Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

If you like lacrosse and primitive survival, you will like this video.

The Department of Justice along with the FBI have identified 2,500 cases for review after finding that experts on its microscopic hair comparison unit overstated evidence concerning pattern-based forensic techniques in 95 percent of the 268 cases reviewed so far, reports the Washington Post.
That is not random error, indicating deliberate bias on the part of the FBI forensics lab.
  • "'A Total Game Changer' - From Over-Population To De-Population"--Zero Hedge. "Strangely, the world is suffering from two seemingly opposite trends...overpopulation and depopulation in concert.  The overpopulation is due to the increased longevity of elderly lifespans vs. depopulation of young populations due to collapsing birthrates.  The depopulation is among most under 25yr old populations (except Africa) and among many under 45yr old populations." The author warns that the pension/social security Ponzi scheme is about to completely collapse. Looking at the graphs presented, the descent began in the late 1980's, and should be complete by the late 2020's or early 2030's.
  • And the Eurocrats roll over to expose their bellies: "Europe will 'soon have more Muslims than Christians': Belgium warns against 'making an enemy of Islam' at Brussels attacks hearing"--The Sun.
  • "The Culture War In One Graph"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. The author writes: "There’s a fascinating graph for you. It tells you the radical shift from 'materialist' values [i.e., focused on material needs and economic security] to 'postmaterialist' values [i.e., focused on issues of esteem and self-actualization] in the West, over a 30-year period." The author also has a lengthy excerpt from an interview with Camille Paglia, in part of which she states:
There [comes] a time when these fine gradations of gender identity—I’m a male trans doing this, etc.—this is a symbol of decadence, I’m sorry. Sexual Personae talks about this: That was in fact the inspiration for it, was that my overview of history and my noticing that in late phases, you all of a sudden get a proliferation of homosexuality, of sadomasochism, or gendered games, impersonations and masks, and so on. I think we’re in a really kind of late phase of culture [or "civilization", to use Oswald Spengler's terminology].
  • "Why are we so bored?"--The Guardian. If you follow the Anonymous Conservative or have read his book, you should already know the answer. The author of the foregoing Guardian article states the reason we are so bored with everything is because we are over-stimulated, and explains: 
We are hard-wired to seek novelty, which produces a hit of dopamine, that feel-good chemical, in our brains. As soon as a new stimulus is noticed, however, it is no longer new, and after a while it bores us. To get that same pleasurable dopamine hit we seek fresh sources of distraction.
  • "The Great Filter Hypothesis Suggests That Foregoing Patriarchy Will Lead To Human Extinction"--The Return of the Kings. The article has to do with the famous Drake Equation, which attempts to predict the number of technological civilizations in the universe. Of course, at the time Drake developed the equation, most of the variables were unknown to him. However, recent discoveries concerning exo-planets and the abundance of organic molecules and water in the universe suggest that life should be relatively common and, therefore, there should be a large number of civilizations. But we don't have any evidence of such civilizations (that that believe in the UFO phenomena would argue otherwise, of course). There are a couple of explanations for this, the most well known being the "Great Filter Hypothesis." (Another is that because the Universe is actually still quite young, it may be that we are actually one of the first intelligent civilizations to form). The Great Filter Hypothesis suggests that there is "something" that kills off technological civilizations before they can make their presence known. The author of this particular article suggests that the cultural war is that filter. The article is interesting because it also draws on the Anonymous Conservative's observations of r/K theory and its application to politics.
  • Juxtaposition This:
Getting at questions about the nature of reality, and disentangling the observer from the observed, is an endeavor that straddles the boundaries of neuroscience and fundamental physics. On one side you’ll find researchers scratching their chins raw trying to understand how a three-pound lump of gray matter obeying nothing more than the ordinary laws of physics can give rise to first-person conscious experience. This is the aptly named “hard problem.”
    On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them. Experiment after experiment has shown—defying common sense—that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”
      So while neuroscientists struggle to understand how there can be such a thing as a first-person reality, quantum physicists have to grapple with the mystery of how there can be anything but a first-person reality. 

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