Wednesday Round Up #67

Simple this week – top, anthro, neuro

Top

Natalie Angier, Brainy Echidna Proves Looks Aren’t Everything
Did you know they give birth to puggles? And 50% of their brain is neocortex, compared to our measly 30%

Robert Sawyer, All Screens Are Not Created Equal
Yes, the internet and computing are good for you – we shouldn’t cast things in older ideas about attention

Harvey Whitehouse, Anthropology in Crisis – What, Still?
“Imagine a domain of scholarly enquiry that based its theories on multiple and conflicting intuitions about the basic nature of the phenomena under study. It would struggle to get off the ground because of interminable turf wars among competing coalitions with widely differing foundational assumptions about the nature and purpose of scholarly enquiry. Unfortunately, we don’t have to imagine it. That is exactly the problem, or at least has been the problem historically, with social and cultural anthropology.
Since we lack dedicated cognitive machinery for reasoning about social complexity, we are prone to borrowing intuitions proper to alien ontological domains. Consequently social scientists at turns reify institutions, biologize social categories, anthropomorphise offices, and mentalize corporate groups.”

Mike the Mad Biologist, Behavioral Economics: Not Everything Is Irrational
As someone on the irrationality train (I study addiction, after all), it’s refreshing to have a well-considered critique

Anthro

Jean Jackson, Awá Human Rights Report
Indigenous groups in Colombia caught between right-wing paramilitaries, leftist guerillas, and the Colombian army

Mark Dawson, The Ordinary People Project – Episode One: Gord in Pemberton
A visual ethnography (yes, YouTube clip) from the people over at Ethnography.com – documenting everyday life in British Columbia

Maximilian Forte, Zombie Humanitarians: It’s Obama’s Human Terrain System Now
“Like the so-called living dead, the Human Terrain System keeps coming back from the grave, the grave that it has dug for itself among anthropologists, and the graves it has dug for three of its own researchers..”

Christina Pikas, Comps Readings: Virtual Communities
A selection of readings about virtual communities – they are real, but what do they actually look like?

Marilyn Marchione, AP IMPACT: Alternative Medicine Goes Mainstream
Associated Press: alternative medicine finding wider acceptance among doctors, insurers and hospitals as well as through consumer spending

Nicholas Kristof, Rising above IQ
The NY Times columnist gets on the culture, IQ and achievement bandwagon – or getting the bang out of the firepower you have rather than innate differences

Holland Cutter, Putting “Primitive” to Rest
World-class collection of ‘African and Oceanic Art From the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva’

Neuro

Neuroskeptic, Your Inner Robot
Moving escalators and moving bodies don’t always match, especially when that escalator is stopped – or “an escalator-specific movement program”

Research Digest, We’re Faster at Processing Words that Relate to Bigger Things
Bigger is better! At least in terms of prioritizing processing.

Pete Mandik, Swamp Mary Semantics: A Case for Physicalism without Gaps and Bandwith and Storage in Human Biocomputer
The first and the latest in the Swamp Mary series on neurophilosophy

Mo Costandi, Online Decision-Making Study
You too can participate!

Jonah Lehrer, ADHD
Answers to common questions over at Frontal Cortex

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