A common heart disease drug may also alter subconscious racial attitudes, a new study has found, leading scientists to suggest that racism is based on fear.
Tests on volunteers who took the beta-blocker propranolol showed they were less racially biased than those who took a placebo, the Independent reported.
Propranolol acts on nerve circuits that govern automatic functions such as heart rate, as well as those that govern the part of the brain involved in fear and emotional responses. For that reason, it is also used to treat anxiety and panic.
AAP cited experimental psychologist Doctor Sylvia Terbeck, from Oxford University, who led the study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, as saying: “Our results offer new evidence about the processes in the brain that shape implicit racial bias. Implicit racial bias can occur even in people with a sincere belief in equality.”
According to the Associated Press, two groups of 18 volunteers were involved in the study, with each being asked to undertake a “racial Implicit Association Test” (IAT) one to two hours after taking propranolol or the placebo.
Asked to categorize positive and negative words when shown pictures of black and white people on a computer screen, more than a third of the volunteers taking propranolol had a “negative” IAT score — effectively, they were biased towards being non-racist at a subconscious level.
The same result was not seen in any member of the placebo group.
Co-author Professor Julian Savulescu, from Oxford University’s Faculty of Philosophy, reportedly said: “Such research raises the tantalizing possibility that our unconscious racial attitudes could be modulated using drugs, a possibility that requires careful ethical analysis.
"Biological research aiming to make people morally better has a dark history. And propranolol is not a pill to cure racism. But given that many people are already using drugs like propranolol which have ‘moral’ side effects, we at least need to better understand what these effects are."
photo of Pudding, courtesy of the Door County Humane Society
By Caroline Golon
When Amy Jung of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin adopted two cats from a local shelter, she had no idea that, just hours later, the decision would save her life.
Jung wasn’t planning on coming home with a cat, let alone two cats that day. She and her son Ethan had stopped by the Door County Humane Society to play with the homeless felines.
But Pudding, a 21-pound orange and white cat, caught Jung’s attention. The two made a connection and Jung decided to adopt him. Pudding and another cat, Wimsy, were brought to the shelter together when their owner died a month earlier. Jung, not wanting to separate the two cats, adopted them both.
According to Jung, the pair of felines made themselves at home right away and all seemed well.
Until later that night when Jung, who has been diabetic since childhood, went into a diabetic seizure in her sleep.
That’s when the normally laid-back Pudding took action. Jumping on Jung’s chest, Pudding began to nudge and bite at her in an apparent attempt to rouse her. Jung said the heavy cat on top of her woke her long enough to call to her son for help.
When the sleeping Ethan did not hear his mother’s cries, Pudding raced into Ethan’s room and jumped on him, waking him up in time to get medical help for his mother.
Jung and her son are amazed and grateful to Pudding. “If something or someone hadn’t pulled me out of that, I wouldn’t be here,” Jung told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Carrie Counihan, Door County Humane Society executive director, described the giant cat as very laid back and relaxed. To jump up on someone like he did to Jung was not his normal behavior, making it all the more believable that he knew something was amiss. “That, for me, makes the story really stand out,” she told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “That he was sensing something and reacting to it.”
At the suggestion of her doctor, Jung registered Pudding as a therapy cat. Pudding now sits by Jung’s side and meows if he senses her blood sugar may be low.
“I recognize that, as a Democrat, I’m in no position to offer advice to Republicans. But hey, keep it up boys. The version of Republicanism you are offering is a gift to Democrats looking for recruits. The anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, anti-Europe (particularly the French and the Greeks), anti-labor, anti-poor, anti-99 percent and now anti-college graduate rhetoric enables us to eagerly welcome your castoffs into the Democratic Party — where inclusivity is celebrated and their contributions are welcome.”—Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, in Politico. (via quickhits)
or a queen, or an empress, I will decree that anyone full of stupid due to gestational laziness is banned from working, so they cannot embark on annoying the fuck out of their coworkers and bosses.
If they are found to have broken this law, they’ll be permanently exiled to the company of only their families…the members of which will be required to punch them in face every time they exercise their stupid.
If you reallyreallyreally have to eat turkey for Thanksgiving (or any other day), please consider getting a free-range turkey. You can get them from many markets, though they often have to be pre-ordered…today will probably still be early enough to get one.
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”—Martin Luther King Jr. (via shelivesquietly)
Chris Martin on Stern this week - great interview, and I wish so much that I could afford to subscribe to HowardTV. Martin has one of the most melodious and sweet voices I’ve ever heard, and I LOVE it.
Oh yeah, and he has a great, dry sense of humor, too.
The poll shows that 40 percent of Republicans say they attend church weekly. While 21 percent say they attend nearly weekly or monthly, and 38 percent say they rarely go to church.
Meanwhile of their political counterparts polled, only 27 percent of Democrats who say they go to church every week, 20 percent say they go monthly and 52 percent of Democrats say they seldom or never go to church.
Almost one in five Democrats identify with no religious faith compared to only one in 10 Republicans who feel that way…
Just for good measure, because all of the lefties will cite their “enlightenment” as reason for not believing in God, here’s what a couple of nobody’s said about society and religion:
“Every human society that tears out religion, removes its foundation.” - Plato, 10th Book of the Law
“The most Pious cities and nations have ever been the wisest and most lasting.” - Xenophon, 4th cen. B.C. historian and philosopher
“It’s easier to build a city in the air than to constitute a society without belief in the gods.” - Plutarch, 1st cen. A.D. historian and philosopher
1) Left-wingers are more enlightened than right-wingers.
2) None of your quotes bolster the case that a magical deity exists, nor that a belief in such a deity is either necessary or beneficial to human societies.
3) You said you were citing a “couple of nobody’s” but you cited three people (not two) and misspelled “nobodies.”
4) “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” That’s from a “nobody” named James Madison. Here’s another quote, this one from Edward Gibbon, the historian who wrote The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” — Ryking
(and in cases like this I don’t really care much if anyone else agrees or not), but I love it when Ryking goes about “slinging puerile insults” in the direction of right-wing trolls and hypocrites. It’s one of the best things about the entirety of social media. :)
Over the summer, James Pinkerton was paid by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to write her new book. At the same time, Pinkerton was also paid by Fox News to offer commentary on the presidential campaign, without disclosing his role in the Bachmann campaign.
Making matters slightly worse, Fox News knew about this, and urged Pinkerton to hide the truth about his role from the public.
Pinkerton said this week, “They said, ‘Don’t tell anybody,’ I said, ‘Okay.’ I told my superiors at Fox and they knew.”
Remember, Fox News presents itself as a legitimate, independent news organization.
Jesus christ, I am so sick of my head hurting. I know that with the migraines I have one of these days a stroke will hit, but I’m hoping it’ll wait for at least 20 years. But the migraines just keep getting worse….
‘Good and evil doesn’t have a grey zone. Killing and stealing is bad. Violence is never “good” or necessary unless it is used to defend against killers and thieves. Indeed, that is the morality behind the “just war” principle as defined by international laws and treaties.
Yet, this simple concept of right and wrong gets muddled by differing ideas about religion, patriotism, economics and many other divisions. The “just war” rule has crumbled under the ambitions of empires throughout history. The American-led Anglo Saxon empire is no different.
This empire has been brutally conquering and colonizing territory since the fall of Rome. However, it has only gained an American face in the last century. The United States quickly emerged as the world’s “superpower” primarily through its economic might. For some time, many believed the U.S. to be a shining example of economic freedom for other nations to emulate. Indeed, America was eager to promote “economic freedom” globally to open new markets for U.S.-based corporations.
When foreign leaders refused to allow these corporate interests into their country, those leaders were replaced through a variety of covert actions. The form of government that would be installed did not matter to the empire makers so long as the corporate interests were served. In most cases these nations simply surrendered to the seemingly unlimited power of the almighty dollar, thus camouflaging the traditional method of forceful empire building.’
“How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent”—How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich