an exercise in miscellany

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Animism

In words & phrases on October 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Animism (from Latin animasoul, life“) is a set of beliefs based on the existence of non-human “spiritual beings” or similar kinds of embodied principles.

Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. Examples of Animism can be found in forms of Shinto, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Pantheism, Paganism, and Neopaganism.

via Animism

Extraordinary Rendition by the United States

In history, words & phrases on October 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

Extraordinary rendition or irregular rendition is the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another.

The term “torture by proxy” is used by some critics to describe situations in which the U.S. has purportedly transferred suspected terrorists to countries known to employ harsh interrogation techniques that may rise to the level of torture. It has been alleged that torture has been employed with the knowledge or acquiescence of the United States. A transfer of anyone to anywhere for the purpose of torture is a violation of US law.

via Extraordinary rendition by the United States

Memex

In history, technology & innovatons on October 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

The memex (a portmanteau of “memory” and “index”) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article “As We May Think” (AWMT).

Bush envisioned the memex as a device in which individuals would compress and store all of their books, records, and communications, “mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.” The memex would provide an “enlarged intimate supplement to one’s memory”. The concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the World Wide Web) and personal knowledge base software.

via Memex