[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Friday, September 26th, 2014|
Am trying this journal thing. I think it might be nice to have someplace to write, to catalogue all my partial ideas that aren't ready to be whipped into shape yet.
Wil keep this short, because if I make it long I'll feel obligated to make my future entries long, and if I feel obligated I won't write here at all.
In judging social movements, how large a role does the terrestrial (or universal) nature of the ideas held by the movements play into the judgements history forms of them?
The counterculture of the sixties and seventies is full of universality. The works spawned by that culture touch on elements fundamental to the human experience. Simply put, the ideals held by those cultures age well.
What about the cultures they were rebelling against? What ideals, what goals, did the dominant culture hold during Vietnam? Why is all the work we have dealing with, for instance, the issue of war, spawned entirely by protestors?
There are contradictions here, but it looks like those opposed to the war used that sentiment to create art which transcended the parochialism of the present culture, whereas those in favor of the war used their sentiment to create works of art that... what? What is the culture of the far right? If the hippies' utopia was one of peace and love, signifying an end to violence, what was the utopia of the dominant culture at that time? Were the only grand dreams of that time in the minds of the opposition?
|Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013|
|musings and rantings
As regards forensic interrogation, we must consider that there are, roughly discriminating, two types. To some extent these types bleed into one another, but to a very considerable extent the duality is sound.
The goal of the first type is information. In this instance, the subject being interrogated may or may not be suspected of wrongdoing in the matter being investigated. Either way, those doing the interrogating (hereafter referred to as 'cops', for simplicity) are likely to be concerned with the subject's body language and nonverbal cues. They will analyze what the subject says and attempt to draw conclusions. If they suspect the subject of wrongdoing, they will look for incriminating or conflicting details, as well as facts which may be helpful to the investigation. Some of these may be psychological in nature- for instance, they may look for clues as to where the subject would likely have disposed of crucial evidence, or ask about various people in the subject's life in order to discern which if any of these people are likely to have valuable knowledge. In any case, they will scrutinize the subject's body language and nonverbal cues, as these also constitute a source of information.
The goal of the second type of interrogation is compliance. In this instance, the cops want the subject to say something incriminating, but the subject does not want to do so. In this sort of interrogation we are likely to see repetitive questioning, verbal and nonverbal threats, and interrogation techniques of which I am unaware. I know very little about this type of interrogation, but I do understand that it explains certain techniques which seem to have limited or no value when the goal of the exercise is information. Sleep deprivation and emotional stressors are likely to play a role, as are extremely repetitive questioning and uncomfortable surroundings. Lying may also be used in a variety of different ways. Some of these deserve a more extensive discussion than I intend to furnish here.
In the first type of interrogation, cops will look over and feel out the subject's story for inconsistencies. In the second type, cops will attempt to create inconsistencies.
What strikes me most about this whole thing is what we might call a parellel. I do not know how exact it is, or to what extent it affects things in the real world, but this lack of knowledge itself distresses me. In our culture, certain aspects of the justice system are extremely well known. We need not have had any personal experience with the system to have knowledge of various details- many people who have never been questioned by police, for instance, have some idea as to what the term 'good cop/bad cop' entails. And I have kept an attentive ear to the ground, waiting for this parellel I imagine to be addressed or debunked.
It occurrs to me, in the context of the second type of interrogation, that there does not appear to be much if any distinction between an innocent subject and a guilty one. In both instances, the cops are attempting to get the subject to say something which he does not wish to. His motives for resisting are likely to be similar in either case- neither an innocent nor a guilty man desires to go to jail. Some, of course, are motivated to confess in order to soothe their conscience, and in such instances confession is a rational decision. It has also been obvserved that at times people spontaneously confess to things they have not actually done, perhaps motivated by any number of things which would equally apply to those who have actually committed the crime.
However, what draws my attention is the moment when the cops are attempting to elicit a confession from a man who has determined not to give them one. In this instance, regardless of his guilt, the decision to confess is an irrational one which would seem to contradict the subject's sane and rational motivations. What I really want to know is: to what extent are the strategies used by the cops equally applicable to both a guilty and an innocent man? Both can, I think, through stress, be made in some cases to say things which they do not mean. Both are susceptible to the threat of physical violence. Both are equally threats, as regard sentencing and so forth. If the cops lie about the strength of the other evidence in their posession, in many instances the lie will be equally compelling to both a guilty and an innocent man. Witnesses lie, and make mistakes. Lab work is screwed up, evidence can be planted by third parties, and in some instances forged by cops- this happening with enough consistency as to undermine the individual's certainty that the forensic evidence will bear out the facts as he recalls them. Even when lab work accurately reflects events, its utility is questionable- the suspect's fingerprint can only show you that the suspect touched something. The suspect's hair cannot even show that the suspect was present where it was found- if it fell out there, it could as easily have fallen out elsewhere.
But this is a digression, albeit one which informs my central question, which is: to what extent is the second type of questioning blind to the subject's guilt or innocence? To what extent does it rely on the former to be effective? In what ways and to what extent does it differ, in principle, from manufacturing evidence against a man who may or may not be guilty? And what I think I want to know most- a question which is very difficult to word exactly- how do cops think about all this? What story (true or false) do they tell themselves regarding these actions? If they don't think about all this on a conceptual level, what do they do instead, in their own minds? Assuming a lack of conceptual thinking, how do they avoid it, considering their proximity? Assuming the presence of conceptual thinking, what justifications do they employ? Or, assuming that only the guilty can be made to confess, how is this distinction reflected in the questioning techniques currently being used? Finally, why am I, as far as I can tell, the first person to ask these questions?
|Saturday, December 15th, 2012|
Right now, I have everything I should need to be happy, but I'm not.
I mean, I'm not in agony or anything, I just feel sort of... annoyed.
So I went online to see if I could find anything that could help. Rather than Google-ing "How to be happy" or "Causes of happiness", I decided to start with "What is happiness". See, if you ask the internet how to be happy, what you'll get is a bunch of anecdotes from people telling you what made them
happy, which is not really what I needed. Unfortunately, even when defining the state of happiness, people continue to equate it with its external causes in the most revoltingly stupid ways.
I also found a lot of advice for idiots, mostly of the negative variety (i. e. rather than suggesting that said idiots do
something, the advice urged that they not do
something. "If you want to be happy, be sure to avoid setting yourself on fire, as many find this detrimental."
Well, first, this doesn't take a genius. Second, it doesn't actually constitute advice on how to be happy
. It is merely advice on how to avoid unhappiness
The internet is stupid today. Current Mood: Frustrated
|Sunday, November 25th, 2012|
Plagued with ennui today. There are many things which should give me pleasure, but at the moment I can't seem to enjoy them.
I should be writing. I should create
something, but I lack the emotional energy. I should rest and get it back, but I have too much physical energy.
My mind is disposed to organize something, but I can take no pleasure in it. I need to find some way to rest, but as I cannot enjoy myself, it's hard to know what to do.
There is a temptation to go and do unpleasant things, so I won't have to do them instead of being happy, later. But I've been
doing that, and it still wears me down. Perhaps adding to this journal will help. I can only hope.
Existentialism washes over me. I need to stop reading Camus. I need to stop thinking this way. I ought to loose myself in some pleasure, any pleasure, but I can't stop weighing the joy and watching myself, and hoping I'll feel something more. I'm so desperate to be consumed with feeling that I can't actually feel
very much at all. Current Mood: frustrated
|Thursday, October 11th, 2012|
Working on interacting more socially, at least online, but now I just feel tired and drained.
If talking to other people is always going to be this hard, I'm never going to be able to do it enough to make any friends.
But I am getting stronger. Current Mood: morose
|Thursday, February 10th, 2011|
Feel slightly depressed, and more unreal. I am hoping that posting a new entry here will do something, either lift the depression or increase the unreality to the point where I can use
I feel stuck or frozen, or also as though I were coming to the end of something. This isn't how I'd wanted tonight to go. I have come to the end of Cooper's autobiography and much enjoyed it; the mysticism of Twin Peaks
presents one of the only credible alternatives to complete atheism, and one that is much in line with my own experiences.
I have two old 20mg Cymbalta left that I found while cleaning my room and I am considering using one of them now to augment my current dosage- however, their expiration date would have been awhile ago, and so the effects might be somewhat unpredictable. It is certainly credible that they might make the current situation worse- although I feel that if it was much
worse it would likely be easier to deal with. Is currently sublime enough so as to be difficult to shake by traditional means.
I would like to see if I could get 'Venom' to come, though the last time I saw him he was not kind to me. It has not escaped my attention that as regards his exact nature I am bereft of credible conceptualizations- my most realistic definitions conceal all that they do not explain through the vast overuse of the term 'archetype', which I regard as itself somewhat ambiguous and unexplained. It is possible that 'Venom' is a blanket term used for any encompassing, pseudo-psychotic state, although I can't help thinking there is a greater continuity to these episodes than that would imply. Also, 'psychotic', except when used in the very loosest sense, implies some sort of distancing from reality, which I have only ever experienced once during one of these states, during the isolated incident five years ago.
This is by now boring me, and the effort required to clearly relate while maintaining even a scintilla of eloquence is tiring
|Tuesday, January 25th, 2011|
I don't want to go into details, but we believe we've just made what is in fact a very significant breakthrough. I am now considerably more optimistic as to the possibility of eventually finding others like myself; certainly, if nothing else, I've gained a new place in which to look.
One thing that puzzles me is why it took this long... if I'd set out even three or four years later, I might well have avoided much of the loneliness as well as the general sense of futility; but the people I've found were for much of my searching unavailable.
This can only add to my inclination to link what we call "asperger's syndrome" to what is sometimes called "forty-six and 2," or "christ consciousness".
Usually I would wait until all of this was more fully formed to discuss it with anyone, but I've been trying to accustom myself to writing out thoughts even if they are unfinished, as otherwise I would probably never write anything down at all. If I can get used to writing more impulsively, there is an excellent chance I can get some sort of results from my efforts vis-a-vis this blog. The blog has no direct connection to the aforementioned progression, but there is as much reason to believe it will be helpful as there always was. Current Mood: awake
|Wednesday, December 29th, 2010|
|Rantings on the Justice System
In America we claim not to convict the accused unless their guilt can be put beyond a reasonable doubt. I believe that there was a time when we actually did this, but we don't now. In fact, when we consider the practical applications of this standard it becomes evident that no reasonable country could function with it in place.
Much of the confusion surrounding the term can be traced back to the common usage of the word "reasonable". Today this word is usually used to connote a sort of general emotional tone, a certain attitude. Thus when we ask that a Jury acquit unless the guilt of the accused can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, we are instructing them as to what mood they should cultivate while weighing the evidence.
Similarly, when we ask that they regard the accused as "innocent until proven guilty," we bring to the term "proven" a strikingly different definition than we would utilize generally.
When speaking of the "presumption of innocence," we understand that the "presumption" referred to is a "reasonable" one, that is, one which may be waived when it comes into conflict with a particularly shocking case, or with evidence which renders the defendant's guilt especially likely.
The Founding Fathers were intellectuals, philosophers for whom the concept of "reason" had a particularly keen significance. Thus, when they spoke of "reasonable doubt", they were referring to such doubt as might be achieved through the application of reason. Juries were to presume the innocence of the defendant, and thus, wherever possible, interpret the available facts in accordance with this presumption. Thus the defendant would only be convicted if no one could come up with any other explanation to fit the available facts; if the slimmest possibility existed that someone else committed the crime, the defendant would go free.
Of course, in some of the more philosophical areas of doubt, certain assumptions were universally to be made. The always-applicable epistemic issues were generally to be ignored. The testimony of Law Enforcement was generally to be believed, at least as applied to forensic evidence. And, in considering human behavior, all persons were presumed to have behaved rationally unless evidence could be given that they were prone to insanity or hysteria.
This last, more than anything, stands out today. Today we have the psychiatric disciplines. Today we are acutely aware that most people don't behave in anything like a rational way most of the time.
And, as it isn't feasible to assume that those involved acted rationally, we are instead behooved to assume that they acted normally. In this "free country" there is one universally understood restriction: even if you follow the law, you'd better be prepared to explain whatever you're doing to Law Enforcement. You'd better be ready to submit to an on-site interrogation if what you're doing is at all unusual. And God help you if a crime is committed anywhere in the surrounding area. Thus a perfectly reasonable assumption was modified to provide an excuse for the persecution of all who do not conform.
This is only one of the problems with the Justice System in America, but it's a big one. And we are always inclined to forget that, as Ayn Rand said, the individual is the smallest minority of all. Current Mood: annoyed
|Monday, December 6th, 2010|
Am testing ability to post in livejournal. Later will attempt with Dragon software. Must become comfortable with new journal before launching into heavy discussions of Nietzsche, the substance of government, poisonous pedagogy, etc.