50 years on Inequality is still the message

Its been 50 years today since Martin Luther King addressed the American nation. A must listen to BBC compilation is here I decided this video is too important not to be disseminated so I copied it on to youtube!

below is Thomas Pogge’s video on poverty and inequality. The message is clear inequality is the root cause of most of the ills that beset society. THIS CAN BE CHANGED IF THE RICH GIVE UP A FRACTION OF THEIR WEALTH. I HAVE A DREAM!!!!

400 million deaths in the last 22 years killed by poverty. Inequality!

A quarter of the worlds population have over 90% of the worlds income!

I have a dream but the nightmare continues!

Below taken from The Guardian review of The Spirit Level

We are rich enough. Economic growth has done as much as it can to improve material conditions in the developed countries, and in some cases appears to be damaging health. If Britain were instead to concentrate on making its citizens’ incomes as equal as those of people in Japan and Scandinavia, we could each have seven extra weeks’ holiday a year, we would be thinner, we would each live a year or so longer, and we’d trust each other more.

The Spirit Level
: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
(Click for the pdf stats in the Library)
Below are the slides >>>>

inequalitygif
Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett don’t soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost, though they may be pushing at an open door in public consciousness. We know there is something wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining what and why.

The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption depletes the planet’s resources.

Wilkinson, a public health researcher of 30 years’ standing, has written numerous books and articles on the physical and mental effects of social differentiation. He and Pickett have compiled information from around 200 different sets of data, using reputable sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the US Census, to form a bank of evidence against inequality that is impossible to deny.

They use the information to create a series of scatter-graphs whose patterns look nearly identical, yet which document the prevalence of a vast range of social ills. On almost every index of quality of life, or wellness, or deprivation, there is a gradient showing a strong correlation between a country’s level of economic inequality and its social outcomes. Almost always, Japan and the Scandinavian countries are at the favourable “low” end, and almost always, the UK, the US and Portugal are at the unfavourable “high” end, with Canada, Australasia and continental European countries in between.

This has nothing to do with total wealth or even the average per-capita income. America is one of the world’s richest nations, with among the highest figures for income per person, but has the lowest longevity of the developed nations, and a level of violence – murder, in particular – that is off the scale. Of all crimes, those involving violence are most closely related to high levels of inequality – within a country, within states and even within cities. For some, mainly young, men with no economic or educational route to achieving the high status and earnings required for full citizenship, the experience of daily life at the bottom of a steep social hierarchy is enraging.

The graphs also reveal that it is not just the poor, but whole societies, from top to bottom, that are adversely affected by inequality. Although the UK fares badly when compared with most other OECD countries (and is the worst developed nation in which to be a child according to both Unicef and the Good Childhood Inquiry), its social problems are not as pronounced as in the US.

Rates of illness are lower for English people of all classes than for Americans, but working-age Swedish men fare better still. Diabetes affects twice as many American as English people, whether they have a high or a low level of education. Wherever you look, evidence favouring greater equality piles up. As the authors write, “the relationships between inequality and poor health and social problems are too strong to be attributable to chance”.

But perhaps the most troubling aspect of reading this book is the revelation that the way we live in Britain is a serious danger to our mental health. Around a quarter of British people, and more than a quarter of Americans, experience mental problems in any given year, compared with fewer than 10 per cent in Japan, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Wilkinson and Pickett’s description of unequal societies as “dysfunctional” suggests implicit criticism of the approach taken by Britain’s “happiness tsar” Richard Layard, who recommended that the poor mental health of many Britons be “fixed” or improved by making cognitive behavioural therapy more easily available. Consumerism, isolation, alienation, social estrangement and anxiety all follow from inequality, they argue, and so cannot rightly be made a matter of individual management.

There’s an almost pleading quality to some of Wilkinson and Pickett’s assertions, as though they feel they’ve spent their careers banging their heads against a brick wall. It’s impossible to overstate the implications of their thesis: that the societies of Britain and the US have institutionalised economic and social inequality to the extent that, at any one time, a quarter of their respective populations are mentally ill. What kind of “growth” is that, other than a malignant one?

One question that comes to mind is whether the world’s most equal developed nations, Japan and Sweden, make sufficient allowance for individuals to express themselves without being regarded as a threat to the health of the collective. Critics of the two societies would argue that both make it intensely difficult for individual citizens to protest against the conformity both produced by, and required to sustain, equality. The inclination to dismiss or neuter individuals’ complaints may, Wilkinson and Pickett suggest, go some way towards explaining the higher suicide rates in both countries compared with their more unequal counterparts. Those who feel wrong, or whose lives go wrong, may feel as though they really do have no one to blame but themselves.

What Japan and Sweden do show is that equality is a matter of political will. There are belated signs – shown in the recent establishment of a National Equalities Panel and in Trevor Phil lips’s public pronouncements on the central place of class in the landscape of British inequality – that Labour recognises that its relaxed attitude to people “getting filthy rich” has come back to bite it on the rear.

Twelve years in power is long enough to reverse all the trends towards greater social and economic stratification that have occurred since 1970; instead they have continued on their merry way towards segregation. Teenage pregnancy rates have begun to rise after a period of decline; there is a 30-year gap in male life expectancy between central Glasgow and parts of southern England; and child poverty won’t be halved by next year after all (though it wouldn’t make as much difference as making their parents more equal).

There are times when the book feels rather too overwhelmingly grim. Even if you allow for the fact that it was written before Barack Obama won the US presidency on a premise of trust and optimism, its opening pages are depressing enough to make you want to shut it fast: “We find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, driven to consume and with little or no community life.” Taking the statistics broadly, they may be correct, but many readers simply won’t feel like that.

However, the book does end on an optimistic note, with a transformative, rather than revolutionary, programme for making sick societies more healthy. A society in which all citizens feel free to look each other in the eye can only come into being once those in the lower echelons feel more valued than at present. The authors argue that removal of economic impediments to feeling valued – such as low wages, low benefits and low public spending on education, for instance – will allow a flourishing of human potential.

There is a growing inventory of serious, compellingly argued books detailing the social destruction wrought by inequality. Wilkinson and Pickett have produced a companion to recent bestsellers such as Oliver James’s Affluenza and Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety . But The Spirit Level also contributes to a longer view, sitting alongside Richard Sennett’s 2003 book Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality , and the epidemiologist Michael Marmot’s Status Syndrome , from 2005.

Anyone who believes that society is the result of what we do, rather than who we are, should read these books; they should start with The Spirit Level because of its inarguable battery of evidence, and because its conclusion is simple: we do better when we’re equal.

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Appearance

Server Side Appearance (SSA)The major benefit to SSA, formerly SSB Server Side Baking, is no more cloud avatars. This is because the baking [rendering] of your avatar is moving to the Region Server your Avatar is standing in. This new method of baking eliminates delays in passing rendered information to all viewing your avatar. Currently your avatar is rendered on your PC with information then transmitted to the server to distributed to others viewing you. Avatar rendering performance in the past was tied to the quality of the Internet Connection to and the speed of the the Client PC.

Those who delay upgrading to a modern viewer will still see avatars as before with the exception that the textures rendered by the SSB code may be missing from them leaving a white mask on the prim/layer shape. In addition to the SSB code upgrades, several other updates will also be rolled out at this same time.

from FirestormViewer.org

Earlier in the week we notified you all that server side appearance (SSA) was rolling out to the entire grid between Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st. This rollout was the completion of just one phase of this improvement, and I am happy to say, aside from a few glitches it has been mostly a success. Congratulations Linden Lab, job very well done! It isn’t perfect though, as there are still some users who are having appearance troubles but so far these seem to have common and fixable causes. For more info on these and other SSA problems please visit the blog links at the bottom of this post.

Now this was just the first iteration of this work, and as of Friday afternoon Nyx Linden stated that they have plenty more viewer code yet to be tested and released which contains more fixes, improvements and cleanup for SSA. When this code becomes available we intend to merge it into ours and have it available with our next Firestorm release. For those interested you can listen to Nyx speak about the SSA rollout at Friday’s Third Party Viewer Meeting starting at 4 minutes and 50 seconds on the following video recording. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHlYMlZhZk

I decided in order to do this justice I would up my game a tad :

graphicssetupI went from high to mid high to ultra, this gave me Advanced Lighting Model and Ambient Occlusion.


I had the setting Ambient Occlusion set = In computer graphics, ambient occlusion attempts to approximate the way light radiates in real life, especially off what are normally considered non-reflective surfaces.

Unlike local methods like Phong shading, ambient occlusion is a global method, meaning the illumination at each point is a function of other geometry in the scene. However, it is a very crude approximation to full global illumination. The soft appearance achieved by ambient occlusion alone is similar to the way an object appears on an overcast day.

So to sum it all up Second Life is looking pretty goddamn pretty . Pretty to me at least. So far I have asked two djs what settings one ran low to mid and the other mid to high neither of which give ambient light. I also made a bit of a study about face lights that people use. These are incredibly bright to me as the following picture shows:

lights

The lights are so bright makes me almost want to dumb down my graphics ability. I shan’t but it makes you wonder… Then there are shadows don’t know whether to have them or not. What do you think?

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green screen

One of the features of Photoshop is the ability to make the background transparent. It is then possible to paste the image on top of any background. This was how I was able to have my avatar in the Google offices. This was done by taking the first picture in front of a “green screen” a single colour background to facilitate its removal.

dudesuitblack copygoogledudesuit

I am now able to do this with video.

Pretty good for my first attempt. I will be able to run a movie as a background. This means that one of my goals, that of bringing sl into rl is closer to being realised.

My choreographer friend Arabella has already come up with an idea of Halloween dances performing in front of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She needed to see her video again so here it is.

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A Year In Second Life

rezday2So today is my rez day, been in second life one year today and all I do is crash. Its been a wonderful year all in all. Changed my Life in many ways.   It gave me an interest  perhaps even a passion. I joined and immersed myself in this online community. I’ve known love and loss, sunshine and tears. Made friendships going beyond second life into the real world. Second Life is a wonderful cybercommunity which I have researched and come up with a tome = http://Cyberculture.co yes dot co not dot com . The dot com , net, biz, info, org are all being squatted. I wrote it as nothing had been written about cybercommunities from the users point of view, one who was involved.

Here is a list of my friends. All of them are special and have had their moments. Some have been lovers.

friends

 

Wow think I have about 100 friends, know all of them well, the ones at the beginning are those on line its 5.30 am my time  11.30 pm sl time Saturday. Bard is spinning and I’m listening via http://Junkyardlive.com I’m hosting at 2am Sunday til 6am. Its the people that make sl so special. Everyone I have met I think yes almost everyone I met at the Junkyard. (fan site here) Its the blues people the blues. This is a special breed blues people. I’m relatively new to the blues but I love it.

anim1“There are happy blues, sad blues, lonesome blues,
red-hot blues, mad blues, and loving blues.  Blues
is a testimony to the fullness of life.”  – Corey Harris

From the Official Junkyard Site‘ when I first arrived in sl I found the Junkyard on my second day. I was immediately drawn to the music and the people. I just hung out there all the time. My goal early on was to become a part of this. I knew from previous rl experience that if i just waited an opening would occur. I’ve done this in rl . So I hung out. I have told you the story of partners which says a lot. In between times there were flings of course. I get on well with women. I guess you would call me gregarious. I explored and joined other clubs sticking to the blues tho Blackhearts a rock club was an exception. How would I sum up my first year in sl? Well I discovered the blues.

Of course the most important thing that happened to me was I met Storm Constantine Love You Babe!!

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Great, I’ll try and meet you in sl

06670f0a-d96d-4537-bcef-7c4a7fe0a6ddI’m still trying to put together my first year in second life but i haven’t been able to get my head around it coz i keep crashing in sl. So far I have spent €250 trying to sort it out. I have had a great deal of support from friends in sl especially from my DJ Siani she came up with great ideas. My gf Storm has been great too. We finally nailed it down to getting a more powerful graphics card. However I know there is another problem but can’t for the life of me find it. My whole computer freezes while in second life. I borrowed this card and I seem to be able to last 5 hours which is great. BUT I still freeze. What has saved my sanity is Skype which has enabled me to stay in touch. Skype is great. My gf lives in Sydney I live in The Bog of Allen in Ireland. We communicate with text and video seamlessly. And of course it is free. Most of the testing programs I have used have been free. I have a Dell and on Dell.com (not Dell.ie) there is a diagnostic program which tests hardware. About a year ago I had the same problem which turned out to be memory. I’ve run a memory program from boot that found nothing. I have lost a great deal of data that couldn’t be backed up such as 200 odd very nice fonts. Also GodKnows.info was destroyed by spammers. Not my month is it? Computers are logical beasts so presumably there is a logical solution. However what happens when you have tried all the logical solutions? Waving incense over the hard disk? The odd mantra being repeated? I dunno . So,  Great I’ll try and meet you in sl….

Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum

AND THIS TO YOU FAULT:

tongue

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