Wednesday Round Up #45

Happy New Year to everyone. I wanted to start out 2009 with some entertaining pieces, so that’s the focus of the top of the list. Then it’s some extensive anthropology and the brain, and three really good pieces on evolution at the end.

Top of the List

Alexandre Enkerli, Brewing Tips and Tricks
Some informed advice on homebrewing beer – “brewing wisdom” and experiencing beer in that new way

Jeff Scher, You Won’t Remember This Either
The NY artist shares his latest painted video, this one about his second son as a toddler. Besides being delightful, what I find interesting about it are all the additional images and snippets that pop up around his walking son. It’s an interesting way to think about how culture surrounds a child. Scher’s previous video “All the Wrong Reasons” also sparked some thought for me about culture.

Greg Laden, Fuck this!
Planet Earth – telling it like it really is. Very funny.

Mike Fahey, A Field Guide to Second Life Animal Hybrids
Your anthropomorphic guide to furries, nekos and tinies in the online user-created world of Second Life


Nicholas Kristof, The Evil behind the Smiles
The NY Times columnist brings us face to face with human slavery today

John Hawks, Cultural impedance, demographic growth, effective population size
A great post on why humans have low genetic diversity in comparison to great apes

Haidy Geismar, Materialising the Subject: phenomenological and post-ANT objects in the social sciences
A conference I wish I could attend! But really I highlight this because I think there are all sorts of convergences between the discussion developing through materiality and what we are doing here at Neuroanthropology

Lorenz Khazaleh, What is good applied anthropology?
Antropologi covers how good applied work should be troublesome, and why that can be a problem

Julie Steenhuysen, Many teens display risky behavior on MySpace: study
A study and an article that show the desperate need to ask the anthropological Why? Nope, just they’re doing “risky things” – but why show it off on MySpace?

Robert Worth, Preaching Moderate Islam and Becoming a TV Star
A better view of media, social change, and religion than you normally read

Esteban Salceek, Definí antropología
Esteban discuta la definición de la antropología, empezando con “La antropología es la ciencia de la diferencia humana.”

Vaughan Bell, Acquiring a natural edge
Nature vs. cities – the cognitive benefit goes to Walden Pond

Joe Nocera, Risk Management
Risk managers, the financial bubble, and our sociocultural subjectivity in specific context

Michael Wesch, Participatory Media Literacy: Why it matters
The new social media and the education of how to participate and create in this emerging global culture

Rebecca Skloot, Creature Comforts
Animals other than dogs to help guide the blind, including Panda the miniature horse

Lisa Wynn, SMH offers enculturation argument about topless lust
Men and women and the entraining of our lustful eyes

Greg Laden, The natural basis for gender inequality
The failures of naturalism when speaking of men and women

The Brain

David Dobbs, Why I’ve Gone Back to Seed – ‘Why I Blog More Happily Now’
The respected journalist has certainly not gone to seed. He’s created a new blog, Neuron Culture, and here are his musings on why he’s done that and why blogging is important

Olivier Morin, Social neuroscience under attack
Cognition and Culture covers the recent paper on the outsized and now challenged correlations seen in social neuroscience. Some good informed discussion.

Jim Schnabel, The Fledgling Science of Consciousness: An Interview with Christof Koch
A Dana Foundation piece on the man with the klab who approaches consciousness as a neuroscientific problem, not just a metaphysical one. For more good stuff by the journalist Jim Schabel, check out his website.

Roni Caryn Rabin, Blood Sugar Control Linked to Memory Decline, Study Says
Faulty blood sugar as we age and the effects on cognitive function

Benedict Carey, Some Protect the Ego by Working on Their Excuses Early
Psyching yourself out before you even get started – the latest considerations. For commentary, see Mind Hacks.

Alisa Miller, 100 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew about the Human Brain
How about #3, “Your skin weighs twice as much as your brain.”

Stuart Elliott, A Neuromarketer on the Frontier of Buyology
A profile of the young scientist Emily Yudofsky and her use of neuroimaging for behavioral science and application, including her own neuromarketing company, Applied Resonance Research

The Economist, Easy as 1, 2, 3
Here’s the tagline: “People come into the world ready to count its wonders.”

Mo Costandi, Monkeys categorize objects in the same way as humans
Higher order visual processing and the categorization of objects


Nature, 15 Evolutionary Gems
The esteemed journal puts together the “15 examples published by Nature over the past decade or so to illustrate the breadth, depth and power of evolutionary thinking.”

Charles McGrath, Four Stakes in the Heart of Intelligent Design
A NY Times review of two new important books on evolution and why intelligent design is, well, crap

Eva Jablonka, Extending Darwinism
“Is there more to heredity, natural selection, and evolution than genes and DNA?” Or how to bring back Lamarck and “soft inheritance” into our scientific picture.

5 thoughts on “Wednesday Round Up #45

  1. Sheesh! Thanks! I’m rather surprise by your inclusion of my post about “brewing wisdom,” but it does make some sense in context.
    Eventually, we could really use an anthro meta-blog. In fact, it’d make your life easier, I think.

  2. Alex, that reminds me, between this and an “anthropology newspaper” that Lorenz creates from blog feeds…that we could also create our own online “newspaper”, structured or designed to look like a good one. This is what now seems to be a “very old” idea I had and that I promoted in Anthropology News back in 1998 or 1999. With enough contributors, and that’s the key, and with some money to pay for some advanced design, we could certainly do it.

    Unfortunately the last meta blog effort foundered, and I am still not clear as to the reasons. One thing is for certain, a meta blog requires that one tolerate other and very different perspectives existing in the same space. And, no, I do not believe everyone is prepared to be so tolerant.

  3. Alex and Max, thanks for the comments. I actually agree, a meta-blog would be a great endeavor. I know Alex and a few other people really hoped for an “anthology site” to come out of the Best of Anthro 2008. I’ve played around with ideas about what could go into such a site, and even came up with a proposed site name, (yes, I saved it already; no, it doesn’t have to be that name.) Hopefully I will be explicit about getting more about those ideas into the blogosphere sometime in the coming months. But to be honest, I got so wrapped up in creating the Best of 2008 on its own that a whole new site seemed very daunting to me at the same time.

    Tolerance would be key. A good group of collaborators as well. Some clear ideas about what such a site would accomplish is also necessary – it’s important to have enough material and enough varied stuff that readers would come a steady pace. Let’s keep talking about it!

  4. Yeah, this was originally the point with – blogging about selected news while the rest is covered by the “anthropology newspaper”. In the beginning, in 2004 and 2005, it was easy, but now with much more happening online regarding our discipline, it’s impossible for me.

    I agree, “Let’s keep talking about it!”

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