Interesting work on fear and memory published in Science and dumbed down for mass consumption at Psychcentral: For one experimental group, the re-consolidation process was disrupted with the aid of repeated presentations…

Although reported in typical surface-skimming Business Insider tabloid/SEO-max style, Noah Plaue’s account of anandamide’s potential for humans really is quite interesting… Promising research shows how to increase a chemical within us that counteracts…

Writes Micah Zenko in the Atlantic:

[On June 6th], the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) released its 2011 Report on Terrorism. The report offers the U.S. government’s best statistical analysis of terrorism trends through its Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS), which compiles and vets open-source information about terrorism—defined by U.S. law as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”…

According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real—albeit shrinking—threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions…

Via Media Roots:

Robbie & Abby Martin of Media Roots have an impromptu late night conversation about existentialism: the progression of technology and its effect on human interaction; human nature and the inability to face personal truths; reinforced perceptions of reality and societal myths keeping people in line; false flag terrorism, corporate collusion, the police state ruling society by fear and the unsustainable nature of global capitalism.

The Hunger Games? Nope, this year’s hottest dramatic depiction of our nightmarish future is Rick Santorum’s ‘Obamaville’, a look at a ‘small American town two years from now if Obama is reelected’. What will 2014 under Obama be like? The playgrounds are empty, rusted, and littered with children’s abandoned shoes, signs are painted in blood, the numbers on clocks are printed in Soviet-font, and the sun rarely shines. No joke, a campaign spokesperson said this teaser is the kickoff an eight-part miniseries:

HAL 9000Via the The Economist:

The treatment, in the early 1880s, of an Austrian hysteric called Anna O is generally regarded as the beginning of talking-it-through as a form of therapy.

But psychoanalysis, as this version of talk therapy became known, is an expensive procedure. Anna’s doctor, Josef Breuer, is estimated to have spent over 1,000 hours with her.

Since then, things have improved. A typical course of a modern talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions and is a reasonably efficient way of treating conditions like depression and anxiety (hysteria is no longer a recognised diagnosis).

Medication, too, can bring rapid change. Nevertheless, treating disorders of the psyche is still a hit-and-miss affair, and not everyone wishes to bare his soul or take mind-altering drugs to deal with his problems. A new kind of treatment may, though, mean he does not have to.

DraculaInteresting article from Cyriaque Lamar on io9.com on the history of “occult” warfare:

Military psy ops aren’t limited to leaflets, propaganda broadcasts, and Korean pop music. In the past, the US military has played on their opponent superstitions of vampires, ghosts, and astrology. Here are some strange examples.

In World War II, US forces exploited the Nazi’s predilection to put stock in superstitions and the occult. The Rand Corporation’s 1950 memorandum “The Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare” details how pseudoscience connoisseur Joseph Goebbels counteracted Allied attempts to strike fear into the superstitious strata of the German population.

Another curious incident noted in the Rand document occurs in Italy, where British military created a giant manikin to scare rural residents. A large, shambling creature was assembled to freak out superstitious locals…

Ben Smith writes on the Politico:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

Secret RNC Fundraising Presentation

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

The presentation explains the Republican fundraising in simple terms.