Daily Archives: December 6, 2019

How Hollywood Became Obsessed With De-aging Its Stars – The Atlantic

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 8:52 pm

Still, thats an oversimplification of the process, which took about 500 artists and two years to perfect. When it comes to de-aging, visual-effects artists aim not to re-create or copy the image of an actors younger self, but to interpret the character being played. In Smiths case, his clone in Gemini Man was trained as an assassin, so he couldnt have the lanky build of Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. On top of that, effects of this caliber require compromise: As much as dark lighting, long takes, and clever costuming help hide flaws in Juniors presentation, the film couldnt conceivably be told under such circumstances in every scene.

Lee admitted that the end result isnt perfectthe final, daylight-drenched scene looked goofy, he told mebut the film operated almost like a guinea pig for the cutting-edge technology he wanted to implement. As a director, Lee often pushes filmmaking boundaries, so the idea of furthering de-aging by building a full digital human sounded appealing. We are in a digital era, he explained, so to me its only logical to [de-age an actor] right in front of your eyes through digital effort.

Indeed, de-aging actors digitally is becoming the new normal in Hollywood. Though the practice of manipulating an actors look rather than casting age-appropriate performers has been around since the mid-2000sThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button being a prime examplevisual-effects artists have worked overtime on it this year. In March, the 90s-set Captain Marvel toyed with Samuel L. Jacksons appearance, erasing decades off his face. Marvel deployed the technique again in April, incorporating an estimated 200 aging and de-aging shots of various actors throughout Avengers: Endgame. Five months later, the horror sequel It Chapter Two de-aged its young cast members so that they would match their preteen looks from the first film. (Thanks, puberty!) And Martin Scorseses gangster epic The Irishman, released at the end of November, dialed back the ages of its stars, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesciall in their 70sto portray the lives of mobsters across entire lifetimes.

At a time when Hollywoods population of box-office-busting movie stars is dwindling, de-aging allows existing ones to be rebornor, at the very least, to ensure their longevity. For an industry that relies on rebooting franchises, its only logical that filmmakers would want to do the same to its bold-faced names. Consider the news that James Dean could be digitally resurrected to star in a new movie; taken to its bleakest, most Black Mirroresque extreme, the notion of re-creating deceased actors via visual-effects has implications that could pave the way for a new era of moviemaking.

Its a form of immortality, if you think about it, Olcun Tan, a visual-effects supervisor based in Los Angeles, told me. He pointed to Mickey Mouse as the optimal version of a movie star with staying power, a type of fictional character turned brand. To achieve everlasting fame, stars would go through the reverse, from being a household name to becoming a digitally reusable character, another tool in a filmmakers toolbox. Im not saying this is what the future will bring, because this is a little dark, but if you can imagine it, there is a likelihood it can happen, Tan said. Because if the film industry is trying to reverse current actors ages because it makes them money, you have to consider there is a likelihood theyll license their appearance at some point, even after those people are gone.

Read the original:

How Hollywood Became Obsessed With De-aging Its Stars - The Atlantic

Posted in Immortality | Comments Off on How Hollywood Became Obsessed With De-aging Its Stars – The Atlantic

Government Oppression in George Orwell’s 1984 …

Posted: at 8:50 pm

The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is an American classic which explores the human mind when it comes to power, corruption, control, and the ultimate utopian society. Orwell indirectly proposes that power given to the government will ultimately become corrupt and they will attempt to force all to conform to their one set standard. He also sets forth the idea that the corrupted government will attempt to destroy any and all mental and physical opposition to their beliefs, thus eliminating any opportunity for achieving an utopian society.

The novel shows how the government attempts to control the minds and bodies of it citizens, such as Winston Smith who does not subscribe to their beliefs, through a variety of methods. The first obvious example arises with the large posters with the caption of Big Brother is Watching You (page 5). These are the first pieces of evidence that the government is watching over its people. Shortly afterwards we learn of the Thought Police, who snoop in on conversations, always watching your every move, controlling the minds and thoughts of the people. (page 6). To the corrupted government, physical control is not good enough, however. The only way to completely eliminate physical opposition is to first eliminate any mental opposition. The government is trying to control our minds, as it says thought crime does not entail death; thought crime is death. (page 27). Later in the novel the government tries even more drastic methods of control. Big Brothers predictions in the Times are changed. The government is lying about production figures (pages 35-37). Even later in the novel, Symes name was left out on the Chess Committee list. He then essentially vanishes as though he had never truly existed (page 122). Though the methods and activities of the government seem rather extreme in Orwells novel, they may not be entirely too false. Nineteen Eighty-Four is to the disorders of the twentieth century what Leviathan was to those of the seventeenth. (Crick, 1980). In the novel, Winston Smith talks about the people not being human. He says that the only thing that can keep you human is to not allow the government to get inside you. (page 137). The corruption is not the only issue which Orwell presents, both directly and indirectly. He warns that absolute power in the hands of any government can lead to the deprival of basic freedoms and liberties for the people. Though he uses the Soviet Union as the basis of the novels example, he sets the story in England to show that any absolute power, whether in a Communist state or a Democratic one, can result in an autocratic and overbearing rule. When government lies become truths, and nobody will oppose, anything can simply become a fact. Through the control of the mind and body the government attempts, any hopes of achieving an utopian society are dashed. The peoples minds are essentially not theirs anymore. The government tells them how to think. Conformity and this unilateral thinking throughout the entire population can have disastrous results. Orwell also tells us it has become a world of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons. Warriors fighting, triumphing, persecuting 3 million people all with the same face. (page 64).

George Orwell was born in India and brought up with the British upper class beliefs of superiority over the lower castes and in general class pride. A theme very prevalent in his novels, Nineteen Eighty-Four certainly no exception, is this separation in the classes. The masses are disregarded by the Party. This is a theme which is fundamental to the novel, but not demonstrated as fully as the devastation of language and the elimination of the past. (Kazin, 1984). Kazin also states in his essay that:

Orwell thought the problem of domination by class or caste or race or political machine more atrocious than ever. It demands solution. Because he was from the upper middle class and knew from his own prejudices just how unreal the lower classes can be to upper-class radicals, a central theme in all his work is the separateness and loneliness of the upper-class observer, like his beloved Swift among the oppressed Irish. (Kazin, 1984).

This feeling of superiority somewhat provokes and leads to the aforementioned corruption of absolute power. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is not even so much that the rulers want to become corrupt, but they cannot grasp the idea of an absolute rule. They, as Kazin stated, cannot comprehend the differentiation within the system, and thus become corrupt. This ultimately prevents achieving an utopian society where the upper class people want to oppress and the lower class want to rebel.

Orwell had strong anti-totalitarianism points of view and greatly satires Socialism, even though he still insisted he was a Socialist in its pure form, in this novel and in Animal Farm. Many consider that Nineteen Eighty-Four is actually an extension of Animal Farm. In Animal Farm, Orwell

left out one element which occurs in all his other works of fiction, the individual rebel caught up in the machinery of the caste system. Not until Nineteen Eighty-Four did he elaborate on the rebels role in an Animal Farm carried to its monstrously logical conclusion. (Woodcock, 1966).

The two books primary connection is through the use of the totalitarian society and the rebel, and as stated some believe Nineteen Eighty-Four to simply be an extension of Animal Farm. Nineteen Eighty-Four, however, brings everything to an even more extreme but even scarier is the fact that is more realistic, such as in a Nazi Germany environment. Nineteen Eighty-Four is considered to have great pessimistic undertones, Orwells prophecy if you will. It is also not known whether it was intended as a last words, though it was his final work, as he collapsed and was bed-ridden for two years before he died. He did marry several months before his death saying it gave him new reason to live. Orwells creation of Winston Smith shows a character who is:

in struggle against the system, occasionally against himself, but rarely against other people. One thinks of Orwells having thrown his characters into a circular machine and then noting their struggle against the machine, their attempts to escape it or compromise themselves with it. (Karl, 1972).

Orwell writes more about the struggle as a piece of advice than anything else. This novel was widely considered prophetic, a warning of what could be to come if we did not take care. Orwells method was to introduce the questions, not propose solutions. Most likely he did not have the solution, but it was his solution to help bring about the awareness of the existing problem.

The corrupt government is trying to control the minds of their subjects, which in turn translates to control of their body. Orwell warns that absolute power in the hands of any government can deprive people of all basic freedoms. There are similar references in another of Orwells novels, Animal Farm, supporting the ideas of corruption and an unattainable utopian society which were presented here in Nineteen Eighty-Four. With this novel, Orwell also introduced the genre of the dystopic novel into the world of literature.


Government Oppression in George Orwell's 1984 ...

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on Government Oppression in George Orwell’s 1984 …

Trump Flees Government Oppression By Relocating …

Posted: at 8:50 pm

PRAIRIE, IDTrading the White House for a few small buildings in a remote wooded area only accessible by ATV, the Trump administration has fled government persecution and retreated to an off-the-grid cabin compound in the Idaho mountains, sources confirmed Friday. This is the way Americans were meant to live, President Trump reportedly said as he looked out across the isolated encampment and used tactical hand signals to communicate with his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who manned a sniper post in a nearby pine tree. As a sovereign citizen, I am not subject to government authority, and it is only here in these hills that I can truly be free. We generate our own electricity, and my aides set up this whole system for collecting and purifying water. Out here, if the feds try to trample my freedoms, theyre more likely to tread on one of our tripwire explosives or spring-loaded bear traps. Later, as he patted a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, the 45th president of the United States was overheard saying that anyone who trespassed on his property to enforce a subpoena would have to get past this baby first.

Originally posted here:

Trump Flees Government Oppression By Relocating ...

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on Trump Flees Government Oppression By Relocating …

This Vibrantly Decorated South African Military Vehicle Is Guarding the Entrance to PULSE Miami Beach. Heres the Story Behind It – artnet News

Posted: at 8:50 pm

During a Miami Art Week somewhat devoid of hard-hitting political work, Ralph Zimans massive sculptureSPOEK 1stands out, and not just because its a massive armored vehicle covered in colorful, glittering beadwork. The piece, greeting visitors to PULSE Art Fair Miami Beach, is a fully functional 1981 police Casspir, produced by South Africa for crowd control purposes during apartheid. It stands as a bold reminder of the international history of state violence and government oppression.

The Casspir was apartheids greatest invention. It was built to sustain bomb explosions and was designed to suppress urban populations, Ziman told Artnet News.

A white South African artist, Ziman enlisted a team of some 100 Zimbabwean and South African artisans to create the traditional beadwork patterning that transforms the Casspir from a symbol of fear into something bold and beautiful. (Ziman learned to bead along the way, but his skills still pale into comparison to those of his team, ten of whom now work for him full time.)

Before bringing the work to the US, the artist drove the project around South Africa, allowing the local people to engage with the transformed vehicle, suddenly sapped of its power to inspire fear. Along the way, he staged photographs of soldiers, decked out in beaded uniforms and equally embellished weapons.

Ralph Ziman with his piece SPOEK 1 at PULSE Miami Beach with Rendon Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

At PULSE, those photos are on offer, along with the beaded AK47s and other related works, from Los Angeless Rendon Gallery. The idea, said Ziman, was to make non-lethal weapons in South Africa that were beautiful and colorful to counter the weapons being made in the rest of the world and sold to Africa.

(As a funny sidenote,Ziman actually had to be certified as an arms dealer to import it.)

SPOEK 1, the colorful vehicle parked at the entrance of the fair,is also for sale. The price is negotiable, depending on the client, according to the artist. Essentially, the presentation at the fair is a smaller version of Ralph Ziman: The Casspir Project, which was on view at the gallery during Frieze LA. You may also have spotted SPOEK 1 at1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York in 2018.

Ralph Ziman, The Casspir Project. Photo courtesy of Rendon Gallery, Los Angeles.

When apartheid ended in 1994, the Casspirs disappeared off the streets of South Africa. But theyve since resurfaced around the worldmany were sold to the US during the Iraq War, and then donated to police forces around the country.

Its the only vehicle designed in Africa thats been exported to the rest of the world, so we wanted to Africanize and own it, Ziman said. He says he was inspired to createSPOEK 1 when he saw news footage of US police force using Casspirs during the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ralph Ziman, SPOEK 1. Photo courtesy of Rendon Gallery, Los Angeles.

The whole world has militarized their police force, Ziman added. I think once you put police on top of this [Casspir] with automatic weapons in a place like Ferguson, they start seeing the other side as the enemy.

PULSE Art Fair Miami Beach is on view at Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, December 58, 2019.

See the rest here:

This Vibrantly Decorated South African Military Vehicle Is Guarding the Entrance to PULSE Miami Beach. Heres the Story Behind It - artnet News

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on This Vibrantly Decorated South African Military Vehicle Is Guarding the Entrance to PULSE Miami Beach. Heres the Story Behind It – artnet News

The fall of the Berlin Wall gave South Korea hope. Not anymore – Los Angeles Times

Posted: at 8:50 pm

Office workers, delivery boys and teenagers in school uniforms hurried through the rain, past the battered concrete slab without giving it a second glance.

Hana Lee strode up, stared at it pensively, then snapped a photograph.

The panel 12 feet wide, about as tall and 15 inches thick is a piece of the Berlin Wall. It has been on display in downtown Seoul since 2005, when Germany gifted it to South Korea as a symbol of hope for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula.

Lee, a 37-year-old South Korean opera singer, was visiting from Germany, where she has lived the last 14 years.

Pieces of the wall are also exhibited in Germany, but Lee wanted to see it here, 30 miles from the proverbial final Cold War frontier between North and South Korea a heavily guarded barrier no closer to crumbling than it was when the one in Berlin fell in 1989.

Lee thought of her maternal grandfather, who fled south during the Korean War and died never having been able to return home.

Its really sad, she said. Its been 30 years for Germany, but still so distant for us.

Perhaps no other country has poured as many resources into studying Germanys unification as South Korea. Its bureaucrats, academics and politicians have parsed the German example from every possible angle including the economic cost, the integration of legal and pension systems and the pitfalls of sorting out social welfare and bridging cultural gaps.

At the onset of the Cold War, both Germany and Korea were divided up by Allied powers, with the Soviet Union taking control of what became East Germany and North Korea.

When the Berlin Wall came down, the predominant emotion in South Korea was envy, soon followed by hope.

Kim Nuri, a professor of German literature at Seouls Chung-Ang University, was studying in Germany at the time. He recounted how he could easily pick out the Koreans among the Asian students at his university the next morning because they were all teary-eyed.

People atop a section of the wall at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

(John Tlumacki / Boston Globe)

In some ways, South Koreans are more interested in German unification than Germans themselves are, he said last month at a forum in Seoul about the fall of the Berlin Wall one of myriad events marking the 30th anniversary.

Today, that hope has faded, with many Koreans wondering whether the German example is even relevant or a single Korea attainable.

Theres just less interest in unification, said Yang Chang-seok, a former government official who was dispatched as a unification attache to Germany in the mid-1990s. There are a lot more differences than parallels between the German case and the case of the Korean peninsula.

Over the years, contract workers for South Koreas Unification Ministry have photocopied reams of documents at the German Federal Archives and shipped home tens of thousands of pages of speeches, internal memos and research studies about the aftermath of reunification.

Based on those documents, the ministry recently completed a six-year project publishing 30 volumes each one about 2,000 pages of research, analysis and source material.

The lessons drawn have been a sobering reality check on what Koreans could expect from their own unification.

Visitors gather Oct. 28, 2014, at a mural showing former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, left, kissing former East German communist leader Erich Honecker at the East Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall that today is a tourist attraction.

(Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

It made us realize there would be aftereffects and problems, that it will cost us, and that psychological integration will be very difficult, said Yang, who is now a professor at the Korea University of Technology and Education.

For all the differences between East and West Germany, the economic, cultural and political divides between the two Koreas are far greater.

In 1990, per-capita GDP was about 1.5 times higher in West Germany than in the East, whereas the average South Korean today makes at least 25 times as much as the average North Korean.

East Germans could get television signals from West German broadcasts before the Berlin Wall fell, but North Koreans are criminally prosecuted for consuming South Korean content, which is only available on illicit thumb drives smuggled in from China.

East German political parties were largely absorbed into West German ones within about six months, even if the process left East Germans feeling like second-class citizens without sufficient representation, South Korean researchers wrote in one of their volumes on reunification.

In our case, the culture and system of party-based politics is lacking compared with West Germany, and considering North Korea has no experience with democracy, it begs the question how a democratic system can be developed, they wrote.

Then theres the long shadow of the Korean War, in which millions of civilians were killed between 1950 and 1953 a brutal history that has no parallel in the German division and left a legacy of distrust and skepticism between the Koreas.

More than anything, South Koreans today worry about how much unification with North Korea would cost their already flagging economy.

West Germany paid about 2 trillion euros about $2.2 trillion today to fund infrastructure improvements, social welfare benefits and other measures to integrate East Germany.

It may not be an exaggeration to say theres been more discussion about the cost of German unification in South Korea than in Germany, the researchers wrote.

In a 2018 survey by the Korea Institute for National Unification, only 1 in 4 South Koreans said they would be in favor of a tax increase to cover the cost.

South and North Korean officials attend at an opening ceremony for two nations first liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, in 2018.


Ultimately, the core issue with the cost of unification is not about the numbers, but a political problem of convincing South Koreans it is worthwhile, the researchers wrote.

Many German officials are puzzled by the obsession with cost, the researchers said: They say even if they had a clairvoyant in 1989/1990 who predicted unification will cost 10 times as much as forecast, they would still have gone through with it.

North Korea, for its part, bristles at any mention of the German model by South Korean officials, alleging that such references reveal an intent to subsume North Korea rather than negotiate reunification as equal partners.

There are few other precedents for reunification. Saying the German example had limitations because it was rapid and abrupt, the South Korean government recently put out a call for researchers to work on a study looking at the European Union as a blueprint.

Joo Seong-ha, a North Korean escapee who became a journalist for the South Korean daily Dong-A Ilbo, traveled to Germany in the summer to meet with various German officials who were involved with the unification process.

His takeaway: Its too different. The German case is no longer relevant for the Korean peninsula.

He wrote in one column that the driving force behind German unification had been the will of the East German people, but that the North Korean governments oppression of its people was of a different magnitude.

The Stasi [East German security agency] surveilled, but they didnt execute, he wrote. To a North Koreans eyes, East Germany was heaven.

He wrote that he instead found himself thinking that the 1990 reunification of Yemen may be a more pertinent case study. There, social chasms soon led to civil war.

Lee, the South Korean opera singer living in Germany, said she hoped Korea would learn from the German example and follow it.

Her friend Paik Kyoung-won, 36, who teaches music in Seoul, said she had no idea the Berlin Wall was standing in Seoul, despite having lived within walking distance of it the last five years. She said that Germanys unification had once given her hope, but that she had become more realistic over the years.

Im not so sure anymore what happened in Germany will be possible in Korea, she said. Were different. Were going to have to figure out our own way.

Read more from the original source:

The fall of the Berlin Wall gave South Korea hope. Not anymore - Los Angeles Times

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on The fall of the Berlin Wall gave South Korea hope. Not anymore – Los Angeles Times

Terrorism used as excuse to suppress Kashmir | Opinion | Analysis – Mail and Guardian

Posted: at 8:50 pm

In 1992, I witnessed an Indian soldier hit a pregnant Kashmiri woman with his rifle butt and utter these words: Get rid of the terrorist you will birth. That incident, forever etched in my mind, epitomises for me how the Indian armed forces, that operate withimpunity in the region, view Kashmiris.

It is the very same perception that governs the minds of the right-wing, ideologically driven Hindu nationalists and their supporters who are celebrating the recent division and annexation of Kashmir.

In October, a senior Indian governmentfigure likened the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination to terrorism. Bipin Rawat, chief of the Indian army, justified the months-long clampdown in Kashmir as a communication breakdown between terrorists in the Kashmir Valley and their handlers in Pakistan.

Within India, the Bharatiya Janata Partygovernment is stoking Islamophobia by using religion as an instrument of identity politics. And the Indian medias portrayal and characterisation of Muslims only reinforces the status of Muslims as the other and Islam as the enemy.

Since 9/11, Muslims have been routinely dehumanised and demonised. Systemic and institutionalised racism has targeted Muslims all over the world.Using fear of terrorism, governments have undermined human rights and civil liberties of their Muslim citizens. And the pseudo-expert Islamophobia industry has promoted Islam as a source of universal terror.

The indigenous struggle for self-determination in Kashmir predates the partition of India in 1947. Except for a short period of armed resistance in the early 1990s, the movement has been primarily non-violent. The response to Kashmiri resistance, however, has always been violent. India portrays the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination as a fanatical religious movement, a jihad against India an image that helps project Kashmir as an issue of terrorism.

In my own research on Muslim youth resistance in Kashmir, whereassome youth invoked religion as a reason for fighting against oppression, there was no evidence they considered their struggle as a religious one. At the same time, the youth did predict that if the Indian government continued to suppress nonviolent resistance, some may once again be inclined to pick up arms. That became evident in 2016 when reports surfaced of some young men resorting to armed struggle.

The Indian governmentrecently estimated there are 200 militants active in Kashmir. In spite of such a small number,the reinforcement of tens of thousands of additional forces in the worlds most militarised region was again justified in terms of curbing terrorism. In realitythe military build up was merely to impose and manage unilateral changes to the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir without the will of the people.

The scale of death and destruction in Kashmir in the past 30 years is hard for some to fathom. To date, close to an estimated 100000 Kashmiris have been killed, thousands disappeared, tens of thousands injured and maimedand tortured. Women and children have been victims of violenceandsexual violence.

The spurious excuse of fighting terrorismprovides cover for the documented ongoing human rights violations which include illegal detentions, torture, sexual violence, expropriation of land, murder, collective punishment, censorship, closure of educational institutions, and preventing access to essential services.

Unfortunately there seems to be little resistance, even in left liberal intellectual circles, to equating Islam with terrorism.

India has even been effective in selling the narrative of curbing Muslim terrorism to international trade partners, including Muslim autocrats.Althoughthe Organisation of Islamic Co-operation issued a perfunctory statement of concern about Kashmir, it ignores the oppression of Muslims by the current Indian regime. Despite eight-million Muslims beingunder siege in Kashmir, the United Arab Emirates awarded the prime minister its highest civilian award annual trade between the two countries is valued at about$50-billion. Saudi Arabia, another trade partner with bilateral trade to the tune of $28-billion, also bestowed its highest civilian award onthe prime minister in 2016. After Kashmirs autonomy was revoked in August, Saudi Aramco announced $75-billion in investments in Indias oil and chemical business. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are also planning to build a mega refinery in India, an investment of another $60-billion.

The worlds so-called largest democracy has numbed the world into accepting the dispensability of Kashmiri Muslim lives. Land grabs, ecological degradation and settler colonialism is being normalised. Leaders of various nationshave placedtheir economic interests above their moral conscience.

Human rights groups have warned aboutthe risk of genocide in Kashmir. Labelling Kashmiris as terrorists and dehumanising them further destabilisesa region where nuclear war is a possibility.

Idrisa Pandit is an academic specialising in Islam, gender justice and the Kashmir conflict. This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on Open Democracy.

Continued here:

Terrorism used as excuse to suppress Kashmir | Opinion | Analysis - Mail and Guardian

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on Terrorism used as excuse to suppress Kashmir | Opinion | Analysis – Mail and Guardian

What makes a good institutional apology? – The Signal

Posted: at 8:50 pm

Im sorry is what we say when we hurt someone.

Increasingly, weve been hearing it from institutions like governments and police agencies after acknowledging systemic oppression oppression that often caused generational harm.

Last week, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella stood in front of members of the African Nova Scotian community to apologize for racist street check practices. Community members and activists were invited to hear Kinsella say Im sorry.

But is an apology enough?

Karina Schumann, a psychology professor at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in conflict resolution, says for public apologies, there is a default perception that they are insincere.

In order for these apologies to be effective, they need to have features that show what Schumann believes is most important: remorse.

Institutions making an apology must acknowledge these are ongoing problems with ongoing consequences, and that the victimized group continues to suffer, she says.

Canadas first public government apology happened in 1988, made by the prime minister at the time, Brian Mulroney, for the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War.

Since then, there have been 13 government apologies, six of which were made in the last three years, by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

While there is no tangible way to compensate suffering under the hands of the government, Schumann says even a symbolic gesture can make it seem more meaningful.

John Kador, author of the book Effective Apology, says apologies without actions are virtually meaningless.

Kador has a five-step model to an effective apology. He calls them the five Rs:

Victims want their pain to be acknowledged, says Kador, but without ongoing reparation, the effects of the apology are diminished.

In 2008, former prime minister Stephen Harper made an apology to survivors and descendants of survivors of the Indian residential school system. In the apology, he acknowledged that over 150,000 children were separated from their parents and suffered abuse.

The apology promised fostering a new relationship between Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians.

Margaret (Magit) Poulette, of Wekoqmaq First Nation, says the apology was just words. Nothing has really changed.

Poulette spent four years at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, from 1947 to 1951. At just four years old, she was taught to forget her language and her culture.

Her daughter, Rosie Sylliboy, says her mothers trauma was passed on to her.

When we were growing up, we were never hugged, Sylliboy says. I love my mother, but I hate what she went through.

While the apology didnt mean a lot to her or Poulette, Sylliboy says the acknowledgment of the offence mattered.

A more meaningful moment for the community, Sylliboy believes, was last years special Treaty Day mass at St. Marys Basilica in Halifax. Poulette is Roman Catholic.

On Oct. 2, 2018, a Catholic archbishop knelt in front of a congregation of residential school survivors and descendants, and asked for forgiveness for the churchs involvement in the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School.

I cried through it, says Sylliboy.

A psychological study by Matthew Hornsey on public apology perception showed that non-verbal signs of remorse, such as kneeling and crying, had positive effects on perceived likelihood of reoffending, empathy, positive appraisals of the transgressor, and satisfaction with the apology. It also showed that signs of remorse did not significantly affect forgiveness.

A part of Sylliboys familys healing is reclaiming traditional songs and practices. She has also seen some priests practice traditions, like smudging at funerals. Thats really reconciliation, she says, though notes that their local church still doesnt allow drumming inside.

Psychologist Schumann said people can accept an apology without forgiveness.

In 2010, former Halifax mayor Peter Kelly apologized to former residents and descendants of Africville, a black community in Halifax demolished in the 1960s.

Rhonda Britton, pastor of New Horizons Baptist Church, was invited to Kellys apology ceremony. She was also invited to speak at the Halifax Regional Polices apology for street check practices that disproportionately affected black men.

Britton believes institutional apologies are meaningful when leaders meet with members of the community and listen to their demands. She says forgiveness is not for the institution apologizing, but for the community.

It was necessary, she says about the polices apology. When these things happen in the public sphere, it also gives you a leg to stand on.

When someone wants to make a complaint, Britton says, no one can deny the fact that (the institution) has admitted this is wrong.

Kador, the author of Effective Apology, says being complicit in systemic racism, and other kinds of oppressions, is something people dont want to admit to, but victims want their pain acknowledged.

The real power of institutional apologies, he says, is they require people to confront very difficult truths.

Karla Renic

Karla Renic is a multimedia journalist in her fourth year at the University of King's College. She freelances and works as the news editor at the Dal Gazette.

Have a story idea? Let us know

Read more from the original source:

What makes a good institutional apology? - The Signal

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on What makes a good institutional apology? – The Signal

First they came for the Uighurs: Chinas abuse of technology and their justifications – The Sociable

Posted: at 8:50 pm

Chinas abuse of technology in the State-sponsored persecution of Uighurs demonstrates what the Communist regime is capable of unleashing against the West.

China is attempting to export its global surveillance state along with its aggressive espionage war. https://t.co/ZdCBuzH2vf

Eric Garland (@ericgarland) December 2, 2019

Chinas abuse of advanced technology against its own people represents everything that can go wrong in the relationship between tech and society.

An Orwellian system of mass surveillance and predictive policing

Forced facial scanning of all citizens registering mobile phones, DNA phenotyping to profile an entire ethnic population for identification and detention, predictive policing by algorithm, massive surveillance, and censorship are just some of the many abuses Communist China is perpetrating against its own people, according to media reports old and new.

Every single one of these technologies can be used for good, and they are being used for good in other parts of the world from facial recognition for finding missing people and catching criminals to predictive algorithms that can help humanity create a better world.

It sounds like science fiction, but it isnt: China wants to use DNA to reconstruct images of peoples faces, creating a new way to track humans. To do this, Chinas police used samples from a repressed minority, the Uighurs, raising ethical questions. https://t.co/plLzhwu2Wr

The New York Times (@nytimes) December 3, 2019

China; on the other hand, is building technologies used for hunting people, according to University of Windsor adjunct assistant professor Mark Munsterhjelm via the New York Times.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) lead reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian recently wrote, Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention.

She added that leaked, classified Chinese government documents verified by linguists and counterintelligence officials revealed an Orwellian system of mass surveillance and predictive policing in the province of Xinjiang.

While this technologically dystopian madness is going on, anyone caught criticizing the government on social platforms face censorship or worse.

When a 17-year-old Muslim, American teenager posted a video that went viral on TikTok for calling out Chinas holocaust and concentration camps, her account was temporarily suspended before public outcry.

The news broke just as a TikTok executive was telling CNBC, We dont remove content based on sensitivities around China or other governments.

A US teenagers TikTok makeup tutorial condemning Chinas treatment of Uighurs has gone viral.

Read more on the story here: https://t.co/kdiFdsWjty pic.twitter.com/7BtnfpZwJW

Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 27, 2019

Meanwhile, pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong have forced the Chinese government to play its totalitarian hand by ordering media to delete any video related to the Hong Kong protests.

China discredits the protests as violent events incited by foreign elements eager to undermine Hong Kong and destroy Chinas one country, two systems policy, which was meant to ensure Hong Kongs position as a global financial center by guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech and the right to protest, according to the LA Times.

Chinas Muslim Uighurs face systematic oppression from their own government. An estimated one million of them are detained in camps https://t.co/0nlJEQLSxe pic.twitter.com/uzUfi5Y6kZ

The Economist (@TheEconomist) November 28, 2019

To make matters worse, the Chinese government is actively hunting down its Turkic, Muslim Uighur population by weaponizing facial recognition and DNA phenotyping technologies.

Once people belonging to the ethnic minority are rounded-up through predictive policing and other means, they are then sent to the camps, which have many epithets including, concentration camps, detention centers, reeducation camps, and prison camps, among others.

While all this abuse of technology is reportedly taking place within the borders of China, reports from the intelligence and defense communities suggest that the Communist government is actively seeking to weaponize these technologies abroad to change the course of geopolitics.

It appears that China is testing this technology out first on its own citizens, and every indication points towards international expansion, which it is happening now!

According to testimony in a recent Senate hearing, China is building a massive database on the vulnerabilities of hundreds of millions of Americans through the State-sponsored hacking of American institutions and infiltration of American universities and research centers.

If your child uses TikTok, theres a chance the Chinese Communist Party knows where they are, what they look like, what their voices sound like, and what theyre watching. Thats a feature TikTok doesnt advertise. Joshua Hawley, U.S. Senator https://t.co/TJ29VsIUT8

WAYNE JUNIUS OZMORE (@OzmoreWayne) November 22, 2019

And Senator Josh Hawley has been slamming TikTok, whos parent company ByteDance is based in Beijing, as a national security threat to the United States because of what the Chinese government can do with all the data collected by Americans recording themselves on the popular video app.

What better way to train your facial recognition systems to profile ethnic groups outside your own country than to simply let Americans record videos of themselves and use that data?

Add to that the fact thatChina has more data on the genetic sequencing of the US population than the United States has on its own population, and you can see how the Communist regime could be gathering the same type of data on Americans as it does on the Uighurs.

For the sake of being balanced, here we shall share Chinas counterarguments to the charges of massive abuse listed above (seeState-owned China Global Television Network documentary on terrorism in Xinjiang above).

First, they came for the Uighurs. Now, it looks as though they are coming for the West. The abuse of technology is plain to see from multiple sources.

At The Sociable, we look to inform, so that anyone who reads our content can empower themselves with the knowledge they seek.

Trust in yourself. Avoid echo chambers. Take everything with a grain of salt. Do your own research, and discern all truths, wherever they may lie.

How China steals American technology and a timeline of recent events

Read more:

First they came for the Uighurs: Chinas abuse of technology and their justifications - The Sociable

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on First they came for the Uighurs: Chinas abuse of technology and their justifications – The Sociable

Babasaheb worked endlessly to eliminate discrimination – The Hindu

Posted: at 8:50 pm

A large number of people gathered at Shivaji Park to observe Mahaparinirvan Divas on the occasion of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkars 63rd death anniversary on Friday.

The ground was divided into segmented spaces allotted for food and stalls selling books and various items like photos of Dr. Ambedkar and lord Buddha, calenders, necklaces and bracelets.

A huge statue of Dr. Ambedkar was positioned on top of a stage at one end of the ground, where followers stood patiently in long queues to get a chance to garland the sculpture.

Everyone present at the venue was in high spirits and the streets were bustling with drum beats and revolutionary slogans.

Meena Wahag (32), from Kalyan was at the venue with her husband to sell portraits of Dr. Ambedkar and lord Buddha. A Buddhist and avid follower of Dr. Ambedkar, Ms. Wahag said, Babasaheb Ambedkar has done a lot not just for Dalit groups but also for other minority communities. We come every year on this day to pay homage to this great man.

Ms. Wahag said earlier people from minority groups faced violence and oppression and were not allowed to board trains or touch water. Babasaheb worked endlessly towards eradicating discrimination against the oppressed, said Dwarika, another vendor at the venue.

Many socio-political and cultural groups used the occasion to make people aware of their agendas on political issues. Cultural groups, through their street plays, music and art, kept the visitors entertained and informed.

Members of Face of Ambedkarite Movement (FAM), a non-government organisation based in Mumbai, spoke about encouraging the involvement of youth through an illustrative medium. They put up a makeshift board made to look like a Facebook wall and encouraged passers-by, especially young people, to write messages on specific issues. They also collected a huge number of notebooks and pens from donors for distribution among the underprivileged.

We collect these items on December 5 and 6 and give them out on January 3, which is the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule. In the interim, we identify government schools and make a list of them, a representative of FAM said.

Many volunteers from several non-governmental organisations in the city contributed towards keeping the venue free of litter, especially the food court.

You have reached your limit for free articles this month.

Register to The Hindu for free and get unlimited access for 30 days.

Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day's newspaper in one easy-to-read list.

Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.

A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.

Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.

A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.

We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.

*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience.

Read the original post:

Babasaheb worked endlessly to eliminate discrimination - The Hindu

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on Babasaheb worked endlessly to eliminate discrimination – The Hindu

The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed – Inequality.org

Posted: at 8:50 pm

Two years after spilling 407,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the Keystone Pipeline erupted again. In November, a North Dakota portion of the pipeline leaked another 380,000 gallons adding to the millions of gallons of crude oil that have spilled from pipelines over the last decade, as Undark has reported.

As the climate crisis worsens, the fossil fuel industry has clearly messaged its apathy by continuing to pollute the planet.But these horrific leaks arent simply one-off incidents. They reveal a long history of oppression on communities of color and the planet.

Colonial economies have depended on the extraction of natural resources and the oppression of people of color as early as the 16th century. This process took many forms mining for gold and silver in the Global South, the creation ofplantations, and the enslavement of Black and Brown people.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, the author of As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice From Colonization to Standing Rock, notes how the 19th-century codification of racist ideologies, like Manifest Destiny and the Christian Doctrine of Discovery,allowed the U.S. to assume ultimate dominion over the lands of America.

These ideologies became the backbone of false moral and legal justifications of genocide and slavery, which provided the land and labor for massive extractive operations like the Gold Rush. As historian Howard Zinn states, the removal of Indigenous communities was necessary for the opening of the vast American lands to agriculture, to commerce, to markets, to money, to the development of modern capitalistic economy.

Nothing has changed today. The legacy of genocide and ecological destruction continues to live and thrive in the present-day global economy, thanks to the greed of extractive industries and the state power that protects them from community resistance.

In Honduras, water defenders in the community of Tocoa have been killed and imprisoned for organizing against mining companies. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaros right-wing neoliberal government is helping corporations with their deforestation and land grabs, which are displacing Indigenous communities in the Amazon. In the United States, water defenders organizing against the Dakota Access Pipeline were arrested and violently repressed by a militarized police presence protecting the pipelines. Meanwhile Indigenous protesters opposing the expansion of the leaking Keystone Pipeline are criminalized.

Unfortunately, this is only a minuscule list of examples. But as long the foundation of racism, and genocide is not addressed, corporations will continue to benefit from ecological destruction.

Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips have managed to become the top three companies responsible for the climate crisis we live today, thanks to neoliberal policies that have allowed them to displace Indigenous communities. And they dont act alone. They have plenty of accomplices in the financial sector.

According to a recent report from the Indigenous Environmental Network, 33 of the worlds largest banks have financed fossil fuel industries to the tune of $1.9 trillion since the 2016 Paris Agreement. JPMorgan Chase alone the largest fossil fuel financier by a wide margin poured $196 billion into these extractive projects, including fossil fuel expansion.

According to The Guardian, Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street manage a combined $300 billion in fossil fuel funding. Put together, all three managers are responsible for the management of nearly 10 billion barrels of crude oil alone, responsible for up to 900 million tons of CO2emissions.

The fight against the climate crisis has been going on for more than 500 years. After all, colonialism, slavery, and extraction are three faces of the same ogre capitalism that continues to devour our planet today.And recognizing these intersections is crucial. As researcher Adriana Gomez Bonilla writes in El Cambio Climatico: Alternativas Desde La Autonoma Zapatista,any climate action that doesnt connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities.

Indigenous communities have always considered the relationship between humans, living organisms and Earth to be sacred. From the mexica Tlaltecuhtli, the Lakota Unci Maka, and the Inca Pachamama to the Vedic Prithvi Mata and the Akan Aasase Yaa, virtually all Indigenous communities have always had a concept of Mother Earth as a living organism we must respect a harmonious relationship disrupted by capitalism and the greed for profit.

Even after centuries of oppression, Indigenous communities have protected, and cared for ecosystems, showing the path forward for treating the climate crisis we are facing today. Community approachesinformed by indigenous knowledge and local knowledge the UNs IPCC 2018 landmark report notes can accelerate the wide-scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming.

But using Indigenous knowledge to tackle the climate crisis isnt enough. Any climate solution must be centered on Indigenous liberation.

As we continue to address the climate crisis systematically, we cant turn a blind eye to the draconian legacy of genocide and slavery caused by the state and by extractive corporations. Any climate action must hold them accountable and prioritize the decolonization, land restoration and environmental self-determination of Indigenous communities.

Climate change is a symptom of a malevolent virus borne out of capitalism and colonialism. And to heal the planet, Indigenous liberation provides a cure.

See the rest here:

The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed - Inequality.org

Posted in Government Oppression | Comments Off on The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed – Inequality.org