Graham Hancock would be spinning in his grave…

Fortunately, however, he’s not dead.

I hope he spots this little confirmation of his hypothesis from Supernatural (2005)

Christianity – Genetic Blowback?

Just a thought.

Just watched the excellent “Sex and the Church

Learned a lot. Highly recommended.

But although it explained – very well – what we know about the history of the Christian church’s embarrassing obsession with sex, it didn’t explain how or why the ideas which formed the core of the meme managed to survive past the “raised eyebrow” stage. And they are so psychotic that an explanation is required.

Clearly by the time Augustine had “clarified” the doctrine of sexual sin, the only logical conclusion that can be drawn is that a truly sinless human race – which is, ostensibly, what the Christian church would have liked to achieve – would, by virtue of complete sexual abstinence, have made themselves extinct within about a century.

Is it conceivable that no one understood that at the time? Not for me it ain’t. For me, it’s bleedin obvious that it would have been bleedin’ obvious to any sentient human hearing that proposal at any time. So how did it get past the snorts of ridicule? What on earth made so many meekly accept – at least in public – such a message as meaningful ethical guidance?

Not, of course, that they paid anything but lip service to the resultant edicts; or else there wouldn’t be so many of the buggers around today. So the first tactical error (in this context) made by the authoritarian church had the effect of making private disobedience an essential tool of survival. That’s not a good trait to encourage in a “subject.”

More significantly, if the tendencies to either disobedience or submission (to the demand for sexual abstinence) had any basis in genetic predisposition, their strategy also ensured the evolution of increasingly sceptical and disobedient Christians, whom – inevitably – learned to value autonomy over authority and, eventually, to reject authority altogether. Delicious irony?

I know. It’s a fairy story. Nice one though.

Why We Fight (Eugene Jarecki)

depressing to find that this has just 5 “likes” on Stumbleupon and has only been viewed 80,125 times on youtube despite having been available, free, for over a year. This degree of apathy explains how they continue to get away with it. They are immune because “We The People” are indifferent. Sad, sad, sad…

One Law For The Rich


The sheer brazen effrontery of this corruption is breathtaking. Not just the banks’ corruption (15 years – in the case of HSBC – of criminal money laundering for drug cartels and terrorist groups) but the State corruption in the form of the decision that banks like HSBC are “too big to prosecute”. Oh, and don’t forget to ask yourself the routine question: why are you having to watch this on The Real News rather than mainstream media?

Few, if any, events in recorded history have so clearly illustrated not just the gap between the elite rich and the rest of us, but even the illegitimate means by which they are permitted and even helped to maintain their illicit advantages over civil society.

ANY criminal prosecuted, from now on, in any country where trial by jury is the norm, should now argue – direct to the jury – that whatever crime they are accused of cannot possibly be as serious as what the banks have been allowed to get away with for decades and that, if the banks can be let off with a token fine (less than a day’s profit), there can be no ethical case for any lesser prosecutions. Judges and prosecutors will, of course, try to resist that argument, but let’s see what the Juries decide…

More Support for “Early Use of Fire”

I’m sorry for the child of course. But I’m still rather pleased to read this news that the kid probably died of malnutrition as a result of withdrawal of meat from his diet.

It lends further support to my conjecture that we’ve been using Fire for more than 2 million years; in contrast to the orthodox archaeological view that half a million is more likely.

A key thing to consider is the “at least” in the articles first sentence. For humans to have suffered the consequences of withdrawal of meat, implies evolutionary adaptation which itself would itself have been the result of “at least” a couple of hundred thousand years of meat-eating. Put that together with Richard Wrangham’s observations about dramatic changes in Skull shape and diet around 2 million years back (which he puts down to cooking meat) and it’s all increasingly consistent with my suggestion that we started using fire methodically (rather than opportunistically) more than 2 million years ago as a direct result of the prolonged use and manufacture of flint tools – which are uncontroversially dated back “at least” 2.5 million years.

Anyone who’s attempted working with flint – or has a non electronic lighter – knows how easily they produce sparks and it has always seemed obvious to me that such sparks would have occasionally produced small fires in the dried brush of the savannah and that, after a few hundred thousand years it might well have occurred to even the most conservative Homo Erectus to think “hey – wait a minute…”

Israel Lobbyist in US: We Need a False Flag to Start War with Iran (youtube)

.

We’ve seen extraditions to the US for less than this. So how is this legal? Thanks to ScrabbleEddie for sending me to this blogger who provides a bit of background…

MAJOR breakthrough on Cannabis and Jury Nullification

New Hampshire may have cracked open the Dam. But will their trickle turn into a flood?

What they have done is truly radical, and – if the Federal Government does not move rapidly to stamp on it – even potentially revolutionary; causing much more significant change to society than, for example, the liberating effects of the 60s.

You’ll excuse me if I allow myself a high-five or two, given my own first foray into this field back in 1999. I was then promoting a subversive adoption of Jury Nullification designed to get around the obstacle of the Judiciary to any mention of the N word.

What the Libertarians have pulled off in New Hampshire is much more ambitious than that. They’ve managed to pass a State Law explicitly stating:

The Jury in a criminal trial case has the undisputed power to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. This power of jury nullification is a historical prerogative of the jury inherent in the use of the general verdict in criminal cases.

I genuinely cannot exaggerate the importance of this breakthrough. It may one day be regarded as the day we began the march to true democracy. They’ve “only” delivered the “Second Change“! And if you read that piece you’ll get a feel for the scale of their achievement. The Judicial system has been fighting against this development for over a hundred years.

They actually enacted the new law a few months ago so why didn’t we hear about it before now? Well as you can learn from the “Reason” link above, the law isn’t officially “live” till the first day of 2013. Obviously the Courts in that part of the world are keen to adopt the new rules, which bodes well for their success.

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s worth a spliff…

Hillsborough: Why Conspiracy Theories Thrive

So now we KNOW the truth. Up until today, it was just another conspiracy theory. Think about that…
And then address the question of how we might determine which of the other million or so conspiracy theories floating around the web are also entirely (or at least mostly) true.

I’ll expand on this later. (he threatened…)

How Authority Works

Truly excellent. I’m not surprised to learn that this gem has been around for some time, but it’s still the first time I’ve come across it. More importantily, it explains, as well as I ever seen, the principle mechanism by which authoritarianism maintains its grip on society

The cartoon itself illustrates the importance of presentational skills. I guarantee it presents the message far more clearly and accessibly than the original academic study reference on which it is based; the snappily entitled “Stephenson, G. R. (1967). Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys. In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288.” See, you’re already asleep…

Standardised Authoritarian Arguments

this nice little image got me thinking: Is there a standard structure to Authoritarian argument? I believe this piece illustrates the genre perfectly. The standardised versions I drew from it are listed below the image…

Standardised:
1 The proposed change is unnatural

2 The status quo is both necessary and sufficient because it produces the socially desirable result

3 Permitting the proposed behaviour will create undesirable role models for children;
or
3a Children need role models consistent with the status quo

4 Accepting the change would reduce the value of the status quo

5 The status has been quo for a long time

6 The issue should be decided by (whoever is most likely to decide it in favour of the status quo)

7 The proposed change is forbidden or not approved by religion

8 Permitting the proposed behaviour will encourage more of it

9 Permitting the proposed behaviour now will be a gateway to even worse behaviour later

10 The proposed change would change something so fundamental it should never be changed

11 There are alternatives which are acceptable to us and which you should accept.

*******************************************
Now try applying that to the authoritarian argument of your choice.

I’ll have a go at a few myself. Later…

Jewish Anti-Zionists “thank” Hitler for the Holocaust

This Anti Zionist Graffiti reads: “Zionists Wanted The Holocaust”


The graffiti is stretching things a bit too far (I don’t believe the Zionists WANTED the holocaust. They merely had the intelligence to exploit it), but these anti-zionists are making no more than the point I argued in Chapter 5 in 2003 while discussing the possible purposes of the mythical divine entity invoked by religious believers who consider their god or gods to be a valid hypothesis to explain the existence of the Universe.

And any theists inclined to argue that their god/s couldn’t possibly have an inhumane purpose might care to answer the questions as to why, in that case, he takes so little interest in our affairs to the extent of allowing such huge and widespread pain and suffering. Indifference to our fate either individually or collectively is no better, subjectively, than active hostility – particularly if he genuinely was capable of preventing it. And its not that we can’t see the long term perspective that a deity might take. We can even perceive the benefits of the holocaust, for example. The death of 6 million Jews has almost certainly ensured their survival! (This, incidentally, from one whose family lost 46 members in the death camps and ghettoes) Organised anti-semitism on any widespread scale is now virtually extinct. You may continue to have neo nazis for a while, but they are unlikely to have any serious impact. The long term result, therefore, of that insane butchery is more genuine security than the Jews have known in a thousand years and the rebirth of their geographical nation. Of course, they may be about to throw that all away if they cannot break the cycle of abuse and step back from being the grotesque abusers they have become, but thats for the future to determine.
(emphasis added)

No doubt if I’d sprayed the relevant paragraph over a war memorial myself, it would have received more attention…

Neuromarketing – How to Focus the message on YOU

Yet another reason to ensure you’re using Adblock.

I’m betting this won’t work for broadcasting, except in those very rare cases where there is a genuine consensus, like, say, the desirability of living long and prospering. In the more typical scenario, where beliefs and opinions are divided, sometimes bitterly, any neuromarketing broadcast to the population at large, will be as likely to alienate as motivate. Mind you, I concede that provoking such polarization will occasionally be the aim and yes, it will work in that context.

But when they start narrowcasting with these techniques, we’ll see some really serious social, commercial and political manipulation made relatively scalable and trivial. And targeted web advertising is right in the centre of their sights as we speak. It’s whole point is narrowcasting, where they know, already, what mindset and beliefs the target holds. Armed with that insight it is clearly going to be pretty easy pretty soon to pick the symbolism which will most profitably leverage that knowledge.

You’ll even persuade yourself you wanted to do it.

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.

Male-Dominated-Culture

1,600 Palestinians on hunger strike and the world sleeps on…

1600 Prisoners of War are now nearly 10 weeks into the world’s biggest ever hunger strike and I’m betting this the first you’ve heard of it. While you’re contemplating the question of why that might be, spare a thought for those about to start dying.

The biggest unresolved crime still extant in the world today is the theft of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel, my genetic kin, I am ashamed to admit. So how do you confront a regional nuclear superpower which has committed itself to violent resolution of its territorial problems? The only “weapon” they have left is their own deaths.

They won’t change anything. Their deaths will be entirely futile. But as a result, the Third World War will continue to escalate…