Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday links

China Builds Bus That Drives Over Cars: Be Very Afraid | EcoSalon: Organic Green Fashion, Design, Food, Tech, Travel, Culture, Pets and Lifestyle

Narcissistic Personality Inventory - Psych Central, via serialbabbler, who noted "some of the choices really aren't mutually exclusive. The thought of ruling the world scares the hell out of me and if I ruled the world it would be a better place, dag nabbit!" My results:
Your Total: 15
Between 12 and 15 is average.
Celebrities often score closer to 18.
Narcissists score over 20.
How to Help Wikipedia, and How to Hurt It : Sue Gardner's Blog:
Lawyer and writer Bill Eddy tossed off a fascinating aside in his book High-Conflict People in Legal Disputes – to the effect that groups often instinctively elevate the most paranoid among them into leadership positions. Essentially because although hyper-paranoid leaders may often mistake innocence for evil, it can at least be assumed that they will never do the reverse. As in Michael Shermer‘s TED talk: better a false positive, than a false negative that results in being eaten by a predator.
That article links to External Efforts to Damage or Facilitate Social Movements: Some Patterns, Explanations, Outcomes, and Complications*, which I found fascinating. One bit:

Key activists or those known to be violent may be anonymously and falsely accused of being informants or set up to make it appear that they are, in the hope that they will be attacked, isolated, or expelled. Beyond generating internal conflict, this tactic can be a means of derecruitment and efforts to destroy leadership.
William Albertson, a Communist party leader and member for almost thirty years, was drummed out of the party as a "stool pigeon" and one who had led a life of "duplicity and treachery." The FBI had planted "snitch jackets" (forged documents) on him to make it appear that he was an informer. One letter offered an FBI agent information in exchange for a "raise in expenses." After this episode, Albertson was unable to find work or to remain active in the movement he had given his life to, he was ostracized by his friends, and his home was burned after arson threats. He was ironically later approached by the FBI about becoming an informer and refused. Its assumption perhaps was that he would cooperate out of anger in response to the group's falsely accusing him (Donner, 1976). In describing this action and assessing its consequences, an FBI memo noted:
The most active and efficient functionary of the New York District of the Communist Party USA and leading national officer of the party, through our counterintelligence efforts has been expelled from the party. Factors relating to this expulsion crippled the activities of the New York State communist organization and the turmoil within the party continues to this date. Albertson's exposure as an FBI informant has discouraged many dedicated communists from activities and has discredited the party in the eyes of the Soviets (p.12).7

(Thanks, partly_bouncy!)