Psychology

When voice fails to convince the client to support the analyst’s policy choice, the issue advocate may be forced to turn to exit as his only means of influence. He may seek other, more receptive, clients in the bureaucracy or he may leave the bureaucracy in order to be able to promote his policies from […]

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Yesterday, a friend and I visited Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, a new privately-run aquarium located beside the CN Tower in Toronto. I have uploaded some of the photos already, with more to come. It’s certainly a spectacle, both in terms of the species on display and the layout of the facility. A big portion consists […]

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If individuals have limited attention spans, so must organizations. The notion of policy agendas recognizes the “bottleneck” that exists in the agenda that any policy-making body addresses (Cobb & Elder 1972). These attention processes are not simply related to task environments — problems can go for long periods of time without attracting the attention of […]

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Jessica Bell: The Tyranny of Flakiness She organized a workshop on setting up and improving the structure of activist groups, which I attended on Saturday.

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Commenting on federal-provincial conflict, Richard Simeon provides a quote from Anthony Downs that I suspect applies at least as much to academics as to politicians: A second effect of territorial sensitivity is that bureaus consume a great deal of time and energy in territorial struggles that create no socially useful products. Simeon, Richard. Federal-Provincial Diplomacy. […]

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Recent work by Gunther and Schmitt (2004) on the hostile media effect offers a partial clarification of our findings. These authors conducted an experiment in which a purposefully crafted neutral text was presented to experts involved in the ongoing controversy over genetically modified organisms. For one randomized group of experts, this text was presented as […]

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Much of this seems applicable to the movement to keep climate change under control by shifting away from fossil fuels: Any serious answer, to borrow the well-known phrase from William Faulkner that then-Senator Obama used in his remarkable speech on race during his 2008 campaign for the presidency, must begin with the recognition that “the […]

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My three-year iPhone contract ends in February, and I am thinking about selling the phone. I am tempted to go entirely phone-free, but there are times when having a phone is necessary to get information (like when things are available for pickup) or for coordinating meetings. Part of my reluctance to continue with smartphones is […]

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Ignaz Semmelweis

October 4, 2013

in Psychology, Science

Most people have probably heard how the first person who suggested that doctors wash their hands before delivering babies in order to prevent infections was ridiculed and rejected. I didn’t realize quite how far his persecution went: After he published his findings, though, many of his colleagues were offended at the suggestion that they did […]

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The people in the chaos cannot learn. They cannot understand what they are doing to the sea and the sky and the plants and the animals. They cannot understand that they are killing them, and that they will end by killing themselves. And there are so many of them, and each one of them is […]

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