Including the next big one

Vlad Panov, Unsplash

Are you enjoying a respite from the torrent of disinformation? All we have left are the remnants of election-rigging allegations and Qanon claims. Or so it seems. But new narratives are brewing, so it’s wise to be ready for the next onslaught.

Before I share a warning about rumors of a coronavirus vaccine’s hidden side-effect, let’s examine some of the cognitive and psychological aspects of conspiracy theories, beginning with a personal experience.

It came from an unlikely source — someone who considers himself a critic of conspiracy theories. A couple months ago, he wanted to do a favor for a…


Eye-opening discoveries from a young friend

Pixabay

I don’t know what to believe. I really don’t. It’s fun to see strange things in video games and do the impossible in virtual worlds, but the real one has gotten really weird. Everybody has their facts, but they keep changing, and politics just seems to be another name for conflict. But I’m taking a course in American government, and have to be ready to vote for the first time. …


A new psychological tool reveals Trump’s and Biden’s secret nature

Pixabay

Good therapists are trained not to make high-inference assumptions. We know to get more information, whether it is from individual clients or from research. In the present matter, I needed to find out more about the assailants who left bite marks and gouges on my clients.

It’s like engaging in family therapy sessions without the most problematic member. Even when the spotlight goes to the so-called black sheep, the real monster is missing. So, I made a plan to find these beasts and create a diagnostic tool to help other clinicians identify them.

As I began to meet these monsters…


Virus and Violence

It’s no secret, we have multiple infections. But there’s something else that makes this a distinctive era in history. It’s a pivotal time of keen yearning and heightened mutability. It’s a time for the disease and the dis-ease to serve as a catalyst for epochal change.

Psycho-social, cultural and political dynamics often have a pattern of an undercurrent that flows opposite the prevailing current on the surface. The bulk of the news focuses on the dominant part — until the movement below surfaces. Amidst the social distancing, death, economic hardship, racism, violence and destruction there is a…


How the right coronavirus test will allow us to resume activities long before a vaccine

NASA sunrise

You ever come up with a trillion-dollar idea? That’s the amount a good COVID-19 test would save the US economy each month. On April 29th, the National Institutes of Health announced that $500M of their recent $1.5B federal stimulus funding will go to proposals from scientists and inventors that apply to their Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program. More info can be found at NIH’s Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) site, where you can also submit proposals.

The info on the site announces that “RADx will provide resources to support all phases of the product development pipeline from conceptualization and…


The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the tweet is now mightier than a nuke

In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex, also referred to as the military-congressional-industrial complex. But the greater danger we now face is the righteous indignation industrial complex. It offers power and influence ranging from ubiquitous commercial interests to the highest political offices while also injecting individuals with a personal sense of rectitude. But it comes at an exorbitant cost.

Those costs range from anxiety to anger to a loss of time and friendships. …


How a pervasive effect in physics exerts a powerful social impact in your life

Many of our most important problems have paradoxical or counterintuitive solutions. That’s also true for growth, whether its organizational or personal. Think of the habits and systems that persistently interfere with your greater aims and needs. Whether the patterns are subtle or obvious, consider how they draw other thoughts and activities into their orbits. This is called “subversive entrainment.” If it has been resistant to your efforts to change, you may need a less-obvious, contrarian approach.

Consider for example, the ubiquitous issue of clutter. I’ve seen it get in the way of friends’ lives, interfering with their daily functions and…


Have a gripe? You have no idea of real frustration until you read about Hitler’s guardian angel.

According to the heavenly quants, the leading cause of grumbling among humans is a need for attention. That usually means a cry for sympathy, but sometimes the grumbling isn’t a symptom of a chronic complainer but stems from real, prolonged troubles. The Greeks made a myth of Sisyphus to portray this type of character. It’s exemplified by a hard-working but infamously ineffectual angel named, “Oy Vey.”

Now, to be fair, it wasn’t always the case with Angel Oy who also had to play by divine rules and defer to human agency. In his history of service, he was given really…


How hybrid dynamics create the greatest impact in innovation and social change

From the atomic to the galactic level, in physics, chemistry and biology, nature has much to teach us about innovation. Evolution occurs over time, but the most significant changes come from adaptive mutations and hybrids. Their dynamics can be applied to the pursuit of individual innovations and offer a framework for developing innovative organizations.

Science and technology advances through specialization that allows incremental developments. But history shows the greatest discoveries, inventions and progress often arise when advances from one field are applied to another or someone goes against his or her “type.” Given the right ingredients, complementary elements can cross-fertilize…

John Wallbank

Former counselor, now a screenwriter and social science researcher specializing in cross-fertilized innovation. Founder of Pure Hybrid Media LLC.

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