Honey Badger Houdini
The Sinking of Quicksand
[Quicksand as a threat in movies] rose in the ’40s, skyrocketed in the ’60s, and then fell out of favor. In quicksand’s early years, the movie scenes featured quicksand as a very serious threat. But, after quicksand peaked, it became a joke. In the ’80s, quicksand even made it into My Little Pony and Perfect Strangers. Later, in discussions about plot lines for Lost, the idea of quicksand was dismissed as ridiculous.
The Confidence Gap
Men consistently overestimated their abilities and subsequent performance, and women routinely underestimated both. The actual performances did not differ in quality.
Among Anderson’s students, those who displayed more confidence than competence were admired by the rest of the group and awarded a high social status. “The most confident people were just considered the most beloved in the group,” he said. “Their overconfidence did not come across as narcissistic.” Anderson thinks the reason extremely confident people don’t alienate others is that they aren’t faking it. They genuinely believe they are good, and that self-belief is what comes across.
Women suffer consequences for their lack of confidence — but when they do behave assertively, they may suffer a whole other set of consequences, ones that men don’t typically experience. A host of troubling research shows that they can still pay a heavier social and even professional penalty than men do for acting in a way that’s seen as aggressive. If a woman walks into her boss’s office with unsolicited opinions, speaks up first at meetings, or gives business advice above her pay grade, she risks being disliked or even—let’s be blunt—being labeled a bitch.
US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study
Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. Their study, to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy'.
The authors clarify that the data available are probably under-representing the actual extent of control of the U.S. by the super-rich:
'The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater.'
Raising a Moral Child
When a child has behaved well, praise character, not actions. Conversely: criticize actions, not character. Expressing disappointment is effective — it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement. The example you set by your actions matters more than your words.
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