Archive for October 25th, 2010

When will the U.S. take the Wikileaks information seriously?

| October 25, 2010 | 8 Replies
When will the U.S. take the Wikileaks information seriously?

According to the South African newspaper Business Day, Great Britain is taking the recent information release seriously:

BRITAIN said yesterday that the allegations against US-led forces for previously unreported civilian deaths and ignoring torture carried out by Iraqi forces, contained in “leaked” military documents on whistle- blower website WikiLeaks, were “extraordinarily serious”. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told BBC television people were waiting for an official response to the “shocking” allegations published by Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, against US and coalition troops.

It’s distressing how the NYT and many other media outlets would rather do hatchet jobs on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange than deal with the content of the leak and the ramifications for A) U.S. foreign policy and B) the stunning lack of candor between the American Government and its citizens.

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Time machine

| October 25, 2010 | Reply
Time machine

Would you like to take a ride in a time machine? Here’s quite a good collection of photos in the form of a slide show, many of them from London, from decades past. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you’re in for a lot of words in only a few minutes.

Picassowoman is responsible for assembling these.

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That psychopath in the mirror

| October 25, 2010 | Reply
That psychopath in the mirror

In the September/October 2010 edition of Scientific American Mind, I recently read an article titled “Inside the Mind of a Psychopath,” by Kent Kiehl and Joshua W Buckholtz.

Who are psychopaths? The authors claim that psychopaths are people whose brains have “gone wrong.” They claim that psychopaths make up .5 to 1% of the general population, adding up to 250,000 psychopaths living freely in the United States. They offer a list of criteria for determining whether a person is a psychopath, mentioning that “everyone falls somewhere on the psychopathic continuum.”

What are the basic symptoms?

One of the most striking peculiarities of psychopaths is that they lack empathy; they are able to shake off as mere tinsel the most universal social obligations. They lie and manipulate yet feel no compunction or regrets-in fact, they don’t feel particularly deeply about anything at all.

So much for the way regular people make sense of the world is through emotion. It informs our gut decisions, our connections to people and places, our sense of belonging and purpose. It is almost impossible to imagine life without findings-until you meet a psychopath. But psychopaths often cover up their deficiencies with a ready and engaging charm, so it can take time to realize what you are dealing with.

Fair enough, but I’d like to focus on that idea that all of us fall along this continuum.

[More . . .]

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