Wednesday Round Up #39

This week we have online wonders, mental health, anthropology, and the brain, along with the top picks.

Top of the List

Scicurious, Holiday Getting You Down? Pass the Turkey
Just in time for Thanksgiving: The low-down on tryptophan in the latest research from Neuropsychopharmacology

The Onion, New Pain-Inducing Advil Created For People Who Just Want To Feel Something, Anything
Ah, searing, life-affirming agony in a pill

Lisa Belkin, Time for (Parent) Sex
A range of the latest on parenting and sex, including Tyra Banks, adolescents, and parents with newborns

NeuroNarrative, The Psychology of Grifting
Trust, oxytocin, and professional con artists. Includes a great video, where a guy is conned into giving away his wallet! Watching it, you can see relationships, context, and language too… So trust is not just chemical.

Online Wonders (Or Not)

John Markoff, Microsoft Examines Causes of ‘Cyberchondria’
New study on self-diagnosis through the Internet – worst-case scenarios confirmed…

Virginia Heffernan, In This Week’s Magazine: Internet Man of Mystery
Profile of Virgil Griffith, founder of WikiScanner

Chris Kelty, Audiences, Artic Men, AnthroNow and other AAAs
Why a magazine like AnthroNow can still work in an age of blogging

Mental Health

Tara Parker-Pope, A New Face for ADHD, and a Debate
Michael Phelps and a schism in the attention deficit community over the notion of limitations. Readers comment on Parker-Pope’s piece, and whether or not Phelps succeeded because of ADHD at her blog.

Jennifer Peltz, To Some Psychiatric Patients, Life Seems Like TV
People imagining themselves in reality TV shows – The Truman Show syndrome

Mind Hacks, New Psychiatric Diagnoses Developed in Secret
The next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, key to money and power galore for lots of people, is being done behind closed doors. What sorts of commercial and pressures are being brought to bear to endorse certain concepts and diagnoses?

Advances in the History of Psychology, “Your Very Thankful Inmate”
The history of insane asylums

Benjamin Brody, In Psychiatry, Can a Punch Line Be a Lifeline?
A reflection on humor in psychiatric practice

Anthropology

Elizabeth Redden, Anthropological Engagement, for Good and for Bad?
Inside Higher Ed reflects on the recent AAA meeting, in particular the panel on the Human Terrain System.

BBC Radio, Lives of Others
Click now! There is only a bit of time left to hear at least some of these radio clips featuring anthropologists discussing their work and the state of the discipline

Kerim, Anthropologist Franz Boas
Boas on the cover of Time!

Maximilian Forte, Gerald Sider: “Can Anthropology Ever Be Innocent?”
Open Anthropology’s riff on the essay from the new magazine AnthroNow. Paranoia, power, and ethnographic practice all come into play.

Jack Tripling, Top Profs
Michael Wesh of Digital Ethnography is one of the Professors of the Year!

The Brain

Greg Laden, Modeling Complex Adaptive Systems
An hour lecture by John Holland via You Tube – adaptive agents and thinking about behavior

Alvaro Fernandez, Planet Earth 2.0: Yes We Can
The Sharp Brains guide to saving the earth

Diana Yates, Social Interactions Can Alter Gene Expression in the Brain, and Vice Versa
“Genes in the brain are malleable, turning on or off in response to internal and external cues. While genetic variation influences brain function and social behavior, the authors write, social information also alters gene expression in the brain to influence behavior.”

Mo Costandi, Blind People Are Better at Finding Their Way
Blindness and spatial navigation through non-visual information

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Round Up #39

  1. Really Daniel, do you think it is simply “paranoia,” even when people such as Sider and myself point to actual, documented cases of appropriation of ethnography for harmful ends? It hardly seems fair to drop that word in there, especially if any of us are to be concerned about the current or future health of anthropology, as I think you are.

  2. A fair point, Maximilian. I was thinking more in terms of ethnographic practice in general, not the specific cases you and Sider highlight. Perhaps I should have said healthy paranoia. I was struck how, in a world with increasing electronic means of surveillance, that even the disciplines themselves are now caught in Foucault’s panopticon, never sure when someone is watching. And that does raise questions which do not often get asked, and I liked your piece for that. But I also think that feeds into our reflexivity, which I think can have both positive and negative consequences. How does this affect rapport? If we become gun-shy about certain topics, can we still reveal or illustrate the play of power in action? How can we listen for silences if we are always looking over our backs?

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