Since my last post there have been lots of interesting things happening like the media being surprised that systematic torture has been occuring in Iraq. I’ve got some news for you its war, that means that its dirty, bloody and thoroughly unpleasant – try reading the works of Wilfred Owen or watching the Battle of Algiers to get a sense of how nasty it can get.
On RTE radio one this morning, they had an expert comment about some CIA torture manuals that had been found. The main themes were that you used peoples fear against themselves – rather than torturing them, use the threat of torture because people had a greater capacity to withstand pain than they realised. This approach makes sense given established behavioural bias towards risk aversion. Risk aversion is one of the key cues used in behavioural science, it doesn’t surprise me that it manifests itself in this scenario as well.
Sony has launched its Connect service, a rival to Apple’s iTunes Music Service. According to the Washington Post the service is ‘unworthy’ of the corporation who gave us the Walkman(TM). If it gets the kiss of death from Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be more salarymen falling on their swords than a Kurosawa samurai film. As the New Yorker put it: “someone whose judgment can ratify years of effort or sink the show.” More media related content here.
Lastly owe those of you who read this blog regularly an apology. I have not been contributing here much because I am in the middle of selling my house and moving closer in to London. Any of you who have dealt with British estate agents will have felt my pain. More news on the woes of house buying in the future.