March 31, 2010
March 29, 2010
March 28, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 25, 2010
Experience changes perception. Ideally, first-hand experience. My Brownie troop leader admitted to me, a second-grader, that until she found out I was Jewish, her perception was that all Jews had horns and tails. My perception of prison was altered by my spending a day inside the New Jersey State Prison.
Short of first-hand experience, virtual experience results in behavior change. This is why video games are proving effective in helping adolescent cancer and diabetes patients stick to their drug regimes.
The next-best thing to being there? Being transported into a situation through an engaging story. A story with a protagonist with whom you can identify; a story with just enough detail that you can imagine yourself seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting what the protagonist is experiencing.
The April issue of the Harvard Business Review contains an interview with Jane Goodall, which touches on the issue of changing people's perceptions:
HBR: Your work requires persuading people to change when it may not be in their immediate best interest to do so. How do you do that?
Goodall: It's important to tell stories. Sometimes you're told you'll never change so-and-so's mind. But if you can be one-on-one with that person and tell a couple of stories....You usually can't change people's minds by the intellect. You've got to find something that reaches into their hearts. ...
HBR: How do you stay hopeful?
Goodall: ...[P]eople say you can't change somebody who's older than such and such an age, because they're set in their ways. It's not true. If you can find a story, if you can make them think and not be defensive, sometimes the toughest person can change.
March 23, 2010
Breakfasted; walked dog.
Walked dog; breakfasted.
March 21, 2010
March 20, 2010
Flash turns day into night.
March 18, 2010
"The female brain wants the hope of love and commitment before having sex," Brizendine writes, "but for men, sex often comes first." News bulletin: Scientists Discover What Any Woman in a Bar Could Have Told Them.
Feldhahn attributes many of the differences in men's and women's behavior on the job to the corpus collosum, which connects the brain's right and left hemispheres. According to one study, it's 25 percent smaller in men, with more isolated gray matter, which facilitates compartmentalizing. In women, a greater concentration of white matter relays more thoughts across various areas of the brain and makes for more efficient multitasking.
Biomorphic lamps, off-the-wall rooms, rodent bow ties, lo-fi rock-band T-shirts, untailored tailoring and John Lennon’s nonconformist cool all get their moment in the fashion sun. [links in original].
March 16, 2010
Cultural neuroscience wouldn't be making waves if it found neurobiological bases only for well-known cultural differences. It is also uncovering the unexpected. For instance, a 2006 study found that native Chinese speakers use a different region of the brain to do simple arithmetic (3 + 4) or decide which number is larger than native English speakers do, even though both use Arabic numerals. The Chinese use the circuits that process visual and spatial information and plan movements (the latter may be related to the use of the abacus). But English speakers use language circuits. It is as if the West conceives numbers as just words, but the East imbues them with symbolic, spatial freight....
Not to be the skunk at this party, but I think it's important to ask whether neuroscience reveals anything more than we already know from, say, anthropology. For instance, it's well known that East Asian cultures prize the collective over the individual, and that Americans do the opposite. Does identifying brain correlates of those values offer any extra insight? After all, it's not as if anyone thought those values are the result of something in the liver.
...[C]ultural neuro-science does advance understanding. ...Especially when it shows how fundamental cultural differences are—so fundamental, perhaps, that "universal" notions such as human rights, democracy, and the like may be no such thing.
March 12, 2010
"The secret of happiness is to own a convertible and a lake. If the sun shines, you can ride around in your convertible. If it rains, you can say, 'At least the rain will fill up my lake.' "
March 11, 2010
March 10, 2010
March 9, 2010
"The main reason for the virtual disappearance of discourse on love ... is the enormous prestige of science in our age, and science's propensity to value only that which it can explain."
"But what the old time masters had / Is what I feel for you / Love is love and doesn't change / In a century or two / If some way they had seen and knew / How it would be for me and you / They'd wish for love like yours / And they would wish for love like mine / Before my time / Before my time."
March 8, 2010
"Neuroscientists and men, women, and children the world over seem to agree that, despite being largely similar, the average human male brain is different from the average human female brain in important and predictable ways."
March 7, 2010
March 6, 2010
March 5, 2010
March 4, 2010
I fear the term "story" is being used so broadly as to render it meaningless.Click here to read the full post.
Messages are not stories. Statements of belief and opinions are not stories. And, most of the time, answers to direct questions are not stories.
Many well-intentioned professionals are rushing out and thinking they are asking for stories, when they are not. What gets shared as a result of their efforts is often called story, even when it is not.
March 3, 2010
March 2, 2010
- Items you definitely need and cannot do without.
- Items you might need, but could likely do without.
- Items you definitely do not need, but would like to have along (e.g., guitar, camera, or frisbee).
- Take half of the items from the first pile;
- none of the items from the second pile;
- and one item from the third pile.
- ► 2014 (44)
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- don't laugh
- Look, ... that's just annoying.
- google translates Einstein for you, on demand
- What does it say at your supermarket's express lan...
- Only Experience Changes Perception
- adventures in minimalism
- "Flash turns day into night."
- "Scientists Discover What Any Woman in a Bar Could...
- Rodent bow ties?
- Primer on Cultural Neuroscience
- Tomorrow (Saturday) at ten!
- on happiness
- two on love
- Ah, but how?
- on the interrelatedness & interdependence of all t...
- unless the fence is closed, rather than straight
- your end-of-the-week lecture on the human brain
- What, Why & How Story Matters
- "... a skyscraper made of..."
- having nothing to do with Gov. Mark Sanford
- ▼ March (24)