Friday, October 24, 2014

Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 7

Thank you for enslaving us so good.
In this series we have been taking a look at the American race matrix.

A list of major references is included @ Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 3.

Yesterday we considered another aspect of the American matrix (What If There Was No Heaven Matrix?).

The structure of the American matrix is quite complex, so it takes lots of scientific papers, blog posts, and books to cover the subject (cf. the Series Posts tab at the top of any Dredd Blog post).

Anyway, speaking of books, there is one on point that has shaken up the symbolic racism discussion, so I wanted to point some of that out:
1) Slavery was a key driver of the formation of American wealth.

2) In its heyday, slavery was more efficient than free labor, contrary to the arguments made by some northerners at the time.

3) Slavery didn't just enrich the South, but also drove the industrial boom in the North.

4) Slavery wasn't showing any signs of slowing down economically by the time the Civil War came around.

5) The South seceded to guarantee the expansion of slavery.
(Huffington Post, book review excerpt). The Huffington Post book review is supplemented by the overview at the Barnes & Noble website as follows:
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a
modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.

Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.
(The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism). Our cultural amygdala, like others, rewrites history to create a matrix of illusion so that we do not know history as well as we could.

Thus, we may become susceptible to repeating the wrongs in our history, and from time to time we can see those wrongs emerge once again to plague us.

The war on voting through errant voter id laws matrix is a current example (Justice Ginsburg).

The warification of the police forces is another matrix hidden in plain sight (Will The Military Become The Police? - 10).

Have a good weekend escaping the matrix.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What If There Was No Heaven Matrix?

No, that is the Sun.
The cover of Newsweek, shown to the left, engendered some energy that led to a respectable volume of keyboard stroking and even some keyboard thumping (This Must Be Heaven).

The "reality" thingy has many applications, one of which is the moral application ... I mean ... where the mystery is dealt with in a moral sense.

With a yardstick of sorts that determines our moral worth, based upon how well we grasp and explain "reality."

If we express a view of reality that is not acceptable then we may find ourselves at "the funny farm" for an amount of time "to be determined later" ... like the kid who was facing some prison time so he tricked the psychiatrist into an observational stay at a mental institution, but was still there almost two decades later  (The Criminally Insane Epoch Arises - 2).

Any matrix concept also has a scientific aspect to it, in the sense that an answer is sought by scientific rather than by mystical means, but some of that science is hokey:
Tantalizingly, just weeks before The Matrix came out in 1999, astronomers analyzing the light from distant galaxies published hints that the universe’s “constants” might not be so constant. Specifically, they found that the value of the fine-structure constant — which determines how the galaxies’ light should appear — is one thousandth of a percent bigger today than it was 10 billion
They usually keep this door locked.
years ago.

Glitches caused by our simulation being patched up could also be at the root of truly bizarre results that defy the normal rules of physics. One such possible effect appeared in 2011, when physicists working on the OPERA experiment in Europe made headlines as they claimed to have measured subatomic particles called neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, considered the universal speed limit.

Unfortunately, neither case proved a slam-dunk for a virtual universe. Independent tests could not back up the fine-structure constant data, and the speedy neutrinos turned out to be due to a faulty experimental setup. But there is a more fantastical explanation: These inconstant-constants may have instead been simulation glitches, glimpsed just before our programmers fixed them.
(Do We Live in the Matrix?). Not a mention of software in the article, which is a fatal mistake for that hypothesis IMO, because a computer is comatose or catatonic without its software.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog sees the more important way to look for "the matrix" ("a matrix" is a better way to put it).

Which is to study propaganda, psychological operations, mind control concepts, and psychological trances of cultures (e.g. The Matriarch of The Matrix, 2, 3; Comparing a Group-Mind Trance to a Cultural Amygdala).

The propaganda matrix is not science fiction.

It is reality --to the point that we will not have a firm enough grasp of American reality if we do not understand the matrix factory around us:
It is impossible to fundamentally grasp the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the past 100 years without some understanding of Bernays and his professional heirs in the public relations industry. PR is a 20th century phenomenon, and Bernays -- widely eulogized as the "father of public relations" at the time of his death in 1995 -- played a major role in defining the industry's philosophy and methods.
(Father of Spin, PR Watch Magazine, Vol. 6 No. 2, p. 11, 1999, emphasis added). After reading that quote, if you are getting "how can that be?" signals of serious doubt from your cultural amygdala matrix, consider this writing in a book by Bernays:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Edward L. Bernays
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4, quoting from his book "Propaganda"). BTW Neo, there is a link in that post to that book, in PDF format, which can be downloaded.

There are many ways to experience a matrix.

For example, the movie "Awakenings" (1990 - Robin Williams) touches upon the issue.

The bottom line is that we do not have to use computers to attempt the very unlikely-to-be-successful task of discovering a boundless matrix.

The more important task for serious adults is to free ourselves from the propaganda / PR matrix which we really do live in.

Heaven's Door

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deja Vu 2.0: Back To The Future All Over Again

Hopium patrol
There is a growing circuit in our cultural amygdala that confuses positive thinking with hopium, and conflates "steady as she goes" with intransigence.

We American's like to think of ourselves as "the best that we can be."

That nuanced saying contains the spectre that we may in fact just be the best that we can be.

Which is not good enough for the predicament we find ourselves in, assuming we want out of it:
America’s energy-related carbon pollution rose 2.5% last year despite President Barack Obama’s efforts to fight climate change, according to new federal data.

The rise in emissions from burning coal, oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels was one of the steepest on record in the last 25 years, according to the Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review.

The increase in carbon pollution is a setback for Obama, who has been heavily promoting his progress in cutting America’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama told 120 world leaders at the United Nations climate summit last month that America had done more under his watch to fight climate change than any other country.

But the EIA figures show that America’s greenhouse gas emissions are now rising again after several years of decline during the recession.
(U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise). This song and dance is actually the one from the hit album "saying one thing but doing another" (e.g. "Save the planet, get frackin' !").

So, in the video I found and placed at the bottom of today's post, you can watch some interpretive dance to (like poetry, song, and novels) explain what is going on, but rather quickly and quite succinctly.

Yes, "explain" it in a simple but revealing, artistic way.

But first let's translate and define:
Interpretive dance is a family of dance styles that seeks to translate particular feelings and emotions, human conditions, situations, or fantasies into movement and dramatic expression combined. It can also translate major characteristics of any traditional ethnic movements into more modern expressions through exploration of the origins, cultural influences, rhythms, movements, emotional manifestations, and intonations, as well as the stories inherent in the dances themselves.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). When government evolves into politics and politics evolves into an exclusively getting-elected game of thrones, honesty is one of the first victims.

Propaganda is the new standard of honesty in the Big Brother NSA military-establishment-controlled culture.

Regular readers may remember a Dredd Blog post about authoritarianism:
Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders
The cultural amygdala
cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want -- which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I'm going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.
(Authoritarianism: Past And Future Is Now). That post was substantially about a book you can still download for free ("The Authoritarians").

A book which detailed how there is not much difference between Big Brother government (The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy - 8) and the Bully Religion (On The Origin of The Bully Religion).

What other religion could or would a bully choose?

"Moonwalk" (the dance) explains current political culture (back to the future) ...

Now the song explains it some more ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Databases Galore - 9

This graph I made shows monthly and "seasonal" temperatures for the Southern Hemisphere from 1880 to this year, 2014, so far.

There is not a lot of variation from the upward trend no matter whether you consider individual months or seasonal sections such as "DJF" (December, January, February),  "MAM" (March, April, May),  "JJA" (June, July, August), or "SON" (September, October, November).

If you want to graph it yourself, the data is here.
I can see the forest from my house.

The graph to the right is the same, only I added a red line so the trend is more clear.

The thing I wish we could all focus on is the forest.

Rather than a tree or two, so I put all these monthly, seasonal, and annual temperature tracking points together to specifically show the forest.

The red-line trend is the forest, the ups and downs are a tree or two that do not dispute nor disprove the clear trend.

The forest is on fire in most places and getting hotter everywhere else.

BTW, I switched to Java from C++ on the netCDF files because the Java libraries are better.

That slowed me down in the sense of the time taken to "rewrite" the previous C++ code.

The software under development, now, processes many files at once (hundreds if there are that many in the target directory).

I want to tie that in to a google-Earth type environment, like some of the other applications out there, and make it available for free via a download under the Open Software License thingy.

Anyway, Happy Trails to you!

The previous post in this series is here.

A few minutes of Yardbirds ...