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The 6 Weirdest Things We've Learned Since 9/11. Hey, guys -- I'm starting to think we overreacted to the terrorism thing. It hit me last year as I was standing in the naked airport scanner again, listening to the faint gasps and then applause from the monitoring booth, and realized that I wouldn't put up with that hassle to ward off the threat of, say, lightning. You know, like if scientists had figured out that you could reduce the already miniscule chance of being struck by merely standing outside and showing God your dick. Anyway, that made me look back at the lessons we've learned in the 12 years since the 9/11 attacks, and I've got to say, it's not encouraging. For instance, we found out that ... #6. Al-Qaida spent about $500,000 executing the 9/11 terror attacks.

In other words, for every dollar the bad guys spent, we lost 10 million. Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty ImagesOr to put it another way, the equivalent of every single living human in the entire city of New York. Terrorism works. Haha, don't be ridiculous. . #5. How People Disappear. Eye of the Skeptic. “Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.” -Robert Anton Wilson “No amount of belief makes something a fact.” -The Amazing James Randi “Faith” should be a four-letter word. I propose a change in spelling. Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. One of my favorite “always right” groups to hate is the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), a self-proclaimed “skeptical” organization founded by professional debunker and ex-stage magician, the Amazing Randi. Although I’m sure most supporters of the JREF are scoffing right now at the idea that their beliefs are grounded in faith, there’s almost certainly one thing they never question: their own senses.

According to cognitive science, vision makes one of the largest contributions to our perception of reality. And what we do see is pretty unreliable. American Ephebiphobia. Syria intervention cost: Military strikes are a highly cost-ineffective way to help people. Photo by Lee A. Osberry Jr. /U.S. Air Force via Getty Images A few months back, I ran into one of the founders of GiveWell, the charity evaluation website, and he thanked me for having talked up GiveDirectly the charity based around helping to fight global poverty by directly transferring money to poor people. That's their No. 2 rated charity. But he asked why I never write about the Against Malaria Foundation, their No. 1 charity, and I said I would next time there was a good news hook.

Today that day has arrived in light of the increasing chatter that the United States government should drop a bunch of high-powered explosives in order to kill and maim a bunch of Syrian individuals while destroying some of Syria's physical infrastructure in order to help other Syrian individuals. By any measure, NATO succeeded in Libya. That is extremely impressive. San Francisco to chain stores: Get out! “Whether you’re on the road or just cruising around town, your favorite McDonald’s menu items are never far away.”

So boasts the McDonald’s Restaurant Locator, and a glance at a distribution map of franchises in the United States proves the point. Population centers burn brightly with the Golden Arches; even the sparsely populated Western states are adequately supplied by the nation’s 14,000-plus fleet of McDonald’s. That reach is astounding, but not exceptional. Four out of five Americans live within 20 miles of our 11,000 Starbucks; 30 percent of American grocery shopping occurs at our 4,500 Wal-Marts. The most familiar element of the American landscape — excepting green highway signs and certain brands of automobiles — might be Subway, which has over 25,000 U.S. locations. You could be forgiven for thinking, as Simon and Garfunkel sang, “Each town looks the same to me.”

That is changing. Supporters say the 75 percent approval rate does not do justice to the system’s efficacy. Symmetry in the universe: Physics says you shouldn’t exist. Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer You’re almost unfathomably lucky to exist, in almost every conceivable way. Don’t take it the wrong way. You, me, and even the most calming manatee are nothing but impurities in an otherwise beautifully simple universe. We're lucky life began on Earth at all, of course, and that something as complex as humans evolved. It was improbable that your parents met each other and conceived you at just the right instant, and their parents and their parents and so on back to time immemorial.

But even so, I have news for you: It's worse than you think. Your existence wasn’t just predicated on amorousness and luck of your ancestors, but on an almost absurdly finely tuned universe. Worse still, the laws of physics themselves seem to be working against us. My physicist colleagues and I like to pretend that the laws of physics are orderly and elegant. The long-overlooked 20th-century mathematician Emmy Noether proved the centrality of symmetry as a physical principle. How reality caught up with paranoid delusions – Mike Jay. Clinical psychiatry papers rarely make much of a splash in the wider media, but it seems appropriate that a paper entitled ‘The Truman Show Delusion: Psychosis in the Global Village’, published in the May 2012 issue of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, should have caused a global sensation.

Its authors, the brothers Joel and Ian Gold, presented a striking series of cases in which individuals had become convinced that they were secretly being filmed for a reality TV show. In one case, the subject travelled to New York, demanding to see the ‘director’ of the film of his life, and wishing to check whether the World Trade Centre had been destroyed in reality or merely in the movie that was being assembled for his benefit. In another, a journalist who had been hospitalised during a manic episode became convinced that the medical scenario was fake and that he would be awarded a prize for covering the story once the truth was revealed. Throughout his lifetime, Dick remained a cult author. Comments. For video games, a moral reckoning is coming. She was created with a computer program, but she looked real. The proportions were correct, the hair looked lifelike – the skin even had pockmarks and imperfections.

For some reason, however, it felt a bit off. Maybe it was the eyes, maybe it was the way she moved, but the overall effect was, in a word, creepy. This phenomenon is called the “uncanny valley,” and for some game developers, it’s the final barrier between fantasy and reality. The “uncanny valley” refers to one’s psychological response to a visual representation – say, for example, a character in a video game. As the visual representation becomes more realistic and complex, a player’s psychological response becomes more positive – he or she begins to identify with the character’s human qualities.

At a certain point, however, the dynamic shifts – the more lifelike the character is, the more unsettling that character becomes – and the player will feel disgust. Only five years later, Mortal Kombat was released in arcades. Paul Ekman | Clinical Psychologist. Paul Ekman is the Manager of the Paul Ekman Group, LLC (PEG), a small company that produces training devices relevant to emotional skills, and is initiating new research relevant to national security and law enforcement. His research on facial expression and body movement began in 1954, as the subject of his Master’s thesis in 1955 and his first publication in 1957.

In his early work, his approach to nonverbal behavior showed his training in personality. Over the next decade, a social psychological and cross-cultural emphasis characterized his work, with a growing interest in an evolutionary and semiotic frame of reference. In addition to his basic research on emotion and its expression, he has, for the last thirty years, also been studying deceit. In 1971, he received a Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health; that Award has been renewed in 1976, 1981, 1987, 1991, and 1997. Articles reporting on Dr. Predictive Analytics: "Freakonomics" Meets Big Data | Experts' Corner. While writing my book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die, a certain well-known book strongly influenced me to make the science accessible, relevant, and even entertaining: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

Both Freakonomics and Predictive Analytics are more than just books—they are disciplines of insight, schools of analytical thought. So, who would win in a fight—Freakonomics or Predictive Analytics? Freakonomics Versus Predictive Analytics Champion: Freakonomics, the entertaining pop science originator of what I would call "humanized econometrics. " This book takes the analytical, data driven approach to economics—know by some as econometrics—and applies it to everyday life, including real estate brokers, drug dealers, and nursery schools.

Challenger: Predictive Analytics, the accessible—yet conceptually complete—primer to, well, predictive analytics. Reviewers of my book have drawn the parallel. 1. 2. 3. 4. The first “Real Life Game”, TheCityGame offers you an augmented experience of your hometown. The virtual and real worlds are merging and in more ways than one. Augmented reality is already a part of our everyday lives, taking off where the real world ends and providing us with a richer, more complex experience of reality. We have online personas and “IRL” (In Real Life) personas – a schizoid split within ourselves that is sometimes dichotomic, sometimes overlapping. But what if there was a way to reconcile these two halves of our personae? What if we could exist in both the real and the virtual worlds at once? (Without having to be plugged into the Matrix!) One of the areas in which technologies that can allow us to do so is gaming. It is through the use of such technology that Ioustinos Sarris, a games developer, and CEO and product manager of Athens startup In-City, along with his partner Thomas, the CTO, with whom he has been working for the past six years, has created what goes beyond ARGs and which he calls “the first Real Life Game.”

From topographies to psychogeographies. Linear and Lateral Consciousness. Rich Armstrong, GuestWaking Times Throughout our world and, indeed, the entire universe all is governed by two polar opposite forces. These forces are namely Linear and Lateral Consciousness. The previous sentence can also be reduced to the following statement….. Time and Timelessness. When all the layers of the onion are peeled away, this is what we will find. Linear and Lateral Consciousness are expressions of opposing forces of time. Linear Consciousness is the time that most people recognise; it is the sequential; it is a period of time that is added to the previous period of time in a linear precise order that dictates our “future” organisation.

Lateral is non- linear; it is the opposite. These two forces of time battle within each and every person. Significance fulfills the demand from Linear Consciousness; Love fulfills the demand from Lateral Consciousness. The two forces of time actually shape our minds and also our bodies. Lateral Consciousness Linear Consciousness. Are We Becoming What We Once Hated? In the late 1980’s, an old friend of mine based in Moscow was calling her husband in the USA late one night. She said it was a “typical dumb husband/wife call,” mostly about a broken garage door. Around midnight, a gruff voice broke into the call. “This is your KGB listener. This is the most boring, stupid call I’ve ever listened to. Shut up and go to bed!” Ah, those innocent Cold War days. China’s Taoists warned, “you become what you hate.” When I enlisted in the US Army during the Vietnam War, we were taught that it was our duty as American soldiers to report all war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention, and to refuse to obey unlawful orders from superiors as established at post WWII Nuremburg trials At the time, I was proud to serve in America’s armed forces.

Today, the military trial of document leaker PFC Bradley Manning has echoes of the Soviet era: a show trial in which a lonely individual is slowly crushed by the wheels of so-called military justice, an oxymoron. Simulation Theory is a Religious Belief System. I find simulation theory – in essence, the possibility that we’re living in a artificially generated reality – philosophically interesting, even though there really isn’t much evidence to support the idea. Then again, it’s not really needed. One of the most intriguing aspects of the theory, at least from a cultural perspective, is that it is at this point a religious belief system.

As the bronze age myths of gods and heroes have increasingly failed to address in any convincing manner humanity’s perennial existential woes (“Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?”) , we invented technological ones to replace them. To a greater or lesser degree, the various branches of the Abrahamic faiths have at least at one time considered Earthly life to be illusory, transient, and even sinful; a transitional state of being on the path to the godhead.

Mortality is also addressed in Simulation theory, although we may not like the answers. Video: What Makes Florida The 'Gunshine' State. True Tales of Haunted Dolls. Dolls have long been a source of amusement for both children and adults. However, they can also bring terror as well as joy. Read on for chilling true tales of haunted dolls and possessed playthings. The Legend of Robert the Doll When it comes to haunted dolls, Robert is arguably America’s most famous. The Key West doll is a fixture on local ghost tours and even served as an inspiration for Chucky in Child’s Play. Robert belonged to Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. Young Robert enjoyed talking to his namesake, and servants insisted the doll talked back. Robert the Doll spooked plenty of folks during the day, but at night he focused on young Robert Otto.

Robert Otto died in 1974, and his notorious doll now sits on display at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. The Eyes Follow You Though dolls like Robert grab headlines and spark imaginations, they’re not alone. Years ago, the woman had a grade school friend named Emily and the two spent a lot of time at Emily’s home. A Fisher King in the White House  Joan Didion’s After Henry, published in 1992, is an overlooked collection. Its obscurity is a shame, if only because its first essay, “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” is so pleasurably perceptive. The essay, an abridged version of which first appeared in 1989 in the New York Review of Books under the title “Life at Court,” gives the Reagan administration the full treatment.

More than twenty years hence, the piece remains a trenchant account of the political-economic shift to dedicated neoliberalism in the halls of government. Didion drives home just how complete and intentional that transformation was, and how Reagan’s peculiar combination of disengagement and charm formed the conditions for the flourishing of a new American economic doctrine. Didion’s characterizations of Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s preoccupations and bewilderments are as wry and acerbic as we’ve come to expect. The new White House “was one of considerable febrility.” The 150 Things the World's Smartest People Are Afraid Of. The 150 Things the World's Smartest People Are Afraid Of. Hypnosis and Meditation. Rupert Sheldrake: Are Psychic Phenomena Illusory? Leaning Away - By David Rothkopf. Miss Utah, Schadenfreude and Internet 'Celebrities' Synchronicity: The Key of Destiny. Coffee vs. beer: which drink makes you more creative? — What I Learned Today.

Media Disinformation and the Conspiracy Panic Phenomenon. American exceptionalism is a dangerous myth. 5 Ways We Are Isolated From Each Other And Cut Off From Our Roots. This Is What a Tyranny Looks Like. Empathy explained by David Foster Wallace. Beauty & Truth Lab. Does Prozac help artists be creative? | Culture. The Pleiadians: You Have Chosen to be Human - A Message of Encouragement ... Remote Viewing Pioneer Russell Targ Describes The Origins Of ESP Powers. Elitism, Intelligence, and Cultivation by Fred Reed. Four Psychologists at the Gates of Hell. Henry Farrell – On post-democracy. The paradox of fairness. Sinister Yogis. Robert Anton Wilson - A Lesson in Karma. Chris Hayes on Violence and Terrorism: What's the Difference? 3D-Printed Guns Get Better. STOP. YOU ARE NOT A MACHINE. Pdf/1303.7476v1.pdf.

Why Risk Managers Should Be Spymasters. The Adventure Of Randomized Shopping. Occult Feminism and the Psychic Superiority of Women. The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense. The Multi-Faith Blasphemy Generator. Easterton woman recovers after 'dying for 45 minutes' Aldous Huxley Describes The Ultimate Revolution. Buy a Ticket. Take the Ride.

The Energetics of Psychopathy. Rules Save Lives but do not Save Brains. Feminism in the 21st Century. Human Demonology: Occupy Daath, or The Missing Protagonist. Bills Pushed By State Legislators Would Make Farm Animal Abuse Investigations More Difficult. Things I’ve Learned From Writing Under A Gender-Neutral Name. Voices from Solitary: A Sentence Worse Than Death. LivesOn: Twitter ghost keeps tweeting when you're dead | Crave. What is the Workshop? | Due process of law toned down in international criminal courts. Ross Andersen – Humanity's deep future. Will technology help humans conquer the universe or kill us all? Mini. Quiet Babylon | The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations. Big Brother And His Drones: What YOU Can Get Out Of Surveillance and the Machine Future.

Why Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s Work is So Interesting for Fans of Mixed Martial Arts and Occultists. Alois Bell Applebee's tip: Why do Americans tip more than they tithe? Manifesto. Exclusive Excerpt: Paul Levy: ‘Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil’ The Matrix: What Is Bullet Time? Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die : Krulwich Wonders... On the mental catwalk. Live Life, Not Projects. Larry Correia refutes the gun controllers once and for all. Consensus reality. Why You Shouldn't Have Sex for Your Health | Postcards from Žižek. Dancing With Jesus Book at The Onion Store. Psi and Psychosis: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid | Dr. Barry Taff's Official Site. Apocalypse Now - By Frank Jacobs. Newtown, CT, & America’s Serial Aversion to Substance. 'Japanese Jesus' Legend: Christ Escaped Jerusalem, Lived In Japan With Family As Rice Farmer. Agent Orange Victims Get Scientology ‘Detox’ Treatment.

The False Self. There’s No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster. Second Sight May Take First Place in Consciousness Studies. The Extraordinary Equation of George Van Tassel | ?! Fields for religious feelings. Gun control: The gun control that works: no guns. Who Will Control The Guns? Mind Steps, Cultural Evolution and Accelerating Change. Gun Rhetoric vs. Gun Facts. How much is a body worth? I set out to find out | Storm Theunissen. Memento Mori: Art to Help You Meditate on Death and Become a Better Man. How to Bug-In: What You Need to Know to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster. "The Supernatural World" by Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff. Asperger’s and Newtown school shooting: Autistic does not mean violent.