Wednesday Round Up #69

Time for some fun. That’s just below what’s on top. Then neuro and anthro mix it up.


Lance Gravlee, Bones and Behavior Protocols
Get your basic method protocols here for biological anthropology! Want to measure growth, nutrition, human variation and more? Now you’ve got a great set of guidelines.

Joe Carroll, The Adaptive Function of Literature and the Other Arts
A substantive effort to get beyond evolutionary psychology in thinking about creativity – but still a bit caught up in the debate of specialized vs. general mental function (i.e., nature vs. nurture). Still, a great read over at On the Human.

R. Howard Bloch, What Words Are Worth: In Defense of the Humanities
“Humanists are specialists in an activity upon which we daily depend, consciously or not, in everything we do: the making and assessment of meaning.”

PsychLectures, Michael Merzenich on Re-wiring the Brain
Great discussion of neuroplasticity by one of the founding fathers of this area of work

Daniel Goldberg, On Neuroreductionism
A glowing recommendation for a new article by Walter Glannon, Our brains are not us


Annette’s Blog, The Other AA
AssAholics Anonymous – there is a video out there just for you!

Mark Strauss, A Harvard Psychiatrist Explains Zombie Neurobiology
This is your brain on zombies. Including Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome

Johnny Lee, “Birth of a New Art Form…”
Music through video mash-up – really quite impressive, as well as a great listen. I also liked this NY video montage.

Robert Brockway, 5 Scientific Reasons People Act Like Assholes
Just five! F* that.

Maria Popova, Ordering The Chaos: The Internet Mapping Project
People draw their own image of the Internet

Seed, Workbench of Oliver Sacks
A fascinating photo of where a writer works

Dylan Thuras, The Corpse Flowers of Sumatra
They reek! And they are gi-normous

vlanico, My Hamster Can Not Manage to Stop Spinning in His Wheel
One fast hamster in video action! And yes, literally spinning


David Dobbs, The (Illusory) Rise and Fall of the “Depression Gene”
Some scientists and a lot of press got all hot and bothered about the 5-HTT gene causing depression. But the link between 5-HTTT and depression has not stood up to repeated studies. But early experience does matter. For more, see Furious Seasons too.

Ed Yong, Brain Treats Tools as Temporary Body Parts
Mental representations adapt to what you are doing with your body. Now just use your imagination to think about what the brain does with cultural tools.

Moshe Bar, Predictions: A Universal Principle in the Operation of the Human Brain
Lead article (pdf) for a special issue on Philosophical Transactions on how the brain makes predictions

Rachael Rettner, Primitive Primate’s Brain Built
A virtual endocast of a very early primitive, with some surprising results – small brained for a primate but already adapted to trees (favors the social intelligence hypothesis for brain expansion) and has a large olfactory bulb (smelled its way to food). See the PNAS article abstract here.

Nancy Scola, The New Interface of Governance
Seed on “Obama’s plans to put the science of human nature to work.”

Sue Vorenberg, The Mind of a Fly
Well, really just visual processing – but still more complicated than we thought…

Michael Rothberg, Affect Theory
The extensive syllabus for this interdisciplinary course – readings for your heart’s content!

Sandra Kiume, Questioning Freedom
Channel N gives us experimental philosophy on video!

Sharon Begley, Why Do We Rape, Kill and Sleep Around?
Don’t blame our cavemen ancestors and your present genes, argues Begley in Newsweek

Swivelchair, Five Things Social Defeat Does to Your Brain
It’s not good…

Amanda Gefter, Top Scientists Predict the Future of Science
Surprise – it’s based on what’s hot now, brain-based explanations of ourselves


Dinah Winnick, AAA Photo Contest Now Open
Get your submissions in!

Cameron McWhirter, Forgotten Shame
Journalism, African American slavery, and the first draft of history at the intriguing Flyp Magazine

Tobias Simon, Murderer, Thief, Whoremonger, Cheat
Looking anew at Henry Hudson’s “joyride to Albany” as he sailed up the Hudson River.

Jim Straub, Braddock, Pennsylvania: Out of the Furnace and into the Fire
Fascinating profile of the mayor of Braddock – looks like a wrestler, has a masters from Harvard – where 90% of the population has left this old steel town: a reflection on history and on rebuilding

William Gilroy, Notre Dame Study Describes Evidence of World’s Oldest Known Granaries
We were storing food 11,000 years ago in the Middle East. Ian Kuijt and the latest from the excavations at Dhra’

Eric Haanstad, Being a Public Anthropologist: An Interview with Philippe Bourgois
The author of In Search of Respect speaks to his engagement with concerns beyond jus the academic

Michiko Kakutani, The Era of Adapting Quickly
“foxes, with their wide-ranging curiosity and willingness to embrace change, tended to be far more accurate in their forecasts than hedgehogs” – a review of the new book The Age of the Unthinkable

Daniel Little, Understanding Southeast Asia
Nice overview – plus a great link to the World News application

Eugene Raikhel, Paul Rabinow on “Synthetic Anthropos”
Somatosphere meets On the Human – thought-provoking and yet lacking ethnographic/empirical work

Maria Popova, Street Art: From All Sides & Five Continents
Beautiful Losers the documentary (including a YouTube clip) and the present and future of street art

John Waller, Looking Back: Dancing Plagues and Mass Hysteria
Cultural mass compulsions detailed in The Psychologist. For more, see Mind Hacks.

One thought on “Wednesday Round Up #69

  1. Glad to see you picked up the post about the Bones and Behavior protocols, Daniel. To avoid misunderstanding, I should make clear that I wasn’t involved in creating the protocols — I was just spreading the word. The full list of the working group is here.

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