Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Loyalty Is a Human Feeling"

Most people are irrational; therefore to persuade the masses, pains must be taken to rouse their emotions.

Sigmund Freud usually gets credit for this idea. Nevertheless, whether consciously or unconsciously, Western politicians used his observation as a political stratagem even before he had discovered it, mobilizing the public at the polls. Party feeling, Sir Henry Maine observed, has proven itself more persuasive among constituents than reasoned arguments.

During World War I, Bertrand Russell observed that in a state of hysteria or severe anxiety, even the more cerebral people in society let rational considerations fall by the wayside, pursuing irrational ends.

Today, corporations -- and astute individuals -- capitalize on these tenets.

Above, Simon Sinek discusses how successful corporations predicate their business models.

Upload By FORA.TV

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Video madness

LongboardColombia rider Camilo C├ęspedes recently uploaded his video Frame by Frame. The film is a refreshing reminder of what video really is: a roll of freeze frames moving really fast. C├ęspedes' slide show slows things down enough for the twenty-first century student to observe the true tenor of motion picture.

Upload by LongboardColombia


LongboardColombia, Loadedboards' exclusive Loadedboard and Orangatang distributor in Colombia, hopes to facilitate community growth through shared experiences in longboard skateboarding.

Map by Grolier

Pablo, Loadeds' international sales guru, says that Loaded looks for international distributors who share and practice its ideology: experience the soulful experience of riding and pass on the stoke through fraternity with other riders.

In South America, Loaded and Orangatang grant one lucky merchant an exclusive franchise to sell its products in the country, Pablo says, to prevent discord among shops and riders, others say, to eliminate competition, keeping prices high.  Bottom line, the boards cost the consumer more in Latin America.  Expensive shipping fees and import customs hike up prices.  Competition might make the enterprise unprofitable.

LongboardColumbia has been showcasing Loadeds' boards and wheels for more than three years now.  More recently, however, the company has started adding to Loadeds' massive collection of skate videos on the Web.

Upload by LongboardColombia

Like a little Loadedboard colony, LongboardColumbia is Loadeds' gateway to trade in Colombia.  It's this type of subsidiary that has made Loadeds' vision a global enterprise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The President's Address on Libya

Last night, America's 44th president, President Obama, delivered a well thought out talk on "what we've done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us," said President Obama--referencing the rebellion in Libya.


In the middle of February, Libyan citizens unleashed an aggressive rebellion against Libyan president, Muammar Gaddafi.  Feb. 21, Democracy Now! reported that protestors had set the Libyan Parliament ablaze.  Gaddafi and the Libyan military, the latter of which, demolishing, raping and killing, responded with extreme force.

Visual By Grolier

The Talk:

According to President Obama, Libyan protesters are rebelling to re-claim their "basic human rights."  Natural rights, one of America's "core values" (as delineated by the chief of state), are worth defending, said President Obama. The defense of these "core values" and the broader protection of American interests were the reasons given for American entanglement in the conflict.

Suggesting that inertia in Libya could lead to absolutism in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, President Obama expressed fear that a deprivation of U.S. support in Libya would somehow infringe on American interests--however, whatever those are remains to be determined. In addition, the president made repeated reference to an ancillary reason for U.S. entanglement: safeguarding the Libyan people.

President Obama's speech comes after the climax of U.S. involvement has passed.  Wednesday, explained the president, NATO will take the helm, limiting America's further contribution in the effort to logistical support, search and rescue, intelligence and the jamming of regime communications. President Obama says that limited involvement will reduce the conflict's cost to American tax payers and save American lives.

The president prefaced all this important information, during the first 10 minutes of his 27 minute speech, with a description of U.S. action taken in the region since the outbreak of the rebellion. 

The following is a brief summary of that description:
  • Gaddafi begins attacking his people.
  • Obama evacuates the U.S. Embassy in Libya, freezes $33 billion of Gaddafi assets, establishes an arms embargo, broadens sanctions and holds Gaddafi accountable for his crimes.
  • Obama asks Gaddafi to step down from power.
  • Gaddafi escalates his attacks.
  • Obama declares a no-fly zone over Libya.
  • The international community unites behind President Obama.
  • Obama initiates military action. He targets military assets.  He hits Gaddafi's troops.  He wipes out Gaddafi's air defenses. He hits Gaddafi's tanks.  And he strikes regime forces in Banghazi.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Robert Emmet and the Rebellion of 1798

Pictured below is Ruan O'Donnell, Author of Robert Emmet and the Rebellion of 1798.

Ruan O'Donnell
Photo by University of Limerick

In Robert Emmet and the Rebellion of 1798, Ruan O’ Donnell argues that Robert Emmet has not received the credit he is due from historians for fomenting and facilitating rebellion during Ireland’s inaugural period of revolution. Tucked away in the book’s preface, O’Donnell’s thesis asserts that a broader view of Emmet’s dealings in the revolutionary period necessitates Emmet’s reassessment. But O’Donnell doesn't stop at redefining Emmet. O’Donnell also redefines the rebellion. He shows, in extravagant detail, that the struggle was really a wider conflict than a group of disjointed battles during the summer of 1798—the battle wasn’t over after Humbert’s capitulation, and the battle had begun long before the mobilization of rebels on May 23.

Again, it is O’Donnell’s opinion that the only way one can really understand Emmet or his role in the Rebellion of 1798 is to acquaint one’s self with everything and everyone surrounding Emmet; accordingly, O’Donnell’s study emigrates from rather than immigrates to Emmet—he is the hub. He starts this endeavor with a chapter that details Emmet’s early life by delineating the prominent figures in it and chronicling the evolution of their revolutionary sentiment. According to O’Donnell, the enormous tree of associations and contacts began with Emmet’s grandfather. Then, given the activities of his father and elder brother, this base of contacts grew even wider. O’Donnell shows how the family’s wealth, geographical location, associates, and connections abroad facilitated Emmet’s revolutionary involvement.

From here, O’Donnell ventures to a chapter describing the United Irishmen by drawing the connections between Emmet, its leaders, and its ideology. O’Donnell shows the intimate involvement of the Emmet family in the group’s creation. He presents evidence indicating the omnipresence of Irish nationalism in Emmet’s life from an early age. He then describes an important turning point in Emmet’s life: his voluntary withdrawal from Trinity College and subsequent disbarment from institutions of higher education elsewhere. From this point on Emmet was inextricably intertwined with the revolutionary cause, because he was one of the few United Irishmen who had logical incentives, in addition to emotional incentive, to see through the success of the revolution.

Next O’Donnell dives into a chapter recalling the summer and early fall of 1798, again showing the important actors, developments, and Emmet’s ties to them. O’Donnell’s discussion takes a clearer pro-rebel bias at this juncture, describing the myriad atrocities committed by loyalist forces but then gathering few facts about the crimes against humanity that rebels presumably committed. Once that year’s battles were dealt with, O’Donnell starts to detail the major events between 1798 and 1803 by tracing lines of connection between them and Emmet. According to O’Donnell, it was in these years that Emmet’s role in the revolutionary struggle expanded and escalated. Then the final chapter analyzes the preparations on and influences from the continent apropos of the revolutionary struggle, mostly in regard to the uprising planned to take place in 1803.

The culmination of all this analysis is an image of Emmet not as a warrior but as a shadowy mastermind, a puppet-master pulling the strings almost strictly behind the scenes. O’Donnell asks the reader to understand Emmet by observing him in context, and once given that context—1793-1803—and the evidence he arraigns, the picture he articulates is difficult to shake off. After reading and contemplating this study, it is difficult to view the Rebellion of 1798 strictly as a summer-time struggle.  O’Donnell's study adds not only real depth to Emmet but also to the Rebellion of 1798, elucidating the tenor and extent of the conflict. 

O’Donnell achieves these aims over the course of five chapters, each broken down into smaller subsections making it an ideal study for researchers in pursuit of specific information. As a side note, this biography is a repository of names and affiliations and might be useful to someone wanting to ascertain particular participants in the rebellion. Finally, O’Donnell’s work is well organized and well suited to twenty-first century students. Its non-linear organization makes it a valuable tool to a wider range of inquirers.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Porn Pastor Video Follow Up

Video uploaded by triplexchurchpress

I like Ron Jeremy's rebuttal here. In concrete language, Jeremy raises the question of representation: how representative of sentiment in the porn industry are the porn-stars who feel degraded? How representative of Christian porn viewers are these particular discontented individuals? What is the consensus here?

Jeremy doesn't give the evidence or statistics to prove that these feelings and these people are unrepresentative of the collective whole, but he raises the question, which is an important one to ask when considering an assertion or argument.

In the video below, a pastor talks about his porn addiction.

Porn Free (Trailer to full story) from CSS Ministry Resources on Vimeo.

Porn Pastor?

A self proclaimed porn pastor, Craig Gross of San Diego California, has started a movement to bring evangelists into the porn industry.

Craig Gross
Photo by Craig Gross

After getting to know him, through Vimeo and Youtube, I've concluded that Pastor Gross believes in the Lutheritic idea that the Bible is God's sacred Word, obsessively justifying his beliefs with decontextualized quotes from scripture.  Gross approaches this ancient collection of letters and books with a suprisingly present minded attitude.  Further, he seems to conflate the spiritual realm--the absolute realm--with the realm of human reality.  

The Upshot?

Porn seems like a big deal. 

His mission?

In an ABC interview, Gross professes a want to minimize the number of people affected by the porn industry, a humanitarian errand motivated by feelings of ruth and pity.  He reproaches porn consumption and production, saying it misrepresents the reality of sexual relations and objectifies women.

In more recent interviews, however, Gross' professed objectives have evolved a little.  Now Gross is pitching an agenda that focuses more on relief than reproach. 

Gross' Website

I wanted to add a little depth to this presumably urepresentative account of Gross, but as far as the public is concerned, the man is a ghost outside his entrepreneurial pursuits and philanthropic missions.