26 May 2015

Wallerstein: "Brexit" may collapse EU

The Blog


Despite winning the UK election, PM David Cameron faces a bitter future for the United Kingdom, world-systems theorist Immanuel Wallerstein predicts.


In a commentary at his widely syndicated column, titled "Post-Britain", Wallerstein uses his famed world-systems analysis to look at the UK as a former "hegemon" of the world-system. It compares with the former United Provinces, now the Netherlands, whose empire similarly dissolved anticlimactically to give way to a new superpower. The last of the Netherlands' power in the world from its days of global dominance was financial, much as the last of Britain's power today is financial.

Wallerstein wrote that David Cameron's government is faced with difficult scenarios and is extremely unlikely to get its way:
Step (a) is to press the EU to “defederalize” further, allowing Great Britain to exempt itself from even more requirements of membership. Step (b) is to call the referendum he has promised the Conservative Party by 2017, but as late as possible. Step (c) is to defeat the referendum, and thus remain in the EU. 
... 
Cameron’s step (a) of further exemptions from EU requirements is unlikely because of strong resistance from other EU members, and notably Germany. Step (b) of defeating the referendum thereby becomes even more unlikely. And therefore step (c) of a Brexit becomes highly likely.
In Wallerstein's analysis, Cameron's government - and its desire to keep Britain as a major financial power - represents the interests of what he calls Britain's financial elite.

The consequences of Britain leaving the EU, an outcome Wallerstein concluded to be likely under the Cameron government, would be severe for the European Union at such a delicate time in its history:
Adding a Brexit to this mix of difficulties might be just too much for the EU. The EU and the eurozone are a house of cards, which might simply collapse.
And of Cameron's fate, Wallerstein concludes:
To go back to the beginning of this analysis, Cameron should savor his unexpected victory in the British elections because he (and Great Britain’s financial elites) may actually come to regret it – quite soon.

The blog


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Hold the autopsy, gimme life extension

Mony Price


After looking into life extension products, I've become fascinated by cryonics. In the off-chance you've never heard of it, notice that Michael Jackson got buried. Forced into a mandatory autopsy, the court stripped his brain down for parts. Instead of being frozen, he went to ground and broke his date with the future.


While I think it's naive to assume I'll die intact, I certainly don't want my brain snatched in a made-for-TV court drama. With nanotechnology just getting started, the idea of cheating death is more entertaining. Besides. Who needs funeral pyres and boring burials, when we have cryotoriums and space caskets?
"By 2020 we'll have computers powerful enough to simulate the human brain. But we won't be finished yet, with reverse-engineering the human brain and understanding its methods." ~ Ray Kurzweil, Futurist
Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity

Screw tradition.

We know that the human brain is inching close to the day it's mapped. So given the option, I'll gamble on mind-uploading before the pathologist cracks my chest. I don't care if the cops haul out the yellow tape. Sign me up for neuro-suspension, and put me on the first flight out to Alcor!

But don't stop there. Nanoparticles already target "specific cells" to "deliver medicines," and that's just the tip of the iceburg. Even the cryogenics industry hopes to reap the benefits of nanotech. Just give it another fifty years. From, "medicine, communications, computing, energy, and robotics," to Lord knows what ... our minds are about to get blown.[1]

We've come a long way since 1970, when the late Dr. Robert J. White rocked the world with the first brain transplant. From one monkey's body to another, who would have thought an entire head could be chopped off and replaced by another? "Dr. Butcher" or not, White got straight to the point. The seven-day experiment "proved" it could happen to humans.

We live in a world where bladders grow in labs, and human-animal hybrids (chimeras or parahumans) pop up from time to time. While naysayers and proponents weigh in on the probability of mind uploading, rat neurons really do run robots. And human versions are next. Like it or not, these things happen around the world. Even the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009 failed in Congress.

I guess it was just a matter of time before someone claimed a, "human head transplant is now possible."

But who knew there would be investors.

So maybe now you'll understand why I think my brain is worth preserving. And let's face it: it ain't like I have anything to lose anyway.

To be continued....

Notes


1. Shoffstall, G. (2010). Freeze, wait, reanimate: Cryonic suspension and science fiction. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 30(4). DOI: 10.1177/0270467610382704

Mony Price


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22 May 2015

The NATO-neo-Nazi axis in Ukraine

The Blog


The Daily Agenda, a British dissident blog, has drawn attention to how NATO works to legitimize neo-Nazis in Europe to support anti-Russian sentiment.


The proliferation of violent neo-Nazi movements in Eastern Europe has accompanied every stage of NATO enlargement, the blog argued on May 17, quoting the Eurasion Observatory for Democracy and Elections (EODE) watchdog. The observations are not only from this watchdog, however. Many commentators have watched with caution as NATO was drawn into a public alliance with neo-Nazi thugs and illegal fighters in the ongoing Ukrainian Civil War.
The Nazification of the Ukrainian military, supported by NATO thugs and spies seeking to offend and provoke Russia, has become an established doctrine of the Ukrainian regime. Neo-Nazi criminals are offered influential positions, while pro-Russian "enemies of the state" are beaten and killed with NATO support and blessing. Bans are issued against old Soviet Union symbolism and celebrations of the Russian victory over Nazi Germany in World War 2, while Nazi collaborators are now given state recognition as heroes.

In a recent scandal, NATO was found to be directly involved in witch-hunts and assassinations of political figures in Ukraine's internal affairs. Such aggression is not unprecedented for the so-called alliance, which - since its disastrous war killed of 60,000 civilians in Libya - has constantly crept away from its mission of collective-defense and towards arbitrary involvement in foreign civil wars. Ignoring the priority of collective defense emphasized in the North Atlantic Treaty, the current "NATO" alliance no longer addresses member states' security and instead tries to persuade member states to fight in the civil wars of non-member states beyond the boundaries of the North Atlantic area.

Revision of history to exclude the Soviet Union's role in World War 2 and the role of Ukrainian Nazis in the Holocaust has become part of the regime's attempts to gain legitimacy. It has also been used to justify the continued murders of pro-Russian civilians in the country's east, which Russians regard as tantamount to a repeat of Nazi German atrocities.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently denounced the Minsk peace deal and demanded that the bloodshed must continue.

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Mohammed left Assyria's ruins alone

The #LOrdre Blog


Islamic State militants, also known by their Arabic acronym Daesh, believe they are superior to Islam's Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).


This is the assessment of the L'Ordre blog based at the top world religious website Beliefnet. Attention is drawn to the way Islamic State militants are ironically "assaulting lifeless monuments" dating to the ancient Assyrian civilization as a way of seeking attention for themselves. Such acts are ironically Pagan and idolatrous in themselves, the analysis claims, as these Muslims are "obsessing over lifeless monuments and self-indulgent beliefs, by a further demonstration of their own such stupidity".

The blog argues that Mohammed would feel ashamed of the Islamic State's self-indulgence and idiocy, and that Islamic State followers are doomed to "die like flies" before they realize they have deviated from their religion:
The Islamic State’s followers claim to idolize the Prophet Mohammed. They are lucky he isn’t alive to say what he would think of them. To the man who actually brought Islam to the world, the so-called Islamic State would appear filthy and deserve nothing but contempt. For the “Islamic State” to presume that Mohammed’s work was incomplete, and parade itself around and claim to finish his work, as if they are truer Muslims than their own Prophet, is the gravest possible offense that can be perpetrated against the memory of Islam’s founder. 
Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/lordre/2015/05/islamic-state-is-too-good-for-its-own-prophet.html#ixzz3aPE0xUfy 
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/lordre/2015/05/islamic-state-is-too-good-for-its-own-prophet.html#wQUgddfOCJykmVfY.99

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