Hizbullah and Rational Choice

We all would do well to focus more of our attention on the actions of Hez-ballah.

Qifa Nabki

LEBANON-HEZBOLLAH-PARADE-ASHURA“What matters is not what the Gentiles will say, but what the Jews will do.” — David Ben Gurion

When Hizbullah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah admitted last week that his party was militarily involved in the Syrian conflict, the news seemed to deepen the cognitive dissonance initially caused by Nasrallah’s vocal support for the Syrian regime (in the context of his repudiation of other dictatorial regimes elsewhere in the region). Moral support was one thing; the fact that the party was now sending its Lebanese fighters to die in a guerrilla war against rebel soldiers was something somehow different.

I’ll admit that I too was surprised by the scenes of caskets draped with Hizbullah flags being paraded in the streets of Saida and Bint Jbeil. What is Hizbullah thinking? How can they possibly imagine that this is going to work out to their advantage? Surely the party understands that their…

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Beat Generation Rollover of 1965

If you read nothing else today – read this!

Crows Dream

Caffee Trieste BackIt’s one of the lesser cosmic mysteries but still an interesting one. When did the San Francisco Beat Generation disappear?

Beat G was going strong in 1963. That was self-evident. By 1967, the hippie counterculture movement was everywhere in the City and the Beats were gone.

So, when did this rollover really happen?

It wasn’t a light-switch deal. But it also wasn’t a slow morphing. The change was farily swift by usual social standards, and the Beats were forever scattered, absorbed, whatever. Many of us geezers who are still around like to think of 1965 as the year the world changed.

In fact, we can even pinpoint the month and the day. It was Friday, December 3, 1965. The event was Bob Dylan’s San Francisco press conference at the KQED studio just prior to his five concert tour of the Bay Area.

Well, maybe this is a bit too precise…

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Brazilian protests explained — it’s not the economy, stupid

Fascinating insight far removed from media that clearly doesn’t get it.

A Brazilian Operating in This Area

brazilianpoliceinactionBrazil isn’t for beginners. No matter if you are a Brazilian or not, it takes a long time to understand how such a self-centered country works.

I can’t say I do, but as a former student in a state school who had his mother working as a maid, I have explored a part of the Brazilian society which is not popular among the middle class I now belong to. The same middle class that has (poorly) projected our country abroad and is gradually changing. So let me go back in time to try to address the mindset behind the protests that are now rocking the streets of major cities back home.

Violent protests always lose in Brazil. It is just like our politics: if you are too hard on your opponent, no matter how right you are, you will lose.

If you are violent in Brazil you write a blank…

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Haiku to Mars

I really wish instead of saying, “inhospitable to life,” instead we’d say, “to life as we currently define it.”

Antoine Cassar

Tuesday, named in most Latin languages after the god Mars (mardi, martes, martedì), an appropriate day for a quick blog post about the red, red planet of the same name.

NASA are currently inviting members of the public to submit messages to planet Mars in haiku form, for a DVD that will be carried aboard the Maven spacecraft, launching towards the end of the year. The deadline for submissions is 1st July; public online voting will then decide which three haiku messages will be burned onto the DVD.

It’s doubtful the selected messages will be read by any Martians, not least because the Maven will remain in orbit around Mars, studying its upper atmosphere. Its mission is to attempt to determine what caused the planet’s water to be lost to space, thus rendering the climate inhospitable to life. Indeed, as Stephanie Renfrow of the MAVEN Education…

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Will this generation reach avatar immortality?

Interesting, & well written.


If you have been following transhumanist thinkers or prophets of the singularity (Ray Kurzweil et al), the ambitious 2045 Initiative may be familiar to you. Its lofty goal is to accelerate us from being consumers who do nothing more than maintain the status quo (the dismissive view of humanity today, as seen in the video above) into an enlightened, post-flesh society capable of traveling the stars. The project is making news this week because of a vision that’s right up my alley: porting human consciousness into avatars.

Dmitry Itskov is the founding father of this movement, and he envisions a time in the very near future — about 10 years from now — where a human brain can be transplanted into a robot.  The next step would be to port consciousness itself into an artificial brain, free from the constraints and decay of the flesh.


The non-cynical side of…

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Best Frenemies Forever

Have some fun!

Longbox Graveyard

Longbox Graveyard #105

By now, you all should be familiar with the musings of Mark Ginocchio, the creator of the Spider-Man focused Chasing Amazing blog and the author of past posts on Longbox Graevyard such as his retrospective on Marvel’s Secret Wars mini-series and his two-part post on Spider-Man’s greatest battles. This week, Mark is writing about his two favorite Silver Age teenage superheroes – one of which is of course, the Amazing Spider-Man, but the other is the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm/Human Torch. Take it away Mark:

During the Silver Age of Marvel comics, one of the more fascinating relationships featured two characters from different titles. Spider-Man and Human Torch, Peter Parker and Johnny Storm respectively, were Marvel’s flagship teenage superheroes. But rather than team together to create crazy pubescent hijinks a la Archie and Jughead, Spidey and Torch started out as bitter, heated rivals before finally…

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