Friday, March 31, 2017

Essentials of Mentoring

Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but she or he must have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn. Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the "amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged."

The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protégé (male), a protégée (female), an apprentice or, in the 2000s, a mentee. The mentor may be referred to as a godfather/godmother or a rabbi.

"Mentoring" is a process that always involves communication and is relationship-based, but its precise definition is elusive, with more than 50 definitions currently in use. One definition of the many that have been proposed, is

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)".

Mentoring in Europe has existed since at least Ancient Greek times. Since the 1970s it has spread in the United States mainly in training contexts, with important historical links to the movement advancing workplace equity for women and minorities, and it has been described as "an innovation in American management.”

History of Mentoring

The roots of the practice are lost in antiquity. The word itself was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer's Odyssey. Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.

                                                 Age Teaching Youth by Blake

Historically significant systems of mentorship include the guru–disciple tradition practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism, Elders, the discipleship system practiced by Rabbinical Judaism and the Christian church, and apprenticing under the medieval guild system.

In the United States, advocates for workplace equity in the second half of the twentieth century popularized the term “mentor” and concept of career mentorship as part of a larger social capital lexicon—which also includes terms such as glass ceiling, bamboo ceiling, networking, role model, and gatekeeper—serving to identify and address the problems barring non-dominant groups from professional success. Mainstream business literature subsequently adopted the terms and concepts, promoting them as pathways to success for all career climbers. In 1970 these terms were not in the general American vocabulary; by the mid-1990s they had become part of everyday speech.

Mentoring Techniques

The focus of mentoring is to develop the whole person and so the techniques are broad and require wisdom in order to be used appropriately. A 1995 study of mentoring techniques most commonly used in business found that the five most commonly used techniques among mentors were:

  1. Accompanying: making a commitment in a caring way, which involves taking part in the learning process side-by-side with the learner.
  2. Sowing: mentors are often confronted with the difficulty of preparing the learner before he or she is ready to change. Sowing is necessary when you know that what you say may not be understood or even acceptable to learners at first but will make sense and have value to the mentee when the situation requires it.
  3. Catalyzing: when change reaches a critical level of pressure, learning can escalate. Here the mentor chooses to plunge the learner right into change, provoking a different way of thinking, a change in identity or a re-ordering of values.
  4. Showing: this is making something understandable, or using your own example to demonstrate a skill or activity. You show what you are talking about, you show by your own behavior.
  5. Harvesting: here the mentor focuses on "picking the ripe fruit": it is usually used to create awareness of what was learned by experience and to draw conclusions. The key questions here are: "What have you learned?", "How useful is it?".

Different techniques may be used by mentors according to the situation and the mindset of the mentee, and the techniques used in modern organizations can be found in ancient education systems, from the Socratic technique of harvesting to the accompaniment method of learning used in the apprenticeship of itinerant cathedral builders during the Middle Ages. Leadership authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner advise mentors to look for "teachable moments" in order to "expand or realize the potentialities of the people in the organizations they lead" and underline that personal credibility is as essential to quality mentoring as skill.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chicken Man Frank Perdue

Franklin Parsons "Frank" Perdue (May 9, 1920 – March 31, 2005), born in Salisbury, Maryland, was for many years the president and CEO of Perdue Farms, now one of the largest chicken-producing companies in the United States.

                                                      Frank Perdue with a chick

Perdue Farms was founded in 1920 by Arthur Perdue with his wife, Pearl Perdue who had been keeping a small flock of chickens. Their son, Frank, joined the company in 1939 at age 19 after dropping out of college.

Now recognized as a visionary, Frank Perdue's promotion of the Perdue brand through high-profile advertising resulted in its being the first well-known brand of chicken in the U.S. He turned over leadership of Perdue Farms to his son, Jim Perdue, in 1991.

Perdue Farms developed a specialized chicken-feed that included marigold blossoms, which imparted a characteristic golden yellow hue to the skins of his chickens.

In the 1980s the visionary Perdue twice sought assistance from then-Mafia boss Paul Castellano Sr. to fend off a union's effort to represent workers at his company, according to a federal commission on labor corruption.


In 1971, Perdue Farm embarked on its first major advertising campaign and had contracted the firm of Scali, McCabe, Sloves. The firm came up with the idea of putting Perdue on television himself, with the tag line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken." This was fairly radical because at the time, CEOs were not usually public spokespersons for their firms. The first commercial, shot in the city park in Salisbury, was ranked by Advertising Age as one of the best campaigns of the year. It was so successful that he went on to appear in over 200 of Perdue Farms' television commercials, although he was known for his shyness as well. Much of the commercials were known for Perdue actually encouraging people to voice any complaints or dissatisfaction with Perdue products, usually ending with Perdue stating "Say whatever you have to say; I can take it.”

Through this advertising, Perdue is credited with creating the first brand for chicken.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Primer on Bosons

In quantum mechanics, a boson is a particle that follows Bose–Einstein statistics Bosons make up one of the two classes of particles, the other being fermions. The name boson was coined by Paul Dirac to commemorate the contribution of the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose in developing, with Einstein, Bose–Einstein statistics—which theorizes the characteristics of elementary particles. Examples of bosons include fundamental particles such as photons, gluons, and W and Z bosons (the four force-carrying gauge bosons of the Standard Model), the recently discovered Higgs boson, and the hypothetical graviton of quantum gravity; composite particles (e.g. mesons and stable nuclei of even mass number such as deuterium (with one proton and one neutron, mass number = 2), helium-4, or lead-208); and some quasiparticles (e.g. Cooper pairs, plasmons, and phonons).
                                                      Satyendra Nath Bose in 1925   

An important characteristic of bosons is that their statistics do not restrict the number of them that occupy the same quantum state. This property is exemplified by helium-4 when it is cooled to become a superfluid. Unlike bosons, two identical fermions cannot occupy the same quantum space. Whereas the elementary particles that make up matter (i.e. leptons and quarks) are fermions, the elementary bosons are force carriers that function as the 'glue' holding matter together. This property holds for all particles with integer spin (s = 0, 1, 2, etc.) as a consequence of the spin–statistics theorem. When a gas of Bose particles is cooled down to temperatures very close to absolute zero then the kinetic energy of the particles decreases to a negligible amount and they condense into a lowest energy level state. This state is called Bose-Einstein condensation. It is believed that this property is the explanation of superfluidity.

Types of Boson

Bosons may be either elementary, like photons, or composite, like mesons.

While most bosons are composite particles, in the Standard Model there are five bosons which are elementary:

  • the four gauge bosons (y, g, Z and W[+ or - ])
  • the one scalar boson (the Higgs boson (Ho))

Additionally, the graviton (G) is a hypothetical elementary particle not incorporated in the Standard Model. If it exists, a graviton must be a boson, and could conceivably be a gauge boson.

Composite bosons are important in superfluidity and other applications of Bose–Einstein condensates. When a gas of Bose particles is cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero, then its kinetic energy decreases down to a negligible amount and the particles condense into the lowest energy state. This phenomenon is known as Bose-Einstein condensation and it is believed that this phenomenon is the secret behind superfluidity of liquids.

Properties of Bosons

Bosons differ from fermions, which obey Fermi–Dirac statistics. Two or more identical fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state (see Pauli exclusion principle).

Since bosons with the same energy can occupy the same place in space, bosons are often force carrier particles. Fermions are usually associated with matter (although in quantum mechanics the distinction between the two concepts is not clear cut)

Bosons are particles which obey Bose–Einstein statistics: when one swaps two bosons (of the same species), the wavefunction of the system is unchanged. Fermions, on the other hand, obey Fermi–Dirac statistics and the Pauli exclusion principle: two fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state, accounting for the "rigidity" or "stiffness" of matter which includes fermions. Thus fermions are sometimes said to be the constituents of matter, while bosons are said to be the particles that transmit interactions (force carriers), or the constituents of radiation. The quantum fields of bosons are bosonic fields, obeying canonical commutation relations.

The properties of lasers and masers, superfluid helium-4 and Bose–Einstein condensates are all consequences of statistics of bosons. Another result is that the spectrum of a photon gas in thermal equilibrium is a Planck spectrum, one example of which is black-body radiation; another is the thermal radiation of the opaque early Universe seen today as microwave background radiation. Interactions between elementary particles are called fundamental interactions. The fundamental interactions of virtual bosons with real particles result in all forces we know.

All known elementary and composite particles are bosons or fermions, depending on their spin: particles with half-integer spin are fermions; particles with integer spin are bosons. In the framework of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, this is a purely empirical observation. However, in relativistic quantum field theory, the spin–statistics theorem shows that half-integer spin particles cannot be bosons and integer spin particles cannot be fermions.

In large systems, the difference between bosonic and fermionic statistics is only apparent at large densities—when their wave functions overlap. At low densities, both types of statistics are well approximated by Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics, which is described by classical mechanics.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Human Minds at Age Four

The Importance of Relating to Others:
Why We Only Learn to Understand
Other People After the Age of Four
Published 24 March 2017

Universiteit Leiden -- When we are around four years old we suddenly start to understand that other people think and that their view of the world is often different from our own. Researchers in Leiden and Leipzig have explored how that works. Publication in Nature Communications on 21 March.

At around the age of four we suddenly do what three-year-olds are unable to do: put ourselves in someone else's shoes. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig and at Leiden University have shown how this enormous developmental step occurs: a critical fibre connection in the brain matures. Senior researcher and Leiden developmental psychologist Nikolaus Steinbeis, co-author of the article, took part in the research. Lead author, PhD candidate Charlotte Grosse-Wiesmann, worked under his supervision. 
Little Maxi

If you tell a 3-year-old child the following story of little Maxi, they will most probably not understand: Maxi puts his chocolate on the kitchen table, then goes to play outside. While he is gone, his mother puts the chocolate in the cupboard. Where will Maxi look for his chocolate when he comes back? A 3-year-old child will not understand why Maxi would be surprised not to find the chocolate on the table where he left it. It is only by the age of 4 years that a child will correctly predict that Maxi will look for his chocolate where he left it and not in the cupboard where it is now.

Theory of Mind

The researchers observed something similar when they showed a 3-year-old child a chocolate box that contained pencils instead of chocolates. When the child was asked what another child would expect to be in the box, they answered "pencils", although the other child would not know this. Only a year later, around the age of four years, however, will they understand that the other child had hoped for chocolates. Thus, there is a crucial developmental breakthrough between three and four years: this is when we start to attribute thoughts and beliefs to others and to understand that their beliefs can be different from ours. Before that age, thoughts don't seem to exist independently of what we see and know about the world. That is, this is when we develop a Theory of Mind.

Independent development

The researchers have now discovered what is behind this breakthrough. The maturation of fibers of a brain structure called the arcuate fascicle between the ages of three and four years establishes a connection between two critical brain regions: a region at the back of the temporal lobe that supports adult thinking about others and their thoughts, and a region in the frontal lobe that is involved in keeping things at different levels of abstraction and, therefore, helps us to understand what the real world is and what the thoughts of others are. Only when these two brain regions are connected through the arcuate fascicle can children start to understand what other people think. This is what allows us to predict where Maxi will look for his chocolate. Interestingly, this new connection in the brain supports this ability independently of other cognitive abilities, such as intelligence, language ability or impulse control.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rhodesian RAF Pilot Ian Smith

The future Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith served in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War, interrupting his studies at Rhodes University in South Africa to join up in 1941. Following a year's pilot instruction in Rhodesia under the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was posted to No. 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron, then stationed in the Middle East, in late 1942. Smith received six weeks' operational training in the Levant, then entered active service as a pilot officer in Iran and Iraq. No. 237 Squadron, which had operated in the Western Desert from 1941 to early 1942, returned to that front in March 1943. Smith flew in the Western Desert until October that year, when a crash during a night takeoff resulted in serious injuries, including facial disfigurements and a broken jaw. Following reconstructive plastic surgery to his face, other operations and five months' convalescence, Smith rejoined No. 237 Squadron in Corsica in May 1944. While there, he attained his highest rank, flight lieutenant.

In late June 1944, during a strafing attack on a railway yard in the Po Valley in northern Italy, Smith was shot down by flak. Parachuting from his aircraft, he landed without serious injury in the Ligurian Alps, in an area that was behind German lines, but largely under the control of anti-German Italian partisans. Smith spent three months working with the local resistance movement before trekking westwards, across the Maritime Alps, with three other Allied personnel, hoping to join up with the Allied forces that had just invaded southern France. After 23 days' hiking, he and his companions were recovered by American troops and repatriated.

Smith was briefly stationed in Britain before he was posted to No. 130 (Punjab) Squadron in western Germany in April 1945. He flew combat missions there until Germany surrendered in May. He remained with No. 130 Squadron for the rest of his service, and returned home at the end of 1945. After completing his studies at Rhodes, he was elected Member of Parliament for his birthplace, Selukwe, in 1948. Becoming Prime Minister in 1964 amid his country's dispute with Britain regarding the terms for independence, he was influenced as a politician by his wartime experiences. Rhodesia's military record on the mother country's behalf became central to his sense of betrayal by post-war British governments, which partly motivated his administration's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. His status as a Second World War RAF veteran thereafter helped him win support, both domestically and internationally.

Smith's years as an RAF pilot were often alluded to in political rhetoric and popular culture. In the phrase of Martin Francis, "no white Rhodesian kitchen in the 1960s and 1970s was complete without an illustrated dishcloth featuring 'Good Old Smithy' and his trusty Spitfire". The Rhodesian Front's election strategy of emphasising Smith's reputation as a war hero was criticised by the journalist Peter Niesewand, who was deported from Rhodesia in 1973; according to Niesewand, Smith's contribution to the Allied war effort had been "to crash two perfectly good Hurricane planes [sic] for the loss of no Germans". Smith won decisive election victories in 1970, 1974 and 1977, and remained in office until the country was reconstituted under majority rule as Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. He continued to wear his RAF Spitfire pilot's tie well into old age, including on the final day before Zimbabwe Rhodesia's formal establishment on 1 June 1979—"a final gesture of defiance", Bill Schwarz writes, "symbolising an entire lost world.”

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Case-based Reasoning ("Casuistry")

Casuistry (or case-based reasoning), is a method in applied ethics and jurisprudence, often characterised as a critique of principle- or rule-based reasoning. The word "casuistry" is derived from the Latin casus (meaning "case").

Casuistry is reasoning used to resolve moral problems by extracting or extending theoretical rules from particular instances and applying these rules to new instances. The term is also commonly used as a pejorative to criticize the use of clever but unsound reasoning (alleging implicitly the inconsistent—or outright specious—application of rule to instance), especially in relation to moral questions (see sophistry).

The agreed meaning of "casuistry" is in flux. The term can be used either to describe a presumably acceptable form of reasoning or a form of reasoning that is inherently unsound and deceptive. Most or all philosophical dictionaries list the neutral sense as the first or only definition. On the other hand, the Oxford English Dictionary states that the word "[o]ften (and perhaps originally) applied to a quibbling or evasive way of dealing with difficult cases of duty." Its textual references, except for certain technical usages, are consistently pejorative ("Casuistry‥destroys by Distinctions and Exceptions, all Morality, and effaces the essential Difference between Right and Wrong"). Most online dictionaries list a pejorative meaning as the primary definition before a neutral one, though Merriam-Webster lists the neutral one first. In journalistic usage, the pejorative use is ubiquitous


While a principle-based approach might claim that lying is always morally wrong, the casuist would argue that, depending upon the details of the case, lying might or might not be illegal or unethical. The casuist might conclude that a person is wrong to lie in legal testimony under oath, but might argue that lying actually is the best moral choice if the lie saves a life. (Thomas Sanchez and others thus theorized a doctrine of mental reservation, which developed into its own branch of casuistry.) For the casuist, the circumstances of a case are essential for evaluating the proper response.

Typically, casuistic reasoning begins with a clear-cut paradigmatic case. In legal reasoning, for example, this might be a precedent case, such as premeditated murder. From it, the casuist would ask how closely the given case currently under consideration matches the paradigmatic case. Cases like the paradigmatic case ought to be treated likewise; cases unlike the paradigm ought to be treated differently. Thus, a man is properly charged with premeditated murder if the circumstances surrounding his case closely resemble the exemplar premeditated murder case. The less a given case is like the paradigm, the weaker the justification is for treating that case like the paradigmatic case.


Casuistry is a method of case reasoning especially useful in treating cases that involve moral dilemmas. It is also a branch of applied ethics.


Casuistry takes a relentlessly practical approach to morality. Rather than using theories as starting points, casuistry begins with an examination of cases. By drawing parallels between paradigms, or so-called "pure cases", and the case at hand, a casuist tries to determine a moral response appropriate to a particular case.

Casuistry has been described as "theory modest". One of the strengths of casuistry is that it does not begin with, nor does it overemphasize, theoretical issues. It does not require practitioners to agree about ethical theories or evaluations before making policy. Instead, they can agree that certain paradigms should be treated in certain ways, and then agree on the similarities, the so-called warrants between a paradigm and the case at hand.

Since most people, and most cultures, substantially agree about most pure ethical situations, casuistry often creates ethical arguments that can persuade people of different ethnic, religious and philosophical beliefs to treat particular cases in the same ways. For this reason, casuistry is widely considered to be the basis for the English common law and its derivatives.

Casuistry is prone to abuses wherever the analogies between cases are false.

Footnote by the Blog Author

As a retired Certified Public Accountant who spent years performing some notoriously tricky federal tax research, I assure you that case-based reasoning is the only viable method for interpreting law that is as muddy in its drafting motivation as laws about taxation.  There is utter chaos in the tax courts without deft and unbiased use of casuistry.

Cased-based reasoning is indeed the center of English common law.  The exception to this wise methodology occurs when analogies between cases become false or abusive.  When that happens, it is time for the legislature to pass a clearly understandable statute to restore order to the system.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pets Boost Quality of Life

A pet or companion animal is an animal kept primarily for a person's company, protection, or entertainment rather than as a working animal, sport animal, livestock, or laboratory animal. Popular pets are often noted for their attractive appearances and their loyal or playful personalities.

Pets provide their owners (or guardians) physical and emotional benefits. Walking a dog can supply both the human and pet with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction. Pets can give companionship to elderly adults who do not have adequate social interaction with other people, as well as other people that are living alone. There is a medically approved class of therapy animals, mostly dogs or cats, that are brought to visit confined humans. Pet therapy utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients.

                                                          cat and dog household pets

The most popular pets are likely dogs and cats but people also keep house rabbits, ferrets; rodents such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, fancy rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as canaries, parakeets, corvids and parrots; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and snakes; aquatic pets, such as goldfish, tropical fish and frogs; and arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs.

Some scholars and animal rights organizations have raised concern over pet-keeping with regards to the autonomy and objectification of nonhuman animals.

Pet Popularity in the USA

There are approximately 86.4 million pet cats in the United States, approximately 78.2 million pet dogs in the United States, and 5.3 million house rabbits. The two most popular pets in most Western countries have been cats and dogs. In the United States, a 2007–2008 survey showed that dog-owning households outnumbered those owning cats, but that the total number of pet cats was higher than that of dogs. The same was true for 2011. In 2013, pets outnumbered children four to one in the United States.

Health Benefits for Humans

Pets might have the ability to stimulate their caregivers, in particular the elderly, giving people someone to take care of, someone to exercise with, and someone to help them heal from a physically or psychologically troubled past. Animal company can also help people to preserve acceptable levels of happiness despite the presence of mood symptoms like anxiety or depression. Having a pet may also help people achieve health goals, such as lowered blood pressure, or mental goals, such as decreased stress. There is evidence that having a pet can help a person lead a longer, healthier life. In a 1986 study of 92 people hospitalized for coronary ailments, within a year 11 of the 29 patients without pets had died, compared to only 3 of the 52 patients who had pets. Having pet(s) was shown to significantly reduce triglycerides, and thus heart disease risk, in the elderly. A study by the National Institute of Health found that people who owned dogs were less likely to die as a result of a heart attack than those who didn’t own one. There is some evidence that pets may have a therapeutic effect in dementia cases. Other studies have shown that for the elderly, good health may be a requirement for having a pet, and not a result. Dogs trained to be guide dogs can help people with vision impairment. Dogs trained in the field of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) can also benefit people with other disabilities.

Pets in Long-Term Care Institutions

People residing in a long-term care facility, such as a hospice or nursing home, experience health benefits from pets. Pets help them to cope with the emotional issues related to their illness. They also offer physical contact with another living creature, something that is often missing in an elder's life. Pets for nursing homes are chosen based on the size of the pet, the amount of care that the breed needs, and the population and size of the care institution. Appropriate pets go through a screening process and, if it is a dog, additional training programs to become a therapy dog. There are three types of therapy dogs: facility therapy dogs, animal-assisted therapy dogs, and therapeutic visitation dogs. The most common therapy dogs are therapeutic visitation dogs. These dogs are household pets whose handlers take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Different pets require varying amounts of attention and care; for example, cats may have lower maintenance requirements than dogs.

Friday, March 24, 2017

slang term "Libtard" defined


Here is a long, detailed rant against modern liberalism posted in the Urban Dictionary as  a “definition” for the slang word “Libtard”:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


As repetitive as it sounds, it stands for "liberal retard."

A libtard wants to live in a fantasy world (in which life is the way that they WISH IT WAS) as opposed to dealing with life the way it actually is.

(This explains the religious fervor that many of them demonstrate when it comes to smoking pot).

The most idealistic libtard envisions a time when science/technology and Socialism will eliminate all poverty, hunger, war, disease, injustice, unemployment and prejudice. (It is a nice pipe dream but human nature will forever stand in the way of that goal).

Most libtards subscribe to the notion that "people are basically good", and build their foundation for activism and "improving the human condition" on that faulty premise. Because they deny the facts about human nature, their "reasoning" is diametrically opposite to common sense (blue states vs. red states).

The reality that people have different initiative levels, are basically selfish, and often work for their own interests before helping others, puts a libtard's panties in a wad. So, when citizens will not voluntarily comply with various libtard prescriptions for "the common good", then laws must be passed, or force used, to MAKE them comply. (It is the gradual path to totalitarianism).

Likewise, his/her naïve cries of: "can't we all just get along?" and "there is nothing worth dying for" are red flags for anyone with a clue.

Metaphorically speaking, a libtard is a sheep who thinks that their grasp of diplomatic nuance or metaphysical sensitivity will prevent their flock from being devoured by the world's Islamic/Communist wolves. When America, the sheep dog, responds to wolf attacks, the libtard judges these defensive actions as offensive and wolfish.

Since libtards are unable to recognize our enemies for what they are, they cannot be trusted to safeguard our future.


In a large nutshell, a libtard's goal in life includes one or more of the following:

--the establishment of a Socialist "utopia" (a.k.a. a global nanny state)
--"benevolent" totalitarian control of the world's population through any means necessary
--ever increasing government micromanagement of private enterprise (a.k.a. clueless meddling)
--the adoption of laws, treaties and tax regulations that hinder America's competitiveness
--the usurpation of the legislative process, at all levels, through judicial fiat
--the filing of specious law suits in order to thwart the will of the people (e.g. Calif. Proposition. 187)
--the promotion of the tyranny of the minority
--the filing of specious law suits to shakedown corporations for cash (under the guise of "social responsibility")
--the disproportionate taxation of citizens "who have more money than they need"
--the redistribution of wealth from producers to non-producers (under the guise of "fairness")
--the banning and confiscation of all privately owned guns (even though it has lead to genocide)
--the abolition of all private property rights
--the destruction of all national sovereignty (America first, of course)
--the destruction of Capitalism
--the establishment of one religion (with no personal accountability), OR the abolition of all religion
--the appeasement of Islamic radicals and their American front groups like CAIR (see: Religion of Pieces)
--the regulation, or banning, of all opposition media (under the guise of "fairness")
--the appeasement of Communist dictators and their American front groups
--the further insertion of Socialist ideology and indoctrination into public school curricula
--the purposeful "dumbing down" of the masses through inane public school curricula and pedagogy
--mass thought control through "speech codes" and political correctness
--the further promulgation of the homosexual/pedophile agenda
--the teaching of HATE (superficially disguised as "Women's Studies", "African Studies", etc.)
--the legalization of marijuana ("far OUT, man")
--the establishment of world wide socialized medicine (under the guise of "fairness")
--the conservation of the environment over the conservation of the American economy
--the demonization of attempts to make English America’s national language
--world peace (which genocidal dictators define as: "the absence of conflict"--dead men cannot resist your brutal oppression)
--the conservation of the environment over the conservation of humanity
--the promotion of abortion as birth control, eugenics, and teaching the theory of evolution as fact (even though the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics precludes it from the get-go)
--the abolition of individual freedom

Not surprisingly, there is a thread of anti-Americanism that runs through these ideas. A libtard cannot stomach the idea that America, despite its faults, is the greatest country in the world. As such, he/she sees it as their duty to tarnish the country's current and past image using all available means including: cherry picking facts and using innuendo, half-truths, lies and fabrications (see: Rathergate).

Libtards’ actions undermine America's educational system, economy, criminal justice system, military personnel, sovereignty, security, and freedoms. Meanwhile, they try to fabricate a moral equivalence with rogue nations like China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. (But don't question their patriotism).

NOTE TO ALL MALCONTENTS: If America is truly evil, please pick yourself a better country.

If the health care system in Cuba, Canada or Great Britain is superior to America's, then you are free to leave. If the crime rate in China, North Korea or the Magic Kingdom is so much lower, then you too are free to leave. Not enough hedonism for you? Then try Amsterdam, Bangkok or Tijuana.

If life in general is better in Sweden, The Netherlands or Switzerland then WHY are you still here??? You talk big, but you lack the courage of your convictions. So do humanity a favor--shut up and move away.

Otherwise get a real job, and get a life, because you obviously have WAY too much time on your hands.


Because most libtards are pantheists (New Agers), agnostics, atheists, liberal Jews, liberal Catholics, or have otherwise turned their backs on Jehovah, they lack true spiritual fulfillment. In order to try and fill that void, and "to make a difference", they work for the causes listed above. A pretty complete listing can be found at

A libtard will participate in protests, rallies, marches, bike rides, etc. in a feckless attempt to change whatever supposedly needs changing (see: muckadoo). Their desire to revisit the "glory" days of the 60's is sometimes a driving force. Regardless, the end result is usually the same: nothing actually changes.

But, since a libtard wants to be rated for his/her good intentions, versus actual results, they leave these activities with a feeling of success "because they have raised awareness" or "let their voices be heard." Post-protest gatherings often feature excessive drinking, drug abuse, and impromptu fornication to celebrate the "victory."

Because conservatives take responsibility for themselves and their children, have real jobs, under gird the economy, and value their time, their counter protesting is often negligible.

It is not that they don't care about their causes; they just understand that 1968 tactics are useless. Likewise, their sense of self worth does not come from how well they perform at work, or in life, but from a realization that they have been given a good and satisfying destiny that no one can take away.

With all of this in mind, may we NOW question a libtard's patriotism???

“You are listening to CNN, the Communist News Network.”

Anchorman: “Good morning, I’m E. Feet Liberal. Our top story, disastrous former mayor of Cleveland, Dennis Cucinich, has been appointed to head the newly created Department of Rainbows, Unicorns and Dandelions. When told of his appointment, Cucinich remarked,

‘As former ambassador to the Crab Nebula, I am looking forward to bringing my diplomatic expertise to the problem of terrorist, er, civilly challenged attacks on our planet. I even stopped by a gift shop on Alpha Centauri and bought a new pair of rose colored glasses!’

We now go to Chip Onner-Shoulder for a live report.”

Womyn Reporter: “Thanks E. Secretary Cucinich wasted no time in convening a meeting with top terrorist, er, civilly challenged leaders and their fellow travelers from CAIR. Among the items on the agenda were: convert to Islam or DIE, the institution of Shari’a, the obliteration of Israel, and bringing them the head of Jerry Springer on a stick. Let’s listen in.”

Cucinich: “There there Abdul, why don’t we all take a ten minute break and go to our ‘happy places’?”

Terrorist, er, Civilly Challenged heathen: “You're a clueless libtard. Death to those who insult Islam!”

Cucinich: “Now now Abdul, I know that the civilly challenged have legitimate grievances, but America has a Band-Aid big enough for any third world boo boo. Hey what’s that under your dirty nightshirt?”


Womyn Reporter: “Oh my Gaia! That man just detonated an explosive vest. He must have been a Mossad agent. I’ll try and get a comment from CAIR’s spokeswhore. Excuse me sir, was this the work of Israeli intelligence?”

CAIR Spokeswhore: “Of course it was you decadent whore! And how dare you show your ankle in public! Now kneel down and receive your beating.”

Womyn Reporter: “But I thought Islam was the Religion of Peace!”

CAIR Spokeswhore: “It IS. And if you call us violent, we’ll kill you!”

Womyn Reporter: “Can we stand in a circle and sing Kumbayah?”

CAIR Spokeswhore: (smacks forehead) “ALLAH no!”

Womyn Reporter: “Can’t we all just get along?”

CAIR Spokeswhore: “Yes, when you’re dead.”

Womyn Reporter: (backing up) “Stay away from me you seventh century, scum-sucking pig dog, and put DOWN that scimitar! Hellllp!”

Anchorman: “Chip! Chip are you still there? Well, we seem to be having some technical difficulties with Chip’s mic.

In other news, the Sierra Club is lobbying Congress to develop wind-powered commuter jets. Club spokeswhore Molly ‘Bean Sprout’ Jones commented, ‘They’re already up in the air; so what’s the difficulty?’”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mice Protein May Restore Youth?

There is a protein in mice blood that gets rarer as the mice age.  It is called osteopontin.  Replacing it in ageing mice seems to make them act younger.  Is this a path to a fountain of youth for human beings in the twenty-first century?  German research continues into this approach.  The UK Daily Mail has these details:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Funk Founder Sly Stone

Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1966 to 1983, the band was pivotal in the development of funk, soul, rock, and psychedelic music. The group's core line-up was led by singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and included Stone's brother and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone, sister and singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Gregg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini, and bassist Larry Graham. The band was the first major American rock group to have an "integrated, multi-gender" lineup.

                                                       Sly and the Family Stone in 1969
Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging "psychedelic soul" sound. They soon found commercial success, recording a series of Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits such as "Dance to the Music" (1968), "Everyday People" (1968), and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (1969), as well critically acclaimed albums such as Stand! (1969), which combined pop sensibility with social commentary. In the 1970s, Sly and the Family Stone transitioned into a darker and less commercial funk sound that would result in releases such as There's a Riot Goin' On (1971) and Fresh (1973), proving as influential as their early work. By 1975, drug problems and interpersonal clashes led to the group's dissolution, though Sly Stone continued to record and tour with a new rotating lineup under the name "Sly and the Family Stone" until drug problems forced his effective retirement in 1987.

The work of Sly and the Family Stone greatly influenced the sound of subsequent American pop, soul, R&B, funk, and hip hop music. Music critic Joel Selvin sums up the importance of Sly and the Family Stone's influence on African American music by stating "there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, and black music after Sly Stone". In 2010, they were ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time," and three of their albums are included in the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Essential Facts About Viruses

A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

Since Dmitri Ivanovsky's 1892 article describing a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants, and the discovery of the tobacco mosaic virus by Martinus Beijerinck in 1898, about 5,000 virus species have been described in detail, although there are millions of types. Viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity. The study of viruses is known as virology, a sub-speciality of microbiology.

While not inside an infected cell or in the process of infecting a cell, viruses exist in the form of independent particles. These viral particles, also known as virions, consist of two or three parts: (i) the genetic material made from either DNA or RNA, long molecules that carry genetic information; (ii) a protein coat, called the capsid, which surrounds and protects the genetic material; and in some cases (iii) an envelope of lipids that surrounds the protein coat when they are outside a cell. The shapes of these virus particles range from simple helical and icosahedral forms for some virus species to more complex structures for others. Most virus species have virions that are too small to be seen with an optical microscope. The average virion is about one one-hundredth the size of the average bacterium.

Viral infections in animals provoke an immune response that usually eliminates the infecting virus. Immune responses can also be produced by vaccines, which confer an artificially acquired immunity to the specific viral infection. However, some viruses including those that cause AIDS and viral hepatitis evade these immune responses and result in chronic infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, but several antiviral drugs have been developed.

Role in Human Disease

Epidemiology is used to break the chain of infection in populations during outbreaks of viral diseases. Control measures are used that are based on knowledge of how the virus is transmitted. It is important to find the source, or sources, of the outbreak and to identify the virus. Once the virus has been identified, the chain of transmission can sometimes be broken by vaccines. When vaccines are not available, sanitation and disinfection can be effective. Often, infected people are isolated from the rest of the community, and those that have been exposed to the virus are placed in quarantine. To control the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in Britain in 2001, thousands of cattle were slaughtered. Most viral infections of humans and other animals have incubation periods during which the infection causes no signs or symptoms. Incubation periods for viral diseases range from a few days to weeks, but are known for most infections. Somewhat overlapping, but mainly following the incubation period, there is a period of communicability — a time when an infected individual or animal is contagious and can infect another person or animal. This, too, is known for many viral infections, and knowledge of the length of both periods is important in the control of outbreaks. When outbreaks cause an unusually high proportion of cases in a population, community, or region, they are called epidemics.  If outbreaks spread worldwide, they are called pandemics.

Epidemics and Pandemics

Native American populations were devastated by contagious diseases, in particular, smallpox, brought to the Americas by European colonists. It is unclear how many Native Americans were killed by foreign diseases after the arrival of Columbus in the Americas, but the numbers have been estimated to be close to 70% of the indigenous population. The damage done by this disease significantly aided European attempts to displace and conquer the native population.

A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic. The 1918 flu pandemic, which lasted until 1919, was a category 5 influenza pandemic caused by an unusually severe and deadly influenza A virus. The victims were often healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks, which predominantly affect juvenile, elderly, or otherwise-weakened patients. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while more recent research suggests that it may have killed as many as 100 million people, or 5% of the world's population in 1918.

Most researchers believe that HIV originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the 20th century; it is now a pandemic, with an estimated 38.6 million people now living with the disease worldwide. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised on 5 June 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. In 2007 there were 2.7 million new HIV infections and 2 million HIV-related deaths.

Several highly lethal viral pathogens are members of the Filoviridae. Filoviruses are filament-like viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fever, and include ebolaviruses and marburgviruses. Marburg virus, first discovered in 1967, attracted widespread press attention in April 2005 for an outbreak in Angola. Ebola Virus Disease has also caused intermittent outbreaks with high mortality rates since 1976 when it was first identified. The worst and most recent one is the West Africa epidemic.


Viruses are an established cause of cancer in humans and other species. Viral cancers occur only in a minority of infected persons (or animals). Cancer viruses come from a range of virus families, including both RNA and DNA viruses, and so there is no single type of "oncovirus" (an obsolete term originally used for acutely transforming retroviruses). The development of cancer is determined by a variety of factors such as host immunity and mutations in the host. Viruses accepted to cause human cancers include some genotypes of human papillomavirus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, Epstein–Barr virus, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus and human T-lymphotropic virus. The most recently discovered human cancer virus is a polyomavirus (Merkel cell polyomavirus) that causes most cases of a rare form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. Hepatitis viruses can develop into a chronic viral infection that leads to liver cancer. Infection by human T-lymphotropic virus can lead to tropical spastic paraparesis and adult T-cell leukaemia. Human papillomaviruses are an established cause of cancers of cervix, skin, anus, and penis. Within the Herpesviridae, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus causes Kaposi's sarcoma and body-cavity lymphoma, and Epstein–Barr virus causes Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, B lymphoproliferative disorder, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Merkel cell polyomavirus closely related to SV40 and mouse polyomaviruses that have been used as animal models for cancer viruses for over 50 years.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tribe Has Healthiest Hearts Known

Indigenous South American Group Has Healthiest Arteries of All Populations yet Studied, Giving Clues to a Healthy Lifestyle

Science Bulletin, March 20, 2017 -- The Tsimane people — a forager-horticulturalist population of the Bolivian Amazon — have the lowest reported levels of vascular aging for any population, with coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) being five times less common than in the US, according to a study published in The Lancet and being presented at the American College of Cardiology conference.

The researchers propose that the loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles in contemporary society could be classed as a new risk factor for heart disease. The main risk factors are age, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

“Our study shows that the Tsimane indigenous South Americans have the lowest prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis of any population yet studied,” said senior anthropology author, Professor Hillard Kaplan, University of New Mexico, USA. “Their lifestyle suggests that a diet low in saturated fats and high in non-processed fibre-rich carbohydrates, along with wild game and fish, not smoking and being active throughout the day could help prevent hardening in the arteries of the heart. The loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles could be classed as a new risk factor for vascular aging and we believe that components of this way of life could benefit contemporary sedentary populations.”

Although the Tsimane lifestyle is very different from that of contemporary society, certain elements of it are transferable and could help to reduce risk of heart disease.

While industrial populations are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours (54%), the Tsimane spend only 10% of their daytime being inactive. They live a subsistence lifestyle that involves hunting, gathering, fishing and farming, where men spend an average of 6-7 hours of their day being physically active and women spend 4-6 hours.

Their diet is largely carbohydrate-based (72%) and includes non-processed carbohydrates which are high in fibre such as rice, plantain, manioc, corn, nuts and fruits. Protein constitutes 14% of their diet and comes from animal meat. The diet is very low in fat with fat compromising only 14% of the diet — equivalent to an estimated 38 grams of fat each day, including 11g saturated fat and no trans fats. In addition, smoking was rare in the population.

In the observational study, the researchers visited 85 Tsimane villages between 2014 and 2015. They measured the participants’ risk of heart disease by taking CT scans of the hearts of 705 adults (aged 40-94 years old) to measure the extent of hardening of the coronary arteries, as well as measuring weight, age, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and inflammation.

Based on their CT scan, almost nine in 10 of the Tsimane people (596 of 705 people, 85%) had no risk of heart disease, 89 (13%) had low risk and only 20 people (3%) had moderate or high risk. These findings also continued into old age, where almost two-thirds (65%, 31 of 48) of those aged over 75 years old had almost no risk and 8% (4 of 48) had moderate or high risk. These results are the lowest reported levels of vascular aging of any population recorded to date.

By comparison, a US study of 6814 people (aged 45 to 84) found that only 14% of Americans had a CT scan that suggested no risk of heart disease and half (50%) had a moderate or high risk — a five-fold higher prevalence than in the Tsimane population.

In the Tsimane population, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose were also low, potentially as a result of their lifestyle. The researchers also note that the low risk of coronary atherosclerosis was identified despite there being elevated levels of inflammation in half of the Tsimane population (51%, 360 of 705 people).

“Conventional thinking is that inflammation increases the risk of heart disease,” said Professor Randall Thompson, cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, USA. “However, the inflammation common to the Tsimane was not associated with increased risk of heart disease, and may instead be the result of high rates of infections.”

Because the study is observational it cannot confirm how the Tsimane population is protected from vascular aging, or which part of their lifestyle (diet, physical activity or smoking) is most protective. The researchers suggest it is more likely to be a result of their lifestyle than genetics, because of a gradual increase in cholesterol levels coinciding with a rapidly changing lifestyle.

“Over the last five years, new roads and the introduction of motorised canoes have dramatically increased access to the nearby market town to buy sugar and cooking oil,” said Dr Ben Trumble, Arizona State University, USA. “This is ushering in major economic and nutritional changes for the Tsimane people.”

The researchers did not study whether coronary artery hardening in the Tsimane population impacted on their health, but note that deaths from heart attacks are very uncommon in the population so it is likely that their low levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease are associated. The researchers are investigating this in further research.

“This study suggests that coronary atherosclerosis could be avoided if people adopted some elements of the Tsimane lifestyle, such as keeping their LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar very low, not smoking and being physically active,” said senior cardiology author Dr Gregory S. Thomas, Long Beach Memorial Medical Centre, USA. “Most of the Tsimane are able to live their entire life without developing any coronary atherosclerosis. This has never been seen in any prior research. While difficult to achieve in the industrialized world, we can adopt some aspects of their lifestyle to potentially forestall a condition we thought would eventually effect almost all of us.”


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Basics of Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, gaslighting, and abuse in the workplace.

Characteristics of Abusers

In their review of data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (a longitudinal birth cohort study) Moffitt et al. report that while men exhibit more aggression overall, sex is not a reliable predictor of interpersonal aggression, including psychological aggression. The study found that no matter what gender this person is, aggressive people share a cluster of traits, including high rates of suspicion and jealousy; sudden and drastic mood swings; poor self-control; and higher than average rates of approval of violence and aggression. Moffitt et al. also argue that antisocial men exhibit two distinct types of interpersonal aggression (one against strangers, the other against intimate female partners), while antisocial women are rarely aggressive against anyone other than intimate male partners.

Male and female perpetrators of emotional and physical abuse exhibit high rates of personality disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Rates of personality disorder in the general population are roughly 15%-20%, while roughly 80% of abusive men in court-ordered treatment programs have personality disorders.

Abusers may aim to avoid household chores or exercise total control of family finances. Abusers can be very manipulative, often recruiting friends, law officers and court officials, even the victim's family to their side, while shifting blame to the victim.

Emotional Abuse Within a Family

Emotional abuse of a child is commonly defined as a pattern of behavior by parents or caregivers that can seriously interfere with a child’s cognitive, emotional, psychological, or social development. Some parents may emotionally and psychologically harm their children because of stress, poor parenting skills, social isolation, and lack of available resources or inappropriate expectations of their children. They may emotionally abuse their children because the parents or caregivers were emotionally abused during their own childhood. Straus and Field report that psychological aggression is a pervasive trait of American families: "verbal attacks on children, like physical attacks, are so prevalent as to be just about universal." A 2008 study by English, et al. found that fathers and mothers were equally likely to be verbally aggressive towards their children.

Choi and Mayer performed a study on elder abuse (causing harm or distress to an older person), with results showing that 10.5% of the participants were victims of "emotional/psychological abuse," which was most often perpetrated by a son or other relative of the victim. Of 1288 cases in 2002–2004, 1201 individuals, 42 couples, and 45 groups were found to have been abused. Of these, 70 percent were female. Psychological abuse (59%) and material/financial (42%) were the most frequently identified types of abuse

[Emotional abuse is also common in intimate relationships and at the workplace].

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Akrasia (willful irrationality)

Akrasia (Greek ἀκρασία, "lacking command"), occasionally transliterated as acrasia or Anglicised as acrasy or acracy, is described as a lack of self-control or the state of acting against one's better judgment. The adjectival form is "akratic".

Classical Approaches

The problem goes back at least as far as Plato. Socrates (in Plato's Protagoras) asks precisely how this is possible—if one judges action A to be the best course of action, why would one do anything other than A?

In the dialogue Protagoras, Socrates attests that akrasia does not exist, claiming "No one goes willingly toward the bad" (358d). If a person examines a situation and decides to act in the way he determines to be best, he will actively pursue this action, as the best course is also the good course, i.e. man's natural goal. An all-things-considered assessment of the situation will bring full knowledge of a decision's outcome and worth linked to well-developed principles of the good. A person, according to Socrates, never chooses to act poorly or against his better judgment; actions that go against what is best are only a product of being ignorant of facts or knowledge of what is best or good.

Aristotle on the other hand took a more empirical approach to the question, acknowledging that we intuitively believe in akrasia. He distances himself from the Socratic position by locating the breakdown of reasoning in an agent’s opinion, not his appetition. Now, without recourse to appetitive desires, Aristotle reasons that akrasia occurs as a result of opinion. Opinion is formulated mentally in a way that may or may not imitate truth, while appetites are merely desires of the body. Thus opinion is only incidentally aligned with or opposed to the good, making an akratic action the product of opinion instead of reason. For Aristotle, the antonym of akrasia is enkrateia, which means "in power" (over oneself).

The word akrasia occurs twice in the Koine Greek New Testament. In Matthew 23:25 Jesus uses it to describe hypocritical religious leaders. The Apostle Paul also gives the threat of temptation through akrasia as a reason for a husband and wife to not deprive each other of sex (1 Corinthians 7:5).

In Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, book II, Acrasia, the embodiment of intemperance dwelling in the "Bower of Bliss", had the Circe-like capacity of transforming her lovers into monstrous animal shapes.

Contemporary Approaches

Donald Davidson (1969–1980) attempted to solve the problem by first criticizing earlier thinkers who wanted to limit the scope of akrasia to agents who despite having reached a rational decision were somehow swerved off their "desired" tracks. Indeed, Davidson expands akrasia to include any judgment that is reached but not fulfilled, whether it be as a result of an opinion, a real or imagined good, or a moral belief. "[T]he puzzle I shall discuss depends only on the attitude or belief of the agent…my subject concerns evaluative judgments, whether they are analyzed cognitively, prescriptively, or otherwise." Thus he expands akrasia to include cases in which the agent seeks to fulfill desires, for example, but ends up denying himself the pleasure he has deemed most choice-worthy.

Davidson sees the problem as one of reconciling the following apparently inconsistent triad:

  • If an agent believes A to be better than B, then they want to do A more than B.
  • If an agent wants to do A more than B, then they will do A rather than B if they only do one.
  • Sometimes an agent acts against their better judgment.

Davidson solves the problem by saying that, when people act in this way, they temporarily believe that the worse course of action is better, because they have not made an all-things-considered judgment, but only a judgment based on a subset of possible considerations.

Another contemporary philosopher, Amélie Rorty (1980) has tackled the problem by distilling out akrasia's many forms. She contends that akrasia is manifested in different stages of the practical reasoning process. She enumerates four types of akrasia: akrasia of direction or aim, of interpretation, of irrationality, and of character. She separates the practical reasoning process into four steps, showing the breakdown that may occur between each step and how each constitutes an akratic state.

Another explanation is that there are different forms of motivation which can conflict with each other. Throughout the ages, many have identified a conflict between reason and emotion, which might make it possible to believe that one should do A rather than B, but still end up wanting to do B more than A.

Psychologist George Ainslie argues that akrasia results from the empirically verified phenomenon of hyperbolic discounting, which causes us to make different judgements close to a reward than we will when further from it.

Weakness of Will

Richard Holton (1999), argues that weakness of the will involves revising one's resolutions too easily. Under this view, it is possible to act against one's better judgment (that is, be akratic), but without being weak-willed. Suppose, for example, Sarah judges that taking revenge upon a murderer is not the best course of action, but makes the resolution to take the revenge anyway and sticks to that resolution. According to Holton, Sarah behaves akratically but does not show weakness of will.