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Power Causes Brain Damage - The Atlantic
feeling powerful makes you a psychopat, it seems. incapable of reading a room, or having any kind of empathy. so:
Is there nothing to be done?

No and yes. It’s difficult to stop power’s tendency to affect your brain. What’s easier—from time to time, at least—is to stop feeling powerful.

Insofar as it affects the way we think, power, Keltner reminded me, is not a post or a position but a mental state. Recount a time you did not feel powerful, his experiments suggest, and your brain can commune with reality.

and then da kicker:
I asked Owen, who admits to a healthy predisposition to hubris himself, whether anything helps keep him tethered to reality, something that other truly powerful figures might emulate. He shared a few strategies: thinking back on hubris-dispelling episodes from his past; watching documentaries about ordinary people; making a habit of reading constituents’ letters.

But I surmised that the greatest check on Owen’s hubris today might stem from his recent research endeavors. Businesses, he complained to me, had shown next to no appetite for research on hubris. Business schools were not much better. The undercurrent of frustration in his voice attested to a certain powerlessness. Whatever the salutary effect on Owen, it suggests that a malady seen too commonly in boardrooms and executive suites is unlikely to soon find a cure.
%selfhelp  ~psychology  %science  %econ%behav  #$#ineq  #elites  #swamp 
11 weeks ago by lemeb
Reduction in Firearm Injuries during NRA Annual Conventions | NEJM
not making this up:
Despite high rates of unintentional firearm injuries,1-3 and recognition by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that firearm education is important,4 it is often said that firearm injuries occur primarily among inexperienced users and that firearm safety comes with experience and training. To investigate this contention, we conducted a study in which we hypothesized that firearm use would decline during the dates of NRA meetings — which attract tens of thousands of members from across the United States,5 including firearm owners and owners of venues where firearms are used (e.g., firing ranges and hunting grounds) — and that firearm injuries would also decline even among experienced users.

and sure thing, there is a *20%* reduction in firearm injuries!
#us#guns  #conservatives  %science  %policystats  *oof 
11 weeks ago by lemeb
What people prefer and what they think they prefer in short- and long-term partners. The effects of the phase of the menstrual cycle, hormonal contraception, pregnancy, and the marital and the parenthood status on partner preferences
The issue with most studies concerned with mate selection preferences in humans is that they rely on de-
clarations and rational actions of experimental subjects, which are affected by their pre-conceived opinions and prejudices. Moreover, current research suggests that subcortical structures and processes, rather than the neo- cortex, play the principal role in actual partner choice behaviour. Consequently, we have only limited in- formation on how relevant our current knowledge is in relation to real-life human ethology. To address these issues, we surveyed 2718 women and 4073 men between the ages of 16–50 and compared their declared and observed preferences for various properties in short-term and long-term partners. We found differences between what the subjects declared to prefer and what they preferred in reality: for example, men declared that wealth was the second least desirable property out of eleven in short-term partners, but we observed that in reality, they considered wealth the third most important factor after charisma and sense of humour. Similarly, while women declared that dominance and masculinity were desirable properties in short-term partners, in the observational part of the study, they showed little preference for these traits. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of the phase of the menstrual cycle, hormonal contraception, pregnancy, and partnership and parenthood status on these preferences. We found some support for the good parents hypothesis and no support for the good genes and the immunocompetence handicap hypotheses when observed, rather than declared preferences were considered. We also detected that hormonal contraception, and parenthood and partnership status influenced declared preferences in considerable ways, but had only a small, if any, impact on observed preferences. We suggest interpreting the results of studies reliant on declarations and rational actions of experimental subjects with great caution.
#dating  %science  %stats 
12 weeks ago by lemeb
Heading Frequency Is More Strongly Related to Cognitive Performance Than Unintentional Head Impacts in Amateur Soccer Players
Poorer NP test performance was consistently related to frequent heading during soccer practice and competition in the 2 weeks before testing. In contrast, unintentional head impacts incurred during soccer were not related to cognitive performance.

#foot  %science  %stats  #sportstats 
december 2018 by lemeb
The Scientists Who Starved to Death Surrounded By Food | Amusing Planet
But the scientists hadn’t barricaded themselves in the vault with food grains to save their lives, but rather to protect these seeds from the Nazis as well as from the starving people plundering through the streets in search for anything to eat.

The collection filled 16 rooms, in which no one was allowed to remain alone. Workers guarded the storage in shifts all round the clock, numb with cold and emaciated from hunger. As the siege dragged out, one by one these heroic men started dying of hunger, but not a single grain was eaten. In January 1942, Alexander Stchukin, a peanut specialist, died at his writing table. Botanist Dmitri Ivanov also died of starvation while surrounded by several thousand packs of rice that he was guarding. By the end of the siege in the Spring of 1944, nine of them had starved to death watching over all that food. Many of the crops that we eat today came from cross-breeding with varieties the scientists saved from destruction.
%history  %😃  %science  #h#wwii 
august 2018 by lemeb
Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve | Quanta Magazine
The new paper by Raz and Tal proves that a quantum computer needs far fewer hints than a classical computer to solve the forrelation problem. In fact, a quantum computer needs just one hint, while even with unlimited hints, there’s no algorithm in PH that can solve the problem. “This means there is a very efficient quantum algorithm that solves that problem,” said Raz. “But if you only consider classical algorithms, even if you go to very high classes of classical algorithms, they cannot.” This establishes that with an oracle, forrelation is a problem that is in BQP but not in PH.

Raz and Tal nearly achieved this result almost four years ago, but they couldn’t complete one step in their would-be proof. Then just a month ago, Tal heard a talk on a new paper on pseudorandom number generators and realized the techniques in that paper were just what he and Raz needed to finish their own. “This was the missing piece,” said Tal.
%science  #t#quantum  %theory 
june 2018 by lemeb
Gene editing tool hailed as the solution to disease may increase cancer risk | The Outline
The gene editing tool CRISPR, which has been hailed as the potential solution to everything from malaria to early-onset Alzheimer’s to breast cancer, may increase the risk of cancer, according to two papers published Monday in Nature Medicine. Both research teams in question found unexpected effects when cutting up DNA within cells that caused cells to start to go haywire, leading to circumstances that would create cancerous cells.
%science  #$#pharma  #t#bio 
june 2018 by lemeb
Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written Into Arctic Ice - The Atlantic
But for all those years, the source material for the arguments have remained largely the same. Archeologists can locate new sites and excavate for coins, plates, or jewelry; scholars can read and reread Roman writers like Cicero, Sallust, and Catullus, who all documented Caesar. These have been the techniques for learning about Rome for centuries, and they are indispensable. But lately, they have been joined by something new.

On Monday, scientists announced the discovery of an entirely new resource that has the potential to remake some of those centuries-old arguments over Roman politics and history. A team of archeologists, historians, and climate scientists have constructed a history of Rome’s lead pollution, which allows them to approximate Mediterranean economic activity from 1,100 b.c. to 800 a.d. They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.

In short, they have reconstructed year-by-year economic data documenting the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and Empire. The first news of the record was published Monday afternoon in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

science ftw
%history  %science 
may 2018 by lemeb

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