background preloader


Last week, we published a chart-essay that illustrates the extreme inequality that has developed in the US economy over the past 30 years. The charts explain what the Wall Street protesters are angry about. They also explain why the protesters' message is resonating with the country at large. Here are the four key points: 1. Unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression (with the exception of a brief blip in the early 1980s). 2. 3. 4. Three charts illustrate this: The top earners are capturing a higher share of the national income than they have anytime since the 1920s: CEO pay and corporate profits have skyrocketed in the past 20 years, "production worker" pay has risen 4%. After adjusting for inflation, average earnings haven't increased in 50 years. It's worth noting that the US has been in a similar situation before: At the end of the "Roaring '20s," just before the start of the Great Depression. SEE ALSO: CHARTS: Here's What The Protesters Are So Angry About...

Related:  10/24

On Fearing the Self (and dealing with it) Balthazar's recent post on Divinatory Literacy has gotten my mind reeling for a number of reasons, not the least effect of which is pondering the enormously varied ways in which people purposefully delude themselves. Most Magicians make no secret of the fact that we are often our own worst enemy. This is true tenfold where self-exploration (even when not sought after) is concerned, because we have to bypass the human tendency to reinforce our own mental map of the universe and take a blind leap into the uncertain... which is understandably terrifying. Hell, for all we know, we'll come out the other end insane (or worse, ridiculed).

Building a better brain: Strengthening your mental muscle According to the newest theory of aging and memory , you can build your brain power through a process called "scaffolding." As we get older, some of our neural circuits don't work as well they used to. You probably know that painful little brain blip when you're trying to remember the name that goes with a person you haven't seen for a while or when you walk into a room and forgot why you went there. How the Right's Lame Attack on Occupy Wall St. Shows the Poverty of Conservative Ideology A new NBC/ poll finds that among those with an opinion, twice as many Americans support the Occupy Wall Street Movement than oppose it. The movement -- with its defining message of standing with the 99 percent of Americans who don't have lobbyists working for them – appears to have tapped into a deep vein of discontent among working people whose economic security has been savaged by decades of upward redistribution of the nation's wealth. The right, in keeping with its habitual knee-jerk defense of the privileged, has tried, with little success so far, to push back on that message. And its response offers us a microcosmic view of everything that's wrong with conservative discourse these days. Their answer – or one of them – is a Tumblr account called We Are the 53% , an unimaginitive take-off of Occupy Wall Street's We Are the 99% .

Viennese Actionism Viennese Actionism was a short and violent movement in 20th-century art. It can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop "action art" (Fluxus, happening, performance art, body art, etc.). Its main participants were Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler.

My Soapbox Advice to the OWS Movement and then some I may not know much, but I know a lot of it. So I decided to share my opinions and thoughts on what I would do if the OWS movement either elected me Grand Poobah or asked for my advice: 1. The Great Lie of Wall Street. Every CEO tells the same great white lie. TECH TALK: Black Swan: Mediocristan and Extremistan The ideas behind Mediocristan and Extremistan in Nassim Talebs The BlackSwan are worth exploring in more depth. Chetan Parikh has reproduced a table from the book which explains the differences between Mediocristan and Extremistan. The Portfolio wrote: N.N.T., who lives in New York and has taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, previously traded derivatives on Wall Street. The academics who drive him to tears are the ones who have explainedor misexplainedhis old profession. They think that markets are from Mediocristan when in fact they inhabit Extremistan.Say what?

How Republicans Convinced Fundamentalists To Support Their Corporatist Agenda There are many religious people who believe that their god controls every aspect of their lives, and for them, relinquishing control of their existence to a deity makes sense. The problem is that it also excuses them from any form of self-responsibility as well as giving their religion’s leaders power to manipulate them to behave and choose a particular political ideology based on their faith. It is unfortunate that in America, fundamentalist Christians support conservative economic policies that are against their own self-interests because Republicans portray the government as an overreaching entity that is in competition with the bible and its prohibition on gays, women’s rights, and freedom of religion. Republicans and their teabagger minions use anti-government rhetoric to convince fundamentalists that corporations and the wealthy are being overtaxed and over-regulated by the godless government and it has fostered support for conservative ideals that are destroying the economy.

Ordo Templi Orientis History - Bill Heidrick Ordo Templi Orientis was founded before 1902 e.v. by Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss (also known as Merlin) in Germany, with a principal mailing address in Lugano, Switzerland by 1917 e.v. The immediate precursor organization was the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, a mystical society founded in the mid 19th century, with branches in Europe and North America. Prior to the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, O.T.O. "traditional" history includes the Weishaupt Illuminati of the late 18th century and the Crusading Order of Knights Templar of the 11th century as precursors. It must be pointed out that many other organizations also claim derivation from the Illuminati and 11th century Templars, without actual evidence.

The Demographics Of Occupy Wall Street Coverage of the technology at Occupy Wall Street focuses on the neat-o, young-people elements such as Twitter, Facebook, live streaming video, and a sleepover atmosphere. But Occupy Wall Street also employs the kind of heavy-duty data crunching and analysis found at marketing firms and universities. In fact, two of the volunteers, business analyst Harrison Schultz and professor Hector R. Cordero-Guzman from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, today released a study based on a survey of 1,619 visitors to the site on October 5. And about a quarter of them have also attended occupation events.

OWS Thinks About Demands, Starting With A Massive Jobs Program Taken Straight From The New Deal Occupy Wall Street is working on an agenda. Sort of. In a dispatch from the demonstration, John Harkinson of Mother Jones reports on the work of the “Demands” group, first reported in the New York Times. And high on the list of demands is a federally funded jobs program, like the ones that operated during the New Deal: The plan would involve the federal government raising about $1.5 trillion in new revenue and using it to create 25 million new public-sector jobs paying union-level wages. It would put Americans to work building bridges, roads, and affordable housing; providing free public transportation and free university education for all; staffing a single-payer health care system; and pursuing clean-energy research.