Wednesday Round Up #91

Top of the List

Jamil Zaki, The Two Human Natures
The view of human nature as violent and anti-social has a long social history, according to Marshall Sahlins, and a new blog looking at a more social view of ourselves and society

Fabiana Kubke, Making Science Culturally Appropriate
Fascinating snippet on using human brain tissue in New Zealand and intersections with the Maori concept of tapu (where our word taboo comes from)

Steven Mithen, The Music Instinct
Online article in the Annals of the NY Academy of Science that examines the evolutionary basis of musicality. The title above links to the abstract. Though it doesn’t always load, here’s a link that can hopefully get you the full text.

Online Tools

Erkan Saka, Online Tools for My Students
One of the early leaders of anthropology online puts up his list of all the online software he uses, complete with tricks and insights into a wide variety of programs

Kerim, House Cleaning
A list of links about Anthropology, including a list of anthropologists on Twitter and another list of anthropology blogs

Alexandre Enkerli, Vague Experience
Google Wave – looking at its uses (reflections in French)

John Postill, Still Networking in Iran
Keeping in touch with Iran via Facebook and Twitter


Christopher Wanjek, Thankgiving Myth: Turkey Makes You Sleepy
LiveScience gives you the low down on the sleepiness… All those carbohydrates

Wikipedia, Tryptophan
Everything you wanted to know about the “turkey drug” and more


Ryan Anderson, Interview: Colleen Morgan
Discussing the direction of Anthropology with the person behind the innovative Middle Savagery

Raymond Ho, Hobbits Are Indeed A Separate Species, Said Researchers
Researchers have come to the conclusion that hobbits, or Homo floresiensis, are in fact a separate “human” species instead of a population of diseases Homo sapiens.

Eugene Raikhel, Peter Benson on “Safe Cigarettes” and FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products
Peter Benson examines the issues surrounding a bill passed earlier this year, which placed tobacco products under the rigid protection of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Haidy L Geismar, The Autopsies Project
Investigating how objects die.

Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction
Website that introduces the ideas between examining communities of practice as central to social and psychological analysis

John L. Jackson, Is Diversity a Dirty Word in the Academy?
The Philadelphia Inquirer questions the military’s pledge to “diversity” and Jackson extends the reflection to academia

Trinketization, Crash Course in Australian 1970s Music
A description of the musical genre in Australia during the 1970s. Includes song lyrics and a video.


Natalie Angier, The Biology Behind the Milk of Human Kindness
Oxytocin lubricates our prosocial exchanges

Tom Stafford, Tall Stories
The brain disorder of confabulation and the point that “spontaneous, fluid, even riotous creativity is a natural part of the design of the mind”

Vaughan Bell, Media Cat and Mouse Game with Brain Simulations
It’s a brain! Well, almost a brain. Maybe just a part of the brain. But we’re simulating it! Didn’t you see the media report?

Dave Munger, Casual Fridays: What Makes a Good Writer, and What Motivates Them?
An examination of last week’s Casual Fridays study, which looked at how to determine who might be a good writer in just a few minutes.

Anne Trafton, Back to (Brain) Basics
Looking at how basic research can yield important societal outcomes, in this case understanding disease

Cameron D. Norman, Mindful Systems
Mindfulness connected to social networks – quite interesting

The Neurocritic, The Extrastriate Body Area and Visual Distortions in Anorexia
A severe distortion of body image is a main feature of anorexia.

David DiSalvo, Delving Deep into Human Emotion
Psychobiological research is increasingly focusing on the development and role of emotion in the brain – three good videos with Antonio Damasio, Dacher Keltner, and Jaak Panksepp

Brain Stimulant, Neurobots: Robots Controlled by Brain Simulations
Researchers have developed robots run by better artificial brains. A look into what makes up these robots and their newfangled brains.

Dan Sperber, Language faculty? Semiotic system? Or what?
“To what extent does the use of language involve a language-specific ability, to what extent is it subserved by a more general symbolic or semiotic system?” An old and continuous debate.

Daniel R. Hawes, Genes Don’t Make You Racist
Are humans genetically predisposed to racism or not? A good argument for not

Dirk Hanson, The Evolution of Depression
“Have the genes for clinical unipolar depression undergone selective evolution–or is depression a random product of mutation, evolutionary drift, or other non-selective forces?”

Elliott C., An Unwanted Kiss From a Moral Man. Still Feeling Dirty?
Does having a kiss forced on you by a moral man, or having a consensual kiss with an immoral man really matter to a woman? Researchers say their findings could be helpful to therapists treating people with obsessive compulsive disorder or victims of sexual assault.

9 thoughts on “Wednesday Round Up #91

  1. Thanks for the ping. A bit surprised that it’d catch your eye, as it’s not a very anthropological version of what I’ve been observing on Google Wave…

    I’m informalethnographer and enkerli on Wave, for those who want to connect there.

  2. “Does having a kiss forced on you by a moral man, or having a consensual kiss with an immoral man really matter to a woman?”

    This has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

  3. Alex, first time I had heard of Google Wave was when I hopped over to your blog this week – plus in French, even better. Tim, Raymond is duly credited. Janis, oh well – my student Casey and I try…

      1. Got it. Thanks for clarifying! I was intrigued by the asymmetry and the connection to ideas about contagion at the end – but I get your point about the overall idea of the research.

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