“Blown by the Light

Ξ May 30th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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"Blown by the Light"



Ξ May 28th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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Ξ May 26th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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“The Quick and the Dead

Ξ May 26th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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"The Quick and the Dead"


“A Ribbon of Black

Ξ May 25th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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"A Ribbon of Black"


ALTphotos Photography Community :: For Creative Photography

Ξ May 21st, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Photography |

Loch Lomond


Proposed RoadsTo FreedomBy Bertrand Russell

Ξ May 18th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Ain't this just the truth though.

So often the means are allowed to become the enemy of, and utterly defeat, the ends.

    "Nevertheless, though the desire for human welfare is what at bottom determines the broad lines of such men's lives, it often happens that, in the detail of their speech and writing, hatred is far more visible than love. The impatient idealist--and without some impatience a man will hardly prove effective--is almost sure to be led into hatred by the oppositions and disappointments which he encounters in his endeavours to bring happiness to the world.

    The more certain he is of the purity of his motives and the truth of his gospel, the more indignant he will become when his teaching is rejected. Often he will successfully achieve an attitude of philosophic tolerance as regards the apathy of the masses, and even as regards the whole-hearted opposition of professed defenders of the status quo. But the men whom he finds it impossible to forgive are those who profess the same desire for the amelioration of society as he feels himself, but who do not accept his method of achieving this end. The intense faith which enables him to withstand persecution for the sake of his beliefs makes him consider these beliefs so luminously obvious that any thinking man who rejects them must be dishonest, and must be actuated by some sinister motive of treachery to the cause. Hence arises the spirit of the sect, that bitter, narrow orthodoxy which is the bane of those who hold strongly to an unpopular creed.

    So many real temptations to treachery exist that suspicion is natural. And among leaders, ambition, which they mortify in their choice of a career, is sure to return in a new form: in the desire for intellectual mastery and for despotic power within their own sect. From these causes it results that the advocates of drastic reform divide themselves into opposing schools, hating each other with a bitter hatred, accusing each other often of such crimes as being in the pay of the police, and demanding, of any speaker or writer whom they are to admire, that he shall conform exactly to their prejudices, and make all his teaching minister to their belief that the exact truth is to be found within the limits of their creed.

    The result of this state of mind is that, to a casual and unimaginative attention, the men who have sacrificed most through the wish to benefit mankind APPEAR to be actuated far more by hatred than by love. And the demand for orthodoxy is stifling to any free exercise of intellect. This cause, as well as economic prejudice, has made it difficult for the ``intellectuals'' to co-operate practically with the more extreme reformers, however they may sympathize with their main purposes and even with nine-tenths of their program."



Ξ May 13th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Soad Massi - Yemma

Previously blogged

More: Hagda Wala Akter, Ghir Enta, Kilyoum, Amessa

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Ξ May 13th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Stumbleupon Review of : http://hussonet.free.fr/wealth.pdf

Wealth condensation in a simple model of economy

Although this is researched using a simple model economy it deals with the emergent properties of the 'flavour' of network, and so, generic conclusions may be inferred.

Some quite scary ones, as it happens.

Update: A more easily digested summary (i.e., written in English, not Maths) of the implications are here : austms.org.au/Jobs/Library4.html [austms.org.au]


Ethics Text page

Ξ May 13th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

The origin of the term 'groupthink', essential reading for a party political age.

    Given the series of cautionary examples and the constant reaffirmation of norms, every dissenter is likely to feel under strong pressure to suppress his doubts, misgivings, and objections. The main norm, as I have already suggested, becomes that of sticking with the policies on which the group has already concurred, even if those policies are working out badly and have some horrible consequences that may disturb the conscience of every member. The main criterion used to judge the morality as well as the practical efficacy of the policy is group concurrence. The belief that "we are a wise and good group" extends to any decision the group makes: "Since we are a good group," the members feel, "anything we decide to do must be good."

    In a sense, loyalty to the policy-making group becomes the highest form of morality for the members. That loyalty requires them to avoid raising critical issues, to avoid calling a halt to soft-headed thinking, and to avoid questioning weak arguments, even when the individual member begins to have doubts and to wonder whether they are indeed behaving in a soft-headed manner. This loyalty is one of the key characteristics of what I call groupthink.

    I use the term groupthink as a quick and easy way to refer to a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant that it tends to override critical thinking. Groupthink is a term of the same order as the words in the newspeak vocabulary George Orwell presents in his dismaying world of 1984, where we find terms like doublethink and crimethink. In putting groupthink into that Orwellian class of words, I realize that it takes on an invidious connotation. Exactly such a connotation is intended since the term refers to a decline in mental efficiency and in the ability to test reality and to make moral judgments. Most of the main symptoms of groupthink arise because the members of decision-making groups avoid being too harsh in their judgments of their leader's or their colleagues' ideas. They adopt a soft line of criticism, even in their own thinking. At their meetings, all the members are amiable and seek complete concurrence on every important issue with no bickering or conflict to spoil the cozy atmosphere.

    Paradoxically, however, soft-headed groups can be extraordinarily hard-hearted when it comes to dealing with out-groups, or enemies. In dealing with a rival nation, policy makers in an amiable group atmosphere find it relatively easy to resort to dehumanizing solutions, such as authorizing large-scale bombing attacks on large numbers of harmless civilians m the noble cause of persuading an unfriendly government to negotiate at the peace table. An affable group of government officials is unlikely to pursue the ticklish, difficult, and controversial issues that arise when alternatives to a harsh military solution come up for discussion. Nor is there much patience for those members who call attention to moral issues, who imply that this "fine group of ours, with its humanitarianism and its high-minded principles," may be capable of adopting a course of action that is inhumane and immoral. Such cohesive groups also tend to resist new information that contradicts the shared judgments of the members. Anyone, no matter how central a member of the group, who contradicts the consensus that has already started to emerge is regarded as a deviant threatening the unity of the group.