Suffering 2.0

A week ago, on July 23rd, NASA announced that its space telescope Kepler spotted the most similar planet to Earth that has ever been discovered. The planet, called Kepler-452b, is the first nearly Earth-size planet to be found in the habitable zone (the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet) of a star similar to our sun.
NASA can’t yet tell whether the planet is rocky like Earth, or has an atmosphere and water (since the Kepler telescope can’t spot water on planets in other solar systems) but it still is the closest match yet found.

Nothing to Wait For

There are various responses to the story, most are excited. Somehow when most humans are excited, we are worried. Not yet alarmed, since so far no signs of life have been found on this planet, and since it is way too far to be reachable (located 1,400 light years away from Earth).
But it is worrying since Kepler-452b has many similar features to Earth : about the same temperature, only 5% longer orbit (385 days), only 5% farther from its sun (Kepler-452) which is also similar to our sun (all the other Earth-sized planets that were found so far are orbiting stars that are cooler and smaller than our Sun), it is about 20% brighter and just 60% larger than Earth (planets of this size are more likely to be rocky and rocky planets have a larger probability to be habitable). In addition, it is 6 billion years old, about 1.5 billion older than Earth, so at least theoretically it had much time for life, even sentient, to develop.
Only the thought that there might be another planet even remotely similar to “our” horrible one…

But as it’s too soon to address Kepler-452b itself, we ask to focus on the responses to its finding.
Obviously most of them are the usual and expected astonishment from the “amazing” human brain, the same kind of brain that managed to land a man on the surface of the moon in 1969, but still doesn’t manage to protect and provide for its own children in 2015.

One Giant Leap
Humanity has skipped a few basic and, at least supposedly, simple stages such as nutritional security, hygiene security, domestic security, state security, equality (within the species), maintaining a just and fair global political system, and of course and most importantly stop tormenting every other form of life on this planet, and jumped to searching for life on others.
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The Inherent Objectification

Running of the Bulls

Today in Pamplona, Spain, probably the most famous animal abuse festival in the world has ended. It is called the fiesta in honor of San Fermin, the patron saint of Navarra (the district which Pamplona is its capital city) but most know it as Running of the Bulls or Encierros in Spanish.
Additionally to this post we have made a videoment about the Pamplona festival and for a wider view about the various world festivals please watch this.

The festival is originated in the combination of two different medieval events, the religious ceremonies honoring San Fermin which were held on October 10th, and the commercial trade fairs which were held at the beginning of the summer in which bullfighting were conducted by the cattle ranchers in the evenings for their and the villagers’ pleasure. The ranchers were driving the bulls from the corrals through the streets and into the bullring, a practice that became popular with locals joining the run and at some point they started to run in front of the bulls.
In 1591 the ceremonies were transferred to the 7th of July to combine with the trade fairs and to improve the weather for the celebrations.

Nowadays, a run takes place every day at 8am between the 7th and the 14th of July. 6 bulls and 6 steers who are supposed to herd them, run the 825 meters of immensely crowded narrow streets from to the corral into the bullring.

The terrified bulls, surrounded by hundreds of runners, are harassed and touched all along the run and in case that a bull decides to drive off one of his harassers, other runners storm him with blows, kicks and tail pulling.
Running on the cobbled streets with sharp turns, the bulls also suffer from falls, tramplings, bruises and fractures.
They often collide with the walls get severely injured, sometimes breaking bones.
When entering the bullring the bulls are immediately imprisoned inside the ring, saving them for later. Meanwhile cows and calves are released to the bullring for the runners to enjoy as they abuse them, playing matadors. In the evening the 6 bulls, who were forced to run in the morning, are tortured in a bullfight spectacle.

Running of the Nudes

In 2002 after years of protest mostly by local activists, PETA launched a campaign against the bulls run, offering a different thrill, looking at naked humans running instead of at terrified bulls.

In the first ever running of the nudes event, 25 activists “wearing plastic bull horns, red scarves and little else…”, run in the same route the bulls run 2 days before.
The campaign was a great success for the city of Pamplona. Although they didn’t appreciate the nudity, they definitely embraced the international attention bringing even more tourists to the already popular oppressive festival.
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From Groundbreaking Animal Liberation to Neverending Animal Exploitation

A call to save human tyranny from possible extinction in 2015

A call to liberate animals from human tyranny in 1975













It so happens that our third post is also the third post about the possibility of an asteroid collision, but not since the first international asteroid day was held yesterday, but since 2 months ago Peter Singer published a new book in which he also addresses the annihilation possibility, and speaks out about actively mobilizing caring people to regard this issue. Only that he calls for the exact opposite.

Undoubtedly, his status is in drastic decline within the movement (which is literally named after his own pioneering historic book) due to some very miserable statements he made over the years. However it was still surprising and disappointing that in his last book he not only made another significant step of disconnection, at least from the more radical activists, it seems that he lost contact with his own perceptions and with reality.

The book is kind of a manifest of the ideological movement he is part of in recent years called effective altruism, which basically asks people who wish to donate time or money to charities, to stop and think where their limited resources would do the most good possible, and accordingly it is titled The Most Good You Can Do.
In the following post we’ll refer to the rest of the book but currently we want to relate to its last extremely depressing part.

The chapter name is Preventing Human Extinction, and in it Singer lists some of what he refers to as extinction threats. He focuses on the option of an asteroid collision, mainly since as opposed to the rest of the risks he specified, humans can roughly estimate this risk possibility and can potentially prevent it. These two are crucial elements in effective altruism calculations, as the basic idea is how to reasonably choose the purpose which would produce the most good.
All along the chapter he deals with the question: Should we also be putting resources into developing the ability to deflect any objects that appear to be heading for us?
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