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This link recently saved by monkeymagic on August 07, 2011
According to a growing body of evidence collected over the last three or more decades, people's Jekyll and Hyde behaviour while drinking can be understood by a simple idea which has some intriguing ramifications.
The alcohol myopia model says that drink makes our attentional system short-sighted and the more we drink, the more short-sighted it becomes. With more alcohol our brains become less and less able to process peripheral cues and more focused on what is right in front of us. It's this balance between what is right in front of us and what we don't notice around the edges that determines how alcohol affects us in different situations.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on December 13, 2010
What seems to be going on is this: people are convinced by the arguments until they see that the source of the message can't be trusted. But people don't tend to process the discounting cue very thoroughly. So, over time, people forget they discounted the information and the content of the persuasive message, which was processed thoroughly, does its devilish work.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on January 03, 2010
It was 14 years since Time Magazine published The Evolution of Despair, by Robert Wright, the rapidly rising star of the new discipline of evolutionary psychology. [It] attracted great attention. As an evolutionary psychologist, he quoted the Unabomber – the man who, as his personal demonstration against the dehumanising aspects of modern life, conducted a seven-year bombing spree across America in the 1980s: “I attribute the social and psychological problems of modern society to the fact that society requires people to live under conditions radically different from those under which the human race evolved.”
There is, Wright wrote, a gentler side to human nature and it is this which seems to be increasingly the victim of repression; “The problem with modern life is less that we are over-socialised,” he wrote, but that we are under-socialised – or that too little of our ‘social’ contact is social in the natural, intimate sense of the word.”
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on November 12, 2009
Social isolation can be as harmful to your health as smoking or a sedentary lifestyle. A large part of this effect is driven by the subjective sense of social isolation we call loneliness. New research shows that human beings are simply far more intertwined and interdependent—physiologically as well as psychologically—than our cultural prejudices have allowed us to acknowledge. “If you want to go fast,” says an African proverb, “go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on November 08, 2009
There is no point in denying it: we're losing. Climate change denial is spreading like a contagious disease. It exists in a sphere that cannot be reached by evidence or reasoned argument; any attempt to draw attention to scientific findings is greeted with furious invective. This sphere is expanding with astonishing speed.
The Science Museum's Prove it! exhibition asks online readers to endorse or reject a statement that they've seen the evidence and want governments to take action. As of yesterday afternoon, 1,006 people had endorsed it and 6,110 had rejected it. On Amazon.co.uk, books championing climate change denial are currently ranked at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 in the global warming category. Never mind that they've been torn to shreds by scientists and reviewers, they are beating the scientific books by miles. What is going on?
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on November 06, 2009
I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on November 04, 2009
An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly.
In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed.
While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on October 28, 2009
For the human condition, forgetting is at least as important as remembering - sometimes more so. Without it, we are all bound to lead the miserable life of A. R. Luria's patient Solomon Shereshevsky, who was crippled by his boundless, indelible memory, or his fictional counterpart, Jorge Luis Borges's Funes. No forgetting implies no generalisation, no real present time, no amelioration of trauma, and no weaving of meaningful life narratives ...
Total recall may be beneficial for businesses and courts, clinics and insurance agencies, even possibly in settling occasional disputes with significant others, but rarely would it be deeply rewarding for the humble self.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on October 27, 2009
Yochai Benkler 94 delivers a dynamic lecture on the future of social production to mark the occasion of his appointment as the Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies.
From the Harvard Law School Spotlight:
"Collaborative systems, built upon freedom and altruism, benefit from increased individual agency of motivated participants. As such, the newer systems are far more efficient and more capable of adapting to sudden changes. However, the task from the theoretical standpoint, said Benkler, 'is to develop a general framework for analyzing human systems of all forms, enabling us to design systems that are both more effective and more resonant with being human.'"