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Secret Intelligence Service

Research Unit

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Looking into the Nature of our Future Work

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In harnessing our curiosity, we are gathering data, the objective being to provide scientific information and theories for the explanation of the nature and properties of the world

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It is essential that we increase our stock of knowledge, particularly of, though not confined to, emerging technologies, as pertaining to human beings, to cultures and to societies, and to apply this stock of knowledge in devising new applications within our particular field of endeavour.

We are doing this experimentally via direct and / or indirect observation, in both ‘laboratory type settings’ and in the field, documenting the methodology, results, and conclusions of experiments, thus striving toward interpretations that are new.

We must stress that we are also creative minds and as stated herein, thus compelled via different methods than the empirical as before stated, i.e. not to seek for an ultimate correct answer to a question, more to explore the issues and the details that surround the question – social, historical, political, cultural, and / or ethnic.

UNIT

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Scholarly material :

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Number (I)  File : The Impact of Psychopathy

Psychopathy is a personality variable associated with persistent immoral behaviours. Despite this, attempts to link moral reasoning deficits to psychopathic traits have yielded mixed results with many findings supporting intact moral reasoning in individuals with psychopathic traits. Abundant evidence shows that psychopathy impairs responses to others’ emotional distress. However, most studies of morality and psychopathy focus on judgments about causing others physical harm. Results of such studies may be inconsistent, because physical harm is an imperfect proxy for emotional distress. No previous paradigm has explicitly separated judgments regarding physical harm and emotional distress and assessed how psychopathy affects each type of judgment. In three studies it is found that psychopathy impairs judgments about causing others emotional distress (specifically fear) but minimally affects judgments about causing physical harm, and that judgments about causing fear predict instrumental aggression in psychopathy.

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Number (II)  File : Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections

There is more on this research, but we need to consider if effective, where it would / might place us, vis a vis and hypothetically, if we were subject to it. This is an important consideration.

The dark and shiny areas of cornea are as a black mirror reflecting the surrounding environment from it. Given the power of high-resolution photography, it is conceivable that these reflections could contain decipherable information, the kind that could help investigating crimes wherein victims are photographed, for example; hostage taking and / or child sex abuse. Research appears to be indicating that faces can be identified from even the very poorest quality images

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Number (III) File : The Effects of Gender and Personality on First Impression

In the investigation, was explored the relationship between individual differences (i.e., gender and personality traits), and trustworthiness judgments of unfamiliar and emotionally neutral faces. The results suggest that these judgments are affected by the gender of the perceiver, although this effect depends on the valence (Latin valent -, valens, present participle of valēre ‘to have strength’) of the face. Women tend to judge trustworthy-looking faces as significantly more trustworthy than do men. There were no gender differences for judgments of untrustworthy-looking or neutral faces. Moreover, unlike men, women’s trustworthiness judgments are also affected by the gender of the face. Specifically, women judge faces of other women as slightly more trustworthy, compared to male faces.

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Number (IV) File : Adaptive Advantages of Overconfidence in War

Overconfidence has long been considered a cause of war. As with other decision-making biases, overconfidence appears detrimental because it increases the frequency and costs of fighting. However, evolutionary biologists have proposed that overconfidence may also confer adaptive advantages: increasing ambition, resolve, persistence, bluffing opponents, and winning net payoffs from risky opportunities despite occasional failures. Herein are the results of an agent-based model of inter-state conflict, which allows the evaluation of the performance of different strategies in competition with each other. Counter-intuitively, one finds that overconfident states predominate in the population at the expense of unbiased, or under confident states. Overconfident states win, because : they are more likely to accumulate resources from frequent attempts at conquest. (2) They are more likely to gang up on weak states, forcing victims to split their defences. (3) When the decision threshold for attacking requires an overwhelming asymmetry of power, unbiased and under confident states shirk many conflicts they are actually likely to win. These ‘adaptive advantages’ of overconfidence may, via selection effects, learning, or evolved psychology, have spread and become entrenched among modern states, organizations, and decision-makers. This would help to explain the frequent association of overconfidence and war.

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Number (V) File : The Enemy as Animal: Symmetric Dehumanization during Asymmetric Warfare

This investigation adds substantial weight to the recent evidence for the importance of blatant out-group dehumanization, showing that it can take root not only among those groups occupying the upper echelons of power and status, but also among those at the bottom. The findings argue for the importance of continued research in this area. If, as UNESCO states; “Wars begin in the minds of men and women”, it is critical that one understands how and why individuals come to openly perceive their adversaries as being animals unworthy of moral consideration, so one can assess efforts employed to erode this somewhat imposing psychological structure.

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Number (VI) File : The Role of the Insular Cortex in Retaliation

Incorporation of neuroscience techniques built on the mapping of biological quantities or properties onto spatial representations of the human brain. Basically, demonstrating the utilisation of emerging tech. in the study of the anatomy and function of the brain and spinal cord through the use of imaging, including intra-operative, microscopic, endoscopic and multi-modality imaging, immune-histochemistry, molecular & optogenetics, stem cell and cellular biology, engineering (material, electrical and biomedical), neurophysiology and nanotechnology.

This investigation demonstrates the central role of insular cortex in retaliation. It is shown that the left posterior insular cortex is a core brain region involved in retaliatory aggression; this was specifically demonstrated for provocative versus non-provocative social interactions. Employed were random effects group analyses, and examined parametric modulations of brain activity during a controlled behavioural aggression paradigm. The left-lateralization of insular activity during retaliation is in line with evidence from electro-physiological studies, suggesting left-lateralized fronto-cortical dominance during anger processing and aggressive acts. Furthermore, the results support the theory that particularly the posterior segment of insular cortex is involved in the processing of emotions triggering intense bodily sensations and immediate action tendencies.

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Number (VII) File : Pre-emptive Striking in Individual and Group Conflict

An investigation to assess pre-emptive striking by and towards individuals and / or groups. In the framework of a pre-emptive strike game, was set the following four conditions : one person facing another person, one person facing a three-person group, a three-person group facing an individual, and a three-person group facing another three-person group. Previous investigations have revealed that greed is activated when participants belong to a group, while fear is activated when participants interact with a group, and further, that attacking behaviours in the pre-emptive strike game are driven by fear. These observations led to a hypothesis that high attack rates would be realized when participants interact with a group, regardless of whether the participants make decisions as individuals or a group. The results of this investigation, however, rejected this hypothesis.

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Number (VIII)  File : Facing Aggression. Cues Differ for Female versus Male Faces

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Number (IX)  File : The Dread of Uncertain Pain

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Number (X)  File : FEAR (Re; ‘On the Treatment and Maltreatment of Women’ (C-I))

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Number (XI)  File : Detection of the Elite Structure

Elites are subgroups of individuals within a society, and have the ability and means to influence, lead, govern, and shape societies. Members of elites are often well connected individuals, which enables them to impose their influence to many and to quickly gather, process, and spread information. In this investigation it is argued that elites are not only composed of highly connected individuals, but also of intermediaries connecting hubs to form a cohesive and structured elite-subgroup at the core of a social network. The validity of the idea is shown in the framework of a virtual world defined by a massive multi-player, online game.

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Number (XII)  File : The Affective Dimensions of Inter-group Humiliation

A study of the affective characteristics of humiliation, comparing the emotional experience of inter-group humiliation to two other emotions humiliation is often confused with; anger and shame. The defining characteristics of humiliation were low levels of guilt and high levels of other-directed outrage (like anger and unlike shame), and high levels of powerlessness (like shame and unlike anger). Reasons for the similarities and differences of humiliation with anger and shame are discussed in terms of perceptions of undeserved treatment and injustice. Implications for understanding the behavioural consequences of humiliation and future work investigating the role of humiliation in social life are discussed.

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Number (XIII)  File :  Violent, Sexist Video Games. Identification with Game Characters. Masculine Beliefs and Empathy for Female Violence Victims

The investigation is correlates with those prior showing that violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence, including violence against women. More important, it moves beyond the question of whether violent games are harmful per se, to address the important questions of whom is most likely to be harmed by violent-sexist video games, and through what mechanism does the harm occur.

Who specifically are we referring to are players that identify with the violent-sexist game character. Results support the prediction that playing violent-sexist video games increases masculine beliefs and decreases empathy for female violence victims, especially for boys and young men who highly identify with the male game character. Previous investigations have shown that video games are especially likely to increase aggression among players who identify with violent game characters, and that a reduced empathy is one of the major predictor for aggression against women. Exposure to media violence is one of the many factors that can influence empathy levels.

Note :

VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES : Do provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations. The effect of violent video games appears to be cognitive in nature. However, in the short term, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise. If repeated exposure to violent video games does indeed lead to the creation and heightened accessibility of a variety of aggressive knowledge structures, thus effectively altering the person’s basic personality structure, the consequent changes in everyday social interactions may also lead to consistent increases in aggressive affect. The active nature of the learning environment of the video game suggests that this medium is potentially more dangerous than the more heavily investigated TV and movie media. With the recent trend toward greater realism and more graphic violence in video games and the rising popularity of these games, (I) one should be aware of these potential risks (II) Importantly, violent video games can be commandeered to both create and exaggerate the tendency. UNIT.

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Number (XIV)  File : The Developmental Dynamics of Terrorist Organisations

This particular investigation focuses on global trends and patterns in the frequency and severity of events, rather than on event particulars or motivations. By focusing the analysis at the global scale, the importance of individual decisions in specific contexts is in fact lessened, due to the central limit theorem and the rough independence of individual events; as a result, the importance of generic non-strategic processes is enhanced and these processes, if any, may be studied. Explanations of such patterns thus focuses on processes or constraints that are independent of variations in context or specific motivation and may include physical constraints, network effects and endogenous population dynamics, which are well suited to explain the behaviour of strategically uncoordinated populations of actors. This approach to investigating the fundamental laws of terrorism has much in common with that of statistical physics, in which the self-averaging properties of independent events allows for interesting population-level properties to emerge from microscopic system chaos. This statistical physics-style approach is increasingly being applied to study complex social systems, yielding a number of novel insights.

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No. (XV) File : THE RAPE OF WOMEN IN WAR – DIRTY WAR 

(See Room No. 15 : ‘On the Treatment and Maltreatment of Women’ and ‘Enhanced Interrogation’

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No. XVI File : Is Violent Radicalisation Associated with Poverty, Migration, Poor Self Reported Health and Common Mental Disorders?

A study of common mental disorders and violent radicalisation, taking account social and political attitudes, beliefs and health related behaviours associated with sympathies for and importantly, radicalisation in a minority Muslim-heritage population sample of South Asian ethnic origin, living in the U.K.

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No. XVI File : Psychoanalytic Theory and the Terrorist. Seminar Series (Notes I of V)

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No. XVII File : Exploring the Social Transmission of Lying Behaviour

THE ISSUE OF LIES : The question of how dishonesty spreads through social networks is relevant to relationships, organizations, and society at large. Individuals may not consider that their own minor lies contribute to a broader culture of dishonesty. Research in this is noteworthy because honesty is identified as a universal value. To understand how social and cultural standards for dishonesty may form in spite of the universal moral of truthfulness, one can point to an important distinction between two types of social norms, which are. ‘Injunctive norms’ referring to actions that people generally approve of, while ‘descriptive norms’ referring to actions that people generally engage in. The results of certain recent studies indicate that descriptive norms for dishonesty can vary even as the injunctive norm for honesty remain constant. > Thus, if societies are to truly uphold the virtue of honesty, individuals will need to pull together to expose lies when they occur, and prevent them from quietly weaving themselves into the social fabric. < UNIT

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File No. XVIII : Telling Lies : The Irrepressible Truth

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Addendum (I)

Consider a series of tests : Each test with different conditions and importantly, the amount of remuneration. It is possible to record that the number of untruthful test subjects grow with each test.

As a result, when a person cheats for her / himself, every time she / he lies more and more often. At the same time, the signal in the brain amygdala decreases, each time, that is, the brain adapts to the ever increasing scale of the lie. The degree of decrease in the sensitivity of the amygdala when deciding to act dishonestly predicts how the dishonesty of behaviour will grow in the future.

At the same time, one finds that a person begins to lie more often, only when she / he says untruth for her/ his own good. If she / he does this solely in favour of someone else, then the scale of the lies does not increase. This is consistent with the hypothesis that when people cheat for the sake of others, they recognise this behaviour as morally acceptable.

Thus, only a lie for personal gain has the property of growing. It is suggested that the same mechanism can develop a craving for risk and / or aggressive behaviour. UNIT

(C-IV)

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Secret Intelligence Service

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Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum

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Above photograph. Whitehall. London. U.K.

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