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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

BookFace "rewards" - Pavlov on steroids

Daily Pickings has frequently referred to Pavlov and his experiments with dogs and how today's techniques to train humans are infinitely more sophisticated than relating food to the sound of a bell but the effect remains the same, total subservience.

Sean Parker: Facebook takes advantage of "vulnerability in human psychology"
Early Facebook investor and founding president Sean Parker says the massive social network is "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology" to attract and retain users' attention.

What is "brain hacking"? Tech insiders on why you should care by Anderson Cooper
Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked, says a former Google product manager.

We've highlighted how computer games are addictive - they're designed to optimise the use of rewards. Holding back rewards until you're about to lose interest and then to give you a dopamine hit. Social media apps like Facebook and the rest use the same techniques - messing with your head via the reward system.

So what is addiction? It's reliance on a substance or experience which compensates for the loss of connection with fellow humans. The totalitarian corporatocratic state atomises families and communities - putting humans into "isolation". Social media fills the yawning gap in our souls and is consequently addictive.

Recovering our relationships within families and communities is our first step to rehabilitation.

What does the Balfour Declaration say?

"F*ck all" but some Jews have managed to extract much out of it.

Steve took some notes during Gilad's talk on the Balfour Declaration.

We need to co-create a shared understanding of history, to understand the present and plan for the future.

The CoCreative Learning Project
The power to evolve, unleashing the potential of humanity. In short, freedom.

Purging opposition pays

The recent "knight of the long knives" in Saudi Arabia achieves a number of objectives, fulfilling various agendas. Clearly the Mohammad bin Salman faction has moved to eliminate potential rivals to their power but also seem to be conducting a confiscation program to replenish the kingdom's dwindling coffers.

Real Motive Behind Saudi Purge Emerges: $800 Billion in Confiscated Assets by Zero Hedge
From the very beginning, there was something off about Sunday’s unprecedented countercoup purge unleashed by Mohammad bin Salman on alleged political enemies, including some of Saudi Arabia’s richest and most powerful royals and government officials: it was just too brazen to be a simple “power consolidation” move; in fact most commentators were shocked by the sheer audacity, with one question outstanding: why take such a huge gamble? After all, there was little chatter of an imminent coup threat against either the senile Saudi King or the crown prince, MbS, and a crackdown of such proportions would only boost animosity against the current ruling royals further.

There are other agendas afoot, not least those of Israel. As was highlighted earlier this week; instability and uncertainty create opportunity.

Critical Thinking's critique of the political economy in the context of monetary reform (the 5th iteration of our analysis) was published, in the Islamic Economics Journal of King Abdulaziz University in Ryadh, in July 2017. The Islamic Economics Journal is currently unavailable on the university website which appears to be suspended or restricted. Whether this is a targeted restriction or just part of controlling the internet during the clampdown on opposition, only time will tell. Meanwhile, a scanned copy of the paper remains available on this website

We're obviously concerned about our friends in the economics faculty at the university but do not want to speculate here about the whys and wherefores of how they may be affected. Suffice to say we're monitoring the situation and awaiting news. Meanwhile, our thoughts are with them and their families.

Syria narratives

Recently, Atmen highlighted the disconnect between BBC/MSM narratives derived from their "sources" and reporting on the ground which debunks the anti-Assad propaganda to reveal the real authors of death, destruction and misery in Syria.

atmen - narratives: Syria