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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Dare to dream

Could 2014 be the year when a global vision for a radically different world takes hold?

In the nearly two years since Occupy was evicted from St Pauls in London and other locations around the world, many occupiers and activist groups and individuals have been exploring and sharing ideas for radical change. Critical Thinking has been engaged in this process and it is encouraging that many groups are, independently in many cases, coming up with the same principles on which to base our global civilisation.

An essential principle is provision of the means to life, unconditionally. This means throwing off preconceptions, inculcated from birth, such as the work ethic which is culturally embedded to enslave humans to corporate will. There are many arguments for an unconditional basic income and supporters come from both sides of the political divide. This conversation with David Graeber and Barb Jacobson highlights many benefits which would accrue from universal basic income.

David Graeber & Barbara Jacobson on: Unconditional Basic Income (50 minute podcast)


In cyberspace, you're the product

Last month, Daily Pickings highlighted the potential vulnerability of computer operating systems to manipulation through the creation of "back-doors". Ensuring one's computing environment is secure is all very well but when every phone call, email and internet search are monitored and mined for information, security and privacy are negated. 

The road from web 1.984 JONNY LEROY

Hat tip to Bob for this

Leroy talks about distributed infrastructure (in terms of ownership and control) as key to resilience and individual freedom - this applies to many aspects of life: business, government, education etc. Essentially, it means returning power to individuals and communities and away from centralised government and global corporations. Interest on money is a major driver of scale of corporations which in turn, concentrates political power in the hands of the ruling elites.

The way to solve these and other problems, is to remove the drivers of perverse consequences, ie. change the fundamental basis of our economic system to foster collaborative activity to solve humanity's problems.

Diablo to Spirit

Our modern civilisation, with its scientific discoveries and technological sophistication, has evolved at a cost, not just in terms of suffering and injustice, nor just through environmental destruction. We have lost what it means to be an entity on this planet in the context of the universe.

Our foolish vanity causes us to spurn that which is considered primitive from previous cultures and to regard animals as lesser beings. Anything that cannot be rationalised by our narrow view of the world is to be dismissed, other than the accepted doctrines of organised religion which are generally inculcated from birth and serve a different purpose entirely, establishing control and cementing differences with "the other", our fellow man.

There are untapped sources of wisdom and understanding in nature and the universe, sources which were revered by our ancestors. We may have evolved in scientific understanding but not everything lends itself to theoretical reduction


Has Greenwald sold out?

He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

Back in the summer, when Edward Snowden's NSA revelations emerged, Daily Pickings referred to a cautionary note sounded by Naomi Klein, questioning whether the leaks were in some way orchestrated by the establishment. Nothing to date has suggested this to be the case but journalist Glen Greenwald has become the "leak keeper", broken away from his employer, the Guardian newspaper, and set up a new corporate news outlet funded to the tune of $250million by Pay-Pal/E-Bay billionaire, Pierre Omidyar. References to Pay-Pal's involvement in the NSA's data mining activities have yet to be revealed by Greenwald. Has he sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver or was this the plan all along?

This three way discussion between James CorbettSibel Edmonds and Guillermo Jimenez raises many questions about Greenwald's background and motivation and whether Snowden is OK with how the material he provided is being commercially exploited.