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Israel sets Palestinian tax sanction

Israel sets Palestinian tax sanction | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Israel sets a tax sanction on the Palestinian Authority in the latest retaliatory step for its signing a number of international treaties.
Eli Levine's insight:

The PA agreed to this agreement that allows Israel to control their revenue.  This is how the PA is not seen by many of the Palestinians as a legitimate authority that governs and/or works on their behalf.

 

It's not like Hamas is seen as much better.  But the Palestinian leadership got themselves into this pickle by making this arrangment with the Israelis.

 

And you wonder how it is that Palestinians are no happy with either side and are likely to be slowly taking a greater role in the protest movement themselves.  You also wonder how it is that Israel is so effective at lying about its status in the Middle East to our leadership, such that we encourage and enable this bullying behavior.

 

Think about it.

 

Because this is why/how there is no peace in the Middle East or towards us.  The US does not clamp down on Israel's anti-social behavior towards the Palestinians while the Palestinians are poorly governed by their own leadership.  We wonder where the September 11th attacks came from.  And yet no one in this country ever really thinks to look at the actions of our leadership with regards to the Islamic world and to the Arab/non-white populations of this planet.

 

Think about it.

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Is Russia ready to move into eastern Ukraine?

Is Russia ready to move into eastern Ukraine? | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
As the war of words between Moscow and Kiev intensifies, the BBC's Jonathan Marcus looks at whether Russia has the military capability to move into eastern Ukraine.
Eli Levine's insight:

Again, I don't understand how the US thought it would be in its own interests to advocate so strongly for the toppling of Yanukovych, the establishment of NATO and EU presences right on Russia's southern coastal border and over the needs and concerns of the Russian speaking parts of Ukraine.  I knew that Western European countries wouldn't have a powerful enough combined military presence to fight Russia.  I know that the US does not have what it would take to win a war against Russia in the short or long term.  And I was aware that the Russians were moving in the general right direction as far as reforming their military is concerned.  If the West was tactically trying to get Ukraine into NATO and the EU, it is a sign of just how foolish and bizarrely stupid our current set of policy makers are vis a vis policy making for the full interests of the American and global public.  Empires are neither desirable nor practical affairs.  Yet that's what our current set of "leaders" constantly produces and works for through their actions, behaviors, perspectives and attitudes.

 

No thought for the situation on the ground.

 

No consideration for fall out.

 

No heart or apparent care devoted to their work or to the people they are supposed to be actually serving (if they were going for their own full self interests).

 

And yet, here we all are.  They are in there, and I am out here.  They are able, I am not.  Their choices effect billions while mine effect only me and my company.

 

Think about that.

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India votes in third phase of elections

India votes in third phase of elections | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Voters in Delhi among 100 million Indians casting their ballots on one of the biggest days in five-week-long process.
Eli Levine's insight:

The light of Congress is going out in the universe, fading, not as a result of external affairs or pressures, but as a result of apparent internal flaws and problems within their members' attitudes, actions and decisions while in government.

 

The Party of Gandhi, extinguished by his successors' own stupidity, corruption and lack of care for the well being of the general public whose fate they are inseparably bound to.

 

Yet will they learn anything from this possible upset at the polls?  Will they get the message that it is probably not in their own best interests to govern in this purely small "self" serving manner?

 

I doubt it.  Ego is likely to be too strong; too untempered by experience.

 

Think about it.

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Rich people rule!

Rich people rule! | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Political science is zeroing in on the political impact of economic power in America, and the results are not edifying.
Eli Levine's insight:

Those who have typically wield more day to day political influence than those who don't.  What's twisted about this bunch of "elite" is how careless, reckless and stupidly they're behaving relative to the larger, albeit, more docile general public.  They do not seem to care or understand that this larger behemoth does get angry from time to time with exploitative antics by the upper crust.  Furthermore, they don't seem to be able or willing to grasp that societies tend to support them more when they give effective policy-making for the sake of the general public, not just for their own small-self or monetary gain.

 

That's just history and psychology, pure and simple.  I don't get how it is that they think that they're going to get away with their schemes, even if society fails to do anything effective or genuine about it.  The environment is collapsing because of their actions.  That will kill them faster due to the impacts in society that the destruction of the environment.

 

It's amazing to think that such a low form of humanity has managed to capture so much illegitimately and against their own actual self interests.  What good is profit if your profit yields you death in the short and long term (which becomes the short term all too soon).

 

Seriously people....

 

Think about it.

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Ukraine ultimatum to east activists

Ukraine ultimatum to east activists | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Ukraine tells pro-Russia activists occupying buildings in eastern cities the situation will be resolved "by negotiations or force" within 48 hours.
Eli Levine's insight:

I think that, as the United States, it is in our interests to remind the government in Kiev that, if they want to remain a single country, that they're going to have to work with the Russian populations of Ukraine as equals and emphasize a shared identity rather than dig in according to their ethnic and linguistic divisions.

 

This will not end well.  It will lead to the perfect opportunity for Putin to invade Ukraine and fight a war against the country that we could be dragged into as well.  The war would be in neither of our interests, really.  However, it is more likely that Russia will take advantage of the situation and our strategic weakness (brought on by our former President, George W. Bush and his conservative Republican colleagues).

 

Therefore, I would advise the Ukrainian government in Kiev to not do anything against the protestors, except to make advances in the field of dialogue, communication and inclusion of Russians in the decision making processes, such that we could all avoid a potentially nuclear war against the Russian Federation in which there will be only lose-lose, rather than win-win.

 

What the Hell is wrong with our current set of policy makers to not be advising Ukraine publicly in these affairs?

 

Think about it.

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Peter Turchin – The history of inequality

Peter Turchin – The history of inequality | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequality moves in cycles. Our future looks like a rough ride

Via Jocelyn Stoller
Eli Levine's insight:

Read the article.

 

The government cannot do everything.  However, it can reverse this imminent collapse by changing attitude, policy and perspective relative to the general public and the interests of the politicians relative to the general public. That could make all the difference that we need in the world, for our society's sake, our environment's sake and for our politician's sake.

 

Looks like a regimen of permanent profit sharing and birth control is in order, if we are going to live as a species at peace, and not as one with split personality disorder.  It's not like the rich are harmed by the rest of us enjoying riches as well.  Why should they get sooo much more than the rest of us when we're either producing in the economy or unable to produce in the economy?

 

Brace for impact kids!  This could be highly unpleasant.

 

Think about it.

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Nato warns Russia over Ukraine

Nato warns Russia over Ukraine | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Nato says further Russian intervention in Ukraine would be an "historic mistake" as Kiev tries to retake official buildings in the east from separatists.
Eli Levine's insight:

No unity encouraged.  No reaching out to the ethnic Russians or addressing their legitimate economic and social concerns.

 

And everyone is wondering how it is that Ukraine is falling apart as we speak, through democratic sentiments rather than actual conquest.

 

Seriously, rather than just working against the activists and denying their concerns and interests, wouldn't it be actually better to listen to what they have to say and enter into a dialogue with them?  Whether you think they're in the legal right or not or whether you want to accept the protester's legitimacy, the fact of the matter is is that they remain as facts within the society that will not be put down or silenced by police or forceful tactics.  In fact, such procedures may make them more inclined to break away from Ukraine and Russia may be foolish enough to take them in.

 

We've got everything backwards with regards to how governments need to relate to people, if they want to maintain their legitimacy.  That is one resource that is spent cheaply and bought dearly by leaders everywhere.  They would do better to husband that kind of social capital and understand how it is earned and maintained rather than spend it so freely and without regard for how it is accumulated and maintained, let alone, how to intelligently spend and manage it, especially in these crisis situations.  This whole debacle has been strictly amateur hour, from all sides.  Very disappointing seeing grown "adults" who should know more about human social life making these kinds of mistakes.  Call me arrogant if you'd like, because I am 99.99999% sure that I'm more or less in the right when it comes to these kinds of issues.

 

Think about it.

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NASA's global warming factsheet

NASA's global warming factsheet | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Global warming is happening now, and scientists are confident that greenhouse gases are responsible. To understand what this means for humanity, it is necessary to understand what global warming is, how scientists know it's happening, and how they predict future climate.

 

Once the world’s fourth largest lake, the mighty Aral Sea is now in it’s death throws. Starved of it’s lifeblood of the waters of the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers, the sea has been shrinking for the last 40 years.

 

Are the ozone hole and global warming related?What can we do about global warming?What if global warming isn’t as severe as predicted?Why is global warming a problem?Has the Sun been more active in recent decades, and could it be responsible for some global warming?If Earth has warmed and cooled throughout history, what makes scientists think that humans are causing global warming now?How do scientists know that Mauna Loa’s volcanic emissions don’t affect the carbon dioxide data collected there?Do satellite observations of atmospheric temperatures agree with surface-based observations and model predictions?What does NASA have to do with global warming?Are there natural processes that can amplify or limit global warming?If we immediately stopped emitting greenhouses gases, would global warming stop?If we stabilized greenhouse gas emissions at today’s rates, would global warming stop?
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Eli Levine's insight:

It is an idiot who believes that humanity does not impact their own home through their activity.  It is also pretty stupid to select financial, material wealth over health, well being and sustainability, from a biological and sociological point of view.

 

Yet this is precisely what humanity has chosen to do.

 

At least, the sections of humanity who make decisions as to what happens in our world.  The rest of us are merely guilty of complacency and lack of access to real power (which is proactively enforced by those who currently hold defacto power in our world; the same people who are responsible for making the policy regimen that is causing global warming and greenhouse gas emissions to increase, remain the same or insignificantly decrease).

 

There's a reason how we're all going to die.  Looks like humanity is just going to be one brief little spark in the geological and cosmological history of our planet and universe.

 

A shame, since we have so much potential, if it weren't for those diseased brains sitting in places of power, consequence and authority.

 

Think about it.

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Global dip in renewables investment

Global dip in renewables investment | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

g to be humansGlobal investment in renewables fell during 2013, but the percentage of the world’s electricity generated by renewable sources continued to increase, a report shows.

Eli Levine's insight:

What's it going to be, humans?

Health?

Or wealth?

Time is ticking.

 

And there does come a point in time where you can't have both, and you have to choose one or the other.

 

Silly species.

 

Silly Capitalism.

 

Silly investors.

 

All for money.

 

And not a thought was given for health, well being and survival.

 

Think about it.

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Donetsk 'people's republic' declared

Donetsk 'people's republic' declared | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Pro-Russian activists who seized the regional government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk reportedly declare a "people's republic".
Eli Levine's insight:

Arguably, this all cascaded from the first moments when the Ukrainian speakers overthrew Yanukovych and put into power a new leader who did not reach out to Russian speakers or distanced himself from the ultra-nationalists.  A shame that this continued lack of inclusion didn't end when the governments changed hands.

And the West?  It has only been an advocate for its pet dog in this fight, not truly acting as a peacemaker or advocate for the full interests of the Ukrainian people.

 

A shame, really, as now the Ukrainian government in Kiev may lose more territory through the democratic process to Russia, thus rendering it land locked and stuck with mostly agriculture from which to build.

 

This all being said, I don't think it's in Vladimir Putin's full interests to take more of Ukraine or to recognize this breakaway republic as such.  If I were Vlad, I'd be working to cool the situation myself, thus preventing further degradation of Russia's social capital towards the rest of the world.  A nation, even one as powerful as Russia, cannot stand in the light of the whole of humanity forever, nor can it expect to build a soild economy in light of economic sanctions with the rest of the world.  Better for Vlad to ease Crimea back to a newly balanced and newly focused and essentially neutral Ukraine, than to take more territory in ways that even the Chinese don't view as being legitimate or desirable.

 

If only I could talk with these people.

 

Think about it.

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How politics makes us stupid

How politics makes us stupid | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the...
Eli Levine's insight:

Again, as much as I don't agree entirely with Jonathon Haidt about conservatives having more "dimensions" of morality over liberals, I will agree with him that we act as lawyers or our own side, rather than as scientists for the sake of truth.

 

This incarnation of humanity is stupid, because it doesn't embrace the (actual) truth as true.  It doesn't seek out what is real, only what it identifies with on some primitive tribal level of consciousness that blinds them to the actual facts of a given situation and hinders their abilities to act accordingly.  We are going to die because most people aren't going to accept the truth as to what is, what works and what doesn't work.  They just pick a partisan-side, without realizing the actual partisan side that's needed is truth.  Anyone who doesn't accept or get this concept is about as well sensed as a schizophrenic, as far as I'm concerned (although schizophrenics may sometimes, arrive at the truths through different channels than other people may follow, therefore making their claims more valid than ideologues from any side).

 

It's a stupid system; a stupid species.

 

And there's nothing that I or anyone else is going to be able to do about it, short of a real miracle.

 

But, guess what humanity, there are no such things as actual miracles.  Sometimes the whole thing does collapse with no one being able to save it, thanks to the unwillingness of one group or set of groups to step back and acknowledge that they may be wrong about something.  It takes two sides to make a miracle: one to bring the actual miracle, and the other to accept the miracle when and if it appears.  I highly doubt that this incarnation of humanity will accept a miracle, even if the universe offers one.

 

That is why it's going to die.  You're going to die as a result of this; no faith or acceptance of facts needed.

 

And there's nothing that I can do about it, except write and connect.

 

Think about it.

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The sadness of the mango trees

The sadness of the mango trees | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

ETim Whewell goes to the Central African Republic to find out what is behind the inter-ethnic violence.

Eli Levine's insight:

Economy mixes with society, society mixes with economy.  All fall under the auspices of politics, at the very least, government and the very most.

 

Hopefully the "Christians" will realize their mistake and put down those violent mobs that drove out a mainstay of their local economy.  Hopefully the "Christians" will allow for a more inclusive system of government so that the Muslims do not feel like they're being excluded or trampled upon by the "Christian" majority to the point where they feel a coup is needed to get what they'd like.  Conversely, hopefully the Muslims will also respect the needs of the Christians, and the other ethnicities, such that the they're no longer interested in taking extra than what they can legitimately receive from the given society.

 

It's amazing to me how humans from all over the world fail so miserably at these basic social concepts of living with people who are somehow "different" than they are.  It's just primitive tribalism, borrowed from our chimp ancestors; just a condition in the brain that's theoretically correctable with practice, mindfulness and time.  Imagine if we actually were able to get along, let the past mistakes be in the past, and simply carry on together as one species?

It would all fall apart by lunchtime on the very day that it would be declared.

 

Silly species....

 

Think about it.

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Kapital for the Twenty-First Century? | Dissent Magazine

Kapital for the Twenty-First Century? | Dissent Magazine | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

"Despite having made some disparaging remarks early on about the savagery of the United States, it turns out that Thomas Piketty is a garden-variety social welfare democrat in the mold, largely, of the American New Deal."


Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

All economics is political, because all wealth is political.  Be it a controlling influence in our media, energy sources, food resources or home goods, etc, all ownership entails a certain amount of responsibility on the part of the owners and yields considerable effects upon our world through their influence in the political/gubernatorial levels of our world.  To that end, concentration of wealth and true economic capital (the actual stuff that produces and is produced) leads to a form of dictatorship that is as fragile and corruptible as any dictatorship.  It's not good for the polity to leave economic wealth so concentrated at the "top" levels of our society, because it leaves the system prone to collapses, revolutions and uprisings that cannot reliably be put down through military force of arms or deceitful tactics.  The rebels will just keep coming, until the perceived injustice is perceived to be over.

 

What this means, is that in order to realize a less centralized, more organic and more stable polity, the members of our government must throw themselves on the mercy of the general public and reverse the policies which have encouraged the economic system to act as a cancerous parasite on the rest of society, rather than as a benevolent and necessary tool to satisfying human needs first, and human wants second.  The centralized polity under the centralized economic system is already eroding in the streets.  If the government's members are going to save their own hides, at the very least, they might as well reverse the changes of principle and goal that was enacted in the 1980's under the Reagan administration and return government's function and role to those principles and goals that was under the Roosevelt administration (even if we don't do everything the same way that they do).

 

This cancerous tendency in American society has got to be ended.  Yet the only way that it is truly going to be ended, is if those who exhibit these kinds of self-destructive economic behaviors are removed from office, researched and then never allowed back into those places again by the rest of society.

 

Sadly, I don't see humans taking up arms to put these bankers, financiers, executives, lobbyists and politicians into the straight jackets in which they belong in time to save themselves.  A sad state of affair.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, April 6, 12:10 AM

Brilliant critical analysis by James Galbraith of the new book of Thomas Piketty. A must-read.

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The Hidden Brain: How Ocean Currents Explain Our Unconscious Social Biases

The Hidden Brain: How Ocean Currents Explain Our Unconscious Social Biases | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

"Those who travel with the current will always feel they are good swimmers; those who swim against the current may never realize they are be -

Biases often work in surreptitious ways — they sneak in through the backdoor of our conscience, our good-personhood, and our highest rational convictions, and lodge themselves between us and the world, between our imperfect humanity and our aspirational selves, between who we believe we are and how we behave. Those stealthy inner workings of bias are precisely what NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam explores inThe Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives (public library) — a sweeping, eye-opening, uncomfortable yet necessary account of how our imperceptible prejudices sneak past our conscious selves and produce “subtle cognitive errors that lay beneath the rim of awareness,” making our actions stand at odds with our intentions and resulting in everything from financial errors based on misjudging risk to voter manipulation to protracted conflicts between people, nations, and groups.

In the introduction, Vedantam contextualizes why this phenomenon isn’t new but bears greater urgency than ever:

Unconscious biases have always dogged us, but multiple factors made them especially dangerous today. Globalization and technology, and the intersecting faultlines of religious extremism, economic upheaval, demographic change, and mass migration have amplified the effects of hidden biases. Our mental errors once affected only ourselves and those in our vicinity. Today, they affect people in distant lands and generations yet unborn. The flapping butterfly that caused a hurricane halfway around the world was a theoretical construct; today, subtle biases in faraway minds produce real storms in our lives.


Via Alessandro Cerboni
Eli Levine's insight:

It's all in there.

 

All of your chosen actions, biases, preferences, inclinations and disinclinations.

It operates on a level that you're not even aware of.

 

And it makes you do some of the most insane and crazy things that you won't even think or realize are insane and crazy.

 

Think about it.

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Anti-corruption activist on trial in China

Anti-corruption activist on trial in China | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Zhao Changqing is the third campaigner to appear in court this week as part of government crackdown on activists.
Eli Levine's insight:

I wonder how these crackdowns against activists compare relatively against crackdowns against corruption and corrupt officials.

 

It seems that the members of the CCP have failed to comprehend and understand the basis of Confucian thought.  After all, when a society is run with impropriety, it tends to lead to problems within the society directed at the leadership who is responsible for their care and well being.  Even if you take the father-son analogy over the marriage analogy, there still is an obligation from the father towards the son, such that the father is governing effectively and sincerely in the interests of the son.  That is how the father maintains his position within a society without having human-made laws artificially bind them.  Theoretically, it is possible (although not always desirable on the practical level, according to a given society) to have no constitution or no legal recourse for the people, yet still have a perfectly legitimate, perfectly functional, healthy, dynamic and responsive relationship between government and its society.  This, again, isn't always something that is going to be accepted by the general public.  However, in the end, it is only the natural laws of the universe that bind us all, rather than any human-made laws.  One set of laws is manipulable, malleable, twistable and breakable towards personal ends.  The other is simply not, and follows according to its own natural, predictable and empirically testable logic, binding everyone to the consequences of our individual and collective actions.

 

Democratic recourse is desirable, I think, because it holds the governing members to more immediate accounts for their actions and decisions without having the need to take extra-legal matters.  However, whether you see or believe or have written something into the written legality or not is, for all intents and purposes, technically irrelevant, relative to common reality.  All laws can be broken, except for those which exist in the natural world.

 

Who knows how or why anyone would think of things as being otherwise, either artificially free or artificially bound, is a mystery to me, personally.

 

Think about it.

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The short guide to Capital in the 21st Century

The short guide to Capital in the 21st Century | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century is the most important economics book of the year, if not the decade. If you don't have time to read all 700 pages, we've got you covered right here.
Eli Levine's insight:

This is arguably the consequence of the labor market being expanded to the global scale and to the laws and policies from government that enable employers and business owners to not share out the produced wealth to either the shareholders who made the wealth possible or to the workers who produced the wealth in the first place.  While you cannot have a centrally planned economy and expect things to function well, you can have a market economy with a more social and environmental logic and consciousness to it.

 

Laissez-faire simply leads to the most amount of wealth production for the wealthy at the expense of the society, the environment and all other aspects of human life that we need to survive.  It is the prioritization of money over all other human needs, at the expense of all other human needs, such that we're killed off in the process as we race to the bottom for the sake of a perceived need and want that we shouldn't, if we had a healthy brain, need or want.

 

We cannot afford to continue on this path to nothing.  We will die for the sake of someone's cash "profit", because their brain wasn't functioning properly to understand that they need health and well being satisfied before wealth.  Society will either stand up together and confront these idiots on high and on low who think that money is something that we need as a species past a certain point.  Or, we will all pay the price of our lack of action and die accordingly together.

 

It is that simple.

 

And I doubt that we will succeed, due to the divisions of brain types within the common masses of the people where some can sense reality and some can't or won't sense reality or do anything significant or substantial to deal with it.

 

Why I am here to suffer with ya'll due to everyone elses' actions and lack of actions, I have no clue.  I've done all I can legally and practically.

 

Think about it.

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Iran 'won't give up nuclear plans'

Iran 'won't give up nuclear plans' | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backs negotiations with world powers but warns Tehran will never give up its nuclear plans.
Eli Levine's insight:

We're probably never really going to get Iran to give up its nuclear program, especially if it's for peaceable methods.  I don't understand what everyone's problem is with a country realizing energy independence from relatively clean sources.

 

Yes, we shouldn't be fools and allow Iran to just have nuclear weapons.  They shouldn't be getting carte blanche at these negotiations, nor should you give carte blanche in any negotiation that you sit down at.  However, it's ridiculous to force a country into economic backwardness when it is in the West's interests to have Iran's society be well without the Ayatollahs getting credit for it.  We should have analyzed the situation more thouroughly when Rouhani was elected President, such that we could have changed our sails in accordance with how the winds are blowing in Iranian society.  I don't get how conservatives don't trust or sense the information that is constantly being presented to them in favor of sub-optimal conditions for themselves and the rest of the society that they govern.

 

Absolutely a ludicrous set of people!

 

Think about it.

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Observations of Social Inclusion, Exclusion and Care

Observations of Social Inclusion, Exclusion and Care | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
When there is a lack of inclusion within a given society or care for all members of the larger human society, either in the realm of politics or economy or society, things tend to get out of hand a...
Eli Levine's insight:

Sad that the people who run societies have never taken these empirically grounded facts to heart.  What is history but the data set from which our lives spring from?

 

Think about it.

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MPs' Champagne Bill Soars Under The Coalition

MPs' Champagne Bill Soars Under The Coalition | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
MPs' appetite for champagne has not been affected by the coalition's austerity programme, as parliamentary officials bought in increasingly larger numbers of bottles each year to replenish the House of Commons' stock. House of Commons officials revealed that they have spent £275,221 buying in more than 25,000 bottles of champagne since the coalition took over in May 2010, which MPs and their staff can enjoy in Parliament's bars and restaurants.

Via Darcy Delaproser, Jocelyn Stoller
Eli Levine's insight:

Gee.

 

You'd think the Conservatives would be more principled than that.

 

Now they're sauced and stupid.

 

Think about it.

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Surviving the post-employment economy

Surviving the post-employment economy | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Eli Levine's insight:

According to other articles I've seen, it seems that the unemployment problem isn't going away anytime soon.  It's remaining in Portugal, Spain and Greece as well as in economies like the UK or the US.  Emigration is the new recommendation as Europe's rich clamp down with austerity measures to protect their own wealth, even though the financial, material and social costs of emigration are not taken into account by those policy makers who think they're secure in their jobs through simple privilege and present position.  No thought seems to be given for tomorrow, even as all the signs of today indicate that they're going to awaken to some nasty surprises from the society and the environment as a result of their actions today.

 

Europe's job market is stagnant and the US's job recovery is but a trickle of low paying service jobs.  Without minimum wage reform in the US and proactive negotiation between workers and management from both sides, growth is going to be anemic and weak, even though there are jobs from which things can grow again.

 

Unfortunately, this article does not concern itself with the blue collar labor that fuels the actual production of the economy.  That too is undervalued and underpaid, as profits are maximized without dividends even being returned to shareholders (except if they sell their stocks).  A society cannot just be a group of academically trained professionals, nor will it likely ever be as a result of mere statistical chance.

 

Therefore, it's apparent that we have a deficit of demand for higher level work with an oversupply of trained individuals while demand for manuel labor shrinks both in this country as jobs go overseas and in the global economy as automation replaces workers with machines.  We either need a rethink of how our economy and society works, such that either people are able to care for themselves without a job (not likely to happen for individual psychological and social reasons), people are enabled to work in spite of potential automation opportunities or that we have a significant reduction of people due to mass death.  The most appealing option, in my view, is the second one.  However, that would require abandoning the mantra of profit-maximization as well as the social and cultural establishment of a less-profit driven logic in the economy, such that people are paid according to what they're worth (the value of what they produce) and that there are jobs available for people to have, even if it comes at a reduction of profit for the companies in question.  This is not likely to happen at all, really, for any sustainable period of time, nor is it necessarily desirable as we lose out on economic and scientific opportunities to improve our lot on this planet and in the universe. 

 

We could work on extra-planetary colonization.  That would use time, energy, effort, resources and labor that would otherwise be spare.  Or, we could undertake massive public works campaigns that can be repeated and undone in order to provide constant work (inefficient, but it would deal with the excess labor problem).  But that would take time and resources that would have to be pryed from the hands of the private elites who have benefitted so illegitimately and handsomely from the current policy set.  I see neither one of those things happening.

 

Therefore, death is all that's left on the table, thanks to the wishes, desires, beliefs and actions of the rich.

 

They're truly terrible people.

 

And I wish we'd just get them into mental health hospitals as soon as possible, in order to get them away from these positions in society which they are so unqualified for.

 

Think about it.

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From Occupy Frankfurt. The German police took off their helmets and marched with the protest clearing the way for them. : pics

From Occupy Frankfurt. The German police took off their helmets and marched with the protest clearing the way for them. : pics | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
reddit: the front page of the internet
Eli Levine's insight:

Who knows if this is accurate or not. Judging from the Reddit comments, they could be misinterpreting the picture for one side or the other. Lots of people and money interested in spinning this so that protestors and police stay enemies. Gotta be skeptical, even of people who are "on" side of the public officially.

 

Something big this way comes.

 

And I'm shocked the bankers haven't figured out that now is the time to back peddle significantly, genuinely and sincerely.

 

Before things get hairier for them.

 

Silly people who never learned anything from history: the raw data of us.

 

Or psychology.

 

Or sociology.

 

Or economics.

 

Or politics.

 

Or environmental sciences.

 

Think about it.

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Natural Law, Society and Government

Natural Law, Society and Government | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
All things bend to nature and to nature's laws.  We don't know or understand all of nature's laws, such that we are likely to continuously be baffled, surprised and prone to suffering in one way or...
Eli Levine's insight:

We will either learn to live with nature, or nature will kill us off.

 

Period.

 

Think about it.

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The GovLab Index: Measuring Impact with Evidence - The Governance Lab @ NYU

The GovLab Index: Measuring Impact with Evidence - The Governance Lab @ NYU | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The GovLab Index: Measuring Impact with Evidence Please find below the latest installment in The GovLab Index series, inspired by the Harper’s Index. The GovLab Index: Measuring Impact with Evidence highlights the need for and current scarcity of evidence in decision-making practices. Previous installments include Open Data, The Data Universe, The Networked Public, Participation and […]
Eli Levine's insight:

It should be standard to evaluate, examine and potentially (if the program itself is useful) titrate policies and programs according to the needs within the given society, rather than the desires of the politicians.  Governing is not about the opinions of the politicians, but of the conditions within the society in which the government has legal, legitimate authority.

 

It is through tending to the actual needs of a given society effectively, sincerely and genuinely that a government is able to maintain its legitimacy and longevity.  Otherwise, the society languishes, and the government and its members become suspect, leading to their eventual removal from office through peaceful elections or violent force.

 

This isn't so much a call for no government, nor is it a simplisitic reading that government is a useless institution.  It is, if anything, a call for us to actually make government a more effective, more efficient and better functioning institution for the sake of people, rather than for private interests and people who seem to benefit the most from this confusion and misallocation of funds and priorities.  The top level program influences what is produced in the bottom, while the natural laws of the bottom influences what can be done by the top level programs.  The software of a computer will effect how the computer runs and operates as well as what operates and what happens.  However, the programs have to be written for and according to the natural circuitry that exists within the machine, such that it is compatible and effective in the hardware in which it needs to operate. 

 

As it is with computers, so to is it with societies.  Governments influence and effect what gets done and how things are done within a given society.  However, what the government can do, how it does it and what results can be realized are determined by the social, economic and environmental hardware that is present.

 

It's a shame that we're probably not going to reform in time to save ourselves the worst of the hazards that are going to be caused by our current "leaders'" actions, especially since the lessons can be learned without pain and suffering for everyone.  But what else is new in this world?

 

Silly place.

 

Think about it.

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Architectural design influences which microbes surround us

Architectural design influences which microbes surround us | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

They have us surrounded. Even inside the spaces we build for ourselves — like homes and offices — we are a tiny minority. Invisible bacteria, fungi, and viruses outnumber us by orders of magnitude.

We will always be outnumbered, but we may have a say in which microbes we’re surrounded by, according to a new study that’s one of the first to investigate how building design influences the microbial diversity of indoor spaces. “Design choices at the level of a whole building make a really big impact on the types of invisible organisms that you see in a room,” said microbial ecologist Jessica Green, an author of the new study. The work is part of an emerging body research suggesting that design decisions — from the architect’s blueprint to the choice of ventilation system to the materials picked by the interior designer — help shape the microbes in our midst.

 

In three recent studies, her team at the University of Oregon dissected the microbial diversity of a single building on campus called Lillis Hall, which houses professor’s offices and classrooms. In one study, they used a modified Shop-Vac to collect 155 dust samples throughout the building. Back in the lab, they extracted bacterial DNA and sequenced a gene called 16S. All bacteria have a copy of this gene, but its sequence differs from one type of bacteria to another, making it a useful ID marker. Classifying fungi and viruses is trickier, but Green hopes to tackle them in future studies.


Restrooms and classrooms, which are visited by many people throughout the day, tended to be dominated by bacteria commonly found on human skin, including Lactobacillus and Staphylococcus. Offices, especially those with windows, tended to have higher levels of soil-dwelling Methylobacterium. Mechanically ventilated offices, on the other hand, had more Deinococcus, which may be better suited to the hot dry air pumped out by the heating system in these rooms, Green says.


In addition to dust, Green and her team have also examined air samples and surfaces in Lillis Hall. In another recent study they found that rooms with a natural ventilation system that brings in outside air at night have microbial profiles more similar to outside air, compared to rooms with mechanical ventilation system that was turned off at night to save money. “What we found is if you have this really expensive mechanical ventilation system and you turn it off at night, you’re leaving this bag of microbes that people are immersed in when they come back in the morning,” Green said.


The interactions between building design, microbial diversity, and health might be stronger in other types of buildings — such as hospitals. Green is part of a consortium studying how microbial communities develop in two newly constructed hospitals, one in Chicago and one in Germany.

 

But she thinks those interactions will turn out to exist in other types of buildings too. She notes that scientists are only just beginning to discover how the microbiome, the collection of microbes that live inside our guts, can impact our health by interacting with everything from the immune system to the brain. And where do those microbes come from? ”We pick them up from the built environment,” Green said. For a species that spends nearly 90% of its time indoors, that’s something to think about.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Eli Levine's insight:

Makes a lot of sense.

 

Imagine if we factored this into our architectural designs, as well as a host of other factors which influence our well being, health and survival.

 

Think about it.

 

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Pro-Russians storm Ukraine buildings

Pro-Russians storm Ukraine buildings | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Pro-Russian protesters storm government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities, calling for a referendum on independence.
Eli Levine's insight:

This was bound to happen.

 

And yet no one is reporting on what the Ukrainian government in Kiev is doing in light of these protests and concerns.

 

At least, no one in the West.

 

And it's so very hard to trust the media from Russia as well, due to the fact that people are talking over people, rather than listening for what needs to be done.

 

There are legitimate economic, social and strategic concerns with regards to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea that I haven't heard the Ukrainian government address adequately or effectively.  There is also the question as to why the West was so eager for Yanukovych to fall, when this conflict could easily have been predicted between the Russian and the Ukrainian speaking people.  If they had been paying attention to the people, rather than to elite governmental, academic and traditional intelligence sources, perhaps we could have worked more effectively in this conflict, rather than just becoming an antagonistic advocate for a side that isn't really 100% in the right?

 

Has that occurred to anyone in our policy making fields who actually have favor and the attention of our government?

Doubtful.

 

Think about it.

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