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The Ideological Animal

The Ideological Animal
Cinnamon Stillwell never thought she'd be the founder of a political organization. She certainly never expected to start a group for conservatives, most of whom became conservatives on the same day—September 11, 2001. She organized the group, the 911 Neocons, as a haven for people like her—"former lefties" who did political 180s after 9/11. Stillwell, now a conservative columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle , had been a liberal her whole life, writing off all Republicans as "ignorant, intolerant yahoos." Disgusted, she looked elsewhere. In 2005, she wrote a column called "The Making of a 9/11 Republican." We tend to believe our political views have evolved by a process of rational thought, as we consider arguments, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions. Most people are surprised to learn that there are real, stable differences in personality between conservatives and liberals—not just different views or values, but underlying differences in temperament. Related:  The Left vs. Right Partisan Divide

Life's Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican | Genetics & Political Views | Liberals & Conservatives | Political Ideology In this weekly series, LiveScience examines the psychology and sociology of opposite human behavior and personality types. The red meat is flying in the Republican presidential nomination battle, which sees its first caucus-goer and voter results early next month. Given the United States' starkly divided political climate, one might think it obvious that fundamental, built-in differences exist between Democrats and Republicans. According to early poll results from psychology and neuroscience, you'd be right. "There are converging lines of evidence for brain regions that make sense as biological correlates for political attitudes," said Darren Schreiber, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. Yet ideology stems from more than a slightly oversized or under-functioning brain region, researchers say. But some individuals do become quite fixed in their political opinions. Ideology, by the numbers A blue or red brain? Political dynasties

Corey Robin - The Politics of Fear Issue #21, Summer 2011 Corey Robin To read the other essays in our symposium on the 9/11 decade, click here . I n my 2004 book Fear: The History of a Political Idea , I argued that “one day, the war on terrorism will come to an end. When I wrote “one day,” I was thinking decades, not years. Yet even before Osama bin Laden was killed and negotiations with the Taliban had begun, it was clear that the war on terror, understood in those terms, had come to an end. When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. A Kinsley gaffe if ever there was one, Kerry’s comment may have helped seal his fate in that election. Yet, as others in this symposium have noted, the political infrastructure of fear—the bureaucracies and institutions created in the wake of 9/11, the profiling and practices of surveillance, the laws and enforcement agencies—survives. Post a Comment

The Benefits of Distraction and Overstimulation I. The Poverty of Attention I’m going to pause here, right at the beginning of my riveting article about attention, and ask you to please get all of your precious 21st-century distractions out of your system now. Check the score of the Mets game; text your sister that pun you just thought of about her roommate’s new pet lizard (“iguana hold yr hand LOL get it like Beatles”); refresh your work e-mail, your home e-mail, your school e-mail; upload pictures of yourself reading this paragraph to your “me reading magazine articles” Flickr photostream; and alert the fellow citizens of whatever Twittertopia you happen to frequent that you will be suspending your digital presence for the next twenty minutes or so (I know that seems drastic: Tell them you’re having an appendectomy or something and are about to lose consciousness). Good. Now: Count your breaths. Over the last several years, the problem of attention has migrated right into the center of our cultural attention.

Mainstream Economics as Ideology: I Rod Hill and Tony Myatt are Professors of Economics at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and Fredericton (respectively). Their new book, The Economics Anti-Textbook is available from Amazon. They also run a blog at Interview conducted by Philip Pilkington. Philip Pilkington: Your book seems to me a much needed antidote to the mainstream economics textbooks and can either be read alone or together with them. Tony Myatt: That’s correct. Delightfully for us, Mankiw replied to these students in his New York Times column, saying “I don’t view the study of economics as laden with ideology…It is a method rather than a doctrine….a technique for thinking, which helps the possessor to draw correct conclusions.” Our perspective is that there is an ideology that pervades mainstream economics, especially in the way it is currently practiced and taught. The point is that it is more difficult to argue that there is a bias in neoclassical economics itself.

Edith Macefield Edith Macefield Born Oregon Died June 2008 (aged 86–87) Seattle , Washington, USA Known for Real-estate holdout Edith Macefield's house during construction. (b. 1921 Oregon , d. After her death it was revealed that Macefield willed her house to the new building's construction superintendent, Barry Martin, in gratitude for the friendship he had shown her during the construction. [ 3 ] Martin told the , "Two or three times she was basically going to sell and move, and then I know the last time she ended up falling and breaking some ribs, and that kind of took the gas out of her, and then it was just too much work." [ 7 ] A Ballard tattoo artist has since created a design based on Macefield's house in remembrance of her, and as a commitment to, "holding on to things that are important to you." In July 2009 Barry Martin sold the house to Greg Pinneo for $310,000. [ edit ] See also Nail house ^ Mulady, Kathy (2008-06-16). ^ "Even for $1-million" . ^ Mulady, Kathy (2007-10-03). [ edit ] References

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work. In a simple experiment reported todayin the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information. Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Participants were college students whose politics ranged from "very liberal" to "very conservative." Frank J. "Does this mean liberals and conservatives are never going to agree?"

François Burgat Discusses Western and Islamist Roles in Middle Eastern Political Strategy | Tufts Fletcher School Dr. François Burgat is in a good place to critique the Western approach to Middle Eastern politics. French by origin, he has spent the last twenty years as a researcher and diplomat living throughout the Middle East. The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies invited Burgat, who is currently the director of the prestigious Institute Français du Proche Orient, to speak about his most recent book, Islamism in the Shadow of Al Qaida. His theory is that the West misunderstands Middle Eastern political tensions by labeling everything Muslim as political Islam and failing to understand its own contribution to the situation. “We over-theologize our understanding of political tensions,” he explained. The history of colonization on the Middle East, Burgat argues, is a significant factor in today’s politics. Al-Qaida gained momentum in the same environment where Islamism and its lexicon pervaded. Arab governments continue to play a role in fueling the radical Islamist discourse.

Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit) | Wired Science  What are the causes of success? At first glance, the answer is easy: success is about talent. It’s about being able to do something – hit a baseball, play chess, trade stocks, write a blog – better than most anyone else. In recent years, however, the pendulum has shifted. That’s interesting, right? The ability to ask these questions, to peel away layers of explanation, is one of the reasons I’m drawn to the psychological sciences. The first thing Duckworth, et. al. discovered is that deliberate practice works. But that still begs the question: Why were some kids better at drilling themselves with note cards? Our major findings in this investigation are as follows: Deliberate practice—operationally defined in the current investigation as the solitary study of word spellings and origins—was a better predictor of National Spelling Bee performance than either being quizzed by others or engaging in leisure reading. There are two interesting takeaways from this study.

Mainstream Economics as Ideology: II Rod Hill and Tony Myatt are Professors of Economics at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and Fredericton (respectively). Their new book, The Economics Anti-Textbook is available from Amazon. They also run a blog at Interview conducted by Philip Pilkington Philip Pilkington: I think it was Joan Robinson who said something along the lines of “while we may have to teach a limited amount of material, we could at least teach that which is useful”. In your experience do you find that students leave mainstream economics courses equipped to deal with real world issues? This is another way of saying that ‘mainstream economics’ includes a pretty broad range of ideas and that the borders between it and heterodox economics are rather fuzzy. Tony Myatt: We could compare economics to other professions. This raises the question: is economics really a practical science like engineering? Macroeconomics has been in a real mess for quite a while. no text

Pics of World War II: Operation Barbarossa via Gray matter: liberal brains vs. conservative brains Have you been watching C-Span? I can’t stop. To mark the Friday expiration of a temporary budget resolution (and perhaps an end to the stalemate that threatens to shut the federal government down), here’s a little liberal versus conservative neuroanatomy. Researchers claim to have found differences in brain structure between people who identify themselves as either politically conservative or liberal. Ryota Kanai and colleagues from University College London recruited 90 young adults, who had to rate their political philosophy from very liberal to very conservative. Then the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look inside their brains. Liberals tended to have a larger anterior cingulate cortex – an area that becomes active in situations involving conflict or uncertainty. Just looking at brain scans, the researchers say they could predict who was liberal and who was conservative with about 75% accuracy. As ScienceNOW reports:

9/11 and the makers of history - CISAC After 9/11, the administration of US President George W Bush initiated the era of the global war on terror. For many, this was a misguided response to terror attacks. But before the decade was over, US forces invaded two countries and are now fighting shadow wars in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, while an air war continues in Libya. Pentagon commands cover the entire planet, and US military assistance programmes are active in almost every country. Wars reorder politics and values. It is useful to begin by recalling some of what seemed true on September 10, 2001. Today, each of these verities lies broken. Renewed global military commitments have hastened an inevitable US decline. How is it that the received wisdom about the nature of world politics was so badly wrong? The great conceit that blinds us is the idea that the powerful make history just as they please. 'Like cowboys at the rodeo' Epoch-defining dates like 1989 or 9/11 invoke various imagined histories and geographies.

How Violent Sex Helped Ease My PTSD - Media It was my research editor who told me it was completely nuts to willingly get fucked at gunpoint. That's what she called me when I told her the story. We were drunk and in a karaoke bar, so at the time I came up with only a wounded face and a whiny, "I'm not completely nuuuuts!" Upon further consideration, a more explanative response probably would have been something like: Well. "There" would be Haiti, where I'd just spent two weeks covering the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that shook the country into ugly chaos. There are a lot of guns in Haiti. Not anymore, anyway. I have coping mechanisms for this sort of thing. "It's okay to cry," said Meredith Broome, a brilliant Bay Area therapist who specializes in trauma, during one of our phone sessions that summer. "Everyone's going to think I'm not tough enough to do my job." "You don't know what Anderson Cooper does when he goes home at night." I kept working. I realize now that I was undone. "Why don't I get some real problems?"

The Sublime Object of Ideology After the success of The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, director Sophie Fiennes and the only philosopher-turned-film-star Slavoj Žižek return with The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. Tonight marks the premiere of the film at the TIFF, with both Žižek and Fiennes in attendance. Bringing his unique style and "penetrating insights" to popular and obscure cinema alike, Žižek is at once captivating and clownish, bringing unique knowledge and interpretation- as well as a deep love of cinema- to a host of films. In this edition, Žižek examines film for a deeper ideological implication, both obvious and undiscovered, and questions these outcomes for our own time. Through skillful editing, Fiennes weaves Žižek into the narrative and histories of films as diverse as Jaws, The Triumph of Will, Brazil and The Sound of Music. Not many films can tackle capitalism, consumerism, left-wing radicalism and philosophy among other things.