5-7-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Insecurity Masked as Self-Involvement

At some point, I made a note to stop by Ifat Glassman's blog and look around. I finally did so last week and found several thought-provoking posts pertaining to psychology. One post described and discussed a phenomenon I realized only after reading the post that I'd seen before. On top of that, she offers the following example of how to use what she learns from her observations:

I know from myself that if I ever go into a thinking mode of "how does this subject relate to my knowledge" vs. "what are the facts of this subject and how do they relate to my goals" that I am pursuing the subject for the wrong reason and that my vanity is involved rather than selfish, healthy pursuit of my goals.
The above excerpt came from a post at Ifat Glassman's Thoughts, but more recent material appears at Psychology of Selfishness.

Weekend Reading

"The killing of bin Laden doesn't end this injustice, and in fact Obama's pro-Muslim handling of the corpse and post-mortem photos perpetuates it." -- Richard Salsman, in "Obama, Osama And Operation Infinite Sacrifice" at Forbes

"From college kids scalping leveraged exchange-traded funds to high-frequency firms trading E-minis, we're all liquidity providers now, making where you get your market data (even if it's simply your broker's own website) even more important." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "My 3 Favorite Views of the Markets" at SmartMoney

"If you take a look at the timeline of history, you’ll see that the human race tends to move forward in spite of the pack, not because of it." -- Michael Hurd, in "It Doesn't Matter What Others Think" at DrHurd.com

"Rand was asked [such] questions in her own lifetime. Her answers might surprise you." -- Onkar Ghate, in "Atlas Shrugged: With America on the brink, should you 'go Galt' and strike?" at The Christian Science Monitor

"If you were to judge by the rhetoric, you might think that Paul Ryan's plan for reducing the federal deficit slashed the government's budget by 90%, and funded the killing of kittens to boot." -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, in "It's Time To Kill The 'Robin Hood' Myth" at Forbes

What about Free Will?

A famous scientist wants to banish evil and thinks he can achieve his goal by teaching empathy as a skill.
But rather than labelling them as evil, [Simon] Baron-Cohen says they should be seen as sick, or "disabled", and we should seek to understand why they have such an empathy deficiency and help them replace it.

Baron-Cohen shies away from saying that psychopaths can be "cured" of extreme behaviour, but he argues strongly against locking them up and saying there is nothing society can do.

"I try to keep an open mind. I would never want to say a person is beyond help," he explains. "Empathy is a skill like any other human skill -- and if you get a chance to practise, you can get better at it."
I think we can and should teach children, for example, to be more empathetic, but can't help wondering what Baron-Cohen would call someone who would choose, nevertheless, not to practice that skill.

Google didn't kill it, but, ...

... this site did. The "Bacon Number" of any actor or actress -- and the connection -- are available to anyone with a keyboard and time to kill.

-- CAV

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