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Richard L. Brandt
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Attended Harvey Mudd college
Lives in Santa Cruz
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Richard L. Brandt

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Using the psychological idea of neuroplasty -- stimulating the brain to make new neural connections -- in a way to enable companies to "influence consumers to prefer their brands by stimulating the pleasure center of the brain."

I'm somewhat skeptical, sounds somewhat hokey to me. But then, the basic idea is to simply make your customer feel good, giving them a favorable impression of the company and making them more likely to buy.

What do you think?
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As far as I know, pleasure is based on whatever wiring is already there.  Silly example, I've always felt pleasure at the smell of espresso combined with diesel fumes, because that was a prevalent odour when I sat at my favorite cafe in Rome during summer vacations for many, many years.

To stimulate pleasure, they'd have to already know what their clients find pleasurable.  But those sources are legion and, as my example shows, can be... peculiar.  I don't see how they can find a combination that appeals to more than a rather narrow segment of a market.
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Americans on scientific literacy: Are you young or old?
Worried about climate change and energy use? Depends on your political affiliation. But 60% of those under 30 believe climate change is real. Over 60? 31%. Is this an age issue, scientific literacy, or will under-30s change their views as they get older? (My view is that climate change will be more obvious, so everyone will believe it.)
Should parents decide whether to vaccinate kids? Young: 41%. Old: 20% That surprises me. I thought older people would remember when preventable diseases were common.
Access to experimental medication not fully tested? Young: slightly under 50%. Old: 66%. Older people are probably just more willing to take a chance with less life ahead of them.
Using genetic modifications to reduce disease risk for babies? Young: 56% yes. Old 56% no. The young have babies and want them to be healthy, so more will take the chance. Still a fair amount of skepticism, though. To me it depends on the type of modification.
Is GMO food safe: Age made no difference. Education did, regardless of age. People with scientific knowledge or postgrad degree generally said yes. Everyone else no. I have a fair amount of scientific knowledge and feel GMOs are safe for consumption but bad for the environment. Most are modified to be pesticide resistant, allowing more pesticide use. Bad idea.
Support for space is "broad and diverse." To me, it depends on what kind. Human space flights capture the imagination and probably helps NASA get funding, but a lot more science and exploration could be done with robotic ships, for much less money.
Age divides Americans on science issues just as much as political ideology, a new analysis of recent polling shows. There are dramatic generation gaps in opinions on global warming, offshore drilling, nuclear power, childhood vaccines, gene modification to reduce a baby's disease risk, untested medicine use, lab tests on animals and evolution, according to the Pew Research Center.
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Are startups really engines of growth?
From Stanford Graduate School of Business:
The upshot, Foster says, is that the economic contribution of the early-stage sector, particularly in terms of employment, is much smaller than commonly assumed. “Politicians keep talking about gross job creation. When I say that net job creation is a better measure, they either look at me with a blank stare or they don’t want to hear it.”
Entrepreneurship can be personally rewarding and good for the economy, if we wipe the stardust from our eyes.
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The White House, Washington:

Jim Obergefell is one of the plaintiffs in the case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court that held that, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- can obtain a marriage license and make their commitment public and legal in all 50 states.

We reached out to him to ask for his thoughts on this historic occasion, and this is the open letter he wanted us to share with you.
If you're standing with couples like Jim and John, Pam and Nicole, Joe and Rob, and millions more around the country today -- say so here.

My husband John died 20 months ago, so we're unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court's decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.
Today, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I'm humbled to be part of that.
John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John's impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.
Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.
Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.
A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.
Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion's lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.
Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.
I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John's death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.
Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.
Today is a momentous day in our history. It's a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:
Equal Justice Under Law.
Thank you,
President Obama delivers a statement after the Supreme Court rules that gay and lesbian couples can marry in America.
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Richard L. Brandt

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The rate of extinctions of vertebrate species has increased sixfold since the industrial revolution. Time to worry yet?
Paul Ehrlich and others use conservative estimates to prove that species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' demise.
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Does homosexual marriage affect your heterosexual marriage in any way?
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Where gay marriage is legal in the U.S.
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love won
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Amazon will pay authors of Kindle books by how many pages of your book is read. I wonder how that will work out and how it will change the style of successful books. I'm not sure at this point.
In response, writers may find themselves adjusting how they think about structuring their books.
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  • Harvey Mudd college
    Mathematics, 1973 - 1976
  • UC Santa Barbara,
    Biology, 1976 - 1978
  • University of Delaware
    Journalism/engineering, 1980 - 1981
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November 11
Other names
Richard L. Brandt
Journalist, book author
Left San Francisco. Decided to write my books living among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Books include: 

Bragging rights
National Magazine Award; Deadline Club Award; Washington Monthly Award; Atlantic Monthly Award; Computer Press Association Award; Acer/Boston Computer Museum Awards; Knight Science Journalism Fellow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Science Journalism Fellowship (American Association for the Advancement of Science); Maggie Awards (Western Magazine Publishers Assoc.)
journalist/book author
  • freelance
    journalist/book author, 2001 - present
  • Tabor Communications
    Managing editor, Green Computing Report, 2012 - 2013
  • Business Week magazine
    correspondent, 1981 - 1995
  • Upside magazine
    Editor in Chief, 1995 - 2000
    Editor, 1999 - 2001
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Santa Cruz
San Francisco - Ontario, California - Wilmington, Delaware - Detroit, Michigan
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Somewhere near Santa Cruz...
Richard L. Brandt's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
BOOK REVIEW: One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of by Richard...

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How Internet Giants Upended the Networking-Hardware Business | WIRED

Google, Facebook, and Amazon don't sell networking switches. And they never will. But they've forever changed the way others sell them.

Möbius strips of light made for the first time - physics-math - 29 Janua...

A decade ago, physicists suggested that certain properties of light can twist into a one-sided loop – now there's proof

Smart TVs Are a Great Idea. Too Bad TV Makers Are Ruining Them | WIRED

There's no reason smart TVs can't be great. But first they need to evolve into something we'd actually want to use.

No, Jeb Bush Won’t Be a Realist

Bush could hardly be making his agreement with his brother's policies more obvious.

How Marriott Bumrushed Opryland Guests To Pay For Wi-Fi

Both Marriott and AT&T used technology to steal from their customers - so what are the lessons?

What Would Milton Friedman Do About Climate Change? Tax Carbon

Leading economists at the "Mecca" of free-market economics, the University of Chicago, evoked their most prominent predecessor, Milton Fried

Steven Levy

I’m starting a tech hub at Medium.

'Security Moms' Are Back—and That's Bad News for Democrats

In a time of national anxiety, women voters are again turning to Republicans to protect the country.

Google's mobile search ad dominance threatened by apps - Silicon Valley ...

​Google may be the world's online search advertising powerhouse, but in the narrower (and fast-growing) segment of mobile search advertising

Conservatives Praise Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt as Beautiful Expression of...

A delegation of conservative members of Congress paid a visit to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melt today.

G.O.P. Rivals Question Rubio's Ignorance Credentials

“Any questions about the authenticity of my ignorance are deeply offensive to me.”

The climate change deniers have won

Scientists continue to warn us about global warming, but most of us have a vested interest in not wanting to think about it

Zuckerberg Vows Facebook Will Shoot Down Google Drones

Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to build a global network of satellites capable of incinerating Google drones in midair.

Chuck makes the best chocolates on the planet. Period. He uses the top ingredients in everything he makes. We've bought a dozen different items at least. Our favorite is the chocolates in a chocolate box. How can you lose?
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
1 review