Author Archives: Miri

A Faunal Interlude

Enjoy these images and some lovely music, courtesy of National Geographic.

Open Thread.

Obama! Guard THIS Nation from EBOLA!

Barack Obama refuses to send the National Guard to the U.S. border to protect OUR PEOPLE from illegal alien criminals, drug cartels, Enterovirus D68, drug-resistant TB, severe Coxsackie viral infections, and (worse) deathly EBOLA. Yet NBC News reports that Obama “may” send the National Guard to Liberia: [emphasis added to quotes]

President Barack Obama is expected to issue an executive order Thursday paving the way for the deployment of National Guard forces to Liberia to help contain the Ebola outbreak there, sources told NBC News. The sources said that eight engineers and logistical specialists from the Guard, both active-duty and reservists, would probably be included in the first deployment. They are expected to help build 17 Ebola treatment centers, with 100 beds apiece. The sources said that no decision had been made.

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The Spiral of Silence and Conversations about Race

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In our last two posts we examined how political correctness can pressure individuals to self-censor their speech, whether in person or on the Internet, out of fear of ridicule, ostracism, or actual punishment by the enforcers of politically correct “right think”. This tendency to not speak out has been dubbed the spiral of silence. We looked at the cases of two police officers who lost their jobs, in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, because of comments they had made.

After Ferguson, once again we’re hearing cries for a “conversation about race.” A truly productive conversation is not going to happen in the current atmosphere, in light of the spiral of silence. Why not? Because political correctness poisons the well. Any comment perceived to be politically incorrect, in this context, will immediately result in accusations of racism. How, then, can there be any real dialogue?

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The Spiral of Silence and the Enforcers of Right Think

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In our last post, we learned that researchers have found that people tend to self-censor their speech, both in person and on social media, if they believe that their opinions are unpopular or in the minority. Researchers call this phenomenon the spiral of silence. The tendency to self-censor is one that others, particularly progressives, use to political advantage, when they seek to punish or destroy those with whom they disagree. Depending upon how politically incorrect their points of view are perceived to be by others, speakers quickly learn to self-censor their speech lest they find themselves singled out, investigated, and punished by the enforcers of right think. Let’s look at some recent examples of this type of punishment that goes far beyond ridicule or ostracism.

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The “Spiral of Silence”: Self-Censorship and Political Correctness

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Despite that it’s commonly believed that the Internet facilitates free speech, a new study indicates that on social media people tend to not speak out if they believe that their views are unpopular or if they perceive that they may be negatively criticized for expressing their heart-felt opinions. The authors explain that it’s long been known that people self-censor in face-to-face interactions:

A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in publicor among their family, friends, and work colleagueswhen they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the spiral of silence.”

Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.

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Brave New World of Three-Parent Children


We addressed the topic of children with three biological parents in another post back in April. At that time, a story in the mainstream media reported that researchers had applied to the FDA for permission to begin using a

provocative new fertilization technique that could eventually create babies from the DNA of three people, with the goal of preventing mothers from passing on debilitating genetic diseases to their children. … [emphasis added to quotes]

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A Bad Memory Made Good

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Researchers have found a way to eradicate the negative effects of bad memories: [emphasis added]

Bad memories of past trauma can leave people emotionally scarred for life. But now neuroscientists believe they can erase feelings of fear or anxiety attached to stressful events, in a breakthrough which could help treat depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

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