Jim Hoft, the last great American Patriot in America gets all litigious on Al Gore:
A seven-month old baby girl survived a shot to the chest after her parents shot themselves and their two-year-old in a global warming murder-suicide pact. [...] Someone should sue Al Gore. He played on their fears and now a whole family is dead.
We’ll let it slide that if the seven-month old baby survived it would technically mean that the “whole family” was not actually dead, since it’s obvious that Jim is blinded by his grief. So, just as I was considering the warped logic of suing Al Gore for the motive and actions of two obviously mentally deranged persons, when the following came over the AP:
The leader of a household described as a religious cult was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday along with two of her followers for starving a 1-year-old boy to death because he did not say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer.
The logic of Hoft’s thinking is laid out in all it’s bare nekkid silliness. Given that Jim believes Al Gore should be sued because he “played on their fears and now a whole family is dead” because of global warming, doesn’t it make sense that someone should be sued for the death of the little boy because he wouldn’t say “Amen”? Who inspired this cult to murder? Let’s start with Jesus Christ and end with every Christian church on the planet.
You can see where this is going.
It’s ridiculous of course, but Hoft has never been known for his intellect or integrity nor his consistency. He’s a propagandist, and a good one.
So, anything to taint Al Gore in the eyes of the true believers, even the patently ridiculous, is fair game.
What is it about evil people not having an orginal creative bone in their bodies? And, couldn’t they have ripped off a better song?
Via the good folks at Sadly, No! comes this oily gem from the racist homophobic evil trolls at Fred Phelps church. Please note the Richard Ramirez effect around the eyes, the deep black circles and blood red soaked look that people who live and breath hate get, as we see in this picture. Roll the video:
Now go take a nice long hot cleansing shower.Read More
It’s an interesting debate: Is our experience online a cognitive process that is sub par to traditional processes such as reading or speaking?
Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic also addressed the debate, asking the question: “Is Google making us Stoopid?“
For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded. “The perfect recall of silicon memory,” Wired’s Clive Thompson has written, “can be an enormous boon to thinking.” But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.
What’s important to remember is that media formats are only tools. The internet is only a tool. And, like all new media- written word, printed word, radio, TV- at first there is a predisposition to overly trust all the information conveyed by that media as truthful. It’s on the internet, it must be true, right? And, to be sure, there are those who really do believe this to be the case. The lack of critical literacy is the central issue at hand. It’s no great skill to surf the wave of information that is available to us. The great skill is to know whether that information is true.
If the internet is, as Carr describes “chipping away” at our “capacity for concentration and contemplation” then it becomes necessary to find new ways and manner of regaining that capacity.
Social networking provides a certain amount of this, but not nearly enough IMHO. So much of the “interaction” of online communities is really just restating preset opinions and agendas. Very little
actual discussion of ideas and exploration of concepts and debate occurs.
Many would say that is the exact problem with society in general. Look at the current election process. How much real discussion is going on amongst the rumors and attack ads? Not very much.
So, what’s at work here? Are we simply incapable of being serious about our own cognitive abilities to find solutions via real debate? Are we overly enamored of the junk information like gossip?
What does it mean when a society shuns reality based informatin for fantasy? Is it possible to turn the tide?
Are we too Stoopid to change?
I don’t think so.Read More
Be sure to click on the featured video on the upper right. It’s a clip from Errol Morris‘ film “The Fog of War” featuring Robert McNamara going over the finer points of waging war on a foreign people, and interestingly, points which were pretty much ignored/forgotten/unknown /not applied to the run up to the current war in Iraq.
And, people doubt that we evolved from monkeys. Here’s your proof.Read More
A gem over at Douglas’ blog, in the comments. For the “wish I’d said this” collection:
Our resistance movement, such as it is, is buried in the minutia and manufactured paranoia, and missing the big picture. And this makes it even easier for the fascists to do their business
If people really understood how serious and backwards it all is, they’d also immediately realize, (as one does in times of great danger) that there is no time for folly such as paranoia. Our instinct for survival kicks in. But, I fear that all too many are diffusing their instincts with mind games.Read More
It’s likely not an original take on the creationism versus evolution debate. But, it occurred to me that evolution is simply G-d’s handy work, you know?Read More
“A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” – Josef Stalin
A recent study suggests what many of us have always known to be true: the human race has difficulty dealing with large numbers of deaths.
Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the University of Oregon, said his research found that mankind is less likely to intervene in cases of mass slaughter than in cases where only one victim was involved. [...]
In the research carried out in Sweden, participants were shown a photo of a starving African girl and were given details of her individual story and the conditions of the nation in which she lives. Another photo contained the same information but for a starving boy. A third photo showed both children.
The feelings of sympathy for each individual child were almost equal but dropped when they were considered together.
Donations followed the same pattern, Slovic revealed, being lower for two needy children than for either individually.
“The studies just described suggest a disturbing psychological tendency,” Slovic said. “Our capacity to feel is limited.”
Accordingly, people were less likely to react when genocidal atrocities erupted. If humans saw a collapse of feeling at just two individuals, “it is no wonder that at 200,000 deaths the feeling is gone,” Slovic said.
Failure to react was an evolutionary hangover, he said.
It’s intersting, but not something that many of us didn’t already know. Eddie Izzard actually has an entire monologue about it in his comedy act:
Pol Pot killed 1.7 million people. We can’t even deal with that! You know, we think if somebody kills someone, that’s murder, you go to prison. You kill 10 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick, that’s what they do. 20 people, you go to a hospital, they look through a small window at you forever. And over that, we can’t deal with it, you know? Someone’s killed 100,000 people. We’re almost going, “Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning. I can’t even get down the gym! Your diary must look odd: “Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death – lunch- death, death, death – afternoon tea – death, death, death – quick shower…”
Of course, this is the main point of the book The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom, which proffers that this tendency is the result of our genetic makeup, a throwback to simian clan warfare – rooted in sexuality and social politics – since apes and chimps manifest the same behavior and also exhibit a strong lack of emotional reaction or connection to large numbers of simian deaths.
As humans, we like to think that our reason and rationality separate us from and elevate us above the monkeys and apes, but in truth, not so much.
Perhaps this is one reason Fundamentalists cling so very powerfully to religious mythology. Blaming an evil power such as Lucifer for our inhumanity towards our own humanity and ignoring the science behind evolution allows the blame for such atrocities to be hoisted upon an evil unseen power, rather than actually accepting our responsibility for our actions.
It’s something we continue to struggle with in the 21st century. It’s a shame since the science is pretty obvious, as is the basic assumption.
It’s a monkey thing, and as such, something we need to deal with in order to move into an area of truly civilized behavior.Read More