Archive for July 25th, 2013

July 25, 2013

Missed Connection

A missed connection is a type of personal advertisement which arises after two people meet but are too shy or otherwise unable to exchange contact details. The ‘Missed Connections’ section of Craigslist gets thousands of ads of this type every month for cities such as New York and San Francisco.

The feature was started by Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist’s CEO, after he noticed a common type of posting in their personal ads, which he characterised as ‘you-smiled-at-me-on-the-subway-platform.’ He sees the format as addressing a common human need and being ideal for romantic comedy, ‘Missed Connections give people that second chance … They represent persistence in the face of long odds, which definitely adds to their artistic appeal.’

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July 25, 2013

FOMO

missed connections

Fear of Missing Out or FoMO is a form of social anxiety — a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event. This is especially associated with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services.

A study by Andrew Przybylski found that the condition was most common in those who had unsatisfied psychological needs such as wanting to be loved and respected. The condition is also associated with social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which provide constant opportunity for comparison of one’s status.

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July 25, 2013

YOLO

YOLO is an acronym for ‘you only live once.’ Similar to ‘carpe diem’ (‘seize the day’) or ‘memento mori’ (‘remember that you will die’), it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks. The expression’ is commonly attributed to Golden Age film star Mae West, but variations of the phrase have been in use for over 100 years, including as far back as (the German equivalent of) ‘one lives but once in the world’ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his 1774 play ‘Clavigo’ and as the title of a waltz, ‘Man lebt nur einmal!’ (‘You Only Live Once!’) by Johann Strauss II in 1855.

The acronym is in youth culture and music, and was popularized by the 2011 song ‘The Motto’ by Canadian rapper Drake (who later claimed to want royalties due to the proliferation of merchandise bearing the phrase). Actor Zac Efron has a tattoo with the acronym. The expression has been criticized for its use in conjunction with reckless behavior, most notably in a Twitter post by aspiring rapper Ervin McKinness just prior to his death: ‘Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO.’

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July 25, 2013

Relativism

Relativism [rel-uh-tuh-viz-uhm] is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. The term is often used to refer to the context of moral principle, where in a relativistic mode of thought, principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context.

There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy. The term often refers to ‘truth relativism,’ which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture (cultural relativism). Another widespread and contentious form is moral relativism (which argues that morality is context-bound, not objective).

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July 25, 2013

Sam Wang

welcome to your brain

princeton election consortium

Sheng-Hung (Sam) Wang (b. 1967) is an American professor, neuroscientist and author known for the books ‘Welcome to Your Brain’ and ‘Welcome to Your Child’s Brain,’ as well as for the Princeton Election Consortium psephology (study of elections) web site. Wang was raised in California.

His parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the 1960s. He attended the California Institute of Technology and graduated in 1986 with a B.S. in physics with honors at the age of 19, making him the youngest member of his graduating class. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford University.

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