Your current reading list

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Re: Your current reading list

Postby coldharvest » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:31 am

....sure, let's all poke at the sociopath.
Let me tell you people something, if it wasn't for us you'd still all be living on the savanah......those of you who survived of course.

speaking of which, I've just finished The Bin Ladens by Stephen Coll
I'd keep an eye on that Osama fucker, he seems the slippery sort.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby suwon fish » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:27 am

coldharvest wrote:....sure, let's all poke at the sociopath.
Let me tell you people something, if it wasn't for us you'd still all be living on the savanah......those of you who survived of course.

speaking of which, I've just finished The Bin Ladens by Stephen Coll
I'd keep an eye on that Osama fucker, he seems the slippery sort.


I agree that sociopaths are the new gingers i.e. the last group the PC crowd will allow us to gang up on and bully. The show Dexter will no doubt do for sociopaths what Roots did for blacks and American Idol did for fags. As I recall Dexter was a gay, ginger sociopath so the show writers ticked just about every box.

One interesting thing mentioned in the book is that being conciousless doesn't (contrary to logic) improve the odds of survival which is why they don't make up 100% of the population. Counter-intuitive I know, but there you have it.

Anther thing you might find interesting is a short discussion about socipaths in the military and how The Man has employed strategies for helping non-paths to kill.

Simply a problem The Man has had since before the bible was written is that Joe Soap doesn't really want to kill. With no authority figure present, the average soldier will aim to miss, simulate a stoppage or simply fail to fire his weapon. This can be (and is) remedied by having authority figures at the squad level and even below.

PTSD is more linked to having killed (or the fear of having to kill) than it is to witnessing death or nearly being killed yourself. Non-paths are personally destroyed by their own memories should they ever become an "operator".

What about folks that kill without authority figures present? Snipers and special forces. I guess that's why it's so hard to fill the slots. Socipathy doesn't lend itself to selflessness to a group (or country/ideal) and often comes with (amongst other failings) glib and fluent lying.

Take a look at rule 4 of Rogers Rangers Standing Orders and you'll see why it's hard to get a socipath to be special forces.

I'm not being smart at the expense of the best of the best. I'm delighted that they are busily executing the enemies of my (and your) family and that they have found a useful outlet for their "specialness". I failed selection twice, and I was a hard fuck when I tried. I would never seek to undervalue the meaning of any cap badges, daggers or funny wings.

When you finish the book you'll find you have more sympathy than hate for these folks that make up 4% of the population (yes, 1 in 25).

99.9% of sociopaths (my own made up statistic) live unsatisfacory and unsatisfying lives. If you can step back from the game Rongay, Rapist09 and Catfuck are playing you'll see they are, essentially, tragic characters. They didn't ask to be born as they were, God played a cruel joke on them.

I would be surprised if there was anyone on this board who wouldn't find this book either interesting or valuable. As money is generally tight these days, get your copy for free...

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6553812 ... Rest_of_Us
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Caliban » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:41 pm

suwon fish wrote: I agree that sociopaths are the new gingers i.e. the last group the PC crowd will allow us to gang up on and bully. The show Dexter will no doubt do for sociopaths what Roots did for blacks and American Idol did for fags. As I recall Dexter was a gay, ginger sociopath so the show writers ticked just about every box.



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Re: Your current reading list

Postby diamondcutter13 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:07 am

just started Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A book about hard drinking Mexicans who don't have a special diet or training plan but can run for days on a hangover. Sounds like my kind of "superathletes".
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby vagabond » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:50 am

diamondcutter13 wrote:just started Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A book about hard drinking Mexicans who don't have a special diet or training plan but can run for days on a hangover. Sounds like my kind of "superathletes".


Just please don't go out those Vibram Five Fingers to emulate them. Society still needs people with taste.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby diamondcutter13 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:29 pm

diamondcutter13 wrote:just started Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A book about hard drinking Mexicans who don't have a special diet or training plan but can run for days on a hangover. Sounds like my kind of "superathletes".



Just please don't go out those Vibram Five Fingers to emulate them. Society still needs people with taste.


no stupid ninja shoes for this guy. boots maybe. I've also had to run in my Clarke's brothel creepers too, that's tasteful.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:09 pm

I actually read a whole shitload of book reviews, summaries, and other online materials after I saw that sociopath book listed here, because it reminded me of an ex-boyfriend. (Not because he was sociopathic, but because he came from a family of psychiatrists and psychologists, and they had a name for every trait - oops, I mean pathology - in the human experience, and I was diagnosed with all of them at one point or another.)

Just a couple of points/criticisms that others noted (I am emphatically not at all educated in psychology/psychiatry, and think it's mostly bullshit anyway, plus I didn't read the book, but I figured this was worth repeating):

1. Almost all the people, including the author of that book, who discuss sociopaths, are females who use the male pronoun to designate the subject, and about 75% of non-professionals who diagnose sociopaths are women diagnosing their exes or other male family members.

2. The diagnosis of a "sociopath" is wrong over half of the time; it is commonly confused with several other treatable disorders, primarily PTSD, but also schizoid, avoidance, and narcissistic personalities. So the advice to "cut him out of your life" may be a copout, particularly if it's a mother doing it to a child after she's given him or her PTSD through poor care. (I hadn't realized parents could give their kids PTSD that easily, but apparently they can, go figure.)

Anyway, I'm reading a book by one of my favorite authors, who is probably a sociopath, Richard Dawkins. "The Greatest Show on Earth," basically a discussion of the scientific methods used to study evolutionary theory. It's a nice refresher course that will probably come in handy, now that I'm back in the Bible Belt, where 50% of everyone thinks the world is 7000 years old. For fuck's sake.

Image

Now I can say things like, "Well, how do you explain the unbroken dendochronologies stretching back more than 11,000 years in MENA, the US Southwest, and elsewhere. Oh, you don't know what dendochronology is? Jesus. I read all the primary source material for Creationism, and you can't be bothered reading the evidence for evolution before making up your mind? Pathetic."

Of course, dendochronology is tree-ring dating, and the source material for Creationism is the book of Genesis, but I'm trying to get in touch with my inner sociopath and make these morans squirm for my own amusement. teehee. It's a good book though, informative and well written, but nothing that new if you're already well-versed in evolutionary biology. The Ancestor's Tale is still my favorite Dawkins book of all time. OF ALL TIME.

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Re: Your current reading list

Postby coldharvest » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:55 pm

friendlyskies wrote:Of course, dendochronology is tree-ring dating

Why would anyone want to go out on a date with a tree-ring?
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Naveen » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:04 am

What Martha Stout refers as "sociopath" is probably a mixture of malignant narcissism*1, common assholes, sociopaths*2 and psychopaths*3. The person without a conscience is a rarity, a psychopath, and they are only 1 in every 100. They are smoth-talkers, charming individuals without guilt, shame or remorse. As suwom fish said, sociopaths may live unsatisfactory lifes (and narcissists are always unhappy) but psychopaths... these people are like reptiles, I doubt they can be unhappy, sad or depressed.

"Without conscience" by Robert D. Hare is a good book (and a classic) to understand those monsters.

*1 Self-centered and manipulative individuals with an inflated sense of self-worth. It's all bullshit, though, his ego is weak and he is addicted to external approval. They are wroken and wretched people.
*2 Antisocial individuals, criminals, etc. They may be brutal, manipulative, wife-beaters, murderers or even rapists, but they have (or had) some internalised moral system, it's just not the same society has. They probably care for some people (his gang or whatever) and still have some capacity to feel guilt, shame, etc. Usually holds a grudge against society or women, or whites, or blacks, or aliens or...
*3 Reptiles. Fast-talking and chaming individuals, they blend perfectly and you'll never believe that guy that helps at local charities and is "Father of the year" is also selling heroin to underaged prostitutes and raping his daughter. They don't have anything against society, their minds are balanced and their egos are perfectly fine.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby roach coach » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:50 am

Michael wrote:Monsoon by Robert Kaplan

Gotta bump due to stupid spammers. Robert Kaplan is awesome, I had the privilege to hear him speak about the book at an automotive museum for one of my classes.

The previous suggestion of Small Unit Leadership is an excellent choice too. It's easy to find civvie interpretations for the described methods. I'm slowly going through "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" and a terrorism studies reader by MIT Press.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:28 pm

Image

This little book is a quick read and REALLY good! I'm only about 2/3 of the way through but I can happily recommend it.It's about the science and possible social ramifications of having code automatically tailor the internet to you.

In December 2009, Google stopped giving everyone the same search results, and started tailoring them to you based on a huge number of parameters. These are collected automatically at every website you visit, then sold, by robots, within a few seconds, to two marketing firms that have their own robots, which turn around, package the data, and resell it to interested parties a few seconds later. These parameters range from your sex, age, political leanings, and shopping habits, to things like the timing of your menstrual cycle (women are more likely to buy clingy clothing when ovulating, and facial products just before their periods), where you are posting from (not just your neighborhood, or how often you change your ISP address; the microphone in your phone knows if, say, you're posting from a car), and how quickly you click on links when they are presented to you, which apparently says something about your psychological makeup.

This has obvious ramifications, such as having advertisements that target you based on an increasingly sophisticated customer profile, as well as creating the "filter bubble" referenced in the title - the internet is now feeding you news stories that support your current beliefs. For instance, if I search for something about abortion or guns, I'm going to get a lot of pro-abortion, pro-gun returns. Not just on Google, but on all search engines, because they all get their data from those same two aggregation companies. Moreover, when I go to Yahoo News or even a regular newspaper, it will know I was interested in guns and abortion earlier today, and start showing me recent articles touching on those two topics. Ditto facebook - after I have a certain number of friends clogging up the feed, I probably won't see your rant about how abortion is evil, even if I do see your cat videos. But since I never click on anything about, say, home loans or finding the best pre-schools, I'll never see that stuff. Big deal, right? But what about people who never click on foreign wars, say.

That's obviously a little creepy in and of itself, but there are all sorts of other potential ramifications that the author touches on. The future of news, of civic society, of socialization skills, etc. And it can be manipulated - I can pay to have my books get front and center at Amazon, bigger companies and governments can manipulate results in much more impressive ways. Lots to think about. It's not just social sciences touchy feely, though - he interviews all sorts of computer scientists and has a lot of detail (not techie detail, though, it's all very soft science which makes it easier for me to read, but might frustrate real computer geeks) about the process and magnitude of the computing power required to process all of our personalities and present them in a profitable form to potential buyers.

Just FYI, the guy is one of the founding members of MoveOn.org, which will probably put a lot of people off. Don't let it! He uses his lefty leanings as an example of how his own personal filter bubble is being curated to his tastes automatically, by the internet algorithms, but is super duper careful not to let his bias show in any other way. Really good stuff. You could totally read the whole thing on a long flight, too.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby nowonmai » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:46 pm

Italian crime noir of the blackest kind to give you your vicarious sociopathic thrills:

http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Kiss-Massimo-Carlotto/dp/1933372052
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Fenrisco » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:50 am

Friendlyskies wrote:For instance, if I search for something about abortion or guns, I'm going to get a lot of pro-abortion, pro-gun returns.


It's hardly a big deal (in practice) - test it for yourself.

1) Go to your favorite anonymizing proxy, like http://www.hidemyass.com.

2) Go to Google through the proxy. Make sure you turn off cookies, if that's an option. If it's a randomizing proxy, you will end up at - for instance - google.nl, google.co.uk, etc. depending on where it spits you out.

3) Put in some search terms - say "political news".

4) In a regular browser window go to the same national google site and do the same search.

5) Compare the results. Don't bother about the ads that display, they are always going to be different due to how adsense works.

I got 100% similarity on the first page of results. SEO "professionals" might disagree but I don't see that Google has any onus to show everybody the same results, it's trying to build a system that maximizes utility by emulating the real world - for instance, your behavior when you walk into a bookshop.

Also, if you don't like it:

http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?answer=54048

Google's ubiquitous Matt Cutts on the subject:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2673898
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:49 am

Yesterday, I did a google search from my sister's computer on several things we have different views on (Obama, Ron Paul, Hugo Chavez), and we had different results. For instance, some of my results for Hugo Chavez were in Spanish, none of hers were. This is probably because she doesn't speak Spanish, and never clicks on Spanish-language links. The fact that your results were exactly the same when using a proxy vs. using your undisguised persona is.... interesting.

Fenrisco wrote:SEO "professionals" might disagree but I don't see that Google has any onus to show everybody the same results,


Let me be more clear. The book discusses the personalization of the internet, which is happening. That's a fact, not an opinion about whether or not it's good or bad. There is no onus. But there is reality. I like to know about reality. Otherwise I'd read pulp thrillers like nowonmai recommended.

Then I went onto explain that the author extrapolates the fact of internet customization into a variety of possible affects that it might have on the real world. Notice my phrase:

friendlyskies wrote:potential ramifications


The key word here is "potential." Ie, these are ramifications that I can neither prove or disprove, because they haven't happened yet, or if they have, I can't prove them. For instance, the author notes that Facebook targets you for ads, articles, and other prompts not only based on your click history, but also on that of your "friends." The US military, for example, targets people who have had a few friends enlist. I get targeted with ads accompanied by lists of friends who "like" that particular business/site/product. That's a fact, not an opinion. You can say it's good or bad, or there is/isn't an onus to do so, but that won't change it.

THEN, the author suggests that a potential - read the word, potential - ramification of this would be that a bank, which could easily buy your click history, friends lists from Twitter/Google+/Facebook/etc, and recent books purchased (the example is "101 Ways to Improve Your Credit Rating") might base their decision to make a loan to you on something somewhat arbitrary. For instance, if (in addition to the book purchase) 10 of your friends on Facebook had defaulted on their loans, and three people you had in your "family" Google+ circle had bad credit, you might be denied a loan based on that. That's potentially bad - if you want a loan. And, it is perhaps worth thinking about when you order books or friend people.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting read. One of the links you posted recommend the book as well:

Matt Cutts wrote:I saw Eli Pariser's talk at TED and was skeptical, although I did enjoy his example of Facebook starting to return only his liberal friends because he only ever clicked on the links his liberal friends shared. I had a number of concerns browsing through Pariser's book, but I would encourage anyone interested in these issues to pick up a copy; it's a thoughtful read.


EDIT: Here's another way knowledge of personalization can be used. Two months after Google began personalizing search results, redharen posted this on the TFHC: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48439

He asked everyone to post what advertisements they were getting, which as we all now know reflects your previous search results. But, since that had just started, many people were unaware of the shift:

Penta wrote:Um, once this thread copied ads with investment advice, aren't pretty much all of them going to be to do with investments? Or isn't that how it works?


People kept posting the ads until it got to me. I had been recently searching for something way, way outside my usual sphere of of interest, and got an advertisement that was obviously, and directly, related to the searches I had just done:

friendlyskies wrote:Astana Hotels Online KZ
Instant bookings; great deals; Live help; Book Kazakh hotels now!
Select-a-room.com/Astana-Hotels
Pro Team Astana Kit 2010
Buy Astana Team Apparel Official Kit 2010
http://www.mistersports.co.uk

I was reading a conspiracy theory about Astana, KZ, and searching for photos using google, right before I got here. I guess the google ads are targeting that. I bet if I search for information about tooth-whitening for a few minutes, those ads will start coming up.


Now, look at what happened to the thread as soon as everyone on the BFC realized that by telling people what ads they saw revealed their click history. It died. People stopped posting about it. Reading this book might have a similar affect - by the same token that BFCers stopped posting on that thread, after reading this book they might want to avoid researching certain topics from your home computer, and go to a library instead.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby coldharvest » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:22 am

No tool invented by man has ever been used solely for good.
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