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.

The Comcast-Time Warner Merger Threatens Democracy

Coincident with the attempted merger is a renewed fight over net neutrality, the basic rules governing how the Internet operates, especially whether Internet service providers like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon should be able to favor some websites over others. Should there be rules that allow people equal access to the website of a small human-rights organization in Russia or a group of Occupy activists in New York, as, say, the websites of Wal-Mart or the National Rifle Association? A growing fear among Internet activists is that the U.S. regulatory system, beholden to lobbyists and corporate donors, will forfeit net neutrality, creating what Michael Copps calls “the cable-ization of the Internet.”

The public has confronted monstrous mergers before, and blocked them. So, too, have they faced corporate attempts to stifle the fundamental freedom of the Internet. Freedom of speech, freedom to connect and communicate, is the lifeblood of a democracy. The fight to preserve and expand the diversity and vibrancy of our media system is one that cannot be left to bought-out regulators and corporate lobbyists.

via Amy Goodman: The Comcast-Time Warner Merger Threatens Democracy – Truthdig.

James Lovelock: ‘enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan’

Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won’t make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable.

“It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.”

via James Lovelock: ‘enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan’ | Environment | The Guardian.