Compenetration Weblog

fusion of inner and outher space

Corporation – legal personality with psychopath’s traits

A company is…

“…only a juristic figment of the imagination, lacking both a body to be kicked and a soul to be damned.” (Walton J.)

“There are psychopathic personalities in the highest echelons of government, and even within religious hierarchies in America. You can t just assume that a person with the title judge or hospital orderly got there honestly and won t manipulate the hell out of you.”

–Personal communication from Psychologist Schreibman to H. Cleckley, 2/10/86

Documentary The Corporation (2003) by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott is must see movie about origns of Corporation as Legal entity, its development till today and its influence on our life. The interesting question behind is: what is the connection between structure which corporation has set up and current social structure? Does corporation which has every legal right as human being, but lack of soul and emotions, produces pathological employees or at least pathological top managers which represent it? The most evident trait of psychopaths is lack of empathy and emotions  (what  surly corporation as legal but not alive personality misses). In corporate culture the one with lack of emotions survives the best. I know this well from my more than 10 years work in corporation.

There are several theories about Psychopathologyfrom mental disorder to just adoption strategy. With social structure as we have is it than psychopath’s adoption strategy the most efficient one? Is this the way how evolution allow survivorto the most adopted organisms? Are the people with empathy and social consciousness extinction species?

The movie is based on Joel Bakan’s book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power

“Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics withits insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal “person” to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics- including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.”

Noam Chomsky has criticized the legal decisions that led to the creation of the modern corporation: 

“This fine book was virtually begging to be written. With lucidity and verve, expert knowledge and incisive analysis, Joel Bakanunveils the history and the character of a devilish instrument that has been created and is nurtured by powerful modern states. They have endowed their creature with the rights of persons — and by now, rights far exceeding persons of flesh and blood — but a person that is pathological by nature and by law, and systematically crushes democracy, freedom, rights, and the natural human instincts on which a decent life and even human survival depends: the modern corporation. This incisive study should be read carefully, and pondered. And it should be a stimulus to constructive action — not at all beyond our means, as the author outlines.”

Corporations, which previously had been considered artificial entities with no rights, were accorded all the rights of persons, and far more, since they are “immortal persons”, and “persons” of extraordinary wealth and power. Furthermore, they were no longer bound to the specific purposes designated by State charter, but could act as they choose, with few constraints.

In 1819, the U.S. Supreme Court granted corporations a plethora of rights they had not previously recognized or enjoyed. Corporate charters were deemed “inviolable,” and not subject to arbitrary amendment or abolition by state governments. The Corporation as a whole was labeled an “artificial person,” possessing both individuality and immortality.

England enshrined into law the preeminent hallmark of modern corporate law – the concept of limited liability. Acting in response to increasing pressure from newly emerging capital interests, Parliament passed the Limited Liability Act of 1855, which established the principle that any corporation could enjoy limited legal liability on both contract and tort claims simply by registering as a “limited” company with the appropriate government agency.[16]

Unresolved issues

The nature of the corporation continues to evolve in response to new situations as existing corporations promote new ideas and structures, the courts respond, and governments issue new regulations. A question of long standing is that of diffused responsibility. For example, if a corporation is found liable for a death, how should culpability and punishment for it be allocated among shareholders, directors, management and staff, and the corporation itself? See corporate liability, and specifically, corporate manslaughter.

The law differs among jurisdictions, and is in a state of flux. Some argue that shareholders should be ultimately responsible in such circumstances, forcing them to consider issues other than profit when investing, but a corporation may have millions of small shareholders who know nothing about its business activities. Moreover, traders — especially hedge funds — may turn over shares in corporations many times a day.[25]The issue of corporate repeat offenders (see H. Glasbeak, “Wealth by Stealth: Corporate Crime, Corporate Law, and the Perversion of Democracy” (Between the Lines Press: Toronto 2002) raises the question of the so-called “death penalty for corporations

The Corporation (full lenght movie)

Psychopathy May Be An Adaptation, Not A Disorder

We think evolution designed a subgroup of humans to use aggression and deception to get resources from others. In theory, such people ought to have: skill at deception, lack of concern for the suffering of others, willingness to use violence, ease and flexibility in the exploitation of others, lack of concern for the opinion of others, and extreme reluctance to be responsible for others (including, for males, their own offspring).

Males of this subgroup would also engage in lots of uncommitted sex. These are all psychopathic traits. The point is that psychopathy is not a disorder because psychopaths (and their psychological characteristics) are doing exactly as they were designed by natural selection. According to this view, psychopathy is an adaptation.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is a diagnostic tool used to rate a person’s psychopathic or antisocial tendencies. People who are psychopathic prey ruthlessly on others using charm, deceit, violence or other methods that allow them to get with they want. The symptoms of psychopathy include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others.

The Power Paradox

Perhaps more unsettling is the wealthof evidence that having power makes people more likely to act like sociopaths. High-power individuals are more likely to interrupt others, to speak out of turn, and to fail to look at others who are speaking. They are also more likely to tease friends and colleagues in hostile, humiliating fashion. Surveys of organizations find that most rude behaviors—shouting, profanities, bald critiques—emanate from the offices and cubicles of individuals in positions of power. My own research has found that people with power tend to behave like patients who have damaged their brain’s orbitofrontal lobes (the region of the frontal lobes right behind the eye sockets), a condition that seems to cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior. Thus the experience of power might be thought of as having someone open up your skull and take out that part of your brain so critical to empathy and socially-appropriate behavior.

Power may induce more harmful forms of aggression as well. In the famed Stanford Prison Experiment, psychologist Philip Zimbardo randomly assigned Stanford undergraduates to act as prison guards or prisoners—an extreme kind of power relation. The prison guards quickly descended into the purest forms of power abuse, psychologically torturing their peers, the prisoners. Similarly, anthropologists have found that cultures where rape is prevalent and accepted tend to be cultures with deeply entrenched beliefs in the supremacy of men over women.

This leaves us with a power paradox. Power is given to those individuals, groups, or nations who advance the interests of the greater good in socially-intelligent fashion. Yet unfortunately, having power renders many individuals as impulsive and poorly attuned to others as your garden variety frontal lobe patient, making them prone to act abusively and lose the esteem of their peers. What people want from leaders—social intelligence—is what is damaged by the experience of power

Psychopathy is a psychological construct that describes chronic immoral and antisocial behavior.[1]The term is often used interchangeably with sociopathy[2]. Psychopathy has been the most studied of any personality disorder. Today the term can legitimately be used in two ways. One is in the legal sense, “psychopathic personality disorder” under the Mental Health Act 1983 of the UK. The other use is as a severe form of the antisocial or dissocial personality disorder as exclusively defined by the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R).[3]The term “psychopathy” is often confused with psychotic disorders. It is estimated that approximately one percent of the general population are psychopaths. They are overrepresented in prison systems, politics, law enforcement agencies, law firms, and in the media.[4][5][6]

The psychopath is definedby a continual seeking of psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. It is frequently co-morbid with other psychological disorders (particularly narcissistic personality disorder). The psychopath differs slightly from the sociopath, and even more so from an individual with antisocial personality disorder. Nevertheless, the three are frequently used interchangeably. While nearly all psychopaths have antisocial personality disorder, only some individuals with antisocial personality disorder are psychopaths. Many psychologists believe that psychopathy falls on a spectrum of disorders ranging from narcissistic personality disorder on the low end, malignant narcissismin the middle, and psychopathy on the high end. An almost all-pervasive misconception is that psychopaths are doomed to a life of violence and crime. It is possible for psychopaths to become successful in many lines of work, while many also become lazy underachievers. Psychopathy is frequently mistaken with other similar personality disorders, such as dissocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder (as well as others).

“A lot of white-collar criminals are psychopaths,” says Bob Hare. “But they flourish because the characteristics that define the disorder are actually valued. When they get caught, what happens? A slap on the wrist, a six-month ban from trading, and don’t give us the $100 million back. I’ve always looked at white-collar crime as being as bad or worse than some of the physically violent crimes that are committed.”

 

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June 26, 2008 Posted by | Documentary, Politics, psychology, Science | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Matrix in Your Head – Memento

Watched Memento  by  Christopher Nolan.  Very intriguing movie, full of hidden messages, scenes in reverse order. See very good review in Salon.com.

Movie deals with tricking nature of two basic corner stones of our mind: memory and imagination. Invented past as anchor for future. But lately research shows that the same brain structures are responsible for memories and imagination. And that believing can be seeing – Context Dictates What We Believe We See. Pretty visionary movie though.

Ties Between Memories And The Imagination.

“You might look at it as mental time travel–the ability to take thoughts about ourselves and project them either into the past or into the future,” says Kathleen McDermott, Ph.D. and Washington University psychology professor. The team used “functional magnetic resonance imaging” — or fMRI — to “see” brain activity. They asked college students to recall past events and then envision themselves experiencing such an event in their future. The results? Similar areas of the brain “lit up” in both scenarios. 

Researchers say besides furthering their understanding of the brain — the findings may help research into amnesia, a curious psychiatric phenomenon. In addition to not being able to remember the past, most people who suffer from amnesia cannot envision or visualize what they’ll be doing in the future — even the next day.”

Another good article, posted in Scientific American Mind, uses Memento to explain the nature of memory.

The Matrix in Your Head

The discovery of place-tracking neurons called grid cells, our experts say, “changes everything”

 

By James J. Knierim

 

In the 2001 suspense thriller Memento, the lead character, Lenny, suffers a brain injury that makes him unable to remember events for longer than  a minute or so. This type of amnesia, known as anterograde amnesia, is well known to neurologists and neuropsychologists. Like Lenny, sufferers remember events from their life histories that occurred before their injuries, but they cannot form lasting memories of anything that occurs afterward. As far as they recall, their personal histories ended shortly before the onset of their disorders.

 

The cause of Lenny’s problem was probably damage to his hippocampus, a pair of small, deep-brain structures crucial to memory—and also important to some of today’s most exciting and consequential neuroscience research. Decades of research have made clear that the hippocampus and surrounding cortex do more than just place our life events in time. The hippocampus, along with a newly discovered set of cells known as grid cells in the nearby cortex, traces our movement through space as well. And by doing so, it supplies a rich array of information that provides a context in which to place our life’s events. The picture that is emerging is of historic importance and more than a little beauty.

Exactly how does the brain create and store autobiographical memories? Although that question has fascinated scientists, philosophers and writers for centuries, it was only 50 years ago that scientists identified a brain area clearly necessary for this task—the hippocampus. The structure’s role was made clear in 1953, when William Scoville, a Hartford, Conn., surgeon seeking to relieve the epileptic seizures that were threatening to kill a patient known as H.M., removed most of H.M.’s hippocampus and discovered he had rendered him unable to form new, conscious memories. Since then, the case of H.M., along with extensive animal research, has firmly established that the hippocampus acts as a kind of encoding mechanism for memory, recording the timeline of our lives.

 

In the 1970s another discovery inspired the theory that the hippocampus also encodes our movement through space. In 1971 John O’Keefe and Jonathan Dostrovsky, both then at University College London, found that neurons in the hippocampus displayed place-specific firing. That is, given “place cells,” as O’Keefe dubbed these hippocampal neurons, would briskly fire action potentials (the electrical impulses neurons use to communicate) whenever a rat occupied a specific location but would remain silent when the rat was elsewhere. Thus, each place cell fired for only one location, much as would a burglar alarm tied to a tile in a hallway. Similar findings have been reported subsequently in other species, including humans.

 

These remarkable findings led O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel, now at the University of Arizona, to propose that the hippocampus was the neural locus of a “cognitive map” of the environment. They argued that hippocampal place cells organize the various aspects of experience within the framework of the locations and contexts in which events occur and that this contextual framework encodes relations among an event’s different aspects in a way that allows later retrieval from memory. Yet a consensus is emerging that the hippocampus does somehow provide a spatial context that is vital to episodic memory. When you remember a past event, you remember not only the people, objects and other discrete components of the event but also the spatiotemporal context in which the event occurred, allowing you to distinguish this event from similar episodes with similar components. But How?

 

Despite intensive study, however, the precise mechanisms by which the hippocampus creates this contextual representation of memory have eluded scientists. A primary impediment was that we knew little about the brain areas that feed the hippocampus its information. Early work suggested that the entorhinal cortex, an area of cortex next to and just in front of the hippocampus, might encode spatial information in a manner similar to that of the hippocampus, though with less precision.

 

This view has now been turned upside down with the amazing discovery of a system of grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex, described in a series of recent papers by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser and their colleagues. Unlike a place cell, which typically fires when a rat occupies a single, particular location, each grid cell will fire when the rat is in any one of many locations that are arranged in a stunningly uniform hexagonal grid—as if the cell were linked to a number of alarm tiles spaced at specific, regular distances. The locations that activate a given grid cell are arranged in a precise, repeating grid pattern composed of equilateral triangles that tessellate the floor of the environment.

 

Imagine arranging dozens of round dinner plates to cover a floor in their optimal packing density, such that every plate is surrounded by other, equidistant plates; this arrangement mimics the triggering pattern tied to any given grid cell. As the rat moves around the floor, a grid cell in its brain fires each time the rat steps near the center of a plate. Other grid cells, meanwhile, are associated with their own hexagonal gridworks, which overlap each other. Grids of neighboring cells are of similar dimensions but are slightlyoffset from one another.

 

These grid cells, conclude the Mosers and their co-workers, are likely to be key components of a brain mechanism that constantly updates the rat’s sense of its location, even in the absence of external sensory input. And they almost certainly constitute the basic spatial input that the hippocampus uses to create the highly specific, context-dependent spatial fi ring of its place cells.

This discovery is one of the most remarkable findings in the history of single-unit recordings of brain activity.

 

JAMES J. KNIERIM is associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he studies the role of the hippocampus and related brain structures in spatial learning

and memory.

 

 

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DAVID BOWIE (end music from the movie)

 

FINAL SCENES OF THE MOVIE

June 24, 2008 Posted by | brain, mind, Movies, Music, neurology, neuroscience, psychology, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Dare To Be Yourself”

New challenge everyday

You keep away and delay

When I act to close the gap

Fate says there is a bigger play.

 

Hafiz

 

 

Its a full moon today. As a crab, water sign, i am highly addicted to it.  Solstice Moon Illusion by NASA .  “Sometimes you just can’t believe your eyes. This week is one of those times. On Wednesday night, June 18th, step outside at sunset and look around. You’ll see a giant form rising in the east. At first glance it looks like the full Moon. It has craters and seas and the face of a man, but this “moon” is strangely inflated. It’s huge! You’ve just experienced the Moon Illusion. ” (see also Experiment in Perception: The Ponzo Illusion and the Moon

 

Call it coincidence or not, but just today my life has been “strangely inflated”.  New giant form is rising in my east ……..

Not sure either  is illusion or not, but i did it, felt it, not just thought about…i was dare to be myself …. and it is the best intoxication you can ever have. Among so many fake selves real me.

No additional words needed cos vocabulary is pretty poor to explain it. But true, so much things have to be given up to get back, to feel you, your own self … But reward is overwhelming … It’s such a beautiful natural cycle…going with the flow and being surprised what life brings you next.

 

See bellow very good article from Psychology today.

 

Dare To Be Yourself

A sense of authenticity is one of our deepest psychological needs, and people are more hungry for it than ever. Even so, being true to oneself is not for the faint of heart.

It starts innocently enough, perhaps the first time you recognize your own reflection.

You’re not yet 2 years old, brushing your teeth, standing on your steppy stool by the bathroom sink, when suddenly it dawns on you: That foam-flecked face beaming back from the mirror is you.

You. Yourself. Your very own self.

It’s a revelation—and an affliction. Human infants have no capacity for self-awareness. Then, between 18 and 24 months of age, they become conscious of their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations—thereby embarking on a quest that will consume much of their lives. For many modern selves, the first shock of self-recognition marks the beginning of a lifelong search for the one “true” self and for a feeling of behaving in accordance with that self that can be called authenticity.

A hunger for authenticity guides us in every age and aspect of life. It drives our explorations of work, relationships, play, and prayer. Teens and twentysomethings try out friends, fashions, hobbies, jobs, lovers, locations, and living arrangements to see what fits and what’s “just not me.” Midlifersdeepen commitments to career, community, faith, and family that match their self-images, or feel trapped in existences that seem not their own. Elders regard life choices with regret or satisfaction based largely on whether they were “true” to themselves.

Questions of authenticity determine our regard for others, as well. They dominated the presidential primaries: Was Hillary authentic when she shed a tear in New Hampshire? Was Obama earnest when his speechwriters cribbed lines from a friend’s oration?

“Americans remain deeply invested in the notion of the authentic self,” says ethicist John Portmann of the University of Virginia. “It’s part of the national consciousness.”

It’s also a cornerstone of mental health. Authenticity is correlated withmany aspects of psychological well-being, including vitality, self-esteem, and coping skills. Acting in accordance with one’score self—a trait called self-determination—is ranked by some experts as one of three basic psychological needs, along with competence and a sense of relatedness.

Yet, increasingly, contemporary culture seems to mock the very idea that there is anything solid and true about the self. Cosmetic surgery, psychopharmaceuticals, and perpetual makeovers favor a mutable ideal over the genuine article. MySpace profiles and tell-all blogs carry the whiff of wishful identity. Steroids, stimulants, and doping transform athletic and academic performance. Fabricated memoirs become best-sellers. Speed-dating discounts sincerity. Amid a clutter of counterfeits, the core self is struggling to assert itself.

“It’s some kind of epidemic right now,” says Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. “People feel profoundly like they’re not living from who they really are, their authentic self, their deepest possibility in the world. The result is a sense of near-desperation.”

Just What Is Authenticity, Anyway?

Psychologists long assumed authenticity was something too intangible to measure objectively. Certainly Michael Kernis did when, around 2000, graduate student Brian Goldman approached him about making a study of individual differences in authenticity.

“I said, ‘Well, you can’t do that,'” recalls Kernis, a social psychologist at the University of Georgia in Athens, “because nobody thought you could.” But the two plunged ahead, reviewing several centuries’ worthof philosophical and psychological literature. They came up with a technical description of authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.”

Kernis and Goldman (now at Clayton State University) identified four separate and somewhat concrete components of authenticity that they could measure in a written test. The first, and most fundamental, is self-awareness: knowledge of and trust in one’s own motives, emotions, preferences, and abilities. Self-awareness encompasses an inventory of issues from the sublime to the profane, from knowing what food you like to how likely you are to quit smoking to whether you’re feeling anxious or sad.

Self-awareness is an element of the other three components as well. It’s necessary for clarity in evaluating your strengths and (more to the point) your weaknesses: acknowledging when you’ve flubbed a presentation or when your golf game is off, without resorting to denial or blame. Authenticity also turns up in behavior: It requires acting in ways congruent with your own values and needs, even at the risk of criticism or rejection. And it’s necessary for close relationships, because intimacy cannot develop without openness and honesty.

Kernisand Goldman have found that a sense of authenticity is accompanied by a multitude of benefits. People who score high on the authenticity profile are also more likely to respond to difficulties witheffective coping strategies, rather than resorting to drugs, alcohol, or self-destructive habits. They often report having satisfying relationships. They enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and purpose, confidence in mastering challenges, and the ability to follow through in pursuing goals.

Whether authenticity causes such psychological boons or results from them isn’t yet clear. But they suggest why people crave authenticity, as those low in authenticity are likely to be defensive, suspicious, confused, and easily overwhelmed.

Considering the psychological payoffs, Kernis and Goldman ask, “Why, then, is not everybody authentic?”

The Invented Self

For one thing, pinning down the true self is increasingly difficult. Western philosophers have sought some pure and enduring touchstone of I-nessever since Socrates began interrogating the citizens of Athens. He famously asserted that the unexamined life is not worthliving—but left vague exactly what insights and actions such inquiry might yield. Aristotle later connected the fruits of self-reflection witha theory of authentic behavior that was not so much about letting your freak flag fly as about acting in accord with the “higher good,” which he regarded as the ultimate expression of selfhood.

Spiritual and religious traditions similarly equated authenticity and morality. In the wisdom traditions of Judaism, Portmann points out, “people do the right thing because they see it as an expression of their authentic selfhood.” In Christianity, the eternal soul is who you really, truly are; sinners are simply out of touch with their core selves. “The authentic human self is called to be much nobler than what you see on the streets,” Portmann says.

Enlightenment philosophers secularized ideas of selfhood, but it took the 20th century’s existentialists to question the idea that some original, actual, ultimate self resides within. To them, the self was not so much born as made. One’s choice of action creates the self—in Sartre’s words, “existence precedes essence.” For Heidegger and confreres, authenticity was an attitude: the project of embracing life, constructing meaning, and building character without fooling yourself that your so-called essence matters in any absolute, a priori sense.

“The philosophical question is, do we invent this authentic self?” says Portmann. “Or do we discover it?” Socrates believed we discover it; the existentialists say we invent it.

There isn’t a self to know,” decrees social psychologist Roy Baumeisterof the University of Florida. Today’s psychologists no longer regard the self as a singular entity with a solid core. What they see instead is an array of often conflicting impressions, sensations, and behaviors. Our headspace is messier than we pretend, they say, and the search for authenticity is doomed if it’s aimed at tidying up the sense of self, restricting our identities to what we want to be or who we think we should be.

Increasingly, psychologists believe that our notion of selfhood needs to expand, to acknowledge that, as Whitman wrote, we “contain multitudes.” An expansive vision of selfhood includes not just the parts of ourselves that we like and understand but also those that we don’t. There’s room to be a loving mother who sometimes yells at her kids, a diffident cleric who laughs too loud, or a punctilious boss with a flask of gin in his desk. The authentic self isn’t always pretty. It’s just real.

We all have multiple layers of self and ever-shifting perspectives, contends psychiatrist Peter Kramer. Most of us would describe ourselves as either an introvert or an extrovert. Research shows that although we think of ourselves as one or the other (with a few exceptions), we are actually both, in different contexts. Which face we show depends on the situation. As Kramer puts it, “To which facet of experience must we be ‘true’?”

“Whether there is a core self or not, we certainly believe that there is,” says social psychologist Mark Leary of Duke University. And the longing to live from that self is real, as is the suffering of those who feel they aren’t being true to themselves. Feelings of inauthenticitycan be so uncomfortable that people resort to extreme measures to bring their outer lives in alignment with their inner bearings. Portmann notes that people who undergo sex-change operations or gastric-bypass surgeries will say of their new gender or clothing size, “This is who I really am. I’m myself at last.” People who experience religious conversion often voice the same conviction, he says.

Likewise, “patients who recover from depression will say, ‘I’m back to myself again,'” reports Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac. “You can make the case that people are sometimes able to be more authentic on medication than not.”

But most of us experience inauthenticityless dramatically, as vague dissatisfaction, a sense of emptiness, or the sting of self-betrayal. If you’ve ever complimented the chef on an inedible meal, interviewed for a job you hoped you wouldn’t get, or agreed withyour spouse just to smooth things over, you know the feeling.

Inauthenticity might also be experienced on a deeper level as a loss of engagement in some—or many—aspects of your life. At the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he often teaches, Stephen Cope opens his programs by asking attendees to reveal their deepest reason for being there. “Eighty percent of the time, people say some variation of: ‘I’m here to find my true self, to come home to my true self,’ ” he reports. That response is as likely to come from young adults struggling to build careers and relationships as from people in midlife reevaluating their choices. “They say, ‘Who am I? Now that I’ve had a decent career and bought a house and had a marriage, I’m still feeling profoundly unfulfilled.'”

Another reason we’re not always true to ourselves is that authenticity is not for the faint of heart. There is, Kernis and Goldman acknowledge, a “potential downside of authenticity.” Accurate self-knowledge can be painful. When taking a test, it isn’t always fun to find out where you score on the grading curve. “Our self-images can be highly biased,” Leary notes. “But in the long run, accuracy is almost always better than bias.”

Behaving in accord withyour true self may also bring on the disfavor of others: Must you admit to being a Democrat when meeting with your conservative clients? Does your wife really want to know whether you like her new dress? “Opening oneself up to an intimate makes one vulnerable to rejection or betrayal,” Kernis and Goldman observe. It can feel better to be embraced as an impostor than dumped for the person you really are.

Authenticity also requires making conscious, informed choices based on accurate self-knowledge. Like the existentialists, today’s psychologists emphasize the role of active choice in creating an authentic life: a willingness to evaluate nearly everything that you do. That’s no mean feat in a culture where even simple acts—you can dye your hair any color you want, your television carries more than 500 channels, and Starbucks advertises more than 87,000 ways to enjoy a cup of coffee—require conscious consideration among alternatives.

Such freedom can be exhausting. Baumeister has found that deliberation, no matter how trivial, exacts a cost in psychic energy, of which we have only a finite amount. His studies show that authentic action demands a certain amount of psychological exertion that depletes the self’s executive function. “It’s harder to be authentic,” he says. “It takes more work.”

Leary sees it as an outright burden, part of the perennial longing and doubt that he calls “the curse of the self.” So here we are, stuck with our self-awareness, which also compels us to continually define and refine our sense of ourselves as unique individuals against a background of conformity, superficiality, exhibitionism, and lots of other unique individuals.

But wait, there’s more. In order to realize an authentic life, says Kernis, one often has to set aside hedonic well-being—the kind of shallow, short-lived pleasure we get from, say, acquiring things—for eudaimonic well-being, a deeper, more meaningful state in which gratification is not usually immediate. Sissies need not apply.

The fact is that we tend to flourish under the most challenging circumstances, and enduring the pain and confusion that often accompany them can bring out the best—and most authentic—in us, fostering such deeply satisfying qualities as wisdom, insight, and creativity. But our cultural climate is filled with an alluring array of distractions, from online gambling to video games, that often turn out to be junk food for the mind.

Too Rigid for Our Own Good

But the really hard work, according to Cope and others, is the amount of ego-wrangling required to contact the core self. One of the biggest barriers to authentic behavior, he says, is the arbitrary and rigid self-image that so many of us nurture but which in fact distorts experience and limits self-knowledge. “Oftentimes, the very first line of defense you get with the folks who say, ‘I’m leading an inauthentic life,’ is that they’re living life according to a fixed set of views and beliefs about how they should be.”

A man at a dinner party admits that he married his first wife “because, well, you have to get married sometime, right?” (Actually, you don’t.) A composer who sets music to blockbuster films complains that they are too commercial, but is unwilling to forego such movies’ wide audiences and big paychecks for work on more meaningful projects. In each case, the individual may be guided by unexamined assumptions about what constitutes responsibility, satisfaction, even success.

Kernis contends that we each acquire a mixed set of shoulds, oughts, and have-to’s while still too young to process them. They are neither fully conscious nor deeply considered but are acquired through convention and the expectations of others. Getting beyond these arbitrary strictures often demands the kind of soul-searching that most of us put off or avoid entirely. In fact, much of the work that people do in cognitive and behavioral therapy is to hold such beliefs up to the light and examine where they came from, a necessary step to resolving the anxiety or depression they typically create and that drive people to seek help.

“Jung says the first thing you should do is take a look at those things that are dark in you, the things that are problematical, that you don’t like,” says psychotherapist and former monk Thomas Moore, author of A Life at Work. “You have to be willing to look at things that don’t fit snugly into the image you have of what you would like to be.”

Failures R Us

Becoming authentic, then, means accepting not only contradiction and discomfort but personal faults and failures as well. Problematic aspects of our lives, emotions, and behaviors—the times we’ve yelled at the kids, lusted after the babysitter, or fallen back on our promises to friends—are not breaches of your true self, Moore insists. They’re clues to the broader and more comprehensive mystery of selfhood. “In fact,” he notes, “we are all very subtle and very complex, and there are forces and resources within us that we have no control over. We will never find the limits of who we are.

“People carry around a heavy burden of not feeling authentic,” he says, “because they have failed marriages and their work life hasn’t gone the way it should, and they’ve disappointed everybody, including themselves. When people think of these as just failures, as opposed to learning experiences, they don’t have to feel the weight of their lives or the choices they’ve made. That disowning creates a division that becomes the sense of inauthenticity.”

Kernis’ studies show that people witha sense of authenticity are highly realistic about their performance in everything from a game of touch football to managing the family business. They’re not defensive or blaming of others when they meet with less success than they wanted.

Eastern spiritual traditions have long furnished ways to glimpse the messiness of the self, and to view with detachment the vicissitudes of mind and emotion that roil human consciousness. Buddhism takes the self in all its variability as the principal subject of contemplation; the yogic tradition accords self-study great importance.

The Hindu Bhagavad Gitasuggests we also have a duty to act: to realize our full potential in the world, to construct or discover a unique individuality, and thereby to live authentically. You have to “discern your own highly idiosyncratic gifts, and your own highly idiosyncratic calling,” Cope elaborates. “Real fulfillment comes from authentically grappling with the possibility inside you, in a disciplined, concentrated, focused way.”

That lesson isn’t confined to Eastern spirituality. In The Way of Man, philosopher Martin Buber relates a Hasidic parable about one Rabbi Zusya, a self-effacing scholar who has a deathbed revelation that he shares with the friends keeping vigil at his side. “In the next life, I shall not be asked: ‘Why were you not more like Moses?'” he says. “I shall be asked: ‘Why were you not more like Zusya?'”

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Video:  Audioslave – Be Yourself

June 19, 2008 Posted by | Daily bites, Music, Poems, psychology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V for Vendetta

“God is in the rain.”  (V for Vendetta)

 

Instead of being depressed living in a bad movie i rather watched very good one.  V for Vendeta (2005) is worth to see movie. If i did something else and I’d just have listened the voices, some parts sound like listening major TV networks lately. Terrorists attack, TV propaganda, frighten people, fear, power, prisons, …

Overall, movie is very good and is a good metaphor of our current situation. Some romantic elements doesn’t hurt either. Movie is directed by James McTeigue and written by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski (Matrix).  At the end movie with some quotes, slow motion visual effects and martial (knifes) arts reminds of Matrix. In good sense, of course.  Natalie Portman  as Evey is good as always. Still like the most her play in  Leon (which is amazing movie) and in Goya’s Ghosts she played very well too.

Hugo Weaving – V. (Smith from Matrix) gave soul to V. And i liked play of Finch (Stephen Rea ) . i liked his play in The Crying game  by  Neil Jordan  a lot. The Crying game was my fav movie for a long time. And as in The Crying game he realises and accepts at the end –or as he says in V for Vendetta: “I can see it now. We are part of the same pattern. We are all trapped in. “

Origin of the film:

V for Vendetta  is a ten-issue comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, set in a dystopian future United Kingdom imagined from the 1980s about the 1990s. A mysterious anarchist named “V” works to destroy the totalitarian government, profoundly affecting the people he encounters.

And this is Moore critics about film:

After reading the script, Moore remarked:

“[The movie] has been “turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country… It’s a thwarted and frustrated and largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values standing up against a state run by neoconservatives—which is not what the comic V for Vendetta was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about England.”

What ever were their dispute, I do like a movie and all its hidden messages and i also do appreciate Moore’s visionary story. Or as it says in the movie:

V: Your own father said that artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.

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V for Vendetta  by ‘Cat Power’

June 17, 2008 Posted by | Daily bites, Movies, Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is this the bad movie we live in? When at the begining you can fortell the end.

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Dollar crises, food crises, oil crises, nuclear threat… Paradise for neocons to push their agenda of New American century. Just from reading few articles this week, it’s so obvious what is going on. The history has taught us that many big crises were provoked and caused by those who wanted to profit from them.
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Attack on Iran

Iran Ended Oil Transactions in U.S. Dollars  at the end of  April. All of the sudden media started with strong evidences of all kind of “knowledge” of Iran’s nuclear treats.  And just today emerged 2nd “highly confidential paper” on a train!  How stupid do they think people are? Where are evidences of WMD in Iran?  “The government papers, left on a train destined for Waterloo station, on Wednesday, contain criticism of countries such as Iran that are signed up to the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body created to combat financial crime and the financing of terrorism.” The confidential files outline how the trade and banking systems can be manipulated to finance illicit weapons of mass destruction in Iran

Another two connected stories from today, 16th of june 2008.

Iran withdraws $75 billion from Europe, 16.june:

Bush and Brown issue Iran warning. “Action will start today in new phase of sanctions on oil and gas. We will take any necessary action so that Iran is aware of the choice it needs to make,” Brown said.Bush said he has not ruled out the use of force to end Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, but added that he preferred to resolve the dispute diplomatically. “…

Was the same 1979 when Iran wanted to nationalised oil. They brought Homeini and flamed revolution,..   add kept their presence there.
Behind:  control of middle east and oil production. 
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Video: WE’RE GONNA BOMB IRAN, & THERES NOTHING YOU CAN DO
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Food crises,

mostly inflated by speculations, is great opportunity to force the world to use genetically modified products (see article US wants biotech to help solve global food crisis). Even not reported i am sure that Bush with current visit in Europe again tried to push Europe into Monsanto arms. How can GM food help, since is known that brings lower yield instead of higher, increased use of herbicide instead less of them, it’s dangerous for health and destroys biodiversity ?! Strong connection between White House and Monsanto are clear. Monsato is owner of 80% of GM seeds.  And they have patent on every GM seed. Licence fee of food! How perverted. Indian farmers make suicide cos can’t cope wit it. As European i am strongly against any invasion of Monsanto in Europe. But than…how can i know?
Behind: control of world’s food production.
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Video: The Genetic Conspiracy (1/3) – about Monsanto
 
 

Dollar crises

causes range of problems around the world. FED is the one who is very much responsible for that. And how really perverted. They want to solve the problem to give FED even more power worldwide (see article bellow NY Fed chief urges global bank framework ).
Behind: control of world’s money circulation.
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Video: FEDERAL RESERVE (Zeitgeist) —how history repeats itself with same players
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Oil Crises

Market Manipulation and the Causes of Outrageous Energy Prices. According to a number of oil industry executives and market analysts, around a third of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds, and much of it on electronic futures exchanges free from U.S. oversight.“Excessive speculation on energy trading facilities is the fuel that is driving this runaway train in crude oil prices,”said Gerry Ramm, Senior Executive, Inland Oil Company of Ephrata, WA. 
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Articles:

Iran Ends Oil Transactions in U.S. Dollars

OPEC’s Second-Largest Producer Now Pegs Petroleum To Euros And Yen

TEHRAN, Iran, April 30, 2008. Although OPEC has traditionally tied its price of oil to U.S. dollars, Iran has announced it has shifted sales of its oil to euros and yen. 

(AP) Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer, has completely stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars, a top Oil Ministry official said Wednesday, a concerted attempt to reduce reliance on Washington at a time of tension over Tehran’s nuclear program and suspected involvement in Iraq.

Iran has dramatically reduced dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of increasing U.S. pressure on its financial system and the fall in the value of the American currency.

Oil is priced in U.S. dollars on the world market, and the currency’s depreciation has concerned producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and eroded the value of their dollar reserves.

“The dollar has totally been removed from Iran’s oil transactions,” Oil Ministry official Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told state-run television Wednesday. “We have agreed with all of our crude oil customers to do our transactions in non-dollar currencies.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the depreciating dollar a “worthless piece of paper” at a rare summit last year in Saudi Arabia attended by state leaders from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

US wants biotech to help solve global food crisis

Jun 13, 2008; A senior US official on Friday urged countries to remove barriers to the use of biotechnology and other innovations that would increase food production at a time of crisis.

“We must address the policies and trade barriers that increase food prices by preventing access to food and to the best technologies available to produce food,” Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said.

“In the long term, we believe sustainable food security will come from advances in science and technology and the creation of an efficient global market for both agriculture products and food production technologies,” he said.

“We therefore are strongly encouraging countries to remove barriers to the use of innovative plant and animal production technologies, including biotechnology,” Negroponte said.

“Biotechnology tools can help speed the development of crops with higher yields, higher nutrition value, better resistance to pests and diseases, and stronger food system resilience in the face of climate change,” he said.

“Are there negative food andclimate change implications associated with increased demand for biofuels?” he asked.

“We think this has had minor impact, but are dedicating substantial resources for research for cellulosic biofuel technology,” he said.

“We are also working hard to conclude a successful Doha agreement that will reduce and eliminate tariffs and other barriers as well as market-distorting subsidies for agriculture goods,” he said.

“Over 40 developing countries unwisely have put trade-restrictive policy measures into place,” he said, adding that export restrictions should be lifted.

“They (the export restrictions) have taken food off the global market, driven prices higher, and isolated farmers from the one silver lining of the rise in food prices — higher incomes for agriculture producers,” he said.

Negroponte was speaking at a ceremony to name former US senators Robert Dole and George McGovern the winners of the 250,000 dollar World Food Prize for their role in “encouraging a global commitment to school feeding.”

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NY Fed chief urges global bank framework

June 8 2008; Banks and investment banks whose health is crucial to the global financial system should operate under a unified regulatory framework with “appropriate requirements for capital and liquidity”, according to Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Writing in Monday’s Financial Times, Mr Geithner, a key US policymaker throughout the credit crisis and one of the main architects of the rescue of Bear Stearns, says that the US Federal Reserve should play a “central role” in the new regulatory framework, working closely with supervisors in the US and round the world.

“At present the Fed has broad responsibility for financial stability not matched by direct authority and the consequences of the actions we have taken in this crisis make it more important that we close that gap,” Mr Geithner says, in an excerpt of a speech to be delivered today at the Economic Club of New York.

The credit crisis has heightened pressure on US policymakers to consider sweeping changes to a regulatory system for financial institutions which has commercial banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup regulated by the Fed and investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers more loosely regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr Geithner called the system “a confusing mix of diffused accountability, regulatory competition and a complex web of rules that create perverse incentives and leave huge opportunities for arbitrage and evasion”.

However, legislation to overhaul US financial regulation is unlikely to start advancing through Congress until next year when the new administration takes office.

In his speech, Mr Geithner will also say the Fed is examining whether to make “permanent” some of the new liquidity facilities put in place during the credit crisis, and called for central banks to establish a “standing network of currency swaps, collateral policies and account arrangements” to bolster liquidity during a future crisis.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Knight, the general manager of the Bank of International Settlements, the Basel-based central banking group, told the FT that the financial system now faces a growing risk of exchange-rate volatility as investors and central banks grapple with the impact of rising commodity prices and other inflationary pressures.

“It is not clear if the rest of the world is going to continue to fund the US current account deficit at current levels of exchange rates,” he said. “The pattern of the exchange rates is subject to considerable uncertainty now.”

The comments are likely to be closely watched by investors and policymakers, since they come at a time of renewed market focus on the outlook for the dollar relative to the euro and other currencies. Last week, Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, broke with the US central bank’s traditional silence on currency matters to make clear that it does not want any further dollar weakness.

While the dollar rallied on Mr Bernanke’s remarks, it retreated later in the week after European Central bank comments suggested an interest rate rise and as the price of crude oil soared, heightening inflation fears.

“There is a perception that after a long period of quiescent inflation, things are changing,” Mr Knight said. “This is quite visible in terms of commodity prices in energy markets but also in terms of what is happening with other commodities too.”

Geithner stresses Fed role in dollar stance

By Aline van Duyn and Michael Mackenzie in New York

Published: June 9 2008 23:20 | Last updated: June 9 2008 23:20

Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, has appeared to dismiss the market perception that the US Treasury calls the shots for the dollar, saying responsibility is a “delicate balance” between the Treasury and the Fed.

Referring to his time as a Treasury official, he said the balance of responsibility for the dollar was “60:40”, with the Treasury taking the lead but the central bank clearly playing an important role.

The dollar strengthened on Monday after Mr Geithner said the Fed was paying “very close attention” to its value. “No government or central bank can be indifferent to changes in the value of its currency,” he said in a question-and-answer session at the Economic Club of New York.

Hank Paulson, US Treasury secretary, also told CNBC on Monday that he would not rule out intervention to stabilise the dollar. The currency rallied after setting a six-week low on Monday and was up 1 per cent at $1.5622 against the euro in late trade.

Last week Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, broke a taboo on Fed officials commenting on the dollar when he drew links between a weaker currency and higher import costs and consumer price inflation.

The Fed has cut benchmark overnight interest rates sharply to 2 per cent since September. Now markets expect a rate increase later this year to address inflationary pressures.

Mr Geithner has been a key US policymaker throughout the financial crisis and one of the main architects of the rescue of Bear Stearns. The bank was bought by JPMorgan, which Mr Geithner said was the only way to avoid a default.

“Our first and most immediate priority remains to help the economy and the financial system get through this crisis,” he said. After the system had stabilised, the regulatory system had to have an overhaul.

“The severity and complexity of this crisis makes a compelling case for a comprehensive reassessment of how to use regulation to strike an appropriate balance between efficiency and stability,” he said.

The establishment of a central clearing house for credit derivatives was an important goal of a meeting held on Monday afternoon at the New York Fed with 17 big firms, Mr Geithner said.

Changes in the derivative market’s infrastructure, expected over the next six months, “will help improve the system’s ability to manage the consequences of failure by a major institution”, he said.

The dealers and Fed will outline a number of changes in the way over-the-counter derivatives trades are processed, including a central clearing house, reduced outstanding contracts, and greater automation of trading and settlement.

June 15, 2008 Posted by | conspiracy, Daily bites, Documentary, Politics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sins of the century: Stolen lives, childhood, dignity and hope in the name of power and money

My last movie trip was tought. For a brain. To digest this injustice which is mostly hidden to “civilised world”.  The Constant Gardener, Invisible Children and The Kite Runner (thanks to oceanshaman for a tip) have one thing in common. Stolen lives, childhood, hope and dignity. Of the whole generations, continents,.. People and kids as collateral damage of power play. Yet every human being has heart and soul, so many dreams, love and hopes within,…are those hope and dreams less worth than western ones? How can we talk about high level of moral values, humanism  and scientific achievements our civilisation has built if small part of human race use other majority as a tool for their own well being? People as predators.

As Baba in The Kite Runner says: “No matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. (..) When you kill a man, you steal a life. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?”

The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener  is a story of African poverty, ruthless exploitation of continent and people in order to maximaze corporations’ profits (in this case Pharmaceutical colonialism), with underlying beautiful love story beetwen Justin and Tessa (Ralph Fiennes  and Rachel Weisz).  Movie is based on John le Carre’s  novel The Constant Gardener. (Trivia: Le Carré published an essay entitled “The United States has gone mad” in The Times in January 2003, protesting against the war in Iraq, saying: “How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history.”)

Movie is directed by Fernando Meirelles  who directed also  Cidade de Deus – City of God . Stunning pictures of landscape and sensitive portrait of suffering and survival of African people who are desparately  waiting for leftovers from rich man’s table. So sad.

INVISIBLE CHILDREN  

At the end of the movie Justin run from rebels who are stealing children.  Wanted to know more about, i found documentary  INVISIBLE CHILDREN  , which really shocked me. Still have picture of those fearful and fearless kids in my head. Made me think how i can help. Cos if this documentary doesn’t move something within people than we are the ones whom this civilisation has stolen the soul not just to African people. Kids as a weapon, kids with weapon (5-12 years old, reminds me on City of God); fearless trained small killing machines. Ruthless power of tribes, fueled by corrupted governments, financed by multinationals and U.N. with the purpose to further exploit African land and people.

See this shocking video and spread the word…

And see the role of US, U.N. and Russia in Africa. Unbelievable! (have African people ever had a possibility to decide for themselves)

 

And it’s getting even nastier. See some article bellow on which big media mostly don’t  pay attention but are crucial to understand what is really going on.

Understanding AFRICOM:
A Contextual Reading of Empire’s New Combatant Command

In early February 2007 the White House finally announced a presidential directive to establish by September 2008 a new unified combatant command with an area of responsibility (AOR) solely dedicated to the African continent. While there had been chatter and debate over a period of years about the form that such a military command should take, the announcement to proceed with centralizing military resources in Africa should not have surprised anyone paying attention for the past seven years 

Pharmaceutical colonialism in Africa

Big drug companies are conducting clinical trials in Africa with no consideration for ethics, the health of patients or the relevance of the drugs to the needs and the pathology of the continent. Nobody is testing traditional medicine to see if it works, and how.

Africa: EPA Means Economic Enslavement 

The new plan of the European Union to have economic agreements with her former colonies has not received much attention in terms of critical analysis especially by the civil society groups and trade union movements. The agreement represents another way of rapaciously and legally exploiting the resources of the third world countries especially Africa where most of the population are living in absolute poverty. In the first place, the goods to be exported to European countries are mostly agricultural produce with little local content and market value while European countries will bring in finished goods which are high valued. This definitely means the continuous underdevelopment of the third world countries. Therefore, there will continuously be wide technology gap, increased trade imbalance and capital flight from the countries.

WTO Proposes Slavery for Africa

“Full, untrammelled stewardry is the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory,” Schmidt told more than 150 attendees. Schmidt acknowledged that the stewardry program was similar in many ways to slavery, but explained that just as “compassionate conservatism” has polished the rough edges on labor relations in industrialized countries, full stewardry, or “compassionate slavery,” could be a similar boon to developing ones.

Beutiful african music from The Constant Gardener

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The Kite Runner

With current US politics the future for Afghanistan, Iraq, etc seems no different than African ones. Permanent presence of troops, suportof their corrupted governments and juntas which empowers constant civil wars will leave the countries robed of natural resources, diminishing of local culture and people without a future.

But as Marc Foster  shows in The Kite Runner (based on Khaled Hosseini  book The Kite Runner) behind those games there are real people with real lives, real hopes, real sadness,… They are not a pictures in newspapers; they hope, fear, love, play, …

AFGHANISTAN MISSION CLOSE TO FAILING (Guardian) 29/2/08

After six years of US-led military support and billions of pounds in aid, security in Afghanistan is “deteriorating” and President Hamid Karzai’s government controls less than a third of the country, America’s top intelligence official has admitted.Mike McConnell testified in Washington that Karzai controls about 30% of Afghanistan and the Taliban 10%, and the remainder is under tribal control.

The Afghan government angrily denied the US director of national intelligence’s assessment yesterday, insisting it controlled “over 360” of the country’s 365 districts. “This is far from the facts and we completely deny it,” said the defence ministry.

But the gloomy comments echoed even more strongly worded recent reports by thinktanks, including one headed by the former Nato commander General James Jones, which concluded that “urgent changes” were required now to “prevent Afghanistan becoming a failed state”.
  

June 13, 2008 Posted by | books, Documentary, food, Movies, Music, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psychology of power: What drives this powerful men? And where are they driving us?

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (Salvador Dali)

This post is tribute to Bush’s visit of our country today 

Having power makes people more likely to act like sociopaths. People with power tend to behave like patients who have damaged their brain’s orbitofrontal lobes, a condition that seems to cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior. Thus the experience of power might be thought of as having someone open up your skull and take out that part of your brain so critical to empathy and socially-appropriate behavior.”

The movie, The Experiment  (Experiment, Das, 2001),  shocked me a lot when i firstly saw it. I’ve heard as psychology student before about Stanford Prison Experiment, where Philip Zimbardo randomly assigned Stanford undergraduates to act as prison guards or prisoners—an extreme kind of power relation. The prison guards quickly descended into the purest forms of power abuse, psychologically torturing their peers, the prisoners. Movie is well done story about this experiment.

Social system determines our behaviour in a big way. Every position in social system has internally defined code of behaviour toward others and toward self as well. Was writing lately how our brain is great organ but so vulnerable and it generalise and simplifies so fast. Before we even know we are caught (see post: Brain makes decision before we even know it). We behave as we think that is required to behave on that position/role. Code of behaviour specifically role requires could be obtained from parents, peers, media.

Why most of the people tend to submise in front of person on position of power?  Is it conditional response?  Why there is so many stupid bosses who manage smart employees? What kind of aura does  bring position?  Subordinate or boss  has clear meaning of category and responses to it in our mind. We’ve been learned about this from early childhood on. You have to respect the president, you have to respect boss.  Why? Is he/she worth of respect? Of following?  No, he/she symply deserve respect because is a president, boss, …Pure tautology. Political language is full of tautologies as well.

What is their drive? How they’ve come there? What is their psychological structure? How would they behave if they would be put back, quite low on social system hierarchy?

Does position corrupt or corrupted people seek for position? Is it possible that lack of empathy and ego-centrism, lack of mature consciousness, enviousness, competitiveness and grandiosness of this people show that our civilization is ruled by nuts with substantial Narcissistic personality’s disorder? They are builders of social system and its rules and roles. Is that why the whole civilisation shift itself into narcissism? (see narcisstic personality disorder traits). The last video, guy hit by car, left on the street, is typical example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQjdaEUcTAE

Video about Bush Family Fortune or “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”(Lord Acton)

Very good article: Power is not only an aphrodisiac, it does weird things to some of us

Vicki Haddock, Insight Staff Writer

Why is it said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? What is it about the psychology of power that leads people to behave differently — and too often, badly?

Those are some of the questions intriguing a group of social scientists, many of them at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. In the past few years, their research has zeroed in on what an intoxicating elixir power can be.

And one thing has become clear: The phrase “drunk with power” is often a dead-on description. These new studies show that power acts to lower inhibitions, much the same as alcohol does.

“It explains why powerful people act with great daring and sometimes behave rather like gorillas,” said psychologist Cameron Anderson, assistant professor at UC Berkeley who has studied power dynamics.

Some evidence also suggests a physiological component: that powerful people experience an adrenaline rush, not unlike that of someone in an emergency who is suddenly able to lift an automobile. Research on monkeys indicates that their levels of serotonin change when they move into the dominant alpha position.

“Disinhibition is the very root of power,” said Stanford Professor Deborah Gruenfeld, a social psychologist who focuses on the study of power. “For most people, what we think of as ‘power plays’ aren’t calculated and Machiavellian — they happen at the subconscious level. Many of those internal regulators that hold most of us back from bold or bad behavior diminish or disappear. When people feel powerful, they stop trying to ‘control themselves.’ “

So when movie star Mel Gibson told the police officer who pulled him over that he “owned” Malibu and that Jews were the source of all the wars in the history of the world, it’s hard to know whether to attribute his irrational hubris to the effects of power or drunkenness, or both.

Research documents the following characteristics of people with power: They tend to be more oblivious to what others think, more likely to pursue the satisfaction of their own appetites, poorer judges of other people’s reactions, more likely to hold stereotypes, overly optimistic and more likely to take risks.

LBJ biographer Robert Caro observed that power doesn’t corrupt; it reveals. Research by UC Berkeley psychology Professor Serena Chen suggests that people who are naturally selfish grow even more selfish if they attain power, while people who are naturally selfless and giving become more so with power.

“I enjoy teaching classes that get students to think more positively about power,” said Roderick Kramer, professor of organizational behavior at Stanford who has studied the biographies of hundreds of powerful people. He notes the flip side of power — that the lowering of inhibitions frees the powerful to shake up organizations, fearlessly challenge the status quo, do the right thing regardless of unpopularity, and follow a more daring vision. Could preacher Martin Luther King Jr. have so profoundly inspired the civil rights movement, could New Jersey homemaker Martha Stewart have become a marketing maven, could a former Austrian bodybuilder have become the governor of California without coasting on the inhibition-lowering fumes of power along the way?

This orientation is exponentially enhanced by the fact that others react differently, more deferentially, to powerful people. Henry Kissinger discerned that power is “the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

The result, as Kramer notes, is that powerful people are likely to find that every mirror held up to them says, in effect, you are the fairest of them all.

Journalist Bob Woodward tells an instructive story about President Bush in his new book “State of Denial.” Gen. Jay Garner, the outgoing chief of post-war planning in Iraq, had determined that the United States was making three big, tragic mistakes, including disbanding the Iraqi army. He met with Bush intending to lay it on the line, and instead ended up telling the intellectually incurious president that he is positively beloved in Iraq, while Bush jokes about how perhaps his next assignment will be the invasion of Iran. Garner says he would prefer Cuba — better rum and cigars, prettier women.

“Of course with all the stories, jocularity, buddy-buddy talk, bluster and confidence in the Oval Office, Garner had left out the headline,” Woodward writes. “He had not mentioned the problems he saw, or even hinted at them. He did not tell Bush about the three tragic mistakes. Once again, the aura of the presidency had shut out the most important news — the bad news. It was only one example of a visitor to the Oval Office not telling the president the whole story or the truth … The whole atmosphere too often resembled a royal court … exaggerated good news, and a good time had by all.”

The point, Kramer would argue, is not just that power reveals but also that it changes people. Such transformation explains why so many powerful people, imbued with talent, luck and leadership skills, tumble in flames like Icarus. The only way to truly harness power is first to understand what it does to you — in other words, the consequences of lowered inhibitions.

One of the simplest and yet most fascinating experiments to test the thesis is the “cookie crumbles” experiment. Researchers placed college students in groups of three and gave them an artificial assignment — collaboration on a short policy paper about a social issue. They then randomly assigned one of the students to evaluate the other two for points that would affect their ability to win a cash bonus. Having set up this artificial power hierarchy, researchers then casually brought to working trios plates containing five cookies.

They found that not only did the disinhibited “powerful” students eat more than their share of the cookies, they were more likely to chew with their mouths open and to scatter crumbs over the table.

Gruenfeld offers a similar example from her career in journalism when she occasionally met with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner. She recalls that he routinely would swig vodka from a bottle and eat raw onions — without ever offering to share — “and it never even occurred to the rest of us, because it was understood that he had the power and we did not.”

Studies show that while people with less status tend to stand or sit more primly in social and professional situations, powerful people actually stretch out and take up more physical space.

And they take liberties in other ways as well, indulging their childish impulses. Some exercise sexual prerogatives over those less powerful, with the involvement of former Rep. Mark Foley with congressional pages being but the latest example. Some rack up a preposterous number of possessions: Among the bribes former San Diego Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham took was a yacht he christened the Duke-stir, while former Tyco Chief Executive Officer Dennis Kozlowski charged home furnishings to his company, including a $2,000 trash can and a $15,000 umbrella stand.

Other power seekers relish the psychological satisfaction suggested by novelist Amy Tan’s definition of power: “holding someone else’s fear in your hand and showing it to them.” The abuses at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and other atrocities demonstrate a power effect documented three decades ago in Stanford psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo’s simulated jail scenario: Students placed in authority grew increasingly repressive and abusive over their “subjects.”

One study of the kings of England reported that those rulers with the greatest power were far more likely to commit crimes — from theft to murder — than ordinary citizens. A similar impulse may have propelled decisionmakers at Hewlett-Packard to try to plug information leaks by spying on board members and on journalists covering the company.

Another symptom of power is reduced awareness of the way you are perceived by others. Again, research shows that powerful people are less able to accurately read the verbal and facial cues of those around them, and thus more likely to misjudge how they are coming off. Instead of focusing outward, they tend to see others as merely orbiting around them.

One illustrative experiment asked subjects to draw a capital E on their foreheads with a washable marker. The hypothesis was that powerful people, because they care less about how they are perceived, would be less likely to write the E as if someone else would be reading it — and sure enough, the powerful tended to draw E’s in a way that was proper from their perspective but backward to onlookers.

This symptom of power can be ominous: As leaders grow more oblivious to the perceptions of others, they can become dangerously isolated and start to see people merely as means to their own ends. The parables of such isolation abound in history: Movie audiences can watch the downfalls of two very different examples in the French queen Marie Antoinette and Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

Another axiom of the powerful is that they take risks more than others. Such risk-taking is often richly rewarded, but at some point overconfidence can be disastrous.

When Anderson at UC and co-author Adam Galinsky at Northwestern University undertook a series of studies about the powerful, they discovered that not only were people in power more optimistic about their odds of success, but they underestimated the dangers even in areas over which they had no power whatsoever. In experiments, people made to feel powerful were more likely to minimize their chances of being affected by an accident, more likely to gamble on a lower blackjack hand, more likely to reveal vulnerable information in a job interview, even more likely to engage in sex without a condom, than were people with less power.

“The bottom line is that people in power act in more cavalier ways,” Anderson said. “They really do believe that they’re not going to get caught, and they start to see themselves as above the law. And we know how that turns out …”

So what is required to remain uncorrupted — to handle power with grace?

The experts say that to remain grounded, it takes a deliberate effort, a sense of humor about yourself and a willingness to become more, not less, reflective. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama says he gains more insights into the needs of constituents by flying in coach. High-flying investor Warren Buffet still lives in Omaha in a house that cost $31,000, and continues to play bridge with his same cadre of friends. Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were masters at a self-deprecating wit that served them well.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity,” said Abraham Lincoln, “but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

http://www.prisonexp.org/pdf/powerevil.pdf

June 9, 2008 Posted by | conspiracy, Daily bites, Documentary, Movies, neuroscience, Politics, psychology, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What do we realy see? Context Dictates What We Believe We See

Can you find the Hidden Tiger on picture? If not, click on  the picture. It’s so obvious when you’re told. You can’t not see it aymore. The post bellow is all about it.

How Believing Can Be Seeing: Context Dictates What We Believe We See

 “ScienceDaily – Feb. 19, 2008— Scientists at UCL (University College London) have found the link between what we expect to see, and what our brain tells us we actually saw. The study reveals that the context surrounding what we see is all important — sometimes overriding the evidence gathered by our eyes and even causing us to imagine things which aren’t really there.”

The Neuroscience of Illusion; How tricking the eye reveals the inner workings of the brain 

“By Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. MacknikIt’s a fact of neuroscience that everything we experience is actually a figment of our imagination. Although our sensations feel accurate and truthful, they do not necessarily reproduce the physical reality of the outside world. Of course, many experiences in daily life reflect the physical stimuli that enter the brain. But the same neural machinery that interprets actual sensory inputs is also responsible for our dreams, delusions and failings of memory. In other words, the real and the imagined share a physical source in the brain. So take a lesson from Socrates: “All I know is that I know nothing.””

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Bellow video September 11 clues is a good example to test the theory. Some people claim that attack by planes on WTC never happened. And zillions of videos and pictures repeated over and over again where we saw that the planes were there…hit WTC. What is true? Shall we believe to Bush (see video below)…repeat over and over again …you got to catapult the propaganda ?!?! If bellow movie would be repeated so many times as official ones what would people believe than? Did people see or they’ve been told what to see.

I don’t wanna judge. Both could be real or no-one of them. But i can doubt …either on this video, official one or  on both on them… That is the privilege of the observer … Worked on commercial TV, I’ve learned one thing: Frequency sell (either talking about news or commercials).  Brains functions are result of evolution in order to successfully  adapt the environment. Many times brain simplifies, generalize, categorize …among zillions of stimulus. The stimulus (either true or not–brain actually doesn’t care) which is the most dominant, become anchor for the whole category. PR or advertising  guys know this wery well.

 

A rabbit or a duck?   (A plane or a missile?)

And funny video how  propaganda is done by President of United States:

                    …”You got to Catapult the propaganda “

The Political Mindby George Lakoff

Republicans, Lakoff says, understand how “brains and minds work”. If voters are fthinkers and not thinkers, you need to appeal to their emotions. One way to do so is to hitch a ride on a narrative that is already neurally well honed. Some narratives – for example, “rags to riches” – are affective neural superhighways for Americans.

The power of images: Marketing as doublethink

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Looking those lines….you know that are straight…but you just can not see them as that …cos the structure of elements blure your mind…

June 8, 2008 Posted by | conspiracy, Documentary, Movies, Music, neuroscience, Politics, psychology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ties Between Memories And The Imagination – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience and the council-chamber of thought. (Giambattista Basile)
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Use of fMRI To Understand Ties Between Memories And The Imagination

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Psychologists have found that  thought patterns used to recall the past and imagine the future are strikingly similar.

 “Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain at work, they have observed the same regions activated in a similar pattern whenever a person remembers an event from the past or imagines himself in a future situation. This challenges long-standing beliefs that thoughts about the future develop exclusively in the frontal lobe.”

Watched this week The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, directed by Julian Schnabel.   About J.D. Bauby’s life. About memories and imagination.  As Jean-Dominique Bauby says in movie … “Other than my eye, two things aren’t paralyzed, my imagination and my memory.”

Watched before both his other movies  Basquiat (Jean-Michel Basquiat is “discovered” by Andy Warhol’s art world and becomes a star) and Before Night Falls (life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), but for me The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is definitely his best. Makes you think after the movie and some scenes come as flash back after you. From the beginning the movie pulls you into main actor’s head and it doesn’t let you go till the end. Schnabel as neo-expressionist” artist/painter brings into his movie excellent visual aesthetic dimension which is missed in many modern movies. Poetical and inspirational. Sensitive photography of deep inner space. Art in motion pictures. Art of flow of words. Must see art.

The story of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: “Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he’d only visited in his mind.”

From www.Salon.com: “The quietly stunning film of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s phenomenal memoir, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” was nominated for four Oscars this year. They include directing by Julian Schnabel— an honor he won for the film at the Cannes Film Festival and Golden Globes — and best adapted screenplay by Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar in 2002 for his adaptation “The Pianist.”

There is every reason for the film’s success. It recounts the remarkable life of Bauby, the debonair editor of French Elle magazine who in 1995 suffered a massive stroke. He slipped into a coma that lasted 20 days and awoke to find himself paralyzed from head to toe. He was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called locked-in syndrome.

A prisoner inside his useless body, Bauby, 43, could think and reason, smell and hear (though not well). With the only part of his body that he could move — his left eye — he could see and later learn to express himself. His speech therapist and later his friends would read him an alphabet, and Bauby would blink at the letter he wanted. He formed words, phrases and sentences, and ultimately, over the course of two months, working with ghostwriter Claude Mendibil, who took down word for word what he said, he completed his memoir.

The evocative title comes from Bauby’s notion that while his body was submerged and weighted down — impossible to move — his imagination and memory were still free and as light as a butterfly’s wings: “My cocoon becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court.”A few days after the book was published to rave reviews in March 1997, Bauby died of an infection.

Released last spring, the film is a visual knockout. Schnabel draws on Bauby’s fantasies to blast moviegoers with a kaleidoscope of dreamy images — some subtle, some banging loud — and an array of captivating music and sounds. The wonderful script takes the point of view of Bauby himself. The fourth wall between the audience and film has fallen away and the audience experiences the world through his eyes.” 

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Beautiful music from the movie:  La Mer. Charles Trénet

If memories and imagination  use the same brain structures, for me as a “sea” person this music and pictures and memories and imagination related to could immediately overheat them 🙂

 

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Movies, Music, neuroscience, psychology, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Brain’s Gray Cells Appear To Be Changed By Trauma & Traumas Like Sept. 11 Make Brains More Reactive To Fear

I’ve been posted lately about Century of fear and how fear or Shock therapy affects us…here we have lately scientific results about effects on our brain… As psychologist by education and marketing specialist by a profession this things are so challenging for me…make me question all the time what is behind… what is real, what is the role of media, how an average human brain react on all this stimulus and define reality… see two must see movies bellow: Charlie Rose – “UNCOVERED” / FEAR & STRESS ON THE BRAIN / SI SWIMSUIT  and Uncovered:  The Whole Truth About The Iraq War.
It’s not realy so innocent what going on with our …human mind… how much politics or this neocons games effect our brains….memories, hormons, endorphines…will post next how real and imagined is close and what we see is what we get …

Brain’s Gray Cells Appear To Be Changed By Trauma Of Major Events Like 9/11 Attack, Study Suggests

This suggests that really bad experiences may have lasting effects on the brain, even in healthy people,” said Barbara Ganzel, the study’s lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow at Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.

ScienceDaily -Jun. 4, 2008 — Healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study.

The study — one of the first to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy adults — is published in the April issue of Neurolmage. It follows a Cornell study by the same authors that found people living near the World Trade Center on 9/11 have brains that are more reactive to such emotional stimuli as photographs of fearful faces. Combined, the two studies provide an emerging picture of what happens in the brains of healthy people who experience a traumatic event.

The smaller volume of gray matter — composed largely of cells and capillary blood vessels — that Ganzel found were in areas that process emotion and may be, Ganzel suggests, the brain’s normal response to trauma. The subjects in the study did not suffer from any mental or physical health disorders. Gray matter, a major component of the nervous system, is composed of the neuron cell bodies that process information in the brain.

About half of Americans experience a trauma in their lifetime, and scientists know a lot about the effects of trauma on the brains of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but not about people without clinical disorders. And most people, Ganzel said, who experience a trauma don’t get PTSD.

Key brain areas that are smaller are also more responsive to threat, said Ganzel, suggesting that these changes may be a helpful response to living in an uncertain environment.

“We have known for a long time that trauma exposure can lead to subsequent vulnerability to mental health disorders years after the trauma,” Ganzel added. “This research gives us clues about the biology underlying that vulnerability.”

The researchers used two types of magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of 18 people who were within 1.5 miles of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and compared them to scans of 18 people who lived at least 200 miles away at the time. One type showed the gray matter volume, and the other showed the brain’s response to emotional stimuli (pictures of fearful and calm faces). Those who were close to the disaster on Sept. 11 showed more emotional reactivity in the amygdala, a brain area that detects the presence of threatening information.

Combining the brain data revealed that those who were near the World Trade Center had smaller, more reactive amygdalas, and this, in turn, was related to how anxious they were years later. Several other brain regions associated with emotion processing were also smaller in those who were close to the disaster.

The researchers also found that study subjects who had experienced other types of trauma (violent crimes, sudden death of a loved one) showed a similar reduction in gray matter and similar response to emotional faces and anxiety.

“This suggests that the differences we see in the brain and behavior of people who were near the Sept. 11 disaster are not specific to that one event,” Ganzel said. “And it turns out there is a very similar pattern of gray matter volume loss with normal aging, which raises the question of what role trauma plays in the aging brain.”

Co-authors include Elise Temple of Dartmouth College, Cornell graduate student Pilyoung Kim, and Gary Glover of Stanford University.


Adapted from materials provided by Cornell University. Original article written by Sheri Hall.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of healthy adults more than three years after Sept. 11, 2001, shows areas that have less gray matter volume in those who were near ground zero on 9/11, compared with those who were much farther away. This is three views of the brain areas that have lower gray matter volume in the 9/11-exposed group. Notably, all of these areas (which show up brighter in this image) are associated with the processing of emotion. (Credit: Image courtesy of Cornell University)

June 5, 2008 Posted by | conspiracy, Documentary, Movies, Music, neuroscience, Politics, psychology, Science | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Daily Bread and The World According to Monsanto (Controling our food)

Matthew 6:11: “Give us this day our daily bread”.

Documentary Our Daily Bread , directed by Austrian Nikolaus Geyrhalter is must see wordless and musicless movie about mass production of food in 21st century. Real reality TV. In most basic sense. Pictures speak for themselves. No additional info, no moral judgments. It’s just the record of time we are living in. Very slow but makes big impact. Technology in order to increase productivity and profit. Like having a night mere and asking yourself when wake up what caused them. Animals as a thing, workers as a thing. Endless assembly line. Animals’ Auswitz. BORN TO DIE.

According to research animals have feelings, empathy, dreams… What kind of dreams have those animals? Do they dream of thousand and thousands of diets sugesstions how to loose weight?

Next video “The Word according to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see” is another must see French movie, first aired  11th of March 2008 on ARTE, how Monsanto (GENETICALLY MODIFIED food producer) and its close connection with government controls our food, destroying biodiversity and causes all spectrum of weird illnesses.

White house and Monsanto connections

 “The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”.   One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.
 
Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market.

Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence. “

Two very good aticles on this topic:

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System

Hunger and obesity stem from the same problem — the corporations that sell our food determine what we eat and how we think about food.

Getting Past the ‘Protein Myth’ That Keeps People from Quitting Meat and Dairy

The way Americans obsess about protein, you’d think protein deficiency was the number one health problem in America. Of course it’s not.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Documentary, food, Movies, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments