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Stanford Ovshinsky, Hybrid Car Battery Inventor, Has Died

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the sainthood-nomination-time dept.

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another random user writes "Stanford Ovshinsky, a self-taught American physicist who designed the battery now used in hybrid cars, has died aged 89 from prostate cancer . The electronics field of ovonics was named after Mr Ovshinsky, who owned over 200 patents and has been described as a '[Thomas] Edison of our age.' He introduced the idea of 'glass transistors' in 1968, which paved the way for modern flat-screen monitors."

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He will be missed. (2)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41713001)

One of the great inventors. "Ovonics", amorphous-siliicon solar cells, batteries...

Re:He will be missed. (-1, Flamebait)

Mathinker (909784) | about 2 years ago | (#41713061)

Damn. I was hoping he might solve the problem of human mortality for me.

Proof video games cause violence! (-1, Troll)

AndyMans (2756041) | about 2 years ago | (#41713073)

How Violent Movies and Video Games Cause Violent Behavior
  and
  To Believe Otherwise Means You Are Insane

  First we will dispel the pithy, nonsense arguments that are so often repeated in these debates. "Well, I play video games and I'm not violent!" So long as someone tells me this without following with "and if you don't believe me, I'll kick your ass," I can take them at their word. Now, of course, your anecdotal story about how you played "Grand Theft Auto" since you were in diapers and are now a pacifist does not constitute solid, scientific evidence. Just because you enjoy violent movies or games and are not violent does not mean that violent media never causes violence in anyone else. The next response, while it should be obviously fallacious to everyone, is that "millions and millions of people watch violent movies and they aren't violent!" Yes, that is true. It is also true that millions of people drink liquor and do not get liver cirrhosis. Does this mean drinking does not cause liver cirrhosis? Deniers also say that "violent video game sales have gone up while violent crime has gone down!" Again, liquor sales have drifted upwards since 1990 while deaths by liver cirrhosis have plummeted (http://www.gallup.com/poll/141656/drinking-rate-edges-slightly-year-high.aspx -- http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-3/209-219.htm [nih.gov] ). Obviously, other factors are at play in these data. No rational person could deny that alcohol does not cause liver cirrhosis based on this logic, nor does anyone claim that 100 percent of people who play violent video games will become violent. There are many factors contributing to violence, and violent films, games and other media are some of those factors. They may not have a huge effect on violent behavior compared to other causes, but there is an irrefutable effect and it has certainly cost lives. The evidence shows that drinking while playing violent video games will increase your risk of becoming a violent drunk with a bad liver.

  Furthermore, consider this statement by communications professor Henry Jenkins:

  "According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure."

  Now consider the same rhetoric shifted to a different topic. All of these data are factual according to the provided sources:

  "According to [CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians] statistics, the rate of [lung cancer diagnosis] in the United States is at a [14]-year low [(from 1990 to end of data)]. Researchers find that people [diagnosed] for [lung cancer] typically consume less [tobacco] before [being diagnosed] than the average [smoker] in the general population. It's true that [people] who have [been diagnosed with lung cancer] in America have also been [smokers]. ...[21.5] percent of [males] and [17.3] percent of [females smoke]. The overwhelming majority of [people] who [smoke] do NOT [get lung cancer]. According to a [2012 World Health Organization] report, [one of] the strongest risk factors for [cancer] centered on [diesel fumes] not [smoking]. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/CA.2007.0010/pdf -- http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/cancer/articles/2008/11/14/lung-cancer-patients-get-blamed-for-their-disease [usnews.com] -- http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6035a5.htm [cdc.gov] -- http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10812886 [nzherald.co.nz] )"

  What would you say to someone who said the above to you in order to argue that cigarettes don't cause lung cancer? What would you think of that person's mind?

  Now for some words on science. Science benefits from skepticism. A critical thinker can move closer towards the truth if they are made aware of their opponent's criticisms and are led to question their own beliefs. Creationists make a sound argument against biology when they point out that life could not have formed in the oceans because seawater has the wrong potassium-sodium ratio to form cells. It would be a practice of the grossest arrogance and ignorance to deny this scientific fact. One must have an open mind for evidence, even if that evidence is unpleasant and debunks your view of the world. Rationally minded scientists have been forced to accept the naked fact that the potassium-sodium ratio of the ocean is not conducive to life, but this admission of fact has only strengthened the science of life. Questioning their own beliefs has led scientists to realize that life likely did not originate in the oceans. The first cells likely formed in ponds of volcanic condensate, where the potassium-sodium ratio is much more permissive for cellular development ( http://news.discovery.com/earth/life-pond-ocean-122402.html [discovery.com] ).

  Despite that the science of abiogenesis just become stronger, many will continue to deny it. The most important factor that determines what most people believe is not the evidence behind the belief, but whether or not they desire the belief to be true. Although deniers of science, even those who earned science degrees, may benefit science with their criticisms, they refuse to ever change their minds in the face of evidence and reason. The denial of evolution is one of the most blatant denials of obvious science in today's society. Another denial of obvious science is the topic of this essay. Although there is an overwhelming body of evidence supporting evolution, abiogenesis, the big bang, etc., these theories will continue to be denied because many find them unpleasant. Like biology and cosmology, the field of psychology also offers unpleasant theories. One theory which has caused a great deal of contention is the belief that that violent media (such as movies, television, video games, etc.) will cause violent behavior in those who view them. This theory, despite what many people and a few unscrupulous scientists claim, is supported by overwhelming evidence and is not seriously debated in mainstream academia. The evidence is such that no rational person can deny this truth, and I can prove it.

  Before we examine the science, we will first examine some cases where violent media has been linked to real world crimes:

  In 1997, fourteen year old Michael Carneal walked into his high school, pulled out a .22 pistol, and murdered three students who were praying before class. After his arrest, police investigated his possessions and found a copy of Stephen King's "Rage" and the film "Basketball Diaries". Both the film and the book contain scenes of a student committing murder in school. The belief that these works of fiction fed Carneal's desire to murder sparked an outrage against violent media.

  Deniers of science contend that there is no proof that Carneal was compelled to murder from these media. They claim that it is illogical to believe that Carneal was not just a sick boy who, if anything, would have been drawn to such violent imagery simply because he was sick to begin with. However, as any rational person will tell you, these criticisms are completely valid.

  THESE CRITICISMS ARE COMPLETELY VALID.

  It would be insane to conclude that violent media caused these murders. There is no logic in such a belief. Just because a murderer owned books and movies where similar crimes took place proves nothing. The outrage from this case was voiced by those who speak the loudest against violent media, namely conservative prudes. These prudes are the sort of square-toed, bluenosed puritans who raise a fuss every generation when they see short skirts or Elvis rotating his hips. These priggish killjoys make the most noise, but are the easiest to ignore. They are also completely incompetent when it comes to using reason or science. Deniers of the effects of violent media should be careful, however, before they dismiss these people's opinions out of hand. Just as deniers should be careful before they believe, as they are often told, that cases like Carneal's murders are the only evidence that their opposition has. The conservative prudes are right on this one. They may be right by virtue of dumb luck, believing what they do based on bigotry rather than reason, but on this issue they are right.

  Consider the case where a group of children raped a young girl with a soda bottle shortly after viewing a similar rape with a broom handle in the film "Born Innocent" ( http://law.justia.com/cases/california/calapp3d/126/488.html [justia.com] ). This is poor evidence taken by itself, but it does lead us to think about causality is such cases. It is possible that the children who committed this cruelty were already disposed to violence. It is possible that the rape was a coincidence and would have happened had the children seen the film or not. It is also possible that that the film did inspire the children, whether they were predisposed to violence or not, to commit the act—It is possible that the film caused the violence. Bear in mind that when I say a violent medium "caused the violence" I mean "the violence would not have happened had the violent medium not been seen." The children may have been predisposed to violence and may have committed a completely different crime had they not seen the film, and even if the film did "cause" the crime (remembering our definition) it would not necessarily make the children innocent or make the film makers guilty. Determining guilt is a moral question that the scientist does not ask.

  The scientist in this debate wants to determine if the film altered the children's behavior. Were someone to say "Guns hurt people!" half of the room would proclaim "That's true! Ban guns!" while the other half would say "That's not true! Bad people hurt people with guns! Imprison bad people!" This is a moral and philosophical debate worth having. A similar debate may be had with violent media, but the purpose of this essay is not to argue morality or philosophy. This essay addresses deniers of science who cannot yet have the above debate with violent media. When someone shouts "Guns hurt people!" the scientist in the room says "Of course guns hurt people. Guns cause an ignition in the solid propellant within the cartridge causing it to expand into gas which causes the projectile to be forced out of the barrel and towards the target. This has been known to cause physical harm in people." It is the position of many deniers of science that "movies and video games cannot hurt people." They literally mean this in the same way someone may say "guns cannot hurt people." Guns do hurt people. We may blame the gun distributor and reduce the amount of guns with weapon laws. We may blame the person holding the gun while doing nothing to reduce the availability of weapons. We may also blame both. Whatever we decide to do, we can all agree that parents should be concerned if their children have access to guns. Parents should also be concerned if their children have access to violent movies and games. And I'm just getting started with this argument.

  Consider a case in Tennessee where two teenage boys began shooting at passing cars with shotguns, killing one woman and injuring another. The boys claimed they were emulating activities in "Grand Theft Auto" ( http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=124797&page=1#.T86BMsWWHZI [go.com] ). Is this compelling evidence? This is not the Michael Carneal case, where the only link to violent media was circumstantial. The murderers explicitly identified the inspiration for their behavior. This is direct evidence. Whether the teens were predisposed to violence is irrelevant. They have cited their inspiration. It is not absurd to believe that the victim would be alive today if those teens had never been exposed to "Grand Theft Auto."

  "Perhaps," you say, "these teens may be lying?" "Yes! Yes! That's the ticket!" Another one of you chimes in. "They are merely making excuses for their behavior! This is the fault of psychopathic children or bad parenting! The fact that they play violent games is just an excuse for their actions!"

  Really now? Perhaps we shall consider the case of a 1974 Salt Lake City robbery. At least two men stormed into a small store, forced the attendants into the basement, and proceeded to torture, rape, and murder them before making off with their money. One of the torments was to force the victims to drink corrosive drain cleaner, causing agonizing burning of the mouth and throat. After their capture, one of the torturers said he got the idea of pouring drain cleaner down his victims' throats from a Clint Eastwood movie ( http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920729&slug=1504621 [nwsource.com] ). These men were obviously predisposed to violence. The robbery, rape, and murder would have certainly still occurred had they never seen the Clint Eastwood movie, only a different torment would have been used. Surely these vicious criminals, who are so obviously guilty, are not lying in an attempt to shift the blame from their own actions. They were inspired to perform one form of torture from a film and inflicted it on their victims.

  Now take the case of Colleen Stan. In 1977, Colleen was kidnapped by Cameron Hooker and kept as a sex slave. Under Hooker's control, Colleen would spend years locked in a box for 23 hours a day, only to be taken out in the evenings to be raped, beaten, and tortured. Hooker was a sexual sadist and a fan of sadomasochistic culture. He was inspired to dominate and inflict suffering on women by sadomasochistic pornography. He even gave Colleen the slave name "K," the obvious inspiration being one of his favorite pornographies, "The Story of O", about a slave girl named "O." ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2OY5FS_mWQ [youtube.com] -- http://www.colleenstan.com/ [colleenstan.com] -- http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/sex_slave/index.html [trutv.com] )

  Do you still deny that violent media causes violent behavior? Cameron Hooker may have been an inherently immoral person. He may have been born with a psychopathic brain and may have been a threat to society even if he had never been exposed to sadomasochistic pornography. This is all possible, so do you still deny that violent media is a danger to society? How sure are you? If you are a denier, imagine you are Colleen Stan. Imagine that you are lying in a dark box. Imagine you have been lying there every day for years. Imagine the horror you must face as you wait, alone, for the box to open, knowing that when it opens you will be made to suffer. If you deny that violent media had anything to do with you being in this situation, what if you were offered to have another go at fate? Imagine if you were offered to be given your life as it would have been, at that moment, if things had been different. Imagine if one thing in the past could be changed, so that you had the chance to roll the die again to see if things would have improved for you. Imagine if the one thing you could change in the past was that Cameron Hooker would have never been exposed to sadomasochistic pornography.

  If you are a true denier, you cannot be excited over this offer. If you are a true denier, you must say "No, thank you. I'm quite sure that even if Mr. Hooker had never seen a violent pornography, I would still be in this box. It will make no difference." Surely no one would turn down this offer, even if it came at great cost. I would give both my legs to take this chance.

  This may strike you as a simplistic argument. You may think I have proven little here. The deniers that are still among you may believe that, sure, in some cases the criminally insane may be inspired to do horrible things because of something they saw on television, but you may stick to your guns and say "So there are very rare cases where psychopaths acted out the violence they've seen. That's unfortunate, but that doesn't mean violent movies and games are a serious threat. Society does not need to blame violent television just because, in incredibly rare instances, some wacko hurts someone. There is no need to start fear mongering and telling parents to take away their kid's video games. More people probably die in industrial accidents producing the DVDs of violent movies than are killed by any psycho who watches them."

  This is a valid criticism. These anecdotal instances do little to help us get a sense of whether or not there is an appreciable danger. They do, however, illustrate how violent media can be a threat. Despite this, no one could expect a denier to make serious movement on this issue with mere anecdotal evidence. That is why I stress that deniers of this danger are deniers of obvious science. You may comfortably dismiss everything I have said up to this point, if you like, but you will have a harder time dismissing hard science.

  The question as to whether violent media causes violent behavior is an old one. The first serious, scholarly survey on the issue was published by the Surgeon General in 1972 as it related to television violence, particularly in children (http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBCGX.pdf ). In it, the question of whether television causes violence in children is considered pointless and misleading. The evidence and psychological understanding of human behavior made the answer to this question an obvious and forgone conclusion. "We know that children imitate and learn from everything they see—parents, fellow children, schools, the media; it would be extraordinary, indeed, if they did not imitate and learn from what they see on television." The only question asked was how bad the effect was. "...the real issue is once again quantitative: how much contribution to the violence of our society is made by extensive violent television viewing by our youth?" The study stresses, as I have stressed, that violent media is only one factor of many leading to violent behavior, but it does cause an increase in violent behavior. This conclusion came when the science was in its infancy. The follow-up report, published ten years later, states the conclusion as it relates to young people, "After 10 more years of research, the consensus among most of the research community is that violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs" ( http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED222186.pdf [ed.gov] ). The science has only gotten stronger since.

  (All studies in the following section, unless otherwise cited, are featured either in "The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression", or in the paper "The Influence of Media Violence on Youth". The particular chapter cited in the Cambridge handbook, "Why Observing Violence Increases the Risk of Violent Behavior by the Observer", was written by L. Rowell Huesmann and Lucyna Kirwil. Huesmann is the Director of the Aggression Research Program in the Research Center for Group Dynamics at University of Michigan. He is also the editor of the journal "Aggressive Behavior" by Wiley Interscience. The chapter with the following studies is available for free here, along with citations ( http://141.213.232.243/bitstream/2027.42/83438/1/2007.Huesmann%26Kirwil.WhyObservingViol.CambridgePress.pdf [141.213.232.243] ) The other paper was written by an expert panel assembled in 2000 by the National Institute of Mental Health to address these issues and is available here (http://www.thepci.com/articles/anderson_Research.pdf ). One of the authors is Craig A. Anderson, Director of the Center for the Study of Violence. The names Huesmann and Anderson are used in my citations. Page numbers are given along with references. Please use my citation to locate the correct document and to find third party sources in the respective bibliographies. You should also consider reading these professional documents yourself.)

  The scientific evidence supporting this issue is so complete, so overwhelming, and so utterly obvious that no rational person can be exposed to it and believe that violent media does not cause violent behavior. That this is an issue that so many otherwise intelligent, scientifically minded people raise exception to shows either massive ignorance of the evidence, deliberate misrepresentation of evidence by public figures, or genuine denial of science. There can be no question that the effects of violent media is a genuine public-health issue, just as there can be no question that man evolved from apes and that the Earth orbits the Sun. The following is just a sample of the evidence, greater collections may be found in other sources (Huesmann, Page 555—Anderson et al., 2003; Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Huesmann, Moise, & Podolski, 1997; Paik & Comstock, 1994; Savage, 2004).

  I repeat again that violent media is only one of many contributing factors to violence in our culture. It should also be noted that the pervasive effects of violent media transcends the question of why we have so many criminals. Crime rates should be addressed by this science, as 25 to 33 percent of criminals say they have "tried the same crime they saw in the media", "gone out looking to get into a fight" after watching a particular program, or "wanted a gun after seeing a gun used" in a show (Huesmann, Page 556—Surette 2002). We must consider how the media affects crime, but it would be a waste of this science to consider only how violent media contributes to the prisoner population. Violent behavior affects society as a whole. The effects may lead to violent crime and criminal arrest, and it may lead to violence in the home, violence against animals, belligerence, lack of empathy for the suffering of others, and general anti-social behavior. It may even affect our politics, our view of social welfare, of foreign policy, of who we vote for. It has been shown that there is a "Marilyn Monroe effect", whereby suicides increase after a highly publicized suicide (Huesmann, Page 556—Phillips 1979), and the phenomenon of "copycat murders" is well understood. These psychological phenomena also have good effects. We should hope that the combat footage and virtual reality simulations that our soldiers are exposed to will make them aggressive and desensitized to suffering and death on the battlefield, but we should also hope they are being vigorously trained to respect innocent life, to follow orders, and to control their ability to inflict violence so only the enemy is the recipient.

  The main psychological phenomena we will consider is known as "observational learning", which may be defined as a type of learning in which a person learns new information and behaviors by observing the behaviors of others. This has been observed in many non-human animals, such as octopuses (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/256/5056/545.short ). This phenomenon gained considerable attention with Albert Bandura's classic experiment where children were exposed to video of an adults being rewarded for beating a clown doll with a hammer while the control group, which was not shown the video, showed dramatically reduced aggression against the doll. This study gained immense criticism, one criticism being that the effect was uninspiring because the doll was an inanimate object which was designed for rough play. However, this experiment was repeated with a real clown to the same effect (http://209.85.62.24/28098/188/0/p373518/pt_bandura.pdf).

  Bandura's experiment illustrates the principle. There have been innumerable other controlled experiments showing causality of violent media and violent behavior. One double-blind study assigned 396 children to watch either a violent or nonviolent film before a game of hockey. Physical assault and verbal insults were measured. The groups shown the violent film had more violent incidents than the other group. In some trails, referees carried a visual cue that was shown in the film, a walkie-talkie. Trials with the visual cue present had significantly higher incidents of violence (Huesmann, Page 557—Josephson 1987). Another study showed increases in hostility and other negative factors in adult subjects who played both mildly aggressive and highly aggressive video games (http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/1985-1989/86af.pdf ). Another study of hostility between billiards and Mortal Kombat players yielded predictable results (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb02740.x/abstract ). In a double-blind study, Finish scientists exposed young children to either violent or nonviolent films. Children who watched the violent film rated much higher in physical assault (Anderson, Page 18—Bjorkqvist 1985). In another experiment, physical aggression was observed more in boys who played violent games compared to non-violent games (Anderson, Page 34—Irwin and Gross 1995). Another study with college students showed increased willingness to administer electric shocks to others by players of violent games compared to nonviolent games (Anderson, Page 34—Bartholow and Anderson 2002). An important series of experiments by Anderson first measured physiological and emotive responses to various video games, then chose two games, one violent and one non-violent, that scored equally in arousal. The group that played the violent game displayed a significant increase in aggressive behavior than the opposing group. This suggests that the effects of games on aggression are independent of arousal (Anderson, Page 35).

  Another interesting study exposed male adults to films portraying sex and violence, nonviolent sex, or a film with neither sex nor violence. When given the opportunity to inflict electric shocks to a woman, the subjects who watched the film with sex and violence punished the woman substantially more than the other two groups (Anderson, Page 20—Donnerstein and Berkowitz 1981). In a study with females, an experimental group was exposed to nonviolent rap music videos with sexually subordinate images of women. Subjects were then questioned on their attitudes of teen dating violence. The women who had watched the music videos showed a higher tolerance of this violence than the control group (Anderson, Page 31—J.D. Johnson, Adams, Ashburn, and Reed 1995). In a similar experiment with males, violent rap videos were found to increase endorsement of violent behavior in response to hypothetical conflict situations (Anderson, Page 31—J.D. Johnson, Jackson, and Gatto 1995). Another experiment showed rock music videos with antisocial themes lead to greater acceptance of antisocial behavior in the experimental group (Anderson, Page 31—Hansen and Hansen, 1990). Also, stereotyped sex roles showed greater acceptance in experimental groups exposed to music videos displaying such stereotypes (Anderson, Page 32—Hansen and Hansen, 1988; Hansen, 1989)

  That said, it is possible to find some studies that show psychological benefits to violent media, such as stress relief, while showing no indication of increased violent or aggressive behavior. Deniers of science like to tout the few studies that support their worldview while criticizing those that do not. They accuse psychologists of cherry-picking studies that show the harm violent media causes while claiming the overriding body of evidence is either inconclusive or shows that violent media are harmless. This is deliberate deception. However, it is true that the press often cherry-picks sensational studies to report while ignoring studies that contradict them. As famed cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson says:

  "If you are trying to measure a phenomenon that does not exist, the variation in your measurement will occasionally give you a positive signal, as well as a negative signal. If that positive signal is that A causes B ... a paper gets written about that result, and then people get concerned that cell phones might cause cancer or power lines might cause cancer.... In fact, if you look at the full spate of these studies ... there are some cases where, in fact, there is less cancer; and so these are the phenomenon of no result. When you actually have A causing B, the signal is huge. It is huge, and it's repeatable in time and place. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RExQFZzHXQ&feature=related [youtube.com] )"

  The effect of violent media is not a phenomenon of no result. Scientists are not cherry-picking results that affirm the theory. If you look at the full spate of these studies, you will see that those indicating a negative result are few. In fact, to use Tyson's words, the "signal" we get from the entire body of work is huge. It is repeatable in time place. The only cherry-picking of studies comes from the deniers of science. This is why Anderson and the other authors on the NIMH expert panel affirm that "research on violent television and films, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both immediate and long-term contexts" with an effect size of ".13 to .32" (Anderson, Page 8). This is a moderate number by correlational standards, but considering what is at stake, the implications are staggering. As Huesmann and his co-author have said in citing another author, "In fact, as Rosenthal (1986) has pointed out, a correlation of 0.3 with aggression translates into a change in the odds of aggression from 50/50 to 65/35—not a trivial change when one is dealing with life-threatening behavior" (Page 111. http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/83428/1/2003.Huesmann%26Taylor.Case%20against%20thecase%20againstmedia%20viol.inGentile.pdf [umich.edu] )

  "...the scientific debate over whether media violence increases aggression and violence is essentially over..." (Anderson, Page 9).

  There have also been many correlational surveys showing the link between violence, aggression, and the amount of television and film violence regularly viewed (Huesmann, Page 558—Chaffee, 1972; Comstock, 1980; Eysenck and Nias, 1978; and Huesmann and Miller, 1994). A meta-analysis of 410 correlational studies showed a correlational coefficient of .19 (Huesmann, Page 558—Paik and Comstock 1994). Many surveys also show the long-term effects, such as a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies which showed a statistically significant average effect size of .17 across 42 independent tests involving almost 5,000 participants (Huesmann, Page 559—Anderson and Bushman, 2001). In a longitudinal study on video games, Japanese scientists found overall exposure to video games was significantly correlated with violent physical behavior after controlling for earlier behavior (Ihori, Sakamoto, Kobayashi, and Kimura 2003). An early but significant longitudinal study showed that early childhood viewing of violent television was statistically related to their aggressive and antisocial behavior 10 years later. This finding was controlled for initial aggressiveness, social class, education, and other relevant variables. Most notable, however, was that aggressive behavior in middle childhood did not predict higher subsequent viewing of violence, making it impossible that the correlation was due to already aggressive children being drawn to violent television (Huesmann, Page 559—Lefkowitz, Eron, Walder, and Huesmann, 1977). Although there are obvious problems with correlational studies compared to experimentation, Huesmann points out, "These cross-sectional surveys provide convincing evidence that frequent viewing of violence in the media is associated with comparatively high levels of aggressive behavior. The data from these surveys are consistent with the causal conclusions of experiments...." (Huesmann, Page 558).

  A common criticism against these laboratory studies is that laboratory violence and aggression does not generalize to real-world violence and aggression. The scientists, in a show of their utterly aloof mentality, arbitrarily define what is violent for the purposes of the experiment. Their definition of "violence" may be something as irrelevant as the willingness to administer blasts of noise or electric shocks, or the subject may be presented with the opportunity to assault another in some manner which simply does not exist outside the laboratory. These sterile observations of so called "violence" cannot be easily generalized outside the staid and stodgy ivory tower of academia. Scientists fluster at this criticism because they must admit that it is valid.

  That said, scientists also fluster when the opposite criticism is made. Violent media causing violent behavior has been observed outside the laboratory in naturalistic settings. Take the 1975 case where scientists observed children in a home for delinquent boys. Boys were separated into two cottages and shown violent and non-violent movies every night, respectively. Scientists then observed the frequency of hitting and fighting. The children who watched violent movies were significantly more violent (Huesmann, Page 557—Leyens, Camino, Parke, and Berkowitz 1975). In another naturalistic observation in 1992, scientists observed an inpatient ward before and after the patients lost access to MTV, which at that time mostly showed music videos with sometimes violent content. They found a significant drop in aggressive behavior (Anderson, Page 31—Waite, Hillbrand, and Foster 1992).

  What criticisms can we use against cases of naturalistic observation like these? Because these observations were made outside the laboratory, because they lack the ordered rigidity of laboratory experimentation—because they are not truly controlled experiments it is impossible for us to conclusively establish that the exposure to violent media caused the change in behavior. This is a valid criticism. Observing subjects in uncontrolled environments means you cannot say with the same certainty that the independent variable caused the change in the dependent variable.

  You can see where I am going with this. Scientists may observe a new species of microorganism evolve in the laboratory under controlled, experimental conditions. The creationist will scoff and say "Ha! This proves nothing! Just because you contrived what you call evolution in the forced confines of a laboratory does not mean such phenomena take place in nature!" This is a valid criticism. Just because it happened in the lab does not mean it happens in nature. The map is not the territory. However, when scientists discover new forms of microscopic life in nature, new forms that coincide precisely as Darwinian evolution would predict, the creationist shouts "This proves nothing! Unless you observe the creation of new species in a controlled laboratory setting there is no reason to believe that this new species had not been around the whole time! You only just discovered it!" This, again, is a valid criticism.

  These criticisms are not against one branch of scientific inquiry, they are against science itself. There is virtually no scientific question which is immune to both criticisms. These are problems inherent to the scientific method, and they shall be with science forever; but to reject both laboratory experiments and naturalistic observation because of these problems is to reject science. In practice, both forms of investigation, along with correlational data, complement one another. It is the strength of laboratory experimentation that it is rigid and controlled, just as it is the strength of naturalistic observation that it is open to real-world impressions of the science. One must either embrace that science—the objective, empirical observation of the world—is the best way to arrive at conclusions of reality, or you may deny all science and empiricism in favor of perpetual ignorance. There is a difference between being a denier of a particular science and being a denier of the scientific method itself. If you deny all science, then there is no evidence that can change your mind. There is no hope for you. However, if you only deny one branch of science due to being uninformed, then I hope these data will have given you cause to reconsider.

  Yet there is more science to review. Exposing people to violent imagery has been known to desensitize them to violence. If you display a picture of a mutilated corpse, it will have less of an effect on someone who enjoys gory movies than it would on someone who has never seen blood outside the doctor's office. Those who are desensitized will show less emotional reaction to the suffering and death of others. This phenomenon likely contributed to the rise of animal-rights activism, because people are not exposed to the suffering of animals as they were in the past. Before the industrial revolution, most people were exposed to animals being treated cruelly in their largely rural farm-lives. With so many modern people living in cities and buying their meat prepackaged without any resemblance to an animal, seeing a PETA video of farm cows being beaten has a much greater effect on them. The fact that a person raised in a farm environment, where animals are exposed to cruelties, is much more comfortable and inclined to repeat those actions as a farmer than someone who has never been exposed to it is compelling evidence for desensitization (these issues are explored in the book "Meat: A Natural Symbol" by Nick Fiddes). It is believed that desensitization to violence will lead to violent acts against other people, or it may cause inaction when another suffers preventable violence.

  Consider a study where children who were exposed to a violent film were slower to call for help from an adult when they saw other children fighting compared to the control group (Huesmann, Page 558—Drabman and Thomas, 1974 1975; Thomas and Drabman, 1975). Another experiment with adults found increased acceptance of violence towards women after watching violent sex scenes (Anderson, Page 21—Malamuth and Check 1981). An important experiment studied desensitization with the effect of violent and non-violent video games and other imagery. As we may predict, those exposed to violent video games showed more aggression. What makes this study interesting, however, is that scientists also used an EEG to measure the neurological reaction to violence and thus indicate desensitization. Scientists could predict which subjects would display the most aggression based totally on scans of their brains. Most worrisome, however, was that the scientists could also tell whether or not the subject had been heavily exposed to media violence in their past. By looking at your brain, scientists can now tell how much violence you have been exposed to and predict how violent a person you are. Think about that. The revelation that what is seen on television will physically change human brains and numb them to the suffering of others does not just encourage us to keep violence away from our impressionable children, it makes even the most sober of us to think twice about what we expose ourselves to (http://socialcogneurolab.missouri.edu/pdfs/Engelhardt_atal_JESP_2011.pdf ).

  The final study I shall cite is a 2006 meta-analysis. The meta-analysis surveyed 431 studies involving 68,463 subjects and included such media as television, movies, video games, music, and comic-books. The whole of this body of evidence affirmed the scientific consensus that exposure to violent media causes an increase in both short-term and long-term violent and aggressive behavior (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/BH06.pdf ). This is not the first study of this type. Many have been performed to the same conclusion. It is no wonder that the American Psychological Association, in reviewing the evidence back in 1993, said:

  There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing violence on television are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior. Three major national studies ... reviewed hundreds of studies to arrive at the irrefutable conclusion that viewing violence increases violence. In addition, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence. (Page 33. http://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/resources/violence-youth.pdf [apa.org] )

  In his essay, "Nailing the Coffin Shut on Doubts that Violent Video Games Stimulate Aggression" ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2848956/ [nih.gov] ), Huesmann writes:

  "It requires a tortuous logic to believe that children and adolescents are affected by what they observe in their living room, through the front window of their house, in their classroom, in their neighborhood, and among their peers, but not affected by what they observe in movies, on television, or in the video games they play. Yet many have argued just such a view in opposition to researchers who conclude that media violence stimulates aggression.

  "... I expect that it will not change the expressed views of the many purveyors of violent video games or their ad hominem attacks on researchers ... will not change the minds of the many psychologically unsophisticated journalists who write glibly in the popular press about this topic; will not change the minds of the many psychologically unsophisticated popular culture scholars who write about this topic; and, most disturbingly, will not change the minds of the few psychologically sophisticated researchers who deny that media violence can have any important psychological effect on the risk for aggressive behavior ...

  "Generally, I would argue that they eliminate entire segments of research on false grounds (e.g., experiments are artificial and can never study "real aggression"); selectively examine the remaining literature; identify correctly small flaws in studies; magnify those flaws with false logic into indictments of most of the research; uncritically accept the few flawed studies or meta-analyses that show no effects as true indicators of the population; and cite other flawed reviews as facts. Most importantly they mostly ignore observational learning theory and the general research on imitation. ...

  "Rather than engage in another round of similar debates, let me suggest that some important individual difference variables may explain a lot of the variance in the debaters' positions. Among those psychologists who have actually done empirical research on the topic of media violence or video game violence and who understand the theory of observational learning, there is great consensus ... that media violence increases the risk for aggressive behavior. Among those scholars with a vested interest in video games, either because playing them is an important part of their identity (e.g., Ferguson; Jenkins) or because they have been funded by the media industry (e.g., Freedman), there is a lasting expressed disbelief that media violence can cause aggressive behavior. Their disbelief seems to be compounded by their failure to grasp observational learning theory. Of course, such disbelief may also be indirectly fueled in all of us by our American distaste for anyone telling us what we should look at or play. Freedom of speech and publication is an essential element of our free society and any discussion of 'inappropriate content' in the mass media inevitably primes our negative reactions to censorship or control on free speech."

  Huesman and another author offer a wider rebuttal of deniers in the piece "The Case against the Case against Media Violence", cited previously and again here ( http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/83428/1/2003.Huesmann%26Taylor.Case%20against%20thecase%20againstmedia%20viol.inGentile.pdf [umich.edu] ).

  Who can still deny this science? Who can still claim that violent media simply cannot cause harm? Is it your opinion that, in surveying the evidence, all this science is fabricated bunk? Or perhaps you believe, as some do, that there is evidence on both sides—that the jury is still out on this question. There are two options here, either violent media can cause harm or it cannot. Just as a gun can cause harm or it cannot. In light of all the evidence, it is impossible to be agnostic about the answer. For the true denier to say "violent media doesn't cause harm" is to make an utterly extraordinary and unbelievable claim, and here is why:

  Imagine a world where there is no violent imagery in the media. Imagine a world where all of the imagery ever produced by mankind, since the dawn of civilization, had been devoid of violence. Imagine if Homer's works were G-rated. Imagine if the Vikings had no warrior poets. Imagine if there was no murder or killing in all of Shakespeare, no acts of slavery and genocide in holy books. Imagine if the artists of the Renaissance never glorified war in their art. Imagine if every novel you read, every film you watched, and every game you played contained no violence. Imagine even that the news did not report violent actions. Imagine even that the words "war," "murder," and "torture," had never entered the dictionary. Imagine a world where every child is raised without the concept of violence entering into their experience from any medium other than fist-hand experience. All violence is gone from the media and for all time. What the true denier has to believe is that nothing would change in this world. People would still go out and kill each other exactly as they do now, no difference at all—not even a small difference. Human history would have an equal amount of blood, no difference of a drop, than it does today. The true denier must believe that in this world not a single life, in the whole of human history, would have escaped cruelty or death from the hands of another. You don't need to be a psychologist to see that this is an utterly extraordinary claim which demands extraordinary evidence. The scientist sees, however, that this imaginary world would be STAGGERINGLY different to our own, and those differences would be in the form of human lives saved and suffering averted. This imaginary world would be a better world to live in. We don't know how many lives would be saved, but can you say how many lives would be an acceptable sacrifice to keep our violence? It would be a shame to give up so much human culture—the Iliad would be pretty boring if no one got killed in it—but can you argue for a moment that these changes to our culture would not be worth the saved lives? You may try to argue that our enjoyment of violence would be worth it, but what you cannot do is claim that no human being has ever suffered or died because of violent media.

  The moral debate is the question of those two worlds. To support violent media you must support our world over this imaginary one. You must not only declare that you would prefer to live in our world of violence and raise your children in it, you must not only convince me to do the same, but you must also be morally comfortable inflicting that world on every human being who has ever lived and ever will live.

  That said, whether you want us all to live in a world of violent media is not the question this essay has addressed. The purpose of this essay was to dispel those who deny science. To believe that violent media is not responsible for human suffering and death is not a tenable position. You have been shown more than enough for any rational person to change their minds on this issue.

  To still believe that violent media is harmless is to suffer from a literally psychotic denial of reality. The kind of mind you need to believe this is a twisted mind indeed. You can imagine yourself sitting in the living room of a particular home in Dallas, May of 1999. Professional wresting is on the television. You see one wrestler clothesline another. The 7 year old child in the room sees it too. Then you see that child approach his 3 year old brother and clothesline him in the same way. The 3 year old dies (http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/07/01/new_kills.shtml ).

  Imagine the kind of mind you need to see this happen, then to cross your arms and say the wrestling show did not cause the death. Imagine the kind of mind it would take to deny that nothing would have been different if wrestling had never been shown in that house. Imagine the twisted, perverse mentality that would declare "This was a coincidence! The boy would have died no matter what!" or to say that the 7 year old who says his favorite wrestlers are "'Stone Cold' Steve Austin" and "The Undertaker" was just predisposed to violence, perhaps a born psychotic; or that he was planning to kill his brother all along but only waited until wrestling was on the television so that he would have a scapegoat. You can say it is the 7 year old's fault, you can say it is the parents' fault, or you can say it is the WWF's fault. What you cannot say, however, is that this innocent child would still be dead today if his brother had not watched wrestling. To deny that violent media changes our behavior, to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence, to ignore decades of research and the consensus of psychologists—to look at the evidence and to believe otherwise does not mean you just have a different opinion, or are misinformed, or are ignorant...

  To believe otherwise means you are insane.

Re:Proof video games cause violence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714297)

I have to admit, I was expecting your post to turn knto a pitch for a scam pc cleaning service or a cmdr taco coprophilia troll.

Is it bad that I ended up disappointed because your post was less interesting than those hackneyed trolls?

Re:He will be missed. (1)

FirephoxRising (2033058) | about 2 years ago | (#41713071)

I didn't realise that he invented amorphous cells, history will show whether he is remembered more for those or if his batteries sparked (sorry, couldn't resist (sorry)) a transport revolution (OK I'll stop now).

Re:He will be missed. (1)

Squirmy McPhee (856939) | about 2 years ago | (#41721355)

You can argue that he commercialized amorphous silicon solar cells, but he most certainly did not invent them. That distinction goes to Chris Wronski and David Carlson at RCA.

This is dumb, but I remember Ovshinsky... (5, Interesting)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about 2 years ago | (#41713059)

...my dad was a physicist at ECD (when Ovshinsky owned it) in Troy, MI back in ca. '70 and I was about 8 years old at the time. We used to go to his house for dinner and BBQs a lot and he would stock my favorite pop (strawberry Faygo) for me at his house. He was a very nice guy.

Re:This is dumb, but I remember Ovshinsky... (3, Interesting)

dunelin (111356) | about a year ago | (#41717663)

I show the "Hydrogen Hopes" episode of Alan Alda's Scientific American Fronteirs (PBS) every year in my high school Chemistry class. Mr. Ovshinsky is a prominent figure in the program, showing off his solar cells, hydrogen storage media, and other inventions. The guy was truly remarkable and seemingly always thinking. We need more like him, people who are thinking of ways to improve the world (not just make money).

Re:This is dumb, but I remember Ovshinsky... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718399)

Not dumb! When I was just beginning to commence to start building my first EV..I called Mr Ovshinsky..and got him! Explaining I wanted to use his batteries,H e patiently explained to me why he couldn't help me.. Personally, I think the news about A123 killed him, not cancer. HE always was among the great in my mind Franlin,Edison,Tesla...A real renaissance genius.

Please stop insulting the dead (2, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#41713101)

Mr. Ovshinsky is man much greater than Edison could ever dream.

Re:Please stop insulting the dead (2)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 2 years ago | (#41713413)

I came here (and actually signed in for the first time in years) to say exactly that. Thank you.

Re:Please stop insulting the dead (0)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41714393)

I'm sorry to say, I had never even heard of the man until this story.

Re:Please stop insulting the dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41715489)

I think he wasn't as great an asshole like Edison was.

Reminds me that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713115)

News stories like these remind me that I've wasted my life.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ovshinsky.

Re:Reminds me that... (2)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41713171)

Why not make a /. account and attempt to catch up?

Re:Reminds me that... (2)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 2 years ago | (#41713689)

You still have some of it left - you can choose to not waste that.

Btw A123 is bancrupt. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41713365)

Electric car is looking gloomier and gloomier :/

Re:Btw A123 is bancrupt. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713863)

Ah, the reporting on the conservative right-wing.

Let me ask you this, why do you hate America?

Do you want the US to be beholden to battery production in Asia? Oil extraction in the Middle East? Why don't you love America and want to protect it from overseas foreign powers with malicious intent?

Tell the truth, are you a communist, or have you ever been a communist, or seen one on TV?

Re:Btw A123 is bancrupt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714401)

Nuclear Power Invented IN American and TESTED IN Asia. Truly all Americans Should only use the POWER of the ATOM. I have built my own nuclear powered car. Direct Steam Drive, no commy electric motors for me in the whole car. Steam powers everything. Wide-shield wipers STEAM Engine, Even the power windows use Steam engines. As do the power door look actuators And where the fuck does that Steam come from??? NUCLEAR baby, it's America's power supply. THE ATOM is gods gift to his choosen People..... Why do you THink we don't have melts down???? It's gods will baby..... NUCLEAR DUmp the waist on the enemies of god and AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

Physical Review Letter that Started it All (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713397)

Bypassing academic disbelief (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year ago | (#41717509)

And all the professional physicists and engineers denied that amorphous semiconductors were possible for many years, even when confronted with evidence... See for example:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9621164/Stanford-Ovshinsky.html [telegraph.co.uk]
"In 1960, with his second wife Iris, a biochemist, he founded Energy Conversion Laboratories (later renamed Energy Conversion Devices, or ECD) at Rochester Hills, Michigan, to develop his ideas, and in 1968 held a press conference at which he announced that he had succeeded in making a "glass transistor" that relied on a principle which (with understandable immodesty) he called Ovonics. This breakthrough, he predicted, would eventually lead to desktop computers and television sets "hanging like portraits on the wall". The announcement made the front pages and ECDâ(TM)s stock (the company went public in 1967) soared. Within days, however, semiconductor engineers dismissed the idea and ECDâ(TM)s stock price collapsed. Most scientists had never heard of amorphous materials, and some rubbished Ovshinsky as a high school dropout and former machinist with no university qualifications. He was branded a crank. Eventually, though, Ovshinskyâ(TM)s theories proved correct, ushering in a whole new field of solid-state physics."

I can wonder if we'll see the same with so-called "cold fusion" (LENR)? Example:
http://pesn.com/2012/10/18/9602209_LENR-to-Market_Weekly_October18/ [pesn.com]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciplined_Minds [wikipedia.org]
"Disciplined Minds is a book by physicist Jeff Schmidt,[1] published in 2000. The book describes how professionals are made; the methods of professional and graduate schools that turn eager entering students into disciplined managerial and intellectual workers that correctly perceive and apply the employer's doctrine and outlook. Schmidt uses the examples of law, medicine, and physics, and describes methods that students and professional workers can use to preserve their personalities and independent thought."

I've always found the story of Stanford Ovshinsky inspirational. He was like a more-well-grounded Bucky Fuller. Too bad about prostrate cancer; here is some advice on reducing the risk for those of us (males) who carry on:
http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/prostate-cancer-dr-fuhrmans-diet-advice-for-prostate-health.html [diseaseproof.com]

Re:Bypassing academic disbelief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41733753)

I can wonder if we'll see the same with so-called "cold fusion" (LENR)? Example:
http://pesn.com/2012/10/18/9602209_LENR-to-Market_Weekly_October18/ [pesn.com]

Well, you're free to "wonder", but no amount of wondering will make pipe dreams real. I opened your link, and splattered all across the page was promotion of some Italian dude's "self sustaining" (aka perpetual motion) machine. Stop being so gullible. That's not the sort of website to go to for information about heroic lone wolf inventors oppressed by The System, it's a place to go to for uncritical promotion of cranks and frauds.

Also, if you had bothered to read that Telegraph article in depth instead of skimming for material to support the "scientific orthodoxy suppresses geniuses" narrative, you'd have noticed that less than 10 years after Ovshinsky attracted some harsh criticism, Sir Nevill Mott acknowledged Ovshinksy in his Nobel acceptance speech. Because, you see, he won it for work in a field of study which Ovshinksy kicked off. That's actually a relatively short time scale for controversy to acceptance.

By the way, real scientists like Ovshinsky basically welcome harsh criticism of any bold new claims they happen to be making. You're always going to be your own work's biggest fan -- but if you're honestly pursuing the truth you have to be aware that means you can't be your own work's best critic, so the only way you're going to ever be sure that you've done it right is to put it out there, let it get attacked, and see if you can figure out how to save it. Ovshinsky did figure out how to defend a lot of his key ideas. Guys like Pons & Fleischmann (the "inventors" of cold fusion) couldn't. Because there wasn't anything there.

Too bad about prostrate cancer; here is some advice on reducing the risk for those of us (males) who carry on:
http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/prostate-cancer-dr-fuhrmans-diet-advice-for-prostate-health.html [diseaseproof.com]

Hooray, let's hear it for yet another dose of worthless diet advice pseudoscience! (hint: if you read it on a site which, by its very name, implies you can become "disease proof", it's probably a load of crap)

Wellll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713529)

Maybe he should have studied medical science. *sigh*

Re:Wellll (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#41714445)

Doctors live 5 years less than the general population, on average. Except for dermatologists, for some reason. So no, studying medicine would not help and in fact would hinder :)

Hybrid car battery (3, Informative)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | about 2 years ago | (#41713631)

Just to be pedantic, he invented Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries which happen to be used in most hybrids, but of course are used in a million other places as well.
RIP.

Re:Hybrid car battery (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41713883)

They're not even used in most hybrids now, because the world has moved on to Lithium. They were used in the original Honda Insight, but the technology was sold to Chevron who placed it under onerous licensing terms. Even R/C cars and rechargeable flashlights have moved on from NiMH to LiPo or LiFePo.

Re:Hybrid car battery (1)

hazydave (96747) | about 2 years ago | (#41727987)

Most hybrid cars still use NiMh. Look at Toyota, the most popular maker of hybrids. All of the 2012-2013 Prius models use NiMh except for the plug-in Prius. The big problem with any rechargeable has been battery life. NiMh cells last pretty much forever as long as you run only part of their capacity. The first two Prius generations (1997-2000, 2001-2003) used only 40% of the battery capacity. From 2004 on, they boosted this to 60%.

The full electric cars have largely jumped to Lithium for energy density. But Lithium charging is more complex than NiMh -- cells can't deliver or take as much instantaneous power. So they make much more sense in large packs, but not as much for smaller pack, yet. Much of the work on new Lithium formulations (including the work the now-defunct A123 was doing) is improving the anode and cathode materials, which will increase their peak power/charging capacity, and increase the useful life.

For R/C cars, yeah, Lithium cells exist, but the majority are still using NiMh. It's much the same issue -- serious racers need peak power output, which is fairly small from Lithium cells vs. NiMh (in fact, some even prefer NiCAD, despite the evil memory effects, as they can deliver a higher current peak than a similar NiMh cell). Some of this is addressed in the LiFePO4 cells, which are starting to gain traction.

Another issue with Lithium cells is that it's critical to monitor power levels. Over-discharging can cause a parasitic reaction in the negative terminal, production of LiO in an irreversible reaction. Even without that, there are a number of parasitic effects in most classic Li-ion cells that limit their lifetime, often to about 3 years or less, independent of the battery cycling. That's been a biggie for use in hybrids, and one reason NiMh still dominates -- all of the hybrid or BEV cars out commercially now, with Lithium based cells, are using very new battery designs.

Re:Hybrid car battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41735137)

NiMh cells last pretty much forever as long as you run only part of their capacity.

That's actually true of many lithium battery chemistries too. Most types of battery have longer life when you never fully charge or discharge.

The full electric cars have largely jumped to Lithium for energy density. But Lithium charging is more complex than NiMh -- cells can't deliver or take as much instantaneous power.

Uh, no.

Maximum safe discharge rate is usually limited by cell heating. There is always parasitic internal resistance. P = I^2 * R, so the power lost to heating the cell goes up as the square of the current.

Compared to NiMH, lithium ion chemistries have similar or less internal resistance (scroll all the way to the end):

http://www.electrochemsolutions.com/battery/comparisons.aspx

But also take note of the cell voltage -- well over 2x NiMH, ~3.7V versus ~1.25V. For any desired power output, you'll get by with less than half the current when using Li-Ion. Halving the current while keeping parasitic resistance roughly constant results in 1/4 as much parasitic power lost, and correspondingly less cell heating.

Yes, lithium chemistries are more complex to charge. Generally speaking, this is not because it's impossible to charge them quickly, it's because the charger must have significantly more accurate knowledge of the cell's state-of-charge than is necessary with NiCd and NiMH chemistries. Lithium ion chemistries are both much less tolerant of overcharge and give fewer easily-sensed signs that they're beginning to be overcharged.

This is why it's common to see fast charge till ~90%, then slow charge to 100%. At 90%, the charger switches modes from constant-current to constant-voltage, setting the charge voltage to be roughly equal to the desired end state pack voltage. This permits easy detection of when to stop charging by monitoring the drop in charge current as the cell asymptotically approaches 100%, while being mostly inherently safe (so long as the controller actually sets the constant voltage to the proper level). That last is also why it's common for LiIon packs (especially in automotive and computer applications) to be paired with intelligent controllers which know the entire life history of the pack, using mathematical aging models coupled with sensed voltage / temperature / current data to monitor capacity loss over time.

(In automotive applications I wouldn't be surprised if Li-Ion charge controllers simply avoid fully charging the cells. Not only does this make safe fast charge simpler, it increases lifespan.)

For R/C cars, yeah, Lithium cells exist, but the majority are still using NiMh. It's much the same issue -- serious racers need peak power output, which is fairly small from Lithium cells vs. NiMh (in fact, some even prefer NiCAD, despite the evil memory effects, as they can deliver a higher current peak than a similar NiMh cell).

I have no idea whether what you're saying about R/C cars is true, but if it is I'd guess a significant factor is that common R/C car electrical systems aren't well adapted to Li battery chemistries, pack voltages, etc.

Re:Hybrid car battery (2)

HuguesT (84078) | about 2 years ago | (#41714067)

No he didn't. His company holds a number of patents regarding the use of NIMH batteries, particularly in automobiles, but he cannot be regarded as the sole inventor of the NIMH chemistry used in related batteries. R&D into this domain started in the 1960s. In the mid 1980s working but expensive NIMH batteries existed for specialized applications like powering satellites. However he contributed to find a way to replace expensive rare earth materials by something cheaper, paving the way to mass market availability of the technology. However most NIMH batteries bought at some store today are not necessarily based on his design.

Modern science very rarely involves a single scientist inventing something amazing by themselves.

RIP Ovshinsky, FU GM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713739)

No text

Not dead (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41713795)

Not dead ... just permanently discharged.

Re:Not dead (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year ago | (#41715545)

It's a shame he didn't invent a method for humans to be recharged.

Hydride != Hybrid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713861)

Seriously, where did Timothy go to school?

Re:Hydride != Hybrid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41716611)

Did you go to school?

Clearly it's referring to the batteries found in hybrid (i.e. gas/electric powered) cars. The first fucking sentence says that, you dirty black bastard.

More than just solar cells and batteries (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41716295)

I worked for ECD for 3 years just before and just after Stan "left" (corporate code for "was forced out"). It was one incredible place and he was a pretty incredible guy. So many interesting inventions that unfortunately never really got off the ground. That was partly because Stan tried to treat each of his inventions as a thing to be nurtured, even when it was clear that they were either un-economical or ahead of their time and partly because he partnered with a lot of big companies that stole the stuff they wanted and buried the stuff they wanted buried. (Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) www.imdb.com/title/tt0489037/synopsis) Stan also had a knack for trusting that his employees had his back when they didn't and often went off on their own tangents. And the business was never what it was about for Stan. The money was just a way to keep inventing. Still, Amorphous Silicon for both sunlight to electricity AND electricity to light, dozens of CD/DVD patents (that Sony tied up so tight they could never be monetized), Nickle Metal Hydride batteries (that Chevron locked up), Phase Change Memory that nobody seemed to be able to make money at. Multi-State Phase Change Logic which was late in his career and maybe never got the attention it should have, a way to make buckets of hydrogen from almost anything organic and a way to safely store it in an auto fuel tank as a hydride. (ECD had company cars that were retrofitted Priuses running on pure hydrogen stored a s hydride). Stan was convinced that the Hydrogen economy was just around the corner. That is just scratching the surface. Brilliant, irascible, fun loving, generous, bull headed, curious, a know it all, in short a real human being. RIP Stan.

This is a total travesty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41717055)

Only some two dozen posts about this over-hyped wannabe in the field of science and engineering?
I had thought the readers of slashdot were stupid and easily duped.

Re:This is a total travesty! (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41718739)

I heard it took TheOatmeal all of 5 minutes to post a 47-screen-long comic cutting this guy to shreds because someone compared him to Edison.

Re:This is a total travesty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41735397)

I heard it took TheOatmeal all of 5 minutes to post a 47-screen-long comic cutting this guy to shreds because someone compared him to Edison.

No, no, no. You got your joke all wrong. The Oatmeal's author hates Edison (with a passion) and loves Tesla. He'd either be hurt that Ovshinsky's name was disgraced by comparing him to the (EVIL EVIL EVIL) Edison, or he'd be hating on Ovshinsky because his passing is taking a little bit of attention away from the near-religious veneration of Tesla.

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