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Mon, 30 Jan 2023
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Science & Technology


Two Large Lakes Discovered Under Antarctic Ice

Antarctica has at least 145 small lakes buried under its ice and one large one called Vostok. Now scientists have found the second and third largest known bodies of subsurface liquid water there.

Exotic ecosystems frozen in time may thrive in the lakes, untouched for 35 million years, scientists said.

Better Earth

Astronomers find Earth lookalike

Twenty thousand light years away, in the constellation of Sagittarius near the centre of the Milky Way, a frigid rock is orbiting a small star. Although the distant world is probably too cold ever to support life, scientists believe it is the most Earth-like planet to be discovered beyond our solar system.

Known to astronomers as OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, the planet, described in Nature today, is five times as dense as Earth and orbits its sun at three times the distance Earth is from our own star, leaving surface temperatures at a frosty -220C.


DNA helps solve mysterious murder case

Brest, France - French police who spent two years trying to identify a woman who was murdered by a blow to the head were relieved to discover the reason their efforts were failing was that the woman died half a millennium ago.

Cow Skull

Archeologists Unearth 1,300 Skeletons

London - A medieval cemetery containing around 1,300 skeletons has been discovered in the central English city of Leicester, archaeologists said Tuesday.


Baffled Scientists Say Less Sunlight Reaching Earth

After dropping for about 15 years, the amount of sunlight Earth reflects back into space, called albedo, has increased since 2000, a new study concludes.

That means less energy is reaching the surface. Yet global temperatures have not cooled during the period.

Increasing cloud cover seems to be the reason, but there must also be some other change in the clouds that's not yet understood.

Evil Rays

Rupert Sheldrake: A Heretic for Our Times

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake's theories turn everything we know about the universe inside out.


Higher Education Fuels Stronger Belief in Ghosts

Believe it or not, higher education is linked to a greater tendency to believe in ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, according to a new study.


ZoneAlarm phones home

A Perfect Spy? It seems that ZoneAlarm Security Suite has been phoning home, even when told not to.

Last fall, InfoWorld Senior Contributing Editor James Borck discovered ZA 6.0 was surreptitiously sending encrypted data back to four different servers, despite disabling all of the suite's communications options.

Mr. Potato

Study: Most College Students Lack Skills

WASHINGTON - Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

Comment: Comment: Ah yes! The "Dumbing Down of America." This has been going on for the past 30 to 50 years and every now and then a voice crying in the wilderness brings it up, but they are shut down by benevolent government that sought to "democratize" education. What that really meant was taking everything to the lowest common denominator. Studies were reduced to the level of the least competent students and the bright ones were left to rot. That's typical for an emerging pathocracy. As we noted just the other day, Pathocrats come along with "high sounding ideals" such as Dubya's "No Child Left Behind" plan which, only later, turn out to have hidden meaning in the fine print. Instead of actually helping education, the bill was designed to create a database of cannon fodder - America's children - to send off to die in foreign wars of aggression. This is an example of a "paramoralism" writ large. "No Child Left Behind" sounds so benign and even benevolent when you are thinking about education. But, in the end, "No Child Left Behind" means something quite different, though the wording is quite precise. It means just that: no child will be left in America when the wars are finished.

As for the "dumbing down" process, that is precisly why the Neocons can get away with passing such a horrendous act off on the American people. It is not just the society that has been dumbed down, the leaders also suffer in this crisis. Andrew Lobaczewski writes:

Pathocracy is a disease of great social movements followed by entire societies, nations, and empires. In the course of human history, it has affected social, political, and religious movements as well as the accompanying ideologies… and turned them into caricatures of themselves…. This occurred as a result of the … participation of pathological agents in a pathodynamically similar process. That explains why all the pathocracies of the world are, and have been, so similar in their essential properties.[…]

The actions of [pathocracy] affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every town, business, and institution. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country creating a “new class” within that nation. This privileged class [of pathocrats] feels permanently threatened by the “others”, i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man. ...

Such a system of government has nowhere to go but down.

Any leadership position - down to village headman and community cooperative mangers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special-services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party - must be filled by individuals whose feeling of linkage to such a regime is conditioned by corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule. However, such people become more valuable because they constitute a very small percentage of the population. Their intellectual level or professional skills cannot be taken into account, since people representing superior abilities with the requisite psychological deviations - are even harder to find. [...]

If the many managerial positions of a government are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand most other people and who also have deficiencies as regards technical imagination and practical skills - faculties indispensable for governing economic and political matters - this must result in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas, both within the country in question and with regard to international relations.

Within, the situation shall become unbearable even for those citizens who were able to feather their nest into a relatively comfortable “modus vivendi”.

Outside, other societies start to feel the pathological quality of the phenomenon quite distinctly. Such a state of affairs cannot last long. One must then be prepared for ever more rapid changes, and also behave with great circumspection.

After such a system has lasted several years, one hundred percent of all the cases of essential psychopathy are involved in pathocratic activity; they are considered the most loyal...

Under such conditions, no area of social life can develop normally, whether in economics, culture, science, technology, administration, etc.

Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything....

The phenomenon of pathocracy matures during this period: an extensive and active indoctrination system is built, with a suitably refurbished ideology constituting the vehicle of Trojan horse for the process of pathologizing the thought of individuals and society. The goal is never admitted: forcing human minds to incorporate pathological experiential methods and thought patterns, and consequently accepting such rule. ...

[At a certain point, when normal people begin to realize that they have been duped], a new phenomenon occurs: separation between the pathocrats and the society of normal people. The latter have an advantage as regards talent, professional skills, and healthy common sense. They therefore hold certain cards. The pathocracy finally realizes that it must find some “modus vivendi” or relations with the majority of society: “After all, somebody's got to do the work for us.” ...

Goaded by their character, such people thirst for [power] even though it would conflict with their own life interest… They do not understand that a catastrophe would ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.

[Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Ph.D. (psychology); Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes]

No Entry

Speculation: Lab fireball 'may be black hole'

A fireball created in a US particle accelerator has the characteristics of a black hole, a physicist has said.

It was generated at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York, US, which smashes beams of gold nuclei together at near light speeds.

Horatiu Nastase says his calculations show that the core of the fireball has a striking similarity to a black hole.

Comment: Disinformation becomes a standard in the media. It is necessary to be able to spot disinformation so as not to be its victim. How can we do it? Is there a method? Sometimes it is difficult if one is not an expert in the given area. Sometimes it is difficult even for an expert, as there are many experts who are experts in their domain, but not in the domain of disinformation! Experts are often naive; they easily become tools in the hands of economic and political manipulators. But ad rem: here we have News from BBC news service. The news starts with, "A fireball created in a US particle accelerator has the characteristics of a black hole, a physicist has said." Our attention should be drawn to the phrase "a physicist has said." When we see such a statement, that usually means that the person has no scientific record, that is someone not known by previous achievements. Then comes the name "Horatiu Nastase says his calculations show...". So we learn the name of "a physicist" and we do our search. The search brings us to Horatiu Nastase's Homepage and we see that we are dealing with a young postdoc.

Extra-Terrestrial Weekly Newsletter makes our poor Horatio "a Brown University Professor" while Science 24 blatantly states that he (Horatio) has created a black hole (!):
At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider particle accelerator in Upton, New York, physicist Horatiu Nastase may have created a black hole. (BBC)
BBC was then crediting Horatiu Nastase as "His work has been published on the pre-print website arxiv.org and is reported in New Scientist magazine." Whenever we see "arxiv.org" we should be alerted. Bad things have happened to arxiv.org in the last ten years and its policies are being rightly criticised. See Carlos Castro's "My Struggle with Ginsparg (arXiv.org) and the Road to Cyberia: A Scientific-Gulag in Cyberspace" and Tony Smith's "arXiv Blacklisting and the World of Physics". (By the way, among the members of the "Advisory Board" of arxive.org, the most popular first name is David!) Good papers are being blacklisted, and nonsensical papers are accepted due to the support of anonymous "endorsers". New Scientist also became a tool of disinformation, often propagating nonsense for the sake of attracting the public and diverting attention from the real problems of science.

Checking newsgroups about the black hole we find, in March 2005: "Horatiu Nastase thinks so, but an informal census reveals his work is very controversial." After March 2005, nobody talks about Horatiu Nastase on newsgroups, and in his December 2005 paper, he ends with :
Thus as we advocated in "The RHIC fireball as a dual black hole", we have shown that we can describe the gravity dual picture for high energy scattering completely in terms of field theory, but we have seen the limitations of field theory in terms of calculability. The thermal property of black holes in the gravity dual is easily understood as the thermal property of "horizons" in the effective pion field. The colliding pion field shockwaves are seen as being just boosted versions of nucleons. The nucleons are described as solutions of an effective action, and lead to good qualitative features for the description of nuclei.
Which means: there is nothing extra-ordinary, just another speculation.

Next time you see a sensational title from the BBC or New Scientist, ask yourself: "Do really I believe it? Or is someone playing games with me?"