Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Dead Wild Roses: Your Brain Makes You A Sucker – Cognitive Biases We All Share

Don’t feel bad about this, we are all in the same boat when it comes to making bad decisions or being unduly influenced. The science behind advertising and persuasion has come a long ways, and knowing how they manipulate you and the rest of the public is valuable knowledge. James Garvey lists three of the […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Your Brain Makes You A Sucker – Cognitive Biases We All Share

Politics, Re-Spun: Seven Tips for Feminist Men

I know already. You’re a feminist. And a man. But I’m not going to pat you on the back for that because we need to do better. We may think we’ve already earned all the male-feminist scout badges. We may subscribe to the male-feminist version of the doctors’ maxim ‘first, do no harm.’ But that’s … Continue reading Seven Tips for Feminist Men

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Seven Tips for Feminist Men

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality Source: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American   I don’t normally post anything on my blog other than my own original articles and essays… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

Politics, Re-Spun: We Must Completely Obliterate the BC Liberal Party

The provincial government has told the Vancouver School Board it will not fund any more seismic upgrades unless it agrees to close schools. Source: Some parents fuming over BC Ministry of Education decision – NEWS 1130 What kind of premier threatens to withhold seismic upgrading funds until the school board closes schools? What kind of … Continue reading We Must Completely Obliterate the BC Liberal Party

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: We Must Completely Obliterate the BC Liberal Party

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- John O’Farrell argues that a basic income provides a needed starting point for innovation and entrepreneurship by people who don’t enjoy the advantage of inherited wealth:But in fact it is the current situation that … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how people generally have a better idea about the facts underlying our political choices than they suggest in response to an ordinary poll – and how we can make better decisions by looking to the root causes of that distinction. For further re… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Paul Krugman discusses the connection between concentrated wealth and extreme anti-social political behaviour:Wealth can be bad for your soul. That’s not just a hoary piece of folk wisdom; it’s a conclusi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- George Monbiot discusses the inherent conflict between consumption and conservation:We can persuade ourselves that we are living on thin air, floating through a weightless economy, as gullible futurologists pr… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lest We Forget: Reflections On Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and the Current Corporate Assault on Freedom and Democracy Around the World

The 21st century was the most violent and murderous period in human history to date. And with our current direction, the 21st century may well surpass it in violence and war. Have we forgotten the lessons of the past, or have we yet to learn them? Worse yet, not only has war not ended, but […]

Dead Wild Roses: John Bowlby – A Secure Base – Five Therapeutic Tasks

To be honest, I could excerpt most of Bowlby’s book. It is that good. However, little things like time and copyright concerns limit me to providing some of the highlights of attachment theory and how big a change it was from traditional psychoanalysis.

“The first is to provide the patient with a secure base from which he can explore the various unhappy and painful aspects of his life, past and present, many of which he finds it difficult or perhaps impossible to think about and reconsider without a trusted companion to provide support, encouragement, sympathy, and, on (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap. Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, […]

Death By Trolley: Friends don’t let friends study Psychology

In this video I encourage people considering pursuing an education in Psychology at any formal level – bachelors, research Masters/PhD, or Clinical Masters/PhD – to research and reconsider what they are considering.

My relevant experience includes having an Hon. B.Sc. in Psychology Research and Cognitive Science, having been an MS/PhD student in Cognitive Psychology, having looked into the job market stats, and now working in a parallel healthcare field, Occupational Therapy.

Death By Trolley: Friends don’t let friends study Psychology

In this video I encourage people considering pursuing an education in Psychology at any formal level – bachelors, research Masters/PhD, or Clinical Masters/PhD – to research and reconsider what they are considering. . . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: Friends don’t let friends study Psychology

Writings of J. Todd Ring: A few thoughts on empathy in human beings, and other living creatures

Empathy is natural in human beings, as Jeremy Rifkin has pointed out – and with strong backing by recent scientific findings. Some human beings have more and some less; and some are sociopaths – roughly 1% (and usually, the ones who gravitate to positions of wealth and power, unsurprisingly) – who have a near total […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Ashley Madison Is Not Nearly So Black and White

The Ashley Madison hack is bad news for cheaters—and just as terrible for everyone else – By Harris O’Malley

It’s like the royal family: glamorize them so we can bash them down to earth.

A bit of a mindfuck.

If Ashley Madison were a straight infidelity website among heterosexual couples in a world of simple heterosex, then yes, let’s judge all these people. Because we love to judge.

But if you’re interested to see what kind of other people use[d] Ashley Madison for arguably not so black-and-white sinful reasons, you may realize that quite a few people are getting hosed (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why Are Harper and Kenney Such Liars?

Chronic Liar.

We all know Stephen Harper is fond of lying.

During the debate this month there were a myriad of drinking games around the country for whenever one of the other leaders called him a liar.

Here’s one clever analysis of his tendency to LIE TO US TO GET US TO GIVE HIM MORE TIME TO DESTROY CANADA!

And what about Jason Kenney: Mr. Liar McMakeItUp.

Here’s what’s up with his chronic lying.

We. Must. Punish. These. Liars.

Let’s make them unemployed on October 20. If we’re lucky they and their lying colleagues will pull a Prentice!

 

July (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On messaging tests

Following up on yesterday’s post, I’ll make clear that nobody should hold any illusions that the NDP’s opponents will abandon their own efforts to pursue seats simply because the NDP holds a strong position for the moment. And on that front, Bob Hepburn floats a few trial balloons as to messages which the NDP’s opponents may try to use against it.

It’s certainly worth discussing and being prepared for the attacks we’re most likely to see. But while Hepburn merely labels a laundry list of possible messages as “weak spots” without any critical evaluation of their effectiveness, the likelihood (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Richard Nisbett comments on the situational determinants of behaviour which are far too often mistaken for merit or accomplishment. Libby Kane points out how increasing inequality and the predictable social segregation which follows makes it harder for the lucky few to see the deprivation that develops around them. And Peter Georgescu makes the case for the corporate elite to work on fighting inequality in its own interest.

- Meanwhile, David Kirp rightly notes that the best way to provide support to people living in poverty is to ask what they need, rather (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: New Research Explains WHAT CAUSES RAPE

This just in…choose to not rape anyone this weekend.

August 6, 2013 Women As Meat, Volume 874,597 (1) February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) November 27, 2012 No, Taylor Swift. No. (4) November 30, 2012 “Female Characters Are Still Sidelined, Stereotyped, and Sexualized in Popular Entertainment Content” (0)

A Puff of Absurdity: The Smell of Your Moral Judgment

“If you’re going to tell people the truth, make it funny or people will kill you.”   

                        – Billy Wilder

I just watched a series of videos (65 minutes if you watch them all in one go) by Innuendo Studios that were made specifically about the backlash against Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist who questioned some of the choices made by video game creators, but the ideas in these videos can be applied to explain the backlash to any social movement, like environmentalism.

First, they look at why people (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: In the Realm of Terrifying

CBC has a brief (7 min.) podcast up about the rise in anxiety in the population being reported by psychologists over the past couple of years due to climate change. One of the climate scientists, when asked how he feels about it, suggested the title of this post.

This is something I discuss with my students regularly, and I was pleased I’ve come to the same conclusions as the experts in this field. It all goes back to Freud’s defence mechanisms as a way of coping with cognitive dissonance (see more in Anna Freud’s book). In a (Read more…)

Scripturient: The Slow Path to Happiness

If 15 minutes of stillness change the 23 hours and 45 minutes left in your day, including your sleep and your human relations, it seems to be worthwhile. So said Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who has spent the last 45 years in the Himalayas pursuing the goal of mindfulness. Ricard was interviewed in January, […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Chris Mooney takes a look at the positive side of social influences on behaviour, as new research shows a correlation between spending time with neighbours and an interest in the environmental issues which affect us all. But Adam Stoneman documents how another form of social interaction – that of wealth flaunting – promotes conspicuous consumption which benefits nobody.

- Tim Harper slams the Cons for looking to attack aboriginal Canadians rather than work with them – a particularly serious problem in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. Don Martin writes (Read more…)

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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Hate Women

So, it turns out that if you and some of your single girl friends lament the lack of quality men in Vancouver, you may get attacked by anonymous men and women in the comments section of the Georgia Straight.

Go figure.

Whether that is “true” or not, people sure like to tee off on people. It feels a bit like the entitled imperviousness idiotic men feel when they shout sexually graphic obscenities at a female tv reporter on a live remote segment.

You can read the initial lament here and don’t miss the comments below it. Here are but (Read more…)