Glenn Greenwald blasts another BBC journalist

By now it should be clear to practically anyone who follows news with even the mildest critical gaze that the leaders of governments lie. In order to serve their purposes, they are willing to lie routinely, unscrupulously, shamelessly, and indiscriminately. The only thing that stops them from lying is the fear of getting caught and even then, in the case of James Clapper who still has his job even after lying under oath, it is sometimes not enough to stop them. [Read more...]

Deciphering the language of political coverage

Matt Taibbi writes that coverage of the 2016 presidential election has already begun. He says that this is inevitable but what depresses him is the way it is covered. He explains how there has now evolved a standard lens through which all politicians are viewed and that results in a particular narrative form. He looks in particular at the way the senator Elizabeth Warren’s potential candidacy (which is not at all clear will happen but he favors if it does) is described. [Read more...]

Autoplay problem: UPDATE

NOTE: To see how to solve the problem, please see this later post.

Some readers are complaining that some videos are auto playing (which is of course highly annoying), even though the embedding code I use is supposed to not do that. Others say it is not autoplaying for them. Since this is not a universal problem, we need to narrow things down in order to try and solve it. So can readers (even those not experiencing this problem) please post in the comments this basic information? (I know some have done so earlier, but if you could do so again, we can have all the information in one convenient place for easier analysis.)

  1. Does it autoplay for you at all?

  2. Does it autoplay for all embedded videos or just some? If the latter, identify the general category (YouTube, Daily Show, etc.)
  3. What machine/operating system/browser are you using?

Once we narrow down the problem, maybe we can find a way to get rid of it, though I will likely need help since I am not a techie.

Thanks.

UPDATE:

Here are two Daily Show clips embedded differently. Can people please check and see if either or both auto play? The reason I ask is that I shifted from the second to the first method a couple of months ago when some people complained about the autoplay, hoping it would solve the problem. Now some are complaining that autoplay started a couple of months ago and I want to see if the problem lies (at least partly) with that change. If the change did not solve the original problem but created a new problem for others, then I will revert to the original embedding method.

Clip 1:

clip 2:

Is it ever acceptable to pretend that god and the afterlife exist?

As atheists, we tend to take a hard-headed attitude towards god and the afterlife. Neither exists and we view those who believe in them as being either mistaken or clinging to them out of a need for a comforting illusion. While I am convinced that telling the truth about the non-existence of any gods is always desirable, I am not as sure about the afterlife and am willing to be persuaded that, under very limited circumstances, maintaining the fiction may be justifiable. [Read more...]

Football concussion brain injuries story gets even worse

Today is a fall Sunday in the US and this afternoon about a thousand large and muscular men are going to spend three hours pounding the stuffing out of each other to the cheers of the crowd. What is becoming increasingly clear is that with each hit, the players are receiving brain injuries that down the road will lead to many of them suffering from symptoms akin to dementia. I wrote about this before (see here and here) but now more disturbing stories are coming to light. [Read more...]

Film review: Gravity (2013) (no spoilers)

I watched the film in its recommended 3D version and it was enjoyable. The film belongs to the genre of disaster films where people are stranded in a remote place because of an unfortunate series of accidents. There is no place more remote than outer space and the set up for this film is when a space shuttle repair mission to the Hubble telescope is bombarded by space debris that causes havoc. [Read more...]