Monday 16th of December 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2019-12-15 06:36

 

David Blair is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Western Australia and the Outreach Leader at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery. This is an edited version of his Ockham's Razor talk on ABC RN on Sunday 8 December.


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A consequence of all this is that our universe is far from mechanistic and deterministic. In fact, everything in the universe is statistical.

Reality is governed by strange but precise statistical rules. Reality is … fuzzy.

Einstein himself hated this conclusion and struggled to prove the absurdity of it. Famously saying: "God does not play dice."

But God and dice aside, physicists went on to prove that reality is indeed fuzzy.

Richard Feynman described it like this: "The rules are so strange … the rules are so screwy that you can't believe them!"

But this is the truth we all have to get used to. "If you don't like it," he said, "go somewhere else … to another universe!"

Physicists and chemists have been using these rules of the quantum world for decades to invent transistors, computers, lasers, nuclear reactors, cameras, mobile phones, whole body MRI scanners, drugs and medicines.

But kids are still learning the old stuff in school. The Newtonian world view — the lies.

Teachers are still teaching Newton's physics because of a combination of Einstein's physics being seen as too hard, and teachers themselves being more comfortable with the Newtonian physics they were trained in.

I believe that we owe it to our kids to stop the lies, and to teach them our best understanding of the universe.

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Six years ago my team set out to discover if it was actually possible. We designed programs that we have tested from year 3 to year 12. They are fun and interactive, based on models and analogies.

We converted the maths of the quantum world into the maths of arrows. We tested to see if kids could grasp what it means for space to be curved, and whether they could appreciate the weirdness of the quantum world.

The evidence is overwhelming: the kids enjoy it, ask for more, and wish all their science could be so engaging. They all know that they have been learning old stuff.

Girls who normally start with a less positive attitude to science than boys, respond more strongly to our approach and come out equal with the boys.

And while adults respond to the ideas, with "Wow, you must be a genius to understand this science", the children just take it in their stride. They are learning a new common sense.

Putting Einstein first

Following our first trials, we have been funded for a five-year program in which we are developing an integrated school curriculum called Einstein-First. It is designed for all students, not just the academically talented.

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Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-12-13/time-to-stop-lying-to-our-children-about-physics/11789858

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Note: Newton was a "heretic". He did not "believe" in the Trinity... but he hid his belief and played the game in order to be useful to the English government. Read more on this site... Read from top.

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 16:19

Hours into its much-heralded and delayed launch, the $2.96-billion Sydney Light Rail network came to a halt on Saturday afternoon due to technical issues.

Key points: 

  • A tram on the newly opened Sydney Light Rail broke down at Circular Quay this afternoon
  • Services were disrupted between Circular Quay and Central
  • Transport for NSW said at least 53,000 people were expected to travel on the service on Saturday

 

The service officially opened between the CBD and Randwick just affter 10:00am on Saturday, but by 1:50pm a tram at Circular Quay had frozen due to a mechanical fault. 

The tram was moved an hour later but services between Circular Quay and Central were suspended until 3:30pm.

Despite months of testing across the network, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned at the launch there was the expectation of "teething problems".

Passengers had been forced off the trams after the Circular Quay breakdown and George Street remained blocked, according to social media posts. 

(Multiple) [Several] passengers reported the issue on Twitter, calling it a "light rail fail" and a "joke".

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-14/sydney-light-rail-breaks-down-at-circular-quay-after-launch/11800434

 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 10:30

Nils Melzer*, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has again called for an end to the torture of Julian Assange


Thank you very much for the invitation to participate in this event and to contribute to it. I think we have to divide the question [about the psychological consequences of the detention] into two parts. I visited Julian Assange with my medical team on 9 May in Belmarsh. That was about three or four weeks after his arrest on 11 April, and we have found, medically, in a three-hour examination and a one-hour talk between him and me, that he showed all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture. These are very serious symptoms that were physically measurable, neurologically measurable. And at this time, on 9 May, we could also ask ourselves where these symptoms came from, what had caused them.


This man was detained for more than six years in a totally controlled environment, in the Ecuadorian embassy. It would be possible to determine with high certainty which the factors were that had actually triggered these symptoms because he was exposed only to this limited environment. It is an environment that has mainly been created by four states. Here, I believe, it is the US that must be mentioned first, as the US wanted to achieve Julian Assange’s extradition from the beginning. Of course, they did not publicise that. Julian Assange said it was his great fear that he would be extradited and then subjected to a show trial and most likely sentenced to life imprisonment in a high security prison, a so-called supermax prison which has been classified both by me and my predecessor as utterly inhumane. He was terrified of this – and was accused of being paranoid – but on the day he first left the embassy, just an hour later, the United States handed the extradition request to the United Kingdom. It was not paranoia at all, he was very realistic about how to see his situation and what threat he faced. This is the basic threat scenario.


In addition, there were the Swedish trials in 2010 and, as I have put forward in several public statements to the Swedish Government and elsewhere, they were carried out severely arbitrarily, a preliminary investigation which for nine years was incapable of bringing in a charge and which, after nine years, was quietly abandoned. This procedure forced Julian Assange to go to this [Ecuadorian] embassy and apply for asylum. He was a refugee in this embassy and therefore could not get out of the area. He offered the Swedish authorities that he would attend the criminal proceedings that he would come to Sweden if only he would be guaranteed not to be extradited to America, which actually had nothing to do with the Swedish trial. The Swedes refused to do so for reasons that are unacceptable. Thus, Sweden has contributed crucially to Julian Assange’s situation not to get out of the embassy any more. The British have been instrumental in supporting this policy and even, when the Swedes wanted to give it up, encouraged them not to “get cold feet” and end the trial, by a correspondence known to us today. It seems they finally got “cold feet” after nine years.


In this situation, 2017 saw the change of government in Ecuador. A new president, Moreno, came to power, with the goal of reconciling with the US, and Assange’s extradition was certainly a topic of negotiation. Since that time, the bullying within the embassy started, by the embassy staff and the security staff at the embassy, who made life very difficult for Julian Assange. Today we also know a great deal about the heavy surveillance that he was constantly subjected to: in his private space, during his visits to lawyers, doctors, etc. You have to imagine being monitored 24 hours a day. This is an element used in psychological torture, that you have no room for retreat, that you are constantly driven into a kind of paranoia, which then is actually no paranoia, but reality.


These four states, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ecuador and Sweden, have worked together to bring out the result we have today. On 11 May, Julian Assange was deprived of asylum and citizenship without any legal procedures, which is against Ecuadorian constitutional law. And, as we know, he was arrested by British police, brought before a judge within hours and convicted in a 15-minute trial, before which he did not even have time for a preparatory talk to his lawyer.
Since then, there has been the second phase, which has led to a deterioration of his state of health, to a dramatic deterioration since my visit, as the doctors and myself predicted in our report. We concluded: If the pressure on Julian Assange is kept up, if the situation does not improve, if the arbitrariness does not end, he may very quickly enter a downward spiral, both psychologically and physically. Finally, on 1 November, I rang the alarm bell once again and said that I was seriously concerned that this might cost his life. That is no exaggeration.


Psychological torture does not mean torture “light”. Psychological torture directly affects a person’s personality and it aims at destabilising the person by arbitrarily shaping his environment, making things unpredictable, isolating him, depriving him of his social contacts and of all possibilities for preserving his human dignity. The victim of torture is systematically withdrawn from all this over a long period of time. Finally, this kind of abuse leads to circulatory collapse, nervous breakdown, neurological damage no longer curable. These are very serious mistreatments. However, they are carried out in such a way that they might look harmless as single parts, but as a whole they are murderous.


This is still happening to him in Belmarsh today. He was convicted of violating bail terms, an offence for which in Great Britain, in principle, you will be fined and won’t have to go to prison. If someone doesn’t commit a crime while violating bail terms, there won’t happen much. However, he was sentenced to almost maximum penalty, 50 weeks instead of 52, for violation of bail terms he had to commit in order to get political asylum. Political asylum is, if not a justification, then monumental grounds for mitigating the penalty.


The very fact that he was sentenced to prison in the first place demonstrates the arbitrariness of this trial. I do not want to list everything now, all the arbitrary steps that have been taken in every procedural step of the trial, whether it was a question of violating bail terms or of extradition.


There are conflicts of interests. There is a very clear partiality of judges, which is documented by insults in the courtroom and verbal abuse. Step by step, Julian Assange deprived from access to his documents, he wasn’t able to prepare his defence. So, where is the constitutional state? How far have we come, if a defendant isn’t allowed to read his indictment before he has to allocute? It just cannot be true! Well, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. 


As we had predicted, nine days after our visit he was transferred to the medical department of the prison and he has been there ever since. And as his father said, he is very strictly isolated, although he meanwhile has served his sentence for violating bail terms. It’s just preventive detention for the American extradition procedure. There is no need for a maximum security prison, nor for isolation. It could be done under house arrest. It could be an open regime, where he would have access to his family, to his lawyers, where he could prepare his defence, where he also could correspond with the press, but that is exactly what they do not want.


No one should point the spotlight on what all this is really about. It’s about the rule of law, it’s about democracy, it’s about the fact that we can’t afford to leave state power uncontrolled. We can’t afford it, and this is why we have separation of powers. If separation of powers no longer works, then we need the press. And if the press no longer works, then WikiLeaks comes up with all these uncoverings. This is very important! This is about basic elements of state policy, and they must be protected.
Furthermore, I would like to mention that in Germany the Federal Foreign Office, the government, has been repeatedly asked what they think of my reports. The Federal Foreign Office invited me to a meeting yesterday. The meeting took place with the human rights department. It was not very productive. I was told that my reports had still not been read.
I urged the Federal Foreign Office to read my reports before discussing them with me. I hope that this will really be taken seriously and that it will take place, because that is PRECISELY the purpose of my reports, that they should JUST be read.  

 


*    Since November 2016, the Swiss international law expert Prof. Dr Nils Melzer has been the Special Rapporteur on Torture and thus an expert on the so-called Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. The Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN employees and receive no salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organisation and serve in their individual function. Earlier, Nils Melzer worked for twelve years at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in various crisis regions as a delegate, deputy head of mission and legal advisor. In addition to his UN mandate, he holds a chair in international humanitarian law at the University of Glasgow and teaches at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
(Translation Current Concerns)

 

 

Read more:

https://www.zeit-fragen.ch/en/ausgaben/2019/nr-2627-3-dezember-2019/der-un-sonderberichterstatter-ueber-folter-nils-melzer-hat-erneut-ein-ende-der-folter-von-julian-assange-gefordert.html

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 10:25


“Massive press preparation for a Western confrontation with China” 


by Willy Wimmer, former State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defence 

 


“Anglo-Japanese plans to carve out at least eight new states of the large and unified China have been known for a long time. This would put the growing global factor China temporarily on hold. In the foreseeable future, we will be able to see on the well-known ‘hot spots’ in China, where there still will be played with fire […].” 

 

These days, when you perceive the massive pre-arrangement of the press for a Western confrontation with China, you will experience some kind of déjà vu. The old conflicts are brought to emerge in order to destabilise China. These are disturbing signs.


In connection with the war in Afghanistan and the deployment of the German Armed Forces, a former German Defence Minister blustered that “Germany will be defended at the Hindu Kush”, but now it is getting serious against China.
The guns of the press are positioned along the obvious lines of conflict by the headquarters in Washington. The Chinese province of Xingjiang and the Turkic peoples living there are brought into position against the central government in Beijing. The situation is downright prepared for a major conflict.


A conflict, by the way, whose skeleton has developed muscles for almost thirty years. With these is now being played because the Chinese mega-project of the “Silk Road” is visibly bringing Euro-Asian continent together. This will weaken permanently the American dominance of global trade routes and the business of sanctions for the destruction of states in peacetime. The events in Hong Kong show impressively that the corners and edges of China are being shaken forcefully.
Anglo-Japanese plans to carve out at least eight new states of the large and unified China have been known for a long time. This would put the growing global factor China temporarily on hold. In the foreseeable future, we will be able to see on the well-known “hot spots” in China, where there still will be played with fire and the greatest possible global involvement can be organised behind transparent rivalry manoeuvres.


In Xingjiang and in connection with the Uyghurs in particular, the basic global conflict between the United States and the “rest of the world” is becoming almost exemplary. Since the fighting decades ago on the Ussuri River between the then communist powers of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, the world has been aware of the sensitivity of this region. That is why particularly President Naserbayev, who has been President of Kazakhstan for many years, made an effort to develop a mechanism for conflict prevention between the states according to the model of the “Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe”.


By the way, with great success, as the current “Shanghai Cooperation Group” shows. To the east of Moscow, the states are participating because they prefer the laborious work for peace to any war. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union these concepts have been worked on, as I was able to experience at first hand as a participant in the preparatory conferences in Almaty. It should be prevented at all costs that the process of disintegration of the Soviet Union on Chinese territory could develop into a violent war. The border issues were settled and new autonomy rules created to prevent war in a dramatically complicated situation.


From day one, the United States was massively opposed to developing a mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution. The “Shanghai Group” conference project was sabotaged wherever possible. When the states on the ground nevertheless agreed, the United States left the conference project.


Since then, anyone who wants to can follow how the two rival concepts wrestle with each other. Since the construction of the “Three Gorges Dam” on the Yangtze River, the Chinese central government has been trying to change the basic demographic structure in Xingjiang in favour of the Chinese population.


In the past decade, German magazines have not been too sorry to write about CIA-led uprisings in this province. How the American-Chinese global conflict dominates the present time can be seen in the attacks from the United States against Chinese investments in Pakistan in connection with the Silk Road.


And we in Germany? Imperial Germany knew by its scientists and expeditions in this region what was going on there. Already at that time in rivalry with other powers. At the present time, it was a foreseeable strategic decision on the part of the United States to locate the world headquarters of the Uyghurs in Munich at the time the “Shanghai Group” was being prepared. The mechanisms that can be derived from this are well known from other conflicts that ended in war. •


(Translation Current Concerns)

 

 

Read more:

https://www.zeit-fragen.ch/en/numbers/2019/no-2627-12-december-2019/massive-press-preparation-for-a-western-confrontation-with-china.html

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 10:17

The Hidden Military Use of 5G Technology

by Manlio Dinucci

The operation organised by the "Five Eyes" against Huawei aims exclusively to ensure that 5G technology in the West will not be controlled by a Chinese company. As a Pentagon report attests, this civilian technology is primarily used for military purposes.


At the London Summit, NATO’s 29 countries pledged to "guarantee the security of our communications, including 5G". Why is this fifth generation mobile data transmission technology so important for the Atlantic Alliance?

While previous technologies were finalised to produce ever more advanced smartphones, 5G is designed not only to improve their performance, but mainly to connect digital systems that need huge amounts of data to operate automatically. The most important applications of 5G will be realized not in the civilian field, but in the military field.

The possibilities offered by this new technology are explained in the report Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology, published by the Defense Science Board, a federal committee that provides scientific advice to the Pentagon: "The emerging 5G technology, commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to benefit at minor costs from the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements".

In other words, the 5G commercial network, carried out by private companies, will be used by the US armed forces at a much lower cost than would be necessary if the network were carried out solely for military purposes. Military experts predict that 5G will play a key role in the use of hypersonic weapons: missiles, including those armed with nuclear warheads, that travel at a speed greater than Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound). To guide them on variable trajectories, by changing course in a fraction of a second to avoid interceptor missiles, it is necessary to collect, develop and transmit huge amounts of data in very fast times. The same is necessary to activate defences in the event of an attack with such weapons: since there is no time to make a decision, the only possibility is to rely on automatic 5G systems.

The new technology will also have a key role in the battle network. Being able to connect millions of transmitter-receiver devices in a limited area at the same time, it will enable the military - departments and individuals - to transmit maps, photos and other information on the current operation to each other in near real time.

Extremely important will also be the G5 for secret services and special forces. It will make possible much more effective control and espionage systems than those of today. It will increase the lethality of killer drones and war robots, giving them the ability to identify, track and strike people based on facial recognition and other characteristics. The 5G network, being a high-tech warfare instrument, will automatically also become the target of cyber attacks and war actions carried out with new generation weapons.

In addition to the United States, this technology is being developed by China and other countries. International 5G litigation is therefore not only commercial. The military implications of 5G are almost completely ignored because even critics of this technology, including various scientists, focus their attention on the harmful effects on health and the environment due to exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields. This commitment is of the utmost importance, but it must be united with the one against the military use of this technology, indirectly financed by ordinary users. One of the greatest attractions, which will promote the diffusion of 5G smartphones, will be to be able to participate, by paying a subscription fee, in war games of impressive live realism with players from all over the world. In this way, without realizing it, the players will finance the preparation for war, the very real one.

Translation 
Roger Lagassé

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article199819.html

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 08:50

The second draft religious discrimination bill will have wide-ranging effects on many areas of public life including access to medical services, schooling, employment, social media, aged care, hospitals and even some commercial services.

As well as an explainer about the bill’s provisions, we have collected examples from the government’s explanatory memorandum (EM) and stakeholders about what people would be allowed to say or do if the bill passes.

Statements of religious belief

Protection received: statements of religious belief will not be found to breach other federal, state and territory discrimination laws.

Examples:

  • A Christian may say that unrepentant sinners will go to hell, an example cited in the EM which mirrors the facts of Israel Folau’s case

  • A doctor may tell a transgender patient of their religious belief that God made men and women in his image and that gender is therefore binary (EM)

  • A single mother who, when dropping her child off at daycare, may be told by a worker that she is sinful for denying her child a father (Public Interest Advocacy Centre)

  • A woman may be told by a manager that women should submit to their husbands or that women should not be employed outside the home (PIAC)

  • A student with disability may be told by a teacher their disability is a trial imposed by God (PIAC)

  • A person of a minority faith may be told by a retail assistant from another religion that they are a “heathen destined for eternal damnation” (PIAC).

Caveats – statements must be made in good faith; not be malicious or harass, vilify or incite hatred against a person or group; not advocate for the commission of a serious criminal offence.

Religious activity

Protection received: discrimination against a person on the basis of religious activity is unlawful.

Example: public evangelising/street-preaching – even where this is in contravention of council bylaws (EM, Just Equal).

Medical services

Protection received: unless it is against the law to refuse treatment, health practitioners are allowed to conscientiously object to providing a health service and no professional rules can override that right.

Examples:

  • A Catholic doctor refusing to provide contraception to all patients (EM) or to prescribe hormone treatment for gender transition (Equality Australia, Just Equal, LGBTI Health Alliance)

  • A Catholic nurse who refused to participate in abortion procedures (EM) or to provide the morning-after pill to a woman admitted to hospital after a sexual assault (Equality Australia)

  • A pharmacist refusing to provide the pill to women for contraceptive use (EM), or hormone treatment (Public Interest Advocacy Centre, LGBTI Health Alliance)

  • A doctor could refuse to prescribe post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) within the required 72-hour window to a patient whose condom broke during a sexual encounter on the basis of religious beliefs that forbid sexual activity outside of marriage (Equality Australia)

  • A psychiatrist could say to a woman with depression that “she should be looking forward to the kingdom of heaven”. Under the proposed laws, the psychiatrist could challenge their deregistration as religious discrimination, while the patient could have her disability discrimination complaint refused (Equality Australia)

  • A law passed by a state parliament that banned the promotion of programs that seek to “convert” LGBTIQ people could be overridden by the federal attorney general as an infringement on “statements of belief” (Just Equal).

Employment

Although the primary aim of the bill is to prohibit religious discrimination there are a range of exemptions that will allow religious discrimination to continue:

  • Religious hospitals, aged care providers or accommodation providers such as retirement villages may discriminate against their staff on the basis of religion both in terms of hiring and to set codes of conduct requiring them to act in accordance with that faith

  • A religiously affiliated business may require senior leaders to hold or engage in a particular religious belief or activity where that is an inherent requirement of those positions (EM)

  • An Anglican public benevolent institution could require its employees, including volunteer workers, to uphold and act consistently with Anglican doctrines and teachings at work (EM)

  • Domestic duties – a person hiring a live-in nanny or in-home carer services may require that they be of the same religious belief or activity as that person (EM)

  • An employer can ask a prospective employee whether they observe any holy days during which they can’t work to determine if they can fulfil the inherent requirements of the work (EM).

Social media

  • An office worker could declare on social media that a fellow employee is in a wheelchair because they are sinful and urge them to attend a faith healer. The workplace inclusion policy would be overridden by such a “statement of belief” and any action taken against the offender could be appealed to the Human Rights Commission as “religious discrimination” (Just Equal).

Schooling

  • A Jewish school may require that its staff and students be Jewish and accordingly refuse to hire or admit someone because they were not Jewish (EM)

  • A student attends the same religious school through their primary and secondary education. At 16 they lose faith in the religion of the school and tell a teacher that they are now agnostic. The school would be able to expel, suspend or otherwise punish, for example, give detention to the student (PIAC).

Accommodation, camps and conference sites

Rule: religious camps and conference sites may discriminate against another person on the ground of religious belief or activity in the provision of accommodation.

This is an exemption lobbied for by the Sydney Anglican church with reference to this example: Anglican Youthworks should be able to reject an application for the First Church of Satan to hold a black mass at one of its campsites.

There is also an exception for the provision of accommodation so that a homeowner seeking a tenant for their spare room may require that the tenant be of the same religious belief or activity as the homeowner (EM).

 

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/14/religious-discrimination-bill-what-will-australians-be-allowed-to-say-and-do-if-it-passes

 

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See also:

making it more colourful...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-12-14 08:19

ecumenism