Monday, December 31, 2007

the reinstigation comencifies

matatapos na ang This Year at parating na ang Next Year kaya bukas Last Year na itong post na ito. bumili na ng mga Next Year na calendaryo baka pagtingin nyo bukas eh Last Year pa ren ang nakalagay at malito kayo. Happy Next Year!

through souless streets and soaring depths the music has come back home. the following was born in the midst of the October 2006 Milenyo smackdown and its taken more than a year to learn to walk and soon it will learn to run, jump and kick. drumtrack is courtesy of FL Studio. i think of it as a chewy-chewy sound

chewy chewy sound (mp3, 3.2 mb)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lecture Essay #2: The Real Reverse Psychology

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"Life Imitates Art"
- Oscar Wilde

The idea that advertising tries to manipulate us is no longer so controversial to most people. Hence the question is no longer academically interesting and it has lost its shock value for the more sophisticated. Even the weight conscious person is aware that Cosmopolitan is trying to play with her sympathies and sell her stuff through supermodel subtlety.

More civic minded people have therefore been telling themselves “If television can tell people what to buy, television should be able to make people be better citizens and children better students, right?” To their credit these people haven’t been lazy in their mass-media preaching. Recall the “Just Say No” campaign of the 90’s, the Flying house bible-adventure theme and compare that with the recent Safeguard animation mini-series.

The really amazing thing about do-gooder ad campaigns like these is that in many cases they are spectacular failures, sometimes backfiring by actually leading to an increase in the behavior they are supposed to get rid of. There was plenty of embarrassment and head-scratching to go around, and the problem remains one of the more annoying facts about behavior that won’t fit neatly into the theories. To their credit, psychologists have not been idle and have even named the phenomenon. And so the concept of “psychological reactance” has entered into the vocabulary of psychology, but just because you’ve named something doesn’t mean you understand it.

What is known so far is that if you try to persuade people sometimes they get the idea that you are trying to control them or limit their freedom. When that happens the tendency is for the person to not just ignore you but for them to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to make them do. This is psychological reactance. Think of all those government warnings on cigarette packs: Is it possible that by some strange logic they are actually promoting smoking? I’m sure the top bosses at Marlborough find this very amusing. It seems that by trying too hard you could actually turn your audience against you and defeat your purpose, making things worse than if you didn’t try at all.

And so the art of persuasion might not be as straightforward as it seems. A little slight of hand is in order; the problem of how to manipulate people without them knowing that you are doing so. This doesn’t have to sound so nasty and Machiavellian as I might be putting it if you think about the fact that you could use this to convince people to save the environment by driving around less or that condom use can prevent the spread of HIV. We try to persuade people to change their behaviors and attitudes all the time, when asking for more allowance or asking people to sin no more.

Part of the problem might lie in the person trying to persuade you. So far at least one experiment has shown (Chartrand, et al 2006) that if the person making a request (or issuing a command) is close to them and is seen as controlling (think nagging mother-type or annoying supervisor), reactance is more likely. And this can even happen nonconsciously, meaning we are likely not aware that we do it at all, and might especially be true for people who value personal control and freedom.

Which when you think about it means the more someone values their freedom and the more they resent authority the more manipulable through reactance they are. An uneasy thought...

So what’s the trick? Well, maybe if you keep reminding your friends that you are studying psychology and then when you want them to do something why not try telling them to do the opposite. Sneaky, if it works.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Isang araw sa Intramuros

Sabado at kakatapos ko lang ipasa ang entries namin para sa Mayo sa FPPF Fort Santiago. Naglalakad na ako sa Gen. Luna nang huminto ako sa isang gusaling basag ang mga bintana at halatang nasunog. Huminto ako para kumuha ng ilang litrato. Saka ko lang naisip na ito pala ang headquarters ng Comelec na nasunog nuong Pebrero (mayroon pang sunog na memo sa bintana). Inisip ko kung anong nangyari sa imbestigasyon pero hindi ako nag-isip ng matagal dahil tanghaling-tapat at mainit. Naglakad na ako uli. Ilang hakbang pa palapit na ako sa gusali ng NCAA. May mga batang nagiingay at humihiyaw. Mayroon atang palaro. Maya maya pa ay lumabas ang dalawang magkatunggali, parehong lalaking laseng (o mukhang laseng). Tulakan at suntukan hanggang umabot sa gitna ng kalye. Nakalamang ang isa sa suntok at tumba ang mamang walang pang-itaas. Naunang lumapag ang likod sinundan ng malakas na pagumpog ng bumbunan sa aspalto. Hindi nakuntento ang nagwagi at dinaganan pa ng isang paa sa dibdib parang pumapatay ng ipis. Sabay lakad palayo mula sa walang malay na kaaway "SAbi ko saYO huwag MO akOng Ngyar ngyar ngYAR..." Ang lahat ay naganap ng mabilis pa sa kalahating minuto. Nakalampas na ako sa lugar ng insidente, ang kawawang lalaki ay inaakay patayo. Buhay pa naman yata pero matamlay ang buong katawan, walang buto parang jellyace. May dalawang security guard na masayang sumaksi sa lahat. Sabi ko sa kanila "Mabilis ang laban" Sagot nila "Knock-out kaagad". Tumawa kami. Wala nang ibang nangyari sa pag uwi ko.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is a poem.Walang biro, poem nga ito:

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Appendix to Mein Kampf
How to Talk like you Know what you’re Talking about
Even when you Don’t

First, Enumerate
Enumerating makes people think several things
One, that you have more than one point
Two, that you know beforehand that you have
more than one point
Three, if you have many points, people can’t accuse you
of being pointless,
or can they?

Second, Cite Statistics
People who aren’t good at math can
be bullied into believing you through numbers
As a matter of fact, 89% (almost 90%!)
of those surveyed say
they are more likely to believe people who give percentages
Additionally, 89 is a prime number
and is the 11th term in the Fibonacci series
Isn’t that odd?
Yes, that too

Third, Quote from Impressive Sources
Like the Good Book says
“…And the Wiki shall inherit the Earth”

Fourth, Use Jargon
Make strategic use of exotic words in your talk
They will make you sound intelligence
Tessellated mendicant
Or even smart

Lastly, Make Bold Claims
This, among all the techniques,
is the best and is guaranteed to work
It will make anything you say totally believable,
help you make new friends,
and will even get rid of tooth decay

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Vote wisely!

lets try a poll

Which news source would you trust more?
Broadcast media (TV, radio)
Print media (newspaper, magazine)
New media (internet, podcast)
Friends and relatives
I don’t care about the news at all
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Why would I want a soul?

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We usually think of the soul as the essence of being human, of existence itself. It's also a comfort to think that when your body dies your soul survives and so you somehow go on in kind of disembodied ghost-like way. Then come the questions:

1) Do souls have memories?
I believe memories are stored in the brain. If it weren't, people who suffer brain damage shouldn't experience any memory loss, but they do. But the brain rots away when we die, so if there is a soul would it be able to carry our memories with it? Assuming that it could, could it also make new memories? Does the soul remember even the things we forgot? Can the soul think? For reincarnation, is memory of past lives affected by brain damage? On the other hand if it doesn't carry any of our memories with it, is the soul that leaves your body still YOU when it contains nothing about you at all?

2) Do souls have emotions?
The way psychology sees it, emotions are experienced by the body. You wouldn't feel fear if you didn't have a gut to clench and palms to get clammy. A soul has none of these and so would it be able to laugh, cry, feel anything that we usually associate with being human? If it can't would you be still YOU, the person with a sense of humor, the person who can empathize with others, or did that person die with the body?

3) Do souls know everything?
Plato says that souls know everything, or at least a lot more than we as embodied humans can possibly know. They are able to see things as they Truly are. It is assumed that in that state we would be perfectly content. But again I ask, is that enlightened being still YOU or is it such an alien state that there is absolutely no connection with the flesh-n-blood person you were, who loved and hated and tried to live on uncertainty and half-truths?

The argument I advance is this: If in the process of becoming undying soul you discard everything that makes you YOU, in short anihilating your identity, what life do you continue in the afterlife if that life is no more? It seems to me that even if we have souls the persons we are still cease to be and will never be again.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ars Galactica

February weather in Manila is the best. It seems you can walk anywhere without breaking a sweat. Other days its hot and going anyplace is a kind of personal time-dilation; getting there takes forever. But for now everyday feels like its made for untiring swiftness, clean wind-smells carrying you along. Days like these you should breathe long and deep, and remember.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

nasarapan ba tayo sa hotdog ni sam?

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September this year will mark 100 years since the execution of Makaryo Sakay and the beginning of the end for what the Americans called "the Philippine Insurrection" but is more properly remembered as the Filipino-American Bloody Date-Rape. An ugly example of bullying, it has been conveniently forgetten by both sides, which is seen in the relatively few books and fewer movies about this non-event. Even its eerie reproduction in today's Mesopotamia fails to jog what has been thoroughly repressed: they keep referring to Iraq as a second Vietnam and fail to note that Vietnam was a second Philippines. The Empire was born on our soil and in return we made them bleed for a decade. And so we were punished with forgetfulness so thorough that both the New Yorker and her caregiver don't even know the reasons why, once upon a time, their ancestors were shooting each other in the jungle. But why care for history, dead and dry, when our countries are such good buddies now. They take our smart young people and we get their coffee and trans-fat. Hating kapatid?