Author Archives: DP

To Break the Silence

 

 

 

“And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”

Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,  Riverside Church, 4 April 1967

 

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Of Wonder & Magic

As longtime readers know, and are likely tired of reading, we strongly believe (a belief grounded in mountains of scientific evidence) that our acute environmental crisis has evolved over hundreds of years through an entrenched, dominant ethos of human supremacism, an ethos in which we treat the world as our oyster, to be extracted, cracked, garnished and consumed.

Thus we close this eleventh DP navigation through the riptides of our present moment with the voice of the peerless Ed Yong, whose deeply exploratory An Immense World is our DP Book of the Year by a considerable margin. In this extraordinary and gracefully written treatise, Yong brilliantly drags us out of our own human sensory bubbles, and into the thrilling lifeworlds of other creatures, whose skills, intelligence and, yes — wisdom — are humbling, to say the least.

Below, excerpts from a recent interview.

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Mirabile Mysterium

 

 

Hark, this herald angel does more than sing!

 

GAUDETE!      CHRISTUS EST NATUS      EX MARIA VIRGINE          GAUDETE!

 

 

 

Grateful for all DP correspondents, readers and friends, we wish you a peaceful and merry Christmas weekend, and final days for the Festival of Light.

 

 

 


When Freedom Comes

This week, as the uprising in Iran continues to unfold in the face of brutal repression, we link to an exceptionally well done video report from the BBC. Highly recommended. 

 

 

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Show & Tell

In response to the typically grandiose claims made by Elon Musk while updating the world on “progress” regarding brain chips, the honorable non-profit, Physicians for Responsible Medicine, released their own Show & Tell.

 

 

 

Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interfaces Are the Future

Devices implanted in the brain come with a myriad of problems, including difficulty of repair and a high potential for severe medical complications. In comparison, noninvasive BMIs can allow for the risk-free monitoring of large-scale neuronal activity across the entire brain. 

While Neuralink continues its invasive, painful, deadly experiments, noninvasive methods—which often rely on brain signals read using an electroencephalogram (EEG)—are already changing patients’ lives and hold even greater promise:

  • Noninvasive BMIs can improve quality of life for older adults and elderly patients. They “have been used for restoring memory and planning using electromagnetic stimulation and biofeedback that modulate activity in a patient’s brain as part of a rehabilitation program….Moreover, invasive [BMIs] that require implantation of the device might be a serious ethical issue. Therefore, non-invasive EEG-based [BMIs]…appear to be the most promising technologies.”
  • They can “assist paralyzed patients by providing access to the world without requiring surgical intervention.”
  • They can allow patients with limited mobility to control robotic arms. “[Invasive BCIs] require a substantial amount of medical and surgical expertise to correctly install and operate, not to mention cost and potential risks to subjects…”
  • They can allow patients with severe tetraplegia to control a wheelchair.
  • Noninvasive BMIs can also allow people to communicate directly using a computer, and research is being done to improve this capability.

The development of noninvasive BMIs should be the focus of innovation, and there is clearly much discussion in support of moving in that direction. Neuralink should halt its animal experiments immediately and invest in human-relevant research.

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DP view: Neuralink is nothing more than a synthesis of technophilic hubris with human supremacist abuse of other sentient beings, in this case, our close relatives.

We are also skeptical of noninvasive BMIs for the simple reason that we live in a time of Inverted Utopia wherein we are unable to imagine the full range of consequences of our technological innovations, particularly when it comes to messing with our brains. 

We close this week’s post with a montage of excerpts from the TV series The 100, regarding a lethal intermingling of brains chips, AI, violence, anthropocentrism, Inverted Utopians, oblivion and extinction:

 

 

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The Greenwashing Machine

As COP27 continues to tie itself up in rhetorical knots and nooses while suppressing and marginalizing those most damaged by the climate crisis, we focus attention on the lucid voice of Guatemalan land protector Andrea Ixchíu.

Excerpts from a recent interview below; image added by DP.

 

THIS IS WHAT GREEN TECH LOOKS LIKE

 

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The Gasping Harvest

Today we celebrate the voice of the poet, journalist and frequent DP correspondent Jon Swan (1929-2022) through the publication of one of his last poems, together with a passage from a BBC radio play in which he played, ever so gloriously.

 

 

And here is that same voice, vividly present along The Loneliest Road:

 

 

Jon Swan’s last missive to DP included the following lines:

The disgraced president can smugly watch
as his corrupt Supremes hack away
at the tree of liberty and the oil boys are given
a pass to pollute. Aber, Vorvaerts!
 

We shall sorely miss his love of language, whether sounded or scribed; his unbounded curiosity and fierce opinions; his unfettered spirit of play; and above all, his magnificently twisted sense of humor that saved many a day.

Gone for now, but if you know how to listen, if you cock your ear, you can hear that voice.

 

Jon Swan, 1929-2022

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From Sparks Into Wildfire

Now comes Nobel Peace Prize winner (2003) Dr. Shirin Ebadi, with a few cogent insights into the spreading wildfire of protest in Iran, excerpted from a recent interview. Image with caption added by DP.

 

 

PORTRAIT OF A SPARK

 

 

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Operation Deathstar

Here at DP, we have long proposed that human supremacism – treating all other life forms as objects for our use – is at the heart of all that ails us. Factory farms represent industrialized human supremacism in one of its most extreme and cruel forms.

This week, we are pleased to relay a recent post from the animal rights non-profit Right To Rescue:

In 2017, DxE investigators infiltrated a massive pig farm  in the Utah desert, a facility owned by Smithfield/WH Group, the world’s largest pig killing company. This one Smithfield farm is 20 miles long with over 300 barns on site. The investigators filmed the conditions inside in 360 degree virtual reality footage. Their footage, titled “Operation Deathstar,” documented row after row of mother pigs crammed inside gestation crates barely bigger than their bodies and piles of dead piglets covered in their mothers’ feces.

The investigators rescued 2 sick piglets, Lily, who had a severe leg injury, and Lizzie, who was malnourished and nursing on a shredded nipple. They took Lily and Lizzie to a sanctuary to receive care. Then, they published the whole investigation and rescue online and in the New York Times to show the world the nightmarish cruelty happening inside Smithfield’s farms. The story went viral when the FBI started hunting for the piglets, raiding sanctuaries and even cutting off part of a pig’s ear to do DNA testing.

DxE investigators Wayne Hsiung and Paul Darwin Picklesimer went to trial October 3-7, 2022 in Washington County, Utah. On Saturday, October 8, after a full day of deliberations, the jury of 8 people unanimously found Wayne and Paul NOT GUILTY on all charges for rescuing Lily and Lizzie from Smithfield. Together, we have just set a powerful precedent for the legal right to rescue animals from abuse.

 

Next, excerpts from a recent interview with Wayne Hsuing following his acquittal on all charges:

 

 

 

 

Finally, a link to the video that documented the alleged “crimes” for which Pickelsimer and Hsuing were arrested:

 

 

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Women, Life, Freedom

With an ear bent to protests in Iran and around the world following the brutal torture and murder of Mahsa Anini, we offer the below excerpts from a lucid op-ed written by Roja Fazaeli, Associate Professor in Islamic Civilizations at Trinity College in Dublin, and Maryam Foumani, an Iranian-British journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

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