Mainstream Entertainment and Objectification

Mainstream Entertainment and Objectification

Entertainment can be an insidious force. After showering the brain with sounds and images, it has the advantage of dealing with a relaxed mind that is at its most receptive to external stimuli, with most of its defenses lowered. entertainment is a highly efficient means of propagating stereotypes and ideologies.

How the Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

How the Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

Profit is the motivating force behind a company’s decisions. Following a natural tendency, the individuals that have teamed up to form a commercial entity share the desire for prosperity. This collaboration between individuals is similar to the association of more cells that constitute a multi-cellular organism.

Social Contribution<BR>Inequality

Social Contribution
Inequality

There has been a lot of talk in the past decades about income inequality and for good reason. At the root of unfair reward systems lies a way of thinking that associates people with the immediate economic benefit that they bring to a group. This is poor long-term strategy especially in a post-scarcity society.

Zentriert - Pasiphae

Zentriert Ins Antlitz – Pasiphae

A mysterious buildup leads into a red-hot melodic core that fuses orchestral arrangements with powerful electronic textures. It all leads to even more mystery and evocative sonic landscapes. The audio sample used in the song is perfectly chosen, contributing to the melody’s feeling of cosmic adventure.

This one is definitely a body mover, but I prefer the “eyes-closed brain massage” part of it even more. It’s also one of the best songs I heard in 2017.

Shenzen

Behind China’s Success

Like pretty much everybody that is up to date with current events, I’ve been following China’s rise as a high-tech superpower with great interest. The article touches on some very important points concerning innovation while showing some interesting statistics about one of China’s innovation hubs, Shenzhen.

But there’s more than patent applications that will power China’s success. The country’s social system is more competitive than many of its Western adversaries. Many Westerners (including me) would have ethical qualms in toying with genetically engineered human embryos. I’m quite sure that China is willing to go further and faster with such experiments. It is quite possible that this is an even greater game-changer than our so-called efforts into artificial “intelligence”.

Artificial Non-Intelligence

The Danger with Artificial “Intelligence” Is That It’s Not (yet) Intelligent

Albert Einstein once said that “our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal”. He said this in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago, after seeing Europe ravaged by the First World War. Regardless, Einstein continued contributing to that same technological progress. Human curiosity and our desire to achieve are incompatible with stagnation. We will have to deal with this by being careful with the technology we will inevitably develop.

Like many have said before me, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can either be our salvation or our doom. It is a far bigger game-changer than nuclear bombs. But the problem is that there is NO Artificial Intelligence yet, and there won’t be for quite some time to come. Everything that the world’s corporations are selling now-a-days as “smart” or “intelligent” is actually a mindless human construct. Sure, it’s advanced, but if a rocket is more advanced than a spoon, that doesn’t make it in the slightest more intelligent than the spoon. They both lack one of the prime ingredients of intelligence, which is self-awareness. And therein lays the true threat.

Right now, our so-called artificial “intelligence” is nothing but a tool that corporations can and will use ruthlessly against one another (and against the people of one another). This is already taking place on the stock market, something I wrote about last year. Back then, I highlighted the fact that exactly because these algorithms are not intelligent, they will be used to enrich and empower whoever spent money in building them, regardless of their morals or social affiliation. And let’s not forget that software is far easier to steal and smuggle than radioactive material. Put the wrong AI in the hands of the wrong people and…

Landscape of Love

Lulu Rouge – Landscape of Love (feat. Fanney Osk)

Oh, my Music, I’m fascinated by you. Sometimes you blow my mind. This song is like a steady, patient wind that will either freeze or melt anything in its path, depending how you choose to feel it. The flawless punctuation will make sure that whatever path you take will turn into a memorable adventure. Just hit play and you’ll understand what I mean by “punctuation”.

I always had a soft spot for minimal electronica. This melody hit me straight in the headheart. In the seven months that have passed since I discovered this tune, it has not yet been dethroned as “song of 2017” and I’m “losing hope” that I’ll come across anything better. But paradoxically, I also hope I won’t.

Jem - Down To Earth

Jem – It’s Amazing

This light-hearted song is one that you can easily stumble across on some trendy radio station, but it’s the lyrics that truly make it shine. That, and the beautiful voice that carries them and which also makes the tune (stand out). The instrumental side of the song is quite good as well. There’s a good rhythm featuring deep, juicy piano drops.

I can’t say I like the intro too much. To be honest I find it a bit of a turnoff, but it is a motif of the song and I can understand why the composer put it here. But I still think it doesn’t do justice to what follows. Luckily, it’s very short and after that the song builds up to a satisfying climax.

Whenever you’re feeling a bit down, put this on right after Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and pick yourself up!

The Art Of Peace

The “Art of Peace” Trilogy

Peace is something most people yearn for. Yet sometimes it seems like it’s slipping away rather than becoming wide-spread. There probably is a parallel between a lack of peace in people’s private life and the lack of peace between many countries, societies or cultures.

We live in a day and age when individualism has become a new religion and when the survival instinct hasn’t yet caught up with the comforts of modern life. Science has given us so much that many people have fallen into it, making it the sole focus of their life, often forgetting about other equally important aspects of existence.

Emotion ended up being seen as the behavioral manifestation of a biological machine. Perhaps it is, but this approach lacks imagination; its artistic dimension is missing. As the union between emotion and free will, art is a pillar of life.

Let’s go beyond the simple textbook definition of peace and above the few sentences we could think of in a rush. Peace as a life-permeating and world-changing emotion is something that we need to dig at. It is something that requires introspection, research and application.

Black Sun Empire - Driving Insane

Black Sun Empire – Arrakis

Building demolition manual. Step 1: install beefy subwoofers around building to be demolished then, garnish everything with yet more powerful speakers. Step 2: play this song and wait until the 2:12 mark. After that, it’ll take, oh, maybe eight seconds for the building to turn into fine particulates.

Seriously though, this song’s bass is nasty. When I first heard this, it was not only love at first listen, but also jaw drop at first listen. Years later, I’m still amazed by just how much kick this thing has.

Smartphones & Tablets

Smartphones, Tablets and How Social Media Hijacks Our Minds

It’s no news that the use of smartphones and tablets has been found to be detrimental for the usual brain development of children. Recent studies, however, have shown that the exaggerated use of smartphones is causing damage in adults too. One of the most serious effects of smartphone abuse is social retardation, which has grave repercussions across a wide spectrum of behaviors.

But wait, there’s more. The “hardware” side of the problem is further compounded by the software that we use. According to Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager, our minds are being hijacked by social media (and other similar online products).

The smartphone is not only made to capture our attention, but also to encourage changes in how our brain works (neuroplasticity plays a huge role in this). As a result of these changes, our attention is easier to capture and once baited, it can be manipulated so that it doesn’t escape the trap. It wouldn’t be so bad if our attention and time would be invested in something useful, but many times this is not the case.

Sussan Deyhim - City Of Leaves

Sussan Deyhim – Fire Within

Ritualistic beauty springs from within this passionate work of art. The driven, solemn singing is wrapped in an almost mystical arrangement of strings and air instruments. The percussion is something to behold. One invocation after the other, the magnificent composition keeps pacing in perfect harmony with the enthralling chants.

Eyes-closed listening with good hardware comes highly recommended.