What might a matriarchy look like?

All societies tend to be male dominated in pretty much all walks of life, such as running the government and businesses. Governments that differ widely in ideology are often similar when it comes to the subordinate roles played by women. Given that the world is not in great shape, it is natural to speculate how things might be different if women ran things. Unfortunately there are no models of such structure.
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The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar

People going missing and then returning much later and doubts arising about their identity make for engrossing real life stories and have been the stuff of books and films. This is even more so when the missing person is a child who is later reunited with their families. The excellent radio program This American Life this week repeated an old episode where a child named Bobby Dunbar disappeared in Louisiana in 1912 at the age of four. After being missing for nearly eight months, he was discovered in the company of William Walters, an itinerant piano tuner and handyman.

Or was he?
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How to make people believe you have psychic powers

Following yesterday’s post about whether all mentalists are frauds, two commenters Acolyte of Sagan and RationalismRules recommended that I watch Derren Brown’s 2004 45-minute TV special Messiah and I did so last night. It was quite fascinating. I had not heard of Brown before but his Wikipedia page says that he is a British performer who uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship” to achieve his effects that convince his audiences that he has psychic and other supernatural powers though he himself explicitly denies that he has. The page also says that he uses “traditional magic/conjuring techniques, memory techniques, hypnosis, body language reading, cognitive psychology, cold reading and psychological, subliminal (specifically the use of PWA – “perception without awareness”) and ideomotor suggestion.”
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Are all mentalists frauds?

As readers know, I do not believe that supernatural forces exist because there has been no convincing evidence for them. Hence things like psychic phenomena must have some natural explanation, even if we cannot provide one for every case that people present to us. As I discussed in an earlier post, Ian Rowland, who does ‘psychic’ readings for people by using cold reading techniques, says that trying to provide explanations for the various phenomena that believers challenge you with is a mug’s game because when someone supposedly tells you of some astounding thing that happened to them or that they heard of from someone else, such accounts are utterly unreliable because people in general are hopeless at observing events and later remembering and describing them, coupled with the fact that they tend to subtly simplify the story to conform to their beliefs. Magicians know that their biggest allies in deception are the audience members who will deceive themselves about what they saw and later claim features of the trick that did not happen.
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Recommendations sought for Batman film

I used to read Batman and other comics as a boy but for whatever reason have not seen any of the major Batman films that have regularly been produced in the last few decades.

In general, I am not a fan of the superhero genre of films but like to get a sense of how the filmmakers translated the books to the screen. However, filmmakers seem to churn them out on a regular basis and I do not wish to see a whole slew of them. I would like to see just one but am not sure which would be a good one for the Batman series. In the case of Superman, I saw just the first one with Christopher Reeve. With the Marvel comic book heroes, I watched The Avengers because it had a lot of the characters in it and while that was fun, it was enough for me. I get bored with non-stop action, which is what these films tend to show. I never watched any of the Spiderman films because that character annoys the hell out of me.

I have benefited a lot from film recommendations from this blog’s readers and was wondering if people had any suggestions as to which Batman film might be the best to see, if I were to see only one. I should perhaps add that I am not a fan of excessive violence, blood, and gore.