Category Archives: Media

The Scourge of Internet Memes, and Believing Everything You See

Have we become a society of gullibility? Anyone who has a large enough network on social media has been able to see an increase in recent years of pictorial internet memes, such as in the image above. Typically, this is with the face of the individual who said it, along with a quote, often used to inspire, make a joke, or simply make a solid and concise argument. However, it seems that we are beginning to believe things a little too easily nowadays; and in a time of rampant “fake news,” this is becoming a problem.

Posted in Biographical, Media, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Ridiculous Fake News Stories of the Past Year

Donald Trump sends his own plan to transport stranded marines, ISIS endorses Hillary Clinton and she sold them weapons, and Rage Against the Machine gets back together. Yep, this year had more fake news than fact-checkers had ever seen before, thanks to the gullibility of the American public, the absurdity of Trump, and the efforts of people who have been working hard to create fake news for the purpose of exploiting those first two things. This article talks briefly about 6 brief stories that fooled enough people to cause a news-storm. It wasn’t pretty… but it was ridiculous.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biographical, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top News Stories of 2016 (in comedy videos)

No two ways around it – 2016 was a big year. There were a lot of huge stories this year, including the refugee crisis, the Brussels bombings, the Zika virus, the Orlanda shooting, Black Lives Matter protests, a coup was attempted in Turkey but failed miserably, the Rio Olympics, Hurricane Matthew, the death of Thailand’s beloved king, and the ongoing destruction of Aleppo. And we haven’t even gotten to the worst news – “believe me.” But rather than reading depressing news that makes it even harder to get up in the morning, I decided to keep each story light and concise. So let’s look on the brighter side.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Media, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Anime girl with a gunA provocative question indeed: Do we seeing lots of gun deaths in America because of people’s aggression? Or is it possible that aggression is actually increased because there are so many guns in the country? The “weapons effect” is the theory that just by being in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research that has been published on it. In this article, let’s look at the studies that shed light on this area, and I will give my take on the research literature.

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Psychology, Science, Technology | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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:

Posted in Japan, Media | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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?

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Media, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

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.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biographical, Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Technology, TED | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment