How many dead?

'Prince of death', Burma's warlordOne is dead. A man we do not know. A man that killed many.

The BBC has named him the ‘Prince of Death‘.

Did you know he lived?
Did you know his crime?

In a long list, this man’s long life is another failure of our government where we corrode millions of lives because we are unable to insert justice prior to crime and without war.

Our world is so nuts.
Why isn’t “nuts” taught in school?
We do not speak truthfully to each other.

The toll we must

There must be a voice for less, a sound for nothing, a choir of zero. When children cry, soldiers stop, leaders kneel, poets apologize, mothers rise. Justice is not secret. Tomorrow is not silent.

The sum of worry

The Earth cannot support the demands humanity is placing on it, according to the United Nations Environmental Program.

[old link]

Do your thinking

Perhaps as we lose our understanding of rights, and I believe we are at risk of forgetting why soldiers have died, we will be trumped entirely when China introduces us to voting in this century, where democracy is perceived as an effective ‘system of competition’ but government isn’t a choice.

[link was]

We are foolish again

The past is talking. I’ve always felt embarrassed to learn it’s been learned before. As if to boot the dust of blood, the little rage and smaller purpose in these days, there’s no good in our voice, less good in our hearts, and I am ashamed.

Fire writers

The poets come to portend Los Angeles’ deepest image of itself while winds blow writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts.

Performer of FlameLos Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The winds shows us how close to the edge we are.


One person or nobody

O' lonely bear“Social Isolation in America” [pdf]

We have fewer friends than two decades ago.

And loneliness affects our thinking and our health.

We are losing people that help and advise; losing our sounding board.

A quarter of us are just one person away from nobody.
And people who have no one has also reached about 25%.

The General Social Survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago looked at results from 1985 and 2004. The average number of people who are considered close confidants dropped by nearly one-third, from 2.94 in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members. The drop-off was greatest in the number of friends.

Lynn Smith-Lovin studies identity, action and emotional response — the basic question of how identities affect social interaction [].

She’s worried, “This change indicates something that’s not good for our society. Ties with a close network of people create a safety net. These ties also lead to civic engagement and local political action.” [npr podcast]

Similarity breeds connection. This principle—the homophily principle—structures network ties of every type, including marriage, friendship, work, advice, support, information transfer, exchange, comembership, and other types of relationship. The result is that people’s personal networks are homogeneous with regard to many sociodemographic, behavioral, and intrapersonal characteristics.

Homophily limits people’s social worlds in a way that has powerful implications for the information they receive, the attitudes they form, and the interactions they experience. [abstract]

Impact of social ties
The Boston Globe asks, “Imagine if some other piece of the social safety net had frayed that furiously. Imagine if income had gone down by a third, or divorce doubled, or the medical system halved. We would be setting up commissions and organizing rallies!

About the impact of cellphones and the internet? “It could be that we are both increasingly in touch and isolated.”

Additional search terms:

affect control theory
ecological theory of affiliation

Subliminal skills

I found this good advice in the comments at ScienceBlog.

A Jesuit and a Franciscan sit in the train, both praying the breviary. Suddenly the Jesuit pulls out a silver cigarette box, and starts smoking. Asks the Franciscan indignantly: “How dare you smoke while praying?” The Jesuit responds: “Oh, I have asked Rome and got permission”. The Franciscan is interested and also writes to the Holy See.

Two weeks later the two priests meet again and the Franciscan complains: “You finely made a fool out of me, of course Rome denied to give permission”. Asks the Jesuit: “And how did you actually word your question?”

The Franciscan: “I asked whether it is allowed to smoke while praying…” “Wrong from the start”, interrupts the Jesuit, “you should have asked if it is allowed to pray while smoking….”

Leaking genes

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics increases
because we give bacteria too many opportunities.

Hog farm in Missouri

The migration of antibiotic resistance from animal feeding operations into groundwater has broad implications for human and ecological health. There are roughly 238,000 animal feeding operations in the U.S., which collectively generate about 500 million tons of manure per year. Groundwater comprises about 40 percent of the public water supply, and more than 97 percent of the drinking water used in rural areas.

While we scorn doctors that prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily, we’re also beginning to shop for meat and poultry products that are raised without routine antibiotic feed additives. And one day we will be brave enough to stop teaching bacteria by quitting the routine use of antiseptics in our household.

Many producers have quit the routine use of antibiotics for young birds and during weaning. But many farmers remain eager because protecting young livestock from bad bacteria increases growth.

But it’s difficult to keep antibiotics out of the environment. We know where the feed goes. Antibiotics accumulate in animal waste and into waste water from washing, into waste lagoons, drops along the ground and leaches into groundwater. Exposing bacteria to our arsenal of antibiotics increases the likelihood bacteria will develop resistance.

Not much leaks away
One study says not to worry; the volume of antibiotics reaching the soil and groundwater is minimal. Paul Sibley from the University of Guelph has shown that environmental contamination from antibiotics does not pose significant risks to soil and aquatic organisms.

Sibley’s six years of research examining the use of pharmaceuticals found the “toxicity effects of pharmaceuticals were in the milligram- to gram-per-litre range” and “wasn’t necessarily high enough to pose any danger.”

But do we measure the wrong threat?
We may be incorrectly measuring toxicity and resistance. The risk may not be in the amount of antibiotics we find downstream, but from the bacteria’s genes passed like a baton in soil and groundwater.

R.I. Mackie, a professor at the Institute for Genomic Biology, conducted one of the first surveys of the bacterial genes that directly pass tetracycline resistance from hog waste lagoons into groundwater wells. Wells that were closest to the lagoon “almost always had every gene.”

Accelerating bacterial resistance by increasing antibiotics in groundwater and the environment remains a serious risk. Mackie says:

“If the genes are there, potentially they can get into the right organism at the right time and confer resistance to an antibiotic that’s being used to treat disease.”

Tip to Doug Powell at Agnet

we first must convince ourselves

Acknowledging paradigm requires us to face ambiguity. The fearful cannot. ‘New’ requires a gentle invitation. We left the Inquisition upon our questions not our answers. To encourage producing a new studio, yes, the manufacture of fantastic, new ideas for these strife-encrusted men just off a donkey, and their children learning dust, their women keeping must, once many years ago with whiskey and lunch in Tiburon, I begged for a new media company in the Persian Gulf, a Big Yellow Bird, a Sesame Street quacking, a strip of Vegas’ neon, Walt’s gentler Disney, something more than cardamom and thickened chickens, for and until we communicate we are not interested in War, but it seems we first must convince ourselves.

Prayer for lights in the city

Ode to City Lights

On the curb
not inside the bookstore
doors of frames
beat understanding,
And beyond belief
bent key-less wards.

Now what?

Plagiarize paradigm.

For the “immortality of the prosthetic self
The old paradigm is the wrong paradigm.”

What is needed, he concludes, elaborating on the term made popular by Thomas Kuhn, is a “paradigm shift” toward modernization comparable to those that occurred in the Christian and Jewish traditions.”

Within wide swathes, it will in the end begin with something else.


In all your getting, get understanding.