Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Feeble Democratic Secularism

by ormondotvos Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:02:05 PM EST

I come to EUROTRIB to glean current views on the future of democratic secularism. I read much here about trains, parties, wind power, political intrigue and such, but I don't recall much about the ascendancy of political Islam, and the future of laicite.

What gives? Is Charlie Hebdo all alone? Are the intellectuals blind to the grassroots of self-segregation?

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Building the Better Mind...

by ormondotvos Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 02:47:46 AM EST

Had an interesting conversation re the new IBM brain-style neural chip yesterday over Heineken with a Google of my acquaintance, who altho a brilliant programmer and all around heavy hitter, seems almost theologically committed to the thesis that we won't be able to build an artificial intelligence, at all, period, never: Humans are too complicated.

Well, I said, number one, why does an AI have to be like a human?

If we left out the horrible spaghetti monster of evolved processor nets for dangers we never now face, if we left out the God processor in the hypothalamus or the cingulate gyrus blah blah, and just tried build the rational processor, an Asperger's AI, how much would it take?

Hmmm.... he said, and off we went to Pasta e fagioli and less taxing blab... but I'd like to know what you think: EDIT (of course you read /. ) "There is increasing, but largely indirect, evidence pointing to an effect of commensal gut microbiota on the central nervous system (CNS). However, it is unknown whether lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus could have a direct effect on neurotransmitter receptors in the CNS in normal, healthy animals. GABA is the main CNS inhibitory neurotransmitter and is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes. Alterations in central GABA receptor expression are implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety and depression, which are highly comorbid with functional bowel disorders. In this work, we show that chronic treatment with L. rhamnosus (JB-1) induced region-dependent alterations in GABAB1b mRNA in the brain with increases in cortical regions (cingulate and prelimbic) and concomitant reductions in expression in the hippocampus, amygdala, and locus coeruleus, in comparison with control-fed mice. In addition, L. rhamnosus (JB-1) reduced GABAAα2 mRNA expression in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, but increased GABAAα2 in the hippocampus. Importantly, L. rhamnosus (JB-1) reduced stress-induced corticosterone and anxiety- and depression-related behavior. Moreover, the neurochemical and behavioral effects were not found in vagotomized mice, identifying the vagus as a major modulatory constitutive communication pathway between the bacteria exposed to the gut and the brain. Together, these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut–brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression."

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Apres le deluge...

by ormondotvos Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 03:41:23 AM EST

I'm currently predicting a world-wide uprising against the rich and their enablers, tax havens, banks, opaque transactions of all kinds.

What I want to know, considering Eurotrib's resident clevertude, is what would be the proper, and enforceable supranational rules to pass if such an uprising occurred worldwide.

I'm positing such a radical uprising that military suppression would be impracticable, and the citizens united across borders and cultures.

With the internet flame sweeping across the Mideast, threatening energy supplies, even stable countries might topple.

Consider the demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin and Sacramento, California, which are on top off, added to, the Tea Party slashing of the defense budget, forcing Obama to invoke national security concerns in threatening to veto the budget.

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A New Kind of Nation

by ormondotvos Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 06:22:07 PM EST

Yes, this is the beginning of a new kind of nation, with Tunisia and Egypt leading the way. Here's how: Egypt, with the goodwill of the world, can decommission its military-economic complex and use the money spent on fake defense to build, from the ground up, the kind of democratic socialist society that everyone sane sees as the necessary governmental structure: old age pensions, education, infrastructure, medical care efficiently distributed through intelligently spent taxes.

Concurrently, elections can be transparent, electronic, and shielded from corporate influence by strict bribery and political advertising law.

Egypt has no enemies that threaten its land, economy or politics. This is a chance for the United Nations to work properly, as a guarantor of sovereignty.

IF Egypt remains secular but tolerant of all religions, and strictly maintains a NATION OF LAWS through its new constitution, and IF the military really moves away from power, and transforms into a national emergency police-fire-disaster relief agency, amazing things can now happen!

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Theme song for NextGen?

by ormondotvos Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 08:50:08 PM EST

As austerity for the masses creeps around the globe, people sing, together.

Note that Tony Fleming's audience knows the words, and feels them!




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Why are electric trains failing?

by ormondotvos Sat Dec 4th, 2010 at 04:53:25 PM EST


Does anyone know if electric trains and trolleys are susceptible to severe cold and rain or snow due to ice on the lines or insulators, and is this a hitherto unnoticed flaw in electric transport?

I've noticed some pretty heavy knowledge of trains here.

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by ormondotvos Mon Nov 29th, 2010 at 08:40:01 PM EST

UPDATE: A friend suggested that perhaps Wikileaks is being fed by Obama as an end-run around the financial-military-industrial complex, especially since the heavy rumors that Bank of America is the next target. In a strange way, I resonate to this. Perhaps I'm naturally cynical and suspicious, but I've been really impressed by Obama's raw intelligence. I'm one of those people talking about the need for "11-dimensional chess" to solve the horrible Medusan tangle left by eight years of W and eight years of Senor Triangulus. (Remember Hillary's Health Horror?) It's a possibility, tripping up the oligarchy by using secrecy and manipulation against them. Such a petard! <<<<>>>>>>> Just out of curiosity, and being a contrarian, I googled wikileaks.gov.

Apparently it hasn't occurred to anyone that the secrecy behind wikileaks would be exactly what is needed for a false flag operation, and Julian Assange a paid actor.

Even if it started as an honest attempt to show up secrecy, so many former Wikileaks workers have jumped ship that a completely new direction might have been taken.

It's also possible, and looking probable that the low level Army private was used as a scapegoat. Perhaps this is all a battle for turf among espionage agencies in the US government. Nothing significant has actually been released.

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Meanwhile, life goes on around us...

by ormondotvos Thu May 20th, 2010 at 07:28:22 PM EST

Did you see the collective behavior research on physorg.com?


This should answer a lot of intelligent design stumpers.

I've wondered about how far down this dissipative structure was. Not as far as I thought, though there's been a little bit published lately about the borderline between nano and quantum mechanisms that was a tease.

Chemotaxis and vibrational excitement. Sounds like sex to me.

Financial Bounty Hunters

by ormondotvos Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 02:18:17 PM EST

Does anyone know of anyplace in the world that pays people to find crooks, with the pay being totally dependent on the jail time served, and/or the money retrieved?

I'm specifically NOT interested in government-salaried watchdogs, unless their pay depends on jail time served.

Nor am I interested in astroturf industry-captured fake watchdogs, NOR consumer magazines, nor bloggers.

It would have to be governmental, or very rich (Soros or Gates or such) deep pockets.

That Hopey-Changey Thing is Great!

by ormondotvos Tue Mar 30th, 2010 at 05:21:08 PM EST

I'm noticing a new narrative creeping into the usually cranky cynicism of the typeorati on the political forums lately, and I think it's the direct result of passing the Health Care Reform bill.

Despite being way less than perfect, it is so much better than anything conceivable even a year ago that I think it has given many of us grumpuses pause about our doomster ejaculations. It's been a fairly legitimate procedure to doom along, because we just couldn't see how the corporations could be beat in a frontal assault, but somehow, it seems to have occurred to them that it's time to at least concede a medical safety net for the lower economic classes.

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The Terrorists Win :-(

by ormondotvos Sun Jan 17th, 2010 at 03:31:32 PM EST

SAN DIEGO -- Students were evacuated from Millennial Tech Magnet Middle School in the Chollas View neighborhood Friday afternoon after an 11-year-old student brought a personal science project that he had been making at home to school, authorities said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/17/AR2010011700716.html http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jan/15/students-evacuated-school-chollas-view/ Note the extreme over reaction by the school administrator AND the police, AFTER questioning the student. I'm sure this will improve the quality of the next school science fair. And the student is graciously not being charged for the cost of calling out the bomb squad!

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Obama's doing well, considering...

by ormondotvos Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 09:51:56 PM EST

I think of Hercules and the Augean Stables before I start criticizing Obama for not doing enough.

Of course I have desires about how the government should apportion its money and power, but I don't pretend to have the knowledge necessary to judge the behavior of someone I elected, since I can't predict the future.

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Population Down or Shut UP!

by ormondotvos Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 06:22:07 PM EST

<rant> I'm getting pretty tired of reality-deficient brain food around here.

You can't talk about economics and ignore "growth as cancer."

You can't talk about pollution and ignore population as driver.

When you do, even the most dense and unsublime reader will just turn you off.

We have plenty of people. Too many. And however you recoil in horror, something will be done, advertently by us, or inadvertently by allowing the algorithm to run its natural course, by population collapse through starvation, war, disease, etc.

But no one wants to talk about it. I welcome some sane views on population reduction that include religion, education of women, wealth redistribution, diet change, and other scientific (science include sociology) means.</rant>

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Nationstates? Bad Idea!

by ormondotvos Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 10:06:36 AM EST

Nation States were invented as a truce between empires. There was too much interference in each others' affairs, so a cynical bargain was struck: we won't interfere in your internal affairs, if you won't interfere in ours.

This was supposed to apply to all areas of life: territory, commerce, colonies, and the embassies that were set up. But it also included non-interference in human rights administration, or lack of it.

Thus slavery, torture, theft of property, child labor, and the subjugation of women were solely the domain of the nation state, and other nation states weren't supposed to interfere. Sort of like multiculturalism on a global scale, without an overarching law.

From the diaries -- whataboutbob

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