The Possibility Advocate Society

Imagination or summer travel?

From the man who brought the world-record gathering of Afro wigs comes another one for the record books:

The world’s largest gathering of bikini-clad women and Speedo-clad men.

“If you’re 7 or 97, skinny or fat, it doesn’t matter.”

“We want all shapes and sizes, more personalities, as long as you’re fun.”

the tracking of mere energy usage

Part of what makes the smart grid “smart” is its ability to know a lot about the energy-consuming devices in our homes.

In addition to reaching into homes to regulate devices, information about usage and activities could be extracted from homes.

Home energy consumption patterns could be gathered and analyzed on a room-by-room and device-by-device basis to determine which devices are used and at what time of day.

What else will smart appliances “tell” others?

Pews and the Bench

Salon’s Frances Kissling asks, “Are six Catholics too many for the Supreme Court?”

If Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, six of the nine justices will be Roman Catholic. Two of the other three justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are Jewish. John Paul Stevens, at age 89 the oldest and longest-serving justice, would be the only Protestant left on the court.

Should that worry us?

After all, for most of the court’s 220-year history, all the members were white Protestant males.

Teaching Thievery

BusinessWeek:

Whether, and to what extent, the nation’s business schools laid the groundwork for the economic crisis is a debate that’s engulfing the world of management education these days.

…the charge is serious and systemic.

“Business schools fell into the same trap as business media. They were not critical enough of what was going on, which made them complicit to the problem.”

Fools Spilling Blood

In another revealing and disturbing development, the former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, has suggested what is possibly as scandalous a deception as the false case Bush and Cheney made for invading Iraq. Colonel Wilkerson writes that in their zeal to prove a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein during the months leading up to the Iraq war, one suspect held in Egypt, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, was water tortured until he falsely told the interrogators what they wanted to hear.

That phony confession that Wilkerson says was wrung from a broken man who simply wanted the torture to stop was then used as evidence in Colin Powell’s infamous address to the United Nations shortly before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Media Sphere

Of the world’s population of 6.7 billion, over 60% or 4 billion now have wireless phones, up from just 15% in 2002, and another billion will have them within a year.

So, in short, if you want to accomplish anything in the future, you must be deeply connected to this media sphere, accomplished in its use, and immersed in its flows.

Skin is Home

The bacteria that live under your arms likely are more similar to those under another person’s arm than they are to the bacteria that live on your forearm.

Three microenvironments: oily, moist and dry.

  1. Oily sites include between the eyebrows, beside the nose, inside the ear, back of the scalp, and upper chest and back.
  2. Moist areas were inside the nose, armpit, inner elbow, webbed area between the middle and ring fingers, side of the groin, top fold of the buttocks, behind the knee, bottom of the foot and the navel.
  3. Dry areas included the inside surface of the mid-forearm, the palm of the hand and the buttock.

Health Is Unimportant

In the last eighteen years, the number of people adhering to healthy habits has decreased from 15% to 8%:

  1. the percentage of adults aged 40-74 years with a body mass index greater than 30 has increased from 28% to 36%;
  2. physical activity 12 times a month or more has decreased from 53% to 43%;
  3. smoking rates have not changed (26.9% to 26.1%);
  4. eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day has decreased from 42% to 26%;
  5. and moderate alcohol use has increased from 40% to 51%.

Americans are not trying to be healthy?

Conservative Cognitive Ability

It’s rude to impugn voter smarts, but the National Institute of Education in Singapore has found low cognitive ability is associated with high conservatism.

At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores.

At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education…

The Conservative syndrome describes a person who attaches particular importance to the respect of tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation as well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness, social order, family, and national security and has a sense of belonging to and a pride in a group with which he or she identifies. A Conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious beliefs and accepts the mystical, including paranormal, experiences. The same person is likely to be less open to intellectual challenges and will be seen as a responsible “good citizen” at work and in the society while expressing rather harsh views toward those outside his or her group.

Stuart Buck at Overcoming Bias asks “Why?”

“If people can’t think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.”

Earth is Hiring

Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

A Paul Hawken transcript getting much green buzz:

Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food. But all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says:

YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING.

Ideology in service of the rich

“It should be noted upfront that economics – or, more precisely, the neoclassical branch of political economy – is not an objective reality. In fact, for the most part it is not even a scientific inquiry into objective reality.

Instead, neoclassical political economy is largely an ideology in the service of the powerful.

It is the language in which the capitalist ruling class conceives and shapes society.

Simultaneously, it is also the tool with which this class conceals its own power and the means with which it persuades others to accept that power.”

Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, Capital As Power (Routledge 2009)

An Energy Option

SolSource 3-in-1Versus current and dominant tradition!

About the size of a laptop computer, easily folded for portability… the SolSource generates enough heat at its focal point to bring a kettle of water to boil in about five to seven minutes – about the same amount of time as conventional gas stoves, and generates heat to warm a room, or enough light for about seven hours.

[WorldChanging]