Wednesday, May 25, 2016

News You Can't Use: Prankster Puts Glasses on Gallery Floor - and Visitors Mistake them for Art

The most vital, interesting and aesthetically pleasing form of art in today's modern world is, without any doubt, internet trolling by sneering punks. A presidential candidate as a cartoon frog? Pictures with wacky words over them? It's pure brilliance and like any glimpse of the divine it can't be restrained and must burst forth gloriously into the so-called real world in the form of some punk kid leaving specs on the floor and fooling everyone.

A teenager decided to play a prank on art-lovers when visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this Week. 

If there's an easier group to prank than art lovers I haven't encountered it.

TJ Khayatan, 17, told BuzzFeed News he and his friends got the idea for the stunt after they had mixed opinions of the art on display: “Upon first arrival we were quite impressed with the artwork and paintings presented in the huge facility,” he said. “However, some of the ‘art’ wasn’t very surprising to some of us.”

As you know the quality of the visual arts is determined by their ability to surprise. That's why that screaming face that pops up when you're halfway through a maze puzzle is objectively better than anything produced by the Renaissance. Also, hurry up and die, BuzzFeed.

He was particularly critical of one exhibit, which he described as a “stuffed animal on a gray blanket”.

Is this some kind of allegory? Look at this b.s. Come on.

“[We] questioned if this was really impressive to some of the nearby people,” he said.

Hey dudemar, you diggin' this trick bag or what? You think this obvious shuck is impressive? Really?

TJ and his friends then decided to put a pair of glasses down on the floor to see how other visitors to the gallery would respond.  

Art museums, the world's roomiest and most visually pleasing Skinner Boxes.

He claims people were nearly immediately fooled by his fake exhibit, and started gathering around it “within seconds” to take photos.  

Well, his exact words were "Adults are the suck" but you get the idea.

The pictures struck a chord with the public, and were shared tens of thousands of times in a few hours – and were eventually listed as a “Twitter Moment”.

It can't be all Chewie masks, sorry.

Despite the wild success of his prank, TJ told Buzzfeed it shouldn’t be construed as a condemnation of modern art: “I can agree that modern art can be a joke sometimes, but art is a way to express our own creativity. Some may interpret it as a joke, some might find great spiritual meaning in it.  

Some shallow mark might get all spiritual on this figurative middle finger and that's real nice or whatever.

Paris as seen through the eyes of a blind man.
 “At the end of the day, I see it as a pleasure for open-minded people and imaginative minds.”

Also, anyone over the age of twenty sucks.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

DotTeeVee: Sovereign Citizen in Canada. Goes from Brave to Baby in 2 Seconds

I have endeavored to be as through as possible during my endless tour de force examination of the sovereign citizen war on traffic laws and general politeness, but there has been one glaring oversight. What about Canada? Are there Free Men of the Land in the Great White North? Do they incorrectly quote the Magna Carta and the NHL rule book? These thoughts have haunted my dreams and tortured the miserable hours of waking awareness. Fortunately, as if in a miraculous answer to a desperate prayer, we're finally going to see how they do things in Canadia. Grab an unusually strong beer, tuck into some of that round bacon and gooey fries, it's time to go from brave to baby in a few heartbeats.

As per tradition we pick up the action already in progress, with our hero pulled over and getting the degree absolute from tyrannical government thugs. With his voice cracking badly the faceless champion of all that is good wants to know if there's a crime he's suspected of, while the Royal Canadian Automobile Police points out "You don't have a license plate, eh."

Much like the face of war the grim leering visage of traffic stop usurpation never changes, even when you reach latitudes where, strictly speaking, the cold should wipe out all human life. The champion of Free Canucks refuses a demand for his papers, bitte from the jackboot squad and if experience has taught me anything we can expect to go in circles over this for quite awhile before finally a window gets smashed and a taser is applied to where the Free Man's legs intersect.

We discuss the "Highway Traffic Act" but sadly don't try to claim "I'm just traveling" while the camera ends up pointed at the roof of the car. This is riveting stuff, better than any scripted drama or 2 am wino fight.

You can get out of all this just by saying "I'm traveling, eh."

The last sane man points out that he's renounced all "contracts" to the law, which seems like a reasonable argument. He then claims to be part of the Republic of "Cun-adda." Talk about your masterstrokes, just slightly mispronounce the name of your country and all its laws magically go away. I ain't gettin' no plates on my travel device, sucker. I'm a citizen of Ammer-Ka. Check and mate.

While handing over papers, but not the papers the stasi want, of course, he then explains that "Canada is dissolved." It turns out America Junior is a "criminal organization." Yes, Canada is a disbanded mafia nation, just like I always suspected. We go further down the rabbit hole as the Cun-adda citizen blames the government (the one that fell apart or Cun-adda's?) for kidnapping his child. I'm not sure how this is germane to driving without plates, but on the other hand I'm an ignorant American who didn't even know about the big dissolve in the frozen wastes.

He then claims that "the judge bowed down to me" when his case went to trial. Although the footage has sadly been lost I don't see any reason to doubt this claim, especially after seeing these goofs in action in a legal setting, racking up convictions and taser shocks.

It's actually true!

The champion of individual rights just keeps rolling, shutting down the overly polite Canadian officer, even suggesting his "Oath to the Queen has been abolished." This glorious rhetorical victory is somewhat undermined by the fact that his speech patterns and general demeanor call to mind a thirteen-year-old boy trying to talk to a girl at a junior high dance, but still, take that. Just when his smugness is approaching a critical mass two other cruisers arrive. "I don't care!" insists the dissident, his voice quivering and his rat-like features contorting in obvious distress. He does recover quickly and challenges the Beast State to do its worst.

An attempt to open the car door is defeated and earns us another lecture on the rights of a Precious and Unique individual, before it's time to try to drive off. After about one second of attempted driving the guns come out. Man, you can only push the former criminal nation of dissolved Canada so far before the smiles vanish and the fangs come out. 

  Feeling lucky, eh?

We get some panicky narration, an insistence of innocence and one crazy Canuck cop who clearly plays by his own rules, is a loose cannon and causes massive property destruction but is kept around because he gets results. This tense standoff continues, with the evil authority no doubt thinking some minor variation of "Make my day" and our hero continuing to rail against the dying the northern lights. Finally, it's window breaking time. "You gonna break my window?" Yeah, I think that's the plan. 

Canada's version of the hero from the movie "Cobra" smashes the glass and demands compliance, while the Free Man swears and howls in pain. If only this could have been prevented, somehow, but I'm not about to give up my rights and sacred vows to the Queen. As the gestapoism triumphs we fade to black, dissolving away under a storm of tyranny, much like Canada herself.

Driver's side window is done like dinner.

Komment Korner   

you are an idiot I hope they beat his buttt

I bet his license plate was a home made sign that said "traveler" on it. That's how these idiots operate.

cana da he pronounces canada the same way they fucking did in ren and stimpy

You guys have Wendy's in Canada?

This guy is one of those cases in which their parents should have had a condom

That guy sounds like that squeaky-voiced acne kid from The Simpsons.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

News You Can't Use: Nearly 100 Schoolchildren 'Possessed by the Devil'

It's hard out there for a demon. It's already been thoroughly established by vision and revelation that you're going to lose, but you're expected to go out there and run through the motions anyway. You get blamed for evils you had little if anything to do with, everything from simple to hysteria to government ineptitude. And, especially relevant for today's amazing story, you get confused with the ghosts of dead Made Men and have to take the blame for that, too. To add insult to injury they insist that you're unleashed by a novelty made by Parker Brothers. Yeah, it ain't easy.

The mass case of 'demonic possession' has caused some pupils to suffer from seizures while others have fainted at the school. 

Are we sure this isn't malnutrition caused by rejected Michelle Meals or the natural reaction to common core math?

Almost 100 schoolchildren are thought to have been 'possessed' by the devil - and see visions of a man in black trying to kill them.

Don't do it evil Johnny Cash wraith! Not like this!

In what has been described as a mass case of demonic possession, the pupils in Peru are experiencing seizures alongside their horrifying hallucinations.

It seems a more convincing explanation than the lead pipes, paint and dinner plates.

Experts have struggled to explain the strange goings-on, which also include widespread convulsions and fainting at the school , reportedly built on a Mafia graveyard.

You mooks bedda get off our bone garden if you know what's good for you. Got a nice school, shame if someone would bust it up with demonic mischief, I'm just sayin'.

According to local reports, as many as 80 students at the Elsa Perea Flores School in northern Peru’s Tarapoto have been experiencing the supposedly contagious ‘condition’ since last month.

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for my fear-mongering campaign against anti-devil vaccinations. Myself and that annoying Playboy model were very wrong, obviously. Now problems we thought we wiped out in The Enlightenment are back and worse than ever.

Shocking video footage shows pupils who are barely conscious, repeatedly screaming, and who appear to be delirious.

Also known as "Kids React to Hillary Clinton campaign commercials."

Doctor Antony Choy told national channel Panamericana TV: "We don’t understand how this has kept on going on.

Obviously science is helpless in the face of diabolic activity, as you would expect.

"My friends say I was screaming desperately, but I don’t remember much."

Something about not wanting to take that swimming test, everything else is a blur.

Another schoolgirl said she had trouble breathing and was desperately holding her neck as if someone was strangling her. According to her friends, she kept screaming: "Take it out."

When the kinky industrialist vampire is finally destroyed by direct sunlight and becomes a kinky disembodied spirit.

 How do you even work this thing?

Franklin Steiner, a parapsychologist who investigates paranormal and psychic phenomena - said: "It is known that years ago there were many victims of terrorism here. When this school was built, some say bones and dead bodies were found."

Terrorist victims, wise guys, whatever. I think we'll make it an ancient Algonquin burial ground for the movie version, which, of course, will be set in the United States and feature a racially diverse cast of attractive twenty-somethings pretending to be in high school.

Locals believe this is a case of demonic interference, saying some children must have played games that invoke demons such as using a Ouija board.

Demonic interference, fifteen yard penalty, automatic first down. 

A Ouija board is marked with letters and numbers and some use it to communicate with souls of the dead. Many religious organisations have warned against using the boards, saying that they can lead to demonic possession. 

I'm pretty sure the instructions that come with it make that abundantly clear, as well as mentioning the possible choking hazard.

As of yet, there has been no rational or official explanation for the strange phenomenon.

In the absence of this it makes sense to consider the craziest possible solutions.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

News You Can't Use: New Mask Could Make Users Masters Of Their Dreams

Dreams. What the hell are they, anyway? It looks like we're finally ready for the major step forward in comprehending our nightly organic head chemical freak-out episodes. Finally we'll have a better weapon to use against the dream demons than turning our backs and hoping for the best. And what about all your sick fantasies not being properly catered to by stupid old reality? You can get that too, and all I need is just some of your money that you probably would have wasted anyway.

As you get ready to go to sleep tonight, think about what you want to dream about.

Then weep when you realize that what you're asking for is all the problems and stress of the past day to take on horrific twisted forms and attack when you're completely helpless. Well, that must be what you're requesting, because that's what you're probably getting, with perhaps a side of lame wish fulfillment, reliving events from your childhood and totally messed up Freud vileness.

With new technology it just might be possible to dream that dream, and even control the action as a dream master.

Just like in that futurist movie about the razor fingered burn victim! What a time to be alive!

“You think of a purple cow, you turn a corner, and there’s a purple cow,” dream expert Thomas Piesel explained.

All your most depraved purple cow impulses can now be safely expressed in the dream world. Honestly, just consider it. Turn a corner, there's a cow. Man.

As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported, Piesel uses a new type of sleep mask to conjure imagery in his dreams.

Hopefully it doesn't cover the head holes or it might be a pretty serviceable sleep apnea simulator as well.

It uses a programmable light pattern designed to turn on when you’re in a semi-wakeful state to control what you see and do in your dreams. It’s called ‘lucid dreaming.’

Maybe we should start by getting more people somewhat lucid while in the waking state, but whatever.

“You can walk through walls, you can even talk to the dream itself,” he said.

It's like taking the ticket and having a bum trip but totally legal!

Piesel has written about dreams and has volumes of dream journals. Now, he’s added a technology to his dream control arsenal.

This guy is probably a lot of fun at parties.

Frazier and Steve McGuigan developed the dream mask called Remee. They said the sleeping mind can recognize the color and brightness of the embedded lights, allowing the wearer to be more conscious of their dreams.

I'm not sure how this would actually, you know, work, but on the other hand we get to see a light show.

Sleep expert Dr. Daniel Erichsen said this is illustrated in these brainwave patterns where there is little difference in a sleeping and waking mind.

Yeah right, dude. Maybe for all the sheeple but I subscribe to several conspiracy newsletters and know the truth about the Reptiles ruling over us.

Don't you go ruining another Lucid Dreaming Day.

He’s not convinced that light patterns will affect the lucid dreaming state. 

Blinking lights, purple cows, come on it all makes sense.

“There’s no harm in it, but there’s no evidence that it works,” he said.

I guess if you want to get super technical for some reason there is that minor issue.

If you need a dream mask to help you get there it will cost you about $100.


Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

News You Can't Use: Staten Island Priest Sued for Vile Rants at HS

It's been far too long since we've had a "New York City don't play, suckah" story, but we've got a good one to return with. Seriously, NYC doesn't mess around. From the mole people and cannibal underground dwellers to dangerous cartoon mascots, the Death Wish vigilante and now the amazing cursing man of the cloth, the Apple is where it's at. God works in mysterious ways, after all, and those ways are never more inscrutable than when we've got a Staten Island pastor spewing profanity and catching some litigation because U.S.A.

This man of God raised holy hell with his satanic curses.

If the written word could inflict physical pain the above sentence would be the equivalent to a sledgehammer to the bathing suit area.

A stunning new lawsuit accuses a trash-talking Staten Island priest of raining a steady spew of obscenities, insults and slurs on terrified staffers at St. Joseph By The Sea High School.

You'd think living in The City would desensitize you to steady spews of the most vulgar possible language, even or perhaps especially from the clergy, but apparently not.

Women were “b----es” or “tw-ts,” gays were “f-gs,” certain teachers were “d---heads” to the coarse man of the cloth. Father Michael Reilly once even threatened to boot a black man “back to the jungle,” and to kick a cancer patient “to the f---ing curb.”

The big mean doctor threatened to kick my rapidly dying body to the freaking curb. Then I went to Cancer Center of America.

In fact, the suit charged the raunchy reverend appeared incapable of expressing a single thought without dropping an f-bomb — or ten.

Also called Average Teenager Syndrome.

Reilly “unleashed a constant stream of rude, crude and inappropriate remarks including saying the word f--- in almost every sentence in some form,” according to the 12-page Manhattan Supreme Court filing.

I had no idea how many ways the eff word could be conjugated until I met the venal New York priest. 

“(The) rude, crude and abusive language and actions committed by Father Reilly ... and condoned by the Archdiocese and Cardinal Dolan are offensive to the tenets of (plaintiffs’) religious beliefs,” the suit charged.

We'd ask God to punish him or whatever, but nuisance lawsuits have replaced lightning bolts and locust swarms in this modern world.

“This petty tyrant gets away with it because he gets backed up by the Archdiocese,” said Michael Dowd, attorney for plaintiffs Maureen Smith, Lawrence Boliak and Thomas Rodes. The latter two are retired cops.

Petty tyranny is truly best tyranny.

The Archdiocese, in a statement, said “the genesis for this lawsuit” came last fall when Boliak allegedly pulled down the pants of a male former student on school grounds.

That might be arguably worse than saying the foulest of foul words.

Boliak said he tugged at the young man’s shorts while trying to restrain the former student from fighting with Manos.

The hands of fate.

Full Article.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

DotTeeVee: How To Fail At A Traffic Stop - Sovereign Citizen Edition

If I have a failing, and I want to really stress that if, it's being hopelessly addicted to sovereign citizen videos (and also alcohol, but let's focus here). There's something so disarmingly charming about fellow non-corporate individual settlers who honestly feel that the rule of law can be undone simply by reciting the proper words of divine power. You know, like in the movie "Warlock." If we can just convince the ruling tyranny that the Articles of Confederation are somehow still in effect every personal idiocy will be covered by our incorrect interpretation of 18th century admiralty law. Then stupid old reality ruins it, of course, but like any great work of literature the quality lies in the telling, not gimmicky plot twists.

Today's topic, for example, manages to follow the traditionally established structure (detained by police, recite arcane elements of a treaty from 1687, argue a bit, get arrested and "owned") while adding exciting new details into the mix. For example, our Free Man hero introduces himself in a soft, somewhat patronizing voice as "Pastor Earnest" proudly representing "Yahweh's Flat Earth Dot Com." Yes, this is no mere weedhead or lead foot, this is a Holy Fool who will confront the evils of our system while also advocating for ideas so obviously wrong that even a website probably can't redeem them.

  Apostrophes are also the work of the devil and should be rejected.

The mad monk slowly circles his vehicle while discussing his latest legal troubles. Specifically, this sixties leftover was given a citation for covering the windows of his sensible Kia minivan with web addresses and semi-coherent ramblings about something we've known to be incorrect for about 2200 years. Our gray long-haired globe-denier explains that he's in trouble for "constitutional speech" which I guess sounds more noble than not understanding the function windows perform on a motor vehicle and living in staggering ignorance of the most basic facts about our pale blue dot.

On the other hand he also tells us "this is not a motor vehicle" but rather something that he "travels in," which is one of those weird verbal tricks that will certainly defeat the brutish government thugs that won't let you spray paint inane b.s. on the windows of what you travel in, just like how the bottom of a ship disappearing first as it sails toward the horizon is a trick of the ether that Yahweh allows to occur to test our faith in pancake planet.

Land of the hurrying sun, confirmed by ancient poetry.

All of this is summed up as "Preaching the Gospel, as you can clearly see." It could not be more obvious. The best way to convert someone to your worldview is to lead with rank superstition and idiocy, everyone knows that. Once we get you aboard the "You'll fall off the edge, Columbus!" train the rest will neatly fall into place.

Now it's time to "look inside" and observe that the sight lines are not completely impaired by the garish white lettering, thus proving the injustice. We're given a quick warning about those jackboots in Massachusetts and it's finally time for some "I do not consent!" roadside entertainment.

We open strong with the always wining State's Rights gambit, where as an out-of-state traveling individual that does not wish to create joinder I don't need a license plate or anything. The officer waves this and the predictable request to see a supervisor aside and demands ihnen papieren, bitte. A lame appeal to the Supreme Court is made, which seems very out of character for a movement that likes to pretend the last 170 years or so never happened. Still, we get a useful Pro Tip for our own futile stands against the nightmare state.

This is the correct spelling, your pastor is a liar.

The brief debate over "treveling" that follows accomplishes exactly nothing in advancing this interaction, but it's still the key to this amazing trick bag, trust me.  Our hero than incorrectly sites some case law, specifically Murdock v. Pennsylvania, a 1943 Supreme Court decision that declared it unconstitutional for solicitors to have to purchase a special license. I'm not really sure how this is relevant. Maybe he should have claimed to be "soliciting" in his "soliciting wagon" instead of "treveling." The magic words only work when they're used properly, after all.

Our hero holds up a piece of paper like an amulet and insists his wild misinterpretation of how rights and privileges interact is in fact correct, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Hey, just like Flat Earth! Well, he's consistent if nothing else. He then claims to have been "harassed by the Mossad." I'm starting to consider the possibility this guy doesn't have both oars in the water.

This is definitely not a metaphor.

Things take a turn for the hot and steamy as Pastor Earnest asks the officer to "show me yours." Sadly, he's talking about identification. Still, some passive-aggressive dominance role-playing results as Officer Brutal demands "hands on the wheel" while the Man of God insists that he be allowed to sift through various sheets of paper. We know he's not going to comply, because of Freedom and the call to defend the most comical and incorrect beliefs, so even a threat that "It won't end well" is not going to move this mighty mountain.

Another officer arrives, but sadly it isn't the supervisor the man who once battled Israeli secret police has been requesting. Also, more red text informs us that several more imaginary usurpations have taken place, despite not being in evidence in the moving pictures my lying eyes are struggling to process.

No, really.

A lot of what is almost certainly worthless babbling is mercifully edited out by a quick cut, but the debate rages on. He asks the police for a "business card," which I guess would be used when selling your police services to interested clients (no license required for that, thank you 1943 Supreme Court!) but gets shut down by the fascists. He's told he's going to be arrested and the original policeman says, in a Bane voice no less, "This isn't going well for you."

Or should it be "This isn't going well...for you!"

The officers have clearly lost all patience with this goof, I mean heroic defender of our rights, and after a jump cut the female officers politely informs him that his ideas about how this should go are, in fact, "false." Apparently some I.D. does get shown. I know, wow, what a payoff, but the video abruptly ends without any true resolution.

Komment Korner  

"This is not a motor vehicle" So what's the thing under the hood that makes it go vroom? 

Cognitive errors and egocentric philosophies.

Ok. I didn't get the sarcasm at the time.

 I have an idea. You're blocked from my page for advertising a website used for criminal activity.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

News You Can't Use: Police Officer Shoots Cat

Dog bites man is not news. Well, ok, it actually kind of is, but it's not the good kind of news that keeps everyone deeply engaged with various trustworthy media outlets. Man bites dog, now that's what you want. Even better would be police officer blasts a cat, if you want to take the logic to its natural conclusion and why wouldn't you? Yes, another story about the out-of-control law enforcement in America (sure we have practically no crime, but at what cost???) and one we must soberly confront without resorting to "lives matter" wackiness or obvious and dreadful punning. It won't be easy, but we must face up to it.

A 911 call reporting an injured cat in a yard ended up with the cat dead of a gunshot wound.

"Oh, is Garfield there bothering you? I can fix that." Maybe it's time we stop giving guns and badges to Neutral Evil individuals?

It happened in North Catasauqua, just north of Allentown, Penn. The cat's name was Sugar, and she lived with her owner just a few doors down.

Sugar enjoyed killing birds, sleeping, litter-box activities, clawing at objects and enjoying the generosity of a human owner she regarded with, at best, icy contempt.

"She knew her name," said owner Tom Newhart. "If you'd call her, she'd come to you."

I will now attribute human qualities to an instinct-driven animal because that's a nice sane worldview.

A North Catasauqua policeman responded to the call and evaluated the situation.

Evaluating situation...please stand by. A blue bar slowly fills up, after numerous staggered pauses.

According to the Northampton District Attorney, the cop noted injuries to the cat's hind legs and that she was trailing blood. He made the decision then and there to put the cat down.

I guess it's totally understandable and humane, but we're trying to make a big deal out of this so let's instead pretend the cat was healthy and trying to surrender or whatever.

"Officer Purcell fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver, instantly killing the cat."

Well, seems pretty open and shut. We can all go home without absorbing any painful attempts at humor from the type of journo who is assigned "cop shoots cat" stories.

And that's when the fur started flying.


The policeman "really didn't show any compassion or common sense knowledge," in the situation, Newhart said at the office of his attorney, Jenna Fliszar.

Now I will display my deep compassion and common sense by lawyering-up and trying to destroy this guy's life.

Morganelli announced on Monday that he is citing the officer in question, a consequence equivalent to a parking ticket. Morganelli said his investigation revealed that Sugar wasn't as seriously injured as initially believed, and a veterinarian's postmortem report showed that Sugar wasn't hurt much at all, save for the gunshot wound.

We broke into the wrong house and shot a child...oh well, accidents happen. Dead cat? Let's have an in-depth investigation/witch hunt.

I heard you liked grumpy cat, bro.

Newhart and his attorney are considering attempting civil recourse. 

It won't bring back your furry friend, but I guess you could buy beer or whatever.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Monday, May 2, 2016

In the Hall of the Trumpen King

March 9

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

March 18
He has been fortunate enough to escape his pursuers

March 19

March 20

March 21

March 22
HIS IMPERIAL AND ROYAL MAJESTY arrived yesterday evening at the Tuileries, amid the joyful acclamation of his devoted and faithful subjects

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

News You Can't Use: Free Will Could All Be an Illusion, Scientists Suggest

Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom! We are condemned to it, it is the heaviest burden imaginable and an endless torment as we face down the absurdity of nothingness and, according to lying scientists, it isn't real. What a relief! The grim existential slouch toward oblivion just got a lot more manageable, that's for sure. Thank you tenure-seekers who can't even adequately explain magnets for finally laying to rest the cruelest of all jokes.

Free will might be an illusion created by our brains, scientists might have proved.

The idea that you're likable and people enjoy hearing your rambling and unfunny stories is definitely an illusion created by your brain. Free will might have slightly better footing, but then again science has offered another barrage of useless speculation, so not so fast my friend.

Humans are convinced that they make conscious choices as they live their lives. But instead it may be that the brain just convinces itself that it made a free choice from the available options after the decision is made.

We're basically like autonomous cars with legs and arms. Stop sweating and stressing, your magic auto-pilot body will just keep on chugging along in a highly deterministic fashion.

The idea was tested out by tricking subjects into believing that they had made a choice before the consequences of that choice could actually be seen.

The idea to trick the subjects was also predetermined by the wind-up toy brains of the scientists, of course.

In the test, people were made to believe that they had taken a decision using free will – even though that was impossible.

I've always wanted to be in a psychological study (without wasting me time and energy on it, of course) so I could be that guy who goes off and quits after a profanity-laden tirade, ruining everything.

The idea that human beings trick themselves into believing in free will was laid out in a paper by psychologists Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley nearly 20 years ago.

They were forced to write that paper by our mechanistic universe and as such should receive no credit whatsoever for it.

They proposed the feeling of wanting to do something was real, but there may be no connection between the feeling and actually doing it.

In attempting to translate academic babble into normal English all meaning was lost.

The new study builds on that work and says that the brain rewrites history when it makes its choices, changing our memories so that we believe we wanted to do something before it happened.

It turns out the dirt bike punk I knew growing up who fell off said bike, bloodied himself, and then mumbled "I meant to do that" through dripping lips was actually being truthful. I'd feel bad about yelling "He's hurt, let's get out of here!" and then running off, but, again, free will is an illusion.

In one of the studies undertaken by Adam Bear and Paul Bloom, of Princeton University, the test subjects were shown five white circles on a computer monitor. They were told to choose one of the circles before one of them lit up red.

It's no giant maze, but it will have to do. 

Statistically, people should have picked the right circle about one out of every five times. But they reported getting it right much more than 20 per cent of the time, going over 30 per cent if the circle turned red very quickly.

This incredibly weak finding should now be used as a justification to tear down all our traditions and rebuild society from the ground up.

The idea of free will may have arisen because it is a useful thing to have, giving people a feeling of control over their lives and allowing for people to be punished for wrongdoing.

I mean, I guess it had some minor utility, but on the other hand some people exaggerated their circle-guessing skills so let's open up the prisons and let everyone out.

I had no choice but to post this lame image.

But that same feeling can go awry, the scientists wrote in the Scientific American magazine.

"Let's talk about our feelings," scientists wrote in Science Magazine.

It may be important for people to feel they are control of their lives, for instance, but distortions in that same process might make people feel that they have control over external processes like the weather.

One moment you have pride in something you worked hard to accomplish, the next moment you're trying to control the weather. It's a pretty natural progression when you think about it.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.