Thursday, February 07, 2008


the recent discussions in the media about the utilising of waterboarding in the questioning of suspected terrorists has drawn some issues into focus for me.

granted that we all feel that torture is reprehensible, but for many the thought of terrorists running loose to kill people is equally so.....

so therin lies the moral and ethical paradox.

what does the greater harm?

thankfully i`m not being asked to make those sorts of decisions.

but something else struck me as i read a headline about the cia suggesting that waterboarding may be illegal.

does this mean that this form of torture immediately becomes as reprehensible to these people as it does to you and i, or merely that it becomes legally actionable as an offence.

i wonder how these people can function as normal people when thier brains are trained to think legally all day.

similarly, do newscasters talk to thier families the same way as they talk on t.v.?

and do they comb thier hair that way on week-ends?


BBC said...

Right now I'm not giving a fuck. Kill them all and let their gods sort them out.

X. Dell said...

With respect to your last question, I can tell you flat out that the answer is no. I knew a lot of newscasters, and dealt with them regularly as part of my job. Sometimes, I would see if I could illicit their news voice from their real ones, and found that it's fairly easy to do. That way, you notice a huge and immediate change come over the person, who is generally unaware of what they're doing.

If waterboarding or other torture methods were conducive to better intelligence, then that would be a far more difficult decision. But because of the cellular structure of information and autonomy that goes on in fabianistic tatics, there isn't really much intelligence to be gained, and that which you do have will probably be more misleading than not. After all, a person under physical duress will tell you anything you want to hear, and not necessarily the truth.

Torture is only really useful for indoctrination, and some of these techniques the US wants to utilize have been explored by Margaret Singer, Richard Ofshe, and other shrinks.

dr.alistair said...

regarding vocal inflection, it is well known in voice training that to effect a change in pace, inflection and tonality of the voice, changes the thinking of the speaker.

i juxtaposed the political mindframe with the speaking mindframe as a way of comparing changes in personality.

is the sociopath formed by behaviour or environment or by essential nature, or bits of both?

X. Dell said...

A couple of years ago, Psychology Today (okay, not exactly a refereed journal) had an article on sociopathy in which they mentioned that rates vary from society to society. Americans are at the extreme high end, which to me makes sense for a culture that mythologizes rugged individualism. Maybe it is genetic, but certain social factors allow varying degrees of acceptance.

dr.alistair said...

business schools and law departments spew them out by the boatload.

if you look at the evolution of human consciousness, especially since we began to name ourselves, you see a distinct pattern of indvidual empowerment ahead of the needs of the pack.

some say this sociopathology began with the printing press some 500 years ago, but i think it goes back to around 300 or so a.d. with the formation of the catholic church.

before that most people were unaware of themselves philosophically or spiritually and most people had little or no contact with organisations or bureaucracies of any sort and were too busy feeding, clothing and sheltering themselves.

once you had a church in most towns you had a clear organisational structure that everyone interacted with weekly, which formed a new external and internal culture.

this, i feel, was the impetus for the will-to-power we see in a segment of our population characterised as sociopthic.

mcluhan`s message that media brings could be that.