Adonis Diaries

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Wake up! Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are running our lives

Hannah Jane Parkinson. May 12, 2017

Let’s say you woke up this morning and after stopping your alarm clock, asked it to play some get-up-and-go music.

You go to make breakfast and see that you’re out of butter, but it doesn’t matter, because a delivery is on its way.

On your commute, you catch up with friends from back home. You turn to news across the Atlantic, read an interesting article on Trump. You go to a new spot for lunch and pay using your phone – and also for the train, and then for the last stretch, a cab.

Once home, dinner is by app, and you settle down to watch the latest TV show, except, it’s not actually shown on a TV.

It’s possible that this entire day is delineated by a handful of technology companies.

Google Home wakes you up in the morning and later, Google recommends a lunch spot – it even gives you live information on how busy it is.

It is partly responsible for your cab home, as Google is an investor in Uber. You checked in with friends on Facebook on that morning commute (you might have also used the Facebook “check-in” feature at your lunch spot).

The Trump piece you read is courtesy of the Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, the man behind Amazon.

Amazon is also responsible for recognising that your fridge is out of butter, and the TV show you watch? Even if you are watching Netflix and not Amazon Prime, Netflix would not exist without Amazon, as Amazon owns the web cloud services its rival uses.

With an 18% share of the smartphone market, it’s likely the apps you use are running on an iPhone. No? Well, maybe you have an Android device – owned by Google.

Cabal is not too strong a word. (Cartel?)

Take Amazon. It’s unfathomable, when you think about it. The idea of selling books online morphing into something that wants to get in your home and even the bottom drawer of your freezer, and – as we learned this week – live music events.

You might think that tech companies are taking over the globe – until you realise that Google, or rather Google’s parent company Alphabet, has invested in a space exploratory arm, Space X. So not just the globe. (Amazon and Facebook have also dipped their toes into space.)

Google’s latest mission, in fact, is taking on death itself. Why not?

Thing is, none of this might bother you. Why should it?

All of these companies improve our lives, right? I’d go as far as to say Google has made me a smarter person.

It’s perhaps made me a more intolerant person, because I believe there are very few gaps in knowledge that can’t be filled by an online search, and most of us, in developed countries at least, carry that ability in our pockets.

It’s why I love the Let Me Google That For You website – in which askers of easily answerable questions are sent an automatic link that enters the question into Google, to shame their indolence.

It could be argued that tech has made us lazier, but I’d counter that it has only made us lazier in whichever area we tended to be lazy in already.

I’m a bad cook, so apps such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo, on my Apple phone, have perhaps made me lazier, but if I was a better cook I might not use them.

(And the tech, if I wasn’t as lazy, could help me get better at cooking.) But I’m not going to stop drawing by hand, something I enjoy, just because there’s an app I can do that on. It’s undeniable that tech has changed our lives fundamentally, but in often very good ways.

The problem is, a small group of companies ruling the world, just as with people, is not a good thing.

This is why antitrust laws exist. It’s why Rupert Murdoch has suddenly started to clean up Fox and News UK, because he wants his BSkyB bid to go ahead, despite considerable concerns of a monopoly.

Recently there’s been speculation that Mark Zuckerberg might run for US office. I am not being hyperbolic when I say that it’s possible he would have less power if he was president than he does now.

Facebook has 1.28 billion daily active users. Most individuals now get their news via the platform and, as was emphasised in the election of Donald Trump, this is problematic when there’s a lack of editorial control. Zuck at first tried to play down Facebook’s “fake news” influence, which was difficult when simultaneously boasting about his company’s influence on voter turnout and engagement.

And I’ll tell you something; there’s nothing more incensing than a dude bashing out a 5,000-word manifesto on how he wants to change the world having based some of his operations in offshore locations so he can avoid paying corporate taxes.

Likewise, it is disingenuous at best and dictatorial at worst to say you want to help extend India’s internet access and then make Facebook one of few available websites.

And if you want to opt out? Well, it isn’t always that easy. Some of these companies make it difficult to cut ties entirely, hence concerns around data retention and individual rights. But the other point is that unilateral opting out might mean you end up living a somewhat ascetic life.

I quit Facebook in 2013, and as a direct result of this, I have fallen out of touch with many friends.

People have had babies, people have got married and divorced and other people have died and I have been absolutely none the wiser, because I don’t keep up with Facebook. Sure, that’s my own fault, but I was tired of the banalities of the medium and the time it was taking up in my life, and the concern that Facebook was following me everywhere, like the eyes of an Old Master painting.

It is time now for two things:

for people to wake up and realise how much our lives are dominated by such a small number of Silicon Valley bros, one hand in their jean pocket announcing their next move, and

for tech companies to acknowledge their power and influence and become truly accountable. To pay their goddamn taxes. To actually do something about online abuse. To not take the piss out of consumers by releasing a $700 product and then tweaking it months later for greater profit.

I don’t want to worry that the curating of Apple News is quasi-Pravda. Or that companies are making money from extremist content. And I understand that in so many “free” services we pay a different way, by becoming a product ourselves, and giving up some of of our privacy. That’s a trade that many of us are willing to make and will keep making, but up to a point. Up to a point.

The Syrian Opposition Is Disappearing From Facebook

Mind you that Syrian Opposition are formed of native Syrians who demonstrated peacefully for 6 months, expatriate Syrians who never returned to Syria, and the armed extremist Islamic factions that are funded and supported by the obscurantist Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait… and mercenaries converging from 33 countries, many of them from Europe.
Denying the Syrians inside Syria of internet social platforms is a political move to weaken the political dialogue and giving the upper-hand to the extremist armed factions.
Ammar Hamidou fled the country last year and now works in New York as a computer developer. He was one of the first to take to the streets in his hometown of Kafranbel, in the northwest, in early 2011.
The regime aircraft pummeled his town and al-Qaeda-linked fighters periodically overran Kafranbel to kidnap civil-society activists like himself, and the 29-year-old finagled a visa to the U.S. and escaped.
 posted this FEB. 4, 2014,

Hunched over a coffee at a Midtown Manhattan Starbucks, Ammar Hamidou describes how Syria’s revolution spiraled out of control before his eyes.

Free Syrian Army soldiers watch a video on their laptop. (Hamid Khatib/Reuters)

His family and girlfriend remain in Syria, but he says there is no role for him there anymore.

The revolution started with the peaceful activists, we had no intention to hold a gun and fight anybody. What we wanted was freedom—how did we get here?” he asks. “Activists are vanishing, my revolution is being stolen, and those martyrs, this blood, all for nothing. It’s gonna be worthless, in vain.

Nowadays, his activism takes place on his computer, as it did before the revolution broke out.

Like many towns in Syria, Kafranbel has a Local Coordination Committee (LCC) and media center page on Facebook, both of which are used to spread news of the revolution, document the dead, and distribute safety information to residents.

In a country where foreign and independent Syrian journalists are barred and rare, and the regime’s expansive network of citizen-spies makes public discussion of the revolution dangerous to this day, Facebook was one of the first refuges for Syria’s dissidents—and now it has become one of their last.

The social network’s recent decisions to shut down dozens of opposition pages, including the Kafranbel Media Center that Hamidou administered in exile, have dealt a significant blow to peaceful activists who have grown reliant on Facebook for communication and uncensored—if bloody and graphic—reporting on the war’s atrocities.

It’s only the latest chapter in Syria’s well-documented Facebook wars, but it threatens to be the final one for the non-violent voices who sparked the revolution to upend 40 years of oppressive Assad family rule.

The SecDev Foundation, a Canadian NGO that runs several digital-security initiatives in Syria— distributing censorship-circumvention tools like VPNs and proxies, and warning about pro-regime hacking schemeshas compiled a list of dozens of pages belonging to opposition citizen-journalism outfits or non-aligned NGOs that have reportedly been shuttered since last fall for posting what Facebook deemed to be graphic imagery or calls to violence.

These pages often resurface under different URLs with a fraction of the followers they had before, and sometimes continue operating as they had previously.

Screenshots taken by SecDev or sent to the group by page administrators capture what appear to be some baffling decisions by Facebook. Take the case of the Daraa al-Mahata LCC. Its page, which documents the violence in Syria’s southernmost city of Daraa, had over 42,000 “likes” when it was removed in October for posting a picture of a man allegedly killed by the Syrian Army.

In the picture, Fadi Badr al-Miqdad sits comfortably—very much alive—in a beige armchair. A young child, also alive, is perched on his lap. The Arabic-language caption reads: “He was killed by shabiha gangs in [the town of] Busra al-Sham.”

Shabiha, loosely translated as “thugs,” is a pejorative term used by both sides in the conflict to describe their enemies—and the only potentially offensive word in the post.

The page’s administrators, who unsuccessfully appealed to have the page restored, do not understand. Why this picture? And, after nearly 3 years of posting images of dead bodies (among other things), why now?

The image that allegedly prompted Facebook to shut down the Daraa al-Mahata LCC page. (Screenshot/SecDev)

Activists point to Facebook’s open-ended community standards and reporting system in explaining these closures.

Any user who believes a post or photograph violates the social network’s standards may lodge the complaint with the company’s user-operations team, whose Arabic-language unit, operating out of Dublin, can then choose to remove the content, warn the page’s administrators, or even close the page, sometimes without notice.

Activists believe groups supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are gaming the system and reporting on their rivals. Facebook does not disclose information about who reported whom, making it impossible to confirm these theories.

The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)—best known for its hacks of major news sites, including an infamous White House bomb hoax that sank the Dow 140 points—has publicly gloated about this tactic.

“We continue our reporting attacks,” read a typical post from December 9 on the SEA’s Facebook page. “Our next target is the Local Coordination Committee of Barzeh [a neighborhood in Damascus], the page that is a partner in shedding Syrian blood and provoking sectarian division.” It then provided two links to photos on the Barzeh page that could get the page taken down. Soon afterwards, the SEA removed its post as if it had never existed.

Though SEA campaigns aren’t always successful—Facebook says the “quality” of reports will always trump the “quantity”—activists believe the pro-Assad hackers have claimed some high-profile scalps in recent months.

Among them is the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights, an NGO that documents casualties and rights abuses in the civil war. The SNHR has been regularly sharing graphic images—from blood-spattered streets to mutilated bodies—since 2011, but in October, Facebook reportedly pulled the plug on its page.

With the UN announcing in January that it will no longer keep track of Syria’s rising death count, citing an inability to verify information inside Syria, the world will depend on NGOs like SNHR for updates. Without an operating Facebook page, its reach will be thwarted.

LCC and media-center pages are ripe for the picking because they have long prided themselves on depicting the war in all its gory detail. Graphic content, like that posted by SNHR, would indeed upset many of Facebook’s more than 1 billion users, all of whom can access public groups. But the owners of these pages insist their content is not meant to offend.

“This is all … part of telling people what is happening in Syria,” said Bassam al-Ahmad, the Istanbul-based spokesman for the Violations Documentation Center. His organization and others that track human-rights violations are preparing files so that war criminals can be brought to justice in a theoretical post-Assad Syria.

When a page is shut down, those files are gone. And while al-Ahmed acknowledged the group’s content is often “difficult,” so is Syria’s war.

“I blame Facebook 100 percent for the closures,” said Dlshad Othman, a Syrian digital-security expert and cyber-activist, in a phone interview from his home in Washington, D.C. “They opened the door from the beginning, letting all the people use Facebook above all other networks and then they shut down their pages. Facebook was a trap for us.”

Richard Allan, Facebook’s director of public policy for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, acknowledged Facebook’s community-policed reporting apparatus isn’t perfect and that human error can creep into decisions on page violations. He also noted that his team is dealing with an unprecedented conflict.

“With Syria, there are situations where it’s very hard for us to get the rules just right,” Allan said.

“The funny thing,” Othman mused, “is that Facebook used to be proud that it was part of the Arab Spring.”

In a letter to potential investors when Facebook filed its IPO last February, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted his social network’s role in undermining tyrannical governments like Syria’s:

“By giving people the power to share, we are starting to see people make their voices heard on a different scale from what has historically been possible. These voices will increase in number and volume. They cannot be ignored.”

Unless, of course, they are deleted by Facebook itself. While Allan declined to comment on individual cases, the company said nothing has changed in its policy with regard to the Syrian conflict. Allan instead suggested that years of content breach may have finally caught up to pages that have been around since early 2011. In other words, it was only a matter of time.

“There comes a point at which a page has breached the rules so many times that the only choice we have left is to close it,” said Allan in a phone interview from London. “We don’t like to take that sanction, it’s not our first option … but if a page repeatedly breaches then it’s going to hit that threshold.

He added, however, that Facebook’s decisions are “based on the quality of the content, not the quantity of reporting. One report about bad content, it will come down. A thousand reports about good content, it won’t come down.

This isn’t a satisfying answer for activists like Razan Zaitouneh, one of the founders of the LCC system as well as the Violations Documentation Center.

In early December, according to SecDev, the famed human-rights lawyer drafted a letter to Facebook imploring policy officials to consider that human-rights groups like her own have nowhere else to go. An exception should be made for those merely seeking to document conflict, she said.

“Facebook pages are the only outlet that allows Syrians and media activists to convey the events and atrocities in Syria to the world,” she wrote in the letter, which was shared by SecDev. “We strongly appeal to you not to make it easier for the Syrian regime to terminate calls for freedom and dignity.”

Zaitouneh never got a response to her letter.

On December 9,  five men stormed her organization’s office in the Damascus suburb of Douma and kidnapped her, along with her husband and two colleagues, VDC spokesman al-Ahmad said. Their whereabouts and kidnappers are unknown, but the abduction is widely believed to be the work of an Islamist rebel group, the Army of Islam, which is active in an area that was “liberated” from Assad’s grips months ago.

Al-Ahmad said Zaitouneh had received threatening letters from an Islamist group shortly before the kidnapping, but he refused to name the group without proper evidence.

Zaitouneh’s kidnapping—and specifically the fact that it appears to have been perpetrated by ‘anti-Assad’ rebel fighters, underlines the bleak reality facing Syria’s non-violent holdouts, who bravely took to the streets in protest three years and 130,000 lives ago.

With Assad showing no signs of wavering and al-Qaeda-linked extremists streaming across Syria’s porous borders, the peaceful protesters say they no longer recognize the uprising they used to lead.

“It’s no secret that the role of activists in Syria is dwindling,” said Laila Safadi, the editor of the online opposition news magazine Tala’na al-Hurriya (“Take Us to Freedom”) from her home in the Golan Heights in Syria. That means Facebook is more important than ever, Safadi said.

Safadi feels that Facebook does not provide enough warning to page administrators to clean up their content before shutting down pages. The Internet in Syria is slow and unreliable, and pages that have been operating for years have amassed huge quantities of data that are not easy to comb through in time to respond to concerns.

Plus, administrators allege that Facebook does not always follow through on its pledge to warn them before shutting down their pages.

The activists behind the LCC page in Tartous, for instance, say that they didn’t receive warning before their page was deleted overnight. Others, like Hamidou, say they’ve experienced the same issue.

The analysts at SecDev sympathize with Allan and his policy team. “It’s terra incognita,” said Joshua Gillmore, who works on Syria. “You have, for the first time, a conflict entirely documented over social media. Facebook is basically policing a large country and trying to do so without access to what’s really happening. Even for us, we deal with the conflict on an ongoing basis, there are a lot of actors who are popping up, changing, and it can be difficult to make a judgment call on what’s going on.”

Facebook’s community standards are designed to deter cyber-bullying and hate speech. But in a civil war where such “bullying” impacts the fight on the ground and the future of a country, the social network is entering uncharted territory.

“You have community standards which are supposed to be applied across the board, but they were created in a situation that is not at all what is unfolding in Syria now, where Facebook has become a primary information resource within the war,” added Deirdre Collings, SecDev’s executive director. “There are all sorts of different dynamic abuses that Facebook couldn’t possibly have anticipated when they were developing the standards.”

Yet Allan acknowledged that one recent development has prompted greater vigilance on Facebook’s part: the emergence and strengthening of al-Qaeda-linked rebel factions.

Though the activist pages in question—along with many Syrian rebels—want nothing to do with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the very presence of extremist fighters alongside moderate rebel factions in the struggle to unseat Assad has been a public-relations disaster for the opposition.

“It does mean it is more likely that there may be more support for designated terror organizations, al-Qaeda being the classic example,” on Facebook, said Allan. “Symbols, images that are clearly encouraging support for that organization will be a breach. We’re always on the lookout for those kinds of things when they’re reported to us.

“Objective reporting” on the Syrian conflict on an LCC page, Allan explained, is acceptable. “At the other end of the spectrum, an exultation to violence associated with a known terrorist organization would not be. In Syria’s case, there’s a lot of stuff in between.”

But that gray area isn’t spelled out in Facebook’s community standards. All this may seem like minutiae to the uninitiated, but to Syrians it is very much a revolutionary matter.

“As the Syrian people say, the sound is just of guns and killing, there is no space for peaceful voices in Syria now,” said al-Ahmad. Already drowned out by bullets and bombs, non-violent dissidents like al-Ahmad and Hamidou—even from their refuges in Istanbul and Manhattan—are in danger of extinction.

Facebook to remove option to hide your name in search results

If you didn’t know already, a lot of your posts are now public by default. And now you can no longer keep your profile private from searchers.

TECHNOLOGY – OCTOBER 11, 2013

The option — which has already previously been removed for accounts that weren’t using it — will be disabled for everyone soon, Facebook says.

MICHAEL RICHTER, FACEBOOK’S CHIEF PRIVACY OFFICER stated: “For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks.” 

In a post on Oct. 10, Richter said that the setting, “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” — which has allowed users to block their profile from showing up in Facebook’s search when people type in their names — will be disabled for all users within weeks.

Facebook says that the setting was obsolete and was causing problems and complaints from some users. The company recommends that users pay extra attention to their sharing settings on each piece of individual content and information that a user shares.

Facebook began rolling out Graph Search, the search engine it first revealed last January, to the general public on July 8.

Facebook has said that privacy is “built into” Graph Search. Privacy advocates have published detailed instructions on how users can limit the amount of information that appears in searches.

Information/Communication Technologies (ICT): Transmitter of crisis and catalyst of global economic restructuring; (Dec. 19, 2009)

Astronomical sums are invested in the technologies of information and communication (ICT). In 2008 alone, over 1.8 $trillion were spent by private and public institutions.

Since 1980, half the total investments by banks and financial institutions have been oriented toward the ICT sectors so that exchange of information and transactions be as fluid and instantaneous as desired on global scale. It followed that banks and financial institutions were drawn to diversification into acquiring factories, lands, real estates, and mines.

Multinational ICT companies were frequently reconfigured to adjust with evolving strategies and global market access.

Before the financial crash, Citigroup hired 25,000 computer programmers and invested 5 billion on ICT technologies and related infrastructure in 2008.  Lehman Brothers was using 3,000 programs on 25,000 servers around the world. 

This run for ICT technologies was viewed as the main tool for “space-time bailout” by channeling capitals to emerging sectors susceptible to inevitable expansion. The age in the 70’s was coined “society of information”.  Thus, in 2007, US multinationals profit from outside investment amounted to 25% compared to only 5% in 1960.

So far, Information and Communication technologies are the two main factors for capitalist global economy expansion and have displaced many traditional economies. For example, Skype (voice on internet) has over 400 million users and is the most important provider of international communication. Skype was the catalyst for the explosion of high debit mobile phone infrastructures and for the demand of internet services to enterprises. Facebook has 300 million subscribers (to be updated to over 900,000?).

Mobile phone is displacing computers and TV markets: there are over 4.5 billion users of mobile phones and the latest generations function as multimedia screens. Apple’s mobile has swept China and South Korea markets; over 100,000 programs were developed for its applications.

Amazon, Apple, and Google (via YouTube) have broken serious barriers into cartels in music, books, video games, and movies. Low priced connections are provoking the centralization of programs, data, images, and emails are frequently stored in “farm servers” belonging to giant operators.

In 2005, 19 out of the 25 first ICT enterprises were from the US and over half the satellites are US. Heavy weight consumers of ICT such as Wal-Mart and General Electric impose standards on information and communication systems that are applied globally.

By 2009, Samsung, Nokia, Nintendo, Huawei, Tate, SAP, Telefonica, DoCoMo, Americal Movil, Vodafone, and especially China Mobile are displacing minor US players among the 250 greatest enterprises. Newer investments are primarily flowing from China, India, and Mexico in ICT.

Although Cisco (the prime provider in web routers) has accumulated financial reserve of $20 billion, Microsoft (the emperor of systems of exploitation) around $19 billion, Google (dominating search engines and on-line video) around $16 billion, Intel (world leader in semi-conductors) around $10 billion, and Apple (programs most prized by elite users) around $26 billion, only China Mobile generated profit of $18 billion in 2009.

Publicity expenditures in 2009 amounted to $500 billion (though they declined by 10% after the financial crash), but multimedia expenditures in the US in 2008 reached $900 billion and are increasing by 2.3%. 

The giant ICT companies are trumpeting acquisition of competitors and setting the stage for an unknown educational, cultural, and economic world.  The capitalist global economy is going ahead and strong because of IC technologies; we have the impression that the world is reduced to a town square.

The illusion of knowing is the major obstacle to discovery; (October 4, 2009)

Even a century ago, a scientist would publish a single manuscript after a life time of research and toiling.

Transmission of opinions and suggestions among scientists were sent via long erudite letters by peers.

Translators of these remarkable books didn’t go unnoticed as today, but they were rewarded academically. Nowadays, any “respectable” scientist works for several institutions, private and public, and at various nations.

Even two centuries ago, scientists did not need to refer to Pythagoras or Archimedes.  Modern scientists have no time or need to refer to more recent scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Laplace, Lavoisier, or Kelvin. Soon Einstein and Heisenberg will be outmoded.

The team of the geeks in “Sciences and Future” met in August for brainstorming in “pause mode” to deliberate on the unique question confronting the team:

In the last few decades, what discoveries were true breakthroughs?”  The team reached an understanding on 5 scientific fields: climatology, neuroscience, astronomy, cellular biology, and Internet.

Consequently, I will answer a few of the questions that you might think you know in these fields so that our knowledge is no longer an illusion.

The internet shifts from the virtual to the real

There are 3 generations of internet or Web.

The first generation or Web1.0 was created from 2003 to 2005 and is represented by MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube that gathers people on common interest social aspects or making “friends”.

The second generation or Web 2.0 is represented by Twitter or the microblogging platform for messages restricted to 140 characters. Thus, these micro messages can be regrouped and analyze to constitute a story contributed by many Twitter bloggers.

The third generation of Web 3.0 is ready technologically; this generation is already labeled object oriented intelligence sources.  For example, you record a message on your cell phone and then stick a yellow sticker on a wall or an object. The next visitor will pass his cell phone over the sticker and copy your message of whatever you have seen or appreciated. This generation can zip all kinds of products and gather intelligence and compare with other resources.

Personally, I think that even the Twitter is already a perfect source of information by intelligence agencies; these centers can hire thousands of Twitter users and direct them on specific topic of interests in many countries.

Cells can be rejuvenated to its embryo stage

The lab technician would take samples of your skin. The skin cells can be treated to reach its first born state.

Whatever genetic diseases that cell inherited it will take another 30 years for the disease to emerge.  All the while you are thirty years younger. Better, skin cells can be treated to isolate a specific cell for any body member like liver, heart, brain, or whatever.

The sick tissue in any part of your body can be rejuvenated within a month. This biomedical technique of treating adult cells into embryo state was made possible because many laws prohibited using fetus embryo on the ground that the cell belonged to another person.

Is man’s activity altering nature more than geophysics?

Man feared the return of the ice age; it turned out that the climate is getting hotter and the poles are melting.

The emergence of urban and industrial societies as a geophysical force is altering the environment power for rejuvenation according to human threshold for survival.

Since 1824, Joseph Fourier theorized that gases in the atmosphere have the potential to increase surface temperature.

Even in 1896, John Tyndall predicted that the concentration of CO2 will increase temperature to 5 degrees by the end of the 20th century. Now, this is a fact and each year the casualties in man and nature are increasing by the violence of climatic changes. People are waiting anxiously the international summit on the environment in Copenhagen this December.

Awareness of man effective participation in climatic changes was proven when the ozone layer of O3 in the stratosphere was depleting. Seas level is increasing 3 mm a year since 1993.  So far, only Danemark produces the fourth of its power using eoliens or wind turbines.

Ex-President Bush Junior said in 1992: “The American way of life is not negotiable.”

The philosopher Michelle Serres said in 1990: “This world that we treated as an object is returning as a subject; capable of vengeance.

The humorist Coluche said: “For an ecologist to be elected as President, trees should be allowed to vote.”

The brain is in perpetual re-structuring

There are specialized neurons that can be activated when an action is executed or when an action is also observed (mirror neurons).  These mirror neurons are the biological basis for empathy, imitation, and training; almost every decision is influenced by our emotions.

Neurons have the potential to flow or transfer from one brain to another when recycling cognitive aptitudes such as reading and writing are elevated.  Neurons and connections are modified when training tasks are memorized.

We have 8 varieties of intelligence; mainly the visual, spatial, naturalist, logic-mathematics, corporal, musical, inter-personal, and intra-personal intelligences.

The new battery of experiments for testing cognitive and movements capabilities are designed to account for our eight kinds of intelligences. It is the quantity of synapses (connections) and not the weight of the brain that differentiate among the various intelligences.

There are phases in our sleep when brain activities are most intense while muscular activities are extremely inhibited; this phase is called “paradox sleep”.  We produce new neurons at every stage of growth, especially in the hippocampus and the smell brains.

Almost 10% of our synapses are established when we are born and they increase with our activities and cognitive demands (efforts, mental and physical, mean increase in fresh synapses and neurons).

Hormones or chemical messengers for the brains

Serotonin is a chemical messenger to the brains; it is implicated in sleep, feeding and sexual habits. A decrease in its production is associated to depressive moods. Anti-depressant drugs increase the concentration of serotonin in the blood.

Dopamine is a chemical hormone that controls movements, moods, addiction, and the circuit of pleasure; its deficiency generates rigidity in the muscles which is the symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Adrenaline is a chemical hormone that is secreted at moments of stress and is attached on large numbers of receptors to re-enforce cardiac functions, accelerate the heart beats, elevate arterial pressure, inhibit digestion and increase the level of glycemy.

Cortisol is secreted in moments of stress to increase the rate of glucose in the blood stream and liberating energy to counter dangers.

Insulin enhances the stock of glucose in the tissues and thus decreases glycemy.

Acetylcholine is a neuro-transmitter that excites the targeted brain when acquiring new training and for enhancing memory; its deficiency is the origin of Alzheimer disease.

Erythropoietin stimulates the synthesis of red blood cells; its deficiency results in anemia.  The word “doping” is related to sport competitors abusing of this hormone.


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