Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Real Terrorist Part 2

When an individual sets out to murder another and then expects to be killed in the process {murder- suicide}, this suggests there is something pathologically wrong In the necrophilia character and emotional state of that individual regardless of culture, religious ideology, political party, sex, age, race, or economic philosophy. The individual is likely depressed with a variety of symptoms such as but not limited to increased physical activity; being more talkative; having racing thoughts; inflated self-esteem; decreased need for sleep; distractibility; excessive involvement in activities with a high potential for painful consequences. The depressed individual further feels inadequate, hopeless, and not able to look to the future, with delusions, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation. Of course one does not have to have all of the above in order to be depressed. However, associate a depressed necrophilia character structure individual with a like-minded gang of killer’s and that equals trouble. It’s difficult to do a firsthand psychiatric diagnosis of a deceased individual. One can go back and look at emails, Google searches, talk to so-called friends and family for clues as to the mental state of these individuals. None of these necrophilia characters were in treatment prior to their hideous acts. It’s clear that they despised growth, productivity, love of others or even had creative and artistic values. Some, hatefully abandoned their family or their child or children to be reared by others. Yes, they had momentary significance thanks to the media, but were unable to witness it for themselves. Let’s call these individuals correctly as being mentally pathologically sick. They are not heroes, liberators or freedom fighters. Apparently, many of them looked at porn, took drugs and treated others inhumanely. The media spends too much time talking about them in nonsense ways. Characterize them as they are-sick and swiftly move on and research the stories of the victims for a more worthwhile endeavor.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Real Terrorist Part 1

In the past few years there has been much in the media about Isis, black lives matter, racism, terror, etc. We’ve heard about the terrorist tragedies in England, France, Belgium, Turkey, and so forth. And in our country we’ve had terrible homicides in Massachusetts, California and Florida. On top of that, we’ve had more recently, the killings of police officers in Texas and Louisiana. Not to be forgotten, were other homicides In Connecticut, Colorado, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, and California, of white and black citizens. The media spends an enormous amount of time with their so-called experts primarily talking about religious ideology as the cause for a terrorist attack by these individuals in question. They also talk about a racism ideology as an explanation for the killing of blacks. The media even touched on xenophobia for the Orlando shootings. These explanations are certainly simplified and appear to gloss over true dynamics for explanations and/or motivations. It’s as if radical Muslim ideology is the only bad religion in today’s world. We don’t hear about radical Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or others under the guise of religion committing these terrible atrocities. Could it be that only Mohammed and the Koran are the messengers of hate? It’s not simply about religion as anyone can oversimplify, rationalize, deny and shout out reasons for their behavior. The media has once again overlooked the deadly causes. In my opinion, we’ve been served pablum that’s called breaking news by the media. Terrorism is simply not just about religion or religious ideology. Let’s talk about an individual or individuals that exhibit murdering others, and then are killed or blown to bits in the process or murder-suicide. In addition to having an deadly ideology [thinking-reasoning], man also perceives, senses, feels and acts or exhibits behavior. In Freud’s model, he postulated two biological drives libido and a “death instinct.” Others have hypothesized basic needs in man such as food, water and sex and acquired needs, such as the need for aggression and abasement. One could argue, whether or not these needs- drives are biologically innate or acquired. One cannot argue that these components are not part of man’s nature. One cannot argue that man has feelings or affect and that they are not powerful motivators for driving behavior.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blaming the Victim

Did you ever wonder why some people tend to blame the victim [In a victim- perpetrator conflict] while others blame the perpetrator? If not, think about it for a moment. Two psychologists also wondered why some feel less sympathy for the victim, using a woman raped at a party as an example. Their findings have been recently published In the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. While controlling dependent variables for political affiliation, gender or nature of the crime, the researchers discovered that there was a more powerful predictor of attributing blame-a particular set of moral values. For instance, in regards to moral values, some people privilege, favor, or are more influenced in their perception and thinking - loyalty, obedience and purity, while others seem to privilege or favor care and fairness in their perception and thinking. The researchers labeled for those favoring loyalty, obedience, purity and tending to be more politically conservative, “binding values.” Individuals with binding values tend to blame the victim. In contrast, those individuals favoring caring and fairness are less likely to blame the victim and they are called “individualizing values.” Researchers Niemi and Liane, in a subsequent study, set out to determine if the subjects of the studies perceptions regarding victims and perpetrators could be changed. 994 subjects overall were employed. The researchers had their subjects rate both the victim and the perpetrator measuring the responsibility for the outcome of the crime and how much a different response by the victim and perpetrator in their actions could have changed outcomes in cases of rape and robbery. Binding value subjects more strongly attributed blame and responsibility to victims. They also perceived behavior of the victim as significantly influencing the outcome. However, those subjects with individualizing values, perceived it differently and for them the reverse was true-the more the perpetrator was at fault. Niemi and Liane simply changed the position of the perpetrator or victim as a variable in their research to determine if one’s perception were influenced. If the sentence read, in a sexual assault description, “Dan forced Lisa”, the binding value subjects reduced blaming of the victim, the victim’s responsibility, along with the victim’s actions. In essence, more blame was placed on the perpetrator and less fault with the victim. The researchers concluded that victim blaming appears to be a function of one’s core moral values. They also suggested that subtle changes in language might influence perception and thinking. Assigning blame comes to mind with the recent killings of blacks and police. Moral [binding or individualizing] values might explain the actions of many, as far as attributing blame and responsibility. Research employing racism and prejudice as an independent variable might shed more light on the dynamics as far as the ability to empathize with a black that’s killed or a policeman that’s murdered. Certainly listening to the so-called experts in the media does not shed any light or insight into the problem. The media tends to perpetuate mythology and is likely more concerned with their ratings. Journalism takes a second seat to entertainment and sensationalism. So, let’s turn to science to understand more about victims and perpetrators.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thinking Differently

A June 19, 2016 article in the New York Times had to do with how to experience life to the fullest. This neuroscientist postulated that we all fail to experience life more fully, because our minds are generally too occupied and filled with various thoughts. More than likely our random and obsessional thoughts tend to interfere so at times we really don’t hear while even when listening or interacting with another. He tested his hunch with two research studies. One study, for example, measured saying or giving free associations under two test conditions to determine if taxing one’s mental capacity resulted in significant differences. One group of subjects had to keep in mind a string of seven digits while the other participants had to remember just two digits while giving their free associations. He found that under the high mental load condition’s [7 digits], these subjects gave less original and creative responses. However, under the 2 digit condition, these participants gave more varied and less typical responses. In the second experiment, the researchers found that longer response times with a high mental load were correlated with less diverse responses. He concluded that a cluttered mind required more time to generate even conventional thought. This researcher added that he believed the mind’s natural tendency is to explore and favor novelty. He called this” exploration”- when we are curious to learn. And other times, he stated we use” exploitation”- when we rely on things we already know and basically lean on our expectations in predicting. That neuroscientist cleared his mind by spending a week in silence at a Vipassana meditation retreat. He stated that he was able to really taste a tomato; didn’t mind physical discomforts as much; and gazed on a single flower for 45 minutes. My technique for mind clearing is vastly different. I go for a trail run to think better. With a shorter trail run, about 10 miles or so, I am able to think more clearly while being surrounded by nature without man-made distractions or voices. I often can come up with ways to figure out a problem area; or even begin outlining what I am going to post. It seems, that I am primarily focusing on the trail, as opposed to having random thoughts. As result, my thinking and thoughts are more organized. However, on longer trail runs, my focus turns to the here and now. Often, I experience either- tiredness, heavy breathing or some other physical discomfort. I then continue to focus in the here and now and that seems to assist me during those runs. Of course, I may think about how many miles I have completed, how many miles to go or even about some reward at the end of my trail run experience. I believe that clearing my mind is part of the story of being able to live life more fully. The other part seems to relate to enjoying being out in nature, pushing myself while working up a sweat. It’s true that I’m not running faster and it is also true that I’m not training to become faster. But what I am doing is running a personal best each day.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Character Counts

Let’s postulate that in our nature, we all have to confront the dilemma of our existence and deal with our aloneness and isolation within the Milky Way galaxy. In essence, we are simply a speck of dust in comparison to the big picture. So how can we deal with this dilemma in our abstraction and alienation society? For one, it’s important to be liked and popular. One has said that he destroyed 16 others during the presidential primaries, and he is the last one standing. One has said, look at my poll numbers aren’t they great. He continues to say that he’s met so many great people along the way. And, replied more recently, how I can be behind in the current polls when there are thousands of people coming to my rallies -I don’t understand. [I want to be liked and thought I was]. In fact, many more people arrive at these rallies than can be seated [more tickets are distributed than there are seats]. He stated that he can’t understand those poll numbers because of his high popularity. Another character aspect is about acquisition, consumption and being marketable. There becomes a need to acquire and consume whether it be things or abstractions. The expression “he who has the biggest toys wins or he who has the most toys” fits here [a clever marketing ploy.] Acquiring comes in many forms, including buildings, casinos, airplanes, models or even selling one’s name to be put on a building. Unfortunately, consumption alone does not fill the void in his ego. It certainly does not result in his happiness. For example, Bill Gates, according to recent statistics, is the wealthiest man in the world. I would wager that he is not the happiest person in the world. The act of acquiring or consuming leads to a superficial status within our society, but does not lead to a meaningful human existence. One can never fully satisfy the void through consumption alone. Some might call it greed. Acquiring, consuming can never be an end in itself as it’s like repeatedly filling a hole with sand or water that has with no bottom. Simply put, one never has enough. A more meaningful human experience is about production, producing or artistic creation. Even prehistoric man in his quest for survival found and expressed man’s nature with his cave drawings of concrete objects within his existence. We admire individuals in our past history come to mind like Plato, Socrates, Epictetus, Kepler, Galileo, Michelangelo, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Espinosa, Beethoven, Bach, Rousseau, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Darwin, Smith, Jefferson, Hamilton, Roosevelt, Currie, Salk, Marx, Edison, Freud, Fromm, Pavlov, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Pollock, Hemingway, Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Miller, Jobs, and Gates to name just a few for what they produced or created and not for what they consumed or acquired. It’s extremely important for this selfless one to be marketable. He has to become a saleable commodity. He has to use his negotiating skills get the best deal for his selfless self regardless of the consequences. It doesn’t matter if known or unknown others are taken advantage of, paid less or lost their savings or wealth in the process. It’s simply about winning at all costs and the heck with the other. It’s not about fair play, integrity or human respect. It’s about being on top and the ends justify the means. For this individual, there’s a need to exchange. Adam Smith believed that the need to exchange is a basic need in human nature in that it’s common for all men. However, this need to exchange does not always serve any real or practical purpose. It’s about exchange and selling one’s personality on the market in order to receive the best value in the exchange. For this individual, the striving to exchange his social position in order to attain the “better” deal and also to be the boss in order to control those around him with “you’re fired.” Of course, exchanging wives, buildings, casinos, campaign managers, and delegates does not result in fulfilling the dilemma of human existence. Being liked, acquiring, consuming, being marketable and exchanging are character characteristics of this presidential candidate that result in need, drive or behavior. These various behaviors may temporarily diminish his feelings of anxiety and feelings of inferiority. However, these behaviors can’t fulfill or solve the human condition of aloneness, or isolation. This individual has superficial relationships at best -just ask his ex-wives for starters. More than likely, this individual is not fully aware of self and will continue like a speeding train going downhill without breaks, smashing and destroying things in the process. Heaven help us if he gets elected.