Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's the big deal?

A. J. Rossmiller has some educational notes for us all at Americablog:
For anybody who doesn't know much about torture and/or interrogations (which I sort of hope is most of y'all), it's really worth noting that sensory deprivation produces psychosis within hours. It's shockingly fast, and can have severe long-term effects after just a day or two. All you have to do is strap somebody down, put on a blindfold, sound-proof earmuffs, and gloves that reduce tactile sensation, and full-blown hallucinations begin in less than a day. Psychosis is day two.

And sleep deprivation is reliably reported as pretty much the worst feeling in the world -- far worse than starvation, severe dehydration, isolation, etc. Keep somebody up for 72 hours (which isn't that hard), and again with the hallucinations and psychosis. So if anybody defends this stuff with anything along the lines of "Oh, it's only for a day or two, what could be the harm?" they're being profoundly misleading. It's tough to explain to people because it's not intuitive, but it's true nonetheless.

Because, sadly, we should all be aware of this.
--the BB

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