quinta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2009

René Balme s’entretient avec Paul Ariès à propos du capitalisme vert

L’élection européenne, nous a dévoilé que l’on pouvait « forcer la main » aux électeurs pour créer artificiellement un courant porteur du capitalisme vert. Quitte a déstructurer et à déstabiliser au passage le courant social libéral et certains partis qui ont bien "servi" le capitalisme à ce jour.

Paul Ariès, nous dévoile dans cet entretien une stratégie politique bien rodée et qui s’appuie sur ce que la recherche fait de mieux dans le domaine des technologies de pointe destinées à soumettre l’être humain et la planète aux appétits financiers de quelques transnationales.

Dans un article publié dans le journal Politis, Paul Ariès, prévient : « Tout sera fait plutôt que de renoncer à la domination des uns sur les autres et de tous sur la planète. Tout, y compris avancer vers un véritable démontage de l’espèce. Certains fantasment déjà sur le passage des OGM aux humains génétiquement modifiés (HGM), tandis que se prépare le tri des embryons humains. D’autres, comme Attali, rêvent d’aller vers des transhumains. Tout sera fait plutôt que de remettre en cause les logiques et les acteurs économiques. Le capitalisme vert a déjà remporté une solide victoire : les firmes, un temps montrées du doigt, deviendraient les meilleurs agents de l’écologie en reléguant les militants aux oubliettes. Ce « capitalisme vert » repose ainsi sur la fusion de l’écologie et de l’économie capitaliste : ses solutions consistent à marchandiser la pollution et à avancer vers une monnaie carbone. »

A lire, aussi :
Non au capitalisme vert, Paul Ariès, éditions Parangon
Le site du Contre Grenelle

Sources : Vivé

Cambridge Folk Festival 2008

Dr Robert Costanza of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics gave a talk at Wellington's Victoria University on the best response to the ecological and financial crises that are unfolding. Costanza was invited by the NZ Green Party to speak prior to their weekend Policy Conference
Powerpoint slides of this presentation "The Global Recession: an opportunity to create a sustainable and desirable future

quarta-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2009

Ecuador: The Tribes vs. Chevron-Texaco

Thousands of people representing Ecuador's indigenous tribes are suing Chevron-Texaco over the pools of toxic wastewater the company left behind. Following Chevron-Texaco's 30 years of profit from indigenous lands and resources, the tribes are seeking 27.3 billion dollars from the California-based corporation for the clean-up. We talk with Joe Berlinger about his new film on the case, Crude, and with Amazon Watch about the worst environmental disaster since Chernobyl. But Chevron-Texaco is not the only problem for the indigenous communities of Ecuador; the native population is taking to the streets, demanding a seat at the negotiating table with the government in order to contest other proposed developments on their territories.
Latin Pulse/Pulso Latino | Link TV
Justicia Now! is a documentary about ChevronTexaco's toxic legacy in the Northern Ecuadorian region of the Amazon rainforest - and a courageous group of people called Los Afectados (The Affected Ones) who are seeking justice for the ensuing cancer, sickness and death in the largest environmental class action lawsuit in history. Over the course of three decades, Texaco dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into the Amazon rainforest, having failed to follow basic environmental standards that were required by law at the time in the United States. This allowed Texaco to save a few bucks on the cost of extracting a barrel of oil and thus increase their profits in order to keep the shareholders happy. One indigenous tribe from the region has been completely decimated and another is on the verge of extinction. Rates of cancer, leukemia, stillbirths and skin disease have skyrocketed amongst the local population and still very little has been done! The damage assessment currently stands at $16 billion. Film includes celebrity activists: PABLO FAJARDO (CNN Hero Award 2008 & Goldman Award Winner 2008), DARYL HANNAH, STUART TOWNSEND, JOHN QUIGLEY & ATOSSA SOLTANI (Founder & Executive Director, Amazon Watch)

"It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country." Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) U.S. writer of detective fiction.

Manufacturing Consent Noam Chomsky and the Media CD2

“Today we are beginning to notice that the new media are not just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression.” Marshall McLuhan quotes (Canadian communications theorist Educator, Writer and Social Reformer, 1911-1980)

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.

“In day-to-day commerce, television is not so much interested in the business of communications as in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers. People are the merchandise, not the shows. The shows are merely the bait.”

(AHF) Orwell Se Revira No Seu Túmulo - Orwell Rolls In His Grave

O realizador Robert Kane Pappas investiga o que a mídia não gosta de falar: Sobre si. Reconstituindo meticulosamente o processo pelo qual a imprensa têm distorcido e frequentemente negado acontecimentos noticiosos reais, Pappas apresenta uma eloqüente e fascinante mistura de profissionais da mídia e de orientadoras vozes intelectuais na imprensa.ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE fornece um fórum para idéias que nunca irão ser ouvidas na imprensa. Danny Schecter da Globalvision: “Falsamente pensamos no nosso país como sendo uma democracia quando esta evoluiu para uma "mídiacracia", onde a imprensa que supostamente deveriam controlar os abusos políticos fazem parte do abuso politico.” O professor de jornalismo da Universidade de Nova York diz: “Estas entidades comerciais rivalizam atualmente com o governo pelo controle sobre as nossas vidas. Não são um contrapeso saudável para o governo. Goebbels afirmou que o que se deseja num sistema de mídia – estamos a falar no sistema nazi de mídia - é apresentar uma ostensiva diversidade que oculta uma real uniformidade.” Legenda em português

Thomas Frank - The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule

From the most astute political scoffer since H. L. Mencken, the definitive account of the conservative reign of misrule and corruption

Hailed as a “hunk of dynamite” (Salon) and celebrated for its “satiric wit” (The New York Times Book Review) and “delighted outrage” (The New Republic), The Wrecking Crew supplies the first and—lacking future fact-finding commissions—probably the only full reckoning of what conservatism has wrought.

Casting his eyes from the Bush administration’s final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them. He charts the practice of wholesale deregulation and the devastating results now clear for all to see. From political scandal to mortgage meltdown, Frank documents the consequences of enshrining the free market as the logic of the state.

As conservatives retreat to lick their wounds and a new administration prepares to undo the years of misgovernment, The Wrecking Crew makes clear the challenges before the nation. A brilliant and audacious stocktaking—now thoroughly revised and updated—this is Frank’s most revelatory work yet.
Thomas Frank on the Paula Gordon Show

Vandalism has defined conservative Republican strategy in Washington, D.C. during the 30 years they’ve ruled, reports economic historian Thomas Frank. All that matters is business, cynicism is the name of game and what remains of government is a plutocracy answering only to money. In The Wrecking Crew, he details his findings.

“There‘s no loyalty to anything except business. So they wreck the regulatory state because OSHA bugs them. Labor unions bug them. All these things cutting down their profit margin, They want 'em gone. Then look what happens. They cannibalize themselves. They revert instantly to Nineteenth Century capitalism, as we're seeing before our very eyes.

“This massive wave of corruption and scandal, the lobbying, all that stuff? Jack Abramoff (is) not a bad apple, he's representative. He’s the ideal figure of conservative Washington. What I’m talking about is conservative misrule.

“In Republicans’ minds, government is not a legitimate institution. The market -- now that’s legitimate. Vandalism is one way of describing what conservatives in Washington have done. Not playing by the rules is another. They believe that the state is corruption, only the market matters.

“This definition has been applied very successfully by people who represent the actual ruling class in this country, i.e., big business, the very wealthy, high net worth individuals, the great fortunes. They're the ones that funded and led the attack on liberalism ever since the 1930's and it’s only coming into flower since the 1970's.

“Republicans have this deep hatred of the liberal state, which is economic democracy. That's what has been under such brutal attack for 30 years. Liberalism is democracy not only in politics but also in the world of economics. A famous definition of liberalism is ‘Freedom Plus Groceries‘. That's been undone.

“What they have in mind is not just winning an election here and there, their quest is to make their vision of the state permanent. Permanent. That’s a word they use a lot. There are any number of strategies -- outsourcing, privatizing of all this federal work, monster deficits. Privatizing social security would be the A-bomb.

“The concept of the free market? That’s always been the greatest fig leaf of them all. They use it for the needs of business, the needs of the upper class. Of course when they need to be bailed out, then it’s ‘Forget the free market.‘ Even that goes.

“There's capitalism and then there's capitalism. In the 1960's when I was growing up and this country had a very equal distribution of wealth, it was a totally different world. The workers by and large were unionized. People had health care. Blue collar people lived next door to white collar people. It was the affluent society. Today it’s still a capitalist country but a very different one. And it’s not sustainable.”

terça-feira, 29 de dezembro de 2009

The Authors@Google program was pleased to welcome author and professor George Lakoff to Google's New York office to discuss his new book, "The Political Mind".

George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Rockridge Institute, a think tank in Berkeley, CA. He is author of "Don't Think of an Elephant!", "Moral Politics", "Whose Freedom?", and coauthor of "Thinking Points: A Progressive's Handbook", as well as many books and articles on cognitive science and linguistics. In this talk Professor Lakoff speaks about his latest work The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain. In "What's the Matter with Kansas?", Thomas Frank pointed out that a great number of Americans actually vote against their own interests. In "The Political Mind", George Lakoff explains why.
The Life or Death Struggle for Journalism and Self-Government
Media critic and historian, Robert McChesney, talks about the essential role of journalism for meaningful democracy, and puts forward a radical proposal to address the challenges faced my news media in the current economic crisis, and into the future.

Talk by Robert McChesney author of "The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century" given May 6, 2004 at Kane Hall, University of Washington in Seattle as a benefit for Reclaim the Media http://www.reclaimthemedia.org

George Lakoff speaking at McNally Robinson
Lakoff discusses his new book, The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain.
professors-zimbardo-hanson.jpgCenter for Ethics.
HLS Professor [and Situationist contributor] Jon Hanson, who delivered the introduction to the lecture, said Zimbardo “did an amazing job of demonstrating some of the unsettling discoveries of social psychology and their implications for law and policy.” Hanson said feedback from the event was “incredibly positive,” and that PLMS hopes to continue to bring prominent mind scientists, as well as the legal scholars who rely on their work, to the law school.
To view the video, click here
Bernard Harcourt, "Neoliberal Penality: A Genealogy of Excess

What work do the categories "the free market" and "regulation" do for us? Why do we incarcerate one out of every one hundred adults? These seemingly unrelated questions, it turns out, are deeply interconnected. The categories of free and regulated markets emerged as an effort to make sense of irreducibly individual phenomena—unique forms of social organization. In the process, the categories helped shape the dominant belief that the economic realm is characterized by natural order, and that the only legitimate sphere of government intervention is policing and punishment. The consequences have been devastating: first, in distorting and expanding the penal sphere beyond our worst possible dreams, and, second, in naturalizing and masking the regulatory mechanisms inherent to all markets that massively redistribute wealth. In this CBI, Professor Harcourt challenges these categories and asks us to imagine a world where the terms "free" and "regulated" markets no longer exist.

This talk was recorded May 21, 2009 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series
The second annual Darrow K. Soll Memorial Criminal Law and Justice Lecture

Bernard E. Harcourt, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science University of Chicago
Neoliberal Penality: The Birth of Natural Order, The Illusion of Free Markets

Click here to watch the lecture

Bernard E. Harcourt is the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice.

Professor Harcourt earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Princeton University and holds his law degree and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. After law school, Professor Harcourt clerked for the Hon. Charles S. Haight, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and then moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to represent death row inmates on direct appeal, in state post-conviction, in federal habeas corpus, and at retrial. Professor Harcourt practiced at the Equal Justice Initiative and has continued to represent several death row inmates pro bono since that time. He also served on human rights missions to South Africa and Guatemala.

Professor Harcourt joined the faculty of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in January 1998 and taught at the College of Law in Tucson through 2001. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, Université Paris X, and Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in January 2003 and was appointed to the Julius Kreeger chair in law and criminology in 2007.

Professor Harcourt's scholarship focuses on issues of crime and punishment from an empirical and social theoretic perspective. He is the author of Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in an Actuarial Age (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2005) and Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken-Windows Policing (Harvard University Press, 2001). He is also the editor with Professor Franklin Zimring of Criminal Law and the Regulation of Vice (Foundation Press, 2007), the editor of a collection of essays on Guns, Crime and Punishment in America (New York University Press, 2003), and the editor of the journal The Carceral Notebooks.

Bernard Harcourt presented at the third annual conference on Law and Mind Sciences,The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences, which took place on March 7, 2009 at Harvard Law School.
Bernard E. Harcourt is the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

“Neoliberal Penality: The Birth of Natural Order, the Illusion of Free Markets”

Bernard Harcourt


In the Encyclopédie in 1758, under the entry "Grains," Francois Quesnay declared that "It is quite sufficient that the government simply not interfere with industry, suppress the prohibitions and prejudicial constraints on internal commerce and reciprocal external trade, abolish or diminish tolls and transport charges, and extinguish the privileges levied on commerce by the provinces." Quesnay’s vision of an economic system governed by natural order led to a political theory of "legal despotism" that would stand on its head an earlier understanding of a more seamless relationship between economy and society. By relegating the state to the margins of the market and giving it free rein there and there alone, the idea of natural order facilitated the unrestrained expansion of the penal sphere. It gave birth to our modern form of neoliberal penality.  In this presentation, I will trace a genealogy of neoliberal penality and explore the effects it has had in the field of crime and punishment specifically, and in the area of economy and society more generally.

"We can't have it all, and worse yet the desire to have it all and the illusion that we can is one of the principal sources of torture of modern affluent free and autonomous thinkers."
Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action in the Psychology Department at Swarthmore College, where he has taught since 1971. He is the author of ten books, among them "The Battle for Human Nature," "The Costs of Living," and in 2004, "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less." He is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. His research and teaching focus on the intersection of psychology and economics, and more specifically on how the abundance of choice in modern life both liberates and bedevils those who face it.

Barry Schwartz presented at the third annual conference on Law and Mind Sciences,The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences, which took place on March 7, 2009 at Harvard Law School.

He is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. Barry Schwartz studies the relationship between economics and psychology, delivering startling insights into modern life.

Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History

In this lecture, Nancy Fraser situates the feminist’s movement in relation to three moments in the history of capitalism. First, the movement’s beginnings are located in the context of “state-organized capitalism.” Then, she considers the process of feminism’s evolution in the dramatically changed social context of rising neoliberalism. Finally, she contemplates the possible reorientation of feminism in the present context of capitalist crisis and US political realignment, which could start a shift from neoliberalism to a new form of social organization.

Lecture by Nancy Fraser, New School for Social Research and editor of Constellations.

La Vie des Idées / Books & ideas
www.laviedesidees.fr / www.booksandideas.net

segunda-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2009

Mesa redonda sobre crisis educativa en Campo de Criptana from Alfredo Sánchez Alberca on Vimeo.

Mesa redonda sobre educación con padres, madres y profesore/as celebrada en las V joranadas sociales y de promoción de la participación ciudadana organizadas por el Foro Social de Campo de Criptana 

Algumas Linhas de Força do Processo em Curso

Rui D’Espiney

A reunião de associações realizada no ISCTE, a 21 de Novembro de 2009, saldou-se pela explicitação de linhas de acção que surgem como um impulso ao movimento que começa a tomar corpo em ordem à afirmação da Democracia Participativa e do Associativismo, movimento lançado em Coimbra por 9 associações que se encontraram a partir da reflexão produzida numa tertúlia que teve lugar na Manifesta de Peniche. São essas linhas que aqui se apresentam sucintamente.

A. Assumir a preparação do Congresso como um processo
Reafirma-se o propósito de se caminhar para a realização, em finais de 2010, de um grande congresso do Associativismo e da Democracia Participativa onde, se espera, se aprofundem conceitos, se formulem reivindicações e se clarifiquem estratégias.

Assume-se, no entanto, a caminhada para o congresso como um processo de crescente envolvimento das associações em torno da construção de “argumentário” que legitime o movimento enquanto projecto politico da Democracia Participativa e que se deverá organizar de baixo para cima, conscientizando-se pela reflexão que se for produzindo.

Assume-se, também, que o congresso não deverá ser tido como um ponto de chegada mas como um momento de sistematização que ajude a fundamentar e estimular os passos seguintes. Quer-se que seja, tão somente,uma “placa giratória” que receba a dinâmica em curso para a projectar com ainda maior energia no futuro.

B. Intencionalidades que se prosseguem
Há naturalmente um conjunto de propósitos concretos que se quer alcançar com este movimento. Para além dos que venham ainda a ser formulados pelas várias reuniões que se seguirão, reconhecemo-nos nos seguintes.

1º - Dar corpo a um movimento amplo de associações, condição necessária à sua visibilidade, à construção da capacidade reivindicativa que se impõe, e a que surja como um facto politico incontornável de 2010.

2º - Caminhar para a estruturação do que designamos por “Pensatório” incidindo sobre o sentido e a natureza do Associativismo, da Democracia participativa e da cidadania (e em que se torne claro o pensamento crítico que anima o movimento).

3º - Orientar a reflexão e a acção das associações para a promoção e participação das comunidades locais, e para a resolução dos seus próprios problemas, enquanto condição de reforço da democracia e do exercício da cidadania.

4º - Dar corpo a estratégias de interacção com a Democracia Representativa e o Estado, de que possa resultar não apenas a requalificação destes como a sustentabilidade e o reconhecimento do papel social do Associativismo e da democracia Participativa.

5º - Possibilitar a autoconscienctização do movimento associativo nomeadamente no que se refere à exigência de surgir não só como promotor mas também como produtor de cidadania.

C. Algumas estratégias
Tendo em vista operacionalizar o movimento que nos propomos desencadear, definem-se como estratégias para o imediato:

- Adopção de um texto fundamentador e orientador do processo que funcione como um factor de congregação e implicação das associações, texto que se quer aberto à incorporação de contributos. Considera-se suficiente o documento saído da reunião de Coimbra.
- Aposta num envolvimento progressivo das associações, cativando as que desde já pareçam passíveis de aderir ao que se propõe.
- Recurso a espaços de reflexão e problematização de base local, admitindo-se, no entanto, diversidade de âmbito (local, sub-regional e regional).
- Esforço de alargamento para regiões onde se não conta ainda com associações aderente (Sul, Trás-os-Montes, Açores, Nordeste Alentejano).
- Publicitação e divulgação do movimento, no sentido de se proporcionar a sua visibilidade, para o que se considera um instrumento precioso a iniciativa havida de se organizar um blogue.
- Progressiva construção de um caderno reivindicativo do Associativismo.
- Necessidade imperativa de trazer ao movimento associações de diferentes domínios de intervenção (juventude, ambiente, saúde etc.)

D. Contributos para um “Pensatório”

As linhas de força explicitadas foram definidas a partir da reflexão produzida pelos presentes, reflexão que proporcionou igualmente a identificação de questões que o movimento deverá aprofundar no próprio processo do seu desenvolvimento. Nomeadamente:
- O entendimento necessário sobre o sentido de cidadania, em rotura com a tendência dominante para a reduzir à noção de civilidade;
- A clarificação da ideia de associativismo cidadão, tornando evidentes as formas que o assegurem, os obstáculos que se levantam e as condições e estratégias de promoção da participação;
- A percepção do papel da solidariedade no desenvolvimento da Democracia participativa e do caminho que a ela conduz;
- A/o desigual sensibilidade /entusiasmo que revelam os vários associativismos mobilizáveis para a problemática em aberto, realidade que nos remete para a necessidade de nos apercebermos das razões que levam certos sectores a não se implicar (como parece ser o caso dos jovens);
- O fosso que existe, e que importa vencer, entre o mundo e os valores da política e o mundo e os valores dos cidadãos comuns.
Fonte: http://pimentanegra.blogspot.com/



Director:Richard Attenborough Writer:John Briley Release Date:8 December 1982 (USA) more Genre:Biography / Drama more Tagline:His Triumph Changed The World Forever. more Plot Outline:Biography of Mahatma Gandhi, the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British through his philosophy of non-violent protest. more Plot Synopsis:This plot synopsis is empty. Add a synopsis Plot Keywords:Biopic / Political Activism / No Opening Credits / Asia / British Colonial more Awards:Won 8 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 16 nominations more User Comments:Beautiful Film

Slavoj Žižek - What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? Marxism 2009

Debate with Alex Callinicos at Marxism 2009

Slavoj Žižek, a formidable philospoher, theorist and cultural critic, Žižek’s work is subversive and rich in humour, dealing with subjects such as globalisation, fundamentalism and human rights. He lives and lectures in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he is a professor at the Institute of Sociology and he is also a professor at the European Graduate School.

Judge Richard Posner presented at the third annual conference on Law and Mind Sciences,The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences, which took place on March 7, 2009 at Harvard Law School.

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Posner clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. From 1963 to 1965, he was assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission. For the next two years he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. Prior to going to Stanford Law School in 1968 as Associate Professor, Judge Posner served as general counsel of the President's Task Force on Communications Policy. He first came to the Law School in 1969, and was Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law prior to his appointment in 1981 as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where he currently presides. He was the chief judge of the court from 1993 to 2000.

domingo, 27 de dezembro de 2009

How safe is the so-called "Green Genetic Engineering" really? Monsanto, the world's largest genetic engineering corporation, insists it is safe. Numerous studies claim genetically modified plants can cause allergies and cancers. However, commercial and political interests are determined to make genetic engineering the norm.

Consumo de Crianças : A Comercialização da Infância (2008)

Um alerta para a sociedade: as crianças são alvo preferencial das estratégias de marketing e já sofrem graves consequências do consumismo infantil. Esse é o tema central de Consuming Kids : The Commercialization of Childhood (em tradução livre, Crianças do Consumo -- A Comercialização da Infância), documentário lançado em Dezembro de 2008 pela MEF (Media Education Foudantion), nos EUA.

Juliet Schor, “Colossal Failure : The Output Bias of Market Economies”

With the disappointing Copenhagen Climate Summit just behind us and with the most consumption-heavy holiday before us, there is no better time to hear Juliet’s Schor’s analysis of, and insights regarding, how we are living and what we might do differently.

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies. Schor’s latest book is Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (2004). Born to Buy is both an account of marketing to children from inside the agencies and firms and an assessment of how these activities are affecting children.

Schor is author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (1992) and The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need. Schor is also the author of Do Americans Shop Too Much? (2000), co-editor of Consumer Society: A Reader (The New Press 2000) and co-editor of Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the Twenty-first Century (2002). She is currently working on issues of environmental sustainability and their relation to Americans’ lifestyles.

At the third annual conference on Law and Mind Sciences, which took place im March of 2009, Professor Schor’s remarkable presentation was titled “Colossal Failure: The Output Bias of Market Economies.“ Here’s the abstract:

Mainstream economic theory claims that a competitive market equilibrium delivers optimal levels of consumption and well-being. The reasoning relies on a number of invalid assumptions, including the crucial premise that individuals’ preference structures are independent. If consumption is social, as considerable social science research shows, then the market delivers excessive levels of consumption, too many hours of work, and too much ecological degradation. (This is in addition to the well-known argument that ecological goods are externalities.) In this talk I discuss the implications of what has become a profound market failure, and how we can rectify it.

Juliet Schor presented at the third annual conference on Law and Mind Sciences,The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences, which took place on March 7, 2009 at Harvard Law School.

She is a Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women's Studies.

City Club Presents Juliet Schor


Noted author and sociologist speaks on her new book "Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture" in this address to the City Club of San Diego.

Social Ecology Talk

At the end of summer of 2007 the Study group Social Ecology London came to the Pad Social Centre in Cardiff to give a public presentation. This is an audio recording of the text used at that presentation.

sábado, 26 de dezembro de 2009

  Social Innovation and Resilience: A Complexity Approach to Change and Transformation - Frances Westley

Part of the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation seminars. This talks was held in the Burgundy Room of the University Club at the University of Waterloo, February 10, 2009.
The Waterloo Applied Complexity and Innovation Seminars began in Fall 2008. Hosted by SiG@Waterloo, it is the first phase in the development of the Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation (WICI). Both the seminar series and WICI will integrate knowledge from the University’s faculties, departments, centres and schools to address the most pressing problems of the 21st century.

WICI is being created to facilitate transdisciplinary, collaborative research focused on promoting innovation and resilience within the complex adaptive systems at the core of human well being in the 21st century. In the coming decades, rapid systemic change on multiple levels will contribute to global problems, potentially inducing pandemics, violent meteorological events, and social and political unrest. The weakening of national public institutions, widening gaps between rich and poor, increasing scarcity of high-quality energy, and worsening damage to the global environment coupled with increased global connectivity will erode systemic resilience and boost the incidence of surprising and even catastrophic change.

The goals of the Institute are to:
• Develop a common, transdisciplinary language and methodology and an integrated, coherent theory for the study and pedagogy of complex adaptive systems; and,

• Apply these tools to stimulate rapid and beneficial innovation that will increase the resilience of complex adaptive systems worldwide – including social, political, economic, and ecological systems – that are currently under threat.

By creating a forum and providing a common language to facilitate rigorous multidisciplinary discussion, WICI is intended to attract leading researchers in applied complexity and put UW at the forefront of efforts to understand and address multi-scale, systems level problems.

Please click here to find out more information regarding the WICI seminars.

An introduction to the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the research conducted and the global challenges we face.

Professor Elinor Ostrom: "Resilient Social-Ecological Systems: How Do We Achieve Them?"

Professor Elinor Ostrom held on 29 May 2007 the seminar "Resilient Social-Ecological Systems: How Do We Achieve Them?"

Given rapid changes in large-scale human and biophysical processes — carbon emissions, population increase and migrations, over-harvesting and pollution leading to loss of species — many scientists are worried that many of the social-ecological systems existing today may collapse by the end of the 21st century. Is this an exaggerated worry?
 The thesis Ostrom will present is that the negative prognosis will indeed occur in many parts of the world if we do not worry a great deal about these processes and their consequences.

More important than simply worrying, however, is the development of a strong diagnostic method for analyzing the diversity of processes and the multiplicity of potential social and bio-physical solutions that are needed to cope effectively with these varied processes.

Past efforts to impose simple solutions to these complex problems have frequently led to worse outcomes than the problems addressed. Our need today is building a strong inter-disciplinary science of complex, multi-level systems that will enable over-time a matching of potential solutions to a careful diagnosis of specifi c problems embedded in a social-ecological context.

Ostrom will take some small steps toward this goal in her presentation.

About Elinor Ostrom
Elinor Ostrom is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science; Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of a number of prestigious awards.

Her books include Governing the Commons (1990); Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources (1994); The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations (2003); The Samaritan´s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (2005); Understanding Institutional Diversity (2005); and Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (2007).
Seminar with Frances Westley - Stockholm Resilience Centre

Seminar November 2009: Using resilience theory to frame research on social innovation.

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Seminar Frances Westley
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This seminar focuses predominantly on the social side of linked social-ecological systems.

Frances Westley is a member of the Stockholm Resilience Centre board. She is a renowned scholar and consultant in the areas of social innovation, strategies for sustainable development, middle management and strategic change, visionary leadership and inter-organizational collaboration.

She serves on numerous advisory boards including Resilience Alliance Board of Science, Emery University School of Ecology, World Conservation Union-Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the Canadian Biodiversity Institute, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, the Stockholm Resilience Center, the SARAS Institute and Evergreen Canada.

She is on the editorial board of several journals, including Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and Ecology and Society. She is the recipient of several awards including the Ulysses S. Seal award for innovation in conservation, and the Corporate Knights Award.

UCSD's Charles Zuker explores the neurobiology of taste, smell and vision.

sexta-feira, 25 de dezembro de 2009

Responsibility, autonomy and evaluations for the improvement of schools

Mats Ekholm, Professor and Head of the Research Group on Development and Socialisation in Schools at the University of Karlstad
Former Director General of Education for the Swedish Ministry of Education

Main idea

The Swedish education system is based on the concept of inclusive schooling (a single school for everyone), where each student follows a personal education plan. At the organisational level, it is a decentralised system in terms of both management and curricular content. Schools have considerable autonomy; however, they must meet certain objectives. To this end, different evaluations are carried out, the results of which are then published and used as the basis for improvement. Significant emphasis is also placed on training for teachers and school leaders.

The emergence of a new concept of education

Some 100 years ago, in Sweden, consideration was given to the need to change the classic concept of education, wherein a teacher teaches and students learn. Under the new concept of education, schools are no longer places to teach, but rather places to learn. Today’s schools revolve not around the teacher, but the student. Students have gone from being passive subjects who listen, learn and repeat to being individuals who think, opine and question.

The function of the teacher is to guide this learning.

Continue reading : http://www.debats.cat/eng/2009/ekholm/index.html

Influential linguist and political Activist Noam Chomsky discusses the properties, design and theories of language in this Hitchcock lecture presented at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley presents the The Charles M. and Martha Hitchcock Lecture series, featuring linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky examines biolinguistics - the study of relations between physiology and speech.

Why are humans the only species to have language? Is there something special about our brains? Are there genes that have evolved for language? In this talk, Jeff Elman, UCSD professor of cognitive science and co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, discusses some of the exciting new research that helps us understand what it is about human language that is so different from other animals' communication systems, and what about our biology might make language possible.

The Music of Language and the Language of Music

In our everyday lives, language and instrumental music are obviously different things. Neuroscientist and musician Ani Patel is the author of a recent, elegantly argued offering from Oxford University Press, "Music, Language and the Brain." Oliver Sacks calls Patel a "pioneer in the use of new concepts and technology to investigate the neural correlates of music." In Patel's presentation, he discusses some of the hidden connections between language and instrumental music that are being uncovered by empirical scientific studies.

The Music and the Brain Lecture Series is a cycle of lectures and special presentations that highlight an explosion of new research in the rapidly expanding field of "neuromusic." Programming is sponsored by the Library's Music Division and its Science, Technology and Business Division, in cooperation with the Dana Foundation.

Aniruddh Patel is the Esther J. Burnham Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute.

In this edition of "Grey Matters," Aniruddh Patel, of the Neurosciences Institute, discusses what music can teach us about the brain, and what brain science, in turn, can reveal about music.

While it's clear that stress can make depression worse, it's never been clear why this is. Dr. Owen Wolkowitz, a professor of psychiatry at UCSF, explores the biological connection between stress and depression.

Antonio Damasio. Brain and mind: from medicine to society. 1/2

Antonio Damasio-Brain and mind: from medicine to society. 2/2

Conferència "Brain and mind: from medicine to society", a càrrec d'Antonio Damasio, catedràtic de Neurociència i de Psicologia i premi Príncep d'Astúries de Ciències l'any 2005. Primera part.
Acte organitzat per la UOC i per la Conselleria de Salut del Govern de la Generalitat.
24 de maig de 2007, auditori del Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona.

Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense - UCTV

Drugs to improve soldiers abilities? To confuse enemies? Devices controlled by or controlling peoples minds? Will neuroscience provide the weapons of the future? Jonathan Moreno, nationally distinguished bioethicist, discusses the connections between national security and brain research and argues that there is a need to contemplate the ethical, political and social implications of these advances.

Mind Wars : Brain Research and National Defense


Drugs to improve soldiers abilities? To confuse enemies? Devices controlled by or controlling peoples minds? Will neuroscience provide the weapons of the future? Jonathan Moreno, nationally distinguished bioethicist, discusses the connections between national security and brain research and argues that there is a need to contemplate the ethical, political and social implications of these advances.

A militarização da neurociência 

por Hugh Gusterson

Já vimos esta estória antes: o Pentágono interessa-se por uma área de conhecimento da ciência em rápido desenvolvimento e o mundo muda para sempre. E não para melhor.

Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, o campo científico foi a física atómica. Receando que os nazis estivessem a trabalhar na bomba atómica, o governo dos EUA montou o seu próprio projecto relâmpago para lá chegar primeiro. O Projecto Manhatan era tão secreto que o Congresso não sabia o que estava a financiar e o vice-presidente Harry S. Truman não teve conhecimento dele até a morte de Roosevelt o ter tornado presidente. Nesta situação de extremo secretismo, não havia quase nenhum debate ético ou político sobre a Bomba antes de esta ser lançada em duas cidades por uma máquina burocrática em piloto automático.

Apesar das objecções de J. Robert Oppenheimer, alguns cientistas do Projecto Manhatan organizaram uma discussão sobre as implicações do "invento" para a civilização, pouco antes da bomba ser testada. Outra mão cheia distribuiu o Relatório Franck , contra o lançamento da bomba nas cidades sem uma demonstração prévia e uma advertência dos perigos duma corrida ao armamento atómico. Nenhuma das iniciativas teve efeito visível. Acabámos num mundo em que os EUA tinham duas cidades incineradas na sua consciência e a sua perseguição de domínio nuclear criou um mundo de matança nuclear e destruição mutuamente assegurada.

Hoje temos a oportunidade de fazer melhor. A ciência em questão agora não é a física, mas a neurociência, e a questão é se podemos controlar a sua militarização.

Segundo o fascinante e assustador novo livro de Jonathan Moreno, Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense , a Agência para Projectos de Investigação em Defesa Avançada tem financiado investigação nas seguintes áreas:

Interfaces cérebro-máquina ("próteses neuronais") que permitirão aos pilotos e soldados controlar armas tecnologicamente avançadas apenas com o pensamento.

"Robôs vivos" cujo movimento pode ser controlado através de implantes cerebrais. Esta tecnologia já foi testada com sucesso em "ratos-robô" e poderá levar a animais controlados remotamente para detecção de minas ou até a soldados controlados remotamente.

"Capacetes de retorno cognitivo" que permitem a monitorização remota do estado mental dos soldados.

Tecnologias de imagens por ressonância magnética ("impressões digitais cerebrais") para usar em interrogatórios ou em detecção (screening) de terroristas nos aeroportos. Bastante distante das questões sobre as suas taxas de erro, tais tecnologias levantariam a questão da possível violação da Quinta Emenda, contra a auto-incriminação.

Armas de vibração ou outros neuro-perturbadores que provocam a confusão nos processos de pensamento dos soldados inimigos.

"Neuro-armas" que usam agentes biológicos para excitar a libertação de neurotoxinas (a Convenção das Armas Biológicas e de Toxinas bane a acumulação destas armas para propósitos ofensivos, mas não para investigação "defensiva" dos seus mecanismos de acção).

Novas drogas que possibilitem aos soldados deixar de dormir durante dias, a apagar as memórias traumáticas, a suprimir o medo ou a reprimir as inibições psicológicas contra o homicídio.

O livro de Moreno é importante, uma vez que tem havido pouca discussão sobre as implicações éticas de tal investigação e a ciência está num ponto suficientemente precoce para que possa ainda ser redireccionada em resposta à discussão pública.

Se for deixada em piloto automático, contudo, não é difícil ver onde tudo isto nos vai levar. Durante a Guerra-fria, medos infundados de uma diferença de capacidade entre as potências, ao nível da posse de mísseis e de técnicas controlo da mente, excitaram um sobre-desevolvimento de armas nucleares e a realização não-ética de experiências involuntárias em sujeitos humanos com LSD. Do mesmo modo, podemos antecipar futuros medos das diferenças de desenvolvimento das "neuro-armas" e esses medos justificarão uma corrida precipitada à investigação (que provavelmente envolverão experiências humanas não-éticas) que apenas estimulará os nossos inimigos a fazer o mesmo.

Os líderes militares e científicos que pagam as "neuro-armas" argumentarão que os EUA são o único país nobre a quem poderão ser confiadas tais tecnologias, enquanto outros países (excepto alguns aliados) não terão esse direito. Vão também argumentar que estas tecnologias salvarão vidas e que o engenho dos EUA irá permitir dominar outros países na corrida às "neuro-armas". Quando for tarde demais para voltar atrás, irão declarar surpresa pelo facto de outros países se terem actualizado tão depressa e por uma iniciativa que deveria assegurar o domínio americano, ter ao invés levado a um mundo onde toda a gente esteja ameaçada pelos soldados químicos e o "robô-terrorismo" saído do Blade Runner.

Enquanto isso, cientistas individuais dirão a si próprios que se eles não fizerem esta investigação outros a farão. O financiamento da investigação será suficientemente dominado por aqueles que concedem as autorizações militares, o que provocará que alguns cientistas tenham de escolher entre aceitar o financiamento militar ou desistir da sua escolha de campo de investigação. E o muito real uso dual destas novas tecnologias (o mesmo implante cerebral pode criar um soldado robô ou reabilitar um doente que sofra de Parkinson) irá permitir aos cientistas dizerem a si próprios que estão "realmente" a trabalhar em tecnologias da saúde para melhorar o destino humano e que o financiamento só por acaso vem do Pentágono.

Mas terá de ser mesmo assim? Apesar dos problemas óbvios de controlo de um campo de investigação que é muito menos capital-intensivo e susceptível a regimes de verificação internacional do que a investigação de armas nucleares, é possível que uma prolongada conversação internacional entre neurocientistas, especialistas em ética e em segurança possam prevenir o futuro distópico acima esboçado.

Infelizmente, no entanto, Moreno (p.163) cita Michael Moodie, um antigo director do Instituto de Controlo de Armas Químicas e Biológicas, quando este diz "As atitudes dos que trabalham nas ciências da vida contrastam fortemente com as da comunidade nuclear. Físicos, desde o início da era nuclear, incluindo Albert Einstein, compreenderam os perigos da energia atómica e a necessidade de participar activamente na gestão destes riscos. Os sectores das ciências da vida estão a atrasar-se a este respeito. Muitos menosprezam a reflexão sobre o risco potencial do seu trabalho".

Já é tempo de começar a conversar! O original encontra-se no Bulletin of Atomic Scientists . Tradução de ACN.
Este artigo encontra-se em http://resistir.info/ .

quinta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2009

Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy

The retired Professor of Physics from the University of Colorado in Boulder examines the arithmetic of steady growth, continued over modest periods of time, in a finite environment. These concepts are applied to populations and to fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal.

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Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy (length 58): stream
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Al Bartlett interview from Blind Spot documentary movie (2008).

From the DVD cover: "Blind Spot is a documentary that illustrates the current energy crisis that our way of life is facing. Whatever the measures of greed, wishful thinking, neglect or ignorance, we have put ourselves at a crossroad which offers two paths, both with dire consequences. If we continue to burn fossil fuels we will choke the life out of the planet and if we don't our way of life will collapse."

Growth Busters: How Do We Become a Sustainable Civilization?

Trailer for a documentary examining the cultural barriers that so far keep us from becoming a sustainable civilization.

For more information and to join the cause, visit http://www.growthbusters.com/

quarta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2009

David Korten speaking in Portland Oregon from his most recent book, "Agenda for a New Economy- Why Wall Street Can't Be Fixed and How to Replace It."