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What We're Following Today August 7, 2019

Mindset of Mass Shooters - A Data Centric View

The LA Times published an op-ed about a data analysis of mass shooters since 1966 and came up with some good data-backed information that helps understand what can create the kind of person who will carry out a mass shooting. A couple of notes: Mass Shootings aren’t just the ones we hear about on the news with semi-automatic weapons, etc. The definition is often unclear, but it is generally seen as an incident where multiple victims of firearm related violence are present. If we take that at face value, let’s remember that this means gang violence, family homicides and more are part of this definition [helps explain some of the numbers we see regarding frequency of occurrence].

Couple of main things that stuck out to me:

  • Usually the shooters are victims of early childhood trauma / exposure to violence as children

  • They experience some sort of identifiable crisis before actually committing the act (i.e., for work related shootings they may have experienced a sudden change in their job / fired / etc.). Many might be feeling suicidal

  • Most have studied acts of other shooters - these acts are socially contagious

Credit: Authors Jillian Peterson is a psychologist and professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University. James Densley is a sociologist and professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University. Together, they run the Violence Project.

New Treatment For Alzheimer’s Highlighted - Very EARLY Stages

Ok. First - we need to preface this with a reality check. This product is in the very early stages of development and there’s still a LONG way to go before we jump and say this “works.” Reality check in place, the idea of a treatment like this working is extremely exciting. If this does work, it would provide so many people with Alzheimer’s with hope to treat the disease that is still one of the main causes of death in a senior population. On top of the individual benefits, it could be a god send to many families that also suffer through the disease with loved ones. There are lots of treatments being tested out there, and some show promise in the beginning only to be found unreliable when more clinical trials are started, so I won’t get my hopes up yet, but I will keep my fingers crossed. I’m the meantime, let’s eat less sugar if we can and try to get more exercise. I struggle everyday with it, but I’ll keep trying. :)

What the Heck is Sharenting???

This shirt NY times piece calls out some of the risks of sharenting; sharing information about your children on social media. I had never heard the term before but I have heard about the concerns of parents of young children who share info on social media without children’s consent.

What’s the harm with sharing a picture of your kid? Well that’s an interesting question today. Those kids born in the last 5-8 years are the first generation to grow up with the opportunity to have their entire lives documented on social media. Proud moments and embarrassing moments too.

We only have 10-15 years with this digital platform under our belts. It’s not enough time to really say that we have defined the rules, measured the consequences of behaviors, etc. we’re all still learning. But now our kids will help educate parents on what’s acceptable or not regarding their lives. Perhaps the biggest question we should ask is “would I post this about myself? Would I want someone to post this about me?”

It’s not just about pics also. Let’s imagine we post something looking for advice from our networks. For example, what if a parent is looking for information about help with an adolescent that is dealing with bed wetting. It’s an innocent plea for help, but could also expose a kid to ridicule. Substitute that adolescent problem with things like drug dependency or other more serious problems that can be present with our older children and you can see how we might be inviting more than we want... And then on top of social considerations, we need to consider security risks too. Take a few moments to hear the author’s perspectives on the new Sharenting phenomena.

Some Career Planning Advice From a College for Their Freshman and Sophomores

Got kids in college or prepping for college this year. Here’s a helpful list of 10 tips to make sure college students hit the ground running and prep for their future careers.Personally, the more I look at things the more I like the idea of freshman and sophomore years being spent in community college while a student figures out where they want to focus their studies for a career post degree. Why spend $50,000 a year in a school studying to be a social worker when you know that an entry level social worker will likely earn about $41,000 annually.

That said, there are some good tips here for someone to get more exposure and experiment with careers of interest in the freshman and sophomore year of college. Also, if you’re a student and still don’t know what you want to do after freshman or sophomore year, you shouldn’t feel like you’ll be locked into your major for life. Choose a good degree that translates into many different roles - management, psychology, marketing, etc. Outside of some professions like engineering, law, medical and the like, almost any degree program will help get your foot in the door for an interview. How you apply that learning to the business or position is what you would need to showcase in order to sell an employer.

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