Thursday, February 21, 2013

Conscious Agency Discussed Tonight on AVFM Radio

I noticed that AVFM radio is going to be talking about moral agency on tonight's show.

The very first comment on the show page by Steve Moxon said this:
It’s well-known through famous experiments that we do not have ‘conscious agency’: experiments reveal that we are conscious of decisions we make a considerable time (by brain-processing standards) after the neural processes that in fact produce them.
I blogged about this idea, championed by Sam Harris, awhile back.

I made this comment (quickly typed right before my sons' bath time, so slightly editted here - good night kids):

I'm tired of hearing that we do not have 'conscious agency' or free will. I think Sam Harris is the champion of this belief and the designer of the experiments your thinking of. 
While it may be true that thoughts arise deep inside of us at a sub-conscious level. But, you must understand that these thoughts and feelings are in response to stimuli (external and internal). As they develop into coherent thoughts, they become the mind's assessments of reality. Each separate thought is a assessment of reality within the mind and as the conscious thinker becomes more aware of them he can choose amongst the myriad of these competing assessments which ones are most relevant to his situation. You can't pass them off as simple animal urges translated into language. They are complex analyses, the likes of which only humans are capable. There is no other thought process like it in the universe that we know of (unless you believe in a god). 
Each person is socialized and culturalized to understand human interaction and each person (agent) chooses how they like to interact and be interacted with. This lets the person decide how to behave in order to appear like the person they want to be seen as.
The REALITY of free will is demonstrated in your ability to be who you are. Who you are is a human being with the capability of consciously choosing which feelings to act upon and which to ignore.

Academics have tried to remove this sense of free will from their audience in order to appear more intelligent and to give more power to their own ideas. When the audience members allow academics to take their moral agency and free will away, their minds become easier to control and academics gain more power over people.
I credit Greg Swann at for re-enforcing and solidify this idea in my mind. The thoughts on academics are definitely his. For more on this, I recommend reading his marvelous, concise book Man Alive: A Survival Guide For Your Mind(pdf). It's a short read and I found it highly inspirational.

Swann insists that you should not let supposed thought leaders, like journalists, teachers and politicians take you're moral agency away. They'll do this by training you to think like them and convincing you that you don't have the power to question what you're teaching. Within academia, there are enough people willing to surrender their own power to the thought leaders that any single individual truly does not matter. If you, as a student, refuse to accept the leader's power, you can just be thrown aside and some other willing participant in the fraud will come forward.

I truly believe that feminism is both a result of and a perveyor of this phenomenon. It spreads by insisting that everyone take up its tenants without question. Each person, once indoctrinated, begins to spread the ideas with plenty of armour against contradictory evidence in the form or religious belief.

Whenever I think of this subject, I think of the old Spirit of the West Song.

I'm hoping to tune into the radio show tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Using Science as a Whore - How to Increase School Resources

This CBC article showed up on my Google News Search. Toronto District School board published a study showing that its students are worried about the future and losing sleep over it.

Toronto public high school students are more worried about their future than their relationships or family matters
...More worried about the future than they are about their relationships and families? I'm not sure if I should be more alarmed about the ranking of the level of worry on these subjects or whether they are worried about them at all.
This was the first time the board surveyed its students on mental health issues.
"What our research showed us is that there's certainly a gap in the area of mental health and we need to focus more of our resources in the area of mental health," Schwartz-Maltz told the Canadian Press.
"These surveys drive programming in our schools, they give us a snapshot of the way our kids are feeling and they drive what we do."

Read: We need more resources to fund more staff to provide more programs to "help" young people.

The TDSB is trying to inflate its importance, just like every single government body. When a study like this is performed, the actual results are at the same time irrelevant and predetermined.

The questions are tilted to favour the desired outcome - 'Are YOU concerned about YOUR future?' As far as I'm concerned, the more youth that answer, yes, to that question the better. Frankly, kids need to be concerned and, in this economy, you'd be nuts not to be concerned unless you're filthy rich. It's a perfect example of a leading question. When you hear the question, it immediately puts worry into your mind and you start to ask questions about your future. The wacky thing is, the psychologists who phrase the question know this perfectly well. They know what confirmation bias is. They study, negativity bias and framing affect in school - many probably wrote final papers on the subjects. They understand that double-blind studies should be used to ensure their own biases don't affect the science. I'm tempted to blame this on the Dunning-Kruger affect, but, it seems more likely that they use their vast knowledge of the human psyche to ensure the results match their desired outcome.

The numbers, inflated as they are, make no difference to the study's conclusion. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put more psychologists, social workers and other programs in school, or some such measure. If there isn't a problem, they need to find one and make sure that it is the school board's problem to fix. So, they performed a study on their students to support this desire. How many students need to be concerned about their future to justify spending X million dollars on better mental health support? One is not related to the other, so the whole exercise is meaningless.

The sad part is, they're talking about taking dollars that could be spent on music, sports, arts and other educational programs so that schools can do more about mental health issues. Why not have a school system focused on school issues, and health departments focus on health issues?

Once again, science whores are trotted out to the public to give the illusion that we're thinking about important issues, when we're really trying to increase funding from taxes to hire more social workers. The full colourfully graphed report is here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Women Rule

In Canada, women are the ruling class.

Exhibit A:
A woman wins a divorce settlement whereby the man is forced to pay for 3 children who are a result 3 separate extra-marital affairs.

Exhibit B:
An employer is forced to accommodate an unusual shift request so she can save money on childcare. (Huff-Post, G&M)

Exhibit C:
Video evidence is not enough to convict a woman of conspiracy to commit due to allegations of abuse (direct link to RCMP footage at CBC).
Here is the testimonial of her ex-husband she wanted murdered - testimony the court did not want to hear.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gay Men Really Are Oppressed!

I'm now convinced that gay men are oppressed.

I was always wondering what people meant when I read that every gay person lives in fear for their lives and can't function because of the oppression that us straight people cause by our actually living and being us.

Now, I totally understand.  Watch and be informed...