The Man Who Shocked The World is a new biography about Stanley Milgram, the provocative social psychologist whose mind-blowing experiments three decades ago are still highly relevant in today's world of Abu Ghraib and Friendster. From the Milgram Web site, hosted by the book's author, Dr. Thomas Blass:
"Controversy surrounded Stanley Milgram for much of his professional life as a result of a series of experiments on obedience to authority which he conducted at Yale University in 1961-1962. He found, surprisingly, that 65% of his subjects, ordinary residents of New Haven, were willing to give apparently harmful electric shocks-up to 450 volts-to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because a scientific authority commanded them to, and in spite of the fact that the victim did not do anything to deserve such punishment. The victim was, in reality, a good actor who did not actually receive shocks, and this fact was revealed to the subjects at the end of the experiment. But, during the experiment itself, the experience was a powerfully real and gripping one for most participants.
Milgram's career also produced many other creative, though less controversial, experiments; such as, the small-world method (the source of 'Six Degrees of Separation'), the lost-letter technique, and an experiment testing the effects of televised antisocial behavior which, though conducted 30 years ago, remains unique to the present day."
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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