18 October 2008

Obama Vows to Change The Brains of the World

The supremely confident demeanour and exalted rhetoric of the Democratic nominee at a New Hampshire event betrayed that he is a man convinced he is poised to make history. _Telegraph
"Barak Obama is poised to change the brains of the world--all of them." Al Fin recently spoke with a former classmate, who is presently working deep inside the Obama Campaign's Magick Negro Tricks Division. When Al questioned his acquaintance about the odd name of his department, he was answered with a shrug and a sheepish grin.

"Obama has always been considered a magical negro, someone who can bridge the gap between black and white, a politician of wisdom and deep thought, with incredible powers of accomplishment. It may sound like a joke, but everyone in the campaign takes the idea very seriously."

AF: But what do you actually do in the campaign? Back at school you were always interested in behaviour modification of rhesus macaques. What does that have to do with a political campaign?

Acqu: You'd be surprised, Al. Humans are not that different from monkeys, when you cut through the false sophistication of language and culture. I was approached by the campaign because I was beginning to find clinical applications for some of what I have learned from research on monkey brains.

AF: Fascinating! Tell me more.

Acqu: Alright. But I can only tell you so much, before the election. You know that the brain stores beliefs and behaviour patterns in a hard-wired fashion?
(AF nods)
So. When you want to modify beliefs and behaviour, you have to take into account what is already there?

AF: Yes, go on.

Acqu: Oh, Al! I'll give you the nutshell view, but don't ask me to explain more deeply.

AF: Fine, whatever you can tell me.

Acqu: Alright. Here's the basic approach:
1. Map current belief patterns in the population at the rally location with Obama campaign talking points.
2. Take every possible connection and Repeat, repeat, repeat!
3. Arrange for “firing together.” Juxtapose local beliefs and undercurrents with Obama slogans.
4. Be consistent in building positive connections for Obama, and extremely negative connections for "the other".
5. Don’t stress your mistakes. Don’t reinforce neuronal networks that aren’t useful.
6. Keep going back to existing brain networks and subtly add to them. Nothing is completely new. Just alter what is there
7. Misconnected brain networks are most often just incomplete. Try to coopt them, own them for Obama.
8. Be careful about resurrecting old networks that contradict the message; common sense that contradicts the message dies hard.
9. Construct metaphors and insist that your students adopt campaign metaphors -- like change, hope, he is the one, etc.
10. Use nonsensical analogies and similes like, "we are the ones we've been waiting for."
It all hinges on understanding the brain networks that are already there, and knowing how to twist them so that Obama seems like a natural fit. Make them think it's their own idea!

AF: Ahummm! I see. But how is that different from politics as normally practised?

Acqu: Okay, good point. But you would have to visit our test lab to understand how sophisticated we have become. Say, Al! We could use someone with your clinical skills right about now. In fact, some of our latest techniques borrow from your ideas on the micro-timing of brain communication.

AF: Really? Well, I hope you give me some public credit if you are using my ideas!

Acqu: Now, Al, you know we can't give public credit for any of this. It's still secret, for goodness sakes. Seriously, now. Do you think you can make some time to work with us over the next couple of weeks? We can make it worth your time.

AF: Indeed? Perhaps you should allow me to sleep on that idea. I try not to make spare of the moment decisions about anything as important as this seems to be.

Acqu: Sure. Will you be at your hotel tonight, if I need to contact you?

AF: Hmmmm? Oh, yes. My plane does not leave until 6 in the morning. Thanks for your time.

Acqu: No problem. We'll be in touch.

To readers from assistant blog administrator: We have been unable to reach Al Fin since he submitted this dispatch for editing last night. He has been unavailable by landline, cell, text messaging, email, or encrypted satellite phone.

Mr. Fin's domestic android, Valerie, says that she has neither seen nor heard from Mr. Fin since yesterday morning when he rushed out of the house to make an early flight. We will update with new information as it becomes available.

Brain network teaching methods adapted from the work of James Zull H/T Alvaro at Sharp Brains

Intriguing findings on the timing of brain perception and behaviour relating to earlier Al Fin postings on cognition and AI

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts