Friday, February 22, 2008

Recent rash of earthquakes in the eastern Med explained

" ... "But I know of another way to prevent earthquakes; the Gemara mentions a number of causes of earthquakes, one of which is homosexuality, which the Knesset legitimizes," Benizri said.

An earthquake registering 5.3 on the Richter Scale was felt by residents across Israel at 12:36 pm Friday. The trembling lasted for 19 seconds and shook structures in many major towns and cities.

[ ... ]

Mike Hammel, chairman of the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association commented on Benizri's remarks saying "it is sad that a religious MK in Israel doesn't think earthquakes are God-made.

"On the other hand, I suppose we should be flattered he attributes us with such magical powers," he added. ... "

~ Full article ~

(Avant News) Study: American Celebrities Now Outnumber Fans

"... Andy Warhol's famous phrase, “In the future, everyone will be fat and slightly stupid,” correctly prognosticated two alarming social trends that have led to a sharp rise in the incidences of heart disease, diabetes, right-wing talk radio and other obesity-related maladies among the ever-larger American populace. What the eccentric 1960s pop artist failed to predict, however, is another trend that now has sociological statisticians scratching their unkempt scalps: the remarkable rise in short-term celebrity status among citizens from all walks of life ... "

~ Read on... ~

Sex & Porn Succumb to Outsourcing

"...Many in the adult industries believe this to be an unfair cause of the American economy straining and marginalizing their products from the market. The “right wingers,” “Catholics,” and “conservatives” are often blamed for trying to cover up indecency, but when one takes into account the filth and immoral (mixed sex and mixed race) porn produced that degrades Christian America, who is the real criminal? The industry categorically believes “low paid sex slaves” of Asia and Latin America are true victims and that President Bush should be subsidizing the industry as well as putting tariffs on adult imports or products featuring anything but the norm.

Don Bareilly, senior economist at the Oregon Center for Economic Studies, states otherwise: “The [porn] industry faltering is not the fault of an economic recession, but happens to be one of the causes for it.” Bareilly concluded that the “unregulated affairs and actions” of the industry allow for marketers to target audiences and consumers with varying tastes. For example, the prostitutes of Latin America cost less than an American prostitute because wages differ on supply and demand as well as the GDP of a nation. ... "

~ Read more... ~

The Philosopher's Disease

Money and other Imaginary Things

I was feeling the vastness of the universe in comparison to my infinitesimally small self.
How can what I do make any difference, matter at all, equal anything other than - nothing - when put next to the macro in which we live?
How can my/our suffering/joy mean a goddamned thing when put up against such gargantuan proportions and glories?

It's the Philosopher's Disease - to think long and hard about things beyond our full cognition and become so overwhelmed that we react with depression over the whole damned thing.

Another Damn Melancholic Philosopher

For centuries philosophers have considered themselves melancholics. Some of these melancholics, such as J.S. Mill, considered their dark moods as a catalyst to developing empathy and compassion for others. Some melancholics, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegard or Martin Heidegger, believed that suffering offered unique opportunities for self-creation.

PROGRESSIVE LOGIC: Framing A Unified Field Theory of Values For Progressives

Once competitive egos organize around rival ideas and personalities, all contact with the unifying field is lost. In Zen this is called "The Philosopher's Disease."

Karl R. Popper (1902-1994) on the Philosophers' Disease

[L]et us look at the case for the prosecution against philosophy. Many philosophers, and among them some of the greatest, have not done too well. Even Plato, the greatest, deepest, and most gifted of all philosophers, had an outlook on human life which I find repulsive and indeed horrifying. Yet he was not only a great philosopher and the founder of the greatest professional school of philosophy, but a great and inspired poet; and he wrote, among other beautiful works, The Apology of Socrates.

What ailed him, and so many professional philosophers after him, was that, in stark contrast to Socrates, he believed in the élite: in the Kingdom of Philosophy. While Socrates demanded that the statesman should be wise, that is, aware of how little he knows, Plato demanded that the wise, the learned philosophers, should be absolute rulers. Ever since Plato, megalomania has been the philosophers' most widespread occupational disease.

My Manic Monday

I slept little. I found myself waking up at all hours of the night, sometimes on three or four separate occasions, with thoughts rushing, churning, threshing, suffering the philosopher's disease-a kind of insomnia: too much thinking about thinking. I burned with ideas; a dense tangle of thoughts enveloped me.

Paracelsus : The Philosopher's Stone Made Flesh

Paracelsus held a different view, believing that disease 'was local in nature and directly related to bodily malfunctions which were essentially chemical in nature. (Debus) Disease was caused by agents external to the body, the causes were to be found in the mineral world and in the air, and a disease is 'determined by a specific agent foreign to the body, which takes possession of one of its parts, imposing its own rules on form and function and thereby threatening life.' (Paget)

"The Unexpected Uselessness of Philosophy"

To this day, most philosophers suffer from Plato's disease: the assumption that reality fundamentally consists of abstract essences best described by words or geometry. (In truth, reality is largely a probabilistic affair best described by statistics.) Today's postmodern philosophers deny the very existence of science, nature and truth, largely because their favourite verbal abstraction of "equality" is undermined by the brute statistical reality of human biological differences. The philosopher Richard Rorty recently informed us in Atlantic Monthly that " 'The homosexual,' 'the Negro,' and 'the female' are best seen not as inevitable classifications of human beings but rather as inventions that have done more harm than good." Therefore, according to Rorty, many deconstructionists "go on to suggest that quarks and genes probably are [inventions] too." You have to be as eminent a philosopher as Rorty to believe that the category of "the female" is a mere social convention. Deconstructionism is the result of philosophers being shocked to learn that reality is not Platonic (e.g., races are no more sharply defined than are extended families) and thus deciding to give up believing in reality rather than in Platonism.

Fortunately, one school of philosophy has actually taught us some valuable lessons over the centuries: the anti-abstract British tradition of Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon and David Hume, with its emphasis on realism, common sense and the scientific method. One of the last of this great line was the blunt-spoken Australian David Stove. Roger Kimball has collected the late philosopher's often hilarious and always politically impious essays in a new anthology titled Against the Idols of the Age.

Stove simply shreds his fellow philosophers. He turns his flamethrower on those "absolutely effortless pseudo-discoveries that philosophers make, and on which their fame rests." For instance, "Plato's discovery of 'universals' went as follows: 'It is possible for something to be a certain way and for something else to be the same way. So, there are universals!' (Tumultuous applause, which lasts 2,400 years.)"

Disease, illness, sickness, health, healing and wholeness: exploring some elusive concepts

Concepts such as disease and health can be difficult to define precisely. Part of the reason for this is that they embody value judgments and are rooted in metaphor. The precise meaning of terms like health, healing and wholeness is likely to remain elusive, because the disconcerting openness of the outlook gained from experience alone resists the reduction of first-person judgments (including those of religion) to third-person explanations (including those of science).

Philosophers and Suicide

...Here is a brief list…

# 435 B.C.E. According to legend, Empedocles leapt to his death into the crater of Etna.
# 399 B.C.E. Socrates, condemned to death for corrupting the young, drank hemlock amongst his friends. The events are described in Plato's dialogue known as 'Phaedo'. In the 'Crito', Socrates is offered a chance to escape but refuses.
# 338 B.C.E. According to legend, Isocrates starved himself to death.
# 52 B.C.E. Lucretius is alleged to have killed himself after being driven mad by taking a love potion.
# 65 Seneca was forced to commit suicide after falling out with Emperor Nero.
# 1903 Otto Weininger committed suicide at the age of 23.
# 1940 Walter Benjamin committed suicide with poison at the Spanish-French border, after attempting to flee from the Nazis.
# 1943 Simone Weil starved herself to death.
# 1954 Alan Turing is believed to have committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple.
# 1978 Kurt Gödel starved himself to death by refusing to eat for fear of being poisoned.
# 1979 Evald Ilyenkov committed suicide.
# 1983 Arthur Koestler committed joint suicide with his third wife, Cynthia, by taking an overdose of drugs. He suffered from Parkinson's disease and lukemia.
# 1994 Sarah Kofman, French philosopher, committed suicide on Nietzsche's birthday.
# 1994 Guy Debord, suffering from diseases brought about by excessive alcohol consumption, shot himself in his cottage in Champot.
# 1994 David Stove committed suicide after a painful struggle with disease.
# 1995 Gilles Deleuze committed suicide by jumping out of his fourth-story apartment window.

Interestingly, these cases seem to be concentrated around the ancients and 20th century philosophers.  Obviously, the ancients did not stigmatise suicide in the same way as the Christian tradition; in fact, it was often seen as somthing supremely noble or rational.  Many of the modern suicides of philosophers are associated with the effects of world war or mental illness.

On Gout (Philosopher's Disease)

Gout was the first form of arthritis recognized to be caused by
the deposition of crystals (urate) in the joints and
periarticular tissues. The term "gout" is derived from the Latin
"gutta", a drop. It is applied to crystal-deposit arthritis
because of the false belief in ancient times that the disease was
caused by drops of bad "humor". The term "humor", in turn, refers
to the ancient Greek theory of four body humors: blood, yellow
bile, black bile, and phlegm.

The term "gout" is currently defined as a disorder of purine
metabolism, occurring especially in men, characterized by a
raised by variable blood uric acid level and severe recurrent
acute arthritis of sudden onset resulting from deposition of
crystals of sodium urate in connective tissues and articular
cartilage. Most cases of gout are inherited, resulting from a
variety of abnormalities of purine metabolism.

From the Philosophy Forum

Gray asphalt wrote:
I think that I am changing models. It seems possible
to change models quite a bit. My models of life.

Sir Frederick:
Maybe you have the philosopher's disease.

John Wilkins:
Syphillis, like Nietzsche?

Human Behavior is Unconsciously Controlled

Until proven otherwise, why not assume that consciousness does not play a role in human behavior? Although it may seem radical on first hearing, this is actually the conservative position that makes the fewest assumptions. The null position is an antidote to philosopher's disease, the inappropriate attribution of rational, conscious control over processes that may be irrational and unconscious. The argument here is not that we lack consciousness, but that we over-estimate the conscious control of behavior.

Comment to 'Toward a Post Cold-War Political Economy'

Wittgenstein once said that "the philosopher's disease is a one-sided diet of examples"--by which he meant to refer to the common practice of beginning with one or two paradigmatic intuitions about phenomena like meaning, or the right, and then building whole theories around them, without proper sensitivity to how our pre-theoretical intuitions change in a host of other cases. This impulse--he thought--was in all of us, and it can influence our attempts to understand political and economic legitimacy as well. Wittgenstein thought this made for bad philosophy.

Salvation By Paradox: On Zen And Zen-like Thought

What I am saying suggests the unease felt by many philosophers at the uncomprehending use of abstractions. As we know, Wittgenstein was particularly uneasy at the use of abstractions of the philosophical kind, which brought on, he thought, a special kind of philosopher's disease. Speaking in his name, his disciple, Renford Bambrough, insists that the normal 'yes-no' or 'either-or' standard of reasoning may not work well in philosophy. That is, it may happen that a certain statement or proposition, p, and its contradictory, not-p, may both be misleading. We may then try to say what we need without either making the crucial-seeming statement or contradicting it.

An Experiment with the Philosophical Aphorism

A philosopher's disease. To make the average person confused, that is - to make everything into a mystery. Not all things are riddles, but a philosopher tries to make them so, and in so doing becomes an ideologist for the system.

The Philosophers Disease!

The philosopher always had a very cerebral response, even as his lack of sleep and other monastery imposed factors began to weigh heavily upon him. Eventually the head of the monastery told him loudly and firmly that he had The Philosophers Disease! So it would seem that I have the philosophers disease. Dis-ease. Yes.

Hinduism & Buddhism (Bill Moyers with Huston Smith)

Smith studied Zen Buddhism in Japan. He wanted to enter a Zen monastery to undergo the training of the Zen monks. But he didn't realize what it was he was asking. The point of Zen is to cultivate a very rarified state of awareness and it is not easy to make it into these monasteries. To put a westerner into this is considered a major distraction for the monks. But Smith was accepted and at the beginning of his training, was given the third standard Koan:

A monk asked Joshu (a master back in China) does a dog have a Buddha nature? The master answered “Mu” (which means “no” in Japanese).

Smith had to go and contemplate this for 24 hours.

Every Buddhist would know that the Buddha said even grass has a Buddha nature. The dog is on a higher scale of being than grass. How can it be that the grass has a Buddha nature but a dog doesn't? So Smith fiddled with the definition of Buddha nature and returned an answer based on this fiddling. And Smith was sent back for another 24 hours to come up with a better answer.

Smith said he came up with an even more ingenious answer, but was sent back for another 24 hours. And when he approached the Roshi for the third time, the Roshi bellowed at him before he even had a chance to get the answer out of his mouth: “you have the philosophers disease.” He softened a little bit and told Smith, “There is nothing wrong with philosophy. I have a masters degree in philosophy myself and from one of the better universities. But philosophy deals with reason and reason can only work with the experience that it has to work with. Now, you obviously have the reason. What you do not have is the experience. Put reason aside and go for the experience.”

Crisis Consciousness in Contemporary Philosophy  by András Gedö

Crisis consciousness grips contemporary bourgeois philosophy in two senses: as an experience of the crisis of philosophy and as a reflection of the philosophy of crisis. While the various currents of bourgeois thinking differ considerably in describing the development and disease of philosophy and see the symptoms, origins, and essence of their own particular crisis differently, the awareness of crisis is common to logical and linguistic positivism, neo-pragmatism and phenomenology, critical rationalism and hermeneutic idealism. This awareness, therefore, presents the general frame for the many conflicting varieties of current bourgeois thought. One sign of crisis—although superficial and partly misleading—is the "process of mutual alienation and growing lack of communication among philosophers." First the possibility of discussing differences of opinion and then even of understanding one another disappear, until finally, a situation arises in which there is not even "a connection of intention . . . between two philosophers. The one not only finds the other's statements and argumentation incomprehensible, but the other's type of approach and the reason for it become a riddle." Stegmüller, who looks at this process of disintegration from the inside, from the viewpoint of late-bourgeois philosophy, declares, not without resignation, that "this process can no longer be reversed." However, this disintegration grows out of general features common to the various schools of contemporary bourgeois philosophy. In its totality, what Stegmüller describes as "the current philosophy" is drawn "into the whirlpool of the crisis of our culture." "Never before in history has there been as great and dominating a consciousness as today of the enigmatic and questionable quality of the world."

Vibrational medicine - the comeback

The authors may not have considered this is not new (search 'Rife') but, nevertheless, it is progress.

" ... Scientists may one day be able to destroy viruses in the same way that opera singers presumably shatter wine glasses. New research mathematically determined the frequencies at which simple viruses could be shaken to death.

"The capsid of a virus is something like the shell of a turtle," said physicist Otto Sankey of Arizona State University. "If the shell can be compromised [by mechanical vibrations], the virus can be inactivated." ... "

~ From New Way to Kill Viruses: Shake Them to Death ~

Kissinger: 'Europeans Hide Behind the Unpopularity of President Bush'

" ... SPIEGEL: What does Europe not understand? Paris, London and Berlin do not see the "war on terror" as a common challenge for the West?

Kissinger: I don't like the term "war on terror" because terror is a method, not a political movement. We are in a war against radical Islam that is trying to overthrow the moderate elements in the Islamic world and which is fundamentally challenging the secular structures of Western societies. All this is happening at a difficult period in European history.

SPIEGEL: Difficult why?

Kissinger: The major events in European history were conducted by nation-states which developed over several hundred years. There was never a question in the mind of European populations that the state was authorized to ask for sacrifices and that the citizens had a duty to carry it out. Now the structure of the nation-state has been given up to some considerable extent in Europe. And the capacity of governments to ask for sacrifices has diminished correspondingly.

SPIEGEL: Thirty years ago, you asked for one phone number that could be used to call Europe.

Kissinger: ... and it happened. The problem now is: Nation-states have not just given up part of their sovereignty to the European Union but also part of their vision for their own future. Their future is now tied to the European Union, and the EU has not yet achieved a vision and loyalty comparable to the nation-state. So, there is a vacuum between Europe's past and Europe's future. ... "

~ Full interview - or here ~

Mythical America, R.I.P.

" ... Of course, no one wants to admit that there is more than one version of America, because , well, that would be un-American. And being a good American means that you only subscribe to one version of the USA, Mythical America. That is the America, we have been told, that always puts the interests of the poor and downtrodden first. That is the America that would never strike first, and is a good world citizen, never polluting or using more than its share of the world's resources. As far as countries go, Mythical America is as good as it gets. Like they say in Texas, "It ain't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than what's in second place." Wrong, bucko! Your version of America is not only dead and gone, it never even existed.

[ ... ]

Thanks to the Internet, Free Americans are now finding one another and making connections at a rate unforeseen by the fascist control-freaks. Every day, countless numbers of people are putting another piece of the puzzle in place and are beginning to figure out what is really going on. Every day, small groups of like-minded Free Americans are meeting in every community in this land to try and figure out what they can do to begin to take back the reins of government that were stolen from them by the looters in Washington. ... "

~ Read more... ~

The Great Global Power Shift: It's Already Here

" ... The American disinformation regime - a hermetically sealed "bubble" - convinces its citizens that the U.S. is and forever will be supreme on the planet. Ignorance may be bliss, but cannot alter the facts of rapid U.S. decline, a spiral that is the inevitable "blowback" of 60 years of undeserved, coerced, and artificially constructed dominance. The tools and traps that were designed to ensnare the planet in the U.S. corporate/military web, have instead led to American shrinkage in all things except military might. But weapons of war cannot replace a bulldozed manufacturing base, or reinvigorate a service sector whose services are increasingly unwanted, or repair a U.S.-led financial system that is terminally choked with worthless paper "instruments." The West-East, North-South shift is well underway - whether Americans know it or not. ... "

~ Read on... ~

California court bars unmasking of Web critic

A California appeals court on Wednesday said an anonymous Internet poster does not have to reveal his identity after being sued for making "scathing verbal attacks" against executives at a Florida company on a Yahoo message board.

~ Read more... ~

Ram Dass on Huxley

" ... As part of that ritual of initiation, they were brought into the presence of Shiva, the Nataraj, the Dancing Shiva, and with their moksha-opened eyes they got a chance to taste through that the process of the universe of creation and decay, of darkness and of light, they were able to have the experience that prepared them when Pala at the end is overrun by Rendang-Lobo, to be ready as the Tibetans, to go out into the world, to meet the state trooper, and to convey the unconditional love to another person, who knows how that web works? Who knows? ... "

~ From Brave New World  or Island  - The World Must Decide ~

HAARP high frequency active auroral research project

Related videos :

Nick Begich: Angels Don't Play This HAARP - Advances in Tesla Technology

This documentay is a visual accompaniment to the book by Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning

The U.S. Military's first target is the electrojet: a river of electricity that flows thousands of miles through the sky and down into the polar icecap. The electrojet will become a vibrating artificial antenna for sending electromagnetic radiation raining down on the earth. The U.S. military can then "X-ray" the earth and talk to submarines. But as you will soon discover, there are more sinsister uses to which HAARP can be put.

Angels Still Don't Play This HAARP

The sequel to 'Angels Don't Play This HAARP'.

BLUE CHILL - Angels Don't Play This Haarp



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