Saturday, June 11, 2011

Capacity Focus, 8: Israel's Better Place initiative moves towards global deployment of electric vehicle systems towards sustainable global transportation

Something like half of the oil consumed in the world goes for transportation services.

Better Place is an electric vehicle initiative (led by Shai Aggassi, a Technion graduate) that seeks to provide a more sustainable alternative for transportation.

In the Caribbean, we need to think about a cluster of alternatives for transportation, including electric vehicles, biofuels [I especially favour a serious look at butanol, as it is a 1:1 match to gasoline in your current gas tank . . . which can also be made from algae], and of course a better public transportation network, including not only buses but light (and conventional) rail etc.

Our goal should be: effective, convenient, affordable transportation, that gets us out of the oil trap. END

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Capacity Focus, 7: Israel's Technion shows some robotics capabilities

Israel's Institute of Technology, Technion, has a Youtube video showcasing some robots developed by students and staff:

If our region is to have the capacity to be competitive in C21 industrial automation, we will need to master robotics and mechatronics, the integration of electronics, intelligent control, and mechanisms, of which robotics is a key iconic exemplar.

As can be seen from:

So, our Universities, Colleges and Schools need to begin thinking about introducing robotics into our curricula.

More on this to follow, this is just a stimulus. END

Mt 24 watch, 127: Some Internet Porn Statistics -- brace for the shock, shame and rage

Pink Cross Foundation is a ministry run by former porn "stars" -- what a distortion of a word! -- that is the best expose of and antidote to porn (especially web porn) that I know of.

So, I intend to promote them, on the grounds that when the Americans sneeze, we get pneumonia. 

I see where for instance in 2003, the divorce lawyers in the US said porn was a factor in 58% of divorces. 54% of American pastors had viewed Internet porn within the last year, similarly (One hopes much of that was by accident or to monitor and oppose, but even so, this is a terribly addicting thing, and quite dangerous.)

In addition, I believe porn is designed to benumb our consciences and to get us used to what used to be called unnatural acts and especially sodomy; behaviours that are often demonstrably unhealthy and in some cases warning-label deadly. (Cf. here and here, caution. Also cf here for FAQs, here on theological issues and for legal agendas and stratagems, here.) If more and more men and women are addicted to porn that glamourises such acts -- even between men and women -- it breaks down the moral, modesty and ick-factor sensibilities that prevent or reduce practice of such behaviours and the promotion of the "mainstreaming" of perversions (cf. Webster's 1828 on def'n.) of sexual appetites that rely on such acts. In my opinion, as fair comment, such is probably INTENDED by the promoters of the porn industry, so-called.

Aug 11, I update from another useful source,, to amplify the just above:
. . . porn affects every viewer negatively, regardless of religious belief, creed, gender or age.   Here is my list of reasons that explain why.
1)  Pornography feeds lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh, which are never satisfied.  It leaves the viewer craving more and more in order to achieve the same "sexual high."  It easily enslaves people to their own cravings and opens the door to other forms of evil, like anger, abuse, violence, hatred, lying, envy, compulsiveness and selfishness.   The power behind porn is revealed when the porn addict tries to stop their habit - it is virtually impossible without help.   

2)  Pornography sexualizes the viewer's mindset.   It warps and perverts their perspective such that sex is unnaturally elevated in their thoughts.   Porn's images are stamped into viewer's  brain with the aid of hormones released during sexual arousal.  Even if a person decides to stop looking at porn, the past images can remain for years or even a lifetime. 

3)  Pornography promotes destructive practices and can lead to progressive addiction.  For example, porn sites routinely link viewers to depictions of every type of sexual perversion imaginable, such as child porn, homosexuality, bestiality, necrophilia (sexual interest in corpses), masochism (pleasure from abuse or suffering), rape and sadism (gratification from inflicting physical or mental pain on others).  The viewer's exposure to such themes naturally increases the likelihood that they may attempt to act out what they've viewed.  This can lead to sexual crimes, a la the late Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway (The Green River Killer).  

4)  Pornography intensifies an individual's drive to serve oneself, rather than serve others.  For example, masturbation, which typically accompanies looking at pornography reinforces a self-centered sexual orientation (i.e. lust), which can detract from a person's ability to give and receive love . . . .

12)  Looking at porn brings serious spiritual consequences  (see consequences page).  For example, it opens the doorway to spiritual oppression and confusion in the viewer's life.  The power behind pornography is inherently evil.  It seeks to control and dominate the viewer's life, while allowing other forms of evil to gain influence in that person.  Once a person starts looking at the porn, their eyes become the gateway for the evil power to enter them.  As it gains influence, the evil can numb the viewer's ability discern right and wrong.  As traditional moral values are blurred, confusion sets in.  

13)  Looking at porn helps you start to believe the lies it promotes.  Example lies include:
  • Sexual freedom = happiness
  • Perverted sex (homosexual sex, incest, BDSM, etc) is more enjoyable than "normal" heterosexual sex
  • There are no consequences to sexual promiscuity
  • Sexual expression is a right, not a God-given or God-defined gift
  • You can live a healthy life with the porn images floating around in your mind
  • Porn doesn't harm anyone
  • Sex is something to be done primarily for self gratification
  • The porn stars are the happiest people on earth
  • Adults can view porn without any lasting side effects
  • Porn will help your sex life
  • Porn is just a harmless thing that everybody looks at
  • More lies...

I am sure that the reasonable reader will realise from the above testimony-cum-analysis by a former 20-year addict of porn who by God's grace has found escape, that Pornography and related sexual misconduct are appallingly destructive. 

This gives telling (though of course politically incorrect) force to the 2004 remark by current US Presidential candidate Mrs Michele Bachmann, speaking with particular reference to homosexual behaviours and lifestyles (which are deeply porn-related in the current era):
I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.
Of course, this clip is now being cited far and wide by homosexualist activists and fellow travellers, to denigrate Mrs Bachmann by distorting the highlighted part as if she had said that homosexuals as such are a part of Satan. (Instead, plainly, she is saying that the hijacking of the word "gay" from the 1960's or 70's on is deception, in the teeth of the reality of the bondage, harm and struggles being faced ion the ground. And, scripturally, Satan is the father of lies.)

However, Mrs Bachmann's point applies much more broadly, across sexually related and other addictive and destructive, deceptive behaviours. Paul's counsel to the church in Ephesus is apt:
Eph 4:14So then [i.e. having been soundly nurtured in Christ and led to maturity in Him], we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of [c]unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

    15Rather, let our lives lovingly [d]express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) . . . .

17So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.     18Their [e]moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is [f]deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].  19In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

    20But you did not so learn Christ!

    21Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],    22Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;     23And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],     24And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. [AMP]

Sobering counsel indeed. And a terrible implicit warning on what happens to a culture or a community or a church or a family if such counsel is not heeded.

So also, if the following porn statistics for the US are as they are, what is happening in our region, and if unchecked, what will happen?

It is time for shock, shame, rage and implacably decisive action. END 

U/D Aug 9: To amplify remarks on the bridge to promotion of homosexualisation of the civilisation, providing links to reference resources.