Eikonal Blog

2014.04.25

Denialism of science

  • Denialism (WikiPedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism
    • In human behavior, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth. … “[It] is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event”. … group denialism [is defined] as “when an entire segment of society, often struggling with the trauma of change, turns away from reality in favor of a more comfortable lie.”
    • In science, denialism has been defined as the rejection of basic concepts that are undisputed and well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a topic in favor of ideas that are both radical and controversial. … It has been proposed that the various forms of denialism have the common feature of the rejection of overwhelming evidence and the generation of a controversy through attempts to deny that a consensus exists. … A common example is Young Earth creationism and its dispute with the evolutionary theory.

2014

  • “How To Convince Conservative Christians That Global Warming Is Real” by Chris Mooney (Mother Jones; 2014.05.02) – http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/inquiring-minds-katharine-hayhoe-faith-climate
    • Millions of Americans are evangelical Christians. Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe is persuading them that our planet is in peril.
    • “Years of Living Dangerously Premiere Full Episode” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brvhCnYvxQQ
  • “Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey” By Rik Myslewski (The Register; 2014.04.21) – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/21/most_americans_doubt_big_bang_not_too_sure_about_evolution_climate_change_survey/
    • Science no match for religion, politics, business interests

    survey_results

  • “AP-GfK Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans” (AP-Gfk; 2014.04.21) – http://ap-gfkpoll.com/featured/findings-from-our-latest-poll-2
    • Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time … Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago….
    • Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there’s a genetic code inside our cells. More – 15 percent – have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines …
    • About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority – 51 percent – questions the Big Bang theory …
    • “Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts,”…
    • The poll highlights “the iron triangle of science, religion and politics,” … And scientists know they’ve got the shakiest leg in the triangle….
    • To the public “most often values and beliefs trump science” when they conflict, … … Political values were closely tied to views on science in the poll, with Democrats more apt than Republicans to express confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, the age of the Earth and climate change….
    • Religious values are similarly important… Confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, the age of the Earth and climate change decline sharply as faith in a supreme being rises, according to the poll. Likewise, those who regularly attend religious services or are evangelical Christians express much greater doubts about scientific concepts they may see as contradictory to their faith … “When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can’t argue against faith,” … “It makes sense now that science would have made no headway because faith is untestable.” …
    • Beyond religious belief, views on science may be tied to what we see with our own eyes. The closer an issue is to our bodies and the less complicated, the easier it is for people to believe, …
    • Marsha Brooks, a 59-year-old nanny who lives in Washington, D.C., said she’s certain smoking causes cancer because she saw her mother, aunts and uncles, all smokers, die of cancer … But when it comes to the universe beginning with a Big Bang or the Earth being about 4.5 billion years old, she has doubts. …
    • Jorge Delarosa, a 39-year-old architect from Bridgewater, N.J., pointed to a warm 2012 without a winter and said, “I feel the change. There must be a reason.” But when it came to Earth’s beginnings 4.5 billion years ago, he has doubts simply because “I wasn’t there.”…
    • Experience and faith aren’t the only things affecting people’s views on science. … “the force of concerted campaigns to discredit scientific fact” as a more striking factor, citing significant interest groups – political, business and religious – campaigning against scientific truths on vaccines, climate change and evolution….
    • … sometimes science wins out even against well-financed and loud opposition, as with smoking. Widespread belief that smoking causes cancer “has come about because of very public, very focused public health campaigns,” … [also, what is very encouraging is] the public’s acceptance that mental illness is a brain disease, something few believed 25 years ago, before just such a campaign.
  • “Why climate deniers are winning: The twisted psychology that overwhelms scientific consensus” by Paul Rosenberg (The Salon; 2014.04.19) – http://www.salon.com/2014/04/19/why_climate_deniers_are_winning_the_twisted_psychology_that_overwhelms_scientific_consensus/
    • There’s a reason why overwhelming evidence hasn’t spurred public action against global warming
    • “The reason ‘consensus’ has not appeared to work in society at large to date isn’t because it’s ineffective – it’s because there is a well-funded counter-movement out there that takes every opportunity to mislead the public into thinking that there isn’t a consensus,”
  • “How politics makes us stupid” by Ezra Klein (Vox; 2014.04.06) – http://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462/brain-dead-how-politics-makes-us-stupid

Older articles

  • “How Do You Get People to Give a Damn About Climate Change?” by Chris Mooney (Mother Jones; 2013.10.18) – http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/10/inquiring-minds-kahan-lewandowsky-communicate-climate
    • Experts have come a long way in figuring out which messages can successfully open minds and move public opinion. There’s just one problem: They disagree about whether the message everyone’s using actually works.
  • “Scientific uncertainty and climate change: Part I. Uncertainty and unabated emissions” by Stephan Lewandowsky, James S. Risbey, Michael Smithson, Ben R. Newell, John Hunter (Springer) – http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-014-1082-7
    • Uncertainty forms an integral part of climate science, and it is often used to argue against mitigative action. This article presents an analysis of uncertainty in climate sensitivity that is robust to a range of assumptions. We show that increasing uncertainty is necessarily associated with greater expected damages from warming, provided the function relating warming to damages is convex. This constraint is unaffected by subjective or cultural risk-perception factors, it is unlikely to be overcome by the discount rate, and it is independent of the presumed magnitude of climate sensitivity. The analysis also extends to “second-order” uncertainty; that is, situations in which experts disagree. Greater disagreement among experts increases the likelihood that the risk of exceeding a global temperature threshold is greater. Likewise, increasing uncertainty requires increasingly greater protective measures against sea level rise. This constraint derives directly from the statistical properties of extreme values. We conclude that any appeal to uncertainty compels a stronger, rather than weaker, concern about unabated warming than in the absence of uncertainty.
  • “Scientific uncertainty and climate change: Part II. Uncertainty and mitigation” by Stephan Lewandowsky, James S. Risbey, Michael Smithson, Ben R. Newell (Springer) – http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-014-1083-6
    • In public debate surrounding climate change, scientific uncertainty is often cited in connection with arguments against mitigative action. This article examines the role of uncertainty about future climate change in determining the likely success or failure of mitigative action. We show by Monte Carlo simulation that greater uncertainty translates into a greater likelihood that mitigation efforts will fail to limit global warming to a target (e.g., 2 °C). The effect of uncertainty can be reduced by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Taken together with the fact that greater uncertainty also increases the potential damages arising from unabated emissions (Lewandowsky et al. 2014), any appeal to uncertainty implies a stronger, rather than weaker, need to cut greenhouse gas emissions than in the absence of uncertainty.
  • “The pivotal role of perceived scientific consensus in acceptance of science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Gilles E. Gignac, Samuel Vaughan (Nature Climate Change 3, 399-404 (2013); doi:10.1038/nclimate1720; 2012.10.28) – http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n4/full/nclimate1720.html
    • Although most experts agree that CO2 emissions are causing anthropogenic global warming (AGW), public concern has been declining. One reason for this decline is the ‘manufacture of doubt’ by political and vested interests, which often challenge the existence of the scientific consensus. The role of perceived consensus in shaping public opinion is therefore of considerable interest: in particular, it is unknown whether consensus determines people’s beliefs causally. It is also unclear whether perception of consensus can override people’s ‘worldviews’, which are known to foster rejection of AGW. Study 1 shows that acceptance of several scientific propositions-from HIV/AIDS to AGW-is captured by a common factor that is correlated with another factor that captures perceived scientific consensus. Study 2 reveals a causal role of perceived consensus by showing that acceptance of AGW increases when consensus is highlighted. Consensus information also neutralizes the effect of worldview.

Related:

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2013.02.26

Facebook sinking even deeper

  • “Why I’m quitting Facebook” by Douglas Rushkoff (CNN; 2013.02.25) – http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/25/opinion/rushkoff-why-im-quitting-facebook/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
    • I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

      Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we’re not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation — I call it “digiphrenia” — would be at the very least hypocritical.

    • Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time — our “social graphs” — into money for others.
    • The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.
  • “Facebook Is Recycling Your Likes To Promote Stories You’ve Never Seen To All Your Friends” by Anthony Wing Kosner (Forbes; 2013.01.21) – http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/01/21/facebook-is-recycling-your-likes-to-promote-stories-youve-never-seen-to-all-your-friends/
  • “Why are dead people liking stuff on Facebook?” by Bernard Meisler (ReadWrite > Social; 2012.12.11) – http://readwrite.com/2012/12/11/why-are-dead-people-liking-stuff-on-facebook

2012.06.27

This is getting tiresome: Facebook never stop monkeying with its users

2011.11.29

Oh well

Filed under: censorship, opression, propaganda, surveillance — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 14:11

2011.05.12

Facebook foolies

Filed under: business, FaceBook, it, propaganda — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 15:46

2011.04.08

Anti-scientism

USA:Anti-Evolution

USA: Anti – Climate Change

2011.03.09

Privacy articles

  • Report: “Dispelling the Myths Surrounding De-identification” (Anonymization can still work) by Lauren Weinstein (Lauren Buzz; 2011.06.16) – http://bit.ly/lbH5PE by Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada [PDF]
      “Recently, the value of de-identification of personal information as a tool to protect privacy has come into question. Repeated claims have been made regarding the ease of re-identification. We consider this to be most unfortunate because it leaves the mistaken impression that there is no point in attempting to de-identify personal information, especially in cases where de-identified information would be sufficient for subsequent use, as in the case of health research. The goal of this paper is to dispel this myth – the fear of re-identification is greatly overblown. As long as proper de-identification techniques, combined with re-identification risk measurement procedures, are used, de-identification remains a crucial tool in the protection of privacy.”
  • AOL search data scandal (WikiPedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AOL_search_data_scandal
  • “What the know” series of articles (The Wall Street Journal) – http://online.wsj.com/public/page/what-they-know-digital-privacy.html
  • “The privacy covenant is an illusion: How to regain control” by Chad Perrin (Tech Republic; 2011.04.18) – http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/the-privacy-covenant-is-an-illusion-how-to-regain-control/5351?tag=nl.e036

Related pages here: Privacy and digital liberties – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/privacy-and-digital-liberties/|Personal computer security – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/personal-computer-security/ | Online privacy tools – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/online-privacy-tools/ | Unending stream of Facebook privacy news – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/unending-stream-of-facebook-privacy-news/ | TSA folies – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/tsa-folies/

Taboo

Filed under: censorship, opression, propaganda, society — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 12:26
  • “What You Can’t Say” by Paul Graham (2004.01) – http://paulgraham.com/say.html
  • “The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code)” (in Reformation of the Arts and Music) – http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html
  • “What You Can’t Say Will Hurt You” By Geoffrey R. Stone (NYT; 2005.08.15) – http://www.archub.org/stone.txt
  • “A Civic Duty to Annoy” by Wendy Kaminer (1997.09) – http://www.archub.org/civicduty.txt
  • “Stanley Milgram: The Perils of Obedience” (at Paul Graham’s web site) – http://paulgraham.com/perils.html
  • “Mark Twain: Corn-pone Opinions” (at Paul Graham’s web site) – http://paulgraham.com/cornpone.html
  • “A New Blacklist for “Excuse Makers” ” (FAIR; 2005.07.27) – http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2598
      New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has urged the U.S. government to create blacklists of condemned political speech–not only by those who advocate violence, but also by those who believe that U.S. government actions may encourage violent reprisals. The latter group, which Friedman called “just one notch less despicable than the terrorists,” includes a majority of Americans, according to recent polls.
      Those who think Iraq War sparks terror are “despicable,” says Friedman
  • book “The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America, Revised Edition” by Larry Elder (Amazon) – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312284659/
  • “Stratagem XXXII” from “The Art Of Controversy” by Arthur Schopenhauer – http://coolhaus.de/art-of-controversy/erist32.htm
      If you are confronted with an assertion, there is a short way of getting rid of it, or, at any rate, of throwing suspicion on it, by putting it into some odious category; even though the connection is only apparent, or else of a loose character. You can say, for instance, “That is Manichaeism” or “It is Arianism,” or “Pelagianism,” or “Idealism,” or “Spinozism,” or “Pantheism,” or “Brownianism,” or “Naturalism,” or “Atheism,” or “Rationalism,” “Spiritualism,” “Mysticism,” and so on. In making an objection of this kind, you take it for granted (1) that the assertion in question is identical with, or is at least contained in, the category cited – that is to say, you cry out, “Oh, I have heard that before”; and (2) that the system referred to has been entirely refuted, and does not contain a word of truth.

2011.02.08

Scientology

2011.02.01

Art of rulling

Overthrowing non-compliant weak states = making future vassals

  • “Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution” by Sheryk Gat Stolberg (The New York Times; 2011.02.16) – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeast/17sharp.html
    • Gene Sharp’s ideas were used by series of movements used to overthrow governments of Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine, Tunisia and Egypt.
    • When Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement was struggling to recover from a failed effort in 2005, its leaders tossed around “crazy ideas” about bringing down the government, said Ahmed Maher, a leading strategist. They stumbled on Mr. Sharp while examining the Serbian movement Otpor, which he had influenced.
  • “From Dictatorship to Democracy” by Gene Sharp – http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf [PDF]
  • “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action” by Gene Sharp – http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations103a.html
    • These methods were compiled by Dr. Gene Sharp and first published in his 1973 book, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973). The book outlines each method and gives information about its historical use.
    • Source: Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973) – http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations3e7d.html
  • Lessons for the Future of Civic Resistance: Georgia and Ukraine” (United States Institute for Peace) – http://www.usip.org/publications/lessons-future-civic-resistance-georgia-and-ukraine

Movers

Client/instrumented movements

Otpor Kmara Pora

Arab winter 2011

April 6th Youth Movement (Algeria)

  • Tunisia
  • Egypt
  • Lybia
  • Algeria
  • Jemen
  • Bahrain

More:

Ruling vassals

  • From: “Tunisians Drive Leader from Power in Mass Uprising” (Cryptogon.com; 2011.01.15) – http://cryptogon.com/?p=19903| also in “Egypt Protests: America’s Secret Backing for Rebel Leaders Behind Uprising?” (Cryptogon.com; 2011.01.29) – http://cryptogon.com/?p=20232.
      Excerpt: At times like this, it’s generally a good idea to keep a copy of The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski handy:

      • As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence. American global supremacy is thus buttressed by an elaborate system of alliances and coalitions that literally span the globe. …
      • American supremacy has thus produced a new international order that not only replicates but institutionalizes abroad many of the features of the American system itself.

      He writes that two steps are required for the, “Formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”

      • First, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them; and to pinpoint the geopolitically critical Eurasian states whose location and/or existence have catalytic effects either on the more active geostrategic players or on regional conditions;
      • Second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above, so as to preserve and promote vital U.S. interests, and to conceptualize a more comprehensive geostrategy that establishes on a global scale the interconnection between the more specific U.S. policies.
      • In brief, for the United States, Eurasian geostrategy involves the purposeful management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with the twin interests of America in the short-term preservation of its unique global power and in the long-run transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation. To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are
        1. to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals,
        2. to keep tributaries pliant and protected,
        3. and to keep the barbarians from coming together.

  • The Grand Chessboard

2011.01.06

Propaganda

2010.12.29

WikiLeaks 2010

  • CableSearch – http://cablesearch.org/an attempt for an user friendly search engine of already published documents from Wikileaks.

On the leaks

Contents of leaks


Related here: Information disclosure sites – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/information-disclosure-sites/ | ACTA – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/acta/ | Law vs Technology – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/law-vs-technology/

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2010.11.23

X-Ray Vans on US streets

It is time for tin-foil hats … and (tin-foil) whole-body uniforms.


Related here: “Surveillance, wiretapping, tracking, etc.” – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/surveilance-wiretapping-etc/.

2010.11.16

TSA folies

Government sanctioned groping


Elsewhere:

2010.10.05

Influencing the public opinion

This is an art old as society. A new twist on it:

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