Archive | May 22, 2016

3,000 Year Old Plan – The Real Nakba*

3,000 Year Old Plan – The Real Nakba*

By Dr. Elias Akleh

Al-Nakba is an Arabic term that means the deliberate infliction of a catastrophe on a nation. This term is usually used to refer to the brutal Zionist occupation of Palestine. Sixty eight years ago, in 1948, Zionist Jewish terrorist gangs forcibly occupied the most fertile parts of Palestine, razed to the ground more than 500 Palestinian towns – with their homes, businesses, schools, churches and mosques -, perpetrated at least 50 collective massacres against Palestinian civilians including especially women and children, and forcefully evicted about 800,000 Palestinians out of their homeland, making them refugees living under the mercy of UNRWA.

When talking about Al-Nakba people in general see only a small fraction of the whole picture. They think Al-Nakba refers only to the plight of Palestinians and the Zionist occupation of Palestine. The real Nakba; the whole picture, includes the whole region of the Middle East; the heart of the Arab World.

1a1ef-greater-israel-map5Al-Nakba is a Zionist military scheme meant to be executed in stages throughout time until the Zionist project of Greater Israel from Nile to Euphrates is accomplished. This scheme was originally envisioned three thousand years ago by the Judaic Talmudic Pharisees, but was not executable until mid-nineteenth century. Although the first stage of the Nakba has officially started in 1948 with the Zionist occupation of Palestine, it actually started, although covertly, years before this date with the gradual immigration of Zionist Jews to Palestine, and with the Jewish Fund purchasing land from the Ottoman feudal occupiers and the evictions of Palestinian farming communities working this land.

The second stage of the Nakba started in 1967 with what is known as the Six-Days War, when the terrorist state of Israel occupied the rest of Palestine, the Sinai and the Golan Heights. At the time evacuation orders drove 400,000 more Palestinians out of their towns into more refugee camps out of their home land. This Judaic cleansing of Palestinians is still going on in many different forms including the theft of Palestinian land for Zionist Jewish settlements (colonies), the routinely on-going demolitions of Palestinian homes especially in Jerusalem and its suburbs, the revocation of residency rights and deportations of Palestinians, the Zionist extremist settlers’ forced occupation of Palestinians homes under the protection of Israeli armed forces and eviction of Palestinian families out, the brutal military operations into several Palestinian cities, the daily murder of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers, and the inhumane starving siege and the periodic bombardments of the Gaza Strip.

The third stage of the Nakba, which was directed against Lebanon was a failure, since Israel could not expand further north despite all the destruction inflicted on Lebanon.  Israel had carried many military campaigns against Lebanon. Israel financed and armed Lebanese Maronite military factions to fight PLO and Palestinian camps in Beirut. This incited a civil war that lasted 25 years, from 1975 to 1990, causing a huge devastation to Lebanese infrastructure and the death of an estimated 250,000 people.

Israel did not stay idle during the time, but invaded Southern Lebanon several times. In 1978 Israel invaded southern Lebanon but pulled out after establishing a border buffer zone within Lebanese area when a U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed to the area. A wider scale Israeli invasion of Lebanon took place in 1982 that eventually led to the evacuation of the PLO from Lebanon under the supervision and protection of the American and French Multinational Force in Lebanon, who established their own barracks in Beirut.

Yet when Israel and the Multinational Force did not leave the country Lebanese formed a resistance movement, later known as Hezbollah, and carried operations against the occupiers. The American/French Multinational Force withdrew from Lebanon after the April 1983 suicide bombing of the American Embassy and barracks and the October 1983 bombing of the French Drakkar barracks. Israel eventually withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 but kept the Sheba’a Farms; a border part of southern Lebanon. Israel again launched a 34 day war against Lebanon in 2006 in an attempt to destroy Hezbollah, but faced strong resistance and suffered high casualties.

The fourth stage took place in Iraq in 2003 when the U.S. invaded and devastated the country. Iraq was a major military power in the region. With strong economy and advanced industry Iraq posed a threat to Israel. Tired of the many wars the Israeli army had waged against Palestinian resistance and against Lebanon, Israelis started looking for a proxy army to fight its wars. What is a better army to fight Israel’s wars other than the American army!

Many scientific, military and political investigations point to the fact that Israeli MOSSAD agents and Zionist American Neocons perpetrated the 911 attacks. The attack was needed to justify American “wars on terror” in the Middle East, specifically against Iraq. Iraq’s infrastructure and industry were destroyed by the American army. Iraqis suffer their own version of Nakba with a very conservative count of 500,000 killed according to the Huffington Post. The real number of killed people could never be known especially when nobody cared to count the casualties. The use of DU (depleted uranium) by the American forces is still causing high rates of death and infant deformation. Almost 4,000,000 Iraqis became refugees; half within Iraq while the other half in the neighboring countries. The fighting is still going on in Iraq through Israeli/American proxy terrorist groups such as ISIS. This was war for Israel.

The fifth stage of the real Nakba was conceitedly called the Arab Spring. This was a heinously satanic plan to have Israel’s enemies fight each other in internal sectarian civil wars. This requires the U.S. to sacrifice a couple of the Arab dictators it had supported for a long time in order to give the population the illusion that change is possible.  This Arab Spring started in Tunisia in December 2010 getting rid of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, then followed by Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. These staged revolutions eventually produced as bad dictators. Real popular demonstration/revolutions in other Arab states were brutally crushed and oppressed, especially in Bahrain and Yemen that were crushed by Saudi forces. The Saudi war against Yemen is still going on until today.

This Arab Spring was used to stage revolution against Libya’s Gadhafi, who proposed a golden Dinar as a new African currency. Israel and the U.S. with the cooperation of Qatar shipped al-Qaeda terrorists to Libya, financed and armed them to devastate the country.

From Infowar.comThe real target of the Arab Spring was Syria, who during the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon, had shipped weapons to Hezbollah. Robert Ford; the U.S. Ambassador to Syria between 2011 – 2014, was the architect and financer of the rebellion demonstrations against Syrian regime. When these demonstrations did not succeed due to popular support to Al-Assad regime, mercenaries and terrorists were brought in from all over the world including European countries to form terrorist groups such as Al-nusra Front and ISIS to destroy Syria. Robert Ford still insists, contrary to all evidence, that these terrorists are “… moderate and democrats seeking to change Syria’s autocratic system” justifying his financing and arming these terrorists.

These Israeli/American/Qatari/Saudi/Turkish financed and armed terrorist groups had destroyed much of Syria, murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, and drove out of the country almost four million Syrians causing a huge refugee crisis. These refugees were abused, taken advantage of, and manipulated to immigrate to Europe.

This is the real Nakba that is hitting one Arab country after the other destroying cities, creating chaos, and causing a huge influx of refugees; people evacuating their own country out of fear for their lives. Ruined, weakened and almost evacuated from large part of their populations, Arab countries bordering the terrorist state of Israel would not be able to stop Israeli expansion to accomplish the Zionist dream of Greater Israel.

The real Nakba is the Arab Nakba and the Palestinian Nakba is just a part of it.

Source*

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A Guaranteed way to Make the Whole World Islamophobic*

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

Greater Israel” Requires the Breaking up of Existing Arab States*

The Heart of the Beast: The Sykes-Picot Agreement and Europe’s Colonial Partition of the Middle East*

Threatened ISIS Declares Emergency in Self-declared Capital Raqqa, Syria*

Thirty Syrian Boys Raped in Turkish Refugee Camp*

The “Free Syrian Army” Media Campaign is a British Government Operation*

Britain Expert Facilitators in Sectarian Violence*

U.S. Deploys Patriot Missiles to Protect ISIS Resupply*

The Genocide of the Peoples of Europe*

Challenging the MSF Narratives and Bias in Aleppo*

The West Negotiates with former ‘Al Qaeda’ Leader to Empower Libya’s Unity Government*

Israel Accepts Invitation to Hold Permanent Mission at NATO’s HQ*

Hack of Netanyahu Chief of Staff Shows Israeli Control of ISIS*

U.S. Needs Israel to Extend Power in Middle East, and is Willing to Pay Big*

Zionism and Organized Islamophobia – The Facts*

The Relentless Jewish Campaign against Islam*

The Multinational Ramadhan Assault*

Nearly Every Western Country has an Israel Lobby*

Clinton’s Emails Reveals a Sunni-Shiite War Would be Good for Israel and the West*

Israel Helps Refugee Pawns Migration as Weapons of War in Europe*

Red Sea Deal: Are Israel and Saudi Arabia Forming a Joint Military*

How the Israel Lobby Manufactured U.K. Labour Party’s Anti-Semitism Crisis*

U.S. Army Captain Files Lawsuit against Obama over ‘Illegal’ War in Iraq and Syria*

Russia Tells the World about the NWO/CIA/MOSSAD/M16 Plan for Massacre in Paris*

The Genocide of the Peoples of Europe*

Three Children, a Woman Killed by U.S.-led Coalition’s Airstrikes in Deir Ezzor*

Three Children, a Woman Killed by U.S.-led Coalition’s Airstrikes in Deir Ezzor*

Three children and a woman were killed in air raids by U.S.-led coalition on Bukamal city in the eastern countryside of Deir-Ezzor on Monday.

Media and local sources said that aircrafts of the U.S.- led coalition launched raids on Bukamal city on the western bank of the Euphrates near the Iraqi borders, killing three children and a woman and causing huge material damage to locals’ houses.

Three other civilians including a girl child were killed and 14 others were injured when ISIS terrorists targeted with shells al-Qusour and al-Joura neighbourhoods in Deir-ezzor.

Meanwhile, local sources in Qamishli city in Hasaka province said that a woman was killed when a mortar shell fell on her house in Tai neighbourhood coming from the Turkish territories while the members of her family were injured.

On January 16, the U.S. acknowledged that civilians were killed in coalition air raids against ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

In Ras al-Ain city, 80 kilometres to the west of Hasaka on the Syrian- Turkish borders, members of the Turkish border guards opened fire on a girl near her house, injuring her.

Source*

Related Topics:

The U.S. Military Back on the Battlefield in Iraq*

80 Countries Slam U.S. Over Habit of Bombing Hospitals*

U.S. Troops Illegally in Syria*

Fallujah’s Residents Starving, Murdered, Besieged by U.S. Backed Government Forces and ISIS*

U.S.-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital, but Blame Russia and Syria*

#AleppoIsBurning Campaign Created By U.S. and NATO to Facilitate a “No Bomb Zone”*

U.S. Army Captain Files Lawsuit against Obama over ‘Illegal’ War in Iraq and Syria*

U.S. Working to Block Syrian Liberation of Aleppo from al-Nusra*

U.S. Deploys Patriot Missiles to Protect ISIS Resupply*

Threatened ISIS Declares Emergency in Self-declared Capital Raqqa, Syria*

U.S., Saudi, Turkey, Discuss Delivering Weapons to Terrorists against Assad*

U.S. Helicopter Failed to Rescue ISIL Leader in Yemen*

Your brain does not process information, or…*

Your brain does not process information, or…*

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

nerve%20impulseBy Robert Epstein

No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies of words, pictures, grammatical rules or any other kinds of environmental stimuli. The human brain isn’t really empty, of course. But it does not contain most of the things people think it does – not even simple things such as ‘memories’.

Our shoddy thinking about the brain has deep historical roots, but the invention of computers in the 1940s got us especially confused. For more than half a century now, psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and other experts on human behaviour have been asserting that the human brain works like a computer.

To see how vacuous this idea is, consider the brains of babies. Thanks to evolution, human neonates, like the newborns of all other mammalian species, enter the world prepared to interact with it effectively. A baby’s vision is blurry, but it pays special attention to faces, and is quickly able to identify its mother’s. It prefers the sound of voices to non-speech sounds, and can distinguish one basic speech sound from another. We are, without doubt, built to make social connections.

A healthy newborn is also equipped with more than a dozen reflexes – ready-made reactions to certain stimuli that are important for its survival. It turns its head in the direction of something that brushes its cheek and then sucks whatever enters its mouth. It holds its breath when submerged in water. It grasps things placed in its hands so strongly it can nearly support its own weight. Perhaps most important, newborns come equipped with powerful learning mechanisms that allow them to change rapidly so they can interact increasingly effectively with their world, even if that world is unlike the one their distant ancestors faced.

Senses, reflexes and learning mechanisms – this is what we start with, and it is quite a lot, when you think about it. If we lacked any of these capabilities at birth, we would probably have trouble surviving.

But here is what we are not born with: information, data, rules, software, knowledge, lexicons, representations, algorithms, programs, models, memories, images, processors, subroutines, encoders, decoders, symbols, or buffers – design elements that allow digital computers to behave somewhat intelligently. Not only are we not born with such things, we also don’t develop them – ever.

We don’t store words or the rules that tell us how to manipulate them. We don’t create representations of visual stimuli, store them in a short-term memory buffer, and then transfer the representation into a long-term memory device. We don’t retrieve information or images or words from memory registers. Computers do all of these things, but organisms do not.

Computers, quite literally, process information – numbers, letters, words, formulas, images. The information first has to be encoded into a format computers can use, which means patterns of ones and zeroes (‘bits’) organised into small chunks (‘bytes’). On my computer, each byte contains 8 bits, and a certain pattern of those bits stands for the letter d, another for the letter o, and another for the letter g. Side by side, those three bytes form the word dog. One single image – say, the photograph of my cat Henry on my desktop – is represented by a very specific pattern of a million of these bytes (‘one megabyte’), surrounded by some special characters that tell the computer to expect an image, not a word.

Computers, quite literally, move these patterns from place to place in different physical storage areas etched into electronic components. Sometimes they also copy the patterns, and sometimes they transform them in various ways – say, when we are correcting errors in a manuscript or when we are touching up a photograph. The rules computers follow for moving, copying and operating on these arrays of data are also stored inside the computer. Together, a set of rules is called a ‘program’ or an ‘algorithm’. A group of algorithms that work together to help us do something (like buy stocks or find a date online) is called an ‘application’ – what most people now call an ‘app’.

Forgive me for this introduction to computing, but I need to be clear: computers really do operate on symbolic representations of the world. They really store and retrieve. They really process. They really have physical memories. They really are guided in everything they do, without exception, by algorithms.

Humans, on the other hand, do not – never did, never will. Given this reality, why do so many scientists talk about our mental life as if we were computers?

In his book In Our Own Image (2015), the artificial intelligence expert George Zarkadakis describes six different metaphors people have employed over the past 2,000 years to try to explain human intelligence.

In the earliest one, eventually preserved in the Bible, humans were formed from clay or dirt, which an intelligent god then infused with its spirit. That spirit ‘explained’ our intelligence – grammatically, at least.

The invention of hydraulic engineering in the 3rd century BCE led to the popularity of a hydraulic model of human intelligence, the idea that the flow of different fluids in the body – the ‘humours’ – accounted for both our physical and mental functioning. The hydraulic metaphor persisted for more than 1,600 years, handicapping medical practice all the while.

By the 1500s, automata powered by springs and gears had been devised, eventually inspiring leading thinkers such as René Descartes to assert that humans are complex machines. In the 1600s, the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes suggested that thinking arose from small mechanical motions in the brain. By the 1700s, discoveries about electricity and chemistry led to new theories of human intelligence – again, largely metaphorical in nature. In the mid-1800s, inspired by recent advances in communications, the German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz compared the brain to a telegraph.

The mathematician John von Neumann stated flatly that the function of the human nervous system is ‘prima facie digital’, drawing parallel after parallel between the components of the computing machines of the day and the components of the human brain

Each metaphor reflected the most advanced thinking of the era that spawned it. Predictably, just a few years after the dawn of computer technology in the 1940s, the brain was said to operate like a computer, with the role of physical hardware played by the brain itself and our thoughts serving as software. The landmark event that launched what is now broadly called ‘cognitive science’ was the publication of Language and Communication (1951) by the psychologist George Miller. Miller proposed that the mental world could be studied rigorously using concepts from information theory, computation and linguistics.

This kind of thinking was taken to its ultimate expression in the short book The Computer and the Brain (1958), in which the mathematician John von Neumann stated flatly that the function of the human nervous system is ‘prima facie digital’. Although he acknowledged that little was actually known about the role the brain played in human reasoning and memory, he drew parallel after parallel between the components of the computing machines of the day and the components of the human brain.

Propelled by subsequent advances in both computer technology and brain research, an ambitious multidisciplinary effort to understand human intelligence gradually developed, firmly rooted in the idea that humans are, like computers, information processors. This effort now involves thousands of researchers, consumes billions of dollars in funding, and has generated a vast literature consisting of both technical and mainstream articles and books. Ray Kurzweil’s book How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (2013), exemplifies this perspective, speculating about the ‘algorithms’ of the brain, how the brain ‘processes data’, and even how it superficially resembles integrated circuits in its structure.

The information processing (IP) metaphor of human intelligence now dominates human thinking, both on the street and in the sciences. There is virtually no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour that proceeds without employing this metaphor, just as no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour could proceed in certain eras and cultures without reference to a spirit or deity. The validity of the IP metaphor in today’s world is generally assumed without question.

But the IP metaphor is, after all, just another metaphor – a story we tell to make sense of something we don’t actually understand. And like all the metaphors that preceded it, it will certainly be cast aside at some point – either replaced by another metaphor or, in the end, replaced by actual knowledge.

Just over a year ago, on a visit to one of the world’s most prestigious research institutes, I challenged researchers there to account for intelligent human behaviour without reference to any aspect of the IP metaphor. They couldn’t do it, and when I politely raised the issue in subsequent email communications, they still had nothing to offer months later. They saw the problem. They didn’t dismiss the challenge as trivial. But they couldn’t offer an alternative. In other words, the IP metaphor is ‘sticky’. It encumbers our thinking with language and ideas that are so powerful we have trouble thinking around them.

The faulty logic of the IP metaphor is easy enough to state. It is based on a faulty syllogism – one with two reasonable premises and a faulty conclusion. Reasonable premise #1: all computers are capable of behaving intelligently. Reasonable premise #2: all computers are information processors. Faulty conclusion: all entities that are capable of behaving intelligently are information processors.

Setting aside the formal language, the idea that humans must be information processors just because computers are information processors is just plain silly, and when, some day, the IP metaphor is finally abandoned, it will almost certainly be seen that way by historians, just as we now view the hydraulic and mechanical metaphors to be silly.

If the IP metaphor is so silly, why is it so sticky? What is stopping us from brushing it aside, just as we might brush aside a branch that was blocking our path? Is there a way to understand human intelligence without leaning on a flimsy intellectual crutch? And what price have we paid for leaning so heavily on this particular crutch for so long? The IP metaphor, after all, has been guiding the writing and thinking of a large number of researchers in multiple fields for decades. At what cost?

In a classroom exercise I have conducted many times over the years, I begin by recruiting a student to draw a detailed picture of a dollar bill – ‘as detailed as possible’, I say – on the blackboard in front of the room. When the student has finished, I cover the drawing with a sheet of paper, remove a dollar bill from my wallet, tape it to the board, and ask the student to repeat the task. When he or she is done, I remove the cover from the first drawing, and the class comments on the differences.

Because you might never have seen a demonstration like this, or because you might have trouble imagining the outcome, I have asked Jinny Hyun, one of the student interns at the institute where I conduct my research, to make the two drawings. Here is her drawing ‘from memory’ (notice the metaphor):

And here is the drawing she subsequently made with a dollar bill present:

Jinny was as surprised by the outcome as you probably are, but it is typical. As you can see, the drawing made in the absence of the dollar bill is horrible compared with the drawing made from an exemplar, even though Jinny has seen a dollar bill thousands of times.

What is the problem? Don’t we have a ‘representation’ of the dollar bill ‘stored’ in a ‘memory register’ in our brains? Can’t we just ‘retrieve’ it and use it to make our drawing?

Obviously not, and a thousand years of neuroscience will never locate a representation of a dollar bill stored inside the human brain for the simple reason that it is not there to be found.

The idea that memories are stored in individual neurons is preposterous: how and where is the memory stored in the cell?

A wealth of brain studies tells us, in fact, that multiple and sometimes large areas of the brain are often involved in even the most mundane memory tasks. When strong emotions are involved, millions of neurons can become more active. In a 2016 study of survivors of a plane crash by the University of Toronto neuropsychologist Brian Levine and others, recalling the crash increased neural activity in ‘the amygdala, medial temporal lobe, anterior and posterior midline, and visual cortex’ of the passengers.

The idea, advanced by several scientists, that specific memories are somehow stored in individual neurons is preposterous; if anything, that assertion just pushes the problem of memory to an even more challenging level: how and where, after all, is the memory stored in the cell?

So what is occurring when Jinny draws the dollar bill in its absence? If Jinny had never seen a dollar bill before, her first drawing would probably have not resembled the second drawing at all. Having seen dollar bills before, she was changed in some way. Specifically, her brain was changed in a way that allowed her to visualise a dollar bill – that is, to re-experience seeing a dollar bill, at least to some extent.

The difference between the two diagrams reminds us that visualising something (that is, seeing something in its absence) is far less accurate than seeing something in its presence. This is why we’re much better at recognising than recalling. When we re-member something (from the Latin re, ‘again’, and memorari, ‘be mindful of’), we have to try to relive an experience; but when we recognise something, we must merely be conscious of the fact that we have had this perceptual experience before.

Perhaps you will object to this demonstration. Jinny had seen dollar bills before, but she hadn’t made a deliberate effort to ‘memorise’ the details. Had she done so, you might argue, she could presumably have drawn the second image without the bill being present. Even in this case, though, no image of the dollar bill has in any sense been ‘stored’ in Jinny’s brain. She has simply become better prepared to draw it accurately, just as, through practice, a pianist becomes more skilled in playing a concerto without somehow inhaling a copy of the sheet music.

From this simple exercise, we can begin to build the framework of a metaphor-free theory of intelligent human behaviour – one in which the brain isn’t completely empty, but is at least empty of the baggage of the IP metaphor.

As we navigate through the world, we are changed by a variety of experiences. Of special note are experiences of three types:

(1) we observe what is happening around us (other people behaving, sounds of music, instructions directed at us, words on pages, images on screens);

(2) we are exposed to the pairing of unimportant stimuli (such as sirens) with important stimuli (such as the appearance of police cars);

(3) we are punished or rewarded for behaving in certain ways.

We become more effective in our lives if we change in ways that are consistent with these experiences – if we can now recite a poem or sing a song, if we are able to follow the instructions we are given, if we respond to the unimportant stimuli more like we do to the important stimuli, if we refrain from behaving in ways that were punished, if we behave more frequently in ways that were rewarded.

Misleading headlines notwithstanding, no one really has the slightest idea how the brain changes after we have learned to sing a song or recite a poem. But neither the song nor the poem has been ‘stored’ in it. The brain has simply changed in an orderly way that now allows us to sing the song or recite the poem under certain conditions. When called on to perform, neither the song nor the poem is in any sense ‘retrieved’ from anywhere in the brain, any more than my finger movements are ‘retrieved’ when I tap my finger on my desk. We simply sing or recite – no retrieval necessary.

A few years ago, I asked the neuroscientist Eric Kandel of Columbia University – winner of a Nobel Prize for identifying some of the chemical changes that take place in the neuronal synapses of the Aplysia (a marine snail) after it learns something – how long he thought it would take us to understand how human memory works. He quickly replied: ‘A hundred years.’ I didn’t think to ask him whether he thought the IP metaphor was slowing down neuroscience, but some neuroscientists are indeed beginning to think the unthinkable – that the metaphor is not indispensable.

A few cognitive scientists – notably Anthony Chemero of the University of Cincinnati, the author of Radical Embodied Cognitive Science (2009) – now completely reject the view that the human brain works like a computer. The mainstream view is that we, like computers, make sense of the world by performing computations on mental representations of it, but Chemero and others describe another way of understanding intelligent behaviour – as a direct interaction between organisms and their world.

My favourite example of the dramatic difference between the IP perspective and what some now call the ‘anti-representational’ view of human functioning involves two different ways of explaining how a baseball player manages to catch a fly ball – beautifully explicated by Michael McBeath, now at Arizona State University, and his colleagues in a 1995 paper in Science. The IP perspective requires the player to formulate an estimate of various initial conditions of the ball’s flight – the force of the impact, the angle of the trajectory, that kind of thing – then to create and analyse an internal model of the path along which the ball will likely move, then to use that model to guide and adjust motor movements continuously in time in order to intercept the ball.

That is all well and good if we functioned as computers do, but McBeath and his colleagues gave a simpler account: to catch the ball, the player simply needs to keep moving in a way that keeps the ball in a constant visual relationship with respect to home plate and the surrounding scenery (technically, in a ‘linear optical trajectory’). This might sound complicated, but it is actually incredibly simple, and completely free of computations, representations and algorithms.

we will never have to worry about a human mind going amok in cyberspace, and we will never achieve immortality through downloading

Two determined psychology professors at Leeds Beckett University in the U.K. – Andrew Wilson and Sabrina Golonka – include the baseball example among many others that can be looked at simply and sensibly outside the IP framework. They have been blogging for years about what they call a ‘more coherent, naturalised approach to the scientific study of human behaviour… at odds with the dominant cognitive neuroscience approach’. This is far from a movement, however; the mainstream cognitive sciences continue to wallow uncritically in the IP metaphor, and some of the world’s most influential thinkers have made grand predictions about humanity’s future that depend on the validity of the metaphor.

One prediction – made by the futurist Kurzweil, the physicist Stephen Hawking and the neuroscientist Randal Koene, among others – is that, because human consciousness is supposedly like computer software, it will soon be possible to download human minds to a computer, in the circuits of which we will become immensely powerful intellectually and, quite possibly, immortal. This concept drove the plot of the dystopian movie Transcendence (2014) starring Johnny Depp as the Kurzweil-like scientist whose mind was downloaded to the internet – with disastrous results for humanity.

Fortunately, because the IP metaphor is not even slightly valid, we will never have to worry about a human mind going amok in cyberspace; alas, we will also never achieve immortality through downloading. This is not only because of the absence of consciousness software in the brain; there is a deeper problem here – let’s call it the uniqueness problem – which is both inspirational and depressing.

Because neither ‘memory banks’ nor ‘representations’ of stimuli exist in the brain, and because all that is required for us to function in the world is for the brain to change in an orderly way as a result of our experiences, there is no reason to believe that any two of us are changed the same way by the same experience. If you and I attend the same concert, the changes that occur in my brain when I listen to Beethoven’s 5th will almost certainly be completely different from the changes that occur in your brain. Those changes, whatever they are, are built on the unique neural structure that already exists, each structure having developed over a lifetime of unique experiences.

This is why, as Sir Frederic Bartlett demonstrated in his book Remembering (1932), no two people will repeat a story they have heard the same way and why, over time, their recitations of the story will diverge more and more. No ‘copy’ of the story is ever made; rather, each individual, upon hearing the story, changes to some extent – enough so that when asked about the story later (in some cases, days, months or even years after Bartlett first read them the story) – they can re-experience hearing the story to some extent, although not very well (see the first drawing of the dollar bill, above).

This is inspirational, I suppose, because it means that each of us is truly unique, not just in our genetic makeup, but even in the way our brains change over time. It is also depressing, because it makes the task of the neuroscientist daunting almost beyond imagination. For any given experience, orderly change could involve a thousand neurons, a million neurons or even the entire brain, with the pattern of change different in every brain.

Worse still, even if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it. This is perhaps the most egregious way in which the IP metaphor has distorted our thinking about human functioning. Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear. What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised.

Think how difficult this problem is. To understand even the basics of how the brain maintains the human intellect, we might need to know not just the current state of all 86 billion neurons and their 100 trillion interconnections, not just the varying strengths with which they are connected, and not just the states of more than 1,000 proteins that exist at each connection point, but how the moment-to-moment activity of the brain contributes to the integrity of the system. Add to this the uniqueness of each brain, brought about in part because of the uniqueness of each person’s life history, and Kandel’s prediction starts to sound overly optimistic. (In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, the neuroscientist Kenneth Miller suggested it will take ‘centuries’ just to figure out basic neuronal connectivity.)

Meanwhile, vast sums of money are being raised for brain research, based in some cases on faulty ideas and promises that cannot be kept. The most blatant instance of neuroscience gone awry, documented recently in a report in Scientific American, concerns the $1.3 billion Human Brain Project launched by the European Union in 2013. Convinced by the charismatic Henry Markram that he could create a simulation of the entire human brain on a supercomputer by the year 2023, and that such a model would revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders, E.U. officials funded his project with virtually no restrictions. Less than two years into it, the project turned into a ‘brain wreck’, and Markram was asked to step down.

We are organisms, not computers. Get over it. Let’s get on with the business of trying to understand ourselves, but without being encumbered by unnecessary intellectual baggage. The IP metaphor has had a half-century run, producing few, if any, insights along the way. The time has come to hit the DELETE key.

Source *

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A Sea of Oil Tankers off the Coast Of Singapore*

A Sea of Oil Tankers off the Coast Of Singapore*

By Tyler Durden

“I’ve been coming to Singapore once a year for the last 15 years, and flying in I have never seen the waters so full of idle tankers,”  – Senior European oil trader a day after arriving in the city-state.

Back in November, when the world-record crude inventory glut was still in its early innings, we showed what we then thought was a disturbing image of dozens of oil tankers on anchor near the US oil hub of Galveston, TX, unwilling to unload their cargo at what the owners of the oil thought was too low prices.

Little did we know that just a few months later this seemingly unprecedented sight of clustered VLCCs would be a daily occurrence as oil producers, concerned by Cushing hitting its operating capacity, would take advantage of oil curve contango to store their oil offshore indefinitely.

However, while the “parking lot” off Galveston has since normalized, something shocking has emerged and continued to grow half way around the world, just off the coat of Singapore. This.

The red dots show ships either at anchor or barely moving, either oil tankers or cargo, which have made the Straits of Malacca, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes which carries about a quarter of all seaborne oil primarily from the Persian Gulf headed to China, into a “bumper to bumper” parking lots of ships with tens of millions of barrels in combustible cargo.

it is also the topic of the latest Reuters expose on the historic physical crude oil glut which continues to build behind the scenes, and which so far has proven totally immune to dissipation as a result of the sharp increase in oil prices over the past three months.

Indeed, as Reuters notes, prices for oil futures have jumped by almost a quarter since April, lifted by severe supply disruptions caused by triggers such as Canadian wildfires, acts of sabotage in Nigeria, and civil war in Libya. And yet flying into Singapore, the oil trading hub for the world’s biggest consumer region, Asia, reveals another picture: that a global glut that pulled down prices by over 70 percent between 2014 and early 2016 is nowhere near over, and that financial traders betting on higher crude oil futures may be in for a surprise from the physical market.

“I’ve been coming to Singapore once a year for the last 15 years, and flying in I have never seen the waters so full of idle tankers,” said a senior European oil trader a day after arriving in the city-state.

As Asia’s main physical oil trading hub, the number of parked tankers sitting off Singapore’s coast or in nearby Malaysian waters is seen by many as a gauge of the industry’s health.  Judging by this, oil markets are still sickly: a fleet of 40 supertankers is currently anchored in the region’s coastal waters for use as floating storage facilities.

The glut is not only constant but is rising with every passing week: the tankers are filled with 47.7 million barrels of oil, mostly crude, up 10 percent from the previous week, according to newly collected freight data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

What is curious is that the glut is persisting despite seemingly relentless demand by China. Earlier today Bloomberg calculated that 74 VLCCs are bound for China, the highest in 3 weeks, and up from 69 a week earlier. Still the inert glut off Singapore is enough oil to satisfy five working days of Chinese demand, suggesting recent supply disruptions – which have mostly occurred in the Americas, Africa and Europe – have done little to tighten supply in Asia as Middle East producers keep output near record volumes in a bid to win market share.

“The volumes of oil stored at sea in South East Asia – predominantly Singapore and Malaysia – appear to have increased significantly,” said Erik Broekhuizen, Global Manager of tanker research and consultancy at New York-based shipping brokerage Poten & Partners. “The current volumes are the highest for at least the last five years.”

What is taking place in the oil market appears to be merely the latest disconnect between the paper and physical markets, something quite familiar to precious metals traders in recent years. As Reuters notes, many participants in the physical market dispute recent notes from financial players like Goldman Sachs that forecast a further rise in crude futures.

“There has been quite a bit of bullishness from hedge funds in recent months, betting on higher oil prices, and even the analysts at Goldman Sachs have recently turned more bullish on oil prices,” said Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at ship broker Banchero Costa.

“Prices are unlikely to rise too much as the specter of glut is still there,” he said. However, Leszczynski may be discounting just how powerful algo-driven momentum can be if, or especially when, it is completely disconnected from fundamentals.

While the sight of tankers at anchor is nothing new, this time something has changed.

Unlike before, when the contango of the oil curve made storing oil offshore profitable, this is no longer the case as contago-funded offshore profits have all but disappeared.

As a reminder, storing oil on ships can be profitable when prices for future delivery of crude are higher than in spot market, a term structure known as contango, as long as future prices are high enough to offset tanker charter costs. However, with the one-year contango for Brent futures collapsing from $7.60 per barrel in January to just $4, far below the $10 that traders say is currently required to make floating storage financially attractive, suddenly parking oil offshore leads to storage losses. The same goes for WTI.

At a charter cost of more than $40,000 a day for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) that can store 2 million barrels, the contango is nowhere near steep enough to make it profitable to store oil on tankers for sale at a later date.

This has led to a dramatic development in the oil market: debt-funded storage. Reuters writes that the need to store oil is so strong that traders are calling up banks to finance storage charters despite there being no profit in keeping fuel in tankers at current rates.

“We are receiving unusually high amounts of queries to finance storage charters,” said a senior oil trade financier with a major bank in Asia.

“These queries come from traders fully aware that they will not make a profit from storing the oil. This isn’t a trade play, it’s the oil market looking for places to store unsold fuel,” he added.

So why are the traders doing this?

Simple: they hope that oil prices will rise fast and soon enough where the capital appreciation in crude will more than make up for the incurrence of new debt which will be repaid with proceeds from “selling higher.” The risk, of course, is that oil does not rise and should prices tumble, traders will not only have a capital loss on their hands, but be forced to deal with the excess leverage they had hoped would promptly disappear.

To be sure, while we have warned in the past about the danger of offshore storage becoming unprofitable and being brought back onto the land market, in the process launching a liquidation dumping scramble, it has never been this bad. A trade financier at a European bank said there had been a “spike in interest from oil traders to finance their storage needs” since the start of the year as onshore facilities were almost full.

Still, with record amounts of oil stored offshore and with the profit on such storage now shifting into a loss, many are scratching their heads how much longer this imbalanced, and bank funded, situation can persist.

“Floating storage is unattractive economically, given the current term structure in crude futures,” BMI Research said this week. Despite this, BMI said that “the volume of crude in floating storage has risen sharply in recent months,” adding that the phenomenon was global, with floating storage up 19.5 percent between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016.

“There is clearly still far too much physical crude going around for the glut to be over,” said the European oil trader after flying in to Singapore.

The trader’s conclusion: “And the paper market seems blissfully unaware of it.”

He is right… for now. Because all that will take for even the algos to give up their relentless upward momentum, is for some of these tens of millions of barrels to finally come onshore, which now that contango is no longer profitable, is just a matter of time.

In the meantime, just keep track of the unprecedented parking lot of ships off the coast of Singapore: the larger it gets, the more violent the price drop will be once banks say “no more” to funding money losing charters.

Source*

Comment: Follow the then we’ll know what the cabal’s agenda is…

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A Guaranteed way to Make the Whole World Islamophobic*

A Guaranteed way to Make the Whole World Islamophobic*

Courtesy of Israel, U.S., U.K., Germany, France etc…..

A new message from an Islamic State spokesman has called on the terrorists’ followers to carry out attacks in the US and Europe during the Islamic Ramadan celebrations beginning in early June.

The 31-minute audio clip was distributed on Twitter via accounts that usually post the terrorists’ updates, but it has not been confirmed whether the message is authentic.

It calls to be ready to make June the “month of calamity” all over the world for those who are not believers.

Terrorists urged supporters of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) caliphate in Europe and the US to conduct attacks on military and civilian targets.

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the IS spokesman, didn’t mention the latest EgyptAir crash in the Mediterranean.

The attacks should apparently come also as revenge for the U.S.-led strikes on IS forces in Iraq and Syria, with the message saying that the military aircraft don’t distinguish between civilian and combatants, men and women.

NWO FamilyOver the past year, IS claimed attacks on France and Belgium, with hundreds dead.

IS is notorious for its online audiovisual propaganda: a week ago, they posted a blood-chilling video of two French boys brutally murdering pro-government Syrians.

The latest audio clip also comes a day after flyers apparently dropped by the coalition on Raqqa in northern Syria called on residents to flee the city, possibly ahead of an offensive by anti-IS forces to recapture it.

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