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Who is President of the United States?

Friday, January 12th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — going all diagnostic on you! ]
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Roberta R. Greene in her Social Work with the Aged and Their Families (p. 100) lists questions nurses routinely asked by physician using Kahn’s Mental Status Questionnaire. I’m only too aware of these, having been subjected to these questions regularly over the past year..

5. What year is it?
6. How old are you?
7. What is your birthday?
8. What year were you born?
9. Who is President of the United States?

They are going to ask President Trump these questions, I immagine, as part of his overall medical evaluation. But that last one:

Who is President of the United States?

That’s an ouroboric question right there — what will he say?

If he says, President Trump, then he’s third-personalizing himself, and that’s diagnostically called illeism: Julius Caesar uses the third person in describing his French campaigns in De Bello Gallico.

But if he avoids that third person usage —

Me! It’s me!

That would suggest he may be uncertain of his victory over Secretary Clinton back when — after all, she won the popular vote!

**

Oh the ouroboros! Oh the dilemma!

I had one of those medical questionnaires this morning. My conclusion: the questionnaire or routinized test has not yet been devised that doesn’t seem faintly ridiculous..

Please note that Roberta Greene’s work currently costs $100 as a book book. Urgh. Kindle $45.95 us a little better.

An associative algorithm from teh Amazon

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — ISIS advertizes! — and riding on Berger & Stern’s coattails at that — sad ]
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The artificial intelligence behind Amazon‘s selection of books he might be interested in surprised JM Berger — co-author with Jessica Stern of the excellent ISIS: The State of Terror — today, by recommending Be Happy Like ISIS: The secret to success that will change your world view (The Code Breakers Book 1) as something that might interest readers of his book.

Unbelievable. I checked my own Amazon account, and found this:

isis-book-dq

That’s from the “Sponsored Products Related To This Item” section of the Amazon page on JM’s book. Right at the bottom of that screenshot, I found this:

sponsored

**

See also:

  • Of Anwar al-Awlaki and Bold Christian Clothing
  • The intelligence of algorithms
  • On the foolishness of some current algorithms
  • As I said recently in Japanese joinery: DoubleQuoting with wooden blocks:

    One of my own aims has been to generate — or begin the generation of — a similar anthology of “DoubleQuotes” (conceptual twinnings) illustrating the methods of associative connection available in the realms of language and the aural and visual arts.

    So here’s another example, belonging in another category — a commercially-sponsored algorithm linking two books it “believes” might of of interest to a common audience. One is a rigorous examination of ISIS history, use of online propaganda, and apocalyptic rhetoric. The other is an example of that propaganda, skilfully contrived with keywords like “happy”, “secret to success” — and even “code-breakers” — in its title, to propagate itself on Amazon despite its pro-terror slant. Puerile.

    Feh!

    Announcing ! BLOOD SACRIFICES

    Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

    [by Mark Safranski / “zen“]

    Blood Sacrifices: Violent Non-State Actors and Dark Magico-Religious Activities edited by Robert J. Bunker

    I’m very pleased to announce the publication of Blood Sacrifices, edited by Robert J. Bunker, to which Charles Cameron and I have both contributed chapters. Dr. Bunker has done a herculean job of shepherding this controversial book, where thirteen authors explore the dreadful and totemic cultural forces operating just beneath the surface of irregular warfare and religiously motivated extreme violence.

    We are proud to have been included in such a select group of authors and I’m confident that many readers of ZP will find the book to their liking . If you study criminal insurgency, terrorism, hybrid warfare, 4GW, apocalyptic sects, irregular conflict or religious extremism, then the 334 pages of Blood Sacrifices has much in store for you.

    Available for order at Amazon

    On myth, magic, rare canned meats, and mathematics

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — a tale of Guru Nanak — & the things you can buy on Amazon these days ]
    .

    boy_nanak
    Painting by PM Wylam of Guru Nanak Dev Ji as a young boy

    It is said that in his schooldays, young Nanak who, as Guru Nanak, would go on to found the Sikh religion was in math class when the numbers one, two, three and so forth fourth were explained, and objected when the teacher began to talk about two, on the grounds that he hadn’t yet fully grapsped the number one.

    Respect.

    **

    Putting that another way, the number one is at least as fascinating in its own possibities as it is with the series of integers that follows it — you may recall my earlier discussions of one and its possible opposites in earlier posts:

    OppositeOne

    **

    Here the conversation takes a completely different turn..

    It’s in the spirit of that kind of mythematical — or perhaps better in this case, mathemagical — thinking that I offer this equation:

    Unicorn plus dragon meat

    I’m inclined to think they’d somehow cancel, or at the very least balance, each other out. I wonder whether Amazon has an algorithm that knows that, yet.

    Really, I had no idea one could buy dragon’s meat in a can, nor that of unicorns.

    **

    I found out about canned unicorn and dragon while while reading up on Tactical Bacon in a spell of NSFW research on the Malheur business:

    tactical bacon

    Oy, the world we live in.

    Hand grenades: a two way street

    Thursday, August 13th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — toys as weapons, weapons as toys, appearances, can be deceptive, ethnicities too ]
    .

    Before there were the realities we now know as “virtual reality” and “real life” there were the two known as “real” and “pretend” or “make-believe”.

    Confusing pretend for real can be harrowing enough, as we saw this morning:

    but the reverse has even more dire potential:

    **

    For the record, toy grenades are a a regular feature of the news these days, see for instance:

  • 26 June 2015, Bomb disposal team called to toy grenade in Coatbridge
  • 19 Octpober 2014, Toy grenade puts Newport News neighborhood on alert<
  • Get your Toy Grenades Battery Operated for Pretend Play on Amazon:

    Toy Grenades

  • Pull the grenade pin, press bar and throw!
  • Estimated Delivery Date: Aug. 14 – 19 when you choose Expedited at checkout
  • **

    Watch out, Staten Island:

    But then again..

    when is an assault rifle not an assault rifle?

    and come to that,

    when is a paintball more than a paintball — when is it a weapon?

    and when is the reason not just a paintball, but a scarf?

    — and if that’s not enough, is skin color a difference that makes a difference?

    Ah yes.

    Target and Walmart — another nice pairing that gives that last tweet just a touch of extra impact!


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