Archive for the History Category

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’

Posted in Film Reviews, Historic Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2020 by Drogo

RWU History of Architecture II – Irene Fatsea 1995

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’ Film

In the movie adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel ‘The Name of the Rose’, architecture plays an important role for the medieval tone and setting. The film director, Annaud, made every scene intense with “visual overkill”. Five scenes show the importance of architecture in relation to the plot and characters.

In the opening scene two monks are riding towards the monastery. The monastery is positioned atop a steep hill, amid deep valleys and snow capped mountains. The impressive medieval stone fortress architecture is foreboding, as the dark mass over-looks the two small travelers on the narrow path leading into the complex. The hulking gate portcullis is drawn up, and the two Franciscan monks are greeted by disturbed and grotesque Benedictine monastic residents. The resident host monks exaggerate physical and mental characteristics which are considered social defects. The two visitors are now held within the cold imposing ‘sanctuary’ enclosure of massive walls and imposing battlements. Although they should feel secure, the unsettling harsh structure creates an angst-filled atmosphere of fear.

Unity is present in the choir scene. There is an orderly placement of seats in long rows, and the acoustics allow for blissful escape from more mundane routines and problems. When the monks are not gathered in this space for spiritual singing, the harshness of real life returns. The choir seats are narrow wooden benches with ornate carvings, and the back rows are raised along both walls of the holy hall. Ribbed vaulting creates echoing acoustics. 

The scriptorium of the library is ordered like a modern office, with a system of desks like pews, all facing one direction. The desk orientation prevents conversation and directs attention to a leader. The scriptorium is filled with a multitude of books and manuscripts, and they work on them on the desks. The arrangement of desks is dictated also by rows of short, round pillars with gothic capitals. 

The catacombs are a dark reminder of the Christianity’s past. Human skulls are stacked in rows. The halls are dark and damp, with dreary decor. The heroes must make their way with torches, for no natural light enters these halls of the dead. The architecture is simple, crude, and random; with small coves in the walls to house remains of bodies.

The locked library is a labyrinth in the tower, and it is where the climax occurs. Piranesi and Escher designed scenes of similar mysterious and chaotic stairs, with seemingly impossible connections. Hexagonal rooms filled with books lead off in four directions, while the action bombards our senses. Staircases drape from the shafts of the tower, and each of them branches off into countless rooms; all of which are almost identical. There are puzzles to be solved with logic and education. The labyrinth represents the workings of the confused, twisted, and guarded medieval mind. When the library is burned, it shows how fragile and fleeting history can be, despite our attempts to preserve the past and learn from it in the present.

SCOD Urban Architecture Notes

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Historic Architecture, Languages, Politics, Pub Library, Recommendations & Tributes, SCOD Online School, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2020 by Drogo

American architecture has ‘plurality and duality’. We have a variety of expression with scales of space and attitude, for the rich and poor. We have a modern design duality of rectilinear and organic architecture. Rectilinear modernists have been influenced by: Gropius, Loos, Corbu, Mies, Meier, Kahn, and Johnson. Organic modernist heroes are fewer, and there are fewer of us: Wright, Moss, Gehry, Solari, and Predock.

New Urbanist sprawl still faces the problems of commercialism vs community. Their planning principles have helped us to have more mixed-use zoning, but we still have the problems of Capitalism in decline, with an expanding lower class, destroyed middle class, and imperial upper class. New developments in Maryland and West Virginia seem to ignore the problems of population debt infrastructure, ecological devastation, agricultural decline, and transportation congestion all for the sake of profit.

Moynihan said our cities were ‘soulless’, like Diogenes he was holding a lamp for architectural self-examination. Cities are not as safe as we would like, and we should always remember their epitaphs are too often ‘military target’. Violence and migration are the main problems of our ‘urbane’ urban design. We have so often been wrong in our problem solving, it is clear we need to learn more from our past patterns of tradition. The corruption in politics that creates bad planning, can only be countered by an aware and active population willing to conspire and protest more than the elites can bribe, to bring attention to values which cannot be bought. 

‘A Pattern Language’ by Chris Alexander explains how architecture is about relationships. There are many cultural associations and historical traditions that can be better than soulless sterile machines for living. Architecture is sculpture for living, and we should not ignore sociology and heritage for the sake of industrial convenience to serve a consumer society that is destroying our global environment for profit. Yes we should have standards for structures that are able to shelter us without collapsing, but sustainability must also include the arts and nature.

 

References:

American House Now‘ by Doubilet & Boles

Better Places‘ Chapter in ‘Geography of NoWhere’

‘Pattern Language’ Relationships by Chris Alexander

New Urbanism, Second Generation‘ by Beth Dunlap

The Soulless City‘ by Moynihan

 

 

 

 

CIA Crest Archive FOIA

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Futurist, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2020 by Drogo

In 2017 about 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) were released online. The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA. These ‘freedom of information act’ (FOIA) documents had previously only been accessible at the National Archives in Maryland. The trove includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.

The records were only available on four physical computers located in the back of a library at the National Archives in Maryland, between 09:00 and 16:30 each day. A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection, in a process which took years. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives, to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one, to apply pressure to the CIA.

CREST: 25-Year Program Archive [link]

 

 

 

 

The Problem of Popular Culture

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Politics, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by Drogo

The Line Between Revolution and Conformity in Popular Culture

Artistic Commentary & Independent Value vs Commercial Success & Selling Out

When something becomes popular, it will have counter-cultural opposition which will challenge its status in culture. This ‘problem’ is a dichotomy inherent in culture as part of social dynamics. This paradox is how we can form authoritative conventions based on resisting authority, and base governments on violent revolution against government.

I made a musical remix of a pop song by a very progressive band, as a fan-fiction open-letter response to the singer basically. My version is worth nothing financially, but enough people were in on the jokes inherent in the theme that it got 5,000 plays within a year. The design was intentional on my part to evoke levels of post-modern humor, to play with fans and the band rather than try to compete for popularity or money. Some of the issues in the music include 1. selling-out means growing up, yet it feels soulless. and 2. placing all our value in money is a problem, rather than using memory to embrace positive aspects of nurturing compassion over individual profit at the expense of others. Without listing more, i mean there is alot going on there that is subconsciously infused in the music and lyrics; only accessible through the lullaby meditation of the chorus, which is hard to explain.

Green Day did that weave between pop culture and rebellion too… Pink Floyd (Mr Waters) is still doing that i hear. We want to walk the line, or at least be able to cross it. Most of us weave on one side and then the other, of all kinds of mixed issues regarding cultural conformity. I remember when i first heard green day it was live in person at a DC club. The Green Day sound i heard was the epitome of british punk, clearly made to sell as pop. I was disgusted when i compared it to bad religion, who they opened for, because to me Bad Religion had deeper content and a more unique sound (west-coast punk harmonies); but obviously Green Day was designed to sell out and it did. From the enthusiasm in the crowd, it was clear that they would soon be more popular than Bad Religion, and so it came to be with aggressive commercial marketing.

Again the irony is that our best examples of success walk the line between rebellion and conformity, or new originality and original oldies, or anarchy and establishment. When we are on one side of obvious rebellion, and then it becomes popular we soon find ourselves on the side of ultimate conformity. Metaphorically maybe that would be better described as massive swerves across the line, but our cultural perceptions are really interesting. It is not just music either, we see this dichotomy played out in political campaigns, and in literature, and in every field of study or practice. America is built on revolution. Revolution is part of our establishment.

US Security Commission Plans

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Ethics & Morals, Military, news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2020 by Drogo

Corporate Intelligence Agency Plans to Increase US Automation in 2020

Original SCOD awareness of this information was from a Jimmy Dore video with Whitney Webb about government plans for technological control (tyranny) from National Security Committee on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) 2019 documents released by FOIA. 

NSCAI Home Website: “The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence was formally established in August 2018 by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. The Commission’s members were appointed in October and November 2018. In March 2019, the Commissioners first assembled to receive orientation information and briefings from the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and various agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community. The Commission began its substantive work of reviewing artificial intelligence advances and associated technologies after the initial meeting. There are fifteen Commissioners appointed to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Of the fifteen Commissioners, twelve were appointed by members of Congress, two were appointed by the Secretary of Defense, and one was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. ” 

 

Summary of Agency information: 

According to the official documents of the NSCAI, they believe the US Government needs to be more competitive with China by implementing AI more. In order to meet their goals, events like the ‘Covid Crisis Pandemic’ are useful to force implementations using emergency powers. Replacing workers with AI would be much harder, without substantial public support.

National Defense Magazine helped explain that the NSCAI “was tasked by Congress to research ways to advance the development of AI for national security and defense purposes”. “We really worked on what we consider to be the most urgent challenges … and what we thought might be the most transformative opportunities presented by AI for national security,” – said chairman Work. “Adopting AI-enabled systems responsibly, rapidly and at scale will allow national security organizations to understand and execute their missions faster,” the study said. “It will change the way we defend America; how we deter adversaries; how intelligence agencies make sense of the world; and how we fight.” 

AI technology also poses two main threats: what an adversary could do by hacking us, and accidents without safeguards, the report said. Other threats include: the erosion of U.S. military advantage; risks to strategic stability; the diffusion of AI capabilities; disinformation and the undermining of the nation’s democratic system; erosion of individual privacy and civil liberties; accelerated cyber attacks; new techniques that could open up vulnerabilities; and accidents, the report said. Our government must work to avoid a future where “AI contributes to a world of greater centralized control; empowers authoritarianism; is utilized as an instrument to repress dissent and impose conformity; destroys truth and trust within societies and between states; and is employed in reckless, irresponsible and unethical ways,” the study added.

The commission is considering 7 basic principles as recommendations, including: 1. global leadership in AI; 2. adopting artificial intelligence for defense and security purposes; 3. building a shared sense of responsibility for the welfare and security of the American people between the private sector and government; 4. the importance of people; 5. the preservation of free inquiry; 6. the compatibility of ethics and strategic necessity; and 7. the importance of maintaining the United States’ values and rules of law in its employment of AI, according to the report.

Despite the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, the U.S. government is not making enough investments in the technology, the report said. “Federal R&D funding for AI has not kept pace with the revolutionary potential it holds or with aggressive investments by competitors. Investments that are multiple times greater than current levels are needed,” the study said.

Some of the related tactics proposed include AI transportation control to replace private vehicles, citizen tracking and monitoring, drones in every neighborhood, industrial automation to increase reduction of workers, AI medicine delivery to replace private doctors, and other civil rights issues.

If you would like to make an inquiry to the Commission, please email: inquiry@nscai.gov.

The NSCAI includes big corporate members from Google and CIA affiliate companies. AI controls many aspects of computers, robotics, social media, and surveillance systems. 

*

Related documents and links:

FB Video reading

Military Industrial Complex  – Fascism

US Intelligence Agencies

Rockefeller Foundation GBN Report: ‘Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development’

The Lesser Evil Corporate Scam

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, news, Politics, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2020 by Drogo

Corporate Political Two-party System Satire

Our presidential election is always a ‘Coke or Pepsi’ challenge, but more now than ever your vote matters! Don’t disobey! Vote blue no matter what they do. Vote red no matter how many are dead.

“i want root beer owned by another company” No, just plain Coke or Pepsi cola, no other flavors. “i want tea” no. “i dont want a drink, just food” no. i am sure those of us that would vote for a 3rd party candidate will get blamed again for the neo-lib losing, no matter how fake or corrupt they are. Other flavors and brands are not allowed in the comments section by rules of the election. Now more than ever it is important to vote Coke or Pepsi!! People can unfriend me if they don’t like my posts, or i can unfriend them to avoid voter fraud in my two party system, that is fine since i don’t really hear from them unless they want to complain or correct.

 

Never forget they serve us, it is their job to earn our vote.

Giving a vote for 2 choices that dont care about your interests gives them more power than they deserve. The system gave us Trump more than any misguided voters, the electoral college preferred Trump despite the popular real vote.

If the DNC loses to Trump, it will be their own fault due to their corruption, and not the voters they do not represent. If you think Biden is somehow better than Trump, vote for him if you think your vote matters. I got told i focus on the problems too much, but how we got Trump is a corporate crony problem and not just racism. All comments to this will be deleted, this is my personal statement on my page. If you want to study what I have, my references are available. Vote or don’t vote however the fuck you want, and the electoral college or supreme court will decide either way.

When people protest, they make themselves vulnerable to attack by the company, family, and fellow workers. They are called lazy and suffer for change. Yet, without protesting we would be under constant martial law. Jah bless the protesters. This is not a debate forum for how to protest or when to protest, so all counter-protest comments will be deleted like threats by the company hit-men. Yes obviously for epidemics safety rules apply.

Here is the edited Facebook post –

“Vote Coke or Pepsi for president! – Let’s see how many people I can unfriend! All other alternative options proposed will get your comment removed and you will be unfriended as a Russian agent. If you vote Coke or Pepsi you will also be unfriended, but your comments will be kept and votes will be counted. Welcome to my 2-party system. Protesting this question may result in a fine or arrest. Your decision has never been more important than now.”

History of General Electric Company

Posted in Commercial Corporations, History, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2020 by Drogo

During the late 1800’s several electric companies existed. Thomas Edison the ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’ was ruthlessly competitive in the marketing of his electrical inventions, and his work was further driven by corporate financing.  General Electric was formed through the 1892 merger of ‘Edison General Electric Company’ of NY, and ‘Thomson-Houston Electric Company’ of Mass, with the support of Drexel Morgan Company. By 1900 GE had other wizards working on transformers for electrical transmission. In 1911 GE was making lamps. In 1927 GE began broadcasting television. In 1930 GE was charged with antitrust violations and divested from RCA & NBC radio. In 1959 GE was accused of promoting the largest illegal cartel to maintain artificially high prices; and 29 companies and 45 executives were convicted. In later decades GE produced electrical generators and computing. In 1985 GE reacquired RCA & NBC, only to sell them again in 2013 to Comcast. Since the 2000s GE has worked with Enron, GXS, Universal, Genpact, Smiths Aerospace, Vetco, Hyrdil, and Comcast; among other companies.

Between 1996 to 2002 GE reached a stock climax of $58, and has had only two increasingly lesser peaks since then ($41 and $31). The 3 great diminishing waves between 1996 to 2020 have shown a decline in stock, but with many smaller monthly waves. The 3 largest lows in the waves were $24 in 2002, $8 in 2009, and $7 in 2019. In 2014 GE partnered with collaborative design company Quirky to announce its smart LED bulb called Link. In 2017 Jeff Immelt retired and stock went up a bit. In 2018 GE was the Fortune 500 18th largest firm by gross profit.

In 2005 GE launched its “Ecomagination” initiative to position itself as a “green” company. ‘GE Renewable Energy’ is a division of General Electric based in Paris, France; focusing on production of energy from renewable sources. Its portfolio of products includes wind (onshore and offshore), hydroelectric and solar (concentrated and photovoltaic) power generating solutions. Founded in 2015, GE RE makes about 10 billion in gross profits.

The main reason stock has stayed so low since 2019, is massive debt topped with the fraud accusation by investigative journalist Markopolos alleging $38 billion in accounting fraud. Investors seem to have lost confidence in GE. Stock holders are requesting a third party CEO be brought in, presumably to clean house while the debt is paid off. 

GE’s primary business divisions are: Additive, Aviation, Capital, Digital, Healthcare, Lighting, Power, Renewable Energy, and Global Research. GE has created massive pollution and toxic waste, on par with other major contributors like oil companies. The nuclear reactors involved in the 2011 crisis at ‘Fukushima I’ in Japan were GE designs; not only were faults known decades earlier, but the US still uses that model at some stations.