Thursday, August 16, 2007

Untangling Fast Talk

More from the Big Brother faction. Here is the transcript of a British program entitled "Mind of a Murderer" on Equinox channel 4 in 2000. Notice how the narrator warps your perception of what is said - literally abusing quoted words to make them out to say other than what they say. All to make sure that we don't get the politically incorrect idea that there is any such thing as a bad person.

First, at the top, the narrator heads us off in the wrong direction by making us expect to hear that psychopathy is brain damage people are born with.

What the scientists are discovering suggests that psychopaths are born, not made; that their condition is the result of a specific malfunction of the brain.

No it doesn't suggest that. Now, either this television narrator isn't intelligent enough to have his job or he is trying to pull a fast one on us.

In fact, not one of the scientists this program quotes says such a thing, and one, Dr. Robert Hare, specifically says that the differences in a psychopath's brain may well be due to the way they habitually think. In other words, they could well be the result, not the cause, of psychopathy.

I skip to Part 3, where the con job occurs.

Narrator: There is a growing consensus among the experts that psychopathy is a specific biological condition, the result of a malfunction in the brain. Bob Hare's psychopathy checklist is the accepted benchmark for identifying psychopaths. It could also be the key that unlocks the cause of the condition.

Bob Hare: A lot of people say that this causant of psychopathy is nothing more than a myth and people have said that it's a moral judgement masquerading as a science. Well, if we define people according to this cluster of characteristics, do they have brain images for a particular task that are different from those of other individuals? The answer is definitely yes.

Quoting Dr. Hare at this point SUGGESTS that he is one of those unnamed sources who are joining this unproclaimed consensus. But nothing could be further from the truth.

And what was cut from Hare's statement? (It would be something Hare says that ends with, "...the answer is definitely no.") Why does the narrator interrupt at this point a fill in the gap with the following?

Narrator: Hare has been using brain-scanning techniques to determine whether the mental processes of the psychopath are different from those of the non-psychopath. If they are it could be revealed in brain images.

Yes, jerk, you already told us that. So, what are you cutting out that you must fill in with this redundant fluff?

Bob Hare: Some of the brain imaging research that my group and other groups in several parts of the world are now conducting indicates that it appears that the psychopath had difficulty in actually processing, understanding and using emotional material. Now is this because they are biologically put together differently, or they are wired differently right from birth, or are the brain differences that we observed the results of using different strategies to perform the tasks that we use? We just don't know that yet.

Now as I read plain English, that makes it clear that you cannot conclude that people are BORN with these brain differences or that they are the CAUSE of psychopathy. It could well be the other way around: psychopathy causes them.

But here comes the narrator, pretending that Hare didn't just say that, pretending that Hare's statement says something it doesn't say.

Narrator: In one experiment, a psychopath's response to emotive words is tested and the brain activity it produces is compared to that of a non-psychopath. The difference is significant. The white areas denote parts of the brain that are actively processing an emotional response to the words. In the brain of the non-psychopath there is considerable activity; in the psychopath's brain there is far less. It seems there is less emotional involvement. Hare's research into the workings of psychopaths' brains is encouraging. It's clear that there are striking differences in areas that are associated with processing emotions.

Yes, jerk! How many times are you going to block a point to keep it from getting through people's heads? All by simply responding as though your source said something else.

Indeed, the parts of the brain you use develop more than the parts of the brain that you don't use. That is an undisputed fact. Cold-blooded psychopaths don't use the same wiring in the brain that normal people do. So, it is no wonder that those parts should be less developed in them.

So that narrator is not only jumping to a conclusion, he's jumping to the less likely conclusion.

The social engineering narrator here is counting on a brain-dead audience failing to run a logic check on what he's saying.

Note the abuse of language in the diction, too. Psychopaths don't refuse to empathize: they "have difficulty empathizing." That's "poor" functioning of their "unhealthy" brain, not just brutality. Their brains aren't working right, because they don't have the "right" feelings. They aren't just maybe bad, they are "impaired," poor things.

Voiceover: The degree, or where that, um, impairment comes from, whether it's genetic or whether it's early trauma, or whether it's some sort of social variables that are affecting the development of the amygdala, that's what we can't tell. But it's clear that there is pathology in the brain of these individuals.

I knew I detected the odor of the far left in there. Ah, the intelligentsia.

And, no it's not clear that there is "pathology" in their brain. In fact, there is not one shred of evidence that anything in the brain is malfunctioning. That's typical of these clowns: your brain doesn't work right if you don't think the way they do.

Next, of course, comes Utopia. We just give everybody the test and then operate on those who flunk. For, "We have to protect people; we have to protect society."

If there are any narcissists out there, I want you to know that on that day I will be on your side. These people are far more dangerous.

Adrian Rain: The prefrontal cortex is involved regulating and controlling behaviour. It's the part of the brain that says: 'Hey, let's stop and think about this before we actually go through with things.' It's the emergency brake.

Yes, sir, why don't you use yours?

Adrian Rain: We're not too far away in the future when what we will be able to do is replace dysfunctional brain mechanisms with microchips. This sounds like science fiction, and clearly it's not here yet, but within the next 10 years we will have the first microchip brain implant.

A Clockwork Orange. Unbelievable, just unbelievable.

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