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The Science of 12-Step Programs

Swordsmanus Re:It's a cult, plain and simple. But not all bad. (330 comments)

I have many many problems with the treatment as it is done today, especially since it forms a life-long dependency on something new (this is the trick!) instead of the drug, and the breaking down of the mind. But, on the other hand, it's better than the alternative. I just can't help thinking that there must be a better way than switch addiction for addiction. My father disagrees, of course, simply because for him, this is not how he views it, he sees himself as free from addiction, but he gets all jittery if he can't go to a meeting for a few days...

If we are gonna reprogram humans (it's similar to NLP?), I'm sure it would be possible to reprogram them in a better way than this.

There is an alternative, where you build up the mind rather than tear it down. Psychologists have recently found that willpower is like a muscle that can be trained rather than something innate and static. They've been experimenting on ways to strengthen your willpower and found techniques for dealing with temptation.

Here's an in-depth talk about the methods and the results. It's had success with treating substance abuse, weight loss, and mental illness. Getting people to strengthen their willpower is a fairly new method, but if the treatments continue to see success, it will become more widespread.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

if that was the case you would expect to see a lot more mass shootings in Europe than in the States, simply based on the much stricter weapon control policies in the former.

The availability of means to gain an advantage in force (weapons, superior numbers, etc.) and environments of ensured disparate force interact, they don't exist separately in a vacuum. The history has borne this out time and time again in genocide, pogroms, lynchings, etc.

For posterity's sake, here's the full text of The Pseudocommando Mass Murderer: Part I, The Psychology of Revenge and Obliteration (PDF) in case you want to review it as I have.

just for you to have some actual research to look into

I really hope you're not implying the research I linked a few posts ago isn't actual research. It's proven very effective in saving lives, and doesn't face the severe conflicts of interest often found in academic papers, and sometimes entire journals on topics where agendas are involved. Whether it's the Joyce Foundation or the Cato Institute, the sources of funding can predetermine the conclusions and the quality of peer review, even to the point of misrepresenting sources cited. Law enforcement has no conflict of interest with finding real solutions on this topic as far as I can tell; quite the opposite.

The solutions mentioned in the Prevention section of The Pseudocommando Mass Murderer: Part II, The Language of Revenge (PDF) aren't exactly actionable in comparison.

That same section uses citation 38, which doesn't actually back up the claim it was cited for (source here). They had no issue citing the study on Australia's laws and the inferred changes, but with the US's ten times larger population sample they experience no cognitive dissonance in ignoring the number of school attacks in the 20 years preceding (9) and the 20 years following (93) the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 in the US, while the number of non-school mass shootings remained the same at 25 incidents in the same time horizon preceding and following its passing. The interaction between firearms laws and mass killings isn't as simple as they imply, and conveniently in either parts of the main paper the perceived odds of success at one's objectives before death didn't factor into the analysis of the killers' psychology.

it does suggest that toting guns around won't actually solve any problems.

Someone who is seconds away rather than minutes away with the power to stop a killer can make enough of a difference to prevent the incident from escalating to a "mass killing" (four or more dead in quick succession) [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10].

Such outcomes are relatively rare because the population that actually carries that power and responsibility with them on a daily basis is currently about 3%, but despite approval from their state to carry in public, in most states licensees are nonetheless limited by laws that forbid them from carrying in many places, including those most often targeted by modern mass murderers. In the examples provided, many of those people broke the law in order to save lives, and were likely doing so on a regular basis before the fateful day came.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

It boggles my mind that you can find any fault with me on this subject.

Because I have a psychology and training background. You bemoaned ignorance, yet did an incomplete job of correcting it. Because of the way cognitive dissonance works, the person you corrected will be more likely to come off confused and offended, then spout off the same crap later, rather than understanding where and why he went wrong and changing his ways.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

I encourage you then to look into what percent of mass shootings have occurred in zones that are mandated as gun-free by law, and which have not, to see where the overwhelming majority lies.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

Then why didn't you point out the most likely cause of his mistake in the first place? It would have both saved face for him and further informed any onlookers.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

Blargh, meant that rifles + shotguns combined was less than blunt instruments or no weapons in most years. Oh well.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

If this really plays out as you assert, then you should be able to use the Texas CHL statistics to back it up. Kindly pull up their conviction raw numbers and rates from 1996-2011, then take their active licensee and instructor counts from the same time period, and derive their murder rate per 100,000 population. Now compare that murder rate per 100,000 population with the FBI's pre-calculated rates for Texas and the US as a whole, and any other states you wish. Which population group has the lowest murder rate, and by how much?

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

Have you actually studied the phenomenon at all? Law enforcement has. They found that in studying mass shootings in the past century, ~90% of mass shooters committed suicide when police arrived. The Newtown shooter did the same. These findings prompted law enforcement to change from sending in SWAT to sending in the nearest squad car over the past few years, and it's proved more effective at saving lives.

"Uh, could I possibly be shot back at?" really does factor in for the overwhelming majority of these killers.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

Swordsmanus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

He probably meant "assault rifles", as from 1998-2011, there were consistently fewer homicides by rifle (of any kind) than blunt instruments or no weapons at all; in most years fewer than both combined [1] [2] [3] [4].

about a year ago
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Skype Overload Interrupts Zimmerman Trial

Swordsmanus Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (325 comments)

Martin's autopsy is publicly available (PDF). Now tell me: in the autopsy report, how many wounds did Martin have at the time of death? What was the cause of the wound(s)? Does this support or refute the assertion that Zimmerman attacked Martin first?

There are also publicly available photos of Zimmerman immediately after the encounter. Given the location of Zimmerman's wounds, does this support or refute the position of the prosecution or the defense? Further, are you aware that strikes to the back of the head are illegal in sport fighting because they carry a risk of serious injury or death?

about a year ago
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US Director of National Intelligence Admits He Was Wrong About Data Collection

Swordsmanus Re: We'll put a stop to this shit. (296 comments)

high power

Err...most hunting rifles are higher powered than an AR-15. The AR-15 fires a round that's optimized for hunting varmints (weight of 45 lbs or less), and isn't even allowed for deer hunting (100-300 lbs) in most states because it's too weak. You might want to educate yourself on the relative power of different types of rifles. While there are AR-15 variants that are fitted with a different upper receiver to fire higher powered rounds, those variants are very rare.

match grade

A match grade barrel is a specialized item. Most AR-15s are not fitted with them, as they raise costs.

I certainly agree with the need for education and training in the use of firearms, just as I am for other power tools like chainsaws, table saws, power drills, lawn mowers, motor vehicles, and so on. Shunning safety training is like committing to abstinence-only "sex education" - completely irresponsible.

But please know what you're talking about so you and your message can maintain credibility. When you inappropriately use firearm terms, you are just like the guy who fills everyone's buzzword bingo cards at meetings, and will be regarded the same way.

about a year ago
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Edward Snowden is ...

Swordsmanus Re:Snowden (601 comments)

Yes, and they couldn't have foreseen a world with the internet we are speaking on right now. How do you feel about the first amendment?

about a year ago
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The Free State Project, One Decade Later

Swordsmanus Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (701 comments)

The dirty secret of libertarianism has always been that it's about protecting the rights of the rich over the rights of the poor.

And that isn't blatantly true about the Republican and Democratic parties, whether it's at the city, state, or federal level and everything in between?

Politicians as a group are guilty of not only serving the rich over the poor no matter the place or time in history, but also serving themselves over their constituents. Those that don't are the rare exceptions, and they are exceptions even today because the apathetic, uninformed electorate fails to hold their representatives accountable from election to election.

about a year ago
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Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal

Swordsmanus Re:Make metal ilegal too... (551 comments)

If it's true that availability and ownership of guns is a powerful influence on murder rate while income inequality, government safety net policies, organized crime activity, and other social factors are not, then tell me, which population group has the lower homicide rate: Ireland, or Texas concealed handgun licensees?

One group has a confirmed 100% firearm ownership rate, and the other, as you heavily implied does not. You can get the data you need here and here.

about a year ago
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Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal

Swordsmanus Re: Make metal ilegal too... (551 comments)

If you're joking, then awesome joke. Otherwise...

FPSRussia is a persona played by an actor, Kyle Myers. He is American and lives and films his videos in the state of Georgia. His home and his father's ranch were each raided by FBI and ATF agents earlier this year.

But what was the justification for the raid? ATF spokesman Richard Coes told the Banner-Herald: "The claim is that [Myers] was using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube."

Myers has used the substance Tannerite in his videos. While the powder explosive is legal in the U.S., Business Insider points out that the manufacturing of explosives for business purposes is illegal without a federal license.

about a year ago
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Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal

Swordsmanus Re:Make metal ilegal too... (551 comments)

The problem with guns is what they do to people's attitudes when they're perceived of as something you should own for use on other people. If everyone agreed guns are only for hunting, for instance, they could have more guns than the US and still have few issues. (As I understand it, this is the case for some countries).

I have great news! You can test your hypothesis.

The Texas Department of Public Safety tracks stats on Texas Concealed Handgun licensees. It includes total count of licensees from 1996-2011, which you can cross-reference with the overall state population. It also includes conviction totals and rates of CHL holders vs. the rest of the state across that same time period, so you get a clear picture of what proportion CHL holders make up in crime rate relative to their population.

So I invite you to review the info, and then cross-reference the crime rate and murder rate of Texas CHL holders per 100,000 population vs. Texas as a whole, with the US and other states, and any other population you wish for that matter.

Does the data support your hypothesis? Does it contradict it?

about a year ago
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House Bill Would Mandate Smart Gun Tech By U.S. Manufacturers

Swordsmanus Re:Just wow (750 comments)

Hi. Have you examined the Texas Department of Public Safety stats on Texas Concealed Handgun licensees? It includes total count of licensees from 1996-2011, which you can cross-reference with the overall state population. It also includes conviction totals and rates of CHL holders vs. the rest of the state across that same time period, so you get a clear picture of what proportion CHL holders make up in crime rate relative to their population.

If you haven't already examined those stats, I invite you to do so, and then cross-reference the crime rate and murder rate of Texas CHL holders per 100,000 population vs. Texas as a whole, with the US and other states, and any other population you wish for that matter. Then answer this: does the data support or contradict your assertion?

about a year ago
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Real Life Super Hero Arrested

Swordsmanus Re:Superhero saved my life (590 comments)

I got a few of the details mixed up. There's a guy that supposedly repelled four hammer-wielding trannies on a train that were stomping and kicking a guy in a subway car. The story's here.

more than 2 years ago
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Real Life Super Hero Arrested

Swordsmanus Re:Superhero saved my life (590 comments)

I got a few of the details mixed up. There's a guy that supposedly repelled four hammer-wielding trannies on a train that were stomping and kicking a guy in a subway car. The story's here [calguns.net].

more than 2 years ago
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Real Life Super Hero Arrested

Swordsmanus Re:Superhero saved my life (590 comments)

Did the 6 knife-wielding robbers also so happen to be trannies?

more than 2 years ago

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