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May 29, 2007

Photography is an expensive hobby

Filed under: General — stephane @ 11:52 pm

Browsing a BBC Wildlife Photographer of The Year book while shopping for a telephoto lens is a frustrative experience. The young wildlife photographers 11-14 year old are using a $3,500 camera body with a $3,500 lens. I’m wondering what kind of equipment the parents of these kids are carrying around.

May 28, 2007

Psychology and dynamic of groups

Filed under: General,Software — stephane @ 11:59 pm

While driving from Paris back to the Netherlands after a great week end of absolute zero work (no emails, no phone calls, no skype during 3 days, marvelous) I was listening to France Culture: ‘La psychologie du cosmonaute’. There was an excellent discussion around the topic of dynamic of groups, psychology. This was mainly related to the work being done in preparation for the flights to Mars and how groups could be selected. Most of the work being done around this involve the study of groups in a highly hostile environment for an extended period of time. Typically for France the perfect specimens to study are people staying in Antarctica or Army team stationed in the Kerguelen islands.

It was very interesting to learn about the extravert(hyperactive) vs introvert(hypoactive) and how each react in a situation of stress and what would be the result depending on time. For example the extravert in stress situation would be more likely to disrupt the group by his activity by communicating and accentuating the stress to other members of the group.

Interesting bit also done by Russia during space flights. When there are friction within a group and generally one person wants to ‘be in control’ of the group (typical ‘ego’ situation), ground station were on purpose sending totally silly and contradictory orders to the space station. It had the effect of actually consolidating the group by making them focus their anger toward the ground team. ie ‘are they f* nuts ?’

All in all, a very interesting program.

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