Wednesday Round Up #36

This week we have our featured pieces, then a round up on blogging, the brain, mental health, video games, and anthropology. Ah, the electric eclectic.

Top of the List

My Mind on Books, ‘Supersizing the Mind’ by Andy Clark
My Mind on Books features the just released Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension. Andy Clark’s earlier book Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again was foundational in the development of my thinking during grad school, so I am really looking forward to Clark’s latest.

Maximilian Forte, Anthropology’s Many Deaths and the Birth of World Anthropologies
A critical examination of North American anthropology and the emerging world of global anthropologies

Edge, A Short Course in Behavioral Economics
A “master class” from some of the best in the field under the guidance of Richard Thaler and Daniel Kahneman

Neurophilosophy, Memories Are Made of Molecular Motors
Long-term potentiation and receptor trafficking, with a close examination of myosin Vb

The Inoculated Mind, No More Pipetting Late at Night
Very funny video-mercial for a new pipetting machine. Now this is marketing!


Technorati, State of the Blogosphere 2008-10-29
The blog search engine and source of blogging info provides its yearly take on all things blogging

Antropologi, George Marcus: “Journals? Who cares?”
Do journals still matter? Or new forms of publishing? And the esteemed George Marcus actually gives a lengthy comment!

Andrew Sullivan, Why I Blog
Atlantic Monthly essay on writing transformed through blogging, including an argument for how blogging will bring a “golden age of journalism” while getting us to “write out loud”

Owen Wiltshire, Working through Divides
Thoughts on how to get non-bloggers to engage in the online discussion over at Another Anthro Blog

John Hawks, How to Blog, Get Tenure, and Prosper: A Very Useful Engine
Reflections from the successful blogger and paleoanthropologist who just got tenure! Includes the interesting idea of blogging as helping to bootstrap science.

John Hawks, How to Blog, Get Tenure and Prosper: Starting the Blog
The first installment, about motivations, writing style and more

Michael Agger, How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Slate report on how some people have made blogging a business. One way is through the Amazon Affiliate program.

Alexandre Enkerli, Confessions of a Blogwriter
One idiosyncratic take on the idiosyncratic writing behind blogs


Semir Zeki, Institute of Neuroesthetics
The neurobiologist turns to our aesthetic splendors and miseries. Prof Zeki also has a blog

Michael Gerson, Faith beyond the Frontal Lobes
The work of Andrew Newberg, looking for the biology of religion through brain activity

The Neurocritic, Hate on Halloween
The neural correlates of hate through people who profess an intense hate of a particular individual – skepticism, the popular press, and some interesting results all combine!

Ashley Pettus, What Makes the Human Mind?
Harvard Magazine covers Marc Hauser’s claims for what makes humans different from other animals – our floodlight intelligence, cobbled together from multiple past pieces and new uses

Mind Hacks, Brain Scans and Buyers Beware
The new book Buy-ology is critically reviewed

The Neurocritic, Bidirectional Competition Between Striatum and Hippocampus During Learning
The dry cleaning effect – explaining forgetfulness

Mental Health

Mindapples, Foresight Five
The five things to do for a healthy brain

Deric Bownds, Cognitive Therapy versus Medication for Depression
Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms – there’s a reason why medication and therapy work better together through affecting different, though inter-related, parts of the brain

Benedict Carey, Combined Therapy Is Reported to Ease Anxiety in Children
Another study showing the psychosocial and pharmaceutical treatments work best together, in this case with kids

Lauran Neergaard, Brain Slows at 40, Starts Body Decline
Blame the brain (particularly myelin) for not just getting older, but feeling and acting older

Kratt, Wacinko and Culture-Bound Syndromes
The Oglala Lakota in South Dakota and debates over cultural pouting versus biomedical depression

Anemona Hartocollis, In One Section of Beth Israel Hospital, Some Patients Are Saying ‘Om,’ Not ‘Ah’
Eastern and Western healing combine – or yoga and meditation as part of cancer treatment

Paul Grobstein, Mental Health and the Brain
This Bryn Mawr course is now online over at Serendip

Video Games

Seth Schiessel, The Look Is Tawdry, but the Possibilities Are Virtually Endless
The NY Times features a review of the new game LittleBigPlanet – more in the trend towards user-created design, with its own artistic look

Leigh Alexander, Opinion: Hot Headlines And Hype Cycles — Who’s Responsible?
Gaming journalism and controversial headlines and claims – what’s the impact on the industry?

What They Play, Sex, Violence, Ratings and Game Design
Star game developers Jaffe, Molyneux, Zeschuk and Bleszinski discuss the industry’s biggest taboos

Andy Robertson, What Gamers Want: Missing Gamers
Part of a series on the demographics of gamers. This one covers “absentee gamers,” those folks ages 25 to 35 who used to game but no longer do so

Los Angeles Times, Special Report: Work of Play
Three part series on the gaming industry covering the birth of the industry, new educational programs, and women in the industry

Michael Abbott, The Glory of the Amorphous Hero
Why do we play RPGs? from The Brainy Gamer

Maggie Greene, Whither the Rest of the World?
Can developers bring us more global games? Or at least celebrate a diversity of gaming around the world?


David Dobbs, The Science of Gossip, In Scientific American
The science journalist gives us the latest whisperings

Antropologi, “A New Interdisciplinary Approach to the Perception of Art”
An anthropologist and neuroscientist combine to examine human experience in a material and visual world, in this case the art gallery

Michael Wesch, Revisiting “A Vision of Students Today”
Over at Digital Ethnography, Wesch brings us the smash YouTube video on students and learning

Ian Russell, Dublin Divided? Deep Ecologies and Social Complexity
“Social research, archaeology and art has the potential to offer constructive complexity to the conception of Dublin’s geography”

Anne Eisenberg, You May Soon Know if You’re Hogging the Discussion
Alex Pentland at MIT and his gadgets to track conversation

Zach Throckmorton, Cave Babies, Neanderthal Brains, & the Evolution of Human Life History
Applying life history theory to understand differences in growth and development between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens sapiens samples. Were they shorter lived?

Sarah Kershaw, Move Over, My Pretty, Ugly Is Here
The new science of ugly

John Noble Wilford, Phoenicians Left Deep Genetic Mark, Study Shows
Carthage, a Mediterranean trading empire, and the spreading of genes

Maximilian Forte, Progress
King Austin and Trinidadian calypso. Plus check out Open Anthropology’s very impressive multimedia opening

Norimitsu Onishi, An Enclave of Brazilians Is Testing Insular Japan
Japanese born in Brazil come home – demographic shortages and culture clash

Science Daily, Fire Out Of Africa: A Key To The Migration Of Prehistoric Humans
New research points to the use of fire almost 800,000 years ago

Patricia Cohen, Professors’ Liberalism Contagious? Maybe Not
So college professors aren’t to blame for everything

Anthropology.Net, A 12,000-Year-Old Shaman From Hilazon Tachtit, Israel & The Emergence Of Religion
Complex burials and complex social roles in Natufian culture

Jill Santoprieto, When Chocolate Is a Way of Life
The Quechua in Ecuador become chocolate entrepreneurs

Jeremy Kahn, Urban Cowboys Struggle With India’s Sacred Strays
New Delhi cowboys!

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Round Up #36

  1. Thanks for the ping!
    That post of mine was more of an exercise than an attempt at describing something profound, but any attention it got, even undeserved, is appreciated. 😉

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