Shared posts

09 Aug 13:00

How You Get Ingrown Pubic Hair, and What to Do About It

by Stephanie Lee on Vitals, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

Ingrown pubic hair is one of those things you never want to see together in a sentence, but it’s also common, even if no one talks about it. This video by Stuff Mom Never Told You explains how it happens, and what to do about it.

Read more...

05 May 10:57

Our brain uses statistics to calculate confidence, make decisions

by Azra Raza

From PhysOrg:

OurbrainusesThe directions, which came via cell phone, were a little garbled, but as you understood them: "Turn left at the 3rd light and go straight; the restaurant will be on your right side." Ten minutes ago you made the turn. Still no restaurant in sight. How far will you be willing to drive in the same direction? Research suggests that it depends on your initial level of confidence after getting the directions. Did you hear them right? Did you turn at the 3rd light? Could you have driven past the restaurant? Is it possible the directions are incorrect? Human brains are constantly processing data to make statistical assessments that translate into the feeling we call confidence, according to a study published today in Neuron. This feeling of confidence is central to decision making, and, despite ample evidence of human fallibility, the subjective feeling relies on objective calculations. "The feeling ultimately relies on the same statistical computations a computer would make," says Professor Adam Kepecs, a neuroscientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and lead author of the new study. "People often focus on the situations where confidence is divorced from reality," he says. "But if confidence were always error-prone, what would be its function? If we didn't have the ability to optimally assess confidence, we'd routinely find ourselves driving around for hours in this scenario." Calculating confidence for a statistician involves looking at a set of data—perhaps a sampling of marbles pulled from a bag—and making a conclusion about the entire bag based on that sample. "The feeling of confidence and the objective calculation are related intuitively," says Kepecs. "But how much so?"

In experiments with human subjects, Kepecs and colleagues therefore tried to control for different factors that can vary from person to person. The aim was to establish what evidence contributed to each decision. In this way they could compare people's reports of confidence with the optimal statistical answer. "If we can quantify the evidence that informs a person's decision, then we can ask how well a statistical algorithm performs on the same evidence," says Kepecs. He and graduate student Joshua Sanders created video games to compare human and computer performance. They had human volunteers listen to streams of clicking sounds and determine which clicks were faster. Participants rated confidence in each choice on a scale of one (a random guess) to five (high confidence). What Kepecs and his colleagues found was that human responses were similar to statistical calculations. The brain produces feelings of confidence that inform decisions the same way statistics pulls patterns out of noisy data.

More here.

22 Apr 17:20

The Emotion That ‘Vaccinates’ Against Impulsiveness and Poor Self-Control

by Jeremy Dean

When an emotion can be more powerful in curbing impulsiveness than thoughts.

> Get motivated with PsyBlog's latest ebook: "Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything" **

17 Apr 01:47

Eats Like a Duck

by valkane
28 Mar 00:50

Is Sugar the New Tobacco? How to Regulate Toxic Foods

by aniola
This article [pdf] explores the health risks associated with added sugar. It then examines how, if at all, sugar should be regulated, by considering tobacco regulation as a possible model.
Part I identifies the health risks of sugar consumption. Part II examines the reasons why sugar is added to so much of our food supply. Part III provides an overview of tobacco regulation, including educational initiatives, warning labels, advertising restrictions, age limitations, and taxes. Finally, Part IV provides a framework for sugar regulation, suggesting that most of the foregoing laws designed to discourage tobacco use should, with the exception of age restrictions and with appropriate modifications, be applied to products with large quantities of added sugar.21 Part IV also suggests regulatory changes within the FDA to remove sugar's classification as a substance that is "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)."22

In addition to looking solely at sugar, Part IV also takes a broader look at how food policy can shift to improve the overall food supply in ways that enhance consumer choice,and proposes the appointment of an Independent National Director of Food, who would have sufficient authority to help neutralize the impact that the food lobby has on food supply.
08 Mar 01:25

Does the Fuji XF 16mm/f1.4 represent a worthwhile lens addition?

by axismundi
Given the two lenses I currently use (18-55mm/f2.8, 35mm/f1.4) does adding the Fujifilm XF 16mm/f1.4 to my collection offer good value in expanding my photographic capabilities, or does this lens retread too much of what the 18mm zoom lens already offers.

My main photographic interests are landscapes and night skies. I've had reasonable success using the 18mm zoom lens for both subjects but I'm interested in what results I could achieve with a new lens.

Astrophotography samples (1, 2)
Landscape samples (1, 2, 3)

On paper the 16mm lens should be a winner for both landscapes (wide angle) and astrophotography (wide angle and fast). For landscape its well reviewed across a number of sites however with astrophotography it seems to suffer from coma when shooting full open.

Alternatively, does it make more sense to spend some extra money and get dedicated lenses? The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm/f4 for landscape photos and the Rokinon 12mm/f2 for astro photos?
29 Jan 10:58

This is why the Drudge Report poll matters: In a bad year for polls, this online vote keeps demonstrating Trump fervor

by Jimmy LaSalvia
Move over Nate Silver. There’s a new predictor in town, and his name is Matt Drudge. Silver, the statistician extraordinaire who has quite a reputation for using hard data to accurately predict the winners of political campaigns, declared last year that Donald Trump only had about a 5 percent chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. He could, of course, still end up being right. Silver, of course, is not the only one who thought that Trump had virtually no chance of winning the GOP race. Pollsters, strategists, and commentators from left to right have dismissed Trump’s chances of winning the nomination based on the conventional criteria for predicting it, such as polling, endorsements, political resume, and other traditional indicators of winning a party’s nomination. One indicator that none of the experts have been looking to in their predictions or analysis is something that’s relatively new. It’s existed in previous campaigns, but it has distinguished itself significantly this year by being perhaps the most consistent indicator of how determined Trump’s supporters are to stick with him. It’s the unscientific online poll of readers on The Drudge Report. Trump has dominated the Drudge online poll that has been taken after every televised debate, and, naturally, he loves boasting about it. Trump pulled out of last night's debate in a dispute with Fox News, so while Drudge couldn't ask who won the debate, he did survey his readers on who they were supporting for president. The winner? Still Trump, in a landslide. As of early this morning, with some 355,000 votes cast, He earned 62 percent of the vote, with Cruz a distant second at 17 percent, then Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, both with just under 7 percent. Those who might argue -- or hope -- that the Trump fever will break because of the fight with Fox might want to take notice of those, yes, unscientific results. Pundits have predicted Trump’s demise time and again over the last six months. First it was his comments about John McCain’s war record. Then it was his clash with Megyn Kelly about his treatment of women, followed by his remarks about blood coming out of her eyes. There was the Muslim travel ban, the tepid performance in the second debate, some nasty words for Carly Fiorina during a debate, and then another debate where he did not seem to understand the nuclear triad. Every outrageous statement has prompted analysts to project that the next professional polls will finally show Trump’s support is softening. Except that his lead only grows. His support doesn’t decline, and every Drudge poll reflects that -- and then the real polls follow a few days later with confirmation that the businessman is still the GOP front-runner. Again, the Drudge polls are immediate and unscientific. Anyone can participate. They're not weighted for demographic balance, one person might vote multiple times from different computers, or their phone. It's a snapshot of one piece of the conservative base. They might remind some of an online version of the 1936 survey that changed polling forever: the Literary Digest calling the presidential election for Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt, and getting it horribly wrong because their self-selected audience did not accurately reflect the country. But this isn't about who would win in November between Trump and Hillary. An online poll on a site beloved by conservatives would never accurately reflect that. But as a measure of fervor within a primary, it captures something real about the passion and the intensity of Trump's support among the base. The Iowa caucus, in many ways, will be the test of what Trump has built: Does he have a coalition which will turn out to back him, or is it an angry Internet-based coalition willing to vote online but not at the real polls? Last month, I wrote about what I saw as Drudge’s support for Trump’s campaign. Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast noticed the same thing. But here's something else interesting: While Donald Trump garners the lion's share of Drudge readers’ support, he isn’t the only candidate who is resonating with that loyal audience. In the only Drudge online poll to include all of the presidential candidates in both parties, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders placed second, with Ted Cruz a distant third, and the rest of the field far behind. Over 1.1 million Drudge Report readers voted in that poll. That suggests that the Drudge poll has a wider-ranging base and more unpredictable politics than one might expect. In a year when the emotions of anger and frustration with the political establishment are fueling the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the intensity of that emotion can be hard for the traditional statisticians to measure. Silver and the other experts have all of the data and analytics down pat. What they have a harder time measuring is emotion. We see the way those campaigns are connecting with voters on an emotional level by the size of the crowds they are drawing at rallies, but even that, of course, is unscientific. Trump and Sanders, after all, put on a good show. Who wouldn't want to check that out if it came to your New Hampshire or Iowa town? But our vote for president is different from any other vote we cast, perhaps even more so this election cycle. It’s more emotional and less analytical than any other vote. It’s the gut check vote. Who do you connect with on a personal level? Remember, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dispatched their opponents with hope, and George W. Bush was compassionate. Those things hit voters on a emotional level, not an analytical one. That’s a connection to the heart, not the head. Both the Trump and the Sanders campaign are successfully channelling anger and fear into solid, unwavering support while offering up a good dose of hope, too. Trump vows to “make America great again” and Sanders pledges to deliver “a future to believe in.” Both campaigns are successful at making a personal connection on an emotional level, and that is reflected in their performance in the Drudge poll. It might not be scientific, but it could very well be the most accurate measure of the intangible “heart connection.” The ultimate measurement of any candidate’s support comes in the form of real votes cast by real voters. Trump’s dominance in the GOP primary, measured with traditional polls and the Drudge polls, looks too strong for any of his opponents to overcome, while Sanders appears to have a much tougher challenge on the Democratic side. Starting Monday, we will learn if these emotional connections -- and online votes -- translate into real support.Move over Nate Silver. There’s a new predictor in town, and his name is Matt Drudge. Silver, the statistician extraordinaire who has quite a reputation for using hard data to accurately predict the winners of political campaigns, declared last year that Donald Trump only had about a 5 percent chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. He could, of course, still end up being right. Silver, of course, is not the only one who thought that Trump had virtually no chance of winning the GOP race. Pollsters, strategists, and commentators from left to right have dismissed Trump’s chances of winning the nomination based on the conventional criteria for predicting it, such as polling, endorsements, political resume, and other traditional indicators of winning a party’s nomination. One indicator that none of the experts have been looking to in their predictions or analysis is something that’s relatively new. It’s existed in previous campaigns, but it has distinguished itself significantly this year by being perhaps the most consistent indicator of how determined Trump’s supporters are to stick with him. It’s the unscientific online poll of readers on The Drudge Report. Trump has dominated the Drudge online poll that has been taken after every televised debate, and, naturally, he loves boasting about it. Trump pulled out of last night's debate in a dispute with Fox News, so while Drudge couldn't ask who won the debate, he did survey his readers on who they were supporting for president. The winner? Still Trump, in a landslide. As of early this morning, with some 355,000 votes cast, He earned 62 percent of the vote, with Cruz a distant second at 17 percent, then Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, both with just under 7 percent. Those who might argue -- or hope -- that the Trump fever will break because of the fight with Fox might want to take notice of those, yes, unscientific results. Pundits have predicted Trump’s demise time and again over the last six months. First it was his comments about John McCain’s war record. Then it was his clash with Megyn Kelly about his treatment of women, followed by his remarks about blood coming out of her eyes. There was the Muslim travel ban, the tepid performance in the second debate, some nasty words for Carly Fiorina during a debate, and then another debate where he did not seem to understand the nuclear triad. Every outrageous statement has prompted analysts to project that the next professional polls will finally show Trump’s support is softening. Except that his lead only grows. His support doesn’t decline, and every Drudge poll reflects that -- and then the real polls follow a few days later with confirmation that the businessman is still the GOP front-runner. Again, the Drudge polls are immediate and unscientific. Anyone can participate. They're not weighted for demographic balance, one person might vote multiple times from different computers, or their phone. It's a snapshot of one piece of the conservative base. They might remind some of an online version of the 1936 survey that changed polling forever: the Literary Digest calling the presidential election for Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt, and getting it horribly wrong because their self-selected audience did not accurately reflect the country. But this isn't about who would win in November between Trump and Hillary. An online poll on a site beloved by conservatives would never accurately reflect that. But as a measure of fervor within a primary, it captures something real about the passion and the intensity of Trump's support among the base. The Iowa caucus, in many ways, will be the test of what Trump has built: Does he have a coalition which will turn out to back him, or is it an angry Internet-based coalition willing to vote online but not at the real polls? Last month, I wrote about what I saw as Drudge’s support for Trump’s campaign. Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast noticed the same thing. But here's something else interesting: While Donald Trump garners the lion's share of Drudge readers’ support, he isn’t the only candidate who is resonating with that loyal audience. In the only Drudge online poll to include all of the presidential candidates in both parties, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders placed second, with Ted Cruz a distant third, and the rest of the field far behind. Over 1.1 million Drudge Report readers voted in that poll. That suggests that the Drudge poll has a wider-ranging base and more unpredictable politics than one might expect. In a year when the emotions of anger and frustration with the political establishment are fueling the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the intensity of that emotion can be hard for the traditional statisticians to measure. Silver and the other experts have all of the data and analytics down pat. What they have a harder time measuring is emotion. We see the way those campaigns are connecting with voters on an emotional level by the size of the crowds they are drawing at rallies, but even that, of course, is unscientific. Trump and Sanders, after all, put on a good show. Who wouldn't want to check that out if it came to your New Hampshire or Iowa town? But our vote for president is different from any other vote we cast, perhaps even more so this election cycle. It’s more emotional and less analytical than any other vote. It’s the gut check vote. Who do you connect with on a personal level? Remember, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dispatched their opponents with hope, and George W. Bush was compassionate. Those things hit voters on a emotional level, not an analytical one. That’s a connection to the heart, not the head. Both the Trump and the Sanders campaign are successfully channelling anger and fear into solid, unwavering support while offering up a good dose of hope, too. Trump vows to “make America great again” and Sanders pledges to deliver “a future to believe in.” Both campaigns are successful at making a personal connection on an emotional level, and that is reflected in their performance in the Drudge poll. It might not be scientific, but it could very well be the most accurate measure of the intangible “heart connection.” The ultimate measurement of any candidate’s support comes in the form of real votes cast by real voters. Trump’s dominance in the GOP primary, measured with traditional polls and the Drudge polls, looks too strong for any of his opponents to overcome, while Sanders appears to have a much tougher challenge on the Democratic side. Starting Monday, we will learn if these emotional connections -- and online votes -- translate into real support.Move over Nate Silver. There’s a new predictor in town, and his name is Matt Drudge. Silver, the statistician extraordinaire who has quite a reputation for using hard data to accurately predict the winners of political campaigns, declared last year that Donald Trump only had about a 5 percent chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. He could, of course, still end up being right. Silver, of course, is not the only one who thought that Trump had virtually no chance of winning the GOP race. Pollsters, strategists, and commentators from left to right have dismissed Trump’s chances of winning the nomination based on the conventional criteria for predicting it, such as polling, endorsements, political resume, and other traditional indicators of winning a party’s nomination. One indicator that none of the experts have been looking to in their predictions or analysis is something that’s relatively new. It’s existed in previous campaigns, but it has distinguished itself significantly this year by being perhaps the most consistent indicator of how determined Trump’s supporters are to stick with him. It’s the unscientific online poll of readers on The Drudge Report. Trump has dominated the Drudge online poll that has been taken after every televised debate, and, naturally, he loves boasting about it. Trump pulled out of last night's debate in a dispute with Fox News, so while Drudge couldn't ask who won the debate, he did survey his readers on who they were supporting for president. The winner? Still Trump, in a landslide. As of early this morning, with some 355,000 votes cast, He earned 62 percent of the vote, with Cruz a distant second at 17 percent, then Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, both with just under 7 percent. Those who might argue -- or hope -- that the Trump fever will break because of the fight with Fox might want to take notice of those, yes, unscientific results. Pundits have predicted Trump’s demise time and again over the last six months. First it was his comments about John McCain’s war record. Then it was his clash with Megyn Kelly about his treatment of women, followed by his remarks about blood coming out of her eyes. There was the Muslim travel ban, the tepid performance in the second debate, some nasty words for Carly Fiorina during a debate, and then another debate where he did not seem to understand the nuclear triad. Every outrageous statement has prompted analysts to project that the next professional polls will finally show Trump’s support is softening. Except that his lead only grows. His support doesn’t decline, and every Drudge poll reflects that -- and then the real polls follow a few days later with confirmation that the businessman is still the GOP front-runner. Again, the Drudge polls are immediate and unscientific. Anyone can participate. They're not weighted for demographic balance, one person might vote multiple times from different computers, or their phone. It's a snapshot of one piece of the conservative base. They might remind some of an online version of the 1936 survey that changed polling forever: the Literary Digest calling the presidential election for Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt, and getting it horribly wrong because their self-selected audience did not accurately reflect the country. But this isn't about who would win in November between Trump and Hillary. An online poll on a site beloved by conservatives would never accurately reflect that. But as a measure of fervor within a primary, it captures something real about the passion and the intensity of Trump's support among the base. The Iowa caucus, in many ways, will be the test of what Trump has built: Does he have a coalition which will turn out to back him, or is it an angry Internet-based coalition willing to vote online but not at the real polls? Last month, I wrote about what I saw as Drudge’s support for Trump’s campaign. Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast noticed the same thing. But here's something else interesting: While Donald Trump garners the lion's share of Drudge readers’ support, he isn’t the only candidate who is resonating with that loyal audience. In the only Drudge online poll to include all of the presidential candidates in both parties, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders placed second, with Ted Cruz a distant third, and the rest of the field far behind. Over 1.1 million Drudge Report readers voted in that poll. That suggests that the Drudge poll has a wider-ranging base and more unpredictable politics than one might expect. In a year when the emotions of anger and frustration with the political establishment are fueling the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the intensity of that emotion can be hard for the traditional statisticians to measure. Silver and the other experts have all of the data and analytics down pat. What they have a harder time measuring is emotion. We see the way those campaigns are connecting with voters on an emotional level by the size of the crowds they are drawing at rallies, but even that, of course, is unscientific. Trump and Sanders, after all, put on a good show. Who wouldn't want to check that out if it came to your New Hampshire or Iowa town? But our vote for president is different from any other vote we cast, perhaps even more so this election cycle. It’s more emotional and less analytical than any other vote. It’s the gut check vote. Who do you connect with on a personal level? Remember, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dispatched their opponents with hope, and George W. Bush was compassionate. Those things hit voters on a emotional level, not an analytical one. That’s a connection to the heart, not the head. Both the Trump and the Sanders campaign are successfully channelling anger and fear into solid, unwavering support while offering up a good dose of hope, too. Trump vows to “make America great again” and Sanders pledges to deliver “a future to believe in.” Both campaigns are successful at making a personal connection on an emotional level, and that is reflected in their performance in the Drudge poll. It might not be scientific, but it could very well be the most accurate measure of the intangible “heart connection.” The ultimate measurement of any candidate’s support comes in the form of real votes cast by real voters. Trump’s dominance in the GOP primary, measured with traditional polls and the Drudge polls, looks too strong for any of his opponents to overcome, while Sanders appears to have a much tougher challenge on the Democratic side. Starting Monday, we will learn if these emotional connections -- and online votes -- translate into real support.

Continue Reading...

22 Jan 22:06

State Department Can’t Release Next Round of Clinton Emails Because It’s Too Snowy

by Ashley Feinberg

The State Department already isn’t great at keeping track of emails. But keeping track of emails in the snow? Please, they’re not gods.

Read more...










06 Jan 16:21

Lose Weight By Recognising This Mental Bias

by Jeremy Dean
29 Dec 20:30

Learning to Hate 2015

by Rachel Vorona Cote

Early in graduate school, I still believed literature could save us, so I clung to a narrative device that seemed to promise deliverance: focalization. It’s not an especially sexy term; it means that an author writes from the perspective of one character, rather than from narrative omniscience—narrowing the reader’s focus to one person’s purportedly more subjective worldview.

Read more...










18 Dec 14:15

brokebackanus says FML

by brokebackanus

Today, while jailbreaking my dad's phone, I found out the hard way that it's jam-packed full of my mom's nudes. FML

08 Dec 21:44

Who Built The Moon? We did. Or... will.

by yellowbinder
"At some time in the future humanity will embark upon the most distant and most important journey it is ever likely to take. It will be necessary to travel 4.6 billion years into the past to complete a massive engineering project to create Earth's Moon." Who Built the Moon?
01 Dec 15:44

Nothing is Real Any More, All Hail the Matrix

by codacorolla
Last night on Monday Night Football, the Baltimore Ravens and The Cleveland Browns (both with terrible records and disappointing seasons) battled it out to stay out of the bottom of the AFC North rankings. The Browns seemed to have the game in the bag, as a series of Baltimore mistakes placed them within field goal range and a victory. However, the kick was blocked (a rarity in the NFL) and then returned for a touchdown (even rarer) for a 0 second win by The Ravens. Browns fans were upset (NWS: cursing). The media exposure of this unlikely series of events has caused renewed interest in a list that a fan compiled in October of this year: Every Browns Loss Since 1999, Ranked.
17 Nov 05:30

"When was the last time you cried?"

by prefpara
11 Nov 19:24

Are Google and Firefox having a fight?

by janey47
I can sign onto gmail from Chrome or IE no problem, but Firefox tells me that gmail is an untrusted connection. What gives?

This has been going on for a couple of weeks. Prior to that, I happily only had one browser open during the day. What am I doing wrong?

This remains true even though firefox was just reloaded to my computer by an IT professional.
05 Nov 00:34

Racial (In)Equality in the U.S.

by W. W. Norton

TigonzalesBy Teresa Irene Gonzales

Aside from my Netflix marathons, there are only a handful of network television shows that I make time to actually watch. And the new Fox prime time show Empire is one of them. Like so many great shows, it includes moments of fantasy, joy, and struggle that oftentimes mirror very real social issues that are on the forefront of their viewers’ minds.

For instance, the season two premiere opened with a #FreeLucious concert that paid homage to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and highlighted the overrepresented numbers of African-American men in our prison systems and their mistreatment by police. The imagery (particularly that of Cookie Lyon in a Gorilla suit and caged) and discourse used within that opening scene speaks to broader national issues. As highlighted by Gene Demby at NPR, however, these narratives are not common within prime time television.

In his write-up on the season premiere, Demby discusses the ways that Empire inverts the trope of the police and U.S. justice systems as mostly heroes. Demby argues that Empire is able to divert from the aforementioned narrative due to the writers who are creating these new types of stories and its overwhelming African-American viewership. He raises the question as to how Empire’s opening scene would have been different if it was marketed to a more white, middle-aged, and male audience.

This divide in the types of stories that people prefer to watch is reflected in our own national understandings of American culture, history, government, and judicial systems, for instance.

A recent article from NPR highlights the ways that White and Black-Americans differ on issues of race relations in the U.S. The article draws on data collected for the PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that corresponds with PBS NewsHour’s town hall meeting “After Charlestonspecial, moderated by Gwen Ifill. The poll showed that within the U.S., African Americans and Whites view race relations as worsening over the past year. Given the recent police shootings and hate crimes against African Americans, we may be in agreement with this assessment. At the same time, however, the poll also shows that Blacks and Whites disagree – both locally and nationally – on issues of economic equality and social justice.

 Some of these findings include:

  • 48% of Whites think race-relations have not changed locally and believe this to be a good thing, while 74% of African-Americans also believe that race relations have not changed locally and believe this is a bad thing.
  •  52% of Whites agree that African-Americans and Whites have  equal access to jobs; 72% of African-Americans disagree.
  • 52% of Whites agree that both groups have equal access to achieve  a middle-class lifestyle; 60% of Blacks disagree.
  •  50% of White respondents agree that there is currently equal justice under the Law while 87% of African-Americans disagree.
  • The #BlackLivesMatter movement focuses on “real issues of racial discrimination”: 59% of Whites think it distracts from those issues, and 65% of African-Americans agree that it highlights those issues.

These numbers are similar to a 2013 study conducted by the Pew Research Center on racial equality.

How is it that residents of the same country can have such disparate views on national issues? We know that much of this stems from the varied social realities that communities of color experience as compared to their white peers.

Does this mean that poor white individuals and families don’t struggle? Or that police officers don’t discriminate (based on class) against poor white men? Or that poor white men and women don’t have ready access to quality education or healthcare? Of course not.

We do, however, live in a system that privileges white bodies and whiteness. This does not negate the very real personal struggles that individuals encounter. But it does mean that non-white peoples experience systems of oppression that operate beyond an individual level.

For instance, drawing from U.S. 2010 Census data, we know that people of color are overrepresented in prisons and are more likely to have experiences with the criminal justice system than white individuals.

One might take a “culture of poverty” or a “ghetto culture” stance and argue that Black and Latin@ culture are the driving forces behind the destruction of both communities and peoples of color. These types of arguments ignore the ways that communities of color (particularly Black, Latin@, and Native-American) are actively excluded from housing, credit, jobs, education, healthcare, voting, and other important resources.    

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Black, Latin@, and Native-American children are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white children. They also receive less advanced academic training and courses, and are more likely to attend schools with first-year teachers.  

Sociologist Devah Pager shows that the presence of a criminal record is much more restrictive for Blacks than Whites. In her study, Pager hired a group of young college men to apply for entry-level jobs. She made sure to find men who had similar physical characteristics and interpersonal styles. Although these were college students, the men posed as solely being high-school educated with little work experience.

For the study, Pager sent the men in pairs (two white and two black) to apply for entry-level positions. Their resumes and job applications were identical, yet in each pair one of the men would indicate that he had a drug felony conviction and spent time in prison.  Among her major findings, she found that Black men with no criminal records were less likely to be hired than a White man with a criminal conviction.

In addition, a study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that austerity policies and governmental shutdowns in the United States have disproportionately affected women and African Americans. This is largely because governmental agencies are more likely to hire women and African Americans than the private sector.

Culture plays a major role in framing our values, beliefs, and traditions. As the above studies show, however, culture alone does not account for the vast inequities within the U.S.

Given these numbers, how is it that White Americans differ in their opinion on racial equality from Black Americans and Latin@s?

This partly flows from white racial segregation. The Atlantic article, “Self-Segregation: Why It’s So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson,” notes that for the most part, White Americans live and play in spaces that have few social problems, and mostly interact with other White people. As the article mentions, 75% of Whites navigate spaces that a fully (100%) white.

Conversely, African-Americans and Latin@s navigate social spaces that exhibit higher levels of social problems and tend to interact with a more heterogeneous group of individuals: 65% of Blacks interact only with other Blacks, and 45% of Latin@s only interact with other Latin@s. This social, cultural, and physical segregation along with dominant stereotypes of communities and individuals of color, can negatively influence how White Americans both view and understand racial issues within the U.S.

As a nation, we have built systems that overwhelmingly disenfranchise communities of color, women, and the poor. These policies, structures, and history continue to frame national issues such as racial equity. The way we understand and perpetuate these histories, policies, and structures is framed by where we live, who we interact with, and the images that we see.

Why do you think these perceptions vary so widely? Do shows like the enormously popular Empire have the ability transform perceptions or highlight national issues?

23 Oct 02:07

See a need, fill a need

by bookdragoness
In the wake of Turing/Martin Shkreli's 5000x price hike of Daraprim, reaction sets in regarding the need for reasonable prices on FDA-generic drugs.

As the furor over Martin Shkreli's 5000x price-hike of Daraprim continues (previously), people are doing something about it.

Imprimis, a compounding pharmacy, has stepped in to fill the gap by offering the AIDS drug for $99/100 pills and has spun off a division to start doing the same for other sole-source FDA-approved generics.
"This is not the first time a sole supply generic drug – especially one that has been approved for use as long as Daraprim – has had its price increased suddenly and to a level that may make it unaffordable."
-- Mark Baum, Imprimis CEO
15 Oct 11:05

Paid chores/work for a teenager with social anxiety?

by dorothyisunderwood
During the school break, my teenager with moderate social anxiety and related perfectionist anxiety needs to work to earn some side cash/pocket money. Older siblings worked at fast food places, dogsat, did data entry, etc. at the same age, but these aren't working out for him at all. I need ideas for work that can be done from home and aren't total "makework".

For example, I got him to paint our living room recently. He did an amazing job on two walls, but couldn't bring himself to finish the last 5% of the third wall because of minor flaws in the border, just shut down and refused to talk about the project, didn't care about getting paid if it meant not having to fix the flaws.

I would have him do data entry for my work, but it becomes emotionally complicated because he would be working directly for me and when we've done that before, it turned toxic when I corrected mistakes, vs when he was working for someone else (school, other relatives) and I corrected mistakes because then I was an ally, not someone judging him.

He has been in and out of therapy to deal with this, and we have a supportive school system that helps him, but when it comes to work/chores, he gets overwhelmed easily and needs projects with lots of structure and encouragement and non-personal feedback. He will not and cannot currently cope with applying for parttime/casual work outside home.

He can talk to people by text and email, but not on the phone for more than 1-2 sentences. He's polite and follows instructions. He likes cooking, drawing, crafts, computer games, reading, and animals. He is responsible and neat.

We refuse to pay for babysitting his siblings or regular chores around the house, and he's maxed out on the regular stuff already. I'm willing to subsidize/supplement and help him in a job/project, but both of us want him to be doing something meaningful.

A big art project would be fine - great actually. It doesn't have to be work that's commercially paid. It has to be something productive. Ideas?
14 Oct 19:04

“How we act around teachers.” (vine by Thomas Sanders)



“How we act around teachers.” (vine by Thomas Sanders)

05 Oct 02:17

antorbitalfenestrae:me in 2013: debating the nuances of whether or not a certain piece of media is...

antorbitalfenestrae:

me in 2013: debating the nuances of whether or not a certain piece of media is Problematic, compiling a list of ideologically pure and liberal things to consume

me now: sitting naked in a bog and holding a silver chalice full of mud

22 Sep 06:07

Take *that*, assholes

by a lungful of dragon
A Modest Proposal - David Sedaris talks about the pros and cons of getting hitched
22 Sep 15:00

She seems really free of hives and overall like a nice girl—nay, woman.

by griphus
Let's just be honest with ourselves: of course people gossip about us [...] This month's One Big Question is what do you want people to say about you after you've left the room, because it's a way for our deepest insecurities to mingle with our private aspirations and come up with something honest and hopeful, and quite possibly, true.
08 Sep 18:00

Fix Scratches in Wood Furniture with Olive Oil and Vinegar

by Melanie Pinola

Got a piece of wood furniture that’s all scratched and beat up? Fear not. Olive oil and vinegar can rescue it from that sad state.

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28 Aug 16:03

Someone used an old email to register a web site account. Next steps?

by Room 641-A
I just received two standard-looking emails from a legit-looking European Web site, one welcoming me to the site and the other asking me to verify the email address. I've received those hack-y "here's the password reset you requested" emails and just ignore those, but the welcome email included the username (the old email address) and password. What's the best way to deal with this?

The emails appear to come from a legitimate multinational company with a hefty Wikipedia page and concerns some kind of application submitted using an old email address that was forwarded to my main account. The email also states that it may take a few days to verify the application and seems to be of a wholesaler/retailer nature.

Is this just an routine phishing thing? A scam? Should I go and change the password/cancel application since I have the password? Ignore it? Report it using the Gmail report tools?

If it matters, the email address could possibly be someone's name, so it might be that old google mix-up that pops up here occasionally. Also, I have not been compromised by any known hack, either online or like the Target hack.

(I'm not sure if it's a good idea to name the company, but it sells a legal product that you inhale that is not pot.)
15 Jul 15:28

Oriental Rug (West end) $25

Green rug 54"x30" good shape
15 Jun 10:54

Rachel Dolezal’s support in Spokane slipping

by davedaley

More bad news for Rachel Dolezal: While the national NAACP expressed support for her last week, she's losing backers in Spokane, Washington, where she leads the civil rights' organization's local chapter.

In interviews with the Spokane newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, or in emails obtained by the paper, several Spokane civil rights leaders and NAACP members expressed their concerns.

Freda Gandy, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center in Spokane, said Sunday she is angry the NAACP is backing Dolezal, whose actions she said are inexcusable.

“Ethically, I don’t really know how they can say she can be an effective leader when she has lied to an entire community,” Gandy said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review.

Continue Reading...

15 Jun 11:00

Is being Hispanic a matter of race, ethnicity or both?

by Ana Gonzalez-Barrera
Our new survey of multiracial Americans finds that, for two-thirds of Hispanics, their Hispanic background is a part of their racial background – not something separate.
15 Jun 18:00

What to Write About When You Journal

by Kristin Wong

It’s a good idea to keep a daily journal, but the words flow better for some than others. If you’re not sure what to write about in your daily journal, use these tips as a starting point.

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15 Apr 09:30

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life

by By Gretchen Reynolds
Two new studies suggest that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect.
14 Jan 15:31

Will my kids stop getting sick all the time if I move south?

by telepanda
I live in a place with cold gray snowy winters. Despite no family history on either side, both my kids (1 and 4) have asthma that flares when they have a virus. There is still hope that they will outgrow it since they don't have symptoms when they aren't sick. The problem is that this winter they have had viruses All. The. Time. My mom keeps telling me that if I move somewhere warmer the kids won't be sick so much. I have great difficulty believing this and am curious what the hive mind has to say.

My location is listed in my profile. It does indeed have overall high rates of asthma, though I don't think we fall into any of the specific risk factors, and we don't live in a city neighborhood (we're in a suburb) so I haven't been able to identify prevalence rates for our zip code. The baby is seeing an allergist soon and we may have to get a pulmonologist too depending on how things go.

So... would the kids be healthier if we moved to warmer climes? (Let's ignore for the moment the job concerns, our good access to transit, our location near a high quality children's hospital, good schools, and a host of other considerations.) If not (or even if so) what are some things we should be doing at home to try and keep their lungs under control?