In For A Penny, In For A Pounding

I might as well go full NSFW here–well, not me, but this site which details WWII sexual psyops. The various countries embroiled in WWII used (or tried to use) sexual suggestions to demoralize enemy troops.

This site details the perversion, the anti-semitism, and the psychology used on your (great?)grand-parents to get them to surrender or turn back. In this day of “2 girls 1 cup” (never seen it, thanks) these pictures seem positively quaint, but they’re not all blurred out so beVARE (as Bela Lugosi would say).

Interestingly, the author’s thesis is that these psychological attacks had the reverse effect. The men would use the naked girl pictures as pin-ups. This tells you something very basic and true about beauty, if true. The picture–the promise of beauty, love and sex–completely overrides any text.

In the soldier’s mind, it’s the girl he’s fighting for. And since she’s in his mind, he’s not likely to believe any of your libelous statements about her. She’s Rita Hayworth in The Strawberry Blonde or Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not or maybe even Judy Garland in Love Finds Andy Hardy.

You’re likely to just make him mad by suggesting anything else.

Food Doom

A friend of mine (who taught at the Creative Wealth seminar The Boy and I went to) sends along this video trailer. (I’ve been meaning to review the seminar but have been letting it digest for a while.)

This is aimed squarely between the eyes for me as I am a Western-medicine-deriding pill-hatin’ pharmaceutical-mistrustin’ organic-lovin’ GMO-sketpicizin’ snake-oil takin’ left coast fruitbat. My peeps deride “Whole Foods” as “too mainstream”.

And yet. I’m not really impressed by this trailer. I guess because I’ve seen it before so many times. The only thing lacking–and it may well be in the movie–is that Diet For A Small Planet-we’re-doomed-because-three-companies-own-all-the-food motif.

I’m afraid I tend to class that stuff alongside of The Population Bomb and Future Shock.

And when people start dissin’ pesticides–which I think are overused–I can’t help but also think of the million children who die of malaria every year because of Rachel Carson persuaded enough people that DDT was worse than death.

And I get a little deja vu feeling when people start talking about genetically modified stuff. Once again, people are starving in Africa because persuasive people have convinced leaders there that dying is better than eating GMOs.

A cynic might say that environmentalist victories seem to equate to black people dying.

So I have this interesting dichotomy: Western medicine has personally saved people I care about, but it has also consigned people I care about to death. The elimination of whole foods (the concept, not the store) has definitely reduced the health of many people and caused many troubles, but ultimately modern food technologies have essentially saved the world.

It actually doesn’t bug me much: I try to use what’s appropriate for the situation. My kids don’t get a lot of refined sugar, but I don’t sweat the occasional cookie or birthday cake. I take them to the doctor when I think that will help, and take them to the witch doctor when I think that will help.

So perhaps this really is a modest post, after all.

The Truth Will Out, Eventually

Nerd News Update:

Slashdot is reporting (via the New York Times) that, whaddayaknow, MS did some last minute shenanigans with the driver model for Vista that broke hardware like crazy.

This is interesting to me because when the initial problems with hardware were reported various Slashdot commenters tried to foist blame on to the hardware manufacturers. They, after all, had plenty of time to prepare.

During the days of OS/2 (Windows’ only serious competition in the early ‘90s), MS used to send people out to pretend to be disgruntled OS/2 users. I later came across some of these professional trolls proudly admitting to their work, though I unfortunately can’t find their boasts today.

But the purpose was served by pushing blame elsewhere before contrary evidence came to light. MS will now push its new version of Windows while maintaining that nothing was really wrong with Vista in the first place.