Friday, August 22, 2014

The Universal Smedley - 3

Desert Snow Storm
It is Friday so let's take a scientific look at what happens when propaganda meets memetics to produce a runaway hybrid form of government (e.g. The Germ Theory - of Government - 8).

The case we will review concerns mysterious and unintended consequences which take place when ancient, dormant memes become active once again in modern foreign policy scenarios.

Such developments are like ancient microbes becoming active once again in a modern laboratory after being away from the view and knowledge of civilization for ages and aeons of time.

Recent developments show us that ancient microbial life forms can revive to come alive to our eyes and knowledge once again (Ancient Microbes Found in Antarctic Lake, Cold, Dark and Alive! Life Discovered in Buried Antarctic Lake).

Similarly, in the previous post of this series we discussed an ancient, dormant meme that had somehow been revived from relative obscurity to become activated within the mind of one particular world leader (The Universal Smedley - 2).

That ancient, now activated, meme is the "Battle of Armageddon" (BOA) meme, which somehow infected Winston Churchill, a world leader who, at that time in history, could have an impact on world affairs:
From the moment he arrived at the Admiralty, a young man of destiny, Churchill started to prepare the fleet for the Battle of Armageddon he believed was inevitable.
Then, in 1911, the German Kaiser provoked the Agadir crisis ... Churchill went to the Admiralty and his outlook transformed. He was immediately confronted with the decisive question: to convert the navy from coal to oil ... the "fateful plunge" was made ... in April 1912 ... five oil-burning battleships were approved.
It was the Royal Navy which was the impetus for the development of the oil industry in Britain. The problem was supply and the security of that supply. Initially, the British government purchased shares in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, subsequently, British Petroleum [BP].
Then, to prevent further disruptions, Britain enmeshed itself ever more deeply in the Middle East, working to install new shahs in Iran and carve Iraq out of the collapsing Ottoman Empire.

Churchill fired the starting gun, but all of the Western powers joined the race to control Middle Eastern oil.
(Viva Egypt - 2, quoting history books, emphasis in original post). While the BOA meme was circling in the dark lakes of religion, deep under the icecaps of time, it was merely ink on the pages of ancient scripture scrolls, hallelujahs during sermons to the choir, yet unknown to the most of us:
Armagedōn ... will be, according to the Book of Revelation, the site of gathering of armies for a battle during the end times, variously interpreted as either a literal or symbolic location. The term is also used in a generic sense to refer to any end of the world scenario.
(Wikipedia, "Armageddon", emphasis added). How Winston Churchill got infected by the BOA meme is uncertain, but history tells us that he was exposed to it in his early life while attending services of The Church of England (Anglicans), who still hold to that belief (Armageddon).

It did not have an impact on Churchill's concepts of foreign policy until he was exposed to power, along with a perceived threat, whereupon the BOA meme began to alter or control Churchill's thinking about foreign policy.

It got to the point that the BOA meme influenced his efforts to change the British Navy and middle east policy, which still impacts history to this very day.

We see, then, that memes can lie dormant in obscure places to later become viral pathogens that live on long after their creators have died.

Memes can eventually become more permanent as brain circuits in our cultural amygdala (e.g. Comparing a Meme Complex to a Cultural Amygdala, Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala - 4).

Which brings us to the events that are material to this post, events which impact upon the news you may read or hear today.

That is because in the news today, years after Churchill died, the BOA meme is actively at work once again.

It is influencing Middle East Foreign Policy among warmongering subcultures, such as the feudal military and their lackey officials in government:
Senior Pentagon officials described the Islamic State (Isis) militant group as an “apocalyptic” organisation that posed an “imminent threat” on Thursday, yet the highest ranking officer in the US military said that in the short term, it was sufficient for the United States to “contain” the group that has reshaped the map of Iraq and Syria.
This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.”
(Apocalyptic ISIS, emphasis added). Warmongering now animates the BOA meme as a cause of war preparation no matter whether Winston Churchill's ideological descendants have the infection, whether the conjured up enemy has the infection, or whether both now have the infection.

The militant ideology generated by the BOA meme infection has been diagnosed, by historians and statesmen alike, repeatedly over many years:
"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells."
The Worldwide control of humanity's economic, social and political activities is under the helm of US corporate and military power. Underlying this process are various schemes of direct and indirect military intervention. These US sponsored strategies ultimately consist in a process of global subordination ... US strategists, in an attempt to justify their military interventions in different parts of the World, have conceptualised the greatest fraud in US history, namely "the Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT). The latter, using a fabricated pretext constitutes a global war against all those who oppose US hegemony ... The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations. The conquest, occupation and/or otherwise supervision of these various regions of the World is supported by an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire Planet (Continents, Oceans and Outer Space). All this pertains to the workings of an extensive Empire, the exact dimensions of which are not always easy to ascertain ... The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide ... In this regard, Hugh d’Andrade and Bob Wing's 2002 Map 1 entitled "U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World, The Cost of 'Permanent War'", confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries ... The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries ... In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide ... These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).
(GWOT: In The "Eye" Of The Beholder?, emphasis added). Memetics, like any other discipline, can be helpful as a tool for observing and analysing ideological dynamics that mysteriously continue seemingly in perpetuity.

Such disciplines can also get off track (e.g. Death & Resurrection Of Memetics).

So, watch the short video below, if you haven't already, for an example of ongoing memetic concepts spoken by a philosopher.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Dangerous memes:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Poet Laureate of MOMCOM - 3


The swaying motion on the bank of the river falls,
The chasm at the sternpost,
The swiftness of the hand-rail,
The huge passing of the current
Conduct by unimaginable lights
And chemical newness
Voyagers surrounded by the waterspouts of the valley
And the current.

They are the conquerors of the world
Seeking a personal chemical fortune;
Sports and comfort travel with them;
They take the education
Of races, classes, and animals, on this Boat.
Repose and dizziness
To the torrential light,

To the terrible nights of study.

For from the talk among the apparatus,—blood, flowers, fire, jewels—
From the agitated accounts on this fleeing deck,
—You can see, rolling like a dyke beyond the hydraulic motor road,
Monstrous, illuminated endlessly,—their stock of studies;
Themselves driven into harmonic ecstasy
And the heroism of discovery.

In the most startling atmospheric happenings
A youthful couple withdraws into the archway,
—Is it an ancient coyness that can be forgiven?—
And sings and stands guard.

by Rimbaud

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 5

"We have a warrant for your freedom."
The Ferguson, MO killing of Mike Brown by officer Darren Wilson, and the subsequent advent of the warrior cops has surprised a lot of Americans.

It has raised a lot of eyebrows around the world too (#Twitter).

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has been watching the rise of the warrior cops for years (Will The Military Become The Police?, 2, 3, 4, 5), and regular readers also know that this series was dealing with the issue well before the Ferguson injustices were exposed (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science).

Further, regular readers also know that Dredd Blog ties these decadent dynamics into a coup of American culture (A Tale of Coup Cities, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

A coup that the world can see, whether Americans want to or not.

This is in accord with the historical norm that all societies, so far, either committed suicide (the vast majority), or have been murdered (The Deceit Business - 3).

The seemingly incoherent developments in Ferguson show that racism is seething below the surface, and simmering there in the frying pan of incoherent hatred.

Wrong-wing white Americans have not been shown the way to eradicate racism via reasoned enlightenment, so they have chosen to try to deny it by deceiving themselves that it does not exist.
"Gawd bless Amurka."

This is easier for them when much of that right-wing culture denies science, embraces fundamental ignorance, and is not aware of or not fond of what human rights are really about.

The W Direction, which too many Americans have taken, eventually guarantees the loss of all freedoms for the great majority, which we call the 99%.

It is also guaranteeing the "freedom to oppress" for a deceived minority that we call the 1%, a culture that is diametrically opposed to the common good.

What I am saying is that "freedom" is becoming synonymous with "no accountability" (impunity and immunity from justice).

Racism, warmongering, oppression, and self-serving have always been in the cultural amygdala of the 1% (those whose ancestors sat there celebrating rather than mourning when slavery was sprinkled with holy water in the original primitive constitution).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Agnotology: The Surge - 12

How do we analyse judgment?
Some of the cases in my Agnotology 101 textbook are scenarios that tend to support the hypothesis of long-time geneticist Dr. E.M. McCarthy.

His hypothesis concerns the hybrid lineage originating as a gleam in the eye of LUCA I and LUCA II (not his name for them).

Dr. McCarthy says that we humans evolved from a tryst between the two (The Germ Theory - of Government - 8).

Whether that hypothesis will develop into a theory or not is in question, as his book was put on hold due to "publisher problems" when one of the peer reviewers became offended by his subject matter.

There is no doubt that Dr. McCarthy is an expert in the field of genetics relating to hybrids (ibid), however, even genetic hybrid history is like a movie with both good scenes and bad scenes (the "good" or the "bad" depending on the opinions of the audience watching the movie).

In some states, within the U.S., science and law are not always in sync or even in agreement.

That is a result, in today's case (see short video below), of political judgment or the lack thereof.

Again, depending on who is watching the movie.

When the development of a law, which is heavily involved with matters of science, is left to the political elite without meaningful resort to the scientific community, very strange results can evolve (again, see the video below about a law making it illegal for a woman to be impregnated with an animal embryo and vice versa).

Your future and mine are dependent upon those who make laws and decisions that impact the future.

Therefore, their view of the future is paramount, because it can affect generations of people (The Universal Smedley - 2, Viva Egypt - 2).

The book depicted at the top of today's post makes an attempt to discern the situation by testing opinions with some scientific rigor:
Expert Political Judgment” is not a work of media criticism. Tetlock is a psychologist—he teaches at Berkeley—and his conclusions are based on a long-term study that he began twenty years ago. He picked two hundred and eighty-four people who made their living “commenting or offering advice on political and economic trends,” and he started asking them to assess the probability that various things would or would not come to pass, both in the areas of the world in which they specialized and in areas about which they were not expert. Would there be a nonviolent end to apartheid in South Africa? Would Gorbachev be ousted in a coup? Would the United States go to war in the Persian Gulf? Would Canada disintegrate? (Many experts believed that it would, on the ground that Quebec would succeed in seceding.) And so on. By the end of the study, in 2003, the experts had made 82,361 forecasts. Tetlock also asked questions designed to determine how they reached their judgments, how they reacted when their predictions proved to be wrong, how they evaluated new information that did not support their views, and how they assessed the probability that rival theories and predictions were accurate.

Tetlock got a statistical handle on his task by putting most of the forecasting questions into a “three possible futures” form. The respondents were asked to rate the probability of three alternative outcomes: the persistence of the status quo, more of something (political freedom, economic growth), or less of something (repression, recession). And he measured his experts on two dimensions: how good they were at guessing probabilities (did all the things they said had an x per cent chance of happening happen x per cent of the time?), and how accurate they were at predicting specific outcomes. The results were unimpressive. On the first scale, the experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned an equal probability to all three outcomes—if they had given each possible future a thirty-three-per-cent chance of occurring. Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys, who would have distributed their picks evenly over the three choices.
(New Yorker, "Everybody’s An Expert"). Politicians more and more tend to view their opinions as being above or better than those of the public.

That even though the growing tendency of politicians in our culture is to develop "knowledge" in the manner of belief and trust (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

When this type of "personality" develops within a culture, the concept of "knowledge" inevitably suffers:
Here, we investigate one particular aspect of social cognition, namely, what we will call ‘‘political ideology,’’ by which we mean people’s self-placement on a dimension on which persons can be arrayed from left to right. Of course, every subfield in social science seems to have its own use of the word ‘‘ideology’’ (Eagleton, 1991); in following the conventional usage of public opinion research and political science we do not mean to deny the usefulness of other approaches (for some recent examples, see Larson, 2009; Prasad et al., 2009). Rather, we focus on that understanding that is in some ways the ‘‘ur-form’’ of social cognition—our sense of how we stand by others in an implicit social formation whose meaning is totally relational. At the same time, these self-conceptions seem to be of the greatest importance for the development of the polity and of civil society itself. Our question is, when citizens develop such a ‘‘political ideology,’’ what does this mean, and what do they do with it?
(Political Position and Social Knowledge, page 2). In the U.S. the scientific knowledge of more and more young and older people alike is waning.

We fall lower and lower in scientific ability, according to academic tests, compared to other industrial nations.

This is one of the ways that past societies have committed suicide (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3), so it is a matter of concern.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Church & State Hybrid Law:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Look At The Dredd Blog Past

Some call it "a blast from the past."

Others call it "And that is the way it was."

From time to time we look at the past to see what was written down on Dredd Blog and passed along to readers here.

On this date in 2009, the following two stories is what was happening on Dredd Blog on August 18, 2009:

Health Care Includes Mental Health?

The sound and the fury of the health care debates raging in the land of pundits, journalists, and concerned citizens is sometimes less than clear.

I am not sure people are talking about the same thing sometimes, because they seem discordant and unsure of their facts about what physical illness is relevant.

I have heard no discussion about what mental health issues, if any, are covered in this raging health care debate.

Mental health care should be included in the discussion if the issue of mounting health care costs is to be a factor:
U.S. spending on mental illness is soaring at a faster pace than spending on any other health care category, new government data released Wednesday shows. The cost of treating mental disorders rose sharply between 1996 and 2006, from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time, the report showed, the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health woes almost doubled, from 19 million to 36 million. The new statistics come on the heels of a study, released Monday, that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005"
(Medical News Today, emphasis added). There is some potentially disconcerting language on some government sites in this regard:
The emotional impact of traumatic events can have devastating effects on the mental well-being of individuals of all ages. For many, it is easy to focus all energies on helping other people or on maintaining daily schedules and routines. Although these efforts deserve attention, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and to monitor your own emotions during difficult times.
(U.S. HHS, emphasis added). It is a bit strange but at the same time socially acceptable that we would be left to monitor our own mental condition, but would not even think of doing our own doctoring on physical maladies.

She Don't Mind She Don't Mind Cocaine

Once again we have a reminder of injustice and disparity in the U.S.A. when it comes to sentencing practices over the past decade or so.

Cocaine has been said to be the drug of the affluent, for which users get a comparatively light sentence in jail.

At least it is light compared to crack cocaine, said to be the drug of the poor, for which a much greater sentence has been given for the same amount.

A recent study shows us that cocaine is found on 90% of our small paper bills, our cash:
The scientists collected U.S. banknotes from 17 U.S. cities and found that larger cities like Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit had among the highest average cocaine levels. Washington, D.C., ranked above the average, with 95 percent of the banknotes sampled contaminated with the drug. The lowest average cocaine levels in U.S. currency appeared in bills collected from Salt Lake City.
(Science Daily). If it were crack cocaine on the cash there could be enough to send almost anyone to jail who handles enough currency so that the residue stays on them until a test on a person's hands is conducted:
For sentencing purposes, the rules equate one gram of crack cocaine to 100 grams of powdered cocaine. Essentially, the judge who sentenced Kimbrough ignored this punitive standard.

"The judge said, this crack/powder thing is just nuts," said Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker.

Other judges agree. So does the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which has repeatedly recommended revising the 21-year-old cocaine sentencing rules. So do members of Congress such as Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, who've again introduced a bill to even out cocaine sentences.
(McClatchy). The 100 - 1 ratio has resulted in an unfair prosecution of blacks who make up the bulk of prisoners.

The Supreme Court held that federal district court judges could ignore the unfair 100-1 ratio and do sentences based on a more fair application of law.