Science

Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions – The Atlantic

poverty

As Andrew Golis points out, this might suggest something even deeper than the idea that poverty’s stress interferes with our ability to make good decisions. The inescapability of poverty weighs so heavily on the author that s/he abandons long-term planning entirely, because the short term needs are so great and the long-term gains so implausible. The train is just not coming. What if the psychology of poverty, which can appear so irrational to those not in poverty, is actually “the most rational response to a world of chaos and unpredictable outcomes,” he wrote.

None of this is an argument against poorer families trying to save or plan for the long-term. It’s an argument for context. As Eldar Shafir, the author of the Science study, told The Atlantic CitiesEmily Badger: “All the data shows it isn’t about poor people, it’s about people who happen to be in poverty. All the data suggests it is not the person, it’s the context they’re inhabiting.”

via Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions – The Atlantic.

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Black Then | The Price Slave Women Paid For The “Birth” Of Modern Gynecology

Dr. James Marion Sims was heralded as the father of gynecology, yet at whose expense?

Since the mid- twentieth century, academia has debated whether Sims was an ingenuous doctor who furthered the progression of medical science for women or a 19th monster who conducted painful unethical experiments on women who couldn’t say “No.”

In 1993 Durrenda Ojanuga, Ph.D. wrote that the problem with Sims’ experiments were that he used the institution of slavery to harbor human guinea pigs to perfect his procedures. Violating all concepts of human rights and medical ethics, the women were property subject to Sims’ trial and error experiments.

via Black Then | The Price Slave Women Paid For The “Birth” Of Modern Gynecology.

Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | The Guardian

According to Prof David Price, a cultural anthropologist at St Martin’s University in Washington DC and author of Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State, “when you looked at the individual bits of many of these projects they sort of looked like normal social science, textual analysis, historical research, and so on, but when you added these bits up they all shared themes of legibility with all the distortions of over-simplification. Minerva is farming out the piece-work of empire in ways that can allow individuals to disassociate their individual contributions from the larger project.”

Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | The Guardian

Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.”

Twitter posts and conversations will be examined “to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised.”

Another project awarded this year to the University of Washington “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,” along with their “characteristics and consequences.” The project, managed by the US Army Research Office, focuses on “large-scale movements involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity,” and will cover 58 countries in total.

via Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | The Guardian.

White People’s Fear of Discussing Race Holding Back Diversity Progress in Silicon Valley? – Blerds

Maxine Williams

Discussing race in profitable environments is a must, so says Maxine Williams of Facebook, one worldwide social media entity. Why is it critical to clear safe spaces for African Americans? Technology affords all the ability to work in groups or independently. For minorities, it is the option to work in healthy spaces devoid of most race-based micro-stressors that recent studies claim contribute to, if not cause, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other stress related illnesses. Another plus it the potential for above average revenue — if you are dedicated. Will technology become the leveling playing field for African Americans? It might well be.

Facebook’s global head of diversity, Maxine Williams, is taking a different approach to addressing the discussion of race in Silicon Valley, and, according to her, there’s no room for people to be sensitive about the subject.

via White People’s Fear of Discussing Race Holding Back Diversity Progress in Silicon Valley? – Blerds.

Want to Be an App Developer? This Milwaukee High School Preps Next Generation – Blerds

Washington High School is taking the forefront in preparing its students for tech developing careers. Washington High School Technologist, Milwaukee

One Milwaukee high school is ready to foster the next generation of tech entrepreneurs and skilled developers thanks to a unique, rigorous new program that will be available to 10 schools nationwide.

The Washington High School of Information Technology will be one of the few lucky schools that will offer the new mobile app development and entrepreneurship curriculum, the Milwaukee Community Journal MCJ reported.

via Want to Be an App Developer? This Milwaukee High School Preps Next Generation – Blerds.

13 Blacks Influencing Technology In a Major Way Today – Blerds

13 Black initiated businesses that are making great strides in technology. The list may surprise you.

Here is a list of 13 Blacks influencing technology today, according to Business Insider.

Condoleezza Rice, Board of Directors, DropboxEarlier this month, online storage startup Dropbox added Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.As the former secretary of state and an adviser to the National Security Agency, having someone like Rice as a liaison to Washington, D.C., could be very helpful to Dropbox.

Condoleezza Rice 2014

via 13 Blacks Influencing Technology In a Major Way Today – Blerds.

Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough

Habits

In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

via Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough.

Darker-Skinned African-American Students Suspended More Frequently – Higher Education | #OYRchallenge

The study’s findings of a positive correlation between darker skin and higher suspension rates held even after other factors were taken into account, such as the socioeconomic status of the students’ parents, delinquent behavior, academic performance and other variables.

As research literature, the study provides a rich contextual and historical discussion of “colorism”—that is, the distinctions that have been made among Blacks of different skin tones in the United States since the days of the antebellum South.

For instance, it notes how one of the earliest uses of the term “colorism” in American popular culture was by Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” who described it in 1983 as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.”

via Darker-Skinned African-American Students Suspended More Frequently – Higher Education.

25 Mind Blowing Psychology Experiments…You Won’t Believe What’s Inside Your Head

Why do people act the way they do? Psychologists have been pondering this question since ancient times. Much of the knowledge we have about the human mind today has come from psychology experiments conducted within the last century. From Asch’s Conformity Experiment to Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, the psychologists in this list of 25 Intriguing Psychology Experiments have helped gather new information and provide insight into the otherwise chaotic trends in human thought and behavior.

via 25 Mind Blowing Psychology Experiments…You Won’t Believe What’s Inside Your Head.

Activist Loretta Ross Explains the Origin of “Women of Color” as a Political Identity

Loretta Ross | SisterSong, Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

While many view the terms “women of color” and “people of color” as trite phrases that don’t accurately describe the histories or experiences of Blacks, activist Loretta Ross provides important historical background on the origin of the phrase. She underscores that the use of “women of color” is about exerting a political identity in opposition to white supremacy.

via Activist Loretta Ross Explains the Origin of “Women of Color” as a Political Identity.