Category Archives: Question Humane Responses

Sleep Loss Does Not Impact Ability to Assess Emotional Information

Summary: Sleep loss does not numb a person’s response to emotional situations, but it can result in difficulties in regulating emotional response.

Source: Washington State University

It’s no secret that going without sleep can affect people’s mood, but a new study shows it does not interfere with their ability to evaluate emotional situations.

It is often assumed that feeling more negative will color people’s experience of emotional images and events in the environment around them. However, Washington State University researchers found that while going 24 hours without sleep impacted study participants’ mood, it did not change their performance on tests evaluating their ability to process emotional words and images.

“People do become less happy through sleep deprivation, but it’s not affecting how they are processing emotional stimuli in their environment,” said Anthony Stenson, a WSU psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study in Plos One.

The findings have implications for healthcare providers, law enforcement and people in other long-hour professions who need to be able to control their own emotions during stressful and emotionally trying situations. Sleep loss in not likely to make them numb to emotional situations, the researchers found, but it is likely to make them less able to control their own emotional responses.

For the study, about 60 adult participants spent four consecutive days in the Sleep and Performance Research Center at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. All participants were allowed to sleep normally the first night and then given a set of baseline tests to judge their mood as well as their emotional regulation and processing ability. Then, the researchers divided the participants into two groups: one group of 40 people spent the second night awake, while a control group of 20 were allowed a normal sleep period. The tests were then re-administered at different intervals.

The emotional regulation and processing tests both involved viewing a series of images with positive and negative emotional connotations. In the emotional regulation tests, participants were given a prompt to help them recontextualize negative images before seeing them and asked to control their feelings. The sleep-deprived group had greater difficulty reducing the emotion they felt when instructed to do so. 

The processing tests involved responding to words and images with emotional content, for example rating the emotions conveyed by a smiling family, a growling dog or a crying child  All participants performed similarly on these tests whether they were sleep deprived or not.

The distinction between processing the emotional content of the world around you and being able to regulate your own emotional responses is an important one, especially for some professions, said co-author Paul Whitney, a WSU professor of psychology.

“I don’t think we want our first responders being numb to the emotional nature of the situations they encounter, and it looks like they are not,” he said. “On the other hand, reacting normally to emotional situations, but not being able to control your own emotions, could be one reason sleep loss sometimes produces catastrophic errors in stressful situations.”

A lot of previous research has looked at how sleep deprivation impacts so called “cold” cognitive tasks—supposedly emotionally neutral tasks like recalling facts. These studies have also found that regulation, which is considered a “top-down” cognitive process, is a major problem with cold cognitive tasks. For instance, mental flexibility is compromised by sleep deprivation. This is the ability an emergency room doctor might need to quickly change tactics if a patient isn’t responding to a treatment.

The current study shows that top-down regulation is a problem as well with “hot” or emotional cognitive processes. Future research is needed to understand whether the effects of sleep loss on the two top-down processes are linked.

This study is the result of an ongoing collaboration among WSU psychology researchers and sleep experts at WSU College of Medicine. Other authors include psychology post-doctoral fellow Courtney Kurinec as well as psychology Professor John Hinson and College of Medicine Professor Hans Van Dongen. All are also affiliated with the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center.

Rivian Thinks It Can Derive $15,500 In Subscription Income From Every Vehicle It Sells

Wow, that we will likely will sign up like lemmings blows my mind. Bad enough we take out loans to buy cars as it is. Something tells me this is a sign of a future to come…

Rivian Thinks It Can Derive $15,500 In Subscription Income From Every Vehicle It Sells (By Steve Hanley)

When Rivian filled for its IPO recently, the documents revealed some surprising things. As Carolyn Fortuna points out, they show the company has burned through a sizable chunk of cash trying to get its business off the ground. In 2020, it lost just over $1 billion. In the first half of this year, it lost nearly a billion dollars more.

There were lots of other interesting things tucked away in all those filing documents as well. Motor Trend reports that all Rivian vehicles will have Level 3 self driving technology baked in, but it will be behind a paywall. Owners can either pay an additional $10,000 up front or opt for a monthly subscription. Other subscriptions will be available for infotainment, connectivity, diagnostics, and other services.

In all, Rivian told the SEC it expects to generate $15,500 in extra income per vehicle over its expected 10 year useful life — $10,000 for the Level 3 self driving package and an additional $5,500 for all those other subscription add ons. That’s assuming people decide to pay for them.

Its vehicles will come standard with Driver+, which uses the vehicle’s adaptive cruise control and lane centering systems, and is further supported by its automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, lane keep assist, highway assist, and park assist systems. Lane change assist and trailer assist may be available later as over-the-air software updates.

Driver+ utilizes 11 cameras (including one that watches to make sure the driver is engaged), 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 radars, and a high-precision GPS antenna to monitor the environment around the vehicle. It is partially hands free but does require the driver to be prepared to take over control of the wheel at a moment’s notice. It supports but does not replace attention, judgment, and driver control. It’s a collection of Level 2 active safety features that control motor, braking, and steering systems, assisting drivers when certain criteria are met, much like Tesla’s Autopilot system, Motor Trend says.

Software As A Service

The digital revolution will swallow us whole if we let it. 10 years ago, how many people would pay to have a device in their pocket that tracks their every movement every day and shares that data with the government and marketers? If you suggested such a thing, people would think you were ready for a suite at the cuckoo’s nest. Yet, today, people willingly carry such devices and feel compelled to check them every minute or so to make sure they aren’t missing out on something.

As cars become more like computers on wheels, we are finding we don’t actually own them any more. We own the seats, tires, brakes, and motors, but the software that makes them function belongs to the manufacturer. Woe betide the intrepid soul who tries to alter it in any way or make repairs that are not “authorized,” for if the manufacturer frowns on those efforts, it can simply turn off all that lovely software and leave the nominal owner with a pile of inoperable junk.

Manufacturers are in love with the idea of people paying for subscriptions. Some people think autonomous driving is about saving lives. Baloney. It is about companies being able to make money from operating robotaxis. Many years ago in an unguarded moment, a Volvo executive let slip that robotaxis will be a “license to print money.”

Rick and Morty’s Jerry Smith is ‘Hired’ at a real AD Agency.

Color me impressed – Rick and Morty’s Jerry Smith is ‘Hired’ at a real AD Agency.

DDB FTW has named the character its new creative director—but what does that even mean?

By Brian Bonilla via Adage (

It seems “Rick and Morty” has infiltrated a new dimension: The agency world. Last week DDB FTW, which is a gaming and esports network launched out of DDB last November, announced on LinkedIn that it has hired Jerry Smith, Morty’s father and Rick’s son-in-law from the popular animated series, as its newest creative director. (And no, this isn’t another episode of interdimensional cable.)

“Jerry is a unique talent and when you see what he’s done, you can’t help but react,” Gavin Cheng, CEO of DDB FTW, told Ad Age when asked about the “hiring.” He declined to comment further.

Jerry, who has an adversarial relationship with Rick on the Adult Swim series, is known for being the butt of many jokes on the show and is constantly searching for a job. In the series, he has worked at an ad agency known as Haas & Milan and is the creator of an ad campaign called “Hungry for Apples?”

The DDB FTW post includes an image of Jerry Smith’s LinkedIn profile with a caption that reads: “To produce unexpected work, we need unexpected talent. Let us introduce our new Creative Director Jerry Smith who joined our global team today. Jerry is the creative behind a legendary campaign ‘Hungry For Apples?’ and brings years of interdimensional experience to the table. Welcome on board!” 

DDB FTW executives and DDB have also shared the update, prompting industry employees to reshare the news and even show support in the comments. DDB’s post currently has 875 likes and has received comments from leaders across agencies such as BBDO, Mother, The Many, Juniper Park/TBWA, VMLY&R, and companies including Google and PwC.

When asked for comment the account didn’t break character.

“I’m just very excited to be back in the industry after all these years of struggle,” the Jerry Smith account responded to Ad Age. “And I can’t thank everyone enough who helped me land this opportunity. Get ready Appley Awards, Jerry is back!”

So what’s this all about? We set out to do some digging. Here’s what we know so far.

The user has done his or her homework

The identity of the person behind the Jerry Smith LinkedIn account is unknown. The account, which has amassed more than 3,000 followers, was started sometime last year according to its first post on the site which makes a reference to Jerry’s most iconic moment as an adman on the show. During the fourth episode of the show’s inaugural season Jerry, not knowing that he is trapped in a simulation of the Earth, goes to a pitch meeting for the Apple Farmers of America and sells his idea with the slogan “Hungry for Apples?” an obvious rip-off of the famous “Got Milk?” slogan.

Many of the account’s comments and posts reference apples. In fact, the account’s LinkedIn profile has several prior jobs listed that make references to the show such as creative at “Haas & Milan,” head of advertising at the “Headism Church,” creative/UX writer at “LoveFinderrz,” and more.

The LinkedIn profile even includes a link to Jerry’s portfolio website where you can see prior ”projects” he has worked on broken down into a typical brief to execution format. The site also includes reasons Jerry would be a good hire, names previous awards the character has won, his personal accomplishments, and links to the character’s Instagram, LinkedIn, and email.

It’s trolling real agencies 

The main driving factor of the Jerry account since its inception has been finding a job. The account has been urging agencies to take a look at its portfolio and even posted images of printed job search ads the user pasted onto bulletin boards, walls and more as it decided to take its job search “to the streets,” according to the post. A number of the account’s posts include hashtags like #ajobforJerry and #fuckyouRick.

Beyond making numerous posts about looking for work, the account has been pretty active on LinkedIn commenting on and liking posts on a regular basis while staying in character. From a post reminding employees in the industry to fill out their timesheets to supporting work from various agencies, the account has shown it has actual industry knowledge.

The account has even made posts parodying award shows such as Cannes, the Clios, The One Show awards, and the D&AD awards.

Brands such as Burger King and Liquid Death have also been subject to Jerry Smith’s parody posts.

Jerry links with other “Rick and Morty” characters

“Rick and Morty” has had an abundance of memorable characters over its five seasons. So it may not be surprising that Jerry isn’t the only Rick and Morty-inspired LinkedIn account out there. So there may be a chance they are owned by the same creator of the Jerry Smith page given that the other characters seem to comment and like Jerry’s posts and updates frequently. Other character accounts include Doofus Rick, who is a clone of the original Rick that gets bullied by the other Rick clones but is the only version of Rick to meaningfully bond with Jerry on the show.

This account has significantly fewer connections (71 at the time of writing) than Jerry and seems to mostly interact with the Jerry account on LinkedIn besides its only sole post, made recently speaking about the COVID-19 vaccination.

“I may be the worst of all Rick, but even the worst Rick is vaccinated,” the account wrote. “What are you waiting for? Are you worse than me?”

The other character account is based on Mr. Marklovitz, who is the CEO of the fake agency where Jerry pitched his aforementioned apple campaign. The character’s only line in the episode was “Yes,” since he was part of the unsophisticated version of the simulation Jerry was in. The character’s “About” section of its LinkedIn profile only reads “Yes!” and the account can be found commenting on several posts on LinkedIn repeating the same phrase.

The Jerry account has left many commenters happily confused including Aleix Arenas del Rio, a digital creative at DDB Spain, according to his profile.

“​​I don’t understand it, nor do I need to. But in this family we DO love you,” del Rio commented on DDB’s shoutout post for the Jerry account. “And lastly Jerry Smith, someday you could come to CREATORS to give us a hand with the Affinity Petcare brand since you get along with cats. Take care and welcome!!”

While it isn’t clear if the account owner works for “Rick and Morty” or an agency, a stunt like this isn’t out of the show’s realm of marketing. After all, it got our attention.

Given that DDB FTW is a gaming agency this could lead to another gaming campaign. The show, which has built a cult following, is no stranger to the space, having collaborated on an ad for the often sold-out PS5; an ad for PlayStation’s “Death Stranding” video game; and the show even helped create a Rick playable character in the free-to-play online multiplayer game Fortnite. The show also has its own video games “Pocket Mortys” and “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality.”

The popular program has also collaborated with big-name brands such as Carls Jr.,  Pringles, Miracle Seltzer and Wrangler, and even took over a Wendy’s in California in June.

How about them apples?