discarded lies: saturday, april 29, 2017 6:30 am zst
rootless cosmopolitans
daily archive: 10/12/2004
evariste in Discarded Lies:
Bugfix: You Are Currently Performing A Search
Have you gotten this message when doing a search here on LGF Watch Watch?
Got an error: You are currently performing a search. Please wait until your search is completed.
That must have been irritating. I've encountered it a couple of times myself.

Well guess what? It's a known bug with a known fix! Over at Learning Movable Type, Elise has the fix for the Search Throttle Bug, as well as a link to an informative read about it in the MT forums.

It's the result of a well-intended but poorly implemented MT feature, the idea being that a malicious user could flood the system with search requests and cripple your server, so MT introduces a throttle to force users to wait in between conducting searches. Kinda like those annoying speedbumps in the mall parking lot. Follow the link to Elise's wonderful MT tips and tricks compendium for more, and for the fix. You'll have to edit one of the core MT perl files in a text editor, but it's a very minor edit to fix a truly aggravating problem. You can't mess it up. You're just changing one number to be a different, smaller number.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Hey! I Like You!
Warning: obnoxiously cute!
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Supporting Suicide Bombers
Palestinians split on suicide bombings [bugmenot]
Palestinians are equally divided on the issue of suicide bombings in Israel, according to a public opinion poll published Sunday.

The poll also showed that the majority of Palestinians are planning to vote for Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the next presidential election.

According to the poll, more than 43 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem support ending suicide attacks in Israel, while 42.8% believe the bombings should continue. The poll did not include residents of the Gaza Strip, a fact that explains the drop in the number of Palestinians who favor suicide attacks.


So half the Palestinians favour blowing up Israelis and if the statistical sample was representative of the whole Palestinian population, the number would be larger. How very encouraging.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Peer Groups
The National Science Foundation conducted a study that confirmed what social psychologists have shown before: it's the group with which a person identifies, not individual personality, that often determines behavior. From WSJ, Alternative Peer Groups May OfferWay to Deter Some Suicide Bombers

That realization is shaping scientists' understanding of suicide bombers, whose numbers have soared. Who are they? Not the cowardly psychopaths or sociopaths you might expect. "There is little to no evidence that they are mentally unbalanced," says Todd Stewart, a retired Air Force general who now directs the Program for International and Homeland Security at Ohio State University. From the Sept. 11 attackers to Palestinian suicide bombers to al Qaeda terrorists, they are educated, fairly well off and "not necessarily from fanatically religious families," he says.

This alarmingly normal profile is why the National Science Foundation gave anthropologist Scott Atran, a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, emergency funding to study groups that sponsor suicide attacks. He just spent three weeks in Gaza and the West Bank, where he spoke to counterterrorism strategists, fugitive Hamas leaders, would-be suicide bombers and families of "martyrs."

"None of the supporters of suicide terrorism I interviewed, especially at al-Najah University, were poor, uneducated, socially estranged or psychologically deranged," says Prof. Atran. "They are idealistic and compassionate, and think they can change the world. That makes the whole thing more frightening than if they were just crazies off the street." In a study of al Qaeda recruits, forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman of the University of Pennsylvania finds a similar pattern: Many attended college and are economically better off than most Palestinians or European Muslims, and they are often "the elite of their countries," he says.

But suicide terrorists are not rational in the way science understands the term. They do not weigh risks and benefits or winning and losing strategies. For the suicide bomber, says Prof. Atran, " 'sacred values' and fervor trump rational interest." For instance, when he asked young Hamas supporters whether a martyr is "more deserving" if he kills 10 of the enemy or 100, all responded that it would not matter if the martyr killed no one but himself. He also asked, if your father were dying and your mother asked you to delay your suicide operation, would you? All answered that "duty to God" cannot be delayed for even a minute.

Yet When Prof. Atran got aspiring martyrs alone, "there was a lot more nuance, flexibility and doubt," he says. "They're not so sure anymore, whereas in the group they're convinced of what they're saying."

That's why insights into suicide attackers will have to come from understanding group dynamics, not individual psychology, says Gen. Stewart. "Group norms are more important than individual traits" in creating a suicide bomber, he says. Terrorist leaders make recruits view the group -- terrorist cell or larger society -- as a pseudofamily for whom they will give their life. That manipulation can trump individual personality to produce horrific behavior in ordinary people.

(nbl Jim Russell)
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