Category Archives: Technology

The Weapons Effect – Does the Mere Presence of a Gun Increase Aggression?

Anime girl with a gun The “weapons effect” is the theory that just in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research on it. In this article, I look at the studies that shed light on this area, and give my take on the research.

The Mere Presence of a Gun

Hormones and Aggressiveness

Let’s start in 1998, when researchers Jennifer Klinesmith, Tim Kasser, and Francis McAndrew measured the effects of interacting with an object on testosterone levels and aggressive behavior. Testosterone is of course linked to aggression, and this study found what it expected to find:

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Psychology, Science, Technology | Leave a comment

Disruptive Technology and Corporate Karate

disruptive tech banner

“Disruptive technology” – a term I dislike, coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1995 – refers to an innovation that is generally meant to provide more financially accessible alternatives to well-established products, in order to gain market share. As Christensen and his colleagues explain, disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” This post will describe not only what kinds of effects disruptive technology can have on incumbents, but how corporations may be able to demonstrate a bit of self-defence when such innovations threaten them.

Posted in Business, Featured, Technology | Leave a comment

Top 10 Stunning Misconceptions of the Effects of Smartphone Usage

Mobile-mobility phone backgroundPhones nowadays are not simply the modes of communication anymore, they’re compact and sophisticated computers. The world has gone digital, and most children growing up today have no sense of what it is like to live without being connected. The concept of being offline is essentially a punishment, and the age at which youngsters start using these devices is gradually decreasing. Despite the ubiquity of this technology, though, we still don’t know some of the ramifications about this cultural evolution, because the research, let alone the technology itself, is so new. But we are learning more about how our psychology is being affected by phones, and here is a list of ten of the most surprising changes.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Psychology, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Psychology of Studying – Writing vs. Typing Your Notes

Computer typing colourful BG ResearchBlogging.orgWhen it comes to studying, time is a major issue. For students with a high volume of information to study, cramming is sometimes required. For example, medical students don’t have the luxury of time to study one subject and absolutely nail it, because they have eight other subjects they’re simultaneously being tested on. The real secret to studying, however, is that the quantity of time spent is not nearly as important as the quality of it. If you ever wondered whether or not typing your notes can stack up to writing them by hand, let this be a lesson to you.

Posted in Psychology, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Everything You Need to Know About Prism, Internet Freedom, and Edward Snowden (Updated)

This is Edward Snowden

The case of Edward Snowden has not only polarized the United States, but it has raised concerns from people all over the world. But it’s not just the US – the UK is now getting a lot of attention for creating a fake internet cafe just to steal passwords of foreign diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London. Some are even arguing that they have even more access than the American NSA (National Security Agency); but the NSA is understandably getting the most heat, especially from places outside of the US. I say “especially from places outside” because the mainstream US news is clearly on the side of the government. Indeed, it seems that the narrative within the  mainstream media is not about the message so much as the messenger. This post aggregates news programs outside the US to tell the real story of exactly what’s going on with Edward Snowden and the NSA.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biographical, Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Technology, TED | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Patents Protecting Ideas or Stifling Innovation?

lawsuit gavel on coins

A patent is a form of intellectual property that can be granted with the presupposition that an invention for public consumption will come out of it later. Parents are good because it allows “the little guy” the time to make his or her invention without worrying about some giant corporation stealing the idea and making it themselves. If a giant corporation does steal the idea, then they must pay this little guy money, which may make the idea theft not worth it in the end. However, what happens when patents for every minuscule idea are granted to people who don’t even have any desire to make something from them? As people have been saying for years, we get the stifling of innovation.

Posted in Legal Issues, Medicine & Health, Science, Technology, TED | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Scientific Consensus and the Obvious Truth about Global Climate Change

You-control-climate-changeI often ask questions in my article titles, but the question “are we responsible for climate change?” is simply unnecessary. From the overwhelming evidence, we know the answer to this question; and the answer is “YES!” This is good news because we may have the power to change things, but bad news because we aren’t doing nearly enough, and we may pass the point of no return within the next few decades. Furthermore, with so many people fighting to argue against what almost all climatologists are saying, most people aren’t even trying to do something about it.

Posted in Biology & Evolution, Culture, Media, Psychology, Science, Skepticism, Social Psych, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Why Haven’t We Found the Missing Link in the Fossil Record? Science Answers!

missing_link_cl

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. -George Orwell

If evolution is such an incontrovertible “theory,” then why haven’t we found the “missing link” yet? A compelling question – if not boldly ignorant. In fact, creationists ask this question all the time, falsely asserting that there is a lack of evidence to support evolution. This article is going to look at why we don’t have all the information we want on the fossil record, and what the whole question of a “missing link” really means.

Posted in Biology & Evolution, Culture, Science, Skepticism, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The 2013 Pigasus Awards

gk324_flying-pig-rgb-final_lr_web

Every year, the James Randi Educational Foundation gives awards to recognize the special few uncritical thinkers who do more to peddle pseudoscience and damage the public in ways that only celebrities could. Below are five “winners” of various categories whose success in nonsense have given actual science communicators like myself a greater challenge – not only to inform the general public of the way things are, but to do so while battle the faulty preconceptions caused the non-scientific thoughts and beliefs caused by such purveyors.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biographical, Culture, Media, Science, Skepticism, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gender, Age, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Differences in Social Networking Site Usage

Anime high school girls in London-esque BG

Online social networks has become an interesting platform for research, and hundreds if not thousands of studies around the world are investigating how we interact with others online. This article looks into recent studies that analyzed data regarding differences in age, culture, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Gender Differences

Researchers from the Santa Fe Institute used a multiplayer game “Pardus” to analyze social networks. Online video games have become increasingly seen as a gold mine of data on social interactions in recent years, and, as it turns out, many of the same gender differences seen in the real world were observed in the social networks in Pardus.

Posted in Culture, Media, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment