Category Archives: Media

The Weapons Effect – Does the Mere Presence of a Gun Increase Aggression?

Anime girl with a gun The “weapons effect” is the theory that just in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research on it. In this article, I look at the studies that shed light on this area, and give my take on the research.

The Mere Presence of a Gun

Hormones and Aggressiveness

Let’s start in 1998, when researchers Jennifer Klinesmith, Tim Kasser, and Francis McAndrew measured the effects of interacting with an object on testosterone levels and aggressive behavior. Testosterone is of course linked to aggression, and this study found what it expected to find:

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The World’s Most Peaceful and Dangerous Countries of 2014

geysir-strokkur-sky-landscape-iceland-christian-oeserCountries that are extremely peaceful and those in utter political disarray are subjects of much fascination all across the world. Luckily, the Vision of Humanity came out with their eighth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), a ranking of 162 countries. Considering this list includes 99.6 percent of the world’s population, it should certainly be taken seriously. First, let’s look at the most and least safe nations, and then consider the changes that the GPI shows overtime, in a global perspective.

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Tokyo-centered Earthquake Could Kill 23,000

earthquakes infographic

Skeptikai has had many articles on what I expect will be what everyone has been calling “The Big One” for years. That is, a catastrophic earthquake in the most densely populated city in the world – Tokyo. I never look forward to writing about the potential damage from such an event, but it’s important to keep up with the latest research, and there have been more predictions by the experts in recent months.

A panel of experts spoke last month about this. From Asahi:

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Don’t Blame the NSA, They’re Only Human (so they spy on their love interests too)

computer creep

Imagine a hacker who breaks into some girl’s computer. Maybe he doesn’t even know her – he just wants to get to know her. Maybe he looks into her interests so that he knows what she likes. Or maybe he knows her – maybe it’s his girlfriend or wife, and he wants to know if she’s being faithful. This kind of hypocrisy is lost on fools with such power… but can you blame them? Can you honestly say that you wouldn’t take a “quick peek” at your lover’s private information to confirm whether or not they have been faithful? I would like to say “I would never do that!” but I honestly don’t know what I would do in that situation. But whether or not you too would do such a thing, this point is very clear: It is wrong to do this. Some random hacker shouldn’t be able read your emails and watch you through your webcam. So the question remains: Why is it okay for the NSA to do this?

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Implicit vs. Overt Racism – Are We All a Little Racist?

black kid shining white man's shoes

I hesitate to say “there are two types of racists out there,” but there are two types of racism. One is the blatant racism that you hear from people who just have a misguided sense of superiority with their own race; another is the implicit bias people have when making perceptions of people based on race.

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Why Are Hateful Americans Always So Clueless?

Oakland idiots riot at Men's Wearhouse

I suppose it’s not a big surprise that people who feel the most hatred or are the most violent are not the brightest people. But sometimes I wonder if there is a correlation between ignorance and anger. In America, people get angry at the wrong things all the time, because they not only don’t understand, but don’t even seem to want to understand – they just don’t care. And you’d think that when it comes to actual murder, you would want to be sure that you know who you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, as we’ll see, angry Americans tend not to double-check.

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Everything You Need to Know About Prism, Internet Freedom, and Edward Snowden (Updated)

This is Edward Snowden

The case of Edward Snowden has not only polarized the United States, but it has raised concerns from people all over the world. But it’s not just the US – the UK is now getting a lot of attention for creating a fake internet cafe just to steal passwords of foreign diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London. Some are even arguing that they have even more access than the American NSA (National Security Agency); but the NSA is understandably getting the most heat, especially from places outside of the US. I say “especially from places outside” because the mainstream US news is clearly on the side of the government. Indeed, it seems that the narrative within the  mainstream media is not about the message so much as the messenger. This post aggregates news programs outside the US to tell the real story of exactly what’s going on with Edward Snowden and the NSA.

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Debating whether or not America is a Force for Good

Captain America BG

Now that recent stories have come out about America’s widespread NSA tentacles, along with more news about how drones have been killing far more civilians than actual terrorist targets in countries, the world is asking an important question: Does America do more harm than good? This isn’t about Americans per se; this isn’t about discriminating against a people. This is about foreign policy, organizations, and administrators, such as overreaching spy agencies and the political leanings of President Barack Obama.

Russia Today’s popular debate show “Cross Talk” looked at this issue here:

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Scientific Consensus and the Obvious Truth about Global Climate Change

You-control-climate-changeI often ask questions in my article titles, but the question “are we responsible for climate change?” is simply unnecessary. From the overwhelming evidence, we know the answer to this question; and the answer is “YES!” This is good news because we may have the power to change things, but bad news because we aren’t doing nearly enough, and we may pass the point of no return within the next few decades. Furthermore, with so many people fighting to argue against what almost all climatologists are saying, most people aren’t even trying to do something about it.

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Hamas-Israel Ceasefire Ends as Gaza Schools Drop Sports for Military Training

Hamas Children

I have been following the news regarding the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza that started in November of last year closely. The relationship between the two is incredibly tense, and the violent conflict that occurred then was thankfully over soon. The ceasefire was called, and both sides welcomed the truce, however temporary it may be. Despite the fact that Hamas actually broke the ceasefire by firing 12 rockets into Israel on Day 1 of the truce, it managed to officially hold for about half a year. The ceasefire, however, has certainly ended; and the militarization of the children of Gaza seems to be more determined than ever.

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