Algorithms: what are they? What can they do?

At its most basic, an algorithm is a procedure to solve a problem. A computer program can be a procedure to solve a problem expressed in a computer language. On many social media and digital commerce sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and on and on), algorithms control how users experience the sites–what they see, the options they are offered, who they communicate…

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Guns and violence

Do guns deter crime and violence?

Many people believe that owning a gun makes them safer. That having a gun in their home or carrying a gun deters potential criminal acts and makes it less likely they will become a victim of violent crime. This belief rests on an assumption that individuals considering a criminal act take into account the possibility that their intended victim has a gun and, then, see…

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Oscar Wilde quote

Revisiting: Understand the context of information important to you; reduce the fear and anxiety

Knowledge brings understanding; understanding reduces fear and anxiety.  Understand the value of the information that is important to your life; use that understanding to make your own decisions.  Do not let others make important decisions for you! To gain understanding, to reduce fear use these guidelines — Seek information, not affirmation: are you looking just to find people who agree with you?  Be honest with…

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Updated: Narcissism and social media–the connection

Since the early days of social media, researchers have looked at the relationship between narcissism and social media use.  Narcissism is a personality type “marked by a grandiose sense of self-importance, low communion with others, and feelings of entitlement.”  People with extreme forms of narcissism may be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) which is “characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiose behaviors, excessive need…

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Connections with a changing climate: drought, intense rainfall, and flooding

The connection: Extended periods of drought in the U.S. Midwest — Interspersed with briefer periods of intense, even extreme rainfall — Leading to destructive flash flooding — See also — Large, intense thunderstorms will happen more frequently Climate change impacts on human behavior Extreme rainfall will continue Questions? Please let me know.

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A healthy lifestyle equals more years of life without major diseases

Connections: “Various healthy lifestyle profiles appear to be associated with extended gains in life lived without type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancer.”  What does this mean?/background: Healthy habits add up to 10 disease-free years to your life, study reveals. NHS, January 9, 2020. Research: Nyberg, S. T., Singh-Manoux, A., Pentti, J., Madsen, I. E. H., Sabia, S., Alfredsson, L., . . ….

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