Francis Vierboom's Blog

A blog about things. Mostly news, ideas, and Sydney

Wednesday links

with one comment

Happy Straya Day to all.

– I’m not actually sure I am a republican, since I honestly rather like the ironically anti-authoritarian notion that the seat of Australian power is occupied by a distant feudal lord. But I do think Australia should change the flag. The Flags Australia site has a few suggestions. I quite like the green and gold ones – particularly the Wattle Flag by Geoff Coulin from 1989 – but apparently polls suggest that changing the colours will be more difficult that just changing the flag. In that case, does anyone like the design I just made?

– At any rate, Shaun Carney probably has it right that we won’t be a republic or have a new flag any time soon.

– Best blog I have seen recently: Unhappy Hipsters, captioning photos from some arty lifestyle slash design slash architecture magazine called Dwell.

– Psychology experiment of the day, from 1967:

Brock and Balloun played a group of people a tape-recorded message attacking Christianity. Half of the subjects were regular churchgoers while the other half were committed atheists. To make the experiment more interesting, Brock and Balloun added an annoying amount of static (a crackle of white noise) to the recording. However, they allowed listeners to reduce the static by pressing a button, so that the message suddenly became easier to understand. Their results were utterly predicable and rather depressing: the non-believers always tried to remove the static, while the religious subjects actually preferred the message that was harder to hear. Later experiments by Brock and Balloun demonstrated a similar effect with smokers listening to a speech on the link between smoking and cancer. We silence the cognitive dissonance through self-imposed ignorance.

Discussed by Jonah Lehrer in an also-worth-reading discussion of a new study about people’s tendency to tune into cable news that confirms their own beliefs. Oddly enough, it probably makes sense that I watch Fox News so often since it confirms my pre-existing belief that the USA is home to an unfortunately large and vaguely coherent body of atrociously stupid people.

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Written by Francis

January 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Mate, your flag looks like something took a bite out of it!

    Bert Newtown

    January 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm


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