Some Disinfonauts might recall that last month I posted a rather scathing commentary in regards to the career of blow-hard skeptical debunker James Randi. Of course I hope people realize that I write polemic rants like this to reflect the negativity that the closed minded “skeptical” community, hardline materialist types, and religious people alike have been directing at anyone with alternate spiritual practices for the vast majority of recorded history. We deal with this condescension constantly and to pretend there isn’t a bias against things like Shamanism, the Occult, or Psi is sort of like pretending there’s no homophobia or misogyny, or that racism is just a thing of the past. For the record, we’re not talking about a fictional “sky-god” but rather the potentiality of the human imagination. It’s incredibly bizarre how many people desperately want to believe that this potentiality doesn’t exist and will eat up anything that reinforces this deeply held belief no matter how short on facts or evidence their claims happen to be.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Lies
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Despite all the advice about lie detection going around, study after study has found that it is very difficult to spot when someone is lying.
Previous tests involving watching videos of suspects typically find that both experts and non-experts come in at around 50/50: in other words you might as well flip a coin.
Now, though, a new study published in Human Communication Research, has found that a process of active questioning yielded almost perfect results, with 97.8% of liars successfully detected (Levine et al., 2014).
The process of lie detection has nothing to do with supposed ‘tells’ like avoiding eye-contact or sweating, and everything to do with the way the suspect is questioned.
In the series of studies, participants played a trivia game in which they were secretly offered a chance to cheat.
In one experiment 12% cheated and in another 44.9% chose to cheat.
According to this study, white lies are beneficial (or, at least, not detrimental) to social networks. On the other hand, selfish lies can destroy social networks. Seems straightforward enough, but the way they conducted the experiment is the interesting part.
via The Conversation:
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“Lying is a bad thing – this is what mentors, parents and teachers tell us. But there is no society without lies.”
So says theoretical physicist Rafael Barrio, and when he and his colleague Kimmo Kaski from the Aalto University School of Science in Finland thought about this blatant discrepancy, the two computational scientists set out to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.
The key to understanding the discrepancy is realising that all lies are not equal. “White lies” or fibs, are generally accepted.
Well, if you consider two months ago “new” fake news. From Sirialbano, translated by Mary Rizzo, at We Write What We Like:
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They were not Christians, they were Muslims. They were not killed by means of crucifixion, but their already lifeless bodies were exhibited in that barbarian manner. The crime is ghastly, no matter what religious denomination the victims belong to. And yet it “news” of “Christians crucified in Syria” went viral in the western media, in particular in the major Italian news media.
The two major Italian newspapers Il Corriere della Sera (above) and La Repubblica (below) dedicated a great amount of space to it, bring attention to the “news” on the first page accompanied by photographs of “a man crucified in Maalula”, the small Christian small town near Damascus.
To push the directors and the heads writers towards a similar editorial choice has no doubt been the statement of Pope Francis in the official Vatican site: “I cried when i saw the news“.
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To say that mainstream media is controlled is an understatement. We’ve gone far past the time of relatively semi-covert CIA programs such as Operation Mockingbird where “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts.” Those days are long gone; the mainstream media is now openly scripted (2-pdf) to manufacture consent.
“We’re not analyzing the media on Mars or in the eighteenth century or something like that. We’re dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in, we as citizens of democratic societies are directly involved in and are responsible for, and what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the needs of the suffering people, and not even the needs of the American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that’s dripping from their hands because of the way they are allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system.” – Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992
Manufacturing Consent: Thought Control in a Democratic Society
Trudging through the internet, I came upon one of the wackiest conspiracy theories I’ve ever seen at thesaturni.com:
While we’ve been mindlessly cycling through work and play, a race of Archon-like beings from Saturn has been slowly devouring our world a piece at a time. The Saturni were originally bodiless astral entities, known to us as gods and devils, who descended into the material world as human beings. But something went terribly wrong (as it usually should), and they became enamored with their new-found appetites. You can imagine them as cosmic cannibals, pretending to be humans, who will not be sated until every resource on the earth has been swallowed. “That guy stealing a parking space from you? A closet Saturnus. Intolerant bigots, greedy fat cats, political pundits, politicians? Yep. The fact is, the single greatest power the Saturni possess is their ability to appear exactly like every single person you don’t like.”
The website has been created and maintained by the followers of A.… Read the rest
Disinfonauts! My new video short muses about what we might learn from our smartphones about the subjectivity of truth. I look forward to your thoughts!
via Daily Kos
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…yesterday, President Obama completed this rope-a-dope deception by signing this new bill, which stripped key provisions from the STOCK Act and rolled back a lot of the progress that the original bill made in promoting transparency and open government. The bill was signed without any cameras or fanfare, which is in stark contrast to the very public signing of the actual STOCK Act. It seems President Obama was glad to parade around the signing of the pro-transparency bill, but was not so open about his reversal of the most important parts of it a year later! Open Secrets describes the key provisions stripped out of the bill and labels this action “A reversal of the STOCK Act”:
The elements of the STOCK Act that were removed include:
Creation of searchable, sortable disclosure of the information contained in reports even for Congress, the president, vice president, the president’s cabinet and congressional candidates.
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There is only one thing more Kafkaesque than the ongoing Wall Street frauds and that is watching a live United States Senate investigation of a diabolical settlement the banks themselves concocted to repay the victims of their own fraud. Such was the case yesterday when Senators Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, and Elizabeth Warren grilled regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve along with outside consultants over allowing banks to hand pick the consultants to do their foreclosure reviews, negotiate confidentiality agreements with them and pay them directly.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in checks from the Foreclosure Review settlement will start going out today, eventually topping $3.6 billion in the cash portion of the settlement, and yet it was revealed during yesterday’s Senate hearing that it was the actual banks that engaged in the illegal foreclosure actions that tallied up and classified their wrongdoing under various degrees of harm; deciding themselves how many people would receive $300 and how many $125,000.
Most of us know they do it, but did you know it’s openly and perfectly legal? Via Project Censored:
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In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.
Back in December of 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox “Investigators” team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1997 the team began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The couple produced a four-part series revealing that there were many health risks related to BGH and that Florida supermarket chains did little to avoid selling milk from cows treated with the hormone, despite assuring customers otherwise.
According to Akre and Wilson, the station was initially very excited about the series.