September 2016

Power really does corrupt

by Limbic on September 13, 2016

I learned last week that becoming powerful has measurable neurological effects on your ability to empathize.

Listen to this fascinating episode of NPR’s Hidden Brain on “The Perils of Power”.

If you have a Harvard Business Review subscription there is a long article in the October 2016 edition called “Don’t let power corrupt you”.


Dalrymple on the the purpose of absurd propaganda

by Limbic on September 11, 2016

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”  ― Theodore Dalrymple



by Limbic on September 11, 2016

The BBC recently reported on the “Islamic Sufi prayer ceremony known as Zikr“.  It is pretty popular in the Caucasus. 

Years ago I remember seeing a brief news spot on Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman ruler of Chechnya. He was doing what I now realize is the Zikr dance. At the time I was absolutely intrigued, and I still am.There is something fascinating about this. Must be the raver in me.

There is an entire Youtube channel devoted to Zikr.

And because it is the internet, there is a pisstake (this dance set to rave music, which highlights just how similar dance/trance and these spiritual practices are to each other).


A Whirling Sufi Revival With Unclear Implications  – NY Times, 2006

Chechnya: Kadyrov Uses ‘Folk Islam’ For Political Gain – Radio Free Europe, 2016

Kadyrov Turns to Zikrism to Legitimize His Rule – The Jamestome Foundation


The Knowledge Project: Pedro Domingos on Artificial Intelligence

by LimbicNutrition Shorts on September 7, 2016

The Knowledge Project: Pedro Domingos on Artificial Intelligence:

Pedro Domingos on Artificial Intelligence – The Knowledge Project


Danish Kids TV

by Limbic on September 4, 2016


Very nice piece from The Economist on the wakiness of Danish Kids TV. Despite being here for years I still find myself surprised occasionally. This topless mutant mermaid (above) was on DR Ramashang at 11:00 on the 18th August.