Saturday, October 22, 2011

Legendary Folklorist Alan Lomax: ‘The Land Where the Blues Began’

Another awesome offering from Open Culture - and if you love the blues, this is a wonderful little film.

Legendary Folklorist Alan Lomax: ‘The Land Where the Blues Began’

October 20th, 2011

In 1933, 18-year-old Alan Lomax took a break from college to travel into the American South with his father, John Avery Lomax, on a quest to discover and record traditional folk songs for the Library of Congress. It was the beginning of a journey that would last the rest of his life.

With his father, and later on his own, Lomax traveled the back roads of Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, from religious revival meetings to prison chain gangs, in pursuit of Southern folk music in all its forms. Along the way he discovered and recorded such singular artists as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Vera Hall and Lead Belly. Later, Lomax would widen his field of research to focus on European folk music, but in 1978 he went back to the Mississippi Delta with a camera crew to document a culture that was rapidly disappearing.

The result, The Land Where the Blues Began, is a fascinating look at traditional country blues in its native environment. Filmed in levee camps, churches, juke joints and on front porches across Mississippi, the documentary draws attention to musicians unknown outside the Delta. The Land Where the Blues Began is a must-see for blues fans, and is now part of our collection of Free Movies.
Related Content:

Generation OS13: The New Culture Of Resistance

Hmmm . . . Interesting, and it it very relevant to the #OWS movement, and the video includes friend-of-integral Saul Williams.

Generation OS13: The New Culture Of Resistance

October 13th, 2011

Generation OS13: The new culture of resistance

Generation OS13 is an explosive insight into the attack on civil liberties occurring in western democracies and how artists, musicians, journalists and authors encourage the peoples right to resist against Banker occupation.

Examining economic dictatorships, puppet regimes, tax havens, tax dodgers, and the debt based money system the film explains why ‘you can not count on the law makers to see shit when it first happens’. For a new era, generation OS13, the repression will not be tolerated; do ‘the government really think they can win that war if the young people are like fuck this, you cant beat that you, can’t beat us, its Impossible’ – Saul Williams.

Featuring Painter, poet & song writer Billy Childish, Harry Malt from Bare Bones, Luke Turner from The Quietus, journalist Huw Nesbitt, broadcaster Max Kaiser, author Nicholas Shaxson & Artists Anika, Comanechi, Gaggle’s & Saul Williams.

“Those bailouts were absolutely required to save your civilisation, now if you talk about bail outs for everyone else you have to say to say to those people suck it in and cope buddy, suck it in and cope”

Sounds True - Judith Blackstone: Embodied Realization

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Judith Blackstone about Embodied Realization, author of The Intimate Life: Awakening to the Spiritual Essence in Yourself and Others, and a six-session audio learning course called The Realization Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Embodied Spiritual Awakening.

I tend to like any solid approach to awakening that authentically includes embodiment, so I find Black stone's perspective very interesting.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Judith Blackstone, a licensed clinical psychotherapist in New York and an innovative teacher in contemporary spirituality. With Sounds True, she has published a book called The Intimate Life: Awakening to the Spiritual Essence in Yourself and Others, and a six-session audio learning course called The Realization Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Embodied Spiritual Awakening, in which she teaches her powerful method for attuning to fundamental (or non-dual) consciousness. In this episode, Tami has an illuminating conversation with Judith about two introductory ways of tapping into fundamental consciousness, how we can relate to others “core to core,” and the role of the body in the fullness of realization. (53 minutes)
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Friday, October 21, 2011

RSA Animate - Iain McGilchrist: The Divided Brain

A new RSA Animate is always a cool thing, and this one is no exception. Iain McGilchrist is the author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.
In this new RSAnimate, renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our 'divided brain' has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. Taken from a lecture given by Iain McGilchrist as part of the RSA's free public events programme.

Here is the full lecture from which this RSA Animate is adapted.
Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how the 'divided brain' has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society.

David Anthony Lowe - Our Universe May Exist Inside a Black Hole

Does our universe exist inside a black hole? How cool would that be - and what a great premise for a sci-fi novel. David Anthony Lowe is working with "a particular description of the holographic principle that shows that a certain kind of universe with gravity can be described, after dropping a dimension, by quantum field theory. (See "The Black Hole and the Babel Fish" for more about the holographic principle.)" Lowe's universe is one with no beginning and no end - and it also is one of many. I think I like his model . . . for now.

The End of Time?

Our universe may be housed inside a black hole. If so, we can map out how time—and physics—will end.
by Kate Becker
FQXi Awardees: David Lowe
June 28, 2011
Imagine strolling up to a very unusual department store. There are no windows, so you can’t see inside. But the external walls of the store list everything it contains: Every party dress, handbag, kitten-heel shoe, and silk scarf is inventoried; the exact size and color and shape is recorded; all the information about every thread of every stitch is emblazoned there on the brick wall.

Now imagine that the shop isn’t really a shop. It’s a black hole, and it contains our entire universe. Not just the stars and galaxies that we can see with telescopes, but many other regions of space, where the laws of physics operate differently. Our familiar universe, with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, is rather provincial, the cosmic equivalent of the Ladies’ Shoe department.

That’s a rough analogy for a new view of the universe being proposed by FQXi grant winner David Anthony Lowe, a physicist at Brown University, that will allow him to explore the "big questions" of cosmology: How big is the universe? Will it expand forever? Has it always existed? Will it always exist?

Lowe’s work builds on the holographic principle, the idea that all the information in our universe can be mathematically represented on a cosmic horizon like the surface of a black hole. Just like the two-dimensional hologram on your credit card, which appears to spring into a third dimension when you hold it just so, this cosmic hologram encodes information for one more dimension than it exists in itself. Lowe interprets the holographic principle as more than just a handy mathematical tool: "It means we’re inside a black hole," he says. "It is a physical reality."
Read the whole article.

Utne Reader - Mental Notes: Rethinking and Rewriting the DSM

From Utne Reader - they reposted this article by Rebecca A. Clay, from from the Nov/Dec issue of Monitor on Psychology about work on the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), due to be published in 2013.

This article notes some of the specific changes that are being made (as of now) - as well as the move toward a dimensional assessment model that would allow counselors to "evaluate the severity of symptoms and take into account symptoms that cut across multiple diagnoses."

Mental Notes

Rethinking and rewriting the psychiatric rulebook
by Rebecca A. Clay, from Monitor on Psychology, November-December 2011

Lee Anna Clark, a University of Notre Dame psychology professor, jumped at the chance to be involved in crafting the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), due to be published in 2013.

“I saw this as a possible opportunity to see my research have real-world applications,” says Clark, who studies personality disorders and impairment assessment. Clark is one of several psychologists helping with the revision—the first since 1994.

Since the process began in 1999, the DSM-5 task force—and more than a dozen work groups, many of which include practicing psychologists—has been reviewing the current manual’s strengths and weaknesses, perusing the literature, and analyzing data. A draft of the DSM-5 proposes changes to the following categories:

Mood disorders. Add a new category called “temper dysregulation with dysphoria” to help clinicians distinguish between children with symptoms of severe mood dysregulation and those who have bipolar disorder or oppositional defiant disorder.

Suicide. Include new scales for adults and adolescents that may help clinicians identify patients at greatest risk.

Risk syndromes. Add a new diagnostic category called “risk syndromes,” which may help clinicians identify earlier stages of serious mental disorders such as dementia and psychosis.

Addiction. Replace the current categories of substance abuse and dependence with a new category called “addiction and related disorders” and add a new category called “behavioral addictions,” with gambling as its sole disorder.

Eating disorders. Change the criteria for diagnosing anorexia and bulimia. The proposed criteria for anorexia include a heightened focus on behavior, for example. While the DSM-IV’s diagnostic criteria include “refusal” and “fear of weight gain,” the eating disorders work group points out that “refusal” is difficult to assess and that some people with anorexia deny fear of weight gain. Additionally, make binge-eating disorder a freestanding diagnosis.

Learning disorders. Change the names of certain categories within the learning disorders section to bring them in line with international usage. Thus, the reading disorder and mathematics disorder categories become dyslexia and dyscalculia. The draft also recommends the creation of a single diagnostic category—autism spectrum disorders—to replace current diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder.
Read more . . . .

The Dalai Lama - Progressing through the stages for attaining shamata is like forging the iron into steel

by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Alexander Berzin

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

When we achieve a mind focused on mind with the perfect placement of absorbed concentration, free from all faults of dullness or flightiness, we increasingly experience an element of bliss accompanying our meditation. When we experience serene joy, on both a physical and mental level, brought on by the force of total absorption of mind on mind, we achieve a meditational state that fulfills the definition of shamata.

Our ordinary mind is like raw iron ore that needs to be made into a steel sword. Progressing through the stages for attaining shamata is like forging the iron into steel. All the materials are there at our disposal. But since the mind wanders after external objects, then although it is the material for attaining shamata, it cannot yet be used as this product. We have to forge our mind through a meditational process. It is like putting the iron ore into fire.

To fashion the steel into a sword, or in this analogy to fashion the mind into an instrument that understands voidness, our serenely stilled and settled mind needs to come to decisive realization of voidness as its object. Without such a weapon of mind, we have no opponent with which to destroy the disturbing emotions and attitudes.(p.142)

--from The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Alexander Berzin, published by Snow Lion Publications

The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra • Now at 5O% off
(Good until October 21st).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Wildly Diverse Collection of Links to Stories on the #OWS and #OccupyEverywhere Movements

Bookforum has been collecting the link over the past week, so here is enough reading material to keep you busy through the weekend.

The United States’ long history of protest: Sidney Tarrow on why Occupy Wall Street is not the Tea Party of the Left. David Weigel on the Tea Party and #OWS, in Venn Diagram form. Alex Altman on why Occupy Wall Street is more popular than the Tea Party — for now. Should liberals like Occupy Wall Street? Jonathan Chait wonders. John Judis and Jonathan Cohn on why liberals should embrace Occupy Wall Street. From n+1, Jeremy Kessler writes an open letter to the men and women of the New York City Police Department. From Newtopia, an interview of Occupy Wall Street’s Kelly Heresy. Is Kevin Bacon the force behind Occupy Wall Street? It's irresponsible not to ask. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Occupy Wall Street — the soi-disant “99%” — were being secretly funded by billionaire Davos Man George Soros, exemplar of the 1%? Jeff Reifman and Thomas Linzey on turning occupation into lasting change. Here's what the Wall Street protesters are so angry about. Doug Henwood on OWS and the Fed. Bernard E. Harcourt on Occupy Wall Street’s "political disobedience". Nouriel Roubini and Ian Bremmer let fly on Occupy Wall Street and why the GOP's cynical economic strategy is designed to make things worse. A taxing situation: Why the GOP isadvocating a tax increase on the middle class. What role, if any, does tax policy play in creating a wealth gap in the US? Lowering taxes is the biggest policy goal for Republicans, and on that, they're wrong. EJ Dionne on the GOP's favorite solution: Doing nothing. Joshua Holland on 6 ways the rich are waging a class war against the American people. Struck out: Labor has lost its best tactics, which helps explain its decline. Amid all our disasters, why are the only revolutionaries on the right? Get out the hate: A lot of political participation is driven by simple dislike for the opposing party. Land of the free, home of the turncoats: In its nihilistic demonization of government, the right has declared war on America. From The American Interest, Francis Fukuyama on American political dysfunction.
They have also collected some links on the Tea Party crowd, as well as the #OWS protests.
Rightbloggers work on the Nixonization of Occupy Wall Street. Nate Silver on the geography of Occupying Wall Street (and everywhere else). A geography lesson for the Tea Party: Even as the movement’s grip tightens on the GOP, its influence is melting away across vast swaths of America, thanks to centuries-old regional traditions that few of us understand. Tea Party Death Trip: Why are some Americans so comfortable letting fellow citizens die?
 Just for fun, here are some other libertarian and conservative perspectives.

From Modern Age, a review of Majority Rule versus Consensus: The Political Thought of John C. Calhoun by James H. Read; and a review of The Golden Age of the Classics in America: Greece, Rome, and the Antebellum United States by Carl J. Richard. A review of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. A review of The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009 by Irving Kristol. From The University Bookman, a symposium on Conservatism and Empire, including Paul Gottfried on how the GOP swallowed the conservative movement; and James Kalb on empire and the crisis of American conservatism. A review of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin (and a response by Robin, and more). Ben Alpers on the Frankfurt School, right-wing conspiracy theories, and American conservatism (and more). Libertarians and conservatives must choose: Competitive enterprise or idolatry of property. Gavin McInnes on ten things to hate about the Right. Sam Tanenhaus on imperial conservatism’s last gasp. Marx’s Tea Party: The populist right has forgotten an older form of class analysis. A review of The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party by Michael Bowen. The moral foundation of a free society: Craig Biddle on Ayn Rand's theory of rights. Capitalists of the world, unite: Peter Frase on the "capital strike", the right’s favorite strike. James Joyner on the changing definition of "conservative": Since John McCain's defeat in 2008, the right has rejected the people and ideas it once praised. A review of Libertarianism Today by Jacob H. Huebert. Diplomats, demagogues and innocents abroad: Tristan Abbey on why conservatives should resist pressure from within to retreat from world affairs and embrace their diplomatic heritage.

From the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, don’t be afraid to say “revolution”, #OWS. The "Last Place Aversion" Paradox: Ilyana Kuziemko and Michael I. Norton on the surprising psychology of the Occupy Wall Street protests. If Zuccotti Park falls, where will the Occupy Wall Street movement move next? The all-American occupation: Steve Fraser on a century of Our Streets vs. Wall Street. Harold Meyerson on how politicians can kick the Wall Street habit: Candidates should take a no-bank-money pledge. How Occupy Wall Street is really funded: Who's behind the Wall Street protests? Welcome to the occupations: Ben Ehrenreich on Occupy L.A. As the OWS protest blossoms across America, they are no doubt being watched over by the country’s patron saint of civil disobedience — Herman Melville’s Bartleby. Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party: One looks cooler, the other smells better — do they agree on anything? (and more) Immanuel Wallerstein on the fantastic success of Occupy Wall Street. As the demonstrations grow, the different worldviews of bankers show the wide chasms that have opened over who is to blame for economic malaise. Nouriel Roubini on why almost every continent on Earth is experiencing social and political turmoil. In three months, an idea and a hashtag became a worldwide movement — here’s how they did it. An interview with Frances Fox Piven on the Occupy Wall Street protests and the complex interplay between social movements and electoral politics. Scott McLemee interviewsfour professors who are tracking the movement. What will become of Occupy Wall Street? A protest historian’s guide. Harvard Business Review on what businesses need to know about #OWS. Dean Baker on how we can make the "free market" work for the 99%. A look at 3 types of Wall Street protesters hurting their own cause. Here are 5 facts about the wealthiest 1 percent. We are the 1%, Bitches.
And from today's link collections, here are a few more:
Worried we can't forget enough

From Boston Review, T.M. Scanlon on Libertarianism and Liberty: How not to argue for limited government and lower taxes. From TNR, a symposium on Liberalism and Occupy Wall Street, with contributions by Paul BermanTodd GitlinWilliam GalstonDavid Greenberg, and more. From Jacobin, here is a debate onleft politics and strategy. Conor Friedersdorf on 8 well-intentioned ideas that Occupy Wall Street should reject. Should protesters have just voted instead? Rep. Barney Frank sympathizes with OWS, but wonders where protesters were a year ago, when the anti-regulation GOP cleaned up at the ballot box. David Meyer on what Occupy Wall Street learned from the Tea Party. From Downtown Express, a month in, O.W.S. and community are trying to coexist (and more and more).