Nicholas Humphrey:THE EVOLVED SELF-MANAGEMENT SYSTEM I realized it must be the result of a trick that has been played by human culture. The trick isto persuade sick people that they have a "license" to get better, because they'rein the hands of supposed specialists who know what's best for them and can offer practical help and reinforcements. And the reason this works is that it reassures people—subconsciously —that the costs of self-cure will be affordable and that it's safe to let down their guard. I'm now thinking about a larger issue still. Go back 10 or 20,000 years ago. And they still are. Let's take this particular example. Now, to one side of the computer on which subjects were playing this game, the experimenters had set up another computer with a screen-saver on it. But this is just one example. It's been a tremendous surprise for experimental psychology and social psychology, because until now it's been widely assumed that people's characters are in fact pretty much fixed. So what's going on?
Secrecy News The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month. “IC employees… must obtain authorization for contacts with the media” on intelligence-related matters, and “must also report… unplanned or unintentional contact with the media on covered matters,” the Directive stated. The new Directive reflects — and escalates — tensions between the government and the press over leaks of classified information. It is intended “to mitigate risks of unauthorized disclosures of intelligence-related matters that may result from such contacts.” See Intelligence Community Directive 119, Media Contacts, March 20, 2014. Significantly, however, the new prohibition does not distinguish between classified and unclassified intelligence information.
Farm Wars Standard & Poors Tells GOP To Grow Up And Accept Obama's Offer Holy cow. This is mind-blowing (and confirms my contention that Barack Obama has been working closely with “Big Money” to pressure the G.O.P. to commit what may be electoral suicide): The credit-rating agency Standard & Poors has released a statement that says, among other things, that merely raising the debt ceiling is not enough to prevent a downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, triggering market instability and causing the interest rate on U.S. debt to skyrocket. What’s more, S&P is attaching numbers and conditions to its statement: to ensure a stable credit rating, any deal between Obama and the Republicans must reduce debt by $4 trillion, should include some balance of cuts and revenues (ie, tax increases), and will involve concessions by both sides (a thinly-veiled repudiation of Eric Cantor’s assertion that merely attending negotiations is the only concession the GOP intends to make). The U.S. “[T]he Republicans are pushing things too far. Read more of M.S.
Enlightenment - The Experience Festival | Global Oneness 5 Psychological Experiments That Reveal Our Dark Side We present you the most notorious and most popular experiments of all-time. Some of the most fascinating and deplorable experiments ever conducted that proove that we do have a dark side… During the 1950s, Solomon Asch conducted and published a series of laboratory experiments that demonstrated the degree to which an individual’s own opinions are influenced by those of a majority group. Male college students participated in a simple “perceptual” task. Only one participant was actually a genuine subject for the experiment, the rest being confederates, carefully tutored to give certain pre-selected responses. The participants gave a variety of answers, at first correct, to avoid arousing suspicion in the subject, but then with some incorrect responses added. The Asch Experiment results were interesting and showed that peer pressure could have a measurable influence on the answers given. The researchers had three hypotheses: 1. Overall 40% offered some help to the victim. 1.
Boundless Informant Boundless Informant or BOUNDLESSINFORMANT is a big data analysis and data visualization tool used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It gives NSA managers summaries of the NSA's world wide data collection activities by counting metadata. The existence of this tool was disclosed by documents leaked by Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Those disclosed documents were in a direct contradiction to the NSA's assurance to United States Congress that it does not collect any type of data on millions of Americans. History Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court). A second correction is about by whom and where these data were collected.
The Last Argument of Kings Teabagger uses racism to explain that the Tea Party is not racist. // Current To Our Faithful Current.com Users: Current's run has ended after eight exciting years on air and online. The Current TV staff has appreciated your interest, support, participation and unflagging loyalty over the years. Your contributions helped make Current.com a vibrant place for discussing thousands of interesting stories, and your continued viewership motivated us to keep innovating and find new ways to reflect the voice of the people. We now welcome the on-air and digital presence of Al Jazeera America, a new news network committed to reporting on and investigating real stories affecting the lives of everyday Americans in every corner of the country. You can keep up with what's new on Al Jazeera America and see this new brand of journalism for yourself at Thank you for inspiring and challenging us. – The Current TV Staff
How being called smart can actually make you stupid | Neurobonkers A few months ago I posted a piece which has become my most popular blog post by quite a landslide. The post covered various techniques for learning and looked at the empirical evidence for and against their efficacy based on recent research. This post is my follow up, in which I look at the case for one tip for learning that it seems really could have a big impact. A growing body of evidence from the last two decades suggests that our attitude towards our own potential for intelligence has a considerable impact on our lives, furthermore we are incredibly vulnerable to having this attitude or "mindset" moulded for better or worse, by how people praise us in a way that is both shocking and problematic. Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck has presented a range of startlingly fascinating findings on the topic which have been broadly supported by further research. References: Blackwell L.S., Trzesniewski K.H. & Dweck C.S. (2007). Kamins M.L. & Dweck C.S. (1999).
XKeyscore Logo for the XKeyscore program XKeyscore or XKEYSCORE (abbreviated as XKS) is a formerly secret computer system first used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data it collects worldwide every day. The program has been shared with other spy agencies including Australia's Defence Signals Directorate, New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst. The program's existence was publicly revealed in July 2013 by Edward Snowden in The Sydney Morning Herald and O Globo newspapers, though the codename is mentioned in earlier articles, and like many other codenames can also be seen in job postings, and in the online resumes of employees. The scope of XKeyscore XKeyscore is a complicated system and various authors have different interpretations about its actual capabilities. According to Snowden and Greenwald According to the NSA Workings Data sources Capabilities