Fear Mongering: The Media on the Government Shutdown

Fear mongering isn’t just done by cultists and tyrants. Although many of the dictators of today and days past did have it down to a T, our media happens to be one of the best fear mongering machines around. How about the North Korea debacle of recent times? It was the only subject on the news, only to be dismissed again by the masses and forgotten until the news took another recent shot at it. And Syria? We have only been following news on Syria when there are horrendous events happening leading up to what seems to be an intervention initiated by the US. Fear mongering is central to every major subject covered by the media.

Related Article: Imminent Western Intervention in Syria

No wonder our government doesn’t tell us everything; we would be in a constant state of hysteria, running around and threatening each other to protect our family and property. Let’s say, for instance, that beyond the fear mongering hype we knew there was to be a global crash of all computer systems and all the data was to be reset because we were dawning on a new millennium. Oh right, the panic of Y2K. Oh HOOO!!! What if we knew precisely when the world was going to end? Ahh.. December 21, 2012. Boy did that rattle the cages.

Related Article: NOT Another 9-11 Article

Fear mongering is omnipresent in all facets of our lives. Maybe I can spin it another way to get you riled up [after all I am representing a media of sorts, and boy do we like to spin things (tops, pizzas, balls, mouse scrollers, clocks, globes)]. The media is making the government shutdown seem more severe than it needs to be. Let us explore a couple of facts about our government:

How about the fact that there have been 18 government shutdowns since 1976! Take a good look at that list of reasons why the government shut down. Most of them are political disputes that couldn’t be solved so they took the battle to the people, showing their supporters how they stood by their policies and wouldn’t budge. No possible fear mongering there.

How about the fact that neither you nor I were influenced by the shutdown? Nothing actually happened (to us and our daily lives) when the government took a break. In fact our government probably saved a whole lot of money during the shutdown.

Another fact is that Obamacare is in high demand, causing its own shut down of government websites resulting in a blindsided president? Wasn’t Obamacare at the root of the problem of politicians disagreeing in the first place? And yet here it is slowly starting to function and in extreme demand. If you’re going to practice fear mongering, start screaming about the failure of the Obamacare website.

Lastly, it is a fact that the stock market didn’t crash due to the shutdown, people didn’t withdraw all their funds to cause a high volatility in the market place, and investors just kept on investing. So much for all that fear that was being tossed around.. but the government shutdown did happen, and it may happen again if budget problems aren’t solved.

Related Article: TVs, Brains, and Zombies Oh My!

All the while the people of this great country will stand by and listen to live broadcasts in order to be the first to know of any revolts or uprisings taking place. And for what? To be prepared damnit! If the media practices fear mongering and says the situation is severe then we should go buy water and food supplies for the next couple of months, go get a gun to protect ourselves (not that we shouldn’t anyway), and of course find ways to secure our wealth and protect our property! All this for something that is purely word of mouth. If only the game “telephone” was this effective at getting a point across.

Oh misery! What is the point? I am not saying we should be oblivious to world events. In fact it is important that we embrace world events such as the recent protests in Egypt over governmental control, instead of blindly accepting the fear mongering that is fed to us. However, we often forget that a great deal of media is formed on opinion, and the stronger opinions always jump out at us more than the calm, forgetful opinions and facts. Maybe it is time to turn off the news? Maybe it is time to forget about the 9 o’clock updates of recent events on channel 9, 7 , 5, 2, etc. The saying “ignorance is bliss” perfectly pertains to the media and its relentless fear mongering.

Cheers to being ignorant of the media and its senseless fear mongering!

 

 

Research:

Government Shutdown in the United States

PRY: The danger of dismissing North Korea’s nuclear threat

North Korea on high alert, threatens US ships with “horrible disaster”

Y2K Bug Britannica

December 21 2012

Government shutdown? Panic on the markets? Buy stocks.

Obamacare website problems blindsided the President

ObamaCare Facts

 

Wondergressive: Clouds of Western Intervention Loom over Syria

Wondergressive: Imminent Western Intervention in Syria

Wondergressive: NOT Another 9-11 Article

Wondergressive: World Protests: Can You Hear Me Now?

Wondergressive: TVs, Brains, and Zombies Oh My!

Track Phone First, Ask Questions Later

For quite some time it has been apparent that secrets are everywhere. By quite some time, I mean since ages past. From Masons, to Illuminati, to the famous Knights Templar. Many organizations even today keep their secrets: CIA, NSA, etc., etc., etc. The NSA is an organization that takes our information and claims to use it for our safety but in recent news it has been criticized as a cell phone infiltrator. That’s right, though most of you have already heard about this and likely lost interest in it, the fact remains that all of your data are belong to US(A).  It is no lie that:

The National Security Agency has provided timely information to U.S. decision makers and military leaders for more than half a century.

and that:

NSA/CSS exists to protect the Nation.

but where do we draw the line? Is it really in our liberty to discuss anything at all without being overlooked or guided? Is there any safe place for our information?

Related Article: Gossip Through the Prism

Apparently nowhere it seems, as a federal appeals court recently ruled that warrants are not needed for tracking cell phones. Yes, this is very serious. Serious because now all of my talks about kittens and dogs will be recorded and every conversation about “how life is going” with my mother will be documented. Joking aside, a lot of people feel threatened by the means of a government, and the display of power that one such government sometimes abuses. What will all this hacking of civilians information yield? Maybe it will help with criminals at large and terrorists that are on the loose. To think, a world where the NSA finds them and the police get them.

Related Article: The Drones Are Coming

In lighter news, NSA chief will soon be at a conference for hackers in Vegas where he will likely speak out about the data mining and collecting that the NSA does. Let him speak, but surely everything he says will be watched and scrutinized. In fact, all we can do is scrutinize and wait to see what the Supreme Court will do and how it will weigh in on the warrant-less tracking. Cheers! But don’t forget, Big Brother is always watching. Or reading, err tracking?

Related Article: Not Another 9-11 Article

 

Sources:

Time: NSA Chief Speaks

Freemasons

Gawker: Illuminati

Knights Templar

Central Intelligence Agency

National Security Agency

Youtube: All Your Base Are Belong To US

Warrantless Cellphone Tracking is Upheld

Wondergressive: Gossip Through the Prism

Wondergressive: Not Another 9-11 Article

Wondergressive: The Drones Are Coming

Conservation Efforts of Earth’s Seven Continents

Captain-Planet-Cartoon-Wallpaper Captain Planet conservation

Captain Planet and the Planeteers by Ted Turner

‘Mostly Harmless.’ The only entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy used to read just ‘harmless,’ but after much careful deliberation and much intensive high-level editing, writer Ford Prefect was able to attach “Mostly” to Earth’s entry.

Since then segue writers (probably just me) of the world have attempted to relate the science fiction musings of the Great Wizard Douglas Adams to articles about global conservationism.

Speaking about global conservationism – funny you should even be thinking about that, I’ve compiled a list of conservation programs and projects from around the globe. You know, because when the NSA is watching you or your money is being spent on the military it’s nice to sit back, relax, use some comma splices, and learn about some good old-fashioned-down-to-earth wholesome people.

Related Article: The 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot

 

Africa

Oh sweet Africa! The continent of origin. A place both filled with beautiful landscapes and plagued by poverty, war and oppression. Despite the evils that happen there, there is quite a lot of good-natured conservation going on.

For example, I present the KAZA project. This project aims to connect portions of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in an effort to co-facilitate human and wildlife-life.

It’s the size of a European country. The inhabitants include 2.5 million people, a quarter of a million elephants, 3,000 species and some of the last hopes that Africa’s wildlife will endure the 21st century in substantial numbers.

writes Michael J. Coren. But despite all of the good that this project will likely achieve, some critics are a bit skeptical.

Some question whether or not the focus is in the right place

Critics are also concerned that the project may end up enriching foreign tourism companies rather than local communities.

But whether or not this can save the declining African wildlife, it is wonderful to see these nations working together to bring balance to the force. Lets just hope that their efforts are for good.

Related Article: The 5 R’s Follow Up 1: Refuse

 

Asia

In Indonesia, there are many many many forests. Ask two of our writers, editors, and big cheeses in chief. I’m sure that they could tell you all about it. But where there are forests there are paper mills, tooth pick factories, and beavers. Lots and lots of beavers.

In this case the beavers are corporate and have decided that the woods might be a bit more precious than they previously had thought.

After recieving a lot of flack- and rightfully so- for their destructively belligerent deforestation practices (dbdp for short), Asia Pulp & and Paper has put a hold on their farming of national forests. The company, which holds a substantial amount of private land, has decided to focus on farming renewable trees that they’ve grown. This comes as a significantly awesome change of pace from the fern gully-eske practices which they so loved.

Related Article: The Profound Intelligence and Intuition of Elephants

 

North America

Oh to be a cowboy crossing the Great Plains of the United States. As you load your riffle, the rail car (built by slaves, and migrant workers) bumps a bit in protest and some of your precious gun powder spills to the floor. No worries, though, this hunt is easy. You load your riffle, take aim, and fire a round. You believe that you’ve missed your target but in all actuality the bison has been downed.

This sort of reckless behavior is exactly what caused the decline of the North American Bison population. Manifest Destiny-ers(?) took the land and it’s bounty as theirs and theirs alone.

As cattle ranching and fenced-in farming became more and more popular so too did it become popular for the bison to die. The  pre-columbian Americas boasted a bison population of more than 60 million. In 1890 the population almost entirely died out. There were only 750 left. Now, with much effort, the population is stably rising with approximately 360,000 bison roaming the Americas.

Bison conservation efforts by organizations such as The American Bison Society have dramatically aided bison, buffalo and many other species in an attempt to rejuvenate endangered populations.

Related Article: GMO Labeling Going In Right Direction In The US

 

South America

Ahh sweet Guyana, the Caribbean nation of South America. Now, you’re about to witness a rare quoting of wikipedia and if this were a dos X meme it’d read something like this: I don’t always quote Wikipedia but when I do It’s about the biodiversity of the only English-speaking non-island Caribbean Nation in South America.

The following habitats have been categorised for Guyana: coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests (NBAP, 1999). About 14 areas of biological interest have been identified as possible hotspots for a National Protected Area System.

Basically, Guyana is a wonderful paradise for nature’s plants and wildlife. It turns out nature thrives here for one simple reason: There aren’t very many humans living there. The population density of Guyana is 3.8 humans per square mile. That is single digits. To put that into perspective, The population density of Rio de Janeiro is 16,100 humans per square mile.

So not only does Guyana boast an incredibly low impact, the people that do live there want to keep it beautiful. The government is actively working to set conservation guidelines for when people find out about Guyana

The Government of Guyana, under the leadership of President Jagdeo, is taking major steps to protect its natural resources. In 2002, the government granted Conservation International (CI) the world’s first “conservation concession” to protect 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of primary rain forest in the Upper Essequibo watershed.

Related Article: Your Old Android Phone Can Save the Rainforest

 

Antarctica

In 1961 Japan, the U.S., the former Soviet Union, the U.K., France and several other countries agreed to “not do anything stupid in Antarctica“. The cleverly named Antarctic Treaty aims to:

to utilize the area for peaceful purposes only and prohibit to establish military bases and to carry out of the maneuvers, to promote the freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation in the area, not to assert, support or deny a claim to sovereignty or create any rights of sovereignty, and to prohibit any nuclear explosion and the disposing of radioactive materials.

Since that time, 36 other nations have signed onto the Antarctic Treaty.

Related Article: 2800 Year Old Lake Life Survives in Complete Isolation

 

Europe

Europe, the land of the conquerors, gypsies, and well-to-do aristocrats has much need for conservation. Because of its relatively high population density the types of conservation projects that go on here are a bit different. It seems that those wishing to do some good work have to really try hard to find areas to protect.

The EOCA is a conservation project base for those planeteers looking to help out in their own way. One project, focusing on the Alps, was successful in removing tons of unused metal from old ski lifts.

 From an abandoned ski re[s]ort, they took away about 50 tonnes of different waste materials. These included the remnants of ski lifts and a pile of concrete blocks – left from winter sport activities in the 1960’s and 70’s.  The slopes of the Montagne de Lure have been returned to a wild state, for the rare Orsini’s Viper, to allow the wild tulips and fritillaries to spread, and for the pleasure of its visitors.

Even in densely-packed Europe there are ways to protect the environment.

Related Article: Sweden is Running Out of Trash

 

Australia

And before I go on, I must take a second to marvel at how awesome it is that Australia is: an island, a continent, a nation and pretty bad-ass.

Down under, there are many conservation projects. The Tasmanian forests are dwindling. It’s a shame as they are a beautiful place. When you have a forest, you have people who would like nothing more than to chop it down to pulp for paper. The conservation of the Tasmanian Forests  comes amid

Growing concerns about the negative public perceptions of the logging of these forests and changes in the market have contributed to this decline and a loss of opportunity. The forest agreement is an attempt to break this downward spiral. It attempts to find a way to protect forests and protect people whose livelihoods are tied up with the forestry industry.  It seeks to open opportunity for the industry to move onto a more sustainable higher value path.

So many there is a way for both companies and people to work together to not completely destroy the world as we know it.

Related Article: The Effect of Agriculture on the Planet

Our Powers Combined…

 

Sources:

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Hitchhikers-Guide-Galaxy/dp/0345453743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371569115&sr=1-1&keywords=ultimate+hitchhiker%27s+guide+to+the+galaxy

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/kaza_ambitious_africa_experiment_to_preserve_threatened_wildlife/2527/

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680000/african-nations-team-up-to-create-a-nature-preserve-the-size-of-sweden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa

http://www.kavangozambezi.org/index.php

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2013/03/22/how-asia-pulp-paper-learned-put-down-chainsaw

http://www.wcs.org/saving-wildlife/hoofed-mammals/bison/the-american-bison-society.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

http://www.newgeography.com/content/003438-the-evolving-urban-form-rio-de-janeiro

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/guyana/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyana

http://www.conservation.org/where/south_america/guyana/Pages/guyana.aspx

http://www.env.go.jp/nature/nankyoku/kankyohogo_en/kankyo_en/hogo/kokusai/

http://www.ats.aq/e/ats.htm

http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/acf-opinion/forests-deal-only-solution

GMO Labeling Going In Right Direction In The US

http://dgchaacicgqa5.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/labeling-required-in.jpg

GMO Labeling World Map

GMO labeling finally got itself a small yet big win. Last week, Connecticut became the first state in the U.S. to pass a bill through the senate that would require mandatory labeling of all GMOs. There will be some understandable exceptions that would not have to label their food as a GMO, such as fast food restaurants and farmer’s markets. But come on, that’s not at bad start.

We’re not banning anything, we’re not restricting anything, we’re not taxing anything,

Senate Republican leader John McKinney said at a press conference.

We’re just saying let moms and dads know what’s in the food they’re buying for their young kids… That’s not a lot to ask.

Would the US food industry really suffer from this type of labeling?

Related Article: Mystery of the Dying/Disappearing Honeybees Solved

If you were to complain to a fast food restaurant manager that you found a hair in your hamburger, they would probably say that’s impossible, because they don’t use any natural ingredients! Joking of course, but you get the picture.

http://justlabelit.org/state-initiatives/

GMO Labeling Initiatives

Fortunately, there are other states in the union that are taking initiatives to make some sort of legislation for GMO labeling. As of this writing there are 29 states with initiatives for labeling of GMO products. You are able to find your own state group fighting for this initiative.

According to the polls taken from MSNBC in 2011, Reuters and Washington Post in 2010, Consumer Reports in 2008, and ABC News in 2001, 93-96% of Americans support GMO labeling. Also, according to justlabelit.org, GMO labeling is required in 64 countries worldwide. This includes most of the developed nations, exceptions being the United States of course, and Canada.

Related Article: The Senate is Useless and Should be Dismantled 

If you are interested in seeing the whole world map of where GMO labeling is required, head over to the Center For Food Safety website.

There are only five countries in Europe that do not require labeling of GMOs. Those are Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Moldova. Serbia, however, is the exception in the group because it actually has an official ban on GMO imports and cultivation! Benin and Zambia, two countries in the African continent, are the only other countries in the world that have an official ban on importing and cultivation of GMOs.

Related Article: Don’t Fear Anti-GM Hysteria (Nor the Reaper)!

 

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/

GMO Labeling In Europe

 

Sources:

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/

http://justlabelit.org

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-Senate-approves-genetic-labeling-4534999.php

http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/labeling-around-the-world/

http://justlabelit.org/state-initiatives/

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/976/ge-food-labeling/us-polls-on-ge-food-labeling

https://wondergressive.com/2013/04/20/united-states-senate-is-useless/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/03/28/dont-fear-the-reaper-or-anti-gm-propaganda/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/10/10/mystery-of-the-dyingdisappearing-honeybees-solved/

Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Energiewende! This one word defines the German view on the global climate crisis that our planet is currently experiencing. Literally Energiewende means energy change. While its definition is simple it’s connotation encompasses an entire movement. Osha Gray Davidson writes:

The government has set a target of 80 percent renewable power by 2050, but many Germans I spoke with in three weeks traveling across this country believe 100 percent renewable power is achievable by then.

This plan also has many checkpoint gates that it must achieve. By 2020 Germany must be dependent on 35% renewable energies. These energies include wind, solar, and sheer German momentum. Sheer German momentum believes strongly that the Earth is experiencing a global climate crisis.

If a member of parliament called climate change a hoax or said that its cause is unknown, he or she would be laughed out of office.

 

Interesting. Here in the United States, we’re still trying to accept the idea of climate change. For example, my favorite winter-time joke: Where’s that dang-old global warming when you need it? (note: this joke is best told when temperatures are under 41°F and is best told by or to somebody who doesn’t properly understand what global warming is). As another example, lets see what the US Chief of Energy has to say about the matter.

Let me make it very clear that there is no ambiguity in terms of the scientific basis calling for a prudent response on climate change.

Ernest Moniz goes on to say:

“I am not interested in debating what is not debatable…There is plenty to debate as we try and move forward on our climate agenda.”

While it is good that the Energy Chief (a tittle best held by a true sorcerer) strongly holds this as fact, there are still many United Statians (I think it’s time we stopped calling ourselves Americans as we live on only a part of the continent) that uphold the belief that Global warming is a myth. If you really want to delve into crazy, I suggest you check out the Friends of Science webpage.

As we move back to the realms of science and reality we can see that the majority of the world understands science and actually is pretty good friends with it. Stanford University is spearheading the global awareness of climate change caused by humans (scroll down to page 26 for the good stuff). Don’t forget to sign the petition!

Sources:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/germany-has-built-clean-energy-economy-u-s-rejected-in-80s.html?cmpid=otbrn.sustain.story

http://phys.org/news/2013-05-scientists-co2-sequestration-technique-supergreen.html

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/301287-new-energy-secretary-need-to-address-climate-change-not-debatable

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/23/1211224/-520-scientists-sign-statement-on-Maintaining-Humanity-s-Life-Support-Systems-in-the-21st-Century

http://www.economist.com/node/21559667

http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?ide=2

http://www.globalwarminghysteria.com/ten-myths-of-global-warming/
http://mahb.stanford.edu/consensus-statement-from-global-scientists/
http://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Consensus-Statement.pdf

Other Wondergressive Articles:

The ugly face of overpopulation 

The 5 Rs

Sweden is running out of trash

The Senate Is Useless and Should Be Dismanteled

Senate Is Useless

Senate Is Useless

 

When almost ninety percent of the population supports expanding background checks for individuals buying guns online and at gun shows, and the Senate fails to pass such legislation, then the United States Senate is useless. How does that happen? What role does the Senate play if it does not represent the interest of the people?

Historically, when the House of Representatives and the Senate represented two legislative chambers that kept in check the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, Congress actually had a real purpose! It was a bicameral setup where in one house, the House of Representatives, the members were elected to protect the interests of the constituents of the district in the state which they represented. The Senate, on the other hand, was made so that each state had equal representation, regardless of the state’s population. As we know, this is why each state sends two Senators to Congress.

The United States Senate Is Useless For a Couple Reasons

 

The biggest reason why the US Senate is useless is because it clearly does not reflect the will of the people at large. When close to 90% of the citizens agree on broader background checks for guns bought online and gun auctions, and when 74% of the National Rifle Association (NRA) members support the measure as well, then how does that become blocked? 90% of the time we don’t agree on anything! Senate members work to fulfill the interests of the lobbies that support them. In this case, it was in their better interest to appeal to the gun lobbies which hold many of the Senators’ positions by the balls.

The proposed document did not ban any weapons nor capacity on ammunition. It did not take anybody’s guns away. The government wasn’t coming to anybody’s front door. It was simply proposing to do more background checks. Who would that hurt? I am not hating on guns. This is just one of the most recent examples of the point that I am trying to prove. We could take any other example, dissect it, and come to the same conclusion.

(Related Article: A Case Against Gun Control)

The second reason the Senate is useless is because it takes ages to get legislation passed.

Founders hoped Senators would be more likely to consider the long-term effects of legislation and practice a more mature, thoughtful and deeply deliberative approach in their deliberations. Setting aside the validity of this “maturity” factor, the Senate undeniably does take longer to consider bills, often brings up points not considered by the House and just as often votes down bills passed easily by the House.  –http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/whyhouseandsenate.htm

Mature? Thoughtful? Deeply deliberative approaches? Please! Is that how they passed the Monsanto Protection Act swiftly with most of the useless Senate not aware that it was slipped into the legislation? What was so mature and thoughtful about that? Once again, proving that the Senate is useless really isn’t that hard. Still not convinced?  How about a sadly hilarious list of all the things the senate has done and is doing to waste all of our time and money?

The bottom line is, the House of Representative members are elected every two years, which means they are running for reelections more often and are more likely to stick to the opinions and wishes of their constituents. Let’s not forget that legislation also gets passed faster in the House of Representatives. On the other hand, the useless Senate members are elected every six years, and are not swayed by public opinion as easily.

The House members are supposed to represent the interests of the people. The Senate members are supposed represent the interest of the State. But what are State’s interests if they are not the people’s interests?

Two solutions: Either dissolve the useless Senate and completely dismantle it. Or, if there is any legislation that is in very high interest to the people, then that should be able to become law by just passing it through the House of Representatives. It shouldn’t be so difficult to pass something that is accepted by nearly every american citizen!

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/background-checks-bill_n_3103341.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/whyhouseandsenate.htm

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/274381-house-dem-pushes-gun-reforms-backed-by-nra-members-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/congress-protects-monsant_b_2956642.html

http://www.stupidvotes.com/

Starcraft as a Model for Future Interstellar Warfare

 

Starcraft and its sequel Starcraft 2 are wildly popular real time strategy computer games made by Blizzard Entertainment.  They are played by people from all over the world. In fact, Starcraft 2 was the top selling computer game of 2010 and continues to be played by millions of gamers, even being featured in highly publicized worldwide tournaments. It has recently come under the microscope of legitimate science as researchers tout it for the incredible expertise required to become a master of the game.  While chess was historically used as a major measure for cognitive speed and power, Starcraft is now used as the true measure for cognitive fortitude due to its added complexity, fast pace, and rapidly changing infinitude of variables.  There is even research being performed by the SFU Cognitive Science Lab on the extreme mental capacity required to compete with the Starcraft elite.  The set of abilities is called Skillcraft. The chess masters of yesterday are like bumbling children compared to the Starcraft masters of today.

Drs. Thomas Targett and Duncan Forgan, both of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, wanted to know how humans would fare in a cosmic battle between other space-faring alien races.  War and destruction are after all what humans do best. The problem is that the only space-faring species we’ve ever seen is, well, us, and we’ve just barely left our own rock.  What would an alien race look like? What would their capabilities entail?  What motives would they have? Are they as insanely militaristic and imperialistic as us? Are they so technologically advanced that they can remain invisible and spatially aloof to the point that they could be standing over your shoulder reading this without you even realizing it?!

None of these questions can be answered with certainty, but they can certainly be modeled.  Theorizing and modeling are the foundation of all sciences.  The theory is that one day there will be a war of the worlds, so how do we properly model this war? By using Starcraft, of course.

Starcraft has players choose one of three races of alien beings: the hive minded Zerg, the technologically advanced and telepathic Protoss, or Terrans, which are humans with technology based on our own present day capabilities. The pair of doctors set out to learn what they could from the endless stream of results from battles waged in Starcraft day after day.  They stated that:

In a classic example of citizen science, we found that the general public had generated a vast dataset of (admittedly fictional) alien behaviour, which we could use to drive our simulations. So, we created a population of stars similar to the local Solar neighbourhood, and seeded it with six different races, each representing one of the three [Starcraft] civilizations.

Each of the six races in the simulation carried out one of two primary strategies, a macro or micro strategy.  The macro strategy is one where a species builds up a vast number of resources before engaging in battle, while the micro strategy involves rapid movement of smaller military forces used to quickly eliminate developing opponents.

This gives 30 possible combinations of combatants.  As we had access to user data showing the outcome of each combination rehearsed many times in StarCraft 2 games played online, we could soon develop a probability that Race 1 defeats Race 2, and so on and so forth. This allowed us to do two things: i) we could see if there was a preferred strategy for StarCraft 2 users to adopt, and ii) How does the balance of power change when these alien races are placed in a Galactic context?

The results were intriguing.  If humans were to go to war with a hiveminded alien race, or an ancient telepathic alien race, we would be pulverized if we took the macro economic approach.  However, the micro strategy grants us a great amount of advantages.  While the model revealed that a micro strategy is favorable across the board for all races, a human type alien race has the upper hand when it comes to smaller, fast paced battles and guerrilla tactics. According to the Starcraft model, as long as we stick to the micro strategy, our only concern should be how to spend our time on the beaches of all our new colonized worlds.

The researchers point out that

we don’t intend to claim the Zerg and Protoss are real! We were interested in seeing how the video games industry can help scientists understand difficult topics like life in the Galaxy, where actual data is so thin on the ground.

Starcraft players of the world, you may be Earth’s only hope for successful interstellar dominion!

While it’s true that we still haven’t found life outside of our tiny stellar neighborhood, remember, life is all over the place; it’s only a matter of time!

 

 

Sources:

Starcraft

Real Time Strategy Game

Blizzard Entertainment

Top Selling PC Games

Battlenet World Championships

Scientific American: Starcraft the New Chess

SFU Cognitive Science Lab

Skillcraft

Dr. Thomas A. Targett  

Duncan Forgan

Wondergressive: Every Nuclear Explosion Around the World

Wondergressive: Clouds of Western Intervention Loom Over Syria

The War of the Worlds

Starcraft Science

Starcraft Science Model

 

Wondergressive: Life, It’s All Over the Place

A Note on the Top 1%: Psychopaths or Superhumans?

 

A few days ago, we looked into the coming rise of a new species being developed by the technocrats; it’s nigh. Spectacular as this notion is, as it turns out, the next stage in human development has already arrived, interlaced inconspicuously amongst us, as though “They Live” were a documentary.

Doesn't anyone have a goddamn stick of gum?!

Doesn’t anyone have a goddamn stick of gum?!
http://www.releasedonkey.com

You see, everyone loves a good ethnic slur, but under our thin veil of cultural, linguistic, economic, and pigment differences, it’s understood that we’re all one collective unity of mankind. Hi, brothers and sisters. So with the utmost love and respect for all y’all round the globe (minus Canada, America’s ceaseless punchline), we can all join hands in an orgy of discrimination against the one group that’s not like the others. Proudly, I’ll stand on my soapbox of an anonymous keyboard and proclaim something we’ve all long suspected, but never voiced: “yuppies aren’t human.”

…Literally… Let me explain

If there’s one thing I’d gleaned from my last stint in the psych-ward (like you didn’t suspect), it’s how, like an uncured slab of beef, the lines between mental illnesses, unfortunately, are neither cut nor dry (consider the utter failure of the DSM). A great deal of consensus, however, stands in the psychologist community to where these muddied lines can be drawn, and the word “psychopath” is not a term bandied lightly, folks. A psychopath, apparently, is not always the image immediately drawn to mind of some knife wielding pariah, glazed in dried mustard and animal-semen (gross), prowling the subway adorned only in a single strategically-placed pool-floatie, who passes the day lobbing “Jesus saves” paper-airplane pamphlets at jaded urbanites. Nah, he’s probably wearing a silk tie, Gucci perhaps.

Psychopaths, in fact, while occasionally criminal masterminds, are masterful social chameleons, often indistinguishable from the crowd. Preconceived notions blown. A new theoretical analysis suggests that psychopathy is not merely a mental disorder, though, but rather the psychopath is a separate new sub-species of human altogether, a new animal. No joke. Sure, Patrick Bateman may lob revving chainsaws upon fleeing call-girls, but he wasn’t human, so it’s copacetic.  Evolution, it seems, just won’t take a day off. Psychopathy is categorized with traits of:

 

  • glib and superficial charm
  • grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  • need for stimulation
  • pathological lying
  • cunning and manipulativeness
  • lack of remorse or guilt
  • shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  • callousness and lack of empathy
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • poor behavioral controls
  • sexual promiscuity
  • early behavior problems
  • lack of realistic long-term goals
  • impulsivity
  • irresponsibility
  • failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • many short-term marital relationships
  • juvenile delinquency
  • revocation of conditional release
  • criminal versatility

To sum all that up, psychopaths (henceforth redubbed Homo PsychopathiusTM) are highly-intelligent, calculating, manipulative machines of self-interested ambition, lacking the capacity for conscience due to the inability to feel emotion. They are a manifestation of the cliché wolf in sheep’s clothing as a predator in white-collar work clothes, and these things aren’t human.

With an untappable spigot of raw uninhibited self-interest at its disposal, Homo Psychopathius often rises to the top of whatever organization/ field it sets its aim at. They are natural visionaries, innovators, and leaders of men, so it just makes sense that, statistically, the career with the highest propensity for psychopathy is nothing less than the CEO.

Over the last few decades, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, the global power regime has shifted reigns from the uber-nation to the empire-corporation being the vaster colossus of influence. Our ruling class, then, are the highly-competent next stage in evolution, being more adapted for the major-leagues without the nuisance of those silly outdated oddities called feelings. Further still, note this list of the top ten careers Homo Psychopathius are found in, not forgetting the psychopath, more often than not, is at the forefront head of his field:

 

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

Wait! Wait! Wait! Holy shit! What are you saying?

This thing is smarter than you, vastly more driven to power. It controls the companies you work for; it represents your legal system, decides what news you hear, tells you what to consume (down to a science), holds your life in its hands, arrests your deviants, propagates your religions, and it dominates your politics… oh yeah, and cooks your food (never trust a guy with a set of personally engraved knives, I guess).

We’re not alarmist here. Rather, I propose a happy compromise over this news: as successful as these things have proven themselves to be, rising to the apex of society, I offer that we humans dutifully permit this new animal to take the reins (cause it already has) as the new dominant species of the planet. You win, psychopaths. Game over. Anyway, our outdated human machine doesn’t mind serving as the structural base for your mighty overlord will. We’re more suited for playing Minecraft, masturbating, and following your orders. It’s kinda what we’re good at. If it’s not overly presumptuous of me to assume the diplomat between our 2 great peoples, let me be the first of my kind to say, “I vow my allegiance. All hail the morlocks! (I’m on board, guys. Eat someone else’s kids.)”

Fellow sapians, kinda brings the whole “Occupy Wall Street” thing into a new light, huh? Looks like the X-Men comics had it right all along: the 1% with all the powers really were the next stage of human evolution.

Take it; leave it; use it as an excuse to embrace your inner asshole.

Either way, let the hate mail commence.

 

 

 

Sources:

Wondergressive: The Singularity is Nigh Upon Us

I’m Here To Chew Bubblegum

Ari Shaffir: The Amazing Racist

Wondergressive: Impossible to Distinguish Sane from Insane

Wondergressive: You Might be a Psychopath

CBS: DSM New Psych Bible

People Claiming to be Jesus

Psychopath: a New Subspecies

Patrick Bateman

Psychopathy List

PubMed.gov: Genetic Risk for Psychopathy in 7 Year Olds

PubMed.gov: Corporate Psychopathy

Psychopathy and the CEO

Corporate Psychopaths and Global Financial Crisis

Corporate Psychopaths: Bullying and Unfair Supervision

MSN: 10 Sneaky Care Dealer Tricks

Who Runs the World: Global Corporate Control

Minecraft

Morlock

Occupy Wall Street

Woman Needs a New Ear, Grows a New One on Her Arm

Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins University

Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins University

After having her ear removed to stop the spread of cancer, doctors at Johns Hopkins Institute decided Sherrie Walter needed a new one.  The doctors used bone, cartilage, skin, and arteries to build a new ear, and then stored it under her forearm to allow it to grow.

The ear is in fact an exact replica.  After having it surgically attached to her head, the doctors added an internal hearing aid. Walter was filled with hope and relief during the entire ordeal.

“When my doctors told me reconstruction was possible, I thought it was too good to be true; it sounded like science fiction.  Just learning that reconstructing my ear was doable gave me sufficient physical and emotional strength, as well as the confidence I needed to go through with the surgeries.”

Finally a point to having so much free limb space.  The days when peoples’ arms and legs are lined with spare noses, ears, fingers and toes is quickly approaching.

 

Sources:

Johns Hopkins: Johns Hopkins Sugeons Use Woman’s Own Tissue to Rebuild Ear Lost to Cancer

Huffington Post: Ear Reconstruction Utilizes Patient’s Tissue, Forearm In Innovative Surgery

Volunteering is Good for Your Health

 

A study done by United Health Care has determined that volunteering is good for both emotional and physical health of the volunteer. This is an unexpected benefit of volunteer activities. All the while I’ve thought volunteering only helps the persons targeted to be helped by the organizations, but alas I was wrong and it helps physically and emotionally all involved. So why not go get involved in your community now?

There are many resources listed below to get you started. With benefits for everyone how can you not want to jump right in?

 

Sources and Resources:

United Health Care: Volunteers Report Improved Physical, Emotional Health

Volunteer Match

National and Community Service

Volunteer.gov