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Brain Scans May Unlock Candidates' Appeal

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the clockwork-orange dept.

Politics 105

Anonymous Voter writes "Applying some of the same brain-scan technology used to understand Alzheimer's and autism, scientists are trying to learn what makes a Republican's mind different from a Democrat's."

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105 comments

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Easy (1, Funny)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665219)

How's that go

The Democrat is all heart and no brain, the Republican is all brain and no heart?

Kidding...kidding.... The Republican does have a heart.

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665304)

That doesn't explain why we have a Republican president who is by most standards considered mentally challenged.

Re:Easy (2, Interesting)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665409)

If Bush is mentally challenged, what does that say about Kerry? [vdare.com]

(I don't believe Bush is mentally challenged, I don't believe Kerry is mentally challenged, and I sure as heck don't believe that IQ is anything but attaching a meaningless number to people.)

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665601)

Buhs is not mentally challanged, he's going senile [archive.org] !

=Smidge=

Re:Easy (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666228)

I think the AA should start using Bush in their cautionary adverts.

Re:Easy (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666585)

This is your President (show Bush I). This is your President's Son after 40 years of booze, cocaine, and politics. (Show Bush II). Any Questions?

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665426)

I disagree. Dick Cheney is a very intelligent man, and while I may not agree with much that he says, a very capable public speaker. Take your liberal smears somewhere else, you damn dirty pinko!

Known Knowns and Unknowns (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665719)


"Of the known unknowns a decision can be made. For the unknown knowns, we have to be flexible."

This actually makes sense from a real-world (not computer) engineering point of view, but the overuse of the word makes it look/sound clownish.

Maybe I'm right but someone will probably correct me.

Re:Known Knowns and Unknowns (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665820)

I thought the knowing of the unknown knowns was a Rumsfeld thing? (can't be bothered to Google for it on a lazy Friday afternoon)

Re:Known Knowns and Unknowns (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666338)


Rumsfeld might have used it to his public detriment by listening to engineers.

If you've ever let an engineer talk at length, you probably know how that can go.

For example: if I know what I know based on what you have told me (which could be a preliminary assessment on your part where you could actually be dealing with unknowns yourself), then I have a "known", assuming that you are a reliable source of information.

In my experience, design of major, multi-million dollar facilities operate this way since the process tends to be chaotic in nature with all the different disciplines involved. In the end result it's all about chaos management.

Re:Known Knowns and Unknowns (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668453)

Rumsfeld gets a lot of shit because he's a smart guy who just happens to be an evil fucking bastard.

The "known knowns" crap has nothing to do with engineering. It came from him being unwilling to act like a total fucking moron, like so many other politicians feel the need to do.

Re:Known Knowns and Unknowns (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668537)


The "known knowns" crap has nothing to do with engineering. It came from him being unwilling to act like a total fucking moron, like so many other politicians feel the need to do.

There must be a typo in there somewhere.

Re:Easy (0, Flamebait)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665578)

Go back under your bridge, troll. When lacking real criticism, unintelligent people resort to ad hominem attacks.

In this case, "It takes one to know one." might actually be appropriate.

Re:Easy (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666276)

Sorry for not posting my quick response to the first post stating "democrats have no brains" in essay format.

Re:Easy (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666451)

Well, there's plenty of good ways to respond to stupid comments without stooping to their level. Besides, I took the first post as a joke, not a slam. Oh, well.

Re:Easy (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666417)

"That doesn't explain why we have a Republican president who is by most standards considered mentally challenged."

Most standards? Please. Your 'most standards' is really one standard about how he talks. "Ha! he said internets! Giggle giggle snort what a retard! I'm going to go on Slashdot and complain about it!"

Re:Easy (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666576)

Your 'most standards' is really one standard about how he talks.

Not really. He talks a lot better than I do.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669641)

I disagree. I think anyone that is religious is also mentally challenged (note - I am not the OP).

So there you go: that's two standards.

Oh, he also ignores the opinions of his advisors when he doesn't agree with them. So, we have someone being deliberately ignorant when faced with expert advice. I call that mentally challenged.

That's three standards.

He has said "he will stay the course". In fact, he seems incapable of modifying his opinions or decisions based on new information.

That seems mentally challenged to me.

Hmm, four standards.

I could go on, but seeing as most religious people on /. will be having fits after my first sentence, there may not be much point :)

(BTW - Normally a fan of your comments NanoGator, but when they defend Bush... not so much)

Re:Easy (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669728)

"(BTW - Normally a fan of your comments NanoGator, but when they defend Bush... not so much)"

That was less about defending Bush (I'm not a Bush supporter) and more about my own insecurities. I am not an eloquent speaker. A lot of people would hear me speak and think I'm missing a chunk of grey matter. It is a bad way to measure somebody's mental health, and Bush has taken an unfair beating on it.

I'm replying not because Bush is under fire, but because I can't stand when a person's entire intelligence is estimated by their grade in English Class.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669919)

I'm sorry.

I apologise for my previous post - I misunderstood where you were coming from. (I suck at public speaking...very nervous - so I know a little of where you're coming from ;)

I myself hate it when people assume lower class (income-wise) people, or people who haven't got degrees, are somehow less intelligent.

(I come from a poor family. And while I am doing tertiary studies, I can't believe the amount of elitism and snobbery that seems to permeate the mostly middle- and upper-class academics).

Re:Easy (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10670969)

"I myself hate it when people assume lower class (income-wise) people, or people who haven't got degrees, are somehow less intelligent."

I hear ya. At my previous job, they busted my chops about not having a degree. Nobody stopped to think that when you're an artist, your work matters more than what a piece of paper hanging on the wall says about you.

"I apologise for my previous post - I misunderstood where you were coming from."

I really appreciate that. Seriously, very classy.
Have a good weekend. :)

Re:Easy (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666646)

I am offended that anyone would call George W. mentally challenged! He's "special".

Re:Easy (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665330)

Democrat: What actions can government take, that could help most everyone, and minimize overt harm to anyone?

Republican: What actions can government take that directly benefit me, and otherwise justify the expense of others?

Libertarian: What actions can government take that aren't at my expense?

Re:Easy (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665600)

How about an adjustment:

Democrat: What actions can the government take to force you to help everyone?

Re:Easy (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666607)

Works- from a Libertarian point of view. Also from a Democrat point of view- "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"- John F. Kennedy.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666819)

Country and government are two different things.

Re:Easy (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667463)

Only to a libertarian or a statist. To a Republican or a Democrat they are one and the same.

Re:Easy (1)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 9 years ago | (#10670581)

Also from a Democrat point of view- "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"- John F. Kennedy

Yeah. In other words, "Ask not what I can do for you, but what you can do for me".

Re:Easy (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666930)

And the problem is?

Re:Easy (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666433)

You are so full of crap.

Re:Easy (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666689)

Whats really weird is if you plot this against a time scale. (And correct your obvious political bias)
60's
Democrat: What actions can government take, to keep the individual down and promote groupthink.

Republican: What actions can government take to further the government?

Hippies: What actions can government take that will make us all live in a happy commune that I believe the soviets are living in?

90s
Democrat: What actions can government take, to keep the minorities dependant upon us?

Republican: What actions can government take to give more power to the state governments

Reform Party: Look at this chart!

Post 9/11
Democrat: What actions can government take, to return us to the 60s and help us ignore the terrorist threat.

Republican: What actions can government take that strenghten the economy, and piss off the rest of the world?

Libertarian: Hey? Wasn't this government founded on capitolism and state rights?

Re:Easy (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666955)

And you've removed the political bias?

Re:Easy (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667170)

:) Its all fun and games untill someone loses and election! :)

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

unixbum (720776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665495)

"Kidding...kidding.... The Republican does have a heart." Yup, just look at Cheney.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665621)

From the article:

When viewing their favorite candidate, all showed increased activity in the region implicated in empathy. And when viewing the opposition, all had increased blood flow in the region where humans consciously assert control over emotions suggesting the volunteers were actively attempting to dislike the opposition.

This could lead to some much more accurate polling. Now when Gallup calls, they will ask you to step into the brain scanner and show you images instead of asking you questions you could lie about.

Of course, whether this accurately predicts how they will vote is another story.

Re:Easy (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666017)

This doesn't explain why Bush voters understand the issues less [pipa.org] ...

Re:Easy (1)

Procrastin8er (791570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666884)

Typical liberal view, you don't agree with my views, so you simply must not understand them, because there is NO other way to look at it.

Liberal tolerance only extends to things you agree with.

Re:Easy (2, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666134)

Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains. -Sir Winston Churchill.

Re:Easy (1)

lordmoose (696738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666500)

I'm damn near 30 years old (I'm 29). But if anything I've become MORE liberal in the past 6 or 7 years than the other way around. Especially after my daughter was born (March 21 2003, right after the beginning of our current war).

I wouldn't want her to grow up in this increasingly neo-con nightmare that the U.S. is becoming.

Re:Easy (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666825)

I'm damn near 30 years old (I'm 29). But if anything I've become MORE liberal in the past 6 or 7 years than the other way around.

That's odd. It was the same with Churchill.

Re:Easy (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666707)


Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains. -Sir Winston Churchill.

Churchill was referring to generations that existed at his time. I'm guessing that this is where the "don't trust anyone over 30" slogan came from (was it Timothy Leary?)

The quote does seem to be valid though.

Re:Easy (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666873)

IT only takes 30 years to turn a liberal into a conservative, without changing a single idea.

Re:Easy (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666915)

Apples and oranges.

Back then the terms "conservative" and "liberal" had completely different meanings. In fact, in England there's a huge difference in those terms when compared with the American definitions. And on top of that, nobody really seems to know what a liberal is except those who seem to be proud they're not a liberal. The whole notion is bullshit [bsalert.com] .

Re:Easy (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666393)

In 2000, Zogby posed a question for Americans:

You live in the land of Oz. Who do you vote for: the tin man (all brain and no heart) or the scarecrow (all heart and no brain). The tin man was supposed to represent Gore, and the scarecrow, Bush. Apparently it was dead even. This year, the tin man is winning.

Re:Easy (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666869)

I'm pretty sure the straw man (no brain and no heart) is going to win this year.

Re:Easy (1)

nyekulturniy (413420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668277)

We'll find out November 2. We hope. My own guess is Bush 275, Kerry 265, with each getting 49% of the popular vote.

There are many capable, intelligent people who go into politics because they feel they can contribute to society that way. Unfortunately, they become incumbents, and start focusing on the process of goverment more than the goals.

Neither Bush nor Kerry are dumb people. Both made regrettable mistakes in the 1970s that they must live with.

Re:Easy (1)

Procrastin8er (791570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666781)

Democrats "feel" and Republicans "think".

Re:Easy (1)

jcuervo (715139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667959)

Hmm. I asked my friend about the difference. (I have no knowledge of these things; I listen to Rush Limbaugh (blah) in the morning and John and Ken [johnandkenshow.com] in the afternoon.)

He said one's stupid, the other's evil. I keep forgetting which was which.

I asked him about a particular person... I think it was Limbaugh. He said "he's bipartisan -- so he's stupid and evil".

what makes a Republican's mind different from a De (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665235)

Intelligence?

Warning! Brain not Found! (2, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665264)


Perhaps data has not been properly entered. Please try again.

That's easy! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665274)

The Republican brain scan comes back negative!

Simple Differences (3, Funny)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665276)

People from [your party] have a brain, and those of [other party] don't!

From the only-two-possible-world-views Dept. (4, Interesting)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665343)

Many people I know vote based on what those around them think. One friend in particular agrees with me on every individual issue, but is voting for Bush because it goes against her southern upbringing to vote for a liberal. So which are we discussing here, whether people are voting red or blue, or whether their world view is left or right?

Re:From the only-two-possible-world-views Dept. (1)

kmak (692406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665673)

The biggest problem is that people are brought up not to question the way things are, on the rationale that "it's the way that it always had been"..

Re:From the only-two-possible-world-views Dept. (1)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666575)

Many people I know vote based on what those around them think. One friend in particular agrees with me on every individual issue, but is voting for Bush because it goes against her southern upbringing to vote for a liberal. So which are we discussing here, whether people are voting red or blue, or whether their world view is left or right?

Well, hopefully, one of her ancestors got over his Southern upbringing and stopped treating Blacks like property/animals. If that ancestor can get over generations of racism, she can get over voting for a liberal.

Re:From the only-two-possible-world-views Dept. (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668882)

I don't like the color red, so I'm voting for Kerry.

Fly on the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665346)

Brainscan Tech #1: Did you move Mr. Bush into the scanning field?
Brainscan Tech #2: Yes, why?
Brainscan Tech #1: Hmmm. That's odd. I'm not getting anything on the brainscan display.

Re:Fly on the wall (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666351)

Woohoo!! I would have never that of that one.

Quit your day job you are a comedic genius! /sarcasm off

A six-year could come up with something more orginal.

Re:Fly on the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669663)

It certainly looks like a six year old checked the spelling on your post.

Not Funny? (2, Insightful)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665350)

This story may be "hard news" and "serious science" but why the hell this isn't also under the category of "It's Funny, Laugh!" is beyond me! I know I did!

Well since the Democratic base consists of (0, Troll)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665378)

lower class welfare types and the rapist gang banger prison population, I suppose a very low IQ signifies a Democratic voter...just a guess though

Re:Well since the Democratic base consists of (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665526)

Uh, you forgot to work in a mention of France.

Amateur.

It is a fact sir (1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665612)

that 90% inner city welfare types will vote Kerry and 90% of felons in prison will vote for Kerry and 90% of the gutless French would vote for Kerry if they could

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665685)

It is also a 'fact' that 90% of the KKK will vote for Bush, at least by your logic of baseless assumption.

It is also a fact that 'inner city welfare types' are U.S. citizens, and therefore entitled to vote for whomever they choose.

It is also a fact that felons in prison do not get to vote.

It is also a fact that you have failed to account for the non-gutless French. Who do you suppose they would vote for?

Re:It is a fact sir (1, Funny)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665984)

It is also a fact that you have failed to account for the non-gutless French. Who do you suppose they would vote for?

In a recent poll of all non-gutless French, both of them said they would vote for Kerry.

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666028)

Yeah, I suppose setting up a straight line like that is a lot like leaving your kid brother at Neverland Ranch on a Friday night.

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666291)

" It is also a 'fact' that 90% of the KKK will vote for Bush"

Seems low, I can't see one KKK member NOT voting for Bush. He supports adding discrimination to the Consitution, what more could a good KKK member want?

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666418)

I can't see one KKK member NOT voting for Bush

Two words:

Condi

Colin

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666439)

Tokens. Colin for one definately seems to be on the outside looking in.

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667487)

You might want to check out the Constitution Party. That's were all the fun people seem to be going.

Re:It is a fact sir (1)

Kronovohr (145646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667785)

Perhaps somewhat ironically, most Klan members I've met are die-hard Democrats. Naturally, this goes back to when the Dems had the "fighting cock" as their mascot with the slogan "White Supremacy" as its banner, and these folks are currently in their late 60s to mid 70s.

They seem to hold on to some ideal that while the people they vote for publically display their affection and attention towards racial and ethnic minorities, inwardly they are working in favor of their extinction (i.e. supporting abortion for inner-city black women but not for upscale white women, supporting welfare programs imbalanced in favor of minorities so they'll never escape poverty, etc... (this is their justification, I'm not saying it's fact))

Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (2)

devphil (51341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665383)


Didn't I just read this somewhere...

  • Coca-Cola Rewires Your Brain; Pepsi Cannot
    22:21 Tuesday 19 October 2004
    Rejected
Oh, yeah, I forgot. Slashdot editors don't like science unless it's outer space.

Where's that article... okay, here it is [independent.co.uk] , althought I suspect it will have gone into subscription-only archive by now. Probably there's a mirror somewhere.

One of the points was that, using brain scans, we can accurately predict which of the colas you'll prefer. Also, there's no scientific basis for the "blindfolded taste test": it'll come out 50/50... which makes me wonder what a truly "blindfolded" political survey would show.

Re:Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665408)

"This is a story of the corruption of medical research," warned Gary Ruskin, who runs a Portland, Ore., nonprofit organization called Commercial Alert. "It's a technology that should be used to ease human suffering, not make political propaganda more effective."

Re:Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (1)

devphil (51341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666361)


I didn't say we should be doing it. The comment was on the technical feasibility, not the appropriateness.

Re:Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668238)

Oh, I didn't mean to imply you were supportive!
I just thought the quote from the article was appropriate to the context...

Re:Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665789)

Maybe because that story goes to a page that requires you to pay to view? WTF were you thinking?

I can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. I do it all the time when I get some unnamed "cola" from whatever resteraunt I'm at. Coke has a sharp almost bitter taste while Pepsi is flat, sweet, and sugary tasting.

Coke is better.

See the article here (1)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666315)

You can see the article from Google's cache here [66.102.7.104] .

BTW, I can taste the difference in Coke and Pepsi. I prefer Pepsi, but I really don't care. My wife, however, is very sensitive to the difference. When she was pregnant even the smell of Pepsi would make her nauseated, but Coke was fine.

However, I think most people don't know the difference. When Coke came out with New Coke many people complained bitterly. The leading crusader for the switch back to "Old Coke" was Gay Mullins. However, when given a taste test with Coke, New Coke and Pepsi, he chose PEPSI! When given a second chance, he said he could not tell which he liked best. In his case, it apparently was "all in his mind." The only reference I could find quickly on this is this usenet post [google.com] .

Re:Works for soft drinks, why not politics? (1)

superflippy (442879) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667063)

the "blindfolded taste test": it'll come out 50/50... which makes me wonder what a truly "blindfolded" political survey would show

How about a blindfolded political taste test?

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665390)

Republican brains are hotbeds of selfish control-freakishness, and Democrat brains are missing something.

What about Independent brains? (There aren't any, of course. But I'm open to the possibility. If you see an Independent brain floating by, let me know!)

This again? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665523)

1) This isn't a dupe exactly, but it's at least the fifth or sixth virtually identical story like this we've had.

2) It's not an uninteresting question, but as the typically inflammatory submission here demonstrates, both the media and the jackasses here are unable to look at it in an un-stupid way.

interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665536)

It's interesting that that the democrats' Amygdala lights up more than the republicans' for Sept. 11 surprises me. I thought the Republican platform was fear of terrorists and "remember 9/11", not the dems'. For the non-neurologists like me, read the Wiki Article [wikipedia.org]

Re:interesting (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666299)

I believe it was extrapolated on a similar study (or possibly the same one; different website anyway) that this is because of two possible reasons:
A) in dems this invokes fear whereas republicans feel anger; or
B) republicans are not surprised by the imagery (whether it's because of repeated exposure or a different expectations is not known).

Re:interesting (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667038)

I fear that 9/11 is used to justify some of the scariest things my government has ever done. I associate 9/11 with restrictions on travel, with rape rooms at Abu Ghraib, with torture, and with people being disappeared in the middle of the night.

Oh, and I also associate it with a small rise in the number of domestic murders that year. I'm not trying to be insensitive -- having a friend or loved one murdered is horrible, regardless of the day it happens on.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669680)

So other than the pain in line at airports, you associate it with statistically insignificant events, yes? Can you justify any statement you made (for example, do the abuses at Abu Ghraib have a statistically higher chance of occuring than abuses at domestic prisons)?

9/11 and the war in Iraq have been used as an excuse to lie with statistics excessively. For example, the explosives missing at Al-Qaqaa weapons depot account for less than 0.6% of all the explosives that have been recovered. Its insane really.

Election + Iraq + 9/11 = lies out of the mouths of well nigh everyone

Stats and Politics (3, Interesting)

secondsun (195377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10665718)

We have a one party system if anyone has noticed. The current political atmosphere, the bitterness in the media between the sides is a clever ploy to move the population as a whole. Now we have a system where you can do one thing and accuratly predict the behavior of 90% of the people. For example, the GoP says something is bad the DNC will say it is good. This follows down to the dittoheads.

Further more, why do we have the electorate almost evenly split? It could be that both candidates and policies are so aligned that the population is simply guessing, which averages out to 50/50 with suble varioations depending on date, mood, the location of UFO's overhead etc.

This is all conspiracy theory and ass blown conclusions (aka my opinion) so take it for what you will.

Re:Stats and Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666639)

The GOP says murder is bad!

Re:Stats and Politics (2, Insightful)

secondsun (195377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667140)

Democrats call GOP hypocrits for being pro capital punishment, GOP calls the Dems soft on crime.

Re:Stats and Politics (1)

torinth (216077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668536)

Further more, why do we have the electorate almost evenly split? It could be that both candidates and policies are so aligned that the population is simply guessing, which averages out to 50/50 with suble varioations depending on date, mood, the location of UFO's overhead etc.

I think more of it has to do with the momentum of "loyalty", which was abused post-9/11 when national loyalty was intentionally conflated with political/party loyalty. But otherwise your post is pretty well right.

Will help understanding the brain... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10665868)

By looking at Republican brains we should be able to find out why they have a different perception of reality than the rest of the world...

In other news (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666185)

Scanning a libertarians brain proved unsuccessful due to uncontrollable twitching when forced to look at either canidate for a period of time. Niether republicans nor democrats were able to understand this irrational behavior.

Seriously, all these surveyes, tests...and no third party info. Frankly, Im not horribly surprised by the results...Im quite aware of people crazy connections to "their" canidate.

Re:In other news (0)

mabu (178417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666844)

Libertarians (couldn't afford) or wouldn't be having brain scans anyway. In a Libertarian world, such technology wouldn't exist because it would have likely only come about through government-subsidized research, none of which would exist under the naive tiny-government scenario propsed by Libertarians.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669213)

Yeah, that's the thing... they're testing right and centrist [guerrillanews.com] persons and not necessarily any left (or libertarian).

Republicanism as a "mental illness" (1)

keath_milligan (521186) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666435)

For years, Soviet doctors and psychiatrists attempted to medicalize dissent, institutionalizing "patients" and subjecting them to a variety of experimental drugs and other treatments designed to "cure" them of anti-communist thought. When that didn't work, they just threw them in the gulag.

I'm sure those old Soviet doctors are glad to see their work being carried on here in the US.

Possible alternative connection (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666891)

It is also possible that the feelings people had for their chosen candidate (a sense of connection by Kerry supporters, or a feeling of friendship by Bush supporters) have more to do with the personalities of each candidate as perceived by their supporters. That is, Bush is a more friendly type, so Bush supporters perceive him as being a friend of sorts; Kerry is the "way out" from the current admin for his supporters, so they perceive him with a strong sense of connection.

Another possible alternative link involves the activity in the amygdala when shown a Bush ad including scenes from the September 11 attacks. Rather than being an innate difference between people of political leanings, this could be the result of the two wings of the media either harping on or justifying the use of September 11 imagery in Bush ads. Bush supporters find the imagery of the attack aftermath as connected to Bush to be reassuring, because they feel he is doing the right thing with regards to terrorism; while Kerry supporters find the same imagery to be alarming because the linked imagery of the attacks with Bush provides no reassurance (because they disagree with how Bush has handled terrorism).

H2G2 (1)

Intocabile (532593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666939)

Tell that to Zaphod Beeblebrox. GWB probably got tips from him when he preformed his own brain surgery.

But what does it mean? (2, Insightful)

benntop (449447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667163)

As an fMRI researcher this article is frustrating. Simply knowing what areas of the brain are being utilized for a task says nothing about the political views of a person. Nor does it reveal how to recruit voters for your cause. It is a single person's reaction to seeing someone that they either affiliate with or don't - the same as most other social interactions.

Couple this with the fact that you cannot discern much from single subject data in fMRI. With some robust paradigms you can get good signal, but only through hundreds or thousands of trials on the part of the subject, adn then only for more basic sensory processes. I doubt these conditions were met for experimental research paid for by outside parties.

I agree that we will be seeing more of this, but take it allwith a grain of salt, please. fMRI is beginning to get a bad rap and it is studies like this that are making it happen...

Won't replace common sense (2, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668140)

Politics is all about emotion. I know some republicans and libertarians will disagree with this, but they do so because they get an emotional response to their ideas that are based on logic. Ultimately, they feel more comfortable with the policies of their candidates. It just sits right.

I know I feel a strong aversion to big government. I feel inspired by the idea of lower taxes and reduced government. I have an emotional connection to these issues that obviously a lot of others don't.

What makes a good politician is he understands what excites people and how to get them out there to do something for the candidate for free. It's called leadership, charisma.

Real leadership is positive. You saw it with FDR, John Kennedy, and Reagan. They gave a vision, then spread that vision to the masses, then coordinated the effort to achieve that vision.

Most politicians are not good at what they do. (I'll leave a judgment of their character or their ability as a governor or legislator as a seperate issue.) The only way they can inspire is by fear and hatred.

Luckily, fear and hatred are emotions that are easily conquered by vision and inspiration. For instance, Dr. King's speech "I have a dream" inspired probably the majority of the people to lower their fear and hatred of racial integration.

I think that politics will always be a human art. There will only be a handful of really good politicians out there. They will be the ones to add that touch to the campaign and speeches that all the science and understanding in the world can't bring. There is a soul to good politics that can't be described with machines and numbers.

Weird interpretation (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668526)

And when viewing the opposition, all had increased blood flow in the region where humans consciously assert control over emotions suggesting the volunteers were actively attempting to dislike the opposition.

Wouldn't it make more sense to say that the volunteers were actively trying not to, say, angrily yell "BUSH LIED MILLIONS DIED" at the screen? Using this line of logic, you might as well say that Democrats had more amygdala activity then Republicans in response to the 9/11 ad because they were actively trying to be afraid of airplanes smashing into buildings.

Rob

I know I need to read more thoroughly, but ... (1)

macromegas (823729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669433)

at first I thought they had bush and kerry brainscanned

Brain differences or conditioning? (1)

iainmcphersn (523791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669660)

The article mentioned only showing politically based images to the test subjects. People who have claimed a political party are very likely to have made up their minds about a number of different issues. Is it unusual that a Democrat who feels Bush is using 9/11 as an excuse for the Iraqi war would be more upset that a Republican who feels that 9/11 is being avenged by the Iraqi war?

The results of the study would be more interesting if the subjects were shown generic imaegs. Thunderstorms, babies, sunsets, etc., and then see what parts of their brains were stimulated.

John Ellis
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