Thursday, May 2, 2013

Scientific American: Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories

Sander van der Linden, in a Scientific American post, reviews the environment of conspiracism and psychology detailing the correlates with adhering to the conspiracist world-view as: believing in other contradictory conspiracies; "higher-order beliefs" (such as general distrust of authority); rejection of mainstream science; and disengagement from society and politics, which they attribute (to some degree) to "fundamental attribution error," where people are biased towards seeing most events as intentional.

Sander makes an interesting point about conspiracy memes and culture, softening the negative correlates in the article:

<blockquote>"Yet, such pathological explanations have proven to be widely insufficient because conspiracy theories are not just the implausible visions of a paranoid minority. For example, a national poll released just this month reports that 37 percent of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax, 21 percent think that the US government is covering up evidence of alien existence and 28 percent believe a secret elite power with a globalist agenda is conspiring to rule the world."</blockquote>

This ties in with my recent paper on psychological religious disorders [], where I found that clinicians could only diagnose belief as delusion if it wasn't one "…ordinarily accepted by other members of the individual's culture or subculture (e.g., it is not an article of religious faith)."

Interesting read. Check it out: <a href=""></a>

"After everything I've been through, the last thing I'm going to apologize for is my paranoia"

-Richard Finney

FBI wants mandatory backdoor into Facebook and Google

In what the FBI's lawyers call the "going dark" problem, they claim without mandatory "wiretapping backdoors" the FBI would be forced to shut down investigations, with proposals for "...a kind of digital-age wiretap that could read, for instance, Facebook messages or Gchats."

Read at Ars Technica <a href=""></a>

A well regulated Godzilla

"We won't be safe til we kill all the fuckin' radicals who think that killin' civilized people is what god wants them to do" (by Mr. Fish,

Christian Settlers in Jamestown Colony Resorted to Cannibalism

In the most interesting anthropological / american history article I've read in a while, Joseph Stromberg of Smithsonian Magazine details how English settlers in the "American" Jamestown colony resorted to cannibalism during the "Starving Time," for the first time giving physical evidence to written allusions of cannibalism [and explicit mentions of consuming dug-up corpses] by the settlers themselves, via the remains of a 14-year-old girl bearing the marks of butchering.

Read at Smithsonian Mag. |

Religion as a psychological disorder?

<a href=""><img src="" alt="Religion as a psychological disorder?" width="100%" /></a>
<em>Should psychologists adopt the schemata of religious ideology to fulfill the goals of psychological science?</em>
<blockquote>Religion and psychology have a contentious past. As modern psychologists are distancing themselves from Freud's psychoanalytic examination of religion(s), we are discovering that the culture of religion, and the belief it creates, is ripe for a grounded and scientific analysis by way of neurobiology, behaviorism, and peer-reviewed empirical research.</blockquote>
<p>Read at Mystic Politics: <a href="">Religion as a psychological disorder?</a></p>

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

*the site you are looking for doesn't seem to exist*

Sorry for the glitch, folks! is back after a quick squabble with our host. :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Religion as Psychosis?

Working on my Psy Final. Paper is on a psychological disorder or phenomena. I chose religious psychosis and religious delusion. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time: How Terror Hijacks the Brain |

Time: How Terror Hijacks the Brain |

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root"

-Henry David Thoreau

Court rejects plea for access to Bradley Manning trial records

Josh Gerstein:

"The decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces came on a bid by journalists to gain access to legal filings and court orders in the court martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who's accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

In a sharply divided ruling, the appeals court ruled, 3-2, that it had no jurisdiction to consider such a complaint from parties other than the government or the defendant in a particular case."

Read at Politico | <a href=""></a>

(Comic) 24 Hour [BAD] Cable News

Rick McKee:

"In an exclusive, sources tell us that a suspect has been arrested and also that no suspects have been arrested and also that police have no suspects, and in fact, none of this may be true... buy you heard it here first!"

(image via The Augusta Chronicle)

Westboro Baptist Church’s Facebook page hit by Anonymous hackers

"Hackers from the group Anonymous have claimed responsibility for an attack on Westboro Baptist Church's Facebook page as retribution for the group's call to picket and protest funerals for the Boston bombing victims."

Read at Wash. Times | <a href=""></a>

"When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen"

-Nate Silver

House overwhelmingly approves CISPA cybersecurity bill with 288-127 vote

Declan McCullagh:

"CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing federal and state laws by saying "notwithstanding any other provision of law," including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information "with any other entity, including the federal government." It would not, however, require them to do so.

That language has alarmed dozens of advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders, which sent a letter (PDF) to Congress last month opposing CISPA. It says: "CISPA's information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like Internet records or the content of e-mails, to any agency in the government." President Barack Obama this week threatened to veto CISPA."

Read the rest at CNET | <a href=""></a>

Mr. Fish: This just in- U.S. Terrorism Inc. will no longer be an export-only enterprise

Mr. Fish: This just in- U.S. Terrorism Inc. will no longer be an export-only enterprise (via

Neuroscience and Fear: How Terror Hijacks the Brain

Maia Szalavitz:

'When the brain is under severe threat, it immediately changes the way it processes information, and starts to prioritize rapid responses. "The normal long pathways through the orbitofrontal cortex, where people evaluate situations in a logical and conscious fashion and [consider] the risks and benefits of different behaviors— that gets short circuited," says Dr. Eric Hollander, professor of psychiatry at Montefiore/Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York. Instead, he says, "You have sensory input right through the sensory [regions] and into the amygdala or limbic system."'

Read at Time | <a href=""></a>

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it"

-Alfred Hitchcock