I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend I have negative dollars to spend

Good thing I have to pay rent Thursday and buy groceries this week….omfg x.x

Okay so I get paid Wednesday so I will actually be able to make rent but technically I owe like 200 of what’s in my bank account to old roommate because that’s her share of what e got back from our deposit but I haven’t given it to her yet because she’s been in Europe and idk which address to send it to… effin’ summer school fees effin’ me over FOREVER AND EVER
approachingsignificance

recyclethis2 asked:

Any thoughts on why the recent botched executions are not causing a larger reaction (or at least some debate) against the death penalty? Instead of looking for new and creative ways/drugs to do it, maybe we should stop state sanctioned killing like most other countries in the industrialized world? Just sayin...

approachingsignificance answered:

Hello!

There really isn’t a decent argument for the death penalty that is not rooted in justice or vengeance.

Very little to no deterrence effect (general deterrence, not specific deterrence). A single study years ago claimed that for every execution, 7 lives were saved. Conservatives ran with it. We have since recognized the methodological issues with that study and current research in the field consistently finds no deterrence effect. While a few studies have found a very small deterrence effect, they are vastly outweighed by the amount of studies that have not found an effect. Since we test null hypotheses, many researchers are limited in how they phrase their findings, and can only state that they failed to find a relationship, not that there isn’t a relationship. But when a vast majority of the evidence failed to find a relationship and only a tiny fraction have found a small, short-term relationship, we can pretty much conclude that there is not a relationship between deterrence and the death penalty. In fact, some studies show a brutalization effect, thus increasing violence in the area. 

Cost. The cost of executing an individual is significantly more than the cost of incarcerating an individual. I recently had a quick conversation with scienceofeds about this. This seems to be the only argument that remotely influences individuals that are in favor of the death penalty to consider opposing it. 

Human error. I’ve seen estimates range from 1-10% of offenders on death row that are innocent. At the very least, while Rick Perry was boasting about executing roughly 250 people during his tenure (the number is higher now, that was a few years ago), they executed 2-3 innocent people as well. If you are really interested in looking at innocence and the death penalty, it would be fruitful to look at offenders that would have been eligible for the death penalty in states that do not have the death penalty and look at overturned convictions. 

Racial bias: It is not a secret that black men are more likely to receive the death penalty compared to white men, especially when a black man kills a white person or a cop. There is also gender bias: men of all races are more likely to receive the death penalty compared to women, but we don’t ever talk about that, because of “power” and all. In some really fascinating articles, researchers have even linked executions to lynchings, conservative rhetoric during campaign years, and black migration to the north after emancipation (I can get links if anyone is interested). 

So what are the arguments for the death penalty that are rooted in empirical evidence? There aren’t any. The only arguments left are rooted in justice, vengeance, and fear. The offenders that receive the death penalty have committed horrendous and gruesome acts, and if we get “lenient” on them, we are perpetuating violence and signaling that we are not tough on crime. I mean really, what’s next, early release for these people? (that was sarcasm). Additionally, have you ever seen a family that has suffered one of these gruesome attacks and not felt some empathy when they talk about these atrocities perpetuated against their family? People see victims and relate to them: if it happens to them, it could happen to me, and if it happened to me I would want them taken off of this earth. Let’s not forget the fear factor too, especially racialized fear. When we see images of offenders that are going to be put to death, they are generally minorities. Even if they are not all minorities, the minorities are the ones that stand out when they are presented (availability heuristic anyone?). We still view minorities, especially, young black men, as violent, dangerous, and not amenable to rehabilitation. Not getting “tough on crime” are code words for “not being tough on minorities.” 

Ultimately, we live in a society that wants an eye for an eye. Durkheim talked about this in a few pieces as executions used to take place in the town square with everyone in attendance to watch and feel solidarity. They are offenders and we are non-offenders. Offenders are easy targets to dehumanize. Since they have committed a violation of our codified norms, people believe they deserve to be punished and deserve the severity of punishment prescribed by our laws (just world hypothesis). Once they are dehumanized, it is easier for people to allow the disgusting treatment of offenders that has taken place for decades, including these horrendous “botched” executions that have taken place. People think they are the worst of the worst, and they deserve no sympathy from anyone.

EDIT: Also, Steven Pinker talks about how practice and moral beliefs can operate at different speeds. He discusses how the death penalty used to be given to relatively minor offenses (e.g., theft) and that would be ridiculous today. 

I’m with ya, and hopefully the tone of this response accurately displays my position. The death penalty argument is solely rooted in vengeance, and vengeance is fueled by racial and gendered terms. Things seem to be slowly changing, and hopefully these recent tragedies can shed light on the archaic practice. We would be wise to look into the restorative justice initiatives that have taken place in other countries. 

Wow, that was a little long-winded, sorry!

scinerds
bpod-mrc:

27 July 2014
Kettling Proteins
Prions are infectious proteins that can cause deadly diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. They also infect yeast cells and this simple fungus has been found to produce a protein, Btn2, that targets prions and kettles them into a small area inside the cell, rather like the way riot police control an unruly crowd. When the cell divides, one of the two offspring is free from prions and can thrive. Intriguingly, Btn2 has similarities to human hook proteins, which play an important role in positioning components inside human cells so they can divide correctly. Pictured are three yeast colonies, the top right producing Btn2 and with mainly healthy cells (stained red) and some infected by prions (white). The lower colony is producing Cur1, a protein allied to Btn2 and has some healthy cells, while the top left colony is producing neither protein and is heavily infected.
Written by Mick Warwicker
—
Image by Reed Wickner and colleaguesNational Institutes of Health, USAOriginally published under a Creative Commons Licence (BY 4.0)Research published in PNAS, June 2014
—
You can also follow BPoD on Twitter and Facebook

bpod-mrc:

27 July 2014

Kettling Proteins

Prions are infectious proteins that can cause deadly diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. They also infect yeast cells and this simple fungus has been found to produce a protein, Btn2, that targets prions and kettles them into a small area inside the cell, rather like the way riot police control an unruly crowd. When the cell divides, one of the two offspring is free from prions and can thrive. Intriguingly, Btn2 has similarities to human hook proteins, which play an important role in positioning components inside human cells so they can divide correctly. Pictured are three yeast colonies, the top right producing Btn2 and with mainly healthy cells (stained red) and some infected by prions (white). The lower colony is producing Cur1, a protein allied to Btn2 and has some healthy cells, while the top left colony is producing neither protein and is heavily infected.

Written by Mick Warwicker

Image by Reed Wickner and colleagues
National Institutes of Health, USA
Originally published under a Creative Commons Licence (BY 4.0)
Research published in PNAS, June 2014

You can also follow BPoD on Twitter and Facebook