Archive for December 4th, 2015

Quote note (#205)

In an alternative, fantasy universe Richard Fernandez is an Outside in guest-blogger. … and on the topic of fantasy:

If it takes 17 years of unbroken failure, misery, violence and ruin to persuade once-rich Venezuelans that left wing promises don’t work it will take a whole lot more than a few deaths at a San Bernardino community center for true believers to abandon Barack Obama’s ideology. The forces which enabled global terrorism are so invested in their fantasy world that little is likely to stop it until it burns itself out. […] One can only hope the fever drives out the disease before it kills the patient.

Exactly right, as usual. (Hope being scarcely more than a hairs-breadth away from idiocy.)

December 4, 2015admin 19 Comments »
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Neuro-Politics

Woah:

Darren Schreiber, a political neuroscientist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, first performed brain scans on 82 people participating in a risky gambling task, one in which holding out for more money increases your possible rewards, but also your possible losses. Later, cross-referencing the findings with the participants’ publicly available political party registration information, Schreiber noticed something astonishing: Republicans, when they took the same gambling risk, were activating a different part of the brain than Democrats.

Republicans were using the right amygdala, the center of the brain’s threat response system. Democrats, in contrast, were using the insula, involved in internal monitoring of one’s feelings. Amazingly, Schreiber and his colleagues write that this test predicted 82.9 percent of the study subjects’ political party choices — considerably better, they note, than a simple model that predicts your political party affiliation based on the affiliation of your parents.

When you consider what hereditarian realism makes of “the affiliation of your parents” (with its massive confounding effect when brought into comparison with neurological characteristics) the level of correlation looks even more preposterous.

(The insula sounds like an intrinsically leftist neurological structure, I mean — does ‘feels monitoring’ really count as doing anything? Radical insulectomy in exchange for blockchain credits and Neocameral residency privileges has to be worth a test.)

(Via.)

December 4, 2015admin 27 Comments »
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