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School Shooting Prank

Some people really lack judgment and wisdom. REALLY LACK. From a recent issue of The Week magazine:

Teachers told sixth–graders on a field trip to a Tennessee state park last week that a gunman was coming and ordered them to turn off the lights and hide under tables. After five minutes, during which someone in a hooded sweatshirt pulled on the locked doors, the teachers told the trembling students that the whole thing was a prank.  “I thought I was going to die," said 11–year–old Shay Naylor, who estimated that about a third of the 69 children were crying in terror. The teachers said “campfire pranks” were a school tradition, and that most of the kids thought the experience was fun. One teacher and an assistant principal were suspended after some parents complained that the prank was horribly ill–conceived, coming just weeks after the mass murder at Virginia Tech.

Don't Buy the Forever Stamps

forever.jpg They're not a good deal, nor will they ever be one. From Nathaniel Rich on

Since 1971, postal rates have increased more slowly than the actual inflation rate, as measured by the U.S. Consumer Price Index. So, despite the numerous rate hikes over the last 36 years, stamps have actually been getting cheaper. The 20-cent stamp from 1981, for instance, would be equivalent to 45 cents in today's dollars - which makes today's rate 10 percent cheaper than it was 26 years ago. Should this historical pattern hold, you'd be paying more for today's forever stamps than you would for any stamp in the future, no matter how high the rate goes. In fact, this pattern must hold - as a matter of law. In December, President Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which ensures that future price increases will be kept below an inflation-based ceiling. In other words, postage hikes will never surpass inflation - and the forever stamp will never become a good investment.

Thinking Blogger Awards

thinking_blogger.jpgLast week Scott Freeman tagged me as a "thinking blogger". It's now my turn to tag 5 blogs that make me think. Several of my favorites have already been tagged (Freeman, Elrod, GKB, etc) Scott Adams - Dilbert Blog I get a kick out of Adams' cartoons but somehow I was surprised by how engaging his blog was. Fred Peatross - Abductive Columns it's all about the missional. Phil Wilson's Blog - nice variety of topics...from Heroes/BSG to faith to kids, etc...lots I have in common we must have been at Lipscomb at the same time cause I recognize his mug James Wiser - Books, Beaches, & Blather James ain't the most prolific of bloggers, but he's always got something interesting to say. He's the one that first got me hooked on the COC blogging community when my mother-in-law sent me a link. From there it was GKB, TS, Freeman, Elrod, and so on. The other thing IIve enjoyed from the COC blogs is the glimpses of life at Pepperdine, Harding, ACU...where are the Lipscomb bloggers? Justin Mundie - Growing Up I first met Justin in the comments on Freeman's blog. My first impression there was that he was a bit over the top. I enjoy his blog and his perspectives and the fact that we often disagree.

Flame First, Think Later: New Clues to E-Mail Misbehavior

From an article of the same title by Daniel Goleman in the NY Times:

The hallmark of the flame is...thoughts expressed while sitting alone at the keyboard [that] would be put more diplomatically - or go unmentioned - face to face. Flaming has a technical name, the "online disinhibition effect," which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.

The emerging field of social neuroscience, the study of what goes on in the brains and bodies of two interacting people, offers clues into the neural mechanics behind flaming. This work points to a design flaw inherent in the interface between the brain's social circuitry and the online world. In face-to-face interaction, the brain reads a continual cascade of emotional signs and social cues, instantaneously using them to guide our next move so that the encounter goes well. Much of this social guidance occurs in circuitry centered on the orbitofrontal cortex, a center for empathy. This cortex uses that social scan to help make sure that what we do next will keep the interaction on track. Research by Jennifer Beer, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, finds that this face-to-face guidance system inhibits impulses for actions that would upset the other person or otherwise throw the interaction off.

The End of Humanity

In a blog post of the same title on Monday, Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) speculated about the inevitable development of humanoid robotics:

Today I will ask you the most frightening question you will ever see on the Internet. It's a hypothetical, just for the guys. QUESTION: Hypothetically, in the future, if a sex doll robot was indistinguishable from a human woman, and you weren't in a relationship with a human, would you tap the robot?

Last month, I was asking myself (and you) a similar question:

So, when the day comes that a robot is indistinguishable from a human...will a distinction be made between human/human adultery/fornication and human/robot adultery/fornication?

One of these days these will be relevant questions. Today, Adams reports the results of his poll:

In yesterday's post, I asked how many of you guys would have sex with a robot if it was indistinguishable from a hot human woman. About 95% of the hetero guys said they would. The other 5% expressed a strong preference for lying.


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