The Role of Media in the Repression–Protest Nexus

Idealized independent media function as “watchdogs.” Indeed, human rights nongovernmental organizations have argued that media freedom will improve human rights. This makes sense intuitively, yet recent formal and empirical studies show that the effect of independent media varies across regime types. We explore the relationship among media, government, and citizen protest movements and employ a game-theoretic model to investigate how the equilibria vary depending on regime type and media independence. In terms of equilibrium, we find that media watchdogging is most active in autocracies (and not in democracies), especially when the government’s perceived capability to repress public protest is declining. Uncertainty about the government’s ability to repress plays a central role in accounting for the manifestation of media watchdogging in conjunction with public protest. Illustrations from Tunisia and North Korea are provided to highlight equilibria derived from the formal model that vary as a product of perceptions about the government’s ability to repress.

via The Role of Media in the Repression–Protest Nexus.

SACRED GEOMETRY AND ALCHEMICAL TRANSFORMATION: AN INTRODUCTION

Throughout history, sacred geometry has been expressed in music, architecture, meditation, and painting. Plato said that an understanding of sacred geometry is the necessary first step toward the study of metaphysics. It is central to Gothic Cathedrals, the Great Pyramid, and Stonehenge, and is expressed through a multitude of biological manifestations

The Golden Ratio, Pi, Phi, the Fibonacci Series, fractals, Squaring the Circle — these are only some examples of how the underlying mathematics of existence bring order and beauty to our experience.

via SACRED GEOMETRY AND ALCHEMICAL TRANSFORMATION: AN INTRODUCTION | Evolver Learning Lab.

Keynesian Myths, Monetary Central Planning and The Triumph of The Warfare State

This near doubling of the Warfare State’s fiscal girth is a tad incongruous.  After all, America’s war machine was designed to thwart a giant, nuclear-armed industrial state, but, alas, we now have no industrial state enemies left on the planet.

The much-shrunken Russian successor to the Soviet Union, for example, has become a kleptocracy run by a clever thief who prefers stealing from his own citizens rather than his neighbors.

Likewise, the Red Chinese threat consists of a re-conditioned aircraft carrier bought second-hand from a former naval power—-otherwise known as the Ukraine. Its bubble-ridden domestic economy would collapse within six weeks were China to actually bomb the 4,000 Wal-Mart outlets in America on which its mercantilist export machine utterly depends.

via Keynesian Myths, Monetary Central Planning and The Triumph of The Warfare State | David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

Cyborg Manifesto

This chapter is an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism. Perhaps more faithful as blasphemy is faithful, than as reverent worship and identification. Blasphemy has always seemed to require taking things very seriously. I know no better stance to adopt from within the secular-religious, evangelical traditions of United States politics, including the politics of socialist feminism. Blasphemy protects one from the moral majority within, while still insisting on the need for community. Blasphemy is not apostasy. Irony is about contradictions that do not resolve into larger wholes, even dialectically, about the tension of holding incompatible things together because both or all are necessary and true. Irony is about humour and serious play. It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to see more honoured within socialist-feminism. At the centre of my ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg.

via Haraway_CyborgManifesto.html.