‎6.5.2011 … Atlanta for a day … NAPC … early birthday lunch for MS …. all in all an enjoyable day …

culture, neuroscience, faith and spirituality, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, kith/kin:  My brother-in-law lead a great Sunday School class using this recent TIME article as the catalyst for discussion.  Really enjoyed it.

We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. We watch our backs, weigh the odds, pack an umbrella. But both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic. On average, we expect things to turn out better than they wind up being. People hugely underestimate their chances of getting divorced, losing their job or being diagnosed with cancer; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; envision themselves achieving more than their peers; and overestimate their likely life span (sometimes by 20 years or more).

The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is known as the optimism bias. It abides in every race, region and socioeconomic bracket. Schoolchildren playing when-I-grow-up are rampant optimists, but so are grownups: a 2005 study found that adults over 60 are just as likely to see the glass half full as young adults.

You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic — about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient. A survey conducted in 2007 found that while 70% thought families in general were less successful than in their parents’ day, 76% of respondents were optimistic about the future of their own family.

via Optimism Bias: Human Brain May Be Hardwired for Hope – TIME.

Sarah Palin,  media:  I was tired of this woman from Day 1 in 2008 … I am not sure I can take her for much longer.

Today on Fox News, Palin criticized the “gotcha” moment from last week that has gone viral on the Internet.

From the Fox News transcript, here’s what Palin said today:

He warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming, and they were going to try to take our arms and we got to make sure that we were protecting ourselves and shoring up all of our ammunitions and firearms so that they couldn’t take it.

But remember that the British had already been there, many soldiers for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride — and it wasn’t just one ride — he was a courier, he was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that we’re already there. That hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have. He did warn the British.

The website for the Paul Revere House in Boston has an account of what happened the night of April 18, 1775. It explains that Revere was instructed to ride from Boston to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that “British troops were marching to arrest them.”

via Sarah Palin defends her take on Paul Revere’s ride – On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election – USATODAY.com.

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June 2011


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