Blame Game

I don’t intend to get hung up on the shooting in Tuscon, AZ the other day, but the incident does raise some rather interesting issues.

Much discussion in the mainstream media (and yes, that includes Fox News) has been centered on the potential influence of… surprise; the media! As indicated in the comments on a previous thread about this, barring evidence to the contrary, I’m fairly skeptical about any such direct correlation. That said, however, it does naturally beg the question as to where such paranoid delusions arise from…

I’m not sure if privacy law would allow for its disclosure, but I for one would be most interested to see the forensics of Jared Loughner’s Internet browsing history as that may well be far more revelatory about the influences that could possibly have driven this individual to violence than anything else.

Note: Just to head off the hate mail… I’m not suggesting that Alex Jones compelled this kid to engage in a wild shooting spree — it just happens to be a superlative example of the kind of furiously inchoate nonsense that pervades the airwaves (and Internet) these days.

“Obviously a Leftist” Update:

It certainly would be nice if people from both sides of the political spectrum would stop trying to associate the deranged shooter with those on the other side of the ideological fence.

Update2: TPM took down the previous video for whatever reason, so here’s a full-length version of the same thing from Fox. By the way, Sal Russo is a veteran Republican bagman who raised $5 million for the Tea Party and his firm is reported to have pocketed 60% of that in fees. Just thought I’d mention that in passing…


The Secret Powers of Time

This video is hardly new (it has 1.5 million hits on YouTube since it was posted 7+ months ago), but it just came to my attention via the ForaTV playlist. In it, Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.

I am just mesmerized by the genius of these whiteboard animations. Maybe because the way my brain is wired, but for me, this particular form of presentation is the most effectively memorable (and entertaining) way of succinctly communicating complex ideas – or in this case, “the most simple idea in the world.”

Sunday Sermonette

Given that it’s Sunday, what better time to hear from one of those folks who claim to speak for God? Today’s topic is the latest shooting rampage south of the border that, ironically, took place outside a Safeway in Tuscon, AZ.

Unsurprisingly, “Reverend” Phelps has his facts wrong. The shooter wasn’t an Afghanistan War veteran, but does claim to have been a military recruit in Phoenix. At least that’s what he writes in his “Final Thoughts” video that you can watch on his YouTube channel – how weirdly chilling is that?