Unreal Nature

August 30, 2009

Call Me Cynical . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:22 am

Both of the quotes below made me laugh out loud.

First, you have, from an article, How Much of Your Memory is True by Kathleen McGowan in the July/August issue of Discover magazine, this bit at the end (the link goes to the last page of the article):

… Nader, Brunet, and Pitman are now expanding their PTSD study with a new, $6.7 million grant from the U.S. Army, looking for drugs that go beyond propranolol. They are increasingly convinced that reconsolidation will prove to be a powerful and practical way to ease traumatic memories. Sacktor also believes that some version of the techniques they apply in the lab will eventually be used to help people. Most recently, LeDoux’s lab has figured out a way to trigger reconsolidation without drugs to weaken memory, simply by carefully timing the sessions of remembering. “The protocol is ridiculously simple,” LeDoux says.

None of these researchers are looking to create brain-zapped, amoral zombies — or even amnesiacs. They are just trying to take control of the messy, fragile biological process of remembering and rewriting and give it a nudge in the right direction. Brunet’s patients remember everything that happened, but they feel a little less tortured by their own pathological powers of recollection. “We’re turning traumatic memories into regular bad memories,” Brunet says. “That’s all we want to do.”

“That’s all we want to do.” Mmm hmmm.

The second one is from an article, Unleashing the laws of war in The Economist (Aug 13, 2009). It’s about Geneva conventions and the ICC (International Criminal Court). Near the end, there is this sentence:

In any case, the ICC has yet to pin down the fourth crime mentioned in its statute alongside war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide: the crime of “aggression”.

They’re going to make aggression illegal … ? ! What planet are these people from?

And how might we (whoever …) punish people who have engaged in “aggression”? Well, of course, we’d give them a whuppin’.



1 Comment

  1. Regular bad memories? There is a time component here. I think even the worst of bad memories become sanitized over time. They may eventually, in some kind of morose way, become cherished.

    Comment by Dr. C. — August 30, 2009 @ 11:30 am

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