FastCoDesign: Want To Be More Creative? Your Personality May Hold The Key.
Atlantic: Don’t Call Kids ‘Smart’.
PRI: Two psychologists say they’ve identified a long-lost (and misattributed) work of Shakespeare’s.
I’ll wait for other corroboration.
c|net: Professor warns robots could keep us in coffins on heroin drips.
NY Times: ISIS and the Lonely Young American.
Exactly what I’ve been concerned about. I suppose ‘pen pals’ no longer exist? The last thing I want to see is a young, lonely, hormonal teen be used by these folks. We need to give them alternatives. Now.
Luminous Landscape: A New Perspective On Landscape Photography.
“So why would any photographer in their right mind choose to place Rufus the homeless rock below a background of inspirational light and land? The answer is simple: that photographer is addicted to a wide-angle lens.” Rufus the homeless rock! I love it. So very true. And Percy, the artful dead plant. Wally, the meaningless puddle of water. And so many others.
Just acquired a new ‘follower’ on Twitter ...
Someone who follows 198,000 people. How is that even useful? I know, I know ... encouraging oblige-o-follows, and then letting large numbers make you seem important. Still. Probably has a list with the 25 people actually followed.
Open Culture: Zen Guru Alan Watts Helps Us Overcome the Fear of Dying.
SciAm: The Isolating Effects of Anxiety.
Aeon: How to design a metaphor.
“It was the Princeton psycholinguist Sam Glucksberg who in 2003 argued that metaphors are really categorisation proposals. Provocations, you might call them. You’re suggesting that one thing belongs with another.” Mr Glucksberg! Lived right across the street from me on Aiken Avenue. He had a great black beard, and would bike to PU every day. On occasion, I’d see a large RV parked over there ... they used it, I believe, to live-poll folks at events.
NY Times: Surveillance States (june 11).
I was annoyed when I went to the local library to query my past book-borrowing; I was told: “We don’t keep your borrowing history - patrons are concerned about privacy and government surveillance.” So much for that novel I hadn’t finished, and wanted to. Our local library’s small ... I can’t imagine anyone getting chucked in Guantanamo for reading “Lad of Sunnybank” or Mark Twain.
PS Mag: Even Atheists Intuitively Believe in a Creator.
Guardian.UK: New study claims to find genetic link between creativity and mental illness.
WSJ: Liberals Make Big Comeback in 2015, Poll Analysis Finds.
“A new analysis of Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll data finds a marked increase in the share of registered voters identifying themselves as liberals, and an even bigger drop in the share saying they are conservatives.” I seem to recall from earlier decades, police brutality was a consistent ‘liberalizer’ of opinion.
Vox: Most gun deaths are suicides, not homicides.
“Ken Baldwin, who survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, once told the New Yorker’s Tad Friend that as he was falling, he ‘instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable — except for having just jumped.’” Perhaps that is the best definition of ‘Hell on Earth.’
SciAm: Harsh, Critical Parenting May Lead to Anxiety Disorder Symptoms.
NPR/Interview: Wednesday Martin, Author Of ‘Primates Of Park Avenue’.
“We talk a lot about power dynamics in the workplace but we don’t talk about power dynamics in the other workplace, where so many women spend their time: the world of the stay-at-home mom. And in that world, relationships between women are rife with power dynamics.” Always have been, IMHO.
NY Times: Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers.
God help them if they get addicted to benzos ... probably all too easy, in a college environment.
The Register.UK: Creationist - ‘The Flintstones’ was an accurate portrayal of dino-human coexistence
Now I feel cheated I didn’t have a pet brontosaurus.
PS Mag: No to Vaccination - A Cultural Explanation.
“Opposition to vaccination becomes, for many, intertwined with their perception of themselves as intelligently skeptical (a.k.a., superior) parents.” Los Alamos has this problem. Tons of PhD’s, tons of antivaxxers.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Mortal Motivation.
“While thinking about death directly [snip] folks do rational things to get away from it, like trying to get healthy. It’s when death lurks on the fringes of consciousness that they cling to worldviews and seek self-esteem.”
Pacific Standard: Creative Thinking Can Inspire Unethical Behavior.
“According to a research team led by Ke Michael Mai, a creative frame of mind enables one to come up with compelling justifications for bad behavior.” Someone, somewhere is going to start using this as an excuse to further eliminate the liberal arts, just watch.
In These Times: Inside the Happiness Racket.
“The happiness industry exonerates capitalism. It’s not that the job is underpaid, the hours unreasonable or the product pointless. It’s that the employee is just unhappy. She should be encouraged to eat better, exercise and practice mindfulness. Or, if those things fail, seek a pharmaceutical remedy.” It’s enjoyable to be happy. Melancholy in solitude (*not* depression or sadness) tends to make me superhumanly creative. And I’m not the only one.
NY Mag: This Is Why You’re Terrible With Names.
“Names are ‘completely arbitrary, and hold no specific information in them’ ...” So, it’s not early-onset Alzheimer’s.
A List Apart: Meta-Moments - Thoughtfulness by Design.
Funny; Inbox by Google encouraged my signup. Once allowed in, I looked at the page, and realized it was unsuitable for my general use, so I went back to plain Gmail. I didn’t even notice the ‘friction’ - it was another new service that I thought I should be familiar with, in order to give my clients better recommendations.
ALA will, hopefully, forgive my using this article as a lever for a larger beef.
There are a subset of triggers that generate predictable behaviors - psychological stimuli, perhaps - that we all share. Just about every sales and marketing professional uses them.
Example: Give a person an unsolicited gift, they’ll feel obligated to the gift-giver. The gift-giver can then ask for outrageous payback and it will very often elicit amazing results. Note that the gift-giver has all the control over that transaction. This works consistently even with total strangers.
Another: Realty companies keep a couple of overpriced horrors on their listing services. When you come in to purchase a house, they run you through the horrors in your price-range first, setting up a psychological state of desperation, and then take you to the inventory they actually want to move. Generally a couple will seek to purchase the first non-horror they encounter, priced strategically just above what they should be able to afford.
There are thousands upon thousands of books on these techniques. Carrot and stick. Pig in a poke (cat in a bag). More. You can put new names to them if you want; the same old psych manipulation. Seeing websites resort to these timeworn tactics just means the internet has matured to parity with ‘reality’. Pull the Mad Men era salesmen out of retirement - they’re relevant again, online.