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If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid
, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot
(owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]
) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies
. Exposed so far:
A shadowy "Syndicate"
of frauduct-pushing personality cults
polluting the media with blogspam
and woo-woo talking points
. Boiler rooms
in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets
with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]
. Powerful politicians bought wholesale
. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests
. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye
. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."
On Sunday morning
, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away.
He leaves behind a massive empire
, several million mourning devotees worldwide,
an extensive religious philosophy
, a great deal of controversy
and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities
, a free university and schools,
and other efforts which included supplying clean water
to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
An American Sadhu
- A seeking of holiness, resulting in disillusionment and abandonment. A very good read about one man's experience meeting a guru and his disciple, and ultimately coming full circle to "you get the guru you deserve".
Love on Campus: Why We Should Encourage an Eroticism (of the Mind) Between Professor and Student.
Yale English professor William Deresiewicz
argues that the newly-emerged stereotype of professors as "pompous, lecherous, alcoholic failures" is in the main due to our culture's fear of and inability to understand the true intimacy between professor and student: that of the mind. Cf. controversial Hindu teacher-student relationships
, the same in Christianity
, or merely observe Oscar Wilde
: "I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself."
Sikh Words Of Wisdom.
If, from a Western perspective, there is one Cinderella among Eastern religions, one undiscovered gem waiting to be polished and admired by people outside the South Asian religious culture, it is the Sikh faith – in particular, the poetry of the Sikh Gurus. (From BBC.)