Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Some internet things mostly about brains

I just spoke to my little nephew on the phone. "Do you want to come home in a minute?" he asked me. Which is very sweet and has made me feel a bit sad. I told him I'd like to but I can't come home til Easter. Heigh ho. At least the internet remains to amuse us.

If you're interested in apocalyptic sci-fi scenarios coming true right now, why not read about this woman's experience of attaching electrodes to her head to learn how to shoot better? She's a journalist who tried the US military's enhanced sniper training involving 9 volt batteries attached to the temples. She seems to think that all the big ethical questions are changed by the fact that she enjoyed it so much, when really they're just intensified. I already find it a bit frightening that we pay people to kill people for us, but the idea of switching off their self-doubt while they do so might just be a step too far. All the same, I did feel a momentary urge to try putting a current through my mind. (Also I saw it on Boing Boing, where Cory Doctorow pointed out that "If you can't open it, you don't own it", which is quite funny.)

This psychologist makes an interesting point about how the self-selecting personalities and long training of psychologists might make a serious difference to their view of what mental health is. I like this quote:
Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance.

In other internet news, if you buy a copy of Pendulous Breasts Quarterly and put "Zing me!" in the comments they will hand-craft some insults just for you. It's mostly by Onion and Daily Show writers and others of that ilk. It's a bit hit and miss but there's something pretty cool about being able to buy random humour things from the other side of the world on a whim. I heard about it because it has some Kate Beaton cartoons in it. As the title suggests, though, it's mostly pretty boyish.

In contrast, you could celebrate International Woman's day, which I think is around here sometime, with this excellent Dragonette song. It's from a pink-covered album about being proud of being a woman. I'm not sure I think that's particularly admirable. I'd rather be a woman than a man, but shouldn't I try to suppress that feeling rather than exulting in it? Isn't it a bit like those playground arguments about whether boys or girls are better? Couldn't we grow up past that stage? Nonetheless it's a great song:

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