Monday, September 15, 2014

Free Radical Media Podcast: Mathematics, Education and True Learning with chycho

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at Free Radical Media to see if I would be willing to be a guest in their fledgeling podcast network. I checked out some of their work and really liked what I found, so I nervously agreed – I’ve never been a guest on a podcast before.

We ended up discussing a myriad of topics focused on mathematics, education, and some of the problems associated with our centralized systems as well as some of the solutions available to us at the moment.

It was a very fun experience and I would like to thank Eric and Patrick for having me as a guest. Below you will find the podcast.

FRM - Mathematics, Education and True Learning with chycho

For those interested in further exploring some of the topics that we discussed, you will find additional information regarding these topics at:
  • Book: Jiddu Krishnamurti’s “Education and The Significance of Life” (pdf)

  • Interview: The Ultimate History Lesson with John Taylor Gatto

  • Article: Paradigm Shift in Education: Krishnamurti on the Educator, RAW on Ignorance, Gato on the System, and Hamming on Learning

  • Article: Why is Math Important? Because the language of mathematics plays a vital role in our evolution

  • Mathematics: Gödel's incompleteness theorems

  • Episode of Star Trek Voyager: “The Omega Directive”
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014

    Synopsis of Our Present Predicament: What the Future Holds, a Final Word

    Consider the following the introduction to Politics on this site and it will be the last strictly geopolitical discussion that we have here for quite some time.

    In the last few years the information presented on this and the previous site have provided my perspective on our present predicament regarding geopolitics, specifically, what we are in the midst of (2, 3) and what the future (2, 3) may hold.

    In short, the main problem with our society is that our education system is designed to instill obedience, and it has done so extremely well. We have willingly consumed propaganda to the point where our hypnosis has turned us into servants of totalitarian regimes:
    “The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society.”

    Bill Hicks - JFK

    Further information on the JFK assassination at: “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City”, and “The Death Of John Kennedy: The Media helped sell the lie of the lone assassin”.

    We have allowed poverty and inequality to flourish by believing in Wall Street’s mantra, practicing accounting magic of indefinite growth, and normalizing scarcity based economics. We’ve come to believe that the world is less violent now than at any other time in history while we’re permanently scorching large segments of the earth. We have allowed ourselves to be surveilled for our own security. Our might has allowed us to state that we stand for peace and justice when waging war, and that war crimes are only war crimes (2) when others commit them. We call genocide ‘defense’ (2). We mimic and worship psychopaths and are unabashedly proud of our achievements as we create sacrifice zones to feed our addictions.
    “We will leave behind, after our defeats, wreckage and death, the contagion of violence and hatred, unending grief, and millions of children who were brutalized and robbed of their childhood. Americans who did not suffer will forget. People maimed physically or psychologically by the violence, especially the Iraqi and Afghan children, will never escape. Time and memory will play their usual tricks. Those who endured war will begin to wonder, years from now, what was real and what was not. And those who did not taste of war’s noxious poison will stop wondering at all.” - Chris Hedges, “Pity the Children”
    How CIA Kills Countries - John Perkins, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”

    By 2012, 55% of the world’s refugees came from five countries, all of which we have bombed ‘back to the stone age’ (2): Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Yet, we are not the primary providers of sanctuary for the tens of millions of refugees that we have created. On the contrary, majority of the countries waging war on these nations have turned their backs on their victims:
    “Since 2003, when war broke out, at least 4.7 million Iraqis have been uprooted, creating the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since Israel was founded. About half of the displaced remain in Iraq, while more than 2 million have spilled into Syria and Jordan, where the influx has overwhelmed hospitals and schools and created water and housing shortages….

    “But most Western countries have refused to offer direct aid to Syria and Jordan, or welcome more than a handful of refugees….

    “On average, European nations grant just 11 percent of Iraqi asylum claims, according to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, and some countries -- among them Greece -- accept fewer than 1 percent.”

    For example, by 2007, the United States had only taken in 466 Iraqi refugees, and had promised to “try to resettle 7,000” out of the estimated 2 million that had been displaced by the coalition of the willing. Syria on the other hand, during the same period, by 2007, was estimated to have been the recipient of 1.2 million Iraqi refugees, equal to approximately 5% of the total population of Syria.

    click to enlarge - source (pdf)

    click to enlarge - source (pdf)

    It’s anyone’s guess if those responsible in the West for these wars of aggressions - crimes against peace - will ever be held accountable. What we do know is that by allowing these crimes against humanity to go unpunished we have transformed the global political landscape (emphasis added):
    “Kofi Annan, declared explicitly… that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service… he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: ‘Yes, if you wish.’

    “He then added unequivocally: ‘I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.’

    "We’ve Lost Our Country": An Iraqi American Looks Back on a Decade of War That’s Devastated a Nation

    By not punishing those who commit war crimes we have become desensitized to misery and are condemned to perpetual war. We have become a pariah nation, creating enemies across the globe as we fund campaigns of death and destruction.
    “Obama sent Congress a $500 million request Thursday for a Pentagon-run program that would significantly expand previous covert efforts to arm rebels fighting both the Sunni extremists and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.” - June 27, 2014, “Obama seeks $500-million to arm select Syrian rebels”

    “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.” - July 7, 2008, “PREPARING THE BATTLEFIELD: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.” by Seymour Hersh

    The Plan (2, 3) -- according to U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.)

    Present Middle East

    click map to enlarge

    New Middle East

    click map to enlarge - source - Further information on the new map of the Middle East at: “World War III began in May 2006: Building the New Map of the Middle East in Real Time”

    We do all of the above and more with the conceded arrogance of the privileged, the exceptional, and then have the audacity to ask our deities to bless us for the ensuing carnage.
    “The end of the political process, futile as it may have been, triggered the collapse of the status quo as we have known it for the past 47 years. It set in motion a series of events that will confront us with two stark alternatives regarding Israel and Palestine: either the permanent warehousing of an entire population or the emergence of a single democratic state….

    “The message is clear, unilateral and final: This country has been Judaized: it is now the Land of Israel in the process of being incorporated into the state of Israel. You Arabs (or ‘Palestinians’ as you call yourselves) are not a people and have no national rights, certainly to our exclusively Jewish country. You are not a ‘side’ to a ‘conflict.’ Once and for all we must disabuse you of the notion that we are actually negotiating with you. We never have and never will. You are nothing but inmates in prison cells, and we hereby declare through our military and political actions that you have three options before you: You can submit as inmates are required to you, in which case we will allow you to remain in your enclave-cells. You can leave, as hundreds of thousands have done before you. Or, if you choose to resist, you will die.”

    “Warehousing is worse than apartheid. It does not even pretend to find a political framework for ‘separate development,’ it simply jails the oppressed and robs them of all their collective and individual rights. It is the ultimate form of oppression before actual genocide…” - Jeff Halper, “Israel’s message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die”.

    Jeff Halper Interview: Occupation of Palestinian Territories Likely to Intensify in Coming Months

    “And I think that if I have to give one allegory to this whole thing... I would imagine it as gang rape. And forgive me for using this hard language, but when you have a group of people raping someone, and this person that is being raped starting to scratch, the first thing you want to do in order to stop the scratches is to stop the rape. And what Israel, official Israel, is trying to do is to continue the rape and deal with the scratches. And I say, stop the rape, stop the occupation, stop the apartheid, stop this inhumane ghettoization of Palestinians, and then—then—we can start talking, and we can reach peace agreements and all these beautiful words that now don’t mean anything for us.” - Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli captain and Air Force pilot.

    Young American Jew, very brave اعتقال شاب يهودى امريكي شجاع جدا

    Israel police beat American teen Tarek Khdeir

    Additional information on Tarek Khdeir at: 'I am only 15 but I will never think of freedom the same as I did two months ago': US teen speaks out after he was beaten by Israeli authorities while on holiday
    “There are many illustrations. Take a current one. In May, the U.S. agreed to support a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Syria, but with a proviso: there could be no inquiry into possible war crimes by Israel. Or by Washington, though it was really unnecessary to add that last condition. The U.S. is uniquely self-immunized from the international legal system. In fact, there is even congressional legislation authorizing the president to use armed force to ‘rescue’ any American brought to the Hague for trial — the ‘Netherlands Invasion Act,’ as it is sometimes called in Europe.” - Noam Chomsky, “America’s corporate doctrine of power a grave threat to humanity”

    Howard Zinn -- “The Myth of American Exceptionalism” (lecture begin at 6:10)

    Edward Said on Orientalism

    If we only appreciated and understood what it meant when we were told that war is a racket and that all wars are banker’s wars:
    “WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” - Major General Smedley Butler, “War Is A Racket”

    Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve

    Collectively we have been lulled into obedience. Become selfish and self-centered, delusional sadistic beings fearing our own shadows and totally out of touch with reality. Our collective ignorance is what our governments have banked on; that the severity of our stupidity will hold steadfast as they commit genocides and collapse economies. Unfortunately, so far, they have been brilliant tacticians since psychopaths still govern our daily lives and corporations continue to convince us to consume what we do not need, or so is the doctrine of compliance that they are trying to instill upon us.
    “…to make visible the invisible war... Tiqqun argues that, like the YoungGirl archetype, we are commodities, products and agents of capital caught in an invisible war in which we are our own oppressors.” - Mallory Amirault, “Tiqqun’s Tits: Preliminary Materials for Exposing the Young Girl” (pdf)

    Mallory Amirault, Topless Artist Smashes Ceramic Breasts - CBC News Vancouver

    When I think of all of this and more, the only fathomable excuse that comes to mind as to why we have forfeited so much; the only words that bring me comfort regarding our collective insensibility come from George Carlin pointing out that the cause of our ills is because half of humanity is dumber than the average person.
    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” - George Carlin

    George Carlin Stupid People

    Why George Carlin’s words bring me comfort is because they imply that the problem has a solution, education, hence my work on mathematics. The alternative, that we are aware of our history and are indifferent to it, is unthinkable.

    Since I have no desire to document the play-by-play symphony of carnage that is being unleashed and is to come, and since I have said what needed to be said, or as Arundhati Roy would say; “I feel that I don’t have anything direct to say without repeating myself”, we’ll consider this post to be the introduction to politics on chycho and it will be the last strictly geopolitical discussion we have on this site for quite some time, at least until Russia, China, Iran, or another formidable enemy of our choosing or making (2, 3, 4) is duped into directly confronting NATO (2), or until the next major false flag operation (2,3) sends the world into a frenzy.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send me a message or post a comment. You can find additional information in the Politics and Economics sections of the Table of Contents. Some of the more popular posts can be found in the right hand column of this site.



    Monday, June 30, 2014

    The Subjugation of Africa, the Battle for a Continent: Full Throttle into Oblivion

    The following is Part 4 of: “The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why” (Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

    For part four of The future of Africa looks bleak, instead of doing a full write-up connecting all the dots as we did in the Introduction, “Part 1: Western Powers Go Full Retard on Africa: China vs. AFRICOM, a Resource War”, “Part 2: France Has Forgotten the Battle of Algiers, Africa Never Will”, and “Part 3: Recolonization of Africa, a Symptom of Our Addiction to Growth: Differential Accumulation, Why GDP Growth Rates Influence Foreign Policy”, I thought it would suffice to provide links to some of the most recent developments, news and information, that would complement our discussion so far.

    The picture being painted should be quite clear, after all, what else would anyone think was happening in Africa other than the recolonization of its land and the subjugation of its people.

    Western powers did not destroy Libya, a country that had achieved the highest living standard in Africa (1, 2) and did not just start selling weapons to one of the most brutal military dictatorships in Africa (see Egypt below) because they are interested in human rights, peace, prosperity, or a myriad of other reasons that our corporate representatives in government would like us to believe.

    We are not in Africa because we care about the children, we are in Africa with force because we need Africa to subsidize Western living standards and corporate profits.
    “Africa’s classic depiction in the mainstream media, as a giant basketcase full of endless war, famine and helpless children creates an illusion of a continent utterly dependent on Western handouts. In fact, the precise opposite is true – it is the West that is reliant on African handouts. These handouts come in many and varied forms. They include illicit flows of resources, the profits of which invariably find their way into the West’s banking sector via strings of tax havens.… Another is the mechanism of debt-extortion whereby banks lend money to military rulers (often helped to power by Western governments, such as the Congo’s former President Mobutu), who then keep the money for themselves (often in a private account with the lending bank), leaving the country paying exorbitant interest on an exponentially growing debt.…

    “Another form of handout would be through the looting of minerals.… Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are the pitifully low prices paid both for African raw materials and for the labour that mines, grows or picks them, which effectively amount to an African subsidy for Western living standards and corporate profits.

    “This is the role for which Africa has been ascribed by the masters of the Western capitalist economy: a supplier of cheap resources and cheap labour. And keeping this labour, and these resources, cheap depends primarily on one thing: ensuring that Africa remains underdeveloped and impoverished. If it were to become more prosperous, wages would rise; if it were to become more technologically developed, it would be able to add value to its raw materials through the manufacturing process before exporting them, forcing up the prices paid….
    Additional news and information below:
    1. Libya

    2. Nigeria

    3. Egypt

    4. Sudan

    5. Water

    6. Food

    7. China and the United States

    I. Libya

    Libya in shock after murder of human rights activist Salwa Bugaighis - “The couple had just returned from voting in Wednesday's election, the attack reminding Libyans of the growing power of extremists in a country racked by violence….

    “Bugaighis, a lawyer from a prominent Benghazi family, was among the first to the barricades in Libya's 2011 Arab spring revolution, and later resigned from the first rebel administration, the National Transitional Council, accusing it of freezing-out female members….

    “Most recently Bugaighis had been a prominent member of a commission trying to bridge Libya's growing factional divide. That divide appeared as wide as ever on Thursday, with rival militias deployed on the streets of Tripoli and the supreme court suspending sessions amid fears of violence. “

    “A car bomb wounded two people outside the assembly designing Libya's constitution in the eastern city of al-Baida and security officials said three soldiers deployed to guard ballot boxes were killed by Islamist militias in Benghazi.”

    Libya War: What They Don't Want You to Know

    Additional information on Libya:
  • Johann Hari: We're not being told the truth on Libya
  • WikiLeaks documents shed light on US-backed intervention in Libya
  • The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya
  • Libya Truth (DnB Soundtrack)
  • Libya’s “Water Wars” and Gaddafi’s Great Man-Made River Project
  • France eyes Libya deals after unfreezing $2 billion assets
  • Look at ‘Liberated’ Libya and Despair
  • U.S. moves more forces closer to Libya as unrest grows

  • II. Nigeria

    Kidnapped Girls Become Tools of U.S. Imperial Policy in Africa - “The ‘humanitarian’ U.S. military occupation of Africa has been very successful, thus far. ‘The Chibok abductions have served the same U.S. foreign policy purposes as Joseph Kony sightings in central Africa.’ Imagine: the superpower that financed the genocide of six million in Congo, claims to be a defender of teenage girls and human rights on the continent. If you believe that, then you are probably a member of the Congressional Black Caucus….

    “A chorus of outraged public opinion demands that the ‘international community’ and the Nigerian military ‘Do something!’ about the abduction by Boko Haram of 280 teenage girls. It is difficult to fault the average U.S. consumer of packaged ‘news’ products for knowing next to nothing about what the Nigerian army has actually been ‘doing’ to suppress the Muslim fundamentalist rebels since, as senior columnist Margaret Kimberley pointed out in these pages, last week, the three U.S. broadcast networks carried ‘not a single television news story about Boko Haram’ in all of 2013. (Nor did the misinformation corporations provide a nanosecond of coverage of the bloodshed in the Central African Republic, where thousands died and a million were made homeless by communal fighting over the past year.) But, that doesn’t mean the Nigerian army hasn’t been bombing, strafing, and indiscriminately slaughtering thousands of, mainly, young men in the country’s mostly Muslim north.

    “The newly aware U.S. public may or may not be screaming for blood, but rivers of blood have already flowed in the region. Those Americans who read – which, presumably, includes First Lady Michelle Obama, who took her husband’s place on radio last weekend to pledge U.S. help in the hunt for the girls – would have learned in the New York Times of the army’s savage offensive near the Niger border, last May and June. In the town of Bosso, the Nigerian army killed hundreds of young men in traditional Muslim garb ‘Without Asking Who They Are,’ according to the NYT headline. ‘They don’t ask any questions,’ said a witness who later fled for his life, like thousands of others. ‘When they see young men in traditional robes, they shoot them on the spot,’ said a student. ‘They catch many of the others and take them away, and we don’t hear from them again.’”

    Boko Haram Kidnappings An Excuse For The U.S. To Further Entrench Itself In Africa

    III. Egypt

    The Al Jazeera trial: first they came for the Muslim Brotherhood... - “The Al Jazeera verdicts - roundly condemned by foreign governments, media organisations and human rights groups - are just the tip of the iceberg. Since the unseating (by military coup?) of Morsi a year ago, we’ve had hundreds of people sentenced to death, thousands arrested (estimates range between 16,000 and 41,000), and at least one secret military prison set up where torture is rampant.

    “Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood, anti-Salafist and anti-democracy activist purges have reached such a fever pitch that surely even traditional backers of Egyptian military rulers are starting to squirm. Well, sort of. After the jailing of the Al Jazeera journalists, John Kerry said the sentences were ‘chilling’ and ‘draconian’, and the White House chimed in with its own condemnation. But only a few hours before Peter Greste et al were getting their hefty sentences it emerged that the USA was unfreezing military aid to Egypt (aid cut off last year after the violent ousting of ... the elected president Mohamed Morsi). Though the USA chides Egypt in public, behind the scenes it's still arranging mammoth arms deals - just as it did in the Mubarak era.”

    U.S. Renews Aid to Sisi-led Egypt Despite Ongoing Political Repression

    Additional information on Egypt:
  • "Journalism in Egypt is a Crime": Global Outcry After 3 Al Jazeera Reporters Sentenced to 7-10 Years
  • Egypt is a Police State: Senior Muslim Brotherhood Member Condemns New Mass Death Sentence for 683
  • Inside the Brutality of Egypt's New Regime: 2,500 Killed, 16,000 Political Prisoners, Torture Allegations Are Widespread

  • IV. Sudan and Somalia

    South Sudan crisis: Donors pledge $600m at conference - “Donors including the US and the UK have pledged more than $600m (£360m; 440m euros) in aid to South Sudan at a conference in Norway. The sum raised will go towards the target of $1.8bn the UN says is needed to help millions facing starvation. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says it is still possible to prevent a famine in the conflict-torn country. More than a million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted in December.

    “Thousands have now died in the crisis that started as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, but escalated into ethnic violence. The conflict has left people unable to farm and with little access to food, aid experts say.”

    Somalia on the brink of food crisis

    V. Water

    Map Room: Hidden Waters - “Across Africa, deep beneath a host of varied terrains, vast groundwater reserves lie almost untouched. These aquifers are some 410,000 cubic miles thick and contain 100 times the freshwater that exists on the continent’s surface. As Africa’s population expands, these aquifers could prove critical in increasing food production, reducing poverty, and adapting to climate change.

    click image to enlarge

    “Last April, scientists published the first comprehensive map of African groundwater reserves in the journal Environmental Research Letters. In the image above, World Policy Journal shows these water resources alongside historic drought conditions in an effort to define the enormous scope of this vital resource. Much of the groundwater lies beneath the Sahel belt, one of the most drought-prone stretches on the planet. Since water scarcity in the Sahel will remain a problem, tapping these hidden freshwater reserves could become a priority.

    “Some countries have successfully exploited these gigantic fossil reserves in the past. In 1984, Libya’s surface freshwater was becoming contaminated with saltwater, so Muammar Gaddafi ordered construction of a $25 billion ‘Great Manmade River’ project to extract water from beneath the Sahara and bring it to cities near the sea. Some estimates suggest that despite its price tag, this method was still one-tenth the cost of the alternative—desalinating water from the Mediterranean. Though the “river” works for now, large government subsidies are still the only way most Libyan farmers can afford water to irrigate their crops. And contrary to Gaddafi’s claim that the aquifer would last 4,625 years, independent research has indicated that it will run dry in just 60 to 100.

    “Many specialists say drilling fossil reserves should only be a last resort. They are costly to tap, and once they are gone, they are gone forever. Still, last-ditch options like the Libyan strategy could appeal to countries suffering from droughts when there is an abundance of clean freshwater beneath their feet.”

    Water Wars: Land snatched from Syria supplies third of Israel's H2O

    VI. Food

    Stunner: Researchers retract paper because company complains it’s hurting profits - “It’s not unusual for us to hear allegations that journals have caved to corporate demands that they retract papers. And companies have certainly objected to the publication of results that painted their products in an unflattering light.

    “But what we’ve never explicitly seen is a retraction notice that comes right out and says that the only reason a paper is being removed from the literature is that a company complained. That’s the jaw-dropping case with ‘Visual defects among consumers of processed cassava (gari),’ a paper published earlier this year in the African Journal of Food Sciences:
    “The retraction is based on the fact that a Gari processing company has requested the retraction this paper from journal’s website and publisher’s database since it is crumbling their business inputs to their competitors leading to a drastic reduction in customers and consumers hence affecting their productivity and profitability.…

    “The incidence of color blindness is higher in gari consumers than the non consumers. Visual defects are correlated to the frequency of eating gari, for how long gari has been eaten and age. The high prevalence of visual defects among the consumers of gari may be due to the exposure to unsafe amount of cyanide in gari that was consumed over a long period of time. This may consequently contribute to high prevalence of blindness and severe visual impairment especially among those aged ≥ 40 years.”
    Gari and Cassava production – A small business that can change your life!

    VII. China and the United States

    China to build railway linking East Africa - “China has signed a deal to build a $3.8bn railway link between Kenya's Indian Ocean port of Mombasa and Nairobi, the first stage of a line that will eventually link neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. The agreement was signed in Nairobi on Sunday by visiting Chinese premier Li Keqiang and witnessed by the presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

    “Under the terms of the deal, Exim Bank of China will provide 90 percent of the cost to replace the crumbling British colonial-era line with a 609km standard-gauge link, and Kenya the remaining 10 percent. Construction is due to start in October and will take three-and-a-half years to complete, with China Communications Construction as the main contractor, the AFP news agency reported.”

    Jeremy Scahill: Al-Shabab’s Nairobi Mall Rampage Tied to "Disastrous" U.S. Meddling in Somalia