Thursday, May 21, 2009

'Perhaps a group of academics will one day publish a Black Book of Capitalism'

Why Capitalism Shouldn’t Be Saved by John Sanbonmatsu (Tikkun)

Last September, after the United States Treasury injected half a trillion dollars into the monetary system to unthaw the frozen U.S. banking system, Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, privately informed members of Congress "that the financial system had come perilously close to collapse." Only prompt action by the Treasury and Fed, he told them, had prevented "disaster" and "full-scale panic." The following month, while Iceland teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and Wall Street suffered its worst one-week stock market decline ever, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, candidly told reporters that the world economy had indeed been poised "on the edge of an abyss."

Since last summer, in fact, the governments of the leading industrialized countries have been engaged in an epic behind-the-scenes struggle to keep the global financial and banking system viable. So far, Germany has put up $679 billion to stabilize its banking system; Britain has spent the equivalent of one fifth of its national GDP. Meanwhile, by November of last year, the United States had either spent or assumed financial obligations totaling $7.8 trillion to stabilize the deteriorating financial sector-a staggering amount equal to half of this country's annual GDP. But even that has not been enough to stanch the blood of capitalism's hemorrhagic fever, which has raged on into the new year. In February-even as President Barack Obama (the national candidate of "hope" only months before) was bluntly warning of "catastrophe" if Congress failed to approve his $700 billion economic stimulus package-his new head of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, announced a new plan committing the United States to an additional $2.1 trillion to stabilize the system. The Dow Jones plummeted an additional 4.6 percent on the news.

As of spring 2009, the leading capitalist states in Europe, North America, and Asia have thus either spent outright, or exposed themselves to financial risks totaling, well over $10 trillion-a figure so vast that one searches in vain for any relevant historical parallel. By comparison, the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II cost a mere $9.3 billion (in constant 2005 dollars). According to the United Nations, it would cost $195 billion to eradicate most poverty-related deaths in the Third World, including deaths from malaria, from malnutrition, and from AIDS. So the amount of money committed by policymakers to save capitalism from itself is already fifty times greater than what it would take to save tens of millions of human beings from terrible daily suffering and premature death. If the wealthy nations instead invested that $10 trillion into the economies, health systems, and infrastructure of the Third World, rather than transferring it to the world's richest banks, private financial institutions, and investors, they could usher in a new epoch in the history of the species-a world community in which every human being would be guaranteed a livable life.

That the financial bailout is a colossal misdirection and waste of public resources, however, is not the most scandalous thing about it. What is truly unconscionable is that all this money is being spent to prop up capitalism itself-a mode of economic and social life that has corrupted and hollowed out our democracies, reduced great swaths of the planet's ecosystem to polluted rubble, condemned hundreds of millions of human beings to wretchedness and exploitation, and enslaved billions of other animals in farms that resemble concentration camps.

Why Bail Out a Toxic Ship? Capitalism Leads to Poverty and Ecological Disaster

Capitalism is rightly credited with having unleashed enormous forces of productivity and technology. But it has also reduced much of the world to ruin and squalor. After four centuries of triumph as the dominant mode of global development, capitalism has furnished for itself a world in which one out of two human beings lives on $2 per day or less, and more than one in three still lacks access to a toilet. Most children in the world never complete their education, and most will live out their lives without dependable medical care. As the world economic crisis deepens, already deplorable conditions in the Third World will only deteriorate further.

Meanwhile, our planet is dying. Or rather, its flesh and blood creatures are. At the height of the financial crisis last year, a Swiss conversation group released a study showing that as many as one-third of known mammals on earth face imminent extinction, perhaps in a matter of decades, as a result of habitat destruction and mass killing by human beings. Yet not one of the hundreds of bloggers, news analysts, or politicians at the time thought to connect the dots between this and similar warnings of mass species extinctions and the dominant mode of development, capitalism. Yet it is just this metastatic, expansionist system that has imperiled human civilization and the natural world alike.

So severely has capitalism disrupted the world's climate (the petroleum economy, let us not forget, has been the main pillar of capitalist industrial development for the last 100 years) that even if all carbon emissions were halted tomorrow, scientists now believe that the earth's atmosphere would warm for another 1,000 years. Hundreds of millions of people, and billions of other animals, will be displaced by rising sea levels, or will starve or suffer malnutrition as a result of flooding, drought, and fire, or else will die from illnesses caused by new plague vectors opened up by sudden climate change and a gravely weakened world health system.

In 1997, a group of European academics published a book called The Black Book of Communism, in which they documented the brutality and mass killings committed by totalitarian Communist regimes in the course of the twentieth century. Perhaps a group of academics will one day publish a Black Book of Capitalism. They should. For when a mode of life that subordinates all human and spiritual values to the pursuit of private wealth persists for centuries, there is a lengthy accounting to be made. Among the innumerable sins that have followed in capitalism's long train, we might mention, for example, the hidden indignities and daily humiliations of the working class and the poor; the strangulation of daily life by corporate bureaucracies such as the HMOs, the telecom companies, and the computer giants; the corruption of art and culture by money; the destruction of eroticism by pornography; the corruption of higher education by corporatization; the ceaseless pitching of harmful products to our children and infants; the obliteration of the natural landscape by strip malls, highways, and toxic dumps; the abuse of elderly men and women by low-paid workers in squalid for-profit institutions; the fact that millions of poor children are sold into sexual slavery, and millions of others are orphaned by AIDS; the fact that tens of millions of women turn to prostitution to pay their bills; and the suffering of the 50 million to 100 million vertebrates that die in scientific laboratories each year. We might also highlight the dozens of wars and civil conflicts that are directly or indirectly rooted in the gross material disparities of the capitalist system-the bloody conflicts that simmer along from month to month, year to year, as though as natural and immutable as the waxing and waning of the moon-in places like Darfur, Rwanda, Congo, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Iraq, where millions of wretchedly poor people die either at the hands of other wretchedly poor people, or from the bombs dropped from the automated battle platforms of the last surviving superpower. Capitalism is responsible for all this, and more besides. Yet perhaps its most destructive feature-the one that in many ways stands as the greatest single impediment to our own efforts to find a practical and creative solution to the present crisis-is capitalism's fundamental antagonism toward democracy.

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Dr. Amiri Baraka recites 'Ugly'

The vague revolution

Spying in the UK: GCHQ awards Lockheed Martin £200m contract, promises to "Master the Internet"

From Antifascist Calling:

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency's "kissin' cousin" across the pond, has awarded a £200m ($300m U.S.) contract for an internet panopticon.

American defense and security giant Lockheed Martin and BAE subsidiary Detica (yet another firm specializing "in collecting, managing and exploiting information to reveal actionable intelligence"), snagged the contract The Register and The Sunday Times revealed May 3.

According to The Register the new system, called Mastering the Internet (MTI) "will include thousands of deep packet inspection probes inside communications providers' networks, as well as massive computing power at the intelligence agency's Cheltenham base, 'the concrete doughnut'."

Lockheed Martin and Detica aren't talking and have referred all inquiries on the MTI contract to GCHQ. ComputerWeekly however, reported May 6 that Detica, a firm with close ties to MI5 and MI6, "has data mining software that can detect links between individuals based on their contacts with sometimes widely separated organisations."

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Scottish civil servants in Astroshamanism course row

Government staff get courses
SCOTTISH Government workers are being treated to courses in new age "astroshamanism", papercraft and Tai Chi, it is reported today.

More than 60 classes are being laid on for civil servants at Victoria Quay, St Andrew's House and Saughton House this week.

Other lessons included in the Learning at Work week include light-aircraft flying, adventure motor-cycling and line dancing.

Trance 'n Mental by Andrew Nicoll (The Scottish Sun)

Top civil servants are being treated to wacky courses in new-age meditation while the hard-pressed taxpayer toils during the credit crunch, The Scottish Sun can reveal.

Government chiefs are splashing out on classes in ASTROSHAMANISM — which merges Mystic Meg-style zodiac astrology with Asian witch-doctor shape-shifting mumbo jumbo.

So while the public are hit by very real job losses and mortgage misery, penpushers will be drumming and chanting themselves into a trance to shake off the “illusion” of reality.

Last night Matthew Elliott, chief exec of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “This is a crazy way to spend taxpayers' hard-earned money.

[ ... ]

Labour Whip Michael McMahon also blasted the programme of free activities.

He said: “When everyone in Scotland is doing their best to get through the current global downturn you'd think that the senior civil servants behind this daft scheme would have thought again and stopped this dead in its tracks.

“When the Government should be tightening its belt this kind of money-wasting mumbo-jumbo does not reflect well on the bosses that passed this scheme or indeed the Scottish Government.

Government insiders ARE angered and embarrassed by the programme — but one aide claimed there is no cost to the taxpayer. He said: “People have been asked to volunteer their time.

“If they know how to paint, they have been asked to give painting classes. If astroshamanism is their thing, they can get on with it.”

He added: “It's all in their lunch hours so there's absolutely no cost to the taxpayer.”


But when it was pointed out that the courses start at 9am and go on throughout the day, he stammered: “Well there's flexi-time. They can catch up later.”

Workers at all Government offices — including the three main sites of Victoria Quay, St Andrew's House and Saughton House — can take part. The transcendental meditation-style astroshamanism is available to the 2,000 workforce at Victoria Quay.

Emails sent to Government staff described it as “a system of healing and empowerment that uses shamanic techniques in conjunction with experiential astrology to enable people to develop connection with their inner sources of strength and achieve balance and harmony in their life”.

Its top guru is Franco Santoro, a member of the Findhorn Foundation eco village in Moray.

He developed it after “a transformational experience” in 1976 during a “vision quest” to Scotland.

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William Rodriguez and Annie Machon ex MI5 whistle blower

In 2007 I traveled across Europe with William Rodriguez and Annie Machon while filming my Feature length documentary The Elephant In The Room. We traveled across the south west of England, France, Holland and Germany for Just over two weeks. Spreading the word about William's experience of the events of 9/11 which directly contradicts the Official story. Annie Machon the former MI5 officer turned whistle blower organised the tour and spoke before William about her experience working at the heart of the secret state.

Whistleblowers and the power of '13'

13. Public Interest Defence for Whistleblowers

Official Secrets Act 1989

Read the relevant clause of the Freedom Bill

A public interest defence allows a defendant who disclosed classified or protected information to avoid criminal prosecution if they can establish that the public interest in disclosure of the information outweighs the public interest in non-disclosure. This protects whistleblowers on government misconducts from prosecution. The Official Secrets Act 1911 contained such a public interest defence. However, the Official Secrets Act 1989 removed such a right. Secret service employees, journalists and civil servants now face up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine for leaking information about defence and international relations among other subjects. The later Act was introduced after Clive Ponting, a civil servant, leaked documents showing that the Navy had attacked the Belgrano when it was sailing away from the battle zone during the Falklands war...

13 National Security Whistleblowers Write to President Obama

...A call to public service without needed whistleblower protection can only - at some future date - put at risk those most inspired by your leadership. We the undersigned feel we have a special bond with you and your Administration, given your long-standing support for federal employee free speech and against acts of bureaucratic retaliation against those who dare to “commit the truth.” We have been thrilled by your strong statement of support for whistleblowers, both during your presidential campaign and the transition:

Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

In the years before your presidency, each one of us undertook a largely solitary battle in favor of the values we share with you and against the kind of wrongdoing that resulted in many of the American people flocking to your standard last year. And in doing so, each one of us, together with our families, and sometimes our friends and colleagues, have paid a heavy price for our ethical dissent.
While we national security whistleblowers made critical disclosures that exposed corruption and protected life at the expense of our own careers and financial security, our federal peers took the safe route by turning a "blind eye" and remaining silent, so that their careers could advance. 

The steps we are asking that you take are a necessary remediation for past wrongs and would be a clear signal to those now heeding your call for service that by adhering to the standards you have so clearly embraced, they will not become – as we did not so long ago – victims of bureaucratic wrongdoers, who may still feel that they can get away with continued misdeeds.

As the federal government of necessity grows in response to the many crises that you have inherited from your predecessor, the lack of protection currently afforded to whistleblowers means that federal workers – the front line in the fight against fraud and waste, and best guarantee that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and government works effectively – must either sit on the sidelines or, still forced to look over their shoulders for signs of reprisal, risk their careers.

Not only did the U.S. Office of Special Counsel fall into ridicule under the stewardship of George W. Bush appointee Scott Bloch. In the last nine years, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), charged with adjudicating federal worker claims, has found only one case of illegal retaliation in 56 decisions on the merits. And only three whistleblowers out of 212 prevailed in decisions on the merits in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals since October 1994, when the current whistleblower “protection” law last was modified.

We the undersigned, national security whistleblowers from agencies across the federal government, know the special vulnerability people like us have in trying to do right by our principles and by the country we love.  And we still do not have any real safeguards against retaliation. Instead, for protecting this nation, we and others face having our security clearances yanked, as well as a rosary of humiliation, demotions, threats, punitive polygraphs and myriad other intimidatory measures. To be sure, these are meant not only to destroy our careers – and in the process our physical and mental well being, our marriages and the tranquility necessary for nurturing our families in a wholesome environment. They also serve as a warning to others – that the price is high, too high, and the possibility for real vindication remote. Even if Inspectors General, Congressional committees, the reputable news media, or other outside groups are fully able to corroborate our complaints, wrongdoers are mostly allowed to retain their posts - and many even receive promotions. ...

Obama backs whistle-blowers but not in intell

...In related news, the Project on Government Oversight reported on May 13 that only seven state Web sites tracking the economic stimulus law spending include complete information for prospective whistle-blowers, including details on how to report suspected fraud, legal information and hotline phone numbers. Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and Texas presented the most complete instructions. ...

Whistle-blower quits military, in hiding

The Navy officer who blew the whistle on the purported irregular disbursement of RP-US Balikatan funds in 2007 will not surrender to the military despite an order for her arrest, according to her elder sister.

Lt. Nancy Gadian Friday told her sister Nedina Diamante that she was bracing to be arrested but would not turn herself in.

[ ... ]

On the phone with the Inquirer on Thursday, Gadian said she had prepared herself for the consequences of accusing a number of generals, including retired Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo, a former Westmincom chief, of helping themselves to a large portion of the 2007 Balikatan funds.

But she added that she was still concerned about the safety of her 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

“I have received text messages that I'm being tracked down. I've expected this to happen and I'm taking precautions,” she said.

Gadian said she would continue what she had started and would not stop even if the charges against her were dropped.

“The interest of the entire organization or the country should not be sacrificed for just one person,” she said. ...

One small step for whistleblowers

...Banning "blacklists" is a small step in the right direction, albeit 13 years too late, but it is the Public Interest Disclosure Act that needs amending with such sharp teeth that those who whistleblow are promoted, not hounded out of employment. ...

NYC police operations order regarding photography

From: A Photo Editor

1. Members of the service are reminded that photography and the videotaping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City. Given the City's prominence as a tourist destination, practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct. [...]

2. Members of the service may not demand to view photographs taken by a person absent consent or exigent circumstances. [...]

Full Order is (here). via, Gallery Hopper.

Official account of 9/11 challenged by U.S. government's own watchdogs

From 41 U.S. Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Agency Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11 by Alan Miller

Official Account of 9/11: “Terribly Flawed,” “Laced with Contradictions,” “a Joke,” “a Cover-up”

May 18, 2009 – More than 40 U.S. Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Agency veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and most have called for a new investigation.  It is outrageous that most Americans are entirely unaware of their publicly stated concerns -- a direct result of the refusal of national print and broadcast news organizations to cover this extremely important issue.  There is no denying the credibility of these individuals or their loyalty to their country as demonstrated by their years of service collecting and analyzing information and planning and carrying out operations critical to the national security of the United States.

These 41 individuals formerly served in the U.S. State Department, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the branches of the U.S. Military.  They are listed below by their branch of service.

U.S. State Department

Terrell Arnold

Terrell E. Arnold, MA– Former Deputy Director of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, U.S. State Department. Mr. Arnold is a leading expert on terrorism and counter-terrorism and the author of several books on the subjects.  In an extensive article in July 2007, Mr. Arnold wrote, “Washington leadership keeps the American people fixated on the events of 9/11. They have brought us no closer than we were on September 12, 2001, to resolving how it was executed and by what enemy. They tell us repeatedly that it was the work of al Qaida, but they have yet to show us the proofs. They told us the official version of what happened that day, but their story is laced with contradictions, and the facts visible on the ground at the time belie much of the official account. ...  As an alleged post 9/11 defense, the War on Terrorism is a gigantic fraud.”

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Translated into various languages. Greek translation available here. (pdf)

Yet another feeble attempt to debunk the 9/11 truth movement

From Voodoo histories: The role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch reviewed by Christopher Hart (Sunday Times)

In his introduction to this forensically intelligent and hugely enjoyable study of modern conspiracy theories, David Aaronovitch quotes the great British historian, Lewis Namier. “The crowning attainment of historical study is a historical sense — an intuitive understanding of how things do not happen.” It is precisely that sense that conspiracy theorists lack. Instead they have a kind of facile, adolescent knowingness, resembling nothing like proper, ordered knowledge, let alone the kind of instinctive wisdom Namier commended.

Typical of their type is a group of 76 mavericks calling themselves the Scholars for Truth, who, since 9/11, have argued that the destruction of the World Trade Center was nothing to do with Islam, but an American government plot. The 76 soi-disant scholars include not a single Middle-East expert, but instead an engineer who believes America is plotting to bomb Jupiter with antimatter weapons, and another who is an authority on the mechanics of dentistry. Their theories and pronouncements have been widely disseminated, and admired, on the internet, which is, of course, the conspiracy theorists' natural habitat: a vast maelstrom of mis­information, the cyber-equivalent of that huge floating gyre of rubbish in the Pacific.

Aaronovitch begins his survey at the start of the 20th century, with a consideration of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a wildly anti-semitic Russian forgery of 1903, intended to prove that the Jews were plotting world domination. It might have helped to have had some overview of conspiracy theories in the pre-modern age. Didn't the Victorians believe in wild rumours, too? If not, why not? And surely during the Middle Ages large populations were regularly swept by lunatic suspicions and beliefs.

They're still keen on the long-since discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the Middle East. Hamas alludes to it regularly in its official Covenant, which also blames Zionists for the French revolution and the First World War. The latter was fought “to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate”. This is a perfect ­example of the frequent vanity inherent in conspiracy-think. It enables the jihadists of Hamas to put themselves at the centre, to say, “The first world war? It was all about us.”

Information, intelligence, psychology and profiling

From Psychological Profiles

Information such as the types of music, magazines, books, movies clothes a person likes, membership preferences, convey a lot about that persons behavior. Research, published in the June issue of the Journal of Psychological and Social Psychology, indicates that your musical tastes may indeed reflect more about your psychology than previously realized. This research shows that music preferences can offer some important insights into a person's psychology, and might even serve as a tool when trying to learn more about someone," says study author Sam Gosling, a professor at the University of Texas. Many studies show that preferences in music, movies, TV shows, travel, books, plays, even favorite colors, politicians, movies or pop stars — says a little something about who a person is, and can help discover a person's tastes and likes and dislikes. A study by Alan Hirsch M.D., director of Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation states that even favorite pizza toppings of a person show a correlation to their behavior. Various preferences of a person convey a lot about the individuals psychology. These preferences can provide insights on traits like, if the person drinks, smokes, has hemorrhoids or practices safe sex. Most major retailers and web portals collect detailed data from users. This includes geographic area, ISP information, and what was queried. Nearly all major retailers also track and archive preferences of their customers. Many retailers use services of The Return Exchange, to track customers' return habits. The Return Exchange maintains a database of shoppers' return habits by combining data from a number of retailers into one database.

Research published  by David Dunning of Cornell University, Chip Heath of Stanford University and Jerry M. Suls of the University of Iowa reveal that other people who are not involved in any type of relationship with an individual are better judges of an individual's relationships and abilities. These researchers have been studying a large body of research into self-evaluation, and much of it reveals that most of us have flawed views about us and our relationships. That can have consequences, because if we don't know about our relationships and who we are, we could be endangering others as well as ourselves. People deceive themselves because they lack the necessary information to make an accurate assessment; and they often ignore or undervalue the information they do have.

From Your Credit Card Company Is Building A Psychological Profile Of You by Chris Walters

The next time you apply for a credit card, your credit report and income will be only a part of the criteria used to determine your creditworthiness. For that matter, as long as you have the card, what you use it for will be noted and added to a growing set of data that makes up your psychological profile, which will then be referred to every time the bank deals with your or reevaluates your risk as a customer.
The New York Times Magazine takes a look at this new method of determining credit risk, pioneered by Canadian Tire executive J.P. Martin about 6 years ago.

Martin's measurements were so precise that he could tell you the "riskiest" drinking establishment in Canada - Sharx Pool Bar in Montreal, where 47 percent of the patrons who used their Canadian Tire card missed four payments over 12 months. He could also tell you the "safest" products - premium birdseed and a device called a "snow roof rake" that homeowners use to remove high-up snowdrifts so they don't fall on pedestrians.
It's not just that what you buy reflects your socioeconomic level and current financial status, however; what Martin did was take the raw data and tease out personality traits that explained the the purchases while predicting future behavior.

From Review - The Time Paradox by Marion Ledwig

Time makes a difference with regard to everyone's life because quite obviously everyone's life is finite and time is the medium in which we live. The authors however also point out that the proverb "time is money" actually is not quite correct, because you can't buy yourself more time, so that time is worth more than money. Time cannot be replenished in contrast to other goods, such as gold, diamonds, etc., so you have to be careful how to spend your time. What is gone is gone. The authors ask mindfully "Why do we often spend our money more wisely than our time?" (p. 9 this volume) and suggest some interesting answers. They also point out that how you spend your time today will definitely determine both your past and your future.

In chapter two a historical account on time perspectives is given that humans changed from event time to clock time, where event time is "the time when events occur in the environment – for example, when the sun is high in the sky, when a species of birds sings, or when the tide comes in." (p. 33 this volume) The authors point out that although we rarely consider our relationship to time that "Our preoccupation with time is so complete that the word 'time' has become the most popular noun in the English language." even trumping sex (p. 43 this volume).

For the current Western world the authors have identified six different time perspectives: (1) past-negative, (2) past-positive, (3) present-fatalistic, (4) present-hedonistic, (5) future, and (6) transcendental-future. In this chapter the reader will also find the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) where you can determine how your own relationship to time actually looks like. It also gives prototypical character studies of each perspective, so that you can understand better what is meant by each perspective.

Chapter three details the different past time perspectives. The author in particular point out that not your actual past matters, but your attitudes towards the past matter and that a positive attitude to the past is vital. Moreover, they emphasize since you usually reconstruct your memory, you can also reconstruct your memory in a positive way and therefore reclaim the past in such a way that it is beneficial to you.

In chapter four the authors emphasize that persons who have high markers in present hedonism or present fatalism are more aggressive, more depressed, less conscientious, less emotionally stable, have less concern for future consequences, have less ego control, less impulse control, are more novelty-seeking, more sensation-seeking, lie more, steal more, etc.

Chapter five deals with the future time perspective and emphasizes that persons who have high markers in the future time perspective are less aggressive, less depressed, have more energy, use drugs and alcohol less, are more conscientious, have more concern for future consequences, have more ego control and self-esteem, are less sensation-seeking, show less anxiety, have a higher grade point average, study more, are more creative, lie less, etc.

In chapter six the authors discuss the transcendental future, whether there is a time after death and discuss how suicide terrorism is related to time perspectives. In particular they point out that the transcendental future can be used as a tool for good or evil.

From Ego and the Uninformed - Perhaps the Greatest Threat to Security by Kevin G. Coleman

...Almost weekly, I am surprised at one or more aspects of cyber attacks that I had never considered. I am not the only one that experiences such humbling events on a regular basis. In a discussion with a federal agent from a three letter agency he and I talked openly about how most organizations are at risk and don't even realize it. I will never forget his words. He said, “Many corporate security people suffer from delusions of grandeur. They think they know but really don't.” If that was not bad enough, there are a lot of security people that are driven because their ego is so big, that they always have to be at the front and no one could beat then and breach their security. I have seen firsthand how those responsible for security allow their ego to interfere with good judgment.  Anyone who thinks their security is beyond the possibility of being compromised should find a new profession. We have had significant success integrating psychological aspects and factors into our work so I asked our PsychologicalAspect ( News - Alert) Subject Matter Expert (PASME) about this. She told me about a psychological study of security professionals that revealed some interesting dominant personality traits.  People with dominant psychological aspects like self-adulation, intellectual arrogance and selective perception seem to be drawn to the security field...

From What Does Your Facebook Profile Say About You? by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison

What does your Facebook profile say about you? Research shows most of us have little idea. Psychology professor Sam Gosling's book Snoop found that "people are virtually clueless about the impressions their [Facebook] profiles convey."

Our own observation finds some folks post only professional information on their pages, while others post exclusively personal stuff. And a third group posts both.

It's the latter group, obviously, that are the more daring: they're crossing the nearly taboo boundary that separates the personal and the professional.

[ ... ]

Why does it make sense to reveal our personal selves to social media sites? It may be that boundary breakers posting a mix of personal and professional information online are making a connection between what they share of themselves and their effectiveness as managers. Sharing personal information further humanizes people whose roles may otherwise make them seem remote or inaccessible. This effect extends beyond senior managers to peer relationships deeper in the organization. Seeing a more rounded person can't help but extend and develop professional relationships, furthering the trust that's crucial to collaborative knowledge creation--the lifeblood of innovation.

There's a more general point here: we're moving from a world of stocks to flows, one in which to grow and develop, collectively and individually, we need to constantly refresh our stocks of knowledge by participating in relevant flows of new knowledge. Flows require reciprocity: why would you exchange a flow of knowledge without trusting me to do the same? Yet trust is difficult to build and maintain if we keep a significant part of ourselves hidden.


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