Archive for November 2017

"An eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C., can often be the highlight of grade school - see the White House, meet your member of Congress. But students from North Ridgeville City School District outside of Cleveland, Ohio were notified recently their D.C. trip was canceled. Administrators called it off because of fears of a terrorist attack or a mass shooting" (per NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro, November, 2017). PARENTS MADE THE DECISION TO NIX THE TRIP. The parents pressured the school superintendent to cancel the trip – noting a myriad of safety concerns from active shooter to a vehicle jumping onto a walking path. The killing of 8 people by a motorist intentionally driving on a Manhattan bike path in October likely contributed to the parents’ fears and the October 1st Las Vegas mass shooting certainly was fresh in the adults’ minds. To his credit, district superintendent Jim Powell was tactful in his statements, but also expressed regret in the parents’ collective position as he stated he had taken his own family on a trip to Washington D.C. SENTINEL NATIONAL INCIDENTS CREATE MASS HYSTERIA AND CONVINCE PARENTS THE NATION IS NOT SAFE. When asked if he had to previously cancel a trip like this because of fears, superintendent Powell stated he recalled districts canceling trips right after 9/11/01. Lulu Garcia-Navarro pointed out that safety incidents can occur just about anywhere, whether in a small town or a big city. Her statement is interesting considering the November, 2017 mass murder at the church in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas. Yes, these events can and do happen everywhere. Also, Washington D.C. boasts a strong police presence and its various public safety forces train diligently to promote safe environments for tourists. Furthermore, these students live 22 miles from Cleveland – which per several metrics I reviewed presents its own risks to personal safety. DENYING ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS & THWARTING FUTURE RECONNAISSANCE. A statistical fact is that the students were as (un)likely to perish in a bus accident to /from DC as per being victims of an attack in DC. The odds were less than being struck by lightning. TEACH AWARENESS & LEARN SAFE TRAVEL TIPS. There are numerous reputable websites, as well as professional services, to help schools plan and carryout safe trips to the nation’s capital. Examples are https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/education and https://www.nationsclassroomtours.com/school-tours/school-trips-to-washington-dc Canceling this trip when there was not an imminent threat warning for DC sends powerful, and wrong, messages to youth. First, our nation’s capital is not safe, and hence, our nation is not safe. Second, you’re taking your lives in your own hands if you travel domestically or abroad. Third, forget about engaging in reconnaissance as a teen or young adult as America is simply too dangerous to explore without an armada. Learning how to be a safe traveler is an essential skill in our global economy. More than a trip to DC was taken from these students. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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To freeze or not to freeze (your credit), that is the question – and with entertaining prose, Dr. Perrodin, helps you measure the thorny considerations that will yield your noble answer in midst of the slings and arrows of outrageous fiscal fortunes. If you have a credit report, there's a good chance that you're one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit agencies. David explains that the agencies are not extensions of the government and how locking credit now is a solid option (in his opinion). WHAT PERSONAL DATA WAS HACKED? Per Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC, The Equifax breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too. WHAT ARE CREDIT BUREAUS AND WHY DO THEY EXIST? There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion and they took root across the United States in the roaring 1920s. Credit bureaus were created to help lenders and creditors decide potential customers that were “credit worthy.” However, it was voluntary for businesses and government agencies to “share” individuals’ financial history with the bureaus. ARE THE CREDIT BUREAUS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES? Nope! It might surprise you to learn that none of the credit bureaus are federal agencies. In fact, they have no government affiliations whatsoever! These are private companies that collect information from creditors regarding your credit history. They sell this information to creditors and the data is used to determine if you are “credit worthy.” If you use little credit, meaning you have paid in cash, don’t have a stack of credit cards, or own your house, you might actually receive a subpar credit score as you haven’t “demonstrated” an ability to manage debt. Yes, as insane as that sounds, it’s an accurate summation of the punishment of fiscally conservative minimalists. SHOULD I FREEZE MY CREDIT? Probably. Check with valuepenguin.com for state by state information on how to freeze and thaw your credit and the associated fees. Expect to pay $30 to freeze your credit at the “Big 3” bureaus and you must deal with each on its finicky process to freeze and thaw credit. The benefit to a freeze is that someone won’t be able to take out a loan in your name – your risk for identity fraud drops. DOWNFALL TO FREEZING CREDIT. Most potential employers want to check your credit – so that requires you to thaw it, and then freeze it again – and there’s $60 down the drain. Now, apply for a car loan, and another freeze and thaw cycle. In fact, young job hunters can end up paying hundreds in freeze/law fees. By the way, the default setting by the “Big 3” is to have your credit open. I believe that the default should be to have frozen credit. Also, charging fees each time credit is thawed and the (re)-frozen seems like a scam. Oh, TransUnion’s stock price has increased 75% year-to-date and despite the Equifax fumble, its stock is down less than 8% in 2017. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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Subjective reality is “subject” to an elaborate set of filters, any one of which can modify a perception of that reality; sensory apparatus (e.g. the rods and cones in our eyes), sensory processing (e.g. the visual cortex), higher level brain function, and psychological factors (e.g. expectations). As such, what one person experiences is always different than what any other person experiences, but usually in subtle ways. SUBJECTIVE REALITY EXAMPLE. Two weeks of sunshine, high temperatures and no rain for many people is seen as desirable and good. The farmer however would like some rain in between times because otherwise his fields dry out, older people are not so happy with high air temperatures because it causes breathing difficulties etc. Who is being objective here? Obviously our assessment of the weather depends amongst other things significantly on what we want to do (swimming in an outdoor pool, working in the field, working in an office, travelling, resting etc.), upon our mood and our state of health. Exactly the same weather on a given day gives one person great pleasure and another one annoyance. EXPECTATIONS. A mental representation of an impending event relies heavily on information from past experience and, therefore, must incorporate information from brain regions associated with memory recall. The hippocampus is involved in neural processes supporting the retrieval of past memories and is reciprocally connected with the amygdala in a fashion that may support affective modulation of memory recall. Expectations of decreased pain profoundly reduce both the subjective experience of pain and pain-related brain activation. FILM / MEDIA INFLUENCE WHAT WE PERCEIVE AS REALITY. Kenneth Boulding (1956) did not write about how film influenced people's "images" but he did write about how messages change or fail to change the "images" people have of their world. "Images" are people's store of subjective knowledge about an event, person, or an experience. It is our overall image that determines our behavior. Boulding pointed out that any message has meaning to the extent that it can change our image. Messages often have a limited impact, particularly entertainment messages, and are interpreted as irrelevant to our image. Many messages can have a regularized impact, changing the image in a predictable manner. These types of messages serve to confirm existing beliefs and add detail to images we already hold. A message can also have a profound impact, changing the image in a revolutionary way. We can discover new facts, encounter new theories about why an event happened, and have our convictions about a past "truth" weakened. Historians feared radical change in what people thought about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, due to Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, JFK, which promoted a conspiracy. Objective Reality & Consensus Reality. Objective reality completely exists independent of any conscious entity to observe it. It also is bound to the consensus requirement. For you to see a passing car and make it turn red just because you want to, would violate the color consensus that must be maintained for the other 1000 people that see that car drive by. In fact, there is nothing to say that the aggregate of conscious intents from all conscious entities fully shape the subjective reality. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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A person loses a loved one and smiles or laughs. Why? To the scientific eye, the seemingly misplaced humor manifestations reveal pain and regret. Dr. Perrodin explores popular theories of humor and demystifies the science behind laughter and discovers that laughter can be a formidable cognitive self-defense tool. This is known as Relief Theory. SNIPPETS OF LAUGHTER – EXAMPLES OF PYSCHOLOGICAL DEFENSE. Conspiracy theories are frequently peppered with video or audio snippets, separated from context, of persons who experienced a sentinel trauma such as losing a child or a spouse. Per Relief Theory, laughter is a normal human response to a situation that is starkly incongruent with everyday life. This biological coping mechanism is well-documented and also an affect that simply mismatches to the narrative. This may explain why some psychologists classify humor as one of the "mature" defense mechanisms we invoke to guard ourselves against overwhelming anxiety (as compared to the "psychotic," "immature," and "neurotic" defense mechanisms). Being able to laugh at traumatic events in our own lives doesn't cause us to ignore them, but instead seems to prepare us to endure them. WHY WE LAUGH – HOW LAUGHTER CAN HELP BUILD RESILIENCE. Dr. Perrodin describes the work of Alex Lickerman, M.D., who authored the book The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self Online: Happiness in this World (2011). “Interestingly, this same nervous laughter has been noted to occur in many psychological experiments when subjects have found themselves placed under a high degree of emotional stress specifically involving perceived harm to others. Perhaps the most famous of these experiments were those conducted by Stanley Milgram, who set out to discover why some people will blindly follow authority (the impetus being a desire to understand the behavior of soldiers in Nazi Germany). He brought in test subjects and asked them to deliver a series of increasingly powerful electric shocks to an unseen person (the "learner") to see just how much voltage they would deliver before refusing to continue. An astounding 65% delivered the experiment's final jolt of 450 volts, fully believing they were actually shocking the "learners." (It turns out, they weren't. The "learners" were members of Milgram's team playing a role.) In the paper he published on his experiment, Milgram made mention of several subjects who began to laugh nervously once they heard screams of pain coming from the unseen "learners," and suggested this was a phenomenon that deserved further study. BEING ABLE TO JOKE ABOUT A TRAUMATIC LOSS USUALLY REQUIRES THE HEALING DISTANCE OF TIME. Being victimized, for example, may make us suicidal when it first occurs, but with the passage of time we adapt to the loss and eventually may even find ourselves able to joke about it. What magic does the passage of time work on us that permits us to laugh at what once made us cry? Perhaps definitive proof that the alarm our loss raised when it first occurred was, in fact, "false." After all, we survived it and became happy again. WWII HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR VIKTOR FRANKL cited laughter as fundamental to preservation of his psyche. "Humor, more than anything else in the human makeup, affords an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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