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Dead Wild Roses: Winning on Golden Balls – Is it Game Theory or just How much of an As*hole are you?)

This is what happens when you combine game theory, psychology and sociology on a gameshow you get the phenomena called Golden Balls. I have not watched an entire episode, but merely some outcomes of the final decision in which two people are given three possible outcomes for splitting, usually, a large sum of money.

What happens is each contestant is given two golden balls, within each ball there is a little sign that says ‘split’ or ‘steal. That gives us three possibilities…

1. Split – Split = contestants split the pot.

2. Split – Steal = (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Vacation Planning – Dan Ariely

Well, holiday Monday is a little late to be evaluating your August Vacation plans, but some interesting thoughts as far as what your next vacation will be.

Filed under: Culture Tagged: Dan Ariely, Vacation

Dead Wild Roses: Our Families, Technology and Having the ‘Right’ Experience

We can lump this video in with the others that attempt to shed light on issues in society that matter while discreetly hawking their wares in the background. The best form of advertising? I’m not sure, but the commercial makes space for some thinking about how generational experiences are becoming increasingly stratified and foreign to one another.

Are today’s youth doomed to be nothing but cloistered vid-heads who only know nature through what they have seen on the screens of their tablets? Possibly but I’m thinking that much of the fuss we see about losing out youth (Read more…)

Scripturient: Victor Hugo’s Hunchback

I have just finished listening to a well-read audio book (in English) of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, Hunchback of Notre Dame, or more properly, Notre Dame de Paris, as the original title was written. I had read the novel several years ago in a more recent Penguin edition, but hearing it on my peregrinations around town with […]

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – The Most Famous Convert

A short film that uses repetition to make a very good point.

“This is touted as a compelling reason Christianity is believable, but I find it sorely lacking. People convert, even antagonistic people. It happens all the time. Some people even call them traitors. Such conversions prove nothing. It’s even a Hollywood trope, yet notice how none of the plots of those movies felt the need to invoke the supernatural to explain the protagonist’s change.”

On a more cinematic note I think the above trope is one of the reasons why I found the latest Mad Max (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Canada Day – Something To Be Proud Of.

“Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.”

-EMMA GOLDMAN, Anarchism and Other Essays

Celebrating Canada’s ‘nationhood’ seems a little trite and ephemeral to me. Woo, ethnic cleansing, woo cultural genocide and the (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: The Lonely American

“Time Square Caught Napping” • Photo by Nana B Agyei

Michael P. Printup, president of Watkins Glen International, one of the country’s largest racetracks, stood with a group of about a dozen race fans at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Next to him were boxes of free doughnuts and coffee. A line of men with towels, who had spent the night in nearby RV campers, pop-up campers and tents, stood patiently outside the door to a shower room. A light drizzle, one that would turn into a torrential downpour and lead to the races being canceled in the afternoon, coated the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Congratulations, neighbors!

A woman in a Ruth Bader-Ginsburg costume celebrates the announcement that SCOTUS ruled in favour of same-sex marriage.

Filed under: Culture Tagged: SCOTUS SSM ruling

Dead Wild Roses: The horror… the horror…

I’ll admit it up front, I tend to dress like an unfashionable frump of at least 20 years beyond my chronological age. But I actually really love clothes! Which is how I got hooked on Zulily. More pretty clothes to look at every day? Steeply discounted? Sign me right up!

While I do find things there that I love and neeeeeed, it appears I simply lack the constitution for the world of cutting-edge fashion. There is probably a feminist statement to be made somewhere, about how runway fashion for men is weird too but the real monstrosities don’t turn up in (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Bullying and the enforcement of normal

Via Shakesville, I stumbled across this powerful and insightful article about bullying among school kids. As somebody who grew up bookish, queerish, funny-looking, and with poor mastery of social skills and “appropriate” gender performance, this totally resonated with me.

The furthest I have come is to accept that I have both been bullied and a bully, both oppressed and oppressor, and that I have thoroughly soaked in a definition of “normal” that I am still trying to undo, day by day. Some of that “normalization” has been enforced by other marginalized people, too — even my own friends — which (Read more…)

Scripturient: Another Archy Poem

Most of Don Marquis’ Archy pieces were written in lowercase. The literate cockroach, we learned, would stand on the typewriter and dive, head first, onto the keys. But this way, he couldn’t use the shift key to get capital letters or punctuation (he did get capital letters, once, when Marquis left the shift-lock on the […]

Scripturient: Killing Our Culture

Collingwood has killed Jazz & Blues at the Station – a popular, long-running, local cultural event second in audience only to the Elvis Festival. It brought some of Ontario’s top jazz and blues talent to play at the Museum. The hundreds of people assembled every Wednesday for the free concert – sometimes more than 400 […]

Scripturient: Great Minds, Small Minds

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. That quote has been attributed online to Eleanor Roosevelt in the images shared by people too lazy to check the facts. And like so many other quotations that circulate on social media, it’s not by the person claimed. As far as has been determined, […]

Dead Wild Roses: John Hari on Addiction – Isolating Addicts is not the Answer

This is taken from the interview titled: Does Capitalism Cause Drug Addiction? The piece that I am going to excerpt is about how we view addiction in society. If we are to believe Hari, it isn’t about a failure in moral rectitude or falling into a drug laden trap of compulsion; but rather it is the atomization and rampant consumerism in society that causes the addictions we see today.

“Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. The drug war is certainly not what we’ve been told it is. And (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Thoughts on our Busy Society – The Amazing Power of “No”

You would think that this would be fairly high up on the time management scale of useful ideas. Some common sense about our over-busy life.

Filed under: Culture Tagged: Carson Tate, Overbusy, Think Big

Dead Wild Roses: Black Mom’s Tell White Mom’s About “The Race Talk”.

Women will bring peace to the world (if men don’t destroy it first) and they shall do it through understanding and listening to each other. Listen to the power of their words.


“Ten black mothers sat on the stage in an auditorium and looked into a diverse crowd of women in the audience. They were about to share something personal and hurtful with this room full of mostly strangers.

They were going to talk about something they didn’t normally share with their white friends or colleagues.

It was about to get real in that room.

In the aftermath (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Prenzie Scamels

Four hundred years after he wrote them, we still use in everyday speech the many words and phrases Shakespeare coined. He gave us so many, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to list them all here. But two words he wrote have stopped us dead: prenzie and scamels. What do they mean? Were they more […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Shakespeare Changed Everything

I have been reading an entertaining little book called How Shakespeare Changed Everything, which, as the title suggests, is about the pervasive influence the Bard has had on pretty much everything in our lives ever since he started putting quill to paper. Stephen Marche’s book was described in the NatPost as a, “sprightly, erudite sampling […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Too Many Books?

Tim Parks* wrote an intriguing essay in the New York Review of Books last week with that title. My first thought on seeing it was to wonder if one can ever have too many books. But of course, Parks – an author himself  – is looking at the bigger picture, not the ever-growing collection that […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Musical Sources

Trying learn a song from an old songbook or sheet music can be difficult unless you already know how the song goes. Many of our group are introduced to the music in our songbook only through my version when I play in at our meetings. And, I admit, my version may not always reflect the original […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Defining Classical Music

I listen to classical music a lot, even more than before since the arrival of the new classical FM station in Collingwood. But while my listening at home is through a selected collection of CDs, the content played on radio – internet radio included – is more eclectic. Airplay often includes soundtracks, music from musicals, even […]

Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Jonathan Zittrain – Wikipedia Works Well in Practice, Just Not In Theory

It is kind of amazing how Wikipedia manages to survive given all the anti-reality tendencies of the human race. Religion, extreme right and left politics – wikipedia manages to muddle through most of the time and present a version of truth that is mostly acceptable. More amazing is that the editors are more or less, like you and me.

Listen and watch Zittrain explain how the useful Wikipedia is and how it could be used in the future as a hands on tool for participatory citizenship.

Filed under: Culture, Technology and Computers Tagged: Jonathan Zittrain, Wikipedia

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Dead Wild Roses: War On Drugs Still a Losing Battle

Why are drugs still illegal? I wrote a while ago about the success of Portugal, where all drugs were legalized, and the money previously used to enforce drug laws were instead used to fund social programs to help those with drug problems. Not only was Portugal’s drug abuse problem significantly reduced, but HIV and crime rates plummeted as well. It has been almost 15 years since Portugal started their non-prohibition experiment, with revolutionary results, and yet other countries still refuse to let go of their self-defeating War on Drugs.

I have recently read a fantastic interview with Johann Hari, on Sam (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month in Canada. I don’t know if this gets widespread acknowledgement much less appreciation among the public and in the schools, but it should. Poetry is an important part of our cultural lives, although it seems to me our collective passion for it has waned over the past few decades. I […]