial machine. FRONTLINE takes viewers to downtown Detroit, where media analyst Rushkoff speaks with teens at a concert by the Detroit-based Insane Clown Posse, purveyors of a genre of music that's become known as "rage rock." When asked to describe what appeals to them about such music, the teens invariably respond that it belongs to them; it hasn't yet been taken and sold back to them at the mall. Full of profanity, violence, and misogyny, rage rock is literally a challenge thrown up to marketers: just try to market this!

But marketers have accepted the challenge: rage rock is now big business. Not only has Insane Clown Posse become mainstream, but much bigger acts like Eminem and Limp Bizkit are breaking sales records and winning industry accolades in the form of Grammy nominations and other mainstream music awards.

In "The Merchants of Cool," correspondent Rushkoff details how MTV and other huge commercial outlets orchestrated the rise of Limp Bizkit--despite the group's objectionable lyrics--and then relentlessly promoted them on-air.

But in doing so, critics ask, is MTV truly reflecting the desires of today's teenagers, or are they stoking a cultural infatuation with music and imagery that glorifies violence and sex as well as antisocial behavior and attitudes?

In today's media-saturated environment, such questions, it seems, are becoming increasingly difficult to answer.

"It's one enclosed feedback loop," Rushkoff says. "Kids' culture and media culture are now one and the same, and it becomes impossible to tell which came first--the anger or the marketing of the anger."

Therein lies the danger of today's teen-driven economy, observers say: As everyone from record promoters to TV executives to movie producers besieges today's teens with pseudo-authentic marketing pitches, teenagers increasingly look to the media to provide them with a ready-made identity predicated on today's version of what's cool. Rather than empowering youngsters, the incessant focus on their wants and desires leaves them adrift in a sea of conflicting marketing messages.

"Kids feel frustrated and lonely today because they are encouraged to feel that way," Miller tells FRONTLINE. "You know, advertising has always sold anxiety and it certainly sells anxiety to the young. It's always telling them that they are not thin enough, they're not pretty enough, they don't have the right friends, or they have no friends...they're losers unless they're cool. But I don't think anybody, deep down, really feels cool enough, ever."

And as more and more teens look to the media to define what they should think and how they should behave, even some cool hunters are no longer sure that their work isn't having a negative impact.

"Even though I work at MTV...I am starting to see the world more like someone who's approaching forty than someone who's twenty," says Brian Graden, the channel's president of programming. "And I can't help but be worried that we are throwing so much at young adults so fast. And that there is no amount of preparation or education or even love that you could give a child to be ready."
merchants of cool: media giants
duPont Award-winners Engage in Roundtable Discussions

Introduction Real Video
Richard Wald, the Fred W. Friendly Professor of Media and Society, moderates roundtable discussions with producers, directors and correspondents of duPont Award-winning broadcasts.
Frontline: The Secret History of the Credit Card(a co-production with The New York Times) Real Video
Lowell Bergman, Correspondent
David Rummel, Senior Producer
Lawrie Mifflin, Executive Director for The New York Times
Moderator: Cynthia Kennard

PBS Frontline - Secret History of the Credit Card

It's one of the most wonderful times of the year for the banking industry's most lucrative business: credit cards. In the coming weeks, millions of Americans will reach into their wallets and use plastic to buy an estimated $100 billion in holiday gifts. But at what cost?

In "Secret History of the Credit Card" FRONTLINE® and The New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand. In this one-hour report, correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt.

"The almost magical convenience of plastic money is critical to our famously compulsive consumer economy," Bergman says. "With more than 641 million credit cards in circulation and accounting for an estimated $1.5 trillion of consumer spending, the U.S. economy has clearly gone plastic."

Millions of American families use their personal, general-purpose credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover to make ends meet; credit cards have been a discreet lifeline for families in financial straits.

But other consumers, like actor and author Ben Stein, use plastic purely for convenience. While it would appear that Stein -- who says he charges a small fortune every month on his credit cards -- is the ideal customer, in reality, he is what some in the industry call a "deadbeat." That's because he pays his balance in full every month.

The industry's most profitable customers, the ones being sought by creative marketing tactics, are the "revolvers:" the estimated 115 million Americans who carry monthly credit card debt.

Ed Yingling, incoming president of the American Bankers Association, tells FRONTLINE that revolvers are "the sweet spot" of the banking industry. This "sweet spot" continues to grow as the average credit card debt among American households has more than doubled over the past decade. Today, the average family owes roughly $8,000 on their credit cards. This debt has helped generate record profits for the credit card industry -- last year, more than $30 billion before taxes.

Some experts say the profitability of credit cards really began twenty-five years ago, when the banking industry successfully eliminated a critical restriction: the limit on the interest rate a lender can charge a borrower. Deregulation, coupled with a revolution in technology that enables the almost real-time tracking of personal financial information and the emergence of nationwide banking, has facilitated the widening availability of credit cards across the economic spectrum. But for some, the cost of credit is often far greater than it appears.

According to Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, the credit card companies are misleading consumers and making up their own rules. "These guys have figured out the best way to compete is to put a smiley face in your commercials, a low introductory rate, and hire a team of MBAs to lay traps in the fine print," Warren tells FRONTLINE.

Warren and other critics say that a growing share of the industry's revenues come from what they call deceptive tactics, such as "default" terms spelled out in the fine print of cardholder agreements -- the terms and conditions of which can be changed at any time for any reason with 15 days' notice.

Penalty fees and rates are sometimes triggered by just a single lapse -- a payment that arrives a couple of days or even hours late, a charge that exceeds the credit line by a few dollars, or a loan from another creditor which renders the cardholder "overextended" as defined by the nation's three all-powerful credit bureaus. This flurry of unexpected fees and rate hikes come just when consumers can least afford them.

"[Banks are] raising interest rates, adding new fees, making the due date for your payment a holiday or a Sunday on the hopes that maybe you'll trip up and get a payment in late," says Robert McKinley, founder and chairman of and Ram Research, a payment card research firm. "It's become a very anti-consumer marketplace."

Banking Association spokesman Yingling defends industry practices. Because the credit card business is basically unsecured lending, he says, the risks associated with the business must be offset.

But that's of little consolation to consumers who may be in trouble. According to the Better Business Bureau, credit card and banking companies are the subject of a record numbers of complaints. "It's not an accident that the banking and credit card business generates more complaints nationally, across the country, than any other industry…Out of one thousand industries that we track, they are number one," says Pat Wallace, head of the San Francisco Bay Area Better Business Bureau. "There are irritated, unhappy, dissatisfied customers in this industry."

As Professor Warren sees it, the industry is operating without fear of penalty. "There's no regulator, and there's no customer who can bring this industry to heel," Warren says.
Democracy Moving Toward Corporate Dictatorship

This is part 6 of John Pilgers talk entitled "Freedom Next Time". He says something some of us know but that many others are not yet aware of and it is important to see someone with authority openly say it and say it so very clearly.

"The Challenge for the rest of us is to lift this subjugated knowlege from out of the underground and take it to ordinary people. We need to make haste. Liberal democracy is moving towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift and the media must not be allowed to be its facade, but itself made into a popular burning issue and subjected to direct action"

sábado, 22 de agosto de 2009

Nick Davis - Award winning Journalist visits CU

Nick Davies is the bestselling author of Flat Earth News, a book on falsehood and distortion in the media. Nick is also a former Journalist of the Year.
Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media

In Flat Earth News, award-winning journalist Nick Davies takes the lid off newspapers and broadcasters, exposing the mechanics of falsehood, distortion and propaganda; naming names and telling the stories behind stories. This website is intended to be a focal point for exposing past, current and future media abuse.

Readers of the book can find more information about the book, the author and full coverage of the footnoted stories from the book as well as reaction to the book from senior Fleet Street figures, working journalists and reviewers. Readers are also encouraged to leave their comments on the book.

Journalists, and anyone else with direct knowledge of media malpractice, are invited to blog about examples of media falsehood and distortion; PR tactics and propaganda; and the use of illegal news-gathering techniques. All visitors are invited to make comments on these blog posts.

And everyone should read the truth behind some of the most controversial and distorted stories of the last decade: heroin, crime, police on the beat, education, Chernobyl, Zarqawi and Iraq.

sexta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2009

Blackwater:The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Author Jeremy Scahill speaks in Chicago at "Socialism 2007: Socialism for the 21st Century" In his landmark book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" Scahill details the Bush administration's accelerated program to privatize the US military through the use of a 'shadow army' of mercenaries in Iraq and else where, most notably New Orleans after the devastation of hurricane Katrina. Filmed by Paul Hubbard June 16, 2007
Jeremy Scahill: "Obama, Blackwater, War Beyond Bush"

Journalist Jeremy Scahill discussion about American military power and economic imperialism in the coming years, related to Obama policies. He is is a correspondent for Democracy Now, and is a frequent contributor to The Nation.
Scahill documented the use of private military contractors in his award-winning book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,".

quarta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2009

The Meaning of "Ouch" and "Oops"

UCLA Professor David Kaplan is a distinguished philosopher in logic and semantics. Tune in as he sheds new light on areas in the study of semantics including nicknames, politically correct speech and sarcasm. A Howison Lecture in Philosophy presented by the UC Berkeley Graduate Council.
The Essential Marcuse

Andrew Feenberg discusses his new collection of essays by Herbert Marcuse. The most influential radical philosopher of the 1960s, Marcuse's writings are noteworthy for their uncompromising opposition to both capitalism and communism.
Environmental Justice for All

Robert Bullard has been called the father of the environmental justice movement. For more than two decades, he has championed environmental protection as a civil rights and social justice issue. As global climate change poses special challenges for communities of color and the poor, the commitment to environmental justice is a value that can unite us all, across boundaries of race, class, gender, age, and geography. - Building a Whole Earth Economy

The economy is damaged and needs fixing.
Dr. Peter G. Brown argues that we're not asking the right questions to clarify what a healthy economy really is.
Starting from first principles, he exposes antiquated and perhaps dangerous assumptions that underlie current answers to basic economic questions and analyzes shortcomings of many reform efforts. He recommends re-conceptualizing and redirecting the economy in support of a flourishing earth. - Antonio Damasio: This Time With Feeling

Antonio Damasio, noted researcher and professor of neuroscience at USC, talks with The New York Times' David Brooks about emotions and the science of being human. He describes the difference between emotions and feelings, and explains why emotions are one of humanity's most important survival mechanisms. - Politics of Language

George Lakoff makes plain how the words used by politicians translate to the public's support for various political issues. Language matters - especially when it comes to politics.
A founder of the field of cognitive science, Lakoff takes an in-depth look at the ways in which our brains understand politics, breaking down the politics of language.

terça-feira, 18 de agosto de 2009

Life on the Edge: Ingenious Survival Strategies in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts

The giant columnar cacti of the North American deserts serve as the homes for dozens of species of insects who depend upon these plants for their survival. UCSD's Therese Markow explores how they survive and what we learn from them.

Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman : Human Rights in the Age of Environmental Devastation and Climate Chaos

Chief of the Cardiology Division of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond, California Jeffrey Ritterman explores the consequences of climate change and environmental destruction on our health.
Barry Schwartz on our loss of wisdom

Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for "practical wisdom" as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.

Barry Schwartz studies the link between economics and psychology, offering startling insights into modern life. Lately, working with Ken Sharpe, he's studying wisdom.

sábado, 15 de agosto de 2009

Seneca on Anger - Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness

Roman philosopher Lucious Annaeus Seneca (4BCE-65CE), the most famous and popular philosopher of his day, took the subject of anger seriously enough to dedicate a whole book to the subject. Seneca refused to see anger as an irrational outburst over which we have no control. Instead he saw it as a philosophical problem and amenable to treatment by philosophical argument. He thought anger arose from certain rationally held ideas about the world, and the problem with these ideas is that they are far too optimistic. Certain things are a predictable feature of life, and to get angry about them is to have unrealistic expectations.
Epicurus on Happiness - Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness

British philosopher Alain De Botton discusses the personal implications of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270BCE) who was no epicurean glutton or wanton consumerist, but an advocate of “friends, freedom and thought” as the path to happiness.
Socrates on Self-Confidence - Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness

This six part series on philosophy is presented by popular British philosopher Alain de Botton, featuring six thinkers who have influenced history, and their ideas about the pursuit of the happy life. Episode 1: Socrates on Self-Confidence - Why do so many people go along with the crowd and fail to stand up for what they truly believe? Partly because they are too easily swayed by other people's opinions and partly because they don't know when to have confidence in their own.
Climate Change and the Pursuit of Happiness - Kim Stanley Robinson

As a result of our technologys carbon burning, we face climate change that has potentially devastating consequences for all the generations to come. We have to change how we live, and fast.

Kim Stanley Robinson will discuss how we can do that and share recent findings in several different scientific disciplines to suggest how this necessary set of changes could be very good for us as individuals and as a world civilization.

Robinson, a science fiction writer, has published 14 novels and four story collections. His works have been translated into 23 languages and earned literary awards in four languages, including science fictions Hugo and Nebula Awards. He was named a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment in 2008. His latest novel sequence, Science In the Capital (Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting) describes a near future in which the federal government, and everyone else, tries to deal with abrupt climate change.

His presentation during the conference is dedicated to the memory of Dr. William Burling, former professor of English at Missouri State and noted author.
Act Locally and Affect the Whole World - Chris Maser

Sustainable Actions for a Sustainable Future 2009 Public Affairs Conference Missouri State University

As a research scientist in natural history and ecology, Chris Maser has spent more than 25 years in forest, shrub steppe, sub-arctic, desert, coastal and agricultural settings. Trained primarily as a vertebrate zoologist, he served as a research mammalogist in Nubia, Egypt, with the Yale University Peabody Museum Prehistoric Expedition, as well as in Nepal, where he participated in a study of tick-borne diseases for the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit #3 based in Cairo, Egypt. Today, he is an independent author, as well as an international lecturer and facilitator in resolving environmental conflicts, vision statements and sustainable community development. He also is an international consultant in forest ecology and sustainable forestry practices.
Avian Einsteins World Science Festival

How do we learn to speak? What is the connection between language and movement? Join a broad and distinguished panel on an exploration of how striking parallels between bird and human brains are providing sharp new insights into how we acquire language and the links between hearing and movement.

This event was moderated by Faith Salie and features author Jonathan Rosen; neurobiologist Erich Jarvis; scientist and noted bird researcher Irene Pepperberg; professor of comparative cognition at Cambridge University, Nicola Clayton; Head of the Laboratory of Animal Behavior at CUNY, Ofer Tchernichovski; and David Rothenberg, professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology."

Avian Einsteins" also features a special appearance by Snowball, the world famous dancing cockatoo, and owner, Irena Schulz.

sexta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2009

OUTFOXED : Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know. Read on »
The Paradox of Choice Why More Is Less


Book Description
Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions -- both big and small -- have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.

As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice -- the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish -- becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice -- from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs -- has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.

By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.

quinta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2009

UCSD Guestbook: Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson received both his B.A. and Ph.D. from UCSD. He is a highly acclaimed writer of science fiction and science fiction criticism; the recipient of numerous major literary awards; and the author of 14 books (novels, short stories, criticism), including his multiple prize-winning "Mars" trilogy.

quarta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2009

National Geographic - Strange Days on Planet Earth

Around the globe, scientists are racing to solve a series of mysteries. Unsettling transformations are sweeping across the planet, and clue by clue, investigators around the world are assembling a new picture of Earth, discovering ways that seemingly disparate events are connected. Crumbling houses in New Orleans are linked to voracious creatures from southern China. Vanishing forests in Yellowstone are linked to the disappearance of wolves. An asthma epidemic in the Caribbean is linked to dust storms in Africa. Scientists suspect we have entered a time of global change swifter than any human being has ever witnessed. Where are we headed? What can we do to alter this course of events? National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth, premiering in Spring 2005 on PBS, explores these questions. Drawing upon research being generated by a new discipline, Earth System Science (ESS), the series aims to create an innovative type of environmental awareness. By revealing a cause and effect relationship between what we as humans do to the Earth and what that in turn does to our environment and ecosystems, the series creates a new sense of environmental urgency. Award-winning actor, writer and director Edward Norton (Primal Fear, American History X, Italian Job) hosts the series. A dedicated environmental activist, Norton has a special interest in providing solar energy to low income families. Each of the four one-hour episodes is constructed as a high-tech detective story, with the fate of the planet at stake.

terça-feira, 11 de agosto de 2009

A World Without Water

Without Water The world is running out of its most precious resource. True Vision's timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatisation of water supplies. More than a billion people across the globe don’t have access to safe water. Every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies. The situation can only get worse as water gets evermore scarce.
Dr. Richard Smalley Presents, "Our Energy Challenge"

Energy is the single most critical challenge facing humanity worlwide. Within the next few decades we must find a new energy source that can provide at least 10 terawatts of clean, low-cost power. The answer to this can only come from revoulutionary breakthroughs in the physical sciences and engineering. Such breakthroughs will certainly happen. But can they be made soon enough to avoid the hard economic times, terrorism, war, and human suffering that will otherwise occur? Presented by Dr. Richard Smalley (1943-2005), 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Rice University. Recorded July 8th, 2003.

segunda-feira, 10 de agosto de 2009

ABC Four Corners Peak Oil 2006 Documentary

The era of cheap oil may be over and a growing number of analysts predict production is about to peak before significantly falling behind demand. Jonathan Holmes investigates.
Music and the Brain: From Perception to Emotion
brought together neuroscientists, performing artists, and the public all participating in a gathering which discussed the interpretation of emotions, creativity, and improvisation. The public event was held during the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) in Geneva. Participants included, EDAB vice chairman, Pierre Magistretti, Federal Institute of Technology and Lausanne University Hospital; Francois Ansermet, Geneva University Hospital; Gary Magby, Lausanne Music Conservatory; Solenn’ Lavanant, opera singer; Ioanna Bentoiu, opera singer; Richard Rentsch (, composer and Orazio Sciortino (
The Dana Foundation - Webcast Archive

domingo, 9 de agosto de 2009

A Crude Awakening : The Oil Crash

Pablo Costa

A Crude Awakening : The Oil Crash is an award-winning documentary film about peak oil, produced and directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack. ( )

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash explores key historical events, data and predictions regarding the global peak in petroleum production through interviews with petroleum geologists, former OPEC officials, energy analysts, politicians, and political analysts. The film contains contemporary footage interspersed with news and commercial footage from the growth heyday of petroleum production. The documentary focuses on information and testimony that supports the projection of a near-term oil production peak.
The documentary examines our dependence on oil, showing how oil is essential for almost every facet of our modern lifestyle, from driving to work to clothing and clean tap water. A Crude Awakening asks the tough question, "What happens when we run out of cheap oil?" Through expert interviews, the film spells out in startling detail the challenges we would face in dealing with the possibility of a world without cheap oil—a world in which it may ultimately take more energy to drill for oil than we can extract from the oil the wells produce.

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