If This Is Freedom and Democracy, What Is Tyranny?

Resultado de imagem para images of freedom and tyranny

“Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem… people are obedient, all these herdlike people.” — Howard Zinn

If truth be known, Americans are no more free than were Germans under Gestapo Germany. “Freedom and Democracy America” is the greatest lie in the world.

Countries sink into tyranny easily. Those born today don’t know the freedom of the past and are unaware of what has been taken away. Some American blacks might think that finally after a long civil rights struggle they have gained freedom. But the civil rights that they gained have been taken away from all of us by the “war on terror.” Today black Americans are gratuitously shot down in the streets by police in ways that are worse than in Jim Crow days.

 American women might think that finally they have gained equality, and they have—the equality to be abused by police just like men. As John Whitehead reports, women are forced by police to strip naked, often in public, and have their viginas explored as part of a “drug search.” When I was a young man, society would not have tolerated any such intrusion on a woman. The officer and police chief would have been fired and if not prosecuted for rape, would have been beat into bloody pulps by the enraged men.

Tryanny was brought to Americans intentionally by their government. Perhaps it began in 1992 with the unaccountable use of police power against an American family at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver’s 12 or 13 year old son was shot in the back and murdered by federal marshalls. Then his wife was murdered with a shot through her throat while she stood at the door of her home holding a baby in her arms. There was no justification for this gratuitous violence against a peaceful American family, and the federal marshalls who murdered were not held accountable. The Congress, “the people’s representatives” held a hearing, and those responsible for murdering a family told the representatives that they had “to trust the police”.

A year later, 1993, the Clinton regime murdered, using poison gas as well as gun fire, more than 100 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas.

Women and children comprised most of the victims of “freedom and democracy America.” The Branch Davidians had done nothing except be different. They were a threat to no one. But the Clinton criminal government knew that it could portray the Branch Davidians, as they were different, in unfavorable lights. They were said to be in possession of, and perhaps manufacturing, illegal machine guns. They were said to be having sex with underage girls in their collective.

When the Branch Davidian compound was attacked by a tank spewing chemical warfare and then burnt to the ground, insouciant Americans were told that justice had been done to child abusers. No one objected that the same “justice” had also been done to the allegedly abused children.

Again the “representatives of the people” held a hearing. The result was that the Clinton criminal regime and Janet Reno got approval for dealing effectively with those who violate gun laws.

Ruby Ridge and Waco established the precedents that the US government could murder large numbers of Americans, and at Waco some foreigners, without consequence. The “representatives of the people” accepted the executive branch’s lies in order to avoid having to hold the executive branch accountable for what were clearly without any doubt capital crimes against American citizens for which the federal perpetrators of these crimes should have been tried and executed.

These two instances established the precedent that the US government could murder US citizens at will.

The next step was to take away the constitutional and legal protections of citizens that are in the Bill of Rights, the amendments to the US Constitution, and are, or were, institutionalized in legal practices.

The false flag attack of September 11, 2001, was the instrument for deep-sixing the bill of rights. The George W. Bush regime made us “safe” by taking away our civil liberties. Habeas corpus, the foundation of liberty, was destroyed by the executive branch’s assertion that the President on his sole authority, the US Constitution notwithstanding, can detain US citizens indefinitely without evidence, without going before a court, without any accountability to law whatsoever.

The Obama regime not only endorsed this murder of the US Constitution, “American’s First Black President” even went further. Obama declared that he had the power to sit in his office and write down names of US citizens whom he could murder at his will without acountability.

Congress did not object. The Supreme Court did not object. The American media did not object. The law schools and bar associations did not object. The Republican Party did not object. The Democratic Party did not object. The American people did not object. Washington’s allies in Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada did not object. The Christian churches did not object…

more…

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/20/freedom-democracy-tyranny/

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How to Tell a True Tale: Neil Gaiman on What Makes a Great Personal Story

 

Neil Gaiman (Photograph: Amanda Palmer)
Neil Gaiman (Photograph: Amanda Palmer)

“The gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes, but we don’t see, we can’t see, the stories.”

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion memorably wrote. And perhaps we live in order to tell our stories — or, as Gabriel García Márquez put it in reflecting on his own story, “life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.” To tell a story, Susan Sontag observed in her timeless advice to writers, “is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path.”

And yet our means of making a clearing through the chaos of events matter as much as, if not more than, the events themselves. The best of our stories are those that transform and redeem us, ones that both ground us in ourselves by reminding us what it means to be human and elevate us by furnishing an instrument of self-transcendence.

What it takes to make such a clearing is what Neil Gaiman, a writer who knows a thing or two about what makes stories last and how storytelling enlarges our humanity, examines in his foreword to All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown (public library), celebrating a quarter century of storytelling powerhouse The Moth.

The sequel to the volume that gave us what I continue to consider the greatest Moth story ever told, this wondrous collection contains forty-five stories about courage in the face of uncertainty by tellers as varied as a cognitive scientist and an Ultra-Orthodox Jew.

Reflecting on his own improbable path into the Moth community, where storytellers tell true stories in front of a live audience and end up feeling like they have “walked through fire and been embraced and loved,” Gaiman considers what makes a great Moth story — which is ultimately a question of what it is in a human story that anneals us to one another through the act of its telling:

The strange thing about Moth stories is that none of the tricks we use to make ourselves loved or respected by others work in the ways you would imagine they ought to. The tales of how clever we were, how wise, how we won, they mostly fail. The practiced jokes and the witty one-liners all crash and burn up on a Moth stage.

Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.

Having a place the story starts and a place it’s going: that’s important.

Telling your story, as honestly as you can, and leaving out the things you don’t need, that’s vital.

The Moth connects us, as humans. Because we all have stories. Or perhaps, because we are, as humans, already an assemblage of stories. And the gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes, but we don’t see, we can’t see, the stories. And once we hear each other’s stories we realize that the things we see as dividing us are, all too often, illusions, falsehoods: that the walls between us are in truth no thicker than scenery.

All These Wonders is replete with wondrous true stories of loves, losses, rerouted dreams, and existential crises of nearly every unsugarcoated flavor. Complement the theme of this new anthology with Anaïs Nin on how inviting the unknown helps us live more richly, Rebecca Solnit on how we find ourselves by getting lost, and Wisława Szymborska’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech on the generative power of not-knowing, then revisit Gaiman on why we read, the power of cautionary questions, and his eight rules of writing.

For a supreme taste of The Moth’s magic, see astrophysicist Janna Levin’s unparalleled story about the Möbius paths that lead us back to ourselves.

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Intelligence – Why it is Not Understood and What is it Really?

 

by Paul A. Philips, Guest Waking Times

Like me, you’ve surely heard it at some time in your life how somebody has been regarded as intelligent with comments like: “He she must have a high IQ…” However, to describe intelligence as IQ (intelligence quotient) is like telling a troglodyte i.e. someone who’s never seen a house before that a house is a kitchen! Granted, a kitchen is of course included in the makeup of a house, but as IQ is to intelligence it is only part of the whole picture.

Since IQ is an inadequate way of describing intelligence it’s no wonder that the IQ test has been criticised. It is biased towards middle/upper class westernised left-brained individuals while greatly lacking consideration to creativity, assessment of well-rounded character and practical everyday handling of things. In light of this it may not come as a surprise that IQ doesn’t always reflect how successful someone will be in life.

The reason for IQ and its test (American school SAT no different) getting so many acceptances has much to do with the global ruling elite controlling the planet and their education agenda for the masses. As I have explained in message #5 “The Education System Deception” the ruling elite only want you to fit into their corporate based compulsory standardised education system which serves to indoctrinate and control. This is the reason for this purposely limited intelligence paradigm, IQ, and it has served them well.

IQ and the ego trip

For some, IQ is a kind of status symbol. Those scoring quite significantly over 100 are considered incredibly bright, which is why some people spend so much time and money on intelligence questions to boost their IQ score. There are websites that will train you to boost your IQ to a high score for a fee with a certificate at the end of it. It’s done by memory, methodology and technique: “Look at me everybody I’ve got an IQ of 148…”.Yes, folks, intelligence can be bought. –Yet another example of ego, pea-brained behaviour.

Anyone who focuses their attention and intention on something will inevitably develop, no matter what it is, but it would be quite stupid to think that in the above circumstance a person has become more ‘intelligent.’ Secondly, any IQ over 145 is untrustworthy due to the nature of the test scoring and the higher it gets the more speculative it becomes. Don’t fall for the IQ intelligence myth, hype and speculation. For example, when famous chess players and scientists are said to have IQ’s of 180 or over…

The warehouse analogy

Another myth about intelligence, which amuses me, is the false belief that intelligence is related to how many facts a person knows. Just because someone is a hot contender for winning a quiz with a head bulging full of facts doesn’t necessarily mean that he she is incredibly intelligent. How come? It cannot be said that someone like this has a great capacity for learning because this person may have just spent endless hours cramming and storing these meaningless facts into their small warehouse brain…

Intelligence – The Big picture and the 4 bodies

So what is intelligence? To answer this it is necessary to look at the 4 bodies that make up our existence as living beings, which are the: 1) Physical, 2) Mental, 3) Emotional and  4) Soul bodies. Intelligence comes from the effects of 1 or a combination of these 4 bodies that interplay during response to everyday life handling. The following describes the 4 bodies and their respective intelligences. 1 and 2 are well known, but the 3 and 4 are not familiar with many people and may be regarded by some as the most interesting.

1. Physical body and flow of cognitive intelligence

For a normal physical body to function well and be beneficial to cognitive intelligence, good diet, exercise and avoidance of toxins is essential.

2. Mental body and IQ

As already disused IQ is a valid construct but needs to be approached from a much broader perspective. Frankly, the idea of giving intelligence an arbitrary figure is rather silly: The IQ test is biased. In effect, it is designed by academia for academia. For example, a Professor may have a high IQ like other affluent middle class University academics, but what would these guys be like in areas outside of their intellectual bents? How would they respond to intelligence tests designed not by academia, but say, handymen, farmers or Amazonian tribesmen..?   Might some be ranked as idiots?

IQ needs to have greater resilience, ableness to measure adaptability, be both cultural and class fair. Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences certainly has much practical value and is regarded by some as a step in the right direction. If these changes were made, IQ, in spite of its validity, would still fall short of truly assessing intelligence because with this alone the big picture is incomplete; there are 2 other greatly influencing factors needed to be taken into consideration:

3. Emotional body and emotional intelligence

The emotional body is the emotions we carry from the effects of all our conscious and unconscious memories and experiences. Emotional intelligence focuses on how we respond to things in everyday life through our emotions and other people’s emotions. How would you do in certain circumstances? Would your emotions help you to develop flair, deal effectively with things, nurture relationships find solutions etc… or would they shrink you into fear, a lack of confidence or self-judgement…? –You can see how our emotional body is such an important factor in the big picture related to intelligence.

Another area or offshoot of this is social intelligence. For example, a doctor may be great at making diagnoses and say calculating drug doses (rational left brain IQ, mental body intelligence), but greatly lack social skills and etiquette when dealing with patients (lacking social intelligence)…

4. Soul body and spiritual intelligence

This is who we are in spirit not physical form. The soul body has an awareness of self. This is not from the point of view of ego self with all those superficial or largely false identities such as position in society, financial status, clothes worn, race, gender and colour… which could lead to the creation of insecurity, unhappiness and anger… but an awareness of a spiritual self which emanates enthusiasm, joy, peace and love…

Spiritual intelligence therefore operates on this level with a sense of appropriateness, respect for others and ethical behaviour. The soul body ‘thinks and sees from the heart.’ Unlike the ego regarding others in the way of ‘what’s in it for me?’ the soul body focuses instead on ‘how may I help you?’ The soul body also reflects spiritual intelligence in terms of playfulness and creativity.

Finally

Still wondering what intelligence really is? At least the 4 bodies and their implications help to explain intelligence far better than IQ alone.

It could be said that intelligence is an ‘adjective.’ This means that there are no such people as stupid or brilliant people: People are only momentarily brilliant or, in contrast, only momentarily stupid. As individuals we’ve all had our moments of brilliance and stupidity but for most part we exist somewhere in between: No one is either one of these 2 extremes all the time.

There are those who have what’s called an ‘imbalance of intelligence.’ The psychopath for instance has an ‘imbalance of intelligence.’ He may be clever, calculating and rational (high on rational left brain IQ, mental body intelligence) but seriously lacking in spiritual intelligence (without ethics and a conscience…).

Perhaps the goal for our own personal development would be to achieve an all-rounded balance with the 4 bodies and their respective intelligences.

About the Author
Paul A. Philips is the author of NewParadigm.ws.
This article (Intelligence – Why it is Not Understood and What is it Really?) was originally created and published by NewParadigm.ws and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/22/intelligence-not-understood-really/

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What Jesus, Judas and Nutella can tell us about women’s bodies

Lucy McCormick in Triple Threat
‘A ludicrously charismatic presence’: Lucy McCormick in Triple Threat. Photograph: Tamsin Drury

It’s rare to see a truly avant garde performer – one so effortlessly boundary-busting that you can hardly believe your eyes and ears – who is also at home in the mainstream. It’s also rare when the performer is hilarious. But Lucy McCormick is one such artist. Her show Triple Threat (the theatrical term, I’m reliably informed, for a performance that involves singing, dancing and acting) has to be seen to be believed. In fact, I’m not quite sure I believe it even now.

The show started out on the queer circuit, where McCormick was known as part of the performance company Get in the Back of the Van, which describes itself as “playing with glory, endurance, artifice and the banal”. But despite its radical content, Triple Threat made its transition to the general audience without causing controversy. It was a huge hit at last year’s Edinburgh festival fringe, and is now coming to the end of a successful run at the Soho Theatre, in London. “I’ll shout So!” McCormick tells the audience at the start. “And you shout Ho!” All good, transgressive fun.

Triple Threat is McCormick’s retelling of the New Testament – which she feels, with some justification, has until now been lacking in “strong roles for women”. McCormick plays pretty much all the roles, Christ with particular relish. She is ably assisted by two scantily clad lovelies, who spend a lot of their time looking humiliated and resentful: which is, of course, extremely amusing, because that’s how people cast in such roles really ought to look, although these two only get away with it because they’re men.

Triple Threat has a certain amount in common with Jerry Springer: The Opera, the musical written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee. The show was widely condemned for its irreverence towards Christianity and its general profanity. One suspects Triple Threat hasn’t attracted similar disapprobation simply because it’s playing on small stages, with small budgets, and none of the people who would be horrified have realised it exists. Which is sad, because they’re exactly the sort of people who have the most to learn from seeing it.

McCormick is a ludicrously charismatic presence, singing, dancing and acting with prodigious power and skill. It’s her material as well – the satire, the gags, the intelligence, the insight, the complex, perfect pitch and tone. McCormick is absurdly talented.

She tackles gender roles by re-enacting the nativity from Christ’s point of view, slithering in a tight bodysuit through a cervical passage formed by her two-man Girl Squad’s arms – breasts and pubis casually coming in and out of view as if they were like any other parts of her body – which, of course, they clearly are, in the context McCormick has created.

Let’s just say that the surprises keep coming. The listings magazine Time Out described the show as “joyously depraved”. The three kings scene has the trio and some of the audience caked (due to budget constraints) in Gold Blend, frankfurters and meringue; and an extended snogging scene between Jesus and Judas somehow conspires to leave McCormick’s face slathered disgustingly with Nutella left over from the temptation of Christ in the desert.

Among the many power ballads lustily belted out with untampered lyrics fitting the Christ story perfectly, the enlistment of the Bryan Adams hit (Everything I Do) I Do It for You to communicate the crucifixion scene is particularly pleasing.

The doubting Thomas scene is the transgressive peak of the show, and features the investigation of all of the orifices of Jesus for proof that he is risen, not just the nail holes in his hands. By that point, however, the audience is merely delighted to discover that it can still be shocked. A bit. Although full “what the hell just happened?” astonishment does set in within minutes of stumbling dazed out of the theatre…

more…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/22/lucy-mccormick-triple-threat-jesus-judas-nutella-feminist-difficulty

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It’s Good for Your Mental Health to Binge-Watch TV Kind of

A professor of communications studies has done us all a huge solid and found three reasons to make us feel okay about staring listlessly at our televisions, plowing through episode after episode of Black Mirror while neglecting our friends, partners and pets. Turns out binge-watching is actually good for you, or at least it’s possible to find arguments that make it sound good, which is basically the same thing, amirite?

Now that new seasons of House of Cards and Master of None are about to drop into the May Netflix lineup for spring, Elizabeth Cohen, assistant professor of communication at West Virginia University, takes the opportunity over at The Conversation to look at just how bad binge-watching really is and whether TV’s longstanding reputation as junk food is still deserved.

Whether or not it’s deserved, it’s still the prevailing attitude. To confirm this, Cohen and her colleagues solicited thoughts for a survey on the different attitudes between people who watch several hours of television in one sitting compared with people who spend hours whiling away the time reading novels. Respondents still think of TV watchers as lazy and impulsive, even though, Cohen notes, reading novels “can arguably be just as sedentary and addictive as watching TV.” Even the word binge connotes addiction, she continues. Compare this with the term “marathon watching,” which for some reason, we grant the act of binge-watching movies, as if their prestige as an art form justifies it as an elevated use of one’s time. That might have been true before television found its stride as a reliable source of complex characters and plots, but now that we’re in the golden age, just like The Jeffersons, we’ve collectively moved on up.

First, Cohen argues, this means that TV watchers (of “good” shows) are more “cognitively sophisticated” from following elegant plots and dozens of characters over hours of programming time. Second, doing so puts them in a flow experience. Cohen writes:

Flow is an intrinsically pleasurable feeling of being completely immersed in a show’s storyline. In a flow state of mind, viewers intently focus on following the story and it’s easier for them to lose awareness of other things, including time, while they’re wrapped up in viewing. One study found that viewers will continue viewing additional episodes in order to maintain this positive flow state, so there is an addictive quality to binge viewing. Interruptions like advertising can break the continuous viewing cycle by disrupting the flow state and drawing viewers out of the story. Luckily, for TV bingers, Netflix and Hulu are ad-free.

Third, a study found that watching a lot of TV after a stressful day helps viewers decompress and recharge. At least, if viewers believed it did. If they viewed TV as intrinsically time-wasting and lazy, they felt guilty instead of reinvigorated.

All this is to say that if you decide your next binge sesh is going to smarten you up, put you in a positive mental state and recharge your batteries, then it will. And even if you don’t, it’s not like you were going to stop anyway. As you were.

https://melmagazine.com/its-good-for-your-mental-health-to-binge-watch-tv-501ef891a71d

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What A War With North Korea Would Probably Look Like

trump-petróleo

Back in 2013 during the last major flare up between the U.S. and North Korea I wrote an extensive analysis on the North Korean wild card and how it could be used by globalists as a catalyst for international economic instability titled ‘Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?’ As I have warned consistently over the years, like Syria, North Korea is a longstanding chaos box; a big red button that the elites can press any time they wish to instigate a chain of greater geopolitical tensions. The question has always been, will they actually use it?

Well, it appears that under the Trump administration the establishment might go for broke. I have not seen U.S. war rhetoric so intense since the second invasion of Iraq, and all over missile tests which have been standard fare for North Korea for many years. With whispers by Trump aides of a possible 50,000 boots on the ground in Syria, and open discussion of preemptive strikes in North Korea, this time kinetic conflict is highly likely.

Yes, we have seen such military pressures before, but this time feels different. Why is an aimless quagmire war with massive potential global financial repercussions more likely under Trump? Because Trump ran under a nationalist conservative banner, and he will forever be labeled a nationalist conservative even if his behavior appears to be more globalist in nature.

Rhetoric is often more psychologically powerful in the minds of the masses than action. Therefore, everything Trump does from now on will also be labeled a product of the “nationalist conservative” ideology; including all of his screw-ups. And, with Trump in office the establishment is perfectly happy to pursue actions once considered taboo, because demonizing conservatives and liberty proponents is one of their primary objectives.

When the real insanity starts, liberty movement activists will gnash their teeth and scream at the top of their lungs that Trump is “not acting like a conservative,” so how can conservative thinking be blamed by extension? But these people just don’t grasp the thought processes of the human mind. No matter how much we try to separate ourselves from the Trump-train if (or when) he goes full-bore globalist, our efforts will be futile. The mainstream media has spent considerable time and effort making sure that all of us are lumped in with the so-called “alt-right.”  Remember, I tried to warn the movement about this long before Trump won the election.

Currently, there are questions as to whether or not a naval task force is en route to North Korea.  I would not trust the latest reports that all units are headed to Australia when Vice President Mike Pence is in Japan yesterday saying “the sword stands ready”.  Could this be more posturing or a precursor to a strike scenario? I am reminded of the U.S.S. Maddox which was sent to patrol the waters off of Vietnam, the same destroyer that reported an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats which was used as justification for the initiation of the Vietnam War. As it turned out, no such attack actually occurred.

The presence of a U.S. fleet off North Korea could only be intended to instigate further aggression, not defuse the situation.

So, if war with North Korea is inevitable given the circumstances, what would such a war look like? Here are some elements I think are most important; elements that make the war almost unwinnable, if winning is even the purpose…

North Korean Air Defense

The North Koreans spent the better part of the last war with the U.S. being heavily battered by air bombardments. They have had plenty of time since then to consider this problem and prepare. Even the most gung-ho American military minds are forced to admit that using only air based attacks in North Korea is not practical. And where we have been spoiled by steady video streams of laser guided hell dropped on Iraqi and Afghani targets in the past, don’t expect things to go so easily in North Korea.

While North Korea is still rife with economic problems (like every other communist and socialist nation), they still have an industrial base and produce many of their own arms. This includes and extensive missile net backed by a maze of radar systems. Their air force is by all accounts obsolete, but as I have mentioned in the past, advanced missile defense is the wave of the future. It’s cheaper and can render expensive enemy air force and naval units impotent…

more…

http://sorendreier.com/what-a-war-with-north-korea-would-probably-look-like/

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The Deep Space of Digital Reading

LaFarge_BR-machine.16TH-CENTURY INTERNET: The “book wheel,” invented in 1588, was a rotating reading desk that allowed readers to flit among texts by giving the wheel a quick spin.Wikipedia

Why we shouldn’t worry about leaving print behind.

In A History of Reading, the Canadian novelist and essayist Alberto Manguel describes a remarkable transformation of human consciousness, which took place around the 10th century A.D.: the advent of silent reading. Human beings have been reading for thousands of years, but in antiquity, the normal thing was to read aloud. When Augustine (the future St. Augustine) went to see his teacher, Ambrose, in Milan, in 384 A.D., he was stunned to see him looking at a book and not saying anything. With the advent of silent reading, Manguel writes,

the reader was at last able to establish an unrestricted relationship with the book and the words. The words no longer needed to occupy the time required to pronounce them. They could exist in interior space, rushing on or barely begun, fully deciphered or only half-said, while the reader’s thoughts inspected them at leisure, drawing new notions from them, allowing comparisons from memory or from other books left open for simultaneous perusal.

To read silently is to free your mind to reflect, to remember, to question and compare. The cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf calls this freedom “the secret gift of time to think”: When the reading brain becomes able to process written symbols automatically, the thinking brain, the I, has time to go beyond those symbols, to develop itself and the culture in which it lives.

A thousand years later, critics fear that digital technology has put this gift in peril. The Internet’s flood of information, together with the distractions of social media, threaten to overwhelm the interior space of reading, stranding us in what the journalist Nicholas Carr has called “the shallows,” a frenzied flitting from one fact to the next. In Carr’s view, the “endless, mesmerizing buzz” of the Internet imperils our very being: “One of the greatest dangers we face,” he writes, “as we automate the work of our minds, as we cede control over the flow of our thoughts and memories to a powerful electronic system, is … a slow erosion of our humanness and our humanity.”

There’s no question that digital technology presents challenges to the reading brain, but, seen from a historical perspective, these look like differences of degree, rather than of kind. To the extent that digital reading represents something new, its potential cuts both ways. Done badly (which is to say, done cynically), the Internet reduces us to mindless clickers, racing numbly to the bottom of a bottomless feed; but done well, it has the potential to expand and augment the very contemplative space that we have prized in ourselves ever since we learned to read without moving our lips.

Critics like to say the Internet causes our minds to wander off, but we’ve been wandering off all along.

The fear of technology is not new. In the fifth century B.C., Socrates worried that writing would weaken human memory, and stifle judgment. In fact, as Wolf notes in her 2007 book Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, the opposite happened: Faced with the written page, the reader’s brain develops new capacities. The visual cortex forms networks of cells that are capable of recognizing letterforms almost instantaneously; increasingly efficient pathways connect these networks to the phonological and semantic areas of the cortex, freeing up other parts of the brain to put the words we read into sentences, stories, views of the world. We may not keep the Iliadin our heads any longer, but we’re exquisitely capable of reflecting on it, comparing it to other stories we know, and forming conclusions about human beings ancient and modern…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/the-deep-space-of-digital-reading-rp

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