Archive for the ‘“ninja”’ Category

CIA Promoted American Modern Art

Some people (continue to) call it revisionist history, but in 1995 some ofA the people involved in the CIA’s campaign to finance and promote American Modern Art during the Cold War began to come forward.A The article quoted below is one of the first examples of this chain of disclosures.A I personally have never been a huge fan of the style of American Abstract Expressionism, but there are certainly pieces that have a huge, even subconscious cultural effect on even me, a hater.A Ninjas beware: The CIA might be promoting our ish… just sayin’…

The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy’s hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.

Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.

"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I’d love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.

"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."

To pursue its underground interest in America’s lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn’t be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn’t have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government
, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps." (Source)

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Posted: December 7th, 2010
at 9:12am by Black Ock

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Categories: art,politricks,weaponry,fo' real?,primary sources,ninjas are everyehere,americana

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Digital Ninja

.:jasonschmall.com->

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Posted: December 7th, 2010
at 7:40am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: web,"ninja"

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The Singularity in Our Past Light-Cone

The Singularity has happened; we call it "the industrial revolution" or "the long nineteenth century". It was over by theAclose of 1918.

Exponential yet basically unpredictable growth of technology, rendering long-term extrapolation impossible (even whenAattempted by geniuses)? Check.

Massive, profoundly dis-orienting transformation in the life of humanity, extending to our ecology,Amentality and social organization?ACheck.

Annihilation of the age-old constraints of space and time?ACheck.

Embrace of the fusion of humanity and machines?ACheck.

Creation of vast, inhuman distributed systems of information-processing,Acommunication andAcontrol, "the coldest of all cold monsters"? Check; we call themA"the self-regulating market system" andA"modern bureaucracies" (public orAprivate), and they treat men and women, even those whose minds and bodies instantiate them,Alike straw dogs.

An implacable drive on the part of those networks to expand, to entrain more and more of the world within their own sphere? Check. ("Drive" is the best I can do; words like "agenda" or "purpose" are too anthropomorphic, and fail to acknowledge the radical novely and strangeness of these assemblages, which areAnot even intelligent, as we experience intelligence, yet ceaselessly calculating.)

Why, then, since the Singularity is so plainly, even intrusively, visible in our past, does science fiction persist in placing a pale mirage of it in our future? Perhaps: the owl of Minerva flies at dusk; and we are in the late afternoon, fitfully dreaming of the half-glimpsed events of the day, waiting for the stars to come out.

.:cscs.umich.edu->

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Posted: November 28th, 2010
at 2:57pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: myninjaplease,life,weaponry,design,science,"ninja",development,internets,philosophy,education

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Conch Republic Passports

Key West, Fla.A- Dark red and blue "Conch Republic" passports could pass for real travel documents - and that’s part of the appeal.

"Alright Matt, we’re gonna get your passport picture," said Sir Peter Anderson, the so-called Secretary General of the Conch Republic by way of "prime ministerial appointment," as he picked up his digital camera.

I’m about to become a citizen of another country. Except I haven’t left the United States. I’m in Key West, also known as the Conch Republic - since their mock secession in 1982.

The Conch Republic is notAa real country, of course, but trying telling that to Anderson who makes his living off this mythical Margaritaville.

"Absolutely without question" this is a real country, said Anderson from his home office. "When the U.S. didn’t object to our sovereignty after 12 years by the most stringent international standards they lost any right to do so."

Sir Peter calls the Conch Republic the world’s "first fifth world nation." And for him, this nation is big business. He’s trademarked all sorts of slogans and bumper stickers. But most of Anderson’s money comes from selling real looking passports.

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Posted: November 23rd, 2010
at 7:57am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: myninjaplease,weaponry,"ninja",travel,ir,americana

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What is Chindgu ()?

Chindgu ()Ais the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everydayAgadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, chindgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has noAutility whatsoever. Thus, chindgu are sometimes described as "unuseless" - that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called "useful." via

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Posted: November 18th, 2010
at 2:45am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: gear,design,"ninja",et cetera

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Goldfish in a Sea of Information

There's been a fair bit written about how people are noticing that the Internet is changing the way our minds work in subtle and perhaps disturbing ways. The gist of it being that the always on, fire hose of information that the Internet has become is turning us into 'digital gold fish' and could be the cause or enabler of such coined maladies as 'Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder' (somewhat tongue in cheek) or 'Internet Anxiety Disorder' (less tongue in cheek). The previous links are a little old, but theAmore recent articles on this subject are pretty muchAstill saying the same thing. There was even a book written on the subject calledAThe Shallows.

At first I scoffed at the idea that the Internet was having any tangible effect on the way my mind worked. I read a few pieces on how the Internet is ostensibly contracting people's attention spans and thought well, that's not me… I can concentrate like some kind of concentrating machine developed solely for the purpose of concentrating, often beyond my body's ability to keep up. Many a weekend I have spent attacking various projects over lengthy time periods. When I finally look around I realise I've just spent the better part of 8 or 10 hours sitting in front of my computer without having eaten and barely having gotten up for a break1.

But I've been noticing something in my own behaviour that may have some relationship to this Internet goldfish business: I'm reading things too quickly. I'm finding that when I read an article or something on the Internet, I'm skimming over words, occasionally whole sentences or paragraphs, I'm not really taking them in and I have been doing this in a largely unconscious way. The obvious question I then posed myself was why am I doing this? The best answer I can come up with is: because there's so much out there to learn and know, I feel like I'm always having to rush to keep up. A facet of 'Internet Anxiety Disorder' perhaps2.

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Posted: November 18th, 2010
at 1:55am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: computers,life,"ninja",10th dan,health

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Broken Taboo: Evidence of ESP

In his experiments, Daryl J. Bem found people scoring better than chance (not by much, but still, statistically significantly) on tests of their knowledge of future eventsa"precognition," as it’s known to people who saw Minority Report (that’s where my image is from, by the way). ABem’s paper is quite different from the usual target of skeptics. Firstly, as psychologists told me, he has an unassailable reputation as a serious guy in social psychology. His data are up to the profession’s standards and completely available to colleagues. Second, he doesn’t wander into the swamp of weird and speculative explanations for his results. According to accepted psychophysical theories, they’re impossible. E pur si muove. He leaves it at that, which means you can consider his results without committing yourself to a screwy grand theory. AThirdly, rather than adopt some subculture’s exotic procedure, Bem used familiar instruments from psychology experiments, which measure perception and recall. That’s another reason his work is intelligible and reproducible by his colleagues.

.:bigthink.com->

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Posted: November 16th, 2010
at 3:38pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: science,"ninja"

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Was the Wheel of Fortune One-Letter Solve Really a Miracle?

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Caitlin Burke knew she was right, because she knew there were no other possibilities. She didn’t need Pat Sajak to confirm it; she didn’t need any other letters, any more time to cycle through her truncated alphabet. With just an innocuous-seeming apostrophe and a single L, she was as sure as she’s ever been: I’VE GOT A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS.

.:esquire.com->

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Posted: November 13th, 2010
at 7:18pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: games,"ninja",tele

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The Hipster in the Mirror

A year ago, my colleagues and I started to investigate the contemporary hipster. What was the "hipster," and what did it mean to be one? It was a puzzle. No one, it seemed, thought of himself as a hipster, and when someone called you a hipster, the term was an insult. Paradoxically, those who used the insult were themselves often said to resemble hipsters a they wore the skinny jeans and big eyeglasses, gathered in tiny enclaves in big cities, and looked down on mainstream fashions and "tourists." Most puzzling was how rattled sensible, down-to-earth people became when we posed hipster-themed questions. When we announced a public debate on hipsterism, I received e-mail messages both furious and plaintive. Normally inquisitive people protested that there could be no answer and no definition. Maybe hipsters didn't exist! The responses were more impassioned than those we'd had in our discussions on health care, young conservatives and feminism. And perfectly blameless individuals began flagellating themselves: "Am I a hipster?"

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Posted: November 13th, 2010
at 2:38pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: fo' real?,"ninja"

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