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    If not attributed to God telling me what other possible explanations could it be?

    I’d much rather just say “I don’t know” instead of concluding it must one of those many spirits or gods that we know for sure have been invented by humans to explain things they don’t understand. Are you not just picking the easiest one due to he/she/it becoming the most popular?



    I will start with Paris Texas for the story, the scenery, the music and the cast. I think it is beautifully crafted. It had me captured from the opening scene.

    I noticed that music is by Ry Cooder (a fave of mine), and Wim Wender directs, both most responsible for the epic/historical movie Buena Vista Social Club (links to preview & $3 pay per view).

    Here is an 11 minute (maybe from BBC?) blurb on it. Cooder/BVSC mentioned earlier by Robert.



    12 SEP 2019: Added a podcast to the list, and updated some links.

    Please inform us of any outdated links via new post or reply, below.

    Please post about your favorite podcasters and/or episodes!



    (no clue what’s happened to my formatting, but it is indeed evidence of the fact that I have a new iPad and have yet to learn how to use it!)

    This is a common occurance, when users respond to a post without adding a blank line and then clicking off the quote button before typing their response. I think the design should be improved so that users shouldn’t have to close off the quote themselves. And/or sometimes there’s another confusing quirk that happens during copy/paste. I don’t think it’s an Apple or iPad problem. It’s looks interesting in this case, anyway, not bad. 🙂



    To me, Waits seems like a pretentious hipster, most of his stuff never hooks me in enough for a second play. I tried to like his stuff, but I call bullshit, LOL

    Now this is an interesting judgement. I never loved his music, but he certainly impressed me as original, and if anything, perhaps a lot of people who promoted him to fame were hipsters? In a sense, a lot of music is “pretentious” because it relies so heavily on riding on the popularity of previous music. What people buy is actually the most powerful force that determines which personalities get to rise to large attention and playing larger venues.

    I avoided Led Zeppelin for years because they were so popular, and didn’t appreciate their monumental talent until realizing to take seriously how they built on the shoulders of American Blues music.

    With that said, here is another favorite of mine who invented his own awesome way to cover some historic hits:



    Other, fervent religionists like Boko Haram think our education is evil, too.



    Here is an interesting perspective from the Chinese side.

    I predicted the Chinese rise decades ago, and attribute some of our economic crises and worker class angst in the recent past to our inability to cope with it. But I never knew how to really deal with it, other than focus on our own systems of education, enabling  higher overall quality of life especially for lower classes, refocusing our “national pride” onto whatever success we can achieve in raising security, community, and general happiness of our citizenry.

    Like, duh, are humans in general up to the task of getting their respective nations to focus on those kinds of planning ahead? Just as a relatively uninformed generalization (on my part), it seems smaller, internally secure countries that generally just learn to adapt to the world flow while at the same time focusing positively on their local health and happiness can do this. E.g. Scandanavian countries?

    In any case, humanity in general faces serious problems in this epoch of world economic growth. Here’s the thing about the big populations of India and China.

    No matter WHAT we do, there is at least one, entire generation of massively large populations of Indo-Chinese who are very, very happy to dedicate their lives and their family’s lives to the continuance of their economic growth, even at wages significantly lower than what we’re used to expecting. (But honestly, the Chinese at least tend to have a functional social safety net for health going for them, right?)

    I don’t know how well India is coping with this growth compared to China, but I think (or am I wrong?) it’s clear that in spite of corruption, Chinese leadership is (as Unseen mentioned above) able to plan and execute further ahead than those in charge of traditional capitalism. Capitalism maintains itself playing a quarter-to-quarter game, as do stock owners. Christ, up-to-the-minute investment news rules the biggest players. And government supports the capitalist short-term model. Perhaps a westernized India doesn’t have the long term potential that China does?

    (But when I say “long term”, I’m really only considering here the next generation or two. Who knows what billions of people will want and fight for after that?)

    I keep coming back to the Bannon/Trump agenda (plus their cash rich supporters). IMO, Epoch Times is stepping up to fuel the same kind of populism that won the 2016 election. Historically, Epoch Times has focused on beating the Chinese system, and (perhaps) is driven largely by Chinese expats (but I haven’t researched them deeply enough to really understand their history). I wouldn’t be surprised if Bannon is consulting for them, but even there, I’m just speculating before doing my research.

    Here is a more directly-on-topic interview with Bannon. (LOL, to be honest, I have to slow down the youtube video speed to keep up with this!):



    The nature of God derives directly from the nature of man. Period!

    Or maybe

    The natechu of Gahd dewives fwom the natechu of man. Peewiod!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: Typos, believe it or not


    I see belief scales, with middle grounds avoided, except maybe right before closing time at the bar.








    It is amazing to me how people of all different backgrounds and origins can hold so many radically different beliefs…And all think that they are right.

    Indeed! Meanwhile the most common thread in most of those beliefs connects to the culture they grew up in. Therefore it’s logical that people that share culture also share similar experiences that reinforce their belief. They  confirm such experiences with each other. Also meanwhile, we cannot ignore the differences between religion, the most obvious (to most of us) are the differences between Christianity and Islam.

    I think I remember you asking what we think God might be like, but if it wasn’t you, here’s an answer to the question anyway. It’s clear to most of us that Muhammad, claiming to be “the last messenger of Allah”, was the author of and “expert” at the time of defining what Allah/God is, what Allah/God wants, how we should worship Allah/God, and so on. Perhaps Muhammad intentionally shaped his Allah/God in the way he (Muhammad) expected would be most useful for his own agenda? And of course, he had a head start, thoughtfully riding on coattails of popular scriptures of his time, for added “credibility”.

    Would you doubt, in spite of billions of believers of Islam, that Muhammad made most of Islam up, or was perhaps even recalling it from hallucinations while visiting his cave?

    It’s safe to say that (at least recently) there are a lot of rabid believers, ready to kill and die by their sincerely held beliefs. All because of the culture they grew up in, albeit their repressive ruling class likely became the largest impulse for using violence in praise of Allah.

    The history of religion is about how various cultures invented gods in their own image, and of course the rulers of the most successful cultures (of the past) were in the best position to enforce and take advantage of those belief systems.

    In this context, traditional ways to define “God” are easy to understand and accept, especially when freedom of thought is highly discouraged. And that’s why I fly the atheist flag… not to prove that God doesn’t exist, but to resist the rampant indoctrination of human beings who are especially vulnerable to pressures to fit in to their culture.



    Issues of carbon release (CO2) can get complicated or at least require some attention paid to trade-offs, e.g. rarely do I see a breakdown of electric vs liquid fueled vehicle trade-offs. The electricity, after all, has to be produced, too.

    So the question becomes which aspects of each technology rely on renewable/sustainable resources. True, hemp is renewable and overall is a good “carbon sink” because the carbon stays locked up in cellulose and other fiber. But as Ivy alludes to, practically all crops draw nutrients from the soil they grow in.

    Seems to me that nuclear energy holds the most promise, but even then, consider this: Nuclear energy releases heat into our water and air, so assuming one day our nuclear-derived power becomes practically dollar-free and carbon-neutral, we’ll still be adding heat to the planet.

    I.e. any “solution” should be considered a temporary workaround, but still, if we’re going to keep harnessing and producing energy, we need to keep improving on the temporary workarounds. (In fact even the technology of harnessing hydroelectric, ocean wave, and wind energy can disrupt the earth’s natural flow of thermal energy.)

    Meanwhile, to be clear, I vote for hemp as a relatively positive (even if temporary) solution. But that’s not all. Arctic tundra is thawing and releasing methane, a much higher risk than CO2 to “short term” climate change (which then speeds up runaway methane/CO2 releases).

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: added "carbon-neutral" and "than CO2"


    After reading this Scientific American article, I see I shouldn’t be promoting the phrase “fake news” as if it describes the whole problem.

    Misinformation Has Created a New World Disorder


    • Many types of information disorder exist online, from fabricated videos to impersonated accounts to memes designed to manipulate genuine content.

    • Automation and microtargeting tactics have made it easier for agents of disinformation to weaponize regular users of the social web to spread harmful messages.

    • Much research is needed to understand the effects of disinformation and build safeguards against it.


    Purveyors of disinformation—content that is intentionally false and designed to cause harm—are motivated by three distinct goals: to make money; to have political influence, either foreign or domestic; and to cause trouble for the sake of it.

    Those who spread misinformation—false content shared by a person who does not realize it is false or misleading—are driven by sociopsychological factors. People are performing their identities on social platforms to feel connected to others, whether the “others” are a political party, parents who do not vaccinate their children, activists who are concerned about climate change, or those who belong to a certain religion, race or ethnic group. Crucially, disinformation can turn into misinformation when people share disinformation without realizing it is false.

    We added the term “malinformation” to describe genuine information that is shared with an intent to cause harm. An example of this is when Russian agents hacked into e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and leaked certain details to the public to damage reputations.


    Technology platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest play a significant role in encouraging this human behavior because they are designed to be performative in nature. Slowing down to check whether content is true before sharing it is far less compelling than reinforcing to your “audience” on these platforms that you love or hate a certain policy. The business model for so many of these platforms is attached to this identity performance because it encourages you to spend more time on their sites.


    Understanding how each one of us is subject to such campaigns—and might unwittingly participate in them—is a crucial first step to fighting back against those who seek to upend a sense of shared reality. Perhaps most important, though, accepting how vulnerable our society is to manufactured amplification needs to be done sensibly and calmly. Fearmongering will only fuel more conspiracy and continue to drive down trust in quality-information sources and institutions of democracy. There are no permanent solutions to weaponized narratives. Instead we need to adapt to this new normal. Just as putting on sunscreen was a habit that society developed over time and then adjusted as additional scientific research became available, building resiliency against a disordered information environment needs to be thought about in the same vein.

    Full article




    As for Epoch Times, I forgot I was in a trial period until today when they bumped up the cost to about $20/month for one paper a week. They seem flush with money and their regular subscribers seem happy to pay.



    Then there is Fakebook…where so many still get their daily “news”.

    I quit facebook (albeit because of “friends” spreading bad news and karma), mainstream news, and talk radio long ago. I’m about to post an article about how social media’s business model in general (but especially fb) helps make bad news go viral and then fester.

    I don’t think there’s any hope in hell to mitigate bad news and ugly biases, unless consumers start to care more about finding and sharing decent news sources. (I feel a bit guilty now about stoking this ugly news topic/fire because it doesn’t really help solve much.)



    All news orgs these days are heavily slanted.

    Not really. I intend to suggest some that don’t twist and spin nearly as badly as Epoch Times, and I expect we will be able to suggest a few relatively trustworthy news orgs.

    Girl power. Woot!

    It took someone like Trump to hire someone like her. But back to the topic, in the case (for example) of this WaPo video, I know they’re biased too, but no where near as biased and unscrupulous as the orgs that helped propel him into office.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 538 total)