Humans Excel at… Please Wait… Patience

first_imgHere’s another thing that distinguishes humans from animals: patience.  Current Biology usually has a “Quick Guide” feature on some aspect of biology.  In the latest issue, patience was the patient.  First of all, what is it?Humans and other animals often make decisions that trade off present and future benefits.  Should a monkey eat an unripe fruit or wait for it to ripen?  Should I purchase the iPhone at its debut or wait for the price to drop in a few months?  In these dilemmas, large gains often require long waits, so decision makers must choose between a smaller, sooner reward and a larger, later reward.Animals experience these tradeoffs all the time, particularly when foraging for food.  A Clark’s nutcracker (a Western bird) can, for instance, store 33,000 seeds for later consumption, “that is 33,000 decisions to delay gratification.”  But being impulsive can have its payoffs, too.  “He who hesitates is lost,” a proverb says.  If you don’t snatch at the seed in front of you, it could fall into the river.    Following several questions and answers about patience (how it is measured, how animals measure up, etc.) came the question of interest to the human animal: “Are humans uniquely patient?”The most extreme examples of nonhuman animal patience pale in comparison to the levels of patience seen in humans.  Rather than waiting for only seconds or minutes, humans will wait days, weeks, months or even years for gains.  Is this a true cognitive divide?  The answer is yes and no.  In one sense, comparing the human and nonhuman experimental work is like comparing apples and oranges because the methodologies differ so greatly.  Repeated choices with all real rewards and time delays may yield different results from one-shot choices with hypothetical rewards and delays.  When tested in a manner similar to other animals, human subjects look similar to (or sometimes even more impulsive than!) chimpanzees.    Thus, in certain situations humans show similar levels of patience as other primates.  Yet, clearly situations exist in which humans are much more patient than other animals.  It is difficult to imagine even chimpanzees investing in the future in a way comparable to depositing money into a retirement account 30-40 years before receiving a return.  Nonetheless, we know that, for instance, many species show impressive abilities for future planning.  Western scrub jays can plan for their breakfast in the morning.  Monkeys and apes, especially chimpanzees, strategically invest in relationships with group members to climb the political ladder of their dominance hierarchies.  Though these species lack the complex language and symbolic systems (such as money and legal contracts) that allow humans to work over vast temporal horizons, they do demonstrate a flexible means of dealing with the future.  Perhaps the recent surge in interest in animal patience will tell us whether long-term patience is a uniquely human virtue.In short, put your money into an IRA instead of investing in a Monkey Bank. 1.  Jeffrey R. Stevens and David W. Stephens, “Quick Guide: Patience,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 1, 8 January 2008, Pages R11-R12.They missed the whole point.  Human patience is a virtue, not a trait.  The fact that animals (and humans) may have instincts that work in a raw-biological context tells us nothing about the rationality and virtue behind human patience.  If it were merely instinctive, it would not require training and education and conscious choice.  If it were a biological trait, we would not see so many exceptions.    Humans have the capacity for long-term gratification because we were made in the image of God.  That is the only explanation that makes sense for the ability to wait for payoff for decades, or a lifetime.  That is what explains parents denying their gratification for the sake of their children, so that they will be able to have opportunities they never had.  And that is what enables a soul to deny itself till death for a joy in a future life, following the example of Christ, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).    We are animals, but we are not mere animals.  All theists recognize we are rational animals; it’s not like they believe humans float above the ground.  We have stomachs and sex organs and biological urges like the rest of biology.  That curious blend of body and soul is what makes our lives so interesting and challenging.  We were made for an unseen reality that can override our natural urges.  That is why we have need of patience.  That is why we are admonished to “consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (v.3).    Having a biological propensity like the animals to weigh the costs and benefits of immediate vs delayed gratification does in no way diminish the unique capacity of humans for patience, nor does a listing of the misdeeds of impulsive or diseased individuals who act only according to their animal natures.  Indeed, try to imagine a chimpanzee investing in an IRA for 40 years.  Without a soul, with its rational capacity for language, choice and wisdom, such capabilities would be unexplainable.  Current biology demonstrates it.(Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read more

South African feminist a global voice for women

first_imgAfter six years on the job as a UN special rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo is optimistic that it is possible to eradicate violence against women. Based in Cape Town, her job is to make sure governments uphold women’s human rights in South Africa and abroad. Rashida Manjoo, second from right, has spent most of her working life advocating women’s rights. As the United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women, her influence is global. Here, Manjoo, interacts with displaced women in Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons, near El Fasher, North Darfur, during a visit to Sudan to discuss her mandate. (Image: Hamid Abdulsalam, UNAMID)• Maasai women lead solar revolution in Kenya • Kenyan filmmaker takes on race and women• Women of excellence: Ferial Haffajee, champion of media freedom • South Africa’s musos dish on being a woman in music • Powerful women shape Africa Shamin ChibbaSeveral decades before Rashida Manjoo became the United Nations’ special rapporteur on violence against women, there was a sign of where her destiny lay. In a photograph of her as a child, she stands alongside her mother and five siblings; her sisters all wear dresses while Manjoo has on a pair of tracksuit pants.“I always smile when I see that photo,” she says. She may not have known it back then but she was already expressing the feminist ideals with which she would become so entwined.The Durban-born feminist lawyer is a private person, coming across as soft-spoken, but she is the biggest voice for women’s rights globally today. Manjoo has held the rapporteur position for the last six years and in that time has exposed Britain’s underlying sexist culture and has addressed the issue of violence against women with disabilities.Manjoo’s mandate as the UN special rapporteur is straightforward – to make sure governments uphold women’s human rights.When former UN secretary-general Kofi Anan appointed her in 2009, he said the special rapporteurs, of which there are many, were the eyes and ears of the human rights system. “We seek and receive information,” explains Manjoo.” We talk to governments and activists to get an objective analysis on the situation in any given country. We remind governments of their obligation to international law.”Widely known in the international women’s rights movement, Manjoo was nominated by various related bodies to be the special rapporteur. Her position is purely voluntary yet she puts in up to 20 hours of work a day.Shaped by apartheid and povertyGrowing up in Durban during apartheid, Manjoo has long been aware of the injustices towards women. This insight later led to her becoming a feminist lawyer and women’s rights activist. “I grew up in poverty and a highly racialised world with very few opportunities. So you either got strong or accepted your situation.“The starting point for any South African of colour dealing with social injustice and inequality in the past, especially from when you were little, raises consciousness about dealing with these problems than to live with it.”She was raised in a supportive environment, where the strength of women was apparent. Her grandmother, who lost her husband at a young age, reared her children on her own while running a small store. Then, her parents put their children’s education first.One of Manjoo’s greatest influences was Navi Pillay, a Durban-born jurist who served as the UN’s high commissioner for human rights from 2008 to 2014. After completing her law degree, Manjoo did her clerkship under Pillay. She also offered her legal services to the poor for free. “I didn’t care about money or anything like that because I understood the people from disadvantaged backgrounds, having come from a life of poverty myself.”In the early 1990s, Manjoo really started taking an interest in women’s rights issues.Currently a professor in the department of public law at the University of Cape Town, Manjoo has chosen to do her work as a rapporteur in the Mother City. Here she is close to the grassroots of the women’s rights movement. “I had to keep the relationship with grassroots organisations to understand the context. Being at a high level can pull one away from the reality. Part of me thinks you can become egotistical and focus too much on the theory. There is no way you can change things on the ground through reports. You have to remain on the ground.”Watch Rashida Manjoo explain her mandate as UN special rapporteur:Commission on Gender EqualityManjoo has been involved in several initiatives that have directly affected South African women. She was parliamentary commissioner on South Africa’s Commission on Gender Equality and was a member of the committee that drafted South Africa’s Domestic Violence Act.But as the UN’s special rapporteur, her work has global ramifications. In 2014, she garnered worldwide attention when, after a 16-day investigation of the UK, she said violence against women throughout that country remained a pervasive challenge.The British media criticised Manjoo for the report, especially targeting her claim of a sexist culture in the country. But her backers within the same media said most people misunderstood her. Laura Bates from The Guardian newspaper noted that Manjoo’s “reference to sexist culture somehow became confused with a direct comparison of rates of violence against women”.Australian author Kathy Lette agreed with the rapporteur, saying that in a country as wealthy, well-educated and liberal as Britain sexism should be unacceptable. The author of We Need to Talk about Kevin, Lionel Shriver, said Manjoo’s comparative approach may not have been very useful but that Britain was a “little behind the United States” in eradicating sexism. It still had a long way to go, Shriver added.What the British media did not understand was that she was not referring to violence against women as another term for domestic violence but as a structural problem that cascaded from the highest level of government to the layman.“Violence against women is not a welfare or charitable issue,” says Manjoo. “It can manifest economically, sexually, structurally, emotionally and physically. It doesn’t matter the manifestation, though. Any act, verbal or physical, that takes away my dignity, rights and bodily integrity is a violation.”It is her job to make governments understand this.Empowerment and transformationManjoo has travelled across the globe to investigate the status of women, and does not believe there is one country that can be a good example for the rest of the world. Each nation has its own standards and cultures, she says, and has to be approached within its context. “I don’t believe in the notion of best practice. As human beings we are not all the same.”Nordic countries, she says, consider themselves to be amazing. They invest a lot of resources and set up systems to address violence against women but even then, “it’s never about who is better than whom”.When it comes to violence against women, all countries experience one major problem – how to prevent it. She says prevention can only occur when empowerment and transformation are included within the structures. “If we address the power of women rather than rescuing them, we give them tools to become active agents.”We will be facing the problem head-on, she stresses, if we transform society, challenge patriarchy and take those efforts beyond celebrations like Women’s Day and 16 Days of Activism. “We can’t just have a Women’s Day or month and think that will help. We’re scratching the surface and thinking we are changing society. It is just a Band-Aid. The challenge is how we understand transformation.“Transformation is a perpetrator saying ‘I’ll never do it again.’ The state needs to take responsibility to deal with harmed individuals and to provide a coherent, sustainable and stable response to violence against women.”Her home country is an example of a state not taking responsibility, Manjoo says. “Domestic violence is not seen as a high-level crime in South Africa. If you give a police officer a domestic violence case they see it as being punished, that it is not real police work.”Watch Rashida Manjoo, speak to members of the media at a Kabul press conference, detailing her assessment of the situation of Afghan women in November 2014.Status of women in South AfricaYet she believes South Africa has great legislation that protects women. “It is proactive. Even the Bill of Rights [Section 12C], which states a person is to be free from all forms of violence, is amazing.”However, the country’s biggest challenge remains implementation of these laws; things will not work out just because we have good legislation. “If the justice system sends a message that we treat violence against women as less meaningful, then it falls short.”She says the country does not provide an environment that makes it easy for survivors of violent or sexual offences to come forward. “There was a minister who asked ‘What do we do to get rape survivors to come forward?’ But the state should actually be asking what it should do to be more approachable. Unresponsive systems put people off.”South Africa does not provide a holistic response for survivors. There is a lack of financial support and shelters for both women and their children.South Africa represents a missed opportunity to the special rapporteur. Since 2012, Manjoo has been trying to secure a fact-finding mission to investigate violence against women in the country. But when she was finally invited this year, the government postponed her trip without confirming another date.But after six years on the job, she remains optimistic that it is possible to eradicate violence against women. “It can be eradicated if we tackle it on different levels. We can’t see violence against women as individual events but as a widespread problem within a structure. As long as we don’t tackle the structure then we would have lost it.”She offers one final thought on eradicating the problem, which she has shared with activists at seminars and in reports she has written. There is very little accountability around the world, she says. Perpetrators and states are not being held responsible for the problem yet they need to be accountable. “Accountability is crucial because if it is there, we are saying that we don’t tolerate violence against women.”last_img read more

Read more

FCPX Updates to Version 10.0.7

first_imgApple continues to improve the new Final Cut Pro X video editing application.  While the update to 10.0.7 does not introduce any signficant new features, it does address many bugs and usability issues.Video editors – it’s time to update yet again.  With FCPX 10.0.7, Apple’s non-linear video editing application gets updated to address performance issues.FCPX 10.0.6 marked the biggest update since the original release and this release simply improves upon stability.  If you’ve yet to upgrade to 10.0.6 you’re already behind, so you’ll want to be sure and update now to get a ton of new features (see the 10.0.6 changelog here).The FCPX 10.0.7 updates addresses the following issues (from Apple.com):The Letterbox effect “Offset” slider is restored.Fixes an issue that could occur when creating a single layer DVD.Fixes an issue in which some third-party effects could cause Final Cut Pro to stop responding during background rendering.Fixes an issue in which some third-party transitions would incorrectly use black instead of source media.Adds support for editing MXF files that are still ingesting.Fixes an issue with rendering Motion Templates containing Image Units.Fixes an issue with the display of the Modify RED RAW settings button in synchronized and compound clips.Fixes an issue with the upload of clips that are larger than 1 GB to Vimeo.Fixes an issue in which an incorrect frame size is used with filters on two adjacent clips with different pixel aspect ratio.Are you using Final Cut Pro X?  Share your thoughts in the comments!last_img read more

Read more

Ex-Ministers to pay ₹10,000 per day rent for occupying govt. houses

first_imgThe Rajasthan Assembly on Friday passed a Bill amending the provisions for payment of rent by the former Ministers for the government houses allotted to them if they continued to occupy them beyond two months after demitting office. The former Ministers will now be required to pay ₹10,000 a day in such a situation.Voice voteThe Rajasthan Ministers’ Salaries (Amendment) Bill, 2019, tabled by the Congress government on July 22 during the ongoing Budget session of the State Assembly, was passed by a voice vote. The BJP MLAs opposed the Bill’s provisions and said the penalty of ₹10,000 per day was exorbitant.The Bill has also introduced a provision for forcible eviction of an occupant from the government accommodation if he or she refuses to leave. The former Ministers were earlier required to pay ₹5,000 a month after the two-month period.New allotmentParliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal said during the debate on the Bill that it was meant to facilitate allotment of official residences to new Ministers in time after they took over the office. The Bill’s statement of objects and reasons clarified that the ex-Ministers’ failure to vacate official residences after their term was over caused difficulty in allotment of suitable residences to the newly-appointed Ministers.last_img read more

Read more

MICHELLE TREACYS EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER PICKS UP SPEED ON THE LAUNCH

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Q: You closed your eyes in the episode when you were waiting to find out if you were going to be picked, as if you couldn’t bear to look. What was going through your mind?Michelle Treacy: “I had so much anxiety. Throughout the whole show, I had been really confident. I trusted in who I was, and what I did, but that was the one moment where I was like, ‘Oh my God, what if it’s not me?’ So I just said to myself, ‘Girl, close your eyes and take a deep breath.’ ”Q: For the purposes of building up the tension on a TV show, they really drag out those moments, don’t they?Michelle Treacy: “They leave pauses between everything, really long pauses! There’s this awkward silence, and everyone is thinking, ‘When is he (Scott Borchetta) going to say something?’ ”Q: You had a record deal before this, so what was your path to deciding to try out for THE LAUNCH?Michelle Treacy: “I had taken a year off music, got dropped from my label, kind of didn’t know who I was any more. I just wanted to be normal for a minute. I got a job at the mall. I also had a long-distance boyfriend, and when that ended, it all kind of crashed around me. I felt as if I had put everything into that. I actually went to the hospital for anxiety, because I didn’t know what to do. I had a week to kind of restart my life. The nurse said to me, ‘Be more selfish and go out and get exactly what you want.’ And I said, ‘Well, there’s this TV show that I’ve thought about auditioning for, and tomorrow is the last day to apply – so can I leave?’ And she said, ‘Okay, you can leave.’ The next day came, I remember being picked up, going home, putting my makeup on, driving to my guitar player’s house, recording the audition, filling out all the questions online, and hoping to God I made it before midnight. And I did!”Q: When you were recording “Emotional”, there was an interesting development in the studio when Marie-Mai and Bebe Rexha came in, and you said that the whole vibe changed. It got me thinking, is the recording industry still really male-dominated in terms of producers, technicians and engineers, and is that something the music business maybe should think about?Michelle Treacy: “We always need more females. The more females, the better it is. Just think about it: A lot of the songs you hear on the radio, with these women singing about their bodies and stuff, have been written by men. Hey, they tell a story and they make their money and it’s beautiful, but we need women to stand up and say what they want to say, wear what they want to wear, and be who they want to be. It’s important. When you put three women like that in a studio, it’s magic. We look into each other’s eyes and we just know, because we’re on the same wavelength. The majority of my sessions, for sure, have been just men in the studio. I’m not sexist, I want to work with the best of the best. But I really do wish more women would stand up. We could dominate the industry.”Q: There was an interesting moment when Scott was debating which artist to choose, and he said, “I will always take the artist that is too much, because you can reel them back.”Michelle Treacy: “Let me tell you, I’ve always been the wildcard. I wanted to come into this vulnerable. I wanted to show the world, this is why you can support me. Because think about it, I’ve already had it all, I’ve already had the deal, I’ve already had the songs, why choose me, right? Why give me another chance, I’ve already done it. But I wanted to come in and say, ‘Yeah, I did it, and I messed up.’ I was too young, I didn’t know what I was doing, I had too many people around me telling me who I should be, and it didn’t work for me. But now I’ve come back and I’m grounded and I’ve decided who I want to be, and I won’t compromise that for anyone. I wanted to show everyone that I am a good person, I can do this, and I deserve it as much as anyone else. I’m not a naive little girl any more. I want to be honest and I want to be an independent, strong lady.”By Bill Harris | Special to The Lede Advertisement Emotions were raw during this week’s episode of CTV’s THE LAUNCH, as Michelle Treacy’s version of the song “Emotional” wowed the mentors and “launched” a fresh stage of her career.Treacy, a 22-year-old singer from Ottawa, took full advantage of the rare opportunity for a second chance in the music business, having previously been under contract with a record label. But Treacy said she felt as if the song “Emotional” had been written for her and about her, and that was a powerful combination for world-renowned music executive Scott Borchetta, Québec pop icon Marie-Mai, producer Nile Rodgers and celebrity mentor Bebe Rexha.We spoke with Treacy about the “Emotional” roller-coaster of appearing on THE LAUNCH: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Twitter Advertisement Facebook Michelle Treacylast_img read more

Read more

Qualcomm joins hands with 18 manufacturers for 5G modem in 2019

first_imgQualcomm in legal trouble again.REUTERSChipset maker Qualcomm has announced that it has secured 18 OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partners to equip their upcoming smartphones with Qualcomm’s latest X50 5G NR modems in 2019.Qualcomm will start shipping the Snapdragon X50 5G modem in 2019. Qualcomm claims that the handsets with the 5G modem will deliver a high-speed download, faster browsing and high-quality video calling experience. It will also have instant cloud access and 360-degree video streaming. Qualcomm Snapdragon”Qualcomm Technologies is deeply committed to helping our customers deliver next-generation 5G mobile experiences to consumers, which requires enhanced mobile broadband 5G NR connectivity enabled by 5G NR networks, mobile devices and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem,” says Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies.”As evidenced by our work with these distinguished OEMs from around the globe and as we demonstrated in 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies is utilizing our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem,” he added.According to Qualcomm, the company successfully tested the modem chip with download speed greater than 1Gbps in October 2017.On the other hand, network carriers like AT&T said that it will release the first 5G NR network in the United States in late 2018, whereas Sprint will launch the 5G network in the first half of 2019. Verizon is not ready to make any comment on its 5G offering, instead, it is planning to continue the residential 5G trials throughout the year.Here is the list of 18 manufacturers for Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem for 2019:AsusAsusFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedHMD Global (Nokia phones)HMD Global (Nokia phones)AsusHTCFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedInseego/Novatel WirelessHMD Global (Nokia phones)LGAsusNetComm WirelessFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedNetgearHMD Global (Nokia phones)OppoAsusSharp CorporationFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedSierra WirelessHMD Global (Nokia phones)Sony MobileAsusTelitFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedVivoHMD Global (Nokia phones)WingtechAsusWNCFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedXiaomiHMD Global (Nokia phones)ZTE NetComm WirelessNetgearOppo Sharp CorporationSierra WirelessSony Mobile TelitVivoWingtech HTCInseego/Novatel WirelessLG AsusFujitsu Limited/Fujitsu Connected Technologies LimitedHMD Global (Nokia phones) WNCXiaomiZTElast_img read more

Read more

New Deputy Director for Johnson Space Center Is First AfricanAmerican to Hold

first_imgNASA/ BILL STAFFORDVanessa Wyche, deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in HoustonThe Johnson Space Center announced Vanessa Wyche assumed the role of deputy director, on Wednesday. She is the first African-American to be second in command at the Johnson Space Center. Wyche will help lead the organization of nearly 10,000 employees and assist with human spaceflight activities.Prior to her new position, Wyche served as the director of the JSC’s the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, which is involved with human and robotic exploration of deep space.Wyche started working at the Johnson Space Center in 1989, and began her career with NASA as a project engineer. Since then, she’s held several leadership positions.You can read more about Wyche here. NASA said Wyche will assist Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer in managing the center. “Vanessa has a deep background at JSC with significant program experience in almost all of the human spaceflight programs that have been hosted here,” Geyer said, in a press release. “She is respected at NASA, has built agency-wide relationships throughout her nearly three-decade career and will serve JSC well as we continue to lead human space exploration in Houston.” Congratulations to our new deputy director, Vanessa Wyche! Vanessa will assist @DirectorMarkG in leading our center, which has nearly 10,000 civil service and contractor employees and a broad range of human spaceflight activities. Details: https://t.co/J7hXu2I5AP pic.twitter.com/njdTaF0G3b— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) August 8, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

Read more

Perks worth up to US1200 with Holland Americas latest promotion

first_img Travelweek Group Perks worth up to US$1,200 with Holland America’s latest promotion Share << Previous PostNext Post >> SEATTLE — With Holland America Line’s early booking bonus, clients who book now for their 2020-2021 cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey can get special perks valued at up to US$1,200.The cruise line’s EBB runs through May 31, 2019.Some of the benefits featured in the promotion include a Signature Beverage Package, dinner at Pinnacle Grill, 50% reduced deposit, and free or reduced fares for kids (or adults) in the same stateroom sailing as third or fourth guests.Passengers who make a suite booking also receive US$200 onboard spending money in addition.“For our guests who are planners and book their cruise well in advance, this promotion offers incredible incentives to an experience that is already considered the best value in travel,” said Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line. “We’re especially excited to offer free or reduced rates for third and fourth guests, making a family cruise all the more affordable. With a wide array of activities on board and shore excursions for all ages and interests, our cruises are perfect for multigenerational travellers.”More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyHe adds that the EBB is available on a variety of cruises from May 2020 through April 2021. With this promotion, clients can book a cruise to many of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Cuba, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Northern Europe, Panama Canal, South America and South Pacific.center_img Tuesday, April 9, 2019 Posted by Tags: EBB, Holland America Line, Promotionslast_img read more

Read more