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Messages - tardocaust

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Metal / India
« on: April 26, 2012, 07:09:51 PM »
But, whereas in America heavy metal has distinctly working class connotations, in India the music is accessible only to the privileged few.

Chloe Coventry is a doctoral candidate in the field of ethnomusicology at University of California, Los Angeles and is writing her dissertation on rock music performance in India’s globalized post-liberalization culture. She sees the music as a kind of rite of passage for many of India’s educated youth. “While a few of the older metal musicians I met critiqued the consumer culture [they believed] India was becoming, the younger kids were planning on becoming the engineers and doctors,” Ms. Coventry says. “Rock is still an upper middle-class pursuit here.”


Interzone / Curators (of death metal)
« on: April 26, 2012, 06:41:48 PM »
Curation is the act of individuals with a passion for a content area to find, contextualize, and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what's interesting, happening, and cool in their focus. Curators tend to have a unique and consistent point of view--providing a reliable context for the content that they discover and organize. To be clear, Pinterest both creates tools to organize the noisy web and, at the same time, creates more instances of information in a different context. So it's both part of the problem, and a solution. The trick is finding the Pinterest pinboards that you like, and tune out the rest.

So anyone who steps up and volunteers to curate in their area of knowledge and passion is taking on a Herculean task. They're going to stand between the web and their readers, using all of the tools at their disposal to "listen" to the web, and then pull out of the data stream nuggets of wisdom, breaking news, important new voices, and other salient details. It's real work, and requires a tireless commitment to being engaged and ready to rebroadcast timely material. While there may be an economic benefit for being a "thought leader" and "trusted curator," it's not going to happen overnight. Which is to say, being a superhero is often a thankless job.


Interzone / Re: Rightists versus Leftist
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:14:15 PM »
The core of the book is an attempt at a Darwinian explanation of morality, contending that moral behavior emerges from a natural process of competition among human groups. “Human nature was produced by natural selection working at two levels simultaneously,” Haidt writes. “Individuals compete with individuals within every group, and we are the descendants of primates who excelled at that competition. This gives us the ugly side of our nature, the one that is usually featured in books about our evolutionary origins.... But human nature was also shaped as groups competed with other groups. As Darwin said long ago, the most cohesive and cooperative groups generally beat the groups of selfish individualists.” Like the human animal, morality is “groupish,” requiring the subordination of individuals for the sake of the good of the group. Human beings “have the ability, under special circumstances, to shut down our petty selves and become like cells in a larger body, or like bees in a hive, working for the good of the group,” an ability that “facilitates altruism, heroism, war, and genocide.” Once we see ourselves as animals having “primate minds with a hivish overlay,” we get “a whole new perspective on morality, politics, and religion.”

A part of The Righteous Mind is a useful critique of the primitive type of rationalism that has lately been in vogue. Haidt is refreshingly dismissive of the “new atheism.” Considering why religious communes have lasted longer than secular ones, he writes: “The very ritual practices that the New Atheists dismiss as costly, inefficient, and irrational turn out to be a solution to one of the hardest problems humans face: cooperation without kinship. Irrational beliefs can sometimes help the group function more rationally.” One is tempted to object that solving collective action problems is only one of the human needs that religion serves—and not in the end the most important. Still, Haidt is right to ridicule those who see religion as little more than a body of irrational belief.

The fixation on belief, according to Haidt, exemplifies an outdated view of the mind. Applying a metaphor employed in his earlier book The Happiness Hypothesis, he remarks that “The mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider’s job is to serve the elephant. The rider is our conscious reasoning—the stream of words and images of which we are fully aware. The elephant is the other 99 percent of mental processes—the ones that occur outside of awareness but that actually govern most of our behavior.” The idea that this relationship could ever be reversed is a fantasy of rationalism, and contrary to reason. As he puts it, “the worship of reason, which is sometimes found in philosophical and scientific circles, is a delusion. It is an example of faith in something that does not exist.” Reason can never be other than rare in human affairs. But contrary to Haidt, this is not a frailty that can be avoided by relying on large, speculative ideas. If history shows anything, it is that acting on the basis of grand theories only makes human behavior even more unreasonable.

Interzone / Re: Baby Boomers: death of us all
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:10:53 PM »
Social Security is rushing even faster toward insolvency, driven by retiring baby boomers, a weak economy and politicians' reluctance to take painful action to fix the huge retirement and disability program.

The trust funds that support Social Security will run dry in 2033 - three years earlier than previously projected - the government said Monday.


Interzone / Re: Immigration won't help world's poor
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:10:16 PM »
Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared inclined on Wednesday to uphold a controversial part of Arizona’s aggressive 2010 immigration law, based on their questions at a Supreme Court argument.

A ruling to uphold the law would be a victory for conservatives who have pressed for tough measures to stem illegal immigration, including ones patterned after the Arizona law, in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah. President Obama has criticized the Arizona law, calling it a threat to “basic notions of fairness.”

Should the court uphold any part of the law, immigration groups are likely to challenge it based on an argument that the court was not considering on Wednesday: that the law discriminates on the basis of race and ethnic background.


Interzone / Re: Black Women Less Attractive.
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:09:32 PM »
The number of interracial couples in the United States has reached an all-time high, with one in every 10 American opposite-sex married couples saying they're of mixed races, according to the most recent Census data released Wednesday.

In 2000, that figure was about 7%.

Among interracial opposite-sex married couples, non-Hispanics and Hispanics are by far the most frequent combination, making up about 45% of such partnerships, Kreider said.

The second most represented group are those in which at least one person identifies as multiracial, while the third are marriages between whites and Asians.

Marriages between blacks and whites are the fourth most frequent group among married opposite-sex interracial couples


Interzone / Re: Liberal democratic legitimacy ending
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:07:50 PM »
Mr. Robinson is black and his victim was white — a fact that was pointed out in closing arguments by prosecutors, who described Mr. Robinson as racially biased for a violently anti-white statement he made before the murder.


Interzone / Re: Overpopulation
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:04:06 PM »
World population needs to be stabilised quickly and high consumption in rich countries rapidly reduced to avoid "a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills", warns a major report from the Royal Society.

Contraception must be offered to all women who want it and consumption cut to reduce inequality, says the study published on Thursday, which was chaired by Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston.

The assessment of humanity's prospects in the next 100 years, which has taken 21 months to complete, argues strongly that to achieve long and healthy lives for all 9 billion people expected to be living in 2050, the twin issues of population and consumption must pushed to the top of political and economic agendas. Both issues have been largely ignored by politicians and played down by environment and development groups for 20 years, the report says.


Interzone / Re: Whiteness
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:02:25 PM »
I held on for a long time to the belief that while America was systemically racist, our team was better than that, basketball was better than that. Something occurred within the bonds of recognition formed on the court that could constitute a small contribution toward navigating America out of its racial trap, creating connections on top of an otherwise deeply abusive and unjust system. In this view, our white players were playing not to dominate another race, but to perform fidelity to basketball itself and hence black America as well, to grasp basketball as the communion wafer that would transubstantiate animosity (or unfamiliarity at the very least) into identification. To win here was to belong. But in the outbursts which repeated themselves across the years I realized that something else was going on as well. To win — especially in the eyes of many around us — was also to destroy, to humiliate, and to dominate. The racism was not some cancer only inside those who exploded with words of hatred, but somehow flowed within the machine that we constructed with the black teams during those particularly charged moments: It was part of all of us. Hence the codified representations — white players are smart, we were a “real team” who “knew how to play the game the way it should be played” — took on an insidious inflection, a way of fighting this battle passively rather than explicitly. We were made into weapons directed at black people.


Interzone / Antinegro discrimination
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:01:06 PM »
This southern city in China's Guangdong province has drawn hundreds of thousands of immigrants from across Africa in the last decade: from Burkina Faso and Somalia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, Tanzania and Angola. The banner and the dwindling numbers of traders here attest to an immigration crackdown that has alienated many and left young men injured and languishing in detention, community leaders say.

"You go home: the police are knocking on your door. You are on the street: police will hold you. You are on the bus, inside a restaurant – it's everywhere," says Ojukwu Emma, president of the Association of the Nigerian Community, whose compatriots account for almost half the migrants.

It has not always been this way. Between 30,000 and 100,000 Africans, mainly young men, are living here. Most are traders lured by the cheapness and variety of goods made in the surrounding Pearl River Delta. In complexes such as Canaan, they purchase nappies, tractor parts, luxuriantly floral shirts, stock cubes, mobile phones, air conditioners, and pirate DVDs. In the Chinese-run cafes around the buildings they eat plantains and fufu as well as rice.


Interzone / Whiteness
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:00:32 PM »
But increasingly, people aren’t sniping about “whiteness” to be funny, or even defiant—at least not entirely. They’re using the term as a form of criticism, meant to be dismissive. “That movie looks very white,” or, “That sounds like music for white people,” is another way of saying, “That can’t be any good.” And I do have a problem with that.

To some extent, this is mainly a personal beef. I get annoyed whenever anyone slaps a label on something and then presumes that the label itself says all that needs to be said. Whenever a critic or a potential audience member sniffs about “dad rock” or “chick lit” or “one for the fanboys,” it raises my hackles. If you’d rather not engage with what a piece of art actually is—as in, what it expresses and how well it expresses it—then fine. But don’t presume some kind of superiority because of that choice. One of the biggest fallacies in the way we talk about art is this idea that somehow personal taste equates to quality: That each of us miraculously only enjoys movies and music that are the best of their respective medium, and ergo, any movies and music we don’t enjoy must be terrible. It’s a standard we generally only apply to art (well, and politics). If we dislike salmon, we don’t presume salmon itself to be bad; we just understand we don’t have a taste for it, and we’re generally willing to acknowledge that if prepared properly, we might even be capable of enjoying the occasional piece of salmon. It’s not that degrees of “good” and “bad” don’t exist, but ultimately our taste in art isn’t so different from our taste in food, in that it’s personal, and—if we’re being honest with ourselves—fairly malleable.

What’s even more aggravating, though, is that the use of “white” as a tag of shame has the inadvertent but real effect of reducing “non-white” elements to mere ornamentation.


Interzone / Re: Overpopulation
« on: April 25, 2012, 03:36:35 PM »
World population is growing astoundingly quickly. Every year about 135 million people are born and 55 million people die, adding 80 million to our global population. That's about 250,000 more people every day, or 1 billion more every 12 years. Each person uses far more land than the few feet they actually occupy. We use cropland to grow food, grazing land for meat and dairy, fishing ground, forest land, carbon uptake land, and built-up land for habitation, transportation and commerce. (our Global Footprint).


Interzone / Re: Christian Esoterism
« on: April 25, 2012, 03:35:15 PM »
The Jews had significant competition in antiquity when it came to worshipping Yahweh. Archeologists have discovered a second great temple not far from Jerusalem that predates its better known cousin. It belonged to the Samaritans, and may have been edited out of the Bible once the rivalry had been decided.


Interzone / Re: Definition of DECADENCE
« on: April 25, 2012, 12:38:13 PM »
An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person's gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation.

The opinion came in a decision delivered on Monday, April 23, to lawyers for Mia Macy, a transgender woman who claims she was denied employment with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the agency learned of her transition. It also comes on the heels of a growing number of federal appellate and trial courts deciding that gender-identity discrimination constitutes sex discrimination, whether based on Title VII or the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.


Britain has the third highest proportion of sexually active teenagers in the world as well as some of the worst levels of harmful underage drinking, it has been revealed.

Shocking statistics published in the medical journal the Lancet show that youngsters are more at risk from binge drinking, drug taking and sexually transmitted diseases than ever before.

The research found that sexual activity among 13 to 15-year-olds was highest among girls in Denmark followed by Iceland, the UK and Sweden.

Greece and Denmark had the highest rates among boys.

The lowest rates in boys were in Belgium, and for girls Israel.


Interzone / Re: Racial discontent
« on: April 25, 2012, 12:36:09 PM »
The success of France's anti-euro National Front party in the first round of the country's presidential elections thrust the far right into the headlines.

A day later in the Netherlands, the refusal of the far-right Freedom Party to back austerity measures led the Dutch government to collapse.

Two very different scenarios, but with a common thread: the efforts of extremist parties to win support by plugging into popular discontent over the financial crisis, against the backdrop of a wider social unease and anti-immigrant sentiment.


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