Category: Psychology and Society

A deep interest of mine has been how does the mind work. I suppose that’s not surprising since I’ve been in Mensa since 1973 and that organization revolves about intelligence.

Now that I’ve opened my Mental Construction website, most of my psychology pieces are posted there.

In college I wondered to a friend: what is sociology? That was not in my collection of courses for a chemistry degree. In Burning Thoughts, sociology is a catch-pan for organizations in society that are not political. I am not religious, although I believe in things beyond our understandings. I’m a Deist, if anything.

Flash Mob and the Social Contract

Social Contract

Perhaps you saw the recent news: NJ Family Visiting Baltimore Haunted By Random Teen Attack At Inner Harbor It’s the heart of Baltimore’s tourism industry, but the Inner Harbor turned into a nightmare for a visiting family of 10 earlier this month. Out of nowhere, they were swarmed and beaten by a large number of…

Gas Explosion and Speed of Recovery

Front. One house completely missing,another one half missing

Probably two years before the replacement townhouses are ready for occupancy. Such is the speed (or lack thereof) for an isolated disaster. Unfortunately, that is magnified when the disaster is widespread, with multiple communities are competing for the same rebuilding resources.

Education K-12 Minimum Goals

Reaching for the stars. Young girl seeming limitless possibilities

It takes some hubris to suggest changing in education K-12 with 3 million teachers working their best in the field, but K-12 education is not doing well. Also I want to understand more clearly the conflict between Trump’s Secretary of Education and public school systems. General education, kindergarten through 12th grade, should develop all students…

Superstitious Behavior and Uncertainty

Superstitious man in suit with fingers crossed

Imagine this situation. A pigeon is being trained to peck at a lever to receive reinforcement – a typical behavior modification experiment. Let us suppose that in this case the pigeon learns the sequence of desired actions while its head is tilted to the right. The head tilting is not part of the actions the…

The Future of News Media

Newspaper Rollers with equipment beyond

Should news media change to a different format to reach more viewers? Most newspapers and TV news shows are losing audience and advertisers. Are they header for extinction? They have taken the road of being commentators without great success. Fox Media comes to mind as the lonely exception. Role There is a news role that…

Quirks of Thinking

Edison didn't call unsuccessful tests failures, but finding ways that didn't work

Do you have this quirk of thinking? Have you ever made this error? I’m afraid I have. For yourself, your actions as motivated by reasoning. For others, their actions as caused by personality traits. This error is so common it is named the fundamental attribution error. Fundamental Attribution Error Your mistakes are caused by the…

Baltimore 19th Century Female Philanthropist

Mary Elizabeth Garrett by John Singer Sargeant

This short video clip (1st of a series on greats in Johns Hopkins history) tells the story of Mary Elizabeth Garrett and her role in the founding of Johns Hopkins Medical School and in its requirement of strong scientific background for entry. She raised the money to open the medical school, insisting that women be…

Troublesome Inheritance Thoughts

Four children of different skin color

            Troublesome Inheritance is a polemic by Nicholas Wade to develop his position—racial differences are real and account for the differential success of individuals and societies. He claims that there is a 14% genetic difference across the races. The differences are not uniquely different DNA strings (we’ve all heard that humans and chimps only differ…