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Topics - Conservationist

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Metal / Martin Luther King, Jr reviews metal
« on: April 25, 2012, 06:07:40 PM »

Interment - Into the Crypts of Blasphemy

As I approached this release, in my mind there were two thoughts that could cleave a world. The first was that I really do want to re-live those days of glory during the time when the first Entombed, Dismember and Therion albums shaped the sounds of the cosmos. And the second was that a recombinant title like "Into the Crypts of Blasphemy" might render up unto us the same lukewarm drivel of retro-death that Entrails, Fatalist, Disma, and now Autopsy have been piling on our sad desolated corpses. This album will never be as thoroughly exempt from virtue as the Fatalist con-job or the complete weekender hipster project that is Entrails. However, even in its brightest hour, this has none of the grace that infests early Entombed. It is rote, without subtlety and thus missing the small insights into the world beyond that make death metal truly transcendent. It may be good but it's not good enough.

Acrostichon - Engraved in Black

Through the turbulent times of human struggle, people have been able to turn to music to unite them and express their fears, doubts, angers and hopes. Some music however expresses very little, because it is derivative of past music, and has nothing particular of its own to say. As a result you get a salad with bits from influences thrown in at random and while each song appears to be a song, no impression forms in the mind that this song has conveyed anything more than some riffs, vocals and drumbeats that sound a lot like others. This makes the song comforting but empty. Like its fellow influences Coroner and other early-1980s European speed metal bands, "Engraved in Black" is basically warmed over heavy metal with more emphasis on vocals and death metal style playing. However, these riff patterns were old in the days of NWOBHM. Like Coroner, these musicians are competent, but it's unclear if they express anything. In fact, most European death metal failed for this reason, until the Swedes saved everyone. It just has nothing to say. It may be good, but it doesn't matter; it expresses a brief glimpse of incoherence and nothing more.

Metal / Raven's Bane
« on: April 25, 2012, 05:00:53 PM »
This is a Demoncy side project, dark ambient. Anyone heard it?

Interzone / How to save wildlife
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:16:04 PM »
How to save wildlife:

Before Polynesian settlers arrived here hundreds of years ago in their outrigger canoes, Hawaii had more than 120 species of birds — and no mammals to eat them. Land birds flourished in the absence of land predators, and seabirds flew in from all over the world to nest undisturbed on the ground.

All of that changed with the arrival of humans — and the dogs, cats, rats and mongooses that came with them. Hawaii became the extinction capital of the world; all but a few species of land birds disappeared or diminished to tiny numbers, and many seabirds avoided extinction only by flying to other islands.

But here on this wild, windswept point just 30 miles from Waikiki’s crowded beaches, the first predator-proof fence in the United States, built last year by Xcluder, a New Zealand company, is helping to restore the land to a pristine state and proving a boon for scientists and bird-watchers.


“The fence is doing its job,” said Eric VanderWerf, a biologist who, with his wife, Lindsay C. Young, is studying populations of albatrosses and shearwaters on a grant from the Packard Foundation. “The cats and mongooses were killing 15 percent of the chicks every year, and now they’re all gone.”


Isolated it.
Keep us out.
Let it manage itself.


Interzone / Am I going to hell for laughing at this?
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:35:21 PM »
Why were so many prominent modernist writers and philosophers attracted to fascist or authoritarian regimes in the first half of the twentieth century? A list of those who were not—Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, and Robert Musil—pales in comparison to a list of those who were—Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Knut Hamsun, Paul de Man, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Filippo Marinetti, Martin Heidegger, Robert Brasillach, and a host of others. Add to the latter the name of Gertrude Stein, one of the most avant-garde of modernist writers in the English language, who was also—it turns out—a committed supporter of Philippe Pétain, head of state of the pro-Nazi collaborationist Vichy regime in France during the Second World War.

Gertrude Stein, a Vichy supporter?  For most people, including those filling the rooms of several recent major museum exhibits on Stein, this news might come as a surprise. A Jewish-American experimental writer, friend of Picasso and muse to Hemingway, Gertrude Stein seems to embody high modernism in its most creative and progressive form. Her patronage of modernism’s giants—Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse—made her a radical in her day. Her playful and innovative writing seems to anticipate much of postmodern thought. Her open, unapologetic, same-sex partnership with Alice B. Toklas belongs more to the liberal world of 2012 than to 1912. And yet throughout her life Stein hewed to the political right, even signing up to be a propagandist for an authoritarian, Nazi-dominated political regime.


Artists like order, too.

Interzone / Subterfuge
« on: April 24, 2012, 10:39:28 AM »
I reckon it should be necessary for people to be led through epistemic skepticism and nihilism/existentialism before they can post on these boards, seriously.

Perhaps we should insist that this entire board is a study group for a course named Epistemological Stochasticism: Underground Metal and the Blurring of Moral Certainty.

Interzone / Sea change
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:47:46 PM »
Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen obtained a surprising 18% of the vote in the first-round of France’s presidential election Sunday night. But who will those votes go to in the second round?

Having secured nearly one in five votes cast in the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, far right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen has the potential to swing what is likely to be a close second round on May 6.

But for the moment, Marine Le Pen is not asking her supporters to choose between incumbent centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist challenger François Hollande. Instead, she is basking in the glory of her surprisingly strong showing – more than 18% of the vote – and touting her party’s central message: that the two main parties interchangeably represent the “elite”, while she is the one true alternative to the status-quo in French politics.

“Tonight is historic,” Le Pen gushed to her supporters gathered in the 15th district of Paris on Sunday. “We are the only opposition to the ultra-liberal, libertarian left-wing.”


Never thought I'd see this in my lifetime.

She makes a good dichotomy: those who want a culture, versus the elites who want a market.

It's not an anti-capitalist message, but it clearly calls for some limits. People will like it, since even socialism-haters fear the idiocies possible under the "free market."

And we all want the tribe to return.

Interzone / Pro-tard viewpoints
« on: April 23, 2012, 08:30:10 PM »
The government called tonight, and said that we're subject to a media tax if we don't provide a balanced viewpoint, which means the other side gets a point of view.

Hence this thread.

I'll kick it off:

It is every high school girl's dream to be asked to the prom by a handsome young man.

The parents of Amber House, however, never thought their daughter would see that dream come true because she has Down Syndrome.

But thanks to one, sweet 16-year-old guy, Amber, 18, from Houston, Texas, was able to go to the prom like all the other high school teenagers last Thursday.


Nary a 'chipper in sight.

Interzone / Funding science
« on: April 23, 2012, 07:17:15 PM »
"The New York Review of Books has an article penned by Steven Weinberg lamenting the future of physics, cosmology and this era of 'big science' in which we find ourselves. A quote from Goldhaber sums up the problem nicely, 'The first to disintegrate a nucleus was Rutherford, and there is a picture of him holding the apparatus in his lap. I then always remember the later picture when one of the famous cyclotrons was built at Berkeley, and all of the people were sitting in the lap of the cyclotron.' The article is lengthy with a history of big physics projects (most painfully perhaps the SSC) but Weinberg's message ultimately comes across as pessimism laced with fatalism — easily understandable given his experiences with government funding. Unfortunately he notes, 'Big science has the special problem that it can't easily be scaled down. It does no good to build an accelerator tunnel that only goes halfway around the circle.' Apparently this article mirrors his talk given in January at the American Astronomical Society. If not our government, will anyone fund these immense projects or will physics slowly grind to a halt due to fiscal constraints?"


It's unbelievable to me that government does not want to fund big science. Then again, we're spending all our money on pensions, welfare, diversity programs and bureaucracy. Even in the military -- a huge portion of their budget is diversity, compliance, labor, etc. oriented.

Interzone / IT & CS: dead-end careers
« on: April 23, 2012, 07:15:42 PM »
"Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35. Employers dismiss them as either lacking in up-to-date technical skills — such as the latest programming-language fad — or 'not suitable for entry level.' In other words, either underqualified or overqualified. That doesn’t leave much, does it? Statistics show that most software developers are out of the field by age 40. Employers have admitted this in unguarded moments. Craig Barrett, a former chief executive officer of Intel Corp., famously remarked that 'the half-life of an engineer, software or hardware, is only a few years,' while Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has blurted out that young programmers are superior."


Just like college has been devalued, there are now infinite code monkeys. Since the coding itself has been so radically standardized, thanks mostly to platform standardization, it's no longer a space for genius. In fact, it's where the blockhead clerks of yesterday have gone to practice.

This is why every IT person is scrambling for the exit to management...

Interzone / Paranoia theories, not conspiracy theories
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:59:36 AM »
Binney, the former technical director of the agency's World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, told Democracy Now hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez that Stellar Wind, the NSA wiretapping program begun in the wake of 9/11, still has unprecedented access to private domestic communications.

When Goodman asked if the government currently has copies of all emails sent by U.S. citizens within the United States (at 46:05 in the video clip), Binney replied, "I believe they have most of them, yes."

According to Binney, the NSA receives around 320 million domestic communication records daily from telecom firms like AT&T. "They had to be given retroactive immunity for the crimes they were committing," he explained (at 50:40), referring to the U.S. Senate's decision in 2008 to reject several prominent lawsuits against internet and phone companies that were handing over customer data to the U.S. government.


If you were a government with the power to filter all email for patterns of communication, wouldn't you?

You'll get blamed if you don't and something goes wrong.

At that point, economics takes over. And is this a bad thing?

Perhaps not: we don't really have an expectation of privacy with email or other public acts.

Interzone / Why socialism, leftism, anarchy, etc. fail
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:57:37 AM »
A culture of entitlement: if we are equal, I deserve good things just for being me.

Not only was my students’ writing appalling, but I soon encountered their resentment at being told about it. “Who are you to tell me I can’t write?” was the attitude — once expressed in those very words. More than one student insisted that her other teachers had always rewarded her with high marks for her “creativity.” Most believed themselves more than competent. After sitting with one young woman explaining the cause of her failing grade, I was befuddled when her only response was a sullen: “This doesn’t exactly make me feel good.” When I responded that my job was not to make her feel good, she stood haughtily, picked up her paper with an air of injury, and left my office without another word. In her mind, I later realized, I had been unforgivably cruel.

I was up against it: the attitude of entitlement rampant amongst university students and nurtured by the utopian ideology that permeates modern pedagogy, in which the imposition of rules and identification of errors are thought to limit student creativity and the fostering of a hollow self-esteem takes precedence over the building of skills on which genuine self-respect might be established. In the Humanities subjects in particular — and in English especially, the discipline I know best — such a philosophy has led to a perilous watering down of course content, with self-validation seen as more important than the mastery of specific knowledge.

With this philosophy has come a steady grade inflation. The majority of students in English courses today can expect a B grade or higher merely for warming a seat and handing in assignments on time.


You either reward greatness, or reward non-greatness. Whatever you reward, you get more of.

People claim they like natural selection, then act against it by insisting that everyone is equal.

Interzone / Racial discontent
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:50:30 AM »
Americans are deeply divided by race over the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, with 91 percent of African-Americans saying he was unjustly killed, while just 35 percent of whites thought so, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Thursday.

Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics believe that Martin was unjustly killed six weeks ago, according to the online poll of 1,922 Americans, conducted Monday through Thursday.

In a sign of how riveted Americans have been by the case, 93 percent of those surveyed said they were aware of the shooting, which set off heated debates over race, gun control and crime.


The media sheep are shocked that people cheer for their own teams.

But why shouldn't they? Those teams support their own values, both those in culture and those encoded in DNA.

A coalition of groups supporting immigrants has recruited teams of volunteers to help push programs they hope will add thousands of new U.S. citizens to the voter rolls in several states in time for the November presidential election.

The national push comes after Democratic President Barack Obama has failed to deliver on promised immigration reforms in his first years in office and his likely opponent, Mitt Romney, adopted harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration to win support from conservatives while campaigning for the GOP nomination.


Different groups are trying to use these people like chess pieces.

The Democrats want more voters. (Non-whites almost all vote Democratic.)

The Republicans are often swayed by industry, which wants more cheap labor and consumers.

Very few seem to be thinking about the effects of what they do, only the "value" of what they do...

Interzone / Blank cheque
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:46:27 AM »
The report, This Sceptred Isle, shows that only 61 per cent of the English said they associated the St George’s Cross with pride and patriotism, compared to 84 per cent of Scots and 86 per cent of Welsh, when asked about, respectively, the St Andrew’s Cross and the Red Dragon.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent), of the English said they considered their flag to be racist, compared to 10 per cent of Scots and seven per cent of Welsh, when asked about their own flags.

The report blames the “extreme street hooligans of the English Defence League” for “toxifying” the St George’s Cross, although it says politicians should also take responsibility for failing to “speak up for the inclusive patriotism of the English majority”.


Certain things represent blank cheques in this society: unequal rights, civil rights, gender rights.

I don't see these debates as being about their putative topics. Instead, they're about fragmentation in the name of the individual.

Your average person, unless non-white, doesn't give a shit about racism.

What they do want is no oversight, government handouts, and "equal validity" so they can do whatever they want without consequences, and with social subsidy.

Interzone / Generation abandoned
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:43:31 AM »
The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.


They are getting screwed, and they have nothing to complain about.

Their elders sold them college as a chance to a better life. That created a vast horde of people who want to go to college; on top of that, affirmative action, inclusion of the mentally retarded, and teaching of propaganda have made high school education worthless.

Thus college was also dumbed down.

Now everyone who scores above a 105 on an IQ test can go to "college," which has made college degrees near-worthless. Graduate education, certification and job experience are now required.

Until you get those, you're just chattel. But you're educated(tm).

This is why there is nothing to complain about: the people wanted more education and better jobs, and by all climbing into that boat, they sunk it lower into the water. Now they take on more debt for less reward.

They would have been better off just strengthening a high-school education. Of course, that would have meant norming it to a 110 IQ instead of a 90 as it is now. That's racist/sexist/who knows what.

Interzone / The second cold war
« on: April 23, 2012, 03:38:50 AM »
Russian naval deputy chief of staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov announced here on Sunday the official start of the joint exercise with the Chinese navy.

Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, delivered exercise tasks.

This marks the first naval drill between China and Russia, following four military exercises involving the two nations since 2005.


The old alliances are still there. Russia-China form an axis, with various Comintern projects in the third world.

Then there's the "free world," which is much more socialist since 1937, and very confused.

Some of those form coalitions like NATO, whose goal is to prevent Russian invasion of Europe (again).

Others are struggling to form alliances that will last the century. India, Brazil, Africa...

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