Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for January 16th, 2013

Behind the ‘Sandy Hook Truther’ Conspiracy Video That Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week

Posted by Anonymous on January 16, 2013

“This is a simple, logical video,” the text on the screen reads. “No aliens, holigrams, rituals or anything like that, just facts.” (All sic.) There’s some light piano (from Guns ‘n Roses’ “Estranged”) playing in the background. “New information comes up every single days, so by the time you see this video there may be a lot more evidence that has come to light.” In a few seconds, the guitar solo kicks in.

You’re watching “The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed,” the most comprehensive summary of the bizarre “Sandy Hook Truther” movement you can find on the internet. It’s also the most popular: in the seven days since it was posted, it’s racked up 5.5 million hits. (Less than 24 hours after this article was first published, it jumped to 8.5 million.) “I… honestly would have spent more time on it if I had known it would explode,” the guy who created the video told me.

It only took a few days after Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School for conspiracy theories to pop up on the internet. We covered a bunch of them at the time, each less likely than the last: Lanza’s father was due to testify in hearings about a banking scandal, and the shooting was a distraction; Obama orchestrated the shootings to enact gun control laws; The Dark Knight Returns and/or Hunger Games predicted the shooting.

As it turns out, the one that stuck was maybe the most unlikely of all: the Sandy Hook elementary shooting never happened at all. Or, that it did, in some way, but not as it was reported — there was more than one shooter, or not as many children died, or the parents we saw on television were actors.

Over the last month or so, the “Sandy Hook Truther” movement has taken hold in the usual channels of internet conspiracy — sites like InfoWars and Natural News, message boards like Godlike Productions and Above Top Secret, and most importantly, on YouTube, where self-produced mini-documentaries like “The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed” can make the leap from obscurity to viral success without any mainstream coverage at all.

“[I]t all started when me and my friends used to research 9/11 in high school,” the auteur behind the video told me over email. (He declined to give me a name or personal information, “due to the sensitivity of the channel and my concern for my security,” and signed his emails T.O.T.V., after his YouTube channel’s title “ThinkOutsidetTheTV.”) “That’s what really got me started when it came to researching government cover ups [...] Once I learned about all the false flag attacks in history that have been proven to be true, I knew it was only a matter of time before another came a long.”

The “false flag attack,” in which the true belligerents of an attack conceal their identities, is a common trope among conspiracy theorists, especially 9/11 Truthers, who believe the U.S. government (or another actor) destroyed the Twin Towers and pinned the attacks on Al Qaeda. While there are plenty of documented false flag attacks in history — all fervently cited by 9/11 true believers — they tend to be regarded by conspiracists as the rule and not the exception. Spend enough time in the YouTube conspiracy dregs and you see them everywhere.

via Behind the ‘Sandy Hook Truther’ Conspiracy Video That Five Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week.

Check it out yourself. Here’s the video mentioned and it includes some very interesting early news reports.

Here are some explanations from Salon;

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/18/your_comprehensive_answer_to_every_sandy_hook_conspiracy_theory/

Here’s a lot more detail from the conspiracy theory angle;

http://newtownbee.com/News/2012-12-14__10-59-12/Retraction+And+Apology

Posted in - Video, Strange | Leave a Comment »

Behind the ‘Sandy Hook Truther’ Conspiracy Video That Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week

Posted by Anonymous on January 16, 2013

“This is a simple, logical video,” the text on the screen reads. “No aliens, holigrams, rituals or anything like that, just facts.” (All sic.) There’s some light piano (from Guns ‘n Roses’ “Estranged”) playing in the background. “New information comes up every single days, so by the time you see this video there may be a lot more evidence that has come to light.” In a few seconds, the guitar solo kicks in.

You’re watching “The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed,” the most comprehensive summary of the bizarre “Sandy Hook Truther” movement you can find on the internet. It’s also the most popular: in the seven days since it was posted, it’s racked up 5.5 million hits. (Less than 24 hours after this article was first published, it jumped to 8.5 million.) “I… honestly would have spent more time on it if I had known it would explode,” the guy who created the video told me.

It only took a few days after Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School for conspiracy theories to pop up on the internet. We covered a bunch of them at the time, each less likely than the last: Lanza’s father was due to testify in hearings about a banking scandal, and the shooting was a distraction; Obama orchestrated the shootings to enact gun control laws; The Dark Knight Returns and/or Hunger Games predicted the shooting.

As it turns out, the one that stuck was maybe the most unlikely of all: the Sandy Hook elementary shooting never happened at all. Or, that it did, in some way, but not as it was reported — there was more than one shooter, or not as many children died, or the parents we saw on television were actors.

Over the last month or so, the “Sandy Hook Truther” movement has taken hold in the usual channels of internet conspiracy — sites like InfoWars and Natural News, message boards like Godlike Productions and Above Top Secret, and most importantly, on YouTube, where self-produced mini-documentaries like “The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed” can make the leap from obscurity to viral success without any mainstream coverage at all.

“[I]t all started when me and my friends used to research 9/11 in high school,” the auteur behind the video told me over email. (He declined to give me a name or personal information, “due to the sensitivity of the channel and my concern for my security,” and signed his emails T.O.T.V., after his YouTube channel’s title “ThinkOutsidetTheTV.”) “That’s what really got me started when it came to researching government cover ups [...] Once I learned about all the false flag attacks in history that have been proven to be true, I knew it was only a matter of time before another came a long.”

The “false flag attack,” in which the true belligerents of an attack conceal their identities, is a common trope among conspiracy theorists, especially 9/11 Truthers, who believe the U.S. government (or another actor) destroyed the Twin Towers and pinned the attacks on Al Qaeda. While there are plenty of documented false flag attacks in history — all fervently cited by 9/11 true believers — they tend to be regarded by conspiracists as the rule and not the exception. Spend enough time in the YouTube conspiracy dregs and you see them everywhere.

via Behind the ‘Sandy Hook Truther’ Conspiracy Video That Five Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week.

Check it out yourself. Here’s the video mentioned and it includes some very interesting early news reports.

Here are some explanations from Salon;

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/18/your_comprehensive_answer_to_every_sandy_hook_conspiracy_theory/

Here’s a lot more detail from the conspiracy theory angle;

http://newtownbee.com/News/2012-12-14__10-59-12/Retraction+And+Apology

Posted in - Video, Strange | 3 Comments »

Hundreds of Cats Being Shipped to Restaurants in China Saved from Slaughter Thanks to Traffic Accident

Posted by Anonymous on January 16, 2013

Hundreds of Cats Being Shipped to Restaurants in China Saved from Slaughter Thanks to Traffic Accident

A truck hauling over 1,000 cats stuffed into some 40 cages was involved in a traffic accident in Changsha, the capital city of China’s Hunan province, giving local animal activists time to free them.

Hundreds of Cats Being Shipped to Restaurants in China Saved from Slaughter Thanks to Traffic Accident

Care for Chinese Animals reports that the cats, which were stuffed 25 a piece into some 40 cages, were being shipped to Guangdong province to be sold to restaurants for slaughter.

While the truck was stranded by the side of the road, a call

went out through the social network Weibo for Changsha residents willing to help save the cats.

Some felines unfortunately perished in the accident, but those that survived were taken home by volunteers or handed over to the Changsha Small Animal Protection Association.

Though consuming cats is considered bad luck in many parts of China — and serving food that hasn’t been quarantined is illegal throughout — the Animals Asia Foundation says Guangdong, China’s most prosperous province, has seen “renewed interest in eating cat” because some well-to-do citizens see it as a previously unaffordable delicacy.

via Hundreds of Cats Being Shipped to Restaurants in China Saved from Slaughter Thanks to Traffic Accident.

 

People who want to eat cats should themselves be eaten. They would be a previously unaffordable delicacy.

Posted in Strange | 1 Comment »

Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will

Posted by Anonymous on January 16, 2013

Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will… Humans have debated the issue of free will for millennia. But over the past several years, while the philosophers continue to argue about the metaphysical underpinnings of human choice, an increasing number of neuroscientists have started to tackle the issue head on — quite literally. And some of them believe that their experiments reveal that our subjective experience of freedom may be nothing more than an illusion. Here’s why you probably don’t have free will. …

Neuroscientists first became aware that something curious was going on in the brain back in the mid 1960s.

German scientists Hans Helmut Kornhuber and Lüder Deecke discovered a phenomenon they dubbed “bereitschaftspotential” (BP) — a term that translates to “readiness potential.” Their discovery, that the brain enters into a special state immediately prior to conscious awareness, set off an entirely new subfield.

After asking their subjects to move their fingers (what were self-initiated movements), Kornhuber and Deecke’s electroencephalogram (EEG) scans showed a slow negative potential shift in the activity of the motor cortex just slightly prior to the voluntary movement. They had no choice but to conclude that the unconscious mind was initiating a freely voluntary act — a wholly unexpected and counterintuitive observation.

Needless to say it was a discovery that greatly upset the scientific community who, since the days of Freud, had (mostly) adopted a strictly deterministic view of human decision making. Most scientists casually ignored it.

But subsequent experiments by Benjamin Libet in the 1980s reinforced the pioneering work of Kornhuber and Deecke. Similarly, Libet had his participants move their fingers, but this time while watching a clock with a dot circling around it. His data showed that the readiness potential started about 0.35 seconds earlier than participants’ reported conscious awareness.

He concluded that we have no free will as far as the initiation of our movements are concerned, but that we had a kind of cognitive “veto” to prevent the movement at the last moment; we can’t start it, but we can stop it.

From a neurological perspective, Libet and others attributed the effect to the SMA/pre-SMA and the anterior cingulate motor areas of the brain — an area that allows us to focus on self-initiated actions and execute self-instigated movements.

More recently, neuroscientists have used more advanced technologies to study this phenomenon, namely fMRIs and implanted electrodes. But if anything, these new experiments show the BP effect is even more pronounced than previously thought.For example, a study by John-Dylan Haynes in 2008 showed a similar effect to the one revealed by Libet. After putting participants into an fMRI scanner, he told them to press a button with either their right or left index fingers at their leisure, but that they had to remember the letter that was showing on the screen at the precise moment they were committed to their movement.The results were shocking. Haynes’s data showed that the BP occurred one entire second prior to conscious awareness — and at other times as much as ten seconds. Following the publication of his paper, he told Nature News:

The first thought we had was ‘we have to check if this is real.’ We came up with more sanity checks than I’ve ever seen in any other study before.

The cognitive delay, he argued, was likely due to the operation of a network of high-level control areas that were preparing for an upcoming decision long before it entered into conscious awareness. Basically, the brain starts to unconsciously churn in preparation of a decision, and once a set of conditions are met, awareness kicks in, and the movement is made.

In another study, neuroscientist Itzhak Fried put aside the fMRI scanner in favor of digging directly into the brain (so to speak). To that end, he implanted electrodes into the brains of participants in order to record the status of individual neurons — a procedure that gave him an incredibly precise sense of what was going on inside the brain as decisions were being made.His experiment showed that the neurons lit up with activity as much as 1.5 seconds before the participant made a conscious decision to press a button. And with about 700 milliseconds to go, Fried and his team could predict the timing of decisions with nearly 80% accuracy. In some scenarios, he had as much as 90% predictive accuracy.Different experiment, similar result.

Fried surmised that volition arises after a change in internally generated fire rates of neuronal assemblies cross a threshold — and that the medial frontal cortex can signal these decisions before a person is aware of them.

“At some point, things that are predetermined are admitted into consciousness,” he told Nature, suggesting that the conscious will might be added on to a decision at a later stage.

And in yet another study, this one by Stefan Bode, his detailed fMRI experiments showed that it was possible to actually decode the outcome of free decisions for several seconds prior to it reaching conscious awareness.

Specifically, he discovered that activity patterns in the anterior frontopolar cortex (BA 10) were temporally the first to carry information related to decision-making, thus making it a prime candidate region for the unconscious generation of free decisions. His study put much of the concern about the integrity of previous experiments to rest. …

What would really settle the issue would be the ability for neuroscientists to predict the actual outcome of more complex decisions prior to the subject being aware of it themselves. That would, in a very true sense, prove that free will is indeed an illusion.

Furthermore, neuroscientists also need to delineate between different types of decision-making. Not all decisions are the same; moving a finger or pressing a button is very different than contemplating the meaning of life, or preparing the words for a big speech. Given the limited nature of the experiments to date (which are focused on volitional physical movements), this would certainly represent a fruitful area for inquiry.  …

via Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will.

Posted in Mind | 2 Comments »

 
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