Patterico's Pontifications

11/5/2004

Brain Scan Revisited

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 6:38 pm

A while back I posted that a researcher was interested in scanning my brain. I explained that he was doing an experiment to see whether the brains of Republicans scan differently from those of Democrats. Because he is based in L.A., he was having trouble finding Republican volunteers. A mutual friend had put us in touch with one another.

Many of you warned me against it, but I thought it seemed harmless. So I called him up, and expressed interest in the idea.

The researcher’s name was Dr. Joshua Freedman. He assured me that he was not planning to publish the results before the upcoming presidential election, or use them in connection with the campaign — something I had been concerned about, because our mutual friend had told me Dr. Freedman is a Democrat. Dr. Freedman said there was no danger of side effects from the brain scan. I agreed to do it.

I guess we had a misunderstanding about whether he was supposed to contact me again, or whether I was supposed to call him. I kept expecting an e-mail that I never got.

Or maybe it wasn’t a miscommunication. Maybe he was offended by my post about the experiment, in which I said: “The experiment sounds a little goofy, to be honest, but a free brain scan never hurt, right?” (He knew about my blog, because our mutual friend had told him about it, and he had discussed it with me.) I didn’t mean any offense by the comment; I just happened to think it was a little goofy. I’d have told him that to his face if he’d asked.

Anyway, when I noticed it had been a while since I had talked to him, and I had received no e-mail, I thought about calling him. But, to be honest, I was pretty busy and didn’t know if I had time for it anyway.

I figured I’d never hear about it again, but guess what? The experiment is over, and the results have been made public — as you can read in an AP story about the study titled Scientists Scan Brains To Learn How To Sell Candidates.

Reading the story, I’m kind of glad I didn’t participate:
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Who Is the Most Powerful Person in the World?

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 7:23 am

Yesterday a friend and I were discussing who is the most powerful person in the country. Then he refined it to who is the most powerful person in the world.

What do you think?

1) Who is the most powerful person in the country?

2) Who is the most powerful person in the world?

Is the answer to question #2 different from the answer to question #1?

I think your answer depends in large part upon how you define power. Define it any way you see fit, and leave a comment.

I haven’t come up with any definitive answers, but I have some possibilities in the extended entry. No peeking until you’ve left your comment.
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