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News Briefs 06-09-2011

Soundbite of the day: Beware the soundbite – say it often and people will believe it.

  • Mental disorders affect more than a third of Europeans.
  • The last temptation of science.
  • Africans aren’t pure humans either.
  • Primordial star shouldn’t exist, but there it is.
  • Electric motor made from a single molecule.
  • The underground rivers of the Maya.
  • The responsibility of intellectuals.
  • Collaborative learning for the digital age.
  • A mysterious stranger in China.
  • Ancient crater lake evidence found on Mars.
  • 21st Century militarism: exoskeletons and laser cannons.
  • Invisibility cloak hides vehicles as scenery, cars and cows
  • Polar wondering.
  • Giant crocodile captured alive in the Philippines.

Quote of the Day:

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche

  1. Mental Disorder only a Third?
    I’ve always felt that most everybody can be found to suffer from some kind of disorder if srutinized closely enough. That is the nature of all medicine to find any imbalance whether physical or psychological. This study is ridiculous in that outcomes are determined by entirely subjective based and ever-changing criteria of the day. This is why so many children have been branded with ADD and prescribed Ritalin and other drugs when in reality much of it is poor diet, lack of activity, etc… Labels are too easy to apply. Yes genuine disorders exist that truly interfere with people’s ability to function normally and happily, but how much genius or success or innovation arose from people’s autistic gifts, obbsessive cumpulsions, etc… Many IT innovators are introverts who function in society completely differently than their extroverted athletic couterparts in sports – so which is the norm and which deserves the stigma of a social disorder and therapy? Medicine has it’s place. But if we really want to define mental normality and label the rest as suffering from a disorder the statistic is probably more like 80% – 90%.

    1. Mental disorder more than a third

      But if we really want to define mental normality and label the rest as suffering from a disorder the statistic is probably more like 80% – 90%.

      The article I read said that 38% of Europeans suffer from a mental disorder each year. So, if we include everyone who’s ever suffered from depression, anxiety, etc., your estimate of 80-90% is probably a lot closer to the real percentage of who have suffered from a mental disorder.

      My guess is that the only people who’ve never been diagnosably depressed or anxious are those who are always completely out of touch with their feelings. And in my experience, they’re the ones who are actually ‘mentally ill’.

  2. The responsibility of intellectuals
    Steve Hynd unknowingly provided me with a ‘kitchen-table clarification’ of this Chomsky essay a couple of years ago. After reading one of Steve’s more depressing posts at his political blog, Newshoggers, I asked him, ‘If there’s no possibility that we can win against The Man, why do we continue to fight?’ He replied, ‘So that we can unflinchingly look ourselves in the mirror every morning.’

    Thus, shorter Chomsky: Intellectuals come in two varieties — those who most value the respect of others and the privileges and opportunities that flow therefrom, and those who most value their own respect regardless of whether that leads to more or less privileges and opportunities.

    1. Never smile at a crocodile
      I bet the “ecotourism park” will be a small, concrete cage that barely gives the crocodile enough room to scratch his tail.

      Kat and RPJ will be bemused, but I always read the comments, and this article exposes the political climate in the Philippines (which should be obvious to anyone who keeps an eye on foreign affairs). There’s a recurring theme in the comments by Filipinos, for example:

      in the philippine government ther’s a lot of crocodile ( mga buwaya sa govyerno ang dapat hulihin nyo) they kill a lot of people!

      The Philippine government has been corrupt for years, local and foreign journalists murdered, so it’s great to see Filipinos still have freedom of speech. Look out, crocodiles! 😉

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