Monday, November 19, 2007

Letter in NYT about Embedded Anthros

"Its authors note that, far more and far less than “etiquette lessons,” as you put it, are being sought from anthropologists. The Human Terrain Teams are to provide military commanders “a culturally oriented counterpart to tactical intelligence systems.” The teams integrate anthropologists with security clearances with tactical intelligence officers and aim to “fill the cultural knowledge void by gathering ethnographic, economic, and cultural data pertaining to the battlefield” (p.12). The article explicitly likens the Human Terrain Teams to the CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support) program from the Vietnam War. This should send a chill down the spine of anyone from your generation, since it is well known that the CORDS teams were linked, under Project Phoenix, to the targeted assassination of thousands of Vietnamese. Anthropological research was used in Vietnam to help select victims for assassination, and we fear that this misuse of anthropological research may be repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite whatever humanitarian intentions the anthropologists and other cultural experts may have for participating. Further evidence of both kinetic and non-kinetic Pentagon goals for the anthropological knowledge sought can be found in a number of places, including one high-ranking Pentagon briefing posted on the Network of Concerned Anthropologists’ website; this briefing says of Human Terrain Mapping that it “enables the entire kill chain.”

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think

NonplussedPeople think it means: Unperturbed, not worried.Actually means: Utterly perplexed or confused. It comes from the Latin non plus (a state in which nothing more can be done).The misunderstanding would seem to stem from people making semi-educated guesses as to the word's meaning, which kind of sounds like it means "unruffled" or something like that. "

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Surfer Stuns Physicists With Theory of Everything

"Although he cultivates a bit of a surfer-guy image its clear he has put enormous effort and time into working the complexities of this structure out over several years," Prof Smolin tells The Telegraph."Some incredibly beautiful stuff falls out of Lisi's theory," adds David Ritz Finkelstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. "This must be more than coincidence and he really is touching on something profound."

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

overweight have lower death rate

"Linking, for the first time, causes of death to specific weights, they report that overweight people have a lower death rate because they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of diseases that includes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, infections and lung disease. And that lower risk is not counteracted by increased risks of dying from any other disease, including cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

As a consequence, the group from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute reports, there were more than 100,000 fewer deaths among the overweight in 2004, the most recent year for which data were available, than would have expected if those people had been of normal weight."

savage minds