Sexual Predator Faces Prison

Ex-wife who made false rape claims faces prison,” by Richard Savill, Telegraph, 30 September 2006,;jsessionid=QQCRTELZSKFN1QFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2006/09/30/nrape30.xml (from Mangan’s).

A woman who falsely cried rape against her former husband was facing jail yesterday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The judge told Henderson she had “forced the two men to appear in a public court, face complete strangers and give evidence and be cross-examined about painful, embarrassing and intimate details”.

Mr Cooke told the court: “It was quite shocking to have three or four police officers arrest you, manhandle you and take you away for something you’ve never done.”

Adjourning sentence for reports, the judge warned Henderson, the mother of a daughter of 16 and a 20-year-old son, a soldier, that she could face a lengthy jail term.

Meanwhile, Elisabet Sunde, a European sexual predator who victimized in America, remains free…

Islam Without Irony, Part I: Robert Redeker

“Death Threats in Brussels, France (Robert Redeker),” by Paul Belien, Canada Free Press, 29 September 2006, (hat-tip to The Corner, also at Atlas Shrugs, Brussels Journal, Catholic Answers, Common Sense Junction, Debido Shodo, Extreme Centre, Fausta’s blog, Freedom Fighter’s Journal, Gates of Vienna, It Shines For All, Jawa Report, Jihad Watch, Little Green Footballs, Media Watch Watch, Michelle Malkin, Middle Class Guy, Non Imprimatur, No Pasaran, Pajamas Media, Presque Rien Sur Presque Tout, QandO, Reinke Faces Life, Tail Rank, The Apostates, Vie de Malchance, Wood’s News & Views).

I’ve been threatened with eternal and worldly punishments by radical Muslims on this blog, though oddly not by Airline Security Screeners, Black Gangster Disciples, Catholics, Chinese, Fundementalist Christians, Greeks, Hobos, Hong Kongese, Italians, Japanese, Jews, public intellectuals, Republicans, Senators, Senior Citizens, South Dakotans, or any of the other groups I have mocked, exploited, blah blah blah. It’s hard to imagine that many Muslims are without a certain sense of irony, of humor, of fun, or non-violence, in a way that TSA officials, government bureaucrats, street thugs, and others are not.

Thus, this is hilarious:

Meanwhile in France, a philosophy teacher is under police protection after receiving death threats over an op-ed article [French text here] which he wrote in a national newspaper. In the article, which was published in the conservative daily Le Figaro of September 19th, Robert Redeker accused Islam of “exalting violence.” Mr Redeker has not attended classes at his school near Toulouse since the article was published. Pierre Rousselin, the editor in chief of Le Figaro, apologized on Al-jazeera for the publication of the article. A number of Islamic countries, including Egypt, banned Le Figaro following the publication of Redeker’s piece. Mr Rousselin said the publication of the op-ed was a mistake. He said the article did not express the paper’s opinion. The article is no longer available on the Figaro website.

Mr Redeker has written a letter to his friend, the philosopher André Glucksmann, describing his ordeal [French text here]:

“I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Several death threats have been sent to me, and I have been sentenced to death by organizations of the al-Qaeda movement. [...] On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, they have my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death fatwa. [...] There is no safe place for me, I have to beg, two evenings here, two evenings there. [...] I am under the constant protection of the police. I must cancel all scheduled conferences. And the authorities urge me to keep moving. [...] All costs are at my own expense, including those of rents a month or two ahead, the costs of moving twice, legal expenses, etc.

Islam is a religion optimized for anarchy. It may well be the solution for many trapped in the Gap, but in its natural evangelical form it is not a religion compatible with Westernism, openness, or the Core. That is why the Long Global War against Terrorism is being fought for Islam.

Classroom Democracy, Part I: A Parliament of Scholars

My Classes are Democracies and hold elections every week.

The Classroom: A People-Powered Polis

Through these elections an Assembly, a President, and a Government are selected.
First, every student votes for an Assembly. The Assembly is elected through proportional parliamentary representation, so that a student who receives one vote from the class has the ability to cast one vote in the Assembly, a student who receives two has the power to cast two, and so on.

In Assembly, The People Rule

Secondly, the Assembly elects a President. The President is chosen by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly….

In the case there are more than two candidates and none receives a two-thirds vote, the lowest-vote-earning candidate is removed, and the Assembly votes against on the remaining candidates. In the case that there are only two candidates and none receives a two-thirds vote, the Assembly can vote on more time. In the case that the Assembly is deadlocked, the Assembly begins electing again, but cannot vote for any candidate it has previously considered. If the Assembly repeats this process such that there is no one left to vote for, the Assembly falls and a new Assembly is elected by the Class.

The Popular Presidency

Third, the President selects a Prime Minister. This is the first stage in forming a Government. The Prime Minister is selected by the President but most be confirmed by half of the Assembly. If the President’s selection for Prime Minister is not approved by the Assembly, the President may try a second nomination of anyone, including the first choice. If the President is again rebuffed, the President’s Administration falls and the Assembly selects a new President. If a second President falls, the Assembly itself falls and a new Assembly is elected.

PM: Calling the Shots

Fourth, the Prime Minister selects an Information Minister and an Interior Minister. This is the last stage in forming a Government. Both the Information Minister and the Interior Minister must be approved by the President. If either of the Prime Minister’s candidates are rebuffed, a second selection may be made of anyone, including re-nominating the candidate for the office again. If the Prime Minister is again rebuffed, the Prime Minister’s Government falls and the President selects a new Prime Minister as described above.

The Ministers of the Government

The Assembly can find that it has “no confidence” in either the President or the Prime Minister by a majority vote. If the Assembly has No Confidence in the President, then the Assembly must select a new President who will form a new Government as outlined above. If the Assembly has No Confidence in the Prime Minister, the President must then name a new Prime Minister as outlined above.. The President can dismiss the Prime Minister and select a new Government, as outlined above.
The central personality in the Democracy is the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, in a real way, runs the class. The conditions under which quizzes are taken are decided by the Prime Minister, as well what is discussed in class. The Prime Minister has the power to dismiss the class, hold the class, and run the discussion. The Interior Minister, by contrast, is in charge of suggesting quiz questions for the next week, while the Information Minister is in charge of submitting notes for the class. The powers of the President and the Assembly are limited to oversight of the Prime Minister.

The Assembly can create a Constitutional change by a 2/3rds vote, which is ratified if it is approved by 2/3rds of the class.

Every class I have ever had has challenged this system. Students, wise from more than a decade of classroom instruction, have figured out that teachers lie to them and that collaborative learning is really just a way for a teacher to lecture and then act grumpy when students don’t talk up. So students, who don’t like hypocrisy, attempt to expose it by spending an entire class period on parliamentary procedures, or letting the class leave early after ten minutes, or some other stunt. They are, like good scientists, attempting to determine the real rules of the class by seeing what a teacher does and not just what he says.

It is after the challenges that teaching becomes delightful. In my most recent, for example, I walked in early as students were negotiating how the class would be run. The requirement for a 2/3rds majority prevents the little cliques, or “Parties” who rise in winner-take-all races (the ones students are familiar with since elementary school). Therefore, students who wish to be leaders know they have to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles. Prime Ministers who do not care about the learning of others, either by not paying attention to other’s needs or being flippant, are not chosen again. Students want a good grade on their projects, and in a Democracy they realize that their ability to gain one depends on interaction with the different perspectives of their peers.

Students also are skeptical of those who will cheat their way to the top. The most lopsided race I have ever witnessed began with a Party offering chocolate to students who vote for them. I recognized this as a challenge, and so allowed it. Another student offered himself as a candidate, stating “I don’t know what to do, but I know this is not fair.” He received twice as many votes offering nothing but fairness than the Party which wanted to “condition” its way to the top. (Interestingly, the Party may have been able to gain 1/3 of the seats, and so cause problems in naming a President, if one member hadn’t said “The class is clear what it wants. It wouldn’t be fair to vote for ourselves.)

Note: As with my previous post, Inside the Black Gangster Disciple Nation Crack Cocaine Gang-Corporation, the illustrative graphics are courtesy of an army of open-source, free, and no-cost programmers. I am particularly grateful to Inkskape, OpenClipart,, and Paint.Net.

Classroom Democracy, a tdaxp series
1. A Parliament of Scholars
2. A Defense of Republics
3. The Life of Constitutions
4. The Evolution of Learning
5. Bibliography

Fragments of Notes

“Improving Teaching Through Teaching Portfolio Revisions: A Context and Case for Reflective Practice.” by John Zumizarreta, Inspiring Teaching, pp 123-133.

The Automaticity of Affect for Political Candidates, Parties, and Issues: An Experimental Test of the Hot Cognition Hypothesis,” by Milton Lodge and Charles Taber, Unpublished Manuscript,

The Neural Basis of Economic Decision-Making in the Ultimatum Game,” by Alan Sanfey et al, Science, 13 June 2003, Vol 300 pp 1755-1758,

Notes from three articles for two seminars, today. They appear below the fold, so I’ll put up a rand above the fold:

Incompetence, combined with an uncovered-within-seconds coverup, by an office I rarely interact with soured my morning and threatened to derail a timely graduation. It is karmically balanced by unexpected kindness and generosity from a department I rarely interact with, but it still smarts…. Grr.

“For example, a recent draft of my own portfolio — written exclusively for my improvement — includes the following areas:
1. Statement of Teaching Responsibilities
2. Teaching Philosophy
3. Analysis of Strategies, Methods
4. Teaching Materials: Syllabi, Handouts, Exams, Essay Topics, Reading Lists, Web Pages and Sites
5. Collaborative Scholarship with Students
6. Assessment of Student Learning
7. Examination of Student Ratings
8. Survey of Peer, Chair, Dean Evaluations
9. Study of Impact of Improvement Activities: Conferences, Workshops, Committees
10. Teaching Goals” (Zumizarreta 126)

“Find ways of making reuired assessment and evaluation activities integral dimensions of portfolio revisions…” (Zumizarreta 131)

Standard economic models of human decision making (such as utility theory) have typically minimized or ignored the influence of emotions on people’s decision-making behavior, idealizing the decision-maker as a perfectly rational cognitive machine. (Sanfey et al 2003 1755)

The latter, quite robust, experimental finding is particularly intriguing, demonstrating that circumstances exist in which people are motivated to actively turn down monetary reward. (Sanfey et al 2003 1755)

On the basis of participant reports, it appears that low offers are often rejected after an angry reaction to an offer perceived as unfair. (Sanfey et al 2003 1756)

Unfair offers of $2 or $1 made by human partners were rejected at a significantly higher rate than those offers made by a computer… suggesting that participants had a stronger emotional reaction to unfair offers from humans than to the same offers from a computer. (Sanfey et al 2003 1756)

One clear expectation — given that affect permeates all thinking and reasoning — is that most citizens most of the time will be biased reasoners, finding it difficult to evaluate new, attitude-relevant information in an evenhanded way (Redlawsk, 2002).
(Lodge and Taber 1-2)

Note first that the self is the strongest node in the network and that identity (here, female, black) and self-esteem are the strongest links in the network.
(Lodge and Taber 4)

Critical to the hot cognition postulate is that one’s feelings are triggered automatically on the mere presentation of the concept; accordingly, the predicted facilitation and inhibition effects should only show up in the short SOA condition when priming activation is at peak.
(Lodge and Taber 14)

The People Powered Revolution… will be crushed!

In spite of a large advertising budget that focused on warmth, kindness, and the Cornhusker Way…

My bid for re-election was cruelly thwarted by a former apparatchik who seized the reigns of power from me. Said apparatchik was supposedly only running for Vice President, but applied for the top (that is, my) job at the last moment. Though I discovered this late, some quick-thinking led me to write myself in for VP too (just in case), a position I “won” as said former aparatchick defeated yours truly by two votes.

A grievous development, I know. But I promise not to let the foolish “will of the people” stand between my people and their Great Father. As Yanukovych returned to Ukraine, so shall I return in glory!

Bwa ha ha!

The Suicide-Bomber Type

For this week’s reaction paper I will quickly define what a suicide bomber is, provide a summary of how similar people is acknowledged in the literature, and provide an experiment to test this hypothesis. This reaction paper thus summarizes the experiment I plan to run at the conclusion of this class.

A Consequence of Genotypic Polymorphism?

I define “suicide bomber” as follows: “a suicide bomber is the kind of person who purposefully loses his life in order to punish injustice.” More broadly, we might saw that “a suicide bomber is the type of person who will accept a fall in his position to a state below which he had at the beginning of a bargaining game in order to punish a free-rider.” This definition has three critical portions. First, it assumes that humanity can be divided into kinds or types that act in a semi-predictable manner. Second, it assumes that there exists humans who act altruistically instead of maximizing their own utility. Third, it accepts that this effect is translated into altruistic punishment.

Evidence for types is found everywhere. In a broad sense, men enjoy some types of violence more than women (Kotalak, Singer), and single men are more likely than attached men to “act in ways considered personally more dangerous but socially more meaningful” (Atran 1537). Additionally, in laboratory experiments have shown stable “strategies” of cooperation (Kuzban and Descioli).

Concerns over fairness can override an individual’s ability to think rationally. Or, rather, such concerns evoke a “rationality in design” that operates instead of a self-centered “rationality in action” (Orbell et al 14). Guth and Tietz (446), for example, write that “considerations of distributive justice seriously destroy the prospects of exploiting strategic power.” Atran described real-world suicide bombing as benefiting “the organization rather than the individual” as “rational choice [in suicide bombing] is the [group's] prerogative, not the agent’s” (1537). Smith sums it up well when he writes In short, the other regarding, social aspect of decision making that drives the preference to appear fair should take precedence over any preference for individual gain” (1015). Further theoretical support for altruism is found Hammond and Axelrod (2006), who devised a mathematical model of ethnocentric altruism to because of “empirical evidence suggests that a predisposition to favor ingroups can be easily triggered by even arbitrary group distinctions” (2).

It also assumes that a concern for altruism (not being a first-order free-rider) implies a concern for punishment (not being a second-order free-rider). Yet here too, moralistic punishment has been observed in the lab (Kurzban, DeScioli, and O’Brien). Fehr’s work demonstrates that punishment continues even with no increase in an individual’s reputation (981), though it does increase with the seriousness of the infraction (980). In summary, ample evidence exists that there are fairness-concerned people who will forfeit gains in order to punish perceived cheaters.

To tie this all together, we need to demonstrate that “suicide bombers” are not merely altruistic punishers who are manipulated by organizations, but rather represent a distinct “type” “hardwired” (to use Smith‘s phrase) to punish with reserves in a bargaining situation where they perceived themselves to be suckered. This can be done with a variation of the ultimatum game. The subject plays an ultimatum game, where the subject is in the receiving position and a confederate (either a computer program or a living accomplish) is in the giver position. The confederate gives the subject a very unfair deal — say, a 9-to-1 split under circumstances where the confederate supposedly had an easier time getting to the experiment as the subject. A “rational man” would accept the nine-to-one split, while a typically fairness-oriented person would reject it. The suicide bomber type is expected to reject. However, the experiment would then give the subject the option of donating material he provided himself (either money, grade credits already earned in a class) etc), in order to punish from the cheater. If there is a “suicide bomber” type that exists without manipulation by organizations, a type should emerge in the experiment which makes such a sacrifice in order to punish the cheating accomplish. Further, if this suicide bomber type matches up with known suicide bombers, men should be over-represented in it generally, as should single men specifically.

Video on 1970s-era Technology Initiatives

I’m unusually sympathetic to a John Robb post as I have a bad cold, as well. So today’s update isn’t politics or gossip — are just two 1970s information reels (one fake, one real).

The DHARMA Initiative (from Purpleslog via TV Squad)


The ARPANET Initiative (from Digg via Search Marketing)


(Interestingly, they both start out with similar, awful music. Hmmm…)

Why People Do Things

Humor and College Teaching,” by Howard Pollio, , The Teaching of Psychology: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie and Charles L. Brewer, 69-80,
Self-Regulated Learning in College Students: Knowledge, Strategies, and Motivation,” by Paul Pintrich and Teresa Garcia, Student Motivation, Cognition, and Learning: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie, 113-133,

Frames, Biases, and Rational Decision-Making in the Human Brain,” by Benedetto De Martino et al, Science, 4 August 2006, Vol 313 pp 684-687,

Articles from both main classes appear below, and it is neat when they overlap. For instance:

In general, students who use more deep-processing strategies like elaboration and organization are more likely to do better in the course in terms of grades on assignment, exams, and papers, as well as overall course grade. In addition, students who attempt to control their cognition and behavior through the use of planning, monitoring, and regulating strategies also do better on these academic performance measures. (Pintrich and Garcia 121)

and in neurobiology:

Our data raise an intriguing possibility that more ‘rational’ individuals have a better and more refined representation of their own emotional biases that enables them to modify their behavior in appropriate circumstances, as for example when such biases might lead to suboptimal decisions.” (De Martino et al 687)

Just as fun is when Evolutionary/Genetic theories invade Educational Psychology outright.

After all, college faculty deal with whole students, not an array of motivational and cognitive constructs. Bereiter (1990) argued that a focus on the individual is too large and not context-specific enough. He suggested the use of “modules” that are “carried” by the individual, thereby allowing for individual differences and avoiding problems of strong contextualism; but at the same time, he noted that these modules are assembled and activated differentially depending on the situation. (Pintrich and Garcia 125)

(hmm… experiential and genetic individuality… hmmm)

Modules, additionally, are also at the root of fingertip-feeling and multiple intelligences.

The rest of the notes appear below the fold:

Does humor facilitate learning? The answer is ‘yes’ if we look at recall a month and a half after learning. The answer is ‘no’ if we look at recall tested immediately after presentation. (Pollio 76)

In contrast, Bill [McKeachie] has always taken a more cognitive view of learning and as he observed in Teaching Tips, (McKeachie, 1994), “human beings are learning organisms — seeking, organizing, coding, storing, and retrieving information all their lives; building on cognitive structures to continue learning throughout life, (certainly not losing the capacity to learn);; continually weeking meaning” (p. 289) (Pintrich and Garcia 114-115)

First, it has become commonplace in cognitive psychology to note that students’ prior knowledge influences their learning. In some ways, this general principle has probably replaced the law of effect and law of exercise as a basic principle of learning.” (Pintrich and Garcia 118)

Donald (1990, this volume) showed that university faculty do think and reason somewhat differently about the nature of evidence and the logic of argument, depending on their discipline… It appears that students who are less committed to an absolutist view of knowledge (e.g., “there is only one right answer and authorities should tell it to me”) are more likely to be mastery-oriented and use deeper processing strategies (Schutz, Pintrich, and Young 1993)… Most faculty members believe that by teaching the content and methods of their discipline, students will develop the appropriate epistemic beliefs and thinking frames, but Donald’s work (this volume) suggests that this may not be the case.” (Pintrich and Garcia 120)

We believe that one of the major contributions of his work for the field of college student learning is its reliance on a theoretically-based model of the active, constructive learner as well as its focus on the actual cognitive and metacognitive stratgies that students might use when they try to learn and study, rather than generaly learning or personality styles (e.g. introversion-extroversion, field dependend or independence; Myers-Biggs profiles). Much of the research on college student learning has concentrated on these general personality styles and it is not clear how they are linked tos tudents’ actual study behavior or their cognitive processing of lecture and text information. (Pintrich and Garcia 121)

Besides these general substantive findings, a second more practical contribution of this research has been the development of a self-report instrument for assessing learning strategies and motivation, the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire or MSLQ (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1993). (Pintrich and Garcia 122)

Traditionally, cognitive research has focused on learners in an experimental setting and not dealt with motivation, thereby portraying a ‘motivationaly inert’ learner.” (Pintrich and Garcia 123)

In contrast, the strategy of defensive pessimism is a pattern in which individuals use anxiety to fuel effort (Norem & Cantor, 1986). Defensive pessimism involves setting unrealistically low expectations that create anxiety; this anxiety is then used to promote greater efforts whose dividends are generally superior performance. (Pintrich and Garcia 126)

As Zimmerman (1989, this volume) and others like Corno (1993) pointed out, students’ ability to control their cognition, motivation, and volition can have a dramatic influence on learning. (Pintrich and Garcia 126)

Theories of decision-making have tended to emphasize the operation of analytic processes in guiding choice beahvior. However, more intuitive or emotional respons. (De Martino et al 684)

We investigated the neurobiological basis of the framing effect by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a novel financial decision-making task. Particpants (20 university students or graduates) received a message indicating the mount of money that they would initially receive in that trial (eg, “You receive 50″). Subjects then had to choose between a “sure” option and a “gamble” option presented in the context of two diferent frames. The “sure” option was formulated as either the amount of money retained from the intiial amount (eg keep 20 of the 50; “Gain” frame) or as the mount of money lost from the initial amount (eg lose 30 of the 50; “Lose frame). The “gamble” option was identical in both frames and was represented as a pie chart depicting the probability of winning or losing (Fig 1.) (14) (De Martino et al 684)

Consequently, we could identify brain areas that were more active when subjects chose in according with the frame effect (ie Gsure + Lgamble) as opposed to when their decisions ran counter to their general behavioral tendency (Ggamble + Lsure). (De Martino et al 686)

Using the overall susceptibility of each subject to the frame manipulation as a between-subjects statistical regressor, operationalized as a “rationality index” (14), we found a significant correlation between decreased suscepctibility to the framing effect and enhanced activity in the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC), specifically in the right orbitofrontal cortext and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. (De Martino et al 686)

Consequently, our findings indicate that frame-related valence information is incorporated into the relative assessment of options to exert control over the apparent risk sensitivity of individual decisions. (De Martino et al 686-687)

Stalin’s Old New Map

Catholicgauze, Coming Anarchy, and Sun Bin are abuzz about a terrifying proposed world map from the 1940s. Representing, if implemented, preemptive surrender in the Cold War, the map would have been a disastrous on an unimaginable scale.

The Greater Soviet Union

The proposal would have completely demilitarized the Rimland, throwing democratic parties out of Europe, Africa, and coastal Asia, with the sole exception of Britain (whose possessions would focus on Australasia). The Soviets would have war-water ports on three oceans, and the exclusive American dominion over the Western Hemisphere would be reduced to only North America.

Bloody Sovietism in full swing, the plan called for ethnic cleansing genocide, and socialism on a huge scale

For instance

38. To reduce the numerical power of the aggressor nations, as a potential military advantage, a Population Control Policy shall be elaborated and applied in the quarantined areas
39. In the New World Moral Order which we week to establish, besides the essential political freedoms, the following fundamental economic changes are imperative
(a) Nationalization of all natural resources and equitable distribution of same to all nations — everywhere in the world;
(b) Nationalization of international banking, foreign investments, railroads, and power plants — everywhere in the world;
(c) Nationalization of all armaments producing establishments by all remaining military powers;
(d) Federal control of foreign commerce and shipping;
(e) The establishment of a world common monetary system
(f) World-wide limitations of interest rates to a maximum of two percent
40. To retain the victory and leadership of our united democratic effort — the aim of which is not vengeance or exploitation, but freedom and security to all notions for peaceful progress — the unified “Supreme War Command of the United Nations” at the conclusion of the present war, shall be reorganized and transformed into a permanent “Supreme Military and Economic Council” collaborating with the World League of Nationalities in post-war reconstruction and to enforce world peace.

Thank God we didn’t lose the War through that sort of “peace”! Even if it meant 50 years of “war”!

The Black Hills, Part VI: The Badlands

There’s not much to say about The Badlands. They are beautiful. They are hard to describe. They are empty of life, except for the odd and visiting tourist.

The Badlands of South Dakota

We drove through the National Park. We saw what was to see, which sadly didn’t include Bigfoot.

The Badlands are quietly beautiful, so I will let these last photos of our Black Hills vacation speak as The Badlands themselves speak: silently.

Driving Past on I-90

A Beautiful Day

The Relics of Lakes and Streams

Life Amidst the Ages

Colored Rocks

The Black Hills, a tdaxp series
0. Pierre
1. Crazy Horse
2. Custer State Game Lodge
3. Blue Bell Lodge
4. Mount Rushmore
5. Goofy Custer
6. The Badlands