Stop Trying to Psychoanalyze Donald Trump

‘ “It’s kind of an armchair sport to diagnose public figures, especially politicians,” says Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Cathartic? Sure. But psychologists say it is almost impossible to gain any real insight into a person’s mind and behavior based on such an analysis. Not only is it wrong, it is a perversion of what psychological diagnoses are meant to do: help people work through mental illness. Casually assigning medical jargon to an erratic politician’s baffling ideologies may actually add to the stigma surrounding mental illness. And that is bad for America…’

Source: WIRED


17 signs you’re smart — even if it doesn’t feel like it

‘As Shakespeare put it in “As You Like It”: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”That conventional wisdom is backed up by a Cornell University study conducted by David Dunning and Justin Kruger. The phenomenon is now known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. So, if you’re not too sure about your own intellect, it actually might be a indication that you’re pretty intelligent — thoughtful enough to realize your limitations, at least.Here are some subtle signs that you are considerably smarter than you think…’

Source: Business Insider


Uh oh. The fact that I’m confident of my own intelligence, thus, is an indication that I’m not really so smart (although I do know my limitations, I think). And I only scored 11 out of 17 of the above factors…


A new reason we haven’t found alien life in the universe


‘Italian physicist Enrico Fermi once famously exclaimed “Where is everybody?” We have been trying to answer his paradox — we exist, so aliens should exist, too — ever since. According to one new solution, we have not seen or heard from any galactic neighbors because we are still waiting for them to be born…

So says a team of astronomers in a new study, to be published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. The researchers calculated the probability that life as we know it should exist at any given point in the universe. Based on their assumptions, Earthly life is quite likely premature…’

Source: The Washington Post

Essentially, the argument proceeds from the fact that the conditions for life depend on the stellar environment. The star is the source of radiant energy, the furnace in which the heavier elements on which life is based are created, and creates a habitable temperature zone in which liquid water can exist.  The new study suggests that our stellar environment is an anomaly, centered on a yellow dwarf far less long-lived and less prevalent than the less massive, longer-lived and far more prevalent red dwarf stars that make up the bulk of the galaxy. If such low-mass starts are able to support life, then we are the rarity because of how early in the  life of the universe, and how transient by comparison, Sun-like conditions are.

“Many more stars that all last much longer than our Sun ensures there’s simply more opportunity for life to arise in the future on a small dwarf star than in the last 13 billion years of cosmic time,” as Alan Duffy, an Australian astronomer at Swinburne University of Technology, who was not involved in the study, commented.