Michael Stankavich

Albany, NY, United States

About Michael

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

Computer Science, Sociology / Psychology, Computer Networking

Universities

University at Albany

Comments & conversations

206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
Does the US currently have a price floor in agriculture?
Overall, the idea behind crop subsidies was to boost agricultural production, while controlling food prices and insuring the livelihood of farmers. Intentional or not, the United States created a "price floor" in agriculture from the very beginning via the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933, Agricultural Act of 1949, Food Security Act of 1985, Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996, and the Farm Bill (2002 to present). This government intervention was due in part to addressing economic collapses in agriculture. However, it appears that this intervention only led to further economic downturns and an over-reliance on subsidies to combat rural poverty. For further reading, I would suggest checking these links out: http://economics.fundamentalfinance.com/micro_price-floor.php http://aic.ucdavis.edu/research/farmbill07/aeibriefs/20070515_sumnerRationalesfinal.pdf http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/solutions/crop-subsidies-price-control-and-crop-insurance
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
why people don't want to be honest?
From what it sounds like, you are highly empathetic and feel the weight of your choices and actions. Whether your are actively or passively applying it to your life, the ethic of reciprocity or the "golden rule" serves as a great guiding principle. However, you will find out that there are people out there who don't follow such principles. You will also find out that you cannot make everyone happy, as there are people out there who are bitter, cynical, and jaded, and will hold grudges even if you are not the one that wronged them. Quite literally, there are individuals who lack the ability to truly empathize and show no remorse for their choices and actions. Certainly they can excel at putting on the act of being empathetic and can play the role when necessary, yet they are putting on such a facade for personal gain and personal gain alone. For these individuals, dishonesty comes natural because there is no consequence other than being caught. Even if they are caught in the act, it doesn't really phase them on an emotional level. Surprisingly, one would think that these individuals would be more prevalent in the prison population, but I've found that most of these individuals are found in the management sector. Being from the management sector myself, I've seen this trait exhibited in many of my colleagues. It's not to say that they are "bad" or "evil" insofar as they literally are "hardwired" to think and act this way.
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
Does the Common Core Stifle Creativity in Today's Classrooms?
From the perspective of being a career student, and from having several friends and family members who are educators, the "common core" curriculum definitely threatens to stifle creativity. These standards tend to promote rote memorization over critical thought and creativity, and coerce educators to "teach to the test" by following mandated lesson plans. Overall, it's a tough position for both educators and students alike to be in. Most of the educators that I know have retired from teaching at primary/secondary schools in order to instruct at private and public universities, mainly due in part to the "red tape" and lack of creative leeway (due in part to "No Child Left Behind"). Those who have stuck around are trying to change the educational system from within, much to no avail. What I honestly don't understand is why we are placing such an emphasis on test-taking and other quantifiable metrics that really don't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Life itself is nothing like a standardized test.
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
Who among the people you know has the most interesting job? What is it?
To be quite honest, all of my friends and family have more interesting jobs than me, mainly because they are working in sectors that I have limited experience in. Essentially, everyone's life is more interesting than mine because my perspective limits me, though I find that the most interesting careers are more academic in nature and particularly related to industrial-organizational psychology and sociology. As for my job/career, I am an operations supervisor and former industrial engineer for a shipping industry, while my educational background is in computer science, information systems, and psychology. Overall, I'm more of a career student than management type, though I truly enjoy the dynamics (both positive and negative) of supervising a pro-union workforce, especially considering that I have spent nearly nine years in the union before going the management route (experiencing both sides of the aisle).
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
Can charity organisations and the media at large do a better job of showing 3rd world countries?
For me, I find that agencies like Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/) should be the route that "charities" should take, as I honestly would like to know how I am helping someone rather than blindly donating money. If anything, the biggest problem that I have with most of the mainstream charities is not that they use pity to essentially "guilt-trip" individuals to donate, but rather, the "hidden" administrative costs. Thankfully sites like Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/) help individuals make better decisions when it comes to choosing a charity, but it's doubtful that most individuals actually use such sites.
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
why people don't want to be honest?
Overall, I don't think that people want to be dishonest. Rather, I think that people generally prefer to take the path of least resistance or effort. In the case of cheating, there is essentially more to "gain" even at the risk of potentially being caught. Not only that, but there is a "rush" or "thrill" associated with the prospect of potentially being caught. Besides these intrinsic factors, there are also numerous extrinsic factors such as time constraints and unrealistic standards/expectations that come into play. This is not to say that we should condone dishonesty, cheating, and other "shortcuts," however, we should start looking at the root causes for why people are making these decisions rather than exclusively placing the blame on them. If we want to encourage integrity, then we need to focus on how these extrinsic factors play a role in the decisions that we make. If poor decisions are being made (dishonesty, cheating, etc.), perhaps we can "nudge" people in the right direction by making slight changes to these extrinsic factors. On this topic, Richard Thaler has some great talks on how we can change these extrinsic factors to encourage more positive social behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWUtLSfb9zs
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
What is the difference between a Boss and a Leader? What are some elements and key features that play into both of them.
You bring up an incredibly valid point. It's not that the label of "boss" is derogatory in and of itself, but it's that one generally allows for others to believe that one is being disrespectful or is using one's power to control others. What I wonder is if this if the label itself can lead to a metaphoric "self-fulfilling prophecy" of sorts. With using the label "boss," can this change a person's personality and/or management style? If this is the case, then perhaps using the label "leader" could have a more positive effect. Perhaps if the business world could start implementing more "leadership seminars" and promote "leader" as a positive buzzword, we could hypothetically have more leaders in the workplace. Thoughts?
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
harvesting the orbital energy of planets
It was rumored by conspiracy theorists that Nikola Tesla had created a prototype of a technology similar to this with the Wardencyffe project. The problem with the claims of these conspiracy theorists was that the Wardencyffe tower would require more energy than it could effectively produce/transmit (source: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/evil-capitalists-prevent-nikola-tesla-creating-free-energy/#axzz33C2ribnl). Overall, I think that we should continue to focus on improving other forms of sustainable/renewable energy technologies. Perhaps even within our lifetime we will see nuclear fusion power.
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
How does video conferencing impact human interaction? What are the psychological impacts and factors?
Overall, I think that video conferencing can be a great use of technology, as it can free us up from the traditional structured business meeting. This technology can allow for us to telecommute from home, saving us from the headaches of getting stuck in "rush hour" traffic, and from the monotony of living a great deal of our lives within office cubicles. However, regardless of its simplicity, if overly relied upon, video conferencing can become quite impersonal and can offset the growth of workplace dynamics. Granted, video conferencing is a much better alternative to the conference calls that we have in my line of work (the shipping industry), yet it would be optimal to have traditional business meetings on a more regular basis. That being said, I would recommend checking out Sherry Turkle's TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together. Even though she discusses more than video conferencing, the same principle applies. Essentially, there is no substitution to face-to-face social interaction.
206539
Michael Stankavich
Posted about 1 year ago
Have you heard of medical benefits of growing beards?
Given that I used to "rock out" long hair and a beard, I personally think that reducing exposure to the elements is one of the prime benefits to growing a beard. Also, if you tend to be introverted and don't like strangers approaching you, a scraggly beard will usually assist you on this matter. :P