GOP Senator Wants To Know If Facebook Is Biased Against Conservatives

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Sen. John Thune( R-S.D .) penned a letter to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday requesting information about how the company selects which news stories to feature in its trending news segment, following a report alleging employees intentionally inhibited conservative news and standpoints.

On Monday, Gizmodo reported that, according to a former Facebook contractor, the site’s news curators regularly avoided topics of particular interest to a conservative audience( such as the 2013 IRS scandal or the annual Conservative Political Action Conference) from appearing in the site’s popular “trending topics” section. The report also claims that curators were instructed to insert news narratives into this feed even if they weren’t organically trending according to the site’s algorithm.

Facebook denied the report, telling there is “no evidence” to back up the contractor’s claims.

“Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality, ” wrote Tom Stocky, Facebook’s vice president of search. “These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another.”

Thune, the chairman of the Senate’s Commerce Committee, wasn’t very satisfied with Facebook’s reply and sent a letter to Zuckerberg demanding further details on how the platform curates its featured news.

“Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news, ” Thune said in a statement. “Any attempt by a neutral and all-inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political deliberation is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”

The letter contains a series of questions for Zuckerberg regarding how Facebook’s trending news is curated. Thune asked who approves what content is posted, whether the site’s curators had “manipulated” the “trending topics” section by excluding conservative-leaning tales and what steps the site will take to investigate the claims of bias. Thune also requested details on the guidelines the site use for identifying its trending narratives and for a list of all narratives “removed from or injected into” the section.

Read the full letter here .

A Facebook spokesperson corroborated the company had received Thune’s letter and is reviewing the questions posed by the senator.

“We have seen accusations that people did not honor the intent of those guidelines, ” the spokesperson said. “Although the allegations are anonymous, we take them severely. We are continuing to investigate whether any violations took place. As we investigate, we will also keep reviewing our operational practices around Trending Topics — and if we find they are inadequate, we will take immediate steps to fix them.”

Thune’s letter quoth the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction over communications and customer services as the basis for his probe. However, it’s unclear how Congress could intervene with Facebook’s curation practices should Thune’s probe turn out any evidence of bias.

Thune hasn’t always been on the side of legislating “balance” in the media. In 2007, the senator introduced a bill that sought to kill the Federal Communications Commission’s Fairness Doctrine.

That policy, first established in the mid-2 0th century, necessitated radio and television stations to “afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.” In 1987, then-President Ronald Reagan vetoed an effort to codify the policy into law. Two decades later, Democratic lawmakers sought to revive that endeavour in an apparent response to the rise of talk radio stations dominated by conservative personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

In a 2007 RealClearPolitics op-ed, Thune said the policy “created a chilling consequence among broadcasters when it came to reporting controversial topics.”

“Giving power to a few to regulate fairness in the media is a recipe for disaster on the scale that George Orwell so aptly envisioned, ” he wrote.

The FCC eventually dropped the policy in 2011. Thune’s office didn’t immediately return a request for remark.

Meanwhile, Washington Democrat seemed unconcerned by the Gizmodo report.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it was good that Facebook clarified the professional practice, but talked more about people’s tendencies to consume news that supports their existing beliefs.

“Obviously, we were pleased to see the statement from Facebook inducing clearly articulated this is not something that they engaged in, ” Earnest said in his daily briefing. “The media environment, the route it’s structured now, certainly stimulates it easy for any someone to surround themselves with voices and perspectives and opinions that they share. The president has given a number of speeches where he’s talked about how important it is for citizens across the country to seek out different opinions, to challenge their own assumptions.”

The White House spokesman said nothing about a need for Congress to get involved in Facebook’s private business matters.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid( D-Nev .) was asked on Tuesday whether he thought it was appropriate for the Senate to analyse Facebook.

Reid, who asked to have the issues to repeated twice, said he was unaware of the controversy.

“I’ve never heard anything about this and, at this stage, don’t care, ” Reid said.

Jennifer Bendery and Matt Fuller contributed reporting . This post has been updated with farther remark from Facebook .

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Can We Eventually Admit It Was Always About Sexism, Never Emails?

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It was never really about the emails.

Remember the private email server and account that Hillary Clinton used to conduct official State Department business during her tenure as Secretary of State? Of course you do! It was the subject of months of Congressional investigations, numerous tweets from Donald Trump, front page headlines, and calls to lock her up! But her emails became a widely-circulated meme.

So , what happened when it came out that Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct government business and was hacked during his time as governor of Indiana? Predictably, a whole lot of nothing.

Theres no comparison whatsoever, Pence told CNN last Friday, when questioned about the parallels between his personal email account and Clintons.( Pence had previously praised the FBI on more than one occasion for investigating Clinton .)

No one is arguing that Pence should be taken down for sending emails about government business on his AOL account after all, neither Clinton nor Pence have been saw engaging in any criminal activity.

And these two incidents were not exactly the same. One could say that using a private email account as Secretary of State especially given that the State Department explicitly deters the use of personal email accounts meant that Clintons email account became a big red flag, and therefore became a national issue during her presidential campaign.

But looking at the two cases side by side, its impossible not to take note of the disparate reactions and wonder the cause.

In October, a poll from Public Policy Polling found that 84 percent of Trump advocates believed that Clinton should be sent to prison, while 40 percentage believed she was an actual demon. Yet simply three short months later, a poll from the same polling company found that 42 percent of Trump supporters believed that President Trump should be allowed to have a private email server.

And when it was reported in January that Trump senior consultants Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer and Jared Kushner were using email accounts through a private RNC email system, it was a virtual non-issue.

The headlines have faded, the investigations turned up nothing, and Clinton is not locked away shes attending Broadway displays and hiking in Chappaqua. But the email( non) scandal remains a potent emblem of people worst instincts about Clinton. Shes untrustworthy. Shes conniving. Shes power-hungry. Shes a liar. Shes corrupt. She thinks shes above the law.

In 1693, the person or persons of Salem had witches to channel their rage and distrust of women towards. In 2016, Americans had Hillary Clinton.

The outsize vitriol that explosion in reaction to Clintons private email server was always more of a symptom than a cause. Before the FBI began looking into her emails, Clinton had weathered decades of criticism much of it gendered. Her facial expressions, hairstyles, makeup( or absence thereof) , and her last name were always considered fair game. She was both told her success was thanks to her husband, and simultaneously taken to task for her husbands moral and political failings. When she held a job, she was loved. When she asked for a chore, she was hated.

So by the time the email scandal erupted, the public was already primed to look at Clinton with a base level of distrust and dislike. Many on the right( and some on the far left) already wanted to lock her up. The emails simply dedicated them a tangible reason to chant about it in public spaces.

On the day that the narrative about Pennies email breach, Clinton and her longtime advisor Huma Abedin were on a plane. A fellow passenger snapped a photo of her, afterwards realizing that in that moment Clinton was reading the front page of USA Today, which bore the headline, Pence Employed Personal Email In Office.

That is the face of the status of women who has been held accountable many times over for her mistakes while her male contemporaries are consistently given the benefit of the doubt, skating by on the promise of their innate worthiness.

But her emails permitted thousands to justify a burning hatred for one instead conventional female legislator. But his emails? Theyre already forgotten.

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Isis is as much an offshoot of our global civilisation as Google


In the wake of terror attacks, and as Europe unravels, it feels as if we live in divided periods. But civilisation is more united than ever. The challenges facing the future climate change, AI, biotechnology will only bring us closer

Recent events in the Middle East and Europe seem to breathe fresh life into the conflict of civilisations thesis. Western incursions into the Middle East have triggered an Islamic backlash that has driven millions of Muslim refugees westwards and inspired terrorist attacks from Orlando to Nice; now the EU is unravelling as European voters abandon multicultural dreams in favour of xenophobic local identities. Allegedly, this has happened because the west has chosen to ignore the deep logic of history. According to the clash of civilisations thesis, humankind has always been is split into diverse civilisations whose members view the world in different and often irreconcilable styles. These incompatible world view stimulate conflicts between civilisations inevitable, and these conflicts in turn fuel long-term historical processes. Just as in nature different species fight for survival, so throughout history civilisations are systematically clashed, and merely the fittest have survived. Those who overlook this grim fact do so at their peril.

The clash of civilisations thesis has far-reaching political implications. Its supporters contend that any endeavor at reconciliation among the west and the Muslim world is doomed to failure. They further maintain that the EU can work only if it renounces the multicultural fallacy in favour of an unabashed western identity. In the long run, only one culture can survive the unforgiving tests of natural selection, and if the EU refuses to save western civilization from Islamic State and its ilk, Britain had better go it alone.

Though widely held, this thesis is mislead. Isis may indeed pose a radical challenge, but the civilisation it challenges is a global civilisation rather than a uniquely western phenomenon. Not for nothing has Isis managed to unite Iran with the United States, and to make rare common ground between Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. And even Isis, for all its medieval rhetoric, is grounded in contemporary global culture far more than in seventh-century Arabia; it caters to the fears and hopes of alienated, postmodern youth rather than to those of medieval shepherds and merchants. In pure organisational words, Isis has more in common with a large corporation like Google than with the Umayyad caliphate. The surest sign of a real clash of civilisations is reciprocal incomprehension. Isis, in contrast, sees its enemies only too well otherwise, its propaganda would not have been so effective. It is better, hence, to see Isis as an errant outgrowth of the global culture we all share, rather than as a branch of some mysterious alien tree.

Crucially, the analogy between history and biology that underpins the conflict of civilisations thesis is false. Human groups including human civilisations are basically different from animal species, and historic conflicts differ greatly from natural selection processes. Animal species have objective identities that suffer for thousands of generations. Whether you are a chimpanzee or a gorilla depends on your genes rather than your notions, and different genes dictate diverse social behaviour. Chimpanzees live in mixed groups of males and females. They compete for power by building coalitions of supporters among both sexualities. Among gorillas, in contrast, a single dominant male establishes a harem of females, and usually expels any adult male that might challenge his position. As far as we know, the same social systems have characterised chimps and gorillas not only in recent decades, but for hundreds of thousands of years.

You find nothing like that among humans. Yes, human groups may have distinct social systems, but these are not genetically ascertained, and they seldom endure for more than a few centuries. Think of 20th-century Germans, for example. In fewer than 100 years, the Germans organised themselves into six most varied systems: the Hohenzollern empire, the Weimar republic, the Third Reich, Communist East Germany, the federal republic of West Germany, and finally democratic reunited Germany. Of course they kept their language and love of beer. But is there some unique German essence that recognise their country from all other nations, and that has remained unchanged from Wilhelm II to Angela Merkel? And if you do come up with something, was it also there back in the working day of Goethe, of Martin Luther and of Frederick Barbarossa?

What will happen when computers replace people in an increasing number of jobs? Alex Proyass I, Robot from 2004 Photo: Allstar

The Preamble of the European Constitution( 2004) begins by stating that it describes inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, democracy, equality, freedom and the rule of law. This may easily give one the impression that European civilisation is defined by these values. Countless speeches and documents depict a direct line from ancient Athenian democracy to the present-day EU, celebrating 2,500 years of European freedom and republic. This is reminiscent of the proverbial blind man taking hold of an elephants tail and concluding that an elephant is a kind of brush. Athenian democracy was a half-hearted experiment that survived for scarcely 200 years in a small corner of the Balkans. If European civilisation for the last 25 centuries has been defined by republic and human rights, what are we to build of Sparta and Julius Caesar, the Crusaders and Conquistadores, the Inquisition and the slave trade, Louis XIV and Goebbels, Lenin and Mussolini?

European civilisation is anything Europeans stimulate of it, just as Christianity is anything Christians make of it. And they have made remarkably different things of it over the centuries. Human groups are defined more by the changes they undergo than by any continuity, but they nevertheless manage to create for themselves ancient identities thanks to their storytelling abilities. No matter what revolutions they survive, they can weave old and new into a single yarn. Even an individual may knit revolutionary personal changes into a coherent life story: I am that person who was once a socialist, but became a capitalist; I was born in Senegal, and now live in France; I wedded, then got divorced; I had cancer, and then got well again.

Similarly, a human group such as the Germans may come to define itself by the very changes it has lived through: Once “were in” Nazis, but we have learned our lesson, and now we are peaceful democrats. You dont need to look for some unique German essence that showed itself first in Hitler and then in Merkel: this revolutionary transformation itself constructs the Germans who they are.

Isis, too, may uphold an allegedly unchanging Muslim identity, but their story of Islam is a brand new tale. Yes, they used some venerable Muslim texts and traditions to concoct it, but if I bake a cake from flour, oil and sugar that have been sitting in my pantry for the past two months, does it mean the cake itself is two months old? Conversely, those who dismiss Isis as un-Islamic or even anti-Islamic are equally mistaken: Islam has no DNA. Just as with Christianity, Islam is whatever Muslims make of it.

Isis wrecked the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria. Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/ Tass

Yet there is an even deeper change distinguishing human groups from animal species. Species often split, but never merge. About seven million years ago, chimpanzees and gorillas had common ancestors. This single ancestral species split into two populations that eventually ran their separate, evolutionary styles. Once this happened, there was no going back. Since individuals belonging to different species cannot make fertile offspring together, species can never merge. Gorillas cant merge with chimps, giraffes cant merge with elephants, and puppies cant merge with cats.

Human tribes, in contrast, tend to coalesce over time into larger and larger groups. Modern Germans were created from the merger of Saxons, Prussians, Swabians and Bavarians, which not so long ago wasted little love on one another.The French were created from the merger of Franks, Normans, Bretons, Gascons and Provencals. Meanwhile across the Channel, English, Scots, Welsh and Irish gradually came together( willingly or not) to form Britons. In the not too distant future, Germans, French and Britons might yet merge into Europeans.

Mergers dont always last, as people in London, Edinburgh and Brussels are well aware these days. Brexit may well initiate the simultaneous unravel of both the EU and the UK. But in the long run, historys direction is clear-cut. Ten thousand years ago humankind was divided into countless isolated tribes. With each passing millennium, these merged into larger and larger groups, making fewer and fewer distinct civilisations. In recent generations the few remaining civilisations have been merging into a single global community. Political and ethnic divisions suffer, but they do not undermine the fundamental unity. Indeed, some divisions are attained possible merely by an over-arching common structure.


The process of human unification has taken two distinct sorts: weak heterogeneous unification and strong homogeneous unification. The weaker heterogeneous sort involves creating ties between previously unrelated groups. The groups may continue to have different beliefs and practices, but are no longer independent of one another. From this perspective, even war is a bond perhaps the strongest bond of all. Ten thousand years ago , no tribe in America had any quarrel with Middle Eastern foes, and no African clan bore grudges towards any European. In contrast, during the second world war, people born on the coast of the Mississippi went to their demises on Pacific islands and European grasslands, while recruits from the heart of Africa fell opposing among French vineyards and Alpine snows.

Historians often argue that globalisation reached a first peak in 1913, then went into a long deterioration during the era of the world wars and the cold war, and recuperated merely after 1989. They fear that new conflicts may again set globalisation into reverse gear. This may be true of economic globalisation, but it ignores the different but equally important dynamics of military globalisation. War spreads notions, technologies and people far more quickly than commerce. War also makes people far more interested in one another.Never had the US been more closely in touch with Russia than during the cold war, when every cough in a Moscow corridor send people scrambling up and down Washington staircases. People care far more about their foes than about their trade partners. For every US film about Thailand, there are probably 20 about Vietnam. The global war on terror simply continues the process of military globalisation.

Photograph: Benoit Tessier/ Reuters

Nowadays, the global unity of conflict is perhaps most apparent on the internet, where Isis and the drug cartels are scratching shoulders with Google and Facebook, and YouTube offers funny cat videos alongside instructions on how to build bombs. Islamic fanatics, murderous drug dealers and geeky hackers dont exist on unrelated planets; they share the same global cyberspace. All are thrilled by the blockchain technology that gave us the bitcoin; all count on easy accessibility via ubiquitous smartphones, and all are antagonised by national governments attempting to wrest control of the net.

Yet the world of the early 21 st century has gone way beyond the heterogeneous unity of conflict. People across the globe are not only influenced by each other, they increasingly share identical beliefs and practices. A thousand years ago, planet Earth was home to dozens of different political models. In Europe you could find feudal principalities vying with independent city states and minuscule theocracies. The Muslim world had its caliphate, claiming universal sovereignty, but also experimented with kingdoms, emirates and sultanates. The Chinese empire believed itself to be the sole legitimate political entity, while to its north and west tribal confederacies fought each other with mirth. India and south-east Asia contained a kaleidoscope of regimes, whereas polities in America, Africa and Australasia ranged from tiny hunter-gatherer bands to sprawling empires. No wonder even neighbouring human groups had difficulty agreeing on diplomatic practices , not to mention international laws. Each society had its own political paradigm, and saw it difficult to understand let alone respect alien political concepts.

Today, in contrast, a single political paradigm is accepted everywhere. The planet is divided between nearly 200 sovereign countries, which generally agree on the same diplomatic protocols and on common international laws. Sweden, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay are all marked on our world maps as the same kind of colourful shapes; they are all members of the UN; and despite myriad differences they are all recognised as monarch states enjoying similar rights and privileges. Indeed, they share many more political ideas and practices, including at least a token belief in representative bodies, universal suffrage and human rights. When Israelis and Palestinians, Russians and Ukrainians, or Kurds and Turks court global public opinion, they all use the same discourse of human rights, state sovereignty and international law.

The world may be peppered with various types of failed countries, but it knows merely one paradigm for a successful country. Global politics follows the Anna Karenina principle: healthy nations are all alike, but every failed nation fails “in ones own” way, by missing this or that ingredient of the dominant political package. Isis stands out in its complete rejection of this package, and its attempt to establish an entirely different kind of political entity a universal caliphate. But it is unlikely to succeed precisely for this reason. Numerous guerrilla forces and terror organisations have managed to establish new countries or subdue existing ones, but they have always done so by accepting the fundamental principles of the global political order. Even the Taliban sought international recognition as the legitimate government of the sovereign country of Afghanistan. No group rejecting the principles set out in global politics has so far gained lasting control of a significant territory.


In pre-modern times, humen experimented not only with diverse political blueprints, but with a mind-boggling variety of economic models. Russian boyars , Hindu maharajas, Chinese mandarins and Amerindian tribal chiefs had very different ideas about fund and taxation, and none was even well informed the existence of such a thing as the economy. Nowadays, in contrast, almost everybody believes in somewhat different differences on the same capitalist topic, and we are all cogs within a single global production line. Whether you live in Mongolia, New Zealand or Bolivia, your daily routines and economic fortunes depend on the same economic hypothesis, the same corporations and banks, and the same currents of capital. When ministers of finance or bank directors from China, Russia, Brazil and India meet, they have a common language, and can easily understand and sympathise with their equivalents woes.

When Isis subdued large parts of Syria and Iraq, it murdered tens of thousands of people, demolished archaeological sites, toppled statues and systematically destroyed the emblems of previous regimes and of western culture influence. Yet when Isis fighters entered the banks and discovered hoards of US dollars covered with the faces of American presidents and English slogans praising American political and religion ideals, they did not burn these dollars. For the dollar bill is universally venerated across all political and religion divides. Though it has no intrinsic value you cannot eat or drink a dollar bill trust in the dollar and in the wisdom of the Federal Reserve is so firm it is shared even by Islamic fundamentalists, Mexican drug lords and North Korean tyrants.

Doctor all over the word will dispense similar medicines made by the same narcotic companies Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Yet the homogeneity of contemporary humanity is most apparent when it comes to our view of the natural environment and of the human body. If you fell sick in 1016, it mattered a great deal where you lived. In Europe, the resident clergyman would probably tell you that you had made God angry, and that in order to regain your health, you should donate something to the church, make a pilgrimage to a sacred site, and pray fervently for Gods forgiveness. Alternatively, the village witch might explain that a demon had possessed you, and that she could cast the demon out employing song, dance and the blood of a black cockerel. In the Countries of the middle east, doctors brought up on classical traditions might explain that your four bodily humours were out of balance, and you could harmonise them anew with a proper diet and foul-smelling potions. In India, Ayurvedic experts would offer their own theories concerning the balance between the three bodily components known as doshas , and recommend a therapy of herbs, massages and exercisings. Chinese physicians, Siberian shamans, African witch doctors, Amerindian medication humen every empire, kingdom and tribe had its own traditions and experts, each espousing different opinions about the human body and the nature of sickness, and each offering its own cornucopia of rituals, concoctions and remedies. Some of them worked astonishingly well; others were little short of a death penalty. The one thing that united European, Chinese, African and American medical conditions was that everywhere at least a third of people was dead before adulthood, and nowhere did median life expectancy outstrip 40.

Today, if you are taken ill, it builds far less change where you live. In Toronto, Tokyo, Tehran or Tel Aviv, you will be taken to similar-looking hospitals, where you will satisfy doctors who learned the same scientific hypothesis in not-too-different medical colleges. They will follow identical protocols and use identical exams to reach very similar diagnosis. They will then dispense similar medicines made by the same drug companies. There are still some minor culture changes, but Canadian, Japanese, Iranian and Israeli physicians hold much the same views about the human body and human illness. After Isis captured Raqqa and Mosul, it did not tear down the hospitals; instead, it launched an appeal to Muslim doctors and nurses throughout the world to volunteer their services there. Presumably, even Isis doctors and nurses believe that the body is made of cells, that diseases are caused by pathogens, and that antibiotics kill bacteria.

And what builds up these cells and bacteria? Indeed, what makes up the entire world? Back in 1016, every culture had its own narrative about the universe, and about the fundamental ingredients of the cosmic soup. Today, learned people throughout the world believe exactly the same things about matter, energy, period and space. Take, for example, Irans nuclear programme. The whole problem with it is that the Iranians is precisely the same view of physics as the Israelis and Americans. If the Iranians believed that E= mc, Israel would not care an iota about their nuclear programme.

People still claim to believe in different things. But when it comes to the really important stuff how to build a country, an economy, a hospital, or a weapon almost all of us belong to the same civilisation. There are disagreements , no doubt, but then all civilisations have their internal disagreements indeed, they are defined by these disagreements. When trying to outline their identity, people often make a grocery list of common traits. They would fare much better if they made a listing of common conflicts and dilemmas instead. In 1940, Britain and Germany had most varied traits, yet they were both part and parcel of western civilisation. Churchill wasnt more western than Hitler; instead, the struggle between them defined what it meant to be western at that particular moment in history. In contrast, a ! Kung hunter-gatherer in 1940 wasnt western, because the internal western conflict about race and empire would have constructed little sense to him.

The people we oppose most often are our own family members. Identity is defined by conflicts and dilemmas more than by agreements. What does it mean to be European in 2016? It doesnt mean to have white scalp, to believe in Jesus Christ, or to uphold autonomy. Instead, it means to argue vehemently about immigration, about the EU, and about the limits of capitalism. It also means to obsessively ask yourself What defines my identity? and to worry about an ageing population, about rampant consumerism and about global warming without actually knowing what to do about it. In their conflicts and dilemmas, 21 st-century Europeans are very different from their early-modern and medieval ancestors, but are increasingly similar to their Chinese and Indian contemporaries.

Whatever changes waiting for us, they are likely to involve a fraternal struggle within a single civilisation rather than a confrontation between alien civilisations. The big challenges of the 21 st century will be global in nature. What will happen when pollution triggers global climate changes? What will happen when computers replace people in an increasing number of jobs? When biotechnology enables us to upgrade humans, widen lifespans, and perhaps divide humankind into different biological castes? No doubt, we will have huge debates and bitter conflicts over these questions. But these arguments and conflicts are unlikely to drive us apart. Just the opposite. They will construct us ever more interdependent, as members of a single, rowdy, global civilisation.

Yuval Noah Hararis Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is published by Harvill Secker.

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45 Things That Will Help You Be A Better Person

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Ive started a() annual tradition of writing about things Ive learned or find about life on my birthday (). I dont write these because Ive mastered life or am an expert on anything, but mainly as a reminder and challenge to myself that I need to grow and learn and change.

Hopefully youll find something interesting, amusing, or even helpful for your life.

1. Actively set limits on yourself. Try not saying more than 100 terms in a day. Wake up in the morning 10 minutes earlier every day for a week.

2. When you find yourself feeling angry when speaking with someone, shut up and just listen.

3. When you encounter a new think or notion, accept it as truth for 24 hours. Not because youll eventually believe it but because itll change your perspectives and allow you to understand others( and I lied, sometimes it will change your notions ).

4. Take one of your existing beliefs( or hypothesis) and question its legality. Read about opposing opinions. You will get defensive, even angry. Do your best to suppress your desire to assault. This is almost the same as above. Together, this is the only style to accommodate, grow, and evolve what you understand and believe about yourself, others, and the world.

5. Constantly experience life as if youre searching for a moment to photograph.

6. Dont become so consumed by your career, or household, or hobbies that you neglect personal relationships because the working day when your kids are grown and youve moved away and your career is over, youll find yourself old and alone and regretting that you didnt purposefully invest more time into your friendships.

7. Create an alternate reality version of yourself where a major milestone in their own lives that didnt happen. How would your life be different? Would it be better or worse?

8. Try communicating for a day employing merely emojis.

9. Spend a day sending notes( via Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat or email or even a letter) purposefully and specifically praising those who are important to their own lives( at least once a year ).

10. Invest in some non-traditional socksthe uglier and crazier the better.

11. Construct a playlist of anthems from your childhood. Mine would include Baby Elephant WalkI can vividly recollect dancing around in our living room, moving the coffee table out of the way, and pacing the floor with my body bent down, holding my arms together as they dangled in the air like a trunkmore Barry Manilow than I care to admit, and Little Nash Rambler.

12. Find some puppies and let them devour you in their furious furry love.

13. Every year( on your birthday, since its an easy date to recollect, hopefully) run through all the things you own and donate anything that you havent worn or used in that entire year( I also highly indicate you do this with your kids and their toys ).

14. Support whatever you believe in, whether financially or volunteering.

15. Find somewhere that constructs you happy and peacefulthat doesnt cost money, that you can get to quickly and easily, and where no one you know will interrupt youand merely sit in silence for 15 minutes( for me, its on the banks of the Ohio in downtown Cincinnati when I get to work in the morning ).

16. Play laser tag( mostly because its really fun to shoot kidsoh you know what I entail ).

17. Find an interesting topic and try and learn as much as you can about it in 60 minutes( its why the internet exists !), like rubber band, switchblade combs, vinyl records, or those three-legged, small, table-like contraptions they put in the middle of pizza so the boxes dont crush into your food.

18. Buy a headlamp. Theyre cheap and youll be amazed at how often youll need to see in the dark while also having both hands free.

19. For fun, think about a name you wouldnt intellect changing to. But take it seriously( would you really want to be called Chavez Dumplings? Thats for me, because thats a stupid online alias I used to have ). Would you be different than you are now?

20. Buy two pairs of your favorite shoes( because there is no guarantee that they will always exist ).

21. Find a simple , non-linear( meaning something you can stop and start at any time) game that you can play or do as a family while eating dinner. For us, it is( was) Akinator.

22. Go to a movie alone. Get your favorite movie foods. Preferably a movie that you really want to see but would be ashamed to admit.

23. Collect something( preferably inexpensive ), perhaps enamel pins, interesting coffee mugs, branded coasters, or velvet clown paints. I collect well-designed playing cards.

24. Ask yourself is this the most important thing I can be doing right now?

25. Visit a local art museum. Find a paint you love. Observe it for 10 minutes. Every year go back to that same paint for the same sum of day and try to find something new.

26. If you feel stuck on a problem or a thought or a anxiety, get some crayons and color in a colouring volume, or work a challenging puzzle, or play Solitaire. Engage your intellect in something completely, and youll find that a solution for a number of problems will surface, your anxiety will fade, and you fear will dissipate.

27. Get a tattoo. Find a local tattoo artist whose work( and style) you love. Tell them about who you arewhere youre from, what you do, who you love, etcand let them make something for you.

28. There is no tomorrow. You will never reach the horizon. Dont live for the unknown and unknowable.

29. For the love of God if youre not listening to podcasts, then start. There are so many amazing podcasts. When you find a favorite, write to them and tell them you love what they do.

30. If you arent intrigued by a volume by the first chapter, stop reading.

31. Get a favorite hat. Mine is this one made from Wire And Twine( hat by Legacy Athletic, so so so comfy ). Why? Because everyone needs a consolation blanket.

32. Learn a curse word in a foreign language.

33. Practice receiving positive attributes in people you really( genuinely) aversion. This doesnt mean you will abruptly like, tolerate, or forgive them, but it will help assuage your abhor( and hurt ).

34. Learn one new fact a day. This is a great place to start or here or here. For example, today I learned about this.

35. Whenever you find yourself wanting to skip a minor actionlike hanging up a towel, putting socks in a drawer, putting dishes into a dishwasher, cleaning up that spilltake the extra few seconds it would take to do it and do it.

36. Slow down. Always. The flowing of life traffic will tempt you to keep up and before you know it, everything is going by in a blur.

37. Always maintain a package of bandaids, a stain remover pen, and a spare shirt and pants somewhere rapidly accessible. You never know when youll be feeing lo mein that splatters over all your shirt.

38. Learn something new about your parent( s) while you can.

39. Find a new style to say something youre impression. Rather than telling Im furious tell Im filled with the bubbling rage of a cat wearing a sweater or instead of telling No thank you say Id rather bathe in a tub full of bacon grease.

40. Stop watching the news. Substitute that time with read. Or feeing. Or even just looking out the window at that one squirrel who seems to have lost his intellect. There are so many things better than watching Tv news.

41. Allow auto-complete to write your sentences. Im now about ethics at half year thingsthat was me trying to kind its not as easy as youd think.

42. Eat a vegetable you dont like once a week for a year. Prepare it in different ways. I ensure by the end of the year you are able to like that vegetable( like how I love Brussels sprouts to the phase of preoccupation ).

43. Watch and listen. Wherever you areat home, in a mall, at Costco, on the streetstop for merely a few minutes and find people in what they do and say and act( plainly dont be creepy about, dont ask for an autograph or inject yourself into their conversation or start clapping ).

44. If you have appliance that breakings, see if you can mend it yourself. For instance, the ice maker in our refrigerator transgressed, so I researched the brand on YouTube, watched several repair videos, find the component online and replaced it myself. Its an amazing impression. I know its meaningless, but in a world where everything is a concealed tragedy solving even the most insignificant problems is fulfilling( and therefore meaningful ).

45. Challenge yourself to write a list of things youve learned about life based on your age( Im kidding, dont do it, its nearly impossible ).

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Police Investigate Whether Killing Of Student Blaze Bernstein Was A ‘Hate Crime’

2 days ago

Investigators are working to determine whether the slaying of 19 -year-old University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein was a “hate crime, ” officials said Wednesday.

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, a 20 -year-old former high school classmate of Bernstein, was charged Wednesday with his murder, as well as a sentence improvement for using a knife, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced at a news conference.

Police discovered Bernstein’s body, which had been stabbed over 20 days, buried in a shallow tomb Jan. 9 in a park in Lake Forest, California, roughly 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The discovery came nearly a week after his mothers reported him missing on Jan. 3, while he was home in Lake Forest during his college winter break.

Woodward had picked up Bernstein in his vehicle after interacting with him on Snapchat the night he went missing, the suspect told police, according to a search affidavit obtained by The Orange County Register. He reportedly claimed they had driven to Borrego Park that night, when Bernstein exited the vehicle and walked away.

After waiting an hour for Bernstein to return, Woodward told, he left the park to gratify a girlfriend, whose last name and address Woodward told police he could not remember. He said he returned hours later to look for Bernstein.

Detectives received “abrasions, scratches and dirt” on Woodward’s hands when they interviewed him last week, according to the affidavit. When requested information about the lacerations, Woodward reportedly said he had collaborated on a “fight club” and had fallen into a “dirt puddle” while sparring.

According to the affidavit, Woodward’s fists were clenched as he claimed Bernstein had kissed him on the lips during their time together that night. He told examiners that he pushed Bernstein away and wanted to call him a “faggot.”

Text messages reviewed by researchers suggested Woodward knew Bernstein may have been trying to sexually pursue him, according to the Register. The affidavit indicated Bernstein had suspected Woodward was closeted.

Woodward was going to “hit on me, ” Bernstein reportedly told a friend in a text conversation in June. “He constructed me promise not to tell anyone … but I have texted every one, uh oh.”

If it is determined that this was a hate crime, we will weep not only for our son, but for LGBTQ people everywhere that live in fear. Blaze Bernstein’s parents in a letter to the Los Angeles Times

Bernstein’s parents, Gideon Bernstein and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times that suggested their son’s killing might have been a hate crime.

“Our son was a beautiful gentle spirit who we loved more than anything, ” they wrote. “We were proud of everything he did and who he was. He had nothing to hide. We are in solidarity with our son and the LGBTQ community.”

The letter continued: “If it is determined that this was a hate crime, we will cry not only for our son, but for LGBTQ people everywhere that live in anxiety or who have been victims of[ a] hate crime.”

According to the court document, Woodward was known at his high school for espousing conservative political and cultural notions. His social media posts indicated he was a proponent of guns, the Bible and a torment technique known as waterboarding, reported the Register.

Rackauckas declined to discuss a motive during Wednesday’s news conference , noting that the investigation was ongoing.

“Our priority on this brutal murder of a 19 -year-old Ivy League student is to make sure that Woodward is brought to justice and held accountable, ” Rackauckas said Wednesday. “As a community, we are looking forward this case might serve as an opportunity for tolerance and understanding.”

Woodward could face 26 years to life in prison if convicted. He is being held at Orange County Jail. Attorneys said they plan to request his bail be set at$ 2 million, according to the Times.

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This Is How Productive People Actually Get Things Done

3 days ago

Productivity sucks.

For one, it’s hard. I entail, let’s face it — every single time I sit down to “get something done,” it almost never happens. At first, I thought it was just me. I thought that maybe there was some malfunction in my brain that stimulated it physically impossible for me to focus on important tasks when the sweet, sweet Facebook newsfeed is only a click away.

And, regrettably, you can’t “will” yourself to be more productive with your time.You’re not a lemon. You can’t only squeeze more juice out. It doesn’t work like that, young padawan.

I’d always thought that the reason upper-class musicians in the top 1 percent of their disciplines were able to do so much more than me was because they had some sort of x-factor that allowed them to work harder, longer and better than me.

Or, I made up all these limiting self-beliefs that they had unfair advantages that I’d never have (” of course he’s more productive than me … he has a personal cook to cook for him while he’s working “). All that is BS, naturally.

Then it resulted to me — maybe it’s not willpower at work here. Maybe these people aren’t “forcing” themselves to get stronger, faster, smarter or more successful.

Maybe it runs much deeper.

Maybe the reason that the world’s most productive people ARE so productive is because they have their entire life designed to get better at their work.

The Seinfeld Solution

In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld made $ 267 million dollars from the ninth and final season of his hit display Seinfeld.

Yes, thats a quarter billion dollars. No, that’s not a typo. NBC prayed him to do a 10 th season to the tune of$ 5M per episode for 22 episodes. He declined.

Needless to say, it was a great decade for him. But the 2000 s have been quite good to him as well — deals from syndication of his now classic demonstrate bring in a steady paycheck of about $32 million per year. Not bad, Jerry. Not bad at all.

But let’s take it back. Back, before he was a borderline billionaire comedian. Back before he was even a household name. How does one amass the talent, skill and productivity to write gag after joke, depict after demonstrate, year after year at such a high level? Comedian Brad Isaac shares the narrative of a chance encounter he had with Seinfeld backstage. He asked Jerry if he had any” tips for a young comic .”

Here’s how Brad describes the conversation:

” He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing this report, I get to put a big red X over that day.

After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only undertaking is to not break the chain .”

Take note here.

You’ll notice Jerry didn’t mention anything about having good jokes. He didn’t even mention how long the activity had to last. The task is very simple: write something every day, set an X on the calendar and don’t violate the chain.

Using your brain’s programming against itself

It’s almost simple enough to be counterintuitive — but let’s think about what’s happening here.
There are a few very sophisticated procedures going on. Believe about how you could use this model with the ability or process you’re trying to become more productive with 😛 TAGEND

1. The act of doing something every day programs you to make it a default behavior.

Most of us don’t have to force ourselves to brush our teeth in the morning. There’s no mental strain or cognitive dissonance with brushing your teeth. You merely do it … because that’s who you are. Seinfeld managed to integrate writing gags into his daily routine day in day out. Over period, he associated his identity with the writing and from there, it’s much easier to follow through.
2. Default behaviours, recurred day in and day out, become habits.

Habitual quests almost ALWAYS improve because of sheer frequency. In Jerry’s case, writing every day ensures that he’s bound to stumble on some funny material. 365 days of straight writing ensures some nuggets of wisdom merely by the sheer volume of material he’ll have created over time.

In effect, you’re using your own human tendency for habit creation to work AGAINST your natural tendency to procrastinate, stall and be otherwise unproductive. Rather than setting nebulous objectives and hoping that you have the power to push through, you are actively installing new software( aka habit) in your brain’s computer to ensure that the program( aka aim) gets run.

With enough consistency over period, the new software WILL get installed. You literally will not have a choice but to complete the habit every day. From there, success is on cruise control.
The only thing you have to do is NOT transgress the chain.

How to use this( and how it’s worked for me)

I’ve had great success with hardwiring new habits into my daily rituals. The best part about creating a new habit is that after a while, you forget that it’s a “new” habit. It becomes so natural that you no longer even need to keep track. It’s just what you do. I’ve done this with a few cases different things that used to be a struggle for me to do consistently, and now I manage to do them every day without even a second thought 😛 TAGEND Making my bed( was at a 67 -day streak before I stopped tracking. My mom would be SHOCKED) Meditating( was at a 70+ day streak before I didn’t need to track anymore) Reading( 40+ days and counting)

The Alt-Right Will Fail. Even Under President Trump

3 days ago

A victory for Donald Trump is a victory for his supporters. Among them are voters who feel disenfranchised and overlooked, who dread their way of life isdisappearing. But they also include a noisy minorityof misogynist, anti-Semitic, xenophobicracists who attained ubiquitouson social media during the campaign. This group, known as the alt-right, grew from an obscurewhite supremacist think tank. Nowthe candidate they espoused is about to become the most powerful politician in the world.

Yetperhaps paradoxically, their own future looks iffy.

When a group denounced as deplorable by the seeming mainstream has its faiths asserted on this grand scale, that group cannot assist but change. On the one hand, for the alt-right and white supremacists, that affirmation is cause for them to celebrate: what was once only said on the fringes and behind closed- door now appears to be part of mainstream discourse.( SeeKu Klux Klan leader David Duke tweeting in exultationat Trump’s ascendency .) Yet even as a Trump presidency appears to increase its influence, the alt-right is bound to faltering. The half-life for radical groups is short: the alt-right has a good chance offracturing into oblivion. Or it could just fizzle: that’s what happens when you no longer have anyone in power to yell at but your own champion.

Trump and the Alt-Right

Trump’s appeal to his base has two main components: the promise of a return to prosperity and an “America First” identity politics. But one seems to have outweighed the other.” If it were just an economic issue, there would be blacks and Latinos lining up behind Trump ,” tells Nell Irvin Painter, a historian at Princeton University. In reality, the line between “America First” and” whites first” is hopelessly blurred.

Which is of course, where the alt-right get excited.” Donald Trump is surely not a member of the alt-right ,” says Jared Taylor, a prominent alt-right leader and head of the white supremacist New Century Foundation.” But he seems to have instinctively, clumsily stumbled upon some of the policies that we’ve been promoting for a long time .” To alt-right leaders, Donald Trump is less messiah than a convenient, half-enlightened monkey wrench thrown into the political machine.

But they see in his anti-immigrant and isolationist policies a future for their interests.” It’s impossible to know how many people voted for Trump based on feelings of racial dispossession. But a Trump presidency reopens a closed book ,” Taylor says.” It’s not inconceivable that Donald Trump and people around him will start publicly discussing racial differences in IQ. Or that maybe some peopledon’t belong here, which clearly leads to racial analysis. No Hillary appointee would ever say that. To them, it would be evil .” Reminder: this man is arguing that these are good reasons for having Donald Trump in power.

Not So Extreme Futures

So, yes, racists are racist. And the idea of Donald Trump gushing full-blown alt-right rhetoric( versus some loud-and-clear dogwhistles) still seems somewhat farfetched. But Taylor is right about one thing:” For the next four years, these notions will have to be discussed with much more openness, and frankness .” Because the alt-right’s talking points–Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and racism–are crucial motivators for many people who Trump to office.

The consequences of having those ideas percolating through “the member states national” discourse are already being felt on a person-to-person level.” Kidshave been catching hell because other kids’ parents say,’ Were against political correctness, ‘” says Painter.” That means you can act on your hatred .” It’s not just anecdotal: the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks radical groups, says hate crimes, domestic terrorism rates, and hate group membership have all risen over the past two years.

To alt-right leaders, Donald Trump is less messiah than a convenient, half-enlightened monkey wrench thrown into the political machine.

But the alt-right’s aspirations aren’t to be the neo-neo-Nazis or an updated version of the skinheads. They wantto move from the fringes into the traditional political power structure.” Inevitably there will be somecandidates at the levels of city council, school boards, and maybe congressional districts ,” Taylor tells.” It may be the Republicans are smart enough to adjust their course. If not, we will move in and we will capture their supporters .” This is a well-established radical move. It’s how the KKK rose to power in the South during and immediately after the Reconstruction period.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up and leave for Canada. That same move into the mainstream is typically a precursor to dissolution , not more power.” The Klan dissolved pretty quickly, largely due to internal bickering ,” saysPhyllis Gerstenfeld, a criminal justice prof at California State University, Stanislaus who studies extremist groups. That kind of self-destructive discordis a very common trajectory for extremist groups throughout history, and there’s no reason to believe that the alt-right won’t follow it.” If you look at how they operate, they dont get on with well with others. Including one another ,” Gerstenfeld tells. So it may not be long before the alt-right’s troll army turns on itself. Which might very well transgress Twitter, but is good news for everyone else.

Speaking of Twitter, which has been the alt-right’s loudestbullhorn, the movement may soon find itself with a messaging problem.” Their whole attraction is theyre fighting to regain power ,” says Gerstenfeld.” I dont think they’ll do a good job spreading that message when they are in power and there’s nothing to fight against .” Gerstenfeld points out that the extremist militia groups that were common during Bill Clinton’s presidency all but disappeared during the course of its George Bush years that followed. With Trump in the White House, it’ll be hard for the alt-right is considered that the American white male is disenfranchised.” People will stop caring ,” Gerstenfeld says.

And though Taylor and David Duke and Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos areexuberant about President Trump now, they might not always feel that style.” There’s agaping pit between most Americansand the alt-right. Hes going to have to backtrack to govern all of us ,” Painter tells.” Is that going to inspire a Bundy brethren insurgency against him? I wouldnt be surprised .” The Trump administration is not the early days of an alt-right America. It’s the beginning of a fringe group’s fall.

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UN condemns Isis genocide against Yazidis in Iraq and Syria

4 days ago

Report based on interviews with survivors tells group seeks to destroy Yazidis through murder, sex slavery, rape and torture

Islamic State fighters are committing genocide against Yazidis in Syria and Iraq by seeking to destroy the group through assassination, sex slavery, gang rape, torture and humiliation, UN investigators have said.

The UN report, based on interviews with dozens of survivors, said on Thursday that the Islamist activists, who include foreign fighters, had been systematically capturing Yazidis in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, was striving to erase their identity.

The UN report said Isis had tried to erase the Yazidis identity by forcing humen to choose between conversion to Islam and death, raping girls as young as nine, selling women at slave marketplaces, and drafting boys to fight.

The report told Isis had begun holding online slave auctions with an encrypted application to circulate photos of captured Yazidi women and girls. One female told investigators she had been sold 15 times, saying she could hardly recall all the Isis fighters who had claimed to have bought her.

Investigators collected evidence that showed Isis separated Yazidi men and boys over 12 from the rest of their families, and killed those who refused to convert. Women and children often witnessed these killings before being forcibly transferred to places in Iraq, and from there to Syria, where the majority of captives remain.

People hold signs reading Please help Yazidi people during a visit of Pope Francis to Greece. Photo: Petros Giannakouris/ AP

No other religious group present in Isis-controlled areas of Syria and Iraq has been subjected to the destruction that the Yazidis have suffered, the report said.

Estimates set the global number of Yazidis at about 700,000, with the vast majority concentrated in northern Iraq, in and around Sinjar. The Yazidis are predominantly ethnically Kurdish and have kept alive their syncretic religion for centuries, despite many years of oppression and threatened extermination.

The Isis actions fulfilled the definition of genocide as defined by the 1948 genocide convention, the report said. It is the first time that the UN has conducted an inquiry specifically into the Yazidis, including the Isis attack on their homes in Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. The genocide of the Yazidis is ongoing, the 45 -page report concluded.

A previous attempt to ask the UN security council to refer Syrian war crimes to the international criminal tribunal failed due to objections from Russia and China. But the UN added that if the path to the ICC was blocked, then the most likely form of prosecution was of foreign fighters through their domestic courts. The names of individuals responsible for the genocide were not published, but some will be passed to the relevant governments.

The UK has until recently taken an ambivalent stance on whether genocide has been committed, although the Middle East minister, Tobias Ellwood, has described the therapy of the Yazidis as genocide, as has the Commons in a formal election. UK funding to help with the collect of evidence of Isis treatment of the Yazidis is expected to be stepped up.

Paulo Pinheiro( centre ), Vitit Muntarbhorn( right) and Carla del Ponte release a UN report on Yazidi genocide. Photo: Magali Girardin/ AP

Paulo Pinheiro, president of the UN commission of inquiry, told a news briefing in Geneva: Isis has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of inhumanities. The crime of genocide must trigger much more assertive action at the political level, including at the security council.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, a commission member, said it had detailed information on places, violations and names of the perpetrators.

The four independent commissioners claimed at least 3,200 women and children were still being held by the militants.

Isis induced no secret of its intent to destroy the Yazidis of Sinjar, and that is one of the elements that allowed us to conclude their actions amount to genocide, said Carla del Ponte, an examiner and a former UN chief prosecutor. Of course, we regard that as a road map for prosecution, for future prosecution.

The Yazidi cause has been taken up by Amal Clooney, who has already visited Downing Street to discuss the issue with Foreign Office and Downing Street officials. Clooney has previously been involved with a special tribunal for Lebanon, the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the Armenian genocide recognition.

The report said: The scale of atrocities perpetrated, their general nature, and the fact of purposely and systematically targeting victims on account of their membership in a particular group, while excluding each member of other groups, were other factors from which the commission “ve managed to” deduce genocidal intent.

Kurdish peshmerga forces-out rescue Yazidis after they were trapped on Mount Sinjar. Photo: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

It quoth the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow demise; the imposition of measures to prevent Yazidi children from being born, including forced conversion of adults, the separation of Yazidi men and women, and mental trauma; and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with Isis fighters, thereby cutting them off from notions and practises of their own religious community.

One Yazidi woman recalled being bought by an Isis fighter at a Raqqa slave farm. On placing her in his car, he told her: You are like a sheep. I have bought you. He sold her seven days later to an Algerian Isis fighter living in the Aleppo area.

Women are raped most days, and if they seek to escape are penalise by one of their children being killed.

Treated as chattel, many Yazidi women and girls are locked in homes to perform household tasks, and are denied adequate food and water. The commission also heard accounts of how some Yazidi women and girls killed themselves to escape the cruelty.

The report found that Yazidi boys over seven were forcibly removed from their the women and transferred to Isis camps in Syria, where they were indoctrinated and received military training. One son was told by his Isis commander: Even if you see your father, if he is still Yazidi, you must kill him.

Isis has openly referred to the Yazidis as a pagan minority[ whose] existence Muslims should question, adding that their women could be enslaved as spoils of war.

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20 Signs You’ve Evolved As A Person

4 days ago

There are striking differences between evolved and conscious people and non-evolved , non-conscious people.

Becoming evolved is a process that begins with a conscious awake. After the arouse, you can no longer go back to the person you once were. As you dive deeper into your personal growth, youll find proofs that you evolved and changed.

Below I have listed 20 signs that prove you have evolved as a person 😛 TAGEND

1. The Foundation: You know who you are

According to psychological identity theory, there are four stages of identity growth. At stage one, you have no identity. You blindly accepted whatever ideology or values system was taught by your parents or family members.

At stage two, you begin expanding your social circle, but you passively go with the flow of society without questioning. You lack authenticity and obsess over fitting in and pleasing others. Like stage one: no true identity.

At stage three, you begin to experience an identity crisis. You realise youve been faking, copying, and blindly following your entire life. You begin to question your choices and values. This results you to explore new lifestyles, belief systems, options, friends, and cultures.

However, at this stage there is little commitment and depth. Instead, it is endless searching for the next thing. Most people are stuck in a perpetual identity crisis. They have no clue whom they really are.

At stage four, you have courageously voyaged through your identity crisis and autonomously committed to a specific identity( i.e ., ideology, occupation, relational values, etc .). You continue to explore. However, this exploration is grounded on foundational faiths and a clear sense of who you are and what your direction is in life.

Moving forward, I will define an evolved person as someone who has achieved their identity.

2. You know what you want

As an evolved person, you commit to a certain path in life. You know what you want in life. You have direction. One of Stephen Coveys 7 Habits of Highly Effective People isBegin with the end in mind. In all things, there are two creations: The mental creation and the physical creation.

You can design your ideal destiny and consistently move toward it without get thrown off coursebecause youre committed. Endless exploration is over. Youre ready to go deep and far.

3. You feel like youre where youre supposed to be

As an evolved person, you feel a higher sense of purpose in your life, like youve been guided. You are in the right place and on the right path. This is more than a mere beliefbut a spiritual verification. You are aligned with your highest self and showing the life you were meant to live.

4. You believe you are in control of the outcomes in your life

As an evolved person, you have what psychologist call an internal locus of control. You , not external factors, control their own lives. You believe you are responsible, and thus have power to create whatever future you want.

5. Your life is set up on your own terms

As an evolved person, you are no longer reactive to other people agendas. Every moment of each day is spent doing what you want to do. You are doing the run you love. You are spending time with people you want to be with. You are constructing the amount of money you want. You are in control of your schedule. Your schedule doesnt govern you.

6. Your life is more simple

As an evolved person, you have simplified your life. There is an art in slowing down and reeking the flowers. Youre not racing through life. Youre present. You prefer experiences over stuff. Youve removed everything from their own lives that distracts you from your highest purpose. Everything in their own lives constructs sense being there. Its purposeful.

7. Your goals become manifest quickly when you are set them

As an evolved person, you are connected to your higher source. Youve learned how to create the results you want quicklyoften instantaneously. You believe it, and quickly you see it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

8. You attract the right people into your life

As an evolved person, you attract the right people into your life. You are moving toward a huge vision and the needed connections and mentors always seem to show up right when you need them. As Buddha has said, When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

9. You expect luck/ miracles to happen often

As an evolved person, you expect luck and miracles to happen in their own lives. This is your natural state of mind. Things will work out. Rare opportunities will present themselves. You expect it, believe it, and see it. In fact, from an evolved perspective, miracles are the norm. To not experience miracles frequently in their own lives shows youre unplugged from yourself and your higher source.

10. You set aside hour every day to meditate and meditate

As an evolved person, you go out of your style to be alone. For example, Sara Blakey, CEO of Spanx, only lives five minutes from her office. However, she purposefully drives an extended 45 minute commute to work simply to provide the time and space to think. This is the same for tons of creatives. They chunk out period every day to ponder, meditate, pray, and reflect. This is where inspiration and breakthroughs happen.

11. Youre highly selective with your time

As an evolved person, you say No, to most invitations and opportunities. As Jim Collins has explained in Good to Great, you realize that one-in-a-million possibilities happen every day. Youre not seduced by these distractions. Your time is only spent on things that truly matter to you.

12. You do things everyday to create the future you desire

As an evolved person, you dont procrastinate action. Youve moved from dreamer to doer. Every single day is expended actually constructing the future you want to live in.

13. You feel a gap between yourself and those you used to associate

As an evolved person, you feel a gaping abys between yourself and the people you used to spend time with. This is perhaps one of the saddest parts of becoming evolved, and one of the hardest. At some point in every evolved people journey, they had to disband themselves from people who pulled them down. However, once they did, it wasnt long before they were nothing like their old friends.

14. You try change constantly

As an evolved person, you espouse and try change constantly. You love transformation. You love having your paradigm shattered. You love cultivating new habits. You love engaging in new things that challenge you because you love growth.

15. You find joy in taking risks

As an evolved person, “youre feeling” alive when taking leapings of faith. You love that moment when youre about to do something that utterly frightens you. You know that youre attempting something that most people would never consider.

16. You notice truth hidden in everything

As an evolved person, you notice subtle truth and connects in everything, while watching movies, having conversations, driving in your auto. Life is your teacher. You are deeply connected to the universe and are sensitive to even the smallest connections and lessons.

17. Youre conscious about what you eat

As an evolved person, you see yourself as a holistic being. Every facet of your life impacts the whole. Consequently, you are aware that the food in your body impacts your mind, feelings, spirit, relationships, and everything else.

18. You care more about other peoplebut less about what they think of you

As an evolved person, you care intensely about other people wellbeing. However, you no longer care what other people think about you. Other peoples perceptions no longer govern you. As Martha Graham has said, What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.

19. You no longer compare yourself with others

As an evolved person, you no longer compare yourself or compete with others. Having a sense of unique identity, you realize that no one else can do the run you are intended to do. You have your own unique mission in life that only you can do. So theres no reason to transcript other people. There is no competition. You are an innovator.

20. You Genuinely want the best for others

As an evolved person, you are happy when other people succeed and sad when other people fail. The success of others is seen as the success of the whole. You genuinely want whats best for everyoneeven those you would consider your adversaries. You merely have love for every person on earth. No hatred, resentment, or guile.

Evolved people change the world. They live happier, simpler, and more productive lives. The best part is, as you grow in consciousness, you can see these evidences in your lifeconfirming you are becoming the person or persons you were meant to be.

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7 Undeniable Strengths You Gain In Walking Away From A Narcissistic Relationship

5 days ago
Allegra Messina

1. Your sense of peace.

When you walk away from a narcissistic relationship a great big strength becomes your ability to seek peace, be filled with peace, and generate peace in your life and the lives of those around you. No longer are you burdened or held back by your relationship. No longer are you held captive to someone’s negative faiths about who you are. No longer are you emptied, day in day out, by someone who devalues you under the guise of’ care’ or’ love.’

When you walk away, you give yourself the strength to find harmony in the world. To appreciate what’s around you, to slow down, and to find your consolation in the beautiful, chaotic mess.

2. Your will to move forward.

Leaving a narcissistic relationship gives you the strength to always look and step forward. This process isn’t easy. There will be days when “youre feeling” heavy, days when you give up, and days when you only determine because sometimes it feels easier to be passive than to fight. But eventually, you are able to escape the tight grasp. Eventually, you will realize someone’s sentiment of you is not who you are. Eventually, you are able to crawl, stand, walk, run forward until you are free. And in that moment, you are able to gain the strength of perseverance and a future-focused mindset.

3. The ability to let go.

Who someone says or believes you are is not who you are. You don’t “re going to have to” carry the badge, the label pressed to your chest. You don’t have to be shaped by someone who says they’ love you’ while violating you down, piece by piece.

When you walk away from a narcissistic relationship, you gain the strength of letting go. You realize that you cannot change someone’s perspective, someone’s sentiment, or even their actions and treatment of you. What you change, however, is where you go next. And in leaving, you gain the power of letting go, letting God, and starting new.

4. The wisdom of a survivor.

You are a. You have transgressed the chains around you. You have lifted yourself and risen above what has held you back for so long. And when you walk away, you gain the wisdom of a survivor. You now know your value and worth, and you will not let anyone to convince you otherwise.

5. The motivation to rebuild.

Leaving means you are motivated to start new. Yes, you are broken and bruised and unsure of your next step. Yes, you are hurting and confused and wondering how someone who says he/ she’ loves you’ could treat you the style you do. But in all of the mess of feelings in your heart, you know, deep down, that you are ready and willing to rebuild your life. You want nothing more than to pick up the pieces, to soften your heart, and to stand with confidence. And that starting over, that healing–begins right now.

6. The space in your heart for self-love.

Walking away from a narcissistic relationship means you are choosing self-love. You are selecting your self-worth over the unhealthy connect you’ve been entangled in. You are deciding that you value yourself enough to leave what isn’t right for you, and is merely bringing you down. And in doing this, you make room in your heart for a big, bold, beautiful love of yourself.

7. Hope.

Leaving means gaining hope. And separating yourself from a narcissistic abuser gives you a second chance at life. Despite all the pain that he/ she caused and despite how weak “youre feeling”, in taking that first step, you are giving yourself hope. And when you walk away, the strength you gain is that hope–for tomorrow, for the future, for your next love, for yourself.

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