The Prince is Wearing No Clothes!

perhaps if he was an emperor, we wouldn’t be daring to discuss it so openly, but that’s part of the point. He aint. And although he still represents the pinnacle of Capitalist Hierarchy, what has clearly gone missing is Deference.

Actually, I’m impressed. The beeb has spent the whole day looking for someone to lambast the prince, completely without success. Nobody gives a goddam shit. And, obviously, nor should they. Were any prostitutes or married women involved? Was anyone there without their informed consent? No, so woss the problem john?

BBC News –
Naked Prince Harry photos published online
.

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Social Psychosis

Did I miss something? The headline “Why people believe undocumented immigrants cause more crime” suggests the author has found an answer to the question: “why DO people believe (etc)” but according to this Physorg summary, all it seems she’s doing is pointing out the evidence which challenges the belief; then reiterating the question “why the belief?”… Odd.

At the very least I’d have expected to see some mention of the most likely source of such ill-informed belief: viz the disinformation provided, constantly and at high volume, by the tabloid “journalists” in print, visual and digital media.

In any case, the more interesting question, given that the culprits have access to the same evidence, is why, nevertheless, they choose to promote the disinfo, even though they can see their lies being dissected and revealed in public as easily as this story illustrates.

This behaviour is not, of course, limited to their treatment of the facts regarding levels of American crime committed by illegal aliens. They’re pretty similar with regard to their treatment of Climate Change, the War on Drugs, the causes of the Financial Meltdown in 2008, the prospects for the Global Economy and many, if not most, crucially important areas of human discourse.

A clue to their motivation comes in this paper, pithily entitled:A culture of mania: a psychoanalytic
view of the incubation of the 2008 credit crisis
(pdf) in which the author “suggest(s) that a manic culture is one typified by denial, omnipotence, triumphalism and over-activity”; exactly what we see from the Authoritarians the world over in relation to those key issues. Their inflated conviction regarding their own infallibility is one of the most dangerous features of the modern world.

I’m also inclined to welcome this as reasonable academic support for my own amateur efforts to define “Social Psychosis” which I first did back in 2005 in my attempt answer the question as to whether, when Authoritarians lie about the evidence for WMD, or War Crimes or Evolution or whatever, they are Lying, Stupid or Blind.

I made the point that:

Psychologically, people who form firm beliefs – in the absence of the validated evidence we’ve discussed – are, essentially both irrational and gullible… If they continue to hold such beliefs when the relevant hypotheses have been falsified, then, I would argue, they are showing the early signs of psychosis. When groups of like-minded people share the challenged beliefs, it becomes a social psychosis in which members turn to each other for mutual validation of their shared and increasingly distorted world view.

What Mark Stein is helpfully doing is putting some serious meat on the bones of that conjecture.

Iran to crack down on web censor-beating software

This is the front line in the battle between We The People and the Authoritarians. Don’t make the mistake of smirking that you’re not involved. The Iranian authoritarians are merely trying out the techniques which will be used increasingly against those of us to like to think we live in more “liberal” countries.

Check back in ten years time, after it’s clear whether they’ve succeeded or not. See how this comment reads then. If they did succeed, I suspect your first problem will be finding this comment or others like it.

The American Authoritarians are the key. If they decide to go down this road, we’re about to enter the new “dark age”. If they resist, we’ll still have the rest of the World to deal with but at least we’ll have a firm homebase to start from.

The signs are not good. The sheer extent of their illicit untrusted surveillance on their own citizens (not to mention those of us who aren’t) makes the Stasi look both primitive and restrained. With a budget in excess of most National Budgets, the American panopticon is well beyond the control of the politicians and has essentially become a law unto itself.

This is about as dangerous as the State can ever get. We are now at the mercy of the motivation of the current generation of spooks. If they’re the “good guys” they no doubt consider themselves to be, then we might be relatively lightly controlled. But I guarantee the Stasi thought of themselves as being the good guys too…

Democracy 2.0: Iceland crowdsources new constitution

were you aware of this?

and if not, why not? You can see (from the linked article) it’s dated back last June. Could it be that those who rather like the way things are haven’t been talking about it? I wonder why that might be…

Climate-change scepticism must be ‘treated’, says enviro-sociologist • The Register

this idiot is an example of the problem rather than solution. I happen to be a firm believer in climate change and the need for action myself. But the idea that you can bully the sceptics into conformity by charging them with irrationality is as scientifically and politically illiterate as most other authoritarian arguments.

The plain truth is that the entire edifice of science is constructed on intellectually strong but pathetically insecure foundations. Until we have an audited peer review system, there is no honest argument against rejection of almost any hypothesis purely on the basis that you are not satisfied that the evidence has been properly gathered, analysed and fairly summarised.

When we choose to believe a particular scientific theory at the moment, it remains an act of faith that the entire system has been conducted with appropriate integrity.

That being said, some such acts of faith are more rational than others. My own faith, for example, in the plausibility of the Theory of Evolution rests on the irrationality of the conspiracy theory required to cast doubt upon it. i.e. we would have to believe that several million scientists have collaborated, over a period of a hundred and fifty years, to fabricate the evidence and misrepresent the findings which flow from that evidence. It is, frankly, much easier to believe that the majority of relevant research has been entirely honest.

But that cannot be so glibly stated on either side of the Climate arguments. Personally, I tend to favour the credibility and motives of those who tell us that the Climate is warming and that we can and should do something about it. But I recognise that my preference, in the absence of an immutable audit trail, is no more than faith in the benign intentions of those researchers.

Home – This Is Not A Film

amazingly courageous film maker smuggled the film he is not allowed to make out of his police state. Frankly I don’t know if you will help or hurt him by supporting his efforts. The more popular he becomes outside in the real world, the more the Iranian authoritarians may be inclined to victimize him…

Home – This Is Not A Film.

Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon

Unfortunately non Stumblers aren’t allowed to see this page. One of Stumbleupon’s weirdest decisions has always been to hide the content created by its users – which would have generated at least as much traffic as the basic stumbling activity and thus given them a fighting chance of “monetizing” their invention.

But here’s a literal snapshot of some of the comments being made, page after page, against the latest enforced changes and in support of an excellent demolition piece which the whole world can read.

Stumblers Opinion Of Stumble changes...

Even Non Stumblers might be entertained by this. Hopefully other control freaks might learn something from it.

Such is the reaction of the Stumbleupon community to the owners’ latest puerile crassly commercial attempt at social control.

It’s amazing how someone who built up a thriving social network can fuck it up so completely despite about a million warnings. And it’s been painful to be one of their victims…

All in all, a splendid example of how the motivation of money can make innovators lose the plot…

Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon.