Whelp, I’m failing the class

My paper is really not going well. Firstly, my research method is pretty bad. I’ve been going to Brandeis every day at roughly the same time to see how many larvae I can see under all the rocks on that little hill in the center of campus and see if I can correlate the number with the daily temperature based on Prof. Perlman saying that ants tend to heat their larvae under rocks. Now, besides the issues generated by basing research on a passing remark, this will only tell me anything if I get a positive, is highly reliant on outside conditions, generates very little data, and is inferior in every way to a simple experiment in which I control the temp of a rock above a captive colony. I can’t even get the best readings because I don’t have any tools I trust to take the rock temp, making me reliant of weather reports.

Next, I’m not getting enough data. I can’t find any hourly reports, so that I can get only one reading a day, and I started on tuesday. This would be all right if the weather was more variable, but it’s been consistantly chilly, so that I’ve only seen a few larvae. At this point, I don’t think I can get an adequate amount of data.

Lastly, I haven’t been able to start the paper yet because I have two papers of the same length due at the same time.

Oh, and did I mention that ants are Perlman’s forte?

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Got food

I started my big points cashout today by getting the food for Friday, so I think we’re set for snacks.

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The EL(2) Symposium

I’ll be presenting a poster on my research in Kenya, so please drop by. Don’t worry about class readings, I’m sure Dr. Perlman will understand (or at least blame me instead of you).

(EL)2 WHEN: Thursday March 24th, 2011 (schedule below)

(EL)2 WHERE: Usdan Campus Center

(EL)2 HOW: Students present via poster or panel, or both!

(EL)2 WHY? Get ideas about new projects & info about experiential learning opportunities, and celebrate current projects!


Noon-5 PM: Posters available for viewing in Levin Ballroom

2-3 PM: Keynote featuring President Fred Lawrence, and Plenary Session moderated by Dean Adam B. Jaffe

3-4 PM: Faculty-Moderated Undergrad Panel Presentations. Moderators:  Susan Lichtman, Assoc. Prof. of Fine Arts & Eileen McNamara, Prof. of the Practice in Journalism

4-5 PM: Undergrad Poster Presentations

5 PM: Sushi Reception

Related events:

Monday March 21st:

–ExCEL Info Table (12–2 PM, Usdan Lower Lobby – near dining services)

–Cupcake Social (5–6:30 PM, Shapiro Campus Center Atrium)

Tuesday March 22nd:

–Coffee & Doughnuts (9–11 AM, outside Usdan)

–ExCEL Info Table (12–2 PM, Shapiro Campus Center Lobby)

Wednesday March 23rd:

–ExCEL Info Table (12–2 PM, Usdan Lower Lobby – near dining services)

–Coffeehouse with Student Performances (9 PM–Midnight, Chum’s)

Thursday March 24th:

–ExCEL Info Table (12–2 PM, Usdan 1st Floor Lobby – near community living)

–And of course, (EL)2!! (2–5 PM, Usdan – see above for detailed schedule)

For more details see:



Questions? Contact experiential@brandeis.edu
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How are people fiding animals?

Looking at my schedule, I’m not sure I can go to the zoo enough for consistency (I have a class each day, which means I’d need every day of every weekend at the zoo), so I may need to find animals on campus, but I’ve barely seeing squirrels. Where is everyone seeing their animals?

God I wish I had tracking equipment so that would let me find turkey whenever I wanted.


Hmm. Maybe I could spend each weekend day seeing whether the gorillas only stay near the glass when there are people around, but I’m not sure there will be any Sundays or Saturdays when there won’t be constant crowds.

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I am incompetent

I only just realized that there is no proposal paper assignment after which to start full research, and that I should have designed and started research by now. I am incompetent.


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Well this is interesting

Anthropologists studying living hunter-gatherers have radically revised their view of how early human societies were structured, a shift that yields new insights into how humans evolved away from apes.
Early human groups, according to the new view, would have been more cooperative and willing to learn from one another than the chimpanzees from which human ancestors split about five million years ago. The advantages of cooperation and social learning then propelled the incipient human groups along a different evolutionary path.

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The Prisoners’ Dilemma and Opportunity Cost

Throughout the discussion of the prisoners’ dilemma, I heard people state that they would defect the turn after being defected upon to “make up the points.” This struck me as questionable, as it seems to assume a baseline of five or three for the first turn (the assumption that they “lost” points implies that they started with number of points that they would have had were they not defected upon) but a baseline of zero for the second turn (i.e, that all points could go to replacing losses), which is one of the first things you learn not to do in economics. To show why this method of analysis is problematic, let’s bring the dilemma into bring the values into the real world by making the other party an employer (or series of employers) who, due to greed, malice, or forgetfulness, isn’t guaranteed to pay you every Friday. So, one week he neglects to pay you the agreed-upon market rate of three dollars (you have an inept union). Alternately, you made fifteen dollars and lost three of those dollars somehow (you probably spent it on drugs). Either way, you’re down three bucks. Under the analysis we’re looking at, you’d only need to draw your $3/$15 wage the next week to make that money back, which, as anyone will tell you, is not true, as you’d still be out three dollars. You’d have to make three dollars on top of your normal salary.

At this point, we come to two very important questions: how long would it take to make the money back and how do you measure it? First let us look at how the idea of making money is analyzed in finances and economics:

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