Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

A story which proves police marksmanship, public relations, and psychology classes are not working...

It has been one of the more lingering questions surrounding the shooting of Sean Bell: How can anyone sustain 19 gunshot wounds and live to tell about it?

Doctor Tells of a 19-Gunshot-Wound Survivor - City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog

Mr. Bell, Mr. Guzman and Trent Benefield had just left Mr. Bell’s bachelor party at Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens, when officers investigating the club, believing the men were armed, followed them. In the confrontation that followed, five officers opened fire with 50 shots, killing Mr. Bell and wounding Mr. Benefield and Mr. Guzman.

Emphasis mine.

Our nation's criminals to their credit consistently display better marksmanship, efficiency of ammunition usage, and discretion in choice of targets and times to shoot than our nation's police. Obviously, we're doing something wrong when an old wise guy can be more effective throwing someone a quick beating then telling them to go back to Jersey, than our national intelligence and military services are with waterboarding suspected terrorists.

Oh well. At least if the shit gets heavy in Iraq we can send these keystone cops.

There is eerie Zen-like simplicity in the joke about just needing three (now two) more bullets to reunite the Beatles.

Astronomy Picture of the Day