War

Studies of World War II veterans suggest that very few men are innately bellicose. The psychiatrists Roy Swank and Walter Marchand found that 98 percent of soldiers who endured 60 days of continuous combat suffered psychiatric symptoms, either temporary or permanent. The two out of 100 soldiers who seemed unscathed by prolonged combat displayed “aggressive psychopathic personalities,” the psychiatrists reported. In other words, combat didn’t drive these men crazy because they were crazy to begin with.

Surveys of WWII infantrymen carried out by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall found that only 15 to 20 percent had fired their weapons in combat, even when ordered to do so. Marshall concluded that most soldiers avoid firing at the enemy because they fear killing as well as being killed. [cite]

 

well, at least the Ph.D is good for something

The Consumer Federation of America did a mystery shopper review of several auto insurers and found that drivers with at-fault accidents paid lower premiums than drivers with spotless records — provided that the careless driver was rich and well-educated and the careful driver was a single renter without an advanced degree. [link]

New fronds, old fronds

As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other. [link]

Old Boys

At the accounting and consulting powerhouse Ernst & Young, nearly half of advanced hires these days were recommended by the company’s own workers. (That’s up from 28 percent in 2010, and the company’s goal is to surpass 50 percent internal-referral rate.) In the what you know vs. who you know tug-of-war, personal connections are pulling stronger. 

Like any short-cut, this one can lead companies astray. It’s conceivable that if you rope off a majority of your hires for internal referrals, you’re willfully ignoring applicants who could be superior employees, but happen to lack the arbitrary quality of “knowing Carl from Accounts Receivable.” [link]

Banana Phone

Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to? If your answer is yes, you will likely live longer than someone whose answer is no. [cite]

I guess the 4AM phone call to a friend is what you do after you answer the notorious 3AM phone call. And of course, Blondie’s friends will live longer … 

wont rise again

The South escaped one of the worst character traits of America, its sappy optimism, its weakness of positive thinking. The North puffed confidently into the future, Panglossian about progress, always bound to win. But the South had lost. It knew there was an America that could be defeated. That made it capable of facing tragedy, as many in America were not. This improved its literature, but impoverished other things. [link]