IT'S AMAZING, THE WILL OF INSTINCT.

24 OCTOBER 2002:
IT’S AMAZING, THE WILL OF INSTINCT.

‘I cut off my arm to survive’

A lobster fisherman from
Maine in the US has told a BBC documentary on human instincts of the extraordinary
lengths he went to in order to preserve his own life:   Doug
Goodale cut off his own arm at the elbow in order to survive an accident
at sea.


    He had
become caught in a winch hauling lobster pots up from the sea floor, and
could not free himself.


    The power
of the winch left him hanging over the side of the boat, unable to either
free himself or clamber back aboard.


    ‘I did
it for my children’


    As the
boat was rocked by stormy weather, he believes it was only a last, desperate
instinct for self-preservation that kicked in to save him.


    He said:
“Nobody near you, no help, no radio, nobody to turn the radio off – that’s
it – you’re going to die.

    Somehow
he managed to haul himself back onto the deck, dislocating his shoulder
in the process.


    His motivation
was the image of his daughters appearing to him.


    “I don’t
know how to explain it to people, but I swear, climbing onto the boat were
my two girls.”


    However,
he was still trapped in the winch, bleeding heavily, and with no way of
getting free, his only option was to pick up a knife and cut through his
right arm.


    He then
managed to pilot his boat back into harbour to get medical help.


    He said:
“When my six-year-old tells me: ‘It doesn’t matter that you’ve only got
one arm – you’re here’.

    “Now
if you heard that from your kids, wouldn’t you take a knife and do the
same?”


    Survival
instincts are the theme of the first in a series of BBC documentaries starring
Professor Robert Winston.


    These
are abilities and reactions which are imprinted in us by millions of years
of evolution.


    Even
babies have the instinctive ability to spit out bitter-tasting food – which
may save them from eating poisonous food.


    And modern
phobias, say scientists, are simply left-overs from times when spiders
and snakes represented a genuine threat to life.


    From
the first years of life, humans develop a finely-tuned sense of “disgust”
which can protect them from items which might spread disease.

    And the
classic “fight or flight” response still works, with the first indication
of a threat launching swift brain activity to flood the body with adrenaline,
readying it for action.


    Human
instincts have been honed over 4.5 million years, and account for the natural
human preference for sweet or fatty foods.


    This
harks back, say experts, to millennia in which such food was scarce – humans
who craved it tended to thrive better than those who did not.


    It is
only in the past 100 years that food has become plentiful in any part of
the world.


    Human
Instinct will be broadcast on BBC One at 2100BST on Wednesday 23 October.

na

22 OCTOBER 2002

DEVENDRA
BANHART


Biography of Devendra Banhart
written by himself:

Born on May 30 1981, oh what
a time I had coming in. I was born in Texas. Stupid fucking boots. But
I like those boots, I wanna get a pair. Then , after a few years, i moved
to Caracas Venezuela, and I lived there, with my family, (we moved there
because my father was arrested and sent to jail) In Caracas, everything‚s
fucked, but I love my grandmother, whom fed whisky to me from her pinky,
paid me to touch my earlobes, and let me pull her elbow flab. As I first
became a teen-ager, my mother remarried and we moved to California, into
a canyon, Encinal Canyon. I began to play music. Then I moved to San Francisco
to go to an art school, There I lived with Jerry Elvis and Bob The Crippled
Comic. My first show was their wedding , I played my own adaptation of
How Great Though Art and Love me Tender. My next show was at Wazeima, an
ethiopean restaurant. I wonder why I want to tell you how about all the
shows ive played, I will not, the first two are the most significant, I
played many bad places, some good, some people I have played with are:
Black Hearts Procession,Microphones,Smog,Little Wings,Karl Blau,Vetiver,Flux
Information Sciences, The Lowdown,Young People, Old Time Relijun, Jerry
Lee Lewis 60th picnic party, and M.Gira, amongst many other faceless talents
, gay pirates.

I cant do this (too well)

I Devendra Banhart then moved
from san Francisco, to Los angeles, then to paris, then to San Francisco,
then to Los Angeles, then to New york, though, while In Los Angeles he
formed the Black Babies, so he can be Devendra Banhart or The Black Babies,
in New York, he is poor as shit , no, don‚t put that in , today , shit
man , its all coming apart , ive got no phone, news of getting kicked out
the squat , im trying to not let it get to me,blah blah blah)

Flutter away little flute.

In New york, he lives in
an old Salsa Club, it is a squat, a shot hole with a dead charm , as in
many people I know for a fact died there, today I found journals of the
boy who died there, he wanted to be an actor, I found his headshots too.
There is a room called the Helter Skelter room and its scary as shit. I
live there, there are no windows, there is no air, but its free.

For Devendra, he feels, that
Mississippi John Hurt, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Karen Dalton, Vashti
Bunyan, and Fred Neil are the most important musicians there ever was,
thank god for them.

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, HERO.

20 OCTOBER 2002: JOSEPH
E. STIGLITZ, HERO.

FROM THE
NEW YORK TIMES
:


October 19, 2002

Challenging the Growth
Gurus


By MICHAEL MASSING

As the chief economist of
the World Bank in the late 1990’s, Joseph E. Stiglitz got a firsthand look
at how policy was made at its sister institution, the International Monetary
Fund, and he was dismayed. Decisions, he said, were made on the basis of
ideology rather than sound economic reasoning.


    The fund
was made up of “third-rank students from first-rate universities,” as he
once put it. Frank discussion was discouraged, and developing countries
were expected to accept fund prescriptions without question. And those
prescriptions too often failed, leaving many nations sunk in poverty.

    The experience
convinced Mr. Stiglitz of the need to reassess the ingredients of growth.
As he wrote this year in “Globalization and Its Discontents,” “If the developed
countries were serious about paying more attention to the voices of the
developing countries, they could help fund a think tank ˜ independent from
the international economic organizations ˜ that would help them formulate
strategies and positions.”


    Now Mr.
Stiglitz himself has set up such an institute. The Initiative for Policy
Dialogue is at Columbia University’s School for International and Public
Affairs, where Mr. Stiglitz is a professor. It is bringing together economists,
political scientists and policy analysts from around the world to re-examine
the prevailing wisdom about development and to come up with alternative
strategies. “There’s not a Brookings or an American Enterprise Institute
for the developing world,” said Mr. Stiglitz, co-winner of the 2001 Nobel
Memorial Prize in Economic Science.


    It’s
an ambitious and controversial undertaking. Mr. Stiglitz is the I.M.F.’s
most visible critic, and the fund has made little secret of its disdain
for him. In a biting open letter posted on its Web site (www.imf.org),
Kenneth Rogoff, the fund’s director of research, calls Mr. Stiglitz’s ideas
about development “at best highly controversial, at worst snake oil.” His
“alternative medicines, involving ever more government intervention, are
highly dubious in many real world settings.”


    Undeterred,
Mr. Stiglitz is taking aim at the so-called Washington consensus, a package
of free-market, free-trade policies that, critics charge, the I.M.F. and
World Bank have imposed on third world nations. “We disagree with the World
Bank-I.M.F. idea that there’s one approach that’s right for all countries,”
Mr. Stiglitz said. Rather, he said, there is a range of policies that must
be selected based on conditions in each country.


    Mr. Stiglitz’s
effort to rewrite the textbook on development is being conducted through
14 panels that are re-evaluating such critical issues as bankruptcy, poverty,
privatization and trade. For each a dozen or so specialists from the Northern
and Southern Hemispheres are meeting to compare the experiences of different
countries and ponder what policies have worked where. The objective of
each group is to produce a series of papers that will provide a fresh look
at the components of growth.


    But Mr.
Stiglitz hopes his institute will be more than a paper exercise. He has
accused the I.M.F. of acting like a “colonial ruler” and stifling discussion
in developing countries, so in addition to the study groups, he is organizing
forums in some countries. The goal is to expand the policy debate beyond
the usual elite of government officials and business executives to include
civic leaders, activists, academics and journalists. So far, forums have
been held in Ethiopia, Moldova, Nigeria, the Philippines, Serbia and Vietnam.
At the Nigeria session a key theme was the need to raise living standards
in the countryside, where most Nigerians live. Soon after, Mr. Stiglitz
recalled, Nigeria’s agricultural minister obtained more money for agriculture.

    Mr. Stiglitz
spends about a third of his time advising foreign governments, providing
alternatives to the ideas of the I.M.F. He has been to Argentina four times
in the last four years and recently visited Bulgaria at the invitation
of that country’s president.


    “What’s
amazing,” Mr. Stiglitz said, “is how little information is available that
is disinterested and balanced. In many cases the discussion has been very
general. For instance, it’s said that countries need good corporate governance.
But what does that mean?”


    Finding
the answers to such questions is the goal of his institute’s study panels.
The panel on privatization, for example, is looking at the experiences
governments have had in selling state-owned enterprises. Gerard Roland,
a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley and
co-chairman of the panel, said that the fund had pushed governments to
give away the assets of such companies “as quickly as possible.” If those
assets don’t immediately end up in the right hands, the reasoning goes,
marketplace incentives will ensure that they eventually do, with less skilled
owners selling to more able ones. But in Russia and other countries that
tried this, Mr. Roland said, the new owners quickly became oligarchs who
blocked future reforms. The outcome was rampant corruption and a sharp
decline in output.


    Poland
initially planned to have a similar program, Mr. Roland continued, but
it was blocked by the Polish parliament. So privatization there proceeded
more gradually. As a result Polish enterprises ended up with more seasoned
owners, and its economy grew more briskly. By comparing such experiences,
Mr. Roland’s group is trying to determine which approaches work best in
which circumstances.


    “When
the I.M.F. says that these are the particular policies you should follow,”
Mr. Roland said, “those policies often aren’t thought through and don’t
have a scientific basis. Policies have to be adjusted to each country’s
environment.”


    Similarly,
the panel on trade is examining the effect of efforts to lower trade barriers.
“The I.M.F. and World Bank are pushing across-the-board trade liberalization,”
said Dani Rodrik, a professor of economics at Harvard University and co-chairman
of the committee. In reality, he added, “Trade reform is something that
has to be tailored to each country’s circumstances, taking into account
its geographic advantage, its institutional needs, its relations with its
main trading partners.” He added: “What are the best policies to encourage
foreign investment? Is this good for all countries, or are some countries
throwing away resources through tax subsidies? And how can trade policy
be targeted to reduce poverty? We’re not trying to present a particular
take but to summarize and describe what we know about these issues.”

    Such
an approach troubles Jagdish Bhagwati, a colleague of Mr. Stiglitz’s at
Columbia and a strong advocate of free trade. “Joe assumes that there’s
a monolithic view at the fund and the bank, but that’s not the case,” he
said. The whole idea that there’s a Washington consensus that promotes
a one-size-fits-all policy is absurd, he said, adding, “In practice shoe
sizes are bound to vary and do. The real choice is between wearing shoes
and going barefoot. Socialism didn’t work. In countries like India, Egypt,
Brazil and China, the market was absent. The debate is moving away from
knee-jerk interventionism and excessive controls.”


    Mr. Stiglitz’s
institute, Mr. Bhagwati went on, is not including people “who really have
alternative points of view.” Its trade group, he said, “has none of the
big trade people,” including himself. “The Initiative for Policy Dialogue
is in danger of turning into the Initiative for Policy Monologue.”


    Mr. Rodrik
disputed this. Of the five economists from developed nations invited to
join his panel, he said, two ˜ Gene Grossman of Princeton and Rob Feenstra
of the University of California at Davis ˜ are former students of Mr. Bhagwati.
(Mr. Feenstra declined to join because of time constraints; Mr. Grossman
has yet to decide.) The three other economists “are also utterly mainstream,”
Mr. Rodrik said. Mr. Bhagwati himself may be asked to join the group. “We
have no intention of keeping certain views off the table,” Mr. Rodrik added.
“That would defeat the purpose.”


    The institute’s
architects deny any inclination to turn the clock back to an era of state
farms and five-year plans. Thomas Heller, a professor of international
law at Stanford University and co-chairman of the committee studying the
rule of law, said that while it has become clear that the wholesale withdrawal
of government from the economy is ill-considered, no one would deny the
value of the market. The institute, he said, “is attempting to make a series
of adjustments without getting countries to go back to the state-heavy
systems of the past. We don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath
water.”


    Is the
institute likely to have any impact? That depends on how confrontational
it becomes, said Robert Solow, an emeritus professor of economics at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A recipient of the Nobel in economic
science who has long argued that governments must be prepared to intervene
in the market, Mr. Solow said the idea that a Washington consensus forces
cookie-cutter-type policies on every country is overdrawn. “If you look
at the way the World Bank and I.M.F. operate,” he said, “you will see that
they have regional and country specialists who know their way around. When
they deal with a country, they study it very knowledgeably, and their prescriptions
do pay attention to local conditions.”


    On the
other hand, he said, I.M.F. programs “do tend to have an awful lot in common,
whether they’re aimed at Turkey or Thailand.” So the institute’s effort
to look at how different policies work in different environments could
prove useful, Mr. Solow said. If, however, it “starts with the notion that
it’s going to turn everything upside down, that it’s going to be the dark
destroyer of the I.M.F. and the World Bank, then it won’t succeed.`

    Rather,
he said, the institute should try “to bring around the international financial
institutions, to present a reasonable case and induce them to move a little
bit.”

THE FIRST WORLD HORROR THAT IS WHERE I COME FROM! AND THEY DON'T EVEN MENTION THE OZONE POLLUTION!

19 OCTOBER 2002: THE
FIRST WORLD HORROR THAT IS WHERE I COME FROM! AND THEY DON’T EVEN MENTION
THE OZONE POLLUTION!

FROM THE
L.A. TIMES
:


 

Swallowed by Urban Sprawl

Relocating to Inland Empire
puts people in the midst of what they fled,


researchers find.

By Scott Gold and Massie
Ritsch, Times Staff Writers

RIVERSIDE — The Inland Empire,
overwhelmed by unchecked growth and plagued by


helter-skelter development,
is by far the nation’s worst example of urban


sprawl, a team of researchers
said Thursday.


    For 20
years, the price of homes closer to the coast has skyrocketed, forcing


hundreds of thousands of
families to search inland for affordable housing. Many


landed ˜ in Riverside or
San Bernardino, Corona or Ontario ˜ with the hope that


they had left behind the
ills of urban life.

     
Instead, the study says, they have found themselves in a far-flung dystopia,
a


region whose schools
and roads cannot keep up with the number of new residents,


a sea of strip malls
and chain restaurants, all surrounded by just as much


traffic, pollution and
congestion as they confronted in the city.


    The three-year
study was conducted by researchers from Rutgers and Cornell


universities and released
by a Washington coalition of organizations interested


in growth, known as Smart
Growth America.

    The report
faulted the Inland Empire for everything from its lack of economic


and social cores ˜ two-thirds
of the massive region lives at least 10 miles from


a central business district
˜ to a haphazard, poorly connected road system that


makes walking and bicycling
perilous.


    Even
the region’s high number of traffic fatalities ˜ 49 of every 100,000 people


die each year in car crashes
˜ is due to endless hours spent negotiating


highways and packed, high-speed
arterials, the study concluded.


    Barbara
McCann, a spokeswoman for Smart Growth America, said the Inland Empire

fits the dreaded metropolitan
tag: “There is no ‘there’ there.”


    Home
building and economic development organizations, which have defeated


several recent attempts
to limit growth in the Inland Empire, disputed the


study’s results.

    “I would
call it a blatant joke,” said Borre Winckel, executive director of the


Building Industry Assn.’s
Riverside County chapter. “I am not impressed by it.”


    On Thursday
afternoon in Chino Hills, on the western rim of San Bernardino

County, scores of people
were having lunch at tables assembled in front of what


passes for a central gathering
place ˜ a giant strip mall called Crossroads


Marketplace. It features
a Costco, a Sport Chalet, a mattress store and an


enormous Lowe’s Home Improvement
Warehouse emblazoned with a slogan: “More of


Everything.”

    At one
of the tables, Clysta Keller, 57, sat reading a book. Keller said she and


her family moved from Orange
County to nearby Mira Loma 20 years ago after her


husband retired from the
military, largely because they could afford a nice home

there on a third of an acre.
Back then, it was a quaint country home. Now it is


in the midst of perpetual
construction and giant warehouse operations.


    The Inland
Empire, weary of being a dormitory for the rest of Southern


California, has tried to
create more local jobs, and Keller has one of them, in


Lowe’s administration office.
It still takes her at least 35 minutes to drive 17


miles to work.

    Like
many others, she said she found it difficult to reconcile how there can
be


so much stuff in the Inland
Empire, yet so little to do. Even a highly

anticipated soccer academy
that was built near her home failed because of a lack


of attendance, she said.

    “I
feel most sorry for the children growing up here,” she said, recalling
the


difficulty she had finding
things for her children to do when they were younger.


    “The
politicians like the idea of more people moving here. But they aren’t


taking care of the schools,
or the traffic ˜ or even thinking of things for the


children to do.”

Using a ‘Sprawlometer’

The Oxnard-Ventura region
ranks ninth in urban sprawl, according to the study.


    The Los
Angeles-Long Beach, San Diego and Sacramento metropolitan regions all


registered slightly better
than 100, or average, on the “sprawlometer.”


    Such
growth is difficult to measure, the researchers pointed out. It is akin,


they said, to former U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous view on


pornography ˜ it’s hard
to define, but we know it when we see it. Previous


studies have typically used
limited and subjective data to analyze it, often


relying almost entirely
on density as their primary yardstick.

    In the
new study, researchers spent three years developing a four-category


measure of sprawl.

    In 83
metropolitan regions representing half of the nation’s population, the


researchers used 22 demographic
databases to calibrate density of development;


the blend of homes, jobs
and services; the accessibility of streets; and the


strength of downtown areas
and other “activity centers.”


    To the
cynic, it might seem that each category was devised atop a bluff in

Temecula, where the population
doubled between 1990 and 2000, or along


California 71, home to rows
and rows of Spanish-tile-roofed homes built with


stunning efficiency.

    The Riverside-San
Bernardino region scored poorly in every category except


density of development,
in which the region was below average ˜ a vestige of


older developments that
featured larger lots.


    The
result: Riverside-San Bernardino scored 14.2 on the sprawlometer. A score
of


100 is average, researchers
said, and the lower the score, the worse the

attendant problems are.

    The
Inland Empire was the only metropolitan area that scored lower than 45.
It


far outpaced the second-
and third-place finishers, both in North Carolina.


    “It’s
a pretty bad commentary,” said Philip Lohman, executive director of the


Los Angeles-based Endangered
Habitats League, an environmental organization that


helped with the study. Lohman
spent his teenage years in Redlands, in San


Bernardino County, then
earned three degrees at UC Riverside before moving to


Lakewood. “We can’t undo
the damage that’s been done. All we can do is protect

what remains,” he said.

Looking for Solutions

Riverside County Supervisor
Tom Mullen said such an effort is well underway. For


three years, Mullen and
other Inland Empire leaders have pieced together what


they say is the nation’s
most ambitious metropolitan development plan. It


includes, Mullen said, a
$13-billion plan for four new highways, including a new


connector to Orange County,
and a proposal to set aside 550,000 acres of open


space and animal habitat
in western Riverside County.


    “The
important thing is that we recognized that there was a serious problem
and

that we needed to find an
innovative way to deal with it,” Mullen said. “We know


it is out there. And we
are trying to fix it.”


    Colleen
Smethers, a retired nurse practitioner in Mira Loma, doesn’t buy it. She


said the Inland Empire is
being built backward ˜ houses first, then stores, then


infrastructure such as roads
and schools.


    “They
call it the blueprint for the future,”
Smethers said. “They think we
are


so stupid that we believe
it. That’s the part that’s so hard to swallow. We live

here in this little country
place, supposedly out of the city. And we have big


rig traffic on my street….
We are choking out here.”


    In Oxnard,
a primary section of the metropolitan area that ranked ninth in the


study, several residents
defended their lifestyle Thursday ˜ and the “small


town” atmosphere they say
exists in their community.


    Standing
in front of the home that he and his wife bought last year in Oxnard’s


Aldea del Mar tract, Jeff
Starr, a critical-care nurse, cited the positive side


of growth: People have some
elbow room, some distance between themselves and

other people, droning freeways
and belching buses.


    “You
work in a high-stress job and you come home and you don’t want to be


bothered by noise and commotion
outside,” Starr said.


    Starr’s
mother lives in Riverside County, and “every time we drive somewhere, we


see stuff that wasn’t there
the time before,” he said.


    But,
he asked, “What are you going to do? People gotta live somewhere.”

na

18 OCTOBER 2002

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