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Adam Curtis and Vice director Adam McKay on how Dick Cheney masterminded a rightwing revolution | Film. Adam McKay’s Vice is a screwball biopic of Dick Cheney, the man widely reckoned to be the most powerful vice-president in US history. It traces his rise from beer-brained dropout to an intern during the Nixon administration, then covers his tenure as secretary of defense during the Gulf war, and his time as George W Bush’s official deputy from 2001-2009. McKay, after establishing his career with comedies such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Step Brothers, moved into freewheeling, lightly fictionalised accounts of real-life events. His previous film was the financial-crash comedy The Big Short. McKay’s kaleidoscopic approach – the narrative chopped up, and peppered with asides and data breaks – recalls the larky yet hard-hitting style of the British journalist and film-maker Adam Curtis, the person behind films such as The Power of Nightmares and Bitter Lake.

Adam Curtis: It was a moment. Adam McKay: I thought that moment was everything. AC: We didn’t see it. AM: It’s delicious. If a scientific conspiracy theory is funny, that doesn’t mean it’s a joke - The Verge. If you feel like flat Earth theory has gotten unaccountably popular recently, you’re right. According to Google Trends, search interest in the flat Earth conspiracy theory has already had several distinct peaks in the last year. (“The last year” was 2017, not 1519, just to be clear.) It’s funny, weird, and while it’s certainly not at the top of our list of problems as a society, it’s not entirely innocent either. Interest surged in February and March, then again in May, then again in August and September. These jumps are mostly tied to a couple of strange outbursts by celebrities, notably 2010’s favorite cheeseball rapper and Gossip Girl backing vocalist B.o.B. and Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.

But interest in the topic has been climbing steadily since late 2014, shortly after a faction of Daniel Shenton’s “Flat Earth Society” broke away to create its own website and forum. An admin of the Flat Earth Society site also wrote a personal thank you note to Yahoo! This Video Will Make You Angry. What is the Monkeysphere?

"There's that word again... " The Monkeysphere is the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people. If the monkey scientists are monkey right, it's physically impossible for this to be a number much larger than 150. Most of us do not have room in our Monkeysphere for our friendly neighborhood sanitation worker. So, we don't think of him as a person. We think of him as The Thing That Makes The Trash Go Away. And even if you happen to know and like your particular garbage man, at one point or another we all have limits to our sphere of monkey concern.

Those who exist outside that core group of a few dozen people are not people to us. Remember the first time, as a kid, you met one of your school teachers outside the classroom? I mean, they're not people. "So? Oh, not much. It's like this: which would upset you more, your best friend dying, or a dozen kids across town getting killed because their bus collided with a truck hauling killer bees? Intellectual Self-Defense by Noam Chomsky. By Noam Chomsky There's no way to be informed without devoting effort to the task, whether we have in mind what's happening in the world, physics, major league baseball, or anything else. Understanding doesn't come free. It's true that the task is somewhere between awfully difficult and utterly hopeless for an isolated individual. But it's feasible for anyone who is part of a cooperative community — and that's true about all of the other cases too.

Same holds for "intellectual self-defense. " It takes a lot of self-confidence — perhaps more self-confidence than one ought to have — to take a position alone because it seems to you right, in opposition to everything you see and hear. More important than any of this is that a community — an organization — can be a basis for action, and while understanding the world may be good for the soul (not meant to be disparaging), it doesn't help anyone else, or oneself very much either for that matter, unless it leads to action.

And will be handled. The Big Read: The future's a thing of the past. For those of us who grew up in the late-20th century, the pop-culture milestones have all been reached and left behind like the floating corpse of an astronaut flushed into space by a silky voiced computer. Not that 2001 was much like Kubrick's film, mind you. Yes, we spent a lot of time shrieking and throwing bones at each other, and Windows did its best to kill us off, but moon bases and Pan-Am stewardesses in Velcro shoes remained tantalisingly elusive. Before we knew it a sequel, 2010, was rushing towards us. That film, subtitled The Year We Make Contact, was much more accurate than the first one. And so here we are, facing the last of the great futures predicted in the 1980s, namely, the 2015 envisioned in Back to the Future II.

Short of yelling at the kids to get off your lawn, nothing makes you sound older than pointing out the miracles of modern technology. Perhaps it all still feels so magical to me because I am a creature of the pre-digital age. Not me. Share. How Conservative Christianity Can Warp the Mind | Alternet. October 29, 2014 | Like this article?

Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. “I am 30 years old and I am struggling to find sanity. If a former believer says that Christianity made her depressed, obsessive, or post-traumatic, she is likely to be dismissed as an exaggerator. A symptom like one of these clearly has a religious component, yet many people instinctively blame the victim. But the reality is far more complex. The purveyors of religion insist that their product is so powerful it can transform a life, but somehow, magically, it has no risks. In this discussion, we focus on the variants of Christianity that are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Religion Exploits Normal Human Mental Processes. To understand the power of religion, it is helpful to understand a bit about the structure of the human mind. Some Religious Beliefs and Practices are More Harmful Than Others. How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation | Alternet. December 15, 2011 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961 Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation.

In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. Rand’s impact has been widespread and deep. In 1966, Ronald Reagan wrote in a personal letter, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand.” But Rand’s impact on U.S. society and culture goes even deeper. The Seduction of Nathan Blumenthal. "What about building 7?" A social psychologica... [Front Psychol. 2013] Really Bad Media | Opinion | teleSUR. Mainstream U.S. media is loaded with ceaseless symptomatic tragedy. Imagine having a cousin who insists on drinking a bottle of vodka and smoking three packs of cigarettes each day. He eats the majority of his meals at fast-food restaurants and never exercises. He lurches from one terrible health crisis to another, something he likes to talk and complain about at great length, again and again.

He’s happy to hear about medications and treatments for his endless ailments. But he ignores and shuts out anyone who raises fundamental questions about how he lives. He won’t discuss the deeper cause behind his symptoms, which will recur and expand until and unless he makes some deep changes. The Never-Ending Onslaught of Really Bad News “Mainstream” United States “news” reporting and commentary is like this imaginary cousin.

Another river or lake is polluted by corporations. Elected officials are captive to the top 1 percent that owns 90 percent of the nation's wealth Invisible Evils Selected Notes. No, A 'Supercomputer' Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better. So, this weekend's news in the tech world was flooded with a "story" about how a "chatbot" passed the Turing Test for "the first time," with lots of publications buying every point in the story and talking about what a big deal it was. Except, almost everything about the story is bogus and a bunch of gullible reporters ran with it, because that's what they do.

First, here's the press release from the University of Reading, which should have set off all sorts of alarm bells for any reporter. Here are some quotes, almost all of which are misleading or bogus: The 65 year-old iconic Turing Test was passed for the very first time by supercomputer Eugene Goostman during Turing Test 2014 held at the renowned Royal Society in London on Saturday. Okay, almost everything about the story is bogus. Basically, any reporter should view extraordinary claims associated with Warwick with extreme caution. Thinkingskills1.jpg (785×1024) David Attenborough - Humans are plague on Earth. Home of the Global Resistance - The Rebel - Home of the Global Resistance.

Disaster by Design? What’s Wrong with the “Thrive” Movement by John Robbins. A popular new film claims that a secret elite create our most troubling problems to advance a “global domination agenda.” Why Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva, and other progressives are calling it “dangerously misguided.” posted Aug 21, 2012 Letter to the Editor: Foster & Kimberly Gamble RespondThe authors of the film wrote YES! Magazine and gave us their side of this story. Thrive is the name of a controversial film that asks, and attempts to answer, some of the deepest questions about the nature of the human condition and what is thwarting our chances to prosper. Lavishly funded, it features appealing imagery, beautiful music, and interviews with many leading progressives, including myself.

In my case, the decision was especially difficult because there are aspects of Thrive I find inspiring, and its makers, Foster and Kimberly Gamble, are old friends. “Thrive is a very different film from what we were led to expect when we agreed to be interviewed. Could this be true? Our hope is not blind. Letter to the Editor: “Thrive” Filmmakers Foster & Kimberly Gamble Respond. On August 21, YES! Published an article by John Robbins about the film called “Thrive.” The article described the reasons why ten progressives interviewed in the film, including himself, had dissociated themselves from it. In the letter below, “Thrive” filmmakers Foster and Kimberly Gamble respond. posted Sep 20, 2012 Editor's note: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Disaster by Design? In what appears to be a combination of sincere concern, remarkable misunderstanding, and blatant disinformation, John Robbins has engaged in a dangerously deceptive campaign to undermine the message and movement of Thrive. 1. Robbins writes that "the Thrive movie and website are filled with dark and unsubstantiated assertions about secret and profoundly malevolent conspiracies based on an ultimate division between ‘us’ and 'them.'" Comment on this articleHow to add a comment – Commenting Policy.

You’d Need 76 Work Days to Read All Your Privacy Policies Each Year. The problem with privacy on the Internet isn’t so much that companies don’t provide privacy options or tell you that they might share your data, it’s that protecting your privacy often entails wandering the wilds of Facebook’s confusing privacy settings or reading an epic privacy agreement written in a confounding mixture of tech speak and legalese. Need proof? A couple of Carnegie Mellon researchers recently published a paper suggesting that reading all of the privacy policies an average Internet user encounters in a year would take 76 work days. Imagine spending 15 work weeks punching the clock so you could keep up to date on how not to let Internet companies violate your privacy.

(MORE: Android and iPhone Photo Snooping: What You Need to Know) Researchers reviewed the top 75 websites on the Internet and found that the median length of their privacy policies was 2,514 words. The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal breaks down the numbers: James Randi exposes Uri Geller and Peter Popoff. The Beginning of the World. Last Friday was, as I’m sure most of my readers noticed, an ordinary day.

Here in the north central Appalachians, it was chilly but not unseasonably so, with high gray clouds overhead and a lively wind setting the dead leaves aswirl; wrens and sparrows hopped here and there in my garden, poking among the recently turned soil of the beds. No cataclysmic earth changes, alien landings, returning messiahs, or vast leaps of consciousness disturbed their foraging. They neither knew nor cared that one of the great apocalyptic delusions of modern times was reaching its inevitable end around them. The inimitable Dr. Rita Louise, on whose radio talk show I spent a couple of hours on Friday, may have summed it up best when she wished her listeners a happy Mayan Fools Day. It’s worth taking a look back over the genesis of the 2012 hysteria, if only because we’re certain to see plenty of reruns in the years ahead.

So the predictions piled up. That came as a surprise to me. Another example? Social justice calls for new thinking | News | Africa. In a country – and on a continent – where the people are fed up with poverty and poor service delivery, their anger constantly spilling over into violent protest, the first thought might not be to send the intellectuals to the barricades. But, argues Issa Shivji, that is exactly where they need to go.

Shivji, a leading academic, prolific writer and activist, who is vacating the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere chair at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, does not use the term intellectual in the popular sense, which is "one of elitism; people who work with brains and are fascinated by ideas, fancy words, most of the time incomprehensible". Instead, he prefers the description of the American Marxist economist Paul Baran: "He is committed to advance human society, to make it better, rational and work towards a social order that is both humane and fulfilling. In short, he is a progressive individual and ruthless and fearless critic of the status quo. " "The ANC was given a bankrupt state.

Creativity, Thinking Skills, Critical Thinking, Problem solving, Decision making, innovation. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. — Herbert Simon The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. — Thucydides Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels. — Goya When a task cannot be partitioned because of sequential constraints, the application of more effort has no effect on the schedule. . — Frederick P. Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them. — George Orwell Intelligence is like a four-wheel drive.

. — Garrison Keillor My ability to keep cool in a crisis is based entirely on not knowing all the facts. — R. . — Albert Einstein — Samuel Johnson — T. Dunning–Kruger effect. CRITICAL THINKING. Critical Thinking: Where to Begin.