Joe Rogan Experience, the world's biggest and most influential podcast, migrated to Spotify on Sept 1st 2020. Dozens of the show's key episodes have been purged from the migration; and there's a sly opacity about the apparent censorship - a familiar authoritarian strategy. The media bogeymen and policed language episodes excluded follow a clear theme. Is it Spotify abusing corporate privilege, preying on Rogan's contract loopholes, or is Joe bending the knee and sacrificing his reputation for the big money payoff?
Can we restore normality - law and order - in the face of civil unrest that's polarizing America? In other words, as Sam Harris asks in episode 207 of the Making Sense podcast: "Can we pull back from the brink?" to restore normality or is this the start of the culture wars?
America, more than anywhere else, is a perpetual winner-takes-all contest of wealth and power. Racism is a piece of this dynamic. Police brutality is the front-line; keeping winners winning and losers trapped in generations of exploitation.
Boris Johnson and his government have failed to tackle coronavirus but, despite public criticism, the agenda of the Boris cabal is nothing to do with public service. Their objectives are deregulation, authoritarian power consolidation and the unparalleled profit from a coordinated program of public-private partnership grift. Why should it matter if half the country wastes time arguing the toss about what Boris should do, how the PM should care for the people? Naive fools.
Public-private partnerships share traits with military-industrial wealth appropriation. Both invert the wealth redistribution ideal to send money up the ladder, from poor to rich, rather than trickling down rich to poor. This piece recasts British government failure on coronavirus as the latest success for Boris Johnson and his cabal. Their agenda isn't public service. They prosecute their aims with great skill: deregulation, authoritarian power consolidation and an unparalleled program of public-private partnership grift.
It's often said that Judeo-Christian religion, whether or not you believe in the God part, has been an absolute force for good; that it's the basis of Western culture, morality and science. Is this true, or is this codswallop?
All over the world, seemingly mild cases of COVID-19 rapidly morph into severe cases that involve the lower lungs. In a third or more cases this may be attributed to “the cytokine storm.” Find out more here.
What's the current state of play with coronavirus testing, both for active infection and post-virus antibody immunity? What's the non-hype non-fakenews status of the various peer-reviewed therapeutics? This piece is full of useful answers.
Big money populism - exemplified by Donald Trump and Boris Johnson - is just one side of the capitalist sociopath coin. The other side, maybe more important, is middle class disconnection. Populism fills the vacuum left by middle class retrenchment. Tribalism and social media are tools for this isolation, not causes...
Big capital 'survival of the fittest' mentality weeds out the exceptional upwardly mobile from the proletariat and what better demonstration of this cynical Darwinian principle than millions of freeborn turkeys voting for Christmas. Who's to say it isn't "right" for a country if that's the outcome? Brexit's EXIT DAY will mark the final scene of this Act in the Dramatis Britannia one way or another. Parliamentary majority will define what comes after. It won't be pretty if the wrecking ball is given unregulated, unlimited power to swing.
As human beings we know that FREE WILL matters. It's one of our most prized possessions. It's the basis of our concepts of freedom and individuality and self-identity. But what is FREE WILL if we are conditioned to only make choices that suit conventional agenda? What use is FREE WILL unless it's exercising FREE CHOICE out of the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH?
For us human beings, born primate, bred storyteller, we are terribly mismatched with our technological future. Philosophy is the poetry and metaphor; Socio-economics is the play in which we all have our parts; but reality - its fundamental nuts and bolts to which science aspires to understand - must be sold by iambic pentameter soliloquy while in practice it's relentless, practical lingua franca prose.