Omnium Gatherum: 20oct2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 20, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Scarlet Imprint has a new website design.
  • The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming. Document Transcriptions.”—”We invite you to use these images and transcriptions to read the original documents in The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming. Seventeenth-century penmanship can be difficult to decipher. Misspellings, abbreviations, and material losses over time add to the challenges for modern readers. We have organized the documents here by their placement in the exhibition’s sections.””
  • 9 Mysterious Secret Societies From Around the World“—”Here are nine secret societies that have had very real impacts on their communities, nations, and, sometimes, the entire world. 1. THE HERMETIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN. Occult societies were all the rage in 19th-century London, but none were as influential as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Founded in 1887 by a trio of Freemasons, the Order’s teachings were based on a collection of documents known as the Cipher Manuscripts, which outlined a complex system of supposedly magical rituals. By rising through a hierarchical system of “grades,” members worked to establish a connection to their own latent divinity, or “Holy Guardian Angel.” While many contemporary secret societies restricted their membership to men only, the Golden Dawn happily accepted women as well. Influential theater manager Annie Horniman was a member, as were prolific Scottish writer Violet Tweedale and Irish actress Sara Allgood. In the 1890s, the Golden Dawn’s membership roster boasted hundreds of names, including prominent literary figures such as W. B. Yeats and Arthur Machen; A. E. Waite, co-creator of the widely used Rider-Waite tarot deck; and famed occultist Aleister Crowley. The group’s influence waned after the turn of the century, largely due to infighting that caused the Order to splinter into less successful factions such as the Isis-Urania and the Stella Matutina. Though its peak era lasted only a few years, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is credited with influencing the modern Wicca movement. 2. THE RIGHTEOUS AND HARMONIOUS FISTS … 3. THE THULE SOCIETY … 4. THE SEVEN SOCIETY … 5. THE LEOPARD SOCIETY … 6. THE MOLLY MAGUIRES … 7. THE BLACK HAND … 8. THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MYSTERIES … 9. THE ROSICRUCIANS. Some secret societies are so effective that they’ve changed history without going to the trouble of actually existing. According to three foundational texts that appeared in the 17th century, the Order of the Rosy Cross was founded by a German physician named Christian Rosenkreuz around the turn of the 15th century. Rosenkreuz had supposedly acquired ancient, mystical knowledge during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and formed the secret order upon his return to Europe. To say that the manifestos were bizarre would be something of an understatement. The third installment, titled “The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz,” describes a hallucinatory journey to a magical castle to witness the marriage of two beings created from the ashes of a dead bird. The thing is, most historians agree that the organization never really existed, and the movement’s central figure, Rosenkreuz, was probably allegorical—the texts have been attributed to a German theologian named Johann Valentin Andreae, who might have meant them as a joke. (John Crowley, author of Little, Big, considers “The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz” the first science fiction novel.) But the manifestos were taken seriously, and they inspired what’s become known as the “Rosicrucian Enlightenment.” According to British scholar Dame Frances Yates, the texts contained a synthesis of religious, mystical, and scientific thinking that inspired a new world view. The myth of the Rosicrucian order would later be incorporated into other secret societies, including the Freemasons and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.”
  • Crowdfunding with 22 days to go: “Telepatio: A Game For Believers & Skeptics Alike. Is telepathy real? Can you read minds? OR, is it all just a hoax? Telepatio will find out!”—”Since the early days of human civilization there’s always been one matter we can all agree upon; we are never all going to agree about one opinion or belief. Telepathy is one such topic where opinions tend to differ. Now you and up to five friends get to disagree in our fast-paced and engaging board game – Telepatio!” “In Telepatio, you use the Zener cards in a social and fun interpretation of the original 1930s experiment. By scoring or losing ESP points picking the right or wrong cards you will determine who has the greatest telepathic aptitude; or does it simply come down to luck?” “Every round a player assumes the role of a ‘Sender’. The Sender rolls the Zener dice with the dice cup and views the result in secrecy. The Sender then flips over the hourglass, and must try to telepathically communicate the right Zener symbol to the other players. No words or visual cues of any kind are allowed, you must rely on the power of your mind.”
  • Tweet—”The new Forty Servants decks are starting to arrive! Have to say they look great! Find out more here:” “Forty Servants Fifth Anniversary Deck Designs are Live!.” “The Forty Servants“—”The Forty Servants is a 40 card Oracle Deck that can be used as a Divination system and a Magical system. Like other Oracle Card Decks, it can be easily used for Divination to gain insight on problems at hand, discover insights from the past, or look somewhat into the future. However, unlike most other Oracle Decks it has a second purpose -a Magical purpose. The 40 Characters of the Deck can also be used as Servitors (Or Servants/ Powers/ Energies/ Archetypes) to get you more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.”
  • The Altar Within: A Radical Devotional Guide to Liberate the Divine Self [Amazon, Publisher, Local Library] by Juliet Diaz, due Jan 2022—”In her third and most important work, Juliet Diaz, the bestselling author of Witchery, offers an approach to Magic, spirituality, and healing like no other and takes readers through the deep work of decolonizing their spirituality. The Altar Within: A Radical Devotional to Liberate the Divine Self is a work of spiritual revolution for all peoples, offering them practices and rituals in the arts of self-worship, self-discovery, and self-activism. The Altar Within is like no other approach to Spirituality, breaking through the vicious cycles of harmful and toxic spiritual practices and beliefs. Diaz speaks for those victimized and enslaved by colonization and offers a new take on personal development based in the resounding plea of our ancestors to live our Divined lives, the ones they could not have for themselves. In the book, Diaz leads the reader through an exploration of: Self-Worship: Here, the reader comes to ritualize the experiences of self-compassion, mindfulness, self-acceptance, and radical self-honesty, creating practices that help them to see their Divinity and Altar within. Through these rites, readers will have a better understanding of what it means to decolonize their Spirituality, giving birth to new spiritual practices while honoring the experiences of our ancestors. Dismantling the idea that Divinity must only exist from without, Diaz takes readers on a journey of powerful Self-Worship, connecting them into the Divinity that resides within all of us. Self-Discovery: In this section, Diaz helps the reader to discover their Divined lives, but in a way that most teachers haven’t offered. As Diaz shares, it isn’t through our achievements that we find our purpose but through understanding the Divine self. Here, Diaz leads readers through practices in self-love, self-patience, and self-forgiveness, helping them to experience the stillness and wholeness needed to hear the messages shared by the Divine. Self-Activism: Unlike traditional manifestation teachers, Diaz recognizes that manifestations are not brought forth by #goodvibesonly but by a real and committed process of activism, standing in our deep worth and sharing our humanity. In this section, Diaz offers a series of Devotionals to guide readers in the practice of Community Care, connecting the work not only with the Magic of manifestation but with our communities, our ancestors, and the Divine Self within. Pushing back on #lightandlove and #goodvibesonly, Diaz dismantles the wellness industry, releasing readers from the practice of spiritual bypassing into a far more powerful experience of self, healing, hope, and Spirit. This book is for anyone, including those who can’t afford to buy all the tools, pay for the expensive memberships, people who have real-life issues, illnesses, and hardships. Through The Altar Within, Diaz brings the Magic to real life, acknowledging our humanness by connecting with our Spirit. The Altar Within will help readers create success in every area of their lives—from wealth, health, relationships, and personal development, to the nourishment of their relationship with the Divine self. As Diaz explains, when we can finally decolonize our spiritual beliefs, Divinity can be a super force in our lives, making us whole, stronger, wiser, and setting us on a path of transcendent activism. #magicalaf In this life-changing work, Juliet offers readers a collection of rituals, ceremonies, meditations, daily exercises, journaling, and subconscious and mindset techniques to take their spiritual and magical practice to the next level, healing deep trauma and finally living their Divine lives. Bonus Gifts: Your copy of The Altar Within comes with a very special gift for readers. Look inside for a QR-Code that leads you to a magcial space full of bonus content created just for the book. You can expect mini courses, video tutorials, downloadable worksheets, journaling prompts, meditations, workbooks, and more!”
  • Lore & Disorder. An Anthology Of Mutated Folklore Fiction. Pay What You Can. All proceeds go to Fareshare. Edited By Magda Knight & Rym Kechacha. Foreword By Andy Paciorek. AUTHORS C.B. Blanchard ~ Peter Haynes ~ Tom Hirons ~ Verity Holloway ~ Natasha Kindred ~ Elizabeth Lee ~ Tobi Ogundiran ~ George Sandison ~ David Southwell ~ Sylvia Warren ~ Aliya Whiteley.”
  • What does George Orwell’s garden tell us about his writing, you ask? Everything.” About Orwell’s Roses [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Rebecca Solnit—”A lush exploration of roses, pleasure, and politics, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world. “In the year 1936 a writer planted roses.” So begins Rebecca Solnit’s new book, a reflection on George Orwell’s passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power. Sparked by her unexpected encounter with the surviving roses he planted in 1936, Solnit’s account of this understudied aspect of Orwell’s life explores his writing and his actions–from going deep into the coal mines of England, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, critiquing Stalin when much of the international left still supported him (and then critiquing that left), to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism. Through Solnit’s celebrated ability to draw unexpected connections, readers encounter the photographer Tina Modotti’s roses and her Stalinism, Stalin’s obsession with forcing lemons to grow in impossibly cold conditions, Orwell’s slave-owning ancestors in Jamaica, Jamaica Kincaid’s critique of colonialism and imperialism in the flower garden, and the brutal rose industry in Colombia that supplies the American market. The book draws to a close with a rereading of Nineteen Eighty-Four that completes her portrait of a more hopeful Orwell, as well as a reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.”
  • Tweet—”SAVE THE DATE: 04 November, 6-8pm. Virtual book launch: ‘Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere: Male Bodies of Dis/Inhibition’ With Candida Yates (Bournemouth University), John Mercer (Birmingham City University), Diego Semerene (University of Amsterdam). Reg link coming soon.” About Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere: Male Bodies of Dis/Inhibition [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jacob Johanssen—”This book presents the first in-depth study of online misogyny and the manosphere from a psychoanalytic perspective. The author argues that the men of the manosphere present contradictory thoughts, desires and fantasies about women which include but also go beyond misogyny. They are in a state of dis/inhibition: torn between (un)conscious forces and fantasies which erupt and are defended against. Dis/inhibition shows itself in self-victimization and defensive apathy as well as toxic agency and symbolic power and expresses itself in desire for and hatred of other bodies. The text draws on the psychoanalytic thinkers Klaus Theweleit, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Jessica Benjamin and Wilhelm Reich to present detailed analyses of the communities within the so-called manosphere, including incels, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), alt-right YouTubers and NoFap users. Drawing on wider discussions about the status of sexuality in contemporary neoliberal technoculture since the sexual revolution of the late 1960s, it illuminates how sexuality, racism and images of the white male body shape the fantasies and affects of many men on the internet and beyond. Integrating a unique theoretical framework to help understand how today’s increase in online misogyny relates to the alt-right and fascism, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere is an important resource for academics in a variety of fields including psychoanalysis, media and communication studies, internet studies, masculinity research and more.”
  • Listening to Black Women: The Innovation Tech Can’t Figure Out. Tech creators and journalists ignore the insights and experiences of Black women—and fail to see the harm of their ‘innovations.'” About Lurking: How a Person Became a User [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Joanne McNeil—”A concise but wide-ranging personal history of the internet from—for the first time—the point of view of the user. In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been. In Lurking, Joanne McNeil digs deep and identifies the primary (if sometimes contradictory) concerns of people online: searching, safety, privacy, identity, community, anonymity, and visibility. She charts what it is that brought people online and what keeps us here even as the social equations of digital life—what we’re made to trade, knowingly or otherwise, for the benefits of the internet—have shifted radically beneath us. It is a story we are accustomed to hearing as tales of entrepreneurs and visionaries and dynamic and powerful corporations, but there is a more profound, intimate story that hasn’t yet been told. Long one of the most incisive, ferociously intelligent, and widely respected cultural critics online, McNeil here establishes a singular vision of who we are now, tells the stories of how we became us, and helps us start to figure out what we do now.”
  • The Wires of War: Technology and the Global Struggle for Power [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jacob Helberg—”From the former news policy lead at Google, an urgent and groundbreaking account of the high-stakes global cyberwar brewing between Western democracies and the autocracies of China and Russia that could potentially crush democracy. From 2016 to 2020, Jacob Helberg led Google’s global internal product policy efforts to combat disinformation and foreign interference. During this time, he found himself in the midst of what can only be described as a quickly escalating two-front technology cold war between democracy and autocracy. On the front-end, we’re fighting to control the software—applications, news information, social media platforms, and more—of what we see on the screens of our computers, tablets, and phones, a clash which started out primarily with Russia but now increasingly includes China and Iran. Even more ominously, we’re also engaged in a hidden back-end battle—largely with China—to control the Internet’s hardware, which includes devices like cellular phones, satellites, fiber-optic cables, and 5G networks. This tech-fueled war will shape the world’s balance of power for the coming century as autocracies exploit twenty-first-century methods to re-divide the world into twentieth century-style spheres of influence. Helberg cautions that the spoils of this fight are power over every meaningful aspect of our lives, including our economy, our infrastructure, our national security, and ultimately, our national sovereignty. Without a firm partnership with the government, Silicon Valley is unable to protect democracy from the autocrats looking to sabotage it from Beijing to Moscow and Tehran. The stakes of the ongoing cyberwar are no less than our nation’s capacity to chart its own future, the freedom of our democratic allies, and even the ability of each of us to control our own fates, Helberg says. And time is quickly running out.”
  • White dwarf star is spotted ‘switching on and off’ in 30 minutes – a process previously only seen over a period of days to months. Researchers used a NASA planet-hunting telescope to observe a white dwarf. It is 1,400 light years from the Earth in a binary pairing with a smaller companion. The white dwarf is pulling hydrogen and other matter from its partner star. The team observed a strange abrupt change from feeding to not feeding. This was caused by the magnetic field blocking mater from hitting the star.”
  • Tweet—”SOUND ON: Geologists note the sound of lava flow on Spain’s La Palma sounds ‘like broken glass.’ Officials say 1,826 buildings had been destroyed by the lava flow from the island’s volcano since eruptions began on September 19.”
  • In a First, Surgeons Attached a Pig Kidney to a Human — and It Worked. A kidney grown in a genetically altered pig seemed to function normally, potentially a new source for desperately needed transplant organs.”
  • Scientists Show How They Gave A 70,000-Year-Old Neanderthal His Smile.”
  • Watch “7,000-year-old remains of young Indonesian woman reshape views on early human migration“—”Genetic material found in the remains of a young woman who died 7,000 years ago in Indonesia has altered theories about early human migration in Asia. Researchers nicknamed the teenager Besse, which means “newborn baby girl” in the regional language where the bones were found. Researchers say Besse descended from Austronesian people known to live in Southeast Asia and Oceania at the time, but she also had a small amount of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from the Denisovans, a group of ancient humans named after a cave in Siberia where their remains were first found. The discovery is challenging the previous theory that the groups crossed paths in Asia only 3,500 years ago.” Read the story: “Ancient Indonesian teen’s DNA reshapes views on migration and race of early humans. The teenager, named Besse by scientists, was buried in Indonesia’s Wallacea region and is one of the few well-preserved specimens found in the tropics. The DNA of her 7,000-year-old skeleton suggests mixing between early humans from Asia and Siberia occurred earlier than previously thought.”
  • Watch “Strange Structure Known As Hamilton’s Object Could Not Be Explained Until Now
  • Watch “Einstein Ring Spotted by Hubble“—”This image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a distant galaxy located in the constellation Fornax. It is the largest and one of the most complete Einstein rings ever discovered. This object’s unusual shape is the result of gravitational lensing. Albert Einstein, in his general theory of relativity, first theorized that a large gravitational field could act as a lens.”
  • Fossilized Human Footprints Found in New Mexico“—”Researchers have discovered fossil human footprints embedded in an ancient lakebed that show humans inhabited North America during the Last Glacial Maximum, in what is now New Mexico.”
  • Watch “6-year-old finds mastodon tooth in Rochester Hills“—”A 6-year-old out on a walk with his family earlier this month found something on the ground in Rochester Hills.”
  • Watch “Deep-Sea Creature Photobombs Us While Investigating Seafloor Anomaly“—”On an overnight shift doing ecological surveys in the Red Sea, an #OceanX technician discovers an anomaly on the seafloor. Thinking that could either be “a rock or a wreck,” the team of the ship deploys the #deepsea instruments to check it out, only to make an even more intriguing #ocean discovery than they expected: a “giant” squid of between 3-5 meters (10-16 feet).”
  • Ancient dog-size sea scorpion unearthed in China. The sea scorpion was the apex predator of its time.”
  • So-called junk DNA plays critical role in mammalian development“—”Nearly half of our DNA has been written off as junk, the discards of evolution: sidelined or broken genes, viruses that got stuck in our genome and were dismembered or silenced, none of it relevant to the human organism or human evolution. But research over the last decade has shown that some of this genetic “dark matter” does have a function, primarily in regulating the expression of host genes — a mere 2% of our total genome — that code for proteins. Biologists continue to debate, however, whether these regulatory sequences of DNA play essential or detrimental roles in the body or are merely incidental, an accident that the organism can live without. A new study led by researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and Washington University explored the function of one component of this junk DNA, transposons, which are selfish DNA sequences able to invade their host genome. The study shows that at least one family of transposons — ancient viruses that have invaded our genome by the millions — plays a critical role in viability in the mouse, and perhaps in all mammals. When the researchers knocked out a specific transposon in mice, half their mouse pups died before birth. This is the first example of a piece of “junk DNA” being critical to survival in mammals.”
  • Watch “Octopus In The Living Room | Octopus In My House | BBC Earth”—”A professor creates the perfect home for his new tentacled friend.”
  • Melting of polar ice shifting Earth itself, not just sea levels. Research by new Ph.D. finds warping of planet’s crust, with far-reaching effects.”—”The melting of polar ice is not only shifting the levels of our oceans, it is changing the planet Earth itself. Newly minted Ph.D. Sophie Coulson and her colleagues explained in a recent paper in Geophysical Research Letters that, as glacial ice from Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Islands melts, Earth’s crust beneath these land masses warps, an impact that can be measured hundreds and perhaps thousands of miles away.”
  • Lake Tahoe waters plummet as drought, climate change plague resort“—”Lake Tahoe’s water level has dropped so low that water is no longer flowing into the Truckee River and salmon aren’t expected to spawn in a major tributary this year.”
  • Watch “REAL holograms are finally here! (And they look very cool)“—”Forget science fiction — Silicon Valley start-up Light Field Lab has created a hologram so real that I could put my hand right through it.”
  • Tweet—”How are NFTs not just like ‘naming a star’ or ‘adopting a dolphin’ but for grown men with too much money instead of eight year old children?” Tweet—”when the Non-Fun Token is ‘mined’, a whole hell of a lot of energy is wasted, which leads to ecological damage. so it’s the moral equivalent of an “adopt-a-dolphin” program in which, when an 8 yr old adopts one, a dolphin is secretly set on fire.”
  • Tweet—”BREAKING: I just added Mark Zuckerberg as a defendant in my lawsuit against Facebook. Our continuing investigation revealed that he was personally involved in decisions related to Cambridge Analytica and Facebook’s failure to protect user data.” Also “Mark Zuckerberg will be added to a Facebook privacy lawsuit. Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, had an active role in decisions that are under scrutiny, the District of Columbia’s attorney general said.”
  • Yeah, cuz that’ll fix it: “Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name. Mark Zuckerberg wants to be known for building the metaverse.”—”Facebook isn’t the first well-known tech company to change its company name as its ambitions expand. In 2015, Google reorganized entirely under a holding company called Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and health tech. And Snapchat rebranded to Snap Inc. in 2016, the same year it started calling itself a “camera company” and debuted its first pair of Spectacles camera glasses. I’m told that the new Facebook company name is a closely-guarded secret within its walls and not known widely, even among its full senior leadership. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years. The name of that app was recently tweaked to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook demoed a version for workplace collaboration called Horizon Workrooms.”
  • Tweet—”Holy crap, this WSJ report on Facebook. It’s even worse than I expected. ‘He estimated the company’s automated systems removed posts that generated just 2% of the views of hate speech on the platform that violated its rules.’ /1″
  • Facebook Says AI Will Clean Up the Platform. Its Own Engineers Have Doubts. AI has only minimal success in removing hate speech, violent images and other problem content, according to internal company reports.”
  • Israel’s ‘AI Kill’ against Iran has no long-term strategic benefit, but profound moral and legal ramifications. Israel’s alleged use of AI in its assassination program against Iranian nuclear scientists may have enamoured its admirers, but offers no long-term benefit and plenty of moral and legal danger, writes Richard Silverstein.”
  • Gaggle Surveils Millions of Kids in the Name of Safety. Targeted Families Argue it’s ‘Not That Smart’“—”Schools nationwide have increasingly relied on technological tools that purport to keep kids safe, yet there’s a dearth of independent research to back up their claims.”
  • ‘Stalkerware’ Apps Are Proliferating. Protect Yourself. These spyware apps record your conversations, location and everything you type, all while camouflaged as a calculator or calendar.”
  • Local TV Programming Disrupted as Sinclair Hit by Ransomware Attack. Sinclair, which owns 184 stations, said Monday that ‘the event has caused — and may continue to cause — disruption to parts of the company’s business.'”
  • Microsoft Executives Told Bill Gates to Stop Emailing a Female Staffer Years Ago. Top lawyer, HR chief informed some Microsoft directors they told billionaire co-founder that his emails with female employee were inappropriate.”
  • She pulled herself from addiction by learning to code. Now this Kirkland software developer is leading a worker uprising at Apple“—”‘Apple does not care about its employees. It cares about money,’ Scarlett said in an interview. ‘Maybe that’s capitalism, and that’s just the way corporations are. But I can’t live my life further accepting it and not saying something about it.’ Scarlett is part of a growing chorus of tech workers — many of them women — challenging the power centers of Silicon Valley, where some of them allege companies are still run like frat houses and discrimination against women and racial minorities continues to make headlines. In recent years, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest sexual misconduct and inequality, while Black women at Pinterest accused the company of discrimination and retaliation. Just last month, Amazon settled a wrongful termination suit against two women it fired after they publicly criticized the company’s climate policies.”
  • New York Passes Sweeping Bills to Improve Conditions for Delivery Workers. A package of legislation from the City Council set minimum pay and working conditions, placing New York at the forefront of regulating a multibillion-dollar industry.”
  • Agile as Trauma“—”The Agile Manifesto is an immune response on the part of programmers to bad management. The document is an expression of trauma, and its intellectual descendants continue to carry this baggage. While the Agile era has brought about remarkable advancements in project management techniques and development tools, it remains a tactical, technical, and ultimately reactionary movement. As long as Agile remains in this position it will be liable to backfire, vulnerable to the very depredations of bad management it had initially evolved to counter. In order to begin to heal, it is important to place Agile in a wider context. Many of the substantive ideas associated with Agile predate it by between about 20 and 30 years. This is not an accusation of plagiarism; rather it is an assertion that there are idiosyncrasies of software development that are invariant even as technique and technology improves, and so you are bound to recapitulate these patterns eventually.” “To quote Frederick Brooks, the more collaboration the better is far from a self-evident proposition and certainly not universally true. True indeed, to the extent that collaboration divides labour, but questionable as a fraction of one’s activity. Since communication overhead increases proportionally the square of the number of people on the team—a fact illuminated by Brooks in the 1970s—what you actually want is as little collaboration as you can get away with.”
  • Latvia is first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave. Baltic state once seen as coronavirus success story announces month of restrictions including curfew.”
  • A Data Sleuth Challenged A Powerful COVID Scientist. Then He Came After Her. Elisabeth Bik calls out bad science for a living. A feud with one of the world’s loudest hydroxychloroquine crusaders shows that it can carry a high price.”
  • A Florida school says vaccinated students must stay home for 30 days after each shot, citing a false claim that they’ll infect others. Centner Academy in Miami, Florida said any student who gets vaccinated must quarantine for 30 days. The school is promoting a dangerous, debunked rumor that vaccinated students can infect others. An infectious-disease expert who spoke with WSVN characterized the false claim as ‘science fiction.'”
  • Hold up. “Police in Bensalem, Pennsylvania have issued explicit warnings suggesting that the trend could cause a panic and lead to pandemonium in their community.” Bensalem were the same bumblefucks that made up that news about pot edibles being given out! “TikTok Users Are Committing an Array of Sins as Part of the Hellmaxxing Trend.” Seems to me the police in Bensalem may need some edibles so they can chill the hellmax out. Or maybe they ate too many and are freakin’ themselves out? Dare I say? Someone needs to do a wellness check on the police in Bensalem. They may have dipped a bit too deep into the meth in their evidence locker. In other news, I’ve found the actual source of the panic and pandemonium, and it’s coming from inside the police station. Wonder what else they’re afraid of? Monsters under their bed? Aliens from space coming to probe them?
  • West Memphis police ordered to respond to records request on evidence in West Memphis 3 case.” Tweet—”Dear @westmemphispd , what are you going to do now? You’ve lied. You’ve repeatedly broken the law, and hid from your legal responsibilities. Will an order from a Judge be enough for you to show an ounce of integrity?”
  • FBI agents swarm Washington home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska was among two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials who were sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April 2018.”
  • House panel on Jan. 6 votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for defying subpoena.”
  • The jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself is crumbling“—”Inside the notorious federal jail in Lower Manhattan, small chunks of concrete fall from the ceiling. Freezing temperatures force inmates to stuff old coronavirus face masks into vents to try to stop the cold air. One cell is off-limits because the door is now unstable – likely because of the constant pounding over the years from the prisoners inside on the cinder block walls. Once hailed as a prototype for a new kind of federal jail and the most secure in the country, the Metropolitan Correctional Center has become a blighted wreck, so deteriorated it’s impossible to safely house inmates The Justice Department said last month it would close the jail in the next months to undertake much-needed repairs – but it may never reopen.”
  • Senate Republicans again poised to block sweeping voting rights bill. Obstructionist effort to stop Freedom to Vote Act likely to increase pressure on Democrats to do away with filibuster.”
  • The cowardice of Senate Republicans blocking a qualified Muslim’s confirmation. If Republicans believe Dilawar Syed should not be confirmed, they should show up, vote against him and explain why they are doing so.”
  • Joe Manchin’s ugly new demands expose the absurdity of arbitrary centrism. How Manchin’s efforts to shrink Biden’s agenda reveals the hollowness of the centrist worldview.”
  • Tweet—”The Biden commission on SCOTUS reform has released a long interim document in advance of its final report. Here’s its bottom line on proposals to expand the Court: a balanced Court is (1) overrated; and (2) may “reinforce the notion that the Justices are partisan actors.” Tweet—”Absolutely incredible sentence. “Even though the court *is* a partisan institution, it would be bad if people thought of it that way.” Tweet—”Trash outcome is trash.”
  • Veterans are ready to join the fight for electoral reform“—”Nearly half of all U.S. veterans are independent or “unaffiliated” voters. Following a recent change in Maine, 13 states now use closed primaries, where independents are excluded from participating in publicly funded primary elections. Other states severely limit the participation of unaffiliated voters. Congress has a dismal approval rating, consistently in the 15 percent to 25 percent range, and yet 95 percent of members are re-elected. And, because of uncompetitive districts, in 2020, only 10 percent of eligible voters elected 83 percent of our Congress. The primary election has become the primary problem in this country.”
  • Poorly devised regulation lets firms pollute with abandon. A recent study finds that firms at risk of punishment cut their exhaust by 7% when the government is watching.”
  • The wealthiest Americans now own almost all of the stock market – 89% to be exact. The top 10% of Americans now hold 89% of corporate equities and mutual-fund shares, a record high. The top 1% alone hold over half the stocks owned by households, according to the Federal Reserve.”—”America’s highest earners broke a few records during the pandemic.”
  • A Trans Janitor Walks Into A Liberal Country Club. The millionaires of Portland, Oregon have a place where they can live out their class fantasies. And I was there to play my part.”
  • The Next Stage of American Collapse. America Got a Second Chance at Democracy — And It’s Blowing It, Badly.”—”American democracy survived fascism by a hair’s breadth. Trumpism was, yes, the rise of very real fascism in America. It was replete with everything from concentration camps to kids in them being “separated” from their mothers and fathers — which is a form of genocide — to minorities being hunted in the streets and seeking refuge in “salvation cities” to “bans” on whole ethnicities. American democracy almost didn’t survive that. It got very, very lucky. The pundits will say it was a test of strength — but only the weakest democracies plunge that far into fascism to begin with. American democracy didn’t survive fascism because of the strength of its institutions, or the robustness of its judiciary, or even the sentiments of its populace — but because a handful of brave police officers at the Capitol prevented a paramilitary mob of supremacists from massacring everyone in their way in order to stop votes from being counted and certified.” “Now America has something very, very few societies get: a second chance at democracy. But — and here I have to be painfully honest with you — it’s blowing it, badly.” “Ailing states become failing states become fascist states.” “What happened to America during the 1930s? Why didn’t it end up like Germany? After all, it may have been forgotten now, but portions of America were sympathetic to the Nazis then. The reason America didn’t end up a fascist state then is very, very simple. If you understand the above, you should already have figured it out by now. It had a New Deal. How big was the New Deal? It was about half of America’s GDP. That is what it took to repair a society shattered by depression and poverty. By now, you probably know the story of the New Deal. Millions were put to work rebuilding society’s infrastructure. Back then, “infrastructure” was roads and bridges and so forth. What is it today? It’s hospital and schools and universities. It’s millions of small businesses, every artist or sculptor or engineer with a dream. It’s healthcare systems and retirement systems. It’s public spaces like parks and libraries, too. All that stuff is what makes a functional modern society.” “America hasn’t invested in itself…ever. The New Deal is the only time in history that America’s invested in itself.”
  • Oakland Psychedelics Activists Launch Initiative To Legalize Community-Based Sales With Support From City Council.”
  • A Secretive Hedge Fund Is Gutting Newsrooms. Inside Alden Global Capital.”
  • Art Directors Guild Credits IATSE Members For Averted Strike: “’our Actions Shocked The World’.”
  • Squid Game on SNL: Pete Davidson and Rami Malek deliver a deadly parody. Squid Game is a hit on Netflix, but Saturday Night Live twangs it up with a country-music video twist.”
  • Watch “I Was Poised to be the First Black Astronaut. I Never Made it to Space.“—”This is the story of Ed Dwight Jr., who was invited by his country to train to be the first African-American astronaut. Back in 1963, it was hot news. But the United States never sent Dwight to space. For decades, he has maintained that he was discriminated against during his time at the Aerospace Research Pilot School, a prerequisite to NASA run by the legendary pilot Chuck Yeager. Dwight is now a prolific artist, building memorials and creating public art honoring African-American history. His footprints cannot be found on the moon. But his fingerprints can be found on sculptures across the country. ‘Almost Famous’ is a special Op-Docs series of short films directed by Ben Proudfoot featuring people who nearly made history — only to fall short. These are tales of overcoming disappointment at its most epic, from an astronaut who never flew to a superstar who never was.”
  • Watch “The Price of Freedom | Official Trailer | HBOMax”—”The Price of Freedom exposes the hidden past of the American gun debate and reveals how the outsized political and cultural influence of the National Rifle Association divided a nation and changed the course of American history, costing countless lives along the way.”
  • Watch “Why Some White Evangelicals Are Rethinking Their Politics l FiveThirtyEight“—”White evangelicals are often seen as a solidly Republican voting bloc. In the 2020 election, 84 percent of them voted for Donald Trump. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, many of Trump’s supporters began identifying as evangelical during his presidency. But white evangelicals aren’t a monolith. In our first episode of Political Outliers, meet two devout evangelicals who were raised in conservative households, but are now self-proclaimed “progressives.” They both say that their political views became more liberal as they immersed themselves deeper into their faith.”
  • Identity Fraud“—”In the long arc of the mostly moral universe, we have arrived at this uncomfortable midpoint where liberation — from racism, from sexism, from other ingrained and systemic forms of linked oppression — is still a distant dream, but the language and gestures of social justice are more mainstream than ever.”
  • Watch “The Invincible – Teaser Trailer”—”The Invincible is a first-person retro-futuristic sci-fi thriller.” The Invincible by Starward Industries—”The Invincible is a first-person Sci-Fi thriller set in a retro-future timeline. Waking up on a hostile planet, you embark on a mysterious mission to find the missing crew of your spaceship. Whilst trying to survive, terrifying secrets of the planet will unfold in front of you.” “Intriguing story inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s seminal sci-fi cult classic of the same name.” The Invincible [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Stanisław Lem, trans. Bill Johnston, foreword N Katherine Hayles—”A space cruiser, in search of its sister ship, encounters beings descended from self-replicating machines. In the grand tradition of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, Stanisław Lem’s The Invincible tells the story of a space cruiser sent to an obscure planet to determine the fate of a sister spaceship whose communication with Earth has abruptly ceased. Landing on the planet Regis III, navigator Rohan and his crew discover a form of life that has apparently evolved from autonomous, self-replicating machines—perhaps the survivors of a “robot war.” Rohan and his men are forced to confront the classic quandary: what course of action can humanity take once it has reached the limits of its knowledge? In The Invincible, Lem has his characters confront the inexplicable and the bizarre: the problem that lies just beyond analytical reach.”
  • Watch a drunken monkey style monk crusader: “Hellish Quart – Father Żera goes brrrr.” From Hellish Quart game by Kubold.
  • Watch “The Tragedy of Macbeth | Official Teaser HD | A24″—”From writer/director Joel Coen and starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, and Harry Melling. The Tragedy of Macbeth – In Theaters December 25. Streaming on Apple TV+ January 14.”
  • Watch “The Great Season 2 I Official Trailer”—”Catherine’s giving birth to the future of Russia, and she’s crowning! ? Join us for the coronation when The Great Season 2 premieres November 19, only on Hulu.” Tweet—”Did someone say mother? ?”
  • Watch “TITANE – Redband Trailer. In Theaters 10.1″—”TITANE: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due to its pronounced biocompatibility.”
  • Watch “The Souvenir Part II | Official Trailer HD | A24″—”From writer-director Joanna Hogg and starring Honor Swinton Byrne, Jaygann Ayeh, Richard Ayoade, Ariane Labed, James Spencer Ashworth, Harris Dickinson, Charlie Heaton, Joe Alwyn, and Tilda Swinton. THE SOUVENIR PART II – In Theaters October 29.”
  • Mel Gibson First Star Set For ‘John Wick’ Origin Series ‘The Continental’ For Starz & Lionsgate Television“—”Mel Gibson has been set to star in The Continental, the prequel to the Keanu Reeves film series John Wick. The Continental will be presented as a three-night special-event TV series, produced for Starz by Lionsgate Television.” Oh, bummer. I’m kinda meh on Mel Gibson nowadays.
  • Watch “LICORICE PIZZA | Official Trailer | MGM Studios”—”Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.”
  • Watch “Just Beyond | Official Trailer | Disney+”—”Witches. Aliens. Ghosts. Enter a world of fantasies and fears in Just Beyond, an Original Series streaming October 13″
  • Watch “The Matrix 4 Resurrections | FINAL Full Teaser (2021) | 04:00 PM | Keanu Reeves | Carrie Anne Moss”—”From visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski comes “The Matrix Resurrections,” the long-awaited fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre. The new film reunites original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the iconic roles they made famous, Neo and Trinity. The film also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (the “Aquaman” franchise) Jessica Henwick (TV’s “Iron Fist,” “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”), Jonathan Groff (“Hamilton,” TV’s “Mindhunter”), Neil Patrick Harris (“Gone Girl”), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (TV’s “Quantico,”), Christina Ricci (TV’s “Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story,” “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”), Telma Hopkins (TV’s “Dead to Me,”), Eréndira Ibarra (series “Sense8,” “Ingobernable”), Toby Onwumere (TV’s “Empire”), Max Riemelt (series “Sense8”), Brian J. Smith (series “Sense8,” “Treadstone”), and Jada Pinkett Smith (“Angel Has Fallen,” TV’s “Gotham”). Lana Wachowski directed from a screenplay by Wachowski & David Mitchell & Aleksander Hemon, based on characters created by The Wachowskis. The film was produced by Grant Hill, James McTeigue and Lana Wachowski. The executive producers were Garrett Grant, Terry Needham, Michael Salven, Jesse Ehrman and Bruce Berman. Wachowski’s creative team behind the scenes included “Sense8” collaborators: directors of photography Daniele Massaccesi and John Toll, production designers Hugh Bateup and Peter Walpole, editor Joseph Jett Sally, costume designer Lindsay Pugh, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, and composers Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer.”
  • Maybe wait to watch this until tomorrow, after the Netflix walkout protest, but: “The Social Dilemma | Full Feature | Netflix”—”We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.”
  • Watch Elvira drop a science bomb: “Netflix & Chills | Meet Dr. Elvira | Netflix”—”Did you know that watching horror and thrillers are good for your health? Don’t believe us? Hear what Dr. Elvira has to say. Come back every Sunday this October and get Dr.Elvira’s macabre prescription of Netflix & Chills.”
  • Watch “‘The Most Beautiful Boy In The World’” TRAILER”—”In 1971at the world premiere of Death in Venice in London, Italian director Luchino Visconti proclaimed Björn Andrésen, the teen star of his latest film, “The most beautiful boy in the world.” This is the story of a boy who was thrust to international stardom for his iconic looks and lived a life of glamour. 50 years later, Björn looks back. The film opens theatrically in the United States at THE QUAD CINEMA in New York on September 24rd and will play at the festivals prior to that.”
  • Watch “The Harder They Fall | Official Trailer | Netflix”—”This ain’t your grandaddy’s Western! Check out Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi, Danielle Deadwyler and Deon Cole in this action-packed thrill ride that injects New Blood into the Old West. The Harder They Fall is directed by Jeymes Samuel and produced by Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter James Lassiter, Jeymes Samuel and Lawrence Bender.”
  • Watch “My Name | Clip | Netflix”—”‘No one can know my enemy, my revenge and… My Name.’ My Name, a Netflix Series. For revenge, Jiwoo enters a criminal underworld and abandons her name to go undercover into the police force. What brutal truths will she face? Director Kim Jin-min of Extracurricular and Han So-hee team up for My Name, the ultimate action noir that will be released on October 15th, only on Netflix. Get a first look at the exclusive clip for My Name at TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event.”
  • Watch “MEMORIA – Official Trailer”—”From the extraordinary mind of Palme D’or winning director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, comes a bewildering drama about a Scottish woman, who, after hearing a loud ‘bang’ at daybreak, begins experiencing a mysterious sensory syndrome while traversing the jungles of Colombia.”
  • Watch “Paradise | Official Trailer | HBO Max”—”At the end of the summer of 1992, three 15-year-old girls, Sandra, Eva and Malena disappear without a trace from a nightclub in a coastal town. When the police investigation appears to be taking the wrong direction, Javi, Sandra’s younger brother, takes the matter into his own hands. Along with the help of his friends, they discover something not of this world.”
  • Watch “Kamikaze | Official Trailer | HBO Max”—”Where do you go to find yourself when everything you love is taken away? Julie’s (Marie Reuther) life is seemingly perfect – until she receives a text that changes everything. When her parents and brother die suddenly in a plane crash on her 18th birthday, she’s left alone to reevaluate and rediscover herself and her life.”
  • Watch “Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder – Out Now! | Steam Early Access Launch Trailer”—”Assemble an army and find the way out of Despot’s dungeon! Create your team and set them up for battle, then watch the chaos unfold, which allows you to focus heavily on tactical considerations rather than reflexes.” Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder by Konfa Games, from tinyBuild.
  • Watch “Book of Travels introduction: The Early Access Journey | New Multiplayer Online RPG on Steam 2021″—”Our Tiny Multiplayer Online RPG ‘Book of Travels’ is out now on Steam! Be there at the start as Book of Travels enters its Early Access Journey on Steam.” Book of Travels by Might & Delight—”Ready your pack, grab your walking stick and step into a world of mystery and legend. Craft a unique character and immerse yourself in the enchanted lands of Braided Shore. Set your own goals and adventure alone or together with Travellers you meet on the road in this serene TMORPG.”
  • Watch “Trailer | BLADE RUNNER: BLACK LOTUS | adult swim”—”The world that changed the way we see sci-fi is back. Toonami and CrunchyRoll bring you BLADE RUNNER: BLACK LOTUS, coming this fall.”
  • Watch “In a Galaxy Far, Far Away, I Was Almost Anakin Skywalker | ‘Almost Famous’ by Op-Docs”—”It was the late 1990s, and 3,000 young actors around the world were scouted for the role of a lifetime. On the ride home from school, Devon Michael’s mom told him he’d be auditioning for one of the most anticipated movies ever. “The Phantom Menace” — then the next installment of the “Star Wars” franchise — was in production, and they were searching for young Anakin Skywalker. Growing up, Michael had small roles in commercials, television shows and movies. At 9 years old, he understood that an opportunity like “Star Wars” could change his life. From 3,000, the producers narrowed it down to three, and soon Michael was at Skywalker Ranch doing a test screen with George Lucas and Natalie Portman. The role ultimately went to Jake Lloyd, who experienced a level of criticism and bullying that would be alarming for even an adult actor. In Ben Proudfoot’s “The Unchosen One,” Michael shares his experience as a child actor and urges the public not to forget that they’re just kids.”
  • Watch “Peacemaker | Exclusive Clip | HBO Max”—”He’s got the looks, the car, and the best sidekick ever – all in the name of peace.”
  • Watch “Lost in Space Teaser Trailer | Final Season | Netflix”—”Official teaser trailer for the third and final season of Lost in Space. All episodes drop December 1, 2021, only on Netflix.”
  • Watch “CYRANO – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD” Oh, cool! Um. Wait. Hold ON. It’s a fucking musical? Ugh! NoooOOOooOooOOOooO!
  • Watch “The most overused game graphic you never noticed | Texture Archaeology”—”The exact same brick texture is in dozens of Nintendo 64 and PlayStation games. From Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Final Fantasy 7, to Turok, Conker, and Mortal Kombat 3. ‘cobble_stone’ is the most overused game graphic you never noticed. Why were competing studios sharing the same graphics? ‘Texture Archaeology’ gives us the answer. The cartoonish, magical imagery from your childhood is a lot more realistic than you once thought.”
  • Watch “This Is What a ‘Second-Person’ Video Game Would Look Like
  • Watch “Hundreds strip naked by the Dead Sea in Israel”—”More than 300 people have stripped naked by the Dead Sea in Israel to draw attention to its dramatically receding shoreline. The event was part of a live installation by the artist Spencer Tunick, who’s used similar photo-shoots around the world to highlight environmental change.”
  • Watch “LEGO Transform Mech/CUBE-ROBO 07[CUBE-ARMY α].”
  • Tron™ Arcade Machine. Pre-orders open on Tuesday, 10/19 at 12 Noon EST. Use the Notify Me button to be alerted!”
  • “Simple and fast tabletop Mythos roleplaying based on THE BLACK HACK. THE CTHULHU HACK. The standalone corebook, investigations, sourcebooks, and more — all as .PDF ebooks.” The bonus collection includes The Dee Sanction, the game where players are agents of John Dee.
  • Lot #290 – SPACE: 1999 (T.V. SERIES, 1975 – 1977) – Original Screen-matched Large-scale Eagle Transporter Filming Miniature“—”An original, screen-matched, large-scale Eagle Transporter model miniature from the sci-fi television series Space: 1999.” “this is the original 44″ model used primarily for medium and close-up photography – such as take-off, landing and crashing shots – and appeared prominently in the show’s opening credits.” With an amazing gallery of images from every angle. Luscious.

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