Dalai Lama says ‘too many’ refugees in Europe

BERLIN: The Dalai Lama said in an interview published Thursday that Europe has accepted “too many” refugees, and that they should eventually return to help rebuild their home countries.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century.

“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said. (Source)

This statement shows the beauty and wisdom of Buddhism. What the Dalai Lama said is obvious and true, so he said it. That is right speech. ABN

Edit 5:55 PM: Compare to the Pope’s comments on this subject a few weeks ago.

Neocons and American foreign policy

Kevin MacDonald penned a very interesting analysis of what appears to be a potential sea-change in American political thinking—An Anti-Neocon Revolution in GOP Foreign Policy?

The first few paragraphs of his article:

One of the big stories coming out of the Trump campaign is the intense hostility he is getting from the neocons, a major part of which is that they would be out of luck when it comes to positions in a Trump administration.

But that implies a huge vacuum in the area of foreign policy for Republicans. After all, neocons have dominated the GOP foreign policy establishment since the Reagan Administration and achieved unrivaled power in the George W. Bush administration.

But with the Trump campaign, the neocons are on the outside looking in, which is a major part of why they are defecting to Hillary or plotting a third party candidacy — anything to derail Trump.

You may not agree with every word Kevin MacDonald writes, but I do not think it is possible to understand 20th Century American and European history and current events without understanding him.

MacDonald has written several books and many essays. His main work is The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements. The Kindle edition of this book is free today (not sure how long that price will last).

IMHO, if Trump can end neocon interventionist war policy, secure our borders against massive immigration, and really make trade deals that benefit the USA, he will be one of the greatest presidents in US history.

He might not deliver, but we absolutely know that a Hillary, Bernie, or Biden will destroy the USA by handing it on a platter it to globalist powers. ABN

Computational psychiatry

Computational psychiatry is a fairly new field that

…seeks to characterize mental dysfunction in terms of aberrant computations over multiple scales….

….Aberrant decision-making is central to the majority of psychiatric conditions and this provides a unique opportunity for progress. It is the computational revolution in cognitive neuroscience that underpins this opportunity and argues strongly for the application of computational approaches to psychiatry. This is the basis of computational psychiatry. (source)

One important computation that I believe is missing from our current understanding of human cognition is the high rate of interpersonal communication error.

Interpersonal communication error is especially significant psychologically because so much of human psychology is based on and grows out of interpersonal communication.

If we are making a lot of mistakes when we communicate with friends, family, spouses, and so forth, it follows that our psychological make-up will be burdened with errors that contribute to mental illness and poor functionality overall.

My considered guess is that most people make several serious mistakes in speaking or listening every hour.

In normal interpersonal conversation, most people  mishear, misspeak, misinterpret, or misunderstand several times per hour.

These mistakes can be very serious. Often they snowball to produce strong emotional reactions that have no basis in fact.

The day will surely come when we will have technology that measures mistakes in communication. Before then, we have to use special techniques to find and correct communication mistakes.

Firstly, we have to recognize that such mistakes are common. Secondly, we have to understand that even a single small mistake can cause big problems. Thirdly, we need a technique to find and correct our mistakes.

FIML or something very similar to it is the technique we have available today. FIML is based on the idea that communication mistakes are common, serious, and have very significant psychological ramifications.

Over time, FIML practice completely changes the way we view communication, self, and other.

Donald Trump’s style of speaking

This video has an excellent analysis of Trump’s speaking style.

One thing I can add to this explanation is he has been married twice to non-native speakers.

If you spend a lot of time with non-native speakers, your sentences will tend to shorten and you will tend to emphasize important words more.

At the same time, rhetorical flourishes, complex sentences, subordinate clauses, and less common vocabulary words will tend to be left out.

A good essay on framing, reading, and thinking

The essay A Framework for Reclaiming Reality is a great example of good reading on the Internet today.

The author, Jonathan Revusky, skewers a good deal of what passes for thought and analysis in modern society. Whether you agree with every point he makes, his case is a strong one and surely mostly correct.

A lot of the fun of articles like Revusky’s comes in the comments section. For essays like this, I usually read most of the first comments plus all of the author’s replies, but skip a good deal of the back-and-forth between commenters.

Revusky is concerned with macro-societal-and-history-level BS and he nails a lot of it. A good deal of what he describes is the same as what I often describe as “public semiotics,” political positions (and others) which function more as social signals than real thought and that often are dead wrong.

If you can see Revusky’s point on the macro scale, you should be able to also see that we all do a lot of that sort of thing on the micro and meso scales of interpersonal communication and belief.

I have categorized this post under “Buddhism” because I believe a good deal of what the Buddha meant by delusion is falling for BS public (and private) semiotics.