Wednesday Round Up #115

I’m baaack… The last Wednesday round up was May 5th. I am now safely esconsed in Tampa, and getting started at the University of South Florida. Definitely excited about what’s to come, with a great anthropology department, an emphasis on integrated neuroscience research, and a lot of support for interdisciplinary work.

It’s also been a lot of fun for Greg and myself to get back in gear with There’s even better stuff to come, believe me. But for now it’s time to get back to the Wednesday round ups.

I’ll probably play around with things a little bit over the coming weeks. I haven’t used photos that often before, but a little image always brightens the day. Today’s comes from Pedro Gaspa, it’s called Retorcida; here’s his Flickr site. I also might try some longer and more integrated descriptions. Yesterday’s post, Death Becomes Us, actually started as a short meditation on a collection of links, but then ballooned into something robust enough for a short post.

And if you have any ideas for how to make the Wednesday round up better, or even reads that you might want to suggest, just send them over to encultured . brain @ gmail . com – yeah, take out the spaces.

And now below – some favs, mind, misc, anthro, video games, and addiction. Doing some of my consistent interests this time round. Plus a new surprise at the end. Enjoy!

Top of the List

Paul Rozin, What Kind of Empirical Work Should We Publish, Fund and Reward?
The esteemed psychologist, who really has been one of the most interdisciplinary minds of the past couple decades about human behavior, publishes a critique (pdf) of the narrow, lab-based, experimental-focus of psychology. Descriptive work is needed! (And I’d add that ethnography is a fundamental way to begin that descriptive work.)
For commentary, see Mind Hacks and Culture & Cognition

Culture Evolves
Website for one of the Royal Society’s 350th Anniversary Summer Science Exposition, which focuses on a group of leading researchers on how culture evolves. That evolution comes in two varieties, first research that shows cultural traditions in animals and second cumulative progress and change in human culture. You can access lots of information on some of the main case studies, including chimpanzees, meerkats, and laboratory microsocieties.
Andrew Whiten, an esteemed scientist in this area, provides a nice video introduction to the whole Culture Evolves project

Stephen Colbert, Threat StandDown – Monkey Terrorism
Very humorous video over at Colbert Nation, debunking the monkeys trained by Taliban to be terrorists story promoted by, well, you can guess it…

Angela Stuesse, African Human Rights Defenders or Colonialists? Seeking Justice in Equatorial Guinea
Angela’s a new colleague of mine at USF. Here she writes about corruption and poverty – the president of Equatorial Guinea is giving 3 million dollars away for an international prize competition even as his country suffers greatly. Includes some striking photos.


Daphne Merkin, My Life in Therapy
In this NY Times Magazine essay, Merkin describes her encounters with therapy over 40 years of treatment, and reflects on what makes therapy tick and why she continues to go. This is a follow-up piece to her earlier essay, A Journey through Darkness, a haunting account of her life-long struggles with depression

Continue reading