Saturday, March 31, 2018

Piers Morgan's Dump interview

This clip shows that Morgan is an ass kisser, nothing more.

Dump introduces his new lawyer

After a brief comment about porn stars.

God admits he's a dead beat dad

As reported by The Onion.

THE HEAVENS—Saying that maybe He wasn’t around enough and could have expressed His divine love a little better throughout the history of mankind, Our Lord God and Almighty Father expressed concern Thursday that He might have fucked up His children.

In a frank conversation with reporters, God said it’s not hard to see that all 7 billion of His children are “pretty screwed up” and that many of them are hopelessly maladjusted and unfit to live healthy, normal lives.

“I love my sons and daughters equally, but was I present as much as I could have been? Probably not,” said the Divine Creator, pointing to the human race’s emotional volatility, existential angst, and lack of any real direction as evidence of His failure. “Ever since I molded them in my image, I’ve tried to do right by them. I really have. But they’re just so dysfunctional that I’m starting to wonder if I’m to blame.”

God claimed that though He always made sure to provide His children with food, water, air to breathe, and an earth to live on, He was starting to realize that material things weren’t nearly enough. In addition, while God repeatedly said He loved his children, the Lord our Maker admitted He could have said it more often.

Moreover, God told reporters He was also beginning to regret His hands-off approach, saying that giving His children complete free will was probably a mistake.

Kacey Musgraves on Colbert last night

Performing Slow Burn. It has the same chord structure as Fire and Rain by James Taylor. Even the melody is reminiscent of that song. Still, Musgraves makes this new song her own in her inimitable, beautiful style.

Colbert's Facebook alternative

With all the people and businesses leaving Facebook due to it recording all your personal information and selling it, Colbert decides to launch an alternative.

Kids' latest nightmare

The monster under the bed is downright welcome compared to what's keeping kids up these nights.

Hogg responds to Ingraham's apology

Laura Ingraham personally attacked David Hogg for being rejected by 4 colleges, so Hogg called for a boycott. Several large sponsors subsequently removed their ads from Ingraham's show so she decided to apologize to Hogg. When asked if Hogg accepts her apology he said no because it's disingenuous and was only done to stop the hemorrhaging of sponsors abandoning ship. Good for Hogg that he sees right through her, as well as the regressive backlash against student literally fighting for their lives. I'm encouraged about these future leaders of our country.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Manafort associated with Russian spy

In this story Mueller filed documents that "allege that Gates has said he knew the [Manafort] associate was a former officer with the Russian military intelligence service." This gets better by the day and inevitably leads to one conclusion: Collusion and impeachment!

Roseanne is the typical Dumpster

So it's good that she has returned to the show in her name. We need to see the typical Dumpster up close and personal. Granted it will only reinforce other Dumpsters, but for the rest of us, the overall majority of voters, we will have to face exactly what we're dealing with instead of using rationalization that these are just good people that are equally capable of making well reasoned decisions for the good of our country. And for those who voted for Dump that still have some of those reasoning powers they will see exactly with whom they associate, and the kind of country we are becoming fed by this merry band of racist, bigoted, xenophobic, hateful, pridefully ignorant and paranoid bunch incited by one of their own in Presidunce Spanky Dump.

Why Ralph Peters quit Pox Views

See his article here. Peters is an expert on Russian intelligence but he could no longer take working for a media outlet that called Mueller's legitimate investigation a witch hunt. Pox also attacks our institutions and the rule of law. Pox muzzled Peters because he would provide accurate information that was contrary to their anti-American agenda. Also Peters thought Dump was an ideal candidate for Russian blackmail. Yes, there is a witch hunt, but it's led by Pox Views against our country.

Eisenhower on the military-industrial complex

Hartmann discusses this with audio recordings of Eisenhower on the topic. Eisenhower was a Republican, by the way, but there is nothing left of this kind of agenda in that Party today.

Environmental Destruction Agency at it again

Is continuing to live up to its name by rolling back clean emission car standards. These regulations, while actually working to clean up emissions, are thwarting the maximum greed attainable by fossil fuel barons. And they are, after all, the ones pulling the EPA's strings.

Some facts on the tax scam

As predicted, most working class families just aren't seeing any increase in income, only those with incomes over $75,000, with the bulk going to the top 1%. I hope they remember that come time to vote in November.

Greg Palast on Census citizenship question

Following up on this post,  here's his FB post where he said the following. The post includes his video interview with Hartmann.

"As soon as I heard Trump was adding the question about whether you have a non-citizen in your household to the census I smelled Kobach... They’re basically turning the census into a giant caging operation to get rid of real citizen voters by asking if you have a non-citizen in your household.

"They want to scare people off from voting and they want to scare people off from filling out the census... The census controls the size of the congressional delegation of states and they know this will adversely affect California, New York, and New Jersey, who have large immigrant populations. They know it’s going to shrink the Democratic congressional delegation — and shrink the number of Democratic electoral votes for president.

"The census shouldn’t be used as a tool for harassing immigrants. It shouldn’t be used to cut the legs off the political power of New York and California. It shouldn’t be used to cleanse the voter rolls of New Mexico and Arizona… They want to weaponize the census and there couldn’t be anything worse."

Marinaleda: Democratic socialist success

See this story about that southern Spanish town, with "virtually no police, crime or unemployment." Anyone can build a home for free and pay $19 a month for life, provided the house is not sold for profit. Employment is provided by the town farming cooperative, which pays $1600 per month.

CA coffee must have cancer warning

See this Los Angeles judge ruling that requires California coffee sellers to put this warning on their coffee due to unsafe levels of acrylamide. Starbucks failed to show its coffee was below the legal level for this carcinogen, clearly spelled out in Proposition 65. The story notes that "several defendants in the case settled before Wednesday’s decision, agreeing to post signage about the cancer-linked chemical and pay millions in fines, according to published reports."

On a related note, see this article on toxic levels of lead and/or cadmium in chocolate, with a proposed CA lawsuit that seeks similar a similar warning.

Facebook opposes privacy protection measure

FB could care less about your personal privacy. They are spending thousands of dollars to sink this California ballot proposal. The proposed Act "would require big companies to disclose the type of information they gather, explain how it is shared or sold and give people the right to prevent businesses from spreading their personal data." Google, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are joining in the opposition.  Look not to what they say but what they do.

Read more here:

Appeals Court: Assault rifles not protected by the 2nd Amendment

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Maryland's ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons, including the AR-15. It also limits magazines to 10 rounds. The vote was 10 - 4. Hopefully they are setting a national standard for reasonable gun control.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sarah Jarosz - Run Away

With Alison Krauss. Moving.

Agent Mulder explains the FEMA Puerto Rico conspiracy

Mulder comes in around 0:45 in this video.

Dump to VA Secretary: You're fired

And why? By Dump's own admission he wants to privatize VA healthcare to pay off his wealthy donors. That it will inevitably lead to degraded care and co-pays for Veterans is not the least a consideration. We veterans though are quit a huge lobby and we will fight this one all the way.

Fired VA Secretary Shulkin is pissed and he's complaining to the media about it. He said it's all politics to privatize the VA, given the toxic environment of Spanky Dump's corrupt agenda.

Dump's Census will ask about citizenship

So why is this wrong? Aside from the obvious attempt to 1) scare illegal immigrants from completing it and 2) hoping that if they do they will then face deportation? The Census is suppose to count all citizens regardless of citizenship status, because an accurate count is needed for decisions like distribution of federal funds and drawing both federal and state district voting maps. So part of the motivation is to scare illegals from participating so that those districts that typically vote Democratic will be redrawn to eliminate their fair representation.

The Attorneys General of California and New York have already filed suit to stop this blatant Repugnantan power grab. The suits are calling the question unconstitutional because that august document requires "actual enumeration" in the Census, meaning counting everyone.

NRA admits to taking foreign money

But denies any of it was used for election related purposes. Federal investigators are looking into this. Cousins comments below.

Colbert interviews John Bolton (played by Dana Carvey)

Funny skit that releases some of the tension of this very dangerous man. Also see Colbert's interview with Carvey on a bit of a more serious note.

Aquaponic farming

Video by PBS News Hour. The blurb:

"Aquaponics, a system of farming that uses no soil, also uses far less water than traditional agriculture. But while the technique is gaining attention, it remains a very niche way to grow produce due to economic limitations. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Half Moon Bay, California."

Treat Nazis like you treat women

Funny standup comedy about men, women and Nazis.

Hitler reacts to nonduality/enlightenment

A remake of this famous scene.

Levels of development, the self-system and the center of gravity

See this research that refutes developmental center of gravity. From Mascolo, p. 6: 

"It follows that individuals never operate at any single level of development. Instead, they operate within a developmental range – a series of levels that vary with task, domain, context, emotional state, and so forth. Given such dynamic variation, there can be no broad-based stages of development. It is thus not helpful to think of a person or a person’s abilities as being 'in a stage' of development. Development does not move through a series of fixed steps; development operates more like a constructive Web."

Also this article on the model of hierarchical complexity which said: 

"In mapping the mathematical orders of order of hierarchical complexity and of stage transition on to real world data, there are a number of considerations. Because the model does not call for global measures (e.g., of a person’s 'center of gravity'), it is possible to look at change trial by trial, choice by choice, task action by task action" (318).

 Reams, J. (2014). "A brief overview of developmental theory." Integral Review, 10:1.

"What we can see upon first glance is that ego stage models tend towards describing a center of gravity, a structure of self-understanding and meaning making that is
relatively stable with periodic transformations, and within which variability happens, but is harder to account for. Fischer’s dynamic skill theory, on the other hand, starts from two different sets of empirical findings. One is that variability is central to performance, understanding etc. and that this variability is both moment to moment within an individual and across individuals. Thus statistical norming or establishing a center of gravity is not in focus. The other is that the unit of analysis is the skill being performed and the hierarchical complexity of it, not an individual ego and its stage of development. Individuals are simply the means through which we can observe these structures" (126-27).

 Some consequences of the 'center of gravity' approach, by Rob McNamara on Kurt Fischer's work:

New algorithm for large-scale brain simulations

See this article. An excerpt:

"The breakthrough published in Frontiers in Neuroinformatics is a new way of constructing the neuronal network in the supercomputer. Due to the algorithms, the memory required on each node no longer increases with network size. At the beginning of the simulation, the new technology allows the nodes to exchange information about who needs to send neuronal activity data to whom. Once this knowledge is available, the exchange of neuronal activity data between nodes can be organized such that a node only receives the information it requires. An additional Bit for each neuron in the network is no longer necessary."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Former Supreme Corp judge: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

Stevens was appointed by Republican Ford back in the day, so he ain't no bleeding heart liberal. And he's adamant that the 2nd Amendment has become so "warped by gun lobbyists at the National Rifle Association to extend beyond its original intent" so needs to be repealed. He argued that the 2nd Amendment never gave individuals the right to bear arms in the first place. He'd also like to see banning of assault weapons, raising the age of ownership to 18 and much more comprehensive background checks.

Piketty on how progressives win

This Salon piece analyzes Piketty's 65-page paper on the topic, reinforcing that the Sanders agenda is the people's agenda and a winning strategy.

"Piketty's paper aligns with their somewhat counterintuitive strategy that shifting the Democratic Party platform more to the left is actually a winning electoral strategy that can help bring back disenfranchised working-class voters and less educated voters who currently may not vote at all or identify with right-wing populism."

And he's also right, like Thomas Frank, that a main reason the Dems lost is due to shifting their allegiances to the top 10% of professionals and away from the common working person. To win they must reverse that trend. And have genuine progressive candidates that authentically fight for working people. That means no more corporate Dims like Clinton.

Repugnantan gun controal hypocrisy

A tale of two Dumps

If only...

How to crush it at a Conscious Festival

So much consciousness, so little time.

Colbert: Dump's new nickname

Due to his encounter with Stormy Daniels.

Differences in liberal and conservative bias

This recent study paid participants to read opposing political Twitter feeds for a month. The results were that conservatives were "substantially more conservative" after the experiment, while liberals were "slightly more liberal [...] though none of these effects were statistically significant." It is obvious that liberal and conservative bias is on an asymmetrical scale. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Justin Timberlake - Say Something

Featuring Chris Stapleton.

Damasio: Biology and the boundaries of humanity

A summary of the talk in the video below is provided at this link. A couple of excerpts:

"There are key distinguishing factors between humans and other species. For example, human cultural productions are much greater and more complex than those of other species. Professor Damasio focused on human mental faculties including symbolism, narrative, learning, and memory. He argued that these capabilities, specifically the extensive integration of memory and language into human cognition, allows for a contextualization of feelings that differs from that of other species. [...] Human feelings are connected to past memories, and other brain structures also connect feelings to imagination and future plans. While animals may have similar basic feelings, their feelings are not contextualized in this way, though we do share the same core mechanisms and biological sources.

"These contextualized feelings facilitated the creation of human moral principles. Professor Damasio argued that moral principles were generated by reflection on the human condition, as a result of examining and contextualizing feelings (e.g. actual suffering and pain, prospective flourishing and pleasure) and imagining how the causes of feelings could be sought or avoided. Thus, human moral principles are not a mere natural result of biology and evolution but are constructed intentionally by humans under the guidance of values.  Taken together, these arguments build a case for the exceptional status of humans, not just in degree but also in kind."

Damasio interview on his new book

The Strange Order of Things, which I'm reading now. (And continuing this post.) At 4:35 he is asked about and replies that human functioning is much more than just an algorithm. It's a critique of the computational model of minds. Which in turn leads us to how we approach morality. It also leads to the misconception that we can download our minds into a computer network because it doesn't conceptualize minds as embodied with feelings. It's also a comment on that sort of approach to artificial intelligence.

Also while he finds the precursors of feelings in ancient life forms, and that humans incorporate those ancient precursors, our feelings and consciousness does a lot more with them, including conscious, deliberate manipulation (8:40).

Also see this much longer presentation on the book.

Accused white Christian terrorists and Dump

Continuing this post, Harmann interviews the author of the story on the Kansas white Christian terrorist trial.

Papadopoulos had extensive contact with top Dumpsters

As confirmed by emails Mueller is investigating. He was working with Bannon and Flynn and encouraged to contact Russians. He had a meeting with Sessions, Flynn and Dump. It's not wonder that Dump is trying to smear him.

Colbert's Sean Penn interview

It starts slow but when Penn starts talking about the creative process (around 1:50) he turns out to be a deep and interesting thinker. He also addresses the movie making business, which often leads away from an actor's creative process in order to make money for the investors with their own agenda.

Bishop Briggs - White Flag

On Colbert last night. I like the quirky jerky energy of her performance, her personal style, the overall sound and the resolute, fighting lyrics against all odds. It reminded me of the kids demonstrating for gun control.

Colbert on the March For Our Lives

Showing some of the better signs, and the hope the march brings that perhaps finally we can get some sensible gun legislation. Also some of the Repugnantan irrelevant and ideological response to it. Colbert continues with Mueller's investigation and Dump's rat attorneys abandoning a sinking ship. Then he breaks into a Sinatra song paraphrased by a Dump Tweet. One of his funnier monologues.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Benji and Nicole

At the Chicago Classic 2018. They just keep the innovative acrobatics coming. And I never expected the haircut I had in grade school would come back in style, as it is still ugly.

Charlie Puth - Change

With James Taylor.

Ivanka's scientific image

Is all image with zero accuracy. She learned such fake authenticity from her dad.

Repugnantan thoughts and prayers answered

And we ain't f__king around.

Keith Ellison interview

Rep. Ellison is a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In this interview he discusses health care, maximum wage and racism from the progressive stance. He argues for single-payer and the only humane and pragmatic alternative. And setting a maximum wage might redress income inequality at least somewhat if we use that excess money for social purposes. Income inequality is also tied to racism in that the beneficiaries of wealth use race as a wedge to scapegoat and divide those not so fortunate.

Evolutionary e-cognition

Continuing this post, the authors responded to some criticism in this article. On the criticism that “we have confused proximate and ultimate levels of explanation” regarding e-cognition, they respond:

“That said, Stephen et al. perhaps jumped the gun by stating that E-cognition is a proximate and not an ultimate approach, without providing any reason as to why this is the case. Indeed, some forms of E-cognition are fundamentally evolutionary. For instance, certain aspects of the extended mind argument have been made in an explicitly evolutionary way, captured by Clark’s (2005) “007 Principle” and Rowlands’ (2003) “barking dog principle.” Both of these suggest that a thrifty evolutionary process will not build internal resources (especially expensive neural tissue) if the structure of the environment itself can be exploited in a way that can bear some of the cognitive burden. Distributed, extended cognition is thus the process by which internal resources are replaced or complemented by reliable external structures, with the idea that organisms that pursue this route will achieve higher fitness. This is supported by analogies from other species (for example, the manner in which the physics of a cricket’s body automatically filters out extraneous sounds; a process that would otherwise need to be performed by neural tissue: Barrett, 2011) and so the extended mind also adopts the phylogenetic perspective for which Stephen et al. advocate.”

Development and evolution continued

Continuing this post, the following section is on developmental psychology's more general contribution to EP, and more specifically Piaget's genetic epistemology.

"In painstaking psychogenetic studies, Piaget established that organisms are not passive achievers of knowledge or reactors to external conditions; to the contrary, the system seeks its own experience and reacts to stimuli with active and creative changes in itself and in the environment. Piaget's genetic epistemology gave a plausible explanation for the relation between cognition and action (as the Santiago School of Maturana and Varela put it: no cognition without action, and no action without cognition). Piaget emphasized the emergence of cognitive abilities out of a groundwork of sensorimotor abilities. At the beginning of an interaction there is no subject and no object. Both result from the internal organization of the subject's experience with the external. For Piaget, boundaries between the cognitive subject and the outside object were not given qualities but created categories of the world. The cognitive system was the subject-environment unity. Piaget attempted to show the constructivist-interactionist power between the two antagonistic mechanisms of life: organization and adaptation - maintenance and change - essential for every natural process, like development, evolution, and cognition. Development, in this view, is the construction of all kinds of causal factors—genetic, epigenetic, ecological, social and cultural factors—which interact together in a self-organized and not centrally controlled manner (Stotz, 1996). His understanding of ontogenesis hugely influenced his conception of evolution. Piaget was one of the first to take a developmental perspective on evolutionary processes. His genetic epistemology was a biology of knowledge based on an evolutionary theory situated between the extremes of (neo-) Darwinism and Lamarckism. Behavior is seen as a driving force in evolution, and an adaptation to the environment is understood as the result of an interactive construction of self and the environment."

White Christian terrorist trial in Kansas

See this report, since you will not hear a peep from corporate media or Dump on this trial. 3 white Christians calling them selves Crusaders "wanted to kill hundreds of people on U.S. soil using machine guns and explosives in the hopes of starting, in essence, a holy war." Good thing the FBI infiltrated the group and brought up charges before they could implement their plan of attacking "the local Muslim American community that would slaughter everyone there, including the children, in the hopes it would 'wake people up' and inspire others to take up arms and slaughter Muslims living in our country." And of course two of them loved and praised Dump.

Methodological individualism

This term of art came up while reading the literature on evolutionary psychology, particularly from critics of both the selfish gene theory and kin selection. So I looked up the Stanford Encyclopedia article on it. Some criticism uses the microrealization-robustness theory, which sounds more than a bit like multi-level selection.

"Multiple levels of description: The system admits lower and higher levels of description, associated with different level-specific properties (e.g. individual-level properties versus aggregate properties)." And that there are also "multiple realizability of higher-level properties: The system's higher-level properties are determined by its lower-level properties, but can be realized by numerous different configurations of them and hence cannot feasibly be redescribed in terms of lower-level properties."

In the section on fallacies it is noted that "too much emphasis on the action-theoretic perspective, because of its proximity to common sense, can generate false assumptions about what must be going on at the aggregate level." That is, reducing social level analysis to individual behavior. And when combined with an evolutionary perspective we could get this fallacy:

Evolutionary democracy

Continuing this post, see this article by Elza S. Maalouf, Integral World, 2014. Evolutionary approaches also need developmental approaches to see how worldviews change within and throughout that development. See the link for detailed descriptions of the socio-economic systems in the chart below. It's a bit hard to read so see the link for a better view.

The real Jesus

Far different from Repugnantan Jesus. Real Jesus is perfectly clear.

Chomsky on Sanders

From this interview:

Q: "What do you think it would it take for a real reformist candidate, a true populist, to ever win the presidency?"

A: " What it would actually take is popular organization and activism. With all its flaws, the U.S. is still a pretty free country. In this case, Democratic Party managers had to manipulate to keep Sanders from winning the nomination. His campaign, I think, was really spectacular. I couldn’t have predicted anything like it. It’s a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close—he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he’d been elected? He couldn’t have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy—you have to build the whole system from the bottom.

Altruistic behavior: Mapping responses in the brain

By Filkowski et al., Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics, 2016:5. The abstract:

"Altruism is an important social construct related to human relationships and the way many interpersonal and economic decisions are made. Recent progress in social neuroscience research shows that altruism is associated with a specific pattern of brain activity. The tendency to engage in altruistic behaviors is associated with greater activity within limbic regions such as the nucleus accumbens and anterior cingulate cortex in addition to cortical regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction. Here, we review existing theoretical models of altruism as well as recent empirical neuroimaging research demonstrating how altruism is processed within the brain. This review not only highlights the progress in neuroscience research on altruism but also shows that there exist several open questions that remain unexplored."

Homeostasis and its implications for economics

By Antonio and Hanna Damasio, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Working Paper Number 38, October 2015. The abstract:

"In its standard format, the concept of homeostasis refers to the ability, present in all living organisms, of continuously maintaining certain functional variables within a range of values compatible with survival. The mechanisms of homeostasis were originally conceived as strictly automatic and as pertaining only to the state of an organism’s internal environment. In keeping with this concept, homeostasis was, and still is, often explained by analogy to a thermostat: upon reaching a previously set temperature, the device commands itself to either suspend the ongoing operation (cooling or heating), or to initiate it, as appropriate. This traditional explanation fails to capture the richness of the concept and the range of circumstances in which it can be applied to living systems. Our goal here is to consider a more comprehensive view of homeostasis. This includes its application to systems in which the presence of conscious and deliberative minds, individually and in social groups, permits the creation of supplementary regulatory mechanisms aimed at achieving balanced and thus survivable life states but more prone to failure than the fully automated mechanisms. We suggest that an economy is an example of one such regulatory mechanism, and that facts regarding human homeostasis may be of value in the study of economic problems. Importantly, the reality of human homeostasis expands the views on preferences and rational choice that are part of traditionally conceived Homo economicus and casts doubts on economic models that depend only on an 'invisible hand' mechanism."

An excerpt:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Two key steps in the evolution of human cooperation

The interpendence hypothesis, by Tomasello et al., Current Anthropology Volume 53, Number 6, December 2012

"The dynamics of small-scale collaboration worked fine for foraging in dyads and triads of the moment. But as groups became larger, eventually turning into tribal societies, and groups started competing with one another for resources, new challenges to cooperation arose. The solution was a suite of new proximate mechanisms that we may summarize with the term “group-mindedness.” Behavioral traditions were conventionalized into cultural practices that everyone knew and that everyone expected everyone else to know and conform to, which facilitated individuals’ coordination with in-group strangers. Social selection was conventionalized into group-wide social norms, which were also part of the common ground of the group, as was the group-wide obligation to enforce these norms. People used conformity to the cultural practices and social norms of the society as markers of group identity, and everyone favored and trusted members of their own society over others, especially as group competition heightened. The result was a new kind of interdependence and group-mindedness that went well beyond the joint intentionality of small-scale cooperation to a kind of collective intentionality at the level of the entire societal, that is, cultural,group (Tomasello and Rakoczy 2003)."

The development of altruism

By Hing Keung Ma, Frontiers in Public Health, 12 October 2017. It puts the evolution of altruism in a developmental context, using empirical evidence from Maslow, Kohhberg and Ma. The 10-stages of altruism go from egoism up to natural. Each stage extends altruism to larger and larger groups and cites empirical studies to support each stage. The statistical data is beyond my knowledge base but there for those so inclined. One can also see the evolutionary development from egoism to kin selection to reciprocal altruism to larger and larger groups, until in the upper stages it becomes normative, more generalized and ultimately universal and natural.

The Altruistic Brain

A book by Donald W. Pfaff, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. See a review of it here. One can get a copy of it here. In Chapter One he discusses evolutionary biology and how it came to be that humans have an altruistic impulse. He covers the 3 basic responses in the field: selfish genes, kin selection and group selection. He thinks that all 3 work together to create altruism.

"It does not matter which of these paths was more important—a fact that in any case we cannot measure—so much as it does matter that they all support the notion that evolution allowed the
brain to develop in ways that support benevolent behavior" (30).

Who is being coached here?

It surely isn't the students with well-informed minds of their own. It's the regressive Repugnantan media that coach their ignorant and docile followers into repeating lies and misinformation. Whenever Repugnantans call something out you can rest assured that it is exactly what they are doing.

Bolton chairs fake news Muslim hate site

It's called the Gatestone Institute and that's exactly what it does. Their recent fake news stories include "Muslim mass rape gangs." They also claim Muslims are diseased vermin. Snopes fact checks have repeatedly found their stories to be lies. Yet Dump and Repugnantans continue to quote them, as they continue to promote the real fake news.

Federal judge says EPA violating the Clean Air Act

And demanded the EPA list those places that are not conforming to the Acts standards, because when not listed they can continue their pollution. Which is exactly what the EPA head wants but TFB for him because it's against the current law. I know, the Dumpsters in Congress with try to change the law, but for now it stands.

Dump's new appointment to Health and Human Services

Not even a metaphor but more of an accurate depiction of his other Cabinet picks.

David Hogg at the March for Our Lives

Parkland shooting survivor's inspiring speech in DC. And these 18+ year olds will be voting in the '18 elections. And so will we older folks with a conscience, a heart and the will to take on the gun lobby and their Congressional cronies.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The debate about cultural selection

Continuing this post, therein I linked to Pinker's criticism of the phenomenon, as well as commentary on Pinker's claims. One response is by evolutionary biologist David C. Queller, wherein he said:

"Modern group selection theory is as mathematically rigorous as individual selection or inclusive fitness theory.  I say this despite being someone who favors the inclusive fitness approach and whose entire career has been based on it.   I think of these less as alternative theories that make different predictions than as two different languages describing the same world.  They simply divide up fitness in slightly different ways – inclusive fitness into effects on self versus others, and multilevel selection into between-group and within-group parts – and a simple partition of fitness should not alter predictions.  Inclusive fitness became popular, despite the head start enjoyed by multilevel selection thinking, because it successfully weighted the relative importance of its two fitness components, using genetic relatedness.   Without a similar set of weights, group selection advantages could not be accurately judged, and their strength and importance was often overemphasized. [...] However, modern multilevel selection theory does have such weights, the between-group and within-group genetic variances, whose ratio happens to be relatedness of the actor to its groupmates (including itself).  Once the proper weights are accounted for, the two approaches give essentially identical results."

March for our lives

Sanders comment on the gun reform marches happening around the US today.

New Rule: The Washington D-List

Maher on all the wanna bes and never weres that support Dump. And how they now hate Hollywood because there was a time they loved it but were rejected by it.

Maher's monologue

This weeks topics: more Blight House departures; wars with Iran and North Korea; Ben Carson's spending spree; Facebook and Cambridge Analytica; Dump and Biden's fighting words; the never ending cavalcade of Dump's sexual victims.

Veterans for gun reform

I too am a veteran and fully support this statement.

Sanders interview

On the new Intercept podcast "Deconstructed."

On corporate media not covering issues:

"What is their function? Their function is to make money. And also their function is protect their own interests. You think the people who own the major corporations, whether it’s media or elsewhere, want to talk about income and wealth inequality, ant to talk about disastrous trade policies, want to talk about Wall Street? That’s not the issue they want to talk about. They want to keep us entertained, and, in fact, in many ways they want to deflect attention away from issues that might bring about real substantive changes in this country, politically and economically."

On reforming the Dimcrapic Party:

Friday, March 23, 2018

Beyond Belief: Panel with Dennett, DS Wilson, Haidt and Shermer

And they're getting questions from the likes of Ramachandran and P Churchland.

WI judge orders specials elections so what did Repugnantans do?

Wisconsin Governor Walker lost one special election so refused to hold any more. But circuit court judge Reynolds, appointed by Walker, ordered Walker to fill those empty seats by having special elections. So just like the PA legislators who didn't like their Supreme Court redistricting and hence vowed to impeach those judges, the WI legislator is now thinking of creating a new law that would block special elections altogether. So much for democracy. 

Congressional Progressive Caucus on Bolton's appointment

Strong words, and the CPC has the courage and conviction to back their words with actions. They know the majority of Americans support their policy agenda.

Conditt into Christian and terrorist survivalism

Oh yes, the Austin bomber was a terrorist all right, and a Christian terrorist to boot. He was a member of the Christian survivalist group Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT), which believes in stock piling guns for the end times. It's time we call this what it is.

We need a new societal operating system

New article by Jeremy Lent. We need more than to keep fixing problems in the current system; we need a new system. And for that we first need to inculcate a new worldview of the kind of system we want to create. The modern system is built on the metaphors of nature as a machine that must be conquered and we as individuals are only self-interested. The new metaphors requires interconnection with the web of life, one that sees life "as a self-organizing, self-regenerating complex," and people as part of this web with values of cooperation, collaboration and caring.

Warren tells HUD head Carson he should be fired

Of course Warren has good cause to suggest it, since Carson is delaying implementation of laws that would redress housing discrimination. But what Warren is failing to understand is that Carson is doing exactly what he's been assigned to do by Dump: destroy the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Kobach may get hit with contempt of court

In the ongoing Kansas sage, in which the ACLU sued Secretary of State Kobach for requiring proof of citizenship to vote, he may now be charged with contempt of court. The judge in the case put an order blocking the citizenship requirement for voting until the case could be settled, and required Kobach to change that requirement online and to send postcard notice to voters of the change. Kobach did neither and could face this punishment.

Bolton as National Security Adviser

War is imminent, and likely on two fronts: Iran and North Korea. Bolton has openly advocated for starting war with both nations. And Dump will no doubt rather start a war than face Mueller's music, coming soon. These are dangerous times designed to put us in fear for our lives so that we don't care about Dump and his crime family.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

FBI agents want domestic terrorism to be named as such

So said O'Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association. Currently there is no federal law criminalizing domestic terrorism and they want that changed.

"Calling it what it is is something that I believe is important. It’s easy for people to wrap their heads around someone coming in with an internationally based ideology and committing a crime. But when it’s a domestic terrorist, because there’s no charge, we can’t get our head wrapped around it. [...] If that crime of force or violence is done to forward a social or political agenda, then that person fits the elements of domestic terrorism.”

PA Chief Justice of the Supreme Corp scolds his own party

Yeah, the Chief is a Repugnantan himself and voted against the Court re-drawing the district map. Nevertheless he said to the PA legislators threatening to impeach the Dem Judges in favor of the new map:

"As Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, I am very concerned by the reported filing of impeachment resolutions against Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania related to the Court’s decision about congressional redistricting. Threats of impeachment directed against Justices because of their decision in a particular case are an attack upon an independent judiciary, which is an essential component of our constitutional plan of government.”

Bravo for at least this Republican who can stand up for constitutional institutions instead of destroying them for the sake of rabid partisanship, and worse, promoting oligarchy at the expense of democracy.

National Scurity Adviser McMaster is out now too

Dump is dumping everyone who won't worship him so McMaster has to go too. He'll be replaced by the perfect ass kisser in Bolton. Soon Dump will be surrounded by no one other than complete ass kissers and then all hell will break loose. It will be painful for many but it will definitely be the end of the Dump regime.

Dump hires a new lawyer

Continuing the last post, one reason Dowd might have quit is the hiring of diGenova. The new guy is hot on an FBI conspiracy theory hell bent on framing Dump. That's the exact sort of guy Dump wants to keep his own paranoid conspiracy theory going. And to claim "rigged" when Mueller finally does indict him.

Dump's lead lawyer in Russia investigation quits

Dowd calls it quits. Why? Who knows. Maybe it's just another rat jumping a sinking ship.

2 Repugnantans: If Dump fires Mueller it's impeachable

So says Flake and Graham. Come on Rump Dump, do it, I dare you.

Supreme Corp allows Flint water lawsuits

Wow, the Supreme Corp, typically in favor of corporations over people, affirmed the 6th Circuit Court decision to allow two class-actions suits to go forward against local and state officials for poisoning their water.

More on multilevel selection theory

Multilevel selection theory and major evolutionary transitions,” by DS Wilson et al., Current Directions is Psychological Science 17:1, 2007.

“The concept of a group as comparable to a single organism has had a long and turbulent history. Currently methodological individualism dominates in many areas of psychology and evolution, but natural selection is now known to operate at multiple levels of the biological hierarchy. When between-group selection dominates within-group selection, a major evolutionary transition occurs and the group becomes a new, higher-level organism. It is likely that human evolution represents a major transition, and this has wide-ranging implications for the psychological study of group behavior, cognition, and culture.”

Rethinking the theoretical foundation of sociobiology” by Wilson and Wilson, The Quarterly Review of Biology 82:4, 2007.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Damasio on consciousness

From the introduction to Chapter 9 of his new book The Strange Order of Things.

"The term 'consciousness' applies to the very natural but distinctive kind of mental state described by the above [subjective] traits. The mental state allows its owner to be the private experiencer of the world around and, just as important, to experience aspects of his or her own being. For practical purposes, the universe of knowledge, current and past, that can be conjured up in a private mind only materializes to its owner when the owner's mind is in a conscious state, able to survey the contents of that mind, in his or her own subjective perspective." This perspective is combined with "integrated experience, which consists of placing mental contents into a more or less unified multidimensional panorama" (143- 44).

Also of note is that consciousness is not located in any particular brain area but

Betsy DeVos questioned about federal money to private schools

DeVos wants fed money to be given to private schools if parents choose those private schools over public schools. So DeVos is asked if federal non-discrimination laws will be followed if the fed money goes to these private schools. Getting a yes or no answer out of her was worse than pulling teeth without anesthesia but she finally relented. Now we'll see if she obeys federal law in this case, given that Dumpsters have disdain for the law and break it with impunity.

Terrorism in the eyes of Repugnantans

This is the Austin bombing terrorist. The dictionary definition of terrorism follows. Nothing in there about being Muslim. And speaking of the bomber's political purposes, he is anti-gay, anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. Hopefully he'll get the latter but not being Muslim and in Texas it's doubtful. Also note definition 2 about terrorization and follow the link.

1.the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2.the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government. 

Cognitive science and human experience

Is the title of Chapter One of Thompson's book Mind in Life on the definitions and differences between the computational, connectivist and embodied theories of cognition, enactivism being a variety of the last. You can get a copy of the chapter here.

Benedict Donald warned not to congratulate Putin

As reported here Dump's national security staff advised against this. And yet Dump did so anyway, once again proving he is Putin's puppet likely due to leverage he has over the Presidunce. All of which will come out soon from Mueller.

20,000 Repugnantans voted for an actual Nazi

See this story. Funny how Dimocraps, even the corporate kind, don't vote for Nazis. Why is that? Granted the GOP denounced Nazi Jones on the ballot but did not run any opposition. And Jones was running on a Dump agenda: "border protections, the elimination of Sanctuary Cities, no amnesty for illegal aliens, gun rights, and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act." We might conclude that the Dump agenda is akin to the Nazi agenda. Given Dump's own white nationalism it wouldn't be far off.

Meyers on US cybersecurity

Dump is not only doing nothing about it, he literally encouraged it. But why would he in Dump's world, since the hacks are designed to elect him and Repugnantans intent on destroying American democracy, Russian's ultimate goal. And all this despite our intelligence chiefs warning that it is already happening again, and they've received no Blight House orders to do anything about it.

Dump congratulates Putin for winning a rigged election

Just like Dump himself won, let alone fawning over a murderous dictator. Representatives were asked about this and had no comment, obviously due to themselves supporting a rigged dictator for their own ideological agenda. That is, except for Senator McCain, who had some strong words for the Presidunce. And to be fair, Colbert notes Obama did the same thing.

The app Cambridge Analytica used on FB

Did you take their FB personality test 'thisisyourdigitallife'? If so, you and your FB friends were lured into their trap.

"Over the weekend, Christopher Wylie, a 28-year-old Canadian who helped start up Cambridge, told The Guardian that in 2014 he began working with University of Cambridge neuroscience professor and head of Global Science Science Aleksandr Kogan, who developed a personality testing Facebook app called "thisisyourdigitallife." Under the guide of a researcher, he received permission from the social networking company to mine data from its users, but he allegedly took data from millions of people without their consent and then sold that information to Cambridge, a violation of Facebook's terms."

Colbert on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

And Zuckerberg's passionate defense. Also how CA manipulated Dump like a puppet and told him how to frame his speeches.

Libertarian socialist caucus on Gar Alperovitz: The Pluralist Commonwealth

They commented in this FB post on the following video by Alperovitz:

"We socialists all know the broad strokes of the system we want to build: common ownership of the key infrastructure of society democratically managed through worker control to meet everyone's basic human needs. But what about the details? How do we get there? What institutions would such a society have to contain, and can we build these now? That's where we often disagree.

"Gar Alperovitz's "Pluralist Commonwealth" is one way of thinking through what socialism could look like from a libertarian socialist point of view. His main insight is that common ownership can take multiple forms across various aspects of the economy, and that these have to be turned into institutions -- worker coops, credit unions, democratic economic planning, etc -- which can network with each other, feed into one another, and thus grow together."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Polling in swing districts support progressive policies

According to this article citing Lake Research Partners:

"Our new Lake Research Partners poll 1 of voters in 30 targeted swing districts finds that progressive
Democrats have a tremendous opportunity in the 2018 election to win these districts, and they can run and win on progressive policies. We found that in these districts, mostly held by Republican incumbents, voters enthusiastically support progressive policies and progressive messaging works, both to persuade swing voters and to mobilize the base."

See the link for more specific details. Therefore Democrats, openly and loudly embrace the progressive agenda since it's what people want. And skip that Repugnantan light, middle of the road corporate bullshit the people hate.

Taco Bell the healthisest fast food option?

Yes, according to this video. They're reducing salt, using cage-free eggs and have vegetarian options. Of course they still have their heart attack menu, but they are responding to pressure to offer other options.

Jamming the Dump brand

By Naomi Klein. Dump's brand is being super successful and rich so we value what he has to say. To break that brand it is necessary to paint the reality behind that false image. Step One: fire the boss. Make him seem like a puppet, whether it's Bannon, Pence and especially Putin. Step Two: Hit Dump's wealth by boycotting his products. Step Three: Devalue the Dump brand name. Some are already removing the Dump name from their hotels etc. due to protests. Step Four: Be a nuisance. One example is mass reserving his hotel room and then cancelling at the last minute. Also tie up his businesses phone lines so that real customers can't get through.

Fact checking Dump's Mueller Tweets

Dumpster warning: Facts ahead. Please detour to Pox Views for your confirmation biases.

Fact: Mueller and Rosenstein are Republicans. Mueller has served in a Republican administrations. The rest of the team are non-partisan Justice officials. Dump's Tweets are childish lies not based in reality.

Facts: The Steele dossier was originally funded by Repugnantans. The FISA process was conducted according to the law and used a lot of other intelligence to grant surveillance. Mueller has indicted 13 individuals with conspiracy to affect our election.

Cambridge Analytica whistle blower

Guardian interview with the Christopher Wylie, former employee of CA, who calls it a "full service propaganda machine." "It was the weapon Steve Bannon wanted to build to win his culture war."

Colbert on Cambridge Analytica

And how Facebook enabled CA's use of member data to promote Dump. Included is some undercover film of CA's managing director, and their CEO, revealing their dastardly manipulation.

Colbert on Dump's unhinged Mueller Tweets

Will Dump fire Mueller? He adds a twist to 'hardened' Democrats. Also McCabe's firing, with McCabe's vengeance giving evidence to Mueller.

Inequality in America: A national town hall

Update: The event drew 1.7 million viewers strictly from alternative media sources (The Guardian, The Young Turks, NowThis and

With Sanders, Warren, Moore, Hamilton and special guests. Yes, it's an hour and 42 minutes but worth every second to get informed on the reality of this issue, something you'll never hear a peep about in corporate media. And we need to be informed about it in detail to fight to redress it in public policy, which needs politicians to run and win by defending its solutions. It starts around 5:00 in this video.


From computers to cultivation

Reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology, by Barrett et al., Frontiers in Psychology, 12 August 2014. Therein it notes that the computational approach is akin to Chomsky’s computational linguistics. Note that Lakoff broke from Chomsky on this and went on to formulate embodied linguistics. It appears this debate is an ongoing battle in different fields. (Which reminds me of this Stein blog post.) The abstract:

"Does evolutionary theorizing have a role in psychology? This is a more contentious issue than one might imagine, given that, as evolved creatures, the answer must surely be yes. The contested nature of evolutionary psychology lies not in our status as evolved beings, but in the extent to which evolutionary ideas add value to studies of human behavior, and the rigor with which these ideas are tested. This, in turn, is linked to the framework in which particular evolutionary ideas are situated. While the framing of the current research topic places the brain-as-computer metaphor in opposition to evolutionary psychology, the most prominent school of thought in this field (born out of cognitive psychology, and often known as the Santa Barbara school) is entirely wedded to the computational theory of mind as an explanatory framework. Its unique aspect is to argue that the mind consists of a large number of functionally specialized (i.e., domain-specific) computational mechanisms, or modules (the massive modularity hypothesis). Far from offering an alternative to, or an improvement on, the current perspective, we argue that evolutionary psychology is a mainstream computational theory, and that its arguments for domain-specificity often rest on shaky premises. We then go on to suggest that the various forms of e-cognition (i.e., embodied, embedded, enactive) represent a true alternative to standard computational approaches, with an emphasis on “cognitive integration” or the “extended mind hypothesis” in particular. We feel this offers the most promise for human psychology because it incorporates the social and historical processes that are crucial to human “mind-making” within an evolutionarily informed framework. In addition to linking to other research areas in psychology, this approach is more likely to form productive links to other disciplines within the social sciences, not least by encouraging a healthy pluralism in approach."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Antifa is working

And by working I mean decimating the alt-right. It's a matter of fighting hate, bigotry, xenophobia and the violence to achieve those ends. And that sort of speech that incites violence against others is in no way free but rather very costly to society and real democratic freedom. From this  Guardian article:

"Antifascist groups have been the target of criticism from across the political spectrum during the first year of the Trump presidency. The right has made them the basis both of moral panics about violence, and conspiracy theories of subversion. And other leftists have questioned the wisdom of antifascist tactics and strategy.

"The morality of political violence is a weighty, and always important topic, which we need to constantly scrutinize and revisit. That said, most of the antifascist tactics described above are nonviolent. And a lot of antifascist violence has been defensive, notably in Charlottesville.

"As to tactics, the proof is in the pudding. All of the measures described have led not only to failed events and dwindling cadres, but to infighting and blame games in an increasingly fractious far-right movement. Seriously divided, the alt-right looks like it is crumbling."

The US Supreme Corp denies PA gerrymander appeal

The PA Supreme Corp redrew the district voting maps after declaring the Repugnantan gerrymandered map unconstitutional. The Repugs appealed to the US Supreme Corp, which told them to go f__k themselves. This will turn some seats blue in the upcoming elections. And it's a positive sign that even the conservative majority on the court has a least a modicum of sense left.

Amelia Hammer Harris on American Idol

Another excellent audition last night, but the guitar player sucked.

Gowdy on Pox Views about the collusion investigation

While Gowdy confirms the House Intelligence Committee's conclusion that there was no collusion between the Dump campaign or Blight House and Russia, he also adamantly wants the Mueller investigation to continue. He thinks it's imperative to get to the bottom of the very real Russian interference in our elections. Although when asked why several key players that have already been indicted by Mueller were never interviewed by the House Committee on the issue of collusion, he explained that from what they did investigate led them to that conclusion. Bottom line, the House Committee intentionally never thoroughly investigated collusion and came to a prearranged, biased conclusion that in effect is complicit with that collusion.

The Sposato twins on American Idol

One of the better, if not the best, audition last night.

The ecosystem of commons-based peer production

And its transformative dynamics. In The Sociological Review Monographs 2018, Vol. 66(2) 302–319. The abstract:

"This essay discusses peer-to-peer social dynamics and the relevant technological infrastructures that enable new modes of production. Commons-based peer production is presented as an alternative to the profit-driven peer-to-peer production models of the digital economy. The latter models utilize the peer-to-peer dynamics to harness social creativity, collaboration and information sharing. The created value is then captured and valorized towards profit maximization. This essay argues that there are possibilities for moving away from such extractive models to more generative ones. Commons-based peer production seems to encapsulate both social and environmental sustainability, and thus has the potential to influence such a transition. As commons-based peer production cannot yet reproduce itself outside of a mutual dependence on capitalism, it risks being subordinated. To counter this, a commons-oriented solid and protective ecosystem is needed to fully unleash the creative capabilities of commons-based peer production."

Do you live in a bubble?

Take the quiz here. My score was 70, down-home American all the way, even if later in life I became an intellectual. Hence my vociferous defense of working people.

"If you grew up in a working-class neighborhood, you are going to have a high score even if you are now an investment banker living on Park Avenue. Your present life may be completely encased in the bubble, but you brought a lot of experience into the bubble that will always be part of your understanding of the world."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Extended evolutionary psychology

Article by Stotz (referenced in the last post), Frontiers in Psychology, 20 August 2014. This one is a bit more like Thompson's approach. The abstract:

"What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology."

Evolutionary theory: Fringe or central to psychological science

By Danielle Sulikowski in Frontiers in Psychology, 24 May 2016. From the conclusion:

"Newer conceptualizations of EP are uncommitted to notions of massive modularity, look beyond the Pleistocene for the selection pressures that have shaped psychological mechanisms and incorporate developmental and cultural impacts into theories concerning the evolved functions of psychological mechanisms. It is clear however, that the massive modularity roots of modern EP still influence how many, including both advocates and critics, view the field. One message that is clear from the works presented in this volume, is that EP must mature and free itself of many of its early assumptions and assertions (as seems to be currently happening empirically, if not yet theoretically, Burke). Only if this occurs, will EP be placed to properly integrate with Evolutionary Biology and be in a position to cement evolutionary theory as a unifying meta-theory for Psychological Science. Whether such a New Evolutionary Psychology should incorporate computational theories of mind or reject these in favor of the newer e-cognition perspectives is an empirical question and not one whose answer needs to be decided before the weight of evidence has settled in either court (Stephen).

E-cognition is defined as "extended, embodied approaches which place emphasis on the role played by the whole organism and its environment in the decision-making process, rather than simply the brain." Some examples are is Stotz's extended evolutionary psychology: 

Humanist manifesto

Compare and contrast the Humanist Manifesto with that of the libertarian socialists. There is a lot of overlap and some differences of emphasis.

"Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance. 

This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:

Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

Reich on stock buybacks

And how they hurt the economy as a whole. They only increase stockholder share price while keeping worker wages flat or worse. It is an artificial method on increasing stock prices not based on real value. It drains money from business investments and wages. The sole purpose of stock buybacks is to create more wealth for the already wealthy while not giving one f__k for the repercussions on the economy. Btw, the latest tax scam bill has incentivized some of the biggest stock buybacks in years, telling us exactly what those tax cuts were for.

Kasparian interviews Sanders on American inequality

Kasparian wants to address this, since it is getting zero attention in corporate media. Also discussed near the end (9:35) is the Senate vote to deregulate the banks. Note that Sanders will be having a town hall on the issue next Monday night.

SNL: Original Jurassic Park auditions

From actors that didn't get the parts.

Weekend Update on all the firings

As real fake news it is far more accurate than Pox Views and Dump's fake real news.

SNL: Cooper interviews Sessions on McCabe's firing

Funny yet accurate skit about why this happened. Tillerson is also interviewed on his firing, plus some special guests.

Comey responds to Dump

We are sooooo looking forward to this.

Ex-CIA Chief's response to Dump firing McCabe

In a Tweet Brennan said:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but will not destroy America... America will triumph over you."

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hartmann interviews DS Wilson: The new invisible hand

They discuss Wilson's article by that name here. It's a definitive refutation of laissez-faire capitalism but not an endorsement of centralized planning. Wilson explains the evolutionary theory (ET) of capitalism refutes the notion that self-interest promotes the common good. Instead members of a society have to have the welfare of the system in mind. This of course is an evolution of selection pressures that at first favored small groups, then to larger and larger groups. It's a matter of mutual constraint and integration between all of these evolutionary developments, that integration coming from higher-level cultural design (the new invisible hand) incorporating yet curtailing lower-level  individual selection. They relate this to better examples of successful cultural selection (in terms of the common good) within the Nordic countries.

What's wrong (and right) about evolutionary psychology?

Special issue of This View of Life, The Evolution Institute (2016). 15 contributors informing various perspectives and topics on the issue. From Wilson's introduction:

"What's worth keeping:

I have had a love-hate relationship with the school of thought associated with EP from its inception, which enables me to argue either side depending upon the audience (I became a booster at the symposium). You know that something’s wrong with the field of psychology when the average intro textbook says almost nothing about the major adaptive problems confronted by any species, such as mating, feeding, and kinship. B.F. Skinner and other behaviorists tried to explain too much in terms of operant conditioning. The central metaphor of the so-called cognitive revolution, which largely displaced behaviorism in academic psychology, is that the mind is like a general-purpose computer. That’s not quite right either. Behavioral ecologists interpret the behavior of animals as fitness maximizing, which is inappropriate when the animals are living in a novel environment. Instead, we should be studying the psychological mechanisms that evolved in ancestral environments and how they are manifested in current environments. There is plenty to love about these and other positions associated with the school of thought associated with EP. Let’s keep these babies, even if there is also some bathwater.

What’s worth throwing out: