Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cult Curiosity

I think I'll pay a visit to the Scientology building in Berlin sometime. It should be an interesting experience if it's anything like in this video:

My view about Scientology is probably less negative than most people's. Apart from all the crazy stuff it's not THAT bad in my opinion. You know Tom Cruise is a nice guy... So I don't think that Scientology is any worse than other crazy religions actually.

Or maybe I do. But I'd still like to visit and experience the atmosphere.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blue Heart

UPDATE: Ocean hope at Mission Blue: A collaboration experiment comes good


Actually I recommend directly downloading the high quality version but you can also click the HQ button on the lower right corner for higher resolution, your decision.

“We’ve got to somehow stabilize our connection to nature so that in 50 years from now, 500 years, 5,000 years from now there will still be a wild system and respect for what it takes to sustain us.”

I think this is extremely important. Understanding the necessity of sustainability is crucial, it lies at the core of our future. And sustainability has many dimensions, it's about much more than oceans.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"AIDS" in Africa

More evidence for the vague nature of the thing called "AIDS" and "HIV-negative-AIDS", from the TICAH website:

"In the resource scarce environments of HIV/AIDS affected communities there is a clear need to identify alternative, affordable and accessible health care and nutrition options for families that fit within their financial and human resource realities. Families living with HIV/AIDS are under extreme stress as they struggle to meet their health and nutritional needs, particularly if they have limited financial means.

... we identified the most common conditions occurring in HIV-affected families and then collected herbal recipes they were using to help in the treatment and management of those conditions...

Through this process we came to realize that the same illnesses affect children and adults irrespective of their sero-status, so we extended our attention beyond HIV to include practical advice that all Kenyan families can use. The result is a 194-page book structured so that readers with low literacy levels are able to use if with ease. ..."

See also the Plumpy'Nut. Andrew Maniotis talks about it HERE too

For more info about "AIDS" in Africa visit this link: AIDS Wiki - Africa

Then do more research on your own and you'll find more stuff like these:

- The global HIV industry is too big and out of control. We have created a monster with too many vested interests and reputations at stake!

- How exaggerated claims for the scale of the HIV epidemic (and the risks of wider spread) enable authorities to claim the credit for subsequently lower figures!

- “But you can’t get a grant to do anything over there, unless it has the words “HIV/AIDS” in the title.”

- "Beneath us, Africa was disappearing, as we climbed higher and higher into the sky."


Scientific Definition of Science?

Is there such a definition within the scientific literature?
Like one that has been chosen as the official definition by the scientific authorities or something like that?

I don't think there is any, this is ridiculous. I needed one for something I'm working on and this is the closest one to a scientific definition (i.e. it can be consistently used) I know of:

A collection of recorded theories that follow the scientific method, some of which may contain some truth about a particular aspect of nature.

But I can't use where I got this from as a reference because there is no scientific consensus on it. Sillyness!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hope as a Martial Art

" Hope is a magic power that grants us further powers. It is not a consequence of good fortune, but a precondition for it: not a conjecture about the future, but a strength exercised in the present. As anyone who has broken through a police line knows, when it really counts morale is more important than organization, preparation, or even intelligence.

This is not to say we should study self-delusion, but simply that the revolutionary project takes place outside the domain of calculation and common sense. In setting out to transform the world, we are attempting the impossible; supernatural faith may indeed be better suited to the task than mundane pragmatism. A revolutionary aspires to have a tight grasp on reality without the converse being true.

Those who insist that there is no hope are thinking like scientists: they look at hope as a measurable quantity outside themselves, reducing it to a question of whether there are grounds to believe something is true of the future. They are poor scientists, at that, speculating from a static position rather than proposing a hypothesis and conducting an experiment! It is never possible to answer such questions accurately; one never has access to all the necessary information, and one's own choices influence the outcome in unforeseeable ways.

In acknowledging the influence of our choices, we can begin to formulate another conception of hope. Even if it were possible to see into the future from an armchair, it wouldn't be as fulfilling as consciously playing a role in determining it; conceptualized differently, hope can enable us to do this, even if it does not guarantee the results.

Besides, why measure the value of any undertaking by it's consequences alone? If a revolutionary effort does not succeed in immediately transfiguring the cosmos, that doesn't mean it was a waste of time. Evaluating our activities that way is naive if anything is; there's no sense in privileging the future over the present and rejecting everything that exists in favor of things that do not. The point is always what is happening: the process, not the product, the means, not some overriding end - that, for a few minutes or years, something beautiful is happening. The paradise we deserve doesn't wait in a future that may or may not arrive; it is comprised of these moments, whenever they occur. Which side are you on - the future, or the present?

Utopia is notoriously unreachable as a destination, but equally notorious for inspiring incredible voyages. By the time we arrive at our goals, they are often unrecognizable, or else we are. A preoccupation with life "after the revolution" can be as debilitating as the news constantly broadcast from Capitol Hill to distract us from what we can do where we are. But unyoked from our addiction to assurances and our expectation to be paid for everything, practiced instead as the art of making self-fulfilling prophecies - as a martial art - hope offers us tremendous power.

If this is so, then the real question is why people willfully disable themselves by embracing resignation and defeatism. The cynic is not coming to terms with the hard facts of reality, but imposing them upon himself. If he really wants to learn whether the things he desires are impossible, he has to start from the premise - no, from the deep-seated conviction - that they are possible, and act accordingly. "

From Expect Resistance. I think it's nice. Digital text copy/pasted from HERE. A PDF version of the whole book HERE.

Related to "Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Miracle Fruits

About a year ago, after doing some research I became pretty interested in the raw food diet. Since then I significantly changed the way I eat. I consume much more fruits and vegetables and much less cooked, processed food. Before that I had never even questioned why we have this habit of cooking food. Anyway, after those revelations I began exploring the realm of natural nutrition. I tasted things I had never tried before and I found things that I had never heard of before. Having realized that for all these years I've been so unaware of all the wonderful things nature has in store, I was once again surprised by how much there is to discover in this life.

Recently I was thinking that I was more or less through with exploring new fruits. There are some -like the legendary durian- that I still couldn't get hold of but at least I have an idea about what they're like. Now to my point... I was fooling around on YouTube last week and came across this video: Brink - Miracle Fruit

But this one is better actually, I also watched this one just now:

So being the curious person I am, I had to know what that experience feels like of course. So I went online, ordered the thing and ate lots of it. Now I'm going to tell you how I lost both of my kidneys because of that damn fruit..! Don't read the rest of this text if you can't handle graphical descriptions!

Well, no, just kidding. I thought that might be funny for a quarter of a second until you read this sentence. Anyway...umm... Yes. What happened was I ordered some Miracle Fruit tablets the day I came across that video. From this website:

I bought 20 big tablets for 20,95 € (+€ 1.95 for shipping). Two days ago I tried it.

I didn't try it with beer or wine, but I ate lots of weird things. I remained very skeptical until the moment the lemon touched my tongue, because I wasn't feeling any difference in my mouth. But after that, being positively surprised and uncontrollably smiling, I quickly ate a combination of lemon, lime, kiwi, orange, tomato, cheese, green beans, pastırma, onion, spinach, carrot and strawberry, apple and some more stuff.

I had prepared my plate earlier by the way. Here's also a photo:
Long story short, you won't regret it if you try it. It's an unusual experience. The onion wasn't very pleasant though, I could take only one bite. Similar with the pastırma. Other than that the effect seemed to go away dependent on how much I ate I guess, I don't think it was time-dependent.

And I actually recorded the process on a video camera, but I won't upload it, it's too dark. Plus I don't speak English in it.

The message of this blog post is that there is still so much to discover. There are infinite surprises in life, just waiting to be found. So don't be arrogant, don't be lazy, just go and look for new things. There's always more to learn.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Brzezinskis

How much do you know about Zbigniew Brzezinski?

I know less than I'd like to know, and he's just gotten a little more interesting for me.

I only knew about the father Brzezinski, nowadays he's Obama's foreign policy advisor. It turns out there is more to that name: One of his sons, Mark, was an advisor to Clinton, to John Kerry and now he's working together with his father for Obama. And recently Zbigniew's other son, Ian, was an advisor to McCain on foreign policy, apparently. Either they're a family with seriously differing political views, or they strive to have some control on what happens on this planet and they'll work with anyone to make that happen. Who doesn't want control, right..? I think the second is more likely since Zbigniew has advised McCain in 2000, too.

And also interestingly his daughter is "the woman who wouldn't cover the Paris Hilton story". She's also having a hard time when she's reporting on certain political issues due to her family members' involvement apparently: Mika Brzezinski asked if McCain is "the perfect candidate" without disclosing that her brother advises him / McCain Accuses Mika of Backing Obama

Anyway I think Zbigniew is a smart guy, but I'm not sure if that's really a good thing. Unlike most others on the political scene, I find myself agreeing with many things that he says (I also tend to agree with some of the things the other "internationalists" say you see...). But I can't truly be sure of his true intentions or true motivations when he says those things, he's certainly not the most transparent person after all. That's another story though and I'll need to do a deeper research. Maybe so should you too... especially google what he says in his books and interviews, it might reveal some interesting information.

P.S. Advisor or Adviser? Another US/UK thing apparently. We still couldn't sort these things out in the year 2009, humans are indeed slow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Zionism, Globalism and Power

I pretty much ignored all that has happened with Gaza recently. I was keeping an overview, roughly trying to keep up, but didn't really bother to look into it in detail. A small reason was because I'm trying to focus on my thesis. The bigger reason was my hopelessness.

I wasn't surprised or shocked at all by what reached my ears every once in a while. I didn't even care so much since it was more or less expected. Anyway, maybe I can write more about this later, check out these links if you wish:

John Pilger: The "Open Prison"
Triple standard
Three Simple Proposals
Gaza Will Survive