Saturday, December 5, 2015
Posted by Lowell at 6:39 PM
"Mystical experiences are not ineffable." [Ineffable = Beyond expression; indescribable or unspeakable."] By downregulating posterior-medial-frontal-cortex activity via transcranial magnetic stimulation, an interdisciplinary team reduced subjects' belief in God."
Or, to put it more simply, scientists, by manipulating the brain, can make it so we don't believe in God so much. I would love to test this out on several thousand fundamentalist Christians and several thousand extremist Muslims.
--- Harper's Magazine / "Findings," p. 96 / December 2015
Posted by Lowell at 6:34 PM
Touching Ted Cruz Family Moments Brought To You By SuperPACs
Oh wow, these moments are so awkward it makes you wonder if Ted Cruz's family needs a professional producer to show them how to hug him. Gawker: Thanks to the (few) rules governing campaign Super PACs, candidates aren't technically allowed to coordinate with them. Which means candidates can't technically feed them hours and hours of raw…
Posted by Lowell at 2:30 PM
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
It is impossible to refrain from mocking, deriding, and otherwise slapping down Mr. Ben Carson. He invites disdain. His heart expands by blowing smoke up the asses of the Republican base. It is possible he's some kind of Manchurian Candidate - someone who is so far out in space mentally, that in the end even Jeb Bush or Rubio would look good.
But I don't think so. It may be as simple as he's using his candidacy to sell books. We know from his previous connection with a grifter that he'll jump at a chance to make money.
The clue to understanding Carson, I think, is to realize he is a 7th Day Adventist. I know there is no religious test for political office and that candidates can hold some pretty strange religious beliefs, but in Carson's case, you need to consider his religion in order to understand that man.
It is his religious beliefs that define his weirdness, his implausible world view, his immunity to science and fact and truth. The 7th Day cult was built on the beliefs of a rather strange woman, Ellen G. White, who was hit in the head with a rock when she was young, which might explain her numerous "visions." Ellen White believed that every word in the Bible is true, that only a certain number of folks would reach heaven, that God demands his followers to obey the Sabbath.
It's curious, though, why Adventists want to claim that particular facet of the Hebrew faith and ignore all the other commands of the Hebrew god.
Consistency has never been at the heart of Adventism and thus Carson can hold a variety of beliefs without shame or fear of contradiction; he can deny science and he can make stupid claims about the world (which he often denies making) and feel justified in this dichotomy because to be an Adventist requires you to undergo a mental lobotomy!
This brain surgeon is a moron.
And no one has said it better than my friend, William Kendall, in a post titled "The Odd Case of the Sleepy Candidate," here.
Posted by Lowell at 11:44 AM