October 2003

Two good artciles from spiked-online.com

by Limbic on October 29, 2003

The phoney moral crusade against racism by Mick Hume

“How could a television documentary exposing racism among some police recruits in Manchester cause such a national furore? To judge by the news headlines, you might think that nobody had ever heard of a policeman making racist remarks before, and that racism was a new disease now sweeping the ranks of the police and other British institutions”

and

Copping it by Josie Appleton

“At the time of writing, three police officers have been suspended and five have resigned after they were filmed making racist comments by an undercover BBC reporter.”

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Mahathir is right: Jews do rule the world

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

A powerful and interesting article, but not what you think. Highly Recommended.

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Conspiracy theories into art

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

From the New York Times:

“Global Networks,” an exhibition of [Mark Lombardi’s] delicate filigree drawings that map his version of the flow of global capital. In these works, solid and broken lines, circles and squiggles enmesh the names of organizations and individuals in webs of often surprising interconnections. One drawing charts the workings of the Vatican Bank, in the process linking its directors to the Mafia and the illegal transport of firearms.

Another purports to show how Iraq was armed in the 1980’s through a secret scheme supposedly involving the top levels of the American and British governments and Italy’s largest bank, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. Yet another follows the course by which the Bank of Commerce and Credit, International (B.C.C.I.) was accused of having become a funnel for a variety of illegal operations, including laundering drug money, supporting the Iran-Contra operation and backing Afghan Mujahedeen fighters.

Lombardi died, a suicide, at 48 in March 2000.

The exhibition is here.

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Rethinking thinking

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

“College classes that make one think – it’s a basic concept assumed as a given. But many grads walk away with a diploma yet still lack critical-thinking skills. That’s why some educators are asking students to close their textbooks and do a little more reflecting.” [More at the Christian Science Monitor]

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Cads: great for sex, but not for marriage

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

“NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – New research confirms what romance novelists have known for years: for brief affairs, women tend to prefer a dominating, powerful and promiscuous man.

However, when considering a long-term relationship, women are more likely to turn to a compassionate, sensitive and monogamous man, the report indicates.

When given descriptions of these two male archetypes, described by the researchers as “cads” and “dads,” women consistently preferred a dad as a long-term partner. However, as the relationship shortened, women became more likely to opt for being with a cad.

In a telling example, 60% of women said they would prefer to have sex with one cad-like character, but only 13% said they would want him engaged to their daughters.

Despite the apparent appeal of cads to women, study author Dr. Daniel J. Kruger of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor advised men against trying to adopt the “dark horse” persona.

Cads are often men in positions of power and leadership, such as the heads of companies or sports superstars, he said. Only a minority of men fall into that category, and being a dominant, highly successful and promiscuous man is hard to fake, he cautioned.

“Not every guy can be a successful cad,” Kruger told Reuters Health. “You’re not going to get a lot of matings by acting like a jerk.”

MORE

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The perils of outsourcing to India/Pakistan

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

“A woman in Pakistan doing cut-rate clerical work for UCSF Medical Center threatened to post patients’ confidential files on the Internet unless she was paid more money. To show she was serious, the woman sent UCSF an e-mail earlier this month with actual patients’ records attached.” MORE

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Neuroscience measure the power of branding

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

In the series of TV commercials from the 70’s and 80’s that pitted Coke against Pepsi in a blind taste test, Pepsi was usually the winner. So why…did Coke appeal so strongly to so many people if it didn’t taste any better?

Over several months this past summer, [a neuroscientist called Read Montague] set to work looking for a scientifically convincing answer. He assembled a group of test subjects and, while monitoring their brain activity with an M.R.I. machine, recreated the Pepsi Challenge. His results confirmed those of the TV campaign: Pepsi tended to produce a stronger response than Coke in the brain’s ventral putamen, a region thought to process feelings of reward. (Monkeys, for instance, exhibit activity in the ventral putamen when they receive food for completing a task.) Indeed, in people who preferred Pepsi, the ventral putamen was five times as active when drinking Pepsi than that of Coke fans when drinking Coke.

In the real world, of course, taste is not everything. So Montague tried to gauge the appeal of Coke’s image, its ”brand influence,” by repeating the experiment with a small variation: this time, he announced which of the sample tastes were Coke. The outcome was remarkable: almost all the subjects said they preferred Coke. What’s more, the brain activity of the subjects was now different. There was also activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that scientists say governs high-level cognitive powers. Apparently, the subjects were meditating in a more sophisticated way on the taste of Coke, allowing memories and other impressions of the drink — in a word, its brand — to shape their preference.

Measuring brand influence might seem like an unusual activity for a neuroscientist, but Montague is just one of a growing breed of researchers who are applying the methods of the neurology lab to the questions of the advertising world…”neuromarketers”. MORE

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The Connectors

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

Mavens and Supernodes: Meet the hypernetworked nodes who secretly run the world.
[click to continue…]

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Knee Defender

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

“Knee Defender stops reclining seatbacks so your knees won’t have to.

Unique, patent pending Knee Defender gives you control when confronted by a faceless, determined seat recliner who doesn’t care how long your legs are. ”

A wonderful little innovation.

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Bride raped in honeymoon bed

by Limbic on October 28, 2003

“A British woman was raped in bed next to her husband while the couple were on honeymoon in South Africa.

The attack took place after four men broke into their house in Johannesburg.

The woman, 26,..is today awaiting the results of an HIV test” MORE

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