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Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:14 am
Political correctness gone MAD!
Even our games must now be politically correct.
Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Political correctness was invented for niggers, bitches, fags and retards. AIDS is good because it kills off all those dirty Niggers. All non-“white straight working for the man and having two kids in a nice family with a picket fence and a dog Christian males” should be killed
Political correctness was brought in for blacks, women, gays and disabled people. People who follow PC should be killed. Black people should die. You are making me self censor myself bitch-
Political correctness was introduced for African-Americans, females, homosexuals and mentally or physically challenged persons, to avoid discrim-
DIE YOU MOTHER FUCKING POLITICAL CORRECT HOUND –
Now, as I was saying, Political correctness is based on the valid idea protected under principles of a civilized society proposed by progressive elements of society and empathic and sociable interest groups to promote civilized behavior and prevent exclusion towards minorities, disadvantaged members of society, and fellow human beings outside of one’s own particular society. This responsible code of conduct prevents offensive or otherwise undesirable projections towards persons of specific demographics.
Political correctness is generally considered a taboo trait, but the Daily Mail, on the left (which is unusual for them), has supported the practice of political correctness for many years now.
It is slightly more popular than other forms of constrained writing, such as palindromes, omitting the letter “u” from words such as colour, or “your mom” poetry. The most common definition is that it is a form of writing where politically incorrect, also known as the truth, is outlawed. Politically incorrect speech is extremely offensive to minorities, gays, disabled people, and women. The reason for this is because these people know they are the scum of society and can’t handle the truth. A bunch of gutless, cowardly liberal politicians, (predominantly Left-wingers), invented Political Correctness (PC for short) in order to win votes and protect people’s wussy feelings.
Not the punishment for being politically incorrect. Unfortunately.
Political correctness can be defined as the act of altering the wording of a statement that refers to a certain group of people so that they feel better about themselves; for example foreigners and overweight people. However, over time, society has decided that the truth is rude and unacceptable, so we are made to sugar-coat reality.
It is defined by politically correct people as follows…note the way that no possible entity in this universe could possibly be offended, except maybe the blind or illiterate:
Political correctness is making sure not to offend any person human living thing that is capable of thinking feeling existing.
The movement for political correctness has spent many years researching the most neutral way to address a group of people, without stepping on any toes. Phrases such as “souls”, “brothers and sisters”, “carbon-based lifeforms”, “sentient protein chains”, “spatial distinctivenesses”, “not-self” and “friends” have all been found insensitive. Originally the word “Love” was the only universally acceptable form of communication, but it was found this could be used to insult an individual by expressing it to everyone BUT them.
Politically incorrect activists frown on the term political incorrectness, seeing it as a bastardisation of English that political correctness is known for. It was therefore universally agreed that they shall henceforth be known as bastards.
Political correctness is now part of the school curriculum.
Federal law requires the article to be translated into another language. It is bilingualism, multiculturalism and PC-ness in its best.
A lei federal requer que este artigo seja traduzido em outra lingugagem. bilingualismo, multiculturalismo e polticamente correto em seu melhor.
La ley federal requiere que el artculo sea traducido a otro idioma. Es el bilingismo, el multiculturalismo y PC-dad en su mejor momento. (Gracias por los Estadounidenses hable Espanol.)
The honky lo made we be jivin in anotha way brothas talk all right. yeah. (Ebonics version for use in the “African-American” communities, ask the Oakland public school district, they said it is a real language.)
Liittovaltion laki edellytt artikkeli knnetn toiselle kielelle. Se on kaksikielisyys, monikulttuurisuus ja PC-ness parhaimmillaan. (thanks to the European Union, but I forgot if this was Estonian or Finnish, not Euskara.)
La loi fdrale exige que l’article soit traduit dans une autre langue. Il est de bon ton que le bilinguisme, le multiculturalisme et le PC-tion fassent partie intgrante de cet article. (Merci beaucoup, French-Canadian version, not the Parisian French version…oui, oui, euro’pee’in.)
. bilingualism, PC – . (Korean is one of California’s 100 official languages printed in documents like the DMV handbooks).
PC -(White people are encouraged to learn this language, we are a globalized economy, dominated by the Yellow, er…I mean “Asian” race. Remember not all Chinks are alike, but all look the same.)
Federal legeak eskatzen artikulua beste hizkuntza batera itzuli behar. Elebitasuna, kultur aniztasuna eta PC-Ness da bere onenean. (Again, the PC movement wants to protect very rare endangered languages, like animal species. This one is Euskara or the Basque language in Spain and France, go figure.)
Go here to read the rest:
Posted: July 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm
Psychedelics have been used by many of the most creative and successful individuals in our society. Because of the stigma surrounding psychedelics, only a small percentage of these people have spoken publicly about their experiences. Here are a few who have. Right now, this list is just white men! We’d love to feature some well-known people of color and women– please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Steve Jobs and his Apple co-Founder Steve Wozniak took LSD many times at the beginning of their career. Their experiences are discussed in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs.
“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you cant remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was importantcreating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
Steve Jobs Founder, Apple
Susan Sarandon discussed ayahuasca and mushrooms in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“Ive done Ayahuasca and Ive done mushrooms and things like that. But I like those drugs in the outdoorsIm not a city-tripper… I like doing it in the Grand Canyon, or in the woods. You want to be prepared and not have responsibilities. It does remind you of your space in the universeyour place in the universeand reframe things for you. I think you can have some very profound experiences.”
Susan Sarandon Actor
Frances McDormand described her experiences with LSD and psychedelic mushrooms in a 2014 interview with the Daily Beast.
“I really, really enjoyed LSD. And I really enjoyed mushrooms very much. Its unfortunate, I think, that drugs were not handled properly. Politically, theyve been used to separate the economic classes. Thankfully, its all getting fixed now with the marijuana laws. But with LSD, because it was countercultural, and because it was used as an experimental drug, it was not marketed properly. It if had been marketed properly, we would have it…. We needed a PR person for that LSD! It was very profound. Very profound.”
Frances McDormand Actor
Tim Ferriss is a multi-bestselling author of the Four-Hour Workweek and the Four-Hour Body. He has spoken repeatedly about his use of psychedelics and his advice about what he considers a safe and productive approach.
“The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis,” Ferriss said. “[They’re] trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world … and ask completely new questions.” – Tim Ferris, CNN.com
In this video he addresses the subject in depth:
Cary Grant was used LSD with his therapist many times and was an advocate. Vanity Fair wrote about his experiences in detail in this article from 2010.
“The Curious Story Behind the New Cary Grant headlined the September 1, 1959, issue of Look magazine, and inside was a glowing account of how, because of LSD therapy, “at last, I am close to happiness.” He later explained that “I wanted to rid myself of all my hypocrisies. I wanted to work through the events of my childhood, my relationship with my parents and my former wives. I did not want to spend years in analysis.”
Kary Mullis won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in for dramatically improving the technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is an essential tool of modern biology research. Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, was told by Kary that LSD had helped him develop his PCR invention (Wired, 2008).
“Back in the 1960s and early ’70s I took plenty of LSD. A lot of people were doing that in Berkeley back then. And I found it to be a mind-opening experience. It was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took.”
Kary Mullis California Monthly, 1994
“What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR?” He replied, “I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.”
Kary Mullis BBC Horizon Interview, 1997
Psychedelics have been misunderstood and misrepresented for decades. That’s changing. Please help us share safe, responsible information on using psychedelics by sending this page to friends, and posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Google:
Read this article:
Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Nootropics are a broad classification of cognition-enhancing compounds that produce minimal side effects and are suitable for long-term use. These compounds include those occurring in nature or already produced by the human body (such as neurotransmitters), and their synthetic analogs. We already regularly consume some of these chemicals: B vitamins, caffeine, and L-theanine, in our daily diets.
A fundamental aspect of human evolution has been the drive to augment our capabilities. The neocortex is the neural seat of abstract and higher order cognitive processes. As it grew, so did our ability to create. The invention of tools and weapons, writing, the steam engine, and the computer have exponentially increased our capacity to influence and understand the world around us. These advances are being driven by improved higher-order cognitive processing.1Fascinatingly, the practice of modulating our biology through naturally occurring flora predated all of the above discoveries. Indeed, Sumerian clay slabs as old as 5000 BC detail medicinal recipes which include over 250 plants2. The enhancement of human cognition through natural compounds followed, as people discovered plants containing caffeine, theanine, and other cognition-enhancing, or nootropic, agents.
There is an ancient precedent to humans using natural compounds to elevate cognitive performance. Incan warriors in the 15th century would ingest coca leaves (the basis for cocaine) before battle. Ethiopian hunters in the 10th century developed coffee bean paste to improve hunting stamina. Modern athletes ubiquitously consume protein powders and hormones to enhance their training, recovery, and performance. The most widely consumed psychoactive compound today is caffeine. Millions of people use coffee and tea to be more alert and focused.
The term nootropic is simply a descriptor, and this descriptor spans across all legal classifications of compounds. Broadly speaking, there are four main classifications:
Nootrobox stacks are strictly derived from the first category – compounds that are GRAS and approved for human consumption as dietary supplements.
The mechanisms by which nootropic compounds influence our cognition and neurophysiology are as diverse as those of prescription drugs. We present below our in-progress work, detailing the mechanisms, effects, and history of various nootropic compounds. Check in for updates and additions.
2016 Nootrobox, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Posted: June 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm
thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself., Leviticus 19:18
One of the few rules I try to live my life by, and fail every day trying, is the Golden Rule.
I love the simplicity of the Golden Rule, its tendency to make I interact with happier and its tendency to make me happier as well.
Its true: the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated in their place will ultimately lead to your own happiness.
Lets say that you apply the Golden Rule in all of your interactions with other people, and you help your neighbors, you treat your family with kindness, you go the extra mile for your co-workers, you help a stranger in need.
Now, those actions will undoubtedly be good for the people you help and are kind to but youll also notice a strange thing. People will treat you better too, certainly. Beyond that, though, you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a belief in yourself, a knowledge that you are a good person and a trust in yourself.
Those are not small dividends. They are huge. And for that reason not even considering that our world will be a better place if more people live by this rule I recommend you make the Golden Rule a focus of your actions, and try to live by it to the extent that you can.
I will admit that there are strong arguments against the Golden Rule, that there are exceptions and logic arguments that the Golden Rule, taken to extremes, falls apart. Im not concerned about that stuff. The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, living by the Golden Rule will make you a better person, will make those around you happier, and will make the community you live in a better place.
With that in mind, lets take a look at some practical tips for living the Golden Rule in your daily life:
Posted: June 25, 2016 at 11:01 am
At 9 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Americans can tune in to watch a presidential hopeful who’s received significantly less media attention than his bipartisan competitors: Gary Johnson, former Republican governor of New Mexico and 2016 candidate for the Libertarian Party.
Mr. Johnson and his running mate, former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, will field questions from voters in a live town hall event broadcast on CNN and moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
The event is important, in part, because it’s an opportunity for Johnson to expand his support among American voters. If Weld and Johnson’s support reaches 15 percent, they qualify for the scheduled autumn presidential debates. Current general electionpollsshow the Libertarian candidates drawing about 9 percent overall.
This is Johnson’s second run for the Libertarian Party (LP): in 2012, he set the record for most votes earned by a Libertarian candidate in the general election, coming in third with 1.27 million votes more than double what his predecessor, LP candidate Bob Barr, earned in 2008.
Even then, Johnson only earned about 1 percent of the vote.
But interest in the Libertarian Party seems to have surged for the 2016 election, as Johnson prepares to go up against two polarizing candidates with low favorability ratings: presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Following Mr. Trump’s win in Indiana last month, membership applications for the Libertarian Party doubled, the Washington Examiner reported, and Google searches for “Libertarian Party” and “Gary Johnson” skyrocketed, causing conservative news site Breitbart to encourage its readers to “panic.”
Libertarians are not conservatives. Theyre not just Republicans repulsed by Trumps racial and religious scapegoating and megalomania,” writes David Boaz,executive vice president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, for The Daily Beast.
The Libertarian Party platform has “for decades” supported ideas that directly contradict traditional conservative stances, such as the legalization of drugs and gay marriage, and opposition to most US wars, Mr. Boaz notes.
But, he continues, “given what Sasse, Romney, and other serious Republicans think of Trump and Clinton, is it hard to imagine that they would prefer Johnson and Weld in the White House?
Johnson’s campaign has caught the attention of disenchanted Republicans and Democrats alike, particularly supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders: a recent Bloomberg poll found that 18 percent of Sanders’s supporters say they plan to vote for the Libertarian candidate in November, rather than vote for Hillary Clinton.
Johnson has been more favorably received by the general public than most Libertarian candidates, but many members of the party itself are not quite as enthused. He just barely earned the nomination at the party’s convention in May, scraping by with 55.8 percent of the vote on the second ballot, and was booed by the crowd when he voiced support for driver licenses and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Libertarian candidate’s support of certain anti-discrimination laws and willingness to talk about issues such as the threat of militant Islamists have also drawn criticism from members of the party. At the same time, these views may make him more palatable to a mainstream audience, says Brian Doherty, senior editor at Reason magazine and author of “Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.”
A lot of libertarians in the party, what they really want the most is not someone whos going to get the most votes or raise the most money, but someone who represents their vision of what libertarianism is with clarity and lack of compromise, says Mr. Dohertyin a phone interview with The Christian Science Monitor.
Johnson’s self-described “pragmatic” campaigning strategy, which lacks “principled statements” and core libertarian “lingo,” has raised concerns from party members who “get the sense that Gary doesn’t believe [in a lack of government intervention] as a matter of core principle, that he’s just an intelligent guy who happens to notice that most of the time, government doesn’t work very well,” Doherty says.
However, he points out, Johnson needs to earn million of votes in the general election. There are only about 250,000 voters registered to the Libertarian Party, according to the party’s website.
As Johnson’s focus changes from getting the Libertarian nomination to earning general election votes, “the party kind of becomes irrelevant,” Doherty says. “He can’t worry about the party faithful any longer. There’s just not enough of them.”
Part of Johnson’s attempt to appeal to a mainstream audience involves his use of the phrase “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” to describe the party. It’s a “best of both worlds” pitch that may appear to describe a lot of Americans.
However, as The Christian Science Monitor’s Francine Kiefer reported in May, this ideology may also come with challenges in attracting voters, as Democrats who appreciate Libertarian social stances also value the role of the government in working toward social justice. On the other end of the spectrum, #NeverTrump conservatives may agree with downsizing government and cutting taxes, but might disagree with cutting military spending, as Johnson proposes.
In an election where personalities have taken priority in the media, the demeanor of third-party candidates is bound to play a role, as well as policy.
“[Johnson] doesnt have that sort of fire-behind-the-podium feel that both Trump and Hillary, in different ways, can get. Hes just kind of a really reasonable guy,” Doherty says. “He’s going to be who he is. And I think he’s hoping there’s a mass of Americans who want quiet, mellow, and reasonable. We’ll find out if he’s right or not.”
See the original post here:
Posted: June 21, 2016 at 6:40 am
Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving experiment was a study designed to evaluate whether the use of a psychedelic substance with supportive setting can lead to improvement of performance in solving professional problems. The altered performance was measured by subjective reports, questionnaires, the obtained solutions for the professional problems and psychometric data using the Purdue Creativity, the Miller Object Visualization, and the Witkins Embedded Figures tests. This experiment was a pilot that was to be followed by control studies as part of exploratory studies on uses for psychedelic drugs, that were interrupted early in 1966 when the Food and Drug Administration declared a moratorium on research with human subjects, as a strategy in combating illicit use.
Some weeks before the actual experiment, a preliminary experiment was conducted. It consisted of two sessions with four participants in each. The groups worked on two problems chosen by the research personnel. The first group consisted of four people with professional experience in electrical engineering, engineering design, engineering management and psychology. They were given 50 micrograms of LSD. The second group consisted of four research engineers, three with a background in electronics and one in mechanics. They were given 100 milligrams of mescaline. Both groups were productive in ideation but, according to Fadiman, the fact that the participants didn’t have actual personal stake in the outcome of the session negatively affected the actualization of the ideas. This is why the actual study focused on personal professional problems that the participants were highly motivated to tackle.
The experiment was carried out in 1966 in a facility of International Foundation for Advanced Study, Menlo Park, California, by a team including Willis Harman, Robert H. McKim, Robert E. Mogar, James Fadiman and Myron Stolaroff. The participants of the study consisted of 27 male subjects engaged in a variety of professions: sixteen engineers, one engineer-physicist, two mathematicians, two architects, one psychologist, one furniture designer, one commercial artist, one sales manager, and one personnel manager. Nineteen of the subjects had had no previous experience with psychedelics. Each participant was required to bring a professional problem they had been working on for at least 3 months, and to have a desire to solve it.
Commonly observed characteristics of the psychedelic experience seemed to operate both for and against the hypothesis that the drug session could be used for performance enhancement. The research was therefore planned so as to attempt to provide a setting that would maximize improved functioning, while minimizing effects that might hinder effective functioning. Each group of four subjects met for an evening session several days before the experiment. They received instructions and introduced themselves and their unsolved problems to the group. Approximately one hour of pencil-and-paper tests were also administered. At the beginning of the day of the experiment session, subjects were given 200 milligrams of mescaline sulphate (a moderately light dose compared to the doses used in experiments to induce mystical experiences). After some hours of relaxation, subjects were given tests similar to the ones on the introduction day. After the tests, subjects had four hours to work on their chosen problems. After the working phase, the group would discuss their experiences and review the solutions they had come up with. After this, the participants were driven home. Within a week after the session, each participant wrote a subjective account of his experience. Six weeks further, subjects again filled in questionnaires, this time concentrating on the effects on post-session creative ability and the validity and reception of the solutions conceived during the session. This data was in addition to the psychometric data comparing results of the two testing periods.
Solutions obtained in the experiment include:
The participants also reported following experiences of enhanced functioning: low inhibition and anxiety, capacity to restructure problem in larger context, enhanced fluency and flexibility of ideation, heightened capacity for visual imagery and fantasy, increased ability to concentrate, heightened empathy with external processes and objects, heightened empathy with people, subconscious data more accessible, association of dissimilar ideas, heightened motivation to obtain closure, visualizing the completed solution.
In the overview of the experiment, Harman and Fadiman mention that experiments on specific performance enhancement through directed use of psychedelics have gone on in various countries of the world, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
In the book LSD The Problem-Solving Psychedelic, Stafford and Golightly write about a man engaged in naval research, working with a team under his direction on the design of an anti-submarine detection device for over five years without success. He contacted a small research foundation studying the use of LSD. After a few sessions of learning to control the fluidity of the LSD state (how to stop it, how to start it, how to turn it around) he directed his attention to the design problem. Within ten minutes he had the solution he had been searching for. Since then, the device has been patented by the U.S., and Navy and Naval personnel working in this area have been trained in its use.
In 1999 Jeremy Narby, an anthropologist specialized in amazonian shamanism, acted as a translator for three molecular biologists who travelled to the Peruvian Amazon to see whether they could obtain bio-molecular information in the visions they had in sessions orchestrated by an indigenous shaman. Narby recounts this preliminary experiment and the exchange of methods of gaining knowledge between the biologists and indigenous people in his article Shamans and scientists.
In 1991, Denise Caruso, writing a computer column for The San Francisco Examiner went to SIGGRAPH, the largest gathering of computer graphic professionals in the world. She conducted a survey; by the time she got back to San Francisco, she had talked to 180 professionals in the computer graphic field who had admitted taking psychedelics, and that psychedelics are important to their work; according to mathematician Ralph Abraham.
James Fadiman is currently conducting a study on micro-dosing for improving normal functioning. Micro-dosing (or sub-perceptual dosing) means taking sub-threshold dose, which for LSD is 10-20 micrograms. The purpose of micro-dosing is not intoxication but enhancement of normal functionality (see nootropic). In this study the volunteers self-administer the drug approximately every third day. They then self-report perceived effects on their daily duties and relationships. Volunteers participating in the study include a wide variety of scientific and artistic professionals and students. So far the reports suggest that, in general, the subjects experience normal functioning but with increased focus, creativity and emotional clarity and slightly enhanced physical performance. Albert Hofmann was also aware of micro-dosing and has called it the most under-researched area of psychedelics.
Since the 1930s, ibogaine was sold in France in 8mg tablets in the form of Lambarne, an extract of the Tabernanthe manii plant. 8mg of ibogaine could be considered a microdose since doses in ibogatherapy and -rituals vary in the range of 10mg/kg to 30mg/kg adding usually up to 1000mg.Lambarne was advertised as a mental and physical stimulant and was “…indicated in cases of depression, asthenia, in convalescence, infectious disease, [and] greater than normal physical or mental efforts by healthy individuals”. The drug enjoyed some popularity among post World War II athletes, but was eventually removed from the market, when the sale of ibogaine-containing products was prohibited in 1966. In the end of 1960’s The International Olympic Committee banned ibogaine as a potential doping agent. Other psychedelics have also been reported to have been used in similar way as doping.
In 1948, Swiss pharmacologist Peter N. Witt started his research on the effect of drugs on spiders. Witt tested spiders with a range of psychoactive drugs, including amphetamine, mescaline, strychnine, LSD, and caffeine. All the drugs tested reduced web regularity except for small doses (0.10.3g) of LSD, which increased web regularity.
The rest is here:
Posted: June 17, 2016 at 4:53 am
The Zeitgeist Movement was established in 2008 by Peter Joseph and advocates a transformation of society and its economic system to a non monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism.
Originally, the ideas were based on a societal model by Jacque Fresco a social engineer with The Venus Project. In the Venus project machines control government and industry and safeguard resources using artificially intelligent earthwide autonomic sensor system super-brain connected to all human knowledge.
The Zeitgeist Movement was formed in 2008 by Peter Joseph shortly after the late 2008 release of Zeitgeist: Addendum, the second film in the ‘Zeitgeist’ film series. In its first year the group described itself as “the activist arm of The Venus Project. In April 2011, the two groups partnership ended in an apparent power struggle, with Joseph commenting, Without [The Zeitgeist Movement], [The Venus Project] doesnt exist it has nothing but ideas and has no viable method to bring it to light.” Jacques Fresco in an interview said that although the Zeitgeist movement wanted to act as the ‘activist arm’ of Venus project, Peter Joseph never clarified what that would entail. In addition Fresco’s ideas of how to change society were not followed, leading to Fresco dropping participation in the Zeitgeist Movement.
VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.
Samuel Gilonis describes the movements opinions as wanting to replace all private property with for what Joseph refers to as “strategic access” as well as replacing democracy with a form of technocracy whereby the ruling class would comprise technical experts in control of their relevant domains.
The group is critical of market capitalism describing it as structurally corrupt and inefficient in the use of resources. According to The Daily Telegraph, the group dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading and embraces a version of sustainable ecological concepts and scientific administration of society.
In January 2014, the group published a book, The Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing A New Train Of Thought, composed of eighteen essays on psychology, economics, and scientific theory written by the ‘TZM Lecture Team’ and edited by Ben McLeish, Matt Berkowitz, and Peter Joseph.
The group holds two annual events: Z-Day (or Zeitgeist Day), an “educational forum” held in March and an artivist event called Zeitgeist Media Festival. The second Z-Day took place in Manhattan in 2009 and included lectures by Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco. The organisers said that local chapters also held sister events on the same day. The Zeitgeist Media Festival was first held in 2011. Its 3rd annual event took place on August 4, 2013 at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub in Los Angeles, California.
An article in the Journal of Contemporary Religion describes the movement as an example of a “conspirituality,” a synthesis of New Age spirituality and conspiracy theory.
Michelle Goldberg of Tablet Magazine called the movement “the world’s first Internet-based apocalyptic cult, with members who parrot the party line with cheerful, rote fidelity.” In her opinion, the movement is “devoted to a kind of sci-fi planetary communism”, and the 2007 documentary that “sparked” the movement was “steeped in far-right, isolationist, and covertly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
Alan Feuer of The New York Times said the movement was like “a utopian presentation of a money-free and computer-driven vision of the future, a wholesale reimagination of civilization, as if Karl Marx and Carl Sagan had hired John Lennon from his Imagine days to do no less than redesign the underlying structures of planetary life.”
In Socialist Unity magazine and also Tablet Magazine the films relationship to anti-Semitic texts is claimed and it is claimed that those theories are made to look left-wing or liberal. A relationship between the film and a book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, along with the films use of other anti-Semitic tropes is claimed.
Posted: at 4:48 am
If you think the Supreme Court is poised to expand or restrict gun rights sometime soon, don’t hold your breath.
As handwringing continues over what might have prevented the Orlando massacre– an old-time filibuster sparked by it even broke outin the Senate on Wednesday — the justices are about to consider a state gun control law enacted in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
According to its docket, the court on Thursday will weigh whether to take up Shew v. Malloy, a case with all the elements that could make it emblematic for the battle over the Second Amendment’s meaning.
It’s a dispute between a host of gun rights groups, businesses and individual gun owners against Connecticut over the constitutionality of a sweeping regulatory regime that bans so-called “assault weapons” — semiautomatic firearms and large-capacity magazines of the very sort used in Newtown and Orlando.
Back in October, an appeals court in Manhattan said the Connecticut law and a similarly restrictive law in New Yorkwere constitutional –and the plaintiffs vowed to take the battle to the Supreme Court.
Tom King, the head of New York’s biggest gun rights group, even said he was “happy” to have lost the case because that meant his organization could now ask the highest court of the land to decide the issue once and for all.
Brendan McDermid / Reuters
But then Justice Antonin Scalia died. And suddenly,the gun lobby’s calculations changed — including King’s, who told the New York Daily News weeks after Scalia’s death that it was “just the wrong time” to continue the fight in the absence of a reliable conservative vote at the Supreme Court.
That might explain why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) glowingly pointed to the National Rifle Association’s opposition to Merrick Garland, the president’s high court nominee, to rationalize his own refusal to hold a vote and a hearing for Garland.
None of this matters, and yet it matters a great deal.
Because despite the pleas from gun rights advocates who still want the Supreme Court to take up the challenge to the weapons ban, the justices could wield all kinds of reasons not to touch the case with a 10-foot pole.
It’s not that they aren’t interested in clarifying the scope of the Second Amendment in the wake of Scalia’s magnum opus in District of Columbia v. Heller, which for the first time recognized a fundamental right to gun ownership in the home. But to echo King, it’s just not the right time — not with a short-staffed Supreme Court, a volatile political environment, and a nomination fight that may very well continue after President Barack Obama’s successor takes office.
As things stand now, all signs point to an extremely quiet and uncontroversial Supreme Court term beginning next October — a dry season that will stand in stark contrast to the current term’s constitutional blockbusters on affirmative action, abortion and immigration, to name only a few.The court just isn’t taking many new cases.
This paucity of potential big decisions aside, the courthassent some signals that the Second Amendment is safe, even as it has rejected dozens of cases challenging gun control measures across the country, leaving lower courts as the final decision-makers.
Over the protest of Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court refused in December to review an appeals court decision that effectively upheld an assault weapons ban in a small Illinois town. Thomas said that decision treated the Second Amendment as a second-class right.
But in March, a month after Scalia’s death, the justices tipped their hand the other way, ruling that a Massachusetts ban on stun guns may violate the right to bear arms, quietly but forcefully endorsing the late justice’s Heller decision.
The Second Amendment extends … to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” the court said in a very brief rulingthat no justice signed his or her name to.
But writing separately, Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito said they would have gone further, asserting that indeed, gun ownership for self-defense is a “fundamental right” while making clear that Americans’ safety shouldn’t be “left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe.”
Fighting words, as well as fodder for debate about where the court may go next on guns.
It is precisely this seeming tension within the Supreme Court — plus the political fallout from Scalia’s vacancy and all the work that other courts are doing to make some sense of the Second Amendment — that indicates why the justices probably won’t pull the trigger on the next big gun rights case soon.
Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm
See Consumer for easy-to-read facts about Zinc.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is also found in many cold lozenges and some over-the-counter drugs sold as cold remedies.
Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes [1,2] and it plays a role in immune function [3,4], protein synthesis , wound healing , DNA synthesis [2,4], and cell division . Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence [6-8] and is required for proper sense of taste and smell . A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system .
Intake recommendations for zinc and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences) . DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender , include the following:
The current RDAs for zinc are listed in Table 1 . For infants aged 0 to 6 months, the FNB established an AI for zinc that is equivalent to the mean intake of zinc in healthy, breastfed infants.
* Adequate Intake (AI)
Food A wide variety of foods contain zinc (Table 2) . Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products [2,11].
Phytateswhich are present in whole-grain breads, cereals, legumes, and other foodsbind zinc and inhibit its absorption [2,12,13]. Thus, the bioavailability of zinc from grains and plant foods is lower than that from animal foods, although many grain- and plant-based foods are still good sources of zinc .
* DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for zinc is 15 mg for adults and children age 4 and older. Food labels, however, are not required to list zinc content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Nutrient Database Web site  lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing zinc arranged by nutrient content and by food name.
Dietary supplements Supplements contain several forms of zinc, including zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc acetate. The percentage of elemental zinc varies by form. For example, approximately 23% of zinc sulfate consists of elemental zinc; thus, 220 mg of zinc sulfate contains 50 mg of elemental zinc. The elemental zinc content appears in the Supplement Facts panel on the supplement container. Research has not determined whether differences exist among forms of zinc in absorption, bioavailability, or tolerability.
In addition to standard tablets and capsules, some zinc-containing cold lozenges are labeled as dietary supplements.
Other sources Zinc is present in several products, including some labeled as homeopathic medications, sold over the counter for the treatment and prevention of colds. Numerous case reports of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell), in some cases long-lasting or permanent, have been associated with the use of zinc-containing nasal gels or sprays [14,15]. In June 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stop using three zinc-containing intranasal products because they might cause anosmia . The manufacturer recalled these products from the marketplace. Currently, these safety concerns have not been found to be associated with cold lozenges containing zinc.
Zinc is also present in some denture adhesive creams at levels ranging from 1734 mg/g . While use of these products as directed (0.51.5 g/day) is not of concern, chronic, excessive use can lead to zinc toxicity, resulting in copper deficiency and neurologic disease. Such toxicity has been reported in individuals who used 2 or more standard 2.4 oz tubes of denture cream per week [17,18]. Many denture creams have now been reformulated to eliminate zinc.
Most infants (especially those who are formula fed), children, and adults in the United States consume recommended amounts of zinc according to two national surveys, the 19881991 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III)  and the 1994 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals (CSFII) .
However, some evidence suggests that zinc intakes among older adults might be marginal. An analysis of NHANES III data found that 35%45% of adults aged 60 years or older had zinc intakes below the estimated average requirement of 6.8 mg/day for elderly females and 9.4 mg/day for elderly males. When the investigators considered intakes from both food and dietary supplements, they found that 20%25% of older adults still had inadequate zinc intakes .
Zinc intakes might also be low in older adults from the 2%4% of U.S. households that are food insufficient (sometimes or often not having enough food) . Data from NHANES III indicate that adults aged 60 years or older from food-insufficient families had lower intakes of zinc and several other nutrients and were more likely to have zinc intakes below 50% of the RDA on a given day than those from food-sufficient families .
Zinc deficiency is characterized by growth retardation, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions [2,8,24,25]. Weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy can also occur [5,8,26-30]. Many of these symptoms are non-specific and often associated with other health conditions; therefore, a medical examination is necessary to ascertain whether a zinc deficiency is present.
Zinc nutritional status is difficult to measure adequately using laboratory tests [2,31,32] due to its distribution throughout the body as a component of various proteins and nucleic acids . Plasma or serum zinc levels are the most commonly used indices for evaluating zinc deficiency, but these levels do not necessarily reflect cellular zinc status due to tight homeostatic control mechanisms . Clinical effects of zinc deficiency can be present in the absence of abnormal laboratory indices . Clinicians consider risk factors (such as inadequate caloric intake, alcoholism, and digestive diseases) and symptoms of zinc deficiency (such as impaired growth in infants and children) when determining the need for zinc supplementation .
In North America, overt zinc deficiency is uncommon . When zinc deficiency does occur, it is usually due to inadequate zinc intake or absorption, increased losses of zinc from the body, or increased requirements for zinc [26,27,34]. People at risk of zinc deficiency or inadequacy need to include good sources of zinc in their daily diets. Supplemental zinc might also be appropriate in certain situations.
People with gastrointestinal and other diseases Gastrointestinal surgery and digestive disorders (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and short bowel syndrome) can decrease zinc absorption and increase endogenous zinc losses primarily from the gastrointestinal tract and, to a lesser extent, from the kidney [2,26,35,36]. Other diseases associated with zinc deficiency include malabsorption syndrome, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy, and other chronic illnesses . Chronic diarrhea also leads to excessive loss of zinc .
Vegetarians The bioavailability of zinc from vegetarian diets is lower than from non-vegetarian diets because vegetarians do not eat meat, which is high in bioavailable zinc and may enhance zinc absorption. In addition, vegetarians typically eat high levels of legumes and whole grains, which contain phytates that bind zinc and inhibit its absorption [31,38].
Vegetarians sometimes require as much as 50% more of the RDA for zinc than non-vegetarians . In addition, they might benefit from using certain food preparation techniques that reduce the binding of zinc by phytates and increase its bioavailability. Techniques to increase zinc bioavailability include soaking beans, grains, and seeds in water for several hours before cooking them and allowing them to sit after soaking until sprouts form . Vegetarians can also increase their zinc intake by consuming more leavened grain products (such as bread) than unleavened products (such as crackers) because leavening partially breaks down the phytate; thus, the body absorbs more zinc from leavened grains than unleavened grains.
Pregnant and lactating women Pregnant women, particularly those starting their pregnancy with marginal zinc status, are at increased risk of becoming zinc insufficient due, in part, to high fetal requirements for zinc . Lactation can also deplete maternal zinc stores . For these reasons, the RDA for zinc is higher for pregnant and lactating women than for other women (see Table 1) .
Older infants who are exclusively breastfed Breast milk provides sufficient zinc (2 mg/day) for the first 46 months of life but does not provide recommended amounts of zinc for infants aged 712 months, who need 3 mg/day [2,33]. In addition to breast milk, infants aged 712 months should consume age-appropriate foods or formula containing zinc . Zinc supplementation has improved the growth rate in some children who demonstrate mild-to-moderate growth failure and who have a zinc deficiency [24,41].
People with sickle cell disease Results from a large cross-sectional survey suggest that 44% of children with sickle cell disease have a low plasma zinc concentration , possibly due to increased nutrient requirements and/or poor nutritional status . Zinc deficiency also affects approximately 60%70% of adults with sickle cell disease . Zinc supplementation has been shown to improve growth in children with sickle cell disease .
Alcoholics Approximately 30%50% of alcoholics have low zinc status because ethanol consumption decreases intestinal absorption of zinc and increases urinary zinc excretion . In addition, the variety and amount of food consumed by many alcoholics is limited, leading to inadequate zinc intake [2,46,47].
Immune function Severe zinc deficiency depresses immune function , and even mild to moderate degrees of zinc deficiency can impair macrophage and neutrophil functions, natural killer cell activity, and complement activity . The body requires zinc to develop and activate T-lymphocytes [2,50]. Individuals with low zinc levels have shown reduced lymphocyte proliferation response to mitogens and other adverse alterations in immunity that can be corrected by zinc supplementation [49,51]. These alterations in immune function might explain why low zinc status has been associated with increased susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections in children in developing countries and the elderly [52-55].
Wound healing Zinc helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucosal membranes . Patients with chronic leg ulcers have abnormal zinc metabolism and low serum zinc levels , and clinicians frequently treat skin ulcers with zinc supplements . The authors of a systematic review concluded that zinc sulfate might be effective for treating leg ulcers in some patients who have low serum zinc levels [58,59]. However, research has not shown that the general use of zinc sulfate in patients with chronic leg ulcers or arterial or venous ulcers is effective [58,59].
Diarrhea Acute diarrhea is associated with high rates of mortality among children in developing countries . Zinc deficiency causes alterations in immune response that probably contribute to increased susceptibility to infections, such as those that cause diarrhea, especially in children .
Studies show that poor, malnourished children in India, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia experience shorter courses of infectious diarrhea after taking zinc supplements . The children in these studies received 440 mg of zinc a day in the form of zinc acetate, zinc gluconate, or zinc sulfate .
In addition, results from a pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials of zinc supplementation in developing countries suggest that zinc helps reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea in zinc-deficient or otherwise malnourished children . Similar findings were reported in a meta-analysis published in 2008 and a 2007 review of zinc supplementation for preventing and treating diarrhea [63,64]. The effects of zinc supplementation on diarrhea in children with adequate zinc status, such as most children in the United States, are not clear.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF now recommend short-term zinc supplementation (20 mg of zinc per day, or 10 mg for infants under 6 months, for 1014 days) to treat acute childhood diarrhea .
The common cold Researchers have hypothesized that zinc could reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms by directly inhibiting rhinovirus binding and replication in the nasal mucosa and suppressing inflammation [65,66]. Although studies examining the effect of zinc treatment on cold symptoms have had somewhat conflicting results, overall zinc appears to be beneficial under certain circumstances. Several studies are described below in which zinc is administered as a lozenge or zinc-containing syrup that temporarily “sticks” in the mouth and throat. This allows zinc to make contact with the rhinovirus in those areas.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 50 subjects (within 24 hours of developing the common cold) took a zinc acetate lozenge (13.3 mg zinc) or placebo every 23 wakeful hours. Compared with placebo, the zinc lozenges significantly reduced the duration of cold symptoms (cough, nasal discharge, and muscle aches) .
In another clinical trial involving 273 participants with experimentally induced colds, zinc gluconate lozenges (providing 13.3 mg zinc) significantly reduced the duration of illness compared with placebo but had no effect on symptom severity . However, treatment with zinc acetate lozenges (providing 5 or 11.5 mg zinc) had no effect on either cold duration or severity. Neither zinc gluconate nor zinc acetate lozenges affected the duration or severity of cold symptoms in 281 subjects with natural (not experimentally induced) colds in another trial .
In 77 participants with natural colds, a combination of zinc gluconate nasal spray and zinc orotate lozenges (37 mg zinc every 23 wakeful hours) was also found to have no effect on the number of asymptomatic patients after 7 days of treatment .
In September of 2007, Caruso and colleagues published a structured review of the effects of zinc lozenges, nasal sprays, and nasal gels on the common cold . Of the 14 randomized, placebo-controlled studies included, 7 (5 using zinc lozenges, 2 using a nasal gel) showed that the zinc treatment had a beneficial effect and 7 (5 using zinc lozenges, 1 using a nasal spray, and 1 using lozenges and a nasal spray) showed no effect.
More recently, a Cochrane review concluded that “zinc (lozenges or syrup) is beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms” . The author of another review completed in 2004 also concluded that zinc can reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms . However, more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage, zinc formulation and duration of treatment before a general recommendation for zinc in the treatment of the common cold can be made .
As previously noted, the safety of intranasal zinc has been called into question because of numerous reports of anosmia (loss of smell), in some cases long-lasting or permanent, from the use of zinc-containing nasal gels or sprays [14-16].
Age-related macular degeneration Researchers have suggested that both zinc and antioxidants delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and vision loss, possibly by preventing cellular damage in the retina [71,72]. In a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands, high dietary intake of zinc as well as beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E was associated with reduced risk of AMD in elderly subjects . However, the authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2007 concluded that zinc is not effective for the primary prevention of early AMD , although zinc might reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a large, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial (n = 3,597), evaluated the effect of high doses of selected antioxidants (500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, and 15 mg beta-carotene) with or without zinc (80 mg as zinc oxide) on the development of advanced AMD in older individuals with varying degrees of AMD . Participants also received 2 mg copper to prevent the copper deficiency associated with high zinc intakes. After an average follow-up period of 6.3 years, supplementation with antioxidants plus zinc (but not antioxidants alone) significantly reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD and reduced visual acuity loss. Zinc supplementation alone significantly reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD in subjects at higher risk but not in the total study population. Visual acuity loss was not significantly affected by zinc supplementation alone. A follow-up AREDS2 study confirmed the value of this supplement in reducing the progression of AMD over a median follow-up period of 5 years . Importantly, AREDS2 revealed that a formulation providing 25 mg zinc (about one-third the amount in the original AREDS formulation) provided the same protective effect against developing advanced AMD.
Two other small clinical trials evaluated the effects of supplementation with 200 mg zinc sulfate (providing 45 mg zinc) for 2 years in subjects with drusen or macular degeneration. Zinc supplementation significantly reduced visual acuity loss in one of the studies  but had no effect in the other .
A Cochrane review concluded that the evidence supporting the use of antioxidant vitamins and zinc for AMD comes primarily from the AREDS study . Individuals who have or are developing AMD should talk to their health care provider about taking a zinc-containing AREDS supplement.
Interactions with iron and copper Iron-deficiency anemia is a serious world-wide public health problem. Iron fortification programs have been credited with improving the iron status of millions of women, infants, and children. Fortification of foods with iron does not significantly affect zinc absorption. However, large amounts of supplemental iron (greater than 25 mg) might decrease zinc absorption [2,78]. Taking iron supplements between meals helps decrease its effect on zinc absorption .
High zinc intakes can inhibit copper absorption, sometimes producing copper deficiency and associated anemia [79,80]. For this reason, dietary supplement formulations containing high levels of zinc, such as the one used in the AREDS study , sometimes contain copper.
Zinc toxicity can occur in both acute and chronic forms. Acute adverse effects of high zinc intake include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches . One case report cited severe nausea and vomiting within 30 minutes of ingesting 4 g of zinc gluconate (570 mg elemental zinc) . Intakes of 150450 mg of zinc per day have been associated with such chronic effects as low copper status, altered iron function, reduced immune function, and reduced levels of high-density lipoproteins . Reductions in a copper-containing enzyme, a marker of copper status, have been reported with even moderately high zinc intakes of approximately 60 mg/day for up to 10 weeks . The doses of zinc used in the AREDS study (80 mg per day of zinc in the form of zinc oxide for 6.3 years, on average) have been associated with a significant increase in hospitalizations for genitourinary causes, raising the possibility that chronically high intakes of zinc adversely affect some aspects of urinary physiology .
The FNB has established ULs for zinc (Table 3). Long-term intakes above the UL increase the risk of adverse health effects . The ULs do not apply to individuals receiving zinc for medical treatment, but such individuals should be under the care of a physician who monitors them for adverse health effects.
Zinc supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided below. Individuals taking these medications on a regular basis should discuss their zinc intakes with their healthcare providers.
Antibiotics Both quinolone antibiotics (such as Cipro) and tetracycline antibiotics (such as Achromycin and Sumycin) interact with zinc in the gastrointestinal tract, inhibiting the absorption of both zinc and the antibiotic [84,85]. Taking the antibiotic at least 2 hours before or 46 hours after taking a zinc supplement minimizes this interaction .
Penicillamine Zinc can reduce the absorption and action of penicillamine, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis . To minimize this interaction, individuals should take zinc supplements at least 2 hours before or after taking penicillamine .
Diuretics Thiazide diuretics such as chlorthalidone (Hygroton) and hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix and HydroDIURIL) increase urinary zinc excretion by as much as 60% . Prolonged use of thiazide diuretics could deplete zinc tissue levels, so clinicians should monitor zinc status in patients taking these medications.
The federal government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that “Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. … Foods in nutrient-dense forms contain essential vitamins and minerals and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may have positive health effects. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts.”
For more information about building a healthy diet, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy eating pattern as one that:
This fact sheet by the Office of Dietary Supplements provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this publication of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.
Updated: February 11, 2016
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Posted: June 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014) is a book by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford. It argues that if machine brains surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could replace humans as the dominant lifeform on Earth. Sufficiently intelligent machines could improve their own capabilities faster than human computer scientists. As the fate of gorillas now depends more on humans than on the actions of gorillas themselves, so will the fate of future humanity depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. The outcome could be an existential catastrophe for humans.
Bostrom’s book has been translated into many languages and is available as an audiobook.
It is unknown whether human-level artificial intelligence will arrive in a matter of years, later this century, or not until future centuries. Regardless of the initial timescale, once human-level machine intelligence is developed, a “superintelligent” system that “greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest” would follow surprisingly quickly, possibly even instantaneously. Such a superintelligence would be difficult to control or restrain.
While the ultimate goals of superintelligences can vary greatly, a functional superintelligence will spontaneously generate, as natural subgoals, “instrumental goals” such as self-preservation and goal-content integrity, cognitive enhancement, and resource acquisition. For example, an agent whose sole final goal is to solve the Riemann hypothesis (a famous unsolved, mathematical conjecture) could create, and act upon, a subgoal of transforming the entire Earth into some form of computronium (hypothetical “programmable matter”) to assist in the calculation. The superintelligence would proactively resist any outside attempts to turn the superintelligence off or otherwise prevent its subgoal completion. In order to prevent such an existential catastrophe, it might be necessary to successfully solve the “AI control problem” for the first superintelligence. The solution might involve instilling the superintelligence with goals that are compatible with human survival and well-being. Solving the control problem is surprisingly difficult because most goals, when translated into machine-implementable code, lead to unforeseen and undesirable consequences.
The book ranked #17 on the New York Times list of best selling science books for August 2014. In the same month, business magnate Elon Musk made headlines by agreeing with the book that artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Bostroms work on superintelligence has also influenced Bill Gatess concern for the existential risks facing humanity over the coming century. In a March 2015 interview with Baidu’s CEO, Robert Li, Gates claimed he would “highly recommend” Superintelligence.
The science editor of the Financial Times found that Bostroms writing “sometimes veers into opaque language that betrays his background as a philosophy professor” but convincingly demonstrates that the risk from superintelligence is large enough that society should start thinking now about ways to endow future machine intelligence with positive values. A review in The Guardian pointed out that “even the most sophisticated machines created so far are intelligent in only a limited sense” and that “expectations that AI would soon overtake human intelligence were first dashed in the 1960s”, but finds common ground with Bostrom in advising that “one would be ill-advised to dismiss the possibility altogether”.
Some of Bostrom’s colleagues suggest that nuclear war presents a greater threat to humanity than superintelligence, as does the future prospect of the weaponisation of nanotechnology and biotechnology.The Economist stated that “Bostrom is forced to spend much of the book discussing speculations built upon plausible conjecture… but the book is nonetheless valuable. The implications of introducing a second intelligent species onto Earth are far-reaching enough to deserve hard thinking, even if the prospect of actually doing so seems remote.”Ronald Bailey wrote in the libertarian Reason that Bostrom makes a strong case that solving the AI control problem is the “essential task of our age”. According to Tom Chivers of The Daily Telegraph, the book is difficult to read, but nonetheless rewarding.
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