Hospitals ‘run out of drugs as stocks are sold abroad’ by at least 19 trusts | Mail Online

Misleading Headline Of The Week.

My reaction (stupidly, this is the Daily Mail after all) was “how on earth can NHS Trusts be allowed to sell their drugs overseas when they need them for their own patients??!!”

You have to read a few paragraphs into this tabloid tat before you learn that the people selling the drugs are the wholesalers and pharmacists, not the trusts. And they’re presumably entitled to sell wherever they can find a market.

Nothing to see here. Move along…

Elected Leaders are literally addicted to power

Hands up if this comes as a surprise…

Thinking in a Foreign Language Makes Decisions More Rational | Wired Science | Wired.com

intuitively makes sense but doesn’t offer much comfort as a means of promoting increased social rationality. Half the planet struggles to speak a single language competently; fat chance they’ll consider learning a second…

Proper History

Can’t embed this video, unfortunately (and it’ll expire in a few days anyway) but, if you can, you should download and watch it at your leisure. It’s my kind of history. The History of the real people, rather than the routine fantasy in which all our history is made by glorious leaders…

NASA Perpetual Ocean: The Ocean Surface Currents around the World – information aesthetics

more hypnotic data visualisation:
this time two years worth of ocean current circulation data


…if you think that’s cool, and you have the bandwidth, storage space and an HDTV linked to your computer, I strongly recommend downloading the full 20 minute HD Video (4Gb)

Its good enough to watch without getting stoned!

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111

I’m more fascinated by the fact that they’ve made this information marketable than by the information itself…

Right Wing Mouthpiece For Authoritarianism Notices The Class War Hasn’t Stopped Yet

This is one of those “Dog stands/walks on hind legs” stories. Not done very well but, given the source (Daily Mail), you’re astonished to see it done at all!

It is such a vitriolic attack on the privilege which accompanies money and class that it almost challenges the “Manufacturing Consent” paradigm. It’s as bizarre as Fox News doing a serious piece about media manipulation and cherry picking. So what is Dominic Sandbrook up to? And what are the Mail’s motives in permitting such a provocative piece to be published in their name?

Well it supports claims that they support a wide range of opinions, freedom of speech and that kind of thing, but it isn’t any kind of support for real democratic revolution. I say this despite their support for Tony Benn’s plea that we open up politics to wider participation. Indeed, his plea is the key. He was much more egalitarian but no more democratic than the Daily Mail. A fervent supporter of “Parliamentary Democracy” he always argued for the supremacy of Parliament – the Elected Dictatorship.

The Mail are also quite happy with that arrangement. What both the Mail and Benn are after is reversing the direction of influence. Rather than the system we’ve endured for a couple of thousand years where all Decisions and Edicts fall on us from on high, Benn and Mail want the elected Dictators to “Listen To The People”. And both Benn and the Mail favour such a change because they both believe that they can influence The People more easily than the real Decision Makers.

So, in the end, it really still is all about Manufacturing Consent…

IDIOTS

The Bertolt Brecht quotation below illustrates the original (Greek) meaning of the word “Idiot”: one who chooses not to participate in the Democratic Process.

The difference, of course, between them and us is that they actually had a Democratic Process to participate in…

Yet Another Former Drug Warrior Attacks Prohibition

Fascinating to see increasing numbers of former high-placed employees of the various Prohibitionist Police States (like this one in the Guardian) declaring their Damascene conversions against Prohibition. Note first that they nearly always are FORMER employees. The few current employees who dare to challenge the naked emperor usually find their careers taking a nose dive (remember Brian Paddick ferinstance…), so incumbents are usually happy to take the Kings Shilling and continue to assist the oppressive regime.

There is also an emerging pattern in the utterances of the converted. They all point out – uncontroversially – that prohibition is the single major cause of organised crime around the world. We’ve known that since the ludicrous American experiment with alcohol prohibition and its creation of “The Mob” – together with its “necessary” antithesis, the FBI.

None, though, have made the obvious connection. The Powers That Be, having recognised the effect of prohibition on organised crime, also recognised how much power it “legitimised” for themselves (Power necessary in order to tackle the Problem they created in the first place). Hence today we can see that the main POINT of prohibition is precisely to sustain that organised crime around the world.

It provides the political cover for the excessive spending on authoritarian crime control measures, including the surveillance they need to monitor their increasingly well-informed and potentially rebellious populations. It provides the infrastructure necessary for the Prison State which is at its most advanced state in the “Land Of The Free” and it provides a handy slush fund for all the Black Ops that most governments occasionally find useful.

These connections are obvious to anyone who dares to see beyond the flabby nakedness of the Empire. That doesn’t yet include mainstream politicians or media, just us “mavericks”. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably also one of us. Glad to meet you…

Visual Resurrection Technology Gets Beta

Warning: – before you dive in to the video – if Rap is not your foreplay, mute the sound, it’s not important. It’s the visual virtual human we’ve come to see.

We’ve moved from Alpha to Beta with this technology. The first Release Candidate should be so good that you will not be able, even in its presence, to distinguish it from reality unless you are close enough to try to touch it.

10 years?

Michael Sheen’s The Passion: 72 hours in theatre heaven | Lyn Gardner | Stage | guardian.co.uk

Everything I’ve heard and seen about this modern Passion Play makes me want to see it.

It might even qualify as a major new art form, given the multiple simultaneous staging of the story, in real-time, with an audience directly participating (by recording and “witnessing” the events as they happened) on an unprecedented scale.

It will certainly put Port Talbot on the map. What I can’t figure out is why it’s currently only showing – on its UK Release Date – in 3 sodding cinemas. You’d have thought at least the Welsh cinemas would have wanted to punt it. Weird…

Click this to watch Michael Sheen guide us through the making of the movie

The link between Muscle and Authority

No surprise here for students of Authoritarianism (which includes the philosophical position that “Might Is Right”) but note the highlighted sentence in this passage:

Multiple studies conducted from the US, East India, Bolivia and the Central African Republic show that physically strong men have a greater sense of entitlement, a shorter fuse on anger, and are more likely to turn aggressive when angry. The effects are quite substantial, often two to four times larger than the known effect of testosterone on aggression.

What this tells us is that Bullying (the basis of most Authoritarian politics, not just “right-wing”) cannot be blamed on hormones. It is clearly more influenced by culture and THAT we can do something about…

What IS missing from all reports of this research I’ve seen to date (the online source of the actual paper is behind a pay wall) is any reference to the inverse relationship between Authoritarianism (including, of course, the physical aggression the paper has studied) and intellect. Which is a shame because most bullies and authoritarians quite like the idea of being painted as physically strong (as evidenced by headlines we’re already seeing like “Now I know Why Labour Supporters are nancies“) but are less keen on trumpeting their intellectual inferiority…

Henri 2, Paw de Deux – YouTube

Cat video with class…

The mobile phone as self-inflicted surveillance • The Register

I’ve been shouting warnings from my insignificant little rooftop about this kind of development for 9 years now
(new readers, start here)

I repeat:
…if we don’t impose our own rules on how the system works, we’ll be stuck with what Government/s want which – as the period since 9-11 has now conclusively demonstrated – is primarily a mechanism for increasingly authoritarian bureaucratic social control.

I’m beginning to wonder how much longer I’ll even be allowed to say that, out loud, in public…

PRAISE GOD & PASS THE WEED

jeezus h christ! Colour me ‘king astonished.

Obviously I’m not going to disagree with a word of this article by The Libertarian Lady

but I was amazed to learn from her about Pat Robertson’s “coming out” for legalisation. I’d have thought that would have made mainstream headlines, even this side of the pond. Nada. First I’ve heard about it and that a month after the event. Thank’s Kristin.

It is genuinely significant. Most of the other famous/infamous conservatives who have favoured legalisation are on the libertarian side of the Republican movement. Robertson definitely ain’t one of them. And that suggests a possibility that we may be in sight of a tipping point. Mind you, we’ve been there before (Jimmy Carter) and someone frightened the horses, so don’t hold your breath…