Tag Archives | Risk

Terminally Ill Man to Have World’s First Full Head Transplant


Valeri Spiridonov, a 30-year-old Russian, suffers from Werdnig–Hoffmann disease has offered himself to receive the first ever head transplant. “Am I afraid? Yes of course I am,” Spiridonov said. “But it is not just very scary, but also very interesting. You have to understand that I don’t really have many choices. If I don’t try this chance, my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worse.”

Sumitra via Oddity Central:

A head transplant is something you’re likely to come across in a far-fetched sci fi movie, as in reality, as most doctors would tell you, it is medically impossible. But a Russian man suffering from a fatal condition is willing to put his faith in the dubious procedure. In a desperate attempt to gain a new, healthy body, he’s teaming up with controversial surgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero, who claims he can cut off the man’s head and attach it on another body!

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Comedian John F. O’Donnell Is ‘The Man Who Saved The Internet’

I heard comedian John F. O’Donnell tell this particular story of conspiracies and paranoia on Kevin Allison’s wonderful podcast Risk! and I knew that Disinfonauts might appreciate it. Happily, Kevin and John have both allowed me to excerpt the piece and share it here. It’s from Risk! episode 525: “Freedom!”. Do go back and listen to the entire episode and subscribe, whydontcha?

Learn all about the amazing John F. O’Donnell here.

Learn more about the great and powerful Kevin Allison here.

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Red Brain, Blue Brain: Republicans and Democrats Process Risk Differently

Both of the major U.S. political parties may suck scum, but they are not the same.  Via ScienceDaily:

A team of political scientists and neuroscientists has shown that liberals and conservatives use different parts of the brain when they make risky decisions, and these regions can be used to predict which political party a person prefers. The new study suggests that while genetics or parental influence may play a significant role, being a Republican or Democrat changes how the brain functions.

Dr. Darren Schreiber, a researcher in neuropolitics at the University of Exeter, has been working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of California, San Diego on research that explores the differences in the way the brain functions in American liberals and conservatives. The findings are published Feb. 13 in the journal PLOS ONE.

In a prior experiment, participants had their brain activity measured as they played a simple gambling game.

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Evolution of Narcissism: Why We’re Overconfident and Why It Works

David Vs Goliath

David and Goliath, Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)

Christine Dell’Amore writes in National Geographic:

For years, psychologists have observed that people routinely overestimate their abilities, said study leader Dominic Johnson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Some experts have suggested that overconfidence can be a good thing, perhaps by boosting ambition, resolve, and other traits, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

But positive self-delusion can also lead to faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations, and hazardous decisions, according to the study — making it a mystery why overconfidence remains a key human trait despite thousands of years of natural selection, which typically weeds out harmful traits over generations.

Now, new computer simulations show that a false sense of optimism, whether when deciding to go to war or investing in a new stock, can often improve your chances of winning.

“There hasn’t been a good explanation for why we are overconfident, and this new model offers a kind of evolutionary logic for that,” Johnson said.

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