Wednesday Round Up #87

The good stuff for this week, then anthropology and the mind, finished off by a great set of readings that consider changes in education and academia.

Top of the List

Michael Jernigan, The Minefield at Home
A US soldier from Iraq writes on injury, trauma, PTSD and coming home. A powerful first-person account that is part of the NY Times series, Home Fires: American Veterans on the Post-War Life.

Dave Munger, In Which I Resist Writing The Obvious Headline
Finding a genetic basis for anger using fMRI research with genetic analysis. Oh the juicy, misleading titles that could have been.

Nate Beeler, American Television Takes A Toll On The Brain
Ah, the cartoon that captures reality television. Except So You Think You Can Dance of course.

Joe Brewer and George Lakoff, Why Voters Aren’t Motivated By A Laundry List Of Positions On Issues
An overture to cognitive policy – the principles, frames, and point of views that make sense of political development.
For more, here’s Cognitive Policy Works: Politics For Real People basic statement on Cognitive Policy: “Cognitive policy is about the values and ideas that both motivate the policy goals and that have to be uppermost in the minds of the public and the media in order for the policy to seem so much a matter of common sense that it will be readily accepted.”

Alex Hutchinson, Global Impositioning Systems
The evils of GPS, or why not figuring how to get places reduces our sense of direction (it’s a skill after all)

Marco Roth, The Rise of the Neuronovel
An in-depth and critical essay on writers’ turn to writing not about the mind but about the brain. Most recommended.


Ed Yong, Culture Shapes The Tools That Chimps Use To Get Honey
Discusses the skills and strengths of chimps that give them an advantage in obtaining food and surviving.

Massimiliano Mollona, The Financial Crisis: A View From A Brazilian Barrio
Asks three simple questions: “Financial crisis – For Whom? When? And Where?”

Lorenz @ Antropologi, Interview: Meet Dai Cooper From The Anthropology Song!
An interview with Dai Cooper conducted by Lorenz about her YouTube anthropology song that we featured recently.

Tim Jones, Modern Humans Are Still Evolving But Will Modern Men Get Wimpier?
No, we just blog now on the Internet savannah. on the latest research on how we are still evolving. Even Time Magazine is getting in on the fun with, Are Humans Still Evolving?

Kerim @ Savage Minds, The Social Contract In Evolutionary Biology
Animal and human nature and change – Savage Minds going savage?

Raymond Tallis, Does Evolution Explain Our Behaviour?
Evolutionary psychology is not all that, particularly when it comes to how we choose our mates

Tara Parker-Pope, The Human Body Is Built for Distance
Good discussion on how our bipedal bodies show significant adaptations for long-distance running


Jonah Lehrer, Learning From Mistakes
Why getting the wrong answer may help us recall the right one. How we can learn and grow from our mistakes.

For those of you who read German, BrainLogs is writing a lot on Neuro-enhancement right now. A real group effort, especially if you scroll down among the bloggers there.

Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, 2009 Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Spring Retreat and Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind Symposium
Videos on a wide range of lectures from the Salk mind/brain symposium earlier this year. Some meaty talks.

3 Quarks Daily, Stephen Stich: 4 Lectures On Moral Theory Meets Cognitive Science
Four short videos on the connection between moral theory and cognitive science.

Mo Costandi, Mice Navigate A Virtual Reality Environment
Investigates the neural circuitry underlying navigation and understanding how spatial information is encoded at the cellular level.

Darcia Narvaez, The Dangers Of “Truthiness”
Should we trust our gut feelings?

Harvard School of Medicine, The International Consortium In Psychiatric Epidemiology: What Is The ICPE?
“The main goal of the ICPE is to facilitate cross-national comparative epidemiologic studies of psychiatric disorders.”

Education and Academia

Denis Pelli & Charles Bigelow, A Writing Revolution
The internet changes authorship in ways we haven’t considered: “Nearly universal literacy is a defining characteristic of today’s modern civilization; nearly universal authorship will shape tomorrow’s.”

Craig Lambert, Professor Video
Harvard Magazine on how new media are transforming classrooms

John Gravois, Controlled Experiment
The Saudis have started one of the best-funded universities on the planet (we’re talking billions). In its integrated approach, will this change the research university? And will it also have an impact on the Saudi economy and help transform a closed society?

Peter Berkowitz, Academia Goes Silent On Free Speech
Yale’s choice to cut anti-Muslim cartoons merited a thoughtful discussion. That didn’t happen.

Shafeen Charania, Advocacy
How change could happen within our education system.

David Brooks, The Quiet Revolution
Obama and education – we’re not seeing it much in the media, but change has come.

Susan Saulny, Focus In Chicago: Students At Risk Of Violence
A review of Ron Huberman’s plan to end the killings of the city’s public school students.

Louis Menand, The Ph.D. Problem
An excerpt from Menand’s new book, The Marketplace of Ideas, which examines how professionalization in the academy is about reproducing the system, rather than producing knowledge.

One thought on “Wednesday Round Up #87

  1. Awesome roundup! I only got a chance to look at a few items in detail.
    Marco Roth’s “The Rise of the Neuronovel” was a good read! Thanks for pointing it out!
    & Louis Menand’s article explores some provocative ideas that I hope more academics pay attention to!
    The manthropology of wimpiness is a cool spin on things too… should I be concerned though?

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