Archive for November 9th, 2014

November 9, 2014

The Sekhmet Hypothesis


eight-circuit model

The Sekhmet Hypothesis was first published in 1995 by author Iain Spence. It suggested a possible link between the emergence of youth culture archetypes in relation to the 11 year solar cycles. The hypothesis was published again in 1997 in ‘Towards 2012’ and covered in 1999 in ‘Sleazenation’ magazine. Spence eventually abandoned the idea as not based in scientific fact, pointing to Strauss-Howe generational theory as a better model of social change.

The origins of the hypothesis can be traced back to philosopher Robert Anton Wilson’s book, ‘Prometheus Rising,’ in which he makes a singular correlation between the archetype of the flower child with the mood of friendly weakness. Spence extended the comment into a study of various youth archetypes and linked in their behavior to transactional analysis (a theory of human interaction). The idea of linking pop culture to the solar cycles had been influenced from remarks made by modern occultist Peter J. Carroll, in his book, ‘Psychonaut.’ Sekhmet is the Egyptian goddess of the sun.

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November 9, 2014

Memory Implantation

Elizabeth Loftus by Rob Donnelly

Memory implantation is a technique used in cognitive psychology to investigate human memory. Researchers make people believe that they remember an event that actually never happened, such as being lost in a mall as a child, taking a hot air balloon ride, and putting slime in a teacher’s desk in primary school. Memory implantation techniques were developed in the 1990s as a way of providing evidence of how easy it is to distort people’s recollection of past events. Most of the studies were published in the context of the debate about repressed memories and the possible danger of digging for lost memories in therapy.

The first formal studies using memory implantation were published in the early 1990s, the most famous being ‘The Formation of False Memories’ (commonly referred to as the ‘Lost in the Mall’ study) by cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. The basic technique used in this study involved asking family members of a participant to provide narratives of events that happened when they were young and then add another event that definitely had not happened. The participants saw these four narratives and were told to try to remember as much as possible about each event. Across a number of studies using memory implantation, about 37% of people have come to remember parts of or entire events that never actually happened.

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November 9, 2014

Imagination Inflation


Imagination inflation refers to the finding that imagining an event which never happened can increase confidence that it actually occurred. This effect is relevant to the study of memory and cognition, particularly false memory. Imagination inflation is one way that techniques intended to retrieve repressed memories (e.g. recovered memory therapy) may lead to the development of false or distorted memories.

Imagination inflation also has implications for the criminal justice system, in particular interrogation and interviewing procedures, as it supports the claim that interrogators who ask suspects to repeatedly imagine committing a crime may risk making them more confident that they are the perpetrators, ultimately producing false confessions from innocent suspects. In one case in the US in 1990s, a man who initially denied accusations of raping his daughters was given an intense police interrogation. He confessed to abusing his children and leading a satanic cult which sacrificed babies, even admitting to crimes that were denied by his accusers.

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November 9, 2014

The Caine Mutiny



The Caine Mutiny‘ is a 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by American author Herman Wouk. The book grew out of Wouk’s personal experiences aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific in World War II and deals with, among other things, the moral and ethical decisions made at sea by the captains of ships. The mutiny of the title is legalistic, not violent, and takes place during a historic typhoon in December 1944. The court-martial that results provides the dramatic climax to the plot.

The story is told through the eyes of Willis Seward ‘Willie’ Keith, an affluent, callow young man who signs up for midshipman school with the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army during World War II. After barely surviving a series of misadventures that earn him the highest number of demerits in the history of the school, he is commissioned and assigned to the destroyer minesweeper USS Caine, an obsolete warship converted from a World War I-era destroyer.

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