Archive for December, 2012

What led to the Adam Lanza school shooting?

Posted in Education, Law, Music-Movies-Media, Psychology, War with tags , , , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by daviddiel

Regarding the school shooting last week in Connecticut, I have been asking the questions: How did this happen? What factors led to the outcome?

Here are the elements that I think were critical:

1) Lanza had access to weapons that he knew how to use. The weapons didn’t have to be guns. They could have been mining explosives. But his killing pathology must have developed through training that matched the weapons.

2) Lanza probably trained through first person shooter video games. The pattern of aiming at a person, pulling the trigger, feeling no remorse, and targeting another person for pleasure is not innate, but learned. The creation of such games is partly funded by war money.

3) The school did not have armed security personnel. In this case, the principal acted heroically to try to stop Lanza, but failed because he did not have a sufficient weapon. An armed police officer on staff, or any adult present with a concealed weapon and proper training, might have stopped the rampage.

4) Lanza had an episode of a mental dysfunction that got out of control. This case particularly points to a childhood developmental disorder, based on who he chose to kill. Lanza’s immediate fear of treatment triggered a trap loaded with biological predispositions and parenting mistakes.

Steps could be taken on all of these issues, but #2 can be addressed for free without passing legislation. All we need to do is boycott video games and movies that trivialize murder. Which video games or movies would you boycott in honor of the Sandy Hill Elementary victims? Answer in the comments below.

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Facebook is hiding news from you

Posted in About Blogging, Software with tags , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by daviddiel

Friends, your Facebook News Feed is broken. I have noticed in recent updates to the web interface and iPhone interface that Facebook has preferred the Top Stories view of the News Feed  over the Most Recent view. Even though I kept changing it to Most Recent, it kept defaulting back to Top Stories after a short time without warning.

Just so you know, Top Stories shows you a combination of Status updates that it thinks you will like, and others that are paid promotions.

If you joined Facebook to keep up with every Status update, then the party is over. As of this morning, I found that Facebook is hiding some Status updates even in the Most Recent view. What that means is that your Status is being hidden from some of your friends, unless you are paying to promote posts.

It is difficult to prove, but here’s how: Go to your News Feed, select Most Recent view, and take note of the last 5-10 Status updates and the times that they were posted. Next, start browsing your Friends’ Timelines. If you find a Status that is missing in your News Feed, then it follows logically that your posts are being hidden from your friends too.

As someone who lives far away from many of my real friends and family, I am deeply saddened to find that I have missed moments that they tried to share with me. Now, I am looking for ways to post to multiple social networks, and longing for the day when a critical mass of people will move to the next one.