Archive | October 6, 2016

Ancient Indigenous Memory Systems*

Ancient Indigenous Memory Systems*

The Gift of a Good StoryBy Cassandra Sheppard

The human brain has the natural ability to remember thousands of facts and huge swathes of information, by adopting the technique of orality, which the ancients used to construct their entire knowledge systems.

In her work with Australian Indigenous elders, Honorary Research Associate at LaTrobe University , science writer and author of The Memory Code, Lynne Kelly, has unlocked the secrets of Aboriginal Songlines, Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over.

The places, songs, dances, art, stories and rituals connected to the Aboriginal Songlines contain entire knowledge systems that, today, would be the equivalent to universities. They are sophisticated memory systems that ensured survival, brought the land alive and made it sacred ground.

This discovery is the key to understanding the purpose of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world. We can still use these techniques today to train our own memories.

Upon asking how the Elders “…could remember so much stuff without writing anything down,” Lynne developed this body of work that has completely transformed her life.

“When you don’t have literacy, you have orality,” she said.

Stories are key to understanding Neolithic structures (Credit: Courtesy Damian Kelly)

 

Thousands of Years of Information

People could remember countless details about the natural and social world around them, yet they were non-literate. In their nomadic, oral traditions they needed to be able to store knowledge and information somewhere. Lynne’s work has revealed that this was the purpose of Songlines.

“The Songlines are heavily imbued with the minutely detailed, practical information necessary for survival and for maintaining cultural integrity,” said Lynne Kelly.

They contain thousands of years of collated information about plants, animals, landscape, weather, star systems, navigation, ethics and lore, resource use rights, genealogy and marriage rules. It is the vast and complex intellectual property they contain that makes Songlines and the landscapes they traverse sacred to Indigenous people.

Painting of Aboriginal Songlines

 

Associating Story with Place

Other scientific research has proven that the human brain has an inner GPS system that locates information in places. It is why you can remember how to get from place to place and remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard significant news. Ancient oral cultures knew that the brain easily associates physical place with remembering information.

In a Songline, each location in a landscape has attached to it an instruction about the relevant song, dance, story, character or all of those. In those songs and stories is all the information about a particular thing that people needed to remember, as well as the rights and responsibilities attached to that information. It is the practical information needed for survival.

Aboriginal oral tradition

 

Making Stories Memorable

The creative delivery of the information makes it even more memorable and fun.

“The stories and songs can be quite nonsensical, making them even easier to remember. It was about being able to remember, and that’s why Indigenous stories and myths can often seem quite fantastical,” said Kelly.

Depending on the nature of the information it is necessary to repeat it regularly in the form of ceremonies and rituals (meaning a repeated act) to ensure it is accurately remembered. Initiation created different levels of access to the knowledge as a way of keeping the information accurate. There were layers and layers and layers – to avoid the Chinese whisper effect.

More than one piece of information can be attached to a place and the brain naturally has the ability to sift through and bring up what is needed. The landscape is literally alive with knowledge. It is a system that makes coming together regularly to sing, dance and tell stories a matter of life and death.

Songlines that have been recorded along the Queensland coast and in Victoria contain accurate geographical data that is at least 7,000 years old – a true indication of how effective this method of remembering is.

Indigenous Memory Systems around the World

Indigenous cultures around the world use these systems. The Navajo in America are able to recall the details of 701 species of insect to three levels of classification. In the American south west, the pueblo culture which is intact, have maintained at least seven varieties of corn of different colour and variety for hundreds of years.

The Navajo continue to pass their stories on through the generations

 

““If you plant a monoculture in a harsh environment and things go wrong, the people will die, because they depend on it. If you read the pueblo accounts you get stories of the corn mothers and the cord maidens who all wear a different colour… the implications are that the rules for the corn are embedded in them. They are to protect the variety, to optimise survival,” said Kelly.”

Changing the Way we Store Knowledge

Once cultures settled into an agrarian lifestyle they needed to store their knowledge somewhere. They needed hooks for their information and they needed ceremonial performance space. The stones at Stonehenge, the elaborate buildings of New Mexico and the statues at Easter Island all have innumerable distinguishing features onto which information hooks could be placed. And the ceremonial spaces around them would have been used to perform the associated songs, dances and rituals to ensure the knowledge formerly kept in the landscape was not lost.

Non-literate cultures also used memory boards. The West Africans use a lukasa, while the Aboriginal Australians had a tjuringa. It’s a piece of wood or art onto which individual identifiable features are added in order to remember a set of knowledge.

The Prevalence of Ancient Memory Boards

Kelly explained,

“Mysterious carved stone balls from the Scottish Neolithic period that have been found and no one knows what they are for. I showed a photo of one to an Aboriginal Elder and he said – Oh they do their tjuringa on these balls!

“No one had ever asked an Elder what these objects might be for! So you’ve also got the Stonehenge chalk paths decorated with enigmatic inscriptions, it’s the same concept as an Aboriginal tjuringa. It fits the pattern absolutely.

Aboriginal Tjuringa

 

“Until you’ve tried these methods, it’s impossible to understand. On my memory board I’ve encoded the more than 400 birds of Victoria. I would never have believed I could do that. Now I will go up to the birds of the whole of Australia. It’s extraordinarily strong. I can’t see any bird out there without seeing that bird’s location on my board. And that is an incredibly precious object to me,” she said.

Contemporary Applications

When I asked Lynne about contemporary application for these systems she said,

“This work has invaluable application in contemporary life. It links directly to how our brains naturally work. For example in Alzheimer’s – you can take people to places and they can sing, and remember things off the landscape. How much degradation of old people’s minds could be linked to the fact that we isolate them from their old songs, dances and stories?”

Alzheimer patient remembering old music

 

“Look at children,” she said.

“Singing, dancing, art are natural ways they express themselves. That is included as a part of their school curriculum, but then when it is time to learn maths or science we shut that part of their brains down. Why? Knowledge and remembering arises through narrative, music, and dance. No one is saying there is anything wrong with what we are doing – just that this approach can enhance what we’re doing.”

Lynne Kelly regards one of the most important issues around her discovery to be the Indigenous intellectual property.

“I think what has been lost out of all of this is the practical intellect, the intellectual property. Development going ahead on Indigenous sacred sites is effectively the same as burning down a university. It is the intellect that we westerners value so highly and it is there. We just couldn’t see it,” she said.

Kelly hopes that this work has helped a bit:

“It can be brought back; the thing is if it is not respected by the youth it is very hard for the elders to get them. It is hard work. They study every bit as hard as we do. It is not just some chat while out on the gather and hunt. It is studying and learning in systematic ways through initiation. You can’t teach and Songlines if you can’t sing a Songline.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Singing Your own Song – A Source of True Joy and Belonging*

Research Shows Aboriginal Memories Stretch Back over 7,000 Years*

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Memorized Entire Qur’an*

Hafiz Aged Three Memorized the Whole Qur’an*

And their eyes glazed over -Technology and Attention Deficit*

Heritage as Defiance against Elite Lies and Erasure*

Common Drugs, Including Benadryl And Xanax, Cause Brain Atrophy And Increase The Risk Of Alzheimer and Dementia*

Your brain does not process information, or…*

Wi-fi Affects the Memory*

 

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Europe Tells British Press NOT to Reveal if Terrorists are Muslims*

Reactionaries will assume that the E.U. is protecting Muslims, but ‘PR’ will continue to ensure that the public automatically believe that the perpetrators are Muslims… If the terrorists are white, it puts the State in question. That way the right kind of pressure is maintained for the elite agenda…

Europe Tells British Press NOT to Reveal if Terrorists are Muslims*

A report from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) found there was an increase in hate speech and racist violence in the UK from 2009 to March 2016.

Blaming the press, ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund, said:

“It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the U.K. at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.”

The report makes a whopping 23 recommendations to Theresa May’s Government for changes to criminal law, the freedom of the press, crime reporting and equality law.

And despite the report not analysing coverage of the historic Brexit vote, Mr Ahlund saw fit to comment on the U.K.’s decision to leave the E.U.

In a sweeping statement, he said:

“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”

The report lays into the British press and urges the government to “give more rigorous training” to reporters.

In the 83-page report, the Commission said:

“ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent ISIS-related terrorist acts around the world, fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety.

“In this context, it draws attention to a recent study by Teeside University suggesting that where the media stress the Muslim background of perpetrators of terrorist acts, and devote significant coverage to it, the violent backlash against Muslims is likely to be greater than in cases where the perpetrators’ motivation is downplayed or rejected in favour of alternative explanations.”

Despite the creation of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in 2014 as an independent regulator for newspapers and magazines, the

“ECRI strongly recommends that the authorities find a way to establish an independent press regulator according to the recommendations set out in the Leveson Report. It recommends more rigorous training for journalists to ensure better compliance with ethical standards.”

But as Britain prepares to leave the crumbling bloc, the Government waded in to defend freedom of expression.

In a written statement to the ECRI, the Government said:

 “The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law.”

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, intolerance and racial discrimination.

The group writes reports on every member state every five years and says the documents are “analyses based on a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

ECRI visited the U.K. in November 2015 as it gathered evidence for the report.

In a statement, ECRI said:

“ECRI welcomed, among other things, the entry into force of the Equality Act 2010 and the generally strong legislation against racism and racial discrimination in the country, as well as the government’s new hate crime action plan and substantial efforts to promote LGBT rights in the UK which have led to a significant change in attitudes.

“At the same time, the commission noted considerable intolerant political discourse in the UK, particularly focusing on immigration. It said that hate speech continues to be a serious problem in tabloid newspapers, and that online hate speech targeting Muslims in particular has soared since 2013.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Interpol Reports 1 Percent of European Terrorism Was Carried Out by Muslims in 2014*

Five Times Western Media Failed to Call White Shooters Terrorists*

Belgian Reporter Sexually Assaulted by 3 White Men in Cologne*

San Bernadino Shooters were 3 White Men Dressed in Military Attire*

Paris Attack Witness Describes Gunmen As White, Muscular, Clean Cut Mercenaries!

Over One Third of Nice Attack Victims Were Muslim*

Terror Attack in Nice: One Frenchman Speaks Out*

White Supremacists Behind Mass Shootings at Black Churches and Synagogues*

Jews caught staging “Muslim terror” again to hype up flagging support for their evil antichristian apartheid regime

The West’s Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict in Thailand*

 

 

Legal Documents in High Court Case Reveal anti-Brexit Strategy*

Legal Documents in High Court Case Reveal anti-Brexit Strategy*

By Siobhan Fenton  

Theresa May’s plan to trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament is “the biggest attack on democracy the U.K. has ever known”, a court will be told in the legal case against Brexit, The Independent can reveal.

Lawyers will argue the referendum was marred and undermined by “exaggerated concerns” and “outright falsehoods” by Leave campaigners that left many voters uninformed about what they were actually voting for.

Legal documents seen by The Independent detail the court testimonies from anti-Brexit campaigners that will be argued in the High Court in London ahead of the legal bid beginning on 13 October. The People’s Challenge group is a crowdfunded campaign taking the Government to court in a bid to force the Prime Minister to get parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50. Ms May recently revealed she plans to do so by the end of March 2017.

The group, represented by lawyer John Halford of the law firm Bindmans, is composed of “concerned individuals” and includes British citizens living abroad, a Northern Irish person, a Gibraltar person and the British son of Bangladeshi immigrants. Witness statements submitted by the group to the High Court outline the arguments on which their case is based ahead of the hearing.

They are calling for Parliament to approve if or when to trigger Article 50, a legal mechanism provided by the Lisbon Treaty initiating a two year withdrawal period for the U.K. to leave the E.U.

One witness statement to be read to the court says:

“It seemed to me that the most decisive factors in the campaign were exaggerated concerns about immigration and outright falsehoods … Even some U.K. citizens holidaying in the rest of the E.U. are unaware of the rights and regulations that make doing so so easy.

“Whether used, cherished or not, they are fundamentally important and practical part of the rights and benefits of being a UK and European citizen. People did not have information about the Government’s plans as regards what would happen to these rights and freedoms before voting in the 2016 U.K. referendum.”

The testimony is signed by Grahame Pigney, a 62-year-old British man who has been living in France since 1998. Describing his identity in the statement, he says:

“I consider myself English, Scottish (my maternal grandmother was a Ross and I frequently wear the kilt), British and European.”

His 22-year-old son Robert Pigney, who has lived in France with his parents since he was three years old, argues in his witness submission to the court:

“I was aghast when I found out the Prime Minister planned to invoke Article 50 without consulting Parliament, less still allowing it to make decisions in a proper legislative process. I had thought it unthinkable that a Prime Minister with no election mandate and no Parliamentary mandate would make such a momentous decision.

“The very act of bypassing Parliament [is] dangerously undemocratic at best … Peoples’ jobs and livelihoods are at stake. Peoples’ security is at stake. The very integrity of the U.K. is at stake. To exclude Parliament from decision-making process on how to respond to the referendum would, I believe, be the greatest attack on democracy the U.K. has ever known. It cannot be lawful in a Parliamentary democracy.”

A submission to be read in court from Christopher Formaggia, a 49-year-old former RAF man living in Monmouthshire in Wales, says he is “horrified” by plans for the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament, calling the move “a profound abuse of executive power”. He also argues the E.U. referendum “seemed to be wholly motivated by a desire to resolve internal division in the Conservative Party”.

Representations are also made from Gibraltar and Northern Ireland arguing that Brexit would have a detrimental impact on the regions, which both voted to remain in the E.U. Representing Gibraltar, 50-year-old Paul Cartwright, will argue:

“Gibraltar’s relationship with Spain is difficult enough. Freedom of movement is what makes it tolerable. Many people like me rely on being able to travel freely through the border for work or businesses, including those supplying goods and services. Families also live on both sides of the border. For example, [my wife] Marie has dual nationality but she relies on the frontier being easy to travel through every day because her father is very sick.”

Fergal McFerran, a well-known activist in Northern Ireland and president of the Northern Irish student union body, will also make the case that Brexit could be harmful to Northern Ireland, which voted to stay in the E.U. by a margin of 56 per cent. As it shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland, concerns have been raised as to how freedom of movement could be affected by withdrawal from the E.U. and whether this could have an adverse impact on the Northern Irish peace process.

His statement to the court will read:

“I am 24 years old, reside in Belfast, Northern Ireland … I am acutely conscious of, and deeply troubled by, the fact that invoking Article 50 using the royal prerogative would be neither transparent nor accountable to Parliament and would eliminate all meaningful involvement of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.

“If and how the U.K. leaves the E.U. will immediately raise questions over whether the border will have to be ‘hardened’, how that might be done and what its effects on freedom and, in turn, the Common Travel Area between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, might be. It is almost impossible to envisage change that will not lead to the compromising of rights and the need to revisit the Good Friday Agreement.”

The High Court will hear the group’s arguments in a case beginning on 13 October, expected to conclude on 18 October.

Last week, the group secured their first major victory in the case when the Government’s legal team was ordered by a judge to disclose their arguments for triggering Article 50 without consulting Parliament.

As a majority of MPs supported remaining in the E.U., some anti-Brexit campaigners argue that a parliamentary vote could vote down triggering Article 50 meaning that Brexit does not occur. Others have argued that it would mean MPs are able to soften Brexit by ensuring terms are better for British citizens.

A separate legal challenge is being taken in Belfast by the father of a man murdered by loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles conflict and a cross-community alliance of local politicians. They argue Brexit could damage the peace process and have called for Stormont to be consulted and approve plans to leave.

Leave supporters have said attempts to stop Article 50 from being triggered are unfair and disregard the will of the people as 52% of voters opted to leave the E.U. Prominent Conservative politician and Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith has urged Ms May to trigger Article 50 “as soon as possible” to stop the referendum becoming a “neverendum”.

Source*

Related Topics:

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The U.K. Supreme Court has Found a Way to block Brexit*

The Americans Declared Independence From Us. We Can Do the Same*

Brexit or WWIII*

Greeks Send an Open Letter to U.K. Citizens about Brexit*

After ‘Brexit’ Scotland, Ireland Referendum to Leave U.K.*

Brexit Computers only Register REMAIN Votes in Tests*

Brexit Strips World’s 400 Richest People of $127bn – Bloomberg*

Brexit Hit the Perpetrators of Fukushima Meltdowns*

Leaked E.U. Document Reveals Plans for Superstate after Brexit*

Brexit is a Blow to the Oligarchs*

E.U. Blocks Brexit with a €25bn Debt*

E.U. Begins to Fracture post-BREXIT*

Northern Ireland Activist Mounts Legal Challenge against Brexit*

 

Iraq Will Likely Sue U.S. Govt For 2003 Invasion Following Passage of 9/11 Bill*

 Iraq Will Likely Sue U.S. Govt For 2003 Invasion Following Passage 0f 9/11 Bill*

As True Activist reported last week, the passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) became law when Congress overwhelmingly voted to override Obama’s veto, which even he had trouble justifying. Following the bill’s enactment as law, a September 11 widow became the first American to sue Saudi Arabia under the JASTA framework. Stephanie Ross DeSimone is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the Saudi Kingdom for wrongful death and the intentional infliction of emotional stress. DeSimone is suing on behalf of her daughter, whose father, Navy Commander Patrick Dunn, was killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Her lawsuit alleges that the Saudi Kingdom provided material support to Al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, which resulted in Commander Dunn’s death. More lawsuits are likely to follow in the coming days, which will only add to the Saudi’s troubles as their economy is tanking. As mentioned in a previous article, a likely and unintended consequence of all this is Saudi Arabia’s likely retaliation, which could well be the selling of US-denominated securities – especially if their economic situation continues to unravel.

Yet, in an unexpected turn of events, JASTA appears to have not only weakened Saudi Arabia’s sovereign immunity but that of the US as well. Al-Arabiya News reports that the Iraqi group “Arab Project in Iraq” is pressing Iraqi parliament to demand compensation for the unjustifiable 2003 US Invasion of Iraq. The group is not only seeking compensation for the invasion that has since plunged the country into chaos, but also for other violations (i.e., war crimes) perpetrated by U.S. forces during the occupation of Iraq. The lobbyist group has also asked for a full-fledged investigation over the killing of civilian targets, loss of property, and compensation for individuals who were tortured or mistreated by US forces.

Though this was not the intended effect of JASTA, it is likely that the Iraqi group will not be the first to take advantage of the precedent set by JASTA’s historic overturning of sovereign immunity. The U.S. has a long list of war crimes and illegal actions abroad, including dozens of illegal coups executed in the last century as well as the instigation of numerous unjustifiable and horrific wars. Perhaps this explains the “buyer’s remorse” many senators have expressed since the bill’s successful override, with some congressmen suggesting that the bill be “modified” to avoid negative repercussions for the U.S. Fears that the consequences of JASTA would also extend to veterans were openly expressed by former Senator Larry Pressler, a Vietnam War veteran. Pressler openly worried that he, as well as other Vietnam veterans, could now be vulnerable to lawsuits from the Vietnam government:

As a Vietnam combat veteran, I could almost certainly be sued by the Vietnamese government or by a Vietnamese citizen. The Gulf War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War veterans are more protected by constitutional congressional actions, but we, Vietnam veterans, will be raw targets if Americans can sue Saudi Arabia.

However, the evidence suggests that this is fear-mongering, as JASTA weakens sovereign immunity for governments, not individuals. This means governments can now be sued for their role in war crimes and terrorist attacks. Individuals have always been fair game, though individuals belonging to the global elite are certainly more protected than others. If the US does indeed become the target of numerous lawsuits regarding its past criminal actions, perhaps the US government will finally start to think twice before instigating unnecessary, deadly wars at the expense of other nations and people.

Related Topics:
International Legislators and Activists Seeking Justice for Iraqis*
The Last Four U.S. Presidents on What to Do with Iraq*
 U.S. Rape and Sodomy of Iraqi Women and Children*