When you see a conservative mourn or sing the praises of Nelson Mandela in the next few days, remember that Ronald Reagan labeled Mandela as a terrorist.
(GarryTan) We all learned this in DARE class. About the rats in a cage who can self-administer morphine who get addicted to the stuff, and then just hit that lever until they die. A seemingly keystone argument in the war against drugs. Professor Avram Goldstein, the creator of that study, has said: “A rat addicted to heroin is not rebelling against society, is not a victim of socioeconomic circumstances, is not a product of a dysfunctional family, and is not a criminal. The rat’s behavior is simply controlled by the action of heroin (actually morphine, to which heroin is converted in the body) on its brain.” So, it’s the drug, and its addictive control. Surely we must eradicate drugs as a result!
But there’s another model out there by researcher Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University called Rat Park. From that wikipedia page:
Alexander’s hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to it is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself. He told the Canadian Senate in 2001 that prior experiments in which laboratory rats were kept isolated in cramped metal cages, tethered to a self-injection apparatus, show only that “severely distressed animals, like severely distressed people, will relieve their distress pharmacologically if they can.”
To test his hypothesis, Alexander built Rat Park, an 8.8 m2 (95 sq ft) housing colony, 200 times the square footage of a standard laboratory cage. There were 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence, an abundance of food, balls and wheels for play, and enough space for mating and raising litters. The results of the experiment appeared to support his hypothesis. Rats who had been forced to consume morphine hydrochloride for 57 consecutive days were brought to Rat Park and given a choice between plain tap water and water laced with morphine. For the most part, they chose the plain water. “Nothing that we tried,” Alexander wrote, “… produced anything that looked like addiction in rats that were housed in a reasonably normal environment.” Control groups of rats isolated in small cages consumed much more morphine in this and several subsequent experiments.
And so rats that are born into extreme conditions in small cages are clearly more likely to self-medicate. Tom Stafford of the BBC writes:
The results are catastrophic for the simplistic idea that one use of a drug inevitably hooks the user by rewiring their brain. When Alexander’s rats were given something better to do than sit in a bare cage they turned their noses up at morphine because they preferred playing with their friends and exploring their surroundings to getting high.
Further support for his emphasis on living conditions came from another set of tests his team carried out in which rats brought up in ordinary cages were forced to consume morphine for 57 days in a row. If anything should create the conditions for chemical rewiring of their brains, this should be it. But once these rats were moved to Rat Park they chose water over morphine when given the choice, although they did exhibit some minor withdrawal symptoms.
Last month, 12-year-old Laporshia Massey died of an asthma attack that started in a school without a nurse on campus.* Her teachers told her, “there’s no nurse, and just to be calm.”* Because of Philly budget cuts, her school’s nurse is only there two days a week, but Laporshia couldn’t wait for another day. She shouldn’t have had to wait another hour. Laporshia listened to her teachers and struggled through her classes. When she got home, her parents rushed her to the hospital. They even flagged down an ambulance in traffic to save precious minutes, but it was too late. What would have happened if a nurse had been able to call for help earlier in the day?
Tell Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett: Please release the $45 million in federal funds that you are currently withholding from Philly schools and could be used to rehire nurses and counselors.
Having nurses and counselors present all day – every day – is essential to making sure children can learn safely. Not another day should go by without full-time nurses and counselors in every school.
The state of education for black children is so bad that they’re dying from having asthma attacks at school. And that doesn’t even address the issue about children of color having increasing rates of having conditions like asthma.
A federal appellate panel says Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, who has been overseeing litigation on the tactic, violated a judicial code of conduct.
Stop-and-Frisk is back and the judge who got rid of it has been removed from the case. -_-
The TSA is allowed to lie in its responses to Freedom of Information Requests. Its court-granted ability to lie to the public it nominally serves isn’t limited to sensitive issues, either: they’re allowed to pretend that they don’t have CCTV footage of their own officers violating their own policies, even when they do.
Global Climate Change endangers U.S. Power Grid. Time to upgrade power grid. End of conversation.
WHAT? Ok, upgrade the power grid. Upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Employ some people, rebuild the country, whatever. Awesome.
BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FUCKING CLIMATE CHANGE.
A federal judge has ruled that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk procedure — which has become a means by which police can harass, search and detain people of color without suspicion or warrant — is unconstitutional.
Doesn’t make stop-and-frisk illegal, just the NYPD’s particular brand of it.
The NSA is to cut 90% of its 1,000 sysadmins in a bid to reduce the risk of leaks. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a network administrator, charged with keeping the machines running on the network of vast data-centers used by the NSA to harvest, store and analyze unimaginably large quantities of data.
I shouldn’t laugh about people getting fired but bahahaha? *shrug* If I had my druthers, the whole of the NSA would be fired.
Humans will always be the weakest point in any security scheme. Does someone need “mad skillz” to be a Snowden style whistle blower? No. Just from being employed, we learn so many things that would embarrass our employers if they were publicized. So, why fire the sysadmins? Because of myth, identity, and narrative.
It’s hard for humans to carve their own path. Myths aren’t simply “lies,” they’re stories that illustrate elements of the culture they are born in. Urban legends are a great example.
Everyone has heard the legend that if you see a car driving at night with its lights off and you flash your high beams at it, you will be murdered as part of a gang initiation. We’ve heard the legend that if you buy a red car your insurance will charge you extra. What these legends really tell us is that whatever random happenstance happens to us is our own fault. I hope this is uniquely American conceit but I’ll save that for some other day. If ever.
At one of my previous workplaces, a truly epic “quitting” story became a myth. Not untrue but a story that offered us a narrative of a way out of a truly shitty situation … if ever we wanted one.
I also mentioned identity. I’ll keep that one short because I haven’t thought of a succinct example that doesn’t involve my family. My siblings and I have developed certain similar attitudes on certain subjects which we’ve turned into an identity. People in our family don’t like gold jewelry. There’s a certain pride in these quirks.
In order to become a sysadmin, most people will follow certain paths that give them particular identities and expose them to particular myths. By taking the actions Snowden did, he established narrative. Now any sysadmin at the NSA has a clearly marked trail they can follow the moment they decide to embrace the Myth of Snowden. No longer would they be carving their own path in order to blow the whistle.
This makes all of their highly technical staff potentially more dangerous to the mission of the NSA than the average office worker with a pile of gossip.
If there’s any method to what the NSA did with this mass firing, it would be that.
Disclaimer: I don’t think Snowden is that great of a person. I am glad he blew the whistle but I don’t think he’s some sort of saint for having done so.
Again, feds argue there’s no “legitimate expectation of privacy” over metadata.
Seems like the first organization to come up with an end-to-end encrypted VOIP/SMS Over IP solution with untraceable metadata is going to have a pretty big success on their hands. Especially if they make it easy to use.
To me, one of the biggest surprises of these recent surveillance revelations is how surprised people are.
The ‘budget’ includes a second job, no heat, and no money for food.
McDonald’s has partnered with Visa to make a website dedicated to showing its employees how to properly budget their meager peasant salaries. However, what it actually does is illustrate the fact that it is nearly impossible to get by on minimum wage, as shown in this “example” budget chart:
Yeah– now, when I first saw that, I assumed that the top line was for a part-time McDonald’s employee. Then I got out my calculator– that is actually what you would make if you were working full-time at McDonald’s. 1,105 dollars a month.
Now let’s say that the “second” job that they budget in here (feels like cheating, but OK) is also minimum wage. That would mean you were working about 62 hours a week, on average. Oh, wait. That’s if they live in Illinois where the minimum wage is $8.25. The national minimum wage is $7.25. That translates to 74 hours a week. That’s almost a whole other full time job.
And what do you get for working 74 hours a week? Well, you don’t get heat, clearly. There’s a big ol’ zero next to the heat in that chart. In my building– we have separate checks for gas and electric– that would mean that not only do you not get to heat and cool your home, but also that you do not get to heat your water, or cook on your stove, if you have a gas stove (I do).
Also noticeably absent in this budget? Food. And gas. There’s a line for a car payment, but not for gas. Which is suspect, because if you’re working two jobs it’s possible you will pay more for your gas than you’d be paying for your car.
Also… health insurance for $20 a month? There is really no such thing as health insurance for $20 a month if you’re buying your health insurance on your own. I think the least amount is going to be about $215 a month– and that only covers hospital emergencies.
The minimum wage in this country is reprehensible. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation it would be over $10 an hour. If it had kept up with productivity? It would be $21.72.
Why did they think it would be a good idea to release this? Welp, at least we know they know how shitty they are.
Some students and I had an exchange with NSA recruiters today. The audio and a rough transcript below. The NSA came to recruit at a language program at the University of Wisconsin where I am spendi…
It comes with a fantastic transcript for people who either have difficulty with audio or who get stressed out by listening to confrontations (I’m in both categories but more the latter than the former).
Janet says, “Despite what the official statistics say, metastatic (stage IV) lung cancer is NOT an automatic death sentence. Newer therapies and personalized medicine now offer such patients months or even years of quality time to spend enjoying family, friends, hobbies, even travel and work.
Wacky genderqueer writer in Raleigh, NC, USA more often than not. Discordian, food enjoyer, artistic dabbler, fan of bizarro and other strange fiction, supporter of equal rights.
E-mail IgnatiusIncognito -x- gmx (x) com
My pronouns are ze/zir
I have anxiety and depression
I have white privilege
I really need to fix my blog's theme.
Something with spikes and Satan maybe.Twitter
When Data says “caveat emptor” with a dramatic pause you yell BUYER BE WARE - then he says “let the buyer be ware”
lmao my school isn’t opening until noon
yo my paper is in !!!!!!
i tried to find 23 stuff in my main image folder and i found that
a cool cat with a pompadour 2:3