History, Ideology & Science
Mt Gox Collapse Shatters Bitcoin Myth of Virtual Money
Prof. Peter Morici - 3/5/2014
Bitcoin believers were shaken to their digital souls when Mt. Gox, the world’s largest exchange, defaulted on $470 million worth of deposits and closed.
Narcissistic Offspring, Narcissistic Parents
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/27/2014
The Japanese call them “parasite singles”, the Americans “boomerang kids”. Sociologists refer to the “accordion family”: it expands and then contracts and then expands again as children return to what should have been an “empty nest.”
Zombies, the Apocalypse, and the Decline of the Republic
David Huntwork - 2/25/2014
Apocalypticism has exploded in popularity and, while nuclear war and pandemics have always been a starting point, the concept of the Zombie Apocalypse trumps them all. The appeal and wild popularity of shows like The Walking Dead, movies like World War Z, and the slew of apocalyptic, gloom and doom series and specials on cable television continues to grow by leaps and bounds. But the reasons behind such interest are often subconscious at times and not fully understood.
Conservative Principles and the Common Man
David Huntwork - 2/19/2014
The raging, twenty-four-seven political debates that virtually consume social media, many news sites, and entire cable stations is mostly filled with cheap shots, one-liners, bumper sticker slogans, and the same tired, half-truth arguments.
Symposium: The Damnation of Ideas Part 2
Stone A. Washington - 2/19/2014
In this sequel and review of Symposium: The Damnation of Ideas created by my father, Professor Ellis Washington, we continue to delve ever deeper into the second half of the 10 books written by 10 controversial thinkers whose collective works historically have had a very negative impact on society and Western civilization; whose damnable ideas continues to affect us in numerous and horrible ways in modern times.
The Right Side Of History
David Huntwork - 2/8/2014
Time and time again I have been accused of being on the “wrong side of history” when it comes to the arguments over abortion and, especially, to so-called gay marriage. This linguistic fad has exploded in use lately as if history itself is the sole arbitrator of what is right and true. It is the weapon of utter dismissiveness that is boldly and routinely wielded by the Left.
The Film "Her" and Interspecies Romance
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/1/2014
The opening scene of the film "Her" unfolds in a brightly lit, pastel colored den of iniquity where scribes compose letters surreptitiously written on behalf of lovers, parents, and children. The missives are touching, funny - and utterly fake. The protagonist is one such surrogate communicator, giving forced birth to the aborted or stifled emotions of his clients. His building blocks are words but he sees no merit in either his vocation or in his vocabulary. His apartment is denuded of books and he wastes away his evening immersed in infantile virtual reality games. He is a mere verbal techni...
Our Silent Ass-Whippers
Dillon Freed - 1/25/2014
I recently read an article about American kids participating in Mixed Martial Art (MMA) fighting. Several of my friends on Facebook posted about it, calling it “barbaric,” “disgusting,” and saying such witty things as, “There is Uh-mair-kuh for ya,” etc. etc. Predictable responses of being offended from a rather unthinking, effeminate lot of people.
The Neo-Cons Were Wrong About the Muslim World
Paul Austin Murphy - 1/25/2014
Islam is nearly always in conflict with democracy: both historically and today. There is one single contemporary phenomenon which exemplifies this perfectly. Bizarrely, it's occurring in the West, not in the Muslim world.
The Quality of a Good Politician in a Democratic Society
Adewale Akande - 1/11/2014
My little Oxford dictionary defines politician as “person engaged or interested in politics” and politics as “science and art of government; political affairs or life or principles etc.” Politics consists of “social relations involving authority and power”. A politician is defined as one who is actively involved in politics or one who holds or seeks a political office.
Merry Kwanzaa or Whatever
David Huntwork - 1/11/2014
If you didn’t know better you might think that the word Christmas was the dirtiest of dirty words and one not worthy of being uttered in public.
Solitude as a Rational Choice
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/29/2013
“Purebred” schizoids shrug off their disorder: they simply don’t like being around people and they resent the pathologizing of their lifestyle “choice” to remain aloof and alone. They consider the diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder to be spurious, a mere reflection of current social coercive mores, and a culture-bound artefact.
When the Iron Curtain Fell
Ron Coody - 12/20/2013
Ten years before 9-11 the world witnessed an historic event of a different kind when the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union fell. Unlike 9-11, the fall of the oppressive Communist regime involved very little loss of life as millions of people filled the streets of Moscow, Warsaw, Berlin, Bucharest and other major cities in Eastern Europe. Within days of the uprisings once invincible tyrants either fled for their lives or met their doom. Young Germans in Berlin beat down the Berlin Wall with sledge hammers and crowbars, etching iconic images of freedom forever in the memories of anyone over thirty.
An Eastern Orthodox Church Christmas
Nanxi Cao - 12/14/2013
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus that is celebrated on different days by two divisions of the traditional Christian Church-the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Using Comics to Counter Islamophobia?
Sufyan bin Uzayr - 12/9/2013
Depending on your socio-political views, you may choose to agree or disagree with me when I say: Islamophobia is in the air. Be it the USA, UK or even Myanmar, there are a good number of people out there who view Muslims as a community that is troublesome and refuses to integrate. In the midst of all this, it was a pleasant thing to read when Marvel announced that the leading character in their new comic book series will be a Muslim girl.
Angola: A conspiracy to ban Islam?
Tanveer Jafri - 12/9/2013
The continuous political and military interference by the West in Islamic countries is giving rise to violence and terrorism against the West.
Munchausen and Munchausen by Proxy Syndromes: Forms of Pathological Narcissism?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/24/2013
Patients afflicted with the Factitious Disorder colloquially known as “Munchausen Syndrome” seek to attract the attention of medical personnel by feigning or by self-inflicting serious illness or injury. “Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome” (Factitious Illness or Disorder by Proxy, or Imposed by Another, or FII – Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers) involves the patient inducing illness in or causing injury to a dependent (child, old parent) in order to gain, in her capacity as a caretaker, the attention, praise, and sympathy of medical care providers. Both syndromes are forms of shared psychosi...
Seumas Milne: Yes, the criticism of Muslims is racist
Paul Austin Murphy - 11/18/2013
"Religious [Muslim/Islamic] suffering is... the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion [Islam] is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. ” - Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Blood Money, Neutrality Myth and the Jews
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 11/18/2013
Switzerland stands accused not only of disgracefully abandoning its policy of neutrality but also of clandestinely helping the Nazis during World War II…: thirty thousand Jewish refugees were turned back at the Swiss borders for certain death, and while 28,000 were admitted, the Swiss Jewish community was taxed for their upkeep.
Psychology of The Lifestyle (Swinging)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/13/2013
The Lifestyle involves sexual acts performed by more than two participants whether in the same space, or separately. It is also known as “swinging”, “wife-, or spouse-swapping”, “wife-, or spouse-sharing”, “group sex” and, where multiple people interact with a single person, “gangbanging”. Swinging can be soft (engaging in sexual activity with one’s own intimate partner, but in the presence of others), or hard (having sex not with one’s spouse or mate.) Threesomes (mostly male-female-male or MFM) are the most common configuration.
The Death of Traditional Sex in a Unisex World
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/7/2013
Traditional sex – the heady cocktail of lust and emotional bonding - is all but dead. In a culture of casual, almost anonymous hookups, suppressing attendant emerging emotions is the bon ton and women and men drift apart, zerovalent atoms in an ever-shifting, kaleidoscopic world, separated by a yawning expectations gap, their virtual isolation aided and abetted by technologies, collectively misnomered “social media“.
Media Imbalance on the Massacres in Kenya and Pakistan
Paul Austin Murphy - 10/13/2013
After 75 Christians were killed by jihadists outside a Church in Pakistan the other week, you might have wondered why the main news (by far) was the killing of 68 people in Nairobi (Kenya) - also by jihadists. (The UK's 'Islamophobic' Daily Mail didn't feature it at all so far and the 'right wing' Telegraph only featured it in its 'World' section.)
Britannica Online, Britannica DVD 2014
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/7/2013
The Britannica’s rich online content adds context and dollops of information to the already unsurpassed DVD (see below). It has been completely re-designed and is now Google-like in its simplicity, clutter-free and user-friendly as never before. Indeed, buyers of any of the Britannica’s physical products enjoy 30-180 days of free access to this cornucopian resource (they merely need to register their products online). Admittedly, at 30-50 USD annually the Britannica Online is not cheap and thus more suited to institutions, universities, schools, and libraries than to i...
The Euro And Schrödinger’s Cat
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 10/5/2013
The pervasive and unremitting “Eurocrisis” is not really a problem of economics nor are the remedies proposed to deal with it discernible in any economic theory. The Euro was established to provide a common currency among a group of wildly disparate economies and to be the vehicle for ever-closer federal union as a result of the use of the common currency. The problems that it has faced and the austerity programs that it has engendered have much more to do with the fields of parapsychology and physics than economic theory.
French Revolution and the triumph of liberal fascism
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 9/11/2013
“There are only two parties… the people and its enemies. We must exterminate those miserable villains who are eternally conspiring against the rights of man… [W]e must exterminate all our enemies.”
Narcissists, Social Media, and Porn
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/11/2013
Social media, such as Tumblr.com, have become the playground of narcissists, psychopaths, and sadists who post extreme and, at times, illegal porn and revel in the reactions to it, thus garnering vicarious narcissistic supply. Via such postings, they express their rabid misogyny by objectifying women and subjecting them to humiliating subjugation and to aggression bordering on outright violence.
We the People vs. We the Animals
Stone A. Washington - 9/4/2013
All animals are eqval, bvt some animals are more eqval than others.
The Pears Cyclopedia 2013-4 Edition
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/30/2013
I keep being astounded by the extent to which this one volume cyclopaedia is maintained meticulously up to date by a dedicated team of scholar-contributors, headed by the indefatigable polymath, Dr. Chris Cook. Hundreds of entries in dozens of sections reflect the latest developments and knowledge in numerous areas of life.
Pretend Warrior Syndrome (PWS)
Sasha Uzunov - 8/30/2013
John Anthony Hines, aged 69, was recently found guilty in an Australian court of falsely acting as a Vietnam War veteran. Characters such as Hines evoke little sympathy from real-life veterans who have faced death or have had mates killed in battle. We tend to view military impostors as being con-men seeking financial gain or suffering from a psychological problem. I would like to offer a third explanation, even though I am not a qualified psychologist, biologist, anthropologist. However, I can only offer observations, anecdotal evidence and material that I have gleaned from the media.
C.S. Lewis: when science becomes magic
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 8/30/2013
“The new oligarchy must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists until in the end the politicians become merely the scientists’ puppets.”
Lycurgus and proto-fascism
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 8/21/2013
"When a benevolent mind contemplates the republic of Lycurgus, its admiration is mixed with a degree of horror." ~Thomas Day
When Science Becomes Religion
Ron Coody - 7/5/2013
Ball State University physics professor Eric Hedin made national news recently after a complaint was made against him by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in response to his honors level course “The Boundaries of Science.” Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago joined the controversy saying that Hedin was promoting “Creationism.”
Exploring ideas on ASEM’s future
Shada Islam - 7/2/2013
Asian and European governments, business leaders and civil society talk to each other in numerous fora and on an expanding array of political, economic and social questions.
Taksim Square and Elsewhere: Analyzing The Nature of Revolutions and Protests
Sufyan bin Uzayr - 7/2/2013
Human history has always been a story of reform on one hand and revolution on the other. No matter what the circumstances or conditions be, time and again, humanity has witnessed its share of uprisings and unrest, which in turn have resulted in a change in the social order, be it for good or for worse.
Do We Need Another Black Death?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/2/2013
The Black Death – an epidemic of bubonic plague in the 14th century – decimated between one third and one half of Europe’s population, yet it was the best thing to have happened to Mankind in many centuries, says Mike Jamison of the the best solutions like allianz worldwide care specializing in expat health insurance or other key solution. The depleted number of survivors shared in the vast fortunes of the deceased, laying the foundation for modern, entrepreneurial capitalism; the added ...
Children of Same-sex Couples
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/2/2013
With same-sex marriage becoming a legal reality throughout the world, and with many benefits from lower taxes to expat health insurance or other key solution being available to gay couples, another issue comes up because many more children are going to be raised by homosexual parents, or even bytransgendered or transsexual ones. How is this going to affect the child’s masculinity or femininity?
The Demigod: Ahab, killed by Moby Dick or his obsession for revenge?
Stone A. Washington - 6/25/2013
Ahab is a strange man who lost his leg to a monstrous whale on his last voyage. Confined to his cabin due to a strange sickness, the captain has been in a savage mood since his encounter with the whale. Ishmael points out that the biblical Ahab was an evil man, but Peleg says that, in his opinion, Ahab is a good man: “He’s a grand, ungodly, godlike man” who is “kind of moody-desperate moody, and savage sometimes.”
Is This Not Child Abuse?
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye - 6/13/2013
If anyone had told me a few years ago that a time will come in Nigeria when the authorities will approve the teaching of sexual immorality as a subject in junior and secondary schools, I would have thought that the person had lost his mind. But now, before our very eyes, it is happening, and I lack words to describe the shock among many Nigerians!
To End Poverty, Overcome Moral Bankruptcy
John Obiechina - 6/9/2013
Many authors and academics, and even tax attorneys, in development studies have in one way or the other questioned the possibility of ending poverty. This possibility of ending poverty has led to several debates. While these debates continue to make headlines in the media, finding lasting solutions becomes a huge challenge. Therefore in examining the theme of this essay, four questions shall be raised and discussed.
The Burdens of Islam
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 6/3/2013
When it comes to Islam, there are some cumbersome burdens that media practitioners and social commentators are silently coping with. One is the need to be very sensitive and indeed tread quite carefully when they have to deal with anything Islamic because of possible reactions of Muslims.
Letter to Generation Y: Live the Classics
Stone A. Washington - 5/22/2013
Introduction: My father is Professor Ellis Washington, a legal commentator. In his 2011 WND.com article, “Letter to Generation Y” he is trying to help his professor friend, Professor Leonard McCoy’s son, Rashaan Thompson, a member of Gen. Y, to get back on the right track so he can go back to college as a freshman and have a successful career and a beautiful life in the future.
QR Codes: the Ubiquitous Content Management System
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/13/2013
QR (Quick Response) codes are graphical barcodes: square black dots arranged in a grid on a white background. Subject to the installation of an app, they can be scanned by devices such as smartphones and digital cameras and call up text, videos, audio snippets, and other digitized content. QR codes can be printed or pasted onto any flat surface: paper, walls, screens, or windows.
Americanization and Westernization of the Global Culture
Trish Hallmark - 4/4/2013
Are Americans forcing a global culture that smacks of jeans, t-shirts and apple pie? As American corporations like Wal-Mart, McDonalds and Acuvue Oasys, as well as European ones like Niance dot the globe, fueled by entrepreneurship ideologies, are they diluting the distinct cultural differences of our world? The debate over the Americanization of global culture centers around the trepidation ...
"INVESTMENT POLITICS" is LOOKING FOR AUTHORS
GP Interviews - 3/28/2013
Are you an expert on the nexus between international affairs, domestic politics, and economics and finance? If so, we would like to publish your work: articles, essays, analyses, observations, vignettes, travelogues, and memoires.
Impulse Control and Narcissistic Fear of Failure
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/28/2013
Many narcissistic defences, traits, and behaviours revolve around the compulsive need to sustain a grandiose self-image of perfection (“perfectionism”).
The Beautiful Mathematical Laws of Physics
Rashidul Bari - 3/28/2013
Women usually love apples, although many holy books, including Genesis and the Quran, prohibited the eating of the apple. So it’s no surprise that my wife, as a woman, loves apples. In fact, she loves apples so much that she never forgets to give me an apple every morning before I leave home. “What makes this so-called fruit of Eden so special?” I asked her once. “An apple a day will keep you away from doctor,” she replied.
Grim Reaper on All Saints Day
Stone A. Washington - 3/6/2013
Are You the one in costume or is it Me? Am I the young man behind the mask… or is it Thee?
Surprising new way to use an old device
Dan Sampson, Esq. - 3/4/2013
A new invention and upgrade to a hydraulic torque wrench will make it useful to car mechanics, claims a Houston auto glass company that came up with a surprising way to use this device. Hydraulic tensioners apply a force to an object to maintain it in tension.
America should back Israel's fight against Hamas, Hezbollah
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 2/28/2013
One of the most unusual aspects of the last ten years has been how Hezbollah camps in Lebanon and Hamas camps in Gaza have remained. You would think any serious effort to democratize Lebanon, or to eradicate terrorism, or to discredit undemocratic Islamist dogma would incorporate some semblance of an attempt to disarm, disband, or dissolve the Iranian-backed jihadist organization.
US-China on-going confrontation: Is New Cold War Likely?
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 2/28/2013
Although China and the United States have never been close allies despite very significant trade promoted by international business management more so than the governments, the recently increased activities of America in Asia-Pacific region, particularly as regards South China Sea row and China’s amazing overall progress, all these appear tending towards differences between them, thereby risking the eruption of a new Cold War.
Lenin’s dream of financial ruin
Mike Spaniola - 2/28/2013
Clues to the nation’s financial debacle can be found in the dustbin of history, but those most responsible hide their sleights of hand as closely as any magician. In 1919, British economist John Maynard Keynes observed: “[Vladimir] Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. … Lenin certainly was right.
Google Scholar: Legal Research for Both Lawyers and Non-Lawyers
Dan Sampson, Esq. - 2/28/2013
Google has recently launched Google Scholar, which is an amazing free resource for both lawyers and non-lawyers to research the law. (http://electricshaversuk.co.uk/). Google Scholar is a free search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature as well as court decisions.
Margaret Mead: Prophet of the sexual revolution
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 2/17/2013
Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
The New Matriarchy and the Redundant Male
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/10/2013
From the dawn of history to the late 1950s, the collective had been the organizing principle of human affairs. The pursuit of happiness was channelled via collectives and even dissidents and rebels formed collectives to express their grievances. But, this old system brought humanity to the verge of extinction. Disenchanted with mass ideologies, people switched to the opposite pole: militant individualism, which became the new battle cry and organizing principle of increasingly more narcissistic collectives and individuals alike.
Internationalization versus Globalization of Higher Education and Education for Peace
Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 2/10/2013
1. Internationalization versus Globalization of Higher Education
People-pleasers and Pathological Charmers
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/30/2013
People-pleasers dread conflicts and wish to avoid them (they are conflict-averse) - hence their need to believe that they are universally liked. Some choose people-pleaser professions and learn how to become a social worker, a counselor or a community organizer. Always pleasant, well-mannered, and civil, the conflict-averse people-pleaser is also evasive and vague, hard to pin down, sometimes obsequious and, generally, a spineless “non-entity”. These qualities are self-defeating as they tend to antagonize people rather than please them.
Stone A. Washington - 1/30/2013
My father, Ellis Washington, is a law professor and a legal commentator for WorldNetDaily.com and GlobalPolitician.com. Every year he writes a special Christmas essay during Advent. For Christmas 2011 he wrote an article titled, Prophetic Women regarding the little appreciated, but magnificent historical legacy of the Sibyls—Women prophets, who in biblical and pagan sources were also known as seers and oracles. Sibyls were often residents at shrines and temples throughout the ancient world. Inspired by my father’s opus, I am writing my own essay on the Sybil.
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 1/20/2013
Everywhere I look outside my home I see people busy on their high tech devices, while driving, while walking, while shopping, while in groups of friends, while in restaurants, while waiting in doctor offices and hospitals, while sitting in toilets – everywhere. While connected electronically, they are inattentive to and disconnected in physical reality.
Once and Future Monogamy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/2/2013
The ancient institution of monogamous marriage is ill-suited to the exigencies of modern Western civilization. People of both genders live and work longer (which renders monogamy impracticable); travel far and away frequently; and are exposed to tempting romantic alternatives via social networking and in various workplace and social settings.
Christmas – an apt time for reflection on compassion and mercy towards animals
Senaka Weeraratna - 1/2/2013
A key test of a civilized society and basis of functioning communities is the protection afforded to the vulnerable. Whether those in need of protection happen to be children, the sick, aged, enfeebled, destitute, exploited humans, or animals, a value measure of civilization is the degree to which their rights and welfare are protected by law and other community practices.
Thoughts Regarding Our Dystopic Future
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/29/2012
Many futurologists - professional (Toffler) and less so (Naisbitt) - tried their hand at predicting the future. They proved quite successful at foretelling major trends but not as lucky in delineating their details. This is because, inevitably, every futurologist has to resort to crude tools such as extrapolation. The modern day versions of the biblical prophets are much better informed - and this, precisely, seems to be the problem. The informational clutter obscures the outlines of the more pertinent elements.
Knowing God in an Age of Uncertainty
Ron Coody - 12/8/2012
This is an age of uncertainty. The country band Little Texas made this clear with their lyrics, "the only thing I'm sure of/is I don't know what I'd do without your love." Politicians on both sides of the fence tell us to "believe" or "hope" or have "vision", but the details about all this hoping and believing are pretty slim. Now that the dust has settled from the recent elections we see that people a wide range of opinions about the issues. The answers don't seem easy to find or agree upon. So folks look around at the wide variety of opinions, shrug their shoulders, try to keep a tolerant, open mind.
Original vs. Copy and the Question of Context
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/17/2012
Consider these conundrums:
1. A brilliant geek invents a 3D printer which replicates flawlessly the Mona Lisa. Leonardo’s masterpiece and the copy spewed out by the machine are indistinguishable even under an electron microscope: they cannot be told apart. In which sense, therefore, is the artist’s Mona Lisa superior to or different from its identical clone?
2. An ancient letter unearthed in the archives of the Church in France proves beyond any doubt that the Mona Lisa was not painted by Leonardo da Vinci, but by an obscure apprentice of his. The painting’s value drops o...
India vs. China: A Brewing Conflict?
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 11/17/2012
I. The on-going Chinese National Congress and India
Crime, Corruption And the Political System
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 11/4/2012
The world’s press is full of the terrible problems which a ‘rogue banking system’ has caused. The actions of the banks in the fall of Lehman Brothers and the corrupt fixing of the LIBOR rate in London by Barclays and other banks has been presented by journalists and analysts as a breakdown of the system. This may well be true but corruption and the flouting of rules is hardly a novel or unique event. Much of all international economic life, under capitalist, socialist, communist or despotic systems which utilises the abstraction of currency to express value and as a means of exchange has always been full of variations on the same theme.
Wake Up: Reject the Two-Party Plutocracy
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 10/16/2012
Here we go again. Millions of Americans will soon vote for either the Republican or Democratic presidential candidate not because they deeply believe that he is absolutely the best possible president the country needs and can have. No, they will know that they are compromising and choosing the lesser of two evils, mainly because most people know that both major parties and their candidates stink. The lesser evil is still a loser.
Friction, Efficiency, and Volatility in Financial Markets
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/16/2012
It is an open question whether frictionless markets are more efficient. Traders and investors need time to digest new information; incorporate it in models and theories regarding the markets and specific securities; map out the full implications of recent developments; resolve issues in structured settlements and decide how to act. We call this time lapse "friction" and it guarantees that players and agents act more or less rationally and consistently. In a frictionless market, panics, crashes, and bubbles are far more likely, rendering it less efficient, not more so.
Who is Actually Insulting Islam?
Rashidul Bari - 10/1/2012
The whole Muslim world—especially the Middle East—has been on fire for days.
I Hate This Brave, New World
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/1/2012
I hate this brave, new world where:
Illiteracy is 140 characters long and has a face-book;
Everyone has a thousand virtual "friends", but virtually no real friend;
Every child has a mother and multiple fathers, but no parents;
Knowledge is a matter of opinion and opinions a matter of fads;
Our idols sport muscles and vocal cords, but little else besides;
The right to vote is universal, but the will to vote is not;
Everyone has a right to free speech, but little of value to say;
Extramarital sex is considered recreation and monogamy a thro...
A Progressive Obsession
Jason R. Werbics - 9/29/2012
The most interesting feature to emerge from the Great Economic Collapse of 2008 is not how this event forced people to realize what truly takes precedence in their lives, but more importantly, how the common man and woman have been hoodwinked and lied to by the progressive, manipulated into believing political ideas and slogans that turned out to be false, presented with solutions to today’s problems that have more to do with undercutting the “enlightened freedoms” guaranteed by the American Constitution than moving America toward a tomorrow of prosperity.
REVIEW Pears Cyclopedia 2012-2013
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/29/2012
The 2012-2013 edition of Pears Cyclopaedia is the first major revision in some time. It adds considerable heft to veteran chapters as well as re-introduces categories of knowledge from previous editions.
The ignorance of faithless believers
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 9/29/2012
Which subtler way to put the recent display of violent demonstrations in parts of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and now northern Nigeria, which was characterised by burning of flags and pictures, and even leading to the killing of people in some cases, over a stupid obnoxious video clip?
The Social Costs of Small Business
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/22/2012
Big Business (with 1000 employees or more) and traditional business (central office or factory) provided workers with a network of social contacts and with opportunities to fraternize and befriend others. These workplaces fostered the formation of formal and informal emotional and economic peer-based support groups. These benefits were lost with the advent of the Small Office Home Office (SOHO), flextime, and personal entrepreneurship.
Sex - Or Gender? Film Review: "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" (2012)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/18/2012
Modern pop culture bombards us with gender stereotypes, which by now have become truisms: women are always sensitive, misunderstood, in touch with their emotions and neglected; men are commitment-phobic, confused, narcissistic, hypersexed, and hell-bent on frustrating the opposite number.
Crime, Corruption And the Political System
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 8/30/2012
The world’s press is full of the terrible problems which a ‘rogue banking system’ has caused. The actions of the banks in the fall of Lehman Brothers and the corrupt fixing of the LIBOR rate in London by Barclays and other banks has been presented by journalists and analysts as a breakdown of the system. This may well be true but corruption and the flouting of rules is hardly a novel or unique event. Much of all international economic life, under capitalist, socialist, communist or despotic systems which utilises the abstraction of currency to express value and as a means of exchange has always been full of variations on the same theme.
Britain- Ecuador stand-off over Assange’s extradition
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 8/22/2012
The asylum granted by Ecuador to the WikiLeaks founder Mr. Julian Assange may result into an unprecedented stand-off as Britain may resort to a possible military option against Ecuador though with Australian involvement into this controversy, the rising temperatures are likely cool down.
The Dynamics of Modern Marriages
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/8/2012
Until recently, couples formed around promises of emotional exclusivity and sexual fidelity, uniqueness in each other’s mind and life, and (more common until the 1940s) virginity. Marriage was also a partnership: economic, or related to childrearing, or companionship. It was based on the partners’ past and background and geared towards a shared future.
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 7/21/2012
Academic Collectivism relies on the claims of “experts” rather than original documents as the standard for truth.
Time-limited Marriage: Solution to Cheating and Divorce?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/10/2012
The ancient institution of monogamous marriage is ill-suited to the exigencies of modern Western civilization. People of both genders live and work longer (which renders monogamy impracticable); travel far and away frequently; and are exposed to thousands of tempting romantic alternatives via social networking. In an age of malignant individualism, bordering on narcissism, men and women alike put themselves, their fantasies, and their needs first, all else – family included – be damned. And with 5 decades of uninterrupted prosperity and feminism/ women’s lib most of the female denizens of the ...
Lost in Space
Ron Coody - 7/10/2012
My oldest son John called the other day from college where he is studying physics. He excitedly asked if I had heard the latest news. No, I said, thinking he was referring to some natural disaster or political event. He continued, "My professor just got back from Switzerland after working on a team at the Hadron particle accelerator. He said he had some exciting news but couldn't tell us until it came out in the international media." I paused, then said, "Okay, what was it." John grew more excited, "He was on one of the teams that did calculations proving the existence of the Higgs Boson...
Deconstructionism in modern society
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 6/23/2012
Conservative historian David Barton, in his outstanding new book—“The Jefferson Lies: Exploring the Myths You’ve Always Known About Thomas Jefferson,” has once again presented an opus that shines the light of truth on the lies and propaganda of atheism, progressivism, liberalism, humanism, and secular elites who possess a venal hatred against American exceptionalism.
Campuses, Concealed Carry and the Right of Self-Defense
David Huntwork - 6/23/2012
A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. - Sigmund Freud
GLOBAL SWEEP USA Like Greece, Retail Sales, Euro,
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/16/2012
I. The United States Is Becoming Too Much Like Greece
The Tower of Names: ICAAN gTLDs Aim for the Summit
Naseem Javed - 6/10/2012
What’s all this curious noise in global media about the booming ICANN gTLD dot names?
Tobacco: Still The Silent, Ruthless Killer Near You!
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye - 6/4/2012
May 31 was “World No Tobacco Day” (WNTD). First observed in 1987 following a motion passed by a cabinet of the World Health Assembly (WHA) which received the tacit support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has become a day devoted to global campaigns and efforts to significantly reduce, and eventually eliminate, the consumption of tobacco which not only ruins the health of its users, but also exposes every other person to serious harm by polluting the air we all breathe.
GLOBAL SWEEP: US Jobs, Spain and the Euro, JP Morgan
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/4/2012
I. Another Lousy Jobs Report: Unemployment Up, Few Jobs Added
Off to Sweden? Assange and his Anti-Politics
Binoy Kampmark - 6/4/2012
Confused, perhaps a tad neurotic, unhinged and overall an unstable mix, Julian Assange now faces a ratcheted assault on his badge as ‘freedom fighter’. His loss in the British Supreme Court has imperilled him, though he does, unusually, have a fortnight to appeal that decision to extradite him to Sweden.
GLOBAL SWEEP: Europe, Romeny, US Recession
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/27/2012
I. U.S. Recession Could to Follow Greek Exit from Euro
Cold Empathy and Warm Empathy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/20/2012
Empathy is comprised of two components:
I. Cold Empathy: an intersubjective agreement as to the mental content (especially emotions) of two or more human subjects;
II. Warm Empathy: the emotional response to Cold Empathy.
Cold Empathy is an act of taxonomy and an attempt to overcome the barriers posed by the inaccessibility of the private languages of the empathee and the empathor. It entails a comparison of the mental states of the subjects, based on introspection and the classification of said mental states within agreed linguistic and cultural...
GLOBAL SWEEP: Greece, American Banks
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/19/2012
I. Why and How Greece Must Exit the Euro
Austerity is imposing intolerable unemployment and political chaos in Greece, and won’t permit it to repay its debts. Athens must abandon the euro and reintroduce the drachma.
After the euro was adopted in 1999, productivity growth was slower and prices rose faster in Southern Europe than in Germany and other northern states. The more competitive north enjoyed growing trade surpluses and the Mediterranean states deficits.
Trade deficits can instigate high unemployment and curb tax revenues, and to create jobs and finance social pr...
GLOBAL SWEEP: Yuan, JP Morgan, Euro, Trade Deficit
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/16/2012
I. China’s Yuan Remains Hugely Undervalued, Dragging down U.S. Growth, Jobs
The Demise of Empathy at Home and in the Family and the Role of Technology
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/4/2012
Empathy is on a precipitous decline in the family and home environments. Technology is partly to blame, but so are other social and economic trends.
The Demise of Empathy in Business and the Workplace
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/3/2012
Empathy is at the foundation of both altruism and collaboration. Thus, while it does consume scarce resources, empathy confers important evolutionary advantages both from the individual’s point of view (cooperation) and from the species’s (altruism.)
America's GDP, Europe's Collapse
Prof. Peter Morici - 4/30/2012
I. USA: First Quarter GDP Advances 2.2 Percent, Economy Slowing
Breivik and the Death of Multiculturalism
Abid Mustafa - 4/25/2012
Breivik the right-wing Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people used court appearances to demand a “medal of honour” for killing “traitors” who had facilitated "Islamic colonization”. He also vehemently denounced multiculturalism and said,” We, the Norwegian resistance movement, will not just stand by while we are made a minority in our own country.” Breivik is not alone in his rile against multiculturalism.
INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS: Spain and China
Prof. Peter Morici - 4/19/2012
I. Spain Predicament Show the Perils of Austerity, Tough Limits on Central Banks
IQCRACY: Against Barbarians with iPads
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/23/2012
The survival of the species depends on the establishment of an IQcracy, a Platonian Republic of the Intellect. At the top, serving as leaders and decision-makers, would be people with 150 IQ and higher. A soaring Intelligence Quotient (IQ), by itself, is insufficient, of course. Members of this elite of "philosopher-kings" would also have to be possessed with a high emotional quotient (EQ) and sound mental health.
Parasite singles, boomerang kids, and accordion families
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/21/2012
The Japanese call them “parasite singles”, the Americans “boomerang kids”. Sociologists refer to the “accordion family”: it expands and then contracts as children return to what should have been an “empty nest.” With an anemic jobs market (youth unemployment hovers above 20% throughout the industrial world), extended education, and a culture of rampant individualism (not to say egotistical narcissism), parents are forced to continue to bankroll their children and take care of their needs well into their offspring’s thirties. Infantilism rocks and rules.
The Lost Son Parable and Repentance
Elias Bejjani - 3/14/2012
Lent is a prime time for spiritual change through genuine praying, serious and in depth self-examination, return to the roots of faith, repentance and forgiveness.
The United States of Islam
Alexander Maistrovoy - 3/10/2012
Arabic Caliphate is not a figment anymore: fragments of the Middle Eastern regimes will soon form a group of islands called The Muslim Archipelago
The Delegitimization of Torture
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/29/2012
Throughout human (and Western) history and well into the 19th century torture was considered in large swathes of the world (and of Europe) to be a legitimate tool of interrogation, intended mainly to prove innocence and weed out the guilty. Torture was socially accepted and condoned. Both Church and state made use of torture habitually. There were manuals about torture techniques and implements. Written codes of conduct regulated minutely the process of torture and clearly demarcated what was allowed and what was impermissible.
Will Mother Tongues Divide Global Internet Experience?
Naseem Javed - 2/28/2012
Within the next five years there could be as many as five billion online users on the Internet. The world is overflowing with cheap technology and round the clock induction towards online living. But there are early signs that this might change: SEO consultancy is now a multi-language business as people are searching in their mother tongue more and more.
FDI Policy in Multi-brand Retail Favors the Big Multinationals
Shekar Swamy - 2/24/2012
On 24 November 2011, the Indian government approved 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail stores and 100 percent in single brand outlets in its $450 billion retail market. The decision was met with a howl of protest from allies and opposition alike. Even several sections of the ruling Congress party have also expressed their reservation against the policy announcement. The country has not witnessed such a polarized view on foreign investment policy in the last two decades.
Global Cyber Name Identities Face New Storms
Naseem Javed - 2/24/2012
Suddenly, perfect storms are developing on the global branding fronts; the top of the agenda is now ‘naming’ of the brands itself, such as act now domains, and how will the names survive the rapid changes of massive digitalization of social media where such name identities reside and skate to catch customers via global cyber branding.
Excessive speed as a vital human factor in road traffic accident
Adewale T Akande - 2/16/2012
Driving is a means to achieve objectives associated with everyday life in our society. At the same time, driving requires a serious responsibility that determine the driver’s safety and that of the other road users within the vicinity. We drive to work, visit friends and relations, and travel to different places-short and long distances-for personal or public activities. A person that cannot plan, organise and manage his precious time effectively and efficiently, he then result to do all things in a hurry. As a result of this, many people drive faster without minding the speed limit and cauti...
The Death Knell of Success in Business
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/16/2012
The film “The Artist” describes the waning career of a megastar of the era of silent movies when he refuses to make the transition into the epoch of “talkies” (films with sound.) He mocks the innovation and then challenges it by producing a lavish production of yet another silent epic. His inevitable downfall follows. He is reduced to pawning and auctioning off his few remaining belongings.
Question of the limits of ‘Freedom of Expression’
Tanveer Jafri - 2/14/2012
International Human Rights organisations are the biggest advocates of the Freedom of Speech and Expression. Everyone should have the right to freely put forward his/her views and opinions. But every other day, the reports suggest that in one country or the other, an attempt is being made to suppress the Freedom of Expression. It was in the practice of the same ‘Freedom of Expression’ when a Danish newspaper Jilland Posten published a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad. It met with violent reactions in many Muslim countries. If the publication of that cartoon was an example of the so called Freedom of Expression of the cartoonist, what would we call the violence that ensued?
Valentin'e Day for Love
Professor Nanxi Cao - 2/10/2012
You are far from me!
You are close to me!
You are in me!
Written by Jothi, www.123.greetingcards.com
The above poem speaks of not just romantic love, but of all forms of love in the world. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, for one’s lover, one’s spouse, one’s family, one’s friends, for those in need of the healing touch of love, for one’s fellow man, and for the universe in such turmoil today. Love comes in all different sizes, purpose, and need. We all need love in our lives. Love keeps us alive, giving us all a purpose...
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 2/3/2012
The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. ~ Goya
Bodily Effects of Torture and Abuse
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/31/2012
There is one place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed – one's body, a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The torturer invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and, often, sadistically and sexually, with undisguised pleasure. Hence the all-pervasive, long-lasting, and, frequently, irreversible effects and outcomes of torture.
Symposium - The damnation of ideas
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 1/26/2012
Socrates (470-399 B.C.) – a renowned Greek philosopher from Athens who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a method of teaching by asking leading questions. The Greeks called this form dialectic – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas and moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth.
Market Domination via Name Identity
Naseem Javed - 1/26/2012
Global corporate nomenclature is making history, right now, as ICANN gTLD platform opens with full swing, the established and largest name brands of the world are now pitted against the newest, recently incubated, globally poised but relatively unknown name brands.
Cruise Ship Vacation Wisdom
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 1/24/2012
While in recent years I have chosen to participate in vacation inspirations on the caravan park holidays, I have taken a number of cruise ship vacations. The last one was about a year and half ago. I learned a lot about cruise ships and what factors should go into decisions about selecting a specific cruise ship that I want to share with you.
When Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Clash: Can Both Prevail Together?
Nuredin Netabay - 1/20/2012
Conflict resolution and human rights are inseparable when it comes to the well-being of human communities. Both are underlying ingredients to bringing lasting peace. Neither can stand alone nor bring about tranquility of order. Human rights (justice) and conflict resolution (peace) are mutually inclusive. In principle, justice must not be sacrificed for peace, and the opposite is true. Simply, peace cannot operate without justice and vise versa.
Balancing or reconciling human rights and conflict resolution can present a major challenge. While it is essential to...
Is Religion the Root of All Evil? Is Dawkins Right?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/17/2012
Richard Dawkins, the famous evolutionary biologist, traces the roots of evil to organized religion and to faith itself: the belief in a God has spawned all manner of wickedness and malice throughout history, he claims.
Rating Downgrades: S&P Got France Right, Germany Wrong
Prof. Peter Morici - 1/17/2012
Standard & Poor’s was correct to downgrade the credit ratings of France and seven other Eurozone governments, but wrong to affirm Germany’s AAA status. The euro will inevitably collapse and chaos will follow, endangering even the strongest governments.
Durban Fiasco: Options for Third World
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 1/13/2012
The recently held UN Conference on Climate Change in Durban could not blossom into full spirit. It simply agrees to engage into more talks to arrive at some kind of legally binding instruments ensuring imposition of emission curbs on all countries from 2020. It admits, according to this source, the fact that it is already too late to prevent the two degree Celsius rise which is the maximum limit for human beings on Earth to tolerate. The summit also witnessed the closing of not only the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 but also the idea of common but different...
Maltin's Movie Guides Keep Giving
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/11/2012
Maltin’s Movie Guide requires no booting, minimal “surfing”, and no software, or special hardware. It is always on and it is authoritative in the best sense of the word: implying erudition, not bullying. It is updated sufficiently frequently to remain relevant in its field, though, admittedly, a web presence with real-time capsule reviews, peer-reviewed content, and user-generated commentary would have leveraged the Maltin brand to good use. An iPhone/iPad app of the Guide is a step in the right direction, hopefully to be followed by a comparable Android offering.
Judaism’s Child Play
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/8/2012
Judaism is the only monotheistic religion which expressly allots a crucial role in its rites and ceremonies to infants, their predilections, and their pursuits. Children are positively encouraged and incentivized – often monetarily – to disrupt even the most solemn proceedings with questions (in Passover, during the Seder) or with raucous displays (in Purim, when they use their rattles to mark the names of Haman and other ill-wishers.)
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 1/3/2012
Now is come the last age of Cumaean song; the great line of the centuries begins anew. Now the Virgin returns, the reign of Saturn returns; now a new generation descends from heaven on high. Only do you, pure Lucina, smile on the birth of the child, under whom the iron brood shall at last cease and a golden race spring up throughout the world! Your own Apollo now is king!
The gTLD Opera
Naseem Javed - 12/23/2011
The curtain rises on January 12th 2012 but key players are still singing different tunes. Let's peek into their performance as they start taking center stage.
Make War and Money: Innovate!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/20/2011
War and money confer an evolutionary advantage on Mankind by spurring innovation: hence their ubiquity. Attempts to foster creativity and genius via state largesse, the education system, and bolstering entrepreneurship pale in comparison to the accomplishments wrought on by belligerence and cupidity.
Recession 2012, Euro Rejected, Newt and Obama
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/19/2011
I. A Second Great Recession in 2012?
Just as the U.S. economy appears improving, four sets of forces could thrust America into an abyss rivaling the Great Depression.
First, for decades, the Washington has pursued more open global trade and domestic deregulation. These unleashed great potential for innovation and growth; however, China and other nations have abused freer trade through export subsidies and import barriers to boost their economies at the expense of others. And, in some industries, a few players have amassed great monopoly power—notably, large financial house...
European Union, Eurasian Union
Lorna Thomas - 12/14/2011
1."FIVE DAYS TO SAVE THE EURO" AND AN EU TREATY CHANGE - GERMANY'S ROLE IN EUROPE GROWS INCREASINGLY DOMINANT
Martyrdom of Hussein, Enemies of Islam
Tanveer Jafri - 12/14/2011
I. Martyrdom of Hussein reminds of victory of truth
What Will Happen to My Euros?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/14/2011
Investors have lost confidence in the political leadership of the Eurozone: in their commitment to the project, their solidarity, their willingness and ability to adopt unpopular measures, and their managerial competence.
America’s political domination on two continents is over
Abid Mustafa - 12/12/2011
The fall of America doesn't have to be a complete collapse -- it is, after all, a country that has managed to reinvent itself many times before. But today it's no longer certain -- or even likely -- that everything will turn out fine in the end. --Der Spiegel
A Shawshank Redemption Christmas
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 12/8/2011
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't wanna know. Some things are best left unsaid… It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away and for the briefest of moments every last man at Shawshank felt free.
Merkel Reforms Will Worsen Euro Crisis
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/8/2011
European leaders are working feverously to create what German Chancellor Merkel is calling a “fiscal union” to restore private investor confidence in Europe and rekindle growth. Unfortunately, what she advocates will thrust Europe into a deeper economic crisis, and leave European leaders without the fiscal and monetary policy tools necessary to combat recessions.
American, Jobs, German Euro
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/5/2011
I. Unemployment Drops to 8.6 Percent as Many Adults Quit Labor Force
The Democratic Renaissance Springs Forth into its Second Year: A New Era of Enlightenment Emerges
Jason R. Werbics - 12/2/2011
Eyes have been opened. Minds have been freed.
At the time of its publication in the summer of 2010, who could have imagined that the Direct Democracy Ireland manifesto, with its foreshadowing of a Democratic Renaissance, would be the first document of its kind to accurately describe a political and intellectual movement yet to attain substance and form; an aspiration that resided solely in the hearts and minds of millions around the world, brought closer together through technology and social media; an audacity to dream a little dream of freedom, dignity and hope everywhere, emboldened ...
Private Education - A Bad Idea?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/2/2011
I am not too impressed with the level of public education. But is private education the solution?
Occupy Revolution/Movement: Next Step Convergence
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 11/30/2011
There is a growing convergence of thinking about where the US Occupy movement should go as a next step to turning its values, concerns and commitments into changing what most Americans see as broken government under control of corporate interests. When it comes to political and social movements, history shows us that they usually fail not because they disappear, but rather because they become marginalized, unimportant despite a core group of committed people and groups.
Abandon the Euro, Shy Away from Treasuries
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/28/2011
I. Time Fast Approaching for EU to Abandon the Euro
The Feminine Mystique of Marxism
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 11/18/2011
Society had to be restricted so that women, who happen to be the people who give birth, could make a human, responsible choice whether or not—and when—to have children, and not be barred thereby from participating in society in their own right. This meant the right to birth control and safe abortion.
Ahmadi-Muslims: the Moderate Muslims of Islam
Allison Knight-Khan - 11/16/2011
The media often asks the question: “Where are the moderate Muslims?” This question has been repeated often since 9/11. The question doesn’t really beg for an answer. It suggests that there are no moderate Muslims. In fact, it is a criticism. They are not looking for the moderate Muslims at all. I mean, if you look, you might find something…and that is not their intention at all. What they suggest or insinuate by asking this rhetorical question is: there are no moderate Muslims.
Germany is Next to Fall
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/16/2011
As the crisis in Italy is threatening to spread to France, Austria, Belgium, and other "solid citizens" of the eurozone, pundits have hitherto ignored the greatest threat: Germany. With its economy stagnant (0.5% projected GDP growth this year), Germany has assumed hundreds of billions of euros in new commitments to the faltering euro project. Normally, in times of crisis, investors would snatch up German bunds, driving up their prices and driving down their yields. This time, yields on Germany's much-vaunted bunds remained stable. Investors are shying away, terrified that the toxic waste gene...
Will Google Search Replace Domain Names?
Naseem Javed - 11/14/2011
The growing notion among big advertising agencies and brand marketers is that as search engines find answers instantly, there's no real need to enter a domain name in the browser and therefore domain names are far less important. They're absolutely right. Why would you type www.rolex.com when you can simply enter 'Rolex' and be there before you blink? Will act now domains make any difference?
Penn State Scandal: Big Time Sports Harm Universities
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/14/2011
The scandal at Penn State is more than a stain on a storied college football program and patriarchic coach. It is an indictment against universities who continue the pretense that big time sports support their academic mission.
Italy, Gold, and the Euro
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/9/2011
I. Berlusconi Ouster Won’t Avert Italian Default, Euro Collapse
Eurozone Crisis: You Read It First in Global Politician, almost TWO YEARS ago!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/9/2011
Almost two years (!) before anyone dreamed of a eurozone crisis, a Greek default, and soaring yields on Italian bonds, Global Poilitician has published a series of articles predicting all three events. Click on the links and judge for yourselves:
Weak Position Limits Cannot Tackle Speculation in Commodities
Kavaljit Singh - 11/2/2011
After months of delay, the US commodity regulator – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – finally approved new rules to limit traders’ positions on 28 physical commodity futures (and swaps) contracts.
ICAAN and gTLDs: Revolt and Fantasy
Naseem Javed - 10/31/2011
I. A Made Up Fantasy and the ICANN GTLD Reality
According to webcentricsolutionsonline.co.uk, Gary Elliot, the chairman of the Association of National Advertisers and vice president of global marketing at Hewlett-Packard, wrote a column in Advertising Age titled "ICANN's Promises Aren't Simply Speculation, They're Outright Fantasy".
His arguments opposing ICANN gTLDs are similar to the other heads of various advertising associations around the world.
While the main powerbrokers of the global advertising sector are mum, ...
Poverty: a social burden or a challenge to be alleviated
Iqbal Ahmed - 10/27/2011
What is poverty? It points to a cycle of human behavior, suggesting that the poor remain in poverty because of their adaptation to the burden of unfulfilled needs.
The Quick Demise of Qwikster - ICANN gTLD Approach
Naseem Javed - 10/19/2011
The superstar movie rental giant, Netflix rapidly graduated to movie streaming and suddenly splintered the old fashioned DVD movie rentals and created 'Qwikster', a separate division with a name identity inspired by the sorts of Twitter and Napster etc. When the outcry of customers reached the boardroom, the objections over account access, dual billings and having to deal with two separate unrelated name identities overwhelmed the management while the wisdom kicked in.
It's the Same Banking Crisis, Stupid!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/15/2011
The crisis that started in 2008 is a banking crisis and it is still going strong, from mortgages to payday loans. Banks all over the world over-leveraged their capital and extended loans unwisely to the undeserving. American financial institutions lent money to homeowners who could not pay back, buried as they were under a mountain of debt. European banks lavished funds on countries such as Greece and Italy which were technically insolvent or illiquid owing to low economic growth rates and bloated public sectors. Chinese "banks" were coerced into ba...
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/11/2011
Encyclopedia Britannica 2011-2012 Ultimate Editions
Britannica Guides and CD-ROMs
The Encyclopedia Britannica has long been much more than a venerable print reference work. A decade ago it pioneered a freemium website (some content free, other content behind a pay wall). This has now flourished into a comprehensive walled garden of knowledge. Additionally, the Britannica publishes books and CD-ROMs about specific topics and issues. These are the best primers and introductions available to a host of fields and areas, from hi...
Modern Hagiography: Steven Jobs and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/8/2011
Steven Jobs had one important insight in his entire life: that people are imbeciles and should be treated as such. Prior to this epiphany, this college dropout had failed in everything he had done and touched, to the point of being ousted by a soft-drinks executive from the very company he had founded. By 1985, his products had been roundly rejected by both the robust business market and the fledgling home market.
Darwin’s diabolical delusions
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 9/30/2011
Liberals defend the guilty and impugn the innocent not only because they side with barbarians, but because a fair and just system of law challenges their hegemony as judges of the universe.
How much is that?
Naseem Javed - 9/28/2011
Is $185,000 the right price for a single gTLD? No, it's definitely not. If a gTLD is supposed to provide worldwide exclusive use of a name identity with unlimited sub-name-brand-extension-domains, this amount is insufficient for ICANN to add on critical features in the same application process. A gTLD is like buying a powerful car engine, and being given a list of body makers, mechanics and tire shops for optional fitting. This is just how it was before the revolutionary
BOOK REVIEW: The Oldale Curiosity Shop
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/15/2011
“Who, or Why, or Which, or What: A Global Gazetteer of the Instructive and Strange” by John Oldale – London and New-York, Particular Books (Penguin Group), 2011
Narcissist's Reactions to Deficient, Fake, Negative, Low-grade, or Static Narcissistic Supply
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/9/2011
The narcissist presents to the world a facade of invincibility, equanimity, superiority, skilfulness, cool-headedness, invulnerability, and, in short: indifference.
Yen’s Recent Surge Hurting Japan
Rajaram Panda, Ph.D. - 9/5/2011
The steady appreciation of the Japanese Yen is hurting Japan’s economy at a time when it is still struggling to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the unresolved crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The administration of Kan Naoto government was unable to implement policy measures to deal with the catastrophe. His successor Noda Yoshihiko, who was the finance minister in the Kan Cabinet, is expected to understand financial matters better and therefore has a tough job to do to rein in the surging Yen. When the Yen ventured near its March 17 high of 76.25 agains...
Darwin’s legal legacy: Justice O.W. Holmes
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 9/1/2011
To Holmes law was simply an embodiment of the ends and purposes of a society at a given point in its history.
Crisis of Growth, Crisis of Measuring Growth
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/26/2011
The sovereign debt crisis of 2010-2 emanated from the realization that lower growth rates throughout the industrialized West were insufficient to guarantee the repayment of debts accumulated by governments. The proceeds of the credits and loans assumed by public sectors throughout Europe and in the USA were ploughed into successive futile attempts to stimulate ailing economies and avert banking crises and panics.
‘Ideological terrorism’ is the biggest threat to mankind
Tanveer Jafri - 8/22/2011
Terrorism is considered to be the biggest challenge facing the world today. The pattern emerging out of it clearly shows that most of the perpetrators of terrorist violence are either influenced by or owe their allegiance to one or another extreme ideology.
Psychopathic Narcissists: The Uncanny Valley of Cold Empathy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/22/2011
Cold Empathy evokes the concept of “Uncanny Valley”, coined in 1970 by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori. Mori suggested that people react positively to androids (humanlike robots) for as long as they differ from real humans in meaningful and discernible ways. But the minute these contraptions come to resemble humans uncannily, though imperfectly, human observers tend to experience repulsion, revulsion, and other negative emotions, including fear.
The Debt Crisis and the Difference between a Strategic and a Tactical Surprise
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 8/19/2011
One of the main features that distinguish a crisis from a non-crisis situation is the element of surprise.
Japan and Russia: Lessons from each other
Sameer Jafri - 8/19/2011
Russia is about 40 times bigger than Japan in terms of area; still they both complement each other in many ways. Albeit following different systems of administration and governance, both Japan and Russia boast of lots of feats to their credit attained during the post-World War period. Still, there remains much for both of them to learn from each other.
REVIEW Thieves: One Dirty TV Pastor and the Man Who Robbed Him
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/18/2011
TITLE: Thieves: One Dirty TV Pastor and the Man Who Robbed Him (Denver, Trey Smith Books, 2011)
The global crisis and the decline of market fundamentalism
Prof. Dr. Rumen Georgiev - 8/18/2011
The questions how is the current global economic crisis similar to previous collapses of this kind and in what way it differs from them, as well as what lessons we should draw from it, has been debated on a number of occasions during various scientific discussions and in the media.
The gTLD Metamorphosis
Naseem Javed - 8/16/2011
The cocooned GTLD has started to spread its wings, soon it will show its color and become a butterfly. The well guarded fuzzy and slow progress has finally put some real power in the most anticipated metamorphosis but the world still
The Insanity of the Insanity Defense
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/16/2011
By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"
Aron Levy, who kidnapped, murdered and dismembered 8-year old Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn now faces a battery of defense-appointed experts in an attempt to plead NGRI (“Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity”). He has a history of “psychiatric disorders” and had been hearing voices, his lawyers claim.
The insanity defense in criminal trials is nothing new. The Babylonian Talmud had this to say 1800 years ago: “It is an ill thing to knock against a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor. He that wounds them is culpable, b...
Letter to Generation Y
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 8/12/2011
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.
Liberal fascism through the ages
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 8/5/2011
No matter how mad the plan is—Fraternité, the ‘New Soviet Man,’ the Master Race, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Building a New Society, ObamaCare—a [liberal] mob will believe it.
The Case of Maltin's Movie Guides: The Expert and the Crowd
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2011
In an age of crowdsourcing and mob "wisdom" made available on every mobile device, why invest in a reference book? With dozens of user reviews available on websites such as imdb.com and rottentomatoes.com for each film ever shot, however obscure - why bother with Maltin's voluminous fine-print doorstopper movie guides? Because Maltin is the Britannica to imdb's Wikipedia: he offers expertise where laymen merely register opinions.
Ron Coody - 7/27/2011
On the front page of the Turkish newspaper I picked up today at the local Istanbul cafe two articles confronted me.
The Greatest Savings Crisis in History
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/27/2011
In 1996-7, a saving bank named TAT collapsed in Macedonia, eliminating the savings of thousands of people of all walks of life and nearly causing a recession.
Portfolio Management Theory And Technical Analysis Lecture Notes
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/25/2011
The Bill of Rights of the Investor
1. To earn a positive return (=yield) on their capital.
2. To insure his investments against risks (=to hedge).
3. To receive information identical to the that of ALL other investors - complete, accurate and timely and to form independent judgement based on this information.
4.To alternate between investments - or be compensated for diminished liquidity.
5. To study how to carefully and rationally manage his portfolio of investments.
6.To compete on equal terms for the allocation of resources.
7. To assume tha...
The Morality of Child Labor
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/21/2011
From the comfort of their plush offices and five to six figure salaries, self-appointed NGO's often denounce child labor as their employees rush from one five star hotel to another, $3000 subnotebooks and PDA's in hand. But they forget that outside of the West where we can hire companies like CheckMaid NYC to perform janitorial and other tasks, this is not available and children, rather than corporations, are expected to help support families. The hairsplitting distinction made by the ILO between "child work" and "child la...
Ann Coulter on [liberal] mob psychology
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 7/21/2011
Laws of logic have no action on crowds.
~ Gustave Le Bon (1896)
But liberals, being a mob, are perfectly capable of holding two completely contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time.
~ Ann Coulter
Leading conservative intellectual and my fellow WND colleague, Ann Coulter has done it again writing yet another #1 New York Times bestselling book, “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America.” In this outstanding book Coulter uses the enduring idée fixe that “Democrats are heirs to the French Revolution, the uprising of a mob. Conservatives are heirs to the Am...
Who will tell the Men and Women of God?
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 7/18/2011
Up until not too long ago, everybody we knew was Anglican, Catholic or something similar to that. The clergymen were then known by titles such as canon, reverend, father and vicar. They were known for their robes, collar and demeanor; they were not necessarily good public or motivational speakers but they were clearly knowledgably, well read, generally full of commonsense and always capable offering administrative aid such as letter writing and providing reference and representations. Miracles were not part of the most frequently discussed topics of the clergymen of then and their congregations were quite content.
From Madoff to Murdoch to Greece: Whatever Happened to Ethics?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/18/2011
The former head of the biggest stock exchange in the world swindles his clients. The editors and journalists of Britain's largest paper hack the phone of the victims of crime and terrorism. Greek workers paralyze the country, refusing to give up early and costly pensions. American congressmen say that defaulting on the country's debts wouldn't be such a bad thing.
The Missing Dimension
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 7/13/2011
It has been a great source of interest to read the erudite and professional reports of think tanks, high-priced political and economic consultants and a host of governmental and non-governmental experts on the subject of the conflicting pressures in international relations without seeing a word about the activities of national and international labour organisations as key players in this process.
Caylee Calls us to the Crossroads
Ron Coody - 7/13/2011
I've read a little bit in recent days about the case of the death of Caylee Anthony. It's tragic, unbelievably tragic. The court acquitted her mother of murder. What's so unbelievably frustrating and unjust in the matter is that a little girl died and was tossed out. The mother doesn't seem to care. Where is the desperate attempt to locate the person who put duct tape on Caylee's mouth and let her to decay in the woods? Where is the heart-wrenching sense of loss that a normal mother would feel at losing her child? All the mother seems to care about is having gotten off free.
South Sudan vs. Kosovo: Secession, National Sovereignty, and Territorial Integrity
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/13/2011
In July 2011, South Sudan became a new state by seceding from Sudan, follwing decades of civil war and a referendum.
Metamorphosis: Digital Presence of Print Newspapers (Lecture Notes)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/12/2011
Stage 1: Brainstorming
PAPERNAME ONLINE / ePAPERNAME SUGGESTED BRAINSTORMING AGENDA
I. STRATEGIC AIMS
Print versus Web primacy
Content flow models
The Web as an income or profit center
The Web as a marketing tool
The community aspects of the Web (interactivity, UGC - User Generated Content, social media strategies)
The Web as a shopping mall (e-commerce)
Integrative function of the medium's Web presence
PAPERNAME Online/ePAPERNAME as a brand and brand differentiation (the problem of cannibalism)
II. CONTENT and TRAINING
Letter to Generation X
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 7/12/2011
Property, brains and character will settle the question of civil rights.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/9/2011
"We permit all things to ourselves and that which we call sin in others is experiment for us, for there is no crime to the intellect."
The Making of Muhammad Yunus
Rashidul Bari - 6/28/2011
Grameen Bank (GB) was founded by Muhammad Yunus, a Fulbright scholar with a flair of a Citoyen (comrade). He was a classical economics student at Vanderbilt University, who had been schooled in the tradition of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. He was also a gifted writer who became a revolutionary journalist during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 6/25/2011
With a kind of religious fervor, American conservatives love to talk about their love of capitalism, as if it has a singular definition and can always be counted on to serve public and national interests. The intelligent way to think about capitalism is that it can be of two kinds. The good kind is patriotic and stakeholder oriented, the bad kind is selfish and shareholder obsessed. The global economic downturn is strong evidence of the dominant second form of capitalism that has caused so much human suffering while it has served the rich and powerful.
Global Image Cyber Warfare: The gTLD weaponry
Naseem Javed - 6/22/2011
Why would someone invest $187,000 for single name application with ICANN plus another few hundred thousands of dollars on related costs to acquire a new gTLD domain root system? "Simple," says Bonnie Clarke, an expert with Act Now Domains, "the real motivation will be to declare global-image-cyber-warfare and to create global market domination under a name identity."
Allan Bloom - In Memoriam
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 6/15/2011
We can’t avoid thinking. The thoughtless are always going to be the prisoners of other people’s thoughts. American intellectual life has given us an easy way to believe anything we want.
~ Allan Bloom (Time Magazine interview, Oct.1988)
I am kindred spirits with Allan Bloom, a great American philosopher, historian, academic and classicist. My worn copy of Bloom’s magnum opus The Closing of the American Mind has the inscription: “Border’s Books, Sept. 7, 1988”— literally days after I arrived at Harvard as a grad student during the same time as Barack Ob...
How The Stupid Took Over the World
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/4/2011
The Stupid, the Retarded, and the Moronic are everywhere: among the working classes, of course, but increasingly you can find them displacing the erstwhile elites, spawning hordes of mindless politicians, idiot business tycoons, narcissistic media personalities, vacuous celebrities, illiterate bestselling authors, athletes with far more brawn than brain, repetitious pop singers, and even ignorant academics.
Richard Hofstadter—America’s iconic Marxist historian
Ellis Washington, J.D. - 6/1/2011
I join [the Communist Party USA] without enthusiasm, but with a sense of obligation.... My fundamental reason for joining is that I don't like capitalism and want to get rid of it.
To Believe or Not to Believe
Ron Coody - 5/26/2011
Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist tells us there's no heaven. This is hardly an original thought. The Buddhists and Hindus and other religions have opted out of having a coherent theology of heaven since the beginning. The ancient Jews didn't really have a clear idea either, and the Jewish sect of religious leaders called The Sadducee didn't believe in the resurrection.
June 2021: Ten Predictions for the Coming Decade
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/24/2011
1. Italy, the euro, and the US dollar
On November 24, 2010, I published (in Global Politician and elsewhere) an article titled “Italy will Kill the Euro”. Six months later, credit rating agencies have downgraded Italy’s outlook from “stable” to “negative”. Italy is in worse shape than most members of the European Union (EU): at 6% of GDP, it has an ostensibly sustainable budget deficit, but its external debt (now close to 120% of GDP) is higher than that of the most egregious wastrels in the bloc, Greece and Ireland included. Italy's banking sector is over-exposed to borrowers in Ce...
The ICANN- gTLD Myth: It will hurt big trademark owners
Naseem Javed - 5/24/2011
When a good name identity is super glazed with a good trademark protection plan there is no reason why it would be hurt by ICANN's gTLD. For example, great names like Google, Sony, Panasonic, Rolex, Microsoft or CNN are not losing their sleep over GTLD while other mega corporations of the world, with names like United, National, Star, Total, Union, Monster, Metro or General are all scrambling and find refuge in declaring gTLD a new major threat.
The Evolution of Revolution
Fathi El-Shihibi - 5/24/2011
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Narcissists and Hotel Maids: The Strauss-Kahn Affair and Beyond
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/20/2011
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the scandal-ridden former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But, if he did try to rape the hotel maid in New-York in May 2011, his behavior would conform to the type of misconduct common among malignant narcissists.
Of Heaven and Hell
Ron Coody - 5/17/2011
Two books have caught my attention lately. From the title of this article you may be able to guess which two.
Bin-Laden’s glorification: An insult to Islam
Tanveer Jafri - 5/17/2011
Osama Bin Laden, the face of the global terrorism spread in the name of Islam and the killer of thousands of innocent people, was ultimately killed by the American forces earlier this month in Abbottabad, near Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Conditions for a Successful Relationship between Diaspora and State
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/15/2011
Conditions for a Successful Relationship between Diaspora and State
Power Play of Name Evaluation
Naseem Javed - 5/12/2011
There was a time, when businesses names were simply picked out of a hat, literally, and at times very successfully. Later, the complexity of the marketplace boosted the name lists to such huge quantities that they had to use larger drums, truly.
Of Revolts and Reforms
G. Murphy Donovan - 5/7/2011
“Revolution is a transfer of power; reform is the correction of abuses.” – Lytton
The Story in Metal
Ron Coody - 5/5/2011
With Easter just past many folks have paused to think about the story of the Passion of Jesus. The story says that a first century Jew from the northern Palestine province of Galilee became a folk hero through his moral and spiritual teaching, purported miracle-working, unjust death on a Roman cross and alleged resurrection three days later.
Corporate Face: The Five Masks
Naseem Javed - 5/2/2011
Every corporation has a face, as imagery, shine and style is inter-layered into a skin appearing as a mask with uplift captured by its distinct name identity and poised to reach the upper stratosphere of stardom. Corporate masks are just like real people, some are exciting and some boring, some you remember and some you forget, some you like and some you simply don’t.
Fundamental Structures of Buddhism: The Law of Change and the Principle of Self-Reliance
Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 5/2/2011
Buddhism is one of the foremost religious-spiritual, social, and indeed, political philosophies of the world. As is well-known, Gautama Buddha, the Light of Asia, not only brought about a revolution in religious-spiritual thinking, but also divulged the reality of existence for all forms of life on this planet.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/1/2011
The commoditization and commercialization of Time are recent phenomena. Until the advent of the Industrial Revolution, man’s time was at the mercy of Nature and the seasons or surrendered to superiors and masters to be allocated at their will. Serfs and servants, vassals, and clergy were mere cogs in social machines which dictated what they did and, as importantly, when they did it, in accordance with strict long-predetermined schedules.
Effects on Emerging Economies of Downgrading of US Credit Rating
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/29/2011
Standard and Poore’s have changed the outlook for the credit rating of American Federal obligations (including Treasuries) from “stable” to “negative”. This means that the rating agency believes that the current fiscal haemorrhage (budget deficit) of the USA is not sustainable. The value of American debt is bound to be eroded either by defaulting on it (unthinkable hitherto) or, much more likely, by soaring inflation. Simultaneously, S&P downgraded debt instruments issued by US municipalities (“munis”) whose proceeds were used to pay for previous issues.
This is Your Freedom
Ron Coody - 4/29/2011
For five years I lived in southern Kazakstan, walking some of the same places where Alexander Solzhenitsyn lived during his days of exile in the Soviet Gulag Archipelago. The Soviets had a decisive way of dealing with dissidents, they either killed them or locked them up and threw away the key. Having grown up in the height of the Cold War, I well remember the threat of the Soviet Union. Once I got to Kazakstan in 1993 to work with a non-profit environmental company, I could see the threat had not been imaginary. Soviet era factories and massive housing complexes came equipped with gas ma...
The West, state multiculturalism and its failure
Abid Mustafa - 4/26/2011
Earlier this year, David Cameron launched a devastating tirade against 30 years of multiculturalism in Britain. He warned that multiculturalism was incubating extremist ideology and directly contributing to home-grown Islamic terrorism. He said,” We have failed to provide a vision of society [to young Muslims] to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values. All this leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and believe in can lead them to extremist ideology."
Book Review: Working
Dr. Tony Donaldson - 4/15/2011
Review of Working, edited by Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Adeline Ooi and Beverly Yong, with photography by Tara Sosrowardoyo. Published by Rogue Art, Kuala Lumpur  MYR120 [US $40]
Global Peace Movement and Relevance of Gandhian View
Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 4/13/2011
“Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.” –Martin Luther King Junior
Revolution in the Air
Ron Coody - 4/8/2011
This spring brings not only budding trees but budding revolutions sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East. The latest to join the revolutionary movement are the countries of Ivory Coast and Syria. The pattern has repeated again and again in the past weeks. Countries dominated by an entrenched dictator have seen mass crowds of ordinary citizens pouring into the highways and byways with their cell phones and laptops heating up from constant communication directing the groundswell of dissatisfaction and demand for change. The people seem genuinely fed-up with the rule of one strongma...
Forms, Pattern, and Substance
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/5/2011
We cannot conceive of any process of production without the dubious aid of the Watchmaker’s Metaphor: an artisan; a plan, or program, or procedure; raw materials, or inputs; and the finished product – all four elements distinct from one another. Yet, in nature, this division of labor is rarely true: in the vast majority of cases the raw materials and the program are one and the same and the artisan is missing altogether.
The Qualities of a Good Politician in a Democratic Society
Adewale T Akande - 4/4/2011
The first principles of unalienable rights recognises that everyone is naturaly endowed by their Creator with certain rights that cannot be infringed or given away. Amongst these rights are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
From Kwame Nkrumah to Mark Zuckerberg
Gustavo Envela - 3/30/2011
"The United States of America, Under the Measured and Deliberative leadership of President Barack Obama Must Be Clear, Precise, Concise and Consistent in its AFRICAN FOREIGN POLICY, as it is with other regions of the world because the 'African Continent and Africans Matter with the natural resources, but especially with the untapped Human Intellectual Resources which, in short, is PRICELESS'"
Fearing the Worst: How Crises in Middle East and Japan Threaten a Second Great Recession
Prof. Peter Morici - 3/22/2011
Crises in the Middle East and Japan threaten to thrust the U.S. and global economies into a second recession.
Agonies of a Global Villager
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 3/21/2011
It is now virtually impossible for most people to finish a day without using or coming across the concept of global village. Some cite it directly whilst most refer to it. As one can imagine, these allusions come in different spices and each one of us will use it or come across it in our own way and in our own world. When faced with a situation, those with analytic minds and keen on comparison will point out that elsewhere or before now, things are done differently. Those that live by identification will camouflage and say “we” when referring to faraway football squads such as Manchester Unite...
Migration creates efficiency gains
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 3/18/2011
Throughout history migration has been an important social and economic safety valve for most nations especially the underdeveloped ones. Considering so, there has been a sharp increase in labor mobility allowing the laborers to relocate to foreign soils. Today remittances have become the biggest source of foreign earnings for innumerable developing countries.
Supporting Democracy in Middle East and North Africa Means Standing by the People
Nima Sharif - 3/11/2011
While, the Iranian post-election unrest back in 2009 did not come to a favourable conclusion, it had a considerable influence on people in North Africa and Middle East encouraging them to stand up for their desires of freedom.
Multifarious faces of Islam
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 3/10/2011
During the Cold War, people in the West asked two questions about communism. Was it reformable? And could we live with it? Without equating Islam and Communism, the West should perhaps be asking the same question about radical Islam.
Political Profile of Irrational Voters
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 3/5/2011
There are roughly two categories of people involved in any electoral process. In the first category we have the very few that actively seek office and each one works to get as much vote as he or she can get; these are the candidates. By the way, the word candidate comes from candidātus (in Latin dressed in white) because in ancient Rome, those seeking office were dressed in white togas. The second category is made of the very many who have to vote for the very few in the first category, they are the voters and each voter has only one vote to manage.
Dancing as an Evolutionary Strategy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/3/2011
Dances are thinly disguised simulations of sex acts. But there’s more to dancing than bawdy ribaldry. The sweaty proximity allows the partners to exchange an enormous amount of information about their respective bodies: from joint suppleness, through spatial orientation and coordination, and down to the fine details of their immunological systems (such as the major histocompatibility complex MHC) carried by their body odours. In this sense, dancing aids and abets the forces of natural selection and eugenic breeding. Indeed, in many 16th and 17th century textbooks dancing is grouped with hunting, fighting, wrestling, and running.
Striking a Balance: Unions and the Public Interest
Prof. Peter Morici - 3/1/2011
The drama playing out in Wisconsin and public reaction illustrates why unions have America’s governors and legislatures hog tied and states teetering on insolvency.
Food inflation: Back into the driver’s seat
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 2/25/2011
How do you sell poverty? Very simple – inflate the food prices. And unfortunately, this is happening. Much to the dismay of the poor – the global food inflation has raised its murky head yet again, and rising food prices is making life a misery for millions of people all around the globe.
Book Review: Allah Is Dead: Why Islam is not a Religion
Siavosh Rajizadeh - 2/25/2011
Books on Islam is a saturated market, an editor friend of mine told a few months ago. At the time I though she might be right. I had only recently read a couple of works that, for want of a better description, read like second rate Bruce Bawers. Maudlin and self-absorbed, these books (which shall remain nameless) tell us more about the authors than they do about radical Islam. Former boyfriends, Holland in the Springtime, and hints that the Pulitzer Prize went to the wrong author, are punctuated with references to female genital mutilation, terrorist acts, and hook-handed radical preachers.
Writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
Alexander Maistrovoy - 2/17/2011
In the middle of the 15th century the waters of Lausanne lakes were flooded with bloodsuckers that afflicted the population of the city. To stop this misfortune, rich citizens asked for assistance from famous Heidelberg ecclesiastics. A criminal case was initiated against the contemptible creatures. Some of them were brought to court to listen to the judgment. They were demanded to leave the lakes within three days. Ecclesiastics performed spells and rituals after which bloodsuckers, as annals say, shamefully retired.
The Second Middle Ages
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/14/2011
The fourth quarter of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first herald a period akin, in some respects, to certain stretches of the Middle Ages. The High Middle Ages – especially after the conquest of Spain by the Arabs (Moors) - was characterized by rapid technological and scientific progress. The very organizing principles, the foundations of society were revolutionized by advances in commerce, travel, and scholarship. It was a post-ideological, pragmatic, and materialistic age concerned with money, power, and, yes, sex. Yet, these superficial similarities rested on shift at the state and individual levels:
Patricide: How Young Leaders Mistreat Their Predecessors
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/14/2010
By definition, leaders are authority figures and, as such, stand in for one’s father, especially in patriarchal and traditionalist societies. Old-school psychoanalysts would tell you that such substitution is bound to provoke one’s latent Oedipal complex and proclivity for patricide, whether actual (in the form of an assassination) or symbolic (in the form of dissent and disdainful criticism). Young, emerging leaders more often than not treat their predecessors this way: as hated parent-figures. This is especially true when the new or young leader’s childhood has been marked by the traumas wrought on by an absent, or an abusive father.
Corporate and Product Brands as Stereotypes
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/16/2010
Brands can be viewed as reputation-based stereotypes which are the emergent outcomes of mass opinions and judgements (mainly communicated via word-of-mouth); public perceptions and misperceptions; cognitive and emotional elements and deficits; and new data. Brands are impermanent and amenable to constant revision. There are negative brands (negative brand equity) as well as positive brands. Brands imply a promise, a contract between the firm and its various stakeholders (investors, management, employees, customers, suppliers). Brands signal information about the firm and its products to competitors and the media.
Why Do Christians Remain Silent About the Persecution of Christians in Muslim-Majority Societies?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/11/2010
Christians in Iraq have been, and not for the first time, deliberately targeted in a major terrorist attack. Indeed, from Indonesia to Pakistan to Iraq, from the Gaza Strip to Egypt to Sudan to Nigeria, Christians are being assaulted, intimidated, and murdered by militant Muslims.
Names of Collectives (Sets) versus Names of Individuals
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/9/2010
Individuals are members of classes or sets (hereinafter referred to as “collectives”). Names of collectives are fundamentally different to names of individuals:
Dark Corners of Cosmology
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/21/2010
When we look out to the Cosmos, we survey an inventory of all the objects – stars, galaxies, and, now, planets – that had ever existed. Owing to the limited speed of light, our telescopes peer not only out to space but back in time as well. There is no way of knowing whether what we see still exists. Example: light from the binary star Alpha-Centaury requires 4.4 years to reach us. Thus, at any given moment we can ascertain that it had existed 4.4 years ago. Had it exploded 1 year ago, we would still count it as among the living for the next 3.4 years. Thus, the disciplines of cosmology and as...
Monopolizing the Field of Vision: From AND Screens to OR Screens
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/8/2010
1. Screens that Include Reality vs. Screens that Exclude It
REVIEW Pears Cyclopedia 2010-2011
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/28/2010
The 2010-2011 edition of Pears Cyclopedia offers no new topics, but adds considerable heft to the "Britain Today", "Literary Companion", and "Medical Matters" sections. The "Life and Leisure" chapter has been expanded to comprise the "The World of Dance" and "The Great Outdoors" on top of the delectable "World of Wine".
The Cyclopedia is kept astoundingly up to date by a dedicated team of 30 or so scholar-contributors. I spotted hundreds of updates even in a curosory sweep. The computers section now includes sub-chapters about encryption, phishing, and cloud computing. The entry for...
Economic Trust and Mistrust Numercal Index
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/26/2010
I suggest a simple index of economic trust with the following variables, all of which are scored on a scale of 1 to 10:
Britannica's Reference Galaxy 2011
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/20/2010
The Encyclopedia Britannica has long been much more than a venerable print reference work. A decade ago it pioneered a freemium website (some content free, other content behind a pay wall). This has now flourished into a comprehensive walled garden of knowledge. Additionally, the Britannica publishes books and CD-ROMs about specific topics and issues. These are the best primers and introductions available to a host of fields and areas, from history to science.
Basel III and the Safety of Banks
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/14/2010
In the wake of the Great Recession (2007-8) - a crisis largely of the financial system - the multinational Basel Committee and the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision, comprised of central bankers, banking supervisors, and regulators more than doubled the amount of equity (Tier 1) capital banks must have to 4.5%.
The Film "Inception" and its Errors
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/14/2010
In the film "Inception", Dom Cobb, is an "extractor": he steals confidential information by hacking into a subject's brain during a dream and conning the victim into disclosing his secrets. This intellectually-challenging and visually-captivating film makes a series of assumptions, none of which withstands close scrutiny:
The Psychology of Spree Shooters
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/4/2010
Most spree shooters are loners. They are either schizoid (with deficient interpersonal skills) or paranoid and even paranoid-schizophrenic (psychotic, delusional). Their dysfunction is all-pervasive: their family life, career, romantic relationships, professional and material accomplishments are all adversely affected by their mental mayhem. They feel excluded and shunned and are profoundly ashamed of and frustrated with their inadequacies and with their sadistic, self-destructive, suicidal, and self-defeating "inner judge" (inner, introjected "voices" or narrative). This frustration builds up...
The Agent-Principal Problem in Politics
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/30/2010
The agent-principal problem is rife in politics. In the narrative that is the modern state, politicians are supposed to generate higher returns to citizens by increasing the value of the state's assets and, therefore, of the state. In the context of politics, assets are both of the economic and of the geopolitical varieties. Politicians who fail to do so, goes the morality play, are booted out mercilessly.
Envy as the Foundation of Capitalism
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/17/2010
In the 18th century, the political philosopher and novelist Jean-Jacques Rousseau made a distinction between amour de soi and amour propre. The former involved striking a balance between regard for one's own welfare and well-being and the empathy that one owed and felt towards others. It was another phrase for self-love, self-regard, and self-awareness. The latter - amour proper - was all about grandiose and malignant narcissism, an unseemly conflation of self-gratification and conceited haughtiness, and the insatiable need to be reflected in the gaze of others as the only path to self-knowled...
Print Books (p-books) and Electronic Books (e-books): Different Packaging or Revolution?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/15/2010
The first-ever print runs were tiny by our standards and costly by any standard. Gutenberg produced fewer than 200 copies of his eponymous and awe-inspiring Bible and died a broken and insolvent man. Other printers followed suit when they failed to predict demand (by readers) and supply (by authors who acted as their own publishers, pirates, underground printers, and compilers of unauthorized, wild editions of works).
Public Intellectuals: The Rise of the Librarians and the Decline of the Author
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/14/2010
There are two flavours of public intellectual: librarians and authors.
Deflation in the USA and its Effects on Consumption and Investment
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/11/2010
Interview granted to Bankrate.com, August 2010
Q. Why would deflation happen in the United States?
A. For deflation to happen in the USA, an unlikely confluence of economic developments and policy errors must occur. Unemployment must resurge and reach levels of well above 15% on a prolonged and sustained basis; consumption and, consequently, capital investment must collapse; asset prices - especially equity and residential real-estate - must crumble; the banking system must suffer a substantial contraction; the government must cut its budget deficit considerably and abruptly; and...
Deflation and the Value of Cash
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2010
Traditional economics claims that deflation actually increases the value of cash to its holder by enhancing its purchasing power in an environment of declining prices (negative growth in the average price level), which is why cash for structured settlement payments may sometimes be more beneficial to the borrower than the lender. Though highly intuitive, this is wrong. It is true that in a deflationary cycle, consumers are likely to delay consumption in order to enjoy lower prices later. But this precisely is what makes most asset classes – including cash – precarious and unprofitable.
Sexsomnia and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/16/2010
"I am with child” – says Mariam, her eyes downcast. In the murk he could not tell if her cheeks are flushed, but the tremor in her voice and her posture are signs enough. They are betrothed, he having paid the mohar to her family two moons ago with witnesses aplenty. She was a virgin then: the elders of both families made sure and vouched for her. At 14 years of age she was no beauty, but her plainness and the goodness of her heart appealed to him. She was supple and lithe and a hard worker. He liked her natural scents and she often laughed, a bell-like tintinnabulation that he grew fond of as...
Order and the Universe
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/14/2010
Earth is a complex, orderly, and open system. If it were an intelligent being, we would have been compelled to say that it had "chosen" to preserve and locally increase form (structure), order and complexity.
The Hitler File: Prologue
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/3/2010
Based on hundreds of newly-discovered documents in archives the world over – now …
Aliens ‘R Us: The Ten Errors of Science Fiction
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/27/2010
In all works of science fiction, there are ten hidden assumptions regarding alien races. None of these assumptions is a necessity. None of them makes immanent or inevitable sense. Yet, when we read a sci-fi novel or watch a sci-fi movie we tend to accept all of them as inescapable. They amount to a frame of reference and to a language without which we seem to be unable to relate to all manner of exobiology. We evidently believe that life on Earth is a representative sample and that we can extrapolate its properties and mechanisms of action wide and far across the Universe. The principles of sy...
Why Do People Pay Taxes?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/3/2010
It is commonly - albeit erroneously and counterfactually - thought that taxpayers are intimidated into the fulfilment of their fiscal obligations and that tax collection is mainly about coercion. The truth is different.
The Wikipedia Cult
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/28/2010
Interview granted to Daniel Tynan, May 2010
Q. When did the cult start?
A. I was involved with both the Wikipedia and its predecessor, the Nupedia. When the Nupedia was shelved and the Wikipedia launched, the first clusters of contributors regarded themselves as knowledge-aficionados, akin to an open-source movement. The Wikipedia did not possess the penetration and clout that it now enjoys. It was a club of gifted amateurs, to use the British expression. But as the Wikipedia expanded and attained its current status and prowess, power-hungry, narcissistic bullies leverag...
A Classification of Lies and Confabulations
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/28/2010
A statement constitutes a lie only if at least one of the interlocutors knows it to be untrue, yet insists or assumes that it is true. If all the parties involved in the exchange know that the statement is false or if none of them know whether it is false or true, then it is fiction or an act of faith.
Dow-Jones: I Told You So 14 Months Ago
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/2/2010
In February 2009 (when the Dow-Jones was hurtling towards 6500) I made a startling prediction:
Symbol and Essence
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/24/2010
Aborigines in Australia believe that the entire universe is regenerated whenever they chant their songlines (Yiri). This is reminiscent of the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, which postulates that particles – and, really, the entire world – are the outcomes of choices made by observers (the “collapse of the wave function”). The ancient Hebrews – and many orthodox Jews to this very day – swear by the miraculous power of their alphabet and its numerical equivalent (gimatria). The real name of God is so potent that it is never to be uttered lest in wreaks havoc and calamity on the...
Why is Mathematics so Successful?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/16/2010
In earlier epochs, people used myths and religious narratives to encode all knowledge, even of a scientific and technological character. Words and sentences are still widely deployed in many branches of the Humanities, the encroachment of mathematical modeling and statistics notwithstanding. Yet, mathematics reigns supreme and unchallenged in the natural sciences. Why is that? What has catapulted mathematics (as distinct from traditional logic) to this august position within three centuries?
PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised) Test: What's Wrong with Psychological Tests
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/12/2010
The second edition of the PCL-R test, originally designed by the controversial maverick Canadian criminologist Robert Hare in 1980 and again in 1991, contains 20 items designed to rate symptoms which are common among psychopaths in forensic populations (such as prison inmates or child molesters). It is designed to cover the major psychopathic traits and behaviours: callous, selfish, remorseless use of others (Factor 1), chronically unstable and antisocial lifestyle (Factor 2), interpersonal and affective deficits, an impulsive lifestyle and antisocial behaviour.
REVIEW: The Britannica Guide to Climate Change
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/12/2010
Climate change and its cause, global warming, are concepts that are far less controversial today than they were a mere five years ago. Yet, both still generate heated debates online and off the Net and not only among ignorant laymen: scientists and politicians butt heads and shower insults on their opponents when it come to this most contentious of latter day apocalypses.
Palestinians Celebrate Those Who Turned Christianity's Holiest Shrine into a Military Bunker
Prof. Barry Rubin - 4/11/2010
The Obama Administration doesn't understand this but it is signaling the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it can get away with anything, thus further dooming any hope for serious negotiations and perhaps leading to a restart of large-scale violence.
Europe's Torture Exports
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/22/2010
A report published in March 2010 by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation and titled “From Words to Deeds” accused European companies of manufacturing and selling “tools of torture”. Among these were fixed wall restraints, metal "thumb-cuffs", and electroshock "sleeves" and "cuffs" that deliver 50,000V shocks.
Why Narcissists Cheat on their Spouses, Commit Adultery and have Extramarital Affairs and Liaisons
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/12/2010
Narcissists cheat on their spouses, commit adultery and have extramarital affairs and liaisons for a variety of reasons which reflect disparate psychodynamic processes:
Christians' and Muslim' Image Problems
Shirin Taber - 3/11/2010
Christians and Muslims in America have an image problem. The rest of the world sees us as intolerant, belligerent, prideful, nationalistic, and extremist. As the daughter of Christian and Muslim parents, I feel like a kid stuck in a bad marriage, trying to salvage my parent’s reputation and begging them to get along. As a child I remember feeling conflicted in a home that followed two religions and suffering shame after the 1979 hostage crisis. Today I encounter this drama played in our country.
Immature, Rogue, and Failed States
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/7/2010
An immature state is a polity whose elites are dysfunctional, venal, and narcissistic; whose economy is not viable, frequently dependent on handouts; and whose coherence is threatened by a lack of social consensus. Immature states typically lack political traditions, change agents, goal-oriented bureaucracies, and institutional memory. Consequently, the denizens of immature states are often xenophobic and insular.
Paradigm-Shifting vs. Paradigm-sustaining Science
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/7/2010
It is interesting to note that paradigm-shifting work is often produced by non-specialist outsiders, gifted amateurs, and laymen (such as Da Vinci, Steno, Mandel, Freud, and, to some extent, Einstein). As Thomas Kuhn noted, run of the mill scientists are vested and invested in the status quo and normally generate paradigm-sustaining theories and discoveries.
Transformations of Aggression
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/6/2010
Prone to magical thinking, the narcissist is deeply convinced of the transcendental meaning of his life. He fervently believes in his own uniqueness and "mission". He constantly searches for clues regarding the hidden - though inevitable - meaning of his personal life. The narcissist is forever a "public persona", even when alone, in the confines of his bedroom. His every move, his every act, his every decision and every scribbling is of momentous consequence. The narcissist often documents his life with vigil, for the benefit of future biographers. His every utterance and shred of correspondence are carefully orchestrated as befitting a historical figure of import.
The Age of Stupid
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/6/2010
We live in a civilization that glorifies and elevates stupid people. The heroes of the previous centuries were all philosophers, scientists, and authors. Our role models are muscle-bound footballers, empty-headed pop stars, and rapacious, narcissistic businessmen. This dumbing down of Mankind is the culmination of several trends.
The Great Recession: Plus ca change ...
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/26/2010
Two years later, many of the problems and imbalances that gave rise to the Great Recession are still with us and, owing to the might of special interest groups and Wall Street, are unlikely to be effectively tackled. This - coupled with the rampant mismanagement of public finances - virtually guarantee a second leg of this financial crisis in 2010.
Here is a partial list:
Synthetic collateralized debt obligations (structures of credit default swaps that yield streams of income identical to payments from pools of profile-specific mortgages) have not been banned or limited to...
Positioning the Encyclopedia Britannica
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/24/2010
In the age of the Wikipedia, nearly-accurate information is ubiquitous. Granted, the data are riddled with errors and do not amount to structured knowledge. Still, Wikipedia-like online efforts are more than adequate for the needs of the vast majority of users. When in search of fault-free, in-depth, and articulate wisdom, students and academics revert to textbooks and scholarly magazines. Thus, the Encyclopedia Britannica falls between the cracks: it is too detailed, costly, and thorough to cater to the wants of the occasional peruser, yet it is not sufficiently authoritative to serve as a bibliographic source in a textbook or doctoral thesis.
Are commercial partnerships between science and industry the best way to reduce GHG emissions?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/21/2010
If the reduction of GHG (Greenhouse Gases) is a public good, it should be provided mainly by the government (or by NGOs), possibly - but not necessarily - in conjunction with industry. If cutting emissions is essentially a commercial or private good, it is best left to market forces (firms, exchanges) with science merely providing guidance and input to agents and players.
Ten New Global Trends 2010
Naseem Javed - 1/21/2010
Every business process will go through intense compression and digitalization so when it comes out on the other side of the tunnel, it will have already considerably reduced its operational costs. This will enable the process to function effectively, more powerfully, and be highly replicatable, with a lower cost structure like a proverbial silver bullet. Will this now shrink entire office floors into cubicles, and cubicles into little icons on websites? Who would need to come to the offices anyway; managers, to put their feet on desks, water cooler crowds, elevator pitc...
The Body as a Torture Chamber
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/15/2010
There is one place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed: one's body, a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The process of chronic disease invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. It does so publicly, enhancing the sufferer's sense of helplessness and utter humiliation. Hence the all-pervasive, long-lasting, and, frequently, irreversible effects and outcomes of long-term, intractable illness.
Why Free Trade Is Failing America
Prof. Peter Morici - 1/14/2010
No economic policy could better serve Americans than genuine free trade, but open trade policies are failing Americans. Free trade is a compelling idea to capitalists standing at conferences in front of their banner stands for trade shows. Let each nation do more of what it does best, and specialization will raise productivity and incomes. Americans are not sharing in those benefits because President Obama, like President Bush, permits China and others to cheat on the rules, unchallenged, to the detriment of the U.S. interests he was elected to champion.
The Invention of Telling the Truth
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/14/2010
The extent of confusion that reigns when we discuss the concept of truth is evident in the film "The Invention of Lying". The movie takes place in a world where people are genetically unable to lie. When one of them, presumably an aberrant mutant (his son inherits his newfound ability), stumbles across the art of confabulation, his life is transformed overnight: he becomes rich, a celebrity, and marries the girl of his dreams (who scorned him before).
The Negative Survival Value of Taboos
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/10/2010
Most taboos - especially those appertaining to sex and food - have clear survival value: coprophagia and cannibalism may be fatal and pedophilia and incest can have a deleterious effect on the quality of the gene pool. But taboos are creatures of their time. Their longevity and resistance to rational reappraisal are counter-productive as far as the human species and individuals are concerned.
Right vs Left
Ted Belman - 12/31/2009
The comments in the last few days attempted to distinguish “real leftism” from “fascist or faux leftism”.
This brings up the question of how do you define the former. Secondly, any definition must yield to history. What has been done in the name of the left to date? It should be judged by results.
Can We Be Pleased with the Progress We Made on Climate Change Mitigation?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/20/2009
The response to climate change has hitherto been characterized either by dewy-eyed romanticism or by malignant optimism ("if we only recognize the magnitude and nature of the problem and throw money and new technologies at it, all will be well"). These twin fallacies (really, psychological defense mechanisms) have led to the adoption of implementation of measures and technologies that ranged from the futile (ethanol in gas) to the harmful (biofuels). In lieu of devising effective strategies to cope with this potential threat, leaders and civil society (NGOs, multilateral organizations) engaged...
Vanity Publishing will Rescue the Print Media
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/22/2009
The circulation of print magazines has declined precipitously in the last few years. This dissolution of subscriber bases has accelerated dramatically as economic recession set in. But a diminishing wealth effect is only partly to blame. The managements of printed periodicals - from dailies to quarterlies - failed miserably to grasp the Internet's potential and potential threat. They were fooled by the lack of friendly and cheap e-reading devices into believing that old habits die hard. They do - but magazine reading is not habit forming. Readers' loyalties are fickle and shift according to co...
Dissociative Identity Disorder and the Cycle of Violence
Marina Mazur, Ph.D. candidate - 11/20/2009
Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is one of the most controversial mental disorders. The questions of its etiology and epidemiology are omnipresent in the psychological community. Research concerning the disorderâ€™s connection to aggressive and violent behaviors in society is only in its infantile stages. However, if dissociative identity disorder is accepted as a valid form of mental illness and its causes and treatments are understood, then some types of interpersonal violence and self-destructive behaviors can be recognized, alleviated and eventually cured.
Swine Flu as a Conspiracy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/12/2009
The Internet has rendered global gossip that in previous epochs would have remained local. It also allowed rumour-mongers to leverage traditional and trusted means of communication - texts and images - to lend credence to the most outlandish claims. Some bloggers and posters have not flinched from doctoring photos and video clips. Still, the most efficient method of disseminating disinformation and tall tales in the wild is via text.
Seven Concepts in Derivatives
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/3/2009
The implosion of the markets in some complex derivatives in 2007-9 drew attention to this obscure corner of the financial realm. Derivatives are nothing new. They consist of the transfer of risk to third parties and the creation of a strong correlation or linkage between the prices of one or more underlying assets and the derivative contract or instrument itself. Thus, whenever guarantors sign on a loan or credit agreement, they, in effect, are creating a derivative contract. Similarly, insurance policies can be construed as derivatives as well as options, futures, and forward contracts.
Dow-Jones: On the Way to 4800
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/3/2009
A prediction I made in February 2009 (when the Dow-Jones was hurtling towards 6500) came true. In an article dated February 22, 2009 and titled "The Next 18 Months: Recession, False Recovery, Depression", I wrote:
Cyber-celebrity vs. "Real" World Fame
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/31/2009
I know at least ten people whose personal Websites attract as many unique visitors a year as the number of copies sold of Dan Brown's books. Yet, Dan Brown is a global celebrity and they remain largely anonymous. Why is that? Fame is defined as the number of people who have heard about you. If the same number of people learns of your existence online as has heard of Dan Brown, why is it that he is in all the prime time TV talk shows and you are not? What is the difference between cyber-fame and the "real world" variety? Isn't the Internet an integral part of our reality?
Pears Cyclopedia The World in Your Hand
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/29/2009
"Affection" and "attachment" are terms rarely used in a review of a reference title - but, they are the ones that come to my mind as I contemplate the new (2009-2010) edition of Pears Cyclopedia, one of many editions I possess. I confess to my addiction proudly: control freak that I am, I like holding the Universe of Knowledge in the palm of my hand, in manageable, pocket-sized form.
The Incorporeal World of "Surrogates"
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/18/2009
In the futuristic sci-fi film "Surrogates" (2009), people stay at home, their nervous system wired to allow them to remote control a robot, their surrogate. The robot and its operator, the human being, are an ontological unity: both share identical, objective experiences. There is one exception: when something bad happens to the robot, its owner is shielded from the consequences by some kind of "firewall", or in-built defense.
Global Warming and Climate Change as Opportunities
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/18/2009
How must society adapt to rapid climate change to minimise severe upheaval?
Carbon-neutral Transport Systems: Are We Doing Enough?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/14/2009
Are we doing enough to ensure a rapid and smooth transition to carbon neutral transport systems this century?
The Dethroning of Man in the Western Worldview
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/14/2009
Whatever its faults, religion is anthropocentric while science isn't (though, for public relations considerations, it claims to be). Thus, when the Copernican revolution dethroned Earth and Man as the twin centers of God's Universe it also dispensed with the individual as an organizing principle and exegetic lens. This was only the first step in a long march and it was followed by similar developments in a variety of fields of human knowledge and endeavor.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/11/2009
The tripling of the world's population in the last century or so fostered a rift between the majority of industrial nations (with the exception of the United States) and all the developing and less developing countries (the "third world"). The populace in places like Western Europe and Japan (and even Russia) is ageing and dwindling. These are middle-aged, sedate, cultures with a middle-class, mature outlook on life. They are mostly liberal, consensual, pragmatic, inert, and compassionate.
Founding Fathers and The Character of States
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/11/2009
Even mega-states are typically founded by a small nucleus of pioneers, visionaries, and activists. The United States is a relatively recent example. The character of the collective of Founding Fathers has a profound effect on the nature of the polity that they create: nations spawned by warriors tend to be belligerent and to nurture and cherish military might throughout their history (e.g., Rome); When traders and businessman establish a country, it is likely to cultivate capitalistic values and thrive on commerce and shipping (e.g., Netherlands); The denizens of countries formed by lawyers are likely to be litigious.
The Britannica 2010 Victorious?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/7/2009
With the demise of Microsoft's Encarta (it has been discontinued) and the tribulations of the Wikipedia (its rules have been revamped to resemble a traditional encyclopedia, alienating its contributors in the process), the Encyclopedia Britannica 2010 (established in 1768) may have won the battle of reference.
The Misanthrope's Manifesto
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/1/2009
The Misanthrope's Manifesto
1. The unbridled growth of human populations leads to:
I. Resource depletion;
II. Environmental negative externalities;
III. A surge in violence;
IV. Reactive xenophobia (owing to migration, both legal and illegal);
V. A general dumbing-down of culture (as the absolute number of the less than bright rises); and
VI. Ochlocracy (as the mob leverages democracy to its advantage and creates anarchy followed by populist authoritarianism).
2. The continued survival of the species demands that:
I. We match m...
Should Communities be Allowed to Generate Their Own Power?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/25/2009
Until well into the 1930s local communities in the West produced their own energy, drilled their own water and hauled it, and, in general, were self-sufficient as far as the consumption of utilities was concerned. The New Deal and the Depression brought this to a halt: governments monopolized both the generation and distribution of electrical power and water (as well as other public utilities, education, health, telecommunications, and transportation). This shift had its positive sides in that it encouraged economies of scale and firmly established the public goods nature of energy and water.
The Concepts of Boundary and Trace
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/23/2009
The concepts of boundary and trace are intimately intertwined and are both fuzzy. Physical boundaries are often the measurable manifestations of the operation of boundary conditions. They, therefore, have to do with discernible change which, in turn, is inextricably linked to memory: a changed state or entity are always compared to some things (states or entities) that preceded them or that are coterminous and co-spatial with them but different to them. We deduce change by remembering what went before.
Gmail not Safe, Google not Comprehensive
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/23/2009
I. Gmail Not Safe
Gmail has a gaping security hole, hitherto ignored by pundits, users, and Google (the company that owns and operates Gmail) itself.
The login page of Gmail sports an SSL "lock". This means that all the information exchanged with Gmail's servers - the user's name and password - is encrypted. A hacker who intercepted the communicated data would find it difficult and time-consuming to decrypt them.
Yet, once past the login page, Gmail reverts to plain text, non-encrypted pages. These can easily be tapped into by hackers, especially when such data travels ove...
Social Values and the Health System
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/4/2009
There are as many health systems and models as there are countries. This is because healthcare is a public good and, thus, reflects the social and cultural values of the societies that design and adopt them.
Using Data from Nazi Medical Experiments
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2009
"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Does the Bible Promote Violence to Fight Injustice?”
Ron Coody - 7/27/2009
Zecharias Butros lives with a high price on his head. This gray-bearded, sagely Coptic priest from Egypt has dared to become one of the most outspoken experts on the subject of Islam. Because he speaks and reads Arabic, he can study Islamic documents in their original language, giving him an advantage over others, including hundreds of millions of Muslims who cannot understand Arabic. The reason he has a high price on his head, is because like his secular counterpart Salmon Rushdie, he has dared to question and dissent.
Ensuring a Sustainable Future for Generations to Come
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/19/2009
What can we do to ensure that generations to come have a sustainable future?
Self-defeating Environmentalism: The Case of Nuclear Energy Technologies
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/31/2009
More than 70% of contracts for new nuclear power plants were cancelled between 1970 and 1990. Nuclear energy has proven to be by far too expensive, partly the outcome of meager investment in research and development. But why didn't this promising industry seek efficiency and productivity gains? Why didn't it increase its capacity to remove production bottlenecks (for instance of containment vessels)? Why did the entire civilian nuclear sector capitulate even in the face of volatile oil prices which should have rendered it more of an attractive energy option? The short answer is: the malignantly romantic (not to mention highly lucrative) cult known as "environmentalism".
Alternative Energies and Other Fairy Tales
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/25/2009
The quest for alternative, non-fossil fuel, energy sources is driven by two misconceptions: (1) The mistaken belief in "peak oil" (that we are nearing the complete depletion and exhaustion of economically extractable oil reserves) and (2) That market mechanisms cannot be trusted to provide adequate and timely responses to energy needs (in other words that markets are prone to failure).
Theodicy: The Problem of Evil
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/22/2009
''There is nothing that an omnipotent God could not do.' 'No.' 'Then, can God do evil?' 'No.' 'So that evil is nothing, since that is what He cannot do who can do anything.'
Narcissistic Injury, Narcissistic Wound, and Narcissistic Scar
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/11/2009
An occasional or circumstantial threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof).
A repeated or recurrent identical or similar threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomp...
God, the Fine-tuned Universe and the Emergence of Life
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/11/2009
"The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming." — Freeman Dyson
Is God Necessary?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/4/2009
Could God have failed to exist (especially considering His omnipotence)? Could He have been a contingent being rather than a necessary one? Would the World have existed without Him and, more importantly, would it have existed in the same way? For instance: would it have allowed for the existence of human beings?
The Pros and Cons of Corruption
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/1/2009
Corruption runs against the grain of meritocratic capitalism. It skews the level playing-field; it guarantees extra returns where none should have been had; it encourages the misallocation of economic resources; and it subverts the proper functioning of institutions. It is, in other words, without a single redeeming feature, a scourge.
Political Codependence and Cults of Personality
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/28/2009
Political personality cults rely on the codependence of their adherents to foster a bond that is hard to sever between the Leader and his followers. It is, therefore, crucial to understand this psychological attachment disorder.
Classification of Abusive Behaviors
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/28/2009
Abusive conduct is not a uniform, homogeneous phenomenon. It stems and emanates from multiples sources and manifests in a myriad ways. Following are a few useful distinctions which pertain to abuse and could serve as organizing, taxonomical principles (dimensional typologies) in a kind of matrix.
Is Energy Security Desirable?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/11/2009
The pursuit of "energy security" has brought us to the brink. It is directly responsible for numerous wars, big and small; for unprecedented environmental degradation; for global financial imbalances and meltdowns; for growing income disparities; and for ubiquitous unsustainable development.