Tag Archives | Fear

Duck And Cover: The Citizen Kane Of PSAs

duckandcoverFew films, let alone ones running under ten minutes, have been as frequently referenced, reproduced and satirized as Duck and Cover, yet it is never regarded seriously. Conelrad gives this key piece of cinematic history the treatment it deserves:

We have spent the last two years thoroughly researching DUCK AND COVER’s production history as well as its initial public reception in 1952. Interviews were conducted with living participants involved in the making of the film as well as surviving family members of those key players who had passed away.

Just how did the term “Duck and Cover” become universal shorthand for the paranoid excesses of the Cold War and for every geo-political panic attack since? The film is, after all, the Citizen Kane of American civil defense motion pictures. Clips from this movie are used almost every time a news piece is produced on the 1950′s or the Cold War.

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‘Ordered Fear’ Plays a Strong Role in Market Chaos

The ScreamFrom ScienceDaily:

When the current financial crisis hit, the failure of traditional economic doctrines to provide any sort of early warning shocked not only financial experts worldwide, but also governments and the general public, and we all began to question the effectiveness and validity of those doctrines.A research team based in Israel decided to investigate what went awry, searching for order in an apparently random system. They report their findings in the American Institute of Physics’ journal AIP Advances.

The novelty of their study is the incorporation of time variation of “human factors” into mathematical analysis. The team, led by Dr. Yoash Shapira, former head of the Atomic Energy Commission Research and currently a guest scientist at Tel Aviv University, along with Eshel Ben-Jacob, a professor of physics, Tel Aviv University School of Physics and Astronomy, and his doctoral student Dror Y. Kenett, hypothesized that temporal order (arrangement of events in time) should be hidden in variables associated with fear, such as volatility.

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Osama Bin Laden: Myths of Villainy and Deceit

DestroCommentary on the subject of the week, on Modern Mythology:

This is how it works with terrorism, by definition. Our own psychology works against us. Fear, a popular tool of the Bush administration, was used to do a real disservice to their own “war on terror” by painting the picture of this guy hanging out in his underground bunker with Destro, Cobra Commander, and The Joker. (That is should they ever hope to win a “war on terror” — I assume they actually intend to “win” as much as the “war on drugs” could ever be won, as we meanwhile prop up the regimes that supply the materials).

Recent reports say Osama didn’t have a gun. But that’s almost beside the point, since the deed is done and it’s not likely we’re going to be seeing criminal investigations in the assassination of a figure like Osama Bin Laden. In the end he did share at least one thing in common with Saddam Hussein — both of them were tools for US interests for a time, and unlike puppet dictators, these used their own horrific means to their own ends and thus ‘had to be stopped.’ But in a National sense, maybe in an international sense, the blood is on all our hands, and it has been for a long time.

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Can You Improve Your Mental Health From Your Computer?

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.
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Anti-Radiation Pills Flying Off U.S. Drug Store Shelves

IoSatVia Fox News:

One drug supplier says it has sold 250,000 anti-radiation pills to people in the U.S. concerned about possible exposure from Japanese nuclear reactors.

Troy Jones, president of Nukepills.com, said his company sold out over the weekend of potassium iodide pills, which prevent against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland. Jones, in an interview with FoxNews.com, said that the pills were sold to dozens of U.S. pharmacies, corporations, hospitals and nuclear labs.

“You name it,” he said. Jones said that he has back-ordered more than a million tablets and is expected to get another 10,000 of the liquid potassium iodine. He also said that he has donated about 50,000 pills to Japan, many of them going to a hospital in Tokyo.

Despite assurances from health officials that Americans are not at risk from Japanese nuclear reactors, U.S. drug stores are reporting a sudden increase in sales of the over-the-counter anti-radiation pills.

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How Ghosts, Superstitions, and Vampires Have Been Used for Psychological Warfare

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...
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College Student, Marisol Valles, Named Police Chief in Mexico Town … Because No One Else Wanted the Job

This is insane. Liz Goodwin writes in Yahoo News’ The Upshot:
Marisol Valles

A town near drug cartel capital Juarez, Mexico, had just one applicant for police chief after a spate of killings of public officials in drug-related violence.

So now the new chief in Guadalupe, a town of 10,000 residents near the Texas border, is 20-year-old college criminology major Marisol Valles García.

Public officials have increasingly become the targets of assassination as Mecxian cartels try to tighten their grasp on the country. Just this year, 11 Mexican mayors have been slain, including the former mayor of Guadalupe, who was killed in June. In the small town, “police officers and security agents have been killed, some of them beheaded,” according to the AFP.

Valles tells a local paper that she took the job to help the town’s people become less fearful. “Afraid? Everyone is afraid and it’s very natural. What motivates me here is that the project [to make the community safer] is very good and can do a lot for my town.

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Republicans’ Internal Documents Call For Strategy Of “Fear”

The politics of fear, laid out in PowerPoint. From 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.”

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.

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Republicans Playing on People’s Fears (Officially)?

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.
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