INTERVIEW: Analyze data or search for principles? AI in pre-Galilean phase (Chomsky)
- Written by Marie Neptune
TRANSLATION: Mélenchon denounces anti-democratic character of European Stability Mechanism
- Written by Mark Jensen
Those who are accustomed to think of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, cofounder and copresident of the Parti de Gauche in France, as a rabble-rousing demagogue may be surprised both by the calm tone and the careful deliberation of his remarks in this excerpt from a Sept. 18, 2012, speech to parliamentary representatives of the Democratic and Republican Left group in France's Assemblée Nationale. -- Mélenchon's subject: the historically radical destruction of popular sovereignty by the European Stability Mechanism. -- The ESM, which completed its ratification process on Sept. 27, 2012, and which will commence operations after an opening meeting in Luxembourg on Oct. 8, 2012, with lending activity expected to begin by the end of October, requires that national budgets be submitted to the European Commission for its approval even before any discussion of them by national parliaments. -- The ESM was designed to be put in place without any referendums, hence the charge that it is radically anti-democratic in character and lacks political legitimacy. -- Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a member of the European Parliament since 2009 who obtained 11% of the vote in the first round of France's presidential elections earlier this year, has been campaigning for a referendum in France, but so far to no avail....
FILM: Quincy Davis's 'Subconscious War' (2011) asks 'Am I using this technology, or is it using me?'
- Written by Hank Berger and Jim O. Madison
"Subconscious War" is a well-made 28:58 documentary by Quincy Davis released in 2011 that criticizes technology's dehumanization of contemporary life. -- It begins by showing that the popular video game 'Call of Duty' closely and disturbingly resembles the actual remote killing revealed to the public by WikiLeaks' release of the "Collateral Murder" video. -- The film then features a 1958 interview with Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) in which the author of Brave New World warned that "endless amounts of distractions and propaganda" would be used in the future to "make people contented with their servitude" by using "unconscious forces below the surface." -- "Subconscious War" also quotes Neil Postman (1931-2003) as a prophetic figure. -- Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) predicted that "People will come to love their oppression, to adore the techonologies that undo their capacities to think." -- An interview with Ethan McCord, who responded to the incident depicted in "Collateral Murder" and was traumatized by it, is juxtaposed with clips from Barack Obama's 2009 Nobel Peace Prize lecture. -- Noam Chomsky argues, à la Manufacturing Consent (1988), that "what the media are doing is ensuring that we [citizens] do not act on our responsibilities and that the interests of power are served." -- Poet John Trudell is featured saying that "we have been imprinted with words that neutralize the feeling that is being projected by the thought. To believe and to think: you can't do both. . . . Our intelligence is the fuel that runs this so-called system. . . . Protect your spirit, because you're in the place where spirits get eaten." -- Toward the end of the film, clips from degrading videos that have had millions of hits on YouTube are reviewed, the viewer being invited to see them as a form of mental conditioning. -- Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) also appears near the end of the film. -- The rolling credits begin: "Thank you / Bradley Manning / Ethan McCord / Julian Assange / WikiLeaks.org . . ." ...