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Submission + - Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study

sittingnut writes: According to a study(pdf) by Elizabeth Stoycheff, from Wayne State University, published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and referred to in Washington Post, "knowing one is subject to surveillance and accepting such surveillance as necessary, act as moderating agents in the relationship between one’s perceived climate of opinion and willingness to voice opinions online." In other words, "knowledge of government surveillance causes people to self-censor their dissenting opinions online". This study adds to the well-researched phenomenon, known as “spiral of silence”, of people suppressing unpopular opinions to fit in, by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship. Participants who claimed, they don't break any laws and don't have anything to hide, and tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions.
Medicine

'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthful 252

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that although allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors at this time of year, when people spend time in more natural surroundings — forests, parks, and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function. A study of 280 healthy people in Japan, where visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect has become a popular practice called 'Shinrin-yoku,' or 'forest bathing,' found that being among plants produced 'lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure,' among other things. Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells, and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted for a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air."

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