Sunday, July 19, 2015

No exceptions for nice people

I pretty much feel that this reading material today may be slightly taxing for being hung-the f**k-over (When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold Kushner); but sometimes you can't but help get roped into a few pages of thought provoking material.
''Laws of nature treat everyone alike. They do not make exceptions for good people or for useful people ... If Lee Harvey Oswald fires a bullet at President John F. Kennedy, laws of nature take over from the moment that bullet is fired. Neither the course of the bullet nor the seriousness of the wound will be affected by questions of whether or not President Kennedy was a good person, or whether the world would be better off with him alive or dead. Laws of nature do not make exceptions for nice people. A bullet has no conscience; neither does a malignant tumour or an automobile gone out of control ... '' (p. 67, 1978).
While the laws of nature have no consideration for my hangover right now; the sh*t load of burgers and absolute junk I've been throwing down my flavour shnout are putting up a fight. 
''Nature never breaks her own laws'' ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Lost Letter Technique

This is an unobtrusive measure of attitudes in which stamped addressed envelopes are scattered in public places, as if left by accident, the proportion being posted by members of the public and turning up at the addresses on the envelopes providing a crude index of attitudes in the community.
For example, if half the envelopes are addressed to a pro-same-sex marriage organisation and half to an anti-same-sex marriage organisation, and if equal numbers of pro-same-sex marriage and anti-same-sex marriage envelopes are distributed but significantly more of the pro-same-sex marriage envelopes are returned; then it may be concluded that members of the community are more favourably disposed towards the pro-marriage than the anti-marriage cause.
The technique was introduced by the US psychologist Stanley Milgram (1933-84) and colleagues in an article in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly in 1965. Milgram's classic use of the Lost Letter Technique as a behavioural measure of attitudes showed that return rates can be influenced by the addressee written on the letter, particularly when the addressee represents a controversial organization (Milgram, 1969; 1977; Milgram et al., 1965).
Colman, 2009