Wednesday Round Up #62

This week it’s packed – some great stuff up front, plenty on the anthro and the brain sides, art/learning/research and video games, and finally advice if you’re starting out tenure-track.

Top of the List

Research Digest, It’s Those Voodoo Correlations Again … Brain Imagers Accused of “Double Dipping”
More methods problems for imaging researchers – using the same data twice, first to find the area and then to show that area is really the one responsible for whatever hypothesis is at stake. For more commentary, see Neuroskeptic, Mind Hacks, and Newsweek

Chris Patil & Vivian Siegel, This Revolution Will Be Digitized: Online Tools for Radical Collaboration
A hive mind of creative intellects beyond institutional and geographical constraints… Sandy at the Mouse Trap both reacts and provides a condensed version in Science 2.0: What Is and What Needs to Be

Michelle Chen, Color-Blinders: Race, Genes and Justice
Are we post-racial when it comes to inequality? If only. Michelle reacts to William Saletan’s Slate piece, Mental Segregation: Inequality, Racism and Framing

Dave Munger, How Are Numbers Related to Your Body Movements? Depends on How You Read Words
Recognizing numbers, reacting with your hands, and the impact of culture – it’s SNARC in action

Jessica Palmer, Why Has Science Been Neglecting to Study Sin?
The geography of lust and the other deadly delights. See all the maps at Gene Expression. And the original article appeared in the Las Vegas Sun.

Alan Kazdin & Carlo Rotella, The Messy Room Dilemma
Coping with kids and their behavior (i.e., holding onto illusions of changing them) – ideas about reinforcement and advice on “when to ignore behavior, when to change it” from Slate


L.L. Wynn, Making Ethics Training Ethnography Friendly
Great discussion over at Culture Matters of many pertinent issues related to ethnographic methods, ethical work, and human subjects review

Mako Kuwimb, Request for Permanent Withdrawal and an Apology for Publication of Dr. Jared Diamond’s Article Entitled, ‘Vengeance Is Ours: What Can Tribal Societies Tell Us About How To Get Even’
The title says it all – the New Yorker article by Diamond was really poor. For more discussion, see Savage Minds.

Sean Mallin, Carolyn Nordstrom on Piracy and Illegal Trade
See the Notre Dame professor in action, discussing the surge in piracy and more in this YouTube clip

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Obama Seeks a Global Health Plan Broader Than Bush’s AIDS Effort
An actual global health program, with a focus on children and preventable illnesses

Nicholas Wade, Eden? Maybe. But Where’s the Apple Tree?
The latest on geography, genetic diversity, and ancestry – southwest Africa as a probable origin of Homo sapiens sapiens

John Hawks, Plant Processing with Early Oldowan Tools
Cutting grass, sectioning tubers, defleshing carcasses, and perhaps even woodworking – two million years ago

David Brooks, Genius: The Modern View
It takes practice, luck and circumstance, not just some innate gift

Sadeq Rahimi, The Unconscious: Metaphor and Metonymy
Lacan, metaphor functions to suppress while metonymy functions to combine, meets Jakobson’s linguistics. See also the follow-up post with further considersations on Lacan and the unconscious

Loomnie, My Interest in Things
Second hand clothes and how to put culture back in the analysis of things

Peter Miller, The Human Factor
Review in The New Republic of Barry Cunliffe’s book Europe between the Oceans, a history of Europe from 9000BC to 1000AD


Evan Lerner, To Be a Baby
An interview with developmental psychologist Alison Glopnik and author of The Philosophical Baby on why everything we think we know about babies is wrong

Michael Bond, Brain Shock: The New Gulf War Syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome and the realities of modern war and coming home

Vaughan Bell, Help, I’m a Prisoner in a Brain Fiction Factory
Lamenting neuro-drivel, this time in the Sunday Times

Denna Potter, Mental Health Courts Increase Despite Debate
Like drug courts, mental health courts aim to address the underlying problems related to mental illness and crime

Robert Preidt, Genetics Linked to How Brain ‘Frames’ Choices
Serotonin, transporter genes, and 10% explanations

Neil Scheurich, Times A-Changin’
Samuel Johnson the blogger, and our present push for neuro-enhancers. Here’s the abstract for one of Neil’s articles on the subject, The Prescriber as Moralist

John Tierney, Ear Plugs to Lasers: The Science of Concentration
Attention, meditation and multi-tasking as a myth

Jake Young, Razib and I on
Pure Pedantry and Gene Expression get it on in debating genes and behavior

Video Games

Leigh Alexander, The Path for Art Games
Great feature at Kotaku on taking creative risks in video games, and the tensions with the popular tastes of the public and what counts as “artistic” right now in game design

Tiltfactor Laboratory, Our Games
Games that focus on critical play – that “raise issues, discussion points, or just innovate play in novel ways”

Owen Good, The Art of War
Art design and bringing war to the video screen in a way that still makes sense within a game

Sara Corbett, Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar
Filthy Fluno and selling art as a virtual virtuoso

Michael Abbott, Small Town Love
Mother 3 and answering the question, What is it about a game that stirs devotion? The Brain Gamer provides the holistic answer here, and follows up by looking at game dynamics

Dave Colpack, Microsoft Explores Learning Link to Video Games
1.5 million for The Games for Learning Institute

Donald McNeil Jr., To Score High, Don’t Cover Your Mouth
Swine Flu the video game

AJ Glasser, Nintenducation – A New Take On Edutainment
Exploring the learning potential of Nintendo in schools around the world

Deric Bownds, Pavlovian Conditioning Can Transfer from the Virtual World to the Real World
“A stimulus in a virtual environment can acquire motivational properties that persist and modify behavior in the real world.” So just what is real then?

Ewen Callaway, Why Good Samaritans Should Avoid Virtual Carnage
Well, at least if you want to react two second faster to those in need…

Brendan Sinclair, Game Researcher: 90-95% of Psych Studies Flawed
The methodological problems of tying violent games to actual behavior

Jon at SOC, Gender and Gaming
Gamestop on how to sell games to women – see their instructional video. Go explore the comments and debate here.

John Timmer, Science Gleans 60TB of Behavior Data from Everquest 2 Logs
That’s a lot of data! Why set up experiments when people will do things themselves?


Carl Dyke, Serve This
Service and servitude in academic labor – reflections on being a good citizen, and getting tenure too, in the university

Gayprof, Advice for the Newly Hired
Are you tenure-track? Advice on going from grad student to assistant professor. Plus Wonder Woman!

Dr. Crazy, Advice for the Newly Hired – Regional Comprehensive Edition
Advice if you’re starting off at an institution that don’t fancy themselves as “research universities”

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