ritualized behavior and risks, blue dance, corporate sunshine patriots

Otherwise rational people can find themselves buying into superstitious behavior without seeing themselves as giving into something irrational. This might be connected to something almost Pavlovian. Certain actions are associated with rewards. I wore this shirt and the Red Sox won their first game after a four game losing streak. I won a hundred dollars on the office pool the last time I wore these high heels. They don’t believe in luck per se, but why take any chances and wear another shirt or pair of shoes.If the behavior is rewarded even a percent or more above what probability dictates, the self told rationalizations only take a second to justify continuing to do whatever brought about the reward. Washing Away Good and Bad Luck

In the second experiment, students and staff from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where Zwick formerly taught, were given HK $100 (US$1 = HK$7.8) to gamble with. They were told this was “for real” money that they would keep at the end. Indeed, they were paid based on their decisions and luck.

The experimenters showed participants a pink ball and a green ball and placed them in a bag. Participants selected one of the colors as their “winning” color and blindly picked a ball from the bag. If they picked the winning color they won HK$50. If not, they lost HK$50. They repeated the task until they lost their HK$100, won an additional HK$100 or completed four rounds.

Next, an ostensibly unrelated product evaluation study served as a cover story for the hand-washing manipulation. Participants evaluated organic soap. Half were told to wash their hands with the soap. The other half were told not to use the soap.

Finally, participants did a second round of gambling. They received HK$50 and were told they could bet any amount from nothing to HK$50.It was the same game as last time, but with only one round.

Researchers found participants who had good luck in the initial round bet more money in the second round than participants who had bad luck.

However, participants who had bad luck in the first round bet more money in the second round if they washed their hands. The difference was an average of HK$31.15 versus HK$17.47.

Shirts, shoes, a charm, a lucky coin we can relate to and will generally confess to, but that behavior can also be part of ritualized behavior or the ritualized behavior – hand washing – all by itself. Rational, front of the cerebral cortex thinking has pretty much handed things off to the insula. Handed off is probably going too far. One can imagine the analytical cortex fighting it out with the impulses in the insula to justify taking risks, how big a risk or not taking a risk at all. Because we are such reward centered animals and in general pain avoiding animals, the hand washing or some similar ritual must complete a circuit of sorts. Instead of making five widgets and getting five dollars, you wash your hands, pick a winning color or team or belief system. If the rewards are coming in a rate that can approximate our expectations than the belief is reinforced and the downside or losing times, can be explained away by those ever so accommodating voices we hear inside our heads.

blue dance

Taking things, money, even that do not belong to you is wrong. Conservatives and progressives agree there is a point at which taxes can be unreasonable. That is the point at which taxes are said to be confiscatory. We have a well established language to describe that phenomenon. The ever so accommodating media has been kind enough to help erect, maintain and propagate the way we frame taxes and fairness. Its Right of center framing that never considered all national infrastructure – from street lights to public universities – that makes owning a business possible and thus makes profits possible – no business operates in a self-sustaining Randian bubble. Where the value comes from that makes business possible and thus the need for taxes to expand and maintain that infrastructure ( both real and psychological) is never discussed much beyond Bill Moyer or maybe Rachel Maddow.With that reasoning in mind, what is it called then when Corporate America’s Sunshine Patriots Takes Most of The Capital Produced By Labor

In June, a report from Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies found that since the economic recovery began two years ago, “Corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than one percent.” It goes on to declare, “The absence of any positive share of national income growth due to wages and salaries received by American workers during the current economic recovery is historically unprecedented. The lack of any net job growth in the current recovery combined with stagnant real hourly and weekly wages is responsible for this unique, devastating outcome.”

The report concludes that in this jobless, wageless recovery, “The only major beneficiaries of the recovery have been corporate profits and the stock market and its shareholders.”

A new study conducted for The New York Times by the executive compensation data firm Equilar found that the median pay for top executives at “200 big companies” last year was $10.8 million: “That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009.” The richest one percent makes almost 25 percent of the nation’s income.

One of the elements of the enormous amounts of money being made by hedge fund managers and is that for the most part they are placing bets with other people’s money. Their returns are not based on the work they do. The returns are based on the work done by others once removed. Corporate executives are also making enormous sums. Where does that money come from. The value added to the product or service by workers. Lets say that value is made of value units. Executives are saying, along with certain political movements, that they deserve a bigger share of value units for all the value produced than the workers. Not just a little more because as we all know all executives are smarter, harder working and more virtuous than the serfs, but substantially more. To the point of being confiscatory in regards to wages and benefits. This situation doesn’t exist because there are sound reasons spelled out in the Big Book of Capitalism ( where it says something about pay, work and merit being connected). The situation exists because it has become a belief that this is the way things should be. Shorting labor has become a deeply ingrained dogma and anyone who challenges it is a heretic.

Makah tribal art. the Makah are a north-western tribe. the name Makah means – People of the Cape.

In WTF news, Cops: McDonald’s boss punches mom with service dog

A McDonald’s manager in the Atlanta area is accused of punching a mother after she brought her autistic children and a service dog inside the restaurant, authorities said.

Tiffany Denise Allen is charged with simple battery, simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to a Cobb County warrant.

Jennifer Schwenker entered the McDonald’s in Marietta with her twins and service dog on July 12. Allen, who was off-duty at the time, became angry that the dog was inside, the warrant states. Police say Allen followed the mother around the restaurant, then punched her in the face in the parking lot.

Surveillance video shows McDonald’s employees trying to restrain their co-worker, police wrote in the warrant.

Tiffany Denise Allen is no longer employed at that restaurant. She may have had one too many Happy Meals.

New Firefox Add-on Warns You About The Dangers Of The Murdoch Propaganda Machine. There is also something similar available for Chrome. I’ll be ignoring it when I go to National Geographic, but other than that a good idea.