The<BR>Intellectual Diet

The
Intellectual Diet

Just like the body is what it eats, the mind is what it experiences. This is a truth with vast and grave implications when it comes to the types of entertainment we invest our time in. Entertainment is used as a social programming tool. When entertained, the mind is open and relaxed, easy to infiltrate.

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.

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.

Jonathan Haidt

About Politics Polarization with Renowned Psychologist Jonathan Haidt

This is one of the most interesting and informative presentations about the times we’re living. It is about how social factors have created a climate of mutual distrust in the world and about how our society has become dangerously split. Doctor Jonathan Haidt focuses on the political arena because it is there where our future is often decided. In this most critical area, the current social polarization is doing the most damage.

This talk is of even more value than it was last year, before the democratic catastrophe that took place in the United States, where the electorate was basically asked to choose between two of the least popular candidates ever. The warning is clear: it is up to every single one of us to contribute to the healing of our society, lest even darker days will be upon us.

Have Empathy for Money

Corporations, Corrupt Governments, Militaries and Lots of Empathy

Given all that’s happening in the world (wars, social injustice, brainwashing via mass-media and entertainment) it’s tempting to say we need a revolution. The heritage of this word is a bloody one. It is clear we need change. But let us embrace the concept of evolution.

The very idea of revolution implies a return to a previous state. It is circular and repetitive in nature, just like our violent history. Evolution means breaking this vicious circle. Due to the upcoming technological advances, which will make nuclear weapons look like wet firecrackers, we are forced to evolve rather than revolve. I believe one of the keys of the next evolutionary step (if not the key) is generalized empathy.

Vitalic - Ok Cowboy

Vitalic – Poney

Follow the gentle wavy sound bridge right into the heart of this disco cathedral. The relentless pounding will try to nail the sailing melody into the ground, but the sound beast still ends up soaring higher and higher. Will it eventually escape? It’s up to the listener to decide.

Oh, and make sure you check the YouTube version. The song’s video is awesome!

Automated Writing

The Rise of the RoboJournalist

The quality of online journalism has been dropping like a stone during the past decade. The main reason is websites trying to cut corners as a way to survive in a publishing landscape completely transformed by the Internet. Websites have lowered their standards regarding whom can write for them. This leads to such sad examples^ where armies of (mostly) amateur exploited writers generate a humongous amount of content, spamming the web and suffocating quality writing.

An even more worrying development is the so-called “rise of the robo-journalist. The following article reveals how automated writing is on the rise. The quality of these machine-authored creations might increase, but will continue to lack soul (at least until we develop true AI^). Even more importantly, the low-quality articles spam will explode in quantity.

I believe we need a service similar to Audible, Spotify or Netflix, but for online publications. I’m sure very many people thought about the very same thing, but the timing when an idea reaches the market is critical. Is the market ready? Will the idea propagate explosively or will it fizzle and die out?

Ghostpoet - Shedding Skin

Ghostpoet – X Marks The Spot

Duets are a weakness of mine and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s beautiful when singers can make a melody stand out like this. It’s even more beautiful when that melody also gives them a solid foundation to build on. And that’s exactly what happens here, ‘cause otherwise the story wouldn’t be told.

The contrast between Ghostpoet’s disengaged act and Nadine Shah’s tempting whispers is in perfect balance. Through it all, we’re accompanied by clever songwriting. Topping it off, we have a video that fits quite well with the song. It’s not often when a treat like this shows up on my radar.

Change Against All Odds

Why Is It So Hard to Renew Certain Beliefs?

It sometimes seems impossible to change somebody’s mind even when we have solid, fact-checked data. A fascinating scientific study explains exactly why. It’s called the backfire effect and this podcast explains it in ample detail.

But if you want a bit of entertainment while you’re learning about yourself, here’s one of the best ways to do it – along with this excellent comic from The Oatmeal

Other than the important teachings imparted in a fun and easy to integrate way (Matthew Inman’s superpower), this quote resonated very strongly with me:

“I don’t have a way to change the behavior of seven-point-five billion people carrying their beliefs around like precious gems wrapped in hand grenades.”

ATB - Contact

ATB – Trace Of Life

This one will take you places. Just close your eyes, relax and let the brain massage begin. The song is a bit repetitive, but it’s one of those fortunate cases when that’s exactly the point. Some melodies let you sit still while they show you their many different landscapes. This song is more like a vehicle. Get on board and navigate your own imagination. The rhythm is steady and reliable, the sound is rich and stimulating. And don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to move your body either.

This song, as well as the album it comes from, came as a rather big surprise for me. I hadn’t listened to ATB in many years. For me, ATB was synonymous to his famous single, “9PM (Till I Come)”. I was quite impressed by the difference in style between 1999 and 2014. 15 years is a long time so evolution isn’t that much of a surprise, but I was really happy to see where the evolution of ATB led. There are a lot of great tracks on “Contact”. It’s an album I can highly recommend.

Artist's impression of space junk

Careful with That Orbit Now

Scientists and aerospace engineers alike have long been worried about the consequences of junking Earth’s orbit. On this site the topic was first mentioned shortly after North Korea put an (apparently) useless satellite up there. This is a serious issue, as highlighted by this year’s conference on space debris, which was understandably worried about recent initiatives that consist of launching entire constellations of micro-satellites.

Should we expect the worst to happen? With SpaceX alone planning to plant about 3000 (yes, that’s three thousand) satellites in orbit during the next decade, I think it is a valid concern. Especially as this is done with little (if any) preparation to mitigate orbital pollution.

Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armageddon

Dimmu Borgir – Eradication Instincts Defined

Marching forth with cruel precision, an ominous orchestra serves as the starting point for this lovely ride of terror. There are moments of hopefulness, but these will be quickly extinguished by the bleak landscape that follows.

It takes a lot to make me feature metal music in this space, especially when it comes to this extreme variety. It takes a perfectly executed song, featuring one of the best synergies between electric guitars, merciless artillery percussion, choirs, raging howls and a full fledged orchestra. Completing the apocalyptic picture, the song showcases some of Dimmu Borgir’s finest lyrics, bringing forth the murderous aspect of man and punishing it with the image of nuclear Armageddon. Even the title of the song is perfect.

Featured Articles

The<BR>Intellectual Diet

The
Intellectual Diet

Just like the body is what it eats, the mind is what it experiences. This is a truth with vast and grave implications when it comes to the types of entertainment we invest our time in. Entertainment is used as a social programming tool. When entertained, the mind is open and relaxed, easy to infiltrate.

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.

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.