Episode 145 – You Are Being Gamed

by | Sep 12, 2010 | Episodes, Podcasts | 77 comments

Running Time: 1:00:00

Description:Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we open up the virtual Skinner box and peer into the future of gaming in the world of ubiquitous computing. When our daily life consists of interactions with computers, will there be any way to avoid amusing ourselves to death?

Watch this video on BitChute / Odysee / YouTube / Download the MP4


Documentation – Republic Broadcasting archives
Time Reference: 01:58
Description: Subscribe to the Republic Broadcasting archives to hear James Corbett’s appearance on ‘In the Zone’ with Lt. Eric Shine on 9/11/2010.
Link To: RepublicBroadcasting
Documentation – Sunday Update
Time Reference: 03:21
Description: Coming shortly…
Link To: YouTube.com
Documentation – The Game
Time Reference: 16:47
Description: Description of Episode 2×06 of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Link To: StarTrek.com
Documentation – 5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted
Time Reference: 19:30
Description: Surprisingly informative article from Cracked.
Link To: Cracked.com
Documentation – Skinner Box
Time Reference: 24:31
Description: A short documentary extract explaining B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning experiment commonly known as the Skinner box.
Link To: YouTube.com
Documentation – Behavioral game design
Time Reference: 31:00
Description: A Microsoft game engineer explains how to make players play a game forever (and uses helpful pictures of rats in Skinner boxes to illustrate his points).
Link To: Gamasutra
Documentation – Most Disturbing Presentation Ever.
Time Reference: 35:21
Description: For once, the video might live up to the hype. Anyone who is not disturbed by the nightmare future Schell outlines in this presentation is probably drinking the Kool-Aid as hard as he is.
Link To: YouTube.com
Documentation – Neil Postman homepage
Time Reference: 49:20
Description: An online home page of links, some (appropriately enough) outdated and broken, on the author and critic Neil Postman.
Link To: NeilPostman.org
Documentation – Technology and Society by Neil Postman
Time Reference: 50:34
Description: A lecture delivered in 1998 by Neil Postman on the potential problems of advancing technology. The excerpt from today’s episode is from part 3.
Link To: YouTube.com


  1. I tune in regularly to the Corbett Report. Am I being gamed? I wonder if the persons who subscribe to this site are philosophical types. I wonder if the reward they seek is epiphany…. the metaphorical light bulbs that blink on in our heads as addictive to us as the rush of adrenalin to the skydiver…

    Is it possible that there is a minority of people who are inclined to be leaders while the nature of the majority is to be good followers? Imagine an ant colony comprised entirely of Queens battling for supremacy. Is division of labor a better survival strategy for a species? Are there evolutionary forces at play?

    The people that subscribe to this site are very likely individualists with above average intelligence who lean towards independent, creative and critical thought. Is it possible the Corbett Report has created a community of individualists who, despite representing the thinking of a small fraction of human minds, assume EVERYBODY shares their desires?

    Freedom is an enormous responsibility. My colleagues at the Corbett Report want that responsibility. Clearly, not everybody does for politics and religion exist.

    What is a leader?


    • I place “faith” in neither institutions nor individuals. I “believe in” nothing. I make observations, draw my own conclusions and make deliberate efforts to revisit all assumptions.

      The right to religious freedom is a call to perpetual ignorance. Rather than suggesting faith should be either personal or governmental, I’m suggesting faith should be something individuals and societies strive to eradicate.

      To possess faith is to admit ignorance.

      As you suggest, religious freedom is an oxymoron.

      • So, PeaceFroggs, you suggest that I merely believe that I don’t believe in anything? You are, of course, correct. The scientific minded are NOT immune to the overwhelming library of babel. Nobody can claim to know everything. At some point as we ponder the infinite universe we must enter the realm of assumption and hypothesis. I suggest we should always strive to identify this boundary and push it back. It is precisely at this boundary between comprehension and the unknown where our battles are fought.

        Neither our limitations nor lack of imagination suffice to prove the existence of the gods who inhabit the dark and unknown side of this border…. gods we have created in our own image to explain what we cannot at present comprehend.

        People are genetically prewired as well as conditioned to be afraid of the unknown. Belief, faith, hope…..these are magic words that are uttered by those who wish to control the behaviors of the fearful. “Have faith in settled science”, for example. Any argument can be immediately ended by the first combatant to say “Science”. One need merely carry a clipboard, don a lab coat or bow tie and say the magic word to instantly silence any would-be troublemaker.

        Politicians, religious shamans, advertisers and propagandists depend on magic words to bypass the logical prefrontal cortex and tickle the receptors of the emotional limbic system. I make a conscious effort to limit my usage of the magic words we are so encouraged to use and abuse every day in the media by our political and religious superiors.

        Hope and change, religious freedom, democracy, liberty, national pride, flag waving undying faith in Science, god bless America and Invisible- Omniscient-Bearded-Wizard-in-the-Sky save the rich old lady in London.

        • People often accuse me of being anti-science whenever I express doubt over something politically settled. I sometimes decide to act a bit mean and explain to them some of the flaws I find with our modern version of science. Usually though, I realize it is a waste of my time. Aurelius provides the framework of my scientific belief system when he proclaimed that we should know a thing both within and without; plus it’s relationship with all that it affects. Or something akin to that. What passes for science today is best taken with a truckload of salt. But that doesn’t make me an anti-science; it makes me an advocate for true knowledge. Jim who does not like face-eating zombies in fluoride-a eating his porridge

        • For 112 years we have understood that energy and matter are interchangeable in accordance with the following formula:

          E = mc^2

          Just as energy can be created out of mass, so too can mass be created from energy.


          (Creation is a magic word. So, too, are religion and faith. Religion = bad; Faith = good. Oil = Dirty; Wind = Clean)

    • Dear m.Clare,

      I enjoyed reading your comments. How insightful.

    • I have often noted how little religion has to do with God. When I tell people I am not Christian (I live in the bible belt where no one acts christian), they automatically assume I am an atheist. I’m not; though I don’t pretend to know the nature of God as do religions. Just thought I’d share since you did as well.

    • (http://www.dailycensored.com/pity-the-poor-luddite-the-end-of-work-under-capitalism-and-the-rise-of-the-surplus-labor-army/)

      A Generation of idiots and the tools they worship

      ” Unfortunately, it seems that this day is here. Worshiping technology is now the norm. Scientism has replaced ‘science’ (http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-folly-of-scientism) and with it we see the rise of a new, more virulent ruling class bent on destroying all life through what they call “progress”, i.e. the creation of more and more artificial intelligence, the destruction of nature, the creation of laboratory rats and dependent populations. Monsanto is just one example of the new scientism but the notion abounds in all areas of life.

      Worshiping the ‘tools’ we as humans have been able to manufacture within a framework of ‘predatory capitalism’ will have far reaching results that the world cannot really even imagine, although Einstein tried:

      “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” (ibid). ”


      • Yes, just found your note. All true.

        But given this, this was not the goal or question at issue in my article.

    • Good evening, Mr. Lack-O-Suds-Marconi,

      (To interact with individuals like you who exhibit so many of the qualities that I value is a great relief to me; I sincerely thank JC for providing the opportunity.)

      How do you define spirituality?

      For me, spirituality involves an internal conversation between the logical and emotional centers of the human brain. Like most every conversation, this one often lapses into conflict and (since the dialogue is internal) confusion. Embryologists understand that the minds of fish and reptiles lie at the core of human brains and, as they develop, become increasingly wrapped in the tissues of “higher” brain functionality. But they are still there and they still function!

      Are there evolutionary forces that have preserved these more primitive minds within us or are they merely vestigial? Star Trek suggested the most qualified leader has learned to balance the logical cortex with the emotional limbic system (Spock = logic, Bones = emotion, Kirk = balance).

      When logic fails we resort to emotion. Propaganda, politics, advertising, military training, religious experiences etc. resonate with primitive brain structures. Although they offer their own interpretations of the experience, the mere acknowledgement of the experience suffices as validation of the rhetoric of the interpretation. Something felt in the gut (i.e. outside the realm of logic) can be MORE “real” than something that is observed or reasoned. The fish brain came first; a religious experience will Trump reason…. Our feelings are more real than either our logic or our senses, which can be flawed.

      Why do so many people “believe” the official 911 fairy tale? Why do so many have “faith” in ancient books with talking snakes and obedient, human-regurgitating fish? Why do so many interpret words they hear in their own word-generating minds as having come from a guy who was nailed to a tree 2,000 years ago? Why are so many compelled to tune in to Super Bowl Halftime Commercials?

      Distilling out the fancy clothes, pointy hats, magic smoke, holy books, rituals, traditions and fairy tales leaves the essence of Religion…. Spirituality. For me, Spirituality is an acknowledgment that the human mind is composite, heterogeneous and poorly understood by many of those in possession of one.

      • I recall a documentary about cuttlefish that blew my mind:

        Picture a gathering of 5 or 6 cuttlefish taking turns flashing their psychedelic color patterns to each other. Suddenly they all flash in unison. This spectacle fades and they return to alternating. Next, they simultaneously change their pigmentation and become invisible. Immediately after a shark swims past the gathering, they reappear and the flashing light show resumes.

        Their visual show has the characteristics of a human conversation. Perhaps the concurrent flashing was an argument or somebody said something funny and they burst out in a shared laugh…. I’d like to think so.

        Do these animals have a spiritual component to their existence?

        For me, experiences we label as spiritual are those that are processed outside of the prefrontal cortex that we depend upon to direct the lion’s share of our conscious thinking. These emotional experiences are real; however, our interpretation of these experiences too often depends upon the guidance of a benevolent, omniscient, self-proclaimed elite.

        Emotion is a key ingredient in art… perhaps the defining ingredient. Life is certainly much richer, satisfying, mysterious, wondrous, miraculous, and fun when the deeper brain structures are engaged. I suspect these structures demand regular stimulation. Perhaps this is why art exists. It allows us to safely escape boredom and retreat into the deeper brain spaces that our logical mind endeavors to keep quiet by enveloping us in the cradle of a safe and predictable reality.

        Regarding “Meaning”, I suspect we are encouraged by the powers-that-shouldn’t-be to ascribe significantly more meaning than is warranted to our emotional experiences. “The better to control you with, my dear,” says Granny to Little Red Riding Hood.

        • I had posted this somewhere else, but don’t recall where. Anyway, here it is:


          By the way, I remember hearing stories of people sharing sunsets with Grizzly Bears. They seemed to enjoy it as much as the human did. That is but one example.
          The stoics wrote of such when they espoused a belief that there was a spark of the divine within all things. Both living and dead. This would indicate that even inanimate objects have a spiritual element. Given that matter isn’t what we laymen (I am so refusing to be PC) think it is, but something far more complex, and intelligent (?), than we had imagined; I have no problem with that notion.
          As for myself, I do believe that animals have this “spiritual” aspect to themselves. Any life-form that can experience love should be considered a spiritual life-form. While I am almost completely lost in most scientific explanations, I have met many animals who have proved more capable of expressing love than many humans I’ve known.

          • Thanks. Hope you didn’t have a Hank Hill moment! It was some episode in which he was molested by a dolphin. While I don’t own a tv, it’s hard to get away from them. But at least that one was pretty good.

      • I used to drink heavily myself. About a fifth of Jim Beam a day on average. Of course, this was pretty easy to do growing up as a South Georgia redneck! A tour in the Navy, and then the Army didn’t exactly remove me from a drinking culture, nor the desire to drown out my conscience (?). And of course, another six years in the securities industry didn’t help. In fact, it wasn’t until I quit that industry and changed to an organic diet (after eating real food in Mexico. I know, there are going to be jokes, but this was real Mexico, not the tourist traps.). Then I just didn’t want to drink anymore. There were other factors involved as well; such as returning to my meditation practice and the like; but I think the diet played a crucial role. I’m pretty sure you have heard of how diet effects addiction. That, and no longer participating in occupations that corrupted my soul (or whatever you wish to call it). I don’t care if others drink around me; as long as they don’t get drunk because drunks are annoying when you’re sober. Actually, I don’t care what you do to get your freak on as long as you don’t try and force me into some involvement in it. It’s your body and life; not mine.
        I’m glad you mentioned Jung again. I was just thinking that his videos were coming up soon for me. I am almost through with all the other videos out of Academy of Ideas and was saving his for last. I am looking forward to hearing his “Universal Mind” explanation. I have had a number of experiences which I believe are explainable by this, but I have too rude of an understanding of what he meant to say for sure. Thanks for reminding me again Pablo! Aprender es Vivar. Jim, who no longer sees two zombies when there are only one!

      • Hola Senior Pablo,

        I do not “believe in” science. Rather, I strive to not “believe in” anything. I subscribe to the scientific method, which involves systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

        Faith is useful to pacify the frustration experienced on those occasions when reasoning falls short of understanding.

        Faith in a god is NOT a requirement for an individual to experience wonder at the beauty of a sunset, butterflies when falling head over heels in love, tears of unfathomable joy and gratitude at the first site of one’s newborn son…. goose bumps in response to works of art…. mind blowing, other worldly experiences with music… awe and humility when gazing up at the stars…

        That there are elites of religious shamans, drill sergeants, politicians, advertisers and propagandists standing ready to decode our non-logical experiences and tell us precisely what they mean has always concerned me.

        The thrill of discovery, creation and epiphany do NOT depend upon a prerequisite belief in ancient fairy tales. On occasion, we have experiences that shake us to our very core. Omniscient beings are not included in the conclusions I have drawn regarding the nature of these experiences; the experiences themselves are, for me, enhanced rather than diminished as a result.

        You ask that I not impose my “mechanical life style” on you. I couldn’t if I wanted to. However, the same courtesy is not afforded me. Our culture, history, schools, traditions and the very language we speak are utterly saturated with religion. God Bless America. In God We Trust. God Save the Queen. Merry Christmas. Have Faith. Believe. Say a prayer for me. Happy Easter. Swear on the bible to tell the truth, etc. ad nauseum.

        There are no words in my native tongue to describe powerful and life-changing experiences like the ones I listed above WITHOUT reference to the supernatural. For example, that you and I are alive and aware in this infinite universe and can communicate with one another in this virtual fashion is nothing short of “miraculous”. What other word could I use that would as aptly convey such immensity of feeling? Another example: certain music resonates powerfully with my “soul”….

        On occasion, you and I both have overwhelming, emotional experiences that defy description. Call them spiritual experiences or whatever you like. Whether YOU attribute them to supernatural beings or I rationalize them through my understanding of brain anatomy, embryology and evolution, the actual experience is very much the same.

        It is my sincere hope that your theism delivers as much peace to you as my atheism brings me. Please forgive me if I offend. It is not my intention.

        • Or how did those elements come to be; period? I remember reading recently an article on LiveScience (a horrible ezine which does a tremendous disservice to science in my opinion) which had these astrophysics (I forget the exact title of this bureaucratic division of science) relating their reasoning for the multi-verse theory. One woman stated that they had been left with either the theory of multiverses or a diety. She stated that she did not want to believe in any god, so she chose the multiverse theory. While I am not discounting the multiverse theory, I am wondering how she could consider wanting to believe something with the scientific method. Not to mention that the multiverse theory is merely kicking the can down the road on the deity aspect. Note that I am not claiming there is some big guy in the sky who is really angry that I masturbate so much, but it seems to me that what passes for science is really no more scientific than most religions. Science has become such an arrogant field. For me, it is not the senseless memorizations of genuses and chemical compositions, but something more holistic in its’ core. I might add though that the theory that we are some sort of video game (amazing how our deities always reflect the technology of our time) makes the creator of this game a god to us. Does that make these creators gods? To us, yes. Just as we would be gods to an earthworm.

        • Greetings and salutations, Pablo my brother,

          As I have been inspired by your comments on this and previous threads, I am relieved that we remain on the best of terms. Discussions in other virtual places frequently result in my being called every name in the book. You are a gentleman with whom it is a privelege to share ideas. Muchos gracias, JC, for providing this virtual oasis.

          Sincerely and respectfully,

        • Why would you want to be on a forum that doesn’t want to hear your real opinion? You should consider yourself lucky if they block you.

    • From what little I understand about his involvement in that area, I seem to recall that he did help out, even though he wasn’t allowed direct access. Unfortunately, my study of history didn’t really cover our more recent events. I wasn’t emotionally capable of facing recent events at that time due to my own involvement in them. Nothing spectacular, just a grunt in stupid wars.

    • Everyone is a philosopher for everyone has a philosophy of life, whether they know it or not.

      Conscious philosophy, involves metacognition, introspection.

      Unconscious philosophy is the acceptance of the norms, the morals, the standards, the economic and philosophical historical moment, the conjured past and the culture and self, uncritically.

      Politics will always exist for as Hannah Arrendt so stated, politics is about power: power in relationships, power in society, power in the church, power in every aspect of life, even in oneself where many have buried the policeman that guides them.

      And it will always exist. The issue is how to share power, not to succumb to ideas that power will simply walk away. And this is the problem: shared power.

      Unlike many Corbett readers, I do not use the word followers, I am not a libertarian free market person. I am what one would say was a libertarian socialist. I do not believe that power can be taken from the rulers by libertarian activities. I believe that power, the unchecked and murderous policies of the elites, will be taken by an organized group of people or not taken at all. I say this not to begin a discussion on this matter, only to identify my own philosophy.

      Will this lead to problems if I am right? Sure, read Animal Farm. But this is only one scenario.

  2. I think that this already being done on social media sites,
    like facebook and reddit, where you get more likes or upvotes
    when your opinion is in line with the “majority”.
    This majority is of course managed by a hidden algorithm.

    • I always worry when I am in the majority. It makes me question the wisdom of my belief. I wish that I could say it has proven to be a mistake to think like this, but I can’t. Ahhhh, the masses have always been asses.

  3. Now why was I thinking of that Canadian app while listening to this? Almost all of my friends spend a lot of their time on video games. I confess that I don’t get it. Why would I spend all of my time accomplishing nothing with my life? In any religion, (and today I feel that even atheism has become a religion; especially since that jackass Dawkins claimed you couldn’t be an atheist if you weren’t a vegetarian. WTF!?)we are told there is a purpose to our lives. That we are here to fulfill some purpose. While you may not subscribe to any religion (even Dawkin’s retard atheism), it would be hard for me to imagine being on my deathbed and regretting that I had not played more video games.
    All of these games hold us back from any real life. People pay more attention to their game character than they do their own character. There are even live stream events where people (who are all really out of shape from sitting on their tushes all day and night) watch other people play video games. Most seem to be military, and they all think their stupid strategies apply to the real world. Hint: they don’t. I suppose that video games are our Soma pills. They let us pretend to be heroes extraordinaire, rather than really be heroes extraordinaire. Sometimes I am saddened at the thought of how many people find it too inconvenient to become the truly extraordinary person they could be.
    Oh well, sorry for the long post. I am glad you re=broadcasted this one though. It is still timely. Jim, who is so lucky all the face-eating zombies played video games because that means they are too out of shape to catch him in fluoride-a.

  4. I got a lot out of the Microsoft game engineer’s Behavioral Game Design, because it caused my brain fluids to flow thinking about the applications of the tactics for businesses and of “Marketing” in general.
    Corbett did a good job of gleaning the article…
    (2 or 3 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Ob5ne70a4&feature=youtu.be&t=13m52s

    A lot of the beef in the stew of the subscriber gaming has to do with “directing attention”.
    And aspects of these techniques can (and are) being applied to many products in the marketplace for consumers.

    This ties in very well with what James Corbett was saying about Learned Helplessnes. (one minute) https://youtu.be/0IzsNW0OFbk?t=25m47s
    Noam Chomsky: “…people feel they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”

    Directing attention and interest” are components of Marketing.
    Companies spend a lot of money to get a new customer.
    One of the dilemmas companies have is ‘how to keep that customer’, and also conditioning the customer to continue consuming their products.

    For the Game Industry, they are turning towards a “subscriber” format. The customer continues to consume.
    Phone companies, Internet Providers, Amazon, PC Security, Property Taxes, and Utility companies have a subscriber format. The customer continues to consume.
    Consumables (e.g. drugs, food, beer, Pepsi, gasoline, etc.) can make some of these Corporations very profitable.

    Some products don’t rank very high as a “consumable”.
    A company that makes mouse traps…well, if the trap is effective eventually they will lose a customer.
    How often does a person shop at a furniture store?
    How often do you buy a house?

    Conditioning to consume.
    Christmas always amazes me. How much stuff can a person fit in their house?

    • I really hope that we can come together to play games that matter, to survive on this planet for another century

      What I see out of gamers is that fantasy world part she spoke of. The desire to escape reality. Much of the problem lies in our entire culture. Our school system which educates no one. Our legal system which criminalizes everyone. Our religions which teach us all to submit to government. Over 70% of americans are on at least one prescribed drug. And so on.
      While it is true games could be used for good; that does not mean they will be used for good. Remember when the academics held the reins of power on the internet? Nothing happened. Not until a photo of a naked Russian woman was sent over the net did anyone become interested. Today, over half of the internet (the library of babel) is porn. People who game constantly generally lack the face-to-face social skills that people who don’t have. They generally do not have true knowledge that runs deep and wide, but a scattering of it. They do not remain physically fit enough to keep their mind and body functioning well. The list goes on. Possibilities are endless, but sloth generally wins out. I’m afraid I’m not as optimistic as you are on this one. The people in charge of this (military, social engineers, the usual suspects) would not desire these ends. After being conditioned to submit, the very idea of resistance against the status quo is anathema to most people. But, I do hope I am wrong and you are right. It would be nice. Jim, who can still outrun the gamers which leaves them behind as a meal for the face-eating zombies of fluoride-a.


    This is a Corbett Report Emergency Revival.
    (3 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7U22m9xLrQ

    James Corbett issued the above video during the summer of 2008 following the NIST Report on World Trade Center Building 7. In context of the time period, the esprit and activism of the 9/11 Truth Movement was vibrantly alive and in high gear. The whole movement watched closely as NIST issued their first public statement about the collapse of WTC 7.
    The Corbett video was a big hit at the time.

    Professional Engineer Jonathan H. Cole has recently released this 10 minute video…
    High Rise Fires: Structurally safe? …or sudden death!

    (Note: “Corbett Report” is on his ‘related YouTube Channels’)

  6. Love all the discussions!

    My thoughts:
    …but isn’t life itself a game?

    One makes decisions whether in game or outside of game, expecting an outcome.

    Personally I think it is more who makes/sets the rules!

    • n2abstract says: …but isn’t life itself a game?

      No kidding man!
      Life is best lived as if one is playing a game.
      Look at young children. They make games all the time, their creative imagination flies unbounded as does their joy.

      It does help if the players perceive they are winning at their game.
      The joy comes in the journey as one strives to ‘win’, during the struggle to accomplish one’s goals.
      When players feel they are constantly losing, they tend to withdraw from the game. Perhaps becoming robotic beings, just following through the motions without ‘being there’ in order to get through the day while playing within a rigged game.
      Who wants to play a game where they know they will always lose?

      I contend that we make our own games within our own mindset. …or should.
      When others dictate the games we must play, we give away parts of ourselves.

      • I look at all the serfs. Many millions or billions.
        I doubt the serfs will eventually figure out it is a rigged game.
        Not unless they become informed.

        But how does one inform a person who is ‘not there’? How do you inform a robotic being?

        They have taken a deep dive.
        It is pretty hard to get them to float again.

  7. I would hope you can manage your finances better than a pro! Especially a pro working for Bank of Amerika! When they manage your finances, it seems to work out a lot better for them than it does for you. This isn’t to say they are all criminals, for that would be wrong. However, it is the financial system itself which can deceive the most honest and ethical professional. If one reads the SEC regs, it won’t take very long to understand that most of the protections in it are actually protecting the firms (not even necessarily the companies issuing the stocks, but the investment firms) and not the investors.
    For those regulations which protect the investor, they system is also gamed in such a manner that they are under-mined. While I have met many of the state and federal regulators (not because I was criminal, but just as a normal part of doing business), they are hobbled by the very organization they work for. Many of them are very hard-working and ethical people. This includes the brokers and brokerage firms. However, the SEC is hobbled by supervisors telling people who they are assigned to investigate. They are hobbled by budget restraints. They are hobbled by lobbyists. It is frighteningly easy to mis-direct any efforts to uncover deception. Now imagine the unfathomable oceans of money involved in this business. Realize this is the most regulated industry we have in the US. And understand that the purpose of these regs are to protect criminals. Having been in the industry from early 1998 to June 25, 2003 (my birthday), I have zero faith in the industry. Today, it is far more corrupt than when I was in, and that is saying something! You are the best investment you can make. When you educated yourself in CAD design, you provided for every penny you make today. Now that’s a return on your investment you can be proud of! Cheers Pablo, from Jim who is also investing in himself and never puts his money in corrupt venues.

    • Es verdad. Solamente la vida independencia tiene libertad! Lo siento si mi espanol es malo. Yo soy estudiante. Yes, and though I am glad you do so, I hope it did not come across as a demand for you to do so. It is always a person’s choice to either live their own life or let someone else live it for them. Though I have no idea why anyone would allow such a thing.

      • You have a soul? Just kidding. And yes, it did. By the way, I was just reading an article, and the accompanying comments, on a BrainHQ blog which was about science’s realization that we actually have multiple brains. They are slow, but they finally come around to what the eastern philosophies have been teaching us for over a thousand years. Anyway, this article was concerned with our gut being a brain in and of itself. It is primarily concerned with the physical acts of digestion and the like, but it still is a brain of sorts. And while I did not follow another link I found in the comment section, there was a commentator who talked of others finding the heart to be yet another brain. So, that gives us four brains to think with! Yep, the fourth one isn’t as powerful when you get older, but it has led me down interesting paths. Jim, who tries to balance all of his brains in order to cure these zombies.

      • Wingedlingusto miestro: not so bad you Spanish. I give more weight to the meaning than the rules of construction or spelling. Veridad? Fantastic dialogs on this day of eclipse. Real delightful thank you James and all contributors. Salute!

        • Muchas gracias, mi amigo! I too enjoyed all this conversation, though I didn’t bother driving to go see the sky go dark for a few minutes. Instead, I waited until the sun set. I saw one when I was younger. Defying authority I looked at the sun with my bare eyes and didn’t go blind like they said I would!

  8. As a person who used to game a lot I can share this. The gaming binge of mine lasted for some 10 years, it started while I was about 10-11 and hyped up on commercial propaganda. Luckily, my parents couldn’t afford most of that technology back then.

    I managed to kick the habit about 15 years ago, after breaking my playstation console. I physically threw it against the wall, it withstood the impact due to being of solid design, however it didn’t work anymore. I’m not certain if that action was out of desperation or over getting upset at whatever happened in-game, but it did the trick. Currently, I game to extent of considering the time “investment” as escapism.

    I did have a few relapses during the years, sadly. One would probably advise an alcoholic not to visit that many bars, but this stuff is pretty much everywhere and people are usually not equipped enough to spot someone who may have a gaming “problem.” I never got into the MMO bullshit, I was quite fearful of its effects, knew quite a lot of people who wasted years on stuff like that. If I was forgone level 9, these guys were turning level 11.

    From this perspective, I have to say that the amount of wasted man hours on gaming is staggering. There are bound to be myriad of psychological effects as well since most vile things present in social networks are present in online games too. From that view point, single players offline games are maybe better, even if by the slightest of margins.

    I guess this is very much dependent on person to person basis, but for me gaming binges (sometimes I would do 12 hours per day with breaks) resulted in a feeling that my brain was being programmed. Much of my thoughts were saturated by ingame mechanics and often my dreams (as seldom as I’d remember any of them) would be imbued with stuff I’d encounter ingame. To delve deeper into this, I’d often dream about things which I consumed a lot, were it gaming, studies, TV show watching binges etc. Usually, the dream would get stuck in a sequence, running over and over again, not allowing me to do any sleeping, probably due to too high brain activity. One of the terrible nights I had was trying to solve some differential equations in a dream, I woke up feeling a lot more tired than I was going to sleep. Sad busyness lol.

    The part talking about “activity” instead of “enjoyment” is so very true. It’s so true, it’s actually opposite – instead of “lack of enjoyment,” one could feel quite a lot anxiety, get rather upset and be under stress; even under duress, quitting wasn’t really an option, I’d often feel as if I had something to prove to the “game.” As if winning was actually winning.

    Note that vast majority of my gaming experience is offline, in single player mode. Another aspect to online games is the game community, which can serve as a quitting deterrent, if one cherishes the community enough. Which further compounds if one spends more time with his game buddies than his real life buddies. The two obviously can’t compare, since one establishes a very thin relationship with people whom you meet online in such conditions.

    I really don’t think parents even remotely realize the negative potential of these technologies on children. During my childhood, these devices were expensive and hard to come by. Now they are everywhere and far too many parents seem to find it too easy to just hand the kid a smartphone and call it a day.

    Final note, from my experience it’s obvious there are some types of character that are not conducive to these types of addictions, at all. It’s obviously a lot less interesting to women (at least used to be in my day,) in general, but also some men. I’m not able to pinpoint the characteristic which would act as a gaming deterrent, though.

    • There have been a number of psychological studies on gamers. I don’t recall most of it as it was just idle curiosity rather than active on my part. However, it does seem that attention spans were affected tremendously. On the plus side, finer hand coordination and reaction times increased. Personally, I figure my attentiveness means I won’t need the reaction or coordination as much.
      My biggest concerns are that 1- this puts people in a sedentary, higly-stressful situation for prolonged periods. 2- No stress relieving exercise for the time you are gaming. 3- No sunshine 4- No contact with nature which is inherently healthy. 4- Lack of interpersonal relationship development (that didn’t sound nerdy at all!) 5- As everything revolves around fast changing environments, no real long term thinking is being developed. The closest I ever saw in that were some of the so called strategy games like risk and civ. But those aren’t the majority of games anyway. None of them approach chess or go. This, combined with the higher stress levels involved in gaming, means that people are less able to develop their calmer, more strategic thinking abilities. In effect, they not only have their stress levels keeping them in fight or flight mode, but their mindset has evolved to also keep them there. There are a lot of other minor nuances I’ve noticed, but these are the ones I have personally noticed. Not to mention that if you are gaming, you are not doing other things. For example; if I were gaming, I wouldn’t have time for this. I wouldn’t have time to study my spanish, I wouldn’t have time to begin the K. Trudeau’s memory course. I wouldn’t have time to work on a project which is nearing completion and should allow me to finance even more projects I want to begin. I wouldn’t have time to take a bicycle rather than a car. I wouldn’t have time to exercise. Research, etc. Gaming takes up a lot of time. Just like any other addiction. It’s true that it’s here and probably to stay. However, the same can be said for meth and flacca. Doesn’t mean I want to do any of them. So for me; I just say NO to gaming. However, that doesn’t mean I am right. Nor does it mean that I am saying you are wrong for gaming. This is just my observances and opinions. It may be that it could turn out to be a good thing. But I doubt it.

    • mkey,
      That was a very interesting anecdote about your experiences with gaming.

      I guess its all about balance. Games, whisky, women, online here, TV, movies, Texas, talk of Texas, more talk of Texas, Joe Bob Briggs, more Texas tales….

      I do see some benefits in playing games, electronic or otherwise.
      Certain skills develop playing games. A person on occasion might even feel more self-confident if they master a certain feat.

      I remember as a kid playing Bridge for full days sometimes for a week, or Monopoly, or conquering the world playing RISK all night with my teenage friends, or marathon poker games with friends. I once stood at the Craps table for 10 hours straight without going to the bathroom…I didn’t want to miss a hot roller. Finally, after a hot roller, I left to pee.

      Pinball was one of my favorites.
      I would get juiced when the jukebox played Pinball Wizard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AKbUm8GrbM
      …and on occasion, when I kept whipping that ball around chalking up free game after free game, hearing that loud click, I felt like Master of the Universe.
      I still remember that Café in Hico, TX which had a nickel pinball machine.

      I watched as the screen version games came on the scene. Like Packman or Space Invaders. It was interesting in those days. I even tried my hand at selling those consoles to convenience stores. I sucked at it.

      • yes. We used to play spades all day long. I also played arcade games as well. While they CAN take over your life, they do have elements which make them superior in some ways to the modern gaming scene. 1- They were done in social situations for the most part. 2- Some of them developed far more strategic mindsets (I played a lot of poker and that is not gambling. It is understanding percentages, risks, and human behaviors) than others. Chess was another one I played a good bit of, though I didn’t devote myself into the nerd phase enough to become anything more than intermediate. But it too was a social game at that time. I never even heard of Go until I was past interest in those type of games, but I’ve heard it is the most challenging of all the strategic games. By the way, Missile Command ruled! Jim, who only plays The Hunger Games with the zombies of fluoride-a today.

        • My son, who lived with my ex-wife in a small Texas town loved games. But he won at them. He was quarterback in High School and also a regional champion chess player.
          I went to visit him during his first year at a Podunk Texas town college. We went to the bowling alley to play pool. I got the break with no ball in. After that, he ran the entire table. My jaw dropped.
          He told me that he would sometimes make extra pocket money going to bars and playing pool with the hardhats after their workday.

          He’s a nice mannered, humble guy. No brag about him, just a genuine fellow. He likes to see that things are done right, not slip-shod.

          He raises his kids the Texas way to be independent, financially and otherwise. When the kids messed up, he made them hand write an essay. He would check the essay for grammar, form and spelling. If they wanted something, they would have to write an essay. When their grades were down for not doing homework, he made them write an essay to the teacher.
          Their writing skills are way above par for their peer group.
          My 19 year old granddaughter just got back from working in Alaska for the summer and is now at an Austin area college for her sophomore year. Paying her way.

          And there is Texas style ‘justice’. My 15 year old grandson got caught having smoked pot at school after he passed out. My son gets with his local police friends (everyone knows everyone) and they go in to give his 15 year old the big scare.

          My son’s stepdad once did the same type of clever thing… My son and his half brother, as young teens, got caught spray painting the side of a neighbor’s barn with images of naked women. The neighbor was pretty upset as he pounded on the family’s trailer house door. After hearing the story, my son’s stepdad slides off his belt and tells my son to get in the house. They go to an open window room. My son’s stepdad tells my son: “You better make this sound good.” My son screams and screams as his stepdad whips the bed (not my son) with the belt. The neighbor seemed somewhat satisfied that justice was done.

          • Oh yes! I remember playing pool for drinks. We would spend all day at one of those CrossRoads Mission places near the Naval Base in Great Mistakes because one of the people used to be a city champion in rotation pool. Then, we’d go hit the bars and play 8-ball until we could barely stand! But, I haven’t played pool in years. I also wished my dad would have hit the bed with his belt, but he didn’t. While it is grounds for having your children kidnapped by the state today, I thought it taught me how to never get caught. Let’s face it, when you are a kid you never think about the consequences of your actions until you get caught. Which is why I used to ask mine, “What were you thinking?” You knew they weren’t, but listening to them make up their stories justifying what they had just done was fun. And not nearly so brutal as beating. I only swatted both of mine twice. Both out of frustration, and it hurt me more than them. And when I say swat, that is exactly what I meant.

        • Yes. I saw something like that on a live stream recently. They were all playing some kind of combat game. Which I ridiculed as none of these video generals would have lasted 30 seconds in a real scenario. What was really hilarious was all the running their characters were doing while carrying hundreds of pounds of gear. As an old paratrooper, it made my knees hurt just to watch it. The funniest part was that at the end, we had video of all of them standing around and they were all in pathetic physical condition. I’m 57 and hardly a specimen fit for Men’s Fitness, but I’m pretty sure I could have out-performed any, and all, of these armchair warriors in any physical event they chose. Ultimately, it was pretty sad.

          • Oh yes, I’ve seen many videos showing the Army’s of both countries being interested in video players. Not just for drones either. Tanks as well. Of course, I can tell you the military is not the place to become mentally well. Many of them develop horrendous mental problems once they finally figure out the reality of their games.

          • I didn’t even know what it was for well over a decade. So much anger. Not that the VA ever helped. Actually lucky in that regard. Nothing could be worse than their doctors helping you. Luckily, for the past 13 years I’ve been using a binaural meditation program put out by a company called Holosync that literally saved, not just my life, but those whom I might have harmed had I not come to terms with all that anger. Drinking helped in repressing it, but that is a poor medicine. Yet, I’d take drinking over those death pills any day!

          • They definitely should fight their own wars. Or at least send their children to the front lines. I did serve with one such child. His father was a senator out of Missouri. But, we don’t need any of these wars. If they are not over here attacking me or mine, I have no interest. Oddly enough, I am a draft dodger, despite having ten years in the service. When I was getting out, they told me I had to register for the Selective Service. I told them “Good luck with that”. Like most people, I didn’t go in for any flag. I went in because my area was poor and had few economic opportunities. Thanks government!

          • Yes. I can only imagine how it must have been for her. The old phrase, you can never go home again, takes on a whole new meaning in her case.

          • Pablo De Boar; you are so right. The condemnation of murder from some D.U.M.B.(deep underground millitary base) near Las Vegas is despicable and cowardly. Traumatizing young men and weman for life. They even give out medals to pin on the chests of those unfortunate people for a heroic murder with a good clean kill. Deplorible is to mild a term of reference for the depraves in command. Lets not go into collateral damage, accuracy or reliable intell on the despicable choice of lethal unjustifiable action..shame.shame. shame this is Zionism at it most insidious state.

      • Gambling is one of the addictions which can destroy entire families in a blink of an eye. I know of quite a few people struck by this problem. Booze, drugs, “pro” sports, games, dice, shopping are only some of the distractions we are bombarded with and all of them can damage a human being and his loved ones.

        The only “positive” thing I’ll grant to gaming is that it has a certain escapist potential which is all perfectly fine and dandy lest one abuses it. In this regard, classical adventure games are probably the least dangerous ones since they don’t induce the “one more move” mentality and can be quite thought provoking as well as heart breaking.

        Some general dexterity and strategical thinking can be developed in games, but you can gain such skills doing more worthwhile stuff, something actually useful. Most of the strategy skills gained in games is applicable within the game mechanics only.

        • This is very true. I personally know of several people addicted to gambling. The state takes advantage of this with their lottery programs, which I find sickening. The old numbers racket was actually far fairer, but it had “criminals” running it rather than respectable government officials! 🙂
          As far as strategy goes, I’ve heard many times that chess is war. strategy and all that. But chess is a very clean game. Yes, it has tactics and strategy, but they have very little to do with war. War is a complicated stew of incompetence and unforeseen circumstances. In short, it has little in common with chess. It may look like it to the grand strategists snuggled safely in their war rooms, but it doesn’t.

        • I give 2 to 1 odds that the average person will do better or the same at the craps table than at Wall Street day trading.

          Two decades ago, a friend (Steve) from Dallas was going to go gamble in Louisiana for the weekend. I gave him a hundred bucks. Told him to lay $10 on the double zero of the roulette wheel after each spin until my hundred was depleted. If double zero came in (pays 35 to 1), let the entire winnings and original bet ride for the next spin.

          Well, one of the spins hits the double zero with my 10 bucks on it…
          So, there was $350 winnings plus my original $10. Steve just couldn’t do it. He was too anxious for my welfare. He pulled my money. He was supposed to let everything ride again on the green 00.
          Well, dog gone it… that little white ball bounced into the double zero again on the next spin.
          If he had left it (as I instructed), I would have had $12,600 (35 X $360) plus the original $360 for a full total of about $13,000.

          From $100 seed money to 13k over an effortless weekend would had been something to write home about.
          One can only laugh.
          Life has some glorious adventures.

          • While I don’t consider roulette or craps (or anything in that casino, which I’ve visited as well. Or at least one in Shreveport) as a moneymaker; you’ve got me there. Once you give your broker that check, its their money; not yours. It’s one of the real reasons they call them brokers! As I sit here typing, I’m trying to remember a single person I made money for, besides myself and the firm, and I can’t do it. Sure, on a few trades I would make them a few hundred percent gain, but that just meant they had to send me more money. The more money you make for a client, the more money they send to you. In our business, it was all about a quick turn-around. We made our money when the client traded, not when it was sitting there making money as an investment. I COULD make you money in the industry, but you would have to be on the other side of the table. That’s not a side you really want to be on though. Or at least, I hope not!
            I remember my last few months at a major corporation, just sitting there. I had thought this one was honest, or at least tried to be so. That they cared. I must have been desperate to justify my own life to even consider such a thought. There was simply no way for me to avoid it anymore. By this time, I had moved into selling financial plans. I could access the whole enchilada. Life Insurance, Long Term Care, Disability, Retirement Plans, you name it. But once I was absolutely forced to realize just how dishonest every aspect of that sector was, I had to make a decision. I knew I could work for just a few more years and retire, but that I would have to really talk myself into making sure it was worth it. I just couldn’t do it. So, on my birthday, I walked out and went skydiving. That was in 2003. I’m only now coming back into my own again, but it was a great decision. All that suffering since then became the strength that is my purpose today. To lose everything was the best thing that ever happened to me. And, just in case you didn’t figure it out from this; I don’t believe in insurance either. It’s the same as the rest of the markets. Just a rigged game. Bet you 3 to 2 the slots would have done better for you!

            • … I don’t believe in insurance either. It’s the same as the rest of the markets. Just a rigged game. Bet you 3 to 2 the slots would have done better for you! — Jim, in the land of the face-eating zombies.

              • The commission for those insurances I mentioned were in the 100-104% range. That would be for the entire first year. The life insurance wouldn’t be term either. They were called VULs. Had mutual funds in them and are used as retirement vehicles. Most of my clients put in about $500 a month. So that would pay me just over $6,000 in commission for that one. I only got a little over half of it, but this was what really got me to questioning their value. After all, just how much of that was necessary for the actual insurance if they were willing to pay me that much right up front before the year was even begun? After the first year, we got what they called trails. I might only get a few pennies a year on each policy, but they add up over time. Basically, my figuring was that if they were paying ME that much, just how much were they paying everyone else? When you add in how much expenses are involved in following government regulations, plus all the personnel being paid; self-insurance is far better. This is a short explanation, but I think you can see how deep the rabbit hole can go. And it was too far for me anymore. That was the final straw for any sort of real belief in anything in our system. I lost faith in everything for a long time afterwards. Luckily, I came out the other side of that abyss a much stronger, and (dare I say it?) compassionate person.

  9. I don’t catch every Corbett Report but I am unable to recall an episode that specifically addresses religion. What, you might ask, does religion have to do with gaming? The control of human behavior by stimulating subconscious brain structures.

    Who has more experience than the church in dictating unto humanity the meaning of their subconscious thoughts and feelings?

    What I am suggesting is immensely unpopular and even offensive to many. To do so openly would have had me burned at the stake in other times and / or places. I am suggesting the catalyzing motivation behind our righteous and perpetual fight for the right to religious freedom reveals the very essence of our mass enslavement.

    I am suggesting that humanity will NOT end enslavement until they better understand the working of their own minds. I see little evidence of the promotion of this demystification process in public spaces.

    I suspect Mr. Corbett wouldn’t want to touch this topic with a 10-foot pole; why fix what ain’t broken? However, I am of the opinion that the very same human flaw exists at the core of those faithful to political leaders, democracy, flags, nations, media sources, 911 narratives, settled climate fairy tales and religious belief.

    A poster in my children’s school suggested, “What you feel is more important than what you think”. This was adjacent to a poster declaring that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

    Our unique genetically inherited predispositions and traits of personality as well as our appallingly inadequate understanding of the anatomy responsible for our varied conscious states have shackled humanity to faith in a mystic and immutable supernatural spirituality; we have “souls”. Belief, faith, spirit, souls, patriotism…. This is the language of the psychopathic, controlling propagandists… and they are winning with precious little resistance.

    • Religion has NOTHING to do with spirituality. It was, and remains, a government entity. Only in that respect does this site address religion. And only in that Mr. Corbett is not exactly a fan of any government. I grew up, and still live, in the bible belt. But I’ve never been religious. That could get you killed quite easily, especially in my youth. Born in 1960. Different world.

    • – RELIGION –
      My famous cousin’s cousin, Joe Bob Briggs, (who lives in the Texas trailer park next to mine), tells us about Religious TV…

      You will see the Dallas-Ft Worth Fox 4 News Report about the above video here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB4Z5wA0Trw

      More about the famous Joe Bob Briggs…

      • I just now remembered the lucrative field of Church Bonds. Ranks up there with Oil And Gas. Preachers and money. I remember when I was in college and was about to graduate. I cut my hair into young republican and wore a suit to school. One of my teachers stopped class for about five minutes because it just wasn’t the me she was used to. Another one was talking with me, I was friends with most of them, and asked if I had considered being a preacher. He knew I wasn’t religious, but that I knew the bible fairly well. I told him I’d rather run guns as that was something I could believe in. I’d still rather run guns and I don’t even own one anymore! While I believe that there is a greater force than myself in this giant play we all live, I could never be a preacher. When I graduated (1997), I learned of a job being offered by a church. This was in Valdosta, GA. where the average income was 25K a year. They were paying twice that, plus they offered free housing, free car, and all expenses. God pays pretty good. And have you ever wondered why they all want to save those poor kids in Africa? It’s because it’s too far away for their parishioners to go and check up on them. The moneylenders still run the temples.

    • Yes. While I do believe there is something greater than myself, I think if it were so important for us to believe in its form, we would have been given clearer instructions than what religions have given us. For me, what is important is how we conduct ourselves in this life. If this god decides to punish me for simply not believing in it, regardless of how I live my life; then it’s not much of a god. In short, I use my belief as an anchor for my actions. Not my actions to match something I cannot truly conceive. I think I need more coffee this morning, but I hope my point comes across. Jim

    • “What organizes elements into life” (in < 3,000 characters)

      In my mind, a critical early step towards "life" must have been self-replication. Self-replicating chemistry exists in nature. As a starting point, the first search result I obtained for "self replicating chemicals" yielded this interesting reference:


      The span of a human life is roughly 100 years (a brief flash of static electricity in the dark). A millennium seems like an awfully long time; how different the world was during the Battle of Hastings in 1066….

      To wrap one's head around evolution requires the daunting task of thinking in terms of hundreds of millions of years.

      How much time and effort have we invested in contemplating logical steps from self-replicating-chemicals to self-replicating-chemicals-contained-within-membranes to self-replicating-chemicals-contained-within-membranes ingesting OTHER self-replicating-chemicals-contained-within-membranes existing symbiotically etc. through hundreds of millions of years until the existence of mind blowingly complicated single celled organisms?

      By contrast, how much time and effort has been invested in producing evidence to support undeniable "faith" that an invisible all-knowing wizard did the whole job in a week for his own amusement?

      Consider a mosquito for a moment. It has light receptors that respond to a moving shadow. It has tiny hairs that sense the direction of a sudden movement of air. It has wings that take flight away from my swatting hand. A mosquito is much more of a collection of reflexes than a conscious being. However… it shares the same fundamental purpose that humans have. That purpose is to secure resources of space, energy and time, survive to adulthood, REPRODUCE, and die.

      The body of the mosquito is a vehicle to facilitate the success of its self-replicating chemicals. It is a mind-boggling leap from single celled organisms to mosquitos… and… 2.3 billion years is a mind-boggling stretch of time.

      Self-awareness is an inevitability on planets that contain life. (life, itself, an inevitability in an infinite universe) Comprehension of the finality of death and questions regarding the origin of life would begin with legends and myths involving gods created in the image of the life form asking the questions. In time, the earliest mythologies would be replaced as intelligence evolved and the boundary of comprehension expanded further into the dark, scary, mysterious unknown.

      Intelligence (self awareness, language, altruism, nurturing of offspring etc.) provides a powerful survival advantage to species of self-replicating chemical vehicles that wish to compete for finite resources of space, energy and time.

      The meaning of life for the individual, therefore, is to successfully acquire the precious resources of space and energy, survive to adulthood, secure a suitable mate so that the self-replicating chemicals can exploit the most critical of resources: time.

      (Meanwhile, someone suggested that until I create my own universe from a big bang in a test tube, they would continue to believe in a creator.)

      < 3,000

      Individuals are complicated vehicles reflecting the rich variety of survival strategies developed over billions of years by self-replicating chemicals in competition for finite resources of space, energy and time. All else is mere folly.

      • I think I am a good bit more than a chemical robot. I also think it is hardly folly to think this. Nor would I ever say it was folly to say either one. These are both unknowable things, and it is the origin of these things more than the things themselves that was the subject, so to claim a differing opinion is folly is hardly a scientific observation.

        • wingsuitfreak, I agree sincerely with everything you just said. My poetic license should be suspended (temporarily, I hope) for my absurd and inappropriately hyperbolic use of the word “folly”. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my comments.

          Yes, you are BILLIONS OF YEARS removed from a mere chemical robot. You are an extremely intelligent human being.

          (Consider for a minute that I experience precisely the same galling aversion to supernatural assumptions that you experienced to my arguments involving self-replicating chemicals)

          • Apology and flattery accepted! Jim, now blushing.

        • One quibble with your argument. You state there are a couple of definitions for consciousness. No one has actually been able to define consciousness or mind (not even sure if they are considered the same anymore, that’s how jumbled up that field is). Please don’t flame me, but you could flame the zombies chasing me. Jim

        • Good morning, John,


          1) Do I believe [an hypothesis regarding the fundamental purpose and the very definition of ALL life, including humans and mosquitos] has anything to do with science? Yes. In my opinion, science can be applied to answer any question.

          2) I have indeed spent time pondering the definition of “reflex” as well as imagining a number of observed behaviors that satisfy the definition. My definition doesn’t differ from those found in common dictionaries. I have not, however, attempted to catalog ALL reflexes.

          3) Yes, a mosquito is more a collection of reflexes than a snoring suburbanite. You and I will agree that there is MUCH more cerebral complexity involved in our dreams than in the reflexual actions taken by insects.

          4) You suggest that “because I am not religious I feel no need to think about how words are used and what they mean”. Why is it not possible for atheists and scientists to think about language? I thoroughly enjoyed reading John Ralston Saul’s dictionary…..

          5) “I suspect your opinions are provided to you by what you take to be ‘science.'” You are correct. My first degree was a B.Sc.

          6) Your assertion that scientific conclusions require controlled experiments is bang on. However, science cannot advance without the educated guesswork of hypothesis. Intelligent questions are the prerequisite to insightful experimentation…. experimentation doesn’t begin until AFTER scientific hypotheses are raised.

          (Guilty as charged, I am not merely a scientist. I am indeed a “clumsy philosopher and a shoddy theologian”.)

          7) Humility – A very significant contributor to the Canadian identity that is woven inextricably in the national mythology is that we are, by nature, humble, apologetic and peace loving. “Come and take our natural resources at a discount. Sorry, I forgot to say ‘Please’.”

          I’ve spent 50 years apologizing for my existence, feeling remorse for biological urges, regretting having left a carbon footprint…. Is it possible that I was conditioned by the-powers-that-shouldn’t-be to not DARE to raise questions such as the ones that elicited your emotional response? Who am I to suggest such things? Some sort of Hitler want-to-be?


          – In what way am I confused by the word “conscious”? What are the two (at least) meanings of “consciousness” that are confounding me?

          ….apologies….I have a busy day ahead and I’m being pulled away… You have asked some very good questions and I thank you for them. I am honored that you took the time to read my rants and very satisfied that it inspired you to respond. Please continue to revisit all assumptions and stand up for your convictions. Well done. I hope to get back to you later,

          The future Dictator of the Planet Earth

        • One other minor quibble. When you said M. Claire didn’t understand words, I found it funny. Nobody can muddy up the waters of clarity like a scientist writing a paper! Under the guise of defining anything, they can confuse the most literate person outside of their narrow field. Even lawyers writing insurance contracts have nothing on scientists and their verbal skills!

          • Now, just to ensure I stay somewhat impartial, this is a link to an article I just read, which pretty much sums up my opinion of much of what is wrong with science today. While I am far from being a Luddite, I am often accused of being one because I have a skeptical mind, especially towards authority. I was told this is a symptom of PTSD. That made me laugh! Authority was the cause of those problems. But, I digress. It isn’t science itself, but it’s practitioners and how it is used by leaders. Not just political leaders, but those within the specific scientific communities themselves. I also have problems with the narrow focus that dominates much of science today. I am more of a holistic mindset. After all, the only closed systems we have in this world are those inside a laboratory. Anyway, here it is:


          • Thank you, wingsuitfreak, for the link to the thoughts of Jon Rappoport with which I am in complete agreement. Words like “belief” and “faith” lie outside the realm of science. That oxymoronic statements such as “faith in settled science” are commonplace illustrates how thoroughly our brains have been washed.

            In future, when I identify myself as a scientist I need to be careful to distance myself from the Official Church of Sacred Sciency Propagandists who, with their colleagues in the media, relentlessly promote the extensive use of the concepts of belief, faith, souls, spirits, religious freedom etc. ad nausem which form the links of the chains that enslave us.

          • You are very welcome. When I was a child, I always felt the hallmarks of a scientific mind were a combination of skepticism and curiosity. No degree needed. I did not do well in science in high school because I tuned out of it in the sixth grade after they put me in a higher grade. Before then, I felt I was retarded because none of the adults made any sense to me! Only after they had given us an IQ test (which I don’t remember taking or the score, nor do I care as some number means so little to me) did I realize it wasn’t me that was lacking. Not to say that there were no consequences to me as a result of those beliefs in my early years, but I did come to the conclusion that the reason why school made so little sense to me was because IT was senseless; and not me.
            Among my heroes were Leonardo DaVinci, a truly remarkable man. He epitomized the pinnacle of scientific thinking in my mind. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I ran across the new, official, definition of a scientist. Someone who has “received” (I put quotes because receive is a lot different than earned. Anyone who has been to college knows that either will get you a degree, but only one was worth the effort) a degree in science and was working in a science related field. In other words, you could be working an assembly job putting acid into batteries, and as long as you had the right piece of paper; you could call yourself a scientist. Leonardo couldn’t.
            There have been a lot of changes in how we perceive science, it is hardly a field above reproach. Yet, when I tell people that science is amoral, they act as if I had just spit on a cross. As for me, I have returned to emulating my hero DaVinci. Science is grand, but scientism is as pathetic as any religion. Have fun, Jim

      • Did you ever see George Carlin’s bit about sharing an apartment? His belongings were “stuff” while his roommates belongings were “$hi!”. The other guy’s $hi! was always in the way of his stuff….

        My assertion is that chemistry, physics and mathematics are responsible for the dynamic creation we inhabit. I like to call this assertion a “theory”…. makes me feel smart. Whereas, my label for faith in an omniscient being is “fairy tale”…. makes me feel smugly superior.

        You are correct for suggesting that none of my educated guesswork precludes the possibility of a supreme being. Likewise, neither our lack of comprehension nor the limits of our imagination make it necessary that there IS a supreme being.

        This all said…

        I stand by the following assertions:

        – that there is a common thread between advertising, propaganda, politics, religion, behavioral control and people’s willingness to place faith in elite individuals and institutions.

        – that belief and faith pick up where reason and comprehension leave off.

        – that atheists who rely on the scientific method for gathering information are capable of experiencing precisely the same rich, emotional, artistic, awesome, epiphany riddled, profound, wondrous and miraculous experiences that “spiritual” people do WITHOUT the need for supernatural beings, ancient stories or superior elites to provide meaning.

        – that atheists have very strong morals, empathy and altruistic tendencies…. without owing favors to… or being afraid of… a supreme being.

        – that psychopaths who lack morals, empathy and altruistic tendencies (people who have no “souls”) may be better understood if, rather than using words like “soul”, we instead investigate the possibility of impaired functioning of deeper brain structures that lay outside of the cerebral cortex. (I am suggesting the use of magic words like “soul” is worse than counterproductive)

        – that years of intentional meditation (quieting the “logical mind” while maintaining awareness of other brain functions) can lead to a better understanding of phenomenon that we reflexively label as “spiritual”. So, too, can a diligent study of embryology, anatomy, physiology, evolution and the scientific method.

        – that the human mind will not evolve to a higher level until we are willing to entertain these sorts of questions which challenge assumptions upon which foundation our identities are supported.

        – that we will be unable to free ourselves from the will of psychopaths before we come to properly understand them AND ourselves.

        • I don’t think anyone here has even come close to saying otherwise about the connection between religion, govt, etc. While I believe in a greater force, I despise religion as just another government. I do slightly disagree that belief and faith are inferior. They can be, as can all things, be that; however even the new theories about the universe and reality create their own gods. The virtual universe would necessarily have such a superior force; a god. It would have to be an entity so far beyond our abilities to comprehend that it boggles the mind. Now, putting atheists on this moral pedestal? No. That is apples and oranges. There are people who are atheists because they are simply too lazy to resist their friends thoughts. Just like religious nuts. Crazies are in every religion, and atheism has become a religion in its own right in our society. Examples include Dawkins ridiculous statement that you can’t be an atheist unless you are a vegetarian. Smacks of Deuteronomy to me. On the psychopaths, I think my statements have covered that ground well enough on this site. I don’t even believe they are necessarily bad people. And while I meditate daily, and have since 1976; moving to a more structured program in 04, I also educate myself in other areas. This is just part of a well-rounded education; which is something we should all be doing. As far as the scientific method, it has serious limitations as it is applied today. It is far too narrow. Too often, we find the focus of science becoming more and more narrow, with experts having extreme depth of knowledge in such a narrow field that they lack the ability to see how that can be used in different areas, or how it affects other areas. The whole global warming swindle is one example. Geo-engineering another. Even well-intentioned efforts have unforeseen consequences which could have been avoided had a more holistic approach been taken. But these are all minor disagreements. But since such a sizeable percentage of well-respected scientists (I forgot the number but it was in some TED talk) remain religious, I don’t think your opinion that it is irrational to believe in such a force holds sway over the entirety of the scientific community. I think it more likely that it has become a politicized affair and that we are led to believe this in many ways. Which sort of reminds me of my point that there are bad people in every sector of society. Though I don’t like using the term “bad” as this generally means someone who doesn’t think like we think they should think. Remember, even Nietzsche didn’t rule out that there was nothing else beyond the material world. Which is a whole “nudder” can of worms. Jim

      • Well, I would explain in detail the brilliance of your article (flattery works very well on the vain. And I look quite dashing in my wingsuit. I don’t have a picture handy, but trust me. Really.) Anyway, to the time when we first began experiencing pleasure and pain; in the interest of further clarifying the subject, I would like to point to the Garden of Eden when that woman made from clay and a rib got talked into eating a magical fruit (from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) by a talking snake. Surely, only a terrorist could argue with that one. Muh Roads! Jim

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  11. E M Jones has a pretty good section on Skinner in his book Libido Dominandi


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