Fifty Shades of Government

On a flight the other day, I noticed that a third of the passengers were reading a certain best-selling book. It got me thinking.

Every politically active group wants something from government, and government is happy to oblige. It’s even more obvious in the election season, and it’s only going to get worse as we approach November.

Another way to put it: Government has lots to give in the way of laws, loot, privileges, protections and punishments. Every pressure group and political party has an idea about how its power over us needs to be used.

Does it make any difference who gets the loot, really? Not really, not to you and me. Whether you are taxed to make bike paths in Palo Alto or to fund reconnaissance missions in Kabul, you are still denied use of your money so that politicians and bureaucrats can realize their dreams. Whether the regulations say that you can’t work for less than $10 per hour or that you can’t buy raw milk at any price, your freedom to make contracts is still being compromised.

We can and will argue interminably about how government ought to be used. Should government prevent gay people from contracting unions or stop private companies from discriminating against people who chose gay unions? Either way, the state is being brought in to tell people what they can and can’t do. In this sense, the left and the right have more in common than either side cares to admit: Both have a plan for how the state can better manage the social order.

Should tobacco be banned or bailed out? Should banks be made too big to fail or badgered with regulatory restrictions so they can’t do real business? Should corporations be protected and subsidized, or should they be taxed within an inch of their lives? Should fatty foods be mandated as part of a national diet or kept off the menu as a health hazard?

These are the great debates of our time. But these are actually not fundamental debates at all. Either way, the only real winner here is government, its agents, its public spokesmen, its powers and its place in our lives and the culture. This is what remains unquestioned.

Should seniors be able to rob young people of their earnings in order to enjoy a luxurious retirement, or should seniors be especially taxed and punished for using more than their fair share of society’s health care resources? Whichever way that debate ends up, liberty itself suffers, and the property rights of everybody are less secure.

Should religious people be able to control what we watch, read and smoke, or should secular people be able to impose laws that keep religious people from having too much influence over our culture? Either way, government is being granted more control over the social order than it should have.

This is the great tragedy of living under leviathan. People have different ideas about how it ought to conduct its affairs. Who should be rewarded? Who should be punished? Who gets the privileges? Who must bear the cost? It becomes a war of pressure groups, everyone seeking to live at the expense of everyone else.

What is this thing we call government? It consists of the gang with an institutional structure that makes the rules, enforces the rules, and lives by rules that are different from those it imposes on the rest of the population. We can’t steal, but government can. We can’t kill, but government can. We can’t counterfeit, kidnap, and engage in fraud, but government can. This thing called government, obviously, has a strong interest in maintaining its power, prestige, and funding.

This is true no matter what the structure of the government happens to be. Oligarchy, absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, presidential republic, parliamentary republic, democracy — all of them have one thing in common: They create a special caste of citizens that live at the expense of everyone else.

In a democracy especially, government enlists us all in its cause. So long as people are arguing about how to use the government, and not whether it should be used to achieve social and economic goals at all, the government comes out the winner. All the pressure groups are really just rewarding the political class, transferring power and money from us to them. Precisely what the excuse is — and it changes all the time, sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically — doesn’t matter to government.

Government is a chameleon, pleased to wear any cultural or ideological cloak to blend in with its social and cultural surroundings. In a wrangling, struggling, grasping, dog-eat-dog democracy like ours, there are fifty shades of government, each suitable for a particular time and place, each adapted to purposes of the moment, all with the interest of firming up control by the ruling class.

This is what the “political spectrum” is all about. Government dominates and we submit. It puts us in bondage and we obey its discipline. There’s also got to be a good excuse or else we would never put up with this. We have to believe that the government is, in some way, at some level, doing something that pleases us. Maybe even the government is us!

People say that in the “age of faith” of the Middle Ages, religious differences led to wars. Historians who have looked carefully have noticed something different. Governments that want wars are happy to use religion as the excuse.

And so it is today. In the “age of science,” we get scientific social planning in which experts are supposed tell the people with their hands on the controls how to use them. But whether the excuse is religion or science, security or the environment, nationalism or internationalism, it doesn’t matter to the rest of us. The rights and liberties of the people paying the bill are forever being sacrificed to someone else’s political agenda.

So come November, we will drag ourselves to the voting booth and look at the names and try to remember what these various people promise to do for us and to us if we ratify their right to rule. Having done so, we are told that we’ve made our choice and now we must live with it.

But maybe it is not really a choice at all. Maybe it is time to let go of our dependency and reject the entire master-slave relationship that is the whole basis of the system itself. Fifty Shades of Government has been the best-seller for hundreds of years. It’s time that the governed write an entirely new book.

Source: dailyreckoning.com

The woman who made your WiFi work.

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born American actress. Max Reinhardt called her the “most beautiful woman in Europe” due to her “strikingly dark exotic looks”.

Mathematically talented, Lamarr came up with an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.

The international beauty, along with co-inventor composer George Anthiel, developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.

Lamarr and Anthiel received a secure secret patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the “spread spectrum” technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.

Stunning moment a humpback whale breached the water as he fed in the middle of a sleepy Californian fishing harbour

This is where I live so I thought I’d post this article as it is truly a whale of a tail

An amateur shutterbug happened upon a stunning scene as a pod of humpback whales emerged from the water as a curious crowd of watchers gathered around.

Retiree Bill Bouton was driving in San Luis Obispo, California on Saturday when he glanced over at the coast to see a group of the massive mammals feeding in the shallow waters, which has been occurring occasionally in the area over the past few days.

The 69-year-old managed to pull his car over and set up his camera tripod near the water’s edge to capture snapshots of the event. 

Meal time: Fearless onlookers try and get close to capture pictures of a feeding humpback whale in the waters of San Luis Obispo, California on Saturday.

Boaters and kayakers in the waters had cameras of their own poised to take pictures, fearlessly advancing toward the hungry animals, typically from 39–52 ft (12–16 metres) in length with an average weight of around 79,000 lb (36,000 kilograms). 

Bouton explained on NBC’s Today Show on Monday how he had spent most of the morning that day trying to photograph birds nearby but had been unsuccessful finding any compelling subjects.

But what started off as a disappointment, ended in triumph as he was able to put his camera gear to good use for an hour as he snapped the aquatic spectacle.

‘I was really lucky,’ he said about the turn-of-events on Saturday.

The massive mammals were attracted to the waters in San Luis Obispo, near Los Angeles, as one whale fed on a ‘bait ball,’ a dense mass of sardines that forms to ward off predators.

Nice view: A kayaker enjoys watching the hungry animal – which typically measures from 39 to 52 ft (12 to 16 metres) in length – look for food.

They only feed in the summer and live off the reserves stored in their bodies during the winter months. 

The photographer said that U.S. federal guidelines warn observers to stay at least 100 yards away from whales or risk being fined $50,000. Despite the massive size of the marine mammals and the possibility of being fined, onlookers hovered around the feeding site with some coming just feet away from a whale.

‘There’s a woman in what looked like a black party dress standing calmly on her paddle board and taking a photo with the whale,’ Bouton told the NBC morning show. ‘It was priceless.’

Perfect timing: Retiree Bill Bouton captured these images after driving past at just the right moment

One person took to Bouton’s Flickr page and also commented on the brazen beach babe, ‘Yikes!!!! That lady on the paddle board….is she NUTS?’

Bouton, a retired high school biology teacher, has been photographing birds for 35 years but has never enjoyed the kind of attention the whale pics have brought.

Just 16 hours after he posted the humpback shots on Flickr, they had amassed 200,000 views. Scores of fans heaped praise on the amateur photographer with comments like ‘I think you have redefined ‘Surreal,’ ‘Off the scales incredible!’ and ‘This is a photographic treasure.’

‘It’s been absolutely crazy,’ Bouton said about the publicity over his prized pictures.

Keep your distance: U.S. federal guidelines warn observers to stay at least 100 yards away from whales or risk being fined $50,000. Despite the massive size of the marine mammals and the risk of being fined, onlookers hovered around the feeding site with some coming just feet away from a whale

Healthcare: Into the cortex

Scientific advances on the brain promise to transform the pharmaceutical industry

Imagine a pharmaceutical company 20 or 30 years from now. Moving beyond conventional drugs that interact biochemically with the body, it will have built a big “bioelectronics” business that treats disease through electrical signalling in the brain and elsewhere.

Neurological problems, from stroke and epilepsy to depression, will be treated through electronic implants into the brain rather than pills or injections. Even diabetes and obesity will be attacked in ways that seem like science fiction today, by sending electrical signals to malfunctioning cells.

That remarkable vision comes from one of the world’s most powerful pharmaceutical executives, Moncef Slaoui, head of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug company.

“At present every pharmaceutical and biotech company makes chemical or biological molecules that target [biochemical] structures such as proteins in the body,” said Mr Slaoui. “No one is designing medicines to interact with the electrical signals that are the other language of biology.”

With enthusiastic support from Sir Andrew Witty, his chief executive, and other senior colleagues, Mr Slaoui wants GSK to become the first large company to make bioelectronics a central plank of its long-term planning.

“The sciences that underpin bioelectronics are proceeding at an amazing pace at academic centres around the world but it is all happening in separate places,” he says. “The challenge is to integrate the work – in brain-computer interfaces, materials science, nanotechnology, micro-power generation – to provide therapeutic benefit.”

This phenomenon is in its infancy. Although GSK appears to be ahead of the competition in preparing for this transformation of the industry, it is not yet ready to pump large amounts of direct funding into bioelectronics. Instead, the company is preparing to play a co-ordinating role. That will involve setting up a bioelectronics institute, offering a large prize for innovation, and pulling in funds from endowments and venture capitalists.

Work is currently mainly conducted in universities and commercialisation remains extremely limited.

Today, only a minuscule fraction of the electrical activity in people’s brains can be read by computer. Even so, recent experiments have given spectacular results.

Optogenetics: The arrival of remote control for the brainOptogenetics – a technology developed in the past decade – enables neuroscientists to manipulate brain activity with light. It has become an invaluable tool for investigating the roles of different types of neuron, or nerve cell, in experimental animals and could eventually be used to treat human diseases.
It has taken brain biology by storm. “Ontogenetic tools are now in use by many hundreds of neuroscience and biology labs around the world,” says Ed Boyden of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has played an important role in its development. “We and others are discovering the specific functions of specific groups of neurons with more precision than is possible in any other way.”
The technique involves the genetic modification of neurons to make them produce opsins – light-sensitive proteins that are normally made in photoreceptor cells in the eye and in some micro-organisms. These ontogenetic neurons can then be switched on and off with different light signals, making brain activity controllable.
“Optogenetics is a form of wireless communication in which nerve cells in the brain are programmed genetically so that you can control their electrical activity with an optical remote control,” says Gero Miesenböck of Oxford University, another pioneer of the field.
Studies were carried out first in cultures of human neurons and in simple organisms such as roundworms and fruit flies, and then in mice and monkeys. “What optogenetics can help us do is to pinpoint the cells that are causally responsible for our behaviour,” Prof Miesenböck says.
Last week, Prof Boyden and colleagues published in the journal Current Biology the first evidence of changing the behaviour of monkeys – the way the animals move their eyes – through optogenetics.
Though the technique is not yet ready for clinical use, experts see great promise in the long term. “There could be the possibility of using ontogenetic manipulations directly in humans, in order to restore neural signals that have been corrupted or lost because of injury or disease,” says Prof Miesenböck.
Human optogenetics will require two operations. First the light-sensitive genes are introduced to the patient’s neurons – probably carried in a harmless virus, as with other applications of gene therapy. Later a fine fibre-optic cable is inserted through a small hole drilled in the skull to illuminate the target area of the brain.
A likely target is Parkinson’s disease, where optogenetics could provide much more precise therapy than the electrodes that are today inserted into patients’ heads to provide deep brain stimulation. 

Perhaps the most remarkable was a recent US clinical trial in which tetraplegic patients used their thoughts to direct robotic arms. The research team, led by John Donoghue and Leigh Hochberg at Brown University, released a video of a 58-year-old patient called Cathy, whose mental activity drove a robot to pick up her drinking bottle from a nearby table and move it up to her mouth so that she could sip some coffee. A heartwarming smile illuminated Cathy’s face after she had drunk without help from a human carer for the first time in 15 years.

The BrainGate system developed by the Brown University team has a sensor, about the size of a small aspirin pill, with 100 hair-thin electrodes implanted into the top of the patient’s motor cortex, the brain area that controls movement. It is connected to an external computer, which translates the neural activity into commands to drive a robot.

According to another paralysed patient called Bob, hard thinking is not required: “I just imagined moving my own arm and the [robotic] arm moved where I wanted it to go.”

Still, there will never be a mass market for personal robots – or even prosthetic limbs – controlled by tetraplegics. So Prof Donoghue and his colleagues are working on a second generation system, BrainGate 2. This would send signals from the brain to a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) device, bypassing the injury that blocks the natural transmission of nerve signals and stimulating the patient’s own paralysed muscles to contract on demand.

“The ultimate aim is for people who were paralysed to walk around in a way that is indistinguishable from other people,” Prof Donoghue says. “But to get there we must remember that walking is not only about moving your legs but also about balancing.”

This example illustrates how advances in the motor control would have to operate in parallel with work on other parts of the body that help balance, such as the inner ear.

For many applications, invasive interfaces such as BrainGate, which are fitted surgically into the brain, may not be appropriate. Other researchers are working with electroencephalography (EEG), which detects electrical activity noninvasively through electrodes, placed in mesh-like caps on the outside of the skull.

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland runs one of the world’s most advanced brain computer interface programmes using EEG. “We have half a dozen patients with varying degrees of disability who have managed to control a robot with their thoughts,” says Professor José Millán of EPFL. “We are also running experiments with patients controlling wheelchairs. And we have shown that people can open and close their own hands, by thinking about it and sending signals to an FES device.”

. . .

At the University of Western Ontario in Canada, Adrian Owen and colleagues are using EEG to show that some patients with severe brain injuries, who seem to be minimally conscious or in a vegetative state, actually display the mental signature of full consciousness. For example, when the researchers ask the patients to imagine moving their right and left hand and toes, about 20 per cent of them produce patterns of brain activity indistinguishable from a healthy person following the same commands.

“It’s astonishing,” says Prof Owen. “In some of these cases, patients who seemed to be entirely unresponsive to the outside world were able to signal that they were in fact conscious by changing their pattern of brain activity – sometimes hundreds of times.”

Now researchers at Western Ontario and elsewhere are working to translate these findings into a system that would unlock the brains of people who are too paralysed even to communicate by blinking their eyes to order. “We want to get to the stage where they can spell out words with characteristic brain activity for each letter of the alphabet – and we can work out in real time what they are saying,” Prof Owen says.

Such a system might pose some ethical dilemmas, like someone spelling out: “I want to die.” “But if a patient feels that way, it is surely better that he or she should be able to express it,” he says.

While enabling people who are completely locked in to communicate – or tetraplegics to walk – might be the most striking demonstrations of neurotechnology, treatments for less serious disabilities and for brain diseases represent a vastly greater market.

Epilepsy is a tempting target. It is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting 50m people worldwide; it is poorly controlled with conventional drugs; and it is caused directly by electrical malfunctioning of the brain.

Several researchers are using bioelectronics to investigate exactly where the abnormal electrical firing starts and how it spreads across the brain. Then, armed with this knowledge, they hope to intervene to prevent seizures.

Some of the best bioengineers in the US, including John Rogers of the University of Illinois, Brian Litt of the University of Pennsylvania and Jonathan Viventi of New York University, are developing a new generation of soft computer interfaces, made with flexible silicon circuitry that can bend and stretch to match the curves of the brain.

Their “smart skin” is particularly well suited to investigate and later treat epilepsy. It will be implanted under the skull, lying on top of the brain but not penetrating the grey matter. “We are gathering safety data from animals before going into the clinic,” says Prof Viventi. “We hope there will be human testing within a year or two, to see how seizures move across the brain.”

. . .

The consumer electronics industry is developing headsets that claim to let users control computers and games through their thoughts. But neuroscientists say these are too crude for clinical applications. “My life is dogged by people saying we should borrow from the games industry,” says Prof Owen. “Unfortunately their devices are useless for our purposes. A lot of them are really just picking up muscle rhythms rather than real neural activity.”

Neuromarketing companies also use EEG caps to measure consumer preference. But again Prof Owen is dismissive: “Observing brain signals in someone choosing between Pepsi and Coke is very different from driving a prosthetic arm.”

Several small companies are active in clinical bioelectronics. For example mc10, based in Massachusetts, is commercialising the smart skin developed by Prof Rogers and colleagues.

There are also companies working in two clinical fields that have become established in relative isolation from the rest of bioelectronics research: cochlear implants translate sound into auditory signals for deaf people; “deep brain stimulation” reduces tremor in Parkinson’s patients, though its precise mechanism of action remains uncertain.

Commercialisation remains fragmentary, however, says Prof Donoghue. “We’re at a threshold where we need input from industry, a partnership between clinicians and industry.”

Although bioelectronics research currently focuses on the brain, its potential extends much wider. “Electrical signalling is not confined to the central nervous system,” says Mr Slaoui. “We could make use of signalling in the peripheral nervous system too.”

For instance, it might be possible to treat obesity by sending local signals to cells in the stomach or gut that would control the patient’s appetite, without involving the brain. Or, if cells in the pancreas fail to make enough insulin in diabetic patients, a signal could be sent to cells elsewhere to do the job instead.

“The beauty of electrical signalling is that it has only a local effect,” says Mr Slaoui. In contrast, even a well- targeted drug drenches the whole body in unwanted chemical.

Mr Slaoui senses that this is a moment comparable to the birth of the modern pharmaceuticals industry at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when chemicals companies began to realise that they could design compounds with a biological effect.

If bioelectronics achieves even half as much as GSK expects, it will transform the drugs industry over the next generation or two.

Source: http://www.ft.com

Scientists Prove DNA Can Be Reprogrammed by Words and Frequencies

THE HUMAN DNA IS A BIOLOGICAL INTERNET and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind’s influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes.

Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered “junk DNA.” The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore those 90% of “junk DNA.” Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to them, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless 90%, follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.

The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. [For the sake of brevity I will give only a summary here. For further exploration please refer to the appendix at the end of this article.] The bottom line was: “Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation.” This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary.One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies are being used.

This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, autogenous training, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. While western researchers cut single genes from the DNA strands and insert them elsewhere, the Russians enthusiastically worked on devices that can influence the cellular metabolism through suitable modulated radio and light frequencies and thus repair genetic defects.

Garjajev’s research group succeeded in proving that with this method chromosomes damaged by x-rays for example can be repaired. They even captured information patterns of a particular DNA and transmitted it onto another, thus reprogramming cells to another genome. ?So they successfully transformed, for example, frog embryos to salamander embryos simply by transmitting the DNA information patterns! This way the entire information was transmitted without any of the side effects or disharmonies encountered when cutting out and re-introducing single genes from the DNA. This represents an unbelievable, world-transforming revolution and sensation! All this by simply applying vibration and language instead of the archaic cutting-out procedure! This experiment points to the immense power of wave genetics, which obviously has a greater influence on the formation of organisms than the biochemical processes of alkaline sequences.

Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained. Of course the frequency has to be correct. And this is why not everybody is equally successful or can do it with always the same strength. The individual person must work on the inner processes and maturity in order to establish a conscious communication with the DNA. The Russian researchers work on a method that is not dependent on these factors but will ALWAYS work, provided one uses the correct frequency.

But the higher developed an individual’s consciousness is, the less need is there for any type of device! One can achieve these results by oneself, and science will finally stop to laugh at such ideas and will confirm and explain the results. And it doesn’t end there.?The Russian scientists also found out that our DNA can cause disturbing patterns in the vacuum, thus producing magnetized wormholes! Wormholes are the microscopic equivalents of the so-called Einstein-Rosen bridges in the vicinity of black holes (left by burned-out stars).? These are tunnel connections between entirely different areas in the universe through which information can be transmitted outside of space and time. The DNA attracts these bits of information and passes them on to our consciousness. This process of hyper communication is most effective in a state of relaxation. Stress, worries or a hyperactive intellect prevent successful hyper communication or the information will be totally distorted and useless.