Questioning the banality of evil. "There is a widespread consensus amongst psychologists that tyranny triumphs either because ordinary people blindly follow orders or else because they mindlessly conform to powerful roles. However, recent evidence concerning historical events challenges these views. In particular, studies of the Nazi regime reveal that its functionaries engaged actively and creatively with their tasks. Re-examination of classic social psychological studies points to the same dynamics at work. This article summarises these developments and lays out the case for an updated social psychology of tyranny that explains both the influence of tyrannical leaders and the active contributions of their followers." [Via Mind Hacks.] posted by homunculus at 9:50 PM PST - 108 comments
"GET LAMP is a documentary about Text Adventures (later Interactive Fiction), the storytellers who created them, and their unique place in the history of computer games." Although not completed yet (it will be soon, as filming was completed in October), this documentary will contain 76 interviews with people involved in the industry at the time, including Scott Adams (not the cartoonist), Marc Blanc and Tim Anderson (who both worked on Zork, one of the best known examples of the medium) . Here's a teaser trailer. And here are some fun representatives of the genre to play online. posted by SpacemanStix at 4:42 PM PST - 55 comments
"In 2003 the total size of the world economy was $49,000,000,000,000. The total size of the derivatives being traded was $85,000,000,000,000. In other words, derivatives today are worth far, far more than the total economic activity of the planet. More than $1,000,000,000,000 of derivatives are bought and sold every day. Every single thing that can be traded through derivatives, is."
The Checklist - "If a new drug were as effective at saving lives as Peter Pronovost’s checklist, there would be a nationwide marketing campaign urging doctors to use it" [single page] posted by Gyan at 6:14 AM PST - 65 comments