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Monthly Archives: November 2011

A few social psych findings and their implications

A few social psych findings and their implications

Cognitive Dissonance: The original experiment–Festinger and Carlsmith, 1959, Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance– the experimental subject completed a boring experiment, then randomly received either $1 or $20 as an inducement to lie about the ‘fun’ experiment to ‘the next subject.’  Those paid $20 to lie were more likely to rate the whole experiment as boring, as it was designed to be “an experience about which he [the experimental subject] would have a somewhat negative opinion.” Those paid $1 had better opinions… who would lie just to obtain one dollar? If 1$ folks actually liked the one-handed empty spool loader/unloader and then the turning of the pegs, there is no lie and no cognitive dissonance.  Those 1$ folks were also significantly more likely to volunteer for more such experiments than those receiving $20. Attitudes were measured by a questionnaire afterwards. Perhaps the 1$ folks didn’t like thinking that they were hypocrites merely because some talking nearly-furless ape in a lab coat asked it–did some of them reprogram themselves to eliminate the hypocrisy? (However, authority often wields great power… see the summary of Dr. Milgram’s famous experiment a couple paragraphs down.) In one sentence--a person’s thoughts and beliefs guide their behavior, but their behavior can also change their thoughts and beliefs.

In his autobiography, Ben Franklin explains how he dealt with the animosity of a rival legislator: “Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.” Classic-‘forced’ compliance used to induce CD. Possible confound-receiving two letters from Ben Franklin may have been enough of a reward, as the man could write well.

Some modern studies report that asking a subject to fake a smile or to nod their heads will change their attitudes positively to whatever they are exposed to. In a way, this can be subliminal CD, especially if the subjects think they are nodding or shaking their heads to test the headphones that they are wearing.

I have heard a rumor that Mall-Wart ‘management trainees’ are encouraged to publicly shout corporate slogans over and over again. Sometimes they receive trivial rewards for especially enthusiastic responses.

Perhaps this is why a high-ranking human learns to make subordinate humans wait when there is a meeting, even if the high-ranked human has summoned the subordinate human.

I have heard that the millions of old pots and pans collected during a world war wound up in landfills. Perhaps if a person donated unwanted cookware, they were more likely to support the war in other ways.

A rumor has it that some therapists will agree with many small statements that the patient says. The patient is then asked to agree with a statement the therapist makes, such as a history of drug addition or drunk driving.

Sometimes salespeople will ask an indecisive buyer for some ID for a bogus credit-check or some such. (A smart talking ape would physically control his ID if he complied with that at all, since allowing the saleperson to hold the ID gives the salesperson additional ‘leverage.’)

CD explains why the useful idiots who say stupid things like ‘radiation is good for you’ are given copious coverage on corpwhore media. These useful idiots supply the sheeple with false facts that support the notion that ‘they’ wouldn’t willingly endanger huge numbers of life-forms for the sake of profit. http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/10/japanese-critic-plans-hotel.html

If, in the course of human events, you encounter someone who actually says something like ‘I Do Not Want To Believe This!’ upon learning of a nastiness, the best thing to do (imo) is instantly AGREE WITH THEM. ENTHUSIASTICALLY. Use statements like ‘I know what you mean, I might take a billion dollar bribe myself, but that’s why we have laws, right?’ Seek further ‘agreements’ because denial is the most common mental path used to reduce CD.

The Milgram experiment that tested obedience to authority: Experimental subject answered ad, went to lab, was paid 4.5 dollars (1963) to keep no matter what. The subject then met two people-white lab-coat guy (paid actor for standardization purposes), and another guy who claimed to be another ad answerer (but was more of the hired help). In what appeared to be a random way, the subject was given the task of teaching word pairs to the hired help guy and was asked to apply electrical shocks to punish wrong answers. First, the subject watched the hired help guy get strapped into a chair, then went into another room that shares a common wall (so he could hear the strapped-in guy) with the lab-coated actor. The huge device for applying electrical shocks was built to be impressive and had various labels (at 450 V, it read DANGER SEVERE SHOCK). Each shock-activating switch could only be thrown once, and the numbers were higher each time (30 V to 450 V).

The subject did not know the true purpose of the experiment until the debriefing at the end. The impressive machine delivered no electrical shocks, and a tape recorder (not a common device in 1963) contained the audio-only responses to the faux electric shocks.

The first ‘shocks’ were mild. But the word task got harder, the taped responses were wrong more often, and the faux shocks increased in severity. (The boiling-frog metaphor comes to mind.) At higher voltages, the tape recorder plays a few complaints in with the responses.  Predictibly, they increase in severity with the voltage. Twenty switches later, at three hundred volts, the actor/recorder demanded to be released, and did not answer any more questions. Since no response was to be treated as a wrong answer, there were ten more switches, up to 450 volts, clearly labeled as dangerous…sixty-five percent walked that path, often with great mental distress, and flicked the last switch. Thirty five percent, or fourteen out of the original forty males recruited for this study, called it quits before things got that far. This study has been replicated and permutated many times. Females = Males. If the subject cannot hear or see the results of the switch flicking, the obedience rate is around 93% despite clearly marked warnings on the ‘control panel.’ If the subject has to physically hold the guy’s hand to a faux shock plate, 70% drop out before the 30% who obey and apply the final 450 volts. The physical presence of an ‘authority’ compels obedience, and the closer, the better. If the odious task is split up into many small tasks, thereby diffusing the responsibility, obedience is practically guaranteed.

This is one reason why you always see so many TSA agents in one place. TPTB need the bent brass watching the wage-slave agents do their (-) karma job, otherwise the sheeple might not get irradiated and/or groped.

This is an unconfirmed story, but I have heard that the experimental subject who decided to stop applying shocks at the lowest voltage claimed to be an electrical engineer (rare in 1963) and claimed knowledge of the effects of electric shocks. Perhaps he also had plenty of experience with tape recorders and/or stereo systems, and perhaps could recognize bogus control panels and/or lo-fi speakers too. The moral is obvious: the difference between people and sheeple is the difference between knowledge and ignorance.

I have also heard that when Dr. Milgram first started doing this research, the learner/victim/actor was seen only as a shadow on a small window and the first fifteen subjects all obeyed to the 450V level. Milgram subsequently changed the experiment to allow for some learner/victim feedback.

This is a true story… Nobody picked higher than 15V or 30V when subjects were allowed to pick any voltage.

The effectiveness of social pressure (conformity) was quantified by Asch (1955). In his experiment, the subject, along with seven others, was asked to do some very easy visual discrimination tasks. Seven others appeared to be other undergrads but were working for Dr. Asch, and occasionally would all supply the wrong answer when asked. The experiment design allowed the subject to hear their answers before answering, and about three quarters of the subjects would also gave the wrong answer at least once. If one of the seven picked the correct answer among six identical wrong answers, then only 5% of the subjects gave the conforming answer at least once. Groups of two or three were not found to be as effective as groups of six or seven in producing conformity. If the subject feels like a fish out of water (socially) or is unsure of what is expected, or in other ‘ambiguous’ situations, conformity increases. Certain ‘collectivist’ cultures (ex Japan or India) were found to induce additional stay-with-the-herd bias.

Imo, this explains why TPTB make sure that nobody expresses dissent when their puppets dance. Everyone always applauded for Stalin or Hitler or Roosevelt. Even today, the local demopubs carefully screen their respective audiences and ensure that nobody laughs, boos, or throws shoes, and will forcefully remove anyone who does not treat their puppets with deference. The puppets talk about approved topics in approved ways and push towards a BAU consensus. But times change–imo, modern media would quickly (rather than slowly) lose credibility with an important part of their audience if they never televised dissenting opinions. However, the media talking heads cannot take unpleasant truths seriously. Belittle, diminish, and if at all possible, get a laugh from the audience when they should be listening respectfully. The dissonance thus created lessens the likelihood of the sheeple seriously listening to those humans brave enough to tell truth to Empyre.

I would also like to point out that modern publicly available research does not stress their subjects as much as Dr. Milgram accidentally did. Nobody knows how much the [CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET] research take subject stress levels into consideration.

The Mere Exposure Effect: Repeatedly seeing something will enhance the viewer’s attitude. For example, experimental subjects who viewed nonsense words repeatedly tended to have positive feelings towards them and rated them higher than unexposed subjects. This effect could still be detected even when subjects were repeatedly shown nonsense words for milliseconds at a time (subliminally). (If subjects are exposed to the word ‘beef’ for 5 milliseconds at a time, they reported feeling more hunger than controls did.)

Nonsense words are not very potent stimuli, especially when compared with consumer goods. Is it any wonder that advertisements are everywhere in a consumer society? Imo, this is why dictators put their self-portraits and self-aggrandizing statues everywhere, and why politicians try to get their mugs in front of as many sheeplefaces as they can as often as they can.

Sublimininal stimuli: Some short phrases shown to subjects are modestly effective in changing behavior. More effective are faces showing emotion, but quantifying emotional transmittance is not something science does well imo. More effective still are unnoticed but liminal stimuli. For example, Mullen and his grad students took 2.5 second snips of video from newscasters during 1984’s presidential race. He used 37 of those segments after he removed all the audio and any video that mentioned candidate names (minimizing lip-reading potential). Then he and his grad students showed the segments to people and asked the subjects to rate the facial expressions. Two newscasters, Rather and Brokaw, were rated neutral. However, Peter Jennings of ABC was rated positively while speaking of both candidates, but more positively for one of them. Mullen and his grad students reported that TV viewers who watched ABC were more likely to vote for Mr. Jenning’s favorite by a significant margin. Mullen was able to repeat this research in 1988 with essentially the same results.

It is well known that humans often ‘mirror’ emotions. (Proverb: Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Thought experiment- a man is watching another man get kicked in a ‘sensitive’ area. What is the expression shared by both men?) This mirroring effect is enhanced if subjects watch a trusted and admired human and is extensively used in advertising. Some think that this ‘mirroring’ of emotions helps keep violence to a minimum and aids compassionate behaviors, especially since most humans are unaware of this tendency. (BTW–a good actor can effectively ‘play the audience.’ A psychopath who can do this is dangerous, as it is said they do not subconsciously respond to audience feedback like most humans do.)

This trick really works: If students smile frequently and pay close attention to a teacher only when the teacher stands on one side of the room, the teacher often will unknowingly teach mostly from the good-vibes side of the room. This can work even if the majority of students do not participate, and can work on professors who already know about this trick (if the students are clever enough).

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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in General Knowledge

 

a silver lining…

Psy0p mode ON

Primary mission: ANTI-DISPAIR

Secondary mission: LAUGHTER

Define acronym TPTB: These are the slimes that buy mens’ souls.

This is no time for dispair. Even if you think that the future holds lives that are ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,’ there is still work to be done. The future is unformed and might be made better than it would be otherwise.

Ordinary people are not responsible for the specific flaws in ruling institutions. We the People are actively prevented from seeing how our laws (or sausages) are made. When alternatives to TPTB’s institutions appear, many people switch. (Internet use UP, TV/radio/newspaper DOWN.) It is said that if two or more bugs are put into a jar, sealing and shaking the jar will cause the bugs to fight. Imo, there are invisible glass laws everywhere and the economy shakes worse than an earthquake. But…

You know. You obviously still read, you probably buy precious metals if you are able, and you probably would laugh at a politician if you had the chance. You are still seeking to learn, still actively seeking wisdom. Informed minds can intelligently prepare for the future, and your preps will make your future better than it will otherwise have been. You are not alone.

We know. The internets can connect a Colorado mountainside cabin with monks thousands of kilometers away. We who know are yet few, but we feel the wind of truth at our backs. Some of us think the truth will set us free, and some will tolerantly laugh at that, but still, we seek, we learn, we will not stop. We seek learning and we seek those who know. Learning is a one-way street, so our numbers must grow.

We are unpredictable and/or unprofitable, we who know. We may be like kindling in a cast-iron stove waiting for a match… or a barnful of straw awaiting a spark. We who know become less useful to TPTB, for we seek fairness and justice. We will not hold still for sheeple-shearing, and actively share knowledge of how to avoid it.

We know that we are dealing with whores. Money whores can always be bought (or rented). Since their morals are cheap, let us be the buyers! There are few of us, but we will be pandered to if we demand it, for as long as we demand it (eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!). We have money, which is also ‘leverage’ over people. (If I asked you ‘How many grams of Au would induce you to mow my lawn?’ I would alway get a numerical answer. That’s ‘leverage’ over your future behavior, if I have enough gold.) We have the ur-Money, the money of the ancients, that which has always held value. We have whore uber-leverage. The competing F1AT currency leverage is shrinking. What’s not to like?

They have the ghost of wealth and we want the metals. They have lies and we are finding the truth. They have limitless greed and we have had enough. Which side is worth being on and betting on? (Is it still worth it if you’ll lose?)

We are not responsible for the state of the world that we were born into. We can only work with what’s here already. The future is ours to shape. There is a chance that this might be fun. We may break the spell of sheeple conformity. We know the Empire has no moral clothes. We know that the Empire has to, at minimum, put on some pants.

And soon, imo. If not, too many of us will run away. The Empyre has sheeple to spare, but it also needs people intelligent enough to be engineers and programmers and physicists… the very people who remain smart enough to notice that banksters remain free while druggies get jail time instead of competent medical care. The employees hardest to replace are the people who realize that We Can Do Better. [blatant psy0p mode OFF as I cannot make myself compare/contrast BTIWOB with BAU again. (Oops. Psyop mode must take a few seconds to deacivate. Sorry.)]

   It is probably true that business corrupts everything it touches. It corrupts politics, sports, literature, art, labor unions and so on. but business also corrupts and undermines monolithic totalitarianism. Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. Eric Hoffer

   “…someone attempts to compel someone else to practice a rare skill through bullying and bluster. Sometimes this approach will work, but in most other cases the code will have strange, difficult-to-reproduce bugs in it, the car’s tie-rod will fall out at speed, the toilet will turn into a sewage fountain after a heavy rain, and the dental work will play up AM radio all night long. All quite inexplicably: not knowing how anything works, the “project managers” will be unable to explain what happened. Dmitry Orlov

   Non-violence is essentially non-co-operation. It expresses itself in the refusal to participate in the ordinary processes of society. It may mean the refusal to pay taxes to the government (civil disobedience), or to trade with the social group which is to be coerced (boycott) or to render customary services (strike). While it represents a passive and negative form of resistance, its consequences may be very positive.  Reinhold Niebuhr from Moral Man & Immoral Society

   “The state can’t give you freedom, and the state can’t take it away. Freedom is something you’re born with, and then one day someone tries to deny it. The extent to which you resist is the extent to which you are free.”       U Utah Phillips

   “. . . it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”  Patrick Henry  March 23, 1775

 
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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in Rants

 

why sheeple are dain bramaged

Why? Why do so many people ignore important truths when a couple mouse clicks and a bit of reading are genuine ignorance cures? Why do so many prefer to be a dim enough bulb in order to believe the lies and propaganda?

Our ruling institutions are owned and operated by the PTB. ‘We the People’ are not supposed to know how these institutions work, and the operation of The Machine is cloaked in secrecy and lies. Non-elite humans are merely resources to be used, consumed, and discarded. Modern, non-elite human-herding techniques must be much more effective than those used by bygone Empyres–yet the old-fashioned techs of over-full prisons, Kafka-esque laws, and endless wars used by bygone Empyres are still in force. The system is designed to serve those who control it, and it will destroy itself as surely as all past Empyres have.

Modern-day sheeple are trapped in psychobabble quicksand. For many, thinking became a burden too great to bear and was unknowingly surrendered. Think of them as walking wounded; some struck at random by the darts of outrageous fortune, all ruled by humans who DO NOT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS. Add a huge helping of High-Tech Big Brother, busily stringing together centuries of publicly available psych research with [CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET]. We all start life equally ignorant. Most of us were mostly educated by scientifically designed EmpyreMedia, which is entertaining and mostly irrelevant rubbish at its best.

   “It is utterly wrong that what we see in our homes should depend on the advertisers to make profits.”  Hugh Gaitskell, Labour MP (UK)

“The only way you can preserve the status quo, which we erroneously call democracy, in this atmosphere of instantaneous communication and information ubiquity, is to undermine the capacity of people to process information.”  a comment by ‘otishertz’ that I saved from The Calculated Risk website

“A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself.”  Joseph Pulitzer

   “Absolute power turns its possessors not into a God but an anti-God. For God turned clay into men, while the absolute despot turns men into clay.”  Eric Hoffer

“An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.” Eric Hoffer

   “A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room:  thing wanted always buried.”  Gandalf / J. R. R. Tolkien

   “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out (…) so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it.”  Sherlock Holmes / Arthur Conan Doyle

Whatever the machinations–fear of jail time, or of a felony conviction which would cause job loss, or perhaps the ten-thousandth murder viewed onscreen that pushed yet another susceptible person into freakout pharma with the ADHD kids, there is always the core message of the huge mountain of corpgov-videoaudioprint media–there is The FEAR. Fear is the mind-killer, the source of cowardice, a whip overused to quiet the sheeple.

The Empyre’s Media is a saturation bombing of scary things, overtly (terrorists! war! bloody victims! politicians!) and covertly (frequent use of fights/murders/explosions/high-speed car chases/screaming/shouting/other unpleasant things). More fear is added: submitting to the Empyre’s TSA grope is scary. Not having any money until next payday is scary, even more so when the boss is sadistic and the employee is not in the best health. It’s even scarier if neither have ever heard of  the Stanford Prison Experiment or The Milgram Experiment or positive feedback loops or exponential growth or fractional reserve banking or … it’s easier to just turn on the tube and get drunk… and not think about those sheeple shears.

   “You can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”   Plato

   “The three aims of the tyrant are, one, the humiliation of his subjects; he knows that a mean-spirited man will not conspire against anybody; two, the creation of mistrust among them; for a tyrant is not to be overthrown until men begin to have confidence in one another — and this is the reason why tyrants are at war with the good; they are under the idea that their power is endangered by them, not only because they will not be ruled despotically, but also because they are too loyal to one another and to other men, and do not inform against one another or against other men — three, the tyrant desires that all his subjects shall be incapable of action, for no one attempts what is impossible and they will not attempt to overthrow a tyranny if they are powerless.”  Aristotle

   “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”  H. L. Mencken

   “Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.    Adolph Hitler

   “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.   Josef Stalin

   “Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.” Michael Rivero

   “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge – even to ourselves – that we’ve been so credulous.”   Carl Sagan

“To me the worst thing seems to be for a school principally to work with methods of fear, force and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity and the self confidence of the pupil. It produces the submissive subject.”  Albert Einstein

   “…dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” Thomas Jefferson

   “No vice of the human heart suits it [despotism] better than egoism: a despot will be quick to forgive the people he governs for not loving him, provided they do not love one another.”  Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

 

 
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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in Rants

 

a human feeding stimulant and what it implies

Supernormal, superoptimal, too good to be true: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. In Other Words, crystalized, purified, simple carbohydrates extracted from the juice of squished sugar cane stalks will, in humans, induce the ingestion of non-preferred food/beverage item(s). IOW, humans can be persuaded to eat or drink the strangest things if you mix in some particular five- and six-carbon saccharide molecules. Sugar is a potent feeding stimulus across many species for good reasons-biochemically, energy is extracted from glucose, and changing related sweet-tasting saccharides into glucose is easily done. However, sugar also used to be rare, and was never found in such purity. Certain modern cultivars (sugar cane, sugar beets, most fruits and some other veggies) accumulate more sugar than their ancestors and are considered ‘improved.’ Modern techs allow for cheaply extracted and purified sugars, plus inexpensive starch is cheaply changed back into its sugar subunits or into High Fructose Corn Syrup. Perhaps, in a few thousand years, humans will have adapted to a sugar-saturated world and not overconsume sweetened things. We’ve got some evolving to do, imo.

Sugar was used as an example in order to lessen the reader’s resistance to this particular way of thinking. Sugar is generally regarded as a tasty but stupid source of calories. However, now that you know about ‘supernormal stimuli,’ you may start to see them in other aspects of your life, not all food related. After all, deciding what makes the ‘pleasure center’ of your brain get a little too happy is quite subjective. Using this way of thinking to identify other supernormal stimuli will not be so easy. Expect cognitive dissonance, as believing that you are being ganked around in many, many ways is difficult. You Will Not Want To Believe. Good luck.

 

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than he who overcomes his enemies.”  Aristotle

 

“Truth never tranquilizes. The defining property of truth is its ability to disturb. Jesus only told half the story. The truth *will* set you free. But, first it’s going to piss you off.”  Solomon Short

 

“The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.” Herbert Sebastien Aga

 
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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in General Knowledge

 

What is healthy for humans to eat?

Your mind, body, and DNA are all adapted to survive in an ancient world; in which a stone knife was best-avail-tech and obtaining enough food was a constant struggle. Today’s humans have brains and bodies very similar to ancient human Cro-Magnon ancestors, yet human cultures and technologies can change much much faster than human DNA sequences (ignoring ionizing radiation…for now).  Sometimes, the human mind/body does not fit perfectly into the new technological clothes that humans seek to wear, no matter how superior. Here’s a few examples.

Human ancestors were primarily hunter-gatherers, with emphasis on the gathering. Most places had animals to hunt and eat, and humans did just that every chance they got. However, animals can be eaten much faster than they reproduce. Perhaps the best hunters had large families that turned into clans that turned into tribes, but at some point, the animals got scarce and roots, shoots, and fruits became what’s for dinner. Humans rarely got to eat as much meat as they wanted–then. Nowadays, a significant minority of humans could eat a couple pounds of bacon for dinner. All human cultures disseminate much food knowledge, and it is rare that humans will eat bacon by the pound no matter how good it tastes. They unually know a little about heart attacks, and saturated fat, and also steaks. Even so, there are many many people who are fat and sick, because they have unreliable hard-wired instincts regarding tasty and plentiful fatty acids.

Some of these fortunate humans now have access to new foods, some of which never existed previously. There are wonderful new breeds of plants and animals;  plus food production, prep and storage have improved, but modern technologies also make it possible to turn starch and chemicals into a hyperpalatable Day-Glow Snak Fud. Alternatively, food chemists can turn corn starch into corn syrup while keeping a particular ratio of fructose-to-other-sugars that happens to taste very good, and they can do it to millions of tons of starch if the engineers and moneymen are willing. Other creations of theirs can be stored nearly indefinitely, or exhibit more vibrant colors than printer’s ink, or even make truckloads of soft white bread using only the endosperm from billions of wheat seeds plus yeast and chems. (A trick worthy of any magician, even tho the end product is often called white bread. How they do it while managing to sell it so cheaply is also marvel-worthy. Too bad it was not a common stone-age food.)

There’s always more to any good story. Your ancestors never had to deal with radionucleotides or bio-accumulators like DDD, a no-longer-used insecticide example thereof. Rachel Carson summarized one bit of DDD research in her 1962 book ‘Silent Spring.’

“Plankton organisms were found to contain about 5.3 parts per million of the insecticide (about 25 times the maximum concentration ever reached in the water itself); plant eating fishes had built up accumulations ranging from 40 to 300 parts per million; carnivorous species had stored the most of all. One, a brown bullhead, had the astounding concentrations of 2500 parts per million. It was a house-that-Jack-built sequence, in which the large carnivores had eaten the smaller carnivores, that had eaten the herbivores, that had eaten the plankton, that had absorbed the poison out of the water.”

*Carnivorous species had stored the most of all.* The world that has gotten much dirtier since 1962. To test an implied prediction, I’d expect to see modern meat-eaters with rising cancer rates, falling reproduction rates and/or increases in birth defects, and other medical problems. I’d expect people to test positive for chemicals that bio-accumulate. I’d expect to see other animals that eat high on the food chain exhibiting some of these problems. The science is out there; Rachel Carson reported the truth.

There are more reasons for humans to eat low on the food chain. The calories in the corn presently fed to cows far exceeds the calories present in the cow’s body, and there are seven billion humans on this planet. Cows and pigs (and to a lesser extent chickens and fish) are an inefficient use of human foodstuffs merely to activate taste buds and brain cells. Feeding inedible grasses to cows, an efficient way to obtain human calories, is now more difficult. Some radioactive by-products of certain nuclear misadventures bioaccumulate at various rates, and internal ionizing radiation exposure is vastly more harmful than external radiation exposure (like X-rays). Radioactive grass can become even more radioactive steaks.

Hope this helps my fellow SpaceShip Earth passengers maintain their good health!

 
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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in General Knowledge

 

a parable for the 6anksters

Once upon a time… there was a paper dragon fighting against two tiny dragons, one silver, the other gold. They are fighting over a troll hole that is ’embedded’ in a huge population of humans. The trolls have again created the paper dragon, F1AT. It fights their battles and never sleeps. It works for the trolls tirelessly, but the trolls view it (and the humans) as useful slaves. The humans are as a source of labor and food. Most of the humans don’t even notice their servitude. F1AT never eats the humans as the trolls do. The trolls are very careful to feed their creation paper rectangles (complete with bloodstains) so it will continue to grow. Even though most humans pay no attention to F1AT or the metal dragons, even the most oblivious of their number cannot but notice how quickly the trolls’ paper dragon grows.

Once, the tiny metal dragons were mere toys for F1AT. In the scarce seconds that they were free of F1AT’s grasp, they sunk their teeth into F1AT’s paper and slashed it with their claws, but the damage the metal dragons delivered was minor. They inconvenienced F1AT only a short time as the trolls always had more paper and repaired their F1AT quickly. The metal dragons are alternately crushed under F1AT’s weight or clutched in it’s claws and jaws, but in time the metal dragons always seem to burrow out of the paper mountain that is F1AT.

The metal dragons are persistent. They fight as unemotionally as F1AT, for they share the same artificial origins. However, the flightless metal dragons were created by humans thousands of years ago, while F1AT is always created anew by troll-controlled humans after each of it’s many defeats. The metal dragons have always proved the more durable and lasting. This time, however, F1AT is bigger than ever and both sides have some new tricks.

F1AT, like the metal dragons, long ago learned to enthrall the humans. Long ago the trolls taught F1AT to force the spellbound and enslaved humans to carry water, and more humans were seduced into applying the water to F1AT so that it might not burn. Even though there are more humans than ever, F1AT is never in danger of becoming waterlogged. The trolls seem to have an infinite supply of dry paper and so F1AT has grown greater than ever before. The trolls supplied F1AT with the ability to fire energy bolts, an invention they stole from the humans. The trolls find the device quite useful, as an energy bolt torments most of the humans it hits. Tormented humans are easily troll-controlled, as long as the device is not used too often.

The trolls have always trained some humans to throw mud at any metal dragon they see, in hopes that the other humans will join in. Another stolen human invention allows a very few troll-trained humans to speak directly to nearly all of the other humans, and this furthers F1AT’s magic.

Another day, and the sun sets on yet another human Empyre. The humans carry water and feed the trolls, for nearly all seek to obtain the marked troll paper and are thus enslaved. The dragon F1AT is larger than ever, but is looking tattered. There is little the trolls can do for their creation other than continue to overfeed it. The metal dragons are as shiny and tireless as ever.

A stiff breeze turns into a strong wind as the day ends.  Clouds of damp paper fly downwind in the fading light. F1AT has wounds that defy the troll’s dry paper for long periods. Despite this, F1AT becomes ever larger but also less agile, and occasionally the metal dragons are free for quite some time. Sometimes the trolls and mudslingers struggle to aid F1AT, and the wiser humans work slower and carry little water. Sometimes, a brave human will merely spit on the paper dragon, and this emboldens other humans–especially when the trolls are too busy to notice. F1AT’s magic is weakening. But nearly all humans still use the troll paper, even those who secretly wish that F1AT would blow away. Nearly all humans still carry water for F1AT.

It is nearly night. Two dragons gleam in the fading light. Human hands brazenly wipe mud out of golden ears and silver eyes.  The multitudes of blackened paper bits flying away with the intensifying wind are barely even damp. A very few humans point at the troll hole and laugh at the mudslingers, and occasionally other humans join in the magic-nullifying laughter. In ways like this some humans learn to resist the troll spells and move far from the troll hole. But most humans do none of these things. Far too many humans are battered by the increasing wind, their vitality sapped by the task of carrying water, completely oblivious to their likely future. The darkness will come for all, ready or not.

Paper is poverty…it is the ghost of money, and not money itself.  Thomas Jefferson

“I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.”   Nathan Mayer Rothschild

“Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.”  Henry Fielding

“Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overthrowing the existing order of society than debauching the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”     John Maynard Keynes

“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.”   Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England (appointed 1928).

 
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Posted by on Tue, 2011 in stories