Tweaking Behavior

Tweaking BehaviorNews hit the Web last week, talking about a certain squad-in-the-making in the U.S. that will aim to “nudge” people’s behavior towards the direction that President Barack Obama wants. With the success report of a similar project from the United Kingdom, everyone is apt to think that this system is indeed effective. But is it right to manipulate people’s behavior? Will it have a more desirable outcome for the country?

‘More responsible’

For sure, opinions will erupt left and right about this issue. Some will be optimistic about this project, thinking that within a few years, we will have less violence, more responsible taxpayers, less irresponsible parents, and more model families. Of course, some will negate this notion, thinking that it will be futile and that it is not right to manually tweak people’s behavior just so a “better” country will be realized.


‘Manipulated’

Not to be polarizing here, but maybe we DO need a little tweaking in our behavior. What will all the outrageous behavior and rampage going around, not to mention all the unexplained violence and uncontrolled liberty that our young people are exhibiting. If the present generation of parents cannot control their own children, or rather, cannot guid the next generation towards the right path, then the government stepping in to do the job might just be the help that we need right now.

On the other hand, there’s all the other issues to consider about this project. Will this result in an “artificial” environment wherein everybody will seem to be somebody else and a person’s natural personality is restrained? And how will the people themselves feel about this? Will they feel like a pawn being manipulated in a chessboard, or will they feel happy that finally somebody is providing legitimate guidance?

Which side are you going to be on? Do you think tweaking people’s behavior is a good thing?

Image: Stay at Stove Dad

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More Lives

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More LivesA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

‘Connection to the Middle East’

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere. However, “all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” the WHO said earlier this month. But “in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East.”

On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.


‘Tackle the virus’

Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases. However, the new virus is not SARS. The WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said. The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.

Have you experienced symptoms of infection of MERS-CoV? Do you think this virus is indeed a threat to the world?

Source: Ben Brumfield, CNN

Image: Press TV