Archive for September 30th, 2012

September 30, 2012

Space Diving

Red Bull Stratos

Like skydiving, space diving refers to the act of jumping from a plane, balloon, or spacecraft in outer space and falling to Earth’s atmosphere before parachuting to a landing. Depending on one’s definition of ‘space,’ the only historical case of a human intentionally space diving from the stratosphere is Joseph Kittinger, who jumped from a helium balloon at the height of 100,000 feet (approximately 30 kilometers).

Higher jumps from mesosphere or thermosphere have yet to be successfully performed, though Orbital Outfitters is working to create a suit that will enable safe space diving. Space diving from beyond the stratosphere has been imagined in various fictional contexts.

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September 30, 2012

Correlation does not imply Causation

Pirates and global warming

Correlation does not imply causation‘ is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a relationship between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other. The opposite belief, ‘correlation proves causation,’ is one of several questionable cause logical fallacies by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship.

The fallacy is also known as ‘cum hoc ergo propter hoc’ (Latin for ‘with this, therefore because of this’) and ‘false cause.’ It is a common fallacy in which it is assumed that, because two things or events occur together, one must be the cause of the other. By contrast, the fallacy, ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc,’ requires that one event occur after the other, and so may be considered a related fallacy.

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September 30, 2012

Actor–observer Asymmetry

Fundamental attribution error

Actor-observer asymmetry (also actor-observer bias) explains the errors that one makes when forming attributions about behavior. When a person judges their own behavior, and they are the actor, they are more likely to attribute their actions to the particular situation than to a generalization about their personality. Yet when a person is attributing the behavior of another person, thus acting as the observer; they are more likely to attribute this behavior to the person’s overall disposition than as a result of situational factors.

People are more likely to see their own behavior as affected by the situation they are in, or the sequence of occurrences that have happened to them throughout their day. But, they see other people’s actions as solely a product of their overall personality, and they do not afford them the chance to explain their behavior as exclusively a result of a situational effect.

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