Wednesday Round Up #17


Dan Koeppel, Yes, We Will Have Bananas
Banana republics, banana barons, a global commodity, and a global disease—all that in 1500 words!

Elizabeth Gudrais, Unequal America
Harvard Magazine cover article on the causes and consequences of the widening gap between rich and poor in the US

Dr. X, What Do Sharon Stone and Pastor John Hagee Have in Common?
The “just world hypothesis” and bias against those who suffer

The Economist, Cognitive Disenchantment: From He That Have Not
Being on the bottom blinkers your brain. Much more on this from Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Esther Walker, “I’ve got kids who sleep with knives under their pillows.”
Violence reduction and kids with tough lives: “Social and emotional deprivation is creating a new kind of brain”

Andrew Revkin, White House: Poor Face Health Risks from Global Warming
Even after Katrina it takes a court order to deal with the differential impact of climate change

Developing Intelligence, Impulsivity Due to Distortions in Time: Hyperbolic Discounting and Logarithmic Time Perception
Does hyperbolic discounting exist? Probably not—might just reflect a “systematic ‘skew’ in the way people perceive time.” Any guess where I think that skew comes from? (A hint, humans’ non-linear institutions…)

Science Daily, Having Less Power Impairs the Mind and the Ability to Get Ahead, Study Shows
Can we say unequal playing field?

Susan Faludi, Think the Gender War Is Over? Think Again
Politics and two hundred years of gender mythology

Adam Cohen, After 75 Years, the Working Poor Still Struggle for a Fair Wage
Minimum wage, earned income tax credit and not getting a fair shake


Virginia Heffernan, Narrow Minded
Thinspiration videos on-line and culture, beauty, and anorexia

Harriet Brown, One Spoonful at a Time
A mother’s story of her daughter’s struggle with anorexia; NY Times Magazine piece

Sanjay Gupta, Taking on the Thin Ideal
Body activism and being beautiful

Trisha Gura, Addicted to Starvation: The Neurological Roots of Anorexia
Reward, deprivation, and training your brain

The Cockroach Catcher, Anorexia Nervosa: What If?
Does the DSM-IV get in the way?

Psique, On Anorexia
Laura has rounded up a lot of excellent literature here

Decision Making

Wray Herbert, Polling the Crowd Within
Vox populi: Why group answers are generally better than individual answers

ScienceDaily, Serotonin Link to Impulsivity, Decision Making, Confirmed
Serotonin, step up and join the dopamine party; or, why cranky people do stupid things

Neuroscientifically Challenged, The Many Faces of Dopamine
Debating what dopamine really does: Makes things more salient while opioids provides the subjective reward?

Brain Stimulant, Is the Pleasure Molecule Dopamine?
Continued debate on the role of dopamine—is Kent Berridge right, is it about incentives, or does dopamine have a role to play in sensory pleasure?

Jeffrey Kluger, The Science of Appetite
Time Magazine takes on the mesolimbic system and more


Abstract Politics, Is Voting Contagious? Evidence from Two Field Experiments
It looks so, at least in two-member households… conformity and social relationships strike again

Abstract Politics, Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment
Both internal and external “civic duty” matter, but the external matters more: “shame works”

Jacob Heilbrunn, The Conservator
Review of “One Man’s America” by George Will

Mark Bauerlein, Conservatism: A Few Basics
Emory professor tells us what conservatives have historically been about


Globe & Mail, Breakdown: Canada’s Mental Health Crisis
Comprehensive coverage of the state of mental health and psychiatry in Canada

Kai Pata, How Do Learning Affordances Define Niches?
Affordances: Between emerging activity objectives and environmental features

Kai Pata, Sociocultural and Ecological Explanations to Self-Reflection
Embodied cognition and hybrid ecologies meet…

Peter Gorniak & Deb Roy, Situated Language Learning as Filtering Perceived Affordances
A large pdf on an embodied approach to language

Science Daily, Humor Shown to Be Fundamental to Our Success as a Species
Patterns, not jokes, are what are funny

The New Yorker, Hello, Hal
“Language without emotion isn’t really language”—lessons learned from speech recognition technology

Anatole Pierre Fuksas, The Long Tail of Digital Shelves
Novels and globalization

Maggie Jackson, Fighting A War Against Distraction
Amidst technology and globalization, how to get to a “renaissance of attention”

Michael Fitzgerald, Predicting Where You’ll Go and What You’ll Like
Reality mining and the value and ethics of knowing “location, location, location” of people themselves

Vaughan Bell, The Science of Theory
Mind Hacks gives us the latest on experimental philosophy


Olivia Judson, Darwinmania
Why Darwin is all that

Jon Hurdle, Philadelphia Set to Honor Darwin and Evolution
Strengths and weaknesses in Darwin and in NY Times reporting. PZ rips this article apart at Pharyngula.

The Brain

PhysOrg, Computer Model Reveals How Brain Represents Meaning
Overreaching title for an interesting fMRI study on language use that combines computational methods, imaging, and concrete nouns

Simon Baron-Cohen, The Biology of Imagination
Evolution, eye and brain combine

List of Environmental Factors that Affect IQ
Comprehensive list of research on how lived context shapes IQ measures

Mo at Neurophilosophy, Evolving the Mind
Video of Carl Zimmer about the evolution of the mind

Cognitive Daily, Does Music Help Us Learn Language?
Singing and nonsense words—perhaps I have a new way to deliver my anthro lectures

A.C., The Effects of Caffeine: New Insights
A coffee addict takes on recent research

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