yet more research

According to the Washington Post, Internet users are increasingly seeing the error message “According to computer crime regulations, access to this Web site is denied.” The Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, Thomas Erdbrink, says that software Iranians use to bypass Iran’s firewall recently stopped working. “Many fear that the disabling of the software used to bypass the state-run firewall heralds the coming of what authorities have labeled the National Internet,” Erdbrink wrote.

It’s not clear how widespread the blockages are. Reports from some Twitter users earlier this week indicate that all non-Iranian websites had been censored. However, checking out the “Blocked In Iran” tool today shows no blockages of Google sites. Assuming the reports are true, it wouldn’t be the first time websites have been blocked in Iran—Ars itself was blocked in October 2010 following coverage of the Stuxnet malware that targeted Iran.

An essential part of science involves finding correlations between two sets of measurements and seeking explanations for those correlations. However, relationships can be suggested by data even when they don’t actually exist, and correlations may occur due to random fluctuations rather than a deep underlying principle (as the infamous “correlation does not equal causation” cliché suggests). These errors are easy to make, and the scientific literature is full of them.

discovery of a “universal” law within the data may be an artifact of imagination, so it’s good to add a healthy dose of skepticism before such claims are presented to the public as revelations.

The history between the Iceni and the Romans is a violent one. In A.D. 43, when the Romans, under Emperor Claudius, invaded Britain, they encountered fierce resistance from them.  After a failed revolt in A.D. 47 they became a client kingdom of the empire, with Prasutagus as their leader. When he died, around A.D. 60, the Romans tried to finish the subjugation, in brutal fashion.
“First, his [Prasutagus’] wife Boudicea was scourged, and his daughters outraged. All the chief men of the Iceni, as if Rome had received the whole country as a gift, were stripped of their ancestral possessions, and the king’s relatives were made slaves,” wrote Tacitus
, a Roman writer in The Annals.  (From the book, “Complete Works of Tacitus,” 1942, edited for the Perseus Digital Library.)
This led Boudicea (more commonly spelled Boudicca) to form an army and lead a
revolt against the Romans. At first she was successful, defeating Roman military units and even sacking Londinium. In the end the Romans rallied and defeated her at the Battle of Watling Street. With the Roman victory the rebellion came to an end, and a town named Venta Icenorum was eventually set up on their land.  [Top 12 Warrior Moms in History]
“The Iceni vanish from history effectively after the Boudicca revolt in [A.D.] 60-61,” said Bowden.

Insistence on strict rules and punishments
Anti-hedonistic outlook (pleasure, particularly sexual, is bad)
Religion dogmatic fundamental
Strict regulation of individual behavior
Superstitious and fatalistic

Definite, persistent, tenacious,
Tough, masculine, firm,
Reliable, trustworthy, faithful, loyal,
Stable, consistent,

Restrained, inhibited,
Careful, practical, methodical,
Orderly, organized,
Parsimonious, thrifty, stingy,

Conventional, ordinary,
Obedient, conformist,
Concerned with rules, norms,
tolerance for inequality,

Rigid, intolerant,
Fearful, threatened,
Xenophobic, prejudiced,
Withdrawn, reserved,
Clean, sterile,
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity,
Uncertainty avoidance,
Need for cognitive closure,
resistance to change
Obstinate, stubborn,
Aggressive, angry, vengeful,
Stern, cold, mechanical,
Anxious, suspicious, obsessive,
Fear and aggression,
Simple, decisive,
shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of cherished world views. Preference for people of one’s own kind. Ethnocentrism and intolerance of minority groups , Preference for conventional art, clothing, and institutions Concerns with fear and threat linked to an endorsement of inequality, Commitment to political organizations which favor maintenance of the status quo (even by force) Resistance to change , refusal to accept new ideas


Slovenly, ambiguous, indifferent,
Eccentric, sensitive, individualistic,
Open, tolerant, flexible,
Life-loving, free, unpredictable,
Creative, imaginative, curious,
Expressive, enthusiastic,
Excited, sensation-seeking,
Desire for novelty, diversity,
Uncontrolled, impulsive,
Complex, nuanced,
Open to experience,

Nor does it mean the sudden disappearance of conflict — or, eerily, its pseudo-disappearance, its burial under New Age platitudes: Can’t we all just get along? On the contrary, conflict is welcomed.

A core premise of the growing movement known as restorative, or transformative, justice is that conflict is opportunity. This is where we have our greatest chance to grow: at the friction points, as our emotions are heating up. We just have to face the situation with openness, calm and courage. Once again, this is no easy task. But the more we work at this, the more we realize the value of doing so, and the less inclined we become simply to swat our difficulties, and the people we blame them on, out of the way.

I’m convinced that uncoupling our inclination to dominate others to get our way and embracing “power with” them as our prime approach to life is the fundamental emotional shift necessary for the creation of lasting peace.

This horrifying incident is just another symptom of a city, a nation and a world at perpetual war with itself. It’s merely one in a series of tragedies that we are numb to or never hear about or, because it happens overseas and at our hands (and we call it war), we wholeheartedly support. Even worse, it’s part of pop culture. Violence is our national distraction; we consume it as entertainment, whether in the movies or in the news.

And when it gets out of hand, we try to counter it with more of the same. We call it revenge, we call it punishment or we just call it victory. We support it with trillions of dollars annually, in our military, small-arms, prison and entertainment budgets. We are ever so careful not to see the larger context in which acts of terrorism or school shootings (290 in Chicago last year, 34 of them fatal) or any other act of violence occurs; we think we can distinguish between good violence and bad; and we condemn only the violence that isn’t institutionally sanctioned.

let us sit with the distinction between “power with” and “power over” and quietly imagine what life would be like if the latter were not our default setting. Let us imagine valuing empathy over victory and teaching our children the skills of complex connecting. Let us imagine the coming of the light.

Performance degradation (weakening the performance of one’s enemy)

Performance enhancement (enhancing the effectiveness of one’s own forces)

“The application of neuroscience research in the development of enhancement and degradation technologies for military and law enforcement use raises significant ethical considerations. According to Brain Waves Module 3: Neuroscience, conflict and security, which was written by a team of experts in psychology, neuroscience, ethics and international security, findings from the study could be utilized in order to enhance the stages that individuals in the military usually go through: recruitment, training, operational performance, and rehabilitation after injury. Furthermore, the researchers analyzed applications of neuroscience that may bring about potential weapons that could be of interest in a law enforcement or military context – especially progression in drug delivery and neuropharmacology leading to the possible development of incapacitating chemical agents.

The researchers highlight that even though comprehensive legal framework constrain the development of these agents, perceived doubt within the treaty prohibiting chemical weapons (CWC) may under certain interpretations, give freedom for their development.

According to current scientific evidence, it is not possible in the foreseeable future to develop a safe incapacitating chemical agent, the researchers highlight. “We know that neuroscience research has the potential to deliver great social benefit, researchers come closer every day to finding effective treatments for diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and addiction, However, understanding of the brain and human behavior couple with developments in drug delivery also highlight ways of degrading human performance that could possibly be used in new weapons, especially incapacitating chemical agents.

A growing body of research suggests that passing weak electrical signals through the skull, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), can improve people’s performance in some tasks.

The report’s authors also anticipate new designer drugs that boost performance, make captives more talkative and make enemy troops fall asleep.

One of the report’s most striking scenarios involves the use of devices called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to connect people’s brains directly to military technology, including drones and other weapons systems.

The work builds on research that has enabled people to control cursors and artificial limbs through BMIs that read their brain signals.

“Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons system could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy,” the report states.

“If you are controlling a drone and you shoot the wrong target or bomb a wedding party, who is responsible for that action? Is it you or the BMI?

“There’s a blurring of the line between individual responsibility and the functioning of the machine. Where do you stop and the machine begin?”

blahDrugs that reduce anxiety, tiredness and memory loss – all associated with the treatment of dementia – could be used “off-label” as cognitive enhancers by military personnel, according to a Royal Society report.

The military in several countries have tested modafinil, a drug licensed to treat sleepiness in narcoleptics, and found it effective at maintaining performance in the sleep-deprived. Other drugs might help personnel learn faster by improving their attention and working memory, the report states.

More controversial are those drugs that could be used against opponents. The report highlights a natural compound called oxytocin that is released during childbirth, lactation and orgasm, and is involved in trust and bonding. Drugs based on oxytocin might potentially make adversaries more trusting and willing to give up information,

The report goes on to raise the prospect of drugs that could knock adversaries out. In 2002, Russian special forces used an anaesthetic, thought to be fentanyl, to subdue tens of attackers who held more than 800 people hostage in a Moscow theatre. The drug killed more than 100 in the building, highlighting the dangers of the approach.

The difficulty in making an effective knock-out drug will be hard to overcome, the report states, becauseany drug that reliably incapacitates is likely to kill in higher concentrations.

The report calls on the UK government to clarify its interpretation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans chemical weapons, including drugs that cause temporary incapacitation, but has an exemption that allows the use of toxic chemicals for domestic law enforcement.

The authors say the coalition has recently shifted its interpretation of the convention, suggesting that incapacitating chemicals are permitted for law enforcement.

IT SOMETIMES feels as though some months go by faster than others, but November 2009 really did. Events in the Southern Ocean conspired to make the Earth spin ever-so-slightly faster, shortening half of the days in the month by 0.1 milliseconds each.

Different factors affect how fast the Earth spins. For instance, if the winds that whip around the planet slow down, the Earth spins faster to conserve angular momentum.

There was a more down-to-earth cause in November 2009, however. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is a powerful ocean current that rings the continent. Stephen Marcus and his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California and at the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris in France noticed that it slowed abruptly on 8 November 2009, only to speed up two weeks later.

Precise day-length data revealed that the changes immediately caused the Earth to spin faster, shortening each day by 0.1 milliseconds. Like the currents, day length returned to normal on 20 November (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2011gl050671).

This isn’t the only way that climate change may affect Earth’s spin. Models suggest that rising sea levels will shift water towards the poles, drawing mass in closer to the Earth’s axis and making it spin faster.

The feelings you associate with being angry, for example, arise from the stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, that your brain releases on registering indignation. These hormones release stored energy and increase the amount of blood flowing to your muscles, which in turn elevates your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing while shutting down key metabolic processes, such as digestion and growth.

after highly conditioned male athletes completed two hours of endurance running, they exhibited elevated levels of endorphins in their brain and that an increase in these hormones was associated with the runners’ intense feelings of euphoria.

In short, making an effort to think positively, even if doing so feels like a strain, is vital to keeping your body healthy.

an intensely optimistic outlook can help alter physical health.

It’s that the Republicans have staked out a position that requires that they lie, 24/7, 365. Not shade the facts their way. Not put their own spin on the situation. Lie. Big, sloppy, and constantly. The blatant lies extend through every aspect of the Republican platform, such as it is. The simple reason is that the Republicans have no ideas left, at least no ideas that have not been tested and proven to be failures again, and again, and again.

The economy didn’t just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.

They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their “creativity.” They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.

They can’t say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn’t. They can’t say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn’t. They can’t blame it on “union thugs” or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can’t blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice.

For the same reason that they have to maintain that global warming is the creation of a conspiracy of scientists, and that evolution is a conspiracy of other scientists, and that gay marriage is a threat to “traditional” marriage. They have to lie about the threat of illegal immigrants. Lie about the state of the national debt. Lie about the effects of the President’s health care plan. They have to lie, because lies are all they have left.

They certainly can’t admit the truth about the economy. They can’t admit that they did it. Own it. That their policies directly caused the worst economic failure in American history. Strike that. Make it “the greatest failure in American history since the last time that these same policies were tried.” But then, they’ve been lying about that bit of history for years.

The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost. That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious. They try to paper over that gap by dismissing little things like science, reason, history. Real science fails to support their contentions, so they have to write it off. Reason doesn’t work for them, so any question must be met with red-faced indignity — every question a gotcha question. Real history is full of warts, quirks, and unfortunate truths that don’t fit their ritualized beliefs. So they have to try to rewrite history, giving us rewrite Reagan who never raised a tax or increased a debt, rewrite FDR who created the issues he actually solved, rewrite Lincoln who championed the Confederate cause, rewrite founding fathers who never owned slaves, never supported government regulation of the economy, never wavered in their ardent love for a form of religiosity that didn’t yet exist. Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil.

Unchecked extroversion — a personality trait Cain ties to ebullience, excitability, dominance, risk-taking, thick skin, boldness and a tendency toward quick thinking and thoughtless action — has actually, she argues, come to pose a real menace of late. The outsize reward-seeking tendencies of the hopelessly ­outer-directed helped bring us the bank meltdown of 2008 as well as disasters like Enron, she claims.

Introverts — who, according to Cain, can count among their many virtues the fact that “they’re relatively immune to the lures of wealth and fame” — must learn to “embrace the power of quiet.” And extroverts should learn to sit down and shut up.

Introverts may be an odd audience for a book about power and leadership — concepts that necessarily involve the tiring and unappealing prospect of having power over, and leadership of, other people.

introversion in children (often incorrectly viewed as shyness) is in some ways threatening to the adults around them. Indeed, in an age when kids are increasingly herded into classroom “pods” for group work, Cain’s insights into the stresses of nonstop socializing for some children are welcome

reflective, cerebral, bookish, unassuming, sensitive, thoughtful, serious, contemplative, subtle, introspective, inner-directed, gentle, calm, modest, solitude-seeking, shy, risk-averse, thin-skinned.”

In this book above the reality is that this scenario has already happened – before the industrial revolution there were 10,000s of small businesses up and down the UK spinning wool to make yarn. As factories took over, most of those small businesses went out of business. Was there a political outcry? Yes, of course, but the money was with the factories so the luddites were hanged or deported to Australia.

In this case, it would be a battle royal and the winner would be the ones who threw the most money and could capture the most politicians – this is the same all over the world with very many issues. The issue of middle men, or ownership of resources once they have changed hands is extant: As some of the other contributors point out you could apply this to food, minerals, art, movies, music, anything.

The problem with all of these is the way that society is run, not the ownership of the distribution process.

Wealth buys power – the bankers have bought themselves £250 Billion from the UK government to prop them up whilst the majority pay for it – and the winners in this case would be those with wealth.

Apple executives have also belittled the idea that they have any community responsibility, with an executive saying: “We [Apple] don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” The reality, of course, is that the reason Apple doesn’t care about American workers and exploits Chinese workers is profit, of which the company has excelled at making in recent years. Profits on the backs of exploited Chinese workers and disappearing American jobs

The emotion of anger, explains Rich Pfeiffer, president of the National Anger Management Association, “activates the ‘primitive’ human brain — sometimes called the limbic system — which is automatic and impulsive, and if you are functioning out of the primitive part of your brain, you tend to want to punish, hurt, get back at, teach a lesson, or do something destructive to the person triggering your anger.”

Ushering the country through angry, divisive periods has traditionally required a couple of things — a sort of two-step recovery program. The first step is some crisis or occurrence “that took the collective attention away from the source of anger.” The second step is “a great deal of forgetting, which is not to say forgiving depended, in part, on the telling of new stories about the recent past.” The creation of a new historical memory, one that was at odds with the historical record, “generally came at a great cost.”

She uses the Civil War and Reconstruction to illustrate. The crises that distracted the angry nation in the wake of the war, were a financial panic and wars against Native Americans in the West. The forgetting was the explanation by certain historians of the war’s aftermath “as one of reunion between the North and South achieved by rewriting the history of the Civil War,” Mitchell explains. “It was no longer a war to end slavery but rather a war over ‘states’ rights,’ indeed, a war between brothers; and it was time, many argued in the 1890s and later, for the brothers to bury the hatchet.”

The Confederacy took on a romantic glow — with the myth of the “Lost Cause” — and the South was portrayed in movies such as Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind “as a ‘lost civilization’ where all slaves were happy and all hell broke loose with emancipation.”

Frederick Douglass foresaw the revisionism coming and the worsening plight of African-Americans as the nation set about getting past its anger.

“Douglass, of course, was angry having fought so hard for African-American freedom and citizenship,. the leaders of the civil rights movement carried forward Douglass’ anger and frustration, and were able to restore the rights that Reconstruction’s aftermath had eliminated.”

One might describe flow as the opposite of Amygdala hijack. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as “energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” This can only occur when the Amygdala is completely influenced by the neocortex.


About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on May 23, 2012, in research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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