Tuesday, October 07, 2003

1. "Asthenic personality disorder". That's what they, psychoanalists, call people with excessive dependency toward others. According to a source, this problem can sometimes be reflected by a person who suffers asthenia by copying or imitating another person constantly. She subconciously pays attention to whatever her target likes to do. And then she, again subconsciously, tries to imitates him. It is possible that she has never liked to read a particular kind of book or never liked to see a specific genre of movies. But, once she learns that the target likes to read history, for example, or say, to watch Hitchcockian movies, she will change accordingly. She becomes a history book worm and thriller movie buff. This is different with the case of imitating a, say, role model. Asthenia is obsessive imitating disorder. It is "copycatting". And in it's extreme form, it can cause the target to suffer from "agoraphobia" -- a fear to be in an open space, or get exposed (yes, it is quite the opposite of "claustrophobia"). Just like Dr. Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) in the movie "Copycat" (1995, Dir: John Amiel). Now an example...

2. Ladybugs everywhere. They are invading the campus. They were imported from Japan in early 1990s, but now their population has overgrown way beyond what farmers need -- they are predators that eat pests on agricultural crops, especially soybean. Annoyingly, these ladybugs bite and they stink! This species, Harmonia axyridis is also known as MALB -- multicolored Asian lady beetle. Oh, one is on my screen. Get away!

3. Am reading the famous 1992 economists duel on Exxon-Valdez Alaskan 1989 oil spill case, edited by Jerry Hausman ("Contingent Valuation, A Critical Assessment; North Holland, 1992). Peter Diamond had an interesting caricatural comment. Quoted: If a congressman came to me and said, "I think too many birds are being killed in oil spills, and what would be a mechanism to reduce the number?" [B]eing a public economist, I would say, "Well, tax the dead bird or put a fine on dead birds" (pg. 462).

4. Still on the book mentioned above. I like the way Richard Carson commented on or asked the presenters. He surely was a master of Contingent Valuation. Jerry Hausman sounded a little emotional. So did some others, from both sides.
[I realized that Kerry Smith's style of asking questions -- building up on others' questions, which is cool -- has been like this from more than a decade ago -- at least, it is apparent in this book. This is also how he asked question to me, in North Carolina's Camp Resources XI two months ago. He built his question from Nancy Bockstael's. Nevertheless, I found his comments and suggestions very helpful].

5. A professor from UIUC, Paul C. Lauterbur wins "2003 Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine".

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