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Showing posts from September 26, 2011

White House notes Peace Corps 50th

The White House Blog | The White House: "Civic Enterprises, the National Peace Corps Association and Peter D. Hart Research Associates recently collaborated to hear directly from Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Surveying over 11,000 RPCVs and leaders, "A Call to Peace: Perspectives of Volunteers on the Peace Corps at 50" (pdf) is the story of the individuals who shaped and defined the organization since its inception."

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Wangari Maathai passed away September 25

Wangari Maathai: Spiritual Environmentalism—Healing Ourselves by Replenishing the Earth: "Editor's Note: Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan activist and 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away on September 25. In this essay from her book Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World, she describes what motivated her groundbreaking work."

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Basic components of the future cyber-community

ShortFormContent at Blogger: Intelligent design of the future world has already been done:

A diverse population of up to 10,000 persons A matrix design providing a structure to which all Spaces Are attached A space is a mass produced room or other interior space That is like a lego block which can be Attached in any formation with other lego blocks A maximum of four above-ground levels Linked by stair-free walkways graded A cyber-community will contain all elements associated with a city Homes, schools, work spaces, worship spaces, squares, parks, businesses, medical and commercial establishments It will be largely car and vehicle free The community will be modular Its parts will be easily transportable It will be a viable, safe face-to-face, diverse community

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Intelligent design of the future world has already been done

ShortFormContent at Blogger: An intelligent alternative to global energy death:

Intelligent design of the future world has already been done
Christopher Alexander and others have done so in Pattern Language The defect of this work is its acceptance of the car Intelligent design will make the car a costly option Intelligent design will create car free cyber communities The design of such communities has not even begun Because people are unwilling to start from scratch Intelligent design begins by outlining the Basic components of the future cyber-community


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An intelligent alternative to global energy death

An intelligent alternative to global energy deathWill involve the simplest of solutionsBunch upAnd walkNot in existing communitiesThese must be remade so thatEverything we need is withinWalking distanceToday's sprawl represents our conscious orUnconscious commitment to eventual global suicideWe can avoid this by intelligent design of a new world
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How "energy" destroys us

Not by running out - it's not about to Not by deaths through home and vehicle accidents - we seem to accept these It destroys us by warming our atmosphere to predictable genocidal levels On this the bulk of scientists agree We are on a trajectory to multiply our use of coal and other fossil fuels globally To suicidal levels Suicide is always a choice The only way we can combat this is to propound an intelligent alternative No one has done that yet


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The official version is at best vague

The Mafia and American Law: A History of Organized Crime: "An enduring popular legacy of the era is that the Kennedy’s pursuit of the mob and attempts to overthrow Communist rule in Cuba were major factors in the assassination of both John and Robert. But in spite of innumerable conspiracy theories, the enduring official verdict is that each man’s assassin acted alone."
And hardly convincing. Official reports are not meant to solved but to simplify and satisfy the drive to simplicity.

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Criminality and Politics

The Mafia and American Law: A History of Organized Crime: "At the same time, however, much of the early history of organized crime is largely inseparable from political corruption. In the first half of the twentieth century, the law had often been obliged to turn a blind eye to illegal activity because of personal investment, threat of retaliation, or political pressure. Though organized crime long predates Prohibition, it was the illicit manufacture and distribution of alcohol during temperance that made countless criminals very wealthy and set the stage for many years of criminal influence and affluence all over America. "

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Two pluses for Aquinas

Criminology: Intellectual History - The Middle Ages - Crime, Law, God, Natural, People, and Ordeal - JRank Articles: "Aquinas argued that crime not only harmed victims, but it also harmed criminals because it harmed their essential "humanness"—their natural tendency to do good. He also regarded human misery as a cause of crime and he offered an impassioned defense of those who steal because of extreme misery."

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And so came trial by jury

Criminology: Intellectual History - The Middle Ages - Crime, Law, God, Natural, People, and Ordeal - JRank Articles: "Trial by ordeal was condemned by the pope in 1215 and was replaced by compurgation, in which the accused gathered together a group of twelve reputable people who would swear that he or she was innocent. The idea was that no one would lie under oath for fear of being punished by God. Compurgation ultimately evolved into testimony under oath and trial by jury."

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Putting your finger at random on a Bible page to solve your problems

Windows on The Bible: Fifty Nine Unite!: "There's an old saw about a man who had the habit of putting his finger down at random on a Bible page to solve his problems. One day, in a state of dire need, the fellow opened his Bible with his eyes closed and placed his finger firmly on the following words: "And Judas went out and hanged himself." Since he was hardly suicidal, he decided not to take this as literal advice. He wrote his selection off as an unlucky mistake. He tried again. Eyes closed, he placed his finger over these words: "Go thou and do likewise!""

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Pleasing the extremes does little for the middle

The Grass Roots Church: "There must be equal emphasis placed on the necessity of a renewal of the traditional functions of the Church-the nurturing of community, the teaching of the faith, and the pastoral and preaching ministries. Thus, in proposing a new structure for Protestantism, the priority is not on supplementary structures that will enable the "far out" clergy to experiment at the edges of the religious institution. I do not propose an occasional "Christian coffee house" here, a maverick ministry to the poor there, or a series of ad hoc activities carried out without the knowledge and consent of most church members. Such an approach only shields us from the depths of the Protestant sickness. The first persons to see this should be the avant garde within the churches. Of all people, they should realize that such scattershot renewal is, at best, partial and, at worst, a concession on the part of the status quo, anxious to please the prophets in order to…

How lives turn around in a single paragraph

The Complete History of Adam Panflick: "Calista and Martin moved into the Anderson’s Lakewood home. There is every indication that things went well, despite a large gap in the young couples’ ages and educational attainments. Calista was so involved with her art that she treated the rest of her life as a sort of obligation which she dispatched with cheer and alacrity. She then went back to her colors. Martin was so happy to have such a beauty by his side that it never occurred to him things could change.But change they did. Soon after the birth of their only child Melchizadek, Calista suddenly died. The cause was pneumonia. Her going was easy. At the end, Martin was left with a sea of color and an incurable desolation"

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Low density, automobile dependent development

Urban Sprawl:


Urban Sprawl is low density, automobile dependent development beyond the edge of service and employment areas. It is ubiquitous and its effects are impacting the quality of life in every region of America, in our large cities and small towns. Urban sprawl can be measured using the U-Index (Human Use Index). The U-Index is a measure of the total watershed area that is covered by either urban or agricultural lands. Based upon the information provided by the U-Index, the greatest areas of urbanization in the Mid-Atlantic region occur in the Chesapeake Bay area.

Original Biblical Songs: Job Song Sequence Demo Part One

Original Biblical Songs: Job Song Sequence Demo Part One:

Sad that the general retreat from Biblical awareness fails to exempt the Book of Job from the general alienation in progress. The book of Job is a philosophical argument that skewers every self-help meme now extant. What it does is place wisdom where it belongs - as a fallible if useful bandaid, but not as something with the power to reconcile us, at the very height of our being, with reality. This reconciliation requires a repentance that is Job-like. It is a universal requirement not merely for getting right with reality but for healing one's own wounds. It is the sort of repentance Jesus advocated. It deals with the real guilt that is the essence of the human condition. That cannot be washed away by self-help nostrums.

Why doesn't the President opt for flood free urban construction?

President Obama arrives in New Jersey, visits Wayne and Paterson flood zones | NJ.com:

"The city is surrounded by the Passaic River on three sides and was one of the hardest-hit areas of New Jersey when Hurricane Irene caused record flooding. The river peaked on Wednesday, and nearly 4,000 people were forced to flee their homes. Paterson's economic situation is particularly dire during this recession: roughly a quarter live under the poverty level, and the unemployment rate - at 16.4 percent - is nearly double the state's rate of 9.7 percent."

Every time it floods we rebuild until the next flood. Rather like trying to heal a burst appendix without surgery. The President misses the boat, to coin a phrase, when he fails to think big on infrastructure. When existing structures are obsolete, devise new ones. If we can go to the moon we can do more than make a few lithium batteries and write green everywhere.


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He'd take the church back to its, ah, communist days

Markman: A Film About Jesus:
INTERIOR. MAYOR BLAIR:'S OFFICE. MORNING.

RECEPTIONIST The Reverend Calmus Jones to see you, sir. The Mayor looks up to see an immaculately dressed Rev. Jones enter with hand extended.

JONES: Not an easy time.

MAYOR No. Tell me what you know about John Watters.

JONES: He's a throwback, Steve. A primitive almost. If he had his way he'd take the church back to its, ah, communist days. Pre-Paul. Quite unrealistic.

Jones sits down, leans back, more than an equal.

MAYOR (Fishing) Is he the kind to, ah, go to the wall?

JONES: He's a pain in the ass, Steve. Oh, and by the way, he's clean as a whistle in the vice department, hardly the kind you'd think of possessing drugs. (Beat) Tiger usually has more imagination than that.


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Son of Croesus begs to join the slaying party

Herodotus meets Ellroy: Alyattes had a boy named Croesus. Attacks cities.:
"Son of Croesus begs to join the slaying party. By now you know exactly what will happen. Son begs to be included. But Croesus wants to protect him from predictable spear death. Son concerned about image. Testosterone problem. Too early to meet Falstaff. Or read the Bard. Or schmooze with Stoics. The boy is totally unprepared to survive. He knows no Peirce. He has a large virtual hole in head. He scratches himself all over. Is distracted in sex, New bride cries when he is not looking."

I am developing a simple theory. Where there is power there is crime. In democracies crime aligns with secret government and powerful private institutions (corporations). In authoritarian governments crime is continuous with the rulers (governments). rime is thus dealt with mainly in the level of values. Returning to such august documents as the Ten Commandments.

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We are building a community which has within a half a mile the following

Beyond Pattern Language: I have been waiting for some hot venture capitalist sorts to really gamble.:
"We are building a community which has within a half a mile the following:

educational facilities,

preventive health facilities,

shops and cafes,

small industries and commercial establishments,

entertainment venues,
health clubs,

shopping nodes,

a substantial mix of connected residences.

And anything else you can think of that is presently spread all over our metrosprawl areas and accessible only by car."

Think Disneyland, think Pattern Language, think Beyond Green, think Beyond Oil, think Beyond Car.
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How Peirce and Wittgenstein May Be Said to Relate

ARISBE: Jaime Nubiola - Scholarship On The Relations Between Ludwig Wittgenstein And Charles S. Peirce: " In view of all this information, it seems that scholarly research into the relationship between Wittgenstein and Peirce can scarcely yield any new facts. There is, however, a growing interest in the unified or integrating study of the great currents of thought which have run through the philosophy of our century. In this framework pragmatist philosophy in the Peircean tradition and analytic philosophy, heir to the later Wittgenstein, can be understood as different aspects of an integrated stream of contemporary philosophical reflection. One of the factors which explain the success of analytic philosophy in the United States can be traced back to that pragmatic orientation of American academic philosophy, which takes its main source from Peirce."

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What is a Peircean Fallibilist?

Two Forms of (Political) Fallibilism « Jeffrey C. Goldfarb's Deliberately Considered:
"...it is neither true that there exists some knowledge claim that can be asserted with absolute certainty, nor is it true that every knowledge claim can be reasonably doubted. A fallibilist, in this sense, is someone who believes in the existence—and the importance—of what Plato’s Socrates calls “true opinion,” but also recognizes that both the subject who believes and the object of that belief are caught up in a developmental process: that all truth is historical. This does not commit one to the view that nothing is true, nor must one think that all beliefs are equally fallible. But it does mean seeing the fallibility as endemic to the possibility of knowledge, and not to the psychology of the knower, or the physical conditions of things to be known. One is not saying here, “I might be wrong about this, but…” Rather, one is saying, “I might very well be absolutely right about this, but even…