Bush vs. History: Which is Worse?

Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?

Naturally the common people don’t want war in Russia, nor in England, nor for the Middle East for that matter.

But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. 

All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946

The same lie is still being told today. This time not by an infamous Nazi war criminal but by the President of the United States

America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
George W. Bush, October 2002

Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.
Joseph Goebbels, March 14, 1943 

The controversy over President George W. Bush’s new TV ads featuring fake firefighters and fleeting images of the 9/11 attacks threw campaign officials on the defensive.
Newsweek, March 15, 2004

TV news reports in America that showed President George Bush getting a standing ovation from potential voters have been exposed as fake, it has emerged.
Guardian, March 16, 2004

To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three.
How the Government Makes News; Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged News [NYT]

Whenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units.
Carl Jung, 1957 

President George W Bush has admitted he authorised secret monitoring of communications within the United States in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.
BBC, December 18, 2005

I wonder if future generations will look back on these times and wonder whether we were all stupid, uninformed, naive or just plain sheep.


Chimps Outwit Toddlers

chimpThere’s a very interesting article in the NYT about a study done by a Yale grad student doing a psychological study comparing chimps and toddlers.

The basic premise is that humans learn by imitation and will follow unnecessary steps to complete a goal, even when it should be obvious that the extra steps are unnecessary.

Chimps on the other hand, once they knew what the goal was, rarely imitated the extra steps, choosing instead to almost always go straight for the reward.

It sounds like a really interesting study, and the story is written by Carl Zimmer who’s 4 year-old daughter took part in the study.  He tries hard to take it in stride that the chimps outwitted his daughter, and 100 other toddlers, about 85% of the time.