Skeptikai Notices (June7) – Psychology, Japan, books, & more

To prove that I’m not simply neglecting Skeptikai, I’ve decided to start randomly posting links to articles, events, news, or any other interesting pieces that I recently notice, in random weeks. Maybe there will be a pattern later, but I don’t have a plan yet. This is just my way of staying an active blogger, in the unfortunate circumstances of not having enough free time to write articles daily.

Psychology:

To the brain, getting burned, getting dumped feel the same – Neurologically speaking, a punch and a broken heart is all the same. Maybe this oversimplifies things… but really, it’s all just neural information.

10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers – Your brain is like the hardware of a computer, and your mind is like the software. Does the analogy end there?

Psychological Analysis of Hitler – It’s important to understand the freaks that make the world a worse place if we want any chance of improving it. A BBC documentary analyzing him was recently released.

Japan:

10 reasons to visit Japan this summer – Cheap hotels, nice scenery, and heat that makes everyone dress loosely. Come on… you know you want to come.

Hackers taunt Sony with more data leaks, hacks – The group known as “LulzSec” has lowered the security credibility of Sony, essentially at the expense of the customers whose information is being revealed as a kind of statement.

‘Solar Power Truck’ Dispatched to Area Affected by Great East Japan Earthquake – A huge truck attached with solar panels rolled into Miyagi Prefecture, symbolizing an alternative to the nuclear energy that has been powering so much of Japan.

Miscellaneous:

Does sexual intercourse hinder subsequent athletic performance? – Should you save your energy for “the big game?” British tennis player Andy Murray doesn’t think so.

The last post – A very touching and sobering post that served as a dying man’s last letter to the world. This Canadian blogger had a large following, and it’s touching to see the legacy of a good person live on in the digital world.

Australian Climate Scientists get death threats – This is the quality of the argument from climate denialists. According to climate denialists, the scientists deserve their death threats.

Are Artists Liars? – Exploring the art of lying, and what some good liars have done with their abilities. “If art is a kind of lying, then lying is a form of art, albeit of a lower order.”

Jack Kevorkian, assisted suicide advocate, dies – The controversial doctor who said that people should have control over their own deaths, has died.

What do I think of Wikipedia? – Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci talks about his use of Wikipedia. It’s refreshing to see academics admitting that they use it; the only people that still say they don’t use it are liars and computer-illiterate cynics. (I’ve been planning an article on this for a while, but it’s not a big priority.)

Books:

The Truth Behind Area 51 – The book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base was recently  released, effectively giving an alternative account to the bogus alien spaceship conspiracy theories. If it’s true (and it probably is), the story is incredible.

Social Darwinism – How many friends can one person really have? One researcher has given that question a number, and his book How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks, which is reviewed here. I personally find the number to be far too high, but to suggest a smaller number gets to a point where we’re really arguing semantics – what is a “friend” anyway?

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