Oliver (chimpanzee) Oliver (c. 1958 – 2 June 2012) was a common chimpanzee and a former performing ape once promoted as a missing link or "Humanzee" due to his unusually human-like face and a tendency to walk upright. Despite his somewhat unusual appearance and behavior, scientists determined in the 1990s that Oliver was not a human-chimpanzee hybrid. Oliver was acquired as a young animal (around 2 years old) in 1960 by trainers Frank and Janet Berger. Supposedly, the chimpanzee had been caught in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo). Oliver was purchased in 1989 by the Buckshire Corporation, a Pennsylvania laboratory leasing out animals for scientific and cosmetic testing. His entrance examination revealed some previous rough handling.
Ben Franklin effect The Ben Franklin effect is a proposed psychological phenomenon: A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person. An explanation for this would be that we internalize the reason that we helped them was because we liked them. The opposite case is also believed to be true, namely that we come to hate a person whom we did wrong to. We de-humanize them to justify the bad things we did to them. It has been suggested that if soldiers who have killed enemy servicemen in combat situations later come to hate them, it is because this psychological maneuver helps to “decrease the dissonance of killing.” Such a phenomenon might also “explain long-standing grudges like Hatfield vs. The Benjamin Franklin effect, in other words, “is the result of your concept of self coming under attack.
Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals. "When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer.
Positronic brain A positronic brain is a fictional technological device, originally conceived by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920–1992). Its role is to serve as a central computer for a robot, and, in some unspecified way, to provide it with a form of consciousness recognizable to humans. When Asimov wrote his first robot stories in 1939 and 1940, the positron was a newly discovered particle and so the buzz word positronic — coined by analogy with electronic — added a contemporary gloss of popular science to the concept. Conceptual overview Asimov remained vague about the technical details of positronic brains except to assert that their substructure was formed from an alloy of platinum and iridium. They were said to be very vulnerable to radiation and apparently involve a type of volatile memory (since robots in storage required a power source keeping their brains "alive").
Why Chimpanzees Cooperate and We Should Too We already knew that unrelated chimpanzees cooperated with each other outside of sexual relationships, but thanks to new research we now know why, and this exciting revelation doesn’t just help us to learn more about social bonding in animals, but also in ourselves. The study, which was published in the journal of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, discovered that cooperation between non-kin chimps could be attributed to increased levels of the hormone oxytocin. International researchers working with a group of wild chimps in Uganda tested the urine to measure the oxytocin levels after a grooming session. Regardless of whether the chimpanzee was engaging with a relative, higher levels were found in the urine of those who had been grooming a ‘bond partner’ than with a ‘non-bond partner.’ Oxytocin is a powerful hormone well known for its critical role in mother-baby and pair bonding, but not much has been proven about its implications in a non-kin or non-sexual context.
Online disinhibition effect The online disinhibition effect is a loosening or complete abandonment of social restrictions and inhibitions that would otherwise be present in normal face-to-face interaction during interactions with others on the Internet. This effect is caused by many factors, including dissociative anonymity (or, more precisely, the appearance thereof), invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority. General concept Because of this loss of inhibition, some users may exhibit benign tendencies, including becoming more affectionate, more willing to open up to others, and less guarded about emotions, all in an attempt to achieve emotional catharsis. According to psychologist John Suler, this particular occurrence is called benign disinhibition.
The 100th Monkey Syndrome Copyrights, Patents, And Trademarks Fade To The 100th Monkey Syndrome How Can There Be Intellectual Ownership? You have probably heard about the 100th Monkey Syndrome? It's happened many times where a few monkeys in a remote area learn something new that has never been done before by other monkeys. And when this new action has been practiced enough times, suddenly, other monkeys- even in completely different parts of the world- begin doing what was learned by those few monkeys. Erik Olin Wright Erik Olin Wright (born 1947, in Berkeley, California) is an American analytical Marxist sociologist, specializing in social stratification, and in egalitarian alternative futures to capitalism. He was the 2012 President of the American Sociological Association. Biography Erik Olin Wright, born on 9 February 1947 in Berkeley, California, received two BAs (from Harvard College in 1968, and from Balliol College in 1970), and the PhD from University of California, Berkeley, in 1976.
Bonobos Can Make Stone Tools...and That's Freaking Cool In yet another experiment that adds to the ever-mounting evidence that humans aren’t special at all, scientists at the University of Haifa in Israel have observed bonobos making stone tools on par with those made by early humans. Bonobos, along with chimpanzees, are human’s closest living relatives. Those two apes make up the genus Pan, while humans are in the genus Homo. Chimpanzees are known tool-users, but bonobos aren’t known for this. Omission bias - Wikipedia The omission bias is an alleged type of cognitive bias. It is the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral than equally harmful omissions (inactions) because actions are more obvious than inactions. It is contentious as to whether this represents a systematic error in thinking, or is supported by a substantive moral theory. For a consequentialist, judging harmful actions as worse than inaction would indeed be inconsistent, but deontological ethics may, and normally does, draw a moral distinction between doing and allowing. The bias is usually showcased through the trolley problem. Examples and applications
Atul Gawande: How Do Good Ideas Spread? Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century. The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846. La Commune: a lesson in audacity In France, the scandal surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn has unfortunately overshadowed a momentous celebration, the 140th anniversary of La Commune, mother of all rebellions. It only lasted two months and ultimately failed, yet its resonance has proved unequal, inspiring generations of thinkers, public policy makers, philosophers, economists and dreamers. La Commune started on 18 March 1871 and ended in a bloodbath on 28 May. With the first (1792-99) and the second (1848-52) republic as models, La Commune meant to go further. And it did, with the most audacious public policies France had ever known. Insurrection sprang from Paris to put an end to Napoleon III's second empire, which had declared war against Prussia three months earlier.