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Micronation | Fifth World Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia

Posted: December 9, 2016 at 6:05 am

According to pedestrian wisdom, a micronation sometimes referred to as a model country or new country project is an entity that apparently intends to replace, resemble, mock, or exist on equal footing with a recognised and/or sovereign state. Some micronations are created with serious intent, while others exist as a hobby or stunt. Scholarly research shows, however, that a real micronation must be at least an empirical tribe or community, or it simply isn’t a micronation. Actually, most so-called micronations are more of a mocking of real nations than real states it is intellectually dishonest to classify something, as the Wikipedia does in its article about micronations, based not on what it actually is, but rather on what it isn’t, and a micronation is, first and foremost, a very small nation by size and/or population.

The term micronation, which literally means small nation, is a neologism. The first reference in English to the word micronation in a popular book appears in the 1978 edition of The People’s Almanac #2, where David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace write:

The term has since come to be used also retrospectively to refer to earlier unrecognised entities, some of which date to as far back as the 17th century.

According to micronational scholars, the term micronation is synonymous with the term Fifth and Sixth World nation. The more mature micronations (Fifth World nations) can also be social identity or irredentist groups.

Supporters of micronations often use the term macronation to describe any real sovereign nation-state. However, macronations are more appropriately medium- to large-sized nations that do not enjoy significant recognition, and according to micronational scholars they are Fourth World nations. The term macronation is also synonymous with the term self-determination or secessionist group.

Micronations should not be confused with legitimately recognised, but geographically tiny nations such as Fiji, Monaco, and San Marino, for which the term microstate is more accurate and descriptive.

Micronations generally have a number of common features:

A criterion which distinguishes micronations from imaginary countries, eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans, sects, and residential community associations, is that these latter entities do not usually seek to be recognised as sovereign.

The Montevideo Convention was one attempt to create a legal definition distinguishing between states and non-states. A few micronations meet this definition, while most do not. Some micronational scholars find the Montevideo Convention unenlightened, or at the very least deceptive, with its emphasis on a state possessing a defined territory, since it has been discovered that states do not necessarily have to possess a territory to exist and be functional.

The academic study of micronations and microstates is termed micropatrology, and the hobby or activity of establishing and operating micronations is known as micronationalism.

The world’s oldest and longest living micronation was probably the Indian princely state of Pudukkottai. From the 6th to the 14th century AD, Pudukkottai was successively ruled by the Pallavas, the Cholas, and the Pandyas. Then Pudukkottai came under the rule of Muslim sultans, who held power for about 50 years before being vanquished by the Vijayanagar kings. When the Vijayanagar kingdom disintegrated, Raghunatha Kilavan wrested the country from them in 1680, and appointed Raghunatha Tondaiman, his brother-in-law, as viceroy. The kingdom eventually acceded to the independent Dominion of India in August 1947, and merged with the Madras state in the following year.

The 19th century saw the rise to prominence of the nation-state concept, and the earliest recognisable micronations can be dated to that period. Most were founded by eccentric adventurers or business speculators, and several were remarkably successful.

The oldest extant micronation to arise in modern times is the Kingdom of Redonda, founded in 1865 in the Caribbean. It failed to establish itself as a real country, but has nonetheless managed to survive into the present day as a unique literary foundation with its own king and aristocracy although it is not without its controversies; there are presently at least four competing claimants to the Redondan throne.

Another very old extant micronation is relatively obscure to Anglophiles: Parva Domus. Parva Domus today is a cultural and recreational civil association based in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was founded on 25 August 1878, when Jos Achinelli raised the new nation’s flag on a mast in front of a farmhouse. The Republic is reminiscent of a secret society, and its membership is restricted to men. Females are actually allowed entrance twice a year, for a special dinner. [1]

The 1960s and 1970s saw a micronational renaissance, with the foundation of a number of territorial micronations. The first of these, the Principality of Sealand, was founded in 1967 on an abandoned World War II gun platform in the North Sea, and has survived into the present day. Others were based on schemes requiring the construction of artificial islands, but only two are known to have risen above sea level.

The Republic of Rose Island was a 400 square metre platform built in international waters off the Italian town of Rimini, in the Adriatic Sea in 1968. It is reported to have issued stamps, minted currency, and declared Esperanto to be its official language. Shortly after completion, however, it was destroyed by the Italian Navy.

The Republic of Minerva was set up in 1972 as a libertarian new country project by Nevada businessman Michael Oliver. Oliver’s group conducted dredging operations at the Minerva Reefs, a shoal located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji. They succeeded in creating a small artificial island, but their efforts at securing international recognition met with little success, and near-neighbour Tonga sent a military force to the area and annexed it.

On April Fools’ Day in 1973, John Lennon and Yoko Ono announced the birth of Nutopia, the world’s first country where all people are ambassadors. Nutopia was described as “a conceptual country” with no boundaries and “no laws other than cosmic.” At the time, Mr. Lennon was being threatened with deportation because of a 1968 marijuana conviction in Britain. As Nutopian ambassadors, Mr. and Ms. Lennon asked for diplomatic immunity and United Nations recognition, and they gave “One White Street” as the embassy address. Neither of them ever lived at that address.

On 1 April 1977, bibliophile Richard Booth, declared the UK town of Hay-on-Wye an “independent republic” with himself as its king. The town has subsequently developed a healthy tourism industry based literary interests, and “King Richard” (whose sceptre consists of a recycled toilet plunger) continues to dole out Hay-on-Wye peerages and honours to anyone prepared to pay for them. The official website for Hay-on-Wye, however, admits that the declaration of independence, along with the later claim to have annexed the United States and renamed it the “US of Hay” were publicity stunts.[2]

Micronational activities were disproportionately common throughout Australia in the final three decades of the 20th century. The Hutt River Province Principality started the ball rolling in 1970, when Prince Leonard (born Leonard George Casley) declared his farming property independent after a dispute over wheat quotas. The year 1976 witnessed the creation of the Province of Bumbunga on a rural property near Snowtown, South Australia, by an eccentric British monarchist named Alex Brackstone, and a dispute over flood damage to farm properties led to the creation of the Independent State of Rainbow Creek in northeastern Victoria (Australia) by Tom Barnes in 1979. In New South Wales, a political protest by a group of Sydney teenagers led to the 1981 creation of the Empire of Atlantium, and a mortgage foreclosure dispute led George and Stephanie Muirhead of Rockhampton, Queensland to secede as the Principality of Marlborough in 1993.

Yet another Australian secessionist state came into existence on 1 May 2003, when Peter Gillies declared the independence of his 66 hectare northern New South Wales farm as the Principality of United Oceania after an unresolved year-long dispute with Port Stephens Council over Gillies’ plans to construct a private residence on the property.

Micronational hobbyists received a significant boost in the mid-1990s when popularisation of the Internet gave them the ability to promote their activities to a global audience. As a result, the number of online and fantasy micronations expanded dramatically. The majority were based in English-speaking countries, however a significant minority arose elsewhere in Portuguese-speaking countries as well.

In the 21st century micronationalism has taken on a less quixotic character, especially through the more mature micronations (Fifth World nations).

There are now micronationists who have been elected to an Official World parliament; micronationists who have been honoured with a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire); micronationists who have developed new languages in working use; authentic micronational navigators/explorers; and there are even micronational athletes who have appeared on a world championship podiums.

There are also micronations that run alternative Internets with great sophistication; micronations which have issued gold coins; micronations which have co-sponsored a major cultural events; micronations which have been recognised by international organisations; micronations which have launched significant political petitions; and there are even micronations which have sent their flag into the vacuum of space.

But the list of real achievements doesn’t end with specific micronationalists or micronations since there are, or have been, academic conferences on micronations; micronational travel guides; micronational bishops; micronational saints; micronational educational systems; micronational sports; micronational astrologies; micronational races; micronational meridians; micronational legal systems; micronational intellectual property; micronational archaeological findings; micronational virtual invasions with non-virtual consequences; micronational religions; micronational health discoveries; micronational environmental philosophies; and even micronationalism itself has developed into a real protoscience.

In the present day, eight main types of micronations are prevalent:

Micronations of the first type tend to be fairly serious in outlook, involve sometimes significant numbers of relatively mature participants, and often engage in highly sophisticated, structured activities that emulate the operations of real-world nations. A few good examples of these includes:

These micronations also tend to be fairly serious, and involve significant numbers of people interested in recreating the past, especially the Roman or Mediaeval past, and living it in a vicarious way. Examples of these include:

With literally thousands in existence, micronations of this type are by far the most common. They are ephemeral, and tend to be Internet-based, rarely surviving more than a few months, although there are notable exceptions. They generally involve a handful of people, and are concerned primarily with arrogating to their founders the outward symbols of statehood. The use of grand-sounding titles, awards, honours, and heraldic symbols derived from European feudal traditions, and the conduct of “wars” with other micronations, are common manifestations of their activities. Examples include:

Micronations of this type include stand-alone artistic projects, deliberate exercises in creative online and offline fiction, artistamp creations, and even popular films. Examples include:

These types of micronations are typically associated with a political or social reform agenda. Some are maintained as media and public relations exercises, and examples of this type include:

A number of micronations have been established for fraudulent purposes, by seeking to link questionable or illegal financial actions with seemingly legitimate nations. The best known of these are:

A small number of micronations are founded with genuine aspirations to be sovereign states. Many are based on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law, and tend to be easily confused with established states. This category includes:

New-country projects are attempts to found completely new nation-states. They typically involve plans to construct artificial islands (few of which are ever realised), and a large percentage have embraced or purported to embrace libertarian or democratic principles. Examples include:

Seasteading is a lifestyle of making the oceans, or at least water-borne craft, one’s home. Most seasteads historically have been sailing craft, whether perhaps demonstrated by the the Chinese Junk, modified canoes of Oceania, or even the famous Pirates of Libertaria. In modern times in the west the cruising sailboat has begun to be used in the same manner. The term seasteading is of uncertain origin, used at least as early as the turn of the century by Uffa Fox, and others; many feel that catamaran designer and historian James Wharram and his designs represent ideal seasteads. More recently, American sailor and ecological philosopher Jerome FitzGerald has been a leading and effective proponent of seasteading, mostly teaching the concept through the environmental/sailing organization “The Oar Club”. The Seasteader’s Institute in Hilo, Hawaii offers classes, boat-building opportunities, education in forage foods, diving, and other aspects of a Seasteading lifestyle.

Some theoretical seasteads are floating platforms which could be used to create sovereign micronations, or otherwise serve the ends of ocean colonization. The concept is introduced in a paper by Wayne Gramlich, and later in a book by Gramlich, Patri Friedman and Andy House, which is available for free online. Their research aims at a more practical approach to developing micronations, based on currently available technology and a pragmatic approach to financial aspects.

The authors argue that seasteading has the potential to drastically lower the barrier to entry to the governing industry. This allows for more experimentation and innovation with varying social, political, and economic systems. Potential business opportunities include data havens, offshore aquaculture, and casinos, as well as the gamut of typical business endeavors.

There has been a small but growing amount of attention paid to the micronation phenomenon in recent years. Most interest in academic circles has been concerned with studying the apparently anomalous legal situations affecting such entities as Sealand and the Hutt River Province, in exploring how some micronations represent grassroots political ideas, and in the creation of role-playing entities for instructional purposes.

In 2000, Professor Fabrice O’Driscoll, of the Aix-Marseille University, published a book about micronations: Ils ne sigent pas l’ONU (“They are not in the United Nations”), with more than 300 pages dedicated to the subject.

In May 2000, an article in the New York Times entitled “Utopian Rulers, and Spoofs, Stake Out Territory Online” brought the phenomenon to a wider audience for the first time. Similar articles were published by newspapers such as the French Liberation, the Italian La Repubblica, the Greek “Ta Nea”, by O Estado de So Paulo in Brazil, and Portugal’s Viso at around the same time.

Several recent publications have dealt with the subject of particular historic micronations, including Republic of Indian Stream (University Press), by Dartmouth College geographer Daniel Doan, The Land that Never Was, about Gregor MacGregor, and the Principality of Poyais, by David Sinclair (ISBN 0-7553-1080-2).

In August 2003 a Summit of Micronations took place in Helsinki at Finlandia Hall, the site of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). The summit was attended by delegations such as the Principality of Sealand, NSK, Ladonia, the Transnational Republic, and by scholars from various academic institutions.

From 7 November through 17 December 2004, the Reg Vardy Gallery at the University of Sunderland (UK) hosted an exhibition on the subject of micronational group identity and symbolism. The exhibition focused on numismatic, philatelic and vexillological artifacts, as well as other symbols and instruments created and used by a number of micronations from the 1950s through to the present day. A summit of micronations conducted as part of this exhibition was attended by representatives of Sealand, Elgaland-Vargaland, New Utopia, Atlantium, Frestonia and Fusa. The exhibition was reprised at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City from 24 June29 July of the following year. Another exhibition about micronations opened at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo in early 2007.

The Sunderland summit was later featured in a 5-part BBC light entertainment television series called “How to Start Your Own Country” presented by Danny Wallace. The series told the story of Wallace’s experience of founding a micronation, Lovely, located in his London flat. It screened in the UK in August 2005.

Similar programs have also aired on television networks in other parts of Europe.

On 9 September 2006, The Guardian newspaper reported that the travel guide company Lonely Planet had published the world’s first travel guide devoted to micronations, the Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations (ISBN 1741047307).

The Democratic Empire of Sunda, which claims to be the Government of the Kingdom of Sunda (an ancient kingdom, in present-day Indonesia) in exile in Switzerland, made media headlines when two so-called princesses, Lamia Roro Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misri, 21, and Fathia Reza Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misiri, 23, were detained by Malaysian authorities at the border with Brunei, on 13 July 2007, and are charged for entering the country without a valid pass.

In 2010, a documentary film by Jody Shapiro entitled “How to Start your Own Country” was screened as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary explored various micronations around the world, and included an analysis of the concept of statehood and citizenship. Erwin Strauss, author of the eponymous book, was interviewed as part of the film.

Adapted from the Wikipedia article, “Micronation” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation, used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Travel & Resources: HONG KONG – Gay Asia and… – Utopia

Posted: December 7, 2016 at 8:08 am

On Hong Kong Island most visitors will gravitate towards the cluster of international clubs in Shuang Wan, Central and its frenetic nightlife hub, Lan Kwai Fong. Another large cluster of island venues is located between Wanchai and Causeway Bay, discreetly hidden away in commercial buildings.

Over in colorful Kowloon, which has a dense collection of easy-to-access gay clubs along the MTR corridor, crowds throng through neon-lit high-rise canyons, going to/from shopping, eating or partying at innumerable entertainment venues from Tsim Sha Tsui up to Prince Edward. If you are looking for a bit of old Hong Kong, take a taxi to “Kowloon City” where traditional shops and restaurants are still managing (barely) to fend off encroaching redevelopment.

Hong Kong’s population is nearing 8 million (that’s over 300,000 Utopians).

Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Hong Kong:

Fruits in Suits (FinS) is an informal, gay professional networking event on each 3rd Tue of every month. Like-minded people – mostly professional expats (but they welcome all local professionals to join in) – come together in an exclusive private area for food, drinks and to chat, socialise with new people, network and promote LGBT rights in the territory. Add your review, comment, or correction

Founded by Filipino and Hong Kong GLBT, this club hosts meetings of the their GLBT Society and the 1000 strong Hong Kong Labour Party. They offer free legal advice and support service through sympathetic lawyers in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Utopia Member Benefit: DISCOUNTS on facility private hire, FREE legal advice, FREE meeting venue for GLBT societies. Add your review, comment, or correction

Pink Alliance aims to link LGBT organizations operating in Hong Kong, to assist them in their work and to provide a network for information in both Chinese and English. Pink Alliance also researches and campaigns on issues of key importance, as well as organising events to promote awareness of LGBT issues. Monthly meetings. Add your review, comment, or correction

Hong Kong’s first gay social services center. The government funded center provides counseling, training workshops and a hotline to provide peer support for gay men. Closed Tue and public holidays. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay and lesbian activities, support and services. Has the only face-to-face free counseling service for Gay people. Chinese only. Add your review, comment, or correction

A Hongkong-based non profit-making, non-governmental organization, established on 1st July 2003. They defend the human rights of sexuality minorities facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. WCHK effects this mission through advocacy, documentation, public education, oral history, cultural development, AIDS education on WSW (women having sex with women) and hosting monthly gatherings for lesbian, bisexual women and transgenders. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay bookshop with large selection of local and imported books, magazines and videos to choose from as well as pride gifts. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay-owned Koru Contemporary Art, specializing in modern sculpture, was established in 2001 to present a diverse range of contemporary international artists. A large selection of art featuring wood, bronze, stone, metal, glass, ceramic and mixed media sculpture, fine art, painting, prints and photography, may be found in their two gallery spaces, with a combined exhibition area of over 7,500sqf. Utopia Member Benefit: 5% DISCOUNT on art. Add your review, comment, or correction

Mainly gay, esp. weekends. Take a bus to Repulse Bay and then a ten minute walk, past the Welcome supermarket, to South Bay. The gay area is in front of the 40-story Ruby Court Bld. Some cruising around. Swimming possible. Bring insect repellent. UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2014 Add your review, comment, or correction

This area seems to concentrate more gay-only men. Some nude sun-bathing (illegal) and action in the bushes (also illegal). Approach from South Bay Road. Steep path on the right-hand (sea side). Middle Bay is now so well-known that it is dangerous. For safety’s sake it is better to make the 1-hour trip to Lantau Island and walk to the rather remote Cheung Sha Beach. UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2014 Add your review, comment, or correction

MTR: TST or Jordan. Several cruisy facilities and lots of garden pathways. Most action takes place after 11pm. The park closes at midnight, but you can always leave (and enter) through the gate at Austin Rd (all other gates are closed after midnight). So don’t panic when you are late and think you are locked up in the park. Mostly Asian guys under 40 years old. Add your review, comment, or correction

HONG KONG ISLAND — Central, Lan Kwai Fong

Round-the-clock gay-friendly eatery with handsome staff. Popular for breakfast on Sun morning for those who have danced-til-dawn the night before. Add your review, comment, or correction

On any given Fri or Sat night after midnight, this Chinese fast food place (fried rice, fried noodles) is about 70% gay. When the clock hits 2am, the percentage rises up to 90%. Coming to Tsui Wah has become something of a ritual for late night partiers. Fish ball noodles are the signature dish here, and they also have simple sandwiches (i.e. two slices of white bread with luncheon meat and egg), steak, and acquired tastes such as stir-fried spaghetti! Add your review, comment, or correction

Large, bustling local eatery popular with groups of gays because of its inexpensive food and location close to the bars. Add your review, comment, or correction

KOWLOON — Jordan, Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei

Foodie Alert! This tiny hole-in-the-wall has a disproportionate amount of international fame after recommendations by Newsweek, Time Out and celebrity chefs. Excellent dim sum at a reasonable price. Their dessert specialty is a succulent poached pear, so leave room. Sister branches in Jordan, Wanchai and TST. Add your review, comment, or correction

KOWLOON — Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei

Located in east Kowloon, well off the tourist track (and overlooked by most locals), this quaint neighborhood stretch of eateries is certainly destined to be torn down and rebuilt into something gleaming, clean and modern. Too bad. Catch this slice-of-life from Kowloon’s past for cheap eats and loads of character while you still can. Add your review, comment, or correction

Pronounced “dai gor”, meaning big brother). A gay-owned, online menswear store aimed at the gay male market and at guys who like their t-shirts nicely fitted. Daigo is inspired by the beautiful and fashionable bros in Asia. They aim to provide great customer satisfaction by offering high quality and unique t-shirt designs that will be part of gay Asia and the gay community as a whole. Add your review, comment, or correction

Above Bohemian shop (take the stairway in the alley to the mezzanine floor). Gay men’s undergear and clothing shop offers exclusive premium brand underwear, tanks, swimwear, shirts, and more including Andrew Christian (USA), 2EROS (Australia), Addicted (Spain) and NEWURBANMALE (Singapore). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT. Add your review, comment, or correction

Look for the stairway entry marked #83 and 85, next to Express Korea Fast Food and walk up to 1/F. Gay-owned shop offering sexy branded undergear, toys, SM equipment, magazines, pride gifts and other rainbow merchandise. Open 5-9pm Mon-Sat (closed Sun). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay-owned tanning studio established in 2004. They offer state-of-the-art tanning and collagenic equipment from Dr Muller, Germany. Tanning Studio was a sponsor of the Mr. Asia contest (2011, 2012, 2013). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT on all tanning packages and lotions. Add your review, comment, or correction

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8 Mystical Herbs and Legal Psychedelics For Lucid Dreaming

Posted: at 8:06 am

As a Shamanic Practitioner Im often asked to recommend substances that get you high (which is slang for enteringnon-ordinary states of consciousness)legally.

While I encourage people to carefully and mindfully explore the recesses of their minds, unfortunately there are many websites out there that advocate the use of legal psychedelics such as nutmeg, datura and morning glory seeds which all have dangerous side effects and even deadly consequences.

Its this type of misguidance that has lead to so many bad experiences, accidents and such a negative outlook on psychedelicdrugsin society, as though all mind-altering substances are one-and-the-same. Weve come to group paint thinner in the same basket as Ayahuasca but just because something can alter your consciousness doesnt mean it shares the same spiritual value.

However, there is a group of entheogens known as Oneirogens (from the Greek oneiros meaning dream and genmeaning creating), which produce and also enhance dream-like states of consciousness. These herbs and roots have been used for thousands of years for prophetic divination through dreams, out-of-body experiences, and to consciously awaken you during dream states (Lucid Dreaming).

Oneirogens represent only one specific class of entheogens that can be exclusively used for lucid dreaming, but there are many other types and classes of entheogens that can be used for other specific life purposes. I will expand on these other substances in future articles.

The following legal psychedelics can be safely consumed having minimal effect on waking consciousness, and will only exhibit their effects when you fall into a natural state of sleep.

Calea is perhaps the best known of all Dream herbs. The Chontal Indians of Mexico used this shrub traditionally for lucid dreaming. I personally prefer growing mine as the fresher the herb is, the better. Calea can be consumed in tea (the flavor is pungent and bitter) or by smoking the dried leaves. A combination of smoking and drinking an infusion of the herb before bed, setting intention and focusing on ones heartbeat creates the ideal conditions for dream-time spiritual journeying.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of visual imagery during sleep, you may find yourself feeling a sense of well-being, light-headedness and clarity the day after.

Use:Taking at least five grams of this herb is required to be really effective for most people. Drink the herb before bed, keep an intent in mind before falling asleep (e.g. I want to meet my Spirit Guide) and repeat for several nights until lucid dreaming occurs.

Buy: You can buy a nice organic mix to try that includes Calea, click here to check it out.

Mugwort has long been used by many cultures for prophetic dreaming and astral traveling (its Paiute name translates literally to Dream Plant). Smoking the herb directly into the lungs, or burning it as incense in the afternoon, assists with lucid dreaming. Drinking the calming, liver cleansing tea before sleep may also keep you longer in a conscious dream state (REM sleep). This herb often helps one heal while dreaming. Some users report having darker dreams that reveal hidden insights and core wounds, helping them to find closure.

Caution: Avoid this herb if you are pregnant. Mugwort relaxes the uterus in women and should never be drunk, smoked or even touched by expectant mothers. Mugwort is also potentially allergenic to people sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of prophetic visual imagery during sleep, this herb magnifies the brilliance of your dreams and overall duration of your sleep. It is also popular among herbalists to aid in relieving menstrual pains, joint pains and headaches.

Use: 1 teaspoon per cup. Pour boiling water over the herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Drink or smoke before going to bed (Mugwort has a floral taste when smoked).

Buy: You can buy either the organic bleach-free Mugwort teabags, or the pure Mugwort essential oil which does wonders.

This plant was called Sinicuichi (or Sun Opener) by the Aztecs and is still used by Mexican shamans as a trance divination catalyst. This herb is regarded as sacred in that it enables vivid recollection of past distant events. Some users I have worked with have even reported the remembrance of pre-birth events!

Effects: Apart from the intensification of prophetic visual imagery during sleep, Sun Opener causes a yellowing of the vision and altered acoustic perception.

Use:Traditionally, fresh leaves are collected and allowed to wilt. The leaves are then put into a cup or jar, cool water is added, and the mixture is placed in the sun to brew and ferment for at least 24 hours. It is said that during the fermentation process, the knowledge of the sun is embedded into the potion, creating the elixir of the sun (hence the name).

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Shaman’s Apprentice: Drugs, Rituals and Living Energy

Buy: You can buy Sun Opener in Raw Dried Herb form, or in a liquid extract.

Celastrus paniculatus is a shrub used in Ayurvedic medicine in India. Celastrus seeds and oil have long been regarded in India as beneficial to the intellect and memory which makes it a wonderful supplement in dream recollection. Apart from its effectiveness as a dream enhancer, Celastrus is a great mental stimulant, ornootropic, that increasesyour mental sharpness.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of visual imagery during sleep, Celastrus is an effective brain tonic.

Use: Take 5-10 seeds one hour before bedtime for 3 to 5 days until vivid dreaming occurs.

Silene is regarded by the Xhosa people of Africa as a sacred plant. Its roots are traditionally used by shamans to promote lucid dream states in healers and other shamans during initiation ceremonies. It is noted as a teaching plant that is considered highly sacred.

Effects: Intensification of visual imagery during sleep.

Use: Mix this herb in small amounts in water and consume prior to sleeping. Silene also makes an interesting tasting tea but it can be bitter, so the extracted shot form is recommended.

Although it is nicknamed the Blue Egyptian Lotus, the Nymphaea Caerulea herb is actually a Water Lilly thatshares no connection to the actual lotus flower. Nymphaea was used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt as a mild sedative. Today, the herb is used by herbalists to treat insomnia, but it has also been reported to induce lucid dreaming.

Effects: Improves quality of sleep and may intensify visual imagery.

Use:This herb is typically consumed in teas, elixir extracts, or by smoking it. If you have trouble dreaming or if you find yourself frequently waking up during dreams, blue lotus is a great supplement to use alongside one of the other substances mentioned in this article.

Buy: Ive heard good results from this Sacred Lotus extract, but I havent tried it myself. Pure Blue Lotus extract is another alternative if you can afford it.

Tian Men Dong is one of the worlds top adaptogens and is also know as the Wild Asparagus Root in English, and Shatawari in Ayurvedic medicine. The Chinese word for wild asparagus root is Tian Men Dong, or heavenly spirit herb, as it was cherished by shamans, monks, and yogis for its heart-opening effects. Chinese Taoist monks placed much value on dream work, nicknaming Wild Aspagarus as The Flying Herb; they found it effective to help one fly through the universe at night, achieving magnificent dreams and moving in alignment with the spirit.

Effects: Improves quality of sleep, induces relaxation and stress relief, serves as a good anti-depressant and stimulates flying dreams.

Use: 1 to 3 grams per day in a concentrated form.

Buy: Asparagus Racemosus is also known as Shatavari, you can get organic Shatavari Powder as well as organic Shatavari capsules.

Traditionally used in African medicine to induce vivid dreams and enable communication with the spirit world, Entada facilitates entry into the dream world, and promotes increased REM awareness.This makes iteasier for the sleeper to realize that they are dreaming and thus gives them an edge in achieving lucidity. Entada contains several active compounds, essential oils and alkaloids.

Effects: Improves sleeping states by increasing depth, length and awareness.

Use: The inner meat of the seed is consumed directly, or the meat is chopped, dried, mixed with other herbs and smoked just before sleep to induce the desired dreams.

If you plan on smoking any of the plants listed in this article, I would highly encourage you to use a vaporizer for your own health. The right herb grinder can also do wonders in making the process easier.

I always recommend that you research very well any substance that you plan to consume and preferably grow them yourself. Keep in mind that the type, quality, age, storage and care of these herbs are all factors that will influence your experience with them.

Not only that, but the set, substance, setting and right dosage, along with creating a strong enough intention are all essential elements that must be carefully considered before exploring the depths of your mind. I plan to explore this topic more in future articles.

Have you ever tried any of the legal psychedelics above, and if so, what has been your experience with them? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 Mystical Herbs and Legal Psychedelics For Lucid Dreaming

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WW3 On Your Doorstep | Veterans Today

Posted: November 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm

By Katherine Frisk on September 10, 2016

Russian Troops On US Northern Border

by Katherine Frisk

Are Americans prepared for this and are they fully aware of where their leadership is taking them? Or do they still believe that like the last century the whole world can go up in smoke and they will not only be unaffected but will make yet another huge profit into the bargain at everyone elses expense with their own population and infrastructure still intact?

NATO has by degrees since the fall of the Soviet Union, increased Nuclear and ground troops along Russias borders. HERE is one of the many reports that have come out in the last two years.

Ukraine was the victim of a coup led by George Soros, Chevron, Monsanto and Victoria Nuland. The Maiden demonstrations were a color revolution backed by NGOs and Open Society Foundations, the purpose of which was to put NATO in Crimea and along the border of Ukraine within miles of Moscow. The US spent over $5 billion to overthrow the Ukrainian government and president.

NATO clearly aided and abetted in war crimes in Donbass via its creating the conditions for them to happen

Half of Ukraine is Russian speaking and lives in the east.

This resulted in Crimea having an internationally recognized referendum where the people, mostly Russian, voted to return to the Russian Federation which they have been part of since the time of Catherine the Great which was only annexed to Ukraine during the Soviet Union Era.

European politicians and peace keepers have since visited Crimea and have affirmed that the referendum was a democratic decision by the people and was above-board and not rigged.

At the same time a civil war has erupted between western Ukraine and eastern Ukraine. Kiev has continuously grad rocket shelled the east because Donetsk and Lugantsk do not recognize the current government which even the US intelligence agency Stratfor, has called the most blatant coup in history.

Over 1 million refugees fled Ukraine, not to Kiev or to Europe, but to Russia. Besides being doctors, lawyers, engineers and factory owners many of them were successful farmers from the renown fertile black earth region.

These farmers were relocated to eastern Russia, given land and subsidies for farming. As a result in spite of sanctions imposed since 2014, Russia has turned the situation around from being a food importer to a food exporter in the space of two years. GMO, genetically modified food is banned in Russia as well as poisonous herbicides.

In recent weeks we have seen the whole Russian team banned from the Paralympic games, sanctions extended against Russia and the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine for another six months and strangely enough, Typhoon Lionrock hit the Russian Far East after the powerful cyclone brought heavy rains on August 29-31, the east being an area where Russia is now heavily investing in a resurgence of the agricultural industry.

And on that score, you might want to give Italy, the Phillipines And Oklahoma get an Earthquake some thought.

During WW1 and WW2Jacob Schiff of the Federal Reserve funded Japan in their wars against Russia and China as well as Lenin and Trotsky. Bush, Ford, Rockefeller, Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P.Morgan, Harriman and a number of others funded Hitler and his blitzkrieg into eastern Europe and finally Stalingrad.

The United States of America was not openly attacking Russia and claimed to be in support of the Allies. They only entered the war when Stalingrad fell and the Russians did their own blitzkrieg to Berlin.

Americans wanted to get to Berlin first. Since WW2 US policy in Germany has been to keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in. Germany has the largest US military base outside of the US.

Which brings us to this: Germany Prepares For Domestic Troop Deployments As Catastrophic Terrorist Attack Deemed Conceivable, Even Probable

Terrorists or. a planned buildup under the guise of terrorism for a German, US, NATO attack on Russia? In April 2016 Obama Requested EU Support for Possible War Against Russia.

This time in WW3, unlike in WW1 and WW2, the United States is openly aggressive towards Russia as opposed to their proxy armies during the two previous world wars where they could claim plausible deniability as they are now doing with their support of Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

However, unlike the two previous world wars where the USA was protected by the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans from any attack on its own territory, should WW3 break out, this time the situation will be entirely different.

Red Square Military Parade Moscow

Russia has Boosted Arctic Military Presence with Ten Airfields, Alaska is only 86 kilometers away from Russia at the narrowest point and the US western sea board is within striking distance. Consider this article: How Russian And China Could Strike The US Airforces Achilles Heel.

While often overlooked in favor of advanced anti-ship and surface-to-air missile systems when examining Russian and Chinese anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, such long-range air intercept weaponscoupled with the right fightercould cut the sinews that allow the United States to conduct sustained air operations in both the Asia-Pacific and the European theatres.

Essentially, Russians and/or Chinese forces could pair long-range air-to-air missiles with aircraft like the Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound, Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and the Chengdu J-20 to attack American AWACS, JTARS and aerial refueling tankers like the Boeing KC-135 or forthcoming KC-46 Pegasus.

Especially over the vast reaches of the Pacific where airfields are few and far between, lumbering aerial refueling tankers could be an Achilles Heel that Beijing could chose to exploit. There are three long-range air-to-air missile programs that bear watchingthe Russian Vympel R-37M RVV-BD, the Novator KS-172 (aka K-100) and the Chinese PL-15.

Missile Crisis 2016

In Putins recent Bloomberg interview he broke protocol and instead asked the journalist John Micklethwait a question:

Vladimir Putin: Well, I would like to finish my answer to the previous question. You have been working as a journalist for a long time. You are quite knowledgeable and you understand all the threats that may arise from a tense international environment, dont you? Especially if there is tension between major nuclear powers of the world. We all understand this.

Of course, you are the one asking me questions. It is you who is the interviewer, not I. However, let me ask you a question: do you want another Cuban Missile Crisis? Or dont you?

John Micklethwait: No, nobody does.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, nobody does.

John Kennedy Bobby Kennedy

This time there is no John Kennedy in the White House and no prospect of one in the near future, no matter what the American people think. But that is another can of worms and a dog and pony show rigged and designed as entertainment for the little people.

Unlike the referendum in Crimea. Or the Donbass in eastern Ukraine where people are prepared to fight and die in defiance of a corrupt government that was installed by a US engineered coup. In the same way that Russians were prepared to fight and die in WW2 where almost 30 million perished. Their homes were bombed, their families annihilated and their women raped.

That is the thing you see they are prepared to die. Are you? Or is this not part of your Hollywood reality, Batman Shooting, Boston Bombing and Sandy Hook faked disasters with crisis actors? Where does Rambo and George Clooney fit into the equation?

In a recent interview with the press Putin said :

We know year by year whats going to happen, and they know that we know. Its only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I dont know how to get through to you anymore.

So again I ask:

Are Americans prepared for this and are they fully aware of where their leadership is taking them? Or do they still believe that like the last century the whole world can go up in smoke and they will not only be unaffected but will make yet another huge profit into the bargain at everyone elses expense with their own population and infrastructure still intact?

See original here:

WW3 On Your Doorstep | Veterans Today

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Alternative Medicine: Types, Uses & Information – Disabled …

Posted: at 6:38 pm

Alternative medicine is defined as any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not founded on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice. The field of complementary and alternative medicine is known as CAM. Complementary medicine can be used together with standard medical care. An example is using acupuncture to help with side effects of cancer treatment.

What is Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine is defined as medicine that encompasses any healing practice “that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.” Commonly cited examples include naturopathy, chiropractic, herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, and diet-based therapies, in addition to a range of other practices.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of resources that encompasses health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. However bear in mind that what are considered complementary or alternative practices in one country may be considered conventional medical practices in another.

According to the NCCAM formerly unproven remedies may be incorporated into conventional medicine if they are shown to be safe and effective.

NCCAM classifies complementary and alternative therapies into five major groups and some overlap.

Whole medical systems cut across more than one of the other groups; examples include Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Many people utilize mainstream medicine for diagnosis and basic information, while turning to alternatives for what they believe to be health-enhancing measures. Studies indicate that alternative approaches are often used in conjunction with conventional medicine. This is referred to by NCCAM as integrative (or integrated) medicine because it “combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is some high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness.

Alternative medicine has been a source of vigorous debate, even over the definition of alternative medicine.

Dietary supplements, their ingredients, safety, and claims, are a continual source of controversy.

In some cases, political issues, mainstream medicine and alternative medicine all collide, such as the case where synthetic drugs are legal but the herbal sources of the same active chemical are banned.

Alternative medicine practices are as diverse in their foundations as in their methodologies. Practices may incorporate or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs, or newly conceived approaches to healing.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) classified CAM therapies as:

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Alternative Medicine: Types, Uses & Information – Disabled …

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Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:27 am

Alternative medicine or fringe medicine are practices claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or only harmful. Alternative therapies or diagnoses are not part of medicine or science-based healthcare systems. Alternative medicine consists of a wide variety of practices, products, and therapiesranging from those that are biologically plausible but not well tested, to those with known harmful and toxic effects. Contrary to popular belief, significant expense is paid in testing alternative medicine, including over $2.5 billion spent by the United States government, with almost none showing any effect beyond that of false treatment. Perceived effects of alternative medicine are caused by placebo, decreased effects of functional treatment (and therefor also decreased side-effects), and regression toward the mean where improvement that would have occurred anyway is credited to alternative therapies. Alternative medicine is not the same as experimental medicine.

Alternative medicine has grown in popularity and is used by a significant percentage of the population in many countries. While it has extensively rebranded itself: from quackery to complementary or integrative medicineit promotes essentially the same practices. Newer proponents often suggest alternative medicine be used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it “complements” (improves the effect of, or mitigates the side effects of) the treatment. However, significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatments, making them less effective, notably cancer therapy. Despite it being illegal to market alternative therapies for any type of cancer treatment in most of the developed world, many cancer patients use them. In the UK complementary therapies are commonly made available to cancer patients.[1][2]

Alternative medical diagnoses and treatments are not included in the science-based curriculum taught in medical schools, and are not used in medical practice where treatments are based on scientific knowledge. Alternative therapies are often based on religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, or fraud. Regulation and licensing of alternative medicine and health care providers varies between and within countries.

Alternative medicine has been criticized for being based on misleading statements, quackery, pseudoscience, antiscience, fraud, or poor scientific methodology. Promoting alternative medicine has been called dangerous and unethical. Testing alternative medicine that have no scientific basis has been called a waste of scarce medical research resources. Critics have said “there is really no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t”, and the problem is not only that it does not work, but that the “underlying logic is magical, childish or downright absurd”. There have also been calls that the concept of any alternative medicine that works is paradoxical, as any treatment proven to work is simply “medicine”.

Practitioners of complementary medicine usually discuss and advise patients as to available alternative therapies. Patients often express interest in mind-body complementary therapies because they offer a non-drug approach to treating some health conditions.[3][clarification needed]

In addition to the social-cultural underpinnings of the popularity of alternative medicine, there are several psychological issues that are critical to its growth. One of the most critical is the placebo effecta well-established observation in medicine.[4] Related to it are similar psychological effects, such as the will to believe,[5]cognitive biases that help maintain self-esteem and promote harmonious social functioning,[5] and the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.[5]

CAM’s popularity may be related to other factors that Edzard Ernst mentioned in an interview in The Independent:

Why is it so popular, then? Ernst blames the providers, customers and the doctors whose neglect, he says, has created the opening into which alternative therapists have stepped. “People are told lies. There are 40 million websites and 39.9 million tell lies, sometimes outrageous lies. They mislead cancer patients, who are encouraged not only to pay their last penny but to be treated with something that shortens their lives. “At the same time, people are gullible. It needs gullibility for the industry to succeed. It doesn’t make me popular with the public, but it’s the truth.[6]

Paul Offit proposed that “alternative medicine becomes quackery” in four ways: by recommending against conventional therapies that are helpful, promoting potentially harmful therapies without adequate warning, draining patients’ bank accounts, or by promoting “magical thinking.”[7]

In a paper published in October 2010 entitled The public’s enthusiasm for complementary and alternative medicine amounts to a critique of mainstream medicine, Ernst described these views in greater detail and concluded:

[CAM] is popular. An analysis of the reasons why this is so points towards the therapeutic relationship as a key factor. Providers of CAM tend to build better therapeutic relationships than mainstream healthcare professionals. In turn, this implies that much of the popularity of CAM is a poignant criticism of the failure of mainstream healthcare. We should consider it seriously with a view of improving our service to patients.[8]

Authors have speculated on the socio-cultural and psychological reasons for the appeal of alternative medicines among the minority using them in lieu of conventional medicine. There are several socio-cultural reasons for the interest in these treatments centered on the low level of scientific literacy among the public at large and a concomitant increase in antiscientific attitudes and new age mysticism.[5] Related to this are vigorous marketing[9] of extravagant claims by the alternative medical community combined with inadequate media scrutiny and attacks on critics.[5][10]

There is also an increase in conspiracy theories toward conventional medicine and pharmaceutical companies, mistrust of traditional authority figures, such as the physician, and a dislike of the current delivery methods of scientific biomedicine, all of which have led patients to seek out alternative medicine to treat a variety of ailments.[10] Many patients lack access to contemporary medicine, due to a lack of private or public health insurance, which leads them to seek out lower-cost alternative medicine.[11] Medical doctors are also aggressively marketing alternative medicine to profit from this market.[9]

Patients can be averse to the painful, unpleasant, and sometimes-dangerous side effects of biomedical treatments. Treatments for severe diseases such as cancer and HIV infection have well-known, significant side-effects. Even low-risk medications such as antibiotics can have potential to cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in a very few individuals. Many medications may cause minor but bothersome symptoms such as cough or upset stomach. In all of these cases, patients may be seeking out alternative treatments to avoid the adverse effects of conventional treatments.[5][10]

It is loosely as a defined set of products, practices, and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine,[n 1][n 2] but whose effectiveness has not been clearly established using scientific methods,[n 1][n 3][15][16][17][18] or whose theory and practice is not part of biomedicine,[n 2][n 4][n 5][n 6] or whose theories or practices are directly contradicted by scientific evidence or scientific principles used in biomedicine.[15][16][22] “Biomedicine” or “medicine” is that part of medical science that applies principles of biology, physiology, molecular biology, biophysics, and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Unlike medicine,[n 4] an alternative product or practice does not originate from using scientific methodology, but may instead be based on testimonials, religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, or other unscientific sources.[n 3][12][15][16]

In General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine, published in 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO), complementary and alternative medicine were defined as a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care system.[23]

The expression also refers to a diverse range of related and unrelated products, practices, and theories ranging from biologically plausible practices and products and practices with some evidence, to practices and theories that are directly contradicted by basic science or clear evidence, and products that have been conclusively proven to be ineffective or even toxic and harmful.[n 2][25][26]

The terms-Alternative medicine, complementary medicine, integrative medicine, holistic medicine, natural medicine, unorthodox medicine, fringe medicine, unconventional medicine, and new age medicine are used interchangeably as having the same meaning and are almost synonymous in some contexts,[27][28][29][30] but may have different meanings in some rare cases.

The meaning of the term “alternative” in the expression “alternative medicine”, is not that it is an effective alternative to medical science, although some alternative medicine promoters may use the loose terminology to give the appearance of effectiveness.[15][31] Loose terminology may also be used to suggest meaning that a dichotomy exists when it does not, e.g., the use of the expressions “western medicine” and “eastern medicine” to suggest that the difference is a cultural difference between the Asiatic east and the European west, rather than that the difference is between evidence-based medicine and treatments that don’t work.[15]

Complementary medicine (CM) or integrative medicine (IM) is when alternative medicine is used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it improves the effect of treatments.[n 7][12][33][34][35] However, significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatment, making treatments less effective, notably cancer therapy.[36][37] Both terms refer to use of alternative medical treatments alongside conventional medicine,[38][39][40] an example of which is use of acupuncture (sticking needles in the body to influence the flow of a supernatural energy), along with using science-based medicine, in the belief that the acupuncture increases the effectiveness or “complements” the science-based medicine.[40]

Allopathic medicine or allopathy is an expression commonly used by homeopaths and proponents of other forms of alternative medicine to refer to mainstream medicine. Specifically it refers to the use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions.[41] The expression was coined in 1810 by the creator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (17551843).[42] In such circles, the expression “allopathic medicine” is still used to refer to “the broad category of medical practice that is sometimes called Western medicine, biomedicine, evidence-based medicine, or modern medicine” (see the article on scientific medicine).[43]

Use of the term remains common among homeopaths and has spread to other alternative medicine practices. The meaning implied by the label has never been accepted by conventional medicine and is considered pejorative.[44] More recently, some sources have used the term “allopathic”, particularly American sources wishing to distinguish between Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) in the United States.[42][45] William Jarvis, an expert on alternative medicine and public health,[46] states that “although many modern therapies can be construed to conform to an allopathic rationale (e.g., using a laxative to relieve constipation), standard medicine has never paid allegiance to an allopathic principle” and that the label “allopath” was from the start “considered highly derisive by regular medicine”.[47]

Many conventional medical treatments clearly do not fit the nominal definition of allopathy, as they seek to prevent illness, or remove the cause of an illness by acting on the etiology of disease.[48][49]

CAM is an abbreviation of complementary and alternative medicine.[50][51] It has also been called sCAM or SCAM with the addition of “so-called” or “supplements”.[52][53] The words balance and holism are often used, claiming to take into account a “whole” person, in contrast to the supposed reductionism of medicine. Due to its many names the field has been criticized for intense rebranding of what are essentially the same practices: as soon as one name is declared synonymous with quackery, a new name is chosen.[27]

It refers to the pre-scientific practices of a culture, contrary to what is traditionally practiced in cultures where medical science dominates.

“Eastern medicine” typically refers to the traditional medicines of Asia where conventional bio-medicine penetrated much later.

Prominent members of the science[7][54] and biomedical science community[14] assert that it is not meaningful to define an alternative medicine that is separate from a conventional medicine, that the expressions “conventional medicine”, “alternative medicine”, “complementary medicine”, “integrative medicine”, and “holistic medicine” do not refer to any medicine at all.[7][14][54][55]

Others in both the biomedical and CAM communities point out that CAM cannot be precisely defined because of the diversity of theories and practices it includes, and because the boundaries between CAM and biomedicine overlap, are porous, and change. The expression “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) resists easy definition because the health systems and practices it refers to are diffuse, and its boundaries poorly defined.[25][n 8] Healthcare practices categorized as alternative may differ in their historical origin, theoretical basis, diagnostic technique, therapeutic practice and in their relationship to the medical mainstream. Some alternative therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, have antique origins in East or South Asia and are entirely alternative medical systems;[60] others, such as homeopathy and chiropractic, have origins in Europe or the United States and emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some, such as osteopathy and chiropractic, employ manipulative physical methods of treatment; others, such as meditation and prayer, are based on mind-body interventions. Treatments considered alternative in one location may be considered conventional in another.[63] Thus, chiropractic is not considered alternative in Denmark and likewise osteopathic medicine is no longer thought of as an alternative therapy in the United States.[63]

Critics say the expression is deceptive because it implies there is an effective alternative to science-based medicine, and that complementary is deceptive because it implies that the treatment increases the effectiveness of (complements) science-based medicine, while alternative medicines that have been tested nearly always have no measurable positive effect compared to a placebo.[15][64][65][66]

One common feature of all definitions of alternative medicine is its designation as “other than” conventional medicine. For example, the widely referenced descriptive definition of complementary and alternative medicine devised by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), states that it is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”[69] For conventional medical practitioners, it does not necessarily follow that either it or its practitioners would no longer be considered alternative.[n 9]

Some definitions seek to specify alternative medicine in terms of its social and political marginality to mainstream healthcare.[72] This can refer to the lack of support that alternative therapies receive from the medical establishment and related bodies regarding access to research funding, sympathetic coverage in the medical press, or inclusion in the standard medical curriculum.[72] In 1993, the British Medical Association (BMA), one among many professional organizations who have attempted to define alternative medicine, stated that it[n 10] referred to “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the conventional healthcare professions, and the skills of which are not taught as part of the undergraduate curriculum of conventional medical and paramedical healthcare courses.”[73] In a US context, an influential definition coined in 1993 by the Harvard-based physician,[74] David M. Eisenberg,[75] characterized alternative medicine “as interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals”.[76] These descriptive definitions are inadequate in the present-day when some conventional doctors offer alternative medical treatments and CAM introductory courses or modules can be offered as part of standard undergraduate medical training;[77] alternative medicine is taught in more than 50 per cent of US medical schools and increasingly US health insurers are willing to provide reimbursement for CAM therapies. In 1999, 7.7% of US hospitals reported using some form of CAM therapy; this proportion had risen to 37.7% by 2008.[79]

An expert panel at a conference hosted in 1995 by the US Office for Alternative Medicine (OAM),[80][n 11] devised a theoretical definition[80] of alternative medicine as “a broad domain of healing resources… other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period.”[82] This definition has been widely adopted by CAM researchers,[80] cited by official government bodies such as the UK Department of Health,[83] attributed as the definition used by the Cochrane Collaboration,[84] and, with some modification,[dubious discuss] was preferred in the 2005 consensus report of the US Institute of Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States.[n 2]

The 1995 OAM conference definition, an expansion of Eisenberg’s 1993 formulation, is silent regarding questions of the medical effectiveness of alternative therapies.[85] Its proponents hold that it thus avoids relativism about differing forms of medical knowledge and, while it is an essentially political definition, this should not imply that the dominance of mainstream biomedicine is solely due to political forces.[85] According to this definition, alternative and mainstream medicine can only be differentiated with reference to what is “intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society of culture”.[86] However, there is neither a reliable method to distinguish between cultures and subcultures, nor to attribute them as dominant or subordinate, nor any accepted criteria to determine the dominance of a cultural entity.[86] If the culture of a politically dominant healthcare system is held to be equivalent to the perspectives of those charged with the medical management of leading healthcare institutions and programs, the definition fails to recognize the potential for division either within such an elite or between a healthcare elite and the wider population.[86]

Normative definitions distinguish alternative medicine from the biomedical mainstream in its provision of therapies that are unproven, unvalidated, or ineffective and support of theories with no recognized scientific basis. These definitions characterize practices as constituting alternative medicine when, used independently or in place of evidence-based medicine, they are put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but are not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method.[12][14][38][39][69][88] Exemplifying this perspective, a 1998 editorial co-authored by Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, argued that:

This line of division has been subject to criticism, however, as not all forms of standard medical practice have adequately demonstrated evidence of benefit, [n 4][89] and it is also unlikely in most instances that conventional therapies, if proven to be ineffective, would ever be classified as CAM.[80]

Similarly, the public information website maintained by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of the Commonwealth of Australia uses the acronym “CAM” for a wide range of health care practices, therapies, procedures and devices not within the domain of conventional medicine. In the Australian context this is stated to include acupuncture; aromatherapy; chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; meditation and relaxation therapies; naturopathy; osteopathy; reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine; and the use of vitamin supplements.[91]

The Danish National Board of Health’s “Council for Alternative Medicine” (Sundhedsstyrelsens Rd for Alternativ Behandling (SRAB)), an independent institution under the National Board of Health (Danish: Sundhedsstyrelsen), uses the term “alternative medicine” for:

Proponents of an evidence-base for medicine[n 12][94][95][96][97] such as the Cochrane Collaboration (founded in 1993 and from 2011 providing input for WHO resolutions) take a position that all systematic reviews of treatments, whether “mainstream” or “alternative”, ought to be held to the current standards of scientific method.[98] In a study titled Development and classification of an operational definition of complementary and alternative medicine for the Cochrane Collaboration (2011) it was proposed that indicators that a therapy is accepted include government licensing of practitioners, coverage by health insurance, statements of approval by government agencies, and recommendation as part of a practice guideline; and that if something is currently a standard, accepted therapy, then it is not likely to be widely considered as CAM.[80]

A United States government agency, the National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), created its own classification system for branches of complementary and alternative medicine that divides them into five major groups. These groups have some overlap, and distinguish two types of energy medicine: veritable which involves scientifically observable energy (including magnet therapy, colorpuncture and light therapy) and putative, which invokes physically undetectable or unverifiable energy.[99]

The NCCIH classification system is –

Alternative medicine consists of a wide range of health care practices, products, and therapies. The shared feature is a claim to heal that is not based on the scientific method. Alternative medicine practices are diverse in their foundations and methodologies.[69] Alternative medicine practices may be classified by their cultural origins or by the types of beliefs upon which they are based.[12][15][22][69] Methods may incorporate or be based on traditional medicinal practices of a particular culture, folk knowledge, supersition, spiritual beliefs, belief in supernatural energies (antiscience), pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, new or different concepts of health and disease, and any bases other than being proven by scientific methods.[12][15][16][22] Different cultures may have their own unique traditional or belief based practices developed recently or over thousands of years, and specific practices or entire systems of practices.

Alternative medicine, such as using naturopathy or homeopathy in place of conventional medicine, is based on belief systems not grounded in science.[69]

Alternative medical systems may be based on traditional medicine practices, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda in India, or practices of other cultures around the world.[69] Some useful applications of traditional medicines have been researched and accepted within ordinary medicine, however the underlying belief systems are seldom scientific and are not accepted.

Bases of belief may include belief in existence of supernatural energies undetected by the science of physics, as in biofields, or in belief in properties of the energies of physics that are inconsistent with the laws of physics, as in energy medicine.[69]

Substance based practices use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, non-vitamin supplements and megavitamins, animal and fungal products, and minerals, including use of these products in traditional medical practices that may also incorporate other methods.[69][121][122] Examples include healing claims for nonvitamin supplements, fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acid, glucosamine, echinacea, flaxseed oil, and ginseng.[123]Herbal medicine, or phytotherapy, includes not just the use of plant products, but may also include the use of animal and mineral products.[121] It is among the most commercially successful branches of alternative medicine, and includes the tablets, powders and elixirs that are sold as “nutritional supplements”.[121] Only a very small percentage of these have been shown to have any efficacy, and there is little regulation as to standards and safety of their contents.[121] This may include use of known toxic substances, such as use of the poison lead in traditional Chinese medicine.[123]

The history of alternative medicine may refer to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as “alternative medicine” beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled “irregular practices” by the western medical establishment.[15][124][125][126][127] It includes the histories of complementary medicine and of integrative medicine. Before the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the increasingly science-based medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific and as practicing quackery.[124][125] Until the 1970’s, irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.[126] In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the entire group collectively marketed and promoted under the single expression “alternative medicine”.[15][124][125][126][128]

Use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, as part of the rising new age movement of the 1970s.[15][129][130] This was due to misleading mass marketing of “alternative medicine” being an effective “alternative” to biomedicine, changing social attitudes about not using chemicals and challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to beliefs and practices of other cultures (cultural relativism), and growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine.[15][125][126][127][128][130][131] At the same time, in 1975, the American Medical Association, which played the central role in fighting quackery in the United States, abolished its quackery committee and closed down its Department of Investigation.[124]:xxi[131] By the early to mid 1970s the expression “alternative medicine” came into widespread use, and the expression became mass marketed as a collection of “natural” and effective treatment “alternatives” to science-based biomedicine.[15][131][132][133] By 1983, mass marketing of “alternative medicine” was so pervasive that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) pointed to “an apparently endless stream of books, articles, and radio and television programmes urge on the public the virtues of (alternative medicine) treatments ranging from meditation to drilling a hole in the skull to let in more oxygen”.[131] In this 1983 article, the BMJ wrote, “one of the few growth industries in contemporary Britain is alternative medicine”, noting that by 1983, “33% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 39% of those with backache admitted to having consulted an alternative practitioner”.[131]

By about 1990, the American alternative medicine industry had grown to a $27 billion per year, with polls showing 30% of Americans were using it.[130][134] Moreover, polls showed that Americans made more visits for alternative therapies than the total number of visits to primary care doctors, and American out-of-pocket spending (non-insurance spending) on alternative medicine was about equal to spending on biomedical doctors.[124]:172 In 1991, Time magazine ran a cover story, “The New Age of Alternative Medicine: Why New Age Medicine Is Catching On”.[130][134] In 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine reported one in three Americans as using alternative medicine.[130] In 1993, the Public Broadcasting System ran a Bill Moyers special, Healing and the Mind, with Moyers commenting that “…people by the tens of millions are using alternative medicine. If established medicine does not understand that, they are going to lose their clients.”[130]

Another explosive growth began in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, investing large sums of government medical research funds into testing alternative medicine, including testing of scientifically implausible treatments, and relaxing government regulation of alternative medicine products as compared to biomedical products.[15][124]:xxi[125][126][127][128][135][136] Beginning with a 1991 appropriation of $2 million for funding research of alternative medicine research, federal spending grew to a cumulative total of about $2.5 billion by 2009, with 50% of Americans using alternative medicine by 2013.[137][138]

In 1993, Britain’s Prince Charles, who claimed that homeopathy and other alternative medicine was an effective alternative to biomedicine, established The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH), as a charity to explore “how safe, proven complementary therapies can work in conjunction with mainstream medicine”.[139] The FIH received government funding through grants from Britain’s Department of Health.[139] In 2008, London’s The Times published a letter from Edzard Ernst that asked the FIH to recall two guides promoting alternative medicine, saying: “the majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective, and many are downright dangerous.” In 2010, Brittan’s FIH closed after allegations of fraud and money laundering led to arrests of its officials.[139]

In 2004, modifications of the European Parliament’s 2001 Directive 2001/83/EC, regulating all medicine products, were made with the expectation of influencing development of the European market for alternative medicine products.[140] Regulation of alternative medicine in Europe was loosened with “a simplified registration procedure” for traditional herbal medicinal products.[140][141] Plausible “efficacy” for traditional medicine was redefined to be based on long term popularity and testimonials (“the pharmacological effects or efficacy of the medicinal product are plausible on the basis of long-standing use and experience.”), without scientific testing.[140][141] The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) was created within the European Medicines Agency in London (EMEA). A special working group was established for homeopathic remedies under the Heads of Medicines Agencies.[140]

Through 2004, alternative medicine that was traditional to Germany continued to be a regular part of the health care system, including homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine.[140] The German Medicines Act mandated that science-based medical authorities consider the “particular characteristics” of complementary and alternative medicines.[140] By 2004, homeopathy had grown to be the most used alternative therapy in France, growing from 16% of the population using homeopathic medicine in 1982, to 29% by 1987, 36% percent by 1992, and 62% of French mothers using homeopathic medicines by 2004, with 94.5% of French pharmacists advising pregnant women to use homeopathic remedies.[142] As of 2004[update], 100 million people in India depended solely on traditional German homeopathic remedies for their medical care.[143] As of 2010[update], homeopathic remedies continued to be the leading alternative treatment used by European physicians.[142] By 2005, sales of homeopathic remedies and anthroposophical medicine had grown to $930 million Euros, a 60% increase from 1995.[142][144]

Since 2009, according to Art. 118a of the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Swiss Confederation and the Cantons of Switzerland shall within the scope of their powers ensure that consideration is given to complementary medicine.[145]

By 2013, 50% of Americans were using CAM.[138] As of 2013[update], CAM medicinal products in Europe continued to be exempted from documented efficacy standards required of other medicinal products.[146]

Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems. These were developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods. Each system was developed in relatively isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other’s systems. Examples are traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine of India.

Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water. But homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood, often resulting in permanent disfigurement or death.[125]

Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet totally dominant. Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic, each considered to be irregular practices by the western medical establishment, also opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, and licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field. Without the original nonscientific practices and theories, osteopathic medicine is now considered the same as biomedicine.

Further information: Rise of modern medicine

Until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific, as practicing quackery.[125] Irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.

Dating from the 1970s, medical professionals, sociologists, anthropologists and other commentators noted the increasing visibility of a wide variety of health practices that had neither derived directly from nor been verified by biomedical science.[147] Since that time, those who have analyzed this trend have deliberated over the most apt language with which to describe this emergent health field.[147] A variety of terms have been used, including heterodox, irregular, fringe and alternative medicine while others, particularly medical commentators, have been satisfied to label them as instances of quackery.[147] The most persistent term has been alternative medicine but its use is problematic as it assumes a value-laden dichotomy between a medical fringe, implicitly of borderline acceptability at best, and a privileged medical orthodoxy, associated with validated medico-scientific norms.[148] The use of the category of alternative medicine has also been criticized as it cannot be studied as an independent entity but must be understood in terms of a regionally and temporally specific medical orthodoxy.[149] Its use can also be misleading as it may erroneously imply that a real medical alternative exists.[150] As with near-synonymous expressions, such as unorthodox, complementary, marginal, or quackery, these linguistic devices have served, in the context of processes of professionalisation and market competition, to establish the authority of official medicine and police the boundary between it and its unconventional rivals.[148]

An early instance of the influence of this modern, or western, scientific medicine outside Europe and North America is Peking Union Medical College.[151][n 14][n 15]

From a historical perspective, the emergence of alternative medicine, if not the term itself, is typically dated to the 19th century.[152] This is despite the fact that there are variants of Western non-conventional medicine that arose in the late-eighteenth century or earlier and some non-Western medical traditions, currently considered alternative in the West and elsewhere, which boast extended historical pedigrees.[148] Alternative medical systems, however, can only be said to exist when there is an identifiable, regularized and authoritative standard medical practice, such as arose in the West during the nineteenth century, to which they can function as an alternative.

During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries regular and irregular medical practitioners became more clearly differentiated throughout much of Europe and,[154] as the nineteenth century progressed, most Western states converged in the creation of legally delimited and semi-protected medical markets.[155] It is at this point that an “official” medicine, created in cooperation with the state and employing a scientific rhetoric of legitimacy, emerges as a recognizable entity and that the concept of alternative medicine as a historical category becomes tenable.[156]

As part of this process, professional adherents of mainstream medicine in countries such as Germany, France, and Britain increasingly invoked the scientific basis of their discipline as a means of engendering internal professional unity and of external differentiation in the face of sustained market competition from homeopaths, naturopaths, mesmerists and other nonconventional medical practitioners, finally achieving a degree of imperfect dominance through alliance with the state and the passage of regulatory legislation.[148][150] In the US the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, opened in 1893, with William H. Welch and William Osler among the founding physicians, and was the first medical school devoted to teaching “German scientific medicine”.[157]

Buttressed by increased authority arising from significant advances in the medical sciences of the late 19th century onwardsincluding development and application of the germ theory of disease by the chemist Louis Pasteur and the surgeon Joseph Lister, of microbiology co-founded by Robert Koch (in 1885 appointed professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin), and of the use of X-rays (Rntgen rays)the 1910 Flexner Report called upon American medical schools to follow the model of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and adhere to mainstream science in their teaching and research. This was in a belief, mentioned in the Report’s introduction, that the preliminary and professional training then prevailing in medical schools should be reformed, in view of the new means for diagnosing and combating disease made available the sciences on which medicine depended.[n 16][159]

Putative medical practices at the time that later became known as “alternative medicine” included homeopathy (founded in Germany in the early 19c.) and chiropractic (founded in North America in the late 19c.). These conflicted in principle with the developments in medical science upon which the Flexner reforms were based, and they have not become compatible with further advances of medical science such as listed in Timeline of medicine and medical technology, 19001999 and 2000present, nor have Ayurveda, acupuncture or other kinds of alternative medicine.[citation needed]

At the same time “Tropical medicine” was being developed as a specialist branch of western medicine in research establishments such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine founded in 1898 by Alfred Lewis Jones, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, founded in 1899 by Patrick Manson and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, instituted in 1912. A distinction was being made between western scientific medicine and indigenous systems. An example is given by an official report about indigenous systems of medicine in India, including Ayurveda, submitted by Mohammad Usman of Madras and others in 1923. This stated that the first question the Committee considered was “to decide whether the indigenous systems of medicine were scientific or not”.[160][161]

By the later twentieth century the term ‘alternative medicine’ entered public discourse,[n 17][164] but it was not always being used with the same meaning by all parties. Arnold S. Relman remarked in 1998 that in the best kind of medical practice, all proposed treatments must be tested objectively, and that in the end there will only be treatments that pass and those that do not, those that are proven worthwhile and those that are not. He asked ‘Can there be any reasonable “alternative”?'[165] But also in 1998 the then Surgeon General of the United States, David Satcher,[166] issued public information about eight common alternative treatments (including acupuncture, holistic and massage), together with information about common diseases and conditions, on nutrition, diet, and lifestyle changes, and about helping consumers to decipher fraud and quackery, and to find healthcare centers and doctors who practiced alternative medicine.[167]

By 1990, approximately 60 million Americans had used one or more complementary or alternative therapies to address health issues, according to a nationwide survey in the US published in 1993 by David Eisenberg.[168] A study published in the November 11, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 42% of Americans had used complementary and alternative therapies, up from 34% in 1990.[169] However, despite the growth in patient demand for complementary medicine, most of the early alternative/complementary medical centers failed.[170]

Mainly as a result of reforms following the Flexner Report of 1910[171]medical education in established medical schools in the US has generally not included alternative medicine as a teaching topic.[n 18] Typically, their teaching is based on current practice and scientific knowledge about: anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology.[173] Medical schools’ teaching includes such topics as doctor-patient communication, ethics, the art of medicine,[174] and engaging in complex clinical reasoning (medical decision-making).[175] Writing in 2002, Snyderman and Weil remarked that by the early twentieth century the Flexner model had helped to create the 20th-century academic health center, in which education, research, and practice were inseparable. While this had much improved medical practice by defining with increasing certainty the pathophysiological basis of disease, a single-minded focus on the pathophysiological had diverted much of mainstream American medicine from clinical conditions that were not well understood in mechanistic terms, and were not effectively treated by conventional therapies.[176]

By 2001 some form of CAM training was being offered by at least 75 out of 125 medical schools in the US.[177] Exceptionally, the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland, Baltimore includes a research institute for integrative medicine (a member entity of the Cochrane Collaboration).[98][178] Medical schools are responsible for conferring medical degrees, but a physician typically may not legally practice medicine until licensed by the local government authority. Licensed physicians in the US who have attended one of the established medical schools there have usually graduated Doctor of Medicine (MD).[179] All states require that applicants for MD licensure be graduates of an approved medical school and complete the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).[179]

The British Medical Association, in its publication Complementary Medicine, New Approach to Good Practice (1993), gave as a working definition of non-conventional therapies (including acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy): “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the orthodox health-care professions, and the skills of which are not part of the undergraduate curriculum of orthodox medical and paramedical health-care courses.” By 2000 some medical schools in the UK were offering CAM familiarisation courses to undergraduate medical students while some were also offering modules specifically on CAM.[181]

In 1991, pointing to a need for testing because of the widespread use of alternative medicine without authoritative information on its efficacy, United States Senator Tom Harkin used $2 million of his discretionary funds to create the Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices (OSUMP), later renamed to be the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM).[124]:170[182][183] The OAM was created to be within the National Institute of Health (NIH), the scientifically prestigious primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research.[124]:170[182][183] The mandate was to investigate, evaluate, and validate effective alternative medicine treatments, and alert the public as the results of testing its efficacy.[134][182][183][184]

Sen. Harkin had become convinced his allergies were cured by taking bee pollen pills, and was urged to make the spending by two of his influential constituents.[134][182][183] Bedell, a longtime friend of Sen. Harkin, was a former member of the United States House of Representatives who believed that alternative medicine had twice cured him of diseases after mainstream medicine had failed, claiming that cow’s milk colostrum cured his Lyme disease, and an herbal derivative from camphor had prevented post surgical recurrence of his prostate cancer.[124][134] Wiewel was a promoter of unproven cancer treatments involving a mixture of blood sera that the Food and Drug Administration had banned from being imported.[134] Both Bedell and Wiewel became members of the advisory panel for the OAM. The company that sold the bee pollen was later fined by the Federal Trade Commission for making false health claims about their bee-pollen products reversing the aging process, curing allergies, and helping with weight loss.[185]

In 1994, Sen. Harkin (D) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R) introduced the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).[186][187] The act reduced authority of the FDA to monitor products sold as “natural” treatments.[186] Labeling standards were reduced to allow health claims for supplements based only on unconfirmed preliminary studies that were not subjected to scientific peer review, and the act made it more difficult for the FDA to promptly seize products or demand proof of safety where there was evidence of a product being dangerous.[187] The Act became known as the “The 1993 Snake Oil Protection Act” following a New York Times editorial under that name.[186]

Senator Harkin complained about the “unbendable rules of randomized clinical trials”, citing his use of bee pollen to treat his allergies, which he claimed to be effective even though it was biologically implausible and efficacy was not established using scientific methods.[182][188] Sen. Harkin asserted that claims for alternative medicine efficacy be allowed not only without conventional scientific testing, even when they are biologically implausible, “It is not necessary for the scientific community to understand the process before the American public can benefit from these therapies.”[186] Following passage of the act, sales rose from about $4 billion in 1994, to $20 billion by the end of 2000, at the same time as evidence of their lack of efficacy or harmful effects grew.[186] Senator Harkin came into open public conflict with the first OAM Director Joseph M. Jacobs and OAM board members from the scientific and biomedical community.[183] Jacobs’ insistence on rigorous scientific methodology caused friction with Senator Harkin.[182][188][189] Increasing political resistance to the use of scientific methodology was publicly criticized by Dr. Jacobs and another OAM board member complained that “nonsense has trickled down to every aspect of this office…It’s the only place where opinions are counted as equal to data.”[182][188] In 1994, Senator Harkin appeared on television with cancer patients who blamed Dr. Jacobs for blocking their access to untested cancer treatment, leading Jacobs to resign in frustration.[182][188]

In 1995, Wayne Jonas, a promoter of homeopathy and political ally of Senator Harkin, became the director of the OAM, and continued in that role until 1999.[190] In 1997, the NCCAM budget was increased from $12 million to $20 million annually.[191] From 1990 to 1997, use of alternative medicine in the US increased by 25%, with a corresponding 50% increase in expenditures.[169] The OAM drew increasing criticism from eminent members of the scientific community with letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee when discussion of renewal of funding OAM came up.[124]:175 Nobel laureate Paul Berg wrote that prestigious NIH should not be degraded to act as a cover for quackery, calling the OAM “an embarrassment to serious scientists.”[124]:175[191] The president of the American Physical Society wrote complaining that the government was spending money on testing products and practices that “violate basic laws of physics and more clearly resemble witchcraft”.[124]:175[191] In 1998, the President of the North Carolina Medical Association publicly called for shutting down the OAM.[192]

In 1998, NIH director and Nobel laureate Harold Varmus came into conflict with Senator Harkin by pushing to have more NIH control of alternative medicine research.[193] The NIH Director placed the OAM under more strict scientific NIH control.[191][193] Senator Harkin responded by elevating OAM into an independent NIH “center”, just short of being its own “institute”, and renamed to be the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). NCCAM had a mandate to promote a more rigorous and scientific approach to the study of alternative medicine, research training and career development, outreach, and “integration”. In 1999, the NCCAM budget was increased from $20 million to $50 million.[192][193] The United States Congress approved the appropriations without dissent. In 2000, the budget was increased to about $68 million, in 2001 to $90 million, in 2002 to $104 million, and in 2003, to $113 million.[192]

In 2009, after a history of 17 years of government testing and spending of nearly $2.5 billion on research had produced almost no clearly proven efficacy of alternative therapies, Senator Harkin complained, “One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short. It think quite frankly that in this center and in the office previously before it, most of its focus has been on disproving things rather than seeking out and approving.”[193][194][195] Members of the scientific community criticized this comment as showing Senator Harkin did not understand the basics of scientific inquiry, which tests hypotheses, but never intentionally attempts to “validate approaches”.[193] Members of the scientific and biomedical communities complained that after a history of 17 years of being tested, at a cost of over $2.5 Billion on testing scientifically and biologically implausible practices, almost no alternative therapy showed clear efficacy.[137] In 2009, the NCCAM’s budget was increased to about $122 million.[193] Overall NIH funding for CAM research increased to $300 Million by 2009.[193] By 2009, Americans were spending $34 Billion annually on CAM.[196]

In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a criticism that study after study had been funded by NCCAM, but “failed to prove that complementary or alternative therapies are anything more than placebos”.[197] The JAMA criticism pointed to large wasting of research money on testing scientifically implausible treatments, citing “NCCAM officials spending $374,000 to find that inhaling lemon and lavender scents does not promote wound healing; $750,000 to find that prayer does not cure AIDS or hasten recovery from breast-reconstruction surgery; $390,000 to find that ancient Indian remedies do not control type 2 diabetes; $700,000 to find that magnets do not treat arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or migraine headaches; and $406,000 to find that coffee enemas do not cure pancreatic cancer.”[197] It was pointed out that negative results from testing were generally ignored by the public, that people continue to “believe what they want to believe, arguing that it does not matter what the data show: They know what works for them”.[197] Continued increasing use of CAM products was also blamed on the lack of FDA ability to regulate alternative products, where negative studies do not result in FDA warnings or FDA-mandated changes on labeling, whereby few consumers are aware that many claims of many supplements were found not to have not to be supported.[197]

In 2014 the NCCAM was renamed to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) with a new charter requiring that 12 of the 18 council members shall be selected with a preference to selecting leading representatives of complementary and alternative medicine, 9 of the members must be licensed practitioners of alternative medicine, 6 members must be general public leaders in the fields of public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management, and 3 members must represent the interests of individual consumers of complementary and alternative medicine.[198]

There is a general scientific consensus that Alternative Therapies lack the requisite scientific validation, and their effectiveness is either unproved or disproved.[12][15][199][200] Many of the claims regarding the efficacy of alternative medicines are controversial, since research on them is frequently of low quality and methodologically flawed.Selective publication bias , marked differences in product quality and standardisation, and some companies making unsubstantiated claims, call into question the claims of efficacy of isolated examples where there is evidence for alternative therapies.[202]

The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine points to confusions in the general population – a person may attribute symptomatic relief to an otherwise-ineffective therapy just because they are taking something (the placebo effect); the natural recovery from or the cyclical nature of an illness (the regression fallacy) gets misattributed to an alternative medicine being taken; a person not diagnosed with science-based medicine may never originally have had a true illness diagnosed as an alternative disease category.[203]

Edzard Ernst characterized the evidence for many alternative techniques as weak, nonexistent, or negative[204] and in 2011 published his estimate that about 7.4% were based on “sound evidence”, although he believes that may be an overestimate.[205] Ernst has concluded that 95% of the alternative treatments he and his team studied, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and reflexology, are “statistically indistinguishable from placebo treatments”, but he also believes there is something that conventional doctors can usefully learn from the chiropractors and homeopath: this is the therapeutic value of the placebo effect, one of the strangest phenomena in medicine.[206][207]

In 2003, a project funded by the CDC identified 208 condition-treatment pairs, of which 58% had been studied by at least one randomized controlled trial (RCT), and 23% had been assessed with a meta-analysis.[208] According to a 2005 book by a US Institute of Medicine panel, the number of RCTs focused on CAM has risen dramatically.

As of 2005[update], the Cochrane Library had 145 CAM-related Cochrane systematic reviews and 340 non-Cochrane systematic reviews. An analysis of the conclusions of only the 145 Cochrane reviews was done by two readers. In 83% of the cases, the readers agreed. In the 17% in which they disagreed, a third reader agreed with one of the initial readers to set a rating. These studies found that, for CAM, 38.4% concluded positive effect or possibly positive (12.4%), 4.8% concluded no effect, 0.69% concluded harmful effect, and 56.6% concluded insufficient evidence. An assessment of conventional treatments found that 41.3% concluded positive or possibly positive effect, 20% concluded no effect, 8.1% concluded net harmful effects, and 21.3% concluded insufficient evidence. However, the CAM review used the more developed 2004 Cochrane database, while the conventional review used the initial 1998 Cochrane database.

In the same way as for conventional therapies, drugs, and interventions, it can be difficult to test the efficacy of alternative medicine in clinical trials. In instances where an established, effective, treatment for a condition is already available, the Helsinki Declaration states that withholding such treatment is unethical in most circumstances. Use of standard-of-care treatment in addition to an alternative technique being tested may produce confounded or difficult-to-interpret results.[210]

Cancer researcher Andrew J. Vickers has stated:

“CAM”, meaning “complementary and alternative medicine”, is not as well researched as conventional medicine, which undergoes intense research before release to the public.[212] Funding for research is also sparse making it difficult to do further research for effectiveness of CAM.[213] Most funding for CAM is funded by government agencies.[212] Proposed research for CAM are rejected by most private funding agencies because the results of research are not reliable.[212] The research for CAM has to meet certain standards from research ethics committees, which most CAM researchers find almost impossible to meet.[212] Even with the little research done on it, CAM has not been proven to be effective.[214]

Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale School of Medicine, wrote that government funded studies of integrating alternative medicine techniques into the mainstream are “used to lend an appearance of legitimacy to treatments that are not legitimate.”[215] Marcia Angell considered that critics felt that healthcare practices should be classified based solely on scientific evidence, and if a treatment had been rigorously tested and found safe and effective, science-based medicine will adopt it regardless of whether it was considered “alternative” to begin with.[14] It is possible for a method to change categories (proven vs. unproven), based on increased knowledge of its effectiveness or lack thereof. A prominent supporter of this position is George D. Lundberg, former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).[55]

Writing in 1999 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians Barrie R. Cassileth mentioned a 1997 letter to the US Senate Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, which had deplored the lack of critical thinking and scientific rigor in OAM-supported research, had been signed by four Nobel Laureates and other prominent scientists. (This was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).)[216]

In March 2009 a staff writer for the Washington Post reported that the impending national discussion about broadening access to health care, improving medical practice and saving money was giving a group of scientists an opening to propose shutting down the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They quoted one of these scientists, Steven Salzberg, a genome researcher and computational biologist at the University of Maryland, as saying “One of our concerns is that NIH is funding pseudoscience.” They noted that the vast majority of studies were based on fundamental misunderstandings of physiology and disease, and had shown little or no effect.[215]

Writers such as Carl Sagan (1934-1996), a noted astrophysicist, advocate of scientific skepticism and the author of The demonhaunted world: science as a candle in the dark (1996), have lambasted the lack of empirical evidence to support the existence of the putative energy fields on which these therapies are predicated.

Sampson has also pointed out that CAM tolerated contradiction without thorough reason and experiment.[217] Barrett has pointed out that there is a policy at the NIH of never saying something doesn’t work only that a different version or dose might give different results.[137] Barrett also expressed concern that, just because some “alternatives” have merit, there is the impression that the rest deserve equal consideration and respect even though most are worthless, since they are all classified under the one heading of alternative medicine.[218]

Some critics of alternative medicine are focused upon health fraud, misinformation, and quackery as public health problems, notably Wallace Sampson and Paul Kurtz founders of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Stephen Barrett, co-founder of The National Council Against Health Fraud and webmaster of Quackwatch.[219] Grounds for opposing alternative medicine include that:

Many alternative medical treatments are not patentable,[citation needed], which may lead to less research funding from the private sector. In addition, in most countries, alternative treatments (in contrast to pharmaceuticals) can be marketed without any proof of efficacyalso a disincentive for manufacturers to fund scientific research.[226]

English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in his 2003 book A Devil’s Chaplain , defined alternative medicine as a “set of practices that cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests.”[227] Dawkins argued that if a technique is demonstrated effective in properly performed trials then it ceases to be alternative and simply becomes medicine.[228]

CAM is also often less regulated than conventional medicine.[212] There are ethical concerns about whether people who perform CAM have the proper knowledge to treat patients.[212] CAM is often done by non-physicians who do not operate with the same medical licensing laws which govern conventional medicine,[212] and it is often described as an issue of non-maleficence.[229]

According to two writers, Wallace Sampson and K. Butler, marketing is part of the training required in alternative medicine, and propaganda methods in alternative medicine have been traced back to those used by Hitler and Goebels in their promotion of pseudoscience in medicine.[15][230]

In November 2011 Edzard Ernst stated that the “level of misinformation about alternative medicine has now reached the point where it has become dangerous and unethical. So far, alternative medicine has remained an ethics-free zone. It is time to change this.”[231]

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Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

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On Censorship – The New Yorker

Posted: at 1:20 am

No writer ever really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation, and censorship is anti-creation, negative energy, uncreation, the bringing into being of non-being, or, to use Tom Stoppards description of death, the absence of presence. Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it. And writers want to talk about how much they get paid, and they want to gossip about other writers and how much they get paid, and they want to complain about critics and publishers, and gripe about politicians, and they want to talk about what they love, the writers they love, the stories and even sentences that have meant something to them, and, finally, they want to talk about their own ideas and their own stories. Their things. The British humorist Paul Jennings, in his brilliant essay on Resistentialism, a spoof of Existentialism, proposed that the world was divided into two categories, Thing and No-Thing, and suggested that between these two is waged a never-ending war. If writing is Thing, then censorship is No-Thing, and, as King Lear told Cordelia, Nothing will came of nothing, or, as Mr. Jennings would have revised Shakespeare, No-Thing will come of No-Thing. Think again.

Consider, if you will, the air. Here it is, all around us, plentiful, freely available, and broadly breathable. And yes, I know, its not perfectly clean or perfectly pure, but here it nevertheless is, plenty of it, enough for all of us and lots to spare. When breathable air is available so freely and in such quantity, it would be redundant to demand that breathable air be freely provided to all, in sufficient quantity for the needs of all. What you have, you can easily take for granted, and ignore. Theres just no need to make a fuss about it. You breathe the freely available, broadly breathable air, and you get on with your day. The air is not a subject. It is not something that most of us want to discuss.

Imagine, now, that somewhere up there you might find a giant set of faucets, and that the air we breathe flows from those faucets, hot air and cold air and tepid air from some celestial mixer-unit. And imagine that an entity up there, not known to us, or perhaps even known to us, begins on a certain day to turn off the faucets one by one, so that slowly we begin to notice that the available air, still breathable, still free, is thinning. The time comes when we find that we are breathing more heavily, perhaps even gasping for air. By this time, many of us would have begun to protest, to condemn the reduction in the air supply, and to argue loudly for the right to freely available, broadly breathable air. Scarcity, you could say, creates demand.

Liberty is the air we breathe, and we live in a part of the world where, imperfect as the supply is, it is, nevertheless, freely available, at least to those of us who arent black youngsters wearing hoodies in Miami, and broadly breathable, unless, of course, were women in red states trying to make free choices about our own bodies. Imperfectly free, imperfectly breathable, but when it is breathable and free we dont need to make a song and dance about it. We take it for granted and get on with our day. And at night, as we fall asleep, we assume we will be free tomorrow, because we were free today.

The creative act requires not only freedom but also this assumption of freedom. If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today. If he is afraid of the consequences of his choice of subject or of his manner of treatment of it, then his choices will not be determined by his talent, but by fear. If we are not confident of our freedom, then we are not free.

And, even worse than that, when censorship intrudes on art, it becomes the subject; the art becomes censored art, and that is how the world sees and understands it. The censor labels the work immoral, or blasphemous, or pornographic, or controversial, and those words are forever hung like albatrosses around the necks of those cursed mariners, the censored works. The attack on the work does more than define the work; in a sense, for the general public, it becomes the work. For every reader of Lady Chatterleys Lover or Tropic of Capricorn, every viewer of Last Tango in Paris or A Clockwork Orange, there will be ten, a hundred, a thousand people who know those works as excessively filthy, or excessively violent, or both.

The assumption of guilt replaces the assumption of innocence. Why did that Indian Muslim artist have to paint that Hindu goddess in the nude? Couldnt he have respected her modesty? Why did that Russian writer have his hero fall in love with a nymphet? Couldnt he have chosen a legally acceptable age? Why did that British playwright depict a sexual assault in a Sikh temple, a gurdwara? Couldnt the same assault have been removed from holy ground? Why are artists so troublesome? Cant they just offer us beauty, morality, and a damn good story? Why do artists think, if they behave in this way, that we should be on their side? And the people all said sit down, sit down youre rocking the boat / And the devil will drag you under, with a soul so heavy youll never float / Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down / Youre rocking the boat.

At its most effective, the censors lie actually succeeds in replacing the artists truth. That which is censored is thought to have deserved censorship. Boat-rocking is deplored.

Nor is this only so in the world of art. The Ministry of Truth in present-day China has successfully persuaded a very large part of the Chinese public that the heroes of Tiananmen Square were actually villains bent on the destruction of the nation. This is the final victory of the censor: When people, even people who know they are routinely lied to, cease to be able to imagine what is really the case.

Sometimes great, banned works defy the censors description and impose themselves on the worldUlysses, Lolita, the Arabian Nights. Sometimes great and brave artists defy the censors to create marvellous literature underground, as in the case of the samizdat literature of the Soviet Union, or to make subtle films that dodge the edge of the censors knife, as in the case of much contemporary Iranian and some Chinese cinema. You will even find people who will give you the argument that censorship is good for artists because it challenges their imagination. This is like arguing that if you cut a mans arms off you can praise him for learning to write with a pen held between his teeth. Censorship is not good for art, and it is even worse for artists themselves. The work of Ai Weiwei survives; the artist himself has an increasingly difficult life. The poet Ovid was banished to the Black Sea by a displeased Augustus Caesar, and spent the rest of his life in a little hellhole called Tomis, but the poetry of Ovid has outlived the Roman Empire. The poet Mandelstam died in one of Stalins labor camps, but the poetry of Mandelstam has outlived the Soviet Union. The poet Lorca was murdered in Spain, by Generalissimo Francos goons, but the poetry of Lorca has outlived the fascistic Falange. So perhaps we can argue that art is stronger than the censor, and perhaps it often is. Artists, however, are vulnerable.

In England last week, English PEN protested that the London Book Fair had invited only a bunch of official, State-approved writers from China while the voices of at least thirty-five writers jailed by the regime, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and the political dissident and poet Zhu Yufu, remained silent and ignored. In the United States, every year, religious zealots try to ban writers as disparate as Kurt Vonnegut and J. K. Rowling, an obvious advocate of sorcery and the black arts; to say nothing of poor, God-bothered Charles Darwin, against whom the advocates of intelligent design continue to march. I once wrote, and it still feels true, that the attacks on the theory of evolution in parts of the United States themselves go some way to disproving the theory, demonstrating that natural selection doesnt always work, or at least not in the Kansas area, and that human beings are capable of evolving backward, too, towards the Missing Link.

Even more serious is the growing acceptance of the dont-rock-the-boat response to those artists who do rock it, the growing agreement that censorship can be justified when certain interest groups, or genders, or faiths declare themselves affronted by a piece of work. Great art, or, lets just say, more modestly, original art is never created in the safe middle ground, but always at the edge. Originality is dangerous. It challenges, questions, overturns assumptions, unsettles moral codes, disrespects sacred cows or other such entities. It can be shocking, or ugly, or, to use the catch-all term so beloved of the tabloid press, controversial. And if we believe in liberty, if we want the air we breathe to remain plentiful and breathable, this is the art whose right to exist we must not only defend, but celebrate. Art is not entertainment. At its very best, its a revolution.

This piece is drawn from the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture given by Rushdie, on May 6th, as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.

Illustration by Matthew Hollister.

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On Censorship – The New Yorker

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Moon – Wikipedia

Posted: November 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). It is the second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known (after Jupiter’s satellite Io).

The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400km (238,900mi),[10][11] or 1.28 light-seconds.

The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several hypotheses for its origin; the most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.

The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, mythology, and apparently, the menstrual cycles of the female of the human species.

The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.820.07 centimetres (1.5040.028in) per year, but this rate is not constant.

The Soviet Union’s Luna programme was the first to reach the Moon with uncrewed spacecraft in 1959; the United States’ NASA Apollo program achieved the only crewed missions to date, beginning with the first crewed lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six crewed lunar landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned over 380kg (840lb) of lunar rocks, which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon’s origin, the formation of its internal structure, and its subsequent history. Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by uncrewed spacecraft.

The usual English proper name for Earth’s natural satellite is “the Moon”.[12][13] The noun moon is derived from moone (around 1380), which developed from mone (1135), which is derived from Old English mna (dating from before 725), which ultimately stems from Proto-Germanic *mnn, like all Germanic language cognates.[14] Occasionally, the name “Luna” is used. In literature, especially science fiction, “Luna” is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of our moon.[15]

The principal modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, derived from the Latin Luna. A less common adjective is selenic, derived from the Ancient Greek Selene (), from which is derived the prefix “seleno-” (as in selenography).[16][17] Both the Greek Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia.[18] The names Luna, Cynthia, and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune, pericynthion, and selenocentric. The name Diana is connected to dies meaning ‘day’.

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the Moon’s formation 4.53 billion years ago,[f] and some 3050 million years after the origin of the Solar System.[19] Recent research presented by Rick Carlson indicates a slightly lower age of between 4.40 and 4.45 billion years.[20][21] These mechanisms included the fission of the Moon from Earth’s crust through centrifugal force[22] (which would require too great an initial spin of Earth),[23] the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon[24] (which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere of Earth to dissipate the energy of the passing Moon),[23] and the co-formation of Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk (which does not explain the depletion of metals in the Moon).[23] These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the EarthMoon system.[25]

The prevailing hypothesis is that the EarthMoon system formed as a result of the impact of a Mars-sized body (named Theia) with the proto-Earth Earth (giant impact), that blasted material into orbit about the Earth that then accreted to form the present Earth-Moon system.[26][27]

This hypothesis, although not perfect, perhaps best explains the evidence. Eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, and Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists: “You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to your computer, do whatever you have to, but make up your mind. Don’t come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moon’s birth.” At the 1984 conference at Kona, Hawaii, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most popular.

Before the conference, there were partisans of the three “traditional” theories, plus a few people who were starting to take the giant impact seriously, and there was a huge apathetic middle who didnt think the debate would ever be resolved. Afterward there were essentially only two groups: the giant impact camp and the agnostics.[28]

Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System. Computer simulations of a giant impact have produced results that are consistent with the mass of the lunar core and the present angular momentum of the EarthMoon system. These simulations also show that most of the Moon derived from the impactor, rather than the proto-Earth.[29] More recent simulations suggest a larger fraction of the Moon derived from the original Earth mass.[30][31][32][33] Studies of meteorites originating from inner Solar System bodies such as Mars and Vesta show that they have very different oxygen and tungsten isotopic compositions as compared to Earth, whereas Earth and the Moon have nearly identical isotopic compositions. The isotopic equalization of the Earth-Moon system might be explained by the post-impact mixing of the vaporized material that formed the two,[34] although this is debated.[35]

The great amount of energy released in the impact event and the subsequent re-accretion of that material into the Earth-Moon system would have melted the outer shell of Earth, forming a magma ocean.[36][37] Similarly, the newly formed Moon would also have been affected and had its own lunar magma ocean; estimates for its depth range from about 500km (300 miles) to its entire depth (1,737km (1,079 miles)).[36]

While the giant impact hypothesis might explain many lines of evidence, there are still some unresolved questions, most of which involve the Moon’s composition.[38]

In 2001, a team at the Carnegie Institute of Washington reported the most precise measurement of the isotopic signatures of lunar rocks.[39] To their surprise, the team found that the rocks from the Apollo program carried an isotopic signature that was identical with rocks from Earth, and were different from almost all other bodies in the Solar System. Because most of the material that went into orbit to form the Moon was thought to come from Theia, this observation was unexpected. In 2007, researchers from the California Institute of Technology announced that there was less than a 1% chance that Theia and Earth had identical isotopic signatures.[40] Published in 2012, an analysis of titanium isotopes in Apollo lunar samples showed that the Moon has the same composition as Earth,[41] which conflicts with what is expected if the Moon formed far from Earth’s orbit or from Theia. Variations on the giant impact hypothesis may explain this data.

The Moon is a differentiated body: it has a geochemically distinct crust, mantle, and core. The Moon has a solid iron-rich inner core with a radius of 240km (150mi) and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron with a radius of roughly 300km (190mi). Around the core is a partially molten boundary layer with a radius of about 500km (310mi).[43] This structure is thought to have developed through the fractional crystallization of a global magma ocean shortly after the Moon’s formation 4.5billion years ago.[44] Crystallization of this magma ocean would have created a mafic mantle from the precipitation and sinking of the minerals olivine, clinopyroxene, and orthopyroxene; after about three-quarters of the magma ocean had crystallised, lower-density plagioclase minerals could form and float into a crust atop.[45] The final liquids to crystallise would have been initially sandwiched between the crust and mantle, with a high abundance of incompatible and heat-producing elements.[1] Consistent with this perspective, geochemical mapping made from orbit suggests the crust of mostly anorthosite.[9] The Moon rock samples of the flood lavas that erupted onto the surface from partial melting in the mantle confirm the mafic mantle composition, which is more iron rich than that of Earth.[1] The crust is on average about 50km (31mi) thick.[1]

The Moon is the second-densest satellite in the Solar System, after Io.[46] However, the inner core of the Moon is small, with a radius of about 350km (220mi) or less,[1] around 20% of the radius of the Moon. Its composition is not well defined, but is probably metallic iron alloyed with a small amount of sulfur and nickel; analyses of the Moon’s time-variable rotation suggest that it is at least partly molten.[47]

The topography of the Moon has been measured with laser altimetry and stereo image analysis.[48] Its most visible topographic feature is the giant far-side South PoleAitken basin, some 2,240km (1,390mi) in diameter, the largest crater on the Moon and the second-largest confirmed impact crater in the Solar System.[49][50] At 13km (8.1mi) deep, its floor is the lowest point on the surface of the Moon.[49][51] The highest elevations of the Moon’s surface are located directly to the northeast, and it has been suggested might have been thickened by the oblique formation impact of the South PoleAitken basin.[52] Other large impact basins, such as Imbrium, Serenitatis, Crisium, Smythii, and Orientale, also possess regionally low elevations and elevated rims.[49] The far side of the lunar surface is on average about 1.9km (1.2mi) higher than that of the near side.[1]

The discovery of fault scarp cliffs by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that the Moon has shrunk within the past billion years, by about 90 metres (300ft).[53] Similar shrinkage features exist on Mercury.

The dark and relatively featureless lunar plains, clearly be seen with the naked eye, are called maria (Latin for “seas”; singular mare), as they were once believed to be filled with water;[54] they are now known to be vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava. Although similar to terrestrial basalts, lunar basalts have more iron and no minerals altered by water.[55][56] The majority of these lavas erupted or flowed into the depressions associated with impact basins. Several geologic provinces containing shield volcanoes and volcanic domes are found within the near side “maria”.[57]

Almost all maria are on the near side of the Moon, and cover 31% of the surface of the near side,[58] compared with 2% of the far side.[59] This is thought to be due to a concentration of heat-producing elements under the crust on the near side, seen on geochemical maps obtained by Lunar Prospector’s gamma-ray spectrometer, which would have caused the underlying mantle to heat up, partially melt, rise to the surface and erupt.[45][60][61] Most of the Moon’s mare basalts erupted during the Imbrian period, 3.03.5billion years ago, although some radiometrically dated samples are as old as 4.2billion years.[62] Until recently, the youngest eruptions, dated by crater counting, appeared to have been only 1.2billion years ago.[63] In 2006, a study of Ina, a tiny depression in Lacus Felicitatis, found jagged, relatively dust-free features that, due to the lack of erosion by infalling debris, appeared to be only 2 million years old.[64]Moonquakes and releases of gas also indicate some continued lunar activity.[64] In 2014 NASA announced “widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism” at 70 irregular mare patches identified by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, some less than 50 million years old. This raises the possibility of a much warmer lunar mantle than previously believed, at least on the near side where the deep crust is substantially warmer due to the greater concentration of radioactive elements.[65][66][67][68] Just prior to this, evidence has been presented for 210 million years younger basaltic volcanism inside Lowell crater,[69][70] Orientale basin, located in the transition zone between the near and far sides of the Moon. An initially hotter mantle and/or local enrichment of heat-producing elements in the mantle could be responsible for prolonged activities also on the far side in the Orientale basin.[71][72]

The lighter-coloured regions of the Moon are called terrae, or more commonly highlands, because they are higher than most maria. They have been radiometrically dated to having formed 4.4billion years ago, and may represent plagioclase cumulates of the lunar magma ocean.[62][63] In contrast to Earth, no major lunar mountains are believed to have formed as a result of tectonic events.[73]

The concentration of maria on the Near Side likely reflects the substantially thicker crust of the highlands of the Far Side, which may have formed in a slow-velocity impact of a second moon of Earth a few tens of millions of years after their formation.[74][75]

The other major geologic process that has affected the Moon’s surface is impact cratering,[76] with craters formed when asteroids and comets collide with the lunar surface. There are estimated to be roughly 300,000 craters wider than 1km (0.6mi) on the Moon’s near side alone.[77] The lunar geologic timescale is based on the most prominent impact events, including Nectaris, Imbrium, and Orientale, structures characterized by multiple rings of uplifted material, between hundreds and thousands of kilometres in diameter and associated with a broad apron of ejecta deposits that form a regional stratigraphic horizon.[78] The lack of an atmosphere, weather and recent geological processes mean that many of these craters are well-preserved. Although only a few multi-ring basins have been definitively dated, they are useful for assigning relative ages. Because impact craters accumulate at a nearly constant rate, counting the number of craters per unit area can be used to estimate the age of the surface.[78] The radiometric ages of impact-melted rocks collected during the Apollo missions cluster between 3.8 and 4.1billion years old: this has been used to propose a Late Heavy Bombardment of impacts.[79]

Blanketed on top of the Moon’s crust is a highly comminuted (broken into ever smaller particles) and impact gardened surface layer called regolith, formed by impact processes. The finer regolith, the lunar soil of silicon dioxide glass, has a texture resembling snow and a scent resembling spent gunpowder.[80] The regolith of older surfaces is generally thicker than for younger surfaces: it varies in thickness from 1020km (6.212.4mi) in the highlands and 35km (1.93.1mi) in the maria.[81] Beneath the finely comminuted regolith layer is the megaregolith, a layer of highly fractured bedrock many kilometres thick.[82]

Comparison of high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has shown a contemporary crater-production rate significantly higher than previously estimated. A secondary cratering process caused by distal ejecta is thought to churn the top two centimetres of regolith a hundred times more quickly than previous models suggestedon a timescale of 81,000 years.[83][84]

Lunar swirls are enigmatic features found across the Moon’s surface, which are characterized by a high albedo, appearing optically immature (i.e. the optical characteristics of a relatively young regolith), and often displaying a sinuous shape. Their curvilinear shape is often accentuated by low albedo regions that wind between the bright swirls.

Liquid water cannot persist on the lunar surface. When exposed to solar radiation, water quickly decomposes through a process known as photodissociation and is lost to space. However, since the 1960s, scientists have hypothesized that water ice may be deposited by impacting comets or possibly produced by the reaction of oxygen-rich lunar rocks, and hydrogen from solar wind, leaving traces of water which could possibly survive in cold, permanently shadowed craters at either pole on the Moon.[85][86] Computer simulations suggest that up to 14,000km2 (5,400sqmi) of the surface may be in permanent shadow.[87] The presence of usable quantities of water on the Moon is an important factor in rendering lunar habitation as a cost-effective plan; the alternative of transporting water from Earth would be prohibitively expensive.[88]

In years since, signatures of water have been found to exist on the lunar surface.[89] In 1994, the bistatic radar experiment located on the Clementine spacecraft, indicated the existence of small, frozen pockets of water close to the surface. However, later radar observations by Arecibo, suggest these findings may rather be rocks ejected from young impact craters.[90] In 1998, the neutron spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft, showed that high concentrations of hydrogen are present in the first meter of depth in the regolith near the polar regions.[91] Volcanic lava beads, brought back to Earth aboard Apollo 15, showed small amounts of water in their interior.[92]

The 2008 Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has since confirmed the existence of surface water ice, using the on-board Moon Mineralogy Mapper. The spectrometer observed absorption lines common to hydroxyl, in reflected sunlight, providing evidence of large quantities of water ice, on the lunar surface. The spacecraft showed that concentrations may possibly be as high as 1,000ppm.[93] In 2009, LCROSS sent a 2,300kg (5,100lb) impactor into a permanently shadowed polar crater, and detected at least 100kg (220lb) of water in a plume of ejected material.[94][95] Another examination of the LCROSS data showed the amount of detected water to be closer to 15512kg (34226lb).[96]

In May 2011, 6151410 ppm water in melt inclusions in lunar sample 74220 was reported,[97] the famous high-titanium “orange glass soil” of volcanic origin collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The inclusions were formed during explosive eruptions on the Moon approximately 3.7 billion years ago. This concentration is comparable with that of magma in Earth’s upper mantle. Although of considerable selenological interest, Hauri’s announcement affords little comfort to would-be lunar coloniststhe sample originated many kilometers below the surface, and the inclusions are so difficult to access that it took 39 years to find them with a state-of-the-art ion microprobe instrument.

The gravitational field of the Moon has been measured through tracking the Doppler shift of radio signals emitted by orbiting spacecraft. The main lunar gravity features are mascons, large positive gravitational anomalies associated with some of the giant impact basins, partly caused by the dense mare basaltic lava flows that fill those basins.[98][99] The anomalies greatly influence the orbit of spacecraft about the Moon. There are some puzzles: lava flows by themselves cannot explain all of the gravitational signature, and some mascons exist that are not linked to mare volcanism.[100]

The Moon has an external magnetic field of about 1100 nanoteslas, less than one-hundredth that of Earth. It does not currently have a global dipolar magnetic field and only has crustal magnetization, probably acquired early in lunar history when a dynamo was still operating.[101][102] Alternatively, some of the remnant magnetization may be from transient magnetic fields generated during large impact events through the expansion of an impact-generated plasma cloud in the presence of an ambient magnetic field. This is supported by the apparent location of the largest crustal magnetizations near the antipodes of the giant impact basins.[103]

The Moon has an atmosphere so tenuous as to be nearly vacuum, with a total mass of less than 10 metric tons (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons).[106] The surface pressure of this small mass is around 3 1015atm (0.3nPa); it varies with the lunar day. Its sources include outgassing and sputtering, a product of the bombardment of lunar soil by solar wind ions.[9][107] Elements that have been detected include sodium and potassium, produced by sputtering (also found in the atmospheres of Mercury and Io); helium-4 and neon[108] from the solar wind; and argon-40, radon-222, and polonium-210, outgassed after their creation by radioactive decay within the crust and mantle.[109][110] The absence of such neutral species (atoms or molecules) as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and magnesium, which are present in the regolith, is not understood.[109] Water vapour has been detected by Chandrayaan-1 and found to vary with latitude, with a maximum at ~6070degrees; it is possibly generated from the sublimation of water ice in the regolith.[111] These gases either return into the regolith due to the Moon’s gravity or be lost to space, either through solar radiation pressure or, if they are ionized, by being swept away by the solar wind’s magnetic field.[109]

A permanent asymmetric moon dust cloud exists around the Moon, created by small particles from comets. Estimates are 5 tons of comet particles strike the Moon’s surface each 24 hours. The particles strike the Moon’s surface ejecting moon dust above the Moon. The dust stays above the Moon approximately 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes to rise, and 5 minutes to fall. On average, 120 kilograms of dust are present above the Moon, rising to 100 kilometers above the surface. The dust measurements were made by LADEE’s Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX), between 20 and 100 kilometers above the surface, during a six-month period. LDEX detected an average of one 0.3 micrometer moon dust particle each minute. Dust particle counts peaked during the Geminid, Quadrantid, Northern Taurid, and Omicron Centaurid meteor showers, when the Earth, and Moon, pass through comet debris. The cloud is asymmetric, more dense near the boundary between the Moon’s dayside and nightside.[112][113]

The Moon’s axial tilt with respect to the ecliptic is only 1.5424,[114] much less than the 23.44 of Earth. Because of this, the Moon’s solar illumination varies much less with season, and topographical details play a crucial role in seasonal effects.[115] From images taken by Clementine in 1994, it appears that four mountainous regions on the rim of Peary Crater at the Moon’s north pole may remain illuminated for the entire lunar day, creating peaks of eternal light. No such regions exist at the south pole. Similarly, there are places that remain in permanent shadow at the bottoms of many polar craters,[87] and these dark craters are extremely cold: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter measured the lowest summer temperatures in craters at the southern pole at 35K (238C; 397F)[116] and just 26K (247C; 413F) close to the winter solstice in north polar Hermite Crater. This is the coldest temperature in the Solar System ever measured by a spacecraft, colder even than the surface of Pluto.[115] Average temperatures of the Moon’s surface are reported, but temperatures of different areas will vary greatly depending upon whether it is in sunlight or shadow.[117]

The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3days[g] (its sidereal period). However, because Earth is moving in its orbit around the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5days[h] (its synodic period).[58] Unlike most satellites of other planets, the Moon orbits closer to the ecliptic plane than to the planet’s equatorial plane. The Moon’s orbit is subtly perturbed by the Sun and Earth in many small, complex and interacting ways. For example, the plane of the Moon’s orbital motion gradually rotates, which affects other aspects of lunar motion. These follow-on effects are mathematically described by Cassini’s laws.[118]

The Moon is exceptionally large relative to Earth: a quarter its diameter and 1/81 its mass.[58] It is the largest moon in the Solar System relative to the size of its planet,[i] though Charon is larger relative to the dwarf planet Pluto, at 1/9 Pluto’s mass.[j][119] Earth and the Moon are nevertheless still considered a planetsatellite system, rather than a double planet, because their barycentre, the common centre of mass, is located 1,700km (1,100mi) (about a quarter of Earth’s radius) beneath Earth’s surface.[120]

The Moon is in synchronous rotation: it rotates about its axis in about the same time it takes to orbit Earth. This results in it nearly always keeping the same face turned towards Earth. The Moon used to rotate at a faster rate, but early in its history, its rotation slowed and became tidally locked in this orientation as a result of frictional effects associated with tidal deformations caused by Earth.[121] With time, the energy of rotation of the Moon on its axis was dissipated as heat, until there was no rotation of the Moon relative to the Earth. The side of the Moon that faces Earth is called the near side, and the opposite the far side. The far side is often inaccurately called the “dark side”, but it is in fact illuminated as often as the near side: once per lunar day, during the new moon phase we observe on Earth when the near side is dark.[122] In 2016, planetary scientists, using data collected on the much earlier Nasa Lunar Prospector mission, found two hydrogen-rich areas on opposite sides of the Moon, probably in the form of water ice. It is speculated that these patches were the poles of the Moon billions of years ago, before it was tidally locked to Earth.[123]

The Moon has an exceptionally low albedo, giving it a reflectance that is slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. Despite this, it is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun.[58][k] This is partly due to the brightness enhancement of the opposition effect; at quarter phase, the Moon is only one-tenth as bright, rather than half as bright, as at full moon.[124]

Additionally, colour constancy in the visual system recalibrates the relations between the colours of an object and its surroundings, and because the surrounding sky is comparatively dark, the sunlit Moon is perceived as a bright object. The edges of the full moon seem as bright as the centre, with no limb darkening, due to the reflective properties of lunar soil, which reflects more light back towards the Sun than in other directions. The Moon does appear larger when close to the horizon, but this is a purely psychological effect, known as the Moon illusion, first described in the 7th century BC.[125] The full moon subtends an arc of about 0.52 (on average) in the sky, roughly the same apparent size as the Sun (see Eclipses).

The highest altitude of the Moon in the sky varies with the lunar phase and the season of the year. The full moon is highest during winter. The 18.6-year nodes cycle also has an influence: when the ascending node of the lunar orbit is in the vernal equinox, the lunar declination can go as far as 28 each month. This means the Moon can go overhead at latitudes up to 28 from the equator, instead of only 18. The orientation of the Moon’s crescent also depends on the latitude of the observation site: close to the equator, an observer can see a smile-shaped crescent moon.[126]

The Moon is visible for two weeks every 27.3 days at the North and South Pole. The Moon’s light is used by zooplankton in the Arctic when the sun is below the horizon for months on end.[127]

The distance between the Moon and Earth varies from around 356,400km (221,500mi) to 406,700km (252,700mi) at perigees (closest) and apogees (farthest), respectively. On 19 March 2011, it was closer to Earth when at full phase than it has been since 1993, 14% closer than its farthest position in apogee.[128] Reported as a “super moon”, this closest point coincides within an hour of a full moon, and it was 30% more luminous than when at its greatest distance due to its angular diameter being 14% greater, because 1.14 2 1.30 {displaystyle scriptstyle 1.14^{2}approx 1.30} .[129][130][131] At lower levels, the human perception of reduced brightness as a percentage is provided by the following formula:[132][133]

perceived reduction % = 100 actual reduction % 100 {displaystyle {text{perceived reduction}}%=100times {sqrt {{text{actual reduction}}% over 100}}}

When the actual reduction is 1.00 / 1.30, or about 0.770, the perceived reduction is about 0.877, or 1.00 / 1.14. This gives a maximum perceived increase of 14% between apogee and perigee moons of the same phase.[134]

There has been historical controversy over whether features on the Moon’s surface change over time. Today, many of these claims are thought to be illusory, resulting from observation under different lighting conditions, poor astronomical seeing, or inadequate drawings. However, outgassing does occasionally occur, and could be responsible for a minor percentage of the reported lunar transient phenomena. Recently, it has been suggested that a roughly 3km (1.9mi) diameter region of the lunar surface was modified by a gas release event about a million years ago.[135][136] The Moon’s appearance, like that of the Sun, can be affected by Earth’s atmosphere: common effects are a 22 halo ring formed when the Moon’s light is refracted through the ice crystals of high cirrostratus cloud, and smaller coronal rings when the Moon is seen through thin clouds.[137]

The illuminated area of the visible sphere (degree of illumination) is given by 1 2 ( 1 cos e ) {displaystyle {frac {1}{2}}(1-cos e)} , where e {displaystyle e} is the elongation (i.e. the angle between Moon, the observer (on Earth) and the Sun).

The gravitational attraction that masses have for one another decreases inversely with the square of the distance of those masses from each other. As a result, the slightly greater attraction that the Moon has for the side of Earth closest to the Moon, as compared to the part of the Earth opposite the Moon, results in tidal forces. Tidal forces affect both the Earth’s crust and oceans.

The most obvious effect of tidal forces is to cause two bulges in the Earth’s oceans, one on the side facing the Moon and the other on the side opposite. This results in elevated sea levels called ocean tides.[138] As the Earth spins on its axis, one of the ocean bulges (high tide) is held in place “under” the Moon, while another such tide is opposite. As a result, there are two high tides, and two low tides in about 24 hours.[138] Since the Moon is orbiting the Earth in the same direction of the Earth’s rotation, the high tides occur about every 12 hours and 25 minutes; the 25 minutes is due to the Moon’s time to orbit the Earth. The Sun has the same tidal effect on the Earth, but its forces of attraction are only 40% that of the Moon’s; the Sun’s and Moon’s interplay is responsible for spring and neap tides.[138] If the Earth was a water world (one with no continents) it would produce a tide of only one meter, and that tide would be very predictable, but the ocean tides are greatly modified by other effects: the frictional coupling of water to Earth’s rotation through the ocean floors, the inertia of water’s movement, ocean basins that grow shallower near land, the sloshing of water between different ocean basins.[139] As a result, the timing of the tides at most points on the Earth is a product of observations that are explained, incidentally, by theory.

While gravitation causes acceleration and movement of the Earth’s fluid oceans, gravitational coupling between the Moon and Earth’s solid body is mostly elastic and plastic. The result is a further tidal effect of the Moon on the Earth that causes a bulge of the solid portion of the Earth nearest the Moon that acts as a torque in opposition to the Earth’s rotation. This “drains” angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy from Earth’s spin, slowing the Earth’s rotation.[138][140] That angular momentum, lost from the Earth, is transferred to the Moon in a process (confusingly known as tidal acceleration), which lifts the Moon into a higher orbit and results in its lower orbital speed about the Earth. Thus the distance between Earth and Moon is increasing, and the Earth’s spin is slowing in reaction.[140] Measurements from laser reflectors left during the Apollo missions (lunar ranging experiments) have found that the Moon’s distance increases by 38mm (1.5in) per year[141] (roughly the rate at which human fingernails grow).[142]Atomic clocks also show that Earth’s day lengthens by about 15microseconds every year,[143] slowly increasing the rate at which UTC is adjusted by leap seconds. Left to run its course, this tidal drag would continue until the spin of Earth and the orbital period of the Moon matched, creating mutual tidal locking between the two. As a result, the Moon would be suspended in the sky over one meridian, as is already currently the case with Pluto and its moon Charon. However, the Sun will become a red giant long before that, engulfing Earth and we need not worry about the consequences.[144][145]

In a like manner, the lunar surface experiences tides of around 10cm (4in) amplitude over 27days, with two components: a fixed one due to Earth, because they are in synchronous rotation, and a varying component from the Sun.[140] The Earth-induced component arises from libration, a result of the Moon’s orbital eccentricity (if the Moon’s orbit were perfectly circular, there would only be solar tides).[140] Libration also changes the angle from which the Moon is seen, allowing a total of about 59% of its surface to be seen from Earth over time.[58] The cumulative effects of stress built up by these tidal forces produces moonquakes. Moonquakes are much less common and weaker than are earthquakes, although moon quakes can last for up to an houra significantly longer time than terrestrial quakesbecause of the absence of water to damp out the seismic vibrations. The existence of moonquakes was an unexpected discovery from seismometers placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts from 1969 through 1972.[146]

Eclipses can only occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all in a straight line (termed “syzygy”). Solar eclipses occur at new moon, when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. In contrast, lunar eclipses occur at full moon, when Earth is between the Sun and Moon. The apparent size of the Moon is roughly the same as that of the Sun, with both being viewed at close to one-half a degree wide. The Sun is much larger than the Moon but it is the precise vastly greater distance that gives it the same apparent size as the much closer and much smaller Moon from the perspective of Earth. The variations in apparent size, due to the non-circular orbits, are nearly the same as well, though occurring in different cycles. This makes possible both total (with the Moon appearing larger than the Sun) and annular (with the Moon appearing smaller than the Sun) solar eclipses.[148] In a total eclipse, the Moon completely covers the disc of the Sun and the solar corona becomes visible to the naked eye. Because the distance between the Moon and Earth is very slowly increasing over time,[138] the angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing. Also, as it evolves toward becoming a red giant, the size of the Sun, and its apparent diameter in the sky, are slowly increasing.[l] The combination of these two changes means that hundreds of millions of years ago, the Moon would always completely cover the Sun on solar eclipses, and no annular eclipses were possible. Likewise, hundreds of millions of years in the future, the Moon will no longer cover the Sun completely, and total solar eclipses will not occur.[149]

Because the Moon’s orbit around Earth is inclined by about 5 to the orbit of Earth around the Sun, eclipses do not occur at every full and new moon. For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be near the intersection of the two orbital planes.[150] The periodicity and recurrence of eclipses of the Sun by the Moon, and of the Moon by Earth, is described by the saros, which has a period of approximately 18years.[151]

Because the Moon is continuously blocking our view of a half-degree-wide circular area of the sky,[m][152] the related phenomenon of occultation occurs when a bright star or planet passes behind the Moon and is occulted: hidden from view. In this way, a solar eclipse is an occultation of the Sun. Because the Moon is comparatively close to Earth, occultations of individual stars are not visible everywhere on the planet, nor at the same time. Because of the precession of the lunar orbit, each year different stars are occulted.[153]

Understanding of the Moon’s cycles was an early development of astronomy: by the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers had recorded the 18-year Saros cycle of lunar eclipses,[154] and Indian astronomers had described the Moon’s monthly elongation.[155] The Chinese astronomer Shi Shen (fl. 4th century BC) gave instructions for predicting solar and lunar eclipses. Later, the physical form of the Moon and the cause of moonlight became understood. The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (d. 428 BC) reasoned that the Sun and Moon were both giant spherical rocks, and that the latter reflected the light of the former.[157] Although the Chinese of the Han Dynasty believed the Moon to be energy equated to qi, their ‘radiating influence’ theory also recognized that the light of the Moon was merely a reflection of the Sun, and Jing Fang (7837BC) noted the sphericity of the Moon. In the 2nd century AD Lucian wrote a novel where the heroes travel to the Moon, which is inhabited. In 499AD, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata mentioned in his Aryabhatiya that reflected sunlight is the cause of the shining of the Moon.[160] The astronomer and physicist Alhazen (9651039) found that sunlight was not reflected from the Moon like a mirror, but that light was emitted from every part of the Moon’s sunlit surface in all directions.[161]Shen Kuo (10311095) of the Song dynasty created an allegory equating the waxing and waning of the Moon to a round ball of reflective silver that, when doused with white powder and viewed from the side, would appear to be a crescent.

In Aristotle’s (384322BC) description of the universe, the Moon marked the boundary between the spheres of the mutable elements (earth, water, air and fire), and the imperishable stars of aether, an influential philosophy that would dominate for centuries.[163] However, in the 2nd century BC, Seleucus of Seleucia correctly theorized that tides were due to the attraction of the Moon, and that their height depends on the Moon’s position relative to the Sun.[164] In the same century, Aristarchus computed the size and distance of the Moon from Earth, obtaining a value of about twenty times the radius of Earth for the distance. These figures were greatly improved by Ptolemy (90168AD): his values of a mean distance of 59times Earth’s radius and a diameter of 0.292Earth diameters were close to the correct values of about 60 and 0.273 respectively.[165]Archimedes (287212 BC) designed a planetarium that could calculate the motions of the Moon and other objects in the Solar System.[166]

During the Middle Ages, before the invention of the telescope, the Moon was increasingly recognised as a sphere, though many believed that it was “perfectly smooth”.[167]

In 1609, Galileo Galilei drew one of the first telescopic drawings of the Moon in his book Sidereus Nuncius and noted that it was not smooth but had mountains and craters. Telescopic mapping of the Moon followed: later in the 17th century, the efforts of Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi led to the system of naming of lunar features in use today. The more exact 183436 Mappa Selenographica of Wilhelm Beer and Johann Heinrich Mdler, and their associated 1837 book Der Mond, the first trigonometrically accurate study of lunar features, included the heights of more than a thousand mountains, and introduced the study of the Moon at accuracies possible in earthly geography.[168] Lunar craters, first noted by Galileo, were thought to be volcanic until the 1870s proposal of Richard Proctor that they were formed by collisions.[58] This view gained support in 1892 from the experimentation of geologist Grove Karl Gilbert, and from comparative studies from 1920 to the 1940s,[169] leading to the development of lunar stratigraphy, which by the 1950s was becoming a new and growing branch of astrogeology.[58]

The Cold War-inspired Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. led to an acceleration of interest in exploration of the Moon. Once launchers had the necessary capabilities, these nations sent uncrewed probes on both flyby and impact/lander missions. Spacecraft from the Soviet Union’s Luna program were the first to accomplish a number of goals: following three unnamed, failed missions in 1958,[170] the first human-made object to escape Earth’s gravity and pass near the Moon was Luna 1; the first human-made object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2, and the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3, all in 1959.

The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9 and the first uncrewed vehicle to orbit the Moon was Luna 10, both in 1966.[58]Rock and soil samples were brought back to Earth by three Luna sample return missions (Luna 16 in 1970, Luna 20 in 1972, and Luna 24 in 1976), which returned 0.3kg total.[171] Two pioneering robotic rovers landed on the Moon in 1970 and 1973 as a part of Soviet Lunokhod programme.

The United States launched uncrewed probes to develop an understanding of the lunar surface for an eventual crewed landing: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ranger program produced the first close-up pictures; the Lunar Orbiter program produced maps of the entire Moon; the Surveyor program landed its first spacecraft four months after Luna 9. NASA’s crewed Apollo program was developed in parallel; after a series of uncrewed and crewed tests of the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit, and spurred on by a potential Soviet lunar flight, in 1968 Apollo 8 made the first crewed mission to lunar orbit. The subsequent landing of the first humans on the Moon in 1969 is seen by many as the culmination of the Space Race.[172]

Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon as the commander of the American mission Apollo 11 by first setting foot on the Moon at 02:56UTC on 21 July 1969.[173] An estimated 500million people worldwide watched the transmission by the Apollo TV camera, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at that time.[174][175] The Apollo missions 11 to 17 (except Apollo 13, which aborted its planned lunar landing) returned 380.05 kilograms (837.87lb) of lunar rock and soil in 2,196 separate samples.[176] The American Moon landing and return was enabled by considerable technological advances in the early 1960s, in domains such as ablation chemistry, software engineering and atmospheric re-entry technology, and by highly competent management of the enormous technical undertaking.[177][178]

Scientific instrument packages were installed on the lunar surface during all the Apollo landings. Long-lived instrument stations, including heat flow probes, seismometers, and magnetometers, were installed at the Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 landing sites. Direct transmission of data to Earth concluded in late 1977 due to budgetary considerations,[179][180] but as the stations’ lunar laser ranging corner-cube retroreflector arrays are passive instruments, they are still being used. Ranging to the stations is routinely performed from Earth-based stations with an accuracy of a few centimetres, and data from this experiment are being used to place constraints on the size of the lunar core.[181]

After the first Moon race there were years of near quietude but starting in the 1990s, many more countries have become involved in direct exploration of the Moon. In 1990, Japan became the third country to place a spacecraft into lunar orbit with its Hiten spacecraft. The spacecraft released a smaller probe, Hagoromo, in lunar orbit, but the transmitter failed, preventing further scientific use of the mission.[182] In 1994, the U.S. sent the joint Defense Department/NASA spacecraft Clementine to lunar orbit. This mission obtained the first near-global topographic map of the Moon, and the first global multispectral images of the lunar surface.[183] This was followed in 1998 by the Lunar Prospector mission, whose instruments indicated the presence of excess hydrogen at the lunar poles, which is likely to have been caused by the presence of water ice in the upper few meters of the regolith within permanently shadowed craters.[184]

India, Japan, China, the United States, and the European Space Agency each sent lunar orbiters, especially ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 has contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith. The post-Apollo era has also seen two rover missions: the final Soviet Lunokhod mission in 1973, and China’s ongoing Chang’e 3 mission, which deployed its Yutu rover on 14 December 2013. The Moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes.

The European spacecraft SMART-1, the second ion-propelled spacecraft, was in lunar orbit from 15 November 2004 until its lunar impact on 3 September 2006, and made the first detailed survey of chemical elements on the lunar surface.[185]

China has pursued an ambitious program of lunar exploration, beginning with Chang’e 1, which successfully orbited the Moon from 5 November 2007 until its controlled lunar impact on 1 March 2009.[186] In its sixteen-month mission, it obtained a full image map of the Moon. China followed up this success with Chang’e 2 beginning in October 2010, which reached the Moon over twice as fast as Chang’e 1, mapped the Moon at a higher resolution over an eight-month period, then left lunar orbit in favor of an extended stay at the EarthSun L2 Lagrangian point, before finally performing a flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis on 13 December 2012, and then heading off into deep space. On 14 December 2013, Chang’e 3 improved upon its orbital mission predecessors by landing a lunar lander onto the Moon’s surface, which in turn deployed a lunar rover, named Yutu (Chinese: ; literally “Jade Rabbit”). In so doing, Chang’e 3 made the first lunar soft landing since Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar rover mission since Lunokhod 2 in 1973. China intends to launch another rover mission (Chang’e 4) before 2020, followed by a sample return mission (Chang’e 5) soon after.[187]

Between 4 October 2007 and 10 June 2009, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kaguya (Selene) mission, a lunar orbiter fitted with a high-definition video camera, and two small radio-transmitter satellites, obtained lunar geophysics data and took the first high-definition movies from beyond Earth orbit.[188][189] India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan I, orbited from 8 November 2008 until loss of contact on 27 August 2009, creating a high resolution chemical, mineralogical and photo-geological map of the lunar surface, and confirming the presence of water molecules in lunar soil.[190] The Indian Space Research Organisation planned to launch Chandrayaan II in 2013, which would have included a Russian robotic lunar rover.[191][192] However, the failure of Russia’s Fobos-Grunt mission has delayed this project.

The U.S. co-launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the LCROSS impactor and follow-up observation orbiter on 18 June 2009; LCROSS completed its mission by making a planned and widely observed impact in the crater Cabeus on 9 October 2009,[193] whereas LRO is currently in operation, obtaining precise lunar altimetry and high-resolution imagery. In November 2011, the LRO passed over the Aristarchus crater, which spans 40km (25mi) and sinks more than 3.5km (2.2mi) deep. The crater is one of the most visible ones from Earth. “The Aristarchus plateau is one of the most geologically diverse places on the Moon: a mysterious raised flat plateau, a giant rille carved by enormous outpourings of lava, fields of explosive volcanic ash, and all surrounded by massive flood basalts”, said Mark Robinson, principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera at Arizona State University. NASA released photos of the crater on 25 December 2011.[194]

Two NASA GRAIL spacecraft began orbiting the Moon around 1 January 2012,[195] on a mission to learn more about the Moon’s internal structure. NASA’s LADEE probe, designed to study the lunar exosphere, achieved orbit on 6 October 2013.

Upcoming lunar missions include Russia’s Luna-Glob: an uncrewed lander with a set of seismometers, and an orbiter based on its failed Martian Fobos-Grunt mission.[196][197] Privately funded lunar exploration has been promoted by the Google Lunar X Prize, announced 13 September 2007, which offers US$20million to anyone who can land a robotic rover on the Moon and meet other specified criteria.[198]Shackleton Energy Company is building a program to establish operations on the south pole of the Moon to harvest water and supply their Propellant Depots.[199]

NASA began to plan to resume crewed missions following the call by U.S. President George W. Bush on 14 January 2004 for a crewed mission to the Moon by 2019 and the construction of a lunar base by 2024.[200] The Constellation program was funded and construction and testing begun on a crewed spacecraft and launch vehicle,[201] and design studies for a lunar base.[202] However, that program has been cancelled in favor of a crewed asteroid landing by 2025 and a crewed Mars orbit by 2035.[203]India has also expressed its hope to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2020.[204]

For many years, the Moon has been recognized as an excellent site for telescopes.[205] It is relatively nearby; astronomical seeing is not a concern; certain craters near the poles are permanently dark and cold, and thus especially useful for infrared telescopes; and radio telescopes on the far side would be shielded from the radio chatter of Earth.[206] The lunar soil, although it poses a problem for any moving parts of telescopes, can be mixed with carbon nanotubes and epoxies and employed in the construction of mirrors up to 50 meters in diameter.[207] A lunar zenith telescope can be made cheaply with ionic liquid.[208]

In April 1972, the Apollo 16 mission recorded various astronomical photos and spectra in ultraviolet with the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph.[209]

During the Cold War, the United States Army conducted a classified feasibility study in the late 1950s called Project Horizon, to construct a crewed military outpost on the Moon, which would have been home to a bombing system targeted at rivals on Earth. The study included the possibility of conducting a lunar-based nuclear test.[210] The Air Force, which at the time was in competition with the Army for a leading role in the space program, developed its own, similar plan called Lunex.[211][212] However, both these proposals were ultimately passed over as the space program was largely transferred from the military to the civilian agency NASA.[212]

Although Luna landers scattered pennants of the Soviet Union on the Moon, and U.S. flags were symbolically planted at their landing sites by the Apollo astronauts, no nation claims ownership of any part of the Moon’s surface.[213] Russia and the U.S. are party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,[214] which defines the Moon and all outer space as the “province of all mankind”.[213] This treaty also restricts the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning military installations and weapons of mass destruction.[215] The 1979 Moon Agreement was created to restrict the exploitation of the Moon’s resources by any single nation, but as of 2014, it has been signed and ratified by only 16 nations, none of which engages in self-launched human space exploration or has plans to do so.[216] Although several individuals have made claims to the Moon in whole or in part, none of these are considered credible.[217][218][219]

The Moon was often personified as a lunar deity in mythology and religion. A 5,000-year-old rock carving at Knowth, Ireland, may represent the Moon, which would be the earliest depiction discovered.[220] The contrast between the brighter highlands and the darker maria creates the patterns seen by different cultures as the Man in the Moon, the rabbit and the buffalo, among others. In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Moon was personified as a deity or other supernatural phenomenon, and astrological views of the Moon continue to be propagated today.

In the Ancient Near East, the moon god (Sin/Nanna) was masculine. In Greco-Roman mythology, Sun and Moon are represented as male and female, respectively (Helios/Sol and Selene/Luna). The crescent shape form an early time was used as a symbol representing the Moon. The Moon goddess Selene was represented as wearing a crescent on her headgear in an arrangement reminiscent of horns. The star and crescent arrangement also goes back to the Bronze Age, representing either the Sun and Moon, or the Moon and planet Venus, in combination. It came to represent the goddess Artemis or Hecate, and via the patronage of Hecate came to be used as a symbol of Byzantium.

An iconographic tradition of representing Sun and Moon with faces developed in the late medieval period.

The splitting of the moon (Arabic: ) is a miracle attributed to Muhammad.[221]

The Moon’s regular phases make it a very convenient timepiece, and the periods of its waxing and waning form the basis of many of the oldest calendars. Tally sticks, notched bones dating as far back as 2030,000 years ago, are believed by some to mark the phases of the Moon.[222][223][224] The ~30-day month is an approximation of the lunar cycle. The English noun month and its cognates in other Germanic languages stem from Proto-Germanic *mnth-, which is connected to the above-mentioned Proto-Germanic *mnn, indicating the usage of a lunar calendar among the Germanic peoples (Germanic calendar) prior to the adoption of a solar calendar.[225] The PIE root of moon, *mh1nt, derives from the PIE verbal root *meh1-, “to measure”, “indicat[ing] a functional conception of the moon, i.e. marker of the month” (cf. the English words measure and menstrual),[226][227][228] and echoing the Moon’s importance to many ancient cultures in measuring time (see Latin mensis and Ancient Greek (meis) or (mn), meaning “month”).[229][230][231][232] Most historical calendars are lunisolar. The 7th-century Islamic calendar is an exceptional example of a purely lunar calendar. Months are traditionally determined by the visual sighting of the hilal, or earliest crescent moon, over the horizon.[233]

The Moon has been the subject of many works of art and literature and the inspiration for countless others. It is a motif in the visual arts, the performing arts, poetry, prose and music.

The Moon has long been associated with insanity and irrationality; the words lunacy and lunatic (popular shortening loony) are derived from the Latin name for the Moon, Luna. Philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the Moon and its power over the tides, but the Moon’s gravity is too slight to affect any single person.[234] Even today, people who believe in a lunar effect claim that admissions to psychiatric hospitals, traffic accidents, homicides or suicides increase during a full moon, but dozens of studies invalidate these claims.[234][235][236][237][238]

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Social Darwinism – Wikipedia

Posted: November 6, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Social Darwinism is a name given to various phenomena emerging in the second half of the 19th century, trying to apply biological concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest in human society.[1][2] The term itself emerged in the 1880s. The term Social Darwinism gained widespread currency when used after 1944 by opponents of these earlier concepts. The majority of those who have been categorised as social Darwinists did not identify themselves by such a label.[3]

Scholars debate the extent to which the various social Darwinist ideologies reflect Charles Darwin’s own views on human social and economic issues. His writings have passages that can be interpreted as opposing aggressive individualism, while other passages appear to promote it.[4] Some scholars argue that Darwin’s view gradually changed and came to incorporate views from other theorists such as Herbert Spencer.[5] Spencer published[6] his Lamarckian evolutionary ideas about society before Darwin first published his theory in 1859, and both Spencer and Darwin promoted their own conceptions of moral values. Spencer supported laissez-faire capitalism on the basis of his Lamarckian belief that struggle for survival spurred self-improvement which could be inherited.[7] An important proponent in Germany was Ernst Haeckel, which popularized Darwin’s thought (and personal interpretation of it) and used it as well to contribute to a new creed, the Monist movement.

The term Darwinism had been coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in his April 1860 review of “On the Origin of Species”,[8] and by the 1870s it was used to describe a range of concepts of evolutionism or development, without any specific commitment to Charles Darwin’s own theory.[9]

The first use of the phrase “social Darwinism” was in Joseph Fisher’s 1877 article on The History of Landholding in Ireland which was published in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.[10] Fisher was commenting on how a system for borrowing livestock which had been called “tenure” had led to the false impression that the early Irish had already evolved or developed land tenure;[11]

These arrangements did not in any way affect that which we understand by the word ” tenure”, that is, a man’s farm, but they related solely to cattle, which we consider a chattel. It has appeared necessary to devote some space to this subject, inasmuch as that usually acute writer Sir Henry Maine has accepted the word ” tenure ” in its modern interpretation, and has built up a theory under which the Irish chief ” developed ” into a feudal baron. I can find nothing in the Brehon laws to warrant this theory of social Darwinism, and believe further study will show that the Cain Saerrath and the Cain Aigillue relate solely to what we now call chattels, and did not in any way affect what we now call the freehold, the possession of the land.

Despite the fact that social Darwinism bears Charles Darwin’s name, it is also linked today with others, notably Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus, and Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics. In fact, Spencer was not described as a social Darwinist until the 1930s, long after his death.[12] The social Darwinism term first appeared in Europe in 1880, the journalist Emilie Gautier had coined the term with reference to a health conference in Berlin 1877.[10] Around 1900 it was used by sociologists, some being opposed to the concept.[13] The term was popularized in the United States in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter who used it in the ideological war effort against fascism to denote a reactionary creed which promoted competitive strife, racism and chauvinism. Hofstadter later also recognized (what he saw as) the influence of Darwinist and other evolutionary ideas upon those with collectivist views, enough to devise a term for the phenomenon, “Darwinist collectivism”.[14] Before Hofstadter’s work the use of the term “social Darwinism” in English academic journals was quite rare.[15] In fact,

… there is considerable evidence that the entire concept of “social Darwinism” as we know it today was virtually invented by Richard Hofstadter. Eric Foner, in an introduction to a then-new edition of Hofstadter’s book published in the early 1990s, declines to go quite that far. “Hofstadter did not invent the term Social Darwinism”, Foner writes, “which originated in Europe in the 1860s and crossed the Atlantic in the early twentieth century. But before he wrote, it was used only on rare occasions; he made it a standard shorthand for a complex of late-nineteenth-century ideas, a familiar part of the lexicon of social thought.”

Social Darwinism has many definitions, and some of them are incompatible with each other. As such, social Darwinism has been criticized for being an inconsistent philosophy, which does not lead to any clear political conclusions. For example, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics states:

Part of the difficulty in establishing sensible and consistent usage is that commitment to the biology of natural selection and to ‘survival of the fittest’ entailed nothing uniform either for sociological method or for political doctrine. A ‘social Darwinist’ could just as well be a defender of laissez-faire as a defender of state socialism, just as much an imperialist as a domestic eugenist.[16]

The term “social Darwinism” has rarely been used by advocates of the supposed ideologies or ideas; instead it has almost always been used pejoratively by its opponents.[3] The term draws upon the common use of the term Darwinism, which has been used to describe a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of organisms. The process includes competition between individuals for limited resources, popularly but inaccurately described by the phrase “survival of the fittest”, a term coined by sociologist Herbert Spencer.

Creationists have often maintained that social Darwinismleading to policies designed to reward the most competitiveis a logical consequence of “Darwinism” (the theory of natural selection in biology).[17] Biologists and historians have stated that this is a fallacy of appeal to nature should not be taken to imply that this phenomenon ought to be used as a moral guide in human society.[citation needed] While there are historical links between the popularisation of Darwin’s theory and forms of social Darwinism, social Darwinism is not a necessary consequence of the principles of biological evolution.

While the term has been applied to the claim that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to understand the social endurance of a nation or country, social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species. Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, and Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century.

Herbert Spencer’s ideas, like those of evolutionary progressivism, stemmed from his reading of Thomas Malthus, and his later theories were influenced by those of Darwin. However, Spencer’s major work, Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857), was released two years before the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and First Principles was printed in 1860.

In The Social Organism (1860), Spencer compares society to a living organism and argues that, just as biological organisms evolve through natural selection, society evolves and increases in complexity through analogous processes.[18]

In many ways, Spencer’s theory of cosmic evolution has much more in common with the works of Lamarck and Auguste Comte’s positivism than with Darwin’s.

Jeff Riggenbach argues that Spencer’s view was that culture and education made a sort of Lamarckism possible[1] and notes that Herbert Spencer was a proponent of private charity.[1]

Spencer’s work also served to renew interest in the work of Malthus. While Malthus’s work does not itself qualify as social Darwinism, his 1798 work An Essay on the Principle of Population, was incredibly popular and widely read by social Darwinists. In that book, for example, the author argued that as an increasing population would normally outgrow its food supply, this would result in the starvation of the weakest and a Malthusian catastrophe.

According to Michael Ruse, Darwin read Malthus’ famous Essay on a Principle of Population in 1838, four years after Malthus’ death. Malthus himself anticipated the social Darwinists in suggesting that charity could exacerbate social problems.

Another of these social interpretations of Darwin’s biological views, later known as eugenics, was put forth by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, in 1865 and 1869. Galton argued that just as physical traits were clearly inherited among generations of people, the same could be said for mental qualities (genius and talent). Galton argued that social morals needed to change so that heredity was a conscious decision in order to avoid both the over-breeding by less fit members of society and the under-breeding of the more fit ones.

In Galton’s view, social institutions such as welfare and insane asylums were allowing inferior humans to survive and reproduce at levels faster than the more “superior” humans in respectable society, and if corrections were not soon taken, society would be awash with “inferiors”. Darwin read his cousin’s work with interest, and devoted sections of Descent of Man to discussion of Galton’s theories. Neither Galton nor Darwin, though, advocated any eugenic policies restricting reproduction, due to their Whiggish distrust of government.[19]

Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy addressed the question of artificial selection, yet Nietzsche’s principles did not concur with Darwinian theories of natural selection. Nietzsche’s point of view on sickness and health, in particular, opposed him to the concept of biological adaptation as forged by Spencer’s “fitness”. Nietzsche criticized Haeckel, Spencer, and Darwin, sometimes under the same banner by maintaining that in specific cases, sickness was necessary and even helpful.[20] Thus, he wrote:

Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.[21]

Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory was not Darwinism, but rather attempted to combine the ideas of Goethe, Lamarck and Darwin. It was adopted by emerging social sciences to support the concept that non-European societies were “primitive” in an early stage of development towards the European ideal, but since then it has been heavily refuted on many fronts[22] Haeckel’s works led to the formation of the Monist League in 1904 with many prominent citizens among its members, including the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald.

The simpler aspects of social Darwinism followed the earlier Malthusian ideas that humans, especially males, require competition in their lives in order to survive in the future. Further, the poor should have to provide for themselves and not be given any aid. However, amidst this climate, most social Darwinists of the early twentieth century actually supported better working conditions and salaries. Such measures would grant the poor a better chance to provide for themselves yet still distinguish those who are capable of succeeding from those who are poor out of laziness, weakness, or inferiority.

“Social Darwinism” was first described by Oscar Schmidt of the University of Strasbourg, reporting at a scientific and medical conference held in Munich in 1877. He noted how socialists, although opponents of Darwin’s theory, used it to add force to their political arguments. Schmidt’s essay first appeared in English in Popular Science in March 1879.[23] There followed an anarchist tract published in Paris in 1880 entitled “Le darwinisme social” by mile Gautier. However, the use of the term was very rareat least in the English-speaking world (Hodgson, 2004)[24]until the American historian Richard Hofstadter published his influential Social Darwinism in American Thought (1944) during World War II.

Hypotheses of social evolution and cultural evolution were common in Europe. The Enlightenment thinkers who preceded Darwin, such as Hegel, often argued that societies progressed through stages of increasing development. Earlier thinkers also emphasized conflict as an inherent feature of social life. Thomas Hobbes’s 17th century portrayal of the state of nature seems analogous to the competition for natural resources described by Darwin. Social Darwinism is distinct from other theories of social change because of the way it draws Darwin’s distinctive ideas from the field of biology into social studies.

Darwin, unlike Hobbes, believed that this struggle for natural resources allowed individuals with certain physical and mental traits to succeed more frequently than others, and that these traits accumulated in the population over time, which under certain conditions could lead to the descendants being so different that they would be defined as a new species.

However, Darwin felt that “social instincts” such as “sympathy” and “moral sentiments” also evolved through natural selection, and that these resulted in the strengthening of societies in which they occurred, so much so that he wrote about it in Descent of Man:

The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probablenamely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man. For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them.[25]

Spencer proved to be a popular figure in the 1880s primarily because his application of evolution to areas of human endeavor promoted an optimistic view of the future as inevitably becoming better. In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske, John W. Burgess, and others developed theories of social evolution as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer.

In 1883, Sumner published a highly influential pamphlet entitled “What Social Classes Owe to Each Other”, in which he insisted that the social classes owe each other nothing, synthesizing Darwin’s findings with free enterprise Capitalism for his justification.[citation needed] According to Sumner, those who feel an obligation to provide assistance to those unequipped or under-equipped to compete for resources, will lead to a country in which the weak and inferior are encouraged to breed more like them, eventually dragging the country down. Sumner also believed that the best equipped to win the struggle for existence was the American businessman, and concluded that taxes and regulations serve as dangers to his survival. This pamphlet makes no mention of Darwinism, and only refers to Darwin in a statement on the meaning of liberty, that “There never has been any man, from the primitive barbarian up to a Humboldt or a Darwin, who could do as he had a mind to.”[26]

Sumner never fully embraced Darwinian ideas, and some contemporary historians do not believe that Sumner ever actually believed in social Darwinism.[27] The great majority of American businessmen rejected the anti-philanthropic implications of the theory. Instead they gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art institutes, parks and many other institutions. Andrew Carnegie, who admired Spencer, was the leading philanthropist in the world (18901920), and a major leader against imperialism and warfare.[28]

H. G. Wells was heavily influenced by Darwinist thoughts, and novelist Jack London wrote stories of survival that incorporated his views on social Darwinism.[29]Film director Stanley Kubrick has been described as having held social Darwinist opinions.[30]

Social Darwinism has influenced political, public health and social movements in Japan since the late 19th and early 20th century. Social Darwinism was originally brought to Japan through the works of Francis Galton and Ernst Haeckel as well as United States, British and French Lamarkian eugenic written studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[31] Eugenism as a science was hotly debated at the beginning of the 20th century, in Jinsei-Der Mensch, the first eugenics journal in the empire. As Japan sought to close ranks with the west, this practice was adopted wholesale along with colonialism and its justifications.

Social Darwinism was formally introduced to China through the translation by Yan Fu of Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics, in the course of an extensive series of translations of influential Western thought.[32] Yan’s translation strongly impacted Chinese scholars because he added national elements not found in the original. He understood Spencer’s sociology as “not merely analytical and descriptive, but prescriptive as well”, and saw Spencer building on Darwin, whom Yan summarized thus:

By the 1920s, social Darwinism found expression in the promotion of eugenics by the Chinese sociologist Pan Guangdan. When Chiang Kai-shek started the New Life movement in 1934, he

Social evolution theories in Germany gained large popularity in the 1860s and had a strong antiestablishment connotation first. Social Darwinism allowed to counter the connection of Thron und Altar, the intertwined establishment of clergy and nobility and provided as well the idea of progressive change and evolution of society as a whole. Ernst Haeckel propagated both Darwinism as a part of natural history and as a suitable base for a modern Weltanschauung, a world view based on scientific reasoning in his Monistenbund. Friedrich von Hellwald had a strong role in popularizing it in Austria. Darwin’s work served as a catalyst to popularize evolutionary thinking. [35] Darwin himself called Haeckels connection between Socialism and Evolution through Natural Selection a foolish ideaprevailingin Germany.

A sort of aristocratic turn, the use of the struggle for life as base of social darwinism sensu strictu came up after 1900 with Alexander Tilles 1895 work Entwicklungsethik (ethics of evolution) which asked to move from Darwin till Nietzsche. Further interpretations moved to ideologies propagating a racist and radical elbow society and provided ground for the later radical versions of social Darwinism. [35]

Continued here:

Social Darwinism – Wikipedia

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Censorship – Wikipedia

Posted: October 27, 2016 at 11:55 am

Censorship is the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.[1]

Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship. When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. Censorship could be direct or indirect, in which case it is referred to as soft censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.

In 399 BC, Greek philosopher, Socrates, defied attempts by the Greek state to censor his philosophical teachings and was sentenced to death by drinking a poison, hemlock. Socrates’ student, Plato, is said to have advocated censorship in his essay on The Republic, which opposed the existence of democracy. In contrast to Plato, Greek playwright Euripides (480406BC) defended the true liberty of freeborn men, including the right to speak freely. In 1766, Sweden became the first country to abolish censorship by law.[3]

The rationale for censorship is different for various types of information censored:

Strict censorship existed in the Eastern Bloc.[10] Throughout the bloc, the various ministries of culture held a tight rein on their writers.[11] Cultural products there reflected the propaganda needs of the state.[11] Party-approved censors exercised strict control in the early years.[12] In the Stalinist period, even the weather forecasts were changed if they had the temerity to suggest that the sun might not shine on May Day.[12] Under Nicolae Ceauescu in Romania, weather reports were doctored so that the temperatures were not seen to rise above or fall below the levels which dictated that work must stop.[12]

Independent journalism did not exist in the Soviet Union until Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader; all reporting was directed by the Communist Party or related organizations. Pravda, the predominant newspaper in the Soviet Union, had a monopoly. Foreign newspapers were available only if they were published by Communist Parties sympathetic to the Soviet Union.

Possession and use of copying machines was tightly controlled in order to hinder production and distribution of samizdat, illegal self-published books and magazines. Possession of even a single samizdat manuscript such as a book by Andrei Sinyavsky was a serious crime which might involve a visit from the KGB. Another outlet for works which did not find favor with the authorities was publishing abroad.

The People’s Republic of China employs sophisticated censorship mechanisms, referred to as the Golden Shield Project, to monitor the internet. Popular search engines such as Baidu also remove politically sensitive search results.[13][14][15]

Iraq under Baathist Saddam Hussein had much the same techniques of press censorship as did Romania under Nicolae Ceauescu but with greater potential violence.[citation needed]

Cuban media is operated under the supervision of the Communist Party’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which “develops and coordinates propaganda strategies”.[16] Connection to the Internet is restricted and censored.[17]

Censorship also takes place in capitalist nations, such as Uruguay. In 1973, a military coup took power in Uruguay, and the State practiced censorship. For example, writer Eduardo Galeano was imprisoned and later was forced to flee. His book Open Veins of Latin America was banned by the right-wing military government, not only in Uruguay, but also in Chile and Argentina.[18]

In the United States, censorship occurs through books, film festivals, politics, and public schools.[19] See banned books for more information. Additionally, critics of campaign finance reform in the United States say this reform imposes widespread restrictions on political speech.[20][21]

In the Republic of Singapore, Section 33 of the Films Act originally banned the making, distribution and exhibition of “party political films”, at pain of a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years. The Act further defines a “party political film” as any film or video

In 2001, the short documentary called A Vision of Persistence on opposition politician J. B. Jeyaretnam was also banned for being a “party political film”. The makers of the documentary, all lecturers at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic, later submitted written apologies and withdrew the documentary from being screened at the 2001 Singapore International Film Festival in April, having been told they could be charged in court. Another short documentary called Singapore Rebel by Martyn See, which documented Singapore Democratic Party leader Dr Chee Soon Juan’s acts of civil disobedience, was banned from the 2005 Singapore International Film Festival on the same grounds and See is being investigated for possible violations of the Films Act.

This law, however, is often disregarded when such political films are made supporting the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). Channel NewsAsia’s five-part documentary series on Singapore’s PAP ministers in 2005, for example, was not considered a party political film.

Exceptions are also made when political films are made concerning political parties of other nations. Films such as Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 are thus allowed to screen regardless of the law.

Since March 2009, the Films Act has been amended to allow party political films as long as they were deemed factual and objective by a consultative committee. Some months later, this committee lifted the ban on Singapore Rebel.

In wartime, explicit censorship is carried out with the intent of preventing the release of information that might be useful to an enemy. Typically it involves keeping times or locations secret, or delaying the release of information (e.g., an operational objective) until it is of no possible use to enemy forces. The moral issues here are often seen as somewhat different, as the proponents of this form of censorship argues that release of tactical information usually presents a greater risk of casualties among one’s own forces and could possibly lead to loss of the overall conflict.

During World War I letters written by British soldiers would have to go through censorship. This consisted of officers going through letters with a black marker and crossing out anything which might compromise operational secrecy before the letter was sent. The World War II catchphrase “Loose lips sink ships” was used as a common justification to exercise official wartime censorship and encourage individual restraint when sharing potentially sensitive information.

An example of “sanitization” policies comes from the USSR under Joseph Stalin, where publicly used photographs were often altered to remove people whom Stalin had condemned to execution. Though past photographs may have been remembered or kept, this deliberate and systematic alteration to all of history in the public mind is seen as one of the central themes of Stalinism and totalitarianism.

Censorship is occasionally carried out to aid authorities or to protect an individual, as with some kidnappings when attention and media coverage of the victim can sometimes be seen as unhelpful.[22][23]

Censorship by religion is a form of censorship where freedom of expression is controlled or limited using religious authority or on the basis of the teachings of the religion. This form of censorship has a long history and is practiced in many societies and by many religions. Examples include the Galileo affair, Edict of Compigne, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (list of prohibited books) and the condemnation of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Images of the Islamic figure Muhammad are also regularly censored.

The content of school textbooks is often the issue of debate, since their target audience is young people, and the term “whitewashing” is the one commonly used to refer to removal of critical or conflicting events. The reporting of military atrocities in history is extremely controversial, as in the case of The Holocaust (or Holocaust denial), Bombing of Dresden, the Nanking Massacre as found with Japanese history textbook controversies, the Armenian Genocide, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and the Winter Soldier Investigation of the Vietnam War.

In the context of secondary school education, the way facts and history are presented greatly influences the interpretation of contemporary thought, opinion and socialization. One argument for censoring the type of information disseminated is based on the inappropriate quality of such material for the young. The use of the “inappropriate” distinction is in itself controversial, as it changed heavily. A Ballantine Books version of the book Fahrenheit 451 which is the version used by most school classes[24] contained approximately 75 separate edits, omissions, and changes from the original Bradbury manuscript.

In February 2006 a National Geographic cover was censored by the Nashravaran Journalistic Institute. The offending cover was about the subject of love and a picture of an embracing couple was hidden beneath a white sticker.[25][25]

Copy approval is the right to read and amend an article, usually an interview, before publication. Many publications refuse to give copy approval but it is increasingly becoming common practice when dealing with publicity anxious celebrities.[26] Picture approval is the right given to an individual to choose which photos will be published and which will not. Robert Redford is well known for insisting upon picture approval.[27] Writer approval is when writers are chosen based on whether they will write flattering articles or not. Hollywood publicist Pat Kingsley is known for banning certain writers who wrote undesirably about one of her clients from interviewing any of her other clients.[citation needed]

There are many ways that censors exhibit creativity, but a specific variant is of concern in which censors rewrite texts, giving these texts secret co-authors.

According to a Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review survey, “About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices.”[29]

Book censorship can be enacted at the national or sub-national level, and can carry legal penalties for their infraction. Books may also be challenged at a local, community level. As a result, books can be removed from schools or libraries, although these bans do not extend outside of that area.

Aside from the usual justifications of pornography and obscenity, some films are censored due to changing racial attitudes or political correctness in order to avoid ethnic stereotyping and/or ethnic offense despite its historical or artistic value. One example is the still withdrawn “Censored Eleven” series of animated cartoons, which may have been innocent then, but are “incorrect” now.

Film censorship is carried out by various countries to differing degrees. For example, only 34 foreign films a year are approved for official distribution in China’s strictly controlled film market.[30]

A 1980 Israeli law forbade banned artwork composed of its four colours,[citation needed] and Palestinians were arrested for displaying such artwork or even for carrying sliced melons with the same pattern.[31][32][33]

Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems, families, retailers and lobbying groups and in most cases they violate international conventions of human rights.[34]

Censorship of maps is often employed for military purposes. For example, the technique was used in former East Germany, especially for the areas near the border to West Germany in order to make attempts of defection more difficult. Censorship of maps is also applied by Google Maps, where certain areas are grayed out or blacked or areas are purposely left outdated with old imagery.[35]

Under subsection 48(3) and (4) of the Penang Islamic Religious Administration Enactment 2004, non-Muslims in Malaysia are penalized for using the following words, or to write or publish them, in any form, version or translation in any language or for use in any publicity material in any medium: “Allah”, “Firman Allah”, “Ulama”, “Hadith”, “Ibadah”, “Kaabah”, “Qadhi'”, “Illahi”, “Wahyu”, “Mubaligh”, “Syariah”, “Qiblat”, “Haji”, “Mufti”, “Rasul”, “Iman”, “Dakwah”, “Wali”, “Fatwa”, “Imam”, “Nabi”, “Sheikh”, “Khutbah”, “Tabligh”, “Akhirat”, “Azan”, “Al Quran”, “As Sunnah”, “Auliya'”, “Karamah”, “False Moon God”, “Syahadah”, “Baitullah”, “Musolla”, “Zakat Fitrah”, “Hajjah”, “Taqwa” and “Soleh”.[36][37][38]

Publishers of the Spanish reference dictionary Real Acdemia Espaola received petitions to censor the entries “Jewishness”, “Gypsiness”, “black work” and “weak sex”, claiming that they are either offensive or non-PC.[39]

One elementary school’s obscenity filter changed every reference to the word “tit” to “breast,” so when a child typed “U.S. Constitution” into the school computer, it changed it to Consbreastution.[40]

British photographer and visual artist Graham Ovenden’s photos and paintings were ordered to be destroyed by a London’s magistrate court in 2015 for being “indecent”[41] and their copies had been removed from the online Tate gallery.[42]

Internet censorship is control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations either at the behest of government or on their own initiative. Individuals and organizations may engage in self-censorship on their own or due to intimidation and fear.

The issues associated with Internet censorship are similar to those for offline censorship of more traditional media. One difference is that national borders are more permeable online: residents of a country that bans certain information can find it on websites hosted outside the country. Thus censors must work to prevent access to information even though they lack physical or legal control over the websites themselves. This in turn requires the use of technical censorship methods that are unique to the Internet, such as site blocking and content filtering.[47]

Unless the censor has total control over all Internet-connected computers, such as in North Korea or Cuba, total censorship of information is very difficult or impossible to achieve due to the underlying distributed technology of the Internet. Pseudonymity and data havens (such as Freenet) protect free speech using technologies that guarantee material cannot be removed and prevents the identification of authors. Technologically savvy users can often find ways to access blocked content. Nevertheless, blocking remains an effective means of limiting access to sensitive information for most users when censors, such as those in China, are able to devote significant resources to building and maintaining a comprehensive censorship system.[47]

Views about the feasibility and effectiveness of Internet censorship have evolved in parallel with the development of the Internet and censorship technologies:

A BBC World Service poll of 27,973 adults in 26 countries, including 14,306 Internet users,[51] was conducted between 30 November 2009 and 7 February 2010. The head of the polling organization felt, overall, that the poll showed that:

The poll found that nearly four in five (78%) Internet users felt that the Internet had brought them greater freedom, that most Internet users (53%) felt that “the internet should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere”, and almost four in five Internet users and non-users around the world felt that access to the Internet was a fundamental right (50% strongly agreed, 29% somewhat agreed, 9% somewhat disagreed, 6% strongly disagreed, and 6% gave no opinion).[53]

The rising usage of social media in many nations has led to the emergence of citizens organizing protests through social media, sometimes called “Twitter Revolutions.” The most notable of these social media led protests were parts Arab Spring uprisings, starting in 2010. In response to the use of social media in these protests, the Tunisian government began a hack of Tunisian citizens’ Facebook accounts, and reports arose of accounts being deleted.[54]

Automated systems can be used to censor social media posts, and therefore limit what citizens can say online. This most notably occurs in China, where social media posts are automatically censored depending on content. In 2013, Harvard political science professor Gary King led a study to determine what caused social media posts to be censored and found that posts mentioning the government were not more or less likely to be deleted if they were supportive or critical of the government. Posts mentioning collective action were more likely to be deleted than those that had not mentioned collective action.[55] Currently, social media censorship appears primarily as a way to restrict Internet users’ ability to organize protests. For the Chinese government, seeing citizens unhappy with local governance is beneficial as state and national leaders can replace unpopular officials. King and his researchers were able to predict when certain officials would be removed based on the number of unfavorable social media posts.[56]

Social media sites such as Facebook are known to censor posts containing things such as nudity and hate speech.[57]

Since the early 1980s, advocates of video games have emphasized their use as an expressive medium, arguing for their protection under the laws governing freedom of speech and also as an educational tool. Detractors argue that video games are harmful and therefore should be subject to legislative oversight and restrictions. Many video games have certain elements removed or edited due to regional rating standards.[58][59] For example, in the Japanese and PAL Versions of No More Heroes, blood splatter and gore is removed from the gameplay. Decapitation scenes are implied, but not shown. Scenes of missing body parts after having been cut off, are replaced with the same scene, but showing the body parts fully intact.[60]

Surveillance and censorship are different. Surveillance can be performed without censorship, but it is harder to engage in censorship without some form of surveillance.[61] And even when surveillance does not lead directly to censorship, the widespread knowledge or belief that a person, their computer, or their use of the Internet is under surveillance can lead to self-censorship.[62]

Protection of sources is no longer just a matter of journalistic ethics; it increasingly also depends on the journalist’s computer skills and all journalists should equip themselves with a “digital survival kit” if they are exchanging sensitive information online or storing it on a computer or mobile phone.[63][64] And individuals associated with high-profile rights organizations, dissident, protest, or reform groups are urged to take extra precautions to protect their online identities.[65]

The former Soviet Union maintained a particularly extensive program of state-imposed censorship. The main organ for official censorship in the Soviet Union was the Chief Agency for Protection of Military and State Secrets generally known as the Glavlit, its Russian acronym. The Glavlit handled censorship matters arising from domestic writings of just about any kindeven beer and vodka labels. Glavlit censorship personnel were present in every large Soviet publishing house or newspaper; the agency employed some 70,000 censors to review information before it was disseminated by publishing houses, editorial offices, and broadcasting studios. No mass medium escaped Glavlit’s control. All press agencies and radio and television stations had Glavlit representatives on their editorial staffs.[citation needed]

Sometimes, public knowledge of the existence of a specific document is subtly suppressed, a situation resembling censorship. The authorities taking such action will justify it by declaring the work to be “subversive” or “inconvenient”. An example is Michel Foucault’s 1978 text Sexual Morality and the Law (later republished as The Danger of Child Sexuality), originally published as La loi de la pudeur [literally, “the law of decency”]. This work defends the decriminalization of statutory rape and the abolition of age of consent laws.[citation needed]

When a publisher comes under pressure to suppress a book, but has already entered into a contract with the author, they will sometimes effectively censor the book by deliberately ordering a small print run and making minimal, if any, attempts to publicize it. This practice became known in the early 2000s as privishing (private publishing).[66]

Censorship has been criticized throughout history for being unfair and hindering progress. In a 1997 essay on Internet censorship, social commentator Michael Landier claims that censorship is counterproductive as it prevents the censored topic from being discussed. Landier expands his argument by claiming that those who impose censorship must consider what they censor to be true, as individuals believing themselves to be correct would welcome the opportunity to disprove those with opposing views.[67]

Censorship is often used to impose moral values on society, as in the censorship of material considered obscene. English novelist E. M. Forster was a staunch opponent of censoring material on the grounds that it was obscene or immoral, raising the issue of moral subjectivity and the constant changing of moral values. When the novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was put on trial in 1960, Forster wrote:[68]

Lady Chatterleys Lover is a literary work of importance…I do not think that it could be held obscene, but am in a difficulty here, for the reason that I have never been able to follow the legal definition of obscenity. The law tells me that obscenity may deprave and corrupt, but as far as I know, it offers no definition of depravity or corruption.

Censorship by country collects information on censorship, Internet censorship, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of speech, and Human Rights by country and presents it in a sortable table, together with links to articles with more information. In addition to countries, the table includes information on former countries, disputed countries, political sub-units within countries, and regional organizations.

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Censorship – Wikipedia

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