Greetings, fellow Coppertops! For our mission, Zion has entrusted us to pay homage to several important anniversaries that were celebrated this week; later we'll look at a very important discovery which adds another branch in the Human family tree, followed by the possible benefits of using Psi faculties to better play the stock market; finally, we'll conclude our assignment with a disturbing study showing how the next food crisis will be a catastrophe of our own making. Speaking of crises, if you feel the Red Pills this week are particularly salty, that's probably due to all the tears I shed over them after Mexico lost against Holland --now where did I leave that bottle of Tequila?...
"If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans"
~Otto von Bismarck (said in 1888)
Yesterday, June 28th, marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Archduke Franz Ferdnand & his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, who were assassinated in a street of Sarajevo at the hands of Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian radical --that particular spot has become a tourist attraction. The crime unleashed a vertiginous chain of events which eventually culminated in World War I, the 1st wide-scaled conflict & also the 1st time in history when industrialization was fully combined with the war machine, a deadly mix that claimed the lives of 10 million soldiers & 7 million civilians.
Some historians have wondered what would have happened if Franz Ferdnand hadn't died & lived to ascend to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Perhaps the last century would have turned out dramatically different --for starters, Hitler wouldn't have raised to power, and the United States might have opted to maintain its isolationist policy, instead of becoming the super-power it is today. But as Historian Tim Stanley points out in the video below, the fact of the matter is most European powers were just looking for an excuse to go to war; Nationalism, Colonialism & an appalling underestimation of the devastating power of mechanized warfare turned continental Europe into a giant battlefield.
The reason I chose this Red Pill, is because most of us think of the Middle East as the most plausible region where World War 3 might erupt; but with the memory of the Bosnian war still fresh in our memories, the latest crisis in Ukraine should remind us that old Europe could turn into a battlefield any day, and how maintaining the peace is 24/7 job.
On to a more joyous anniversary we celebrated this week: Curiosity, that suave rover who knows even the hardest jobs can be made easier with the occasional selfie, has celebrated its 1st full Martian year on the surface of the Red Planet, during which it has traversed a distance of approximately 8 kilometers. Like its older cousins Spirit & Opportunity, the mission has been extended for as long as its nuclear-powered batteries last --or until the Martians get tired of the six-wheeled interloper soiling their lands.
Granted, a manned mission would be a hell of a lot more exciting, but there's no denying NASA's robotic program has yielded their more successful missions so far. Perhaps in the future we could have not only wheeled rovers trailing through the Martian red sands, but also drones capable of flying & covering long distances quicker.
Here's for another 687 (Earth) days full of wonder & selfies.
One of the biggest obstacles any mission to Mars needs to overcome, is the huge time it takes for a signal from Earth to arrive to the Red Planet & viceversa; during those 13 minutes a whole lot can go horribly, horribly wrong. What if he had instantaneous methods to send & receive information? Methods involving that oft-ridiculed ability known as 'Remote Viewing'.
Over at The Daily Grail, Greg wrote a post re. a recent scientific paper published by researchers from the University of Colorado in Boulder, on the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Its title is "Stock Market Prediction Using Associative Remote Viewing by Inexperienced Remote Viewers," and it involved 10 neophyte RVers (9 students & 1 teacher) using a protocol in which 2 predetermined images were assigned to represent the Dow Jones either going up or down using a coin toss, each test subject was then asked to draw 1 of the 'target images' --which would be shown to them after the test was over, a significant step to improve the accuracy in Remote Viewing seeking to 'close the loop' regardless of chronological constrains-- and then judges would compare the test drawings with the targets; the most accurate number of target descriptions would be considered as an indication of how the Dow index would close in the next market day, and so the researchers would buy DJIA options according to the last prediction.
Of the seven trials involving the 10 test subjects, the experimenters got seven correct predictions, forcing the researchers to conclude Remote Viewing is a reasonable accurate way too predict the future of binary outcomes.
Regarding the financial results, on an initial investment of $10,000 we gained approximately $16,000 with a total of $26,000 at the end of trial 5. The first five trials were conducted on days of large market swings, therefore the potential gains were very large. Trials 6 and 7 happened on days of small market changes and, despite resulting in correct predictions, produced small losses because of the mechanics of the options trading vehicle. A timing issue in the trade of trial 7 resulted in an additional monetary loss of approximately $12,000. However, it is important to stress that this was in spite of the prediction itself being correct. (Without this timing error, total
cash at the end of the project would have amounted to $38,000, or a return of almost 400% on the investment in a span of about two weeks.)
This study, along with previous experiments showing how RV can be helpful in thinks like predicting the future of stock markets or playing chance games in Las Vegas, caused me to think about black projects & the economics of breakaway civilizations. We tend to think such endeavors would need to be financed using the unaccounted appropriation of taxpayer monies or alliancing themselves with powerful banking interests, but maybe that's not the case at all. Could it be that instead of corrupt practices, these groups make use of psychic abilities in order to make money?
I bet psychic abilities could come very handy for other endeavors that didn't revolve around making money; like Archeology, for example --in fact, our friend Dr. John Ward aside from being our favorite Egyptologist, also happens to be a dowser.
The discovery of human fossils inside a cave in southeast China might not have involved any dowsing, but they sure are making a lot of anthropologists spin on their heads. A recent TV documentary released by ABC this week focused on this amazing discovery, and its implications in rewriting whole chapters in the book of Human Evolution.
What fascinates me the most about the Red Deer Cave people, is the notion of how during a long period of time our world was not unlike the stories penned by Tolkien, and that we humans were just 1 group among a diversity of sentient species. Could it be we are still sharing the planet with other hidden races of hominids to this day?
If you had the chance to watch Enigma Man on TV, please share your review in the Comments section.
There's the unfair tendency of considering all those extinct species of hominids as 'primitive' or 'inferior' to us. After all, WE are the ones who survived, right? That's why we get to be the Sapiens of the Homo family.
Well, maybe not so Sapiens after all, considering all the terrible mistakes we've made during our stewardship of this rock. Take for example the collapse of bee colonies we keep hearing about in the news, a problem that is not only worrisome to farmers, but to all who are in the habit of putting food in our mouths, seeing how so many vital crops depend on bee pollination.
What could be behind the die-off of bees? A new virus? EM radiation emitted by cell phone towers? M Night Shyamalan? Early this week, the BBC reported on how a group of researchers claim the global decline in bee population can be directly linked to the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides in modern agriculture, an evidence that cannot be denied any longer.
In 2011, environmental campaigners, the IUCN, established an international scientific taskforce on systemic pesticides to look into the impacts of these chemicals.
The members have reviewed over 800 peer reviewed papers that have been published in the past 20 years.
Their assessment of the global impact says the threat posed goes far beyond bees.
In their report, to be published next month, they argue that neonicotinoids and another chemical called fipronil are poisoning the earth, the air and the water.
The pesticides accumulate in the soil and leach into water, and pose a significant problem for earthworms, freshwater snails, butterflies and birds.
Pesticide manufacturers are not willing to cross their arms & watch a multi-billion dollar market collapse like a bee colony. Already they're denying their products are responsible for the decline, claiming that other species of insects like bumblebees eat the same food as bees, and they haven't been affected yet --only they have, if you take the head out your ass & pay attention.
And so we're gonna treat the bee decline the same way we treat every problem threatening our modern lifestyle & the assets of powerful multinationals: by spinning the facts & manufacturing false controversies designed to confuse & misinform the opinion of voters, losing precious time in the process.
Who knows? Perhaps Neanderthals also let corporations dictate their laws instead of using plain common sense...
Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out. Remember: There's nothing more dangerous to the Status Quo than a thinking brain.