April 2nd, 2012

war on drugs

#701 on Forbes Richest list: Thank you, American Presidents!

Top 701 richest person says thanks for the war on drugs and the on going prohibition! I have not created this movie i do not own the rights of it, all thx go to The Young Turk

How do you think the POTII, both past and present, will respond to this? Will they?

Notice...he didn't thank Carter. Not even cartel heads respect Carter!

Oh yeah, before the GOP made weed a scare/political issue, Carter was ready to legalize cannabis on the federal level.

Damn him. Damn Carter to Hell!

Assessing IP

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a copyright attorney post-graduation. I am enamored of quite a few fields where copyright is a key issue, particularly gaming. Then I took a few IP classes. I still find the law interesting, but for totally different reasons.

Copyright and patent laws are interesting because they are an express command, in the US Constitution, to engage in social engineering. They allow the creation of monopolies to encourage invention and creativity. This has its upsides and downsides, of course. The upside is that owners of the IP get to exploit it for a limited time, and the downside is that only they get to. Since everything is a remix, this sort of restriction is moderately anti-creativity, if we understand that the vast majority of creative people are extremely good at mixing-and-matching things that others have done before. It's presumed that we get more out of it than we lose, though.Collapse )
White House Brain

(no subject)

In which SCOTUS's conservative wing denies that there is any limiting principle for the police. This ruling comes at the end of a long list of rulings which have ratified the worst practices of English monarchy: using the investigation system as a form of extrajudicial punishment.

Naturally, the government can't force you to buy health insurance, but it could arrest you on probable cause, subject you to multiple strip searches, and toss you into a prison for a few days while awaiting trial for... oh, it was a clerical error. The tickets had been paid, it's that no one told the right people.

So-Called Justices Approve Strip Searches for any Offense
Аз съм гЕнЕрал а вие сте кофти маТРИал.

Monthly Topic

Hyioo, fellow slackers e-warriorz! As our titular Monthly-Topic organizer is a bit offline these days, here I am, bothering you with yet another installment of that-topic-that-we-occasionally-talk-about. Money In Politics was so-so; I guess the election is still not too intensive yet, but you just wait for autumn! There'll be super-PACs and other such demonic things all over the place!

That said, the topic you guys chose for the great month of April is...

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Oooh, so grandeur! But what does it mean? Let's see.

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The Captain's Prop

Beyond Priming: Using Conformity To Shape Society

Just a bit ago, badlydrawnjeff brought up priming, the concept that preparing people can affect perceptions, especially of ambiguous or even non-sense material. Fair enough, that.

I think we should, however, pursue this concept just a bit farther. Consider the following graphic:

Just about everyone who took intro courses in psychology knows this is the chief image used in the famous Asch conformity experiments. In a nutshell, if you want a significant number of people to say that the line in the left-most box is the same length as lines A or B in the right-most box, all you have to do is have four people agree that this is the case. It doesn't matter that C is clearly of equal length; a significant amount of social persuasion will make a significant number of people conform.

The Asch study simply had a single study participant in a study group of 5 to 7 other people, all confederates in on the study, confederates told to give either right or wrong answers. When the single non-confederate was asked to answer which line was the same after the confederates all agreed on the wrong answer, 41% of them would agree with the wrong answer.

41% would say something just about everyone could see wasn't true.

With a little help from our friend technology, the Asch results Collapse )