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The psychology behind a pandemic – Acclaimed psychologist Steven Pinker



As the lockdown continues and uncertainty abounds it can be difficult to remain optimistic.

The books are left unread, walls have not been painted, the garden shed left unfinished – why can’t we get these things done and how come for many of us motivation is waining?

Earlier we spoke to acclaimed psychologist Steven Pinker.

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Some Toughts (30)

  1. Avatar
    added on 14 Apr, 2020
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    Pinker is a kiddie diddler. He was close with Epstein and visited his private island in 2014. His opinions are not to be taken seriously.

  2. Avatar
    added on 14 Apr, 2020
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    There's such a contrast between the way a journalist thinks and the way an academic thinks. One comes up with creative and fascinating ideas whereas the other cares only about the truth, regardless of how plain or bland it may be.

  3. Avatar
    added on 14 Apr, 2020
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    It's so bizarre so sureal, nowadays we're all experts on epidemics and virology and infection prevention

  4. Avatar
    added on 16 Apr, 2020
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    Isn’t this Epstein’s pal? I believe he visited the island.

  5. Avatar
    added on 17 Apr, 2020
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    I wonder how many people actually listened to what this bloke said, as apposed to heard what he said?

  6. Avatar
    added on 17 Apr, 2020
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    Will it change the world? There's a strong chance of the middle class being finally remove in conjunction with a rise in an official class who will prosper at the expense of the public. Kind of like communist Russia only less obvious.

  7. Avatar
    added on 17 Apr, 2020
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    Sounds about right. Realistic and yet not being consumed by negativity. We need that.

  8. Avatar
    added on 18 Apr, 2020
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    He was wrong when he said the world is better. The pandemic shows no.

  9. Avatar
    added on 19 Apr, 2020
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    Acclaimed psychologist ?! by the top 10%.
    A neoliberal shill by anyone else with a brain cell and an ounce of critical thought.

  10. Avatar
    added on 19 Apr, 2020
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    Pinker is turning into your grandmother.

  11. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    pinker the entertainer!

  12. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    The most effective way to have managed the coronavirus outbreak is how South Korea managed the coronavirus out break. Failing that ( as other countries did) the government could have shown transparent science based governance from the outset. e.g.,;

    1. As soon as it was known that a novel (unknown virus) was emerging in china, governments should have released statements that international travel would be stopping within days ( time for people to get home). Statements should have quickly followed that social measures are being implemented in order to keep the populations death rate as low as possible.

    @ by a laypersons description of how viruses spread & why social distancing will reduce the rate of infection, therefore provide time for health care providers to prepare.

    2. (present time in certain countries, e.g., USA, UK, Italy, Spain). This means social distancing will have to be balanced with keeping the economy ticking over,people working should only be providing essential ( need) services. e.g., Food, medical resources, energy, food etc & work that can bo done whilst practicing social distancing. This time could also be used to think why we have so many jobs that consume so much resources & pollute so much of the environment that we are now managing without. E.g., International flights. E.g., Can electric jets now have a huge push in development rather than go backwards to unsustainable fossil fueled transport.

    3. In order to keep the death toll as low as possible ( The health care establishments fundamental aim) the social distancing measures should be maintained until the data shows the viral infection has been suppressed to a manageable level ( e.g., by testing) . e.g., Localised cases that can be controlled using testing &/or a vaccine is developed.

    Trump, like all politicians ( and celebs & armchair “experts” on social media) should leave the decisions on how to reduce the coronavirus death toll to the medical (scientific) establishment. The politicians role should be inferring that medical advice & mitigating the socioeconomic and sociopolitical aspects (not political point scoring) that are the consequence of the social distancing measures that have an aim of trying to reduce the viruses infection rate (the R0) as low as is practically possible.

  13. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    As Steven correctly suggested, in general, people are not well suited to thinking about risks based on statistical analysis. e.g., Anthropogenic climate change. E.g., of the incorrect way to think about that risk, “It still snows here in winter so the Earth can't be warming”.

    To quote Steven pinker, "minimise the risks",followed by a more politically correct example of an “early warning system”. That’s a little like trying to reduce the risk after the “horse has bolted”.. The risks of a zoonotic pandemic viral outbreaks are being greatly increased due to environmental degradation, the meat industry & international travel. e.g., Enclosingcaging etc, many animals in industrial farms is a breeding ground for zoonotic viral infections. Therefore, since many people are essentially addicted to eating meat ( behavioural psychology), the question is, when & where is the next zoonotic virus going to outbreak. And it’s only a matter of chance, e.g.,mutation, how deadly the next zoonotic virus will be.

    To date, Humanity does not have a great track record of mitigating existential threats by using predictive science. E.g., The most likely threat from space is another ( there has been many in recorded history) large asteroid impact. Yet our space programs generally focus on vanity projects like putting a flag on the moon or Mars. Or capital projects such as mining on the moon. Just like this virus outbreak, it's only a matter of chance ( mutation for a virus) & time that has meant a large asteroid has not impacted the Earth in recent history ( geological time scale).

    Just like our general lack of action regarding mitigating anthropogenic climate, once these existential threats occur it’s only then about damage control. Prevention will always be better than cure. Lets try to stop pretending that ignoring threats make them go away. Of course you could argue that one of the main reasons why humans tend to ignore existential threats is that their so maladapted towards making their own interspecies threats. Hopefully, if any good lesson can be learnt from this coronavirus outbreak, it is the cliché sounding, though true for humanity as a species “united we stand, divided we fall”.

  14. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    I am not gonna watch this, so can somebody please tell me if he dropped another casual defence of men sexually assaulting women?

  15. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    Makes me think of the guy taking video of bodies being loaded into refrigerated trucks. "This is for real, this is for real, this is for real…"

  16. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020
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    That’s my great uncle

  17. Avatar
    added on 24 Apr, 2020
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    Absolutely agree with Pinker.

  18. Avatar
    added on 25 Apr, 2020
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    Wow mik jagger is a health profesional

  19. Avatar
    added on 29 Apr, 2020
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    Ich grüß meine Oma!

  20. Avatar
    added on 29 Apr, 2020
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    Great thinker

  21. Avatar
    added on 2 May, 2020
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    The world response is dependant on who got the virus first. Since a totalitarian communist country got it they responded with massive draconian whipping of people into isolation. Can you imagine if the USA got it first there would have been a totally different response which the world would be following now?

  22. Avatar
    added on 11 May, 2020
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    A tendency to slip BACK into "life as normal". 
    What a depressing thought!

  23. Avatar
    added on 13 May, 2020
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    Nothing but the seasonal flu.
    The winter was mild across Europe and few died of the usual flus, but come Spring a later wave felled many.
    We lose tens of thousands every year like this, nothing different.
    In 2016 we lost 50,000 or so, we are not close to that even with the generous CV19 statistics that count heart attacks and car accidents as CV19.
    Italy ? In Bergama the very high rate of deaths most likely came from the January 2020 vaccinations that happened there against MeningitisC … 34,000 aged Italians were injected, 3 months later they died when the CV19 wave hit them.

  24. Avatar
    added on 29 May, 2020
    Reply

    QUESTION

    It seems that there is so much brutality in the world and yet so much kindness, heroism, and sacrifice. How could it be possible to explain either side of human nature? How psychologists attempt to explain similar questions as how people could do bad or brutal actions when they are with other people or when they are ordered to do so?

    Please write any eassy 700 words about This thanks..

  25. Avatar
    added on 25 Jun, 2020
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    When you Know That which is, All-knowing, Total Peace, the epitome of Simplicity. Now it is totally safe. The brain is the receiver of thoughts. There is only One Consciousness. You are the light of the world. Joy is the norm.

  26. Avatar
    added on 17 Jul, 2020
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    I hope that it wakes the world up to how natural forces can very quickly end life as we know it and will result in everyone taking global warming more seriously.

  27. Avatar
    added on 28 Jul, 2020
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    ''people are extremely unaware that extreme povrety has declined by 90%'' I just lost all my respect for Mr. Pinker, what a shame of you to think those twisted stats are optimistic! ''Regular'' povrety is rising as well as the polarization of wealth and we live in an extremely corrupted and cruel world! We also lost 60% or all sepcies within the last 50 years! Go go humans! ''Progress''!

  28. Avatar
    added on 1 Sep, 2020
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    Dettol

  29. Avatar
    added on 15 Sep, 2020
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    If only the President can have this level of intelligence.

  30. Avatar
    added on 17 Sep, 2020
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    We can't take seriously anyone who claims that "extreme poverty declined by 90%". World Bank criterion is a joke and the fact that some people believe it is really worrisome.
    Pinker is right, people don't think on numbers, they think on images and narratives. That's why this fake pandemic sells so well. Too many images on social media and on TV.

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