The Wary Student, Introduction: In Search Of…

Last year, tdaxp hosted SummerBlog ’06. Back-to-back for more than a month, four different series explored different parts of our world. Redefining the Gap critically examined the theories of Thomas P.M. Barnett, while Coming Anarchy looked at the genius of that weblog. Perspectives and Peers examined a theory of rational development, and finally Variations of the OODA Loop wondered if perhaps rational decision-making was maladaptive.

This year, an equivalent amount of work went into one project, which in turned merged two others: my examination at Wary Guerrillas and proposal to go in search of wary students.

This series, The Wary Student will examine how cognitive load impacts altruism. But this isn’t your grandmother’s “altruism.” Rather, cooperative behavior can be kind (helping another), cool (rejecting a bad deal), or downright vindictive (digging into your reserves to punish a cheater).

The results may surprise you.

The Wary Student, a tdaxp research project
1. Abstract
2. Cognitive Load
3. Cooperative Behavior
4. Method
5. The Experiments
6. Hypotheses
7. Main-Effect Results
8. Interaction-Effect Results
9. Discussion
10. Future Research
11. Bibliography

John Kerry and/or Bob Shrum slam John Edwards

Shrum, R. 2007. Kerry’s regrets about John Edwards. Time. May 30, 2007. Available online:,8599,1626498-2,00.html.

I can’t imagine a more personal attack than this:

Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he’d never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he’d do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade’s ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn’t pick Edwards unless he met with him again. When they did, Kerry tried to get a better personal feel for his potential number two; as rivals for national office since 2000, shortly after Edwards had entered the Senate, the two men hadn’t spent a lot of time together. Kerry also wanted a specific reassurance. He asked Edwards for a commitment that if he was chosen and the ticket lost, Edwards wouldn’t run against him in 2008. Edwards agreed “absolutely,” as Kerry recalled him saying. If Kerry had shared this at the time, I would have told him what I did later: it was naive to think he could rely on a promise like that. Unlike Joe Lieberman, who’d been plucked from relative obscurity by Gore, Edwards had made his own mark in the primaries. He was ambitious—and if he saw his chance the next time, he was likely to go for it.

Depending on who is lying, either John Kerry, John Edwards, or Bob Shrum seems to be one of the worst human beings in the world.