Hi – I’m reading “Humanity in a Creative Universe” by Stuart A. Kauffman and wanted to share this quote with you.

In the hard sciences, which can often feel out of grasp for many lay readers, there are “great thinkers” who go far beyond the equations, formulas, and research. Minds such as Stephen Hawking philosophize about the functions and nature of the universe, the implications of our existence, and other impossibly fascinating, yet difficult questions. Stuart A. Kauffman is one of those great thinkers. He has dedicated his lifetime to researching “complex systems” at prestigious institutions and now writes his treatise on the most complex system of all: our universe.

A recent Scientific American article claims that “philosophy begins where physics ends, and physics begins where philosophy ends,” and perhaps no better quote sums up what Kauffman’s latest book offers. Grounded in his rigorous training and research background, Kauffman is inter-disciplinary in every sense of the word, sorting through the major questions and theories in biology, physics, and philosophy. Best known for his philosophy of evolutionary biology, Kauffman coined the term “prestatability” to call into question whether science can ever accurately and precisely predict the future development of biological features in organisms. As evidenced by the title’s mention of creativity, the book refreshingly argues that our preoccupation to explain all things with scientific law has deadened our creative natures. In this fascinating read, Kauffman concludes that the development of life on earth is not entirely predictable, because no theory could ever fully account for the limitless variations of evolution. Sure to cause a stir, this book will be discussed for years to come and may even set the tone for the next “great thinker.”

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20th & 21st CENTURY CONTRADICTIONS & CONFUSIONS ABOUT ECO-SOCIALISM | Douglas Jack

“I would like to propose a range of missing ‘INDIGENOUS’ PRACTICES & PRINCIPLES from the Eco-Socialist goals of these authors. I agree humanity needs an Eco-Socialism, but deepened in understanding all humanity’s ancient ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) heritage practices over 100s of 1000s of years. It is in these worldwide systematic indigenous practices that eco-socialist theory can find the tested practices, patterns, results & roots for implementation in our precarious times. Humanity through 7000 years of ‘metal-coin-money’ oligarch-led financed colonial invasion & destruction of indigenous practices & heritage, live in a profound AMNESIA, ignorance & alienation against our ancestral once worldwide indigenous eco-socialism. This ancient recall brings us to an integration, needed for implementing successful social practice in human societies, involving complex human equations. The intensions of these authors are honourable but their proposals need to be based in practice & deep reflection on ancestral systems & the economic drivers within.”

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The Paradoxes within Capitalist Democracy Spelled Out by the Zen Economist Rob Urie | www.counterpunch.org

“A social taxonomy that supports the division of political power from economic power is necessary to pose capitalism and democracy as compatible. In the liberal frame, a government that determines when you wake and go to sleep, how you dress, which speech is acceptable, and which isn’t and what you will spend the overwhelming preponderance of your time and life’s energy doing, is totalitarian. In this same liberal frame, if your employer determines these, compliance is freely chosen. The social violence of ‘property’ is the initial condition from which this free choice proceeds.”

“The term ‘Democratic Socialism’ proceeds from a dubious distinction between political and economic democracy. The myth it appeals to is that American democracy reflects the popular will in ways that more straightforwardly hierarchical political systems don’t. The paradox of capitalist democracy has always been the assertion of flat (equal) political representation in the presence of hierarchical economic distribution. Being white, propertied and male were the initial conditions for American suffrage. As late as 2016, functional suffrage was a proxy for economic class. Real democracy begins with economic democracy.”

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The Vocabulary of “Economic Deception” | Dr. Michael Hudson

The whole focus of classical economics is to tax wealth not income, and obviously, the tax burden was going to fall on the wealthy, on the landlords first and foremost, then on the bankers and then on the monopolists. That was what socialism was, the idea of creating an economy with a circular flow that the taxes would be paid by the wealthy and the government would use this tax revenue to spend on infrastructure, schools, productive credit to help the economy and to make economies more competitive. It seems that in that sense socialism was going to be the most efficient capitalist economy.

I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street financial analyst and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. His latest books are, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy and J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception. Today we discuss J is for Junk Economics, an A to Z guide that describes how the world economy really works, and who the winners and losers really are. We cover contemporary terms that are misleading or poorly understood, as well as many important concepts that have been abandoned – many on purpose – from the long history of political economy.

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Life-Value vs Money-Value: Capitalism’s Fatal Category Mistake | Prof Jeff Noonan

The 2008 financial crisis spread from Wall Street to the world almost overnight, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions, even though its causes had nothing to do with the production and distribution of any of the basic necessities of life. Instead, the crisis erupted because the financial system had become unhinged from its real function: supplying credit to productive enterprises. Finance capital increasingly made its money from complex “derivatives,” which are not claims on a company’s profit (as shares are) but on debts packaged and sold as investments. Immense profits were made, which provided the incentive to create more derivatives, causing debts to be piled on debts, all sold with guaranteed returns. Many of these derivatives involved American mortgages. Since these were backed by a physical asset (the house), they were advertised to institutional investors as highly secure, but the models assumed that housing prices would continue to rise. As it turned out, the housing market was a bad-mortgage fuelled bubble. When it burst, the “mortgage backed securities” became worthless, and banks from Athens to Iceland collapsed. Instead of having to foot the bill for their recklessness and greed, major banks were bailed out with hundreds of billions of dollars of public money. Workers lost their jobs, housings, and savings; Wall Street bankers paid themselves bonuses for the greatest failure of the financial system since 1929.

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Marc Lamont Hill Speech at United Nation’s International Day of Solidarity with Palestine | Jadaliyya Reports

Marc Lamont Hill is a scholar, activist, and media personality. On 29 November 2018, Hill gave a speech at the United Nations as part of the United Nation’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The annual commemoration is pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, which marks the adoption of the 1947 UNGA Palestine Partition Plan.

In his speech at the General Assembly, Hill expresses unequivocal support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination in the face of Israel’s systematic policies of exclusion, displacement, and occupation, as part of his overall commitment to struggles for justice and liberation. In response to this speech, Hill has been subjected to a barrage of attacks on social media and mainstream media outlets. Most recently, CNN fired Hill from his position as a CNN commentator.

In this post, we reproduce the video and unofficial transcript of his speech.

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A New Politics of Hope | Michael Sandel | RSA Replay

Decades of increasing inequality, globalisation, technological change, unfettered markets and technocratic politics have given rise to ever more polarisation and populist sentiment. How do we gain a better, wiser politics in the context of these 21st century challenges? Can the progressive parties reconcile the concerns of the disenfranchised and angry without succumbing to xenophobia and anti-outsider sentiment? What are the new ideas and solutions that will help us? Renowned political philosopher Michael Sandel delivers an exclusive address on the future of democracy and our place within it.

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Presentation by Professor Trevor Munroe – JCA Anti-Corruption Day Celebrations Dec 7 2018

Chairperson, Members of the Platform, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. May I thank the Jamaica Customs Agency for this invitation to share in your commemoration of International Anti-Corruption day 2018. Allow me to congratulate the JCA for developing this tradition of an annual commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day, a celebration in which countries all over the world partake. Justifiably so, because countries big and small, rich and poor, north, south, east and west suffer along with Jamaica and the Jamaican people from corruption, a corruption in which the United Nations estimates that one trillion dollars is paid in bribes to public officials everywhere, including Jamaica, and that 2.6 trillion dollars is stolen from the global economy according to the United Nations again. No wonder the nations of the world agreed in 2015 that “sustainable development” is not attainable without more effective combat of bribery and corruption….

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COMMENTARY – ARE REAL CITIZENS TO BECOME SECOND CLASS CITIZENS? | CHARLES WILKIN QC 4-12-18

Once again the CBI programme of St. Kitts and Nevis is coming under worldwide negative scrutiny. This time it is not questionable diplomatic passports being dished out without accountability. It is not Iranian nationals being allowed to circumvent international sanctions. It is not about undesirables being whisked through the due diligence process. It is not about the half built eyesores at Frigate Bay and elsewhere on both islands. This time it is sales agents and their principals openly abusing the programme by advertising their investment products and selling them at prices lower than the permitted minimums. Government has issued a strong statement condemning this practice. But it should go further and thoroughly investigate the abuses. After due investigation Government should withdraw the CBI designation and all fiscal incentives granted to any developer who is found to have abused the programme. We will see from the action it takes in the near future how serious Government is in addressing this problem and in maintaining the platinum brand which it claims for the CBI programme….

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Lessons from Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology for a Partnership Society / Emotion and Reason: Partners, not Opposites / General Structure of the Decision Making Network | Daniel Levine

This century has seen explosive growth in our knowledge about the human brain and mind due to recent advances in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and neural network modeling, and convergence between those fields. The scientific findings that have emerged confirm that humans have evolved for partnership and cooperation at least as much as they have evolved for domination and competition. Moreover, the findings suggest that partnership interactions promote optimal brain functioning.

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