Jacobsen, A.. (2015). The Pentagon’s brain : an uncensored history of DARPA, America’s top secret military research agency. Little, Brown US
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“First edition. since its inception in 1958, the defense advanced research projects agency, or darpa, has grown to become the defense department’s most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science research and development agency. created by president eisenhower to prevent another sputnik, and to focus primarily on defensive programs against nuclear weapons, the agency–and its imagination and scope–has expanded enormously with each passing year. from agent orange in vietnam to insect-sized drones in use today, from the earliest networked computers and the internet to smart rockets and war zones under 24-hour video surveillance, darpa is responsible for innovations that have changed the course of war, national security, and strategic planning at the highest levels. to uncover the secret history of darpa in action, journalist annie jacobsen tracked down key players in darpa’s smart weapons program, past and present; neuroscientists building an artificial brain, cell biologists working on limb regeneration, the nobel laureate who invented the laser. from darpa’s earliest defensive advances to hundreds of ongoing programs, jacobsen exposes both sides of the darpa coin: the fantastic technological advances from which we all benefit, and the darker side drawn up in a race for military supremacy. based on information from inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos, the pentagon’s brain reads like science fiction but is absolutely true, a groundbreaking look behind the scenes at the clandestine intersection of science and the american military.–publisher information. the cold war : the evil thing ; war games and computing machines ; vast weapons systems of the future ; emergency plans ; sixteen hundred seconds until doomsday ; psychological operations — the vietnam war : techniques and gadgets ; rand and coin ; command and control ; motivation and morale ; the jasons enter vietnam ; the electronic fence ; the end of vietnam — operations other than war : rise of the machines ; star wars and tank wars ; the gulf war and operations other than war ; biological weapons ; transforming humans for war — the war on terror : terror strikes ; total information awareness ; ied war ; combat zones that see ; human terrain — future war : drone wars ; brain wars ; the pentagon’s brain.”
Moreno, J. D.. (2012). Mind wars : brain science and the military in the twenty-first century. Bellevue Literary Press
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“Minority report meets dr. strangelove in the true story of how neuroscience and related technologies are shaping national defense. acknowledgments; introduction; 1. darpa on your mind; 2. of machines and men; 3. mind games; 4. how to think about the brain; 5. brain reading; 6. building better soldiers; 7. enter the nonlethals; 8. toward an ethics of neurosecurity; sources; index; about the author.”
Miranda, R. A., Casebeer, W. D., Hein, A. M., Judy, J. W., Krotkov, E. P., Laabs, T. L., … Ling, G. S. F.. (2014). DARPA-funded efforts in the development of novel brain-computer interface technologies.. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 244, 52–67.
“The defense advanced research projects agency (darpa) has funded innovative scientific research and technology developments in the field of brain-computer interfaces (bci) since the 1970s. this review highlights some of darpa’s major advances in the field of bci, particularly those made in recent years. two broad categories of darpa programs are presented with respect to the ultimate goals of supporting the nation’s warfighters: (1) bci efforts aimed at restoring neural and/or behavioral function, and (2) bci efforts aimed at improving human training and performance. the programs discussed are synergistic and complementary to one another, and, moreover, promote interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers, engineers, and clinicians. finally, this review includes a summary of some of the remaining challenges for the field of bci, as well as the goals of new darpa efforts in this domain.”
The individual comes face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind has not come to a realisation of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.
When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. A society unwilling to learn from past is doomed. We must never forget our history.
John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI’s predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77
“Violations of moralnorms can be made ‘morally invisible’ even if all relevant facts are unobscured: This can be achieved by embedding these facts into a context that prevents eliciting widespread unease and indignation. One example is the structural violence associated with the implementation of neoliberal economical doctrine. While societal and humanitarian consequences of this violence have so far been mostly observed in so-called third-world countries, they also manifest themselves more and more often in western industrialized nations. Mass media play a pivotal role in making facts morally and cognitively visible: In addition to reporting simple facts, media typically also deliver the contextual frame necessary for interpreting the facts, thus shaping our political world view. The invisibility of some moral transgressions is thus part of our daily live and concerns us all.” (Mausfeld, 2015)
However, as soon as the causal reason for the fragmentation becomes available to us (i.e., when we become aware of the visual or ideological “mask”) we are able to use inferential deductivecognitive reasoning processes to identify (and understand) the underlying pattern – despite the fragmentation of information/knowledge (see Figure 2). Without this “causative information” which masks the underlying pattern the likelihood of successful pattern recognition is minute (note that both figures display the letter “R” in various orientations – the difference between them is that Figure 2 shows the mask whereas Figure 1 does not) .
Insight1 (cf. Köhler, 1925)2 into the mechanism which causes the occlusion and fragmentation thus allows us to understand the broader meaning of the percept (or the psychological narrative), viz., we are able to see “the bigger picture” in context. This contextual knowledge can be a visual mask or a historical pattern (as outlined below). The adumbrated perceptual analogy is thus generalisable across prima vista unrelated domains (i.e., it is domain non-specific).
The same idea can be applied to the social sphere. An understanding of the mechanisms which undergird “neoliberal psychological indoctrination” is crucial in order to understand the “bigger picture” – the “holistic gestalt” (Ash, 1998; Sharps & Wertheimer, 2000) of the social, political, economic, and academic environment we inhabit. Based on this overarching knowledge we can then “try our best” to take an appropriate and responsible course of action. However, we first have to perceive and acknowledge the problem. That is, a valid diagnosis is primary. Without this broader understanding we “lose sight of the wood for the trees” (cf. global vs. local perception/information processing), that is, we attend to seemingly unrelated semantic information fragments without an understanding of their mutual interrelations. Interestingly, emotions & affective states play a significant modulatory role in the underlying cognitive processes (e.g., Basso, Schefft, Ris, & Dember, 1996; Gasper & Clore, 2002; Huntsinger, Clore, & Bar-Anan, 2010). In other words, our emotional system is centrally involved in perception and reasoning. Therefore, the emotional system (i.e., limbic system) can be systematically manipulated in order to interfere with rational higher-order (prefrontal) cognitive processes which are necessary for logical inferential reasoning and problem-solving. Primordial fear (phylogenetically ancient amygdalae circuitry) is perhaps the most significant inhibitor of higher-order cognitive processes.
Gross, C. T., & Canteras, N. S.. (2012). The many paths to fear. Nature Reviews Neuroscience
“Fear is an emotion that has powerful effects on behaviour and physiology across animal species. it is accepted that the amygdala has a central role in processing fear. however, it is less widely appreciated that distinct amygdala outputs and downstream circuits are involved in different types of fear. data show that fear of painful stimuli, predators and aggressive members of the same species are processed in independent neural circuits that involve the amygdala and downstream hypothalamic and brainstem circuits. here, we discuss data supporting multiple fear pathways and the implications of this distributed system for understanding and treating fear.”
Povinelli, D. J., & Bering, J. M.. (2002). The mentality of apes revisited. Current Directions in Psychological Science
“Although early compara- tive psychology was seriously marred by claims of our spe- cies’ supremacy, the residual backlash against these archaic evolutionary views is still be- ing felt, even though our un- derstanding of evolutionary biology is now sufficiently ad- vanced to grapple with possi- ble cognitive specializations that our species does not share with closely related species. the overzealous efforts to dis- mantle arguments of human uniqueness have only served to show that most compara- tive psychologists working with apes have yet to set aside the antiquated evolutionary ‘lad- der.’ instead, they have only attempted to pull chimpan- zees up to the ladder’s highest imaginary rung–or perhaps, to pull humans down to an equally imaginary rung at the height of the apes. a true com- parative science of animal minds, however, will recog- nize the complex diversity of the animal kingdom, and will thus view homo sapiens as one more species with a unique set of adaptive skills crying out to be identified and understood.”
Ruiz, G., & Sánchez, N.. (2014). Wolfgang Köhler’s the mentality of apes and the animal psychology of his time. Spanish Journal of Psychology
in 1913, the anthropoid station for psychological and physiological research in chimpanzees and other apes was founded by the royal prussian academy of sciences (berlin) near la orotava, tenerife. eugene teuber, its first director, began his work at the station with several studies of anthropoid apes’ natural behavior, particularly chimpanzee body language. in late 1913, the psychologist wolfgang köhler, the second and final director of the station, arrived in tenerife. during his stay in the canary islands, köhler conducted a series of studies on intelligent behavior in chimpanzees that would become classics in the field of comparative psychology. those experiments were at the core of his book intelligenzprüfungen an menschenaffen ( the mentality of apes ), published in 1921. this paper analyzes köhler’s experiments and notions of intelligent behavior in chimpanzees, emphasizing his distinctly descriptive approach to these issues. it also makes an effort to elucidate some of the theoretical ideas underpinning köhler’s work. the ultimate goal of this paper is to assess the historical significance of köhler’s book within the context of the animal psychology of his time.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)
Bernays, E. L. (1928). Propaganda. Horace Liveright.
Bernays, E. L. (1936). Freedom of Propaganda. Vital Speeches of the Day, 2(24), 744–746.
L’Etang, J. (1999). The father of spin: Edward L. Bernays and the birth of public relations. Public Relations Review, 25(1), 123–124.
“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . [a]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power…. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach. … The public must be put in its place, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd.” (Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, Chapter XV)
Lippmann, W. (1920). Liberty and the News. Museum.
Lippmann, W. (1970). The Phantom Public. Politics.
From 1930 onwards, Brecht became part of a wider complex of projects exploring the role of intellectuals (or “Tuis” as he called them) in a capitalist society. A Tui is an intellectual who sells his or her abilities and opinions as a commodity in the marketplace or who uses them to support the dominant ideology of an oppressive society. ] The German modernist theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht invented the term and used it in a range of critical and creative projects, including the material that he developed in the mid-1930s for his so-called Tui-Novel—an unfinished satire on intellectuals in the German Empire and Weimar Republic—and his epic comedy from the early 1950s, Turandot or the Whitewashers’ Congress. The word is a neologism that results from the acronym of a word play on “intellectual” (“Tellekt-Ual-In”).
According to Clark (2006): “… the critique of intellectuals which Brecht developed… around the notion of ‘Tuismus’ engages a model of the public intellectual in which the self-image of the artist and thinker as a socially and politically engaged person corresponded to the expectations of the public.”
Clark, M. W. (2006). Hero or villain? Bertolt Brecht and the crisis surrounding June 1953. Journal of Contemporary History.
Hunt, T. C. N.-. (2004). Goodbye to Berlin: For 200 years, German thinkers have shaped British intellectual life – but their influence is fading fast. The Guardian.
“It is very useful to differentiate between rational and irrational authority. By irrational authority I mean authority exercised by fear and pressure on the basis of emotional submission. This is the authority of blind obedience, the authority you will find most clearly expressed in all totalitarian countries.
But there is another kind of authority, rational authority by which I mean any authority which is based on competence and knowledge, which permits criticism, which by its very nature tends to diminish, but which is not based on the emotional factors of submission and masochism, but on the realistic recognition of the competence of the person for a certain job.”
― 1958. The Moral Responsibility of Modern Man, in: Merrill-Palmer. Quarterly of Behavior and Development, Detroit, Vol. 5, p. 6.
“No expert certification is required to think about these questions, even if the ruling elites try their best to restrict discourse about them to a narrow group of “qualified experts”. As “citoyens”, well-informed and dutiful citizens trying to actively participate in forming our community, we possess what in the age of enlightenment came to be called “lumen naturale”: We are endowed with a natural reasoning faculty that allows us to engage in debates and decisions about matters which directly affect us. We can therefore adequately discuss the essential core of the ways in which grave violations of law and morality are hidden from our awareness without having some specialist education.”(Mausfeld, 2015)
Despite the clear words of these very influential and prominent personalities (i.e., Bernays and Lippmann) some social psychologists argue that “irrational conspiracy theories” are based on fallacious and “illusionary pattern perception” – but see article below.
By contrast, compare the following websites for more information on the actual origin of the “conspiracy theory meme”. According to the in-depth analyses of these scholars, governmental ‘think tanks’ (e.g., well-paid social psychologists) played a crucial role in the invention of the term “conspiracy theory” which is used to prima facie discredit those who challenge the mainstream narrative propagandized by the mass-media and other other social institutions (e.g., schools & universities). The social sciences & humanities have a long well-documented history of contributing to the systematic manipulation of public attitudes & opinions (the public relations industry and the social sciences/humanities are obviously deeply intertwined) (cf. weaponized anthropology). Today, the cognitive neurosciences joined the choir (cf. techniques of neuro-marketing). Psychology (and science in general) is a two-sided sword. It can be used to contribute to the unfoldment of human potential (the humanistic perspective which emphasises liberty and self-actualisation a la Maslow) or the same methods can be used to manipulate and control people (the neoliberal doctrine a la Bernays which focuses on power and submission to authority). It is self-evident on which side of the bipolar continuum (viz., humanism versus neoliberalism) humanity finds itself at the moment…
They were first used in Northern Ireland in 1971 as part of Operation Demetrius – the mass arrest and internment (imprisonment without trial) of people suspected of involvement with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Out of those arrested, fourteen were subjected to a programme of “deep interrogation” using the five techniques. This took place at a secret interrogation centre in Northern Ireland. For seven days, when not being interrogated, the detainees were kept hooded and handcuffed in a cold cell and subjected to a continuous loud hissing noise. Here they were forced to stand in a stress position for many hours and were deprived of sleep, food and drink. They were also repeatedly beaten, and some reported being kicked in the genitals, having their heads banged against walls and being threatened with injections. The effect was prolonged pain, physical and mental exhaustion, severe anxiety, depression, hallucinations, disorientation and repeated loss of consciousness. It also resulted in long-term psychological trauma. The fourteen became known as “the Hooded Men” and were the only detainees in Northern Ireland subjected to all five techniques together. Other detainees were subjected to at least one of the five techniques along with other interrogation methods.
In 1976, the European Commission of Human Rights ruled that the five techniques amounted to torture. The case was then referred to the European Court of Human Rights. In 1978 the court ruled that the techniques were “inhuman and degrading” and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to “torture”. In 2014, after new information was uncovered that showed the decision to use methods of torture in Northern Ireland in 1971-1972 had been taken by ministers, the Irish Government asked the European Court of Human Rights to review its judgement and acknowledge the five techniques as torture.
The Court’s ruling that the five techniques did not amount to torture was later cited by the United States and Israel to justify their own interrogation methods, which included the five techniques. British agents also taught the five techniques to the forces of Brazil’s military dictatorship.
“This article addresses a puzzle: dictatorships that practice torture are more likely to accede to the un convention against torture ~cat! than dictator- ships that do not practice torture+ i argue the reason has to do with the logic of tor- ture+ torture is more likely to occur where power is shared+ in one-party or no-party dictatorships, few individuals defect against the regime+ consequently, less torture occurs+ but dictatorships are protorture regimes; they have little interest in making gestures against torture, such as signing the cat+ there is more torture where power is shared, such as where dictatorships allow multiple political parties+ alternative political points of view are endorsed, but some individuals go too far+ more acts of defection against the regime occur, and torture rates are higher+ because political parties exert some power, however, they pressure the regime to make concessions+ one small concession is acceding to the cat.”
Conrad, C. R., & Moore, W. H.. (2010). What stops the torture?. American Journal of Political Science
“States whose agents engage in torture in a given year have a 93% chance of continuing to torture in the following year. what leads governments to stop the use of torture? we focus on the principal–agent relationship between the executive and the individuals responsible for supervising and interrogating state prisoners. we argue that some liberal democratic institutions change the probability that leaders support the creation of institutions that discourage jailers and interrogators from engaging in torture, thus increasing the probability of a state terminating its use of torture. these relationships are strongly conditioned by the presence of violent dissent; states rarely terminate the use of torture when they face a threat. once campaigns of violent dissent stop, however, states with popular suffrage and a free press are considerably more likely to terminate their use of torture. also given the end of violent dissent, the greater the number of veto points in government, the lower the likelihood that a state terminates its use of torture.”
Brecher, B.. (2008). Torture and the Ticking Bomb. Torture and the Ticking Bomb
“We live in times when, as conor gearty has pointed out, ‘legal scholars in the us are being taken seriously when they float the idea of torture warrants as a reform to what they see as the unacceptably uncodified system of arbitrary torture that they believe currently prevails’. and he is right when he goes on to add that ‘This is like reacting to a series of police killings with proposals to reform the law on homicide so as to sanction officially approved pre-trial executions.’rnrnit is because the general public is taking these academics seriously that there is an urgent need to expose how spurious their ideologically driven arguments are. the “respectability” they confer on the argument that so-called ticking bombs justify torture, and that it had therefore better be regulated, needs to be countered. otherwise there is a real danger that western politicians will succeed in persuading us to go along with them when they insist that another basic freedom – freedom from torture – is yet one more value we must abandon in the endless “war on terrorism”. it is a short road from legalising torture intended to gain information to accepting torture as a legitimate weapon and for all sorts of purposes. the “intellectual respectability” conferred by the academy is essential for that enterprise. thus, since alan dershowitz’s carefully constructed proposal to introduce torture warrants is both the most prominent and the most sophisticated of today’s attempts to make torture respectable, it is his proposal we need to focus on.rnrnin the introduction, i say something about both the intellectual and the political contexts of the so-called ticking bomb scenario that is the basis of these proposals. in chapter two i argue that the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario remains in crucial respects a fantasy; and that the grounds it is said to offer for justifying interrogational torture so as to avoid a putative catastrophe are spurious. in chapter three i argue that, whatever you think of those arguments, the consequences of legalising interrogational torture, and thus institutionalising it, would be so disastrous as to outweigh any such catastrophes anyway. finally, in chapter four, i draw together what the details of my argument imply about torture in general and interrogational torture in particular; and about why any even semi-decent society must abhor torture -– in all circumstances, always, everywhere.”
Lightcap, T.. (2011). The politics of torture. The Politics of Torture
“BACKGROUND it remains uncertain whether basilar-type migraine (bm) is a subtype of migraine with typical aura (mta) or a distinct phenotype or genotype. objective to analyze the symptomatology, familial distribution, and genotype of bm. methods the authors recruited 105 families comprising 362 patients with mta or bm (international classification of headache disorders-1 criteria). among these patients, 38 patients from 29 families had bm. in 12 of the families with bm with an apparently dominant inheritance the authors sequenced all exons of the cacna1a (chromosome 19) and atp1a2 (chromosome 1) genes responsible for most cases of the autosomal dominantly inherited familial hemiplegic migraine and performed a linkage analysis of chromosome 1 and 19 with a nonparametric or autosomal dominant parametric model using an affected only analysis. results bm occurred in 10% (38/362) of patients with mta. the basilar-type aura had a median duration of 60 minutes and comprised vertigo 61%, dysarthria 53%, tinnitus 45%, diplopia 45%, bilateral visual symptoms 40%, bilateral paresthesias 24%, decreased level of consciousness 21%, hypacusia 21%, and ataxia 5%. the relative frequency of the individual basilar-type symptoms was not different from patients with hemiplegic migraine from a previous study. the patients with bm were equally distributed among the 105 families with mta (p = 0.37). the attacks of mta were identical in families with or without bm. no causative mutations and no linkage was identified. conclusions basilar-type aura seemingly may occur at times in any patient with migraine with typical aura. there is no firm clinical, epidemiologic, or genetic evidence that bm is an independent disease entity different from mta.”
Rejali, D.. (2011). Torture and Democracy. In Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body
“I. for a long time — at least six decades — photographs have laid down the tracks of how important conflicts are judged and remembered. the western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. photographs have an insuperable power to determine what we recall of events, and it now seems probable that the defining association of people everywhere with the war that the united states launched pre-emptively in iraq last year will be photographs of the torture of iraqi prisoners by americans in the most infamous of saddam hussein’s prisons, abu ghraib. the bush administration and its defenders have chiefly sought to limit a public-relations disaster — the dissemination of the photographs — rather than deal with the complex crimes of leadership and of policy revealed by the pictures. there was, first of all, the displacement of the reality onto the photographs themselves. the administration’s initial response was to say that the president was shocked and disgusted by the photographs — as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict. there was also the avoidance of the word ‘“torture.”’ the prisoners had possibly been the objects of ‘“abuse,”’ eventually of ‘“humiliation”’ — that was the most to be admitted. ‘ “my impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which i believe technically is different from torture,”’ secretary of defense donald rumsfeld said at a press conference. ‘ “and therefore i’m not going to address the ‘torture’ word.”’”