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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 19,686

Journal Archives

Here’s Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Is Just Plain Wrong By Robert Reich

First some background. We used to think about trade policy as a choice between “free trade” and “protectionism.” Free trade meant opening our borders to products made elsewhere. Protectionism meant putting up tariffs and quotas to keep them out.

In the decades after World War II, America chose free trade. The idea was that each country would specialize in goods it produced best and at least cost. That way, living standards would rise here and abroad. New jobs would be created to take the place of jobs that were lost. And communism would be contained.

For three decades, free trade worked. It was a win-win-win.

It’s no longer free trade versus protectionism. Big corporations and Wall Street want some of both.

But they want less protection of consumers, workers, small investors, and the environment, because these interfere with their profits. So they’ve been seeking trade rules that allow them to override these protections.

Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations. Philip Morris is using a similar provision against Uruguay (the provision appears in a bilateral trade treaty as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits – say, a regulation between Uruguay and Switzerland), claiming that Uruguay’s strong anti-smoking regulations unfairly diminish the company’s profits.

Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions.

read full article:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 7, 2015, 12:54 PM (14 replies)

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have


This article does not relate or deal with the cause - But with a basic explanation of what it is - The article which was published in salon.com was taken from a rather complex academic work on neuroscience called - “The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition” by Gregory Hickok

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have wrong

The dominant autism theories -- assuming a lack of or diminished social sensitivity -- need to be reexamined

by Gregory Hickok

Copyright © 2014 - Gregory Hickok is a professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Language Science and the Auditory and Language Neuroscience Lab. The article is fairly long and technical but well worth the read.

(Credit: Ollyy, vitstudio via Shutterstock/Salon)

We might have autism backwards: What “broken mirror” and “broken mentalizing” theories could have wrong

The dominant autism theories -- assuming a lack of or diminished social sensitivity -- need to be reexamined

by Gregory Hickok

Copyright © 2014 - Gregory Hickok is a professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Language Science and the Auditory and Language Neuroscience Lab. The article is fairly long and technical but well worth the read.


"Here my focus is more circumscribed. I restrict the discussion to the behavioral symptoms of autism and (neuro)cognitive models for explaining those symptoms. I highlight two of the most influential hypotheses, the broken mirror theory and the broken mentalizing theory (or broken theory of mind theory—I use the terms interchangeably). Further, I have no intention of providing a thorough review of the host of experiments that have investigated the range of abilities and disabilities in autism or even provide much depth in my discussion of the cognitive theories themselves. Please consult any of the many primary sources for a broader view.

Instead I have two main goals. One is to address the basic mirror neuron-based account of autism because the theory has been rather influential and a lot is at stake given how many lives autism touches. The other goal is to highlight an alternative perspective on autism in the same way that (I hope) I’ve been able to highlight alternative perspectives on mirror neuron function, embodied cognition, and imitation. Specifically, I’m going to suggest the possibility that the dominant neurocognitive theories of autism, which assume that behavioral deficits result from lack of or diminished social sensitivity, have it wrong and in fact have it backward."


"“Deficit theories” of dysfunction are reasonable and intuitive. If an individual fails to respond normally to sound, it’s a good bet that the person has a diminished capacity to process and hear sound. He simply isn’t capable of perceiving the signal. Likewise, if another individual fails to respond normally to social stimulation, it’s a reasonable bet that the person has a diminished capacity to process social information. But consider the following thought experiment. Imagine you had a stadium rock concert–type sound system hooked up to your living room television and you attempted to watch the evening news with the sound cranked up all the way. Most likely, you would cover your ears and quickly leave. If you forced yourself to stay, you would run into at least one of three problems as you tried to listen and watch. One, the physical pain would be so extreme that you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the message. Two, attempts to dampen the sound and ease the pain, say by sticking your fingers in your ears, would filter out many of the fine details you need to hear normally. You would perceive less well. Three, if you did manage to listen, the extreme volume would excite so many nerve fibers that it would drown out the details of the signal itself and again you would miss many things. Excess can be as detrimental to normal function as paucity."


"I agree that neither theory is satisfactory, but I’m not convinced that more subtle distinctions between types of mirror system or theory of mind operations will fare better. The problem, I suspect, is hidden in the fact that all of this discussion still centers on ideas about what is lacking in autism. Autistic people have no mirror system or no theory of mind or no empathy or no ability to process social information. These are deficiency or hypofunction theories; a good first guess, but not the only possibility. And given that they haven’t had all that much success, maybe it’s time to focus some research effort on a theory based on excess or hypersensitivity. Perhaps autistics don’t experience a socially numbed world but rather a socially intense world."

This is a somewhat long and complex article but I STRONGLY recommend reading it in full:


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 10:47 AM (4 replies)

Does ANYONE here SERIOUSLY believe that DU is full of paid trolls?

It is no secret that there are people who work for candidates and causes who post on Internet forums to advance their candidates and causes. But there seems to be a suggestion from some quarters that there are a number of people here who either work for corporate interest to advance a pro-corporate Democratic agenda or who secretly work for the Republicans to try to suppress voter turnout by undermining support for the Democratic Party and its leadership.

Is it not possible that people can be wrong for free? Maybe there are some paid trolls - But I doubt it. At least not very many.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 10:17 AM (223 replies)

Governor Mario Cuomo (1984) complete speech DNC


Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

part 4 of 4:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 1, 2015, 08:43 PM (9 replies)

Obama messes up couples wedding - couple is thrilled - video

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 1, 2015, 03:22 PM (1 replies)

Find the furthest city on earth from your place or anywhere else.

Have you ever wondered what cities are furthest away? What Country really is on the opposite side of the world to you? Use Furthest City to search any world city with a population of over 100k.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Dec 27, 2014, 05:26 AM (19 replies)

Fixing Autism Research by John Elder Robison

Autism researchers have published thousands of papers in recent years. With those numbers, you’d think we’d all be rejoicing over great progress. Yet many people—especially autistic adults—are frustrated by how little benefit has actually materialized. Why?

The simple answer is, we’re studying the wrong things. We’re sinking millions into the search for a “cure,” even though we now know that autism is not a disease but rather a neurological difference, one that cripples some of us while bringing a few others extraordinary gifts. Most of us live with a mix of exceptionality and disability. I know I do.

We can remediate the crippling conditions that accompany autism. Anxiety, depression, seizure disorders, sleep disorders, and intestinal distress are the big ones, but there are more..

We can offer engineering solutions to the things autistic people can’t do naturally. Some formerly nonverbal autistics talk through handheld tablets, and make friends with computer assistants like Siri. We’re now seeing machines that read expressions even when we can’t. Computers can improve anyone’s quality of life, but we stand to benefit more than most from applied technology.

So how might this change in research direction come about? For one thing, we can put autistic people in charge. The fact is, researchers have treated autism as a childhood disability, when in fact it’s a lifelong difference. If childhood is a quarter of the life span, then three-quarters of the autistic population are adults. Doesn’t it make sense that some of us would want to take a role in shaping the course of research that affects us?

If you’re a researcher with an interest in autism—and you want to really make a difference—open a dialogue with autistic people. Ask what they want and need, and listen.

John Elder Robison is a professor at the College of William & Mary and the author of Look Me in the Eye.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 04:47 AM (8 replies)

RWW News: Pat Robertson: Gays Will 'Die Out Because They Don't Reproduce'

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:40 PM (20 replies)

Sanders and Warren won't sign letter opposing Palestinians taking unilateral action at the U.N.

The Senate is warning Palestinians against undertaking any “negative” unilateral actions re Israel at the United Nations, and look who isn’t signing on to the letter that AIPAC has endorsed: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Folks have been pressing Warren and her staffers not to sign this letter – and she didn’t. Neither did Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Maybe the national publicity and pressure on these progressives over their Israel-Palestine positions moved them? Maybe they’re tacking ahead of 2016? Here are the 12 non-signers, from both parties:

Bernard Sanders (I), Bob Corker (R), Elizabeth Warren (D), Harry Reid*, Jeff Sessions (R), John D. Rockefeller IV*, Lisa Murkowski (R), Patrick J. Leahy* (D), Rand Paul (R), Tammy Baldwin (D), Tom Coburn (R), Tom Harkin* (D).
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/elizabeth-sanders-bandwagon#sthash.sSuyxGiF.dpuf
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:01 PM (4 replies)

Bill O'Reilly: If Warren ever gains the White House, she’d make Barack Obama look like Ronald Reagan


While Warren insists she’s “not running for president,” she hasn’t definitively ruled out a White House bid, and that’s enough to convince groups like MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and the Ready for Warren super PAC that it’s worth the effort to convince the senator to enter the 2016 contest. Naturally, O’Reilly felt compelled to weigh in on the Warren for President boomlet, and to hear him tell it, she’s nothing short of a dangerous radical.

“Ms. Warren despises Wall Street and big banks, saying they have rigged the capitalistic system,” O’Reilly said during the “Talking Points Commentary” segment of last night’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” The host didn’t dwell on the possibility that Warren’s anti-Wall Street message has caught fire because Americans harbor deep distrust toward banks and believe that the financial system is indeed rigged against them.

“She believes that the social contract should allow punitive taxation on corporations and wealthy individuals in order to provide for those who do not have very much. Such taxation would cripple the consumer-driven marketplace, as we have seen under President Obama,” he continued. The marketplace appears to have missed that memo; job growth continues to pick up steam, nearly two years after Obama let George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire in 2013, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 115 percent on the radical Marxist Kenyan’s watch.

“It is clear that the liberal policies of President Obama have weakened this nation abroad, created a stagnant economy and a staggering national debt,” he said. “But if Sen. Warren ever gains the White House, she’d make Barack Obama look like Ronald Reagan.”

Watch O’Reilly’s unhinged attack on the senator at FoxNews.com.



Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 01:38 PM (5 replies)
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