Friday, October 26, 2012

The Untimely Death of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale

The connection between children killing children
and the modern instrument of visual/audible
communication called the
television.

I read with great sadness the demise of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, a young girl allegedly murdered by two teenage brothers in New Jersey. This young girl was to turn 13 this coming week.

The very thought of what was done to her (strangulation) causes me a good deal of anguish, especially when I think of the parents and grandparents. As a grandfather of 15, I cannot imagine what the family is feeling right now.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t identified the teens because they are juveniles, but neighbors and relatives have identified them as 17-year-old Dante Robinson and his 15-year-old brother, Justin Robinson. (click here)

If you think about this crime, you have to admit that there is only one way such things take place at the hand of such young assailants for it's impossible for them to have come up with such a horrid thought on their own. The culprit behind this and all such acts of violence is "example." The murderous thoughts that took place in their young minds had to come from outside of themselves for young children are not, or should not be predisposed to such thinking on their own without some outside agency at work.

Another way to put this is: Monkey see--Monkey do!

Violence on Television

The question is, can repetitive visual exposure to violence on television and in the movies cause young people to commit acts of violence themselves? According to Leonard Berkowitz, author of Impulse, Aggression and the Gun, the answer to that is "Yes."

"Two series of experiments that my colleagues and I have performed on impulsive aggression bear directly on these questions. The first series indicates that even so small a matter as the casual sight of a gun can sometimes stimulate aggressive behavior. The second suggests that, contrary to what the so-called catharsis theory predicts, the sight of violence can increase the chance that a viewer will express aggression himself." Source: Impulse, Aggression and the Gun, Leonard Berkowitz, Readings For General Psycholoby, PL202/PL252, Instructors Office Of Military Psychology and Leadership, Xerox College Publishing, Lexington, Mass.

Source: The Daily CommentaryCatharsis: Psychiatry, psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up socially unacceptable emotions.

In the first experiment, a group of students from the University of Wisconsin were told that the experiment was intended to measure students' physiological reaction to stress. The students were divided into two groups. Each group was exposed to a series of electrical shocks in response to a series of marketing ideas that they had presented. One group received a low number of shocks while the other group received a much larger number of shocks, irregardless of the quality of their marketing ideas. The group that received the maximum number of shocks were what Berkowiz called "our angry group."

The Daily CommentaryIn the final phase of the experiment, Berkowitz says that some of the students from both groups were exposed to the consequential sight of a .38 cal. handgun and 12-gauge shot gun. Students were told that the guns were left there from a previous experiment and the administrator merely pushed them aside. Each student had a partner who was actually a plant. The roles were then switched where the students were asked to administer the same electrical shocks to their partner who had previously administered the shocks to them. Within the group who had seen the guns, a significant number of students showed more aggression than the control group who did not see them.

Berkowitz says,

"It is quite conceivable that many hostile acts which supposedly stem from unconscious motiviation really arise because of the operation of aggressive cues. The aggression can even be thought of as a conditioned response to the stimulus. If a gun can be that stimulus, then it is a double-barreled threat--an immediate cue that also presents the aggressor with a deadly means of aggrression."

Berkowitz adds a very important point that this experiment brought out. "With our subjects, the guns did not enhance aggression unless the students were angry to begin with."

In the second experiment, young children were encouraged to play with older children who were asked to remain neutral. Berkowitz says there was no fighting or fussing going on. Some of the children were given toy guns to play with while others talked and had fun. The younger children were then told that the older children had built block houses on a series of tables in another room and that if they pressed a button on the table, these houses would shake and come to ruin. According to Berkowitz, despite the fact that all of the children hadn't quarreled and were not angry, those who had played with the guns invariably pressed these buttons, demonstrating more violent behavior than the other group who had sat and talked and simply played.

What do these experiments tell us about children and guns?

"Even given high frustration and an immediate cue, violence will not erupt unless there is a third factor as well: low inhibitions. The 'normal' level of inhibitions to violence in our society is not particularly high. We take a lenient attitude toward what is sometimes called defensive aggression," says Berkowitz.

"Nowhere is violence in the cause of good more consistently and more enthusiastically touted than in movies and on TV. Fictional representations of violence are often defended, by people in the industries that sell them and also by many consumers, on the grounds that they serve a cathartic purpose."

Berkowitz says that some psychologists still believe that it is better to enact violence while others believe that witnessed violence can actually cause children to act out violent behavior. He adds that "a little aggression, like a snowball, can gather momentum and grow."

"Results like this present an awkward problem to TV and movie censorship agencies, and to producers who want to make violent films without encouraging real violence. The modern censorhip agencies generally insist that crime and violence be used not just to entertain but to teach a lesson--'crime does not pay,' for example. How the lesson should be taught is left vague; scriptwriters usually follow the maxim of 'an eye for an eye'," says Berkowitz.

If society is really serious about curbing school violence, then they will look more to the television and movie houses than to the availability of guns. Sure, the sight of a gun on dad or mom's night stand (it ought to be locked up other than at night when mom and dad are in bed) is enough to suggest violence, but, as Berkowitz's research bares out, this alone is not usually enough to trigger violent behavior.

Take the young children experiment where those who played with toy guns reacted more violently than those who did not. At first glance, it's easy to blame the toy guns for the aggressive response of the children. However, it is the significance of the toy gun to these children that actually caused their more violent behavior, not the gun itself. What do I mean by that? Simply that by witnessing violence on their parents' television sets, they knew what the gun was for and they associated violence with the gun before them. Was it the gun itself that caused them to become more violent or was it the violence on their parents' television sets that they associated with the gun?

If you have an opinion on this issue, I welcome your input. Please use the comment portion of this post, email me (allancolombo@gmail.com), or call me at 330-956-9003.

Al Colombo

Editor's Note: A portion of this commentary appeared in the Daily Commentary on the Giant Killers Organization (GKO) website on May 18th, 2001. (click here)
On the 18th, I offered some ideas on quantum mechanics in relation to what some researchers are calling a programmed reality, called Life and a Programmed Reality.

There is no doubt that science's ability to peer into smaller and smaller areas of the substance of reality makes it more likely that we'll soon learn the truth to the assertion of a programmed reality, as discussed in my last blog post. For now, however, scientists have an assortment of ways to anticipate reality using mathematics and observation in combination with the scientific method.

Once Silicon Valley transitions from a world described by classical physics to one described by quantum physics, it means that one of the basic building blocks of modern society — computers — can be harnessed in fundamentally new ways. Unlike present-day Macs and PCs, which derive their year-over-year gains in computing power by cramming more and more transistor components closer together on a piece of silicon, new quantum computers would have the potential to smash Moore's Law to smithereens by computing directly at the atomic level. Instead of a world of traditional bits (1’s and 0’s), we would enter a world of quantum bits (”qubits”) and mindboggling computing power. Source: The cat is out of the box for quantum computing

The one thing I do know is that we do not live in a world that the mechanics thereof can be adequately described using two entirely opposing methods of scientific thought. So either traditional science or the new quantum thinking is correct--not both. Perhaps this way of thinking is not accurate, as perhaps both do apply, but I have a strong feeling that the rules change as we move from the macrocosm to microcosm.

Science, Religion, and the Quantum Hologram Theory

Let's continue our discussion on what someone has coined a Programmed Reality. Probably one of the most difficult things for human beings to do is enjoin what we know about religion with what we don't know about science.

On a personal note, the writing of this blog post has taken additional time because the integration of religion and science is not an easy one to understand, let alone write on. So this post may see a few revisions and additions over the course of time. When I do that I will alert my readers using a segment of the blog that I have yet to create--a "What's New" page, which will be available in the right hand column on this blog.

Science and Technology

First, in my personal view of life, science and technology go hand in hand. In a historical sense, it was religious figures in history that pioneered scientific thought. At some point, and I'm no historian, it appears that the two took a radical turn apart from one another.

Secondly, it appears to me that when we look at the universe above and around us in a scientific sense, we do so utilizing the finest technologies known to man-kind. So, in my view, it requires the use of modern technologies to reverse engineer our current understandings of what God has done in the initial and on-going creation and of the world we live in. So, to my notion and in my estimation, this boils down to this: "It takes technology to understand God's technology."

Here is a list of Bible passages that I believe has significance in understanding the programmed reality issue:
1 Chronicles 29:15
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Mark 13:20
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
Matthew 24:22
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Source: http://www.biblegateway.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

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Al Colombo

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life and a Programmed Reality

For several years I have expressed the idea that what we see before us is a manifestation of a high-order technology the likes that our minds at this level cannot begin to fathom.

I first became involved in this thought several years ago, probably 2008, when I watched several quantum physicists talk on YouTube about their interpretation of what the cosmic evidence indicates so far as reality goes. I've written several articles and blog posts concerning this issue and have contacted several scientists who, I might add, did not give me the time of day.

Before I say anything more, here are several videos that you should watch that will walk you through some of the theory and ideas concerning a programmed reality. When you're done with these, perhaps there will be no need to read on... Al Colombo


So the question is, what is the reason for this quantum holographic projection? I read with great interest a few years ago some of the papers that came out of a conference held by quantum physicists. It was said that many of these scientists were coming to realize that they, themselves have a presence in two places at the same time. Yes, it's a mystery that none of us can fully comprehend.

If you apply many of the things the Christian Bible tells us about life, you will find that it's a very scientific book. In an upcoming post I'll talk about some of these things written by God in our Bible and how they relate to a programmed reality.

If you have something to share, an opinion, a link, a thought, please comment to this post.

Al Colombo