Fear — impacts on decision-making and behavior: update

Fear is corrosive whether caused by events outside our control or if purposefully used (for example, by politicians trying to gain or consolidate power). Fear impacts the decisions we make and the actions we take. We do things we would not do if the fear was not present. We believe things we normally would not. We act against our own best interests. Featured articles: *Anestis,…

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ChatGPT and generative AI: What is it all about?

ChatGPT and generative AI (artificial intelligence): a quick primer … *Heaven, W.D. (2023). ChatGPT is everywhere. Here’s where it came from: OpenAI’s breakout hit was an overnight sensation—but it is built on decades of research. MIT Technology Review. “We’ve reached peak ChatGPT. Released at the end of November [2022] as a web app by the San Francisco–based firm OpenAI, the chatbot exploded into the mainstream…

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How ChatGPT robs students of motivation to write and think for themselves

Naomi S. Baron, American University (from The Conversation) When the company OpenAI launched its new artificial intelligence program, ChatGPT, in late 2022, educators began to worry. ChatGPT could generate text that seemed like a human wrote it. How could teachers detect whether students were using language generated by an AI chatbot to cheat on a writing assignment? As a linguist who studies the effects of…

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Pharmaceuticals: corporations, markets, and manipulation?

Three books that examine the global pharmaceutical industry, the quest for profit, inequality and inequity, our own perceptions, the value of life itself, and more. *Petryna A. Lakoff A. & Kleinman A. (2006). Global pharmaceuticals: ethics, markets, practices. Duke University Press. [PDF] [Cited by] *Dumit J. (2012). Drugs for life: how pharmaceutical companies define our health. Duke University Press. [PDF] [Cited by] *Ecks S. (2022)….

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What is a flash drought? An earth scientist explains

Antonia Hadjimichael, Penn State, from The Conversation Many people are familiar with flash floods – torrents that develop quickly after heavy rainfall. But there’s also such a thing as a flash drought, and these sudden, extreme dry spells are becoming a big concern for farmers and water utilities. Flash droughts start and intensify quickly, over periods of weeks to months, compared to years or decades…

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Looking back on America’s summer of heat, floods and climate change: Welcome to the new abnormal

Shuang-Ye Wu, University of Dayton (from The Conversation) The summer of 2022 started with a historic flood in Montana, brought on by heavy rain and melting snow, that tore up roads and caused large areas of Yellowstone National Park to be evacuated. It ended with a record-breaking heat wave in California and much of the West that pushed the power grid to the breaking point,…

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