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Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 228 total)
  • Fri, Jun 10, 2011 - 08:05am

    #11

    Poet

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    Portents Of The Future?

Increasing poverty, ignorance, and crime. Favelas, ghettos, barrios, inner city, outer shells, banlieus…

Portents of a dark future?

Brazil: Surviving Rio’s Favelas
This photo essay depicts the life of favelas, or shantytowns, in Rio, Brazil, as the communities are deteriorated by gang violence. I document how the violent climate affects the residents and even people outside of the favelas.
http://www.gaia-photos.com/brazil-rio-favela-survival/

A story of slumtown mob vigilantes and an innocent life lost. South Africa.

Watching The Murder Of An Innocent Man
‘I know where these criminals live.’ He was a wayward teenager, a bad boy wanting to become a worse boy, and this gave him credibility in the matter of where vicious criminals might be found. A few men lifted him onto their shoulders so that the crowd, already in the hundreds, could see him better. Then an older man, wiser about these things, said to put the boy down. More than likely, they were about to kill someone.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/magazine/watching-the-murder-of-an-innocent-man.html

Poet

  • Tue, Jun 14, 2011 - 07:39am

    #12

    Poet

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    Inside Syria’ Slaughter: Dara’a, The ‘Ghetto of Death’

 

Brutal. 

Inside Syria’s Slaughter: A Journalist Sneaks Into Dara’a, The ‘Ghetto of Death’
Al-Balad, a neighborhood in the historic district of Dara’a, has become the ghetto of death. Since the end of March, it’s been on permanent lockdown, surrounded by the Syrian army. From rooftops and balconies, soldiers shoot those who try to get into or out of the neighborhood… Electricity, water and phone lines have been cut. Without access to supplies, milk and essential foods have run out. The 15,000 residents under lockdown are facing famine. Every day, during the evening prayer, thousands of voices rise above the neighborhood for the rest of the city to hear: “Milk! Water!” they scream, their voices barely muted by bursts of gunfire.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2076778,00.html

Poet

  • Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - 11:24pm

    #13

    Poet

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    Even The McJobs Are Under Assault…

McDonald’s Replaces Cashiers with Touch-Screens
The Financial Times reports that the worlds’ largest fast food chain plans to replace many of the cashiers at its 7,000 European restaurants with touch screen terminals that allow customers to order and pay electronically.
http://www.investorplace.com/41160/mcdonalds-nyse-mcd-touch-screen-menu-ordering/?utm_source=OBweirdstreet

Do you want fries with your order? Press Yes or No.

Poet

  • Tue, Jun 21, 2011 - 06:38pm

    #14

    Poet

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    Technology Replaces Workers

The Mayekawa Automatic Chicken Deboner handles chickens at a rate of 1,500 birds an hour – ten times as fast as even the most skilled butcher – and sells for around $560,000.

Human workers perform at variable speeds, and cannot work at peak for long. Prolonged work like thise subject them to repetitive motion injuries and sick time.

Assuming a machine like this can work just 5 days per week, 24 hours per day, it can certainly replace 30 full-time workers who each cost $18,700 per year total (employee take-home pay would be lower) and pay for itself within 1 year.

Poet

 

 

  • Sat, Jun 25, 2011 - 02:34pm

    #15

    Poet

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    Justice In America

Ex-CEO gets 40-month sentence for role in $3 billion corporate fraud scheme.

Homeless, hungry man gets 15 years for stealing $100.

Sheesh.

Poet

  • Sat, Jun 25, 2011 - 02:50pm

    #16

    Poet

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    Which Sweet Potato Would You Eat?

I didn’t even know they did that to potatoes and sweet potatoes…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exBEFCiWyW0

German Wikipedia article on Chlorpropham
Chlorpropham is harmful to humans and (according to latest EU classification, 30 adapting Directive 2008/58/EC) may be carcinogenic. Symptome: Irritationen der Haut, Augen und der Atmungsorgane. Symptoms:. Irritations of the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Adverse events reported. Depression, seizures, movement disorders, nerve damage, digestive disorders with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.” [Google Translate]
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpropham

Google Translate of the article:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpropham&ei=yvQFTtS2MM3UgAfUm5nKDQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCIQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dchlorpropham%2Bwiki%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3Da3U%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1348%26bih%3D569%26prmd%3Divns

Poet

  • Sun, Jun 26, 2011 - 09:17pm

    #17

    Poet

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    Working Women Turning To Prostitution To Support Family

In Victorian-era England, rural women who migrated to the industrial towns to find jobs quickly realized the long hours and low pay of factory jobs didn’t amount for much. Many turned to casual prostitution to supplement their factory income in order to support themselves and their families.

Here’s a relevant link on circumstances of that time and age, from a Jack The Ripper: Case Study:
http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18593/1945/2

Or another, Working Women and Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century New York
http://www.stolaf.edu/people/kutulas/prostitutes.htm

It seems as America progresses more towards a societal income distribution structure like that of Victorian-era England, similar economic circumstances are leading women to make similar choices.

The Family Prostitute
‘We’ve seen over the course of the last couple of years a massive flow of women from all around the country,’ says Marc Medoff, general manager of the Love Ranch. ‘It’s their first time in the sexual-entertainment business and they’re showing up here – literally on our doorstep sometimes – for the purpose of seeking work to support their families: their husbands, their children, their parents. It’s a zillion-fold increase. When things started to get really bad, in the fall of ’07, we started seeing things increase and there’s been no let-up.’
http://www.laweekly.com/2010-09-02/news/the-family-prostitute/

I am sure Craiglist has seen a huge increase, along with casual prostitution amongst low-paid service workers.

Poet

  • Sun, Jun 26, 2011 - 11:30pm

    #18

    Johnny Oxygen

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    Poet wrote:In Victorian-era

[quote=Poet]

In Victorian-era England, rural women who migrated to the industrial towns to find jobs quickly realized the long hours and low pay of factory jobs didn’t amount for much. Many turned to casual prostitution to supplement their factory income in order to support themselves and their families.

Here’s a relevant link on circumstances of that time and age, from a Jack The Ripper: Case Study:
http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18593/1945/2

Or another, Working Women and Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century New York
http://www.stolaf.edu/people/kutulas/prostitutes.htm

It seems as America progresses more towards a societal income distribution structure like that of Victorian-era England, similar economic circumstances are leading women to make similar choices.

The Family Prostitute
‘We’ve seen over the course of the last couple of years a massive flow of women from all around the country,’ says Marc Medoff, general manager of the Love Ranch. ‘It’s their first time in the sexual-entertainment business and they’re showing up here – literally on our doorstep sometimes – for the purpose of seeking work to support their families: their husbands, their children, their parents. It’s a zillion-fold increase. When things started to get really bad, in the fall of ’07, we started seeing things increase and there’s been no let-up.’
http://www.laweekly.com/2010-09-02/news/the-family-prostitute/

I am sure Craiglist has seen a huge increase, along with casual prostitution amongst low-paid service workers.

Poet

[/quote]

 

That’s incredibly depressing.

  • Mon, Jun 27, 2011 - 01:24am

    #19

    Poet

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    That’s Why We Need To Get More People Aware And Prepared

[quote=Johnny Oxygen]

That’s incredibly depressing.

[/quote]

My concern is about how women, children, the elderly, minorities, the poor, and those with chronic conditions and mental or physical disabilities will fare. Especially those who are one or more of the above and poor.

All the more reason to try to get people – all people – as aware and as prepared as possible.

Poet

  • Mon, Jun 27, 2011 - 01:52am

    #20

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1132

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    New book: “The Limits to Growth Revisited”

New book: “The Limits to Growth Revisited”

by Ugo Bardi

This book has been a lot of work for me but, finally, it is done. “The Limits to Growth Revisited” has been published by Springer in June of this year.
In some respects, “The Limits to Growth Revisited” is a rather technical book. It goes in some depth in describing the controversy that flared between critics (mainly economists) and supporters of the system dynamics methods used for the 1972 study “The Limits to Growth” (LTG). But “LTG revisited” is not just a technical book. It also tells the whole story of the LTG study: how it was conceived, what were the political reactions to it, how it was demonized and misunderstood, and what is its relevance – also in its more recent versions of 1992 and 2004 – to the present situation of the world.

Writing this book has been a fascinating work. Re-examining the story of LTG opens up a whole new world that urban legends and propaganda had tried to bury under a layer of lies and misinterpretations. We all have heard of the “mistakes” that the authors of LTG, or their sponsors, the Club of Rome, are said to have made. But LTG was not “wrong”: nowhere in the 1972 book you find the mistakes that are commonly attributed to it. LTG never predicted catastrophes to occur soon, never estimated that some specific mineral resources should run out by some specific date, it never contained prophecies of doom. In other words, LTG was not, and never was, “Chicken Little with a computer.”

What caused the demonization of the study was, in large part, the fact that it was so new and so advanced for its times that it was widely misunderstood, often by its supporters as well as by its detractors. But the misunderstanding was enhanced by a media campaign very similar to the one that has been recently directed against climate science. The trick of these campaigns is always the same: find a single mistake and use it to demonize the whole concept. It doesn’t matter that the mistake is real or an invention, it doesn’t count whether it is relevant or not. The trick is to repeat the concept of “mistakes” a large number of times and that is enough to confuse the public and cloud the issue. In recent times, the method has been used to demonize climate science with the alleged mistake found in the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction of past climate. For LTG, the “mistake” was found in a few numbers taken from just one of the many tables of the 1972 book. There was nothing wrong in these numbers, but the concept of the “mistakes of the Club of Rome” went viral and it is still widespread, and perhaps prevalent, whenever the LTG study is mentioned today.

Understanding the real message that LTG sent to us in 1972, and that it is still sending, takes a certain effort. First, you have to free your mind from the layers of legends that have accumulated around it over four decades, but that is not enough. You have to free yourself also from the common attitude that prevents us from understanding how complex systems behave. There is no fixed future for systems such as the world’s economic system, only trends. But these systems still obey physical laws: the limits of natural resources, the finiteness of the world system, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And there are the constants of human behavior: mainly our tendency of preferring immediate satisfaction to a future one, a phenomenon known as “discounting the future.

All together, these factors push the world system to follow a well defined path. We cannot determine exactly what the future will be, but we can produce a “fan” of trajectories that show to us how where the system is heading to. The original 1972 LTG study had already identified the main factors that have been dominating the behavior of the world’s economy. The combined effects of resource depletion and pollution accumulation (seen today mainly in terms of climate change) have been gradually reducing the ability of the industrial system of accumulating capital and of fuelling growth. These factors will, eventually, cause the world’s industrial and agricultural systems to start a decline that could be defined as “collapse” which, later on, involves also the world’s population.

It is not possible to determine exact dates for these events but, still, the insight that this kind of modelling offers to us is amazing. Just think how, already 40 years ago, the LTG study may have anticipated the worldwide financial crisis that occurred in 2008 and also the present debate on whether climate change or “peak resources” is the most important problem that we face. Dynamic modelling is a flexible tool, something that enhances the capability of the human mind to understand the world that surrounds us. The 1972 LTG study was the first to use this tool, but it is not the only possible way. Simpler dynamic models will tend to produce the same final outcome.

If we use this tool, and we use it wisely, we can discover that nothing of the future is written in stone. The future is something that we create every day with our actions. At the same time, we can also discover that the future has a life of its own, that it resents being forced into what we think it should be on the basis of obsolete ideologies. We will have to adapt to the future and that may not be painless but, if we try to understand the future, we may discover that it doesn’t need to be our enemy.

Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 228 total)

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