Archive for August 31st, 2008

J.J. Abrams traces his love of the unseen mystery — the heart of Alias, Lost, and the upcoming Cloverfield — back to its own magical beginnings, which may or may not include an early obsession with magic, the love of a supportive grandfather, or his own unopened Mystery Box.

One of Abrams’ interesting insights: Mystery is the catalyst for imagination. There are times that mystery is more important than knowledge.

It’s that sense of infinite possibility that drives human curiosity, and inspires man to expand his awareness of the universe. However, on the flipside of that argument: is that man’s love for mystery can blind him from the truth–and forces man to cling to myths.

Wonderful insights from this talk from TED.

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AIDS and HIV are two aspects of world society we now have come to take for granted since its emergence in the 1980s. The disease and the virus that causes it have become staple facts that no one dares to challenge.

However, the ease and availability of information via the internet have made it possible for myths and propaganda to be challenged, and recently AIDS dissidents have found a voice to air their side. The basic facts about AIDS commonly accepted now:

  • HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
  • HIV was first contracted in Africa from monkeys.
  • HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with infected partners, secondarily from infected needles, tertiarily from infected mothers to their infants.
  • Irresponsible homosexual males and intravenous drug abusers are at high risk from AIDS, but everyone is at risk from the disease.
  • These are the facts, or are they? What if like many things taken for granted, AIDS is simply the product of clever marketing and potent propaganda?

    Gary Null produced a video that tackles these very issues and provides a venue for AIDS dissidents to speak out. Check out Null’s work here.

    The debate that has sparked since Null’s documentary have people taking rabid sides. Two websites present their arguments and counter-arguments on this issue:

    1. VirusMyth is a website dedicated to AIDS dissidents presented by Gary Null. They compile petitions, testimonials, and research disproving the basic facts about AIDS.
    2. In response to VirusMyth, AIDSTruth.org was formed to debunk the counter-arguments of AIDS dissidents, classifying them as denialists and their research as pseudo-science. The website presents research of its own that answes the basic challenges of AIDS denialists.

    Considering the massive global funding on AIDS, this debate is one of the most controversial of our times and is a perfect study in the ability of an idea to take on a life of its own.

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    People Power in 1986 was a singular and powerful event that freed the country from the clutches of oppressive dictatorship and provided a venue and expression for free thought that had been repressed for decades in the Philippines.

    However, the modern idea of People Power has been changed from its purest expression into one that is used to manipulate people.

    This is the harsh critique of benign00 in YouTube who expresses a message for all Filipinos.

    A transcript of her message follows:

    Filipinos have become addicted to People Power revolutions. Our society is dying from this addiction.

    In September 2005, the first impeachment bid against President Arroyo failed to pass Congress. Former President Cory Aquino took the cue to lead a protest rally in Commonwealth Avenue that was expected to lead to another People Power spectacle–presumably to continue where Congress failed.

    That fizzled out spectacularly.

    Arroyo is still president today and Aquino has gone from Ms. Edsa Revolution to pathetic chump. So you just have to ask why we again see her in her ho-hum yellow outfit with the rest of the Catholic mafia knelt in prayer before the paparazzi.

    Groups addicted to People Power clamoring for a modern democratic society fail to see the irony in what Cory Aquino, the Catholic Church, and the 2008 opposition would have us do. Yet again ignore modern institutions and due process in favor of the Inquisition.

    What can be a more fitting reminder of primitive medieval sorcery than the sight of feudal land owners and oligarchs hand-in-hand with the clergy inciting misguided fervor on an ignorant throng of people. Do we want a modern country run by modern institutions or a primitive country run by organized religion? Do we as a people want to continue to play the part of the ignorant throng dancing to the tune of these characters?

    At the heart of this crisis there is no pro-Arroyo or anti-Arroyo. This is about what we want to be as a society. We want to be known as a people who want to do things properly. In 1986 there was no alternative to People Power. Today, 2008, people will have us believe that we are fighting for freedom. Yet the reality is that we already have this freedom. We only choose to misuse it–hitting the streets at the drop of a hat whenever Cory Aquino and a bunch of bishops are not happy. Contrary to what they say, we are a free people, and we are free to do the right thing today. Use the proper channels to reach your representatives in Congress.

    And next time, vote for the right people.

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