March 2009 Archives
Here are the video clips referred to in Assault by teen wankers
This first guy is the one that came up to me from across the road trying unsuccessfully to provoke a fight while making violent threats:
They were intimidated by the camera like vampires faced by a crucifix, so they sent their main neanderthal, who shoved us and threw a milk crate at us.
Note the kid claiming his "rights" against being photographed in public while committing assault.
Here's a podcast of my response to the New Scientist headlines about "How People Can Think Themselves Sick - how chronic fatigue syndromes are triggered by people's mindset".
New Scientist have just published an interview with psychiatrist Simon Wessely with the irresponsible headline "When illness is mostly in the mind" which is advertised in their email PR as "How People Can Think Themselves Sick - how chronic fatigue syndromes are triggered by people's mindset"
I immediately wrote a comment about the unscientific interpretation of the data which I'll reproduce here.
His list of published work is here:on pubmed
I don't know which research he refers to in the interview.
Simon Wessley And CFS Sufferers Hurt By Wrong Headline
Simon has only shown that 33% of patients have recovered from CFS without knowing it and are merely de-conditioned from CFS, and 33% have been over-cautious with an illness that gives time-delayed feedback to activity, while the remaining 33% are managing their CFS exactly right and have no detectable psychiatric problem. At best 33% are "thinking themselves sick". There's nothing new in this, but it does prove that CBT and graded exercise doesn't cure 66% of CFS. If his research is correct.
I notice that Simon Wessley never uses the phrase "mostly in the mind", and in fact never in the interview says that CFS is "triggered by a mindset." Where do these exaggerations come from?. Sadly its the exaggerated headlines and summaries that people will remember, not the carefully worded answers given in the interview.
One counter-example is all that is necessary to prove a scientific theory wrong. 66% of patients are not cured by CBT and graded exercise, therefore the theory is wrong. 33% not only aren't helped, but they are likely to have been MADE SERIOUSLY WORSE by the application of CBT and graded exercise. Given that this is the defining symptom of the diagnosis of CFS, why wasn't the question asked? How many people were hurt by being made to do exercise that made them sicker? 33% is a high number, and can't be dismissed the way Simon appears to.
His own research proves that his theory is wrong for 66% of patients. He should interpret this to mean that there are a small sub-set of people who have recovered from CFS and can be helped by CBT and graded exercise, and the remainder are sick for reasons his theory can't explain. Only half of those who don't recover respond to graded exercise and CBT with "good improvement", and half do not respond well to this treatment. This would be an accurate and fair interpretation that would not lead to CBT and graded exercise being the "cure" for all.
Whoever chose the headline and the short summary that appeared in the New Scientist PR email should apologize to both CFS sufferers and Simon Wessley for misleading everyone.
Saturday night I was standing on Woolworth's corner opposite Sydney Town Hall with some friends. A teen-aged boy came up and asked me if I was the one that had disrespected his mate. It was like falling into a bad British TV drama. There was nothing in the boy's eyes but the wide hope of violence. I looked around at his crew, and as he started threatening violence, my friend brought out his phone and started videoing the encounter. The thugs reacted immediately by pulling up their cowboy-style neckerchiefs to hide their faces, and the guy without a scarf pulled up his shirt to his nose. The yelled "stop filming us, we got rights!" at the same time as they were shoving us and threatening worse. Intimidated, they called in their largest neanderthal, who started shoving us while playing with himself with his other hand. It was surreal. We moved away from the wanking maniac, but he followed us while telling us to go away. The gang's teen girlfriends came to try and calm him down, but it was too late. The neanderthal hrew a milk crate at us, in front of a bouncer from the bar next door, who called the police.
We walked away while they postured and shoved with other teens.The police quickly drove up with a paddy wagon. We were called back as possible witnesses, in time to see two of the teenage thugs on the floor fighting the police and demanding that the police stop touching them. As the boy started crying, we were told they'd tried to run away. His two friends were laughing and high-fiving each other that they hadn't been arrested. They'd traded shirts to try and fool the police video cameras and any confused witnesses. I was ready to point them out, but the police didn't want to talk to any witnesses and had all the video evidence they needed, so we left. I'll link to my friend's video if he decides to post it to youtube. He had his phone backing up over the internet while he filmed, in case the phone was taken from him.
Apparently the teenage gangsta wanna-be's just don't understand where they are. Sydney is now full of high definition video surveillance cameras, and Woolworth's George St is just a few doors up from a police station. We were told by the bouncer that the masturbator who threw the milk crate would be caught that night because of all the video footage, but that he and his friends were under-age, so would be released without penalty. Obviously with the cowboy-neckerchief fashion, they're ready to start attacking random strangers while masturbating again.
The bouncer reckoned the kid had been watching American gangsta videos and thought that by touching his penis, he was insulting us before hitting us by making his hands "dirty". Or making us more afraid to be hit because of the insult. While some of the other behaviour was stolen from British hooligan TV.
It later turned out that one of the 2 metre tall friend of a friend who was with us was actually still a teen, and had exchanged from across the road teen cultural signals indicating he disliked someone's Emo fashion statement, and this prompted the gang to cross the road and attack us slightly shorter people, instead. Nobody was hurt.
The phone video camera is a potent self-defense device, and one that thugs are obviously intimidated by. As they should be when you can now stream your video live from your phone and let people around the world see who is attacking and what they say and do.
It reminds me of Edison Carter in "Max Headroom", that old 80's TV series, an investigative reporter who was able to fearlessly report because he had a live satellite network link from his portable video camera. There was no point trashing him and the camera, because the pictures had already been sent.
I need a phone capable of live video streaming!