Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition!
I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

This post will be short of my comments, since the articles are very very interesting.

In short, I get so sick from all these nonsenses about the new world order, and the global government and so on. Yes, there is a new world order, but it has nothing to do with conspiracy theories (hopefully). The reality is that the world is changing, the old super-powers will eventually get replaced by new ones, you cannot evade this. It's the normal cycle of life. Yes, the big owners of money, assets and power, may not change easily or quickly. But geographically, they cannot stay forever in the same country, simply because the need of certain products evolve and thus the top producers of today won't be on the top tomorrow. And because the production bring certain richness to the population (or the government) of the country where it is located, you simply cannot expect this process to be static.

The point? Yes, there is a new world order. But you are looking in the wrong direction. You try to follow the absolute owners of the richness and to blame them for everything around us while the system is dynamical and it's very hard for anyone to control everything. And precisely the ignorance lead to more control and more power for those people.

And I can give you one very good example - Google. Google started as a fighter for freedom of information and was a textbook case of a dream came true. Now Google controls amazing part of our lives. Just look how much information they store about you. Stuff that you probably have forgotten. But they are there. Now imagine what happens when Google pulls the plug. How would you feel? It happened to me, I can tell you how I felt - horrible. I'm not going to elaborate on this, since I have a lot to say on the subject and I'm just starting. I just want to show you how easily we offer some people the power over our lives. What's the point of conspiracy - they rob us from our identity in plain daylight so to say. And whose fault is this?Well, ours! We're the ones who are happy like children with every new toy Google offer us, but we never EVER require anything from them. Which is our right, as consumers! Because Google earns from us and our use of their services. Then if we indirectly pay for their services, they have to have some obligations towards us, right? Wrong! Check your TOS! They have no single obligation towards you.

Anyway, back on the new world order, the following articles are examples of the rise of the new super-powers. We all know them, but a part of us pretend very successfully they don't. Well, this is for you guys. Rethink your conspiracy theory. Because the world is changing and we have to know our reality if we want to be adequate to it.
Cheers.

  1. How Iran Might Beat Future Sanctions: The China Card
  2. Chinese Executive Buys British Satellite TV Station
  3. Gazprom strikes preliminary gas deal with China
  4. Natural gas in the Arctic is mostly Russian

How Iran Might Beat Future Sanctions: The China Card


Iran may have an ace in the hole as Western governments weigh sanctions in response to the often violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators. The card Tehran is likely to play? China.

On July 13 Iran's Oil Ministry announced that it had China's agreement to invest about $40 billion in refining Iranian gasoline. The deal would include financing the major new Hormoz refinery in southern Iran, which will be able to produce about 300,000 bbl. of gasoline and kerosene a day once the four-year construction project is completed. China would also overhaul Iran's aging Abadan refinery in the south so that its production could increase by 29%, according to Iranian oil officials, who provided no deadline for that project.

The deal has not yet been signed (and China has yet to confirm it), but if Iran pulls it off, it would solve one of the country's biggest headaches. For despite vast oil reserves and exports, Iran still imports about 130,000 bbl. of gasoline a day because its refineries are too few and too old to meet the demand at home. The Chinese deal would literally keep Iran's factories, homes and cars - in effect, a nation of 66 million people - running.

Iran's ties with China, which have steadily grown over the past decade, have accelerated rapidly in the past 18 months. In December 2007, the Chinese oil giant Sinopec Group signed a $70 billion deal to begin drilling in Iran's Yadavaran field, which has estimated reserves of about 17 billion bbl. In January of this year, China's biggest energy producer, CNPC, agreed to develop a medium-size oil field called North Azadegan - a deal worth about $2 billion. And last month, while demonstrators were fighting pitched battles with paramilitaries on Tehran's streets, Iranian oil officials flew to Beijing to negotiate a $5 billion deal with CNPC for the newest phase of Iran's huge South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. source

Chinese Executive Buys British Satellite TV Station

July 15, 2009, 7:00 am

A businessman from China has bought a British satellite TV station and plans to broadcast shows promoting China in Europe, The China Daily and Xinhua reported.

Ye Maoxi, president of Beijing-based company Xiking Group — which engages in advertising, cultural promotions, printing, manufacturing and real estate — acquired Propeller TV, based in Leeds, last month, the newspaper said.

Propeller, which began in February 2006 on British Sky Broadcasting’s satellite platform, was the first digital satellite television channel in Europe to screen new and original programming, a statement on Xiking’s Web site said.

Propeller will offer English- and Chinese-language programs intended to introduce China to a Western audience and to correct Western media biases or incomplete reports about the country, Xiking official Ma Hongxia told Xinhua. Further details of the deal were not released.

China plans to pour up to 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) starting this year into a state media expansion project that includes adding more overseas bureaus and foreign language TV channels in a public relations drive, Reuters reported.

Most media in China are state-controlled and heavily censored. source

Gazprom strikes preliminary gas deal with China

China and Russia signed a framework agreement Tuesday that could see a steady flow of natural gas to energy-hungry China from its resource-rich neighbor.

It was one of numerous trade and military agreements signed during a state visit by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the countries overcome traditional mistrust to push ahead mutual economic interests.

The deal between Russia's state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp. calls for the supply of about 70 billion cubic meters of gas a year, but a price had not been set and no contract signed, said Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller.

Chinese media reports have said the agreement was expected to be a gas-for-loans deal similar to a $25 billion oil-for-loans deal completed earlier this year.

"Gazprom will independently build gas transportation facilities on the Russian territory," he said when asked if China could invest in building gas pipelines. He added Gazprom may welcome Chinese investments in building gas-processing facilities.

Russia and China earlier Tuesday signed agreements worth $3.5 billion. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told reporters that Russian and Chinese businessmen and officials signed the agreements, including $500 million loans each from the China Development Bank to its Russian equivalent VEB, and from the Agricultural Bank of China to the state-controlled VTB bank.

source


Natural gas in the Arctic is mostly Russian

May 29th, 2009 By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , AP Science Writer

(AP) -- Nearly one-third of the natural gas yet to be discovered in the world is north of the Arctic Circle and most of it is in Russian territory, according to a new analysis led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Russia is already the world's leading natural gas producer, noted Gautier, of the Geological Survey's office in Menlo Park, Calif.

The report, by an international scientific team, estimated that the Arctic also contains between 3 and 4 percent of the world's resources remaining to be discovered.

Two-thirds of the undiscovered gas is in just four areas - South Kara Sea, North Barents Basin, South Barents Basin and the Alaska Platform - the report said.

Indeed, the South Kara Sea off Siberia contains 39 percent of the Arctic's undiscovered gas, the researchers said. source

DNA sampling of emigrants in UK

How far can madness go? Well, surprisingly far. Check out the article below. British authorities decided to use DNA sampling to find the nationality of African Refugees.
First of all, anyone who has had a DNA test with the DNA tree project, knows that nationality is very different from ethnicity. Your genes are a summary of the life (and death) of all of your ancestors and it's hard to predict which one you have thus tracing your ancestry is generally difficult endeavour. Yes, sometimes it can be accurate but not exact especially in some regions. In the past boundaries changed much more often than now, not to mention the wars which led to big groups of horny men impregnating helpless women along the way - so imagine what kind of genes their ancestors will have! And that has absolutely no connection with the national boundaries years later.
Second of all, it should be illegal (and immoral for sure) to take DNA samples of people without their concession, especially when they haven't done a major crime. Being illegal emigrant isn't exactly a major crime. If you don't' want the emigrants, just turn them back. But you have NO right to take their biological samples without their explicit and informed consent.
And finally, what's the difference if the emigrant are coming from Somalia or other African country? And what is the major difference in the diet and ancestry of people from Somalia and those from Kenya. I guess there is some, but still, I find this disgusting and very similar to the "scientific" experiments the Nazis did. There are limits and I think there should be a very serious discussion in UK and in all the other European countries about the limits of DNA studies. Just as I don't believe it's moral and right to force my head into a device that reads my mind, it's not right to take your DNA samples to prove your origin or whatever. It's simply NOT RIGHT!
P.S. Any surprise that the UK opted out of the chart of human rights in the Lisbon Treaty. Not for me!

Genetic Testing of African Refugees Raises Outcry From Scientists

Scientists in the United Kingdom are outraged over a new program that seeks to determine asylum seekers’ nationalities through DNA and the isotopes present in their hair and fingernails. The experts say the tests simply aren’t accurate enough to pinpoint a person’s country of origin.

The program will be tried out on asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa, and will seek to establish whether applicants from Kenya or Ethiopia are masquerading as refugees from war-torn Somalia. Yet scientists say the Border Agency’s goals confuse ancestry or ethnicity with nationality. David Balding, a population geneticist at Imperial College London, notes that “genes don’t respect national borders, as many legitimate citizens are migrants or direct descendants of migrants, and many national borders split ethnic groups” [Science Insider].

In the second part of the testing, an applicant will be asked to give hair and fingernail samples; by looking at which forms of certain elements the samples contain, the government scientists hope to find evidence of the person’s diet and environment. But isotope specialist Tamsin O’Connell says the results won’t be specific enough to be meaningful.

The UK Border Agency maintains that the program will be useful first step in determining an applicant’s true nationality, and says the biological tests will be followed up by in-person interviews and language analysis tests. source

Google

Ok, I had it enough with Google!
As you probably have noticed, my blogs were blocked for the last 3 days. It looks like the reason was To the Future with Love blog which Google algorithms decided is a spam blog. Of course, it isn't a spam blog under no algorithm on the world, so as you may guess I was extremely mad on Google.
Not only this, but my Gmail account was also blocked, which was absolutely unacceptable, since I use this account for work. That is why I think I've had enough with Blogger. I'm sick of being blocked because some idiot decided to flag my blogs or because the stupid nasty algorithms cannot differ a normal blog from spam.
So, I'm moving my blog from Blogger to a paid server. I'm not sure how the migration will go, so far I set up a new system on the server where I host my site, but I'll probably need some more time to import the posts and you know, to get the things going.
The url of my new blog is: http://tothefuturewithlove.net/after_the_pink_goat
Feel free to visit it from time to time, but don't expect me to start blogging like crazy in no time - I just need time to make everything the way I want it. I'm still experimenting with this new system I have and it is a lot of fun. True, Blogger is extremely easy blogging service, but the ever existing risk of losing my posts is too much. It's simply not fair to give so much and to receive so little. And complying with all the TOS conditions is impossible, no matter how hard you try. The only way to comply is not to do anything, which I cannot do. And anyway, maybe I needed some restructuring of my blogs and this is a wonderful opportunity to do it and to bring things to a new level.

So have fun and I hope soon I'll be able to blog again.
Denitsa

Ok, emails on Ayn Rand come to me with surprising frequency (or should I say persistence ) these days, so I think I better say a word or two on her here.
I just read this article on here in reason.com and I have some notes to add. The article in short states that the problem of Ayn Rand is that she doesn't understand that people live in a society and we cannot isolate from the success(or failures) of the people we love and care. And that precisely this coldness is the reason why Ayn Rand cannot be used to "break free from the government" (sorry, free quote and I'm too lazy to check the article again).
I disagree about some things, but first, I have to emphasize - I haven't read all of Ayn Rand's works. Only "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" so I cannot speak of her personality and her ideas in the broad sense of what she said and thought. And I don't care. I think we must make a clear distinction between the philosophy of a book and the ideas of a person. We must understand that no one is perfect and we cannot expect from any person to have a perfect view on life, the universe and everything else. And it is completely WRONG to treat a political philosophy as a religion! And very dangerous too.

I'm sure many people understand Ayn Rand better than me, but also, I know that I love both books I read and they meant a lot to me. This entitles me to have an opinion on the and to consider it as good as that of anybody else. Because it seems that everyone forgets that whatever she meant while writing the book, it was important only for her. In reality, once the book is completed, it's a separate entity that should be discussed on its own. So here is what I will do.

What did those books tell me? That one should always fight for the right to express him/herself and to be appreciated solely by what s/he has done. I don't think that the books preach coldness, even if I remember I didn't like some parts of Atlas Shrugged. But then we cannot expect from a person that was wired to fight communism to consider even for a moment the benefits of cooperation. Yes, this is a major set back, but still this doesn't make the books bad. It just makes them incomplete. But not in ideas, they are incomplete in understanding.
What I mean? The slogan of "Atlas Shrugged" is to do everything in the name of the best withing you. And that we all should be judged by our merits, not by our needs. Can anyone argue with that? I don't think so. It's clear this is right, that this is what we all want our life to be. The problem is that from her point of view, that would mean to release the power of the personality (or the ego if you like it more) and to let it fly as high as it can. For her everything should be done, because this is in our best interest. Nothing else matters. And this, people claim she means, is the end of collectivism and socialism. However, this is profoundly untrue!
Humans are social creatures. It is a fact. Then, what is our best interest? Evolutionary theories have it - our best interest is the balance between individual and society. Each configuration (of individuals) has a balance that will benefit the most the society as a whole, as well as each individual, everything else will hurt the individuals as well as the society.

In Ayn Rand's world the entrepreneur with fire in the heart will meet similar people and their work will complement each other, thus the work process will not suffer. In reality, people are not perfect and not equally intelligent, so things just don't happen this way.

The critical part in Rand's universe is that the heroes are infinitely intelligent and they are able
to see their best interest without a problem. However, this is an utopia. We can never see the whole picture, what we can do is to do our best to gather information and make educated choice. Depending on the situation, this can suffice or it may not. The point is that we have to make rational decisions based on information, not on ideology. You can read a little bit more on that in the reply I pasted here that I wrote in volokh.com. It treats precisely our absurdly irrational society. For now, I just want to cover the issue of universal health care and so on.

In the article in reason.com it is somehow implied that universal health care is against Ayn Rand's ideas. I don't know what she thought herself, but if I recall correctly, in Atlantis, the city where the real people gathered to form a new society, there was a very famous musician. I somehow doubt that this person was working something serious to live. One cannot play a piano if he has worked on the field. I remember that they had free electricity. So, obviously this society was never based on competition and privatization of any single molecule of air around. People were doing what they were best in and the society benefited from it. So, let's be clear - health system as it is in the USA is US invention. Or something similar, I don't know which country came with private ensurers first. The point is that it has no connection with Ayn Rand. Private or Universal, is a choice of the government and it isn't a sign of libertarianism. Why? Because people are never free to pay only for what they use at the price the service is worth! In the best case in which we are not forced to be ensured we'll be robbed when it comes to visit a doctor, because the prices are floated to heaven and are generally unreal. If we are ensured, we'll either use more than we pay for or we'll use less. In both cases - this isn't fair! If the system is intrinsically unfair, why should we protect it? Universal health care isn't less or more fair than private ensurers. It just covers more people and it's somewhat cheaper for the personality. That is all.
And note - this has nothing to do with Ayn Rand - if we follow her slogan, then the health system should be such that to protect people's health the most. Because only this will be in the name of the best within us. Only this will be reasonable!
So, before taking a book into an argument, make sure you read it first and check the priorities. Yes, nationalization of banks and the help for some industries is not exactly in sync with her ideology. But our society is more complicated than just following an ideology. A government should protect individuals and also the society as a whole. If you ask me, they should have let it fall. But since our society is way more interrelated than a book can guess, maybe this was the best thing to do. At least for some groups of people. But when public interest was the most important?

Ok, I'm over with this quite messy post. To sum it up - I think we shouldn't discuss people and ideologies, but rather ideas. "Atlas Shrugged" idea is simple - do everything in the name of the best within you and in the name of your best interest. If your best interest is to have babies, to take care of your parents or to show the finger to the system and go grow potatoes - this is your right and obligation! You should do what will make you the most happy and content. No one of us won't be happy without the people we love, neither our friends to some extent, neither without a society that would appreciate us and protect us from the people with guns, the aliens and the corporations. We have to be crystal clear about the role of society in our life, because we are constantly creating our society. We have to understand what parts of it we need and to protect them from the crazy libertarians that just seek to destroy whatever good thing people created when they stopped killing and raping each other on sight. Cooperative effects in physics are always very energetically effective, I think in society they will be even more so.

So off for now, below is the reply I was talking about. I just want to emphasize how important thinking is. We have to use our brains, it's very very important! Before following an ideology, we have to spend some time and consider what it will give us and what it will take from us. And if the balance is negative, just don't go for it! It's as simple as that. Who said we have to be slaves to an ideology, who said we all have labels and follow to the letter someone's crazy ideas about life. We all have crazy ideas about life and they all have equal right to exist. And only their actual benefit should be a measure if they are good or bad. Nothing else. Don't change religions with political religion. This is proven wrong.


I don't know about Ayn Rand and here problematic relationships, but the book has at least one very good idea - to do everything, because of your best interest, something that requires absolute rationality. And it paints the picture of a society where people simply prefer not to think for themselves. It may be a utopia, but I personally think this is the main reason why human-kind is still in the stage of absurdity. Although we claim we live in democracy, in reality, very few people really think, the majority simply follows. Which is precisely what Atlas Shrugged is fighting with. The "mass" behaviour. Yes, the picture is frozen in a different time, however does it matter if its a plane or a train?! The fact is that people prefer not to think. People prefer not to question. Most people agree or disagree based on beliefs and understandings that someone - parents, teachers or whoever hammered into their brains and are completely inflexible when it comes to decisions making.

You might argue that this is true only for the stupid democrats/republicans. WRONG! It is true even for SCIENCE. Where people are supposed to question each and every statement being made and to base their opinions only on rationality. Even in science, however, people act on mobs, you put the program in their heads and that's it. What is left for the rest of the society. In reality, probably 1% of the people actually think for themselves and usually those people are very busy manipulating the rest or simply profiting (or of course they might be on the bottom since the system has two places for them - top and bottom, put free journalists wherever you like) .

Maybe what Atlas Shrugged is impractical, but it is definitely a good starting point. Since we live in a society, your real best interest is probably in 90% of the cases the best interest of the society. The problem is that unlike other "free" ideas, this idea requires heavy thinking. Because it goes for the ultimate - each time you do something, you have to do it, because you're rationally convinced in it. Go figure how you'll do that without profound knowledge, understanding and experience (and patience). This is the ideal and it is a good way for everyone to follow.

And yeah, before someone tells me that s/he is from the rational people, erm, spend some time with yourself. Impulsive shopping? Impulsive sex? Impulsive fights? Fanaticism against other parties, communists, creationists, evolutionists, gays, immigrants, whatever? It's very easy to fall into the trap of your supremacy. But rationality means that each of your feelings and actions should be completely justified and moderate. Your relationship with your loved ones too. But again, that requires knowledge and patience. As in physics, you can do the best thing for you, only if you know everything about the system, which is simply unachievable. But the more you know, the better you can react.

Finally, remember the slogan that Ayn Rand is fighting - "from everyone according to his/her merit, to everyone according to his/her need". Do you think our current society is one of the merit or one of the needs. Think carefully and thinking about politics. Just make an assessment of the society. I'm a physicist, in physics, the merit is very exploited. But the end result is far from "to everyone according to the real merit". So, I don't know, how is it in you business? If it's like in mine, then "Atlas Shrugged" is still actual.

Ok, this is absurd. Really! Just read the article. The epic war between scientists and the army look fun in the movies, but in reality, it's rather sad.
You can read more about it in the article, but what I have to say is that each of this telescopes is worth millions in the best case and was created as a top achievement of our knowledge at the moment. And to waste this, because of the satellites of the army is extremely sad. And the most interesting part is that this applies only to telescopes on US territory. What about the telescopes outside USA? They obviously are not dangerous to the same satellites. And also, as one of the commenters on the site noted, the US army isn't supposed to spy on its own citizens (though if you ask me they are not supposed to spy on any citizen at all). What's the problem with those satellites then?
It is a long story and I don't want to fall into conspiracy theory and so on. What is important is that this observatories are extremely expensive and very complicated to use. They are important for humanity and for science! And the army is preventing scientists from working with them! This isn't acceptable. National security is one, but to waste this precious hardware for no clear reasons (like "could" damage them), this shouldn't happen. Simply shouldn't.
And to give fans of conspiracies a credit, could there be something in the sky that the army doesn't want us to see? Hmmm....

Astronomers clash with US air force over laser rules

Could astronomers accidentally blind Earth-observing satellites? That seems to be the worry of the US air force, which restricts the use of lasers pointed at the sky to help focus telescopes. But some astronomers warn they will miss key observations under the rules, which have tightened in recent years.

Many of the world's largest observatories, including Lick, Gemini North, Palomar and Keck in the US, shine lasers into the sky to measure atmospheric turbulence, which distorts images.

The laser causes a layer of sodium atoms at an altitude of about 90 kilometres to glow, producing an artificial star whose twinkles reveal the turbulence. Shape-shifting mirrors on the telescopes, called adaptive optics, then correct for the blurring by adjusting their shape many times per second.

If such a laser were to hit the optics of an Earth-observing satellite, it could cause damage. So the air force's Space Command has for years restricted when and where US observatories can fire them, and the observatories have voluntarily complied, with little impact on astronomy.

Then about two years ago, just as kinks in the laser technology were being ironed out and interest in the lasers was growing, the rules were tightened. Now astronomers say the restrictions are beginning to chafe, according to a story first reported by the American Physical Society.

The restricted zones are now so large that they can rule out observations even when a satellite is below the horizon, the report says.

But the biggest impact of the restrictions is that they prevent laser-adaptive-optics observations of one-off events like supernovae, which appear and fade away in a matter of days, and gamma-ray bursts, which have afterglows in visible and infrared light that often fade away in a matter of hours.

It is impossible to use the lasers for these sudden, brief events because under current rules, US observatories have to submit their proposed targets to the air force three days in advance.

But it is not clear how sensitive the satellites' optics are, or how likely a given laser is to directly hit a satellite's optics, since details on some US Department of Defense satellites are not publicly released. The air force simply takes astronomers' proposed laser-assisted observations and tells them when to turn the lasers off after crunching its own data on satellite orbits.

The air force did not immediately respond to New Scientist inquiries about the restrictions. source

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