Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 27th, 2021

This is How You Recover From Fascism — and America’s Not Doing Any of It

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Umair Haque writes in Medium:

Continue reading. Not an optimistic outlook.

Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2021 at 12:37 pm

Hayao Miyazaki | The Mind of a Master

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Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2021 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Art, Movies & TV, Video

Incitement to violence is rarely explicit – here are some techniques people use to breed hate

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H. Colleen Sinclair, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Mississippi State University, writes in The Conversation:

As senators plan for an impeachment trial in which former President Donald Trump is accused of inciting his supporters to mount a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, global concern is growing about threats of violent unrest in multiple countriesincluding the U.S. The United Nations reports the proliferation of dangerous speech online represents a “new era” in conflict.

Dangerous speech is defined as communication encouraging an audience to condone or inflict harm. Usually this harm is directed by an “ingroup” (us) against an “outgroup” (them) – though it can also provoke self-harm in suicide cults.

U.S. law reflects the assumption that dangerous speech must contain explicit calls to criminal action. But scholars who study speeches and propaganda that precede acts of violence find direct commands to violence are rare.

Other elements are more common. Here are some of the red flags.

Firing up emotions

Psychologists have analyzed the speeches of rousing leaders like Hitler and Gandhi for their emotional content, assessing how much fear, joy, sadness and so on were present. They then tested whether the levels of emotion could predict whether a certain speech preceded violence or nonviolence.

They discovered the following emotions, particularly combined, could ignite violence:

  • Anger: The speaker gives the audience reasons to be angry, often pointing out who should be held responsible for that anger.
  • Contempt: The outgroup is deemed inferior to the ingroup, and thus unworthy of respect.
  • Disgust: The outgroup is described as so revolting they are undeserving of even basic humane treatment.

Constructing the threat

By studying political speeches and propaganda that have inspired violence, researchers have identified themes that can stir these powerful emotions.

Targets of dangerous speech are often dehumanized, depicted as fundamentally lacking qualities – empathy, intelligence, values, abilities, self-control – at the core of being human. Commonly, outgroups are depicted as evil, due to their alleged lack of morality. Alternatively, they may be portrayed as animalistic or worse. During the Rwandan genocide, Tutsis were referred to as cockroaches in Hutu propaganda.

To build a “story of hate,” a good guy is needed to counter the villain. So whatever dehumanizing quality is present in the outgroup, the opposite is present in the ingroup. If “they” are the Antichrist, “we” are the children of God.

Alleged past wrongdoings of the outgroup against the ingroup are used to position the outgroup as a threat. In cases of ongoing conflict between groups, such as between Israelis and Palestinians, there may well be examples of past wrongs on both sides. Effective dangerous speech omits, minimizes or justifies past wrongs by the ingroup members, while exacerbating past wrongs of the outgroup.

Competitive victimhood” is used to portray the ingroup as the “real” victim – especially if ingroup “innocents” like women and children have been harmed by the outgroup. Sometimes past acts of the outgroups are fabricated and used as scapegoats for the ingroup’s past misfortunes. For instance, Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany losing World War I.

A particularly dangerous fabrication is when outgroups are accused of plotting against the ingroup the very deeds the ingroup is planning, if not actually committing, against the outgroup. Researchers coined the term “accusations in a mirror” after this strategy was explicitly described in a Hutu propaganda handbook following the Rwandan genocide.

Disengaging one’s moral compass

Effective dangerous speech gets people to overcome internal resistance to inflicting harm.

This can be accomplished by

Continue reading. There’s more.

Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2021 at 10:35 am

Posted in Daily life, Education, Politics, Science

Tagged with

Arko and Vie-Long, topped with l’Occitane Cade

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A comment on the Sharpologist article on the best shaving soaps of 2021 pointed out, quite correctly, that Arko was not included in the list. It’s also the case that lists of the best places to eat in [insert name of city] very seldom include (say) McDonald’s in the list — and if McDonalds is included, I would take that as a warning sign regarding the culinary opportunities of that particular city. (A friend pointed out, when we moved to Iowa, that it’s not a good sign when you find Velveeta on the gourmet shelf in the supermarket.)

But the comment reminded me that I had not used Arko for a while, so I brought it out today. One immediate disqualification for Arko’s inclusion in such a list is its fragrance, which is inoffensive but also lacking in presence and character. It’s a weak and generic “soap” smell. The lather, OTOH, is pretty good.

I’ve learned to load the brush fairly heavily to ensure a thick and abundant lather, but I use shave sticks by rubbing them against the grain over my (washed, wet) stubble. (You can also load the brush directly on the stick, treating it as a very tall puck of small diameter. You can observe the technique in the (excellent) movie The Dam Busters.) So I rubbed the stick well all over my stubble, and spent extra time on my chin and around my mouth, where the stubble is toughest. Men with very thick, tough, “cheesegrater” stubble may find that do that will put too much soap on the face; with that sort of beard, just working the stick on the chin and around the mouth may provide enough soap to load the brush well.

With a good lather and a good razor (an EJ-clone head on the handle that was part of the Parker Semi-Slant), I easily got a good result: very smooth, no harm. However, the lather did not leave my skin feeling so moisturized and refreshed as do shaving soaps that include ingredients intended for that purpose. It was a good, workmanlike shave with no frills (much like a McDonald’s meal).

To get a good fragrance experience with today’s shave, I chose l’Occitane Cade EDT as my aftershave. That did the job, and the sun is now coming out, though gray clouds loom in the west.

Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2021 at 9:30 am

Posted in Shaving

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