Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Russell Brand on Jihadi John



Russell Brand - just like all the other Leftist whores of Islam - is providing us with further rationalisations for what Jihadi John did. Then again, “revolutionary socialists” provide rationalisations for what all Islamic killers and terrorists are doing (as well as for what they've already done in the past): no matter how bad their crimes are.

As ex-SWP super-whore John Rees (Stop the War Coalition, the People's Assembly, Iran's Press TV, Counterfire, etc.) also knows: Muslims have been the best tools in the revolutionary toolkit since gays, women and the working class. (All of whom have failed in their duties to the middle-class university-based Left.)

And, of course, Leftists like Russell Brand never mention that perfect elephant in the room: Islam.

 

Russell Brand is now offering us some more of those recent psychoanalytic/psychological reasons for why Jihad John did what he did.  Still, it makes a change from the usual Marxist socioeconomic cop-outs.

Yet if Islamic jihadists and killers can have their crimes explained away with psychotherapy/psychology, then so too can all criminals and killers. Indeed all those who commit misdeeds of any kind can have their deeds explained away.

So would Russell Brand like to do the same for what he calls “Tony Blair's crimes”? Perhaps Mr Blair was bullied as a child.

What about “corporate bosses” – they may do what they do for reasons of psychology or childhood trauma.

What about Nazifascistbigots!? Is Russell Brand going to explain their views and actions away and stop foaming at the mouth when he mentions them?

Of course he isn't!

Russell Brand and Leftists generally choose their targets very carefully.

Muslims kill because of MI5 “bullying”, or racism, or unemployment, or past colonialism, or the price of bread, etc.

Capitalists exploit”, "racists kill", “neo-cons wage war”, etc. because they're evil : not because they were bullied, because they were once poor, etc. (Manichean Leftists, of course, rarely use the word“evil”.)

Russell Brand also uses the word “alienation” in relation to Jihadi John.

Alienation” is a standard Leftist word too. (More correctly, it's Marxist.) Yes, it's yet another Leftist theory-based cliché.

When you become a revolutionary socialist (as Mrs Brand did a couple of weeks ago), then you simply must use terms like “alienation”; as well as “Zionist”, “neoliberal”, “corporate bosses”, etc. Though that should only be after you've bought the compulsory Che Guevara t-shirt; which is almost as de rigueur as being against Israel.

And just Brand doesn't use psychoanalytic rationales for bankers' behaviour, or the behaviour and beliefs of Tony Blair or Cameron, so he would never say that bankers, Tony Blair/Cameron, "corporate bosses", etc. suffer from “alienation”. Again, Russell Brand isn't really doing psychoanalysis or psychotherapy at all – he's doing politics.

You see, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to juvenile Leftists like Russell Brand (who's 39/40) is blaming the West (or “capitalist states”) and completely excusing jihadists, Muslim terrorists, etc. In other words, it's all about furthering the Revolution (it's Brand who uses the platonic capital, not me): it's not really about what is the case.

Russell Brand, basically, believes he's “lying for Justice”. I simply can't believe that even such a politically feckless person as Brand can genuinely believe this stuff about Jihadi John. Or at least not without also applying the very same reasoning to every killer, criminal and (as I said) “greedy banker” and “corporate boss”.

Russell Brand is being politically hip. People should never underestimate how important hipness (in this case, political hipness) will be to a vain, narcissistic (politically) shallow person like Mr Brand.

Russell Brand is also a perfect member of the Leftist "tribe of independent minds". That Leftist Tribe whose members all dress the same, read the same books, use the same soundbites/jargon and tend to mention Chomsky, "Zionism" and "neoliberalism" in every other sentence.

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*) See my American Thinker piece on Russell Brand: 'Russell Brand: Revolutionary, Prophet & Prettyboy'.


The Expectancy Paradox






One scientist has a theory that people will countenance - or even commit - cruelty if it's approved by some kind of authority figure. That theory intuitively has a lot of plausibility. However, that's not the point of the paradox.

The said scientist carried out an experiment on ten people (subjects).

The experiment is to see if the ten subjects will press a button which will deliver an electric shock if ordered to do so by an authority figure (given a suitably rational or “scientific” reason to do so).

However, unbeknownst to him, it's the scientist who's the real subject of the experiment. That is, his ten subjects aren't being tested – he is! In fact the ten subjects know what's going and are given fake electrical shocks. The scientist doesn't know what's going on. He only knows about his own experiment; not the experiment upon him.

Again, this paradox is not about the nature of meta-tests or even about why - or if - people really do commit acts of cruelty when told to do so by authority figures. This paradox is actually about the “fudge factor” or “experimenter bias effect'. In other words, the scientist is testing his research students and these meta-testers are testing the scientist who's testing his research students.


The phrases “fudge factor” and “experimenter bias effect” actually refer to the fact that when a researcher or scientist expects to “discover” or find a certain result, he is very likely to get that result. (Needless to say, when the research or science involves anything which is in any way political in nature, this is even more likely to be the case.)

In Professor Smith's case, his “experimenter bias” is leading him to expect, or want, his subjects to "turn Nazi” and be all too keen to press the electric shock button. It ends up that most of them do so.

Professor Arse, on the other hand, is expecting, or wanting, his subjects not to turn Nazi by being all too willing to press the electric shock button. Yes, most of the don't!

In other words, each scientist has set up the experiment to get the results he wants (for political, psychological, scientific, etc. reasons). In other words, both scientists are fudging - if at an unconscious level.

This bias, or fudging, is brought about in this cases by Professor Smith shouting at his students/subjects to press the button. In other words, he wants them to press the button in order to “prove” his theory. Professor Arse, on the other hand, whispers the command to press the button because he doesn't really want them to.

It is said that neither scientist is aware of what he's doing. However, what they are doing is bringing about a self-fulfilling prophesy. (Despite that, I find it hard to accept that they literally know nothing about what they're doing because if that were truly the case, then they wouldn't be doing what they're doing, surely.)

In any case, these experimental and political biases of the two professors were themselves the subject of an experiment by other (meta) scientists. Yes, you guessed it: if the bias of the two scientists is proven or demonstrated by these meta-scientists, and they've also concluded that such bias is widespread (even) in science, then what of themselves? Are they also biased? Indeed was this experiment itself, on other scientists, a perfect example of the “experimenter bias effect” or the “fudge factor”? Are these meta-scientists as biased, or even more so, than the scientists they were experimenting upon? And if not, why not?

The point is: just as the object-scientists were trying to do tests on people's reactions to the orders of authority figures; so the meta-scientists were testing the object-scientists in order to elicit the reality or nature of scientific bias. In other words, are these meta-scientists being biased about the nature or reality of scientific bias?

This problem can be put in its logical form:
i) The meta-scientists concluded that much - or all - scientific research or testing involves at least some element of bias.
ii) This piece of meta-science is also a piece or scientific research and testing. Therefore it must have contained at least some element of bias.

Though does scientific bias also mean scientific invalidity? If it does, then this piece of meta-science is scientifically invalid: just as invalid as the tests on the button-pressing subjects.

In addition, if scientific bias means scientific invalidity, does that also mean that scientists, and laypersons, have no reason to believe a word of what these meta-scientists have to say about their meta-scientific test or experiment? The problem is: intuitively both the object-test and the meta-test must contain at least some truth or accuracy! Indeed they may well contain a lot of truth or accuracy. This paradox seems to lead to the result that both tests should be rejected. Yet surely that can't be the case!

The other conclusion is that we must simply learn to live with a certain degree of scientific bias; just as we may well do in all other areas of life. Sure, if the bias is spotted, then rectify it. However, it is both misguided and even illogical to expect zero bias. In fact we may even say that it is unscientific to expect or want zero bias in science (or anywhere else for that matter).

William Poundstone suggests making a distinction between falsehood and invalidity. He seems to mean that even if bias is a fact: it's still the case that what the test or theory says in the end is simply either true or false. Or, as he puts it,
“if the experiment is merely invalid (through careless procedure, lack of controls, etc.), its result may be true or false” (130).
That is, bias, or invalid procedures, may still lead to truth (just as true conclusion can be the result of bad reasoning or bad science (or no science)).


You can ask, however, that if there is bias, or invalid procedure, how could it possibly lead to truth? And if it did lead to truth, surely it would only do so accidentally or coincidentally.

For example, the Pythagoreans believed that the earth was a rotating globe. Though they believed that for all the wrong reasons.

However, we're talking about scientific experiments here, not Pythagorean speculation or philosophy. In a scientific sense, if invalid procedure or bias leads to truth, that would be of little interest to science or scientists. Indeed typical scientists (if they exist) would be hard-pressed to make sense of invalid procedure or bias leading to scientific truth. Though perhaps either they too are biased or their stance on science is philosophically naïve.
Poundstone offers two logical alternatives to this paradox.
i) We can assume that the meta-study is valid. (That is, what leads up to the results and the result itself are valid and true.)
ii) Yet if it's true, then all (other) studies/tests are invalid.
iii) And if all tests are invalid, then this meta-test is also invalid and so can't produce a true result.

In other words, we are lead to the conclusion that we can't see its conclusion as true – even if we wanted to.

Alternatively:

i) We can assume that the meta-test is invalid.
ii) However, even though the meta-test can be seen as invalid, its result can still be seen as true.
iii) And, by inference, if the object-test can also be seen as invalid like the meta-test, then its results can also be seen as true (like the meta-test).

Here, then, we have two cases of invalid procedures leading to true results. Though as I said earlier, what's the point of having scientifically true results (or theories) alongside scientifically invalid or unsound procedures/experiments/tests? And as I also said, scientists will surely claim that you can't have the mutual pair of invalid or biased procedures/tests alongside true results.... or can you?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Paul Austin Murphy's Images (11)












Sunday, 1 March 2015

Interfaith Christian Suicide... for Islam


 
This isn't about theology. I don't presume to know what Jesus thought. I have no credentials to speak about Christianity, Christ or the New Testament. (Indeed Jesus is only mentioned in three paragraphs.)

So the central point isn't even about what Jesus would have thought about Islam: it's about the limits of turning the other cheek and contemporary Christians in the interfaith circuit.

In other words, it's not theology: it's politics.

Turning the Other Cheek?

Many interfaith Christians (members of the Church of Interfaith, as it were) are primarily appeasing Islam (as well as the global destructive behaviour of many Muslims) because they may see themselves as tapping into the various Christian traditions of tolerance and “turning the other cheek”.

Many of them are also being "morally self-indulgent" (as the moral philosopher Bernard Williams once put it). That is, they're grandstanding their own piety (or extreme goodness) vis-a-vis Islam and Muslim behaviour.

Specifically on Jesus "turning the other cheek" and his ostensible pacifism.

There have been millions of words written on this subject; though there is still a logical point which can be made here.

Surely Jesus would have realised, quite readily, that there was a limit to his - or anyone else’s - turning of the other cheek.

For example, the logical outcome of turning the other cheek for Jesus is that he might well have been killed for doing so. And that might have happened before his message had been spread.

Not only that: turning the other cheek might have resulted in his beliefs, his relation to God, etc., being expunged from human history and human consciousness. There might have been a kind of Year Zero for Christ as well as for Christianity. (Though some Christians may – or will – argue that this could never have happened.)

It seems obvious to me that Jesus could never have turned the other cheek to such an extreme degree. Yet this is what many – or all? – Church-of-Interfaith Christians are doing today when it comes to Islam and the behaviour of Muslims throughout the world. Or, at the very least, their turning the other cheek to Islam’s imperialism (religious, political and geographic), as well as to destructive and negative Muslim behaviour, could literally result in the effacement of their own religion (Christianity) from the face of the earth.

Surely, just like Jesus, they could/should not accept that.

Though perhaps this is seen as the ultimate example of Christian Church-of-Interfaith tolerance.

This is the ultimate turning of the other cheek.

These ultra-pious Church-of-Interfaith Christians (pious in relation to Islam/Muslims) may well be happy to see their own religion annihilated by Islam. Could you be more tolerant than that? Could there ever be such an extreme Christian inversion of Islam’s imperialism, supremacism and jihadism?

It has been suggested, by a practising Christian, that many of the Christians (usually of the Church-of-Interfaith variety) who stress Christianity’s tolerance and its turning of the other cheek would very quickly and radically change their minds were their own lives threatened. And that’s the crux of the matter when it comes to Interfaith Christianity.

Pampered Western Christians

Most C-of-I Christians - whether in the UK or in the US - are members of the secure and prosperous middle class. Their lives have never been threatened in any way: unlike the Christians in Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Egypt, the Philippines, Sudan, Nigeria, etc. Though the terrible and absurd thing is that they judge Islam (as well as the behaviour of millions of Muslims) from this secure and prosperous interfaith-circuit position.

The world – certainly not the Muslim world - is not an interfaith meeting.

Millions upon millions of Muslims (even some/many of those Muslims who use Church of Interfaith meetings for Islamic dawah) are nothing like the friends they talk to at dinner parties when they discuss the exotic charms and innocence of Islam. Millions upon millions of Muslims would like to kill these Church-of-Interfaith Christians because they are still, well, Christians. Millions upon millions of other Muslims would either like to convert them or to impose a dhimmi status upon those who don’t convert.

Part of the ideology of Church-of-Interfaith Christianity goes like this (if simplistically and ironically stated):

- Christianity/Christians = white = “imperialist”, “racist”, etc. = bad

And the ideology largely explains this new Christian suicidalism.

In any case, Church-of-Interfaith Christians - amongst other lesser things - are the main reason why Christianity is dying in the UK. It has very little to do with secularism.

These pampered and morally self-indulgent Christians are also responsible for the fact that the beast of Islam is feasting and burgeoning on the death of everything but itself.

Sima Kotecha (BBC) proves that Islam is "a religion of peace"



The BBC really should try harder.

Think about it.

The BBC uses a Islamophile journalist (who nearly always writes on Muslim-related issues) to do a piece on whether or not Islam is a religion of peace. Indeed her articles and broadcasts are very sympathetic to both Islam and Muslims.

And guess what Sima Kotecha discovered. Yes, that's right: she discovered that Islam truly is “a religion of peace and love”. Well I never!

Would the BBC have used a member of the the BNP to do a report on whether or not BNP supporters are “racist” or “fascist”? Of course it wouldn't!

On the issues of Islam and Muslims, the BBC doesn't even attempt to hide its bias. In fact the BBC (as a whole or editorially) simply takes it for granted that Islam is the religion of peace... and love. Thus it also believes that all Muslim terrorists, bombers, killers, etc. “distort”/“misinterpret” Islam (or whatever soundbite is available at the time).


Now isn't that an interesting use of the word 'reprisal'? The political activist and writer for the Guardian, Salma Yaqoob, also called the London train and bus bombings of 2005 “reprisal attacks”. (They killed 52 people and injured 700 more.) Clearly, many - or even most - Muslims deem each and every act of Islamic violence to either be “defensive” or to be a reprisal/revenge for some non-Muslim misdeed or other.

What's more, Sima Kotecha has done this kind of thing before. Another article - called Niqabs vs. the West – also comments on a Kotecha piece of positive spin on a different - seemingly negative - poll taken of Muslim attitudes.

And here's a further taster of the kind of subjects Sima Kotecha likes to cover.

In this Internet link she can be found protesting about the imprisonment of (Muslim Brotherhood?) journalists in Egypt, writing about Gaza, Iraq, the Islamisation of British schools and so on. In addition there is Kotecha's report for the Today programme called 'British Muslims react to Charlie Hebdo attack'. The writings of Sima Kotecha are also featured here in the website Islamist Watch. She's also been a reporter in Afghanistan and interviewed members of al-Qaeda.

Islam is a Religion of Peace & Love



Sima Kotecha informs us that Islam is a religion of peace and love - not violence”.

Later, Kotecha quotes a Bradford College student (one of her many student interviewees), a Musmil Afik, who also informs us that “Islam is about peace, love and harmony”.

Should a BBC reporter - even if a Muslim - really be coming out with such general statements? Surely this is the kind of thing you'd expect from a college wannabe journalist. (Sima Kotecha is 35.)

Over and above the mindless generality of what Sima Kotecha says, the survey itself shows us that many Muslims don't actually believe that Islam “is a religion of peace and love” at all. They believe it's a religion, to use Kotecha's word, of “violence”.

The poll, for example, tells us that 33 out of a 100 Muslims surveyed believe that violence against what Muslims call “blasphemers” is justified. It also tells us that “27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks”. The survey also claims that “11% feel sympathy for people who want to fight against western interests”.

Yet in Sima Kotecha's “analysis” (the BBC's term) of the poll, she manages to ignore all this. Instead she offers us the official line on Islam. In other words, she doesn't interview or question any Bradfordian members of George Galloway's Respect party, militant imams, Islamist students or any supporters of Islamic terrorism.

The Poll Itself

The poll itself was carried out between 26 January and 20 February 2015.

One question which needs to be asked is: What is the relation between the Corporate Reputation (ComRes) organisation (which carried out the poll) and the BBC?

What is clear is that Kotecha's summary moves way beyond the results of the ComRes poll.

Kotecha seems to have only interviewed students in her report. This is strange since this isn't from a BBC news piece for young people.

Anyway, we're told by the BBC that “[o]ne thousand Muslims were polled as part of our survey”. The BBC also says that this “number statistically representative of the population of close to three million Muslims in Britain”. (It doesn't tell us why the poll is “statistically representative”.)

Only 1000 Muslims were questioned. That small number of Muslims might have been selected to provoke the kind of responses the BBC and ComRes hoped to hear. (That is certainly true of Sima Kotecha's own interviews; if not the poll itself.) Indeed, as I said, it seems that most of the respondents were students and young people.

What we're not told is the precise wording of all the questions which Bradford's Muslims were asked. That is a very important question when it comes to questionnaires and surveys like this. The ComRes organisation itself doesn't tell us what the questions were (as can be seen in this link). However, it does tell us what its 'methodology' was at the time:

ComRes interviewed 1,000 Muslims living in Britain aged 18+ by telephone between 26th January and 20th February.”

It also sells it sells itself as “the leading research consultancy specialising in Corporate Reputation, Public Policy and Communications”.

Damned Stats
The BBC's Sima Kotecha & Mishal Husain protesting about the imprisonment of Egyptian (Muslim Brotherhood?) journalists.

As everyone knows, there are “lies, damn lies and statistics”.

Stats can be used to sell almost any political position or stance. This poll - or at least Sima Kotecha's summary of it - is a classic case.

Almost every cited stat in this survey seems to be designed to put British Muslims in a positive light.

For example, the survey tells us that 93% of the Muslims questioned “feel a loyalty to Britain”. What the hell does that mean? (It's so vague.) What, exactly, was the question that elicited that response?

Of course this all depends on which aspects of Britain Muslims feel loyal too.

For example, I bet that Muslims do indeed feel very “loyal” to Britain's extreme tolerance of all Muslim behaviour. Are they loyal to the “diversity” that is Islam (as Muz Khan, on Kotecha's Twitter page, puts it)?

Note also the phrasing of this statement:

Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream [Muslim] opinion - 49% [of Muslims] agree.”

That could just as easily have been written this way:



Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream opinion – 51% of Muslims disagree.

That is effectively exactly the same statement; though it gives a very different impression.

Now note the phrasing of this statement:

ComRes poll for BBC said that two-thirds of respondents said acts of violence against those who published such images could never be justified.”

That means that one of of every three Muslims surveyed (not one out of all Muslims in the UK) believes that violence is justified against blasphemers.

The thing is, I don't think that the BBC and Sima Kotecha have really thought through the consequences of their own statistics.

Let's agree that the Muslims surveyed are “representative of the known [Muslim] population” (as ComRes puts it).

That means that two Muslims in six and three Muslims in nine believe in violence against blasphemers. Put that another way: 33 of the 100 Muslims surveyed by the BBC believe that violence is justified against people who publish anti-Islamic images.

That would mean that if that percentage were applied to 10,000 British Muslims (rather than ComRes's 1000), there would be 3,300 Muslim extremists amongst them.

So now let's jump to 100,000 Muslims. In this case there would be 33,333 Muslim extremists amongst 100,000 Muslims.

That's a very large number of Muslims who believe in Islamic violence.

And this reasoning can also be applied to the “27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks”; as well as to the “11% feel sympathy for people who want to fight against western interests”. Again, this is only 27% and 11% of 1000 Muslims – not of all British Muslims.

Think of the possible equivalent case of 33 out of 100 white British people believing that violence against blacks and Asians (simply because of the colour of their skin) is justified; or 27% of Ukip supporters sympathising with the actions of Anders Breivik.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Paul Austin Murphy's Images (10)



















Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Foucault: Marxism is to Blame, Not Communist Regimes




Of course some contemporary communists (not only Trotskyists) will emphasise the unique evil of Stalin as the true reason for the purges, censorship, totalitarianism, “class liquidations”, bureaucracy, racism, etc. of the Soviet communist system. In fact there are many retrospective Marxist theories about the failures of the Soviet and other communist regimes. All of which exonerate Marxism and communism from any culpability whatsoever. (E.g., theories about the Soviet Union being a “deformed workers state” and what have you.)

Can the systematic failures of all socialist/Marxists systems be blamed on Stalin and other despots? Clearly not.

Instead the problem is inherent in Marxism itself. At least that’s what Michel Foucault came to believe.

Foucault once wrote:

In the Gulag one sees not the consequences of any unhappy mistake, but the effects of the ‘truest’ of theories in the political order.”

In other words, we're mistaken to look elsewhere for the failures of all Marxist or communist systems. It's not really about “the cult of the leader”, the “invading white armies”, “Western imperialist pressure”, “economic contingencies”, etc.: it's about Marxism itself.

So in light of the Gulag, the purges, Pol Pot and Year Zero, the Cultural Revolution, millions of dead, etc.: instead of looking at revolutionary Marxism as a never-realised ideal: we should look at the ideal itself. That's where the problem is. Indeed it's very odd to look elsewhere after all this time and all those communist/Marxist failures and mistakes. And that's precisely why only Marxists themselves have always looked elsewhere for the heart of the problem.

As a result of this, an open thinker will obviously reject the inherent harsh rigidities, diktats and totalitarianism of Marxism. So it will be no surprise to know that Foucault even went so outrageously far as to advice his students to open their minds (something a Marxist professor would never genuinely do) and read, of all things, the works of Frederick Hayek; whom contemporary Leftist automatons would regard as one of the granddaddies of today’s “neo-liberalism”. This alone would make contemporary Trotskyists and Communists reject Foucault (if not completely). Indeed he would certainly be classed as a “neo-liberal” for such academic openness. (Personal attacks and ad hominems can be found in nearly all Marx's own writing. Indeed it's full to the brim with viciousness and sarcasm: much of which is aimed at his fellow socialists and communists!)

Regardless of the tragic consequences of the free market, these economists and thinkers were libertarians – the exact opposite of communists and Trotskyists (from before Foucault’s day to our own). These people dared to make a blasphemous connection between the free market and individual liberty. They argued that economic freedom (though not only economic freedom) severely limited the power of the state. However, because all communists/International Socialists adore the state (their own state; not the ones they're fighting against) as much as any National Socialist (Nazi), they similarly hate libertarians as much as they hate what they call “Nazis” or “fascists” (i.e. everyone outside their tribe; unless a member of an ethnic minority).

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