News Just In: Sometimes the Photograph is Real!

Utterly convinced this could not be a real image.

Couldn’t prove it but the logic didn’t scan. Even if they were sextuplets, woss the chances of them all settling down simultaneously for a photograph???

but, holy shit, this page – and the abc news video on it look pretty convincing…
They musta been drugged…


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.

Evidence for early evolution of Human Language ability…

In 2006, I conjectured at the beginning of Chapter 7 that we discovered how to control and use Fire around 2 million years ago. This directly contradicts the standard view which reluctantly concedes the earliest signs of deliberate hominid fire use being less than a million years old. At the time, the only support I could find for my own speculation was another conjectural essay by Richard Wrangham (author of “The Demonic Male”).

I think we can now take this research as firmer supporting evidence for both conjectures. In both cases we draw a close link between the evolution of language and the use of fire though it is still not obvious which came first…

Elected Leaders are literally addicted to power

Hands up if this comes as a surprise…

NASA Perpetual Ocean: The Ocean Surface Currents around the World – information aesthetics

more hypnotic data visualisation:
this time two years worth of ocean current circulation data

…if you think that’s cool, and you have the bandwidth, storage space and an HDTV linked to your computer, I strongly recommend downloading the full 20 minute HD Video (4Gb)

Its good enough to watch without getting stoned!


I’m more fascinated by the fact that they’ve made this information marketable than by the information itself…

Visual Resurrection Technology Gets Beta

Warning: – before you dive in to the video – if Rap is not your foreplay, mute the sound, it’s not important. It’s the visual virtual human we’ve come to see.

We’ve moved from Alpha to Beta with this technology. The first Release Candidate should be so good that you will not be able, even in its presence, to distinguish it from reality unless you are close enough to try to touch it.

10 years?