From the ancient Greek for equality in freedom of speech; an eclectic mix of thoughts, large and small
The Lion’s Gate
Sunday, May 11th, 2014
Steven Pressfield has embraced his (secular) Jewish heritage and written a new book about the Six Day War, The Lion’s Gate. He discusses the process with his agent, and this bit on MiG-killers and the death burst caught my attention:
Jim: You may enjoy this info graphic “The History of Grocery” a lot of fun facts and information.
Isegoria: I’m sure we could get to the bottom of this if we could only harness the unused 90 percent of our brains…
Rollory: That may be true but what I saw was something somewhat different — a claim that when people “decide” to do something, like reach out and pick up a piece of cheese, the decision-making areas of the brain activated after the motor areas, meaning that they were rationalizing a process already underway (and the later study claimed to disprove that). What you describe makes sense on the surface but again I haven’t seen any clear explanation of the specific evidence supporting...
Scipio Americanus: I may be thinking of a different paper, but the way it was described back in my cognitive science courses was that you make most decisions instinctively; without input by the deliberative, “rational” portions of your brain. If you access the event in memory, you’ll automatically make up a post-facto rational reason for the instinctual decision. This isn’t usually lying, even you think that’s why you did what you did, at least most of the time.
Rollory: That bit he mentions about making decisions before the relevant brain areas activate is very possibly one of those internet truths to which there is less than meets the eye. I remember seeing that being mentioned back when, and then a followup story on further research that indicated the original results were entirely experimental error. The followup didn’t get reported nearly as widely. Also, neither of the studies was described in any particular detail by most media organizations. The...
Steve Johnson: Obfuscation like this is infuriating: I laughed about the recent reports of a computer that passed the Turing test by pretending to be a teenager that was such an airhead jerk that he never answered questions directly. That fooled at least some of the observers into thinking a real teen was behind the curtain instead of a computer. Yeah, “he” was an airheaded jerk so much so that it fooled the observers. We all know that that computer was simulating a moody teenage girl. A...
Dan Kurt: Thomas Piketty is the French equivalent of America’s Paul Krugman. Both are “brilliant” propagandists preaching to their choir on the left.
Rollory: And the historical lesson is there is nothing that can be done to stop it. For an empire, it can not be stopped, because it is contrary to the nature of the empire to stop it. For a non-imperial nation, it can be stopped. In Anabasis, Xenophon talks about the Kurds and what a pain in the ass they were for anybody who happened to be invading their mountains.
Rollory: The 250-year duration may be questioned. This has been discussed in previous comment threads on this topic. The questions may themselves be questioned.
Rollory: Gibbon’s Decline and Fall has a lot more to say on this topic (as well as many others). I strongly encourage your audience to read it if they haven’t.