No, but seriously, how credible is this new special from National Geographic?
TA, did you just wake up yesterday?
Mind control experiments and technologies have been used in service of warfare, business and politics consciously since at least the early 1800s. The entire soviet system was based on a kind of mind control, their propaganda efforts worldwide, and they did all sorts of experiments on their people, (psychological, medical or otherwise) as well. Furthermore, all the arts and entertainments are ways of controlling and manipulating the mind. Language itself is a pangloss over reality that constantly misinforms and miseducates those who overly subscribe to its analogies.
However it is sad to see National Geographic go hollywood with spooky music and blurry photography. Everything is starting to feel like "alien autopsy." Not to mention that just about any gear (gasmasks, uniforms, straps, stirrups, old school transistor technology) used by the military or medical establishment prior to the advent of computers now looks like S&M footage! This paints by analogy, relatively benign, but creepy, experimentation performed on volunteers (sometimes lied to, however, which is condemnable, assuredly) as somehow Mengele-esque. I don't think Del Close taking LSD for the army to see what he dreamed was a Nazi-level atrocity. And, at the end of the day, communism needed to be defeated and their possible use of Sarin in warfare needed to be researched...
Sarin ... was first synthesized in 1938 by a group of German scientists researching new pesticides. Its name is derived from the names of the chemists involved in its creation: Schrader, Ambros, Rudriger, and van der Linde. A pilot plant to study the use of sarin was built in Dyernfurth. Although they produced between 500 kg and 10 tons of sarin, the German government decided not to use chemical weapons in artillery during World War II. The Soviet army captured the plant at Dyernfurth at the end of the war and resumed production of sarin in 1946.
The narration is disingenuous as well. Particularly that, if you actually read the little typewritten note that appears on the screen for a half second, you see that the purpose of the sarin experiment was not to "determine the lethal dose" but to "make some estimate of it." There is a subtle but essential difference between determination and estimation. To actually determine the lethal dose you would need to nearly kill someone. To estimate the lethal dose, you can use interpolation. National Geographic used to care about the difference between even handed journalism and sensationalizing a story for the sake of ratings or magazine sales. Integrity is going down the toilet all across the media. Its really sad.
Last edited by kev ferrara; May 22nd, 2009 at 01:12 PM.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
You said it beautifully Kev. The portentous soundtrack along with the commentary made me think this was some kind of spoof or misleading joke since it had National Geographic's ident labled to it.
Serving stuff up in this kind of way is as immoral as the subject they are carelessly dealing with. The irony is that one of the subjects they were 'discussing' was brain washing....
Last edited by Chris Bennett; May 22nd, 2009 at 12:46 PM. Reason: spelling
From Gegarin's point of view
"relatively benign" I'd argue that, but I can see the worth in studying Sarin as a possible weapon used against the US. But real brain washing? You want to tell me there's no difference between tying someone to a bed, playing some message over and over and then drug inducing a 30 day sleep, and then me flipping through a magazine ad? And what did that tape recorder say over and over? That's what I'd like to know - what were we training these people for????
TASmith: The thing to bear in mind is that hyperbolised journalism is a misleading of millons of people a little bit, and the activities described in the article concern a few idividuals but whose rights and wellbeing are violated a lot. By this reasoning I see the immorality of both deeds as being of equivalent proportions. The statement in my first post is based on this utilitarian view.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; May 22nd, 2009 at 03:12 PM.
From Gegarin's point of view