Quote of the day—Scott Adams

In nearly every scenario you can imagine, the person experiencing an unlikely addition to their reality is the one hallucinating. If all observers see the same addition to their reality, it might be real. But if even one participant can’t see the phenomenon – no matter how many can – it is almost certainly not real.

Scott Adams
October 19, 2016
I Wake You Up for the Presidential Debate
[His ultimate point is:

If you see something unlikely – such as a new Hitler rising in the midst of America – and I see nothing remotely like that – I’m almost certainly right and you’re almost certainly having the illusion. I say that because the person who sees the unlikely addition to reality is the one experiencing the illusion nearly every time. Trump as Hitler-in-America is an addition to reality that only some can see. It is a pink elephant. It is a classic hallucination.

I’m not trying to say I’m smarter than anyone else. I just don’t see the pink elephant. Nor do perhaps 40% of the country who prefer Trump as president. And when that many people don’t see a pink elephant in a room, you can be sure it isn’t there, no matter how many do see it.

Another symptom of hallucinations is that when confronted by a doubter the believers have a strong emotional reaction and offer little or no evidence to support their claims.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Aaron Ben-Zeév

Women who sell their sexuality for money are regarded as whores, while women who give their sexuality for free are sluts.

In order to be considered a “nice girl,” women are more likely to understate the number of people they have slept with, whereas men typically boast and exaggerate their sexual history. Indeed, embedded in our culture and language are opposing attitudes to women and men who have had sexual relationships with many people. Thus, while the term “slut” is defined as “an insulting word for a woman whose sexual behavior is considered immoral,” the corresponding male term “stud” is defined as “a man who is admired for being sexually attractive and good at sex”

..

The difference may well be due to the man having to risk rejection by females, thus his ‘success’ is valued by other females as social proof of his value as a sex partner. In contrast, the vast majority of females risk very little when propositioning a man, yet even so that same vast majority of females actively disguise their intentions so as to maintain plausible deniability of their interest in a man, thus risking less than nothing. Thus there’s nothing to value (and much to disvalue) in such female behavior and the connotations of the word ‘slut’ reflect that.

Aaron Ben-Zeév
Ph.D.
September 21, 2016
Women’s Right to Say YES to Sexuality: Respecting and enhancing female sexual performance
[I found the article fascinating.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

You are wasting your time if you try to make someone see reason when reason is not influencing the decision. If you’ve ever had a frustrating political debate with your friend who refuses to see the logic in your argument you know what I mean. But keep in mind that the friend sees you exactly the same way.

When politicians tell lies they know the press will call them out. They also know it doesn’t matter. Politicians understand that reason will never have much of a role in voting decisions. A lie that makes a voter feel good is more effective than a hundred rational arguments. That’s even true when the voter knows the lie is a lie.

If you’re perplexed at how society can tolerate politicians who lie so blatantly you are thinking of people as rational beings. That world view is frustrating and limiting. People who study hypnosis start to view humans as moist machines that are simply responding to inputs with programed outputs. No reasoning is involved beyond eliminating the most absurd options. Your reasoning can prevent you from voting for a total imbecile but it won’t stop you from supporting a half-wit with a great haircut. If your view of the world is that people use reason for their important decisions you are setting yourself up for a life of frustration and confusing. You will find yourself continually debating people and never wining except in your own mind.

Few things are as destructive and limiting as a world view that assumes people are mostly rational.

Scott Adams
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
2013
[Adams articulates this better than I have been able to.

I keep wanting to believe, and to a great extent behaving as if, people are rational. This is despite my frequent claim that it is irrational to expect people to be rational. I know it’s not true, I get frustrated that it is not true, and I sometimes just want to retreat from contact with the general population.

I’m extremely lucky that Barb and I share nearly identical irrational views of reality and rationality.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles Mackay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles Mackay
1841
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
[I look around me and, if I look closely enough, I see this nearly everywhere.

We have such a tenuous grasp on reality it is scary.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bennie G. Thompson

Taking action to prevent terrorists from having access to assault weapons would be a good start.  However, it seems that in the waning days of this Congress, there is more appetite for advancing un-American and counter-productive proposals such as closing the borders to Muslims or ethnically profiling whole communities.

To reiterate what Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has testified to Congress, that with the current threat picture, homeland security cannot be achieved without sensible gun control laws.

Bennie G. Thompson
House Homeland Security Committee ranking member (D-Miss)
September 21, 2016
Homeland security means keeping assault weapons off our streets
[Sometimes I’m just amazed that people can say and believe the things they do. Immigration from other countries is not a constitutionally protected right. There isn’t anything more American than our country’s founding document. The right to keep and bear arms is a specific enumerated right protected by that document. Is this guy’s mind that well partitioned that he can’t connected what he wrote in consecutive sentences?

The only way this makes sense to me is that people say things with the knowledge, at some level, people will hear what they want to hear. The anti-gun politician will say they “respect the Second Amendment and they don’t want to ban guns”. The next sentence will be that they “support the banning of assault weapons”. It could be that those sort of contradictory messages work on both the receiver and the sender. They say and hear what they want depending upon individual biases of the person at that particular moment. And those biases change from second to second. For example, one second they are of the opinion that the Bill of Rights is important and should be respected. The next second they believe nothing should stand in the way of preventing terrorists from murdering innocent people. They somehow cannot make the connection that these two beliefs are incompatible.

It could be this a built-in psychological mechanism common to almost all people.

I view it as some sort of mental illness.—Joe]


Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you. It’s more fun and games for the NSA:
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Quote of the day—Jennifer Palmieri

Any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits.

Jennifer Palmieri
Communications Director for Hillary Clinton
September 24, 2016
THE PRESSURE’S ON HILLARY CLINTON AT FIRST DEBATE, FAIR OR NOT
[Pamien, in this mind blowing display of projection, is referring to Donald Trump.

Rule Number 3. Social Justice Warriors always project.—Joe]


Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you.
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Quote of the day—Pew Research Center

A majority of the public (58%) says that gun ownership in this country does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, compared with 37% who believe it does more to put people’s safety at risk.

Pew Research Center
August 26, 2016
Opinions on Gun Policy and the 2016 Campaign
[That’s the good news.

The bad news is there doesn’t seem to be any anti-gun laws being proposed in any of the major legislative bodies that the majority of people are opposed to. I don’t have an explanation for this dichotomy other than what I have said many times before:

It’s irrational to expect people to be rational.

I guess it just means we have more work to do in changing the culture.—Joe]

Metadata is harmless…

… or so the government sometimes says.

OTOH, when you have Big Data, with enough MetaData, it turns into Creepy Data.

No, a shrink having her patients friending each other *based on FaceBlock’s reccomendation* isn’t creepy at all. It’s all totally harmless, and could never be misused, right? (and people wonder why I don’t do Book of Faces)

I wonder if they could sue FB for violating HIPAA?

Why people become terrorists

Via Bruce Schneier:

young people adrift in a globalized world find their own way to ISIS, looking to don a social identity that gives their lives significance. Groups of dissatisfied young adult friends around the world ­ often with little knowledge of Islam but yearning for lives of profound meaning and glory ­ typically choose to become volunteers in the Islamic State army in Syria and Iraq, Atran contends. Many of these individuals connect via the internet and social media to form a global community of alienated youth seeking heroic sacrifice, he proposes.

Preliminary experimental evidence suggests that not only global terrorism, but also festering state and ethnic conflicts, revolutions and even human rights movements — think of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s — depend on what Atran refers to as devoted actors. These individuals, he argues, will sacrifice themselves, their families and anyone or anything else when a volatile mix of conditions are in play. First, devoted actors adopt values they regard as sacred and nonnegotiable, to be defended at all costs. Then, when they join a like-minded group of nonkin that feels like a family ­ a band of brothers ­ a collective sense of invincibility and special destiny overwhelms feelings of individuality. As members of a tightly bound group that perceives its sacred values under attack, devoted actors will kill and die for each other.

He says it applies to the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s. Why shouldn’t it also be applicable to present day politics in the U.S.? Perhaps the Black Lives Matter movement and the police shootings?

Interesting. Very, very, interesting.

Quote of the day—Adam Lankford

The present study has offered three empirical predictions. (1) The number of fame-seeking rampage shooters will continue to grow. (2) Fame-seeking rampage shooters will attempt to kill more victims than past offenders killed. (3) Fame-seeking rampage shooters will “innovate” new ways to get attention.Whether these predictions will be borne out by future data remains to be seen. However, one social change that could potentially disrupt the growth of this threat would be a major reversal in the way the media covers these attackers. Recently, there has been some support for movements such as “No Notoriety” and “Don’t Name Them,” which encourage media organizations to avoid giving rampage shooters the attention and fame they often seek.

Adam Lankford
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume 27, March–April 2016, Pages 122–129
Fame-seeking rampage shooters: Initial findings and empirical predictions
[Via email from John Richardson, No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money.

This is all consistent with other research that I have seen. The only quibble I have with this conclusion is that it limits the fame seeking to shooters. I also expect fire, knives, swords, vehicles, poison, chemical weapons, explosives, blunt objects, and many other tools will also be used by fame seekers.—Joe].

Quote of the day—David Hardy

Some sorta academic clown suggests he and some buddies might storm NRA headquarters.

It’d be like “The Keystone Cops Storm Okinawa.” Amusing, but rather messy for the cleanup crews. Of course an anti gunner sees nothing wrong with homicide, that’s not really the issue….

David Hardy
July 6, 2016
It is possible he and his friends might make it to the elevators
[Delusions are often functional.

In this case my hypothesis is the academic clown is able to imagine some sort of control over his hated enemy in his delusional universe and this gives him comfort that he is lacking in the real world.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Anonymous Conservative

I see it in terms of political liberals, who respond to simple niceness with ever increasing demands for total capitulation and subservience under their brutal and capricious rule, and who respond to the cruelty and threat of groups like Islam with ever increasing groveling and ass-kissing. Morals, principle, it all means nothing.

Say you have no problem with men dressing as women and suddenly they demand you let those men be naked with your six year old daughter in a gym locker room. Say your religion requires those transgender men be thrown from buildings and murdered, and they will seek to import you into the country, provide you with free welfare, and give you victim status to get special privileges over real Americans. It is not logical.

Anonymous Conservative
May 25, 2016
On Violence, Amygdala, And Shifting Toward K
[While his claim about the transgender goals are less than accurate his point has a lot of truth to it. The liberal/progressives are all about tolerance and acceptance and want to politically suppress people who display a Confederate flag, deface bumper stickers of NRA members, and riot at assembles of their political opponents. All these people are, almost without exception, peaceful and law-abiding.

The progressives of the world are insistent that Muslims not be discriminated against, that refugees, consisting of a disproportionate number of warrior aged men with a demonstrated propensity for sexual violence, be allowed into their societies. Most terrorists events in the world are the work of Muslims. Nearly all armed conflicts in the world today involve Muslims on one or both sides. And drawing blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed will get you murdered.

So what gives? Anonymous Conservative proposed hypothesis is that these people have mental issues. I have to conclude either this or that, as frequently proposed by Lyle, these people recognize Muslims as the enemy of their political opponents and hence, after a fashion, they are their short term allies.

In any case it is not logical nor does it bode well for freedom.—Joe]

Quote of the day—M.E.

Perhaps this is almost too obvious/tautological/stupid to say, but although widespread change must eventually reach the majority, it does not often start there. Writer Rebecca Solnit put it this way:

Ideas at first considered outrageous or ridiculous or extreme gradually become what people think they’ve always believed. How the transformation happened is rarely remembered, in part because it’s compromising: it recalls the mainstream when the mainstream was, say, rabidly homophobic or racist in a way it no longer is; and it recalls that power comes from the shadows and the margins, that our hope is in the dark around the edges, not the limelight of center stage. Our hope and often our power.

I understand this, but thing that has always bothered the sociopath in me is the collective amnesia that everyone experiences. No one admits, I used to be homophobic but then I realized I was wrong. Instead there is rampant hypocrisy. There is no humility. There is no healthy skepticism of their feelings of moral certainty. The moral certainty just shifts beliefs, from anti to pro or vice versa.

M.E.
April 1, 2016
Changing our minds
[I read M.E. because of the insights she has into the population at large and to a certain extent her self analysis. She, in essence, has no empathy for other people and tries to make rational sense of their actions. Because of her somewhat unique viewpoint she sees the nonsensical behavior and can generalize more quickly than I do. I find it fascinating to catch a glimpse of the world through her eyes.

The shifting of moral certainty applies to so many things. Gun ownership, religion, freedom of speech, due process, enumerated powers of the government, recreational drug use, equal rights for women, global cooling/warming/climate-change etc. People, in general, do not know and/or care to distinguish truth from falsity or right from wrong. They “just know”.

Politicians take advantage of this and claim political positions which they believe will yield the most votes. Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Chavez, and many others in all countries were extremely popular in the beginning and in hindsight extraordinarily disastrous. It shouldn’t have taken hindsight. And with so many examples in history it shouldn’t take hindsight to see the errors being made today. But yet it appears to be the case.

Why is this? I think there are only three relatively easy to discern conditions necessary to predict the worst of, but of course not all, disasters.

  1. Many political options can be eliminated as “a bad idea” with very little analysis. But they are not eliminated because they are the same political options that are among the most powerful vote getters in a population that is unable to distinguish truth from falsity.
  2. A government which has essentially no limits on power.
  3. High social and/or economic stress.

When such a government is directed by people who either have no interest and/or ability to distinguish truth from falsity then disaster is nearly inevitable. It can easily become a powerful monster with an agenda of destruction with absolute moral certainty.

Welcome to the current political world of the United States.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Faraday

Contrary to opinion, leftism isn’t just about hate. Leftists are more complex than that. From my time as a red diaper leftist, I can tell you that a whole range of emotions are involved. Hate, anger, fear, bitterness, jealousy, envy, rage, greed, pride, smugness and paranoia (not technically an emotion, but it is widespread among leftists).

With such a parade of negative emotions, it is no surprise that so many leftists suffer from chronic depression, often from a young age. Even if they lose the anger, they still retain the attitude: that the government must fix everyone’s problems, regardless of cost and that there is an enormous right-wing conspiracy that is just around the corner.

The victim narrative of the Left is very infectious. You are always the victim and you are always owed something. The wealthy are always evil, while you are always good and wholesome.

Michael Faraday
March 16, 2016
The Mind of the Left From an Insider
[Amazing stuff in this article. Or at least it matches my confirmation bias extremely well.

The part about hate and being a victim really resonates with me. Emotions are how they communicate and expressions of hate are the means of signaling their virtue to other leftists. If they identify as a victim it justifies their hate. They identify with other victims. Those who do not identify as a victim of some sort must be the oppressors. And of course they always require a powerful government to right the wrongs they see inflicted upon them by powerful oppressors. The concept that powerful governments have been, can be, and always will be, oppressive is incomprehensible to them.—Joe]

Why Men Think Women Are Flirting

This explains some things:

Basically, quoting Justin J Lehmiller, “It’s adaptive for men to error on the side of over- rather than under-perceiving women’s sexual interest.” There is little to lose and something to gain by misperceiving friendliness or politeness as sexual interest. Hence it may have become hard-wired into human males.

Update: This is not to say this justifies men being aggressive, in any form, toward women. Men need to realize it is easy for them to make erroneous conclusions and women need to realize they may sometimes need to be “less than subtle” in their communication with men.

Quote of the day—Brandon Smith

The communists were very careful and deliberate in ensuring that the actions of the internal police were made valid through law and rationalized as a part of “class struggle.” Such laws were left so open to interpretation that literally any evil committed could later be vindicated. Man-made law is often a more powerful weapon than any gun, tank, plane or missile, because it triggers apathy within the masses. For some strange reason, when corrupt governments legalize their criminality through legislation or executive decree, the citizenry suddenly treats that criminality as legitimate and excusable.

Incremental prosecution and oppression is effective when the establishment wishes to avoid outright confrontation with a population. Attempt to snatch up a million people at one time, and you will have an immediate rebellion on your hands. Snatch up a million people one man at a time, or small groups at a time, and people do not know what to think or how to respond. They determine to hope that the authorities never get to them, that it will stop after a few initial arrests, or they hope that if they censor themselves completely, they will never be noticed.

Brandon Smith
February 24, 2016
A Warning To The Feds On Incremental Prosecutions Of The Liberty Movement
[I believe Smith is correct about human nature. In Washington State and some others it’s against the law, I-594, to loan your hunting rifle to your life-long friend for the weekend. If you were to assume the claimed motivation for the law is to reduce violence crime is true then it’s an incredibly stupid law. But I suspect many people avoid breaking that law and if they were prosecuted would blame themselves rather than the law and those who voted for it.

As you follow your nature please remember what Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn said:

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

It’s entirely natural to follow the law. But sometimes that which is natural is not what is best for you or society as a whole.—Joe]