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FSogol

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 09:34 AM
Number of posts: 28,663

Journal Archives

You’re not as virtuous as you think

Moral overconfidence is in line with what studies find to be our generally inflated view of ourselves. We rate ourselves as above-average drivers, investors and employees, even though math dictates that can’t be true for all of us. We also tend to believe we are less likely than the typical person to exhibit negative qualities and to experience negative life events: to get divorced, become depressed or have a heart attack.

In some ways, this cognitive bias is useful. We’re generally better served by being over confident and optimistic than by lacking confidence or being too pessimistic. Positive illusions have been shown to promote happiness, caring, productivity and resilience. As psychologists Shelley Taylor and Jonathon Brown have written, “These illusions help make each individual’s world a warmer and more active and beneficent place in which to live.”

But overconfidence can lead us astray. We may ignore or explain away evidence that runs counter to our established view of ourselves, maintaining faith in our virtue even as our actions indicate otherwise. We may forge ahead without pausing to reflect on the ethics of our decisions. We may be unprepared for, and ultimately overwhelmed by, the pressures of the situation. Afterward, we may offer variations on the excuse: “I was just doing what the situation demanded.”

The gap between how we’d expect ourselves to behave and how we actually behave tends to be most evident in high-pressure situations, when there is some inherent ambiguity, when there are competing claims on our sense of right and wrong, and when our moral transgressions are incremental, taking us down a slippery slope.


Excellent article by Nitin Nohria (dean of Harvard Business School) here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/youre-not-as-virtuous-as-you-think/2015/10/15/fec227c4-66b4-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html

The stunningly simple idea that could change solitary confinement as we know it

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change. “Prisoners seem to be these people who will never change,” said the biologist, Nalini Nadkarni, a professor at the University of Utah. “They will always be violent, always a burden on society. But if we can change our perspective, we can see that people can move even if they seem stuck.”

A general consensus has emerged among politicians, academics and prison officials that something is seriously wrong with the way we isolate tens of thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement. But solutions to this seemingly intractable problem have been in short supply. Solitary confinement remains one of the most widely-used tools to punish or protect inmates, even amid overwhelming evidence linking isolation to mental illness and suicide.


Whole article by Terrence McCoy here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/10/12/the-stunningly-simple-idea-that-could-change-solitary-confinement-as-we-know-it/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_optimist

x-posted from Good Reads

The stunningly simple idea that could change solitary confinement as we know it

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change. “Prisoners seem to be these people who will never change,” said the biologist, Nalini Nadkarni, a professor at the University of Utah. “They will always be violent, always a burden on society. But if we can change our perspective, we can see that people can move even if they seem stuck.”

A general consensus has emerged among politicians, academics and prison officials that something is seriously wrong with the way we isolate tens of thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement. But solutions to this seemingly intractable problem have been in short supply. Solitary confinement remains one of the most widely-used tools to punish or protect inmates, even amid overwhelming evidence linking isolation to mental illness and suicide.


Whole article by Terrence McCoy here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/10/12/the-stunningly-simple-idea-that-could-change-solitary-confinement-as-we-know-it/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_optimist

Oklahomans Feel Way More Earthquakes Than Californians; Now They Know Why

A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week.

It's only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California.

This morning, the U.S. Geological Survey will issue its first comprehensive assessment of the hazard posed by earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling. In the preliminary report, the survey details oil and gas-related quakes in eight states.

The earthquake surge is strongest in Oklahoma, where the state government has formally acknowledged the link for the first time earlier this week.


http://www.npr.org/2015/04/23/401624166/oklahomans-feel-way-more-earthquakes-than-californians-now-they-know-why

3200 fracking wells = 2-3 earthquakes a day. 3 times as many as California. When they remake all those disaster movies that show California falling into the ocean, they'll have to substituent Oklahoma.

World's longest kitten

2015 World's Best Sentence

Did I miss the discussions of Sanders purchasing the top twitter topic?

Originally heard this on NPR. This is from the Wall St Journal

Bernie Sanders Makes Big Twitter Purchase


Ahead of the Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first 2016 presidential candidate on Tuesday to pay six-figures to take over Twitter’s top trending topic.

Twitter users watching the debate via their smart phones will see the hashtag #DebatewithBernie at the top of the national trending topics – above the hashtag for the debate and other popular items for the day.

A spokesman for Twitter confirmed the Sanders campaign purchased the top trending hashtag, but declined to say the exact cost. In the past, Twitter has charged $200,000 for similar campaigns.

The promoted hashtag is one of Twitter’s most expensive ad options. It allows the campaign to choose which links users see when they click on the hashtag – in order to avoid spam or unsavory tweets “taking over” the hashtag. In this case, the Sanders campaign chose a tweet from Mr. Sanders’ account that asks users to sign up to say good luck to the candidate.



Rest of the article here:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/10/13/bernie-sanders-makes-big-twitter-purchase/

Nationally ranked college debaters from the College of William/Mary graded the 5 Dem candidates

Caught this on my drive home tonight

From NPR's All Things Considered

http://www.npr.org/2015/10/14/448697137/how-did-the-democrats-do-in-their-first-debate-college-debaters-weigh-in


Conclusion: Hands raised for O'Malley, 3, 6, 9, 13, it was unanimous, Martin O'Malley. "He stuck to the issues the most", the group said, "and he probably changed the most minds." " I don't think anyone who was not going to vote for Hillary before is voting for Hillary now. I think the same thing happened for Bernie. I think the only person who made any relative gains was Martin O'Malley."


(When I find the full transcript I'll post it)

x-posted from DU's O'MG

Nationally ranked college debaters from the College of William/Mary graded the 5 Dem candidates

From NPR's All Things Considered

http://www.npr.org/2015/10/14/448697137/how-did-the-democrats-do-in-their-first-debate-college-debaters-weigh-in



Conclusion: Hands raised for O'Malley, 3, 6, 9, 13, it was unanimous, Martin O'Malley. "He stuck to the issues the most", the group said, "and he probably changed the most minds." " I don't think anyone who was not going to vote for Hillary before is voting for Hillary now. I think the same thing happened for Bernie. I think the only person who made any relative gains was Martin O'Malley."


(When I find the full transcript I'll post it)

O'Malley's Closing statement at the debate:

I am very very grateful to be on this stage with this distinguished group of candidates tonight. And what you heard tonight ... was a very very different debate from the sort of debate that you heard from the two presidential republican debates. On this stage you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants. You didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious beliefs. What you heard was an honest search for the answers that will move our country forward, to move us to a 100 percent clean electric energy grid by 2050.

To take the actions that we have always taken as Americans, so that we can actually attack injustice in our country, employ more of our people, rebuild out cities and towns, educate our children at higher and better levels, and include more of our people in the sociopolitical and economic life of our country. I truly believe that we are standing on the threshold of a new American progress, unless you become discouraged about our gridlock in Congress, talk to our people under 30. You'll never find among them people who want to bash immigrants, people who want to deny rights to gay couples. That tells me we are moving to a more connected, generous, compassionate place, and we need to speak to the goodness within our country.


The crowd really responded. Thank you, Governor.

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