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Rich Tatum
Force Multiplier.
Force Multiplier.


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Why Do Dogs Crouch Forward When They’re Playing?
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Come on, Fast Company, you can do better than that. It’s not even a homonym!
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❝the organism…Mutated…. Now it is no longer directly harmful to man, but it eats rubber gaskets.❞—Andromeda Strain

Scientists stumbled upon a plastic-eating bacterium—then accidentally made it stronger
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The correlation between mass shootings and poor/untreated mental health is compelling and interesting and persuasive. And yet the vast majority of people with poor mental health do not commit criminal acts of violence, assault, and murder. Is poor mental health the root cause of mass shootings?

Apart from the presence of a firearm 100% of the time, I wonder, are there other strong correlations that should be considered?

How many of the shooters were angry and plotting revenge? Is there an anger-management correlation? Is there an emotional maturity correlation? Is there a PTSD/PTSS correlation? Similarly, how many had a history of violence?

How many of the shooters were male? Is there a gender correlation? Is there a testosterone correlation? Why aren’t there an equal number of women doing this?

How many of the mass shooters planned their actions in advance? How many fed their fantasies with violence-themed entertainment (movies, manga, anime, comics, fetish porn, fiction, online fora, chat rooms, and etc.)? Is there a fantasy/ideation correlation? Is there an information/entertainment diet correlation?

How many shooters were themselves victims of violence or socially ostracized/bullied as children? How many were badly treated/badly raised/abused as children? Is there a correlation of victimhood?

How many shooters came from troubled, broken, or mangled families? Were they neglected, abandoned, abused, or raised with no/poor role models? Who and where were the shooters’ fathers? What was their daddy like? Were the shooters harshly disciplined or given free reign, beaten or coddled, spoiled or terrorized, worshipped or despised? Or what? Did something happen to the nature of the American family in the last quarter-century? What changed?

How many shooters were morally bankrupt or corrupt? How many were simply evil? (By and large, our culture no longer believes such a thing as evil exists.) What moral environment did these shooters live in?

How many of these mass shooters were sociopaths? Is there a rise in sociopathy these days? If so, what is the cause? Is there a correlation here?

Schools are more secure now than they ever were. Despite armed police officers on campus, repeated lockdown drills, metal detectors, remote electronically locked doors, drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs, and CCTVs throughout—yet more school shootings have occurred. (Compared to school security procedures, the oft-derided TSA is a runaway success.) What changed to make school shootings a thing, despite the increase in security?

After considering and weighing the various possible correlations (and there are more to be sure), are we any closer to assessing causation?

What changed?

I mean, America—it has been widely noted—is largely a gun-culture. It always has been. Guns manufactured 50–100 years ago are still around today, and functional. We’re drowning in guns! Yet the average gun is 100x less likely to kill a child than any backyard swimming pool. Has something recently changed with advertising, entertainment, sensationalized news media, gun culture, gun design, or firearms access to make mass shootings more attractive and more likely?

What has changed?

America has become increasingly sensitive to and proactive about mental health issues. It seems to me that seeking professional help and seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor is largely absent the stigma it had even a decade ago. And help is more easily available and affordable. Unless what we're seeing is a new mental disorder that the DSM-5 doesn't recognize—but I haven't heard that. Have you?

What's changed?

Here’s what I wonder…

➔ One of the few things that has shifted in our culture in the past 10–20 years is the ability to not only find and consume the most esoteric (even perverse) content/media possible, but also the ability to amplify those previously private fantasies by exploring them in community with seemingly like-minded people has become instantly available to anyone with a smartphone and an anonymous email address or social media account. No matter how non-mainsteam, perverse, taboo, or outré—no worldview, interest, or urge cannot now handily be satisfied with a steady diet of content, entertainment, and companions eager to cheer one on.

Take flat-Earthers for example. Previously, if I believed in a flat Earth I would have kept those ideas to myself. To do otherwise risked ridicule and ostracism, Raising the topic at a dinner party would only ruin my flat-Earth meal at best, and might get me laughed at and bullied at worst. (Or possibly pumelled if I were in the company of a salty astronaut.) Now, however, the previously solitary and mute flat-Earther can not only find reams of data, opinions, blogs, and videos to reinforce and embolden his worldview, he can also find solace, encouragement, and friendship among fellow flat-Earthers via Reddit, 4Chan, Facebook, Twitter, Vero, VK, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, the dark web—or wherever the kids hang out these days. Not only is the previously silent flat-Earther now validated and confirmed in his distorted thinking, he is now given the courage to embrace his convictions, give voice to them, and act.

We see this playing out with the neo-Nazi alt-right movement. Apparently, there've always been a few among us. But now they've found each other and they’re rallying online—and seemingly recruiting and attracting more to the cause.

Think: Pizza Gate, Birthers, Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, Flat-Earthers, Colombine Conspiracists, Clown Sightings, Alt-Right, Trump Supporters, Trump Haters, #MeToo.

(This is not all bad, of course. Victims of sexual abuse, victims of racist police brutality, victims of oppressive regimes, and so on, can also find their voice and the courage to act when the find each other online and amplify their message. But amplification of special interests is no respector of the interest’s legitimacy and moral or civil value.)

And so I wonder if the angry, lonely, mentally ill males who became mass shooters might never have done so if they hadn’t fed their anger on dark, violent fantasies streamed into their cortex over high-bandwidth connections. (I'm not blaming movies or any one genre—I'm talking about feeding a violent fascination a steady diet of increasingly brutal imagery , thrills, and stories that only reinforce and strengthen an already unhealthy perseveration and fascination with darkness, vengeance, violence, pain, subjugation, and more.) I wonder if these shooters might never have planned a murderous spree with high-powered firearms if they hadn’t found their tribe and hadn’t given voice and deed to their rage-fueled ideologies in late night chat sessions and anonymized forum posts behind faceless avatars.

I don’t know. I really don’t. The rise of the personalized social media cocoon sure seems to correlate. But maybe it’s not a causal factor either.

All I know is this kind of violence in America was nearly unheard of ten, twenty, thirty years ago?

What changed?

The following article provoked these ruminations. I‘m not sure there are any answers here, either:

Actually, there is a clear link between mass shootings and mental illness

Meanwhile, I’ll just leave this here—the source podcast from Freakonomics is, as usual, worth the read or listen:

❝[A]nyone with any sense looks at the current political climate, thinks about the kinds of proposals that are being made and accepts the fact that none of these proposals are going to have any real impact at all.

❝So if you want to have an impact I think you have to go back deeper and you have to look at the fact that if we’re not going to get rid of guns, but you want to get rid of gun violence, you got to get rid of the people who are doing violence with guns. By get rid of I don’t mean, you know…There are a lot of ways to get rid of them. I mean, one is to parent better, to have society indoctrinate people into more empathy and whatnot. I think those are the ultimate solutions. I’m not saying that any of them are easy, but fundamentally that’s where the answer lies. Right?

❝*If you don’t have people who have the desire to go kill large numbers of other people then you don’t have a problem with gun violence.*❞—Steve Levitt

(Emphasis added.)

How to Think About Guns: Full Transcript
February 14, 2013 | by Freakonomics
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Billy Graham, America's pastor and one of the most widely respected men in the world, and influential beyond a hundred men's lifetime, has died. He was 99.

Well done, sir. Enjoy your reward.

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*The Best iPhone Apps for Students in 2018*

❝Your phone is more than a communications and social media selfie-sharing device. It’s also a portal to a world of data, information, knowledge, and even wisdom. It’s a portable learning laboratory, a mobile classroom, and a virtual mentor ready 24/7 to drill the most arcane and seemingly trivial knowledge skills into your mind until you achieve mastery. While providing an obvious channel to entertainment, these bricks of silicon and electrons can also open portals to enlightenment, mastery, and life-change.❞
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❝ When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? ❞

TL;DR: Out your lungs.
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Make no mistake: every single aspect of Disney World is designed, made for durability (hundreds of thousands of fingers and feet weekly, and weather from freezing to hurricane to boiling), and meant to maintain a shared illusion that ultimately transfers money from visitors’ pockets to Disney’s.

That said, whenever I visit a Disney property I’m constantly amazed at the sheer attention to detail in even the must mundane places.

This cornice didn’t have to have squirrel gargoyles on it. It would have been just fine to leave that detail off. But the painstaking attention to even the smallest details—from the color of the trash cans, to the weave of the fake rope binding the fake wooden rails, to fake cartoon gargoyles in unobtrusive places—adds up to an utterly immersive and even emotional experience.

And usability? Don't get me started! From signage to wheelchair accesibility, from restroom locations to water fountain placement, from trash can ubiquity to easy-to-spot employees, from well-thought walkways following “paths of desire” to little hidden nooks and crannies and even gamifying “hidden Mickeys.” Disney is a designers paradise and workshop.

This is the kind of next-level attention to detail master builders once brought to our oldest churches and cathedrals. What would happen if we brought this immersive design sensibility back?

#disney #waltdisneyworld #design
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This jeremiad by Read Mercer Schuchardt, ❝How Podcasting Hurts Preaching,❞ seriously reads like he’s trolling podcasters.

That, or he really doesn't understand the medium.

#podcasting #sermons #godcasting
How Podcasting Hurts Preaching
How Podcasting Hurts Preaching
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