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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Power of Video: Hard Core Pornography and Climate Change

Cindy Gallop Speaking on the effect of video
There's been a series of articles at ArsTechnica on global warming over the last several months.  As ardent believers that man in destroying the planet they often produce articles that support it.

Most recently they talk about an "unpublished article" in Psychological Science claiming "a strong free-market ideology correlates with a lower acceptance of climate change" and "... among readers of popular climate blogs, a tendency toward conspiracy theories plays a role in fostering doubt of the scientific community."

The article goes on to describe "... a laissez-faire attitude and conspiracy tendencies separately predicted the rejection of a variety of other scientific findings, like the fact that HIV causes AIDS, or smoking causes cancer."

This last underlined section is interesting.

In point of fact smoking does not cause lung cancer.   It is one of many risk factors and in some cases a significant risk factor.  Many people smoke their entire lives and do not suffer from cancer.

Here''s an example of the actual truth about smoking and lung cancer: "Smoking Does Not Cause Lung Cancer."

Is smoking  bad?  Quite certainly.  Does it act as as a risk factor in other health problems?  Of course it can.

But causality is a bit of a stretch based on actual statistics.

Look down about seven or eight paragraphs and you find this:

"As ludicrous as that is, the medical and lay press is littered with such pabulum and gobbledygook. Even as web literate physician, it took me over 50 hours of internet time to find enough raw data to write this article.  I went through thousands of abstracts and numerous articles, only to find two articles that even questioned the degree of correlation between smoking and lung cancer (British lung cancer rates do not correlating to smoking rates)19,20 and another two articles which  questioned the link between second hand smoke (passive smoking) and lung cancer.21,22 Everywhere I looked, the information was hidden in terms like "odds ratio," "relative risk," or "annualized mortality rate." Most doctors probably could not accurately define and interpret them all these terms accurately, let alone someone outside the medical profession. The public relies on the media to interpret this morass of data, but instead they are given politically correct and biased views."

What's interesting here is that the dogma of the evils of smoking and lung cancer is so strong that actual factual data are simply ignored by virtually the entire medical community.

Therefore I must be a kook and conspiracy theorist if I don't believe the dogma.

Science, wrong?

Professional communities don't spout dogma...

Or do they...?

In 1887 the world of science was shaken to its core by the Michelson-Morley Experiment.

Prior to this experiment it was believed that ether formed "an absolute reference frame with respect to which the rest of the universe was stationary. It would therefore follow that it should appear to be moving from the perspective of an observer on the sun-orbiting Earth. As a result, light would sometimes travel in the same direction of the ether, and others times in the opposite direction."

Everyone in the scientific community believed in ether prior to this.  But they could not prove that it existed.

Michelson and Morley proved it did not.

They did not publish a psychology article about what they thought must be true.

They attempted to show physically it was true and, as a result, discovered it was false.

So perhaps Michelson and Morley were conspiracy theorists?

I doubt it.

What the ArsTechnica article does show, however, is how strong dogma is.

Particularly in the minds of young people today.

People no longer seem to be able to distinguish reality from fantasy: I saw it on YouTube so it must be true.

An example of this comes from a TED talk in 2009 by Cindy Gallop (see this NY Times Article).

Cindy as come to believe that young males in our society today are unable to distinguish normal sexual behavior from hard core pornography.  Her premise is that young people, both male and female, observe so much hard core pornography that they are literally unable to function normally in a sexual situation.

There is an explicit language video of her talk at TED2009 on this topic here.

What does this say about our culture and how it influences people's minds today?

Apparently video imagery is so strong that it literally overwhelms people's ability to distinguish natural behavior from fantasy.  (These videos affect young men directly and, in turn, because the men's partners wish to please the men with what the men want, women indirectly by causing them to act out the men's fantasy.  Effectively causing the women act like porn actresses.  Hardly something that empowers women in general.)

And it would seem to me that this spills over into this Psychological Science type gibberish being posted on ArsTechnica.

I must be a "conspiracy theorist" because I don't believe in their version of "science."

No, not at all.

I am a skeptic.  Just like Michelson and Morley.  I want scientific proof.

I don't want to know about consensus because Michelson and Morley concretely demonstrated that consensus is not trustworthy.

Unfortunately for the folks at ArsTechnica there aren't any simple experiments that can be conducted to "prove" global warming climate change science one way or the other.  That's because there is no scientific theory of climate change.

At least "ether" had an actual theory and Michelson and Morley could attempt an physical experiment that would confirm or deny it.

Not so with climate science.

And then there is Cindy Gallop.

Basically her premise is that consequence on the mind of viewing videos is so strong that it literally changes people's behavior in a very powerful way.

So in her population of "young males with which she has sex" none understand how to have sex in any way other than what is common in hard core pornography.

Does Al Gore's video "An Inconvenient Truth" fall into this category?   Having a powerful and irrational effect on those that view it?

Influencing minds in a faux reality?

One reason that I do not post videos here (very much) and none made by me is exactly for this reason.

If you read it you have to think about it.

Videos appeal to aspects of the mind that demote "independent thought" and replace critical thinking with a complete, pre-packaged reality.

What's interesting is that none of Cindy's partners were even aware of their lack of knowledge about normal sexual behavior.

The author of the Ars article, John Timmer, seems to believe that those who do not believe in "climate change" must somehow be "conspiracy theorists."  At least, that's what his Ars article implies to me.

Being a conspiracy theorist, in his mind, is the only reason someone would reject dogma.

I think that, instead, we "non-believers" are simply skeptics.

Skeptics who can distinguish reality from what videos tell us must be the dogmatic truth.

Without concrete theory and experimental evidence such as the Michelson-Morley experiment smoking causing lung cancer and climate change are simply relegated to the heap of other undocumented video concepts like aliens and JFK's "knoll commando."


  1. Actually, just to clarify: as I often explain to people, the issue I am tackling with MakeLoveNotPorn is not porn, but the lack of a counterpoint to porn: society's reluctance to enable open, healthy discussion around sex and porn, which would then mean people could bring a real-world mindset and understanding to the viewing of video of what is essentially artificial entertainment. My entire message with MakeLoveNotPorn boils down to simply 'Talk about it'. (If you check out the 'About' page on you will see why this is an issue.)

    That is why, after MLNP received such an extraordinary response, I have taken it forward as - a user-generated, crowdsourced platform that invites people to post their own #realworldsex videos. You can read about it in the New York Times:

  2. I think that a "healthy society" does not need porn (that doesn't mean it goes away entirely - it would just be needed less) and that "healthy society" functions as your "counter point" to porn.

    But we don't have a "healthy society".

    And today's porn (as well as young people's reactions to it) are a symptom of that.

    Young people today receive a lot of confusing messages about sex from society. I think unlimited video porn is basically like crack or meth and creates addiction.