Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Julian Assange calls for a "new Christianity," rejects High-tech liberalism' ideology

Europe is Kaput. Long live Europe
- Slavoj Žižek, Yanis Varoufakis and Julian Assange - full event

There is no ideological alternative being proposed: Isis vs. the West. What can occupy the middle ground? There needs to be a new European left movement. A type of 'Christianity', a preaching of love and unification. 
When you speak to senior figures in Silicon Valley such as Google's Chairman they have frightening worldviews. There is a real 'poverty' there, in that respect. There is a '
High-tech liberalism' ideologywhich you can see references to in Google's book mentioning a 'new digital age', with Washington already going to Silicon Valley for information and solutions. They, as corporations have great experience in managing sheer scale, and with competency. They even have influence in some local governments. When you go to India and China and ask young people about their futures they say they want to work for Facebook, or if they're radical, start their own Facebook. Beyond this, Silicon Valley also 'rebrands' when it's abroad. For instance, to be "Doing it the Chinese/Indian way", but there's no choice, there's no 'China/India' involved - it's just a rebranding of Silicon Valley's ideology. And there's no growing competition. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Misconduct complaint against Niels-Erik Hansen DRC - Breach of confidentiality, dishonesty, frivolous behavior, misuse of resources

Advokatnaevnet (Attorney Tribunal)
Kronprinsessegade 28
1306 København K

Re: Misconduct complaint against Niels-Erik Hansen, Dokumentations- og Rådgivningscenteret om Racediskrimination (DRC) - Breach of confidentiality, dishonesty, frivolous behavior, misuse of resources 

At the end of 2014 I met with Niels-Erik Hansen (NEH) at the DRC. I explained that comments in the Danish news media, such as Jews/Muslims “mutilate babies” were being promoted by the scientific dishonesty of several Danish sexologists. He agreed that this was a case for the DRC and said he would himself prepare the complaint to the UVVU. 

While he stated he would attempt to complete this before the end of 2014, I received no information from him even though repeatedly asking by email for copies, status of the complaint, etc. When I met with him a few months later, he explained that he had never filed a UVVU complaint before and didn’t feel he could do it. This seemed odd to me, since I had transmitted most of the information needed and a scientific evaluation of the article in question had already been done by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force. This evaluation showed that the target article’s claims were scientifically dishonest. 

I then agree that I would prepare the substance of the complaint and he could prepare a letter, in Danish, citing the legal grounds for the complaint. A draft UVVU complaint was sent to NEH in May 2014. After repeated meetings at the DRC, it became clear that no progress was being made. I terminated my visits there in September 2014, when he did not affirm that he would assist me in response to a direct question about the cover letter. 

The meetings between May and September covered several issues, but not the cover letter that was supposedly being prepared. Often the issues raised concerned other cases at the DRC. He repeatedly mischaracterized my case, for example, stating that there was a lot of opposition to “ritual circumcision” in Denmark. However, my case was not about ritual circumcision or even medically recommended circumcision, it was a scientific dishonesty case. The subject matter of the article in question was irrelevant to whether, for example, the article required a Conflict of Interest statement. 

He repeatedly tried to discourage me from proceeding with the Complaint. For example, he explained to me that while the “good parent” in the USA was expect to circumcise the male child, the good parent in Denmark was expected to not circumcise the male child. He also assured me that a ban would be passed by the Parliament. 

On the other hand, he repeatedly indicated directly or indirectly that he was interested in promoting the case. For example, he told me that his teen-aged son had developed a painful foreskin infection. I believe this story was manufactured for my benefit. While about half of all uncircumcised men have a foreskin problem at some point in their lives, the likelihood of this problem occurring during the six months in question is exceedingly small. As part of a fact finding process for this complaint, an investigation of medical records, an interview with the mentioned son, or a sworn statement from NEH could clarify this.

Finally, on the 20th of February 2015 I encountered NEH and the two leading figures in my UVVU complaint, Dr. Morton Frisch and Dr. Christian Graugaard, at a reception for a newly installed sexology professor, Annamaria Giraldi:

While this could have been a chance event, it does make it appear that NEH, Dr. Morton Frisch, and Dr. Christian Graugaard move in the same social circles. These people appear to have had a common interest in stopping or, at least, delaying the filing of my complaint. The high point of the year, in terms of the male circumcision debate, was: Folketingets Tværpolitiske Netværk for Seksuel og Reproduktiv Sundhed og Rettigheder afholder i samarbejde med Folketingets Udenrigsudvalg en høring den 22. oktober kl. 13-16 i Fællessalen på Christiansborg.

Dr. Frisch was one of the speakers on the program and the delay of my UVVU complaint ensured that he would not be subject to challenges concerning his scientific findings. The effect of my complaint was demonstrated by the fact that Dr. Frisch terminated his opposition to male circumcision on Facebook after that complaint was filed:

A post from that Facebook page is contained in my email to NEH (14 6 10 June 2014 Foreningen SOS mod Racisme i fælles kamp for rituel omskæring). There is a saying that “Justice delayed is justice denied.” This appears to be a valid observation here. 

It is likely that NEH informed the Doctors of his involvement in my case, thereby breaching professional confidentiality. I doubt if Niels-Erik Hansen could have resisted relating his “little joke” on me at a chance meeting. By calling Dr. Frisch and Dr. Graugaard before the Tribunal, this question could be answered. 

NEH acted in a frivolous manner. He repeatedly stated he would assist me, while clearly not intending to do so. This was dishonest in an indirect manner and explicit dishonesty may have been involved, as I suggest above.

Finally, NEH made use of the resources of the DRC to further interests in conflict with the goals of the Center. He used DRC email, office space, and reputation for his own purposes. 

While some of these events occurred more than one year ago, they form part of a whole, which deserves to be treated as a single unit. I ask the Tribunal to extend the deadline for submission of these earlier events, so that they can be included in this investigation. 

(Interested persons can request the cited attachments)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Established couples and prostate cancer

The average amount of sex reported in established relationships is approximately once a week (Blanchflower & Oswald, 2004Call et al., 1995Laumann et al., 1994), so perhaps this tends to be the average because engaging in sex more frequently is no longer associated with well-being. (MuiseSchimmackImpett)

This rate is below that judged adequate for optimal avoidance of prostate cancer in men. "Men who ejaculated 21 or more times a month enjoyed a 33% lower risk of prostate cancer compared with men who reported four to seven ejaculations a month throughout their lifetimes."

US Gov. 2006: Increase 'Paranoia' And 'Frighten', Cause The Assad Regime To Overreact

Assange: Wikileaks has discovered documents going as far back as 2006 which detail the US's plans to overthrow the Syrian government, to increase 'paranoia' and 'frighten' (words used in documents), cause the Assad regime to overreact, and to prevent foreign investment and cooperation. In 2010 Syria requested assistance to stop terrorists entering from Iraq. Assange stated that Libya was 'Hillary's war', and that Generals had written in documents that she pushed 'over and above' what was necessary. He then displayed footage of the moment Hilary Clinton was told of Gaddafi's sodomy and subsequent murder. The video showered her throwing her head back laughing, cackling, with a large satisfied grin. The reporter who she was with during an interview repeatedly asked, "Was that to do with your visit recently?" which prompted further laughter. 

Assange, cont: There is a spiritual dimension to this issue that we have to consider - there is something in Hilary, and in her reaction, that personality, that has an 85% chance of entering, and embedding itself in, the White House after the election. That is something to think about: how a Western head of state reacts to another head of state being over thrown and killed in such a manner, and that person becoming the most powerful individual on earth.
- Rather than look for stability, France has also roused community fear by requesting everyone run to their local hospital to donate blood; there is talk of 'borders', 'crackdowns' and the British have already highlighted surveillance. This plays directly into ISIS's crackdown of the 'grey zone' between devout muslims and those Muslims embedded in Western ways, with increased Islamophobia and disunification in multicultural states.
- There is no ideological alternative being proposed: Isis vs. the West. What can occupy the middle ground? There needs to be a new European left movement. A type of 'Christianity', a preaching of love and unification. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Stodolsky's law of organizational behavior

You can not overestimate people's stupidity.

Stodolsky's law of organizational behavior (circa 1979)

"The mediocre 'need' the really inept (Goode, 1967:11)."
Cited in Matejko, A. (1975). Dilemmas of hierarchical organizations and of industrial democracy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: Overlooking the obvious? (unfinished article)

Carnahan and McFarland (2007) present new results that help to explain the abuse that occurred in the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). They found that those volunteering for "a psychological study of prison life" were significantly higher on measures of aggressiveness, authoritarianism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and social dominance than those who responded to a parallel ad that omitted the words "of prison life," and they were significantly lower in dispositional empathy and altruism. They argue that the abusive behavior occurring in the SPE could have resulted from a self-selection bias. This bias, they argue, could have had effects both on the individual and group level. That is, individuals may have tended toward abusive behavior and when a group of such individuals were assembled they may have "mutually weakened each other’s constraints against abuse and reinforced in each other their willingness to engage in it" (p. 614). 

They also note that both the prisoners’ and guards’ authoritarianism scores in the BBC study increased as the study progressed (Haslam, 2006).

In their introductory remarks, Carnahan and McFarland (2007) comment "When the SPE was conducted in 1971, the situation versus personal disposition debate loomed large. To its authors, the SPE results required a situationist rather than a dispositional explanation (Haney et al., 1973). Because prisoners and guards were assigned randomly to their roles, and because personality measures did not predict behavior in either role (with the exception that five prisoners granted early release due to extreme emotional distress were quite low in authoritarianism), certainly the power of the situation must explain the guards’ cruelty and the prisoners’ passivity and depression" (p. 604).

The mentioned "exception" is reported in the section "Initial personality and attitude measures" of Haney, Banks, and Zimbardo (1973, p. 81). However, this finding is, of course, from the experiment itself. Haney et al. (1973) report that a rank-ordering of prisoners on the F-scale correlated highly with duration of their stay in the experiment (r = .898, p < .005). This is most statistically significant finding in the study. 

By the second day of the study, these "exceptional" prisoners began leaving. Since there were only ten prisoners in the study, half of them left prematurely. We also know that abuse escalated as the study progressed. Thus, the escalation of abuse parallelled the loss of half of the "prisoners" from the experiment. If the Carnahan and McFarland (2007) results are correct, then there was likely a self-selection bias operating not only prior to the study, but also in the study itself. It seems likely that the selection bias would operate more powerfully in the study, than in reading of an ad. This effect is dramatic, in that half of the "prisoners" left and also because it was the most significant finding of the study. If the Carnahan and McFarland (2007) conclusion that there was mutual weakening of constraint against abuse due to group processes of reinforcement, then the removal of the less authoritarian prisoners would have had a disproportionate effect. This would have been further exacerbated by the tendency for authoritarianism to increase as the study progressed (Haslam, 2006). Thus, we have both an increase in individual authoritarianism and removal of those who scored lower on this scale, simultaneous with an escalation in abuse.

The above observation of within-study self-selection would have significantly strengthened the Carnahan and McFarland (2007) argument. However, they apparently failed to notice it, since it was relegated to "Initial personality and attitude measures". Considering that half of the prisoners left the study, saying they represent an exception, is hardly justified. Perhaps if Haney et al. (1973) had given this finding more prominence, Carnahan and McFarland (2007) would have included it in their analysis. Given that the "situation versus personal disposition debate loomed large" (Carnahan and McFarland, 2007, p. 604) at that time, it is indeed odd that the most dramatic finding in the study is only mentioned in passing and that it is not even mentioned in Haney, et al.'s (1973) conclusion.

In their summary of "an interactionist analysis", Carnahan and McFarland (2007) state, "This analysis does not discount the power of a prison simulation, or of a real prison, to induce abusive behavior. The SPE certainly showed that it can do so" (p. 612). Given the observations above and BBC Prison Study (Reicher & Haslam, 2006), which didn't induce abusive behavior, we must question this widely held assumption about what the SPE showed.

The question can be addressed on several levels, and if we are to understand the SPE and the impact it has had, we must go beyond the traditional academic arguments, since it was exceptional in many ways. First, we will look at it from the traditional scientific standpoint and ask what is shown by the results. Next, we will place it in its historical context, like Carnahan and McFarland (2007) have done, but with a wider scope, since this is necessary to understand its origin and impact.