life work

life work

Income, jobs, self-expression, entrepreneurship, the economy (or what of it is available to people like you and me), creeping expenses, the shimmering mirage of globalization, debt, health care expenses, and familial obligation have been on my mind a lot lately.

I suspect it’s been on a lot of minds.

music:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZI76J1UDKw

 

I’ve been out of work for longer than I’d like to admit.  I did qualify for a disability check from the US government with the dual diagnosis of motor stroke and advanced heart disease that required surgery for a new valve, generated atrial fibrillation, and got me one of them pacemaker-defibrillators tucked under my left clavicle.

Thanks to an irreplaceable battery of doctors, nurses and their support staff, I am alive, ambulatory, of sound mind, upright, capable of thought and keyboard output.  But I have been told I’ll never work again. And the disability check rolled right over into Medicare retirement.

How do YOU define work? The production of what pays how much these days?, and what will your bosses say about how hard you have to work and how well you will be paid for that? A lot of people have those questions and problems.

I had an e-mail exchange the other day with someone in a particular peculiar predicament; I’ll not share the details (you go ahead and fill in your own details), but what I told him was that the simple investment of something like $150-500 and about five hours time might help him figure out the answer to his conundrum in a way that would set him on a positive and functional course for the next two decades.  In this economy, it’s hard to think about work for two decades, especially if — like him — you have turned the corner and are well into the prime of your life. Or perhaps your particular peculiar predicament doen’t allow you to find $150-500.

Now you could ask, and with good reason, why I thought I had something of value to offer this particular fellow, and the answer is pretty simple. The more complex answer is to look back into this idea of work and life and see what falls out.

As you might have noticed, I have a library full of books that I not only have read but understand.  I recommend many of these books to a lot of people.  You really havde to go and read and discover a lot of this for yourself, and why not? It’s your life.

You really don’t want to be beholden to some distant fellow who is going to tell you what to do, or keep you on a short leash so he and his upstream buddies can harness you to the plow, do you? I told him that he could take me over the local bistro at happy hour and buy me a large plateful of oysters and two two-finger glasses of  single malt while I told him about the time just after I’d fashioned a very successful and very functional 18-hour long-range planning retrerat for my employing organization and the incoming President came in and threw it (and me) out the door.

Or I could tell him about the time when the incoming President of the organization I had kept afloat despite the inepitude of my predecessors and the Board’s own rigidity cancelled my vacation and told me that my “administrative shortcomings” were sufficient to put my job in severe jeopardy.

Or I could tell him about the time when, having taken over for a fellow who had been summarily fired, the Board told me to manufacture the accounting evidence that would cover the apparent embezzlement by he and several of the elected officers.

In the first case, I found myself a new job (I re-invented myself); in the second case, I told the Veep that she had 48 hours to re-instate what was due me or I was going to walk out the door at the very moment when their entire programmatic year was hanging in the balance. Six weeks later, we had a mutual parting of the ways.  In the third case, I informed the Board that the penalty for me to do what they asked was a $10,000 fine and/or some serious jail time, neither of which I would risk for them. They gave me a parting gift of a few grand which did not last as long as I needed it to last. No matter; I am still alive and breathing.

In those instances I had found myself in a peculiar predicament, as I did in yet another case in which I mastered the computer with sufficient understanding that I was able to program it (and me) with a set of templates that allowed me to double and triple my output.  I was paid for the production of typed reports and records at the rate of a dime a line and, having discovered what I had discovered and implemented it effectively, I went to my boss (and her boss) to try to explain that they could stop out-sourcing and bring the work back inside and keep a lot of people (including the “customer”) much happier because the turn-around period was cut in half, and they did not have to pay premium rates for the output.  But despite the fact that, while I listened to the dictation of people with thick foreign accents I simultaneously listened to jazz, and despite the fact that I was regularly interrupted to interpret the complex terms for other typists, my income soared beyond that of the department head, and when she discovered that, I was history.

This was similar to another employment pecadillo when, as the department rep at an inter-departmental meaning to look at how expenses could be cut, I showed them a way to save over $100,00 a year which, when she found out, made my department head livid because I’d apparently showed her up by not having brought my idea to her so she could take the credit. Later, for that same employer, I was placed back on probation for the exact same act that her bosses’ bosses boss gave me a $500 bonus.

So when, in the final instance, I threw in the towel in exasperation, I became intrigued with the field of performance psychology, and I ended up doing a lot of reading about methods of self-improvement.  All this experience with employment (or the lack of it) brought me to the books Zen and the Art of Making a Living.  I began to become interested in coaching. While I had done my share of youth sports coaching, I discovered the fields of executive coaching and life coaching and even considered becoming one.

And there’s the rub, the word life. It’s not because I considered being a life coach that I think I am one.  I am not. I never did the schooling. I never got certified.  I never hung out my shingle. I decided it was not what I wanted to do with my life.  But I did enough work that I have several practice resources and fieldbooks, a library full of related material, and a solid understanding of what a life coach is and what one can do for you. I even wrote about an oustanding exemplar in the field right here in this blog, as well as an oustanding executive coach.

A life coach can help you see clearly where your life is right now, create a vision for where you want your life to go, and make a plan to get you to your destination. When your coach has a good understanding of what you want, they will help you, guide you, and facilitate the process of achieving your goals and dreams. They will collaborate with you and provide the support you need…. A life coach will not tell you what to do with your life. Their job is to facilitate your goals, not push their ideas on you. ”

Lots more here:

https://www.your24hcoach.com/blog/what-is-online-life-coaching-and-does-it-work 

http://www.lifecoachspotter.com/how-to-find-life-coach-guide/ 

http://www.findacoach.com 

http://www.findacoach.com/rightcoach includes business and corporate/organizational coaching

Now, as I said, I appreciate that you the reader may not have the cash to hire yourself a life coach. Look into it briefly anyway so you know what it’s all about and how, especially if you do some work on your own, you can reduce the expense you have to pay out of your pocket.

If you’re here. we know you can read.

If you haven’t gotten there yet, start with the book I compiled when I was out of work.  I thought I was doing it for my kids, but I was really doing it for myself. I was, as a high school friend of mine from waaay back put it, “re-parenting” myself.

Yes, of course… If you want to be a good parent, you have to make sure you got the lessons done first.

That book is right here inside the blog, the chapters are in pdf format, there’s an expanded or annotated table of contents so you can simply figure out where to start, what to skip, and even if you need it at all.

Even exemplars need coaches.  You can’t see yourself as clearly as someone else can.

Life coaches are not shrinks.  There’s nothing wrong with you that you can’t fix. So sit down and have a conversation with a trained professional about where you are, where you are stuck, what you want, etc.

Find some books.  The bibliography of “Summon The Magic” offers you a number of places to start. Go to the library.  If you like the book, buy a used copy. If you have a pretty good idea of where you are headed, find How To Do, Be or Have Anything by Laurence Boldt.

Or get Steve Chandler’s Reinventing Yourself: How To Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be.

If you’re confused about the relationship between earning a livelihood and thriving in your family and community, get Matthew Fox’s The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time.

If, after you’ve put your toes into the water, you can’t find a life coach you’re eager to work with, or you simply can’t afford to get involved in his or her fee schedule, go back to the book search process and find a copy of Coach U’s Essential Coaching Tools. It’s a pricey reference book loaded with tools to assess your situation; it’s what the pros use when they get started. But there’s one out there right now for under $50.

You do care about the quality and meaning of your life enough to invest $50, don’t you?

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http://www.livelihoodshow.com 

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https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/08/01/bruce-lee-on-performance-psychology-elements-willpower-emotion-imagination-confidence 

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The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/20/the-body-keeps-the-score 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhe_o4AaN_A

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/58/0a/be/580abeec694717753a181514e7f2f39c.jpg 

“… Nurses agree that GOOD care is good care no matter whose hands deliver it. Aseptic technique doesn’t necessarily improve with additional initials behind a nurse’s name, and a nurse doesn’t get faster at psychomotor skills because she went back to school. In fact, she may be a little slower getting those electrodes and defibrillator pads attached because of age!!

Nurses agree that GOOD care is good care no matter whose hands deliver it. Aseptic technique doesn’t necessarily improve with additional initials behind a nurse’s name, and a nurse doesn’t get faster at psychomotor skills because she went back to school. In fact, she may be a little slower getting those electrodes and defibrillator pads attached because of age!!…”

Diane Goodman, in a thread at MedScape

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http://hugyournurse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/great-nurses.jpg

http://hugyournurse.com/what-makes-a-nurse-a-great-nurse/ 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRb-HzPKBA 

Long-Distance Runaround

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The Third Self: Mary Oliver on Time, Concentration, the Artist’s Task, and the Central Commitment of the Creative Life

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/12/mary-oliver-upstream-creativity-power-time/ 

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music courtesy of

http://thebadplus.com 

information

information

Social Media Is Killing Discourse 

Because It’s Too Much Like TV

We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

November 29, 2016

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6qcRdedck 

An excerpt:

“… social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.

I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.

Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.

Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside….

Neil Postman provided some clues about this in his illuminating 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. The media scholar at New York University saw then how television transformed public discourse into an exchange of volatile emotions that are usually mistaken by pollsters as opinion. One of the scariest outcomes of this transition, Postman wrote, is that television essentially turns all news into disinformation.

“Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing … The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Emphasis added.) And, Postman argued, when news is constructed as a form of entertainment, it inevitably loses its function for a healthy democracy. “I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?…”

Hossein Derakshan (@h0d3r) is an Iranian-Canadian author, media analyst, and performance artist who lives in Tehran. Find his latest project, an exploration of the intersection of performance art and journalism, at @talkingtagsart.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602981/social-media-is-killing-discourse-because-its-too-much-like-tv/?utm_medium=email_marketing&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=engagement_socialmedia&utm_content=active_subs 

Posted by Michele Kearney at 7:47 AM  

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The Magic of the Book: Hermann Hesse on Why We Read and Always Will

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/07/the-magic-of-the-book-hermann-hesse 

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Must read:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2017/01/veteran-misses-simpler-time-fighting-unwinnable-enemy-unknowingly-helped-create/ 

via Naked Capitalism

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Vincent_van_Gogh_-_The_Public_Soup_Kitchen_F1020.jpg 

On page 27 and 28, in Lesson #3, Read Your Head Off, in Patty Dann’s book “The Butterfly Hours” :

 

“Read books and magazines and the labels on the backs of cereal boxes. In Beloved, Toni Morrison wrote that one of her characters died “soft as cream.” You can’t use that brilliant line, but when a sentence like that is in your mouth, there is a possibility you’ll find another to offer to the gods.

People often switch genres as they get older, of what they write but also of what they read. They will say “I don’t know why I am suddenly reading poetry” or “I’ve given up reading fiction altogether.” People are often surprised or even uncomfortable, as if they’d suddenly begun an illicit affair if they switch writing or reading certain genres. “But I always loved fiction,” they say. It is as true as swimming in a lake where the water suddenly changes temperature. It can be unsettling, but the oldest students in my class, those in their nineties, just smile and say “And it will change again. You will see.”

Genre does not matter, as long as you’re reading. If you’re not reading, you’re not writing. Reading is part of your daily devotion if you are a writer. When you read as a writer, it is different than reading for pleasure.  You are studying the craft, just as an artist must go to the museums to see the great masters, and a musician must listen to Mozart and Miles Davis, and everyone should read Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo

When you read as a writer, read a sentence and try to imagine the sounds, the touch, the taste, the smells the writer is writing about. As you write, you put yourself back together.”

http://vangoghletters.org/vg/interface/home/15.jpg 

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An observation in this age of social media, driven by TV, Hollywood and other practices of the creation of a “brand”, is that brand image is the new battleground for supremacy of information. The mainstream media have been knocked off their high perch and, while the pre-season scrimmaging for audience share and recognition has been underway for some time now, the new ratings period is open.  The New York Times is selling its office space, oligarchs are venturing into news company ownership and web site creation, and ioncreasingly we see competition for who should be seen as the premier purveyor of acuracy.

Everyone, before and after the numerous infilitrations, was and is responsible for their own minds.

What we are witnessing is the Oprahfication of truth. The hapless reader is asked, nay being forced, to choose between the Kardsashans of investigative journalism and the others.

It’s just the latest variant or extension of contempt for your own ability to read, decide, and more.  Indeed, along with the Oprahs and her offspring, the Kardashian sub-industry, “reality TV”, revamped and re-packaged TV news, and dozens of other choices, it’s a battle for where and how you should place your attention.

The book “Deep Survival” will explain the real importance of attention.

Eric Booth’s “The Everyday Work of Art” stands as a pinnacle.

Find a copy of Terry Orlick’s interview with the world-class cardiothoracic surgeon Curt Tribble, M.D., in which he discusses the ability to function with an element of uncertainty, the critical importance of focus and distraction control, and the ability to deal with sub-optimal outcomes, all relevant to any pursuit of excellence.

It has been said that the information we allow into our consciousness is what determines, in the end, the content and quality of our lives.

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Leonard Bernstein on Cynicism, Instant Gratification, and Why Paying Attention Is a Countercultural Act of Courage and Rebellion

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/03/leonard-bernstein 

pressing matters

pressing matters

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) examined those peculiar parallel dimensions of loneliness as a profoundly personal anguish and an indispensable currency of our political life in her intellectual debut, the incisive and astonishingly timely 1951 classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (public library).

Arendt paints loneliness as “the common ground for terror” and explores its function as both the chief weapon and the chief damage of oppressive political regimes. Exactly twenty years before her piercing treatise on lying in politics, she writes:

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, [they] lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:

Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.

Although isolation is not necessarily the same as loneliness, Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:

In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.

[…]

While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.

This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression….”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/20/hannah-arendt-origins-of-totalitarianism-loneliness-isolation-oppression 

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Vice Joins Trend Of Killing News Comments Because Giving A Damn About Your Site’s Community Is Just Too Hard

from the i-love-you.-here’s-your-new-muzzle. dept

We’ve talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships…. napalming your on-site community because you’re too lazy to weed the garden certainly is a slight against those users. And as we saw with NPR, these users are well aware of this fact, and are more than happy to spend their time on websites that actually value conversation and user interaction, instead of just paying empty lip service to the concept.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161227/09365436348/vice-joins-trend-killing-news-comments-because-giving-damn-about-your-sites-community-is-just-too-hard.shtml 

via

http://www.blacklistednews.com/

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music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui-cL6YOKHI

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Maternal genealogy is unknown beyond my mother except for the presence of a Scots-Irish (Presbyterian) family in Western Pennsylvania. The paternal genealogy includes DNA that is apparently (but confusedly) of Normal or Saxon origin which moved from the Iberian peninsula after the last Ice Age up into Norman or perhaps Breton turf until, apparently as mercenaries or in followership, the Norman conquest of England. My father’s mother was of Prussian heritage. Ancestral history in my family from before the crossing of the English Channel is very clouded.   

More precise records extend from the summer of 1638 when two brothers caught a ride aboard a ship out of Hull, England to cross the Atlantic to come to England in search of religious freedom. “They were men of respectability, ‘of good estate,’ and could probably have no hopes of improving their worldly condition by emigration. They were lovers of liberty, and men of distinct and well-marked religious views. They were non-conformists. They had too sturdy an independence, as well as too strong a sense of duty, to abandon what they held as truth even in the midst of the bitterest persecution. For this reason they left their homes and sought in the wilds of America a resting place from oppression, a spot where they and their children might enjoy freedom to worship God. They were men of thought and character….”  In 1639, they settled on land north of Ipswich with which to raise and breed sheep and establish the first wool clothier’s trade. The ship’s cargo included “the first printing press, later to be set up in Cambridge, the only printing press in the country until 1685”.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m9PKdUHpb1o/U5YmEJw1FdI/AAAAAAAAuiM/hFDNCeJD2Yo/s1600/Town+seal+Rowley.gif

That familial reference to the first printing press in colonial New England seems uncertain but is confirmed by other references and sources. 

“… The first printing press came to British North America two years after the founding of Harvard College. The press was brought by Reverend Joseph Glover, who, when deprived of his position in the Church of England, shipped his family, his possessions, and his printing press to the colonies. Glover also paid for the passage of the man in charge of running his press, Stephen Daye, a locksmith by profession. Daye was under financial contract to work in Glover’s home in Cambridge in order to repay the cost of passage for himself, his wife, and his household—a total of around £51. Rev. Glover, however, did not survive the passage to the New World. When Daye and the press arrived, his debt was transferred to Glover’s widow, Elizabeth, now owner of the printing press.

Daye set to work almost immediately along with his son Matthew, an apprentice printer, and perhaps more skilled than his father. Within the first year in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they printed The Freeman’s Oath, a broadside, which is generally believed to be the first tract printed in British North America. This was completed around the same time as “an almanac made for New England by Mr. William Pierce.” 1 By virtue of exploiting a loophole in colonial legislation, Daye printed the first book in the New World, The Bay Psalm Book, in 1640. This book became extremely popular and influential throughout the colony for the remainder of the 17th century.  It was only three years later that the first Bible published in the New World was also published in Cambridge.

Elizabeth Glover (born Harris), as an unmarried woman, was a rarity in colonial New England. Especially unique was that she was not only an eligible woman of property but also the owner of the only printing press in the British colonies. Her attractiveness as a mate was clear to the President of Harvard, Henry Dunster. On June 21, 1641 they were married, transferring all of her property to his home on the now-named Dunster Street. Elizabeth died in 1643, and her land and property, including the printing press, was passed on to Dunster and subsequently to Harvard College. During the same year Matthew Daye replaced his father as official operator of the press after the elder Daye was briefly jailed for fraud.

As Harvard grew in size and reputation, it became a logical center of printing in the American colonies. Cambridge was the location of not just the first printing press, but also the second when in 1659 a press was sent to the colonies from the British firm “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen Natives of New England and parts Adjacent in America.” Matthew Daye’s successor Samuel Green was in charge of printing at this point, but the British firm also sent over the America’s first professional printer, Marmaduke Johnson, to assist Green. The new press was set up in Harvard Yard, in a building called the Indian College, to print Reverend John Eliot’s “Indian Bible.”

Marmaduke Johnson acquired his own press in England in 1665, and planned to bring it to Boston in order to establish his own business. However, Harvard wanted a replacement for Glover’s original press, having become fragile over the years, and the Harvard leadership successfully lobbied for a state law stating that no printing could be done outside of Cambridge. Forced into staying in Cambridge, Johnson instead, without any affiliation to Harvard, opened the first independent printing press in the colonies and went on to publish 20 books between 1665 and 1674…..”

http://www.cambridgehistory.org/discover/innovation/American%20Printing.html 

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/occurrencessm.jpg

Facsimile of the first and only issue of the English-American colonies’ first newspaper, published in Boston 1690.

Early American Newspapering

by James Breig

We are here at the end of the World, and Europe may

bee turned topsy turvy ere wee can hear a word of it.

-Virginia planter William Byrd, 1690

In seventeenth-century America, colonial governments had rather do without newspapers than brook their annoyance. In 1671, Governor William Berkeley of Virginia wrote: “I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have, these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both.” As the British government once told the governors of Massachusetts, “Great inconvenience may arise by the liberty of printing.”

Not until 1690 did the first English-American news sheet debut—Boston’s Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published by Benjamin Harris. The authorities, in “high Resentment” that Harris dared to report that English military forces had allied themselves with “miserable” savages, put him out of business four days later.

By the end of the eighteenth century, however, scores of homegrown broadsheets and tabloids satisfied the information appetites of Americans hungry for intelligence of the Old World, for news about the Revolution, and for the political polemics of the infant United States. The history of newspapering in that century digests the beginnings of much of what is served on newsstands in this one.

As the century began, the fledgling colonial press tested its wings. A bolder journalism opened on the eve of the Revolution. And, as the century closed with the birth of the United States, a rancorously partisan and rambunctious press emerged.

The eras can be traced in the history of the family of Benjamin Franklin—the preeminent journalist of his time. But it best begins with another Boston newspaperman, postmaster John Campbell. In 1704, Campbell served up The Boston News-Letter, the nation’s second paper. It was a publication the powers-that-be could stomach. The News-Letter lasted seventy-two years, succeeding in an increasingly competitive industry, supported by the growth of communication and of commerce.

Campbell’s fellow postmasters often became newspaper publishers, too; they had ready access to information to put on their pages. Through their offices came letters, government documents, and newspapers from Europe. Gazettes were also started by printers, who had paper, ink, and presses at hand. Franklin was a postmaster and a printer.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/News-Letter_detail.jpg

Eighteenth-century editors filled their columns with items lifted from other newspapers—”the exchanges,” as they are called still—and from letters, said Mitchell Stephens, a New York University journalism professor and the author of A History of News. European news, taken from newspapers that arrived in ports like New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, got good play. The November 8, 1797, issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, for example, carried this item from New York: “Yesterday arrived here the ship Mary. . . . By this arrival we are furnished with London Papers . . . from which the most important intelligence is extracted.” David Sloan, a University of Alabama journalism professor, lists the sources of stories as “European newspapers, primarily English ones; correspondence sent in by readers; other newspapers in the colonies; and individuals who would drop by the print shop and talk.”

Julie K. Williams, a history instructor at Alabama’s Samford University, said publishers had such altruistic motives as improving communication and educating the public, but profit was their primary purpose. Maurine Beasley, a University of Maryland journalism professor, puts it plainly. The purpose of newspapers was “to make money.”

Williams said, “Newspapers brought in ad revenue and circulation revenue.” That income supplemented receipts from books, government printing jobs, merchant invoices, forms, and other ephemera.

Making money is still what keeps newspapers in business, and that is but one similarity between eighteenth-century papers and the twenty-first’s. As Sloan said, “Newspapers are still printed with ink on paper.” But more than that, newspapers then and now “still have opinions and letters. There was a sense then that newspapers should publish both sides of an issue, even during the Revolution and factional periods.”

Williams ticks off the surface differences in the newspapers of the two centuries—there were no headlines and few illustrations then, for example—as well as cosmetic similarities. “You can look at an eighteenth-century newspaper and recognize the column layout and the general news-ads look of a paper today,” she said. “It is interesting that the ‘look’ is still basically there.

“But the biggest similarity is what news is. We decided in the eighteenth century that newspapers were about ‘occurrences,’ and basically we have stuck to that. I think ‘departments’ are clearly an idea in the eighteenth century. The colonial printer had a standing format that he followed religiously that involved dividing the news by type. These sections were often labeled ‘foreign reports’ and so on.”

To Carol Humphrey, an Oklahoma Baptist University journalism professor and secretary of the American Journalism Historians Association, “The primary legacy of the eighteenth century for modern journalism is the right to comment on political events. The modern-day editorial has its beginnings in that era.”

The DNA of modern newspapers is found in the eighteenth century, Stephens said. “The look is the same,” and “the sense of what news is, is basic to human beings.”

Most colonial newspapers were weeklies, had four pages, and printed most of their advertisements in back. With little space, printers kept many stories brief, encapsulating even significant information into “one short paragraph, even a sentence,” Sloan said.

Newspapers also contained “essays, poems and humorous material, some of which they wrote themselves, like Ben Franklin,” Beasley said. “Sometimes, items that had a sensational or religious aspect appeared, such as a report of a strange creature being sighted or some unusual event occurring attributed to ‘divine providence.’”

Readers wondered about the course of wars in Europe and were curious about happenings in other towns and colonies—especially events that could affect their lives. But they were as interested as readers of today in the ordinary events of the life of their times. When they got their newspaper, subscribers perused such advertisements and news as:

Run away . . . a small yellow Negro wench named Hannah, about 35 years of age, had on when she went away a green plain petticoat and sundry other clothes, but what sort I do not know.—from a 1767 issue of Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette

For Sale—The spars, anchors, rigging, and hull, of a brig, sixty four feet keel, twenty four and a half feet beam, and ten feet hold.—from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

The noted High Bred Horse Old Mark Anthony, now in high perfection, and as vigorous as ever, stands at my stable this season in order to cover mares, at £3. the leap.—also from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

Last Friday, the fatal and ever memorable Day of the Martyrdom of King Charles the First, a most extraordinary Misfortune befell this Place, by the Destruction of our fine Capitol. . . . The Cupola was soon burnt, the two Bells that were in it were melted, and, together with the Clock, fell down, and were destroyed.—from a 1747 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but datelined Williamsburg, Feb. 5.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/first-gazette_detail.jpg 

When, as the century began, Campbell and his colleagues set up their forms, they entered a risky business. Printers were licensed by the government, and they could be unlicensed swiftly, and imprisoned. That happened to Benjamin Franklin’s older brother James, publisher of the New-England Courant.

James Franklin inspired his sibling’s interest in printing. “In 1717,” the younger Franklin wrote, “James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. . . . My father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.” The boy was at length “persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old.” But like the publisher of Publick Occurrences, James Franklin ran afoul of the authorities. “One of the pieces in our newspaper gave offense to the Assembly,” Benjamin Franklin said. His brother “was taken up, censur’d, and imprison’d for a month. . . . During my brother’s confinement . . . I had the management of the paper.”

When the government freed the older Franklin, it forbade him to print the Courant any longer. The brothers circumvented the order by putting Benjamin Franklin’s name on it.

John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal, was arrested in 1734 and charged with seditious libel for criticisms of Governor William Cosby. The facts were against Zenger, but a jury more sympathetic to free speech than to authority acquitted him. Franklin, who had moved to Philadelphia, where he founded Poor Richard’s Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette, endorsed the verdict in a couplet:

While free from Force the Press remains,

Virtue and Freedom cheer our Plains.

Typical for Franklin and his colleagues, the lines are lifted from a poem by Mathew Green, “The Spleen,” published in 1737.

As happy as editors were to see Zenger vindicated, they noticed that he had spent ten months in jail awaiting trial. His wife had carried on the Journal, but clearly a newspaperman’s livelihood and liberty depended on the forbearance of the government.

At mid-century, the press began to alter its stance and became more outspoken. In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published America’s first newspaper cartoon, a picture showing a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, with the caption: “Join or Die.”

Franklin became a wealthy publisher and editor. He linked print shops and post offices in a coastal chain, and spread newspapering up and down the seaboard. Newspapers founded under his aegis prospered and, as troubles with Great Britain mounted, became precisely the “great inconvenience” England feared.

Stephens said the purpose of newspapers “changed to the political and polemical after 1765—around the time of the Stamp Act-as tensions snowballed.” Sloan said, “During the Revolution, the main goal was to support the American cause.”

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/coffin_detail.gif

“Prior to the Revolution, newspapers existed primarily to inform people of what was going on in the rest of the world,” Humphrey said. “The Revolution changed the focus to events in the other colonies.”

Daily publication began in the 1780s, just as the new American republic emerged. There were about 100 newspapers by 1790, many of them were spirited, and some were great annoyances to men in high positions. It was a time of enormous press freedom, a freedom exercised frequently in behalf of the Federalist or Republican parties, which subsidized their own publications. Humphrey said, “Many newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party.” Two examples are the Gazette of the United States for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the National Gazette for the Jeffersonian Republicans. “Their editors believed that they should support their particular party in all that they did,” she noted, “so they wrote essays in support of their party and included editorial comments in the news pieces that either supported their party or attacked the opposition.”

This was the era of Philip Freneau, John Fenno, and James Callendar, sharp-penned scribes who used their journalistic skills to laud their friends and denigrate their enemies. This was the era when government officials and political figures—Alexander Hamilton and James Madison among them—adopted pseudonyms to promote their politics in the public prints anonymously.

Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Samuel Adams said in 1768 that “there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press.”

But newspaper partisanship had evolved from the Revolution. “Newspapers that were used to denouncing Tories and the King,” Stephens said, “slid easily into denouncing opposition parties, even the President of the United States.”

George Washington declared a lack of interest in newspapers before he was president, writing in 1786 that “my avocations are so numerous that I very rarely find time to look into Gazettes after they come to me.” But while in office, he sometimes was incensed at what he saw in print. In notes about a 1793 cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Jefferson recorded how the president went on in such “a high tone” about the paper of “that rascal” Freneau that the cabinet officers were momentarily stunned into silence.

Benjamin Franklin’s grandson and namesake, Benjamin Franklin Bache—also known as “Lightning Rod Junior”—edited the Aurora. Bache delighted in harassing President Washington, once labeling him “the source of all the misfortunes of our country” and declaring him “utterly incapable.”

When John Adams wrote “A Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in 1779, he included a guarantee of liberty of the press. But as president, Adams endorsed the Alien and Sedition Acts, aimed at muzzling the opposition by jailing editors who dared criticize the chief executive.

Sloan said Bache was “a really ardent, zealous partisan. He epitomizes the intensely partisan editor.” Bache was indicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts but died before his case came to trial. Adams’s successor, Jefferson, released imprisoned journalists and allowed the law to lapse.

Stephens said that the free—and free-wheeling—press of the federal period helped to create the United States: “It is hard to imagine the United States arriving when it did without a free press. It was a wild, unruly press, but democracy was a great experiment and an aggressive press was part of it.”

Much has changed in the centuries since Benjamin Harris set up his type. Among other things, the web press, the linotype, and, eventually, offset printing came to the business. The telegraph and news services supplanted the exchanges. The First Amendment, written originally to protect the press only from the federal Congress, was interpreted to apply to the governments of the states. Illustrations and photographs became as important as words. Journalism emerged as a diplomaed, white-collar profession. And the role of the press as a “great inconvenience” to government is a hallmark of democratic government.

“How,” asks Stephens, “can you run a country without a free press?”

Jim Breig, an Albany, New York, writer and weekly newspaper editor, contributed “Out, Damn’d Proverbs: Eighteenth-Century Axioms, Maxims, and Bywords” to the winter 2002-2003 journal.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/spring03/journalism.cfm 

 

In 1638, the first printing press arrived in Boston.

By 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English Empire. The Puritans were the first to write books for children, and to discuss the difficulties in communicating with them. At a time when other Americans were physically blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans efforts in areas of study were advancing the country intellectually.

The Bible stimulated their intellect by promoting discussions of literature. Greek classics, Cicero, Virgil, Terence and Ovid were taught, as well as some poetry and Latin verse. The Puritans also encouraged themselves to create their own poetry, always religious in content.

Anyway, three English diversions were banned in the Puritans’ New England colonies: drama, religious music and erotic poetry. The first and last of these because they led to immorality. Music in worship, instead, created a “dreamy” state which was not conducive in listening to God.

The first newspaper was issued in Boston in 1704.

http://www.timerime.com/es/evento/986843/First+printing+press+in+Boston/ 

[Ed.: Today, of course, there is a growth industry involving audio forms of meditation, the neuro-cognitive research done to examine the concept of spiritual perception, in essence a merger between neuroscience and New Age approaches.]

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In 1754, four newspapers only were printed in New England, these were all published in Boston, and, usually, on a small sheet.; They were published weekly, and the average number of copies did not exceed six hundred from each press. No paper had then been issued in Connecticut, or New Hampshire. Some years before, one was printed for a short time in Rhode Island, but had been discontinued for want of encouragement. Vermont as a state did not exist, and the country which now composes it was then a wilderness. In 1775, a period of only twenty-one years, more copies of a newspaper were issued weekly from the village press at Worcester, Massachusetts, than were printed in all New England, in 1755; and one paper now published contains as much matter as did all the four published in Boston, in the last year mentioned.

At the beginning of 1775, there were five newspapers published in Boston, one at Salem, and one at Newburyport, making seven in Massachusetts. There was, at that time, one published at Portsmouth; and no other in New Hampshire. One was printed at Newport, and one at Providence, making two in Rhode Island. At New London there was one, at New Haven one, one at Hartford and one in Norwich; in all four I Connecticut;and fourteen in New England. In the province of New York, four papers were then published; three in the city and one in Albany. In Pennsylvania there were, on the first of January, 1775, six; three in English and one in German, in Philadelphia, one in German, at Germantown; and one in English and German, at Lancaster. Before the end of January, 1775, three newspapers, in English, were added to the number from the presses I Philadelphia, making nine in Pennsylvania. In Maryland, two; one at Annapolis, and one at Baltimore. In Virginia, there were but two, and both of these at Williamsburg. One was printed at Wilmington, and one in Newbern, in North Carolina; three at Charleston, South Carolina; and one at Savannah, in Georgia. Making thirty-seen newspapers in all the British colonies, which are now comprised in the United States. To these may be added one at Halifax, in Nova Scotia; and one in Canada, at Quebec.

In 1800, there were at least one hundred and fifty publications of this kind printed in the United States of America, and since that time, the number has increased to three hundred and sixty. Those published before 1775 were weekly papers. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war, daily papers were printed at Philadelphia, New York, &c., and there are now, 1810, more than twenty published, daily, in the United States.

It was common for printers of newspapers to subjoin to their titles ‘Containing the freshest Advices both Foreign and Domestick;’ but gazettes and journals are now chiefly filled with political essays. News do not appear to be always the first object of editors, and, of course, ‘containing the freshest advices,’ &c., is too often out of the question.

For many years after the establishment of newspapers on this continent, very few advertisements appeared in them. This was the case with those that were early printed in Europe. In the first newspapers, advertisements were not separated by lines from the news, &c., and were not even begun with a two line letter; when two line letters were introduced, it was some time before one advertisement was separated from another by a line, or rule as it is termed by printers. After it became usual to separate advertisements, some printers used lines of metal rules; others lines of flowers irregularly placed. I have seen in some New York papers, great primer flowers between advertisements. At length, it became customary to ‘set off advertisements,’ and from using types not larger than those with which the news were printed, types of the size of French canon have often been used for names, especially of those who advertised English goods.

In the troublesome times, occasioned by the stamp act in 1765, some of the more opulent and cautious printers, when the act was to take place, put their papers in mourning, and, for a few weeks, omitted to publish them; others not so timid, but doubtful of the consequence of publishing newspapers without stamps, omitted the titles, or altered them, as an evasion; for instance the Pennsylvania Gazette, and some other papers, were headed ‘Remarkable Occurrences, &c.’ -other printers, particularly those in Boston, continued their papers without any alteration in title or imprint.

From the foregoing it appears that, from the time when the first public journal was published in the country, viz. in April, 1704, to April 1775, comprising a period of seventy-one years, seventy-eight different newspapers were printed in the British American continental colonies; that during this period, thirty-nine, exactly one-half of that number, had been, occasionally, discontinued; and that thirty-nine continued to be issued by the several establishments at the commencement of the revolution. The papers published in the West Indies are not included in this computation.

In the course of thirty-five years, newspaper establishments were, as previously remarked, multiplied in a surprising degree; insomuch, that the number of those printed in the United States in June, 1810, amounted to upwards of three hundred and sixty.

A large proportion of the public papers at that date were established, and supported, by the two great contending political parties, into which the people of these states are usually divided; and whose numbers produce an equipollence; consequently, a great augmentation of vehicles for carrying on the political warfare have been found necessary.

I cannot conclude what I have written on the subject of publike journals, better than by extracting the following pertinent observations on newspapers, from the Rev. Dr. Miller’s Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century.

‘It is worthy of remark that newspapers have almost entirely changed their form and character within the period under review* (*the eighteenth century) For a long time after they were first adopted as a medium of communication to the public, they were confined, in general, to the mere statement of facts. But they have gradually assumed an office more extensive, and risen to a more important station in society. They have become vehicles of discussion, in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private characters of individuals, are all arraigned, tried, and decided. Instead, therefore, of being considered now, as they once were, of small moment in society, they have become immense oral and political engines, closely connected with the welfare of the state, and deeply involving both its peace and prosperity.

‘Newspapers have also become important in a literary view. There are few of them, within the last twenty years, which have not added to their political details some curious and useful information, on the various subjects of literature, science, and art. They have thus become the means of conveying, to every class in society, innumerable scraps of knowledge, which have at once increased the public intelligence, and extended the taste for perusing periodical publications. The advertisements, moreover, which they daily contain, respecting new books, projects, inventions, discoveries and improvements, are well calculated to enlarge and enlighten the public mind, and are worth of being enumerated among the many methods of awakening and maintaining the popular attention, with which more modern times, beyond all preceeding example, abound. . . . “

Index to This Section:

Would there have been an American Revolution Without Newspapers and Mail? The Role of Communications in the American Revolution 

Getting the Word Out: Franklin’s Communications Revolutions

The Dangerous Lives of Printers:

The Evolution of Freedom of the Press

Newspapers in America Before the Era of the Revolution

Newspapers in Revolutionary-Era America and the Problems of Patriot and Loyalist Printers

A Patriot Printer and His “Forge of Sedition”: 

The Story of Isaiah Thomas

The Role of Newspapers in the Revolution:

Isaiah Thomas’s The History of Printing in America

Not Just the News: 

A War of Letters, Pamphlets, Broadsides, and Sermons

http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/1770s/pprinthisthomas.html 

 

https://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historyculture/images/SK-Bacon-and-Govenor.jpg

“But I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!” 

Governor Sir William Berkeley, 1671

 

The Germination of a Free Press: A Dissident Print Culture and the Stamp Act in Colonial Virginia

by

Roger P. Mellen

2006

42 pp.

http://web.nmsu.edu/~rpmellen/freepress.pdf

 

 

 

https://joelyman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/cropped-po-11.jpg 

“The editor objected to the use of Native auxiliaries in the invation of Canada during King William’s War after he heard reports of them torturing and killing captured French troops.”

“… The first newspaper ever printed in this country met the same fate dealt the first gesture towards press censorship and the first attempt to set up a commercial printing shop: “Publick Occurrances both Foreign and Domestick,” appeared on September 26, 1690, and was immediately forbidden from the Colonies. The Governor and council gave expression to “high resentment and disallowance” to this paper printed by Richard Pierce for Benjamin Harris of Boston, and forbade anyone “for the future to set forth anything in print without license first obtained.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1928/11/30/harvard-college-sponsored-first-printing-press/ 

 

http://wordwenches.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c84c753ef0133f4e8ff6a970b-150wi

“… The most intriguing objects found in the Harvard Yard excavations were pieces of lead printing type dating back to the 17th century. At first glance, these lead alloy bars may not impress, but they are small pieces of an important story. Each bears the mold of a single letter. When arranged in rows, coated with thick ink, and pressed onto paper, they created the first books printed in North America. The fonts, or particular shapes, of some of these letters have been matched to surviving 17th-century products of Harvard’s early press…..”

https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/2014 

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/bf/e0/bb/bfe0bbef4ee437f2e0c0c7f7350459ad.jpg

“… Ezekiel and his followers pooled their money to organise their New England passage. They left Rowley in the summer of 1638 and travelled down into Hull where they joined the ship John of London, lying in the Old Harbour on the River Hull. After sailing out of the Humber, their ship called into London en route and there picked up the Reverend Joseph Glover, a wealthy nonconformist minister, who brought with him Stephen Daye, a printer, and also what is believed to be North America’s first printing press. Glover is thought to have first visited New England earlier in the 1630s and supported the foundation of Harvard College – which eventually became Harvard University, the oldest institute of higher education in the United States.

Unfortunately, on the long and tortuous journey across the Atlantic, the Reverend Glover died before the vessel reached Salem Bay, Massachusetts in the December of 1638. The migrants probably spent a long first winter in Salem but in spring 1639 Ezekiel Rogers and his followers moved on to land some six miles outside of Ipswich, Massachusetts. House lots and properties were laid out along the township’s brook, allowing each family access to fresh water. Here the new arrivals built many houses and, bringing spinning and weaving skills with them from the East Riding of Yorkshire, they were amongst the first to establish a clothing industry in New England. They called their little township, Rowley after their East Riding village….

Elizabeth Glover, continued with her late husband’s mission and supervised Daye in the setting up of the Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In January 1639, the Freeman’s Oath was the first piece printed. The following year, 1640, the press produced The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the English colonies. This may also have been the first book to have been written in North America and is an important part of the history of print; it seems that only five original copies still exist.

The small town of Rowley prospered and Ezekiel Rogers bequeathed his library to Harvard when he died in 1660 and other benefactions from him also eventually went to this learned institution. Early settlers in Rowley played an important part in the establishment of this new country. Elizabeth Glover married Henry Dunster, Harvard’s First President, who had taken interest in the Press. Stephen Daye died in 1668. His son Matthew became an accomplished printer and indeed may have actually done much of the printing with that first press. Printing and publishing in the United States has certainly come a long way since Stephen Daye first sailed with the Rowley settlers back in the summer of 1638.”

Robb Robinson, December 2008

http://www.hull.ac.uk/mhsc/FarHorizons/Documents/EzekielRogers.pdf 

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This past Christmas weekend has been an opportunity for long-range thinking, planning, learning, observing and more planning. Numerous things have been poking me in my ribs, tapping me on my collar-bone, and crackling synaptically inside my skull.                               

We are advised that rumination is unhealthy and should be stopped. 

We are told to return to the source of our creative fire. 

First among the various stimuli is a slowly-emerging intent to focus on writing. Winter has driven me indoors into a little gem of a house with my office, bookcases, coffee pot, pellet stove and functional iMac; in the summertime, I can sit on the deck overlooking the man-made pond and waterfall and the women-tended garden working on a MacAir.

A small bookcase filled with little gems about the art and practice of writing awaits my more complete attention. 

A desktop folder filled with writing ideas and my own stash of “prompts” is now popping fresh new green sprigs. 

Awaiting my investment of time is the half-finished two-hour lecture course on DVD on the craft of writing world-class prose by a distinguished scholar of contemporary literature; there is a similar but not yet started six-hour course in creative non-fiction

I bought myself a copy of The Trickster’s Hat. It’s a “mischievous apprenticeship in creativity”.

I just discovered a new resource when I went looking for background on the popular writer Michael Crichton whose book “Timeline” generated some thoughts; his simple method uses 3×5 cards to plot out storyline

(Note that that web site has a number of great resources for writers. See this year-ending compendium of the top posts from the past year at Writers Helping Writers.

My wife bought me a book of prompts for uncovering the gems in my life’s stories, as well as the fourth edition of “The Craft of Research”. It is “a fundamental and accessible text that explains how to build an argument that engages and persuades readers, how to effectively anticipate and respond to the reservations of readers, and how to find and evaluate sources and integrate them into an argument.” It ends with a 30-page appendix crammed with bibliographic resources in 26 topical categories, starting with a significant two-page compendium of online databases. At $15, it’s the gift of the decade. It may take me ten years to harvest it. 

Meanwhile:

Obama has signed legislation enabling criminal charges for exercising freedom of speech. 

And Social Security has been weaponized by the State as a means of punishment and intimidation for those arrested arrested while exercising their right to assemble in protest. 

Recently the Internet has become a war zone and people have begun to discuss and debate, from both technological and other perspectives, how they will maintain and exercise the right to create, express and thrive independent of political control. 

I’m re-reading a book about “timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making” called Tempo which surely has some value in deciding what direction I am going to take in the future. 

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Four from http://www.strike-the-root.com: 

 

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/propaganda-war-exposed-in-aleppo-about-to-die-saying-goodbye-but-available-for-interview_12232016# 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/more-fake-news-photos-from-aleppo-proven-false-poorly-executed-propaganda.html 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/heres-how-the-government-is-working-to-erode-constitutional-privacy-protections.html 

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/12/23/this-is-how-the-u-s-government-destroys-the-lives-of-patriotic-whistleblowers/ 

 

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Alexa: Who dunnit?

SAN FRANCISCO – In what may be a first, police in Arkansas asked Amazon for recordings potentially made by an Echo device in connection with a murder investigation.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/12/27/amazon-alexa-echo-murder-case-bentonville-hot-tub-james-andrew-bates/95879532/ 

 

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https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/styles/node_embed/public/media/images/photographs/2014_Burma_Harn_Lay.jpg?itok=IpRkWIFz

Obama Quietly Signs The “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law

December 27th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: ZeroHedge:

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

Posted in Dictatorship, Perception Management |

conversational exchange

conversational exchange 

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ8Ya1i3ZhA 

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It’s ‘Digital Heroin’: How Screens Turn Kids Into Psychotic Junkies

December 20th, 2016 by Kevin

My sons, aged 9 and 6, get 30 minutes of video (that I’ve approved) per day and then 1.5 hours of gaming on Saturdays and Sundays, assuming all homeschool lessons are completed.

As little screen time as this is, I’ve found that they have become obsessed with the stuff they encounter in the small windows of time they’re allowed screen access. We’re hearing about diamond swords and Endermen outside of screen time, for example.

Becky was against giving them any screen time at all, but I was worried that they would eventually grow up, encounter screens and become consumed with the whole mess. I met a guy who wasn’t allowed to watch any TV as a child who became really addicted to it as an adult. Also, they know about video games in the first place because they’ve seen my Crysis, Bioshock, Starcraft, etc. boxes on my bookshelf! If you’re a gamer and you don’t want your kids to be gamers: Definitely throw out the boxes and don’t let them know that you do it!

Misha Pemble-Belkin, from Restrepo, is probably the main reason I chose to dose my boys with small amounts of screen time. Raised by “hippy” pacifists, Belkin wasn’t allowed to play with toy guns or watch violent movies as a kid. He grew up, joined the U.S. Army and was happy to be killing people with a MK-19 automatic grenade launcher in Afghanistan. For parents who implement a lot of bans, I think there’s a lesson to be learned from Belkin.

I decided to try giving my boys modest amounts of screen time (as indicated above), but I wonder if it was the right thing to do. My wife still thinks that zero screen time is the way to go. It might be that there’s no good answer and that some options are just less bad than others. I do get a feeling, however, that outright banning would backfire badly.

Via: New York Post:

There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers. Steve Jobs was a notoriously low-tech parent. Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech Montessori Schools, as did Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.

But it’s even worse than we think.

Related:

Video games are more addictive than ever. This is what happens when kids can’t turn them off.

Posted in Collapse, Health, Technology

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLqHIrxSJZY 

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Presence-Based Coaching

Copyright 2008 by Douglas K. Silsbee.

All rights reserved.

Published by Jossey-Bass

A Wiley Imprint

989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741—www.josseybass.com

Presence-Based Coaching offers coaches a hands-on resource for developing the capacities and skills needed to be reliably present in all situations, and shows how to let go of habitual –and often ineffective–ways of responding. As author and leadership expert Doug Silsbee explains, once a coach has mastered the inner moves of directing their own attention, they can work to develop the same capability in their clients. The ability of a coach to facilitate lasting, sustainable development in leaders rests on the presence a coach offers to the coach-client relationship.

Cultivating Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body and Heart

Chapter 2 pdf: PBC-Ch-2

The full book is available here:

http://www.alibris.com/Presence-Based-Coaching-Cultivating-Self-Generative-Leaders-Through-Mind-Body-and-Heart-Doug-Silsbee/book/28448270 

Silsbee’s web site: 

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/404-2/ 

See also: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYhASLxW6tQ (2:32)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOBVTMiTEeM (9:42)

The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Helping People Grow

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/douglas-k-silsbee/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntOYUODSV0 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.the-reel-mccoy.com/movies/2003/images/Timeline2.jpg 

I am presently reading Michael Crichton’s novel Timeline; my wife suggested it because we’d previously watched an indie movie about time travel. I’ll have lots more riffs off of this novel in the future, but one thing that stayed snagged in my mind was the scene of the preparation for the momentous flight from a modern-day high-tech company in the New Mexico desert back to a spot on the Dordogne River in medieval France.

The support staff, operating like a squad prepping astronauts, squirted an organic polymer into the ears of the time traveler so that, after the biodegradable stuff hardened, some other technican could drill it out to implant some electronics.

In Crichton’s tale, at the landing site in 1357, they speak only some strange variants of Old English, Occcitan and Middle French.  But the ear piece, aside from having a built-in microphone, translated those old lost languages for the people that fell back 750 years ….

 

http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.com/4974/as-images.apple.com/is/image/AppleInc/aos/published/images/a/ir/air/pod/air-pod-pods-201609?wid=139&hei=279&fmt=png-alpha&qlt=95&.v=1473705350589

Today, of course, we have all manner of technical goodies that you can put into your ear, clip onto your ear, slip onto your wrist, or slide into your back pocket.  You can dial up someone at any location on the earth from right where you sit (or stand, or walk, or sit). Smart phones are getting mighty sophisticated; I’m sure they can translate for you at some level, though not as well as in Crichton’s fertile imagination. The age of the super-empowered individual is upon us. I don’t know what Thiel, Cook et al have in store (pardon the pun) for the near future, but I’m sure it’s exciting.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end,… We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.

http://www.bartleby.com/73/1540.html 

 

So it is with a concern about and a focus on our ability to communicate clearly with one another that I thought the mythical or prototypical electronics in Crichton’s fictional polymer earpiece might be tweaked or upgraded to translate for us when we found ourselves suddenly dropped into conversations at work, at home, when we’re out socially, when our conversational exchanges seemed to be between two people from different centuries, planets, cultures or simply experiences and mindsets.

You know the times.

They occur when people are being passive-aggressive, when they are being sarcastic but forgot to give you the emoji hand-signal, when they became obtuse and started to run on endlessly, when they took a left turn and simply lost you, when they used some local dialogue like “Valley Girl”, or when — quite simply, and without having to be harsh or demeaning of anyone else — the two of you can’t seem to be in the same chapter, let alone on the same page.

Perhaps the other party has difficulty concentrating, is overworked, their mind is elsewhere, or there’s too much technology in the way (PDA’s, texting, TV, interruptions, distractions).  Perhaps they (or you) are anxious, and there’s some underlying medical or psychological reason you have to learn to deal with or accept, or at least navigate gently through or around. Word-finding difficulties are common, as are momentary lapses in memory. Sometimes this can be awkward. Perhaps the subject is too damn difficult for one of you to address. Maybe there’s a combative atmosphere, or not enough respect present.  Maybe one of you is thwarting dialogue by lying, threatening, stonewalling, crying, shouting, going silent, or becoming accusatory, or lapsing into silence, or taking offense.

You’ve had these moments, I’m sure.

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/161214150902-trump-tech-summit-meeting-780×439.jpg

But relax…  I’m sure if the high-tech world has already begin to work on robotic sex devices that look like celebrities, all those people at Trump’s recent summit will soon have software for your earpiece that, in addition to translation, will function as conversational coaches.

They’re removeable and biodegradable, so if you have someone you simply don’t want to communicate with at all, you can just take them out and throw them away.

[&&]{**}[##]

Celebrity sex robots could thrust human intercourse aside, experts predict 

https://www.rt.com/uk/370985-celebrity-sex-robot-special/ 

“… “It could be that we are so busy with our lives, we are so embedded in our technological narrative that the idea of engaging in long-distance sex and robot sex is actually a natural process in our evolutionary cycle,” Dr. Trudy Barber from Portsmouth University said at the International Congress of Love and Sex with Robotics on Monday.

The scientist, who is a leading figure in the study of technology’s impact on our sexuality, believes that machines will help us cherish “the real thing” and make our “real-time relationships more valuable and exciting.”

Robots will become an “extra human race” and help humans explore “our sexual pallet,” she added…..”

[Ed.: You may want to do it on a pallet with a robot, but be careful of the splinters. As for palate, you can buy reverse-engineered human pheromones or fruity lubricants in the back of “respectable” magazines. Or maybe you should just invite your potential mate to a smorgasbord.

About Kim Kardashian, Ryan Gosling and Scarlett Johansson…, no thanks.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7KhB7uJ_TE 

enchanting creativity

enchanting creativity

“An important part of a product launch is the press release. It announces what the product is going to be and some key features that make it stand apart from all the rest. But how do you focus in on one of the best aspects of the product in a way that won’t seem too contrived? The solution that Colle+McVoy found for their client Cub Cadet …” is described in this Visual News piece on press releases. 

source of featured graphic

https://www.amazon.com/Enhancing-Creativity-Steven-Halpern/dp/B000003IUC 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H10f2w7T5CU 

 

https://www.quora.com/The-Universe/Hypothetically-if-there-is-intelligent-alien-life-with-the-knowledge-and-means-to-traverse-space-and-travel-to-Earth-what-would-be-their-reasons-for-not-making-contact-Please-read

SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS KNOW that even the best camera phones can’t compete with a DSLR. Provided you know how to use one, that is. The myriad knobs, dials, and settings can intimidate casual users, which explains why two-thirds of non-professionals rarely use anything but full-auto mode. The slick interactive visualization Photography Mapped can help those people master their camera.

https://www.wired.com/2016/12/photography-mapped-Learn How To Use A DSLR Camera, With This Nifty Web Tool 

 

https://www.visualnews.com/2013/12/29/pantone-perfection-color-palettes-nature/ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQpwDtIn4ec 

 

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ui_change.png 

 

Become a Piano Superhuman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1V2zI_VQ5et66WtKXhAXXA 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Tr1qCHwq4 

 

 

The Best Science Books of 2016

“I have long believed that E.B. White’s abiding wisdom on children’s books — “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.” — is equally true of science books. The question of what makes a great book of any kind is, of course, a slippery one, but I recently endeavored to synthesize my intuitive system for assessing science books that write up to the reader in a taxonomy of explanation, elucidation, and enchantment

https://i1.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/enchanters.jpg?resize=680%2C519 

Gathered here are exceptional books that accomplish at least two of the three, assembled in the spirit of my annual best-of reading lists, which I continue to consider Old Year’s resolutions in reverse — not a list of priorities for the year ahead, but a reflection on the reading most worth prioritizing in the year being left behind…..” 

If you have not yet subscribed to the weekly “BrainPickings” newsletter, you should hasten to do so. 

 

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/growing-up-in-a-library-is-exactly-as-magical-as-you-would-imagine 

 

https://www.visualnews.com/2016/12/07/how-to-write-awesome-video-script-8-steps/ 

 

“… Creating involves new space and new time. I often use the metaphor of the painter to explain this. The painter views the blank canvas as the place where he will build up his own version of space and time.

And when the canvas is finished, he hangs it on a wall. His space and time are now inserted into physical reality.

The painting could be any enterprise: a business, an adventure in a far-flung place; a new relationship; a deep investigation of a mystery…

In each case, the person is projecting his own space and time into the physical world—and the physical world accepts them without question.

The act of projecting is mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.

There are degrees of projecting—degrees of power.

In creating new reality, executing details requires a sense of logic.

Once upon a time, in medieval universities, new students enrolled in the Trivium. It was the foundation curriculum. It was required. Its parts were: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Grammar: the interior construction of language.

Logic: the valid and invalid connections in the course of a formal argument; the method of proper reasoning; the deductive links in a chain, at the end of which appears a conclusion.

Rhetoric: oral and written presentation; the use of language to make a case; the capacity to persuade, even in the face of counter-argument.

Today, the subject matter of the Trivium is not only downplayed. It has been shattered.….”

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/power-outside-the-matrix-inserting-your-space-and-time-into-physical-reality-2/ 

 

New Experiments Show Consciousness Affects Matter ~ Dean Radin Ph.D [42 minutes]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRSBaq3vAeY 

 

 

“Why do you have your beliefs? Who taught them to you and why do you hold it within you? How do you perceive yourself? How do you perceive others? Do you want to learn more about the world you experience and live in? Is there a habit you want to break? Listen to this and get an idea of consciousness. Old knowledge with a new perspective.”

Dr. Joe Dispenza is the speaker. [Audio: 48 minutes]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1NrSvY2lz4 

bipedal sentient Petri

bipedal sentient Petri

Long-time readers of BoyDownTheLane know that I am deeply interested in the capacities and capabilities of the human mind.

This is reflected in my e-book “Summon The Magic” and the fact that I retain and continue to delve into many of the ideas and texts it describes.  Certainly meditation is on the list.

 

Musical backdrop?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zh0-T0efTY&list=RD7zh0-T0efTY#t=1 

 

I have had some experience with binaural-beats-guided audiated meditation, HoloSync to be more specific.  I have had some experience, indirectly and directly, with the ways in which the human mind can be used by its owner for healing purposes. When I was hospitalized, I had a personal experience with the power of will in that I literally willed a temporarily-frozen left lower extremity to lift itself off the hospital bed mattress. (It should be noted that that evolution took a concerted and repeated effort over the course of two and a half days.) The technique was suggested to me by my son, who had read and explored a bit of my e-book, and who had talked to a PGA pro who had had a similar medical incident. It’s funny how things come back around.  One of the doctors who cared for me observed that I had taught my son who in turn taught me. But I remember the excitement with which I demonstrated my “athletic feat” to doctors, nurses and therapists.

Readers know, too, that I like to share the meat and potatoes of my personal learning curves with the knowledge that somewhere out there is someone who will benefit. I try extra hard not to present myself as the expert, merely the bipedal sentient Petri dish into which learning and experience is inserted.  I learn something along the way, to be sure, but it takes a while for me to delve deeply into the book, video, topic, technique etc. and, like anyone else, sometimes I get distracted, demotivated, or something else becomes more of a priority. If I live to be 150, I might be able to finish the material I have assembled. And there are days in which some of the material is simply too dense to be consumed meaningfully.  Tomorrow, however….

And long-term readers know that I have danced with a long-term cardiac condition.  So when the brain meets up with the heart….

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a fellow who is a very unique being. He is a holistic psychiatrist. He researches, writes about, explores and makes movies about the capacity of the human brain to affect the body and the world it finds itself in. The movie I speak of is “The Joy of Sox: Weird Science and the Power of Intention”, a DVD copy of which he gifted me. Mr. and Mrs. Blogger are avid (in her case, diehard) Red Sox fans and baseball nuts. See http://www.thejoyofsoxmovie.com for more information.

The very unique being I speak of is a “board certified psychiatrist with the Pain Management Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Dr. Leskowitz has an appointment with the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, directs the hospital’s Integrative Medicine Task Force, and has several conferences on the topic of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Rehabilitation. He edited a recent text of the same name (Churchill Livingstone, 2003), and has written and lectured widely on the field of energy medicine. His September 2005 Op-Ed in the Boston Globe, “Can Weird Science Save the Sox?” started the process that culminated in The Joy of Sox. Read more about Rick and his work in alternative medicine at his website www.EnergyMedicine101.com.”

Here is his article on The Role of Mindfullness, Meditation and Prayer after Brain Injury .

He is a member of The Sports Energy Group.

Here is an interview he did on the use of energy psychology and the alleviation of pain.

For $75, you can get a copy of the 200+ page book he edited in 2009 entitled “Transpersonal Hypnosis: Gateway to Body, Mind and Spirit”. Go here to bookdepository.com.  The book presents “a multidimensional, energy-based view of human awareness that integrates disparate biological, psychological, and spiritual therapeutic techniques. Each of the chapters – all from world-renowned contributors – includes both a historical overview and the theory behind the development of each technique. The authors emphasize experimental studies that examine the validity of using hypnotically accessed transpersonal states of consciousness to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Several clinical vignettes highlight the types of medical and psychological symptoms responsive to these approaches. The emerging field of spiritually-influenced treatments is transforming the practice of medicine.”

This link ( http://www.healingisfreedom.com/science/autoimmune-depression-10-science-based-strategies-feel-better-fast/ ), useful in many ways, has a section in which Dr. Leskowitz explains and introduces “tapping”, a technique employed by athletes and others. There’s a demo video at the link.

Here are two more links on tapping:

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/blog/lissa-rankin-must-watch/ 

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/ 

Here are two books recommended for reading for students who take a course on health psychology taught at Brandeis:

Richard O. Straub (2014) Health Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Approach, 4th edition. New York: Worth Publishers ISBN: 978-1-4641-0937-9

Robert M. Sapolsky (2004) Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, 3rd edition, Holt Paperbacks, New York; ISBN-13: 978-0805073690

The Harvard Medical School newsletter “Healthbeat” has an issue devoted to  anxiety and physical illness.

The world-famous Lown Institute ( http://lowninstitute.org ) is just down the street from where my old office was when I used to coordinate satellite TV-based continuing medical education in the fields of pediatrics and orthopedics. (The start-up venture went bust, but the boy born upstairs at the old Lying-In Institute at Brigham and Women’s just got named the Northeast Sales Manager for a new West Coast golf apparel chain.)  I urge you to read about the founder, Bernard Lown, the depth and breadth of the institute he founded, and more.  There is expertise there in health care, especially in cardiovascular medicine, that can’t be bested. There are publications, tools, news and more for you.

Dr. Lown maintains his own blog: https://bernardlown.wordpress.com.

To learn more about the intersection of behavior and cardiovascular health, go here: https://www.questia.com/library/3640527/handbook-of-psychology-and-health-cardiovascular.

Lown himself as an e-book on biological and psychological factors in disease. Further searching will allow you to find material on the topic of neuropsychiatric factors in cardiovascular disease, as well as info on Dr. Dean Ornish ( http://deanornish.com ).

 

Biological and Psychological Factors in Cardiovascular Disease – Google Books cardiovascular and psychiatric FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14 cardiovascular and psychiatric FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14  

 

FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN

Here’s the Brutally Honest Truth About the Creative Process

https://www.wired.com/2016/12/sunday-sketching-christoph-niemann-tells-brutal-truth-creative-process/ 

 

http://images.crateandbarrel.com/is/image/Crate/VivMartinis8SHF15/$web_product_hero$&/150817160027/viv-martini-glasses-set-of-eight.jpg

“What is an “eight-martini” result? 

“Well, this is an intelligence community in-house term for remote viewing data so good that it cracks everyone’s realities. So they have to go out and drink eight martinis to recover”.

– Ingo Swann

Eight martinis is a magazine dedicated to the pursuit and the application of the Art of Remote Viewing. Each Issue we present Remote Viewing sessions & examples, projects, news and theories from some of the leading Remote Viewing practitioners and thinkers.

The magazine currently comes in two formats; a FREE download as an Adobe pdf file and as a Full color printed and delivered to your door – magazine.

Eight martinis recently applied for and recieved an ISSN. (International Standard Serial Number). The ISSN is the standardized international code which allows the identification of any serial publication, including electronic serials, independently of its country of publication, of its language or alphabet, of its frequency, or medium.

eight martinis ISSN numbers are:

Eight martinis (Print) ISSN 2045-2462

Eight martinis (Online) ISSN 2045-2470

 

Issues, posts and more at the link:

http://www.eightmartinis.com 

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8gCJRbg3Sw8/UPyZrrmUhoI/AAAAAAAAC4M/5iyZWe3zhZs/s400/%25E2%2580%259CThe%2Btwo%2Bmost%2Bimportant%2Bdays%2Bin%2Byour%2Blife%2Bare%2Bthe%2Bday%2Byou%2Bare%2Bborn%2Band%2Bthe%2Bday%2Byou%2Bfind%2Bout%2Bwhy.%25E2%2580%259D%2B-Mark%2BTwain2.jpg

THE AWAKENING – Quantum Mechanics of the Human Brain & Consciousness

[50 minutes]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2baCg8SHGM 

expect a quiz tomorrow

 

 

 

Source of featured entry masthead image: 

http://www.corespirit.com/scientists-discover-off-switch-human-consciousness-deep-within-brain/ 

Extra image from the same article:

http://www.corespirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/claustrum.jpg 

life is but a dream

life is but a dream

This video (part of a series) on how to build a work skiff by a fellow down in Rhode Island, was posted by one of the community members at Sic Semper Tyrannis.

“There was a time when all men were fully capable of solving problems and realizing dreams with their minds and their hands. I offer you this video series where a fine gentleman does just that. Enjoy.”

———————————

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” –

Saint Francis of Assisi

———————————

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfVGCrQdw08

The video on how to build a skiff brings to mind a couple of people and experiences from my past, not that I was a boat-builder or any good at anything, except maybe making a pretty solid showing in a tournament of Bosra, but a fomer co-worker, who introduced me to the enchantment of music (among other things), with whom I camped on Mount Greylock, at the foot of Jordan Pond and on an island in the middle of the Boston Harbor,  cajoled me into outdoor physical exercise.  At one point, I was challenged to climb one of the Bubbles, and he surpassed me in his ability to climb down the March cataract, though I gave him the conceptual key on how to do so. Later I introduced my children to the slopes of Stony Ledge.

For me, probably the greatest physical challenge of those years (decades ago) was the product of his friendship with a premier grower of hops who also doubled as the director of a museum dedicated to the memory and skills of teams of pre-Coast Guard ocean -going life-saving rowers. The fellow also developed several efforts to teach and introduce rowing to teens and adults, with their venue being the open waters of Boston Harbor. See http://www.bostonrowingcenter.org.

For generalized fitness, supreme cardiovascular workout, and perhaps teamwork, there is nothing better than rowing. I personally wouldn’t recommend rowing alone on the Harbor.

http://www.mass.gov/eea/images/dcr/parks/trailmaps/bhi-map.gif

But the former Maronite monk and I cast off from Hull and found our way, stroke by stroke, out to Bumpkin, then to Peddocks, and eventually to George’s.  We camped overnight on Peddocks. This view of Boston is unusual and spectacular, though now is not the time, of course; the summer months are ideal for exploration.

See http://www.bostonharborislands.org and https://www.nps.gov/boha/index.htm.

He was also a regular on the Merrimack River, with me as an occasional companion. He bought a Salisbury skiff from the Lowell Boatshop. I lived just upstream from there and he lived on the mouth of the river at Ring’s Island. On one occasion, we rowed up the Parker River which for him was a natural progression from a book he called to my attention entitled The Riddle of the Sands. The last I knew of him, he lived off the backside of Merrymeeting Bay which probably became the playground for him and his skiff.

http://highlandgreenlifestyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/532503887_9838ca71d8_b.jpg

If you would like to chart out such adventures, 

this link from atlasobscura and the people from Timberland has a short video which will introduce you “to the world of cartography under the guidance of artist and mapmaker Connie Brown. Connie takes an expansive approach to what a map can be. Her remarkable hand-drawn creations are both geographic and thematic….”

For more about Connie and her artistry, see:

http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/08/mapmaker_mapmaker_draw_me_my_life/ 

https://redstonestudios.com/studio 

and especially https://redstonestudios.com/blog/ .

You can adapt that same kind of thing to bring people to your own locations of craft, artistry, exploration and convocation.

 

Correction one hour after posting:

I realized that I mis-spelled the word used to describe a card game.  It is not Bosra, like the name of the well-known city in Iraq.  It is Basra, a bastardization of the word bastra (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastra) .  We played the Lebanese variant because he was a Lebanese Christian.  

AI for bipeds

AI for bipeds

Google has released a handful of AI experiments that tap into advances in machine learning in creative ways.

They include Quick, Draw!, a game in which an algorithm tries to guess what you’re sketching, A.I. Duet, which lets you compose pieces of music with a creative computer, and ways to visualize how neural networks represent information and see the world.

The projects show off some new AI features Google has built into an overhauled cloud computing platform. But they also help make AI less mysterious, and hint at ways in which the technology may become more accessible to all of us.

Take Quick, Draw!, for example. You have 20 seconds to draw six simple objects, and a computer tries to guess what you’re working on in the allotted time. Under the hood, the game runs a learning system that Google uses for character recognition. The system analyzes not only the shape, but also the strokes you used to draw it. It’s a neat way to understand a machine-learning approach that’s used by millions on their smartphones. It’s also quite addictive, even if it always seems to mistake my ducks for potatoes.

In in A.I. Duets, you get to make music with an algorithm. Through an effort called Project Magenta, Google researchers are exploring ways of using neural networks to mimic human creativity. The results are fascinating, especially because how musical creativity works remains rather mysterious. Part of the motivation for Google’s project, indeed, is exploring human intelligence by copying its musicality.

Among the projects aimed at elucidating the inner workings of neural networks is one called Visualizing High Dimensional Space. Created by several experts in data visualization, this effort shows how a large neural network stores and draws connections between different pieces of data.

The results are often beautiful, but they also highlight one way that we might be able to understand powerful machine-learning systems that would normally be inscrutable.

This could be pretty important for everyone. Imagine, for example, an algorithm that just flagged an apparently healthy patient as likely to develop a particular disease. The ability to inspect a network’s inner connections could make that decision less difficult to understand, and make treatment easier to justify.

So if you want to understand the revolution in machine intelligence that’s upending just about every industry, Google’s online AI laboratory is well worth a visit.

(Read more: A.I. Experiments, Silicon Angle, “OK, Computer, Write Me A Song,” “The Hit Charade,” “AI’s Language Problem”)

by Will Knight November 18, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602941/want-to-understand-ai-try-sketching-a-duck-for-a-neural-network/MIT 

Learn more about artificial intelligence at EmTech Digital 2017.

Register now 

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source of featured image

http://www.pcmag.com/news/347944/salesforce-brings-artificial-intelligence-to-crm-with-einste 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XADcSAyjFOo

On September 20, 2016, Accenture Strategy presented Symphonologie: The Music of Business debuted at the Louvre Museum in Paris. This unique sensory experience featured a full orchestra performing a 3-movement symphony inspired by the top stories of business and technology and interpreted though artificial intelligence. Symphonologie was brought to life by a team of strategists, creative technologists and musicians, and designed to reveal how strategy and technology together can unlock a new way to view the world. Learn more at http://www.symphonologie.com/

See also http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orchestra-music-symphonologie-by-artificial-intelligence-human-composers/

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.learnartificialneuralnetworks.com/ai.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

You can have a conversation with an AI bot here: http://alice.pandorabots.com 

 

 

http://www.chatterbotcollection.com/images/FakeCaptainKirk.jpg

Here was my conversation with Captain Kirk:

 

Lieutenant: I am a bosun’s mate in training 

James T. Kirk: I know you are. 

Lieutenant: how long will my training take> 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: It is difficult to learn this material about AI. 

James T. Kirk: I don’t see the difficulty. 

Lieutenant: That’s because you have graduated and you are the Captain. 

James T. Kirk: Explain.. Lieutenant, our heading takes us near the Ceti Alpha star system.. Not necessarily, Lieutenant. I’ve heard of the theoretical possibility of life based on silicon. A silicon-based life would be of an entirely different order. It’s possible that our phasers might not affect it. 

Lieutenant: How long will that journey take? 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: You ave a sly sense of humor. 

James T. Kirk: I can’t quite place him, but. What about Miss Hedford? 

Lieutenant: I should have typed “You have a sly sense of humor.” 

James T. Kirk: Perhaps you were. Both Nancy and Crater went out of their way to mention one item they needed. 

Lieutenant: Who are Nancy and Crater? 

James T. Kirk: Too much recursion in AIML.

Perhaps some form of mediation can be helpful in your difficulties. The Federation Bureau of Industrialisation may be of aid to you.

 

For more of this kind of thing, go here:

http://www.a-i.com 

 

[&&]{**}[##]

Very highly recommended, especially for the graphics, and purchasable in pdf format

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html 

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html 

 

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The modern definition of artificial intelligence (or AI) is “the study and design of intelligent agents” where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximizes its chances of success.[1] John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956,[2] defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”[3] Other names for the field have been proposed, such as computational intelligence,[4] synthetic intelligence[4][5] or computational rationality.[6] The term artificial intelligence is also used to describe a property of machines or programs: the intelligence that the system demonstrates.

AI research uses tools and insights from many fields, including computer science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics, control theory, probability, optimization and logic.[7] AI research also overlaps with tasks such as robotics, control systems, scheduling, data mining, logistics, speech recognition, facial recognition and many others.[8]

Much much more here: 

http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Artificial_intelligence 

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“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

[##]

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg/220px-Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg 

A philosopher worries about computers’ ever accelerating abilities to outpace human skills

By Christof Koch on September 1, 2015
“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

Christof Koch is president and chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. He serves on Scientific American Mind’s board of advisers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-artificial-intelligence-surpass-our-own/ 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superintelligence:_Paths,_Dangers,_Strategies 

[##]

“… This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.”

amazon.com

http://www.kurzweilai.net/superintelligence-paths-dangers-strategies 

[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Nf3TcMiHo 

 [Nick Bostrom’s TED Talk on “a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and cloning long before they became mainstream concerns. Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, bioethics and probability.” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOhb7wkyMVo [107] [Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence]

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How artificial intelligence is changing economic theory

July 17, 2015 by Leah Burrows

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-artificial-intelligence-economic-theory.html 

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The Three Breakthroughs that Have Unleased AI

https://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/ 

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“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science and a set of computational technologies that are inspired by—but typically operate quite differently from—the ways people use their nervous systems and bodies to sense, learn, reason, and take action. While the rate of progress in AI has been patchy and unpredictable, there have been significant advances since the field’s inception sixty years ago. Once a mostly academic area of study, twenty-first century AI enables a constellation of mainstream technologies that are having a substantial impact on everyday lives…..”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND LIFE IN 2030

ONE HUNDRED YEAR STUDY ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE |

REPORT OF THE 2015 STUDY PANEL | SEPTEMBER 2016

The Stanford 100 Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)

https://ai100.stanford.edu/2016-report 

https://ai100.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ai100report10032016fnl_singles.pdf 

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“The human brain has many interesting properties. Raj Reddy speculated that there are about one hundred billion neural cells in the human brain and the brain might be performing 200 trillion operations per second if not faster than that [12]. In problem domains such as vision, speech and motor processes, “it is more powerful than 1,000 supercomputers; however, for simple tasks such as multiplication, it is less powerful than a four bit microprocessor” [12]. These processing events taking place in the brain require little conscious effort and awareness on the part of humans and they are extremely difficult for machines to emulate. Conversely, machines can excel in some processes that are difficult if not impossible to a human being. Reddy went on to argue that silicon-based intelligence, if it’s ever achieved, might just have different attributes after all.”

[12]. Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. Reddy, R. Winter, 1988, AI Magazine, p. 9.  

The History of Artificial Intelligence, p. 15

full pdf here:

 http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/csep590/06au/projects/history-ai.pdf

 

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Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Executive Office of the President

National Science and Technology Council

Committee on Technology

October 2016

58-page pdf: preparing_for_the_future_of_ai 

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A tutorial on AI and video games

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/video-games-and-artificial-intelligence/ 

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http://www.mbchapel.org/site/images/video_library.jpg 

President Barack Obama on How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Jobs | WIRED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgL32wtgeXQ

[10 minutes]

See also 

The White House today release a report on the future of artificial intelligence. The document covered a number of concerns. Perhaps the shortest major section was “AI, Automation, and the Economy.”

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/ 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/whitehouse_files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/preparing_for_the_future_of_ai.pdf 

 

[##]

Other Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TRv0cXUVQw

An 8-minute video primer on AI

[##]

Artificial Intelligence and the Future

Deep Mind’s Demis Hassabis at the Royal Society of the Arts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEL4iR-d4L8

[48 minutes]

[##]

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wxwSdQpjHk 

[50 minutes]

[##]

Blurring the Lines Between Humans and Machines

Speakers

Pascale Fung, Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics; Chief Scientist, Aidyia Ltd.

Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corp.; Chairman, Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft

Filmed Sept 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko5rvfiK5vM

[60 minutes]

[##]

OpenAI – Deep Learning for Computer Vision

Andrej Karpathy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_njYDK9Frpg 

[85 minutes]

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THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

http://www.aaai.org/home.html 

A major source for symposia, conferences and a magazine

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Journals and Books

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See the bibliography here

http://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/computers-and-electrical-engineering/computers-and-computing/artificial 

{**}

Artificial Intelligence, which commenced publication in 1970, is now the generally accepted premier international forum for the publication of results of current research in this field.

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/artificial-intelligence/

{**}

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

(Third edition) by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig

The leading textbook in Artificial Intelligence.

Used in over 1300 universities in over 110 countries.

The 22nd most cited computer science publication on Citeseer (and 4th most cited publication of this century).

http://aima.cs.berkeley.edu 

{**}

Ai4u: Mind-1.1 Programmer s Manual (Paperback)

Arthur T Murray

Published by iUniverse, United States (2002)

ISBN 10: 0595259227 ISBN 13: 9780595259229

New Paperback

Item Description: iUniverse, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 215 x 172 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. AI4U: Mind-1.1 Programer s Manual has the following positive and negative points. + It describes the rapidly evolving AI Minds on the Web. – It quickly becomes obsolete as the AI hyper-evolves. + On-demand publishing (ODP) makes for quick updates. – The Mentifex project is considered oddball on the Net. + You ve got the first book about the first real AI Mind. – There are other, better, more authoritative AI textbooks. + AI4U makes a good supplement for actually coding AI. – Artificial intelligence is too hard to understand. + AI4U describes the AI while it is still easy to learn. – I would rather build robots than study AI programming. + If you want to build a smart robot, then AI4U is for you. – I m only a high school student/teacher; what s the use? + This book will challenge even the most gifted student. – I am not a programmer and so I can t code AI. + AI4U teaches you how to operate an AI, not just code it. – I just want to do Web design, not artificial intelligence. + AI4U provides an AI that you may install on your website. – I am more interested in neuroscience and/or psychology. + AI4U teaches a theory of how the brain works psychologically. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780595259229

http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/arthur-t-murray/ 

See also:

https://bytes.com/topic/c/answers/62154-c-ai-blog 

http://www.nothingisreal.com/mentifex_faq.html 

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https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-artificial-intelligence–cs271 

[four-month self-paced nanodegree]

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BI-AA979_AI_G_20150506144558.jpg 

source of image:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/12/03/artificial-intelligence-ethics-a-new-focus-at-cambridge-university/ 

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/artificial-intelligence-rankings  

MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

https://www.csail.mit.edu 

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-034-artificial-intelligence-fall-2010/lecture-videos/ [open courseware at MIT]

https://www.edx.org/course/artificial-intelligence-uc-berkeleyx-cs188-1x [free course at Berkeley]

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-825-techniques-in-artificial-intelligence-sma-5504-fall-2002/lecture-notes/Lecture1Final.pdf 

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click on large image

http://www.legaltechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Artificial-Intelligence-AI-larger-graphic.png 

Artificial Intelligence in Law – The State of Play in 2015?

Added on the 3rd Nov 2015 at 12:17 pm

by Michael Mills, the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic Inc., developers of a no-code software platform with which non-programmers can build expert systems to automate advice, documents, and processes.

http://www.legaltechnology.com/latest-news/artificial-intelligence-in-law-the-state-of-play-in-2015/ 

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On the validity of the Turing Test

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/ai/turing.html 

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms are at the heart of an emerging digital world.

That was one of the chiefs components of Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research opening remarks at today’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo show in Orlando.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the center,” Sondergaard said told a crowd of more than 8,000 CIOs and IT leaders. “The new competitive differentiator is understanding the customer’s intent through advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence. Creating new experiences that solve problems customers didn’t realize they had.”

Gartner says “advanced machine learning algorithms are composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing), used in unsupervised and supervised learning, that operate guided by lessons from existing information.”

Advanced machine learning not only enables a smart machine to understand concepts in the environment, but enables it to learn. Through machine learning, a smart machine can change its future behavior. For example, by analyzing vast databases of medical case histories, “learning” machines can reveal previously unknown insights in treatment effectiveness. This area is evolving quickly, and organizations must assess how they can apply these technologies to gain competitive advantage, Gartner said last Fall in presenting trends for 2016.

Gartner says artificial intelligence “is technology that appears to emulate human performance typically by learning, coming to its own conclusions, appearing to understand complex content, engaging in natural dialogs with people, enhancing human cognitive performance (also known as cognitive computing) or replacing people on execution of nonroutine tasks. Applications include autonomous vehicles, automatic speech recognition and generation and detecting novel concepts and abstractions (useful for detecting potential new risks and aiding humans quickly understand very large bodies of ever changing information).”

“We are building machines that learn from experience and produce outcomes their designers did not explicitly envision. Systems that can experience and adapt to the world via the data they collect,” Sondergaard said. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3132006/data-center/gartner-artificial-intelligence-algorithms-and-smart-software-at-the-heart-of-big-network-changes.html 

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How smart is today’s artificial intelligence?

multi-media (video, audio and text) from PBS

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/smart-todays-artificial-intelligence/ 

[with 54 comments]

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“… In response to AIs rapid developments, more than 8,000 leading researchers and scientists — including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking — have signed an open letter alluding to AI’s potential pitfalls and possible detriment to humanity. Their main concern is that an existential risk faces humanity: an AI in control of autonomous weapons.

The letter goes on to state that autonomous weapons are quickly becoming the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms, and that AI researchers must focus their research on what is beneficial for humanity, and not just what is profitable. However, much of what is researched with AI may not be public knowledge, and is likely internal research that’s closely held by just a few very wealthy corporations. How can the public make informed decisions about something that is kept secret?….”

https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/23/advancements-in-artificial-intelligence-should-be-kept-in-the-public-eye/ 

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Artificial intelligence researchers have developed software that is capable of making complex decisions to accurately predict the outcome of human rights trials.

The AI “judge” was developed by computer scientists at University College London (UCL), the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania using an algorithm that analyzed the text of cases at the European Court of Human Rights.

Judicial decisions from the court were predicted with 79 percent accuracy by the machine learning algorithm.

“Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgments have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court,” said Vasileios Lampos, co-author of the research.

More: http://www.newsweek.com/ethical-artificial-intelligence-judge-predicts-human-rights-trials-513012 

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Artificial intelligence-powered malware is coming, and it’s going to be terrifying

http://www.businessinsider.com/darktrace-dave-palmer-artificial-intelligence-powered-malware-hacks-interview-2016-10 

The future is on its way, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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How to Hold Algorithms Accountable

“… algorithms fed by big data can also amplify structural discrimination, produce errors that deny services to individuals, or even seduce an electorate into a false sense of security. Indeed, there is growing awareness that the public should be wary of the societal risks posed by over-reliance on these systems and work to hold themaccountable…..”

Algorithmic systems have a way of making mistakes or leading to undesired consequences. Here are five principles to help technologists deal with that.

November 17, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602933/how-to-hold-algorithms-accountable/MIT 

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The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think 

Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great.

 http://freakonomics.com/podcast/future-probably-isnt-scary-think/

competence

 competence

“Practice, particularly practice that involves Samadhi  states, is often characterized by ritual. Ritual is a form of galumphing , in which a special ornament or elaborationmarks otherwise ordinary activity, rendering it separate and intensified, even sacred.

This dawned on me one day when I was first given the opportunity to play on a Stradivarius. I simply had to wash my hands beforehand even though they were already clean. The hand-washing was a context marker  – shifting from the 9-to-5 world into a sacred space defined by a beautiful and sacred implement. I learned from such experiences, and from the trouble I have gotten myself into by ignoring them, that much of the effectiveness of practice resides in the preparation . The specific preparations begin when I enter the temenos, the play space. [“A sacred circle where one can be himself without fear.”] In ancient Greek thought, the temenos  is a magic circle within which special rules apply and in which extraordinary events are free to occur…. To prepare the temenos  — to clear it, rearrange it, take extraneous objects out — is to clean and clear mind and body.”

“Mastery comes from practice; practice comes from playful, compulsive experimentation (the impish side of divine play) and from a sense of wonder (the godlike side of divine play). The athlete feels compelled to run around the track just one more time; the musician feels compelled to play that if you can just one more time; the potter wants to throw just one more pot before going to dinner. Then just another, please. The musician, the athlete, the dancer, move through their practice in spite of aching muscles and breathless exhaustion. This level of performance cannot be attained through some Calvinist demands of the superego, through the feelings of guilt or obligation. In practice, work is play, intrinsically rewarding. It is that feeling of our inner child wanting to play for just five minutes more.”

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9386.Free_Play

Page D-26, Summon The Magic

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 music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP2X9cJNyQ 

source for featured image:

http://amyjokim.com/blog/2014/07/24/empowering-mastery-the-golden-key-to-sustained-engagement/ 

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https://www.focus-education.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Mastery-four-stages-of-competence-700×495.png 

[&&]{**}[##]

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment 

George Leonard, Penguin/Plume, New York, 1992

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0452267560/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

Self-Mastery is the practice of having supreme control over your thoughts, feelings and actions. Though it isn’t the most popular of practices in today’s world, it holds some of the greatest rewards.

It requires control over your perceptions, with much meditation and mindful practice. It is a life long discipline, but will eventually grant you a life of ease and simplicity.

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior” – Confucius

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsLzx5zk-OA 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wheel-of-life-a-self-assessment-tool/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

“What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures, but we do need to think realistically in terms of phasing out of such peoples. Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent.”

1/9/94, Newsday

 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Jon_Rappoport 

[##]

Investigative reporter Jon Rappoport warns of alarming future trends in the genetic engineering of human beings. Based on his contacts with several scientists over a period of 20 years, he’s concluded that human genetics research is basically a continuation of the Nazi eugenics program, and that medical research into genes as causes of human illness is simply a cover story.

Part of this secret agenda, he detailed, is to demonstrate that people have genetic predispositions to certain diseases like cancer, so in the case of lawsuits, this argument can be made rather than placing blame for illness on environmental factors like pollution. In citing the book Remaking Eden, Rappoport noted that author Lee Silver foresees a time when the “gen-rich” (genetically enhanced class) will account for 10% of the population, while “naturals” will work as low paid service providers/laborers.

Eventually, the gen-rich class and the naturals will become entirely separate species, with no ability to crossbreed, Silver continued, adding that the trend for genetic enhancement was inevitable. Rappoport had no doubt that some of this research was already underway, possibly under compartmentalized lab studies, so that scientists don’t even realize the significance of what they’re working on. “The best thing that could happen,” he stated, “is that recognized doctors and researchers stand up together, and say, this has to stop.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-blCkQ2gw&t=17s [two hours]

Coast-to-Coast radio with George Noory

[##]

Center for Genetics and Society

http://www.geneticsandsociety.org 

[##]

The Ownership of All Life: Notes on Scandals, Conspiracies and Coverups

by Jon Rappoport

Dave Sielaff (Editor), Erica McGrath (Photographer)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17019.The_Ownership_of_All_Life 

[##]

Remaking Eden – Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World 

by Lee M Silver

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0297841351/ 

[##]

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/the-illusion-called-medical-journalism-the-deep-secret/ 

 

individual vision

individual vision

mirrored post

There is a lot of static and interference out there now

by Jon Rappoport

November 13, 2016

 

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZPmfajMcyw

 

The tsunami of election news and fallout has created much confusion out there. People are exhausted; they’re running and hiding; their uncertainty is spiking; their cynicism is kicking into high gear; they’re trying, in some cases, to dumb themselves down…

This always happens when a large event is resolved in favor of one side, but doubts remain about the winner. It’s as if the lights in the stadium went out during the last quarter of the Super Bowl. What happened? What’s happening now? What will happen?

People are even forgetting they have lives of their own. And that’s what I want to return to. Because, when individuals park their own lives, they’re bound to experience disorientation.

General issues raised in the presidential campaign have stimulated questions that individuals ask themselves: do I want to be free? How free? Do I want to take control over my own destiny? What are my true goals? Where am I going?

These and other similar questions are, of course, quite valid. And yes, answering them can cause an upheaval.

And the life of the individual is paramount. What difference does the course of the nation make, if the individual loses his way, if most individuals lose their way? After all, this nation was founded on the basis of liberation of the individual.

I suggest that the disparity between where a person is headed and where he REALLY wants to go is at the core of the confusion he may be feeling. This disparity has arisen time and time again in my consulting work with private clients.

It doesn’t resolve by turning away and ignoring the gap. It doesn’t resolve by pretending the situation isn’t real.

The presidential campaign featured two candidates who had very different visions for the future of America. Those differences caused many people—if only at a subconscious level—to question their own vision for their own future.

What’s the compromised vision? What’s the real one?

What’s the vision that would get me out of bed in the morning ready to go, filled with energy and excitement and optimism?

When a person sacrifices THAT, he’s operating from a severe deficit. He’s filling in blanks in his life with rationalizations.

The notion of serious contemplation has become foreign in this society. But serious contemplation is exactly what is needed, if the individual is to change course and move in the direction he really wants to pursue.

This is not a side issue. This is a central issue. This is the big one.

Understanding that fact alone can restore equilibrium. And then, self-engagement in discovering what the best personal vision is becomes the next adventure.

No amount of static and interference floating in the air these days justifies backing away from that adventure.

The life of the individual is paramount.

The founding principles of this nation were engraved to emphasize it.

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/there-is-a-lot-of-static-and-interference-out-there-now/