In psychology literature, “ask for the moon, settle for less” is known as the “door in the face” (DITF) technique. Unlike the “foot in the door” technique, in which the fulfillment of a small request makes people more likely to fulfill a large request, DITF uses an unreasonable request as a way of making somebody more likely to subsequently fulfill a more moderate request. The technique was first demonstrated by Robert Cialdini’s famous 1975 experiment in which students became more likely to volunteer for a single afternoon after first being asked to volunteer for an afternoon every week for two years.
So, can research on DITF shed some light on why pursuing an assault weapons ban didn’t pan out?
The Human Cannonball doesn’t usually remember much about each flight, aside from a quick impression of soaring through the air. […] She has just been shot out of a 24-foot-long air-compression cannon and travels between 75 and 100 feet at a force of 7 g. That’s greater force than a roller coaster, greater than a Formula One racecar, greater than the space shuttle. A force powerful enough to have caused some human cannonballs to pass out midflight. […] She’s in the air approximately three seconds.
Our howitzers and camel swivel guns played on his lines with telling effect. Half a league onward! They charge!
For the last six months, Cody Wilson and his non-profit group Defense Distributed have worked towards a controversial goal: To make as many firearm components as possible into 3D-printable, downloadable files. Now they’re seeking to make those files searchable, too–and to make a profit while they’re at it.
In a talk at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas Monday afternoon, Wilson plans to announce a new, for-profit spinoff of his gun-printing project that will serve as both a repository and search engine for CAD files aimed at allowing anyone to 3D-print gun parts in their own garage.
related links posted between april 2012 and today in every day, the same, again:
I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap!
The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.
Then I just wanted to go get out of the house. We all had a DNA test kit, but I knew another team would be in there to do all that. So I went down to the second floor where the offices were, the media center. We started breaking apart the computer hard drives, cracking the towers. We were looking for thumb drives and disks, throwing them into our net bags.
In each computer room, there was a bed. Under the beds were these huge duffel bags, and I’m pulling them out, looking for whatever. At first I thought they were filled with vacuum-sealed rib-eye steaks. I thought, They’re in this for the long haul. They’ve got all this food. Then, wait a minute. This is raw opium. These drugs are everywhere. It was pretty funny to see that.
Guns should know where they are and if another gun is nearby. Global positioning systems can meet most of the need, refining a gun’s location to the building level, even within buildings. Control of the gun would remain in the hand of the person carrying it, but the ability to fire multiple shots in crowded areas or when no other guns are present would be limited by software that understands where the gun is being used.
Guns should also be designed to sense where they are being aimed. Artificial vision and optical sensing technology can be adapted from military and medical communities. Sensory data can be used by built-in software to disable firing if the gun is pointed at a child or someone holding a child.
Building software into guns need not affect gun owners’ desire to protect their homes. Trigger control software could be relaxed when the gun is at home or in a car, while other safety features stay on to prevent accidental discharges. Guns used by the police would be exempt from such controls.
With a homicide rate historically more than three times greater than the rest of the United States, Newark, N.J., isn’t a great vacation spot. But it’s a great place for a murder study.
Led by April Zeoli, an assistant professor of criminal justice, a group of researchers at Michigan State University tracked homicides around Newark from 1982 to 2008, using analytic software typically used by medical researchers to track the spread of diseases. They found that “homicide clusters” in Newark, as researchers called them, spread and move throughout a city much the same way diseases do. Murders, in other words, did not surface randomly—they began in the city center and moved in “diffusion-like processes” across the city.
The study also found that the there were areas of Newark that, despite being beset by violence on all sides, remained almost completely immune to the surrounding trends over the entire course of the 26 years studied.
This study offers the first combined quantitative assessment of suicide terrorists and rampage, workplace, and school shooters who attempt suicide, to investigate where there are statistically significant differences and where they appear almost identical. Suicide terrorists have usually been assumed to be fundamentally different from rampage, workplace, and school shooters.
Many scholars have claimed that suicide terrorists are motivated purely by ideology, not personal problems, and that they are not even suicidal. This study’s focus was on attacks and attackers in the United States from 1990 to 2010 and concluded that the differences between these offenders were largely superficial. Prior to their attacks, they struggled with many of the same personal problems, including social marginalization, family problems, work or school problems, and precipitating crisis events.
The electronic “pistol” of this summer’s Games was designed to overcome an astonishing problem: The speed of sound is too slow for Olympic athletes. That is to say, athletes far away from the starting pistol were delayed by the time it took for the sound to travel to them, and differences so tiny can matter in races in which the margins are so small.