Cognitive Psychology

Whaz Up!?! Monday 30 August 2021


Howdy y’all!

We have met the enemy, and he is us,” Walt Kelly once said through his character, Pogo, in his famous — maybe not so famous nowadays — comicstrip. Kelly was talking about what we call climate change nowadays, but was just the environmental movement, way back in 1969. It’s the first Saturday morning of the first week of the new school week, and, boy, does it feel like, maybe, it really is me.

Damn. I haven’t worked in 18 months, and I’m out of shape. This has been hard. I have discovered the scheduling of posts. I’ve done it before, but last week everything was written well in advance and scheduled to be posted during the week. If I’m going to post at least once or twice a week, I’ll need to do the same throughout.

It’s not like this week wasn’t without highlights, though: My birthday was last week for those who want to mark your calendars. I’m old. That’s how old I am. Luckily, the blog fee renewal comes in July, so I pay for it by claiming it is a birthday gift. Often, Ma Belle Femme, relents and we get something else I’d like to have. This year I got an industrial strength beard trimmer… just in time for me to shave the big beard for the start of the new school year. The blades on the old one got dull. Dull. Wouldn’t trim the beard no more.

A bat flew into the apartment. It was funny. I was reading on the couch and saw it out of the corner of my eye, then La Petite Fille saw it. She squealed — in a good way, she likes these things. It was fluttering over my head and I couldn’t stop myself from stooping fearing that it would… I don’t know. It is a bat. It is expert at avoiding things. I never got a good look at it before it flew out the door.

Reading? Who Reads Any More?

The Blogs

Not that I’ve had a lot of time to ago visiting the blogs this week.

Going to the dogs: We have had two dogs this August. Wednesday 25 August was National Dog Day! And, Thursday 26 August was International Dog Day! I hope you did something doggone good those days, and I hope you relive them by visiting Tengrain’s National Dog Day article on Mock, Paper, Scissors and NV Subbaraman’s Envius Thoughts

Love is a lie that your body tells you to produce a baby. That is truth, so I was amused by this piece in Psychology Today on erotomania, the delusion that someone loves you.

Neurological News

My go to site had two gems that caught my eye this busy week:

Cognitive decline is slowed, when retirement is postponed or so researchers found when analyzing data from the US Health and Retirement Study. We’ve all had a retiree in our lives who was just bored and driving everyone up the wall. If nothing else is stimulating and keeps you engaged, which keeps the brain working at its best. I remember a study from my uni days that found that housewives had the worst mental health, and the easiest way to improve their mental health: let them get a job. The protections of staying employed longer were independent of gender, income, education, or occupation. We’re social creatures. Jobs are the way most of us socialize.

Social learners can f-up group decisions, or so researchers found when they produced a mathematical model that tracked the influence of various factors on a group decision. Social learners are those people who look to the people around them for information rather than finding additional information on their own. If the number of social learners in a group exceeds a certain threshold, bad decisions often result. Under that threshold, the group can evaluate ideas and reject bad ones outright. Sounds like an effect similar to groupthink to me.

Cambodian #COVID19 News

There is serious reason to doubt the rosy picture the Cambodian government has been painting concerning the #COVID19 outbreak here. When you add up the numbers that the provinces are reporting, you get a higher sum total than the government reports. Hunh. Go figure.

Additionally, the reporting from the big cities and, therefore, the big #COVID19 centers are spotty sometimes being left out all together. The big three are Phnom Penh (the national capital), Siem Reap (the location of Angkor Wat), and Sihanoukville (the coastal paradise). How about that.

So, the news that daily totals have fallen under 500 has to be taken with a grain of salt. As does the reporting that most of the new cases are out in the provinces.

The government also reports that the number of delta variant cases continues to rise with most occurring in Phnom Penh.

The vaccination, according to the government, to the degree that they can be trusted, continues to go well with 90% of the adult population vaccinated and 70% of children over 12.

Huzzah!
Jack

Given my schedule, I’ve had to cut back on my reading, so I understand if you’re less than thrilled with this post, but give us a sign, anyway, okay?

  • Comment: Have you ever had a bat in your apartment? Do you think love is a lie? Did you celebrate either of the dog days?
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Image Attribution

“The Big Beard” by me! so it’s licensed as use it however you want.

4 replies »

  1. If you shaved, mine’s bigger šŸ˜Ž

    Bats feeding around the streetlight out my (home)office window. Noticed them a week or two ago after two years of naught. There’s been considerable concern about a fungus killing off all the bats, another canary in our collective coalmine. The spousal unit has been bugging me to build some bat-houses, and now that I’ve some wonderfully weathered deck boards I just salvaged I’ve got no good reason not too.

    I was teaching computers (it was important then, now not so much) at a small community college in Eastern Oregon when I began blogging, lo these many years ago; actually assigned creating and maintaining web-logs in blogspot and wordpress as homework. You may find your blogging “style” modifying, with less essay-like posts and more one hit wonders. The trouble I’ve had with scheduling is often what I’ve scheduled no longer “fits”.

    Walk in beauty …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten!

      I grew up in a town that had bat houses out in the country surrounding it. Once in a while we’d find a confused bat in the school’s playground. Once we sprawled far enough, people started to complain about the bats — bats are essentially harmless and very beneficial. They are stealthy. It can be hard to spot the little buggers. It doesn’t help that they are nocturnal. I didn’t know about the fungus thing. Thanks for the tip and one more thing to worry about. Let us know how the bat house turns out.

      My blogging style has already changed. I try to write shorter posts because TL;DR. Even then, the time that people actually spend on the blog is pretty brief if the analytics are to be believed. Maybe they’re just more fake news and a conspiracy by the Dems to subvert us all.

      When you’re responding to the events of the day, your topics can be time sensitive. I’ve noticed that if I can get a post up on a controversial or popular topic in a timely fashion, I can catch a lot more readers. A lot. But, scheduling is the only way to avoid posting three articles on a day or a short period of time. If I’ve got something time sensitive and have the time to write about it, I won’t schedule it, though.

      Ah the joys of being a part-time blogger and a full-time citizen toiling away in blogging obscurity.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

    • Howdy Bob!

      This year has been different in that I’ve had (a) so many birthday wishes — I don’t usually “advertise” my birthday — and (b) from so many communicatory platforms. So there’s that.

      If I had a lot more time, I’d write a post about the possible links between social learners and groupthink given the prerequisite for conformity and no dissent. Social learners, I imagine, would be prone to consensus building and far more likely to along with squashing dissent.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

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