The Psychology of Victim-Blaming

Good read, this piece explores why we (Americans especially) are likely to blame victims for being victimized.

“No matter what we want to believe, the world is not a just place. And it takes some difficult cognitive work to accept both that bad things sometimes happen to good people, and that seemingly normal people sometimes do bad things.”

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming

Why Do Tourists Visit Ancient Ruins Everywhere Except the United States?

TIL about these amazing ancient ruins that are right here in the USA!

You might suspect that few people visit Cahokia because earthen mounds are not that inspiring (although the Egyptian pyramids are really just piles of rocks). Or because the large pueblos and cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon are remote (although tourists flock to isolated sites like Machu Picchu and the Valley of Kings).

But imagine if the Southeastern United States were today a country inhabited and led by Mississippians whose ancestors had built the earthworks that still dot the region. The Lonely Planet guide to the country of Mississippi would list dozens of operators that led tours of the ancient earthworks, and Cahokia’s ruins would be the can’t-miss attraction.

Excellent Piece from @BrainPicker about the Personal Philosophy of Bruce Lee, Including Never-Before-Seen Writings from the Bruce Lee Foundation

Brain Pickings has an extremely interesting piece about the personal philosophy of Bruce Lee, including exclusive access to materials from the Bruce Lee Foundation.

Below, a set of affirmations or reflections written by Lee on a notecard:

“You will never get any more out of life than you expect

Keep your mind on the things you want and off those you don’t

Things live by moving and gain strength as they go

Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you

There is a difference a) the world b) our reaction to it

Be aware of our conditioning! Drop and dissolve inner blockage

Inner to outer ~~~ we start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer condition

See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through

No one can hurt you unless you allow him to

Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody”

TL;DR: Men less likely to make sexist jokes if they think other men disprove

TL;DR: Men make sexist and homophobic jokes to bond with men, and they care about other men’s reactions. The effects on women and others are explained in the article.

The male participants were not influenced by whether or not a woman objected to sexist jokes. They were, however, highly sensitive to how they thought another man would react to them, reducing their use of sexist jokes if they thought a man would be object.

What these results show is these jokes appear to have a “male bonding” function – that, primarily, men make such jokes typically to impress other men. Other research has suggested a similar function for homophobic slurs.

TL;DR: You probably have a ‘favorite emotion’ that you often default to, based on your upbringing

I find this article oddly hopeful. I’m certainly going to think about what my ‘favorite feeling’ might be after reading this… What do you think is yours?

Depending on how we’re raised, each person is infused with a “favorite feeling” that he or she likes to play. This can be anger, guilt, inadequacy, righteousness, etc. While all of us experience different feelings, the dominant and “favorite feeling” is played out more than others and “becomes a sort of conditioned reflex which may persist for the rest of his life.”

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists – Vox

Thorough article on scientists’ perceptions of what needs to be fixed with the scientific process.
I recommend reading the top 7 list (included below) and then clicking through to the ‘conclusion’ section (linked).

  1. Academia has a huge money problem
  2. Too many studies are poorly designed
  3. Replicating results is crucial — and rare
  4. Peer review is broken
  5. Too much science is locked behind paywalls
  6. Science is poorly communicated
  7. Life as a young academic is incredibly stressful

TL;DR: Trees make you happy. # How Trees Calm Us Down – The New Yorker

And now a brief “good news” chaser for the bad news recently: Trees make you (quantifiably) happier.

…an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt. “To get an equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give each household in that neighborhood ten thousand dollars—or make people seven years younger.”