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The FREAKest Links: Cold Case and Hot Button Edition

At Psychology Today, Carlin Flora examines the personal and social effects of rejection, noting that “rejection sensitivity” is on the rise (in conjunction with increasing depression rates). The result, she says, is that we pay “a collective cost of individual hypersensitivity to rejection. People become unwilling to take even the smallest social risks … Public life shrinks and civil society withers.”

An A.P. article reports that Florida prisons are issuing decks of custom-made playing cards to inmates, with each card displaying photos, descriptions, and dates of more than 100 unsolved murders and kidnappings. The goal, according to Florida Special Agent Tommy Ray, is to “get [the inmates] talking … There are a couple of high-profile cases I think we’ll get solved.” Similar decks have been created and distributed in San Diego; Kansas City, Mo.; and Odessa, Tex.

The Chicago Sun-Times excerpts Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker‘s preface to the book, What Is Your Dangerous Idea?: Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable, by John Brockman. Pinker’s hypothesis: that “dangerous” questions (such as whether the legalization of abortion in the ’70s contributed to a crime drop twenty years later) must be discussed, analyzed and answered, despite their status as “hot button” issues.