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The British-American coup that ended Australian independence

Disinformation - 5 hours 59 min ago

Prime minister Gough Whitlam watches ACTU president Bob Hawke drink beer from a yard glass Melbourne, Australia, 1972. Photograph: News Ltd/Newspix/REX

via The Guardian:

Across the media and political establishment in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.

Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.

Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm”. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonisation of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent’s vast natural wealth.

Continue reading.

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The Difference Between a Great Horror Movie and a Great Halloween Movie

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 17:30

via Screen Crush:

I never watch ‘Halloween’ on Halloween.

That’s not to say that I dislike John Carpenter’s slasher classic. In fact, it’s one of the best horror movies ever made and a masterpiece that I find myself revisiting at least once a year. But when I do revisit it, I tend to watch it in December. Or February. Or even in the heat of the July. The moment October rolls around, I shelve any interest I have in it.

And it’s not alone. You won’t find me revisiting a lot of famous, respected and beloved horror movies when the season of the witch rolls around. No ‘Exorcist.’ No ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ None of those brutal French or Japanese movies that horror buffs like to spring on their unsuspecting friends. The Halloween season brings out something different in me. It focuses my tastes for 31 days. I don’t spend my October watching tons of horror movies, I like to spend my October watching tons of Halloween movies.

For many people, there probably isn’t a difference between the two. That’s because, for many people, the horror genre is something that they flirt with for one month of year, taking four weeks to revisit old favorites before returning to their standard cinematic diet. For those of us who find ourselves indulging in the genre year-round, Halloween offers an opportunity to explore a specific kind of horror movie, a completely unspecified sub-genre that’s nebulous at best. It’s very much a “I know it when I see it”-type situation, but I know when a horror movie is a great Halloween movie and when it is not.

Read More.

The post The Difference Between a Great Horror Movie and a Great Halloween Movie appeared first on disinformation.

Digital Afterlife: 2045

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:00

Excerpt from Richard Weber’s History of Religion and Inequality in the 21st Century (2056)

via The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

Of all the bewildering diversity of new of consumer choices on offer before the middle of the century that would have stunned people from only a generation earlier, none was perhaps as shocking as the many ways there now were to be dead. As in all things of the 21st century what death looked like was dependent on the wealth question.

Certainly, there were many human beings, and when looking at the question globally, the overwhelming majority, who were treated in death the same way their ancestors had been treated. Buried in the cold ground, or, more likely given high property values that made cemetery space ever more precious, their corpses burned to ashes, spread over some spot sacred to the individual’s spirituality or sentiment.

A revival of death relics that had begun in the early 21st century continued for those unwilling out of religious belief, or more likely, simply unable to afford any of the more sophisticated forms of death on offer. It was increasingly the case that the poor were tattooed using the ashes of their lost loved one, or that they carried some memento in the form of their DNA in the vague hope that family fortunes would change and their loved one might be resurrected in the same way mammoths now once again roamed the windswept earth.

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The post Digital Afterlife: 2045 appeared first on disinformation.

Dreams of the Universe: Is Particle Physics Unscientific?

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:30

Watch more videos on iai.tv

From string theory to the multiverse, the theories of modern physics look increasingly exotic and untestable. But while they may be good for selling books, are they bad science? Do we need a return to empirical experiment, or should imagination be allowed its playground?

The Panel
Cambridge string theorist David Tong, experimental physicist Tara Shears, and author of The End of Science John Horgan seek the place where facts and fantasy collide.

This lecture was submitted via the Disinfo contact page.

The post Dreams of the Universe: Is Particle Physics Unscientific? appeared first on disinformation.

Ebola News Gives Me a Guilty Thrill. Am I Crazy?

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:30

Ebola virus. (Photo: NIAID/Flickr)

via Pacific Standard:

Folks speak blithely about their guilty pleasures. But if you get a little thrill when you contemplate the worldwide obliteration of society in a horrific Armageddon, have you crossed a line from “person with a guilty pleasure” to “person who is a dangerous psychopath”?

This was a question that wrecked most of one afternoon following a discussion of Ebola with some co-workers. We were brainstorming ideas for stories about the awful pandemic, and the topic of American preparedness came up. Although Ebola seems decently isolated on our shores, public health officials are girding our infrastructure for worst-case scenarios.

I made the following confession: Although obviously the West African Ebola crisis sickens and saddens me, and although I of course don’t want Ebola to run rampant … whenever I hear about the idea of our nation crumbling in an apocalyptic plague, I get an amoral twinge of excitement. It’s a tiny but unavoidable rush, not unlike the burst one feels when a rollercoaster begins to crest a hill, or when Darth Vader flicks on his lightsaber for the climactic battle of The Empire Strikes Back. I feel a similar frisson when it seems like a geopolitical crisis is bringing us to the brink of World War III (all summer, every time I read about ISIS’s march, I felt a jolt). I’m not proud of the way I feel, but it never goes away.

Read More.

The post Ebola News Gives Me a Guilty Thrill. Am I Crazy? appeared first on disinformation.

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake: More U.S. Cities Are Banning Feeding the Homeless

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:30

I’m regularly asked for something to eat by people on the subway or on the streets of New York City. Complying with such a request may well be illegal before long if a trend in other American cities expands. Story from Yahoo News:

Reading through the latest report from the National Coalition for the Homeless might spark one of those moments when you wonder, what would Marie Antoinette say? French peasants who had no bread to eat were so enraged by rumors that their queen uttered the phrase “Let them eat cake” that she ended up decapitated. Well, the coalition’s modern-day researchers found that since January 2013, 21 cities have restricted or flat-out banned feeding the homeless at all—and 10 municipalities have similar ordinances in the works.

At the heart of the bans and restrictions, write the authors, is the misguided belief that feeding people who are sleeping on the streets or in shelters encourages homelessness. Apparently, some of our nation’s politicians and policy makers are convinced that thousands of Americans are so eager for a free bowl from a soup kitchen that they’ll quit their jobs and begin sleeping in doorways and on bus benches to get it.

According to the report, a consultant on homelessness named Robert Marbut visited more than 60 communities in 2013 and 2014, giving talks about how dishing out hot meals to homeless people enables them to remain homeless.

“If you feed people in parks or on a street, or drive your car up and give 14 meals out of the back of your car, all you’re doing is growing homelessness,” Marbut said in one speech, according to the report. “If you want to dramatically change how [a city] deals with the homeless, align your feeding with all the holistic services. And the only place people should ever be fed is where you’re in a 24/7 program that’s holistic that deals with all the issues.”

In contrast, the coalition’s researchers note that programs that provide people with meals are often “the only way some homeless individuals will have access to healthy, safe food on a given day.” They go on to clarify that people become or remain homeless because of “lack of affordable housing, lack of job opportunity, mental health or physical disability”—not because someone’s giving them a plate of chicken.

Bans and restrictions on feeding folks who live on the streets are just one example of the draconian laws being passed nationwide to criminalize homelessness…

[continues at Yahoo News]

The post Don’t Let Them Eat Cake: More U.S. Cities Are Banning Feeding the Homeless appeared first on disinformation.

Writing about demonic possession is a thankless task

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:30

This week I have added /r/Shinto and /r/Buddhism to the list of subreddits I follow, including /r/Christianity which I am currently banned from on Reddit for talking about psychosis as a rite of passage in mystical experiences related to sorcery. The moderators of the Christian sub claimed that the books I referenced, which were found in University as a student, are not academic. Seemingly because they don’t line up with their views.

Some of the books I had referenced, besides the one by T. M. Luhrmann cited below, were Gothic Ireland: Horror And The Irish Anglican Imagination In The Long Eighteenth Century by Jarlath Killeen. Killeen talks about gothic horror and the liminal as an Anglican identity, transubstantiation as a form of cannibalism, and erotic necrophilia. The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism In Late Victorian England by Alex Owen documents the epidemic of hysteria caused by interests in mediumship and psychosis understood as a rite of passage. So too in the case of The Essence Of Shinto by Motohisa Yamakage, Korean Shamanism: Muism by Dr. Kim Tae-kon, and Spirits Without Borders by Karen Fjelstad. Shamanism In Korean Christianity by Jang Nam Hyuck talks about the infilling of the holy spirit interpreted to be ki.

All of these influences and certainly others cross into charismatic Christian worship and it should be ok to talk about. Not that I was ever given much respect to talk any of their attacks down nor that any of this academic scholarship would be respected by many Christians anyway. In Christian culture, who bothers to think anymore? I could exhaustively list additional books but basically I would argue that to deny that psychosis is a rite of passage into mystical states of awareness, even has a permanency, is to test incredulity. Certainly, William James makes these experiences a focal point of his now classic work Varieties of Religious Experience.

This all reminds me of a Troma film, called Tromeo & Juliet, in which two Catholic kids dance in ecstatic goth bars while everyone around them is decked head to toe in tribal tattoos and yin yang symbols. The yin yang symbol is probably in every single scene of this movie and the allusions to animal and human sacrifice are not subtle.

Meanwhile, video games like Dead Space and HBO television shows like True Blood and CBS’s Under The Dome expose the coeval link between demonology and mainline Christianity. Disney’s Frozen, about a sorceress trouncing around in a Christian castle amongst laplanders or whatever, totally dyke and schizo, gets the critics thumbs up like Pixar’s Monsters University. When Studio Ghibli released When Marnie Was There based on a British gothic novel…nobody notices. I am the bad guy for using the library. I grew up part of the generation sacrificed to pharmaceutical companies, losing friends to suicide after assaulted from the pains of untreatable mental “illnesses” caused by the churches adorned with Canada’s governor general’s coat of arms. The reason the Catholic church has been hiring so many exorcists is because the charismatic worship in churches is causing “demonic” possession. I just wanted to say that. Good afternoon. My advice is be a non-dualist. Don’t dichotomize the experiences of the religions you entered solely to “experience.” Don’t religious professionals have the responsibility to own up to what people will be experiencing? The people experiencing these states (possessions) are clearly not responsible, so who is?

The shooting that happened at Canada’s parliament is our fault. It’s society’s burden. Fucked up people should be our barometer that something is wrong. That’s what I think. I lay full blame for these tragedies at the door of our government and our churches.

Excerpt, from When God Talks Back by T. M. Luhrmann, page 263:

“In October, there was another conference. During the evening prayer sessions, someone had a ‘prophetic word’ for the pastor that he should be doing more work with spiritual deliverance – the code word for the process of diagnosing demonic possession and then delivering the host person of the demon’s presence. They decided that they should pray again for Sarah. The man who joined them was more direct and authoritative than anyone who had prayed for Sarah before, naming and commanding and shouting at the demons that inhabited her. Afterward she still felt awful, and now she felt hopeless. She knew that none of the prayers had worked and that she still had demons. The pastor remembers that she cried out in anger: ‘I’m stuck with these demons. What do I do now?’ She left the church. Within weeks, she was hospitalized for major depression.

Over the next six months, Sarah went in and out of the hospital. She had two suicide attempts, one of them serious. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She tried a series of antidepressants, none of which seemed to work. Eventually she agreed to electroshock therapy, and slowly over the course of many months, the bleakness lifted.

Had the demonic exorcisms made things worse? Sarah’s family thought so. In fact, they laid the illness at the door of her faith. ‘They blame the depression on being born again. Here I’d hoped to be a good testimony and a good witness to them, and it’s sort of worked the other way. When I told them that I was thinking of going back, they were horrified that I would go back to the place I was ruined.’ Her new Christian therapist was appalled at the prayer she had been receiving at the church. The therapist wasn’t charismatic and didn’t believe that Christians could be demonized or, for that matter, that people could really speak in tongues.”

Basically, her work is about the practice of yoga during the Jesus People Movement, and other shit, and how that lead to the creation of Christian megachurches.

Here is an article from ye old Cult Montreal, I blame his Catholicism and not necessarily his Islam. One necessarily followed the other. Catholicism is about as horrific as Anglicanism is purported and showed itself to be so in the 18th century.

The tragic death on Monday of Canadian Forces Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, run over by a recently “radicalized” 25-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, was not an act of terror as much as it was an indictment of our ineffectiveness in dealing with mental illness.

Martin Couture-Rouleau, who up until two years ago was a normal pseudo-Catholic Québécois kid, a recent father struggling to keep his new pressure-washing business afloat, changed seemingly overnight into someone obsessed with the illuminati and conspiracy theories, one friend told La Presse.

It was in that period he converted to Islam and underwent such a significant personality change that it was his own father who reported him to the RCMP as a possible threat. Put on a federal watch list, he was prevented from carrying out his plan to travel to Turkey when he was arrested last summer and had his passport taken away.

His alienation from family and friends became even more pronounced in the past year. “People turned away from him, thinking he was crazy,” a friend told La Presse. His wife had also recently taken steps to gain sole custody of their child because of the changes in Couture-Rouleau’s behaviour.

The post Writing about demonic possession is a thankless task appeared first on disinformation.

Sales Of Plug-In Cars Exceed 600,000 Worldwide

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:30

via CleanTechnica:

It hasn’t even been four full years since the first plug-in hybrid and electric cars went on sale across the globe, and in many places plug-in cars are still few and far between. Yet across the world, consumers are turning to plug-in cars in greater numbers, with the top ten countries now accounting for over 600,000 plug-in vehicle sales according to a tally by Hybrid Cars.

Most of these sales happened after 2010, when the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt (the two top-selling plug-in cars worldwide) went on sale, though there are a handful of EVs accounted for dating back to 2006. The numbers show that plug-in sales have increased at a staggering pace, with the total number of electrified vehicles jumping from 180,000 in December of 2013 to over 405,000 little more than a year later in January of 2014. Plug-in car sales have since climbed past 500,000 by the end of summer, and Hybrid Cars accounts for at least 603,932 plug-in vehicle sales at the end of last month. Of these, about 356,200 are of the battery electric type, while the remainder (about 247,700) ar of the plug-in hybrid variety.

Continue reading.

The post Sales Of Plug-In Cars Exceed 600,000 Worldwide appeared first on disinformation.

A Chair Straight Out of David Cronenberg’s Dreams

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:30

Pair this with the pseudo-flesh covered furniture and the hugging chair and you’ll officially be the coolest person on the block.

I can definitely picture Max Renn (Videodrome) sitting on this chair with his gaping stomach-hole.

h/t Boing Boing. 

Cao Hui, “Visual Temperature — Sofa,” 2008.

Mixed Materials: Resin, Fiber, etc. 98x106x108 cm.

The post A Chair Straight Out of David Cronenberg’s Dreams appeared first on disinformation.

The Danger of Sleep Deprivation

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:30

By Eric Skiff via Flickr (CC by -sa 2.0)

I’m queuing this post at 10:30pm and can barely keep my eyes open. Sleep is my favorite treat. Unfortunately it shouldn’t be considered a “treat,” but rather a necessity.

via The Atlantic:

I’m sure a lot of subway riders are skilled nappers, but this car seemed to be particularly talented. Going over the Brooklyn Bridge on a recent morning, just as the sun was coming up, a row of men in nearly identical black suits held on to the straps with their eyes closed. Their necks were bent at the slightest of angles, like a row of daisies in a breeze, and as the car clanged over the tracks and the sun pierced through the grimy train windows, it finally dawned on me they were all sound asleep. Not even the bumps and the light could stop them from sneaking in 15 more minutes of shut-eye before work.

We take it for granted, but most people have to wake up for work (or school or other morning obligations) long before they want to. Sleeping in is treated as a cherished luxury—it’s somehow become normal that people wake up still exhausted, and anything but is a notable exception.

But rising before the body wants to affects not only morale and energy, but brain function as well.

“The practice of going to sleep and waking up at ‘unnatural’ times could be the most prevalent high-risk behavior in modern society,” writes Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munch.

Continue reading.

The post The Danger of Sleep Deprivation appeared first on disinformation.

Isaac Asimov Asks, ‘How Do People Get New Ideas?’

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 08:30

Isaac Asimov

MIT Technology Review has unearthed an old, previously unpublished essay on creativity by Isaac Asimov. Here’s the beginning:

ON CREATIVITY

How do people get new ideas?

Presumably, the process of creativity, whatever it is, is essentially the same in all its branches and varieties, so that the evolution of a new art form, a new gadget, a new scientific principle, all involve common factors. We are most interested in the “creation” of a new scientific principle or a new application of an old one, but we can be general here.

One way of investigating the problem is to consider the great ideas of the past and see just how they were generated. Unfortunately, the method of generation is never clear even to the “generators” themselves.

But what if the same earth-shaking idea occurred to two men, simultaneously and independently? Perhaps, the common factors involved would be illuminating. Consider the theory of evolution by natural selection, independently created by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.

There is a great deal in common there. Both traveled to far places, observing strange species of plants and animals and the manner in which they varied from place to place. Both were keenly interested in finding an explanation for this, and both failed until each happened to read Malthus’s “Essay on Population.”

Both then saw how the notion of overpopulation and weeding out (which Malthus had applied to human beings) would fit into the doctrine of evolution by natural selection (if applied to species generally).

Obviously, then, what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.

Undoubtedly in the first half of the 19th century, a great many naturalists had studied the manner in which species were differentiated among themselves. A great many people had read Malthus. Perhaps some both studied species and read Malthus. But what you needed was someone who studied species, read Malthus, and had the ability to make a cross-connection.

That is the crucial point that is the rare characteristic that must be found. Once the cross-connection is made, it becomes obvious. Thomas H. Huxley is supposed to have exclaimed after reading On the Origin of Species, “How stupid of me not to have thought of this.”…

[continues at MIT Technology Review]

The post Isaac Asimov Asks, ‘How Do People Get New Ideas?’ appeared first on disinformation.

Meteor Hits Brazil, Creates Light Show

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:30

Most speculate that this was a meteor or bolide, though there are skeptics.

via Mysterious Universe:

So, what was it? The colors reminded some of an electrical transformer explosion but it was too large to be that and there were no reports of any noise. The Astronomical Society of Recife (SAR) says the height and high brightness of the flash indicates a meteor or bolide.

A meteor is certainly plausible, although variety of colors is out of the ordinary when compared to the singular white, green or orange colors most often reported in these types of sightings. No other explanations have been offered so far from official sources.

Unofficially, this Brazilian UFO is still up in the air.

Read the entire write-up.

What do you think?

The post Meteor Hits Brazil, Creates Light Show appeared first on disinformation.

United Nations’ silence on gay rights is allowing their abuse

Disinformation - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 06:30

Yes, everywhere. riekhavoc via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Rosa Freedman, University of Birmingham

The UN is mandated to protect all people without discrimination, to advance equality and to protect the human rights of all individuals. It has a strong track record of putting those things into place where it comes to gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age and nationality.

There are treaties, committees, monitoring bodies and other mechanisms in place for women, racial and religious minorities, indigenous populations, children and the elderly, and migrants, among others. Those mechanisms work with varying degrees of success in different states, but they send a strong message to all countries, loud and clear: the UN will not condone nor tolerate discrimination on any grounds.

Well, almost any grounds.

The UN still does not protect sexual orientation or gender identity minorities. Despite the clear vulnerability of people in those categories, there is no specific treaty for LGBT people; there is no committee to monitor the protection and promotion of their rights and there are no intergovernmental working groups, resolutions or declarations. Instead, there is silence.

But even worse, an ominous drum beat is disturbing that silence.

Face of the world

This year, the UN General Assembly elected as its president Sam Kutesa, who was the foreign affairs minister of Uganda at the time that his country implemented its widely denounced and brutal law, originally written to impose the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”.

Dubbed the “kill the gays” law by the Western media, the law was passed without its death penalty provisions in February 2014, but then declared unlawful in August. Even with the law now off the books, Uganda still penalises people in same-sex couples with prison terms of up to 14 years.

Uganda is of course not alone in doing this; indeed, more than 70 states across the world have similar laws. But the election of Kutesa so soon after the global condemnation of Uganda’s oppressive and retrograde law sends a chilling message to tens of millions of individuals worldwide.

The General Assembly is the sole UN body where all member states have a seat and a vote, and what happens there sends a loud and clear message about the prevailing opinions of countries across the world. The president of the General Assembly holds the position for a full year and is guaranteed a seat at the table with the most powerful players in the international community.

In Kutesa’s case, that has set up a long year of PR embarrassments for the UN’s less conservative majority. Photographs of Kutesa’s formal meeting with Barack Obama were criticised around the world for legitimising and giving credibility to a man who represents the continued repression and subjugation of minorities.

But this was only the beginning: until the Assembly elects a new president in September 2015, when the 69th Session draws to a close, Kutesa will be its representative at many such meetings and events to come.

Driving a wedge

Of course, Kutesa’s election did not occur in a vacuum. It is increasingly apparent that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is not just overlooked, but actively accepted within large parts of the UN and that those factions who actively support it are working to reinforce their position.

Over the past five years, there has been a strong push-back against advances to protect LGBT people from discrimination, criminalisation and violations of their human rights.

In recent months and years, more and more resolutions on “traditional family values” have been passed by the General Assembly and by the Human Rights Council. The countries behind those resolutions include Russia and many Islamic and African countries, where LGBT people are criminalised simply for being sexual or gender minorities. Their discriminatory practices are fast being legitimised through resolutions and panels cloaked in vague, relativistic “values” doublespeak.

These states are currently violating their international human rights obligations to LGBT people – and they know it. They are baldly trying to pre-emptively protect themselves before those violations start to be policed as they should.

Kutesa’s presidency is just another backwards step in the sorry story of the UN’s slow efforts to protect LGBT people. Sadly, it seems that the UN’s noble aim of protecting all individuals from the abuse of their rights is a long way from being realised.

Rosa Freedman does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The post United Nations’ silence on gay rights is allowing their abuse appeared first on disinformation.

Hail Satan Your Own Way

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 20:30

Satanists are nonconformists. We all know that. So when most of us think “Satanic music,” we think of Satanic death metal. However, there are quite a few musicians that Hail Satan in a different way.

Satanism is based on individualism, epicureanism, and an “eye for an eye” morality. So it just stands to reason that a lot of Satanic bands don’t follow the leader when it comes to what it means to play music influenced by Satan.

The High Priest of the church of Satan, Magus Peter H. Gilmore studied music at NYU and holds a B.S. and M.A. degree in composition. He listens exclusively to classical music and film scores. He is most intrigued by the work of Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, Sibelius and Beethoven.

The above maestros influence what he composes.

His works are piano, voice, instrumental ensembles—some of which he has realized with synthesizers and samplers. Gilmore has also done purely electronically realized pieces with early patch-bay arrays which challenge one to create original sounds from scratch.

When asked how Satanism influences his music Gilmore replied:

“Satanism is a philosophy that encourages one’s pursuit of excellence through one’s passions and it embraces the full range of human emotion. Music is an art form that captures that panorama of feelings with exquisite flexibility and nuance—the tenderest of intimate gestures, contemplative rumination, fury, tragedy, mockery, heaven-shattering bombastic peals of victory, and so many more. And some music has a complexity of form which can equal in beauty exquisite works of architecture. I see music as an essential expression of what we Satanists call ‘vital existence’—living life to the fullest by exploring our human nature and celebrating our unique selves in the process.”

His album THRENODY FOR HUMANITY is available here and his music can be downloaded for free here.

Nathan Gray sings for both BOYSETSFIRE, and I AM HERESY.

BOYSETSFIRE has been a band for 20 years now, and are currently playing anniversary shows in Europe and the US. Although Gray personally is an active member of the Church of Satan, no one else in the band is. In fact, the belief systems within the band are incredibly diverse.

Gray says, “I have always maintained, that Satanism is a very personal ideology that asserts itself when necessary, but mostly calls for its members to mind their own business. This of course makes it very easy to get along with others that stick to the same viewpoint. Seeing as Satanism praises earthly gain and success (unlike other religions that call for a humble and contrite nature on earth, in order to build treasure in heaven), being in a band like BSF, and ‘paying the bills’ so to speak through my art, is incredibly Satanic in and of itself. As I have said many times before, ‘Get a job, pay your bills, and live a life of true independence…Then you can speak to me of the imagery, symbolism, and archetypes of Satanic philosophy.’

“I AM HERESY is a newer project born to invoke the pageantry of Satanic archetypes and imagery. I wanted to form a band that was more outwardly ritualistic, and open about the symbolism that moves me. Self deification, ritual and greater magic, symbolically summoning demons, and calling out the theistic and ‘white light’ hypocrisy, of those religions that would define our basic and natural urges as ‘sinful.’ This band, as well as my upcoming solo material are a tribute to the atheistic religion, and indulgent ideology that defines who I am.”

BOYSETSFIRE Facebook
I AM HERESEY Facebook

Gyps Fulvus incorporates elements of Electronica, Industrial Metal, 20th Century Classical music from the Expressionist period, Drum ‘n Bass, Breakbeat, and film scores of the Horror, Thriller, and Sci-Fi genre.

So what does that mean exactly?

“I’ve made it a consorted effort to avoid the mindset of creating “Satanic music.” Rather, I’ve set out to make a cacophonous concoction of music that relies heavily on dissonance, chord clashing, and various tonal structures that are out of the parameters of Popular music. Each of my albums has something different to offer, while fully retaining the consistent Horror influence intact.

“I compose music designed to raise unsettling emotions and feelings within listeners. I gain my inspiration by tapping into the most disturbing aspects of my very own psyche, and expelling it forth into musical form. I incorporate a diverse number of themes and ideas into my works, all of which are related to fear, phobias, existential angst, and the darker side of the human animal.”

The Quintessentials is a fusion of Horror Punk and early ’90s Pop-Punk with a sound somewhere between the Misfits, Screeching Weasel and the Ramones, with just a splash of old school Black Metal thrown in. The band was founded by former member of The Catalogs and Church of Satan Warlock, Les Hernandez in 1998, and continues strong to this day. (Like them on Facebook here.)

Les Hernandez (lead singer, backup vocals, and lead guitar) says “I founded this band to push back against the idea that Metal bands somehow own the Satanism tag, and to get genuine Satanic principles and ideas represented in music, rather than the overused and paranoid ideas of devil worship that Metal bands were perpetuating, which all came from Christian paranoia and ignorance. Satanism, which promotes individuality, self-sufficiency, pride, and not blindly bowing to herd conformity, has a lot in common with the ideals of early Punk from the late 1970s and early ’80s–and being a fan of that music, it only seemed right to put the two together. Of course, Satanism isn’t the only thing we sing about, with other songs about my favorite Horror films and tongue-in-cheek tunes simply because they’re fun.”

Jeremiah Crow does creepy music for creepy folks. He says, “Jeremiah Crow’s Insufferable One Man Show is an exploration of all things nostalgic for me as a youngin’ growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. Minus the bucktoothed hicks, bib overalls, and cow tipping, the haunted memories of the backwoods are essential to this project. My early experiences discovering abandoned farm houses, dense forests, and mysterious sounds in the middle of the night, play an integral role in creating these songs of sorrow and tales of horror. My Insufferable One Man Show is also paying homage to the tradition of dark roots music. I make good use of the banjo, musical saw, and washboard.

“Despite the fear based and irrational stereotypes of Satanism, I’ve found others who adhere to this religion are often creative, productive, honest, witty, rather good looking, and dedicated to the discovery of all the best things in life. I feel this is where my music fits in, and this is what Satanism means to me.”

Darren Deicide plays the blues, “Satanism has influenced my music deeply, but mostly on a subtler level. My lyrics aren’t about Satanism, per se. However, my music is squarely in the blues idiom, a style of music that has always been associated with the dark arts. It’s a tradition that I embrace. True to form also, the masters of the blues were often thought to be in communication with the devil and some were accused of having Faustian pacts to gain their skill. Satanism has pushed me, like these classic blues artists, to reach for higher levels of mastery.  Paradoxically though, I do look to pioneer new territories of the genre. One valuable lesson Satanism taught me, that I think more people could benefit from learning, is that there is value in being original. We live in a society where homogeneity is extolled as the highest value, and with the globalization of capital and technology, I think that is accelerating exponentially. Humanity has created a monoculture, one that discourages uniqueness.”

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Watching Friends Recover From Addiction on Facebook

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 19:30

By Mr. Theklan via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Atlantic:

Through likes and comments, I’ve watched my hometown of Perry, Ohio, disappear into and come back from heroin addiction.

The U.S. is facing a massive heroin epidemic, and nowhere is it more evident than in Ohio, where fatal drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, and increased by 60 percent from 2011 to 2012. Addicts in rehabilitation say heroin is the easiest drug to find. State legislators have called for Republican Governor John Kasich to declare the prevalence of heroin a public-health emergency, and in May he agreed to an Obamacare Medicaid expansion largely because the state badly needed the federal help in funding treatment for heroin addiction.

Perry, Ohio, is a microcosm of the epidemic, which is now infiltrating upper-middle-class suburbs. Thirty minutes east of Cleveland, the town of 1,500 has a median annual income $31,000 higher than that of Ohio overall, but it also lacks opportunities for young adults to start their lives. With the exception of the technical jobs offered by the nuclear power plant—a definitive feature of the town—those without a college degree travel to neighboring towns to work in retail or service industries, and those with a degree rarely return. When I graduated high school six years ago, most of the people in my class left Perry for college, but many of those who stayed behind eventually turned to heroin to cope with their anxieties about the future. Addiction to the drug is growing most quickly among people between the ages of 18 and 25, like the friends who fell off my Facebook timeline as their lives became absorbed by their addiction.

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Investors in anti-Facebook startup have no idea how it will make money

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 18:30

via Ars Technica:

Ello, the notably stripped-down, ad-free social network, announced Thursday that it has taken $5.5 million in venture capital and re-incorporated as a “Public Benefit Corporation.”

The company’s founders and investors also published a one-page document in which they declared:

  1. Ello must never make money from selling ads
  2. Ello must never make money from selling user data
  3. In the event that Ello is ever sold, the new owners would also have to comply by these terms

So how is Ello going to make money? Even its investors don’t know.

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Americans’ Trust in Doctors Is Falling

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 17:30

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via Live Science:

Americans’ trust in the medical profession has plummeted in recent years, and lags well behind public attitudes toward doctors in many other countries, according to a new report.

That lack of trust comes from how Americans’ perceive doctors’ motivations, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and co-author of the new report. While physician leaders elsewhere in the world often take public stands on key health and medical issues, Americans perceive the medical profession as looking out for itself, not advocating for public health, he said.

Just 34 percent of U.S. adults polled in 2012 said they had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession,” down from 76 percent in 1966, according to the report.

And a survey of people in 29 countries found the United States ranked 24th in public trust of doctors. Just 58 percent of Americans surveyed said they “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the statement that “doctors in your country can be trusted,” versus 83 percent of people who said the same in top-ranked Switzerland, and 79 percent in runner-up Denmark.

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Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 16:00

By Whit Andrews via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via The Daily Beast:

On a sprawling, idyllic cluster of rolling hills in an otherwise industrial section of New York City, history’s finest and most notorious have been laid to rest.

Green-Wood Cemetery should have its own ZIP code. Covering nearly 500 acres in the middle of Brooklyn, the land of the dead feels a world away from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, visible in the distance from the hilltops.

Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires. The cemetery is home to 560,000 dead. In past lives, the area served as the location of the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. Once the first dead were interred in 1838, it became the country’s second biggest tourism attraction thanks to its scenic and fashionable burial grounds. In the 1860s there were more sightseers than entombed residents, as 500,000 visitors flocked there per year.

“They had a different relationship with death than we have now,” says Allison Meier, who leads regular tours of Green-Wood for oddity website and events company Atlas Obscura. “It was much more connected with life. They were less squeamish about spending sunday afternoon in a cemetery—it wasn’t a place you went to just to bury your grandparents.”

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Does Inequality Cause Crime?

Disinformation - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:30

By craftivist collective via Flickr (cc by 2.0).

Surprised?

via The Atlantic:

In 1899, Thorstein Veblen described a type of good that is more lusted after the more expensive it is (think Ferraris). And in 1968, the economist Gary S. Becker theorized that criminals perform cost-benefit analyses just like everyone else: What are the odds of getting caught, and what’s the potential payoff? These two frameworks have lived out vibrant lives in academic journals, high-school textbooks, and college lecture halls, but, as they’re ostensibly unrelated, they’ve rarely been put in conversation with one another.

A study put out this month in Oxford Economic Papers does just that, in an effort to come up with a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between inequality and violence. There’s a good amount of research from all over the world that suggests that places with pronounced income inequality are more likely to have high rates of violent crime, a finding that makes intuitive sense: the wider the socioeconomic gap, per Becker’s 1968 model, the more gains potential criminals perceive. (Not to mention, the more frustrated poorer criminals will be with society.)

But this new study takes into account the fact that it’s hard to gauge a stranger’s income—the information that potential criminals are acting on comes in the form not of pay stubs, but of proxies like expensive cars and fancy clothes. “A neighbor’s income and bank account balance,” the authors write, “are by no means perfectly observable for academic researchers or individuals considering committing crimes.” Luckily for academic researchers, though, there exist reams of data about crime and consumer spending, two topics the federal government cares deeply about.

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