Monday, May 25, 2015

"Openness" and Facebook as a personality diagnostic

An academic report has just come out about who posts what on Facebook. The sample is, regrettably, a Mechanical Turk one, so the findings are of unknown generalizability to any population. They may however represent brighter people fairly well.

The finding that caught my eye was "Openness is positively associated with updating about intellectual topics".  We also read that "people who are high in openness tend to be creative, intellectual, and curious".

I should mention at this point that there is a large psychological literature dating back to at least 1950 in which Leftists congratulate themselves for having just such traits.  And, conversely, they claim, but never clearly prove, that conservatives are the opposite of that.  According to conventional wisdom in political psychology, we conservatives are closed-minded and rigid.  From their behavior, I would have thought that that cap fitted Leftists a lot better but I will leave that aside for the moment.  They are certainly not open to evidence and argument on things like global warming.

I have written a great deal on why the conventional psychological  characterization is false, with my most recent shot in that direction here.

The basic fault in the Leftist research on the topic is that there is a great deal of "spin" in how they refer to things.  To take the simplest example, you would think that a desire for order would be a generally good thing.  What scientists do, after all, is search for order in the phenomena of nature.  So what do you do when you find that conservatives are high on a desire for order?  You relabel it as "intolerance of ambiguity".  I kid you not.  Something good instantly becomes something bad. It's typical Leftist "proof" -- proof that proves nothing.  Anyway, my various academic papers shooting down the nonsense are accessible here

So what pleased me was purely something personal.  What I put up on Facebook is precisely what "open" people put up -- posts on scientific and political matters.  I come out as the opposite of what Leftists think a conservative is.

Whether conservatives generally post mostly that way is of course unknown but could be of interest to study.  When personality scores (based on how people describe themselves) correlate with actual behaviour (as in what you use Facebook for) that does add some confidence that one is studying something real.

Journal abstract below but the whole article is publicly accessible at the same link

The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates

Tara C. Marshall et al.


Status updates are one of the most popular features of Facebook, but few studies have examined the traits and motives that influence the topics that people choose to update about. In this study, 555 Facebook users completed measures of the Big Five, self-esteem, narcissism, motives for using Facebook, and frequency of updating about a range of topics.

Results revealed that extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others.

People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information.

Participants who were low in self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, whereas those who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to update about their children.

Narcissists’ use of Facebook for attention-seeking and validation explained their greater likelihood of updating about their accomplishments and their diet and exercise routine. Furthermore, narcissists’ tendency to update about their accomplishments explained the greater number of likes and comments that they reported receiving to their updates.

Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 85, October 2015, Pages 35–40


The Utter Stupidity of Hillary's Actions: Verified

Hillary's utter stupidity proven by her own stupid email
A few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled "The Utter Stupidity of Hillary's Actions" about how Hillary's unsecure email system likely caused major damage to national security.  Now we have the first proof.

According to a New York Times article  Hillary's private email provided details of the movements of Americans in Benghazi as the situation deteriorated.  According to the Times:

"Mrs. Clinton's emails show that she had a special type of government information known as "sensitive but unclassified," or "SBU," in her account. That information included the whereabouts and travel plans of American officials in Libya as security there deteriorated..."

The vulnerabilities of Hillary's unsecure email system have been acknowledge by information security experts.  I am perhaps the only one to assert openly the compromised email system in use by the Secretary of State was absolutely being read by multiple intelligence services, including the Russians, Chinese and others.

If the information above made it into the hands of the local terrorists (through Russian allies, or some other route), then Hillary is doubly culpable in the death's of the Americans in Benghazi.  Not only did she abandon her team when it counted most (for details, see this article) her incompetence in keeping information secure may have contributed to the terrorists' success in planning this attack.

The New York Times currently only has a portion of the emails Ms. Clinton has provided.  It will be interesting to see what other damage her foolish actions have caused.



Victory! Senate Votes Against Patriot Act Renewal!

Particularly from a libertarian viewpoint, the so-called Patriot act is a horrible piece of legislsation

This is a major victory. Late last night, the Senate held two votes. The first was on the USA Freedom Act, a piece of legislation to "reform" the NSA's data collection methods. In reality, the NSA would have been just as powerful and able to spy on Americans which is why Senators like Rand Paul rejected it.

The vote was 57-42, which fell three votes short of the 60-vote threshold to pass. The USA Freedom Act was rejected.

Then, not to be outdone, Mitch McConnell staged a vote for a clean renewal of the Patriot Act. Even though the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's data collection methods were illegal, Mitch McConnell wants to renew them.

The vote on the clean renewal was 45-54, missing the threshold by 15-votes. Another rejected attempt to renew the Patriot Act.

We did it! Instead of keeping the Senate in session like he threatened to, Mitch McConnell conceded. Now, in all likelihood, the most atrocious parts of the Patriot Act will end!

But not so fast... Senator McConnell has scheduled an emergency session for May 31, the day before these Patriot Act provisions expire. This is when he and the RINOs will stage their last stand.

Right now, it is important to thank all those who voted against infringing on Americans' 4th Amendment rights. But with that said, we need to take this opportunity to remind Congress that when Leadership calls for another vote in the coming days, we expect for them to vote against this horrible legislation once again.



The Odd Millions: Clintons Disclose More Clandestine Cash

It seems like Hillary Clinton's campaign is trying to get all the bad news out early (though there isn't much good news). That way, the toxic waste might reach half-life before the primary election.

The Clinton Foundation released more details into how the Clintons went from "dead broke" to One Percenters, and it shows the family's overpriced speaking fees raked in $12 to $26.4 million more than previously disclosed. The money came from colleges, Wall Street companies like Goldman Sachs and foreign governments like Qatar.

The Clintons didn't disclose these payments because they counted them as revenue for a service, not donations. But in effect, this allowed groups to hand the Clintons a pile of undisclosed cash.

Members of Congress sent a letter to the IRS asking it to reconsider the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status. While asking the government to investigate the Clintons is valid, the letter may galvanize Democrats to rally around Clinton.

Instead, Republicans should let Clinton twist in the wind. Either progressives realize Clinton doesn't represent their idealism and challenge her majesty's claim to the Oval Office, or they wear her like an albatross.



Sid Blumenthal Changed His Benghazi Story

On Wednesday, we noted that longtime Clinton friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal told Hillary on Sept. 12, 2012, that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was sparked by a YouTube video.

But after beginning to comb over some of Clinton's released emails, The New York Times reports this gem: "The next day [September 13], Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a more thorough account of what had occurred. Citing 'sensitive sources' in Libya, the memo provided extensive detail about the episode, saying that the siege had been set off by members of Ansar al-Shariah, the Libyan terrorist group. Those militants had ties to Al Qaeda, had planned the attacks for a month and had used a nearby protest as cover for the siege, the memo said.

'We should get this around asap' Mrs. Clinton said in an email to [her then-deputy chief of staff] Mr. Sullivan. 'Will do,' he responded. That information contradicted the Obama administration's narrative at the time about what had spawned the attacks. Republicans have said the administration misled the country about the attacks because it did not want to undermine the notion that President Obama, who was up for re-election, was winning the war on terrorism."

So Hillary knew with certainty two days after the attack that it wasn't the spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video that Barack Obama, Susan Rice and others in his administration would continue to claim for weeks afterward. And she knew this truth before she looked the father of slain former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods in the eye and promised, "We're going to have the person responsible for that video arrested."

It may turn out Hillary wishes she had released these emails before they became such a big story.



The Power of Lies — and Abraham Lincoln

I think Paul Craig Roberts in his comments below goes a bit  over the top in calling the USA of Lincoln's day an empire.  But Abraham Lincoln himself made clear (e.g. in his famous letter to Horace Greeley) that the pre-eminent purpose of his war was to save "the union". In practice that meant government of the people by the Northern elite for the Northern elite

It is one of history’s ironies that the Lincoln Memorial is a sacred space for the Civil Rights Movement and the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Lincoln did not think blacks were the equals of whites. Lincoln’s plan was to send the blacks in America back to Africa, and if he had not been assassinated, returning blacks to Africa would likely have been his post-war policy.

As Thomas DiLorenzo and a number of non-court historians have conclusively established, Lincoln did not invade the Confederacy in order to free the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation did not occur until 1863 when opposition in the North to the war was rising despite Lincoln’s police state measures to silence opponents and newspapers. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure issued under Lincoln’s war powers. The proclamation provided for the emancipated slaves to be enrolled in the Union army replenishing its losses. It was also hoped that the proclamation would spread slave revolts in the South while southern white men were away at war and draw soldiers away from the fronts in order to protect their women and children. The intent was to hasten the defeat of the South before political opposition to Lincoln in the North grew stronger.

The Lincoln Memorial was built not because Lincoln “freed the slaves,” but because Lincoln saved the empire. As the Savior of the Empire, had Lincoln not been assassinated, he could have become emperor for life.

As Professor Thomas DiLorenzo writes: “Lincoln spent his entire political career attempting to use the powers of the state for the benefit of the moneyed corporate elite (the ‘one-percenters’ of his day), first in Illinois, and then in the North in general, through protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare for road, canal, and railroad corporations, and a national bank controlled by politicians like himself to fund it all.”

Lincoln was a man of empire. As soon as the South was conquered, ravaged, and looted, his collection of war criminal generals, such as Sherman and Sheridan, set about exterminating the Plains Indians in one of the worst acts of genocide in human history. Even today Israeli Zionists point to Washington’s extermination of the Plains Indians as the model for Israel’s theft of Palestine.

The War of Northern Aggression was about tariffs and northern economic imperialism. The North was protectionist. The South was free trade. The North wanted to finance its economic development by forcing the South to pay higher prices for manufactured goods. The North passed the Morrill Tariff which more than doubled the tariff rate to 32.6% and provided for a further hike to 47%. The tariff diverted the South’s profits on its agricultural exports to the coffers of Northern industrialists and manufacturers. The tariff was designed to redirect the South’s expenditures on manufactured goods from England to the higher cost goods produced in the North.

This is why the South left the union, a right of self-determination under the Constitution.

The purpose of Lincoln’s war was to save the empire, not to abolish slavery.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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