Search This Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2008

CHOMSKY - USA - Saudi Arabia - UK - Palestine

Bush's bankrupt vision
BY NOAM CHOMSKY (Counterpoint)

1 June 2008

IN MID-May, President Bush travelled to the Middle East to establish his legacy more firmly in the part of the world that has been the prime focus of his presidency.

The trip had two principal destinations, each chosen to celebrate a major anniversary: Israel, the 60th anniversary of its founding and recognition by the United States, and Saudi Arabia, the 75th anniversary of US recognition of the newly founded kingdom. The choices made good sense in the light of history and the enduring character of US Middle East policy: control of oil, and support of the proxies who help maintain it.

An omission, however, was not lost on the people of the region. Though Bush celebrated the founding of Israel, he did not recognise (let alone commemorate) the paired event from 60 years ago: the destruction of Palestine, the Nakba, as Palestinians refer to the events that expelled them from their lands.

During his three days in Jerusalem, the president was an enthusiastic participant in lavish events and made sure to go to Masada, a near-sacred site of Jewish nationalism.

But he did not visit the seat of the Palestinian authority in Ramallah, or Gaza City, or a refugee camp, or the town of Qalqilya . strangled by the Separation Wall, now becoming an Annexation Wall under the illegal Israeli settlement and development programmes that Bush has endorsed officially, the first president to do so.

And it was out of the question that he would have any contact with Hamas leaders and parliamentarians, chosen in the only free election in the Arab world, many of them in Israeli jails with no pretense of judicial proceedings.

The pretexts for this stance scarcely withstand a moment's analysis. Also of no moment is the fact that Hamas has repeatedly called for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that the United States and Israel have rejected, virtually alone, for more than 30 years, and still do.

Bush did allow the US favourite, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, to participate in meetings in Egypt with many regional leaders. Bush's last visit to Saudi Arabia was in January. On both trips, he sought, without success, to draw the kingdom into the anti-Iranian alliance he has been seeking to forge. That is no small task, despite the concern of the Sunni rulers over the "Shia crescent" and growing Iranian influence, regularly termed "aggressiveness."

For the Saudi rulers, accommodation with Iran may be preferable to confrontation. And though public opinion is marginalised, it cannot be completely dismissed. In a recent poll of Saudis, Bush ranked far above Osama bin Laden in the "very unfavourable" category, and more than twice as high as Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, Iran's Shia ally in Lebanon.

US-Saudi relations date to the recognition of the Kingdom in 1933 . not coincidentally, the year when Standard of California obtained a petroleum concession and American geologists began to explore what turned out to be the world's largest reserves of oil.

The United States quickly moved to ensure its own control, important steps in a process by which the United States took over world dominance from Britain, which was slowly reduced to a "junior partner," as the British Foreign Office lamented, unable to counter "the economic imperialism of American business interests, which is quite active under the cloak of a benevolent and avuncular internationalism" and is "attempting to elbow us out."

The strong US-Israel alliance took its present form in 1967, when Israel performed a major service to the United States by destroying the main center of secular Arab nationalism, Nasser's Egypt, also safeguarding the Saudi rulers from the secular nationalist threat. US planners had recognised a decade earlier that a "logical corollary" of US opposition to "radical" (that is, independent) Arab nationalism would be "to support Israel as the only strong pro-Western power left in the Middle East."

Investment by US corporations in Israeli high-tech industry has sharply increased, including Intel, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Warren Buffett and others, joined by major investors from Japan and India . in the latter case, one facet of a growing US-Israel-India strategic alliance.

To be sure, other factors underlie the US-Israeli relationship. In Jerusalem, Bush invoked "the bonds of the book," the faith "shared by Christians like himself and Jews," the Australian Press reported, but apparently not shared by Muslims or even Christian Arabs, like those in Bethlehem, now barred from occupied Jerusalem, a few kilometres away, by illegal Israeli construction projects.

The Saudi Gazette bitterly condemned Bush's "audacity to call Israel the 'homeland for the chosen people' . the terminology of ultrareligious Israeli hardliners. The Gazette added that Bush's "particular brand of moral bankruptcy was on full display when he made only passing mention of a Palestinian state in his vision of the region 60 years hence."

It is not difficult to discern why Bush's chosen legacy should stress relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, with a side glance at Egypt, along with disdain for the Palestinians and their miserable plight, apart from a few ritual phrases.

We need not tarry on the thought that the president's choices have anything to do with justice, human rights or the vision of "democracy promotion" that gripped his soul as soon as the pretexts for the invasion of Iraq had collapsed.

But the choices do accord with a general principle, observed with considerable consistency: Rights are assigned in accord with service to power.

Palestinians are poor, weak, dispersed and friendless. It is elementary, then, that they should have no rights. In sharp contrast, Saudi Arabia has incomparable resources of energy, Egypt is the major Arab state, and Israel is a rich Western country and the regional powerhouse, with air and armoured forces that are larger and technologically more advanced than any NATO power (apart from its patron) along with hundreds of nuclear weapons, and with an advanced and largely militarised economy closely linked to the United States.

The contours of the intended legacy are therefore quite predictable.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

911 truth == Learned Helplessness (red pill/blue pill WTF)

Also check out how Learned Helplessness combined with computer population model (Sentient World Simulation) and the Giant Wurlitzer (CIA controls the world's press/media) can be used to control populations. You understand?

Dad brings home a Lego set. Ian, 6, and his 9 year-old sister Rachel, set to work building spaceships. She's fast and efficient. He fumbles and fails. And he angrily throws the Lego pieces at his sister. "I'm a dumbo," Ian says. "I can't do anything right."

Not surprisingly, Dad wants Ian to feel better.He tells Ian that his incomplete rocket is terrific, that he's "the best rocket maker around," that Ian can grow up to do "whatever you set your mind to." And to make Ian feel better, Dad takes the Lego pieces and builds a rocket for his son.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Wrong. All wrong, says Martin Seligman, the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania and former President of the American Psychological Association. Dad means well, but he's hurting his kid. Why? First, just about everything Dad says is a lie --- and Ian knows it. Second, by building the rocket for Ian, Dad sends the message that the cure for failure is rescue by another person --- instead of building self-esteem, he's given Ian "a lesson in helplessness." Finally --- and for Seligman, worst of all --- "not only does Ian gravitate to the most pessimistic causes, but his way of reacting to problems is with passivity, giving up, and a whiny inwardness. Ian's learned pessimism is self-fulfilling."

It turns out that, back in the sixties, Seligman and another guy (Maier) were the ones who originally came up with the idea for learned helplessness, a concept which the dominant behaviorists of the time claimed was impossible. Noam Chomsky had already poked a hole in behaviorism in 1959 by showing that human language isn't solely a learned behavior, but Seligman and his research partner Maier managed to conclusively demonstrate a behavior that was based on an animal's expectations, rather than solely on reinforcement (and they did it while they were still graduate students).

The research was compelling enough that a variety of other people began to expand on it, and it was soon discovered that the same principles applied to humans. What was also quickly noticed, though, was that about 1/3 of experimental subjects never learned to become helpless. Seligman and Maier also discovered that it was possible to train puppies in such a way that learned helplessness did not occur, and to retrain dogs out of their pattern of learned helplessness.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Seligman also draws a lot of parallels between helplessness and unipolar depression. In fact, he claims that unipolar depression is basically helplessness writ large. He argues that the conventional view that clinical depression is a biochemical disorder not only is not supported by the evidence, but is specifically contradicted by the fact that only a few generations ago, the incidence of depression in Americans was much, much lower than it is now. He argues that it is simply not reasonable to say that human brain chemistry has changed that much in only two or three generations, and therefore, the cause of the massive epidemic of depression that began in the latter half of the 20th century clearly must be something else. Naturally, this view has not endeared him to mainstream psychiatrists or to the mental health business in general, which makes untold billions of dollars selling quick-fix drugs. Seligman argues, though, that the belief that the only cure for depression is a quick fix drug actually contributes to the problem. Why? Because the belief that we are powerless to better our condition contributes to a feeling of helplessness, which in turn makes depression either more likely, or harder to come out of.

Anyway, Seligman's research after 1975 focused on that interesting 1/3 of subjects who never learned to be helpless. What was different about those people, and could it be used to help other people? And how could human beings learn to break out of patterns of learned helplessness?

I'm not far enough into the book yet to offer a very conclusive explanation, but optimism is apparently the key, and the key to optimism is, according to Seligman, how we explain to ourselves the good things and bad things that happen to us. The book includes a 48-question questionnaire that Seligman and his research partners developed to quantify optimism in people. Optimism and pessimism are measured along two main axes: how we account for the bad things, and how we account for the good things. Within those two axes are three further dimensions, namely whether the explanations are permanent, personal and/or pervasive. All six of these dimensions are rated on a scale of zero to seven (IIRC--I actually didn't get higher than a five on any scale). The three "bad" axis numbers are combined into an overall bad rating, and the three "good" axis numbers are combined into an overall good rating. Then the bad rating is subtracted from the good rating to obtain a grand total score.


The Integration of the Learned Helplessness and Cognitive
Models of Depression

Sarah E. Bender
University of Richmond


Though about 16 million Americans suffer from depression, the causes of this disease are as of yet uncertain. There has been research into a number of different theories about the cause of depression. Two of the psychological theories that have been developed are Seligman's learned helplessness model of depression and Beck's cognitive model. The basis of the learned helplessness model is that unavoidable aversive events in a person's life can cause that person to feel a complete lack of control and to begin to act passively and become depressed due to this perception. Beck's theory posits that a person's natural vulnerability to depression according to his or her dysfunctional attitudes interacts with negative life events to produce or prevent depression. Though the theories differ in model, they have both been experimentally supported and can coexist and explain different aspects of depression, as different people exhibit different reactions to stressful life events and the onset of depression.


It is estimated that around 16 million Americans suffer from depression each year. This means that about 3% of all men and 9% of all women in the United States are experiencing depressive symptoms at any given point in time (American Psychological Association, 1994). It is also generally accepted that 1 in 5 people in the world will develop depression sometime in their life (Downing-Orr, 1998). These statistics make it easy to see why depression has long been a highly researched area of psychology and biology. And though there have been many years of research into the etiology of this disease, it is still not understood exactly what causes depression. Therefore, the debate continues to ensue between cognitive and behavioral psychologists, psychiatrists, and geneticists, to name a few.

Depression is more then just sadness. There are a number of symptoms that are typically associated with clinically depressed patients. The following is a list proposed by Klerman (1988):
1. Depressed mood.
2. Anhedonia, or lack of pleasure.
3. Feelings of fatigue.
4. Slowing of speaking, thinking, and moving abilities.
5. Changes in appetite.
6. Sleep disorders.
7. Physical problems.
8. Agitation.
9. Lessened libido, or sexual interest.
10. Lessened interest in usual activities, whether work or play.
11. Difficulty concentrating.
12. Feelings of worthlessness, self-criticism, and guilt.
13. Anxiety.
14. Lowered self-esteem.
15. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and negativity.
16. Thoughts about death, suicide.

Depression is a very disheartening disease to have. Downing-Orr (1998) describes the world a depressed patient lives in as "colorless, gray, and lacking in beauty" (p.30). Therefore, the goals of research into depression are not only to determine what causes it but also to design the most successful treatment therapies.

This paper will attempt to summarize and compare the main points and support for the behavioral and cognitive theories of depression and to integrate them into an interactive theory about what causes depression. Both of these theories have valid arguments as well as supporting scientific evidence; however, they are most useful as predicting and diagnostic tools when viewed in light of one another and used in conjunction with each other.

Pavlov and dog saliva

Behavioral psychology owes much of its credit to the foundational work of Ivan Pavlov around the turn of the 20th century. Pavlov researched, named, and classified the phenomenon of conditioning, a form of learning. In his experimentation, Pavlov paired meat powder (the unconditioned stimulus) with a ringing bell (the conditioned stimulus). The dog salivated at the smell of the meat powder. However, Pavlov found that the dog continued to salivate at the ringing of the bell even when the meat powder was no longer present. The dog had been conditioned, or unconsciously trained, to respond to the sound of the bell in the same way it responded to the smell of the meat powder. This type of conditioning is known as classical or Pavlovian conditioning (Schwartz & Schwartz, 1993).

The Behavioral Therapy of Depression & Learned Helplessness (cont'd)

The Behavioral Therapy of Depression & Learned Helplessness (cont'd)

Seligman and Yoked Dogs

Martin Seligman expanded the conditioning research done by Pavlov in his own experiments with dogs. Seligman and Maier (1967) conducted a series of experiments to test the effect of conditioning on the behavior of dogs in certain situations of control. The researchers divided the subjects into two groups ­ the "Escape" group and the "Yoked" group. (A "Normal" group which received no training in the first part of the experiment was tested as well .) The dogs were placed in a testing unit strapped into a rubberized, cloth hammock through which their legs could hang. Electrodes, to be used in delivering an electric shock, were attached to the dogs' hind feet. On either side of the dog's neck were panels which the dog could press by turning its head. The Escape group went through escape training in which they received shocks through the electrodes on their feet. The dog could escape, or end, each shock by pressing one of the nearby panels with its head. The Yoked group went through a similar training with one major difference in their condition. For this group, the termination of the shocks was uncontrollable by the dogs. They would continue until the programmed duration of the shock had ended, regardless of whether the dog had pressed one of the panels.

The testing part of the experiment took place 24 hours after the dogs had completed their respective trainings. In this stage, the dogs were exposed to a conditioned-unconditioned stimuli pair to test their responses. Each dog was tested in a two-way shuttle bow with two compartments separated by a shoulder-height barrier. An electric shock, administered through the grated floor, was the unconditioned stimulus and was paired with the conditioned stimulus, extinguishing the lights illuminating the boxes. The escape from the shock in this stage was jumping over the barrier into the other side of the box. Trials in this avoidance training were done with both the Escape group and the Yoked group, and latency between the presentation of the conditioned stimulus, the lights, and the dog's appropriate reaction of jumping over the barrier was measured.

The results of this experiment were very interesting. Seligman and Maier found that the dogs in the Escape group, who were exposed to the escape training in which they had control over the termination of the shock, learned to press the panels to end the flow of electricity. The amount of time it took the dogs to press the panel after the shock began decreased throughout the trials. The dogs in the Yoked group showed learning reflected in behavior as well; however, they learned that pressing the panels had no effect on the shocks, so the panel-pressing of the Yoked group decreased and soon stopped altogether as the trials proceeded. The effect of this training was reflected strongly in the dogs' behavior in the avoidance training in the shuttle boxes. The Escape group and the Normal group showed similar mean latencies for barrier jumping, though there was a higher percentage of dogs in the Normal group than in the Escape group (12.5% as opposed to 0%) who failed altogether to escape the shock on at least 10 of the trial. The Yoked group, however, produced results significantly different from those of the other two groups. The dogs in the Yoked group displayed a significantly higher mean latency for barrier jumping as well as a higher percentage of dogs who failed to escape the shocks altogether (75%).

What does all this mean? Well, it seems that the behavior of the dogs during the avoidance training was based on their learning in the escape training stage of the experiment. The dogs in the Escape group learned that they had control over the shocks; therefore, in the avoidance training, most of the dogs quickly learned to jump the barrier to avoid the shock. The dogs in the Yoked group, however, seemed to have learned from the escape training, in which they had no control, that there was nothing they could do about the shocks; therefore, the vast majority of them did not attempt to escape the shock by jumping the barrier. They had learned that the termination of the shock was independent of their responding.

So what do dogs have to do with depression?

Seligman and Maier (1967) termed the phenomenon they observed in the dogs in the Yoked group "learned helplessness": the dogs failed to escape the shock because they had learned previously, in the escape training, that they were helpless to do anything about the shocks. Therefore, they assumed that the same was true and exhibited the same passivity in the avoidance training even though they truly did have some control in the situation.

Seligman has expanded his famous theory of helplessness into the realm of human behavior. The premise is very similar in application to people: helplessness is a "psychological state that frequently results when events are uncontrollable" (Seligman, 1974, p.9). It occurs when we feel there is no response to a situation we can make to change the course of events. Seligman relates his theory of helplessness to the concept of behavior in response to rewards and punishments. He posits that our "voluntary responses" are those that are affected and changed by rewards and punishments. What this means is that we will perform an action more frequently if we are rewarded for doing it and less frequently if we are punished. However, when the reward or punishment we receive is independent of our actions, we become confused, loose the motivation to perform or avoid performing a behavior, and often become passive in the situation. This occurrence can be seen in Seligman and Maier's dog experiments. Studies have also been done on humans to test this theory. One example is the experiment run by Hiroto and Seligman (1974) using college students to test the effects of controllable versus uncontrollable aversive events on both cognitive tasks and escape rate from a shuttle box. This study indicated that learned helplessness was the reason the subjects exposed to the inescapable events were more likely to fail at the cognitive tasks and at escape.

So where does depression come in? Seligman (1975) compares the characteristics of learned helplessness and depression, suggesting that if two phenomena have the same characteristics such as symptoms, cause, cure, and prevention, they can be considered similar. He examines the six symptoms of learned helplessness that he has identified and compares them with those of depression. These helplessness symptoms are (with comparisons to depression in parentheses):

1. Lowered initiation of voluntary responses (anhedonia of depression)
2. Negative cognitive set (depressed patients show self-reproach and guilt and tend to underestimate their effectiveness)
3. Dissipation of helplessness with time (time almost always plays a role in the alleviation of depression)
4. Lowered aggression (depressed patients show very little hostility toward others)
5. Loss of appetite (depressed patients often show changes in eating habits, especially a loss of appetite)
6. Physiological changes (depression has been shown to produce somatic ailments in some cases)

Miller and Seligman (1974) conducted an experiment similar to that of Hiroto and Seligman (1974) mentioned earlier where they exposed groups of college students to escapable and inescapable noise (as well as no noise) while the students were attempting to perform cognitive tasks. In this study, however, they created experimental groups with both depressed and nondepressed students in them. The result of the study further supported the idea that helplessness has a negative effect on cognitive performance, for the inescapable noise group performed more poorly, as well as the idea that depression affects cognitive functioning, for the depressed subjects performed the worst within the inescapable noise group. This study produced another interesting result. It was found that the depressed students within the escapable noise group performed much better on the task than depressed students in the no noise group. Their performance was equivalent to the nondepressed subjects in the no noise group. This finding seems to indicate that having some degree of control and not feeling completely helpless greatly improves performance, especially for those who are depressed and feel an all-around lack of control. This result is highly supportive of the theorized learned helplessness-depression model.

Seligman (1975) also suggests that the causes of learned helplessness are reflected in the apparent causes of depression. Depression is often sparked by uncontrollable negative events in a person's life, such as death of a loved one or losing a job unexpectedly. The occurrence of such an event gives the patient feelings of helplessness, as his or her actions seem to be incapable of changing anything in the situation.

In summary, Seligman's theory makes sense -- depression and learned helplessness seem to overlap in causes, symptoms, and manifestations in behavior. Experiments with both humans and animals have supported Seligman's hypotheses about the effects of inescapable aversive events on motivation and perceptions of control. Therefore, Seligman's work has successfully contributed to the body of knowledge about and proposed causes of depression with a number of valid points and perceptions.

Almost perfect
Despite its support, the learned helplessness model of depression has one major downfall. While some of the events which seem to precipitate the development of depression are out totally of the patient's control (e.g. death of a parent), some are not. The example Seligman gives (Friedman and Katz, 1974) is that of a depressed man who has lost his job due to incompetence. In this situation, the loss of the job was under the man's control, for it was his own incompetence which caused him to be fired. The depressed person may feel helpless, but event and response are not totally independent. Therefore, at least some cases of depression seem not to be parallel to the model of learned helplessness.

The Cognitive Theory of Depression

Beckon call
Another highly researched theory about the causes of depression is the cognitive theory, based on the work of Aaron Beck. Beck's theory emphasizes not a sense of helplessness, as Seligman's does, but a sense of loss (Friedman & Katz, 1974). The depressed person sees himself as lacking something that he has to have in order to be happy. For example, if a student who took great pride in his grades were to fail a class, one would predict that he has a good chance of becoming depressed because he has lost that which he highly valued, his academic success. After this loss, the patient's view of himself begins to be more and more negative. He tends to blame his sadness as well as any aversive events that happen to him on some flaw in himself, and he views the subsequent events in his life in light of that negative trait. Beck states that "the ultimate of his self-condemnation is total self-rejection -- just as though he were rejecting another person" (Friedman & Katz, 1974, p.11) .

This negative self-view is one point of the cognitive triad Beck describes in his model of depression (Beck et al., 1979). The other two points of this depression-causing triad are a view of the outside world as a hostile place and a pessimistic outlook on the future. These three facets make up the thought pattern of the depressed person and explain why he interprets every event in his life during as negative during his depression.

Beck (1976) further develops his theory with the idea that dysfunctional attitudes, made up of the cognitive triad, are part of a vulnerability factor that can contribute to the likelihood of depression. His proposal is that some people are more likely than others to become depressed because of a predisposition to negative or dysfunctional thoughts about the world and about him or herself. Whether someone will become depressed is partially dependent on this factor.

Beck (1976) agrees with Seligman that there are usually one or more precipitating events which triggers the development of depression. However, Beck posits that it is these negative life events in combination with a person's vulnerability factor which determines whether he or she will develop depression. Those people who have a low level of vulnerability may experience stressful life events but may not become depressed; however, if someone with a high vulnerability to depression were to experience the same events, he or she may be more likely to develop depression.

College students as lab rats

A number of studies have been done which support Beck's hypothesis. Joiner, Metalsky, Lew, and Klocek (1999) did a study measuring college students' dysfunctional attitudes, depressive and anxious cognitions, and depressive symptoms before and after midterm exams. They found that students who had high levels of dysfunctional attitudes (i.e. those highly vulnerable to depression) and received poor grades on their midterms showed higher signs of depression. However, those who did poorly on the exams but were not highly vulnerable did not increase in depressive symptoms. This study clearly reveals that attitudes, or vulnerability level, play a strong interactive role in determining whether negative life events result in depression. Another study by Olinger, Kuiper, and Shaw (1987) produced similarly supportive results. In their study, it was found that vulnerability and likelihood of depression were negatively correlated in the presence of stressful life events for a more general populace. A similar study by Kwon and Oei (1992) also showed support for the concept of dysfunctional attitudes as mediator between events and depression.

In summary, Beck's theory is well-researched and well-supported. It explains why stressors that occur in two people's lives can cause depression in one but not in the other. It also offers another perspective on depressed people's reactions to negative life events.

A Blessed Union

As the evidence shows, both the learned helplessness theory and the cognitive theory of depression make good cases for their respective arguments. Beck's cognitive theory of depression, however, seems to have more clear-cut experimental support. The studies mentioned have all produced results which are similar as well as supportive of Beck's proposal that the cognitive triad of dysfunctional attitudes interacts with negative life events to determine whether a person will develop depressive symptoms as a result of these events.

The fact that there is strong support for Beck's depression model does not mean that there is no value to Seligman's learned helplessness theory. It has been shown by a number of studies that learned helplessness is an actual occurrence in both humans and animals.

Therefore, the most logical integration of these two theories is into two different possible reactions to aversive life events. It seems that different people react differently in similar circumstances. For some people, the occurrence of negative events in their world may cause them to feel like they have lost all control of what happens to them. For others, stressors may cause a heightened sense of control as they wrongly take all of the responsibility for the negative events upon themselves. And Beck's theory of mediating vulnerability may apply in cases of both occurrences, but that vulnerability may translate into different reactions by the sufferer. In this way, it is possible for both theories to exist concurrently and to be supportable by evidence in different cases.


Seligman (1975) suggests that the best (and perhaps only) way to treat depression from a learned helplessness theory point of view is "forced exposure to the fact that responding produces reinforcement" (p. 99). In light of the integrated view of behavioral (learned helplessness) and cognitive theories of the causes of depression, it seems that this type of treatment would be best combined with cognitive therapy. It also seems that "forced response" therapy would be most effective with depression patients who have particularly bad anhedonia, or are extremely passive in their situations.

The therapy recommended by Beck to treat depression patients based on his cognitive model concentrates on helping the patient focus on topics other than his or her depression (Beck, 1979). An integral part of cognitive-behavioral therapy is the activity schedule, on which patients mark what they did for each part of the day as well as what their mood was during each activity. One of the purposes of this task is to identify activities which the patient has mastered and to determine which activities give the patient any pleasure. This type of therapy seems helpful in both cases where the patient blames him or herself for the negative events in life and cases in which the patients feels like he or she is helpless.

That's All, Folks

In summary, both Seligman's learned helplessness model of depression and Beck's cognitive mediation model are well-formulated and well-supported. Research has shown that each of them apply in different ways. Therefore, research into the area of depression can best be advanced by combining the two theories, as differences exist in the way people react to negative life events. In some cases, the learned helplessness theory of passivity and lost control may best apply, while in others, a tendency to blame oneself for negative occurrences may make the most sense according to the cognitive model.

American Psychological Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.
Beck, A.T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.
Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford.
Downing-Orr, K. (1998). Rethinking depression. New York: Plenum Press.
Friedman, R. J. & Katz, M. M. (Eds.). (1974). The psychology of depression: Contemporary theory and research. Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere.
Hiroto, D.S. & Seligman, M.E.P. (1974). Generality of learned helplessness in man. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 311-327.
Joiner, T. E., Metasky, G. I., Lew, A., & Klocek, J. Testing the causal mediation component of Beck's theory of depression: Evidence for specific mediation. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 23, 401-412.
Klerman , G.L. (1988) "Depression and related disorders of mood (affective disorders)." In A.M. Nicholi, Jr., (Ed.), The new Harvard guide to psychiatry (pp. 309-336). Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard University Press.
Kwon, S. & Oei, T. P. S. Differential causal roles of dysfunctional attitudes and automatic thoughts in depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 16, 309-328.
Miller, W. & Seligman, M. E. P. (1974). Depression and learned helplessness in man. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 84, 228-238.
Olinger, L. J., Kuiper, N. A., & Shaw, B. F. (1987). Dysfunctional attitudes and stressful life events: An interactive model of depression. Cognitive Theory and Research, 11, 25-40.
Schwartz, A. & Schwartz, R.M. (1993). Depression: Theories and treatments. New York: Columbia University Press.
Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.
Seligman, M. E. P. & Maier, S. F. (1967). Failure to escape tramatic shock. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74, 1-9.

Also check out how Learned Helplessness combined with computer population model (Sentient World Simulation) and the Giant Wurlitzer (CIA controls the world's press/media) can be used to control populations. You understand?


Apr 1, 2003 | Dear Cary,

You know that experiment where they shock dogs who try to escape a box, and then the dogs stop trying to escape, and then they don't even have to shock them anymore?

This is like my life. I am stuck in a box; nothing holds me back anymore, but I still cannot get out. There is not really anything terribly painful in my past, just a case of being extremely shy and anxious, not speaking to people some years, never making eye contact, that kind of thing. I just can never help myself, it seems. I am Kafka's roach, you know? Why am I 29? I did nothing to get here. I ought to have evaporated long ago, you know?

Jack in a Box

Feel like you live in a box?

Dear Jack,

Perhaps you are referring to this experiment performed in the 1960s by psychologist and author who wore beads in the 1970s and is now a prestigious professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

The point of the experiment, so I take it from reading the abstract, was to show that helplessness can be learned. I completely believe that. I have seen learned helplessness in many people. And it sounds like you have diagnosed yourself correctly. You haven't had some huge trauma. You're not a basket case. You just managed somehow, over a period of years, to learn a pattern of helplessness.

Now, I didn't follow up in the academic stuff to find out how you unlearn it, but in my own experience how you unlearn helplessness is you assiduously cultivate the achievable. What is achievable today? Depends on where you are. You start wherever you are. If you're a drunk, homeless, living in the gutter, you start out with a cot in a shelter. There's your achievement. A cot. Instead of the street, you're in a shelter on a cot. And you start out with not drinking for one full day. There's another achievement. And you go into a roomful of people and you tell your two achievements out loud and all the people applaud and maybe you're thinking they're a bunch of suckers for applauding but at least you know you've got your cot. Doesn't sound like much, but that's how you unlearn helplessness: You achieve the achievable.

You do this every day, and it becomes a habit. After a while, you begin to notice certain structural similarities between getting a cot at the homeless shelter and applying for a job as a journalist or for a research grant in biochemistry or starting a relationship: You make your intentions known and understood. You communicate your qualifications. There's a period of mutual evaluation. There are little promises that must be kept. There are schedules and expectations. And it all starts with getting to your cot at the shelter on time. It starts with wherever you're at.

Where you're at, my friend, happens to be in a little box. So the achievable in your case would be to leave the box today and return to it, just to prove you can do that.

But you might ask why you should leave. What's out there that you want? What's the point? So on your first day, you sit down in your box and think what is your favorite thing in the world that you can buy or get for free just by leaving your box: an ice cream cone, a walk in the park, a swim, a hamburger. I know there is something, some modest pleasure that can be had, and I know that you know what it is. Fix your mind on that thing. Make a plan how to get it. If it takes money, put money in your pocket. Now leave your box, get your favorite thing, and bring it back to the box. Just do that. Leave your box, get your favorite thing, then go back into the box.

When you get back in the box, take stock of your situation. Take note of the fact that you have made a successful excursion. Mark this day on a calendar. Day 1 of liberation from the box.

On Day 2, again, decide on something you really want, something you enjoy that makes you happy that you can get. Leave your box, get the thing, come back to the box, take note of your success, mark it on a calendar. Don't expect it to be easy. Don't expect to change overnight. You may feel panicked or full of despair. Big deal. That's OK. If you have to stop in the store and feel waves of panic, go ahead and feel the waves of panic. Just do your excursion.

The next step is, from the safety of your box, look out on the world and try to determine if there are potential allies out there.

Have you ever noticed any women hanging around the little opening of your box, looking in, jangling their car keys, shining their little key-ring flashlights in there or trying to poke around in your box with a stick? If you've noticed women poking around, there's a good chance that one of them is trying to lure you out of the box.

Often men such as yourself who live in a box and think of themselves as laboratory animals turn out to be sort of cute, mixed-up, skinny bass players who wear obscure Japanese furniture T-shirts. Other times they turn out to be preppy Midwestern boys who wear corduroy and Oxford shirts. Both men are often of interest to a certain kind of woman who has charms all her own, and who may, in fact, also live in a box. All you have to do then is come on out of there, blinking in the bright sun; rub your eyes; all those things can be cute gestures, the blinking in the bright sun, the rubbing the eyes, the looking around like you're not sure where you are. It is a wonderful thing for the box creatures to meet. It isn't that terrible to admit that you live in a box, especially when you find a woman who also lives in a box. You just have to know your limits. Avoid bright sunlight and excessive exertion.

Also check out how Learned Helplessness combined with computer population model (Sentient World Simulation) and the Giant Wurlitzer (CIA controls the world's press/media) can be used to control populations. You understand?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CHOMSKY explains 1968 movement's impact

Noam Chomsky on 1968

08 May 2008

Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements. There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968. It was enormous, in terms of human rights, ethnic rights, a concern for the environment, too.

The Pentagon Papers (the 7,000-page, top-secret US government report into the Vietnam War) are proof of this: right after the Tet Offensive, the business world turned against the war, because they thought it was too costly, even though there were proposals within the government - and we know this now - to send in more American troops. Then LBJ announced he wouldn't be sending any more troops to Vietnam.

The Pentagon Papers tell us that, because of the fear of growing unrest in the cities, the government had to end the war - it wasn't sure that it was going to have enough troops to send to Vietnam and enough troops on the domestic front to quell the riots.

One of the most interesting reactions to come out of 1968 was in the first publication of the Trilateral Commission, which believed there was a "crisis of democracy" from too much participation of the masses. In the late 1960s, the masses were supposed to be passive, not entering into the public arena and having their voices heard. When they did, it was called an "excess of democracy" and people feared it put too much pressure on the system. The only group that never expressed its opinions too much was the corporate group, because that was the group whose involvement in politics was acceptable.

The commission called for more moderation in democracy and a return to passivity. It said the "institutions of indoctrination" - schools, churches - were not doing their job, and these had to be harsher.

The more reactionary standard was much harsher in its reaction to the events of 1968, in that it tried to repress democracy, which has succeeded to an extent - but not really, because these social and activist movements have now grown. For example, it was unimaginable in 1968 that there would be an international Solidarity group in 1980.

But democracy is even stronger now than it was in 1968. You have to remember that, during Vietnam, there was no opposition at the beginning of the war. It did develop, but only six years after John F Kennedy attacked South Vietnam and troop casualties were mounting. However, with the Iraq War, opposition was there from the very beginning, before an attack was even initiated. The Iraq War was the first conflict in western history in which an imperialist war was massively protested against before it had even been launched.

There are other differences, too. In 1968, it was way out in the margins of society to even discuss the possibility of withdrawal from Vietnam. Now, every presidential candidate mentions withdrawal from Iraq as a real policy choice.

There is also far greater opposition to oppression now than there was before. For example, the US used routinely to support or initiate military coups in Latin America. But the last time the US supported a military coup was in 2002 in Venezuela, and even then they had to back off very quickly because there was public opposition. They just can't do the kinds of things they used to.

So, I think the impact of 1968 was long-lasting and, overall, positive.

3 comments from readers

greed n power -- Fact is that the criminal war against Iraq has cost over 650 000 lives: woman, children, fathers whole families...and it is still going on. Why are the responsible culprits not taken to the Haag and charged with crimes against humanity? Bush, Cheeny, Blair.... and the US weapon industry. Why are people with your profile Mr Chomski are not making more waves to reintroduce some form of justice against those criminals?

Cybertiger -- Anybody care to recall what happened on 16 March 1968? That incident taught me all I need to know about the bestial capability of the American soldier ... and the quality of American justice.

Derek -- Yes, I for one remember what happened on 16th March 1968 in My Lay, and what Second Lieutenant William Calley and his troops did there. i also remember who was in charge of the investigation, one Major, now retired as General, Colin Powell. I wish I shared Mr Chomsky optimism. I dont. From Jainin to Falujah. From the theft of the 2000 election in the US to the whole Iraq debacle there is no end to rapacious use of power ...

ALSO SEE (and listen mp3 download)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Learned helplessness - CIA mind control

Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulations, or SEAS, is currently being used by Homeland Security and the US Defense Department to simulate crises on the US mainland.[1] SEAS "enables researchers and organizations to try out their models or techniques in a publicly known, realistically detailed environment."[2] It "is now capable of running real-time simulations for up to 62 nations, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and China. The simulations gobble up breaking news, census data, economic indicators, and climactic events in the real world, along with proprietary information such as military intelligence. [...] The Iraq and Afghanistan computer models are the most highly developed and complex of the 62 available to JFCOM-J9. Each has about five million individual nodes representing things such as hospitals, mosques, pipelines, and people."

SEAS was developed to help Fortune 500 companies with strategic planning. Then it was used to help "recruiting commanders to strategize ways to improve recruiting potential soldiers". In 2004 SEAS was evaluated for its ability to help simulate "the non-kinetic aspects of combat, things like the diplomatic, economic, political, infrastructure and social issues".

Sentient World Simulation is the name given to the current vision of making SEAS a "continuously running, continually updated mirror model of the real world that can be used to predict and evaluate future events and courses of action

Learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or the animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances. Learned helplessness theory is the view that depression results from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation, or situations(Seligman, 1975). Examples can be found in schools, mental institutions, orphanages, or long-term care facilities where the patients have failed or been stripped of agency for long enough to cause their feelings of inadequacy to persist

The sociologist Harrison White has suggested in his book Identity and Control that the notion of learned helplessness could be extended beyond the realm of psychology to the realm of social action. Any social actor, for example an organization or a nation, could experience situations in which it would fail to act because it has experienced in the past recurrent stochastic failures.

Martin Seligman's foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness began at the Cornell University in 1967, as an extension of his interest in depression, when, at first quite by accident, Seligman and colleagues discovered a result of conditioning of dogs that was opposite to what was predicted by B.F. Skinner's behaviorism, then a leading psychological theory.

Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:

"U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.
Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of 'learned helplessness' in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)
Yank a country's water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.

The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet."

The continuity of government folks' AI program and the Pentagon's AI program may or may not be linked, but they both indicate massive spying and artificial intelligence in order to manipulate the American public, to concentrate power, to take away the liberties and freedoms of average Americans, and -- worst of all -- to induce chaos in order to achieve these ends.

and determines the outcome of the attack based on the severity and strength of attack and the actions taken by Department of Homeland Security agencies and other such agencies such as the FBI, TSA, CDC, DOJ, FEMA, the American Red Cross, the State Police, the State Counter-Terrorism, and the National Security Council. BioReady simulates the spread of a biological pathogen through the population and models results of the actions taken to limit the spread of disease and treat the population exposed to the disease.

BioReady Screenshot
BioReady simulates a bio-terrorist attack .. IT PREPARES IT for DIA special operations wet-job gladio inside job false flag terror for deception management and... a governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American's behavior, including "what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help".

The same governmental unit is responsible for suspending the Constitution and implementing martial law in the event that anything is deemed by the White House in its sole discretion to constitute a threat to the United States. (this is formally known as implementing "Continuity of Government" plans).

Bio-terrorist simulations!

Simulex is a software tool capable of modelling the evacuation of large populations through multi-storey buildings. Crowd Dynamics Limited have integrated the Simulex system with the Myriad crowd simulation and analysis suite. We have also deployed a flagship evacuation system at the UK Financial District - Canary Wharf.

If you would like to produce density, flow, speed, delay maps from Simulex we now offer a "Simulex Analysis Suite" as a stand-alone tool.

SEAS technology resulted from over ten years of research at Purdue University, funded by the Department of Defense, several Fortune 500 companies, the National Science Foundation, the Century Fund of the state of Indiana, and the Office of Naval Research. Originally, SEAS was developed to help Fortune 500 companies with strategic planning. It was also used to model the population of the U.S. that is eligible for military service to help "recruiting commanders to strategize ways to improve recruiting potential soldiers"[3] and to study biological attacks.[5]

In January 2004 SEAS was evaluated by the Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate (J9) of the US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) for its ability to help simulate "the non-kinetic aspects of combat, things like the diplomatic, economic, political, infrastructure and social issues" at the Purdue Technology Park during Breaking Point 2004, an environment-shaping war game resulting in the conclusion that it "moves us from the current situation where everyone comes together and sits around a table discussing what they would do, to a situation where they actually play in the simulation and their actions have consequences."
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In 2006 JFCOM-J9 used SEAS to war game warfare scenarios for Baghdad in 2015. In April 2007 JFCOM-J9 began working with Homeland Security and multinational forces in a homeland defense war gaming exercise.

Forget Mossad MI6 BND SIS ... the US war planners, the same people who did 911 (henry hugh shelton) the DIA ONI..

Echelon Participants/Constituents

  • United States - National Security Agency (NSA)
  • United Kingdom - Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • Canada - Communications Security Establishment (CSE)
  • Australia - Defense Signals Directorate (DSD)
  • New Zealand - Government Communications Security Bureau

  • The deflated spy ball this morning. Photo / Dan Hutchinson

    The deflated spy ball...

    antidemocratic corporation bank computer installtion

    Three peace activists, accused of deflating one of Waihopai spy base's domes with sickles today, have been remanded in custody on criminal damage and burglary charges.

    But police told Blenheim District Court they were considering charging the men with sabotage under the Crimes Act, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail.

    Damage to the Marlborough base, run by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), is estimated at more than $1 million.

    new zealand spy base peace activists electronic warfare

    Samuel Peter Frederick Land, 24, of Hokianga, Adrian James Leason, 42, a teacher from Otaki and Peter Reginald Leo Murnane, 67, a Dominican friar from Auckland, have all been charged with intentionally damaging a satellite, the property of the GCSB, and entering a building with the intention to commit a crime.

    nsa cia fbi spy mind control operation mockingbird

    In its report, the European Parliament states that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of evidence presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks and microwave links. The committee further concluded that "the technical capabilities of the system are probably not nearly as extensive as some sections of the media had assumed"

    gcsb new zealand help sowing terror fear

    ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA agreement; Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as AUSCANZUKUS.[1]

    The system has been reported in a number of public sources.[2] Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001.[3]

    USA pentagon office of naval intelligence National security

    While details of methods and capabilities are highly sensitive and protected by special laws (e.g. 18 USC 798), gathering signals intelligence (SIGINT) is an acknowledged mission of the U.S. National Security Agency. As of August 2006, their web site had a FAQ page on the topic,[9] which states:

    NSA/CSS’s Signal Intelligence mission is to intercept and analyze foreign adversaries' communications signals, many of which are protected by codes and other complex countermeasures. We collect, process, and disseminate intelligence reports on foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements set at the highest levels of government. ... Foreign intelligence means information relating to the capabilities, intentions, and activities of foreign powers, organizations or persons.