Recent Articles

Spectator Democracy

From a mass emailing I received from Common Dreams:

In a 2012 interview with Bill Moyers, media scholar Marty Kaplan said, “The notion of spectator democracy has, I think, extended to include the need to divert the country from the master narrative, which is the influence and importance and imperviousness to accountability of large corporations and the increasing impotence of the public through its agency, the government, to do anything about it. So the more diversion and the more entertainment, the less news, the less you focus on that story, the better off it is.

Bill Moyers responded: “Are you saying that the people who run this political media business, the people who fund it, want to divert the public’s attention from their economic power? Is that what you’re saying?”

Kaplan responded: “Yes. Let us fight about you know, whether this circus or that circus is better than each other, but please don’t focus on the big change which has happened in this country, which is the absolute triumph of these large, unaccountable corporations. This is about as dismal and effective a conspiracy, out in plain sight, as there possibly could be.”

February 19, 2015 | By | Reply More

How to moonwalk

You never know when you’ll need to moonwalk. Here is how to do it:

February 16, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

Daniel Dennett explains how to disagree.

Daniel Dennett offers 4 steps for how to disagree. Great advice for discussing politics and many other topics:

You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

February 10, 2015 | By | Reply More

The biggest difference between good science and religion

The difference between good science and any religion. Good science is proudly self-critical. The Edge 2014 annual question, answered by almost 200 writers, is this: “Ideas change, and the times we live in change. Perhaps the biggest change today is the rate of change. What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?”

February 10, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

Battle for the Internet – Countdown.

February 10, 2015 | By | Reply More

John Oliver describes Big Pharma marketing to doctors and patients

John Oliver describes Big Pharma marketing to doctors and patients

February 9, 2015 | By | Reply More

America’s political prisoners

Lee Camp reviews some of the political prisons of the United States.

February 7, 2015 | By | Reply More

Nation of skimmers rather than readers

From the Washington Post, we learn that we are re-shaping our brains to accommodate the Internet.

Humans, they warn, seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia.

February 5, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

Claim by Editor of Major German Newspaper: CIA planted pro-war stories

Here’s an excerpt from this stunning but unsurprising admission:

Becoming the first credentialed, well-known media insider to step forward and state publicly that he was secretly a “propagandist,” an editor of a major German daily has said that he personally planted stories for the CIA. Saying he believes a medical condition gives him only a few years to live, and that he is filled with remorse, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte . . . said . . . he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name.

February 3, 2015 | By | Reply More