A society’s cultural practices shape the structure of its social networks

Credit: CC0 Public Domain by University of Pennsylvania It’s unlikely that someone born today could independently think up all the necessary steps it would take to send a rocket to the moon. They would need to learn from those who came before them. “There are so many things you would need to learn, engineering and chemistry and astronomy,” says Marco Smolla, an evolutionary biologist and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biology in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences. “It’s the ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ idea.” Individuals can innovate, coming up with their own ways to advance a society’s knowledge, but, … Continue reading A society’s cultural practices shape the structure of its social networks

Marxism and Buddhism

Buddhist monks receive alms in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo by Chris Stowers/Panos Life is suffering, whether you sit under a Bodhi Tree or stand with the workers. But do the two schools agree on the remedy? Adrian Kreutz is a graduate student in philosophy at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and a foreign cooperative researcher at Kyoto University in Japan. Edited by Sam Dresser Marxism and Buddhism might not seem to have much in common. The former is a materialist socioeconomic theory conceived by a 19th-century bearded guy from Trier in Germany, while the latter is a religion originating from … Continue reading Marxism and Buddhism

Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast The hashtags were out in force Saturday morning, running well ahead of the facts. by  Kelly Weill This story has been updated. Moments after billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was announced dead in what law enforcement sources described as an apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell, conspiracy theories about his death erupted. Epstein, 66, was being held on child sex-trafficking charges for his role in allegedly procuring underage girls for wealthy men. He had been on suicide watch in the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan after a previous suicide attempt last month, … Continue reading Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

The Endangered Sex Scene

JOHN CUNEO How Hollywood grew wary of intimacy by KATE JULIAN “This is my kit.” Alicia Rodis, who since early last year has been HBO’s lead intimacy coordinator, a new title that translates roughly to chief sex-scene coach, held up a clear vinyl case filled with what at first glance appeared to be toiletries and packages of pantyhose. On closer examination, though, the products and their names were mysterious. Shibue. Hibue. Stanga. “Let’s say we’re coming in to do a sex scene,” she said. “They’re simulating sex and they’re excluding genitals—we are going to see someone fully naked, but not their genitals—and … Continue reading The Endangered Sex Scene

Deutschebank, Derivatives, and Dominos: The global financial system simply cannot afford for Deutsche Bank to fail, and right now it is literally melting down right in front of our eyes.

image edited by F. Kaskais by IWB by axolotl_peyotl The wheelings and dealings of the global financial institutions are finally catching up with the perpetrators of this financial depravity. These “banks” (aka money laundering operations) have created quadrillions in so-called “derivatives” to prop up a profoundly sick and fraudulent system. via gizadeathstar: “A derivatives book of $49 trillion notional puts Deutsche Bank in the same league as the bank holding companies of U.S. juggernauts JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, which logged in at $48 trillion, $47 trillion and $42 trillion, respectively, at the end of December 2018 according to the Office … Continue reading Deutschebank, Derivatives, and Dominos: The global financial system simply cannot afford for Deutsche Bank to fail, and right now it is literally melting down right in front of our eyes.

WHO THE FUCK IS BORIS JOHNSON, ANYWAY?

A Brit explains the incredibly baffling, totally catastrophic, utterly unnerving rise of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson: From principal bungler to Prime Minister of Britain by Stuart Messham It’s summer 2019, and the excruciating heatwave in the U.K. this week can only be preparing us for one thing: going to hell in a handcart with a bungling, right-wing prime minister at the wheel. Thanks to the quirks of British politics (which we’ll explain later), 99.87 percent of us didn’t even vote for him, yet here he is, ready to bring his “British Trump” clownery to the world. As we wait for … Continue reading WHO THE FUCK IS BORIS JOHNSON, ANYWAY?

IN JUST ONE DECADE, CORPORATIONS DESTROYED 50 MILLION HECTARES OF FOREST—AN AREA THE SIZE OF SPAIN

by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams Waking Times Major corporations involved with commodities like beef, palm oil, and soya pledged in 2010 to end deforestation over the next decade—but instead of fulfilling that promise, a new Greenpeace International analysis found the companies are set to destroy at least 50 million hectares of forest worldwide by 2020. “Our message to companies is simple: evolve your business to prevent climate and ecological breakdown.” —Anna Jones, Greenpeace U.K.That estimate—the environmental advocacy group noted in a statement announcing its Countdown to Extinction report (pdf) Tuesday—is comparable to the size of Spain. It is also “a conservative estimate,” the group said, based … Continue reading IN JUST ONE DECADE, CORPORATIONS DESTROYED 50 MILLION HECTARES OF FOREST—AN AREA THE SIZE OF SPAIN