A Discussion With Cryptome

Before Wikileaks, before Ed Snowden, there was Cryptome. Manhattan-based architects John Young and Deborah Natsios founded Cryptome.org in 1996 as a repository for documents no one else would publish, including lists of CIA assets, in-depth technical schematics of sensitive national security installations, and copyrighted material. As leaking has created a vibrant media ecosystem in recent years, complete with favored outlets, journalists and sources, Cryptome has positioned itself as its curmudgeonly ombudsman, quietly but blisteringly cutting down the hype and blather it sees in its competitors while advocating a form of radical transparency as straightforward as Cryptome.org’s bare-bones website.

via A Discussion With Cryptome.

The Extraordinary Pierre Omidyar

In 2012, it emerged that while the SKS IPO was making millions for its wealthy investors, hundreds of heavily indebted residents of India’s Andhra Pradesh state were driven to despair and suicide by the company’s cruel and aggressive debt-collection practices. The rash of suicides soared right at the peak of a large micro-lending bubble in Andhra Pradesh, in which many of the poor were taking out multiple micro-loans to cover previous loans that they could no longer pay. It was subprime lending fraud taken to the poorest regions of the world, stripping them of what little they had to live on. It got to the point where the Chief Minister of Andrah Pradesh publicly appealed to the state’s youth and young women not to commit suicide, telling them, “Your lives are valuable.”

via The Extraordinary Pierre Omidyar.

I Pledge Allegiance

Teaching my children about the oligarchs and the current state of our leaders in government is not something that I take lightly. I realize that some of our core values, like the belief in liberty, respect for all life, and individual sovereignty will make them the odd kid out sometimes.

Being surrounded by people who have been taught, just as I was, to pledge allegiance to the state, is the unfortunate reality we are all confronted with. something that is so deeply ingrained that the best I can do is teach my children to think for themselves and decide on their own. Figuring out how to best teach my children the danger of such blind allegiance is without a doubt the most difficult task I face as a father.

via I Pledge Allegiance… | Zero Hedge.

Strength and Power Reimagining Revolution

Guerrilla Translation!

deshaucios_OLmoCalvo_Diagonal-585x390Image by Olmo Calvo

Amador Fernández-Savater

Translated by Stacco Troncoso, edited by Jane Loes Lipton – Guerrilla Translation!

Original text in Spanish

How is it possible that fifty people can stop a forced eviction? Not just once, but over and over again (as many as six hundred times). This question has been on my mind for a while. During the 25-S protests in Madrid 1, we saw for ourselves that the police can evict any number of protestors from anywhere. So, exactly what sort of strength allows those fifty people to stop a foreclosure eviction? What does it mean to have strength, if it’s not quite the same as having power (physical, quantitative, economic, institutional, etc.)? The following is my attempt at an answer that, by no means, fully exhausts the question. That is to say, there’s room for more answers and, above all, to keep asking the question…

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PKD document: the “Tagore” letter

ubikcan

This is a scan of a copy of the famous “Tagore” letter written by Philip K. Dick in 1981. The text has appeared before (eg., in Scott Apel’s book Philip K. Dick: the Dream Connection).

According to Apel, this letter was mailed to many people, perhaps around 85 or so, following a revelation that PKD had in September of 1981. Sutin, probably PKD’s best biographer (certainly the most thorough) states:

on the night of September 17, 1981, Phil was just about to fall asleep when he was startled awake by a hypnagogic vision of the savior, named Tagor, who was living in Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. In a September 19 letter to [his agent Russ] Galen he avowed that “I got more than information, more than words by AI voice; I actually saw Tagore, although imperfectly. The vision will remain with me forever” (Sutin, Divine Invasions, 1989: 283).

My…

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What The Plant Heard

According to a study at the University of Missouri printed by the good folks at Modern Farmer, plants – the so-called cruelty-free alternative to eating meat – can tell when they’re being eaten. And like anything being eaten, they don’t much like it.

Scientists recorded the sounds of caterpillars eating leaves i.e. killing innocent trees and played them back to a bunch of thale cress a close relation to broccoli and kale, apparently. After hitting play, the scientists observed the seemingly-defenseless plants emitting a poisonous mustard oil to protect themselves.

Scientists still don’t know how the leafy greens do this: for all their intelligence, plants still don’t have ears. What is certain, however, is that there’s going to be a whole lot of ethically raised salads coming to an inner-city market near you.

via What The Plant Heard.