(Third edition with additions) -/- This is a collection of short stories centering around the protagonist character, Kingfisher, originally written in Vietnamese by myself. -/- The book aims to introduce international readers to snippets of Vietnamese culture through the ordinary yet humorous life of the bird village. -/- The first 15 of these short stories were published in the Khoảng Lặng (Quiet Moment) column of the Vietnamese magazine Kinh Tế và Dự Báo (Economy and Forecast Review) from 2017 to 2019. (...) -/- However, this is the first time that the collection of all the Kingfisher stories has been published in its entirety, covering stories that have not been published elsewhere, including new stories written in 2023. -/- The stories of Kingfisher are full of humor and satire while also deep in social commentary. I hope that the book brings readers joy and some food for thought, for beyond satire is genuine contemplation of the humanistic values in our lives. -/- Hanoi, October 21, 2023 -/- Quan-Hoang Vuong -/- (Incld. Artworks by Bui Quang Khiem and Dam Thi Thu Ha). (shrink)
Thinking is a fundamental activity of our species – those that give names to other creatures and call themselves humans. Textbooks tell us that there is about 1.2 kg of matter called the brain inside the human body. It sounds small but actually is proportionally the biggest among all animals on Earth. -/- I became more aware of thinking at around 5th grade upon hearing about an ancient paradox. It can be summarized as follows. -/- ¤ -/- Once upon a (...) time, there was a stupid king. In his kingdom lived a sage who was highly respected for his intelligence. The King did not appreciate this fact. Maybe the Sage made fun of the King’s intellect, but I am not so sure. Anyway, one day, the King summoned the Sage, intending to kill him. -/- The King said, “Wise man, I heard you earn a living by thinking and arguing. Now I give you two options to die.” -/- The Sage said, “Please tell me the choices, Your Majesty.” -/- The King continued, “You live by your tongue, so I will let you say one sentence before you die. If what you say is true, you will die by hanging. If what you say is false, you will die by beheading.” -/- Little did the King know that this was a stupid order. After a short while, the Sage confidently spoke his “last words”, which actually were what saved his life: -/- “Your Majesty, I am about to be beheaded!” -/- ¤ -/- As a “wild animal” going out into life from a young age, my brain spent a lot of time and energy looking for food. Now that I have become older, my body no longer needs so much sustenance. However, my mind craves a different type of nourishment: food for thought. -/- Food for thought can directly lead to food (on the table). My main job as a scientist exemplifies what I have just stated. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe it has been “thought for food” all along, like in such a sequence as TFFTTTFTFFTTFFFT... -/- In the hyper-chaotic infosphere today, we are surrounded by the noises of information, not only as wavy shores or waterfalls but also mega-tsunamis, through Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube, etc. More than ever, tranquility and calmness are necessary. Like what you have seen in wilderness video clips, predators such as lions, bears, and alligators act lightning-fast when catching prey. But when food is served, the natural world returns to its peaceful, soothing silence. -/- This short book is in its own tidy infosphere, where each little story is also brief and self-contained. Despite this small appearance, I hope the content inside carries the value of tranquility and life observation. The book is petite, but pretty sure not malnourished. A not-too-small detail is that the way the content was shaped and distilled reflects some innovations of mine and my research team: the mindsponge theory, a new theory of serendipity, the bayesvl R package, the BMF analytics, as well as other experiences from working in the field of science. After all, scientific works were my main source of food (before this book sells well – if it does). -/- Much of the content, seemingly fragmented, has reflected our lab’s essential cultural values, which have led to mindsponge theory, BMF analytics and related works. Thus, under the analytical paradigm of these closely-connected concepts, the pieces come together as bits and pieces of one whole thing. I think it is a bit unfair to tell about things in a house without mentioning the house itself. -/- Welcome to the priceless sober moments – with a chicken-burger price tag! -/- I hope this book will bring readers some moments of calmness, peaceful smiles, and maybe a couple of good laughs too. (shrink)
Academia is a competitive environment. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are limited in experience and resources and especially need achievements to secure and expand their careers. To help with these issues, this book offers a new approach for conducting research using the combination of mindsponge innovative thinking and Bayesian analytics. This is not just another analytics book. 1. A new perspective on psychological processes: Mindsponge is a novel approach for examining the human mind’s information processing mechanism. This conceptual framework is used (...) to construct models in studies. The framework is highly flexible and widely applicable for many different types of information processes. The mindsponge approach can help researchers discover interesting ideas or even formulate their very own theories when investigating psychosocial phenomena. This approach brings a fresh wind to the current landscape of social sciences and humanities (SSH). 2. Easy-to-follow analysis protocol: The Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF analytics) is useful in terms of computing and visualizing power but also easy to learn and apply. Contrary to being intimidating, the Bayesian analytics section of this book is presented in a reader-friendly manner with a detailed yet clear step-by-step procedure. Examples are from published BMF articles, allowing readers to immediately practice the method and quickly create their own applications. With educational purposes in mind, the book is very suitable for ECRs who are looking to innovate their research methods. 3. Advocating for low-cost, high-quality research: Doing science can be very costly. Mindsponge innovative thinking and BMF analytics help produce impactful studies using openly available data on online repositories. This is based on the authors’ previous works and experiences. The book presents examples of employing the open R package bayesvl on secondary data from different sources. With less financial constraints, researchers can have more freedom of thought to pursue their curiosity and creativity. ECRs in low- and middle-income countries may find this aspect crucial in their careers. 4. Support and collaboration: The authors share their insights from experiences in the academic publishing system to help readers get through the processes of manuscript writing and peer-reviewing more easily. The authors are also ready to support other researchers with further inquiries and collaboration opportunities at the following website, mindsponge(dot)info. This book is for: a) ECRs whose only abundant resources are their innovation capacity and strength of will; b) Researchers in SSH who want to explore a novel approach to thinking and study conducting; c) Low- and middle-income countries’ researchers looking for a cost-effective research protocol; and, d) Innovative thinkers who want to turn their interesting thoughts into good publications. (shrink)
As humans, we use the power of thinking to make scientific discoveries, develop technologies, manage social interactions, and transmit knowledge to the next generations. With the ability to think, we can trace back and discover the origin of the universe, the natural world, and ourselves. The content of this book, Mindsponge Theory, is part of that discovery process. -/- Product Details -/- Publisher : Walter de Gruyter (December 6, 2022) Publication date : December 6, 2022 Language (...) : English Hardcover : 214 pages ISBN-10 : 8367405145 ISBN-13 : 978-8367405140 Dimensions : 6.3 x 0.71 x 9.29 inches -/- . (shrink)
This short article represents the first attempt to define a new core cultural value that will enable the new strategy for engaging the business sector in humankind's mission to heal nature. The presentation is just a primitive concept, which will be calibrated further in the coming months.
This short article represents the first attempt to define a new core cultural value that will enable engaging the business sector in humankind’s mission to heal nature. First, I start with defining the problem of the current business culture and the extant thinking on how to solve environmental problems, which I called “the eco-deficit culture.” Then, I present a solution to this problem by formulating the “semiconducting principle” of monetary and environmental values exchange, which I believe can generate “an eco-surplus (...) business culture.” This work adds one new element, the eleventh cultural value, to the ten core values of progressive cultures postulated by Harrison (2000). (shrink)
When you type the word “serendipity” in a word-processor application such as Microsoft Word, the autocorrection engine suggests you choose other words like “luck” or “fate”. This correcting act turns out to be incorrect. However, it points to the reality that serendipity is not a familiar English word and can be misunderstood easily. Serendipity is a very much scientific concept as it has been found useful in numerous scientific discoveries, pharmaceutical innovations, and numerous humankind’s technical and technological advances. Therefore, there (...) have been many books written around the concept. So why do we need this additional book? This is not just another book about serendipity. It has evolved from the Editor’s question lingering for a decade after finishing his widely cited article (coauthored with Prof. Nancy K. Napier of Boise State University, ID, USA) “Serendipity as a strategic advantage?” in T. Wilkinson’s edited volume Strategic Management in the 21st Century, published by Praeger. The Editor and contributing authors have tried to achieve the following in this title. Demystifying the Serendipity Myth The phenomenon of serendipity has always been thought of as a “miracle”. It is the mystery of human innovation and one of the ultimate secrets of our society. But serendipity is not just a lucky coincidence nor any hidden conspiracy. This book explores the science of the information process behind this seemingly miraculous phenomenon. It connects human society with nature, going back to the root of our existence and looking at the flame of survival to discover the harmony in making creativity. Presenting the nuts and bolts of being an adventurer of science The authors present their conceptual investigations into serendipity’s nature and its mechanism by examining interesting real events and stories. The content is thought-provoking, and readers are led to question and explore their own life stories and problems along the journey of reading this book. Catching an elusive high-value target requires great strategies and efforts. But there are no dark secrets here because this is the “way of nature” – how we humans have always strived for innovation without realizing the blueprints behind such processes. Unlike other books on serendipity, this book will show you that a powerful “secret” is closer than you think. Delivering practical uses for different audiences By understanding the conditionality and survival drivers of serendipity, individuals or organizations can make better decisions on creating the right environment to facilitate the encounter and attainment of this valuable phenomenon. For scientists: With clear explanations of the information processes underlying serendipity, flexible theoretical frameworks of mindsponge and the 3D principle of creativity, researchers are provided with the tools they need to dig deeper into their own fields of study and find practical applications, be it psychology, economics, sociology, or anything that involves innovation (which is, in fact, every scientific discipline). For curious casual readers: Everybody needs innovation to make breakthroughs or spice up one’s life. If you think great ideas come to people randomly from an unknown fairy place, this book will convince you otherwise without taking away that awe and wonder. But above all, you will know how to become more creative, scientifically and straightforwardly, with no snake oil and no weird tricks. For ambitious business people: The flame that brought about great successes throughout human history is within you. But you can only use it if you understand it. While others wait for serendipity to come, you will be able to actively hunt for those precious moments. As it has always been: the best hunters triumph, not the passive wanderers. And in this age of information chaos, finding the golden fruits is not easy. Those from information technology know this problem well, and this book is the treasure map that they have been seeking to navigate that stormy ocean looking for jewels. Like a kingfisher tracking its prey through the water, waiting to gracefully strike, with serendipity, a person seizes the prize of creativity amid the chaos of life. ¤ ¤ ¤ Official introduction: The book explores the nature, underlying causes, and the information processing mechanism of serendipity. It proposes that natural or social survival demands drive serendipity, and serendipity is conditional on the environment and the mindset, on both individual and collective levels. From Darwin's evolution theory to Sun Tzu's war tactics, major innovations throughout human history are unified by this key concept. In the rapidly changing world, information is abundant but rather chaotic. The adaptive power of serendipity allows people to notice treasures within this wild sea, but only for those who understand how it works. To increase the probability of encountering and attaining serendipity, one should employ the mindsponge mechanism and the 3D process of creativity, for without these frameworks, serendipity is truly an elusive target. The book also discusses methods to build environments and cultures rich in navigational and useful information to maximize the chance of finding and capitalizing on serendipity. As a skill, serendipity has a resemblance to how kingfishers observe and hunt their prey. (shrink)
Food prices are a daily concern in many households’ decision-making, especially when people want to have healthier diets. Employing Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 710 Indonesian citizens, we found that people from wealthier households are less likely to have concerns about food prices. However, the degree of health considerations in food consumption was found to moderate against the above association. In other words, people of higher income-based social classes may worry more about food prices if they (...) care more about the health impacts of their food choices. These findings provide more insights for policymakers on the psychological aspects of promoting the balance between finance and health in food consumption. (shrink)
The expanding integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in various aspects of society makes the infosphere around us increasingly complex. Humanity already faces many obstacles trying to have a better understanding of our own minds, but now we have to continue finding ways to make sense of the minds of AI. The issue of AI’s capability to have independent thinking is of special attention. When dealing with such an unfamiliar concept, people may rely on existing human properties, such as survival desire, (...) to make assessments. Employing information-processing-based Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 266 residents in the United States, we found that the more people believe that an AI agent seeks continued functioning, the more they believe in that AI agent’s capability of having a mind of its own. Moreover, we also found that the above association becomes stronger if a person is more familiar with personally interacting with AI. This suggests a directional pattern of value reinforcement in perceptions of AI. As the information processing of AI becomes even more sophisticated in the future, it will be much harder to set clear boundaries about what it means to have an autonomous mind. (shrink)
This chapter proposes the concept of the mindsponge and its underlying themes that explain why and how executives, managers, and corporations could replace waning values in their mindsets with those absorbed during their exposure to multicultural and global settings. It first provides a brief literature review on global mindset and cultural values, which suggests that not only can a mindset be improved, but that it is learning mechanism can also be developed. Then the chapter offers a conceptual framework, called the (...) 'mindsponge', which builds upon earlier works linking mindset to themes of multi-filtering. The process is proposed to help identify emerging values in the transition economy of Vietnam and also to reconfirm existing core values. The concept of mindsponge provides executives, managers, and organizations with not only a practical framework for improving their global mind-set by identifying and strengthening core values, but also capturing emerging opportunities. (shrink)
This document represents some preliminary and unpublished content of a chapter in the edited book titled A New Theory of Serendipity: Nature, Emergence and Mechanism, which will soon be published and distributed by De Gruyter Poland (Sciendo Imprint; part of Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin, Germany). A proper referencing should be like: Quan-Hoang Vuong, Tam-Tri Le, Quy Khuc, Minh-Hoang Nguyen. (2022). A new theory of serendipity. In: QH Vuong. (Ed.) A New Theory of Serendipity: Nature, Emergence and Mechanism (pp. 91-108). (...) Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. (shrink)
Marine and coastal ecosystems are crucial in maintaining human livelihood, facilitating social development, and reducing climate change impacts. Studies have examined how the benefit perception of aquatic ecosystems, knowledge, and emotion about climate change affect peoples’ support for marine protection. However, their interaction effects remain understudied. The current study explores the intricate interaction effect of the benefit perception of aquatic ecosystems, knowledge, and worry about climate change on marine protection support. Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics was employed on a dataset (...) of 709 stakeholders from 42 countries generated by MaCoBioS—a research project funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020. The statistical analysis shows that the impacts of benefit perception of ocean ecosystems, knowledge, and worry about climate change on marine protection support vary due to their interactions. Specifically, when stakeholders perceive ocean ecosystems to have little utility in mitigating climate change, greater climate change knowledge and concern are associated with a higher level of marine protection support. Nevertheless, in the scenarios where stakeholders perceive the benefits of ocean ecosystems, the effect of climate change knowledge becomes conditional on the worry level. If stakeholders are concerned about climate change, those with a greater level of climate change knowledge will associate with a higher level of marine protection support. Otherwise, greater climate change knowledge will result in lower support. These findings highlight emotion’s importance in directing climate change knowledge’s effect on marine protection support. Linking people’s “objects of care” to the consequences of climate change can help improve climate change communication effectiveness. (shrink)
The importance of addressing the existential threat to humanity, climate change, has grown remarkedly in recent years while conflicting views and interests in societies exist. Therefore, climate change agendas have been weaponized to varying degrees, ranging from the international level between countries to the domestic level among political parties. In such contexts, climate change agendas are predominantly driven by political or economic ambitions, sometimes unconnected to concerns for environmental sustainability. Consequently, it can result in an environment that fosters antagonism and (...) disputes over power and position and increases the risk of prolonged confrontations, hindering the collective global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Through the current discourse, we aim to provide a preliminary definition of the weaponization of climate change and environmental degradation and examine its risks and consequences on international relations, political dynamics, public perception, and the comprehensive integrity of climate action. We also recommend embracing a globally coordinated, scientifically substantiated approach to circumvent climate change by building an eco-surplus cultural value system. (shrink)
In a recent opinion paper, it was argued that individuals with multiple retractions or a record of academic misconduct should not serve as editors, including as editors-in-chief, on the editorial boards of scholarly or academic journals. As a first step towards appreciating how such a policy could be applied in practice, the presence of 30 individuals listed on the Retraction Watch Leaderboard on editorial boards was screened. Six cases are highlighted to gain an appreciation of the potential reputational risks that (...) journals and publishers might incur by including individuals with a tainted academic record on editorial boards. Given the reputational, legal and other risks associated with this type of assessment and decision, more formal positioning and guidance are needed by global ethics policy-related bodies such as COPE, the ICMJE, and the CSE, even more so in journals that claim to follow these organizations’ ethical guidelines. (shrink)
Coastal protection is crucial to human development since the ocean has many values associated with the economy, ecosystem, and culture. However, most ocean protecting efforts are currently ineffective due to the burdens of finance, lack of appropriate management, and international cooperation regimes. For aiding bottom-up initiatives for ocean protection support, this study employed the Mindsponge Theory to examine how the public’s perceived economic and cultural values influence their willingness to support actions to protect the ocean. Analyzing the European-Union-Horizon-2020-funded dataset of (...) 709 respondents from 42 countries, we discovered that perceived economic values have negative effects on the tendency of ocean protection supports (i.e., food, transportation, renewable energy, oil and gas, and recreation). In contrast, certain perceived cultural values can help increase the willingness to do so (i.e., mental well-being and sense of identity). However, the effects of perceived cultural values are only moderately reliable. These findings suggest that designing cultural information delivery campaigns can help promote coastal reserve supports, such as fundraisings and preserving the oceans from the community. (shrink)
Space tourism is an emerging field where few people have direct experience. However, considering the potential in the near future, it is beneficial to better understand how related information influences people’s attitudes about this new form of tourism. Employing information-processing-based Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 361 respondents consuming content related to space tourism on Chinese social media, we found that induced happiness and impression are positively associated with willingness to try space tourism. Information authenticity positively moderates (...) these two associations. Our findings emphasize three aspects of information during the processes of reception and filtering: meaning, intensity, and trust. Since promotional materials for space tourism rely heavily on mental simulations rather than objective feedback, creative uses of digital technology are advantageous. However, precautions must be taken to prevent exploitation, such as false advertising, exaggeration, and emotional manipulation. (shrink)
The study of cultural evolution has taken on an increasingly interdisciplinary and diverse approach in explicating phenomena of cultural transmission and adoptions. Inspired by this computational movement, this study uses Bayesian networks analysis, combining both the frequentist and the Hamiltonian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach, to investigate the highly representative elements in the cultural evolution of a Vietnamese city’s architecture in the early 20th century. With a focus on the façade design of 68 old houses in Hanoi’s Old Quarter (...) (based on 78 data lines extracted from 248 photos), the study argues that it is plausible to look at the aesthetics, architecture, and designs of the house façade to find traces of cultural evolution in Vietnam, which went through more than six decades of French colonization and centuries of sociocultural influence from China. The in-depth technical analysis, though refuting the presumed model on the probabilistic dependency among the variables, yields several results, the most notable of which is the strong influence of Buddhism over the decorations of the house façade. Particularly, in the top 5 networks with the best Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) scores and p<0.05, the variable for decorations (DC) always has a direct probabilistic dependency on the variable B for Buddhism. The paper then checks the robustness of these models using Hamiltonian MCMC method and find the posterior distributions of the models’ coefficients all satisfy the technical requirement. Finally, this study suggests integrating Bayesian statistics in the social sciences in general and for the study of cultural evolution and architectural transformation in particular. (shrink)
As a generation of ‘digital natives,’ secondary students who were born from 2002 to 2010 have various approaches to acquiring digital knowledge. Digital literacy and resilience are crucial for them to navigate the digital world as much as the real world; however, these remain under-researched subjects, especially in developing countries. In Vietnam, the education system has put considerable effort into teaching students these skills to promote quality education as part of the United Nations-defined Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4). This issue (...) has proven especially salient amid the COVID−19 pandemic lockdowns, which had obliged most schools to switch to online forms of teaching. This study, which utilizes a dataset of 1061 Vietnamese students taken from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s “Digital Kids Asia Pacific (DKAP)” project, employs Bayesian statistics to explore the relationship between the students’ background and their digital abilities. Results show that economic status and parents’ level of education are positively correlated with digital literacy. Students from urban schools have only a slightly higher level of digital literacy than their rural counterparts, suggesting that school location may not be a defining explanatory element in the variation of digital literacy and resilience among Vietnamese students. Students’ digital literacy and, especially resilience, also have associations with their gender. Moreover, as students are digitally literate, they are more likely to be digitally resilient. Following SDG4, i.e., Quality Education, it is advisable for schools, and especially parents, to seriously invest in creating a safe, educational environment to enhance digital literacy among students. (shrink)
This essay evolved from my keynote address for the plenary session of the ASEAN Conference for Young Scientists 2019 organized by the ASEAN Secretariat, Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology—whose main theme is sustainability science—organized at Hanoi-based Phenikaa University. It has also benefited from my advisory work for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
A growing awareness of the lack of reproducibility has undermined society’s trust and esteem in social sciences. In some cases, well-known results have been fabricated or the underlying data have turned out to have weak technical foundations.
Nowadays, protecting trust in social sciences also means engaging in open community dialogue, which helps to safeguard robustness and improve efficiency of research methods. The combination of open data, open review and open dialogue may sound simple but implementation in the real world will not be straightforward. However, in view of Begley and Ellis’s (2012) statement that, “the scientific process demands the highest standards of quality, ethics and rigour,” they are worth implementing. More importantly, they are feasible to work on (...) and likely will help to restore plausibility to social sciences research. Therefore, I feel it likely that the triplet of open data, open review and open dialogue will gradually emerge to become policy requirements regardless of the research funding source. (shrink)
Folklore has a critical role as a cultural transmitter, all the while being a socially accepted medium for the expressions of culturally contradicting wishes and conducts. In this study of Vietnamese folktales, through the use of Bayesian multilevel modeling and the Markov chain Monte Carlo technique, we offer empirical evidence for how the interplay between religious teachings (Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism) and deviant behaviors (lying and violence) could affect a folktale’s outcome. The findings indicate that characters who lie and/or commit (...) violent acts tend to have bad endings, as intuition would dictate, but when they are associated with any of the above Three Teachings, the final endings may vary. Positive outcomes are seen in cases where characters associated with Confucianism lie and characters associated with Buddhism act violently. The results supplement the worldwide literature on discrepancies between folklore and real-life conduct, as well as on the contradictory human behaviors vis-à-vis religious teachings. Overall, the study highlights the complexity of human decision-making, especially beyond the folklore realm. (shrink)
This conceptual paper represents my first attempt to tackle a difficult research problem (at least for me), employing the mindsponge concept facilitated by the BMF analytical approach. These ‘weapons’–as we at AISDL usually call them–have shown usefulness and capabilities to shed light on numerous challenging research problems in social sciences and humanities.
Aims and Scope -/- The Vietnamese Social Sciences and Humanities at a Fork in the Road, utilizing an object-oriented structured database on the productivity of Vietnamese researchers, seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the development of Social Sciences and Humanities in Vietnam from 2008 to 2018. -/- Quan-Hoang Vuong (Ph.D., Université Libre de Bruxelles) is the director of Centre for Interdisciplinary Social Research, Phenikaa University in Hanoi, Vietnam. He is chairman of the Vietnam chapter of the European Association of (...) Science Editors and serves in the NAFOSTED Scientific Council on Basic Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities (2019-2021). Dr. Vuong has published more than 120 academic articles, and book chapters in about 50 refereed journals and books by such publishers as Elsevier, Inderscience, Nature Publishing Group, Springer, Praeger, Wiley, World Scientific, etc. -/- Trung Tran is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and works at Vietnam Academy for Ethnic Minorities. He is a member of the Vietnam chapter of The European Association of Science Editors (EASE), a leader of the Vietnamese Science Editors (VSE) Team, and a chairman of Editor's Board of Journal of Ethnic Minorities Research (ISSN: 0866-773X). (shrink)
The original idea of this narrative comes from the above cartoon by Panos Maragos, a Greek cartoonist (according to S. Berger ), which I stumbled upon on the Internet some time ago. It was originally intended to be included in the book Meandering Sobriety  but was later left out due to its fictitious nature.
This research employs the Bayesian network modeling approach, and the Markov chain Monte Carlo technique, to learn about the role of lies and violence in teachings of major religions, using a unique dataset extracted from long-standing Vietnamese folktales. The results indicate that, although lying and violent acts augur negative consequences for those who commit them, their associations with core religious values diverge in the final outcome for the folktale characters. Lying that serves a religious mission of either Confucianism or Taoism (...) (but not Buddhism) brings a positive outcome to a character (βT_and_Lie_O= 2.23; βC_and_Lie_O= 1.47; βT_and_Lie_O= 2.23). A violent act committed to serving Buddhist missions results in a happy ending for the committer (βB_and_Viol_O= 2.55). What is highlighted here is a glaring double standard in the interpretation and practice of the three teachings: the very virtuous outcomes being preached, whether that be compassion and meditation in Buddhism, societal order in Confucianism, or natural harmony in Taoism, appear to accommodate two universal vices—violence in Buddhism and lying in the latter two. These findings contribute to a host of studies aimed at making sense of contradictory human behaviors, adding the role of religious teachings in addition to cognition in belief maintenance and motivated reasoning in discounting counterargument. (shrink)
Decision-making regarding healthcare expenditure hinges heavily on an individual's health status and the certainty about the future. This study uses data on propensity of general health exam (GHE) spending to show that despite the debate on the necessity of GHE, its objective is clear—to obtain more information and certainty about one’s health so as to minimise future risks. Most studies on this topic, however, focus only on factors associated with GHE uptake and overlook the shifts in behaviours and attitudes regarding (...) different levels of cost. To fill the gap, this study analyses a dataset of 2068 subjects collected from Hanoi (Vietnam) and its vicinities using the baseline-category logit method. We evaluate the sensitivity of Vietnamese healthcare consumers against two groups of factors (demographic and socioeconomic-cognitive) regarding payment for periodic GHE, which is not covered by insurance. Our study shows that uninsured, married and employed individuals are less sensitive to cost than their counterparts because they value the information in reducing future health uncertainty. The empirical results challenge the objections to periodic health screening by highlighting its utility. The relevance of behavioural economics is further highlighted through a look at the bounded rationality of healthcare consumers and private insurance companies in using and providing the service, respectively. (shrink)
Extant literature suggests a positive correlation between social trust (also called generalized trust) and life satisfaction. However, the psychological pathways underlying this relationship can be complex. Using the Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF), we examined the influence of social trust in a high-violence environment. Employing Bayesian analysis on a sample of 1237 adults in Cali, Colombia, we found that in a linear relationship, generalized trust is positively associated with life satisfaction. However, in a model including the interactions between trust and education (...) level as well as between trust and socioeconomic status, generalized trust is found to be negatively associated with life satisfaction. In this non-linear relationship, both education level and socioeconomic status have moderating effects against the negative association between generalized trust and life satisfaction. In other words, less educated people living in worse socioeconomic conditions are more likely to have lower life satisfaction when they have higher levels of social trust. In contrast, highly educated people living in better socioeconomic conditions are more likely to have higher life satisfaction when they have higher levels of social trust. Due to the facilitating function of trust in information processing, lowering the rigor of the filtering system in a high-violence social environment will likely put an individual at risk. Based on our findings, we suggest that policymakers should consider the impacts of social contexts when advocating for increasing social trust. We also recommend that researchers carefully examine the psychological mechanism underlying an observed association before making suggestions for policymaking. (shrink)
Vietnam, with a geographical proximity and a high volume of trade with China, was the first country to record an outbreak of the new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. While the country was expected to have a high risk of transmission, as of April 4, 2020—in comparison to attempts to contain the disease around the world—responses from Vietnam are being seen as prompt and effective in protecting the interests of its citizens, (...) with 239 confirmed cases and no fatalities. This study analyzes the situation in terms of Vietnam’s policy response, social media and science journalism. A self-made web crawl engine was used to scan and collect official media news related to COVID-19 between the beginning of January and April 4, yielding a comprehensive dataset of 14,952 news items. The findings shed light on how Vietnam—despite being under-resourced—has demonstrated political readiness to combat the emerging pandemic since the earliest days. Timely communication on any developments of the outbreak from the government and the media, combined with up-to-date research on the new virus by the Vietnamese science community, have altogether provided reliable sources of information. By emphasizing the need for immediate and genuine cooperation between government, civil society and private individuals, the case study offers valuable lessons for other nations concerning not only the concurrent fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but also the overall responses to a public health crisis. (shrink)
Biometric technologies are becoming more pervasive in the workplace, augmenting managerial processes such as hiring, monitoring and terminating employees. Until recently, these devices consisted mainly of GPS tools that track location, software that scrutinizes browser activity and keyboard strokes, and heat/motion sensors that monitor workstation presence. Today, however, a new generation of biometric devices has emerged that can sense, read, monitor and evaluate the affective state of a worker. More popularly known by its commercial moniker, Emotional AI, the technology stems (...) from advancements in affective computing. But whereas previous generations of biometric monitoring targeted the exterior physical body of the worker, concurrent with the writings of Foucault and Hardt, we argue that emotion-recognition tools signal a far more invasive disciplinary gaze that exposes and makes vulnerable the inner regions of the worker-self. Our paper explores attitudes towards empathic surveillance by analyzing a survey of 1015 responses of future job-seekers from 48 countries with Bayesian statistics. Our findings reveal affect tools, left unregulated in the workplace, may lead to heightened stress and anxiety among disadvantaged ethnicities, gender and income class. We also discuss a stark cross-cultural discrepancy whereby East Asians, compared to Western subjects, are more likely to profess a trusting attitude toward EAI-enabled automated management. While this emerging technology is driven by neoliberal incentives to optimize the worksite and increase productivity, ultimately, empathic surveillance may create more problems in terms of algorithmic bias, opaque decisionism, and the erosion of employment relations. Thus, this paper nuances and extends emerging literature on emotion-sensing technologies in the workplace, particularly through its highly original cross-cultural study. (shrink)
Based on the properties and mechanism of serendipity presented in former chapters, this chapter discusses how to create an environment for higher serendipity encounters and attainment possibilities. We examine four types of environments with different navigational and useful information concentration combinations. Building a pro-serendipity culture will help create environments that value and supports serendipity across fields. Additionally, we also address the notion that serendipity is a skill. Thus, it can produce either good or bad impacts on a collective level, depending (...) on the ultimate purposes behind it. (shrink)
This study explores entrepreneurship research in Vietnam, a lower-middle-income country in Southeast Asia that has witnessed rapid economic growth since the 1990s but has nonetheless been absent in the relevant Western-centric literature. Using an exclusively developed software, the study presents a structured dataset on entrepreneurship research in Vietnam from 2008 to 2018, highlighting: low research output, low creativity level, inattention to entrepreneurship theories, and instead, a focus on practical business matters. The scholarship remains limited due to the detachment between the (...) academic and entrepreneur communities. More important are the findings that Vietnamese research on entrepreneurship, still in its infancy, diverges significantly from those in developed and emerging economies in terms of their content and methods. These studies are contextualized to a large extent to reflect the concerns of a developing economy still burdened by the high financial and nonfinancial costs. (shrink)
Being a researcher is challenging, especially in the beginning. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) need achievements to secure and expand their careers. In today’s academic landscape, researchers are under many pressures: data collection costs, the expectation of novelty, analytical skill requirements, lengthy publishing process, and the overall competitiveness of the career. Innovative thinking and the ability to turn good ideas into good papers are the keys to success.
Climate change has become one of the most pressing problems that can threaten the existence and development of humans around the globe. Almost all climate scientists have agreed that climate change is happening and is caused mainly by greenhouse gas emissions induced by anthropogenic activities. However, some groups still deny this fact or do not believe that climate change results from human activities. This essay discusses the causes, significance, and skeptical arguments of climate change denialism, as well as the roles (...) of scientists and science communication in addressing the issues. Through this essay, we call for the active participation of scientists in science communication activities with the public, the opening of new science communication sectors specified for climate change, and more attention to social sciences and humanities in addressing climate change issues. (shrink)
Aesthetics is a crucial ecosystem service provided by biodiversity, which is believed to help improve humans’ quality of life and is linked to environmental consciousness and pro-environmental behaviors. However, how aesthetic experience induced by plants/animals influences the belief in the occurrence and significance of biodiversity loss among urban residents remains understudied. Thus, the current study aimed to examine how the diversity of pets and in-house plants affect urban residents’ belief in biodiversity loss in different scenarios of aesthetic experiences (positive and (...) negative aesthetic experiences at home due to plants/animals). Using the Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 535 Vietnamese urban residents, we found that the people’s aesthetic feeling about their house induced by plants/animals positively affects their belief in the occurrence and significance of biodiversity loss. The diversity of plants and pets also positively influences the level of biodiversity loss belief, but the effect is conditional on the aesthetic experience of the urban residents. Specifically, the positive impact of species diversity on the belief only exists when urban residents feel that their houses’ aesthetics are negatively affected by plants/animals. Moreover, the effect of pet diversity on biodiversity loss belief is less significant and reliable than that of plant diversity. These findings suggest that raising the houses’ aesthetics through in-house planting or pet ownership can potentially enhance biodiversity loss belief and subsequently build an eco-surplus culture among urban residents. (shrink)
Environmental activism plays a vital role in raising awareness of environmental degradation and halting environmentally destructive activities, which is expected to contribute to safeguarding the Earth’s system against climate and biodiversity loss crises. Although the passion and commitment of environmental activists should be acknowledged, several groups of environmental activists are embracing the radical environmentalist movement. They support using illegal actions to achieve their primary goal of environmental protection. The actions perpetrated by radical environmentalist groups are not impulsive but rather part (...) of a deliberately planned and organized following a long-term strategy. (shrink)
Although most Asian states are signatories to UNCLOS, which offers options for dispute resolution by either voluntary or compulsory processes, in reality fewer than a dozen Asian states have taken advantage of such an approach. The decision to adopt third-party mechanisms comes under great scrutiny and deliberation, not least because of the entailing legal procedures and the politically sensitive nature of disputes. Vietnam claims the second-largest maritime area in the South China Sea dispute after China. A comparison of two recent (...) cases—the arbitration between the Philippines and China and the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia—highlights the importance of selecting between binding and nonbinding decisions and framing a complaint. In particular, any legal action under UNCLOS should specify China’s claims and actions in areas that encroach on Vietnam’s claimed exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and violate international law. (shrink)
The development of technology is unbelievably rapid. From limited local networks to high speed Internet, from crude computing machines to powerful semi-conductors, the world had changed drastically compared to just a few decades ago. In the constantly renewing process of adapting to such an unnaturally high-entropy setting, innovations as well as entirely new concepts, were often born. In the business world, one such phenomenon was the creation of a new type of entrepreneurship. This paper proposes a new academic discipline of (...) computational entrepreneurship, which centers on: (i) an exponentially growing (and less expensive) computing power, to the extent that almost everybody in a modern society can own and use that; (ii) omnipresent high-speed Internet connectivity, wired or wireless, representing our modern day’s economic connectomics; (iii) growing concern of exploiting “serendipity” for a strategic commercial advantage; and (iv) growing capabilities of lay people in performing calculations for their informed decisions in taking fast-moving entrepreneurial opportunities. Computational entrepreneurship has slowly become a new mode of operation for business ventures and will likely bring the academic discipline of entrepreneurship back to mainstream economics. (shrink)
Machine-based automation has long been a key factor in the modern era. However, lately, many people have been shocked by artificial intelligence (AI) applications, such as ChatGPT (OpenAI), that can perform tasks previously thought to be human-exclusive. With recent advances in natural language processing (NLP) technologies, AI can generate written content that is similar to human-made products, and this ability has a variety of applications. As the technology of large language models continues to progress by making use of colossal reservoirs (...) of digital information, AI is becoming more capable of recognizing patterns and associations within given contexts, making it especially helpful in assisting with various professional writing tasks . In this paper, we will discuss several key points regarding the current state and future of AI in academia. Furthermore, since in certain aspects, acts can speak louder than words, we will also present some of our hands-on experiences of working with ChatGPT. (shrink)
The exponential growth of social data both in volume and complexity has increasingly exposed many of the shortcomings of the conventional frequentist approach to statistics. The scientific community has called for careful usage of the approach and its inference. Meanwhile, the alternative method, Bayesian statistics, still faces considerable barriers toward a more widespread application. The bayesvl R package is an open program, designed for implementing Bayesian modeling and analysis using the Stan language’s no-U-turn (NUTS) sampler. The package combines the ability (...) to construct Bayesian network models using directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation technique, and the graphic capability of the ggplot2 package. As a result, it can improve the user experience and intuitive understanding when constructing and analyzing Bayesian network models. A case example is offered to illustrate the usefulness of the package for Big Data analytics and cognitive computing. (shrink)
Food security is one of the major concerns in the Philippines. Although livestock and poultry production accounts for a significant proportion of the country’s agricultural output, smallholder households are still vulnerable to food insecurity. The current study aims to examine how livestock production and selling difficulties affect smallholder households’ food-insecure conditions. For this objective, Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics was employed on a dataset of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Data in Emergencies Monitoring (DIEM) system. We found that production and (...) selling difficulties significantly adversely affect food insecurity in the Philippines. However, their effects vary according to the severity of food insecurity. In particular, production and selling difficulties affect the households’ likelihood of eating less healthy and nutritious food equally. However, the production difficulties have more negligible impacts on the possibility of skipping meals and even ambiguous impacts on the likelihood of not eating for a whole day compared to the effects of selling difficulties. Moreover, we also found that the market plays a crucial role in facilitating not only livestock trading but also livestock production (e.g., purchase of feed and medicines). Based on these findings, we suggest that the livestock market needs to be expanded and regulated to maintain the balancing prices between livestock products and products and services used for livestock production, and facilitate the product-exchanging mechanism. (shrink)