Thursday, July 05, 2007

Links ...

Jessica Shepherd reports : "A popular new site could see scientists exchanging ideas, posting data ... and even finding love online. " Nature Network is "Facebook for professors, postdocs and PhDers in the sciences."

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T.S.R. Subramanian reports [via Sugan]: "[A] seventh century Jain sculpture [has become] an Amman idol in rural Tamil Nadu."

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Zoe Williams: Wake up, Feminism is more than just capitalism with tits: "Enough of the numbers game. The issue is not how many women are in power, but how many fight for collective rights."

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Chris Dillow argues that "that there’s more to incentives than simple selfishness." :

[Some kindergartens in Haifa, Israel] had a problem with parents being late to pick up their toddlers. So they fined latecomers. And the numbers of them subsequently rose.

What happened? The same thing that researchers in New Zealand discovered when they found that two fifths of blood donors said they would stop giving blood if they were offered payments.

See this earlier post on the psychology (and economics) of incentives; also check out the links in the comments by TR, Suresh and Swarup.


  1. Anonymous said...

    On the Haifa study, see also the comments by Ariel Rubinstein at

    The link points to a pdf file. The relevant parts are in page 5-7.


  2. gaddeswarup said...

    I wonder whether the kind of transformation mentioned by T.S.R.Subramanian is widespread. Googling, I found a paper by Subash Chandran and Madhav Gadgil:
    where they mention in passing "No temples existed in India during the Vedic period. They were not to be found in the pre-Buddhist period except for wooden ones. The ancient Buddhist sacred place was the stupa (Hastings, ed., 1934). The various gods and goddesses whom the indigenous population of peninsular India worshipped were not accustomed to dwell in the secluded atmosphere of temples; they loved the open air. Even today, for the gramadevata (village goddess) of south India there are no temples in many villages. The deity may be in the shadow of a big tree. Generally they are lodged in small shrines. In a good number of villages no object is placed to represent the deity and the tree itself is regarded as the embodiment of the deity (Ramanayya 1983)." Apparently there were sacred groves and mounds; stupas themselves perhaps were transformation of mounds.