Mind Reading

It's particularly common around here to hear people accusing one another of 'mind-reading' whenever someone infers someone else's motivations, beliefs, desires, or intentions from their words and actions.

As a student of Cognitive Science (yes that's my minor), I find this particularly odd.
Now obviously, humans can't 'read minds' in the sense of telling exactly what someone else is thinking about at a particular instant. But we do have an innate cognitive capacity, which is in fact called 'mind-reading', to infer beliefs, motivations, and intentions. Which is what most people are doing when they get accused of 'mindreading'.

Open thread - 4/20/07

HankP's picture

T-Bone Walker

A little T-Bone for you all - one of my guitar heroes. Here's another one of him with Dizzy Gillespie.


I missed it last week - Happy 6 month blogoversary! We've had:

- 723 published diaries
- 433257 total page reads
- Ken White leads the iron blogger competition with 3472 comments posted.

Dana Rohrabacher, classy as ever.

Something for Scott

Multiculturalism Triumphant

I never tuned into the Don Imus show, when I had the chance, and now I guess I'll never get the chance. But I'm not particularly bummed out about it, since, by all accounts, the guy was a vulgarian git - and a liberal, to boot. So good riddance.

And yet...isn't it interesting, what finally brought him low? After a whole career built on being shocky and jocky, it was three words what done him in: "nappy headed ho's."

This phrase is helpfully explained by Yahoo Answers as follows:

"People with kinky hair like african americans or caribbean descent have a problem with the hair getting matted and mishapen. It has to be stretched out and arranged before it will look presentable. When someone calls you a nappy head it means your hair is matted and uncombed. a 'ho' is a slang term for a whore."

Shooter does Comedy Rendition of Osama Bin Laden


"You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience," he says, apparently reading from his manifesto. "You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people."

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," says Cho,... "Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."

On Simplicity

HankP's picture

As I do every year when I have to file my taxes, I wonder why they are so complicated, and by extension why so many things in modern life are so complex. I know there are some basic reasons, like the fact that corporate finance is quite complicated and since most Americans work for corporations the complexity will filter through to the tax code. I also realize that many of the tax laws in place are there to disable loopholes found in the past. I also have to wonder if it's just me, or if I have less patience for this kind of thing as I get older. However, based on the complaints I hear from family, friends and acquaintances I don't think that's the case.

Massacre at Virginia Tech

Bird Dog's picture

Pajamas Media is continuously updating here, and HotAir is keeping abreast here. Quite frankly, I'm speechless and horrified. This was twice as murderous as Columbine. Prayers to the students and their families.

Update: It sounds like they still aren't certain about the killer's identity. The Chicago Sun-Times:

Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa.

Growing disenchantment with the Religion of Submission and its leaders

Bird Dog's picture

Not long after 9/11, George W. Bush called Islam a "religion of peace". It's not. By its very definition, it is a Religion of Submission, specifically of submission to God:

Islam effectively means submission to and acceptance of God. Followers of Islam are expected to submit to God by singling him out in all acts of worship, to yield obediently to him, and to disassociate oneself from polytheism.

A person voluntarily submitting to his or her faith is noble, but historically it hasn't ended there. While the Quran says "there is no compulsion in religion", compulsion has been a mainstay since the 600s, and I've seen few signs of enlightenment or reform or steps toward peace. Perhaps it has to do with its leaders or its structure. Perhaps it has to do the religion itself. Anyway, I'm still trying to figure it out and I thought I'd take you along on this little journey.

Portents and Signs: BlaiseP reads the entrails.

Peering into the belly of the beast, I observe Moktada Sadr fires all his Ministers of Parliament. The Hindu thinks Iran bluffs about its nuclear weapons capability. Saudi Arabia declares Iraq’s government illegitimate. Verdict: good things are afoot, watch and see, these three threads are connected in odd ways.

What can be good about these things, Mr. BlaiseP? It all sounds quite horrid. Iraq is collapsing, heated rhetoric is bandied about between the USA and Iran, and what right do these Arab dictatorships have to say about the legitimacy of the only democratically-elected government in the Middle East anyway?

Open Thread - Friday the 13th Edition

HankP's picture

It's the 37th(!) anniversary of Apollo 13.

The Annual IT Security report cards were handed out to the US government. They got an overall C-. and that was before the 5 million missing emails.

Microsoft: Program crashes in Word 2007 are a feature, not a bug.

These guys really need to get a different hobby...

I hate America!

Or so the idiots over at Redstate tell me. Heck, not only that. I celebrate the murder of American troops no less. It wasn't clear if that included my cousin, godfather of my firstborn, who is a Marine officer.

It's sad to think that our very own Tacitus who so clearly loved to write well and elaborate on his arguments was involved in Redstate. What silly childishness it has evolved to! I used to think they were the dkos on the right but that's too charitable. They are the Democratic Underground of the right.

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