The River

Thursday, March 29, 2007


The man would like to impeach Bush, bring universal healthcare to the U.S., end the war in Iraq, and investigate 9/11. A great man. There will have to be a civil war before he will be allowed to be President.

Here is his "Democracy Now!" interview with Amy Goodman yesterday: link

An Albany Times Union news article notes his thoughts regarding 9/11 investigation:

He also said that as chairman of a House subcommittee on domestic policy, he plans to launch an investigation of "a narrow portion" of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He offered few details, but said his subcommittee would be looking at "a few, specific discrepancies in the public record." The 9/11 Commission that published its final report in 2004 never resolved some conflicting facts, Kucinich said. He announced his own look at 9/11 in answer to a question from an audience member. The man complained that the 9/11 Commission was too tied to the Bush administration to offer an unbiased report, and Kucinich agreed.

Finally, Kucinich for President.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ambiguous Absolutes Lead To Absolute Ambiguity: Information Theory and The Organic Model

> a guest post -- and work in progress -- by Rick Pietz, formerly known as the author of Radically Inept


This work is an initial effort to synthesize the ideas found and/or formed over ten or more years of active research into various aspects of information theory, and to present these ideas in a readable, understandable, and hopefully useful manner. A part of me, and I would suggest that it would be my ego, would like for this work to be lauded by the most influential critics of our time, and to have terms such as genius and original thrown my way. However, in truth, this is just a translation of the great ideas of others into one that will hopefully resonate with today’s readers. Alas, I’ll be happy if a few readers find the writing interesting, and someone finds the metaphors and analogies helpful in expanding their world view.

A brief aside: I was recently out west on business, when a coworker and I got into a conversation with some strangers at the hotel bar; which ultimately led to a discussion of the inaccuracies inherent in the use of symbols to communicate ideas. For instance, if I use a noun like chair, desk, tree or car in a sentence, the listener’s visualization of the chair, desk, tree or car might lead to miscommunication. If I’m asking you to design furniture, and I am speaking of lounge chairs, and your mental visualization is that of office chairs – this discrepancy may or may not cause a problem. The gentleman I was speaking with pointed out that there could well be incidences where errors in the communication – brought on by reliance in symbols – might actually produce positive, innovative results. Office lounge chairs, perhaps? So, what is the potential positive values that can come from having to rely on symbols to communicate – sort of like, increased productivity as a result of degraded communications?

Then, while returning to my hotel room, I saw a bellboy wearing a vest that reminded me a lot of an Escher drawing. When I commented on it, he stated he really would have liked one “of the hand drawing itself”. That stunned me. I had always considered that drawing much as described here, “…also include Drawing Hands, a work in which two hands are shown, each drawing the other;…”. I had never made the leap to the idea that it was one hand drawing itself. This bellboy’s remark (this is not a denigration based on job title), in a hotel elevator, allowed me to radically alter my perception of a piece of art, and proves to me yet again, that insight can be found in some of the most seemingly trivial exchanges. In fact, I will spend time in the future contemplating these exchanges to see how these ideas might contribute to changing my own world view – as I stated above, this is a work in progress.

Back to the main thread.

One of the challenges that has prevented me from trying to communicate my latest concept of ‘life, the universe and everything’, is where to start. Now, I think I have found a new and unique starting point for exploration: the first example of coordinated hunting seen in fish. The linked article states that at this time there has been no research done to test whether this is instinctive or learned behaviour – which, luckily, leaves me lots of room for wild speculation, anthropomorphisms, and conjecture.

So, work with me here, and let me create a fable.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, at the bottom of the Red Sea, there lived a grouper named Gary. Gary the Grouper was happiest when eating, which meant he spent a lot of time hunting for smaller fish. Sometimes, when he was chasing a fish, the fish would swim for the nearby coral reef and hide in one of the holes where Gary the Grouper was too big to fit. Sometimes when this happened, Eddie the Eel (Gary didn’t know his name was Eddie) would see Gary the Grouper (Eddie didn’t know his name was Gary) chasing a fish, and being a hungry eel, he would try to get the fish before Gary the Grouper could. And, if the fish swam into one of the crevices, Eddie the Eel could get in and a lot of the times, catch the fish.

Gary the Grouper didn’t like it when Eddie the Eel would do this, and tried to keep Eddie the Eel away from ‘his’ fish. This went on for some time. Gary the Grouper would chase a fish; the fish would very often swim and hide in the crevices amoungst the coral. Sometimes Gary the Grouper could keep Eddie the Eel away from the crevice where the fish was hiding. When this happened, the fish would stay in hiding until Gary the Grouper would give up and go hunting for another fish.

Other times, when Eddie the Eel got past Gary the Grouper, and was able to chase the fish into the crevice, one of three things would happen: 1) Eddie the Eel would catch and eat the fish, and Gary the Grouper would go hungry; 2) other times, Eddie the Eel would chase the fish out of the crevice right into Gary the Grouper’s path, and Gary the Grouper would catch and eat the fish, and 3) the fish would get into a crevice too small for Eddie the Eel, or escape by a ‘secret passage’, and both Gary the Grouper and Eddie the Eel would go hungry. This went on for some time.

Now, Gary the Grouper had never studied comparative economics, statistics, Game Theory or even basic competitive theory, so he had to work out the relationships between himself (Gary the Grouper), Eddie the Eel and the fish without the help of higher education. It took him a while, but one day it dawned on him – even using the simple calculus that he know – that when he chased a fish into a crevice, if Eddie the Eel wasn’t there to go after the fish, the fish could out wait him, and so he would lose the fish. On the other hand, when Eddie the Eel chased the fish into the crevice, Gary the Grouper would catch an escaping fish almost half the time.

Gary the Grouper thought about this for a long time – if he was alone when the fish made it to the crevice, he never caught that fish, but if Eddie the Eel came along, he got the fish almost half the time. Now Gary the Grouper didn’t know about Chi-Square tables and Pareto optimality, but it didn’t take much longer until he figured out it was a good thing to have Eddie the Eel around when the fish got into a crevice. At least his chances of catching the fish went from zero to almost one-in-two.

One day, Gary the Grouper was real hungry, and he chased a fish into a crevice. Gary realized that he would have no chance at the fish if Eddie the Eel didn’t go into the crevice after the fish. That’s when Gary saw Eddie the Eel hiding in his very own crevice. Gary knew that his best chance to eat the hiding fish was to get Eddie to go into the crevice. So Gary, thinking it through, started to make a big deal about the fish hiding in the crevice – Gary began scraping the sides of the crevice, like he was trying to make it bigger. This caught Eddie the Eel’s attention.

Eddie the Eel had even less education than Gary the Grouper, but he wasn’t dumb. Eddie the began thinking that the only time he’d see Gary the Grouper hanging around the reef, was when Gary had chased a fish into a crevice. So, if Gary the Grouper was making such a commotion at the reef, Gary probably had a fish cornered in the crevice. Now, Eddie knew that in the past when he went to a crevice that Gary was guarding, about half the time he would catch the fish and eat. The other half of the time, Gary the Grouper would get the fish. But, on the other hand, it saved Eddie a lot of time hunting for his own fish, if he knew that Gary had one cornered. So, Eddie the Eel swam over to where Gary was, and went right past him into the hole, but the fish swam out and Gary the Grouper caught and ate him. But the next time it happened, Eddie the Eel caught the fish and ate him.

Well from then on, when Gary the Grouper cornered a fish in crevice where he couldn’t get it, he would go get Eddie the Eel to help flush the fish out. It worked out well for both of them, but they never really became close friends, or even went out for drinks together.

Oh, the point of the fable? Well it might demonstrate that given enough time, an economic/ecological system will often find comparatively complex system of interaction to achieve a balance of cost and profits; or perhaps that there exists an inherent evolutionary/survival advantage in cooperation over time. Or maybe even, that we underestimate the cognitive abilities of the other species that we share the globe with. Or perhaps it’s not a point per se, but rather the start of a quest to look into the value of symbiotic relationships arising in mutual competition. Boiled down, it seems to point to the advantages for competitors to cooperate for mutual advantage, while increasing the disadvantage to the prey – call it the forerunner of the modern airline business model.

Oh, it could also be used a further evidence that every would-be author thinks they have at least one children’s story in them…

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ministry of Truth

Heard two teaser headlines at the top of the hour on NPR this morning:

According to the Pentagon, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to responsibility for 9/11 "from A to Z."

And Iraq is officially in a civil war.

Translation: 9/11 was not an inside job ("from A to Z" leaves no room for help from Mossad, CIA, or ISI, does it?), and a country we liberated has regrettably fallen into civil war.

We have always been at war with Iran.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Uncharted waters

Fascinating 6-minute presentation on global population and technology trends.

Note: In scanning the dictionary prior to this post, I randomly noticed "unpeople," "unconscious," and "Uncle Sam," including the "I Want You for the U.S. Army" poster.

Yes, "unpeople" is a word, a verb. It means "To depopulate (an area)."

(video via comment #11 on Paul Craig Roberts' latest piece at Information Clearinghouse.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Reduce Re-use Recycle Rebrand

Being the fine citizen journalist he is, Scruggs has uncovered inside information revealing that "Ford is currently attempting to rebrand itself with names that more reflect the “everyday hopes and desires of the American people”. SUVs, in particular, are targeted.

Scruggsie has a few of his own suggestions. Here are a few more:

DeForester SLX

Crusher 4X4

X-Stream Widebody

OVR Compensator

Incinerator FX


Armageddon XT

DeathWhish 2000

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Note: coverups and facts are usually at odds

or, who are you gonna believe, the government or your lyin eyes?

A few facts from David R. Kimball at

FACT 5: On September 16th, NASA flew an airplane over the World Trade Center site, recorded infrared radiation coming from the ground, and created a thermal map. The U.S. Geological Survey analyzed this data, and determined the actual temperature of the rubble. This map shows that five days after the collapse of Building 7, the surface temperature of a section of its rubble was 1,341º F.8 This high a temperature is indicative of the use of explosives.

“WTC 7’s rubble pile continued to smolder for months.”9

FACT 6: Fire Engineering magazine is the 125-year-old paper-of-record of the fire engineering community. Bill Manning, editor-in-chief, wrote an Editor’s Opinion in the January, 2002 edition. His editorial, $elling Out the Investigation, pointed out that destruction of evidence – the hurried removal of rubble which should be examined by investigators – is illegal. He also issued a “call to action”. To quote excerpts:

“For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions … is on the slow boat to China …”

“I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.”

“Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the ‘official investigation’ blessed by FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half baked farce [emphasis mine] that may have already been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members – described by one close source as a ‘tourist trip’ – no one’s checking evidence for anything.”

“The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.”

“Firefighters, this is your call to action. …contact your representatives in Congress and officials in Washington and help us correct this problem immediately.” 10 11

FACT 7: In May of 2002, FEMA published their report #403 titled World Trade Center Building Performance Study. This report claims that the fires caused the building to collapse, but that the specifics of how this is supposed to have occurred “…remain unknown at this time.”12

And while anyone can produce anecdotes, Tom Breidenbach on the Rigint comment board, makes many good points, of which the following is a small excerpt:

As far as the Silverstein comment, it’s not that relevant. Though it sounds to me like he’s talking about the building and not the firefighters, as with the CD hypothesis, I could be wrong.

But of course I was down there on 9/11, about five blocks north of WTC 7, on the west edge of the West Side Highway. A loose bunch of us New Yorkers standing around had heard and passed on the message since maybe forty minutes before that “They’re going to bring it down.” And we were staring up at building 7 as it fell. But then again, who the f**k am I?


When JFK was assassinated, people understood he’d been shot from the front. There was no reason for anyone to deny it at the time, the President’s press secretary testified publicly to it, and all six Parkland doctors did as well, mentioning the large exit wound in the back of Kennedy’s head and indicating where it was with their hands. It was only later, when “they” needed the lone gunman and his magic bullet, that “they” took that truth away. And now “they” are taking the molten metal.


Tom blogs at Abdiel's Room

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Remember what the dormouse said

Check it out. Tons of live Dead shows at, plus a wealth of live music from other bands.

While you're groovin, you can also explore the alternative, the esoteric, and the downright different in the collection of e-books at Miami Indymedia.

I would be remiss if I didn't also point you to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World Revisited online. Written in 1958, reads like it was written yesterday. Look at the table of contents:

I Over-Population
II Quantity, Quality, Morality
III Over-Organization
IV Propaganda in a Democratic Society
V Propaganda Under a Dictatorship
VI The Arts of Selling
VII Brainwashing
VIII Chemical Persuasion
IX Subconscious Persuasion
X Hypnopaedia
XI Education for Freedom
XII What Can Be Done?

via Jon Husband

Thursday, March 01, 2007

9/11 Five Years Later
An Assessment of the 9/11 Truth Movement

By Emanuel Sferios
Monday, Sep 11, 2006


...But the World Trade Center demolition is obvious, which leads to an important question: why did they do it? Wouldn't simply crashing the planes into the buildings have been enough? Why bring them down completely? The typical responses here apply: They needed their "New Pearl Harbor," a mass casualty event to shock the public into supporting a retaliatory war. They also needed a spectacle that wouldn't be easily forgotten. These explanations are true enough. Another often cited and plausible one is that they needed to make the lie obvious enough that the people who mattered (government, corporate, and military leaders, for example) would know that they--the secret government within the government--did this and got away with it. This sends a powerful message of invincibility to anyone who might be thinking of opposing them. And the fact that they demolished building 7 later that evening in a classic-style demolition sure seems to support that argument. It's as if they were saying, "just in case you didn't get it the first time, we'll show you one even more obvious."

But there is another reason they demolished the World Trade Center towers, in my opinion the most important reason, which is that they needed the lie to be incredible. As Hitler and Goebbels understood, the bigger and more incredible the lie, the more people will believe it, because they will have to make a bigger psychological leap in order to disbelieve it. Mass manipulation of this kind plays on the natural desire many people have to conform, and it is much more difficult, psychologically, for the conforming individual to disbelieve a popularly-held incredible lie than a mundane one, for to do so would set one widely apart from the herd. To put this another way, imagine if they had merely crashed four planes into the ocean. How much easier it would be then for people to speculate that the government may have done this as a pretext for war. To do so would not require a really incredible contradiction of the official story, marginalizing oneself from the mainstream. It would not be so easy to dismiss such claims as "outrageous conspiracy theory," and ridicule would be less effective. What is important to remember here is that propaganda of this sort is not designed to fool critical thinkers, but to provide conforming individuals with a reason not to start thinking critically. Thus the total destruction of the World Trade Center in such a dramatic yet obvious way was, in my opinion, an essential, psychological component of the operation.


9/11 was a pretext to launch the War on Terror, a war to control the world's remaining energy reserves in order to maintain the over-consumptive lifestyle that Dick Cheney insists is "not negotiable." And the War on Terror was conceived in response to peak oil, which threatens to end the current system of corporate greed, over-consumption and exploitation. That system requires ever-increasing amounts of material energy to continue, and peak oil is nothing less than the end of that increase. The War on Terror is, therefore, a war on "terra" to maintain the illusion of perpetual growth, the myth that over-consumption can go on forever. It is an extreme manifestation of the ego's desperate attempt to live forever, and it is doomed to fail. The earth is finite, and we cannot continue to to deplete its energy forever.

This can be seen as a crisis, which certainly it is, but it is only so in the sense that it demands a transformation of our political and economic systems, our consumption-based lifestyles, and our self-identities. As such it is also an opportunity, an opportunity to transcend our own greed, to face the truth of who we really are (interconnected with everyone else, and with the earth), and to make the necessary and inevitable sacrifices required of us. (Remember that sacrifice is not the giving up of the things we need. It is the giving up of the things we don't need, including our illusions.)

The neocons are so far unable to make this necessary transformation. They are trapped in the very system they have created, but there are those all across the planet who are trying, starting small and making some of the necessary sacrifices. People are struggling everywhere to create cooperative institutions of mutual aid and solidarity, to resist the forces of ignorance and greed. One needs look no further then the Bolivarian Revolution sweeping across Central and South America to understand this. And there are many people here in the US, as well, exerting the same efforts, implementing a powerdown strategy and working towards the re-localization of social and political institutions.


(a follow-up of sorts to Golby's post)