the-science-of-consequences

Why Are The ALF’s Activities Hurting Their Own Cause?

Disclaimer:
I’m well aware that this post may contain some unpopular opinions. If you would like to have a discussion on our differing views, my inbox / ask box is open. But please read with an open mind before you go jumping to the assumption that I am some cartoonish mad scientist who relishes the suffering of innocent little puppies and kittens.

I’m going to start off by saying that I personally hate animal testing. I wish it didn’t exist. But you know what else I hate? Cancer, HIV/AIDS, malaria, mental health disorders… want me to go on?

It should be noted that I’m writing this from the perspective of a scientist in the United States. I do not know the legislation, inspection criteria, or institutional requirements that are in place for research organizations in Brazil, but I do know where they stand in the US. I should also say that my colleagues and I have received death threats from the ALF and similar organizations. They target not only biomedical institutions, but zoos, universities, sanctuaries, and field researchers. This is something that hits rather close to home for me, so please forgive the obscenely long post.

(Warning: rant ahead)

Keep reading

The mistaken and unhappy notion that a man is an enduring unity is known to you. It is also known to you that a man consists of a multitude of souls, of numerous selves. The separation of the unity of the personality into these numerous pieces passes for madness. Science has invented the name schizomania for it. Science is in this so far right as no multiplicity maybe dealt with unless there be a series, a certain order and grouping. It is wrong insofar as it holds that one only and binding lifelong order is possible for the multiplicity of subordinate selves. This error of science has many unpleasant consequences, and the single advantage of simplifying the work of the state-appointed pastors and masters and saving them the labors of original thought. In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad; and many, on the other hand, are looked upon as mad who are geniuses…This is the art of life. You may yourself as an artist develop the game of your life and lend it animation. You may complicate and enrich it as you please. It lies in your hands. Just as madness, in a higher sense, is the beginning of all wisdom, so is schizomania the beginning of all art and all fantasy.
—  Hermann Hesse
City Book Review gives THE SCIENCE OF CONSEQUENCES 5 Stars

“This excellent, excellent book is a wonderfully entertaining and enlightening survey of the studies that have been done and are ongoing into why we react to consequences, and how we can use this knowledge to improve all areas of our lives, from our families to the workplace to the world at large.”

—Gretchen Wagner, City Book Review

i’m laughing omg

anonymous asked:

I know my sister is anti-vaccine bc she's antipharma in general. What it means to me is I'll have to be the one to suck it up and get the damn shots when I finally see my niece again. Running out of characters BRB.

Cont. The thing is I grew up in a household that couldn’t afford annual checkups so there’s this prideful undercurrent of yeah we didn’t run to the doctor to get antibiotics for you girls’ sniffles like some helicopter parents. On the one hand the childhood vaccination schedules seem overly intensive and I feel that dangerous pride on the other my brain is geared towards logic and science! and sees the consequences already.

The cost of healthcare is such a huge frustrating hurdle. I do understand that some people don’t have a steady job that can offer health insurance, or if they do have a job sometimes the $20 to visit a physician for vaccines (and the multiple boosters) is just a really difficult hurdle. Sometimes the decision between eating dinner or getting a vaccine is one that many families have to make, unfortunately :\ So one could say the anti-vaccine movement has a partial contribution to America’s awful healthcare problem…

The childhood vaccination schedule is definitely a handful. But the reasoning is that as soon as a kid’s immune system to ready to handle the vaccines, they’re given as many as they can safely to protect them against the pathogens asap. We want the narrow the window that a kid can get sick as much as possible. The combination vaccines (such as MMR) are safe though, as are the follow-up boosters. But I can understand it can stretch wallets and take a chunk out of a parent’s valuable working schedule—an issue that’s rooted in many other societal factors. 

100 Days of Mermaid Training: Day 9

I had so much fun at Science Friction last night, and consequently woke up smelling like butt, with a hangover the size of a UFO. So of course I hopped out of bed and headed to the pool, which was full of old people doing water aerobics. However, the diving/kids pool was completely open for once, so I fooled around in my monofin for 45 minutes. It was fun to be able to do turns without hitting my head on the bottom of the pool. Near the end I practiced diving deep, picking up speed, and launching myself out of the water like a dolphin, but I only managed to get my torso out of the water. It’s a start. 

Now I am ravenous, and trying to decide if I want humbao, pizza, or burgers more. 

The Chessmaster vs. Opportunistic Bastard

Few things mark the intelligence of a character as making him The Chessmaster, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. The Chessmaster gifts include extraordinary foresight, the ability to manipulate situations/people and what often makes him a villain, the willingness to sacrifice others to achieve his long term goals. Everybody dances to his tunes, specially the heroes. Their efforts to thwart The Chessmaster often trigger a new move on his part that negates their efforts or rolls backs their achievements.

It is also a villain trope I don’t really like.

Why?

The Law of Unintended Consequences. Wikipedia defines these consequences thus:

In the social sciences, unintended consequences (sometimes unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) are outcomes that are not the ones intended by a purposeful action. The term was popularised in the 20th century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.[1]

Unintended consequences can be roughly grouped into three types:

  • A positive, unexpected benefit (usually referred to as luck, serendipity or a windfall).

  • A negative, unexpected detriment occurring in addition to the desired effect of the policy (e.g., while irrigation schemes provide people with water for agriculture, they can increase waterborne diseases that have devastating health effects, such as schistosomiasis).

  • A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended (when an intended solution makes a problem worse)

And they arise from:

Robert K. Merton listed five possible causes of unanticipated consequences in 1936:[11]

  1. Ignorance, making it impossible to anticipate everything, thereby leading to incomplete analysis
  2. Errors in analysis of the problem or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation
  3. Immediate interests overriding long-term interests
  4. Basic values which may require or prohibit certain actions even if the long-term result might be unfavorable (these long-term consequences may eventually cause changes in basic values)
  5. Self-defeating prophecy,or, the fear of some consequence which drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is not anticipated.

In order to get around these The Chessmaster must have almost a magical level of foresight, constantly adjust his plans or simply serve as an excuse for the writer to hammer the plot unto the story, i.e. things will happen in a certain manner regardless of the skill, experience or information available to the characters or the rules of the setting the story takes place on. When the reader scratches their head wondering how the situation arose the author simply throws The Chessmaster in as an answer.

I prefer another trope: the Opportunistic Bastard.

As I stated before on this blog, most crimes are, by enlarge, crimes of opportunity, even if there is a gap between the realization of said opportunity and the taking advantage of it. Human history is dotted with examples of people being in the right place at the right time. There are just as many examples of people taking advantage of bad situations and turning them to their advantage. The Opportunistic Bastard is not as intelligent as his counterpart, The Chessmaster, but he is often armed with a sort of animal cunning that allows him to quickly access a situation and exploit it. He may, eventually, slip up or simply run afoul of a situation he simply can’t squirm out of. But along the way he often fakes being The Chessmaster just to rub it in on his foes.

So I’ll go with the Opportunistic Bastard while other play at chess. Besides, I’m lousy at chess anyway.

anonymous asked:

Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein is not the monster, Wisdom is knowing Frankenstein is the monster. -think on that

Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein’s monster is not the monster, wisdom is knowing Frankenstein himself is the monster

Besides that fix: I am sure everyone knows that Dr. Frankenstein is the partially a dick for creating Frankenstein… in the sense that, jesus christ, we really should not be creating life out of nothing, or life out of death - creating beings is more complicated than science. Doing something for science can be amazing, but the consequences of creating a sentient being from science clearly has consequences (this is why cloning is such a controversial topic). Thus, Frankenstein is a dick a little bit.

BUT: I believe the true point of the book is that society is an asshole. Society as a whole is judgmental. It was judgmental in the book, it was at that time, and it continues to be judgmental, despite the fact that many fight for less judgement, masses choose not to educate themselves, so judgement continues. Judging without knowledge is monstrous
(which, scientists choose to judge things after gaining knowledge, so this is why Frankenstein is not as much of an asshole as society is).

I’m probably going far deeper than that quote intends

very good quote though. and very nice prompt for analysis :)

Constructive News

“The consequences are many and severe. Firstly people get a false picture of reality. Secondly the West now suffers from lack of ledership. Media-democracies do not produce leaders, but populists.” Note: Constructive News was published by the Swizz InnoVatio Publishing AG this week.

Source: http://ift.tt/1sNZBeY

INSIDE THE AUTHORS STUDIO with Susan M. Schneider

Susan M. Schneider, PhD, is a biopsychologist and naturalist who has been a professor at St. Olaf College, Auburn University, and Florida International University, and a visiting research fellow at the University of Auckland. She is currently a visiting scholar at the University of the Pacific. Her first book, THE SCIENCE OF CONSEQUENCES: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World, is now available from Prometheus Books.

THE 10 QUESTIONS

  1. What is your favorite word?  Reinforcement
  2. What makes you laugh?  Dry wit  
  3. What makes you cry?  Avoidable suffering  
  4. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?  A big variety of breakfast cereals
  5. What city or country would you most like to visit?  I’d love to go birdwatching in South America.  
  6. What was your favorite childhood book?  Elizabeth Enright’s Then There Were Five
  7. What is your favorite sitcom, past or present?  M*A*S*H
  8. What is your favorite magazine?  Audubon
  9. What was your favorite movie of the past year?  Too busy working on the book to see any movies this past year! 
  10. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?  To give everyone empathy.    

Susan’s Stats

Coming next month... THE SCIENCE OF CONSEQUENCES

“Susan Schneider has written a wide-ranging and highly entertaining guide to the many ways that the behavior of humans and other animals—from bugs to bonobos—is shaped by consequences. Schneider knows the science and loves her subject, and the result is an enjoyable and enlightening book for anyone who is curious about behavior and what makes it tick.”

—Mark S. Blumberg, author of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

“Schneider thoroughly and beautifully explains the elementary rule that governs all living creatures—behavior is shaped by its consequences. This book is a kind of love letter to a simple, yet profound truism, and it explains how consequences influence not only our behavior but our brains as well.”

—Amy Sutherland, author of What Shamu Taught Me about Life, Love, and Marriage

“This engaging, thoroughly researched book could not be more timely or useful. In an age of biomedical reductionism (“It’s all in our brains or genes”) and psychological pessimism (“I am who I am, and I can’t help it”), Schneider provides a crucial corrective. Bringing the timeless contributions of B. F. Skinner into the twenty-first century, she shows how the relationship between the brain and behavior is a two-way street, how change really happens, and why a proper understanding of consequences can improve our lives, relationships, and society.”

—Carol Tavris, coauthor of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)