7/22/11

Cantor is killing me


I need help.

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Value systems evolve

I've been reading the late great Robert Nisbet on the 19th century and its widespread thinking about evolution. Darwin was hardly alone in seeing us in a chronological development. Some observers saw progress. Others broadcast alarm. The 20th century showed that the alarms and the visions coexist with reason. Little attention has been given to the fact that values evolve. Actually do you know what a value is beyond a worth that you give to something. I argue that we have for millenia confused characteristics and virtues with values and that values are what we act upon because we ascribe worth to such actions. In other words we do not always know what values we hold high, particularly if they are not admirable. I maintain that the evolved value system that is universally valid consists of three active values - democracy, tolerance and helpfulness - and a core or root value - non-idolatry. When I say this is evolved I mean that the terms I am using are a reflection of what can be grasped now. In fact, these are values that were implicit in the teaching and actions of Jesus and of many others throughout history. I believe all values should be identified and criticized. Because we are actually free to consciously identify and choose the values we will live by, Things like gay or straight marriage may well be values we act upon but I would argue that democracy, tolerance and helpfulness trump any value based on a cultural choice. Well enough for now,

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This weather is just a taste of the devastation to come if we do not end our oil use

29 States Under Heat Advisory - The Daily Beast: "The heat wave continues as 29 states issue heat advisories today. Several northeastern cities ... are ... at code red air quality levels, meaning it's unhealthy for all people. Chicago also reported unhealthy smog levels ... At least 22 people have died from the heat wave so far." I am sure few if any believe the gravity of this crisis The reason is obvious. We have lulled ourselves into believing we can do this gradually. We cannot. We are trapped in a politically disastrous vortex with truth on one side and the weight of our entire faltering economic structure trying to hold the truth back. Let Sting's "Every Breath You Take" be the sad antiphon of this sad post. I did not come late to this point of view. It has germinated for five decades. Three more end of oil posts.



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Why Obama doesn't go for legalization is a mystery to me.

Obama says he’s not willing to end the drug war | Raw Replay: "We can’t simply focus on interdiction because, frankly, no matter how good of a job we’re doing when it comes to an interdiction approach, if there is high demand in this country for drugs, we are going to continue to see not only drug use but also the violence associated with the drug trade.”" Take out the simply and yur argument for the drug war goes up in smoke.

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A snippet of encouraging Alzheimer's news

PsycPORT Article: "In tests on more than 1,000 people, an experimental test did a good job of indicating how much of the telltale Alzheimer's plaque lurks in the brain."


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Thanks to the War on Drugs the world is plunged into excruciating pain

Freedom from Pain - People & Power - Al Jazeera English: "Overall, Freedom from Pain reveals that bureaucratic hurdles, and the chilling effect of the global war on drugs, are the main impediments to a pain free world." Just one more under-reported hypocrisy that needs immediate fixing. Cap tip Pro Publica.

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Ecuador:wins today's human rights booby prize

Ecuador: A Blow to Free Speech | Human Rights Watch: "(Washington,DC) - The conviction of President Rafael Correa's critics for criminal defamation violates Ecuador's international human rights obligations and should be overturned on appeal, Human Rights Watch said today. Ecuador should abolish the defamation provisions in its criminal code, Human Rights Watch said. " Just so you do not think we are being patronizing, being here in the Imperium and all, we award the current massive all-time skeevy human rights booby prize to - the United States for its atrocious treatment of one we should see as a hero. That would be Bradley Manning. Obama should pardon him instantly.




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When you come here you already know that today's housing is toast

As housing prices drop, closing costs are rising - Business - Real estate - msnbc.com: "Nationwide, the average origination and title fees on a $200,000 purchase mortgage totaled $4,070, according to Bankrate's annual survey of closing costs. That's an 8.8 percent jump compared to 2010 when the average closing costs totaled $3,741." A presumptuous headline but it's true. We are at the definitive end of recovery based on revival of a housing market. People can no longer afford the so-called American dream which was an invitatation to reified polarization and anomie on a level Durkheim never imagined. We train our sites on new alternatives like car free, face to face, walkable communities. Cyber cities we have not even imagined yet, so retro is the design, architecture community.

Trucks and buses can be injurious to your health

One dead, 24 hurt in fiery bus crash in NY - US news - Life - msnbc.com: "A man died and 24 people were hospitalized after a tour bus from Canada and a tractor-trailer collided and then burst into flames on the New York State Thruway early Friday." These are not accidents. They are a direct result of the continued use of buses and trucks as means of transportation and our failure to invent and use safer modes.




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I wrote this before I ever saw John Boehner

Men Who Cry - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "All Men Cry Somewhere Deep Inside. But Culture Mocks the Ones Whose Tears Are Visible" But fair is fair and I will cut him some serious slack, particularly if he brings the Tea Party to heel.

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Let us celebrate the critic not the ideologue

Critic - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "Better Be a Critiic Than an Ideologue" That was the virtue of Peirce and Nietzsche who did not know each other's work but complemented one another and whose work, taken as a whole, represents the most profound change to both values and theology since Aristotle.


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Rachel loses this progressive with her endless self-referential clips about, er, herself

Rachel Maddow Loves Being Trashed By Rick Santorum And Other Republicans (VIDEO): "Maddow was reflecting on her surprise second career--as a consistent comedy villain and fundraising pitch in GOP circles." Really, this is the woman I once wrote could do Meet The Press.

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Syria is still a shameful death trap

Eleven killed during mass protests in Syria | Reuters: "Syrian forces shot dead at least 11 people during mass protests on Friday against President Bashar al-Assad, rights activists and witnesses said." And we need to spread the word. Only a worldwide wall of censure has the power to breach the armor of the country's genocidal regime.

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In Russia democracy is a dream delayed

Is Russia’s Political “Black Hole” About to Reach Tipping Point? · Global Voices: "According to [ru] election expert Alexander Lyubarev, the story is yet more proof that the law which regulates founding new parties has just two points: (1) No party can be registered without approval from the Kremlin, and (2) any party can be closed if the Kremlin wishes it."

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How about some favoritism for slim non-smoking non-drivers?

Americans Don't Want Biases in Hiring Smokers, the Overweight Qupth Gallup. But they are not averse to higher insurance rates for both groups. Gallup should include driver data in its polls. Driving causes death and health problems. Carcinogens, that sort of thing. Blunt force trauma. I am not holding my breath.

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Fight over teaching evolution in Texas fizzles - Yahoo! News

Fight over teaching evolution in Texas fizzles - Yahoo! News I doubt that Rick Perry wants to be the William Jennings Bryan of 2012. He's more nefarious than that. He has W coursing through his facial features. Run the other way.


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Boehner and Obama have likely agreed to make 2012 the referendum on debt and taxes

Daily Kos :: State of the Nation: "So the White House says there isn't a deal. John Boehner says there isn't a deal. There must not be a deal, right? Unless somebody is fibbing, that is." Wrong. They can have agreed to kick the can down the road to 2012 and to make that election a referendum on Obama versus GOP. That is the big option Obama has pressed for. They can also have agreed to get the ceiling raised. Technically no deal. This is the only answer that enables them both to play possum. By the time there is a limited agreement, people will be too limp to care. Sic transit idiocy.


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If you don't know what a corporate tax holiday is, read this

Corporate Tax Holiday in Debt Ceiling Deal: Where's the Uproar? | Common Dreams: "Money streamed back into America. But the companies did not use the savings to create jobs. Instead, they mostly just turned it into executive bonuses and ate the extra cash. Some of those companies promising waves of new hires have already committed to massive layoffs.." And both parties feed voraciously at the corporate trough. I say abolish the current liability-exempt status of corporations. Everyone understands that.


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I was gonna say this. Maybe I already did.

The Looming GOP Split | Swampland: "The next 96 hours could determine the future of the Republican Party. If the Tea Party is coronating its own third-party candidate next summer, the moment of schism will likely be traced back to this week of debate on raising the debt ceiling." But it takes no rocket scientist to assume if the TP is bested by the Old Guard in Congress and a Mitt is the nominee, a loser will be guaranteed a loss by this split. Should Perry prevail as seems likely, he may make devil's bargains to keep a split from taking place. If he prevails he is a formidable opponent.

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I remember when Norway was sardines, not terror

Explosion damages Norwegian government building in Oslo - CSMonitor.com: "The blast comes as the Scandinavian country has grappled with a series of homegrown terror plots linked to al-Qaida, and six years after an uproar over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in neighboring Denmark. Last week, a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he's deported from the Nordic country."


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Oh well that explains it

Fla. teen Tyler Hadley, who allegedly killed parents, was high on ecstasy, say cops - Crimesider - CBS News: "Florida teen Tyler Hadley was high on ecstasy when he bludgeoned his parents to death with a hammer, then threw a house party via Facebook invites while their bodies remained in a locked bedroom, according to police reports." Let's see Murder Is Us - Ecstasy! That explains it? If so, why are not our suburbs and exurbs littered with corpses of loving, non-abusive parents?


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You would think August 2 was just around the corner

I swear I thought it was almost August. That is the mentality that people are putting out there. Time winding down and all that. We have eons before August 2. We cannot have a deal too fast. We need to play this out properly. Ladies and gentlemen, you will either be paralyzed by boredom by August 2 or so mad that you will actually change from whatever you are now to what you have hitherto despised. Just to have something to do. This is a posuitive reason why Eric Cantor cannot yet be placed under a rock where he belongs. We need the fellow to make us believe there is no hope at all.  

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Burt Reynolds upstages John Boehner (Photo)

The Longest Yard — BagNews: "Anyway, I think Roll Call and Getty have a winner with this shot — a cheeky commentary on what is happening in real life (if one would venture to use that term to describe what’s happening in D.C. now, or ever)." Click for photo and text.

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Mildred Purse challenges What's His Name to fisticuffs


Honestly I forget his name. He is the excrescence who insulted my favorite Floridian Ms. Schultz with a W. He should be horse-whipped but fisticuffs will do. He will find me jogging back and forth on Beacon Hill.

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A way of understanding McLuhan

The New Atlantis » Why Bother with Marshall McLuhan?: "McLuhan’s hopefulness about humanity’s future was then ultimately theological, his reading of the advent of the computer shaped by his belief in God’s interventions in human history; his dream was that God might bring about a perfected — a complete and fully immediate — communion of all His creatures by means of the digital computer." This is nice. Most actual notions he had, particularly regarding the automobile, are useful for cleansing hogs.

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Anyone who can do this ought to be able to dream up alternative modes of transportation (Video)


Prepare for a few moments of mesmerization


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Anybody heard of coin seniorage?

There's a Solution to the Debt Fight That Could Avert Catastrophe -- Why Is Everyone Ignoring It? | News & Politics | AlterNet: "So tomorrow, Geithner could order the mint to manufacture a couple of trillion-dollar platinum coins and swap them for public debt now held by the Federal Reserve. The coins, unlike the bonds held by the Fed, don't count as debt, so the transaction would bring us $2 trillion below the debt ceiling and the manufactured “crisis” would be averted." Sounds like sleight of hand to me.

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This is total malarkey

Are Your Humanitarian Heartstrings Being Tugged in the Name of Empire? | World | AlterNet: "The media effect of filling a newspaper with human rights atrocities from the developing world functions to distract the audience from strategic and mineral designs the US and its allies have going in those countries, and to dilute the news coverage when their true aims come to light." The media does nothing of the kind. We are blind both to human rights abuses and to the imperial project. The notion that we emphasize human rights at the expense of the worse crimes against the planet is silly. We do ignore the plundering but that is a massive and culpable defect that stands alone. The real connection between philanthropy and genocide lies in the failure of philanthropic groups themselves to flag the underlying issues in exchange for their futile effort to close the death gap.

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Rudy heart FOX

Rupert Murdoch Scandal: Rudy Giuliani’s Ties to News Corp. - The Daily Beast: "The unholy alliance of press and politics happens here, too. Giuliani did enormous favors for Fox TV in New York City, and his wife’s earnings from Fox tripled while he was mayor." Does that make FOX the nation's channel? The answer to both questions is no. Not in my book.

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Really we expect her to get a job?

Taxpayers Will Foot Anthony’s Legal Bills - The Daily Beast: "Anthony’s lawyers said she is doing fine, but refused to say where she is living or how she is supporting herself." Come on. How is she going to support herself without some sort of protection from the venal media class and their major domo Nancy Grace?

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Let me see this guy confesses and they whack him and we ...

Jose Vargas' License Canceled - The Daily Beast We are so unused to acts of conscience that we do not know how to behave when someone says I have been leading a double life so I will not get deported or otherwise whacked by the adopted country that I love? I mean he writes a full confession and the NYT publishes it. But instead of being being understanding, slack is in short supply. I have such an animosity to our immigration officiousness that I can easily extend it to any other offensive bureaucracy. But I am nuts because I believe in total free movement and the abolition of refugee status in favor of a global citizen card at birth for every last living soul. We need a mass value change in favor of full democracy, full tolerance, full helpfulness and full humility before the reality that we do not know a thing compared to all there is to know.


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FOX hunt?

Justice Department Prepares Subpoenas in News Corp. Inquiry - WSJ.com: "The U.S. Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary investigations into News Corp. relating to alleged foreign bribery and alleged hacking of voicemail of Sept. 11 victims, according to a government official." Why is "Release the hounds!" going through my head? What would Bill and Sean and Greta do if they were out on the street? Maybe go to Current?

If sworn enemies can reason together, why can't Congress?

North and South Korea hold constructive talks | Reuters: "South and North Korea held high-level talks for the first time in two years in Indonesia on Friday, and said they would work to resume the stalled six-party dialogue for nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula."

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Understanding the role of Democratic ire

Democrats Fume on Sidelines as Obama Goes Solo on Debt Deal With Boehner - The Daily Beast: "House Democrats are shocked and outraged that Obama is pursuing a debt deal with Boehner that sidelines them and won’t hike taxes—though some are resigned to it. By Patricia Murphy." The only way we are going to function as a Democracy is compromise. The only way we move a democracy left or right is by majorities functioning at the polls. The only way to understand Democratic ire is to see it as a theatrical permit enabling wingnuts to relent and go with the program. As for justice, get out there and change the composition of the Congress. Here's a spate of additional posts on the debt deal.



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You never heard a light shine like this (Video)


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The democratic revolution is rolling justice

Rolling Justice - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com We need more coverage of the democratic revolutions that are taking place around the world. Small ones and big ones. Bloody ones and peaceful ones. It reminds me of the 90s wen I worked in the UN. There had been a spate of elections in various countries through the decade but hardly anyone seemed to notice. Maybe progress is best kept under wraps. But I do not think so as a general rule. We are not called to hide light under a bushel. That calls for a video.

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Just in case you missed Brenda Lee (Video)


Did the lady have attitude? Can I hear an amen?

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I love it when the victim is assumed to be the problem

Alonzo Mourning Accused of Hit-and-Run Car Crash While Driving Porsche - Miami News - Riptide 2.0: "Candelario's attorney says that the student does not use drugs or alcohol and was sober at the time. He called his parents after the crash, and his father arrived at the scene. He quickly recognized Mourning when he eventually returned." Should we call it the DSK Syndrome?


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Anxiety can be good for you

Don't always believe what you read. For example, I read that anxiety and distress are related terms. That would be the case if anxiety was not also related to excitation. In my understanding of semiotics, admittedly superficial, I relate anxiety and excitation to the initiation of thought.  If a sign does not excite you, you may be comatose, blinking, passive and otherwise part of a neutral mass that might end up merely being ballast on a listing ship called the world. But I digress. We run on excitement. That's how we see signs!  Then we let excitement bump up against reality, brute fact, opposition, resistance. Out of that confluence comes a habit or a rule or a resolution. It is a triadic process. Without some initial anxiety it would never happen at all.

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I'm with him

BBC News - Church in Wales inquiry after rector burns Bible pages: "Unveiling it at a church event, he said it revealed a 'cruel and vile God'." No I would not cut up the KJV as I am publicity-averse. But I would gladly do without the noxious book of Esther and all passages in which the Abba that Jesus seems to have believed in is saddled with activities that would be classed as war crimes were they undertaken by a human being.


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Where is Terry Southern when we need him?

Gay 'barbarians' glitter bomb Marcus Bachmann clinic | Mail Online: "The group struck after Mr Bachmann was said to have referred to gay people as 'barbarians' who need to be 'disciplined', 'educated' and people in authority should 'not encourage such thoughts and feelings'. Scroll down for video and audio." Guy Grand would have paid BIG BUX to see this.


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The Pour ha ha Beaujolais up against the wall

Jealousy, snobbery corners Beaujolais | The Australian: "On the face of it, the decision was an administrative settlement to a technical argument over grape varieties and geography, but behind it lay decades of jealousy, a typically subtle French form of snobbery and an annual revenue of more than E1 billion." It's not funny, it was just the idea of all the idiocy the NYT lavishes on this stuff. Sorry.


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Inexorability is all around us (Video)




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Rivalry - Does HTML5 mean Flash in a pan?

HTML5 on the Rise: What Does it Mean for Adobe Flash, Creative Suite? - International Business Times: "The emergence of HTML5 has given developers an alternative to Flash, which is still one of the most heavily used tools for developing websites and creating games. The developers would be leaning more towards HTML5 as the share of potential addressable market of the Web standard grows larger." Somewhere someone is losing sleep. Inexorable this world.

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Morning sermonics


If it's a choice between TBN and Veblen, give me Veblen

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Dumbest sentence of the morning so far

Most Expensive Cars | Celebrity Net Worth: "These innovative cars have exclusive features that are exotic, decked out in leather, and resemble cockpits instead of dashboards." I want a feature decked out in leather!


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The obsession with going to hell in a handbasket is worldwide now but we started it

Luxury Motoring emerges as the new mantra for customer-obsessed brands:: "The legendary reliability, design and operating efficiencies of the C-Class made it the obvious choice. With this transaction, we are the only organization in India to have such a large fleet of luxury cars. We have always believed in setting new benchmarks in the Indian Car Rental industry and this is only a reaffirmation of our long term strategy. “" At some point these vehicles will lose 100 percent of their value. And the world will rub its eyes and say what were we thinking of? And there may not be a grave big enough for all the cars.


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Pay to see your pain or watch the trailer for free

Film of the week: Horrible Bosses: horrible jokes, horribly good fun | Entertainment | News & Comment | The First Post: "As A O Scott points out, people will empathise with characters struggling against 'the unfairness of work at a time of high unemployment, when everything seems to be tilted in favour of those who already have power'"

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With a name like Laliberte with an aigue what do you expect?

Life Lessons From a Fire-Breathing, Stilt-Walking Billionaire - Yahoo! News: "Laliberté ignored all the conventions, pieties, and 'rules' of his industry and of conventional wisdom on how to get ahead in his career. (How could you not, with a last name that means literally 'the freedom'?)" Allons enfants!


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You ain't gon' get the same profits anymore

Goldman Model Planted Seeds of Distress - Bloomberg: "“Our normal desire is to get to 20 percent; I think it’s going to be very tough in this environment,” Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said on July 19 after the firm reported second-quarter net income that fell short of analysts’ estimates. “I’d be surprised if we did that this year.”" Jesus had an infinite profit model that actually works. It is called sharing. It is rarely practiced by Wall Street firms. It has had some success online. No one counts results as profit.


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Did you miss this too?

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk - CNN.com: "CNN) -- Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same 'carcinogenic hazard' category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform." I love the fact that this is a carcinogenic hazard along with car exhaust. I have tested the waters and no one I know saw this. Just when we were thinking of getting one.

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13 minutes of Lucian Freud (Video)

Lucian Freud was 88 a painter of distress

3quarksdaily: R.I.P. Lucian Freud, 1922 – 2011: "From the late 1950s, when he began using a stiffer brush and moving paint in great swaths around the canvas, Mr. Freud’s nudes took on a new fleshiness and mass. His subjects, pushed to the limit in exhausting extended sessions, day after day, dropped their defenses and opened up. The faces showed fatigue, distress, torpor."


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I woke up not knowing there even was a biosemeotics

2011 Biosemiotics Gathering: Program | Dactyl Foundation for the Arts & Humanities: "What can be learned about human semiosis, interpretation, communication, creativity and meaning-making by studying less complex but analogous phenomena in cellular signaling, chemotaxis, zoosemiotics, embryonic development, or the immune system? Can the pervasive metaphoric usages of chemical “message,” genetic “information,” and ”signaling” in contemporary biology be defined more precisely by taking them literally?" But with a morning mantra of Gently Moving Forward enabling the mind to move as it will I encountered a note in my inbox with this reference which I suspect will enlighten someone far away. Enjoy.


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Get Triadic

The Slow as Molasses Press