Mind Trick Linky

Mark Hamill does some smooth Jedi moves on over-eager Star Wars fans:

My friend Vivian has released her new EP, “In Between Times”. Listen on Bandcamp, and drop a few bucks if you like what you hear.

New Yorker thinkpiece about how we no longer use facts to justify our beliefs, which, okay, but I’m pretty sure we never did.

And this short vid summarising psychologist Paul Bloom’s take on why empathy is a bad thing is infuriating in its bland dumbness. “We go to war because we are told people are suffering and we need to save them, then it turns out we harm loads more people, THANKS EMPATHY”. Linking to see if I’m motivated enough to read deeper and figure out if this guy has a point or not. But I suspect not.

Both those via the Nextdraft newsletter of interesting things, well worth the subscription.

Actually these might have come from there too – Vanity Fair’s writeup of the senior citizens behind the biggest jewel heist in British history. (There _must_ be a film of this in production already.)

The origin of the Airball chant, basketball’s most humiliating crowd response.

Edward Gorey’s War of the Worlds illustrations.

The AV Club has an overview of the vast store of unaired TV pilots at DailyMotion, including Young MacGyver and Buffy: The Animated Series (which I’d never seen before).

Via Billy: the story of when, in 1906, a young African man was exhibited with the apes in a zoo.

And finally, what do you get when you cross legendary bad movie The Room with legendary good musical Hamilton?

5 thoughts on “Mind Trick Linky”

  1. Regarding facts and beliefs and “I’m pretty sure we never have,” I recommend James Garvey’s “The Persuaders,” a study/history of the PR / advertising / influencing industries. Maybe we never have, but we used to get a lot closer than we do now. (His account of the London debating societies craze of the 18th century depicts a dramatic contrast to modern ‘debating.’)

  2. “And this short vid summarising psychologist Paul Bloom’s take on why empathy is a bad thing is infuriating in its bland dumbness.”
    That guy is honestly the first person in thirteen years who I’ve heard say that the Iraq invasion was about empathy or compassion. Anger and blind rage, sure, I saw that. “Vengeance is mine” – I saw that, too, with the extra fillip that the Middle Easterns being punished had nothing to do with terrorist attacks. Fear of non existent weapons – check. Adventurism and greed for oil – sure thing. The base politics of staging a war just before a general election to keep the populace fired up and ranting about “patriotism” – saw that too. I didn’t notice any empathy in there.

    Also, he’s got this example of people don’t care about climate change because they have empathy. Really? One of the big political motivators that I’ve seen from the activist front is that the people who suffer first from climate change are the ones with the least ability to deal with it – so the people who’ll suffer last should pull their finger out now.

    I agree with you about infuriating.

  3. Ivan – I just checked library listings and that book doesn’t even seem to be published yet. Wellington library lists it as due for publication in June. Are you a time lord?

    Stephanie – yes! Yes exactly! I just googled Bloom and this turned up on page two – it’s a column from Psychology Today of all places, hardly a place I’d look for rigor, but it expresses well some of the issues I have with Bloom’s thesis. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/good-thinking/201310/why-paul-bloom-is-wrong-about-empathy-and-morality “When compassion and reason are decoupled, judgment is not improved.”

  4. Morgue, if you write the screenplay, you can have the unused Pex story title ‘The Lavendar Rinse Mob’!

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