dissident aggressor

LINKS

BIOMIMICRY

Underwater GPS Inspired by Shrimp Eyes:

A few years ago, U.S. and Australian researchers developed a special camera inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimp that can see the polarization patterns of light waves, which resemble those in a rope being waved up and down. That means the bio-inspired camera can detect how light polarization patterns change once the light enters the water and gets deflected or scattered.

Those researchers now realize that they can use those underwater polarization patterns to deduce the sun’s position—and use that to figure out the location of the camera itself.


BOOKS

Occultism, Insects and the Alien: Elytron FrassLiber Exuvia:

Frass, a writer and visual artist whose work has appeared in venues such as Tarpaulin SkyMagazine, has written a book that may be approached in a variety of ways: a mystic manual for past life regression, a fragmented narrative that blends the sensibilities of Lovecraft and Kenneth Anger, a series of dark meditations on evolution and its myriad pathways, both real and imagined. The title, like so much of the book, is associative and free ranging. “Liber” was the god of wine and festival in ancient Roman religion – a god that came to be associated with Dionysius. It also means “book” in Latin. “Exuvia” is the name of the exoskeleton left over after an insect or arachnid molts. In this way, the book stresses its own materiality – it is the spiritual exoskeleton of the creative process. The husk. The remnant. Presence marked by absence.


World Wide Socialist Web Site: Mehring Books publishes The CIA Democrats:

Mehring Books has published The CIA Democrats, a detailed exposure of the effective takeover of the 2018 Democratic Party congressional campaign by candidates drawn from the ranks of former intelligence agents, special forces operatives, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and civilian national security operatives from the State Department, National Security Council and Pentagon.

The CIA Democrats analyzes the connection between the unprecedented influx of candidates with a military-intelligence background and drastic shift in the Democratic Party to the right, expressed in its efforts to promote the anti-Russian campaign, attacking the Trump administration from the right on foreign policy, and demanding a more confrontational approach toward Moscow in the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.


EMPIRE

Justin Raimondo: Trump vs. the Permanent Government

The President is surrounded by his enemies – the permanent albeit unelected government that really runs the country. He ran on an “isolationist” (i.e., traditional American) platform: “America first.” The Iraq war was a preventable disaster, he said, promising no more regime change. Once he got into office, however, it’s not that he forgot his promises – it’s that he began to realize that the ship of state is not easily turned. The vast apparatus that is the American Empire has been set on its course since the end of World War II and the beginning of the cold war with the Soviet Union: no one person can succeed in turning it completely around. A president can announce policies, but as far as getting them implemented by underlings – well, in this case, good luck with that.

Trump is at war with his own government on the foreign policy front as well as many other fronts. That’s what the Mueller “investigation” is all about. With the entire political class, the government bureaucracy, and the media against him – and determined to oust him – Trump is isolated in the Oval Office and unable to actually implement many of the policies he prefers. This is not to say he’s perfect – far from it! – but he’s subject to extraordinary political pressure. Add to this the inertia imposed by the imperial traditions of a city – Washington, D.C. – that have shaped US foreign policy for the last seventy-five years or so.


FREEDOM

CJ Ciaramella: The Radical Freedom of Dungeons & Dragons:

When I put out a call on the website Reddit for stories about playing D&D in prison, I received this response from one former Texas inmate: “I’ve taught murderers, gang bangers, and straight up Neo-Nazis to come together and work as a team to slay vampires, save the world, and most importantly, set aside any preconceived notions and attitudes for the common goal of having fun and getting ones head out of a TRUE Dungeon. I believe that games like D&D can be a powerful tool to inspire creativity, to provide a means of escape, and to give the vilified an opportunity to be the ‘Good Guy’ that the world in which we live rarely does.”

The podcast Ear Hustle, recorded and produced by inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison, revealed a real-life example of this in its first season. Inside San Quentin, the unspoken rules of race control all aspects of life. Everything from the showers to the cafeteria is self-segregated. In the prison yard, each race controls strictly defined and inviolable territory. The only integrated space in the whole yard, it turns out, is the small spot where D&D and other games are played.


NATURE

Puffin beaks are fluorescent:

Unlike humans, birds have always known about the extra colours in the puffin bill. That’s because they can see a whole other dimension of hues…

Humans see colours that are a mix of red, blue and green light, he notes, while birds have a fourth colour in the mix — a property called tetrachromatic vision.


SENSEMAKING

Jordan Greenhall: The Sacred, the Profane and the Supernormal

We can’t always get what we want, and even more we quite often don’t even know what we need. The problem of supernormal stimuli – what they are and how they arise. And, perhaps, a solution.


WRITING

Forcing yourself to type slower could improve the quality of your writing, a new study finds:

This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better.

We’re not saying that students should write their term papers with one hand, but our results show that going fast can have its drawbacks.

This is important to consider as writing tools continue to emerge that let us get our thoughts onto the proverbial page faster and faster.

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