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Online demonstration of Carl Jung’s “synchronicty”


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Time to teach ethics to artificial intelligence


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Animal casualties of the 21st century – the extinction list


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Those post-binge-watching blues? They might be real

Monita Karmakar, University of Toledo and Jessica Sloan Kruger, University of Toledo

With the release of the fourth season of “House of Cards,” all 13 episodes are available for Netflix subscribers. Some fans might space each episode out over the course of the ensuing weeks. But many will binge-watch – completing the series in a thrilling, draining marathon of being glued to their laptops or TV screens.

And when it’s all over?

Many report feeling sad or anxious once a TV binge-watching session has concluded. In an essay for The New York Times, writer Matthew Schneier reported feeling “anxious, wistful, bereft” as his binge of Aziz Ansari’s popular comedy series “Master of None” neared its end.

A couple of years ago, one binge-watcher interviewed by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said she felt “depression” and “emptiness” after finishing her favorite shows.

On Twitter, others have expressed similar sentiments.

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Are these merely the experiences of a few people who have watched too much TV (and could probably use some fresh air)? Or could binge-watching actually affect your health and well-being?

There’s been limited empirical research on the consequences of binge-watching. So with the advantage of a large sample size, we conducted one of the first forays into studying binge-watching from a public health perspective.

A binge-watching bonanza

According to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, watching television is one of the most common leisure time activities in the U.S.

On average, Americans spend about 2 hours and 49 minutes per day watching television, and it accounts for more than 50 percent of their daily leisure activities.

Yet the way Americans consume television is rapidly changing, and binge-watching has become a relatively recent phenomenon.

The rising popularity of on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have made it easier than ever to have uninterrupted access to full TV series, and Collins Dictionary even declared “binge-watch” the word of the year for 2015.

Marketing and social media campaigns have also encouraged binge-watching, with the popular streaming service Netflix calling it the “new normal.”

To date, most of the surveys and research surrounding binge-watching have been conducted by private research firms and companies.

A 2013 survey by Netflix showed that 73 percent of the respondents viewed binge-watching as a socially acceptable behavior. A similar survey by TiVo in 2015 showed that negative perceptions about binge-watching have decreased between 2013 and 2015. About 92 percent of the respondents to the TiVo survey reported that they had binge-watched at some point.

Are binge-watching and mental illness related?

Excessive TV watching has long been associated with health problems. Scientific studies have shown that prolonged television viewing increases the risk of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.

It’s also been linked to mental health problems like depression. And a recent Texas A&M study revealed that binge-watching is tied to feelings of loneliness and depression. They also found that those who binge-watch lacked the self-regulation to stop, suggesting that binge-watching may be an addictive behavior.

For our study, we surveyed 406 North American adults, recruited from an online data collection platform. We wanted to know more about binge-watchers – particularly their viewing habits, mental health status, and how prevalent and socially acceptable binge-watching was among their friends.

The majority of our respondents defined binge-watching as two to five hours of consecutive video viewing in one day. About 35 percent of the respondents admitted that they binge-watch TV. Not surprisingly, those who self-identified as binge-watchers were more likely to report higher average screen time in the past seven days compared to those who did not identify as binge-watchers. Self-identified binge-watchers were also more likely to report higher addiction to TV (as measured by a validated scale).

The major highlight of our study, however, is that self-identified binge-watchers were more likely to report higher stress, anxiety and depression.

We were ultimately able to demonstrate a relationship between binge-watching, average screen time and mental health status.

However, these results should be interpreted with caution. Our research shows only a correlation and not causation. We don’t know if depression, stress and anxiety are caused by binge-watching, or if it is the other way around. In other words, people might binge-watch as a way to temporarily alleviate preexisting feelings of stress and anxiety.

We also discovered that media influence and social acceptance of binge-watching were found to be significant predictors of self-reported binge-watching.

About 85 percent of the respondents said that they had noticed advertisements or articles encouraging binge-watching, while 74 percent of the respondents reported that they have read articles on binge-watching. An estimated 62 percent of the respondents believed that most people binge-watch and 53 percent of the respondents indicated that most of their friends binge-watch.

Of course, more research is needed to understand the true effects of binge-watching on physical and mental health. In the interim, the next time you load up “House of Cards,” “Jessica Jones” or “Game of Thrones,” it might be a good idea to exercise some caution once the show concludes, and resist the urge to click “next episode.”

The Conversation

Monita Karmakar, PhD candidate in Health Education, University of Toledo and Jessica Sloan Kruger, PhD student in Health Education, University of Toledo

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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Changing perceptions of female beauty


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Henry Ford believed in reincarnation

Henry Ford in 1919 via Wikipedia

I don’t really believe in reincarnation, myself. The theory seems too simplistic and limiting. Also, whenever I consider it, my consciousness tends to drop a few levels to something other than the Christian spirituality that I prefer.

But I was bored tonight with my usual pursuits so browsed through my library. I came across a book,  Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology (1961) and found the passage by Henry Ford, tweeted below.

The last two paragraphs at 67 Not Out appear in reverse order in the book. I don’t know who made the mistake, the blogger or the book publisher. But other than that, everything else checks out. So this tweet isn’t some silly internet hoax. Ford really did give the interview mentioned.

There’s also another Ford interview reproduced in the book. This isn’t included in the tweet but both are in the book:

Henry Ford in Joseph Head and S. L. Cranston, Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology, The Julian Press New York, 1961, p. 270.

Henry Ford cited in Joseph Head and S. L. Cranston, Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology, The Julian Press: New York, 1961, p. 270 (Click image for larger size).

A bit of a wonky scan, I know. I did it with the hand scanner I blogged about yesterday. It’s hard to hold the book and the iPad at the same time. But I chose this version because scanning it with my real scanner would have meant bending back the cover of an old book. I tried it and bad noises started coming from the spine, so I stopped and settled with this scan.

MC


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Though only 1% Hindu, 25% Italians believe in reincarnation & 20% in karma

Illustration of reincarnation – via Wikipedia

Special to Earthpages.org

In a predominantly Christian nation Italy, though only one per cent declared to be Hindu, but a quarter believed in reincarnation and nearly a fifth believed in karma, according to a survey/poll conducted by research firm SWG and published in various media.

Rajan Zed said that this showed that Hinduism concepts developed in ancient Hindu scriptures were gaining universal acceptance beyond the one billion Hindus.

Hinduism had given lot to the world, including the liberation powerhouse yoga, which was highly popular world over for the multiple-benefits it offered, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Karma, the law of consequence of action or causality of action, first appears in ancient Rig-Veda and later in Brahmanas and Upanisads, and repeated often in Bhagavad-Gita. Reincarnation doctrine finds mention in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad and Chandogya Upanisad. Karma, incorporated with reincarnation, forms a kind of theory of cosmic justice and provides a motivation to improve one’s behavior.

Founded in Trieste in 1981, SWG does market surveys, opinion and institutional polls, sector studies, etc.; analyzing trends and dynamics of the market, politics and society.

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