Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature
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Words engage the mind and heart, and quality literature and writing is the focus of this page.
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The New Myths Of Gifted Education

The New Myths Of Gifted Education | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2009) — More than 25 years after myths about gifted education were first explored, they are all still with us and new ones have been added, according to research published in the current Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ), the official journal of National Association for Gifted Children.

Providing specialized and organized gifted education courses was a relatively new concept in 1982 when an article entitled "Demythologizing Gifted Education" was first published in GCQ. Research at that time found that certain myths were widely believed, such as the idea that the gifted constituted a single, homogeneous group of learners, or that just one curriculum would serve all equally.

 

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Are Economics PhDs Learning the Wrong Thing? - BusinessWeek

Are Economics PhDs Learning the Wrong Thing? - BusinessWeek | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
Are Economics PhDs Learning the Wrong Thing?BusinessWeekBy Brendan Greeley on June 01, 2012 “Sure, I'll be your straight man,” says Gene Grossman.
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Monkey lip smacks provide new insights into the evolution of human speech | Science Codex

Monkey lip smacks provide new insights into the evolution of human speech | Science Codex | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Scientists have traditionally sought the evolutionary origins of human speech in primate vocalizations, such as monkey coos or chimpanzee hoots. But unlike these primate calls, human speech is produced using rapid, controlled movements of the tongue, lips and jaw. Speech is also learned, while primate vocalizations are mostly innately structured. New research published in Current Biology by W. Tecumseh Fitch, Head of the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna, supports the idea that human speech evolved less from vocalizations than from communicative facial gestures.

Researchers at Princeton and the University of Vienna used x-ray movies to investigate lip-smacking gestures in macaque monkeys. Lip smacks are made by many monkey species in friendly, face-to-face situations (e.g. between mothers and their infants). Although lip-smacking makes a quiet sound (similar to "p p p p"), it is not accompanied by phonation, which is produced by vocal cord vibration in the "voice box" or larynx.

Although superficially lip-smacking appears to involve simply rapid opening and closing of the lips, the x-ray movies show that lip-smacking is actually a complex behaviour, requiring rapid, coordinated movements of the lips, jaw, tongue and the hyoid bone (which provides the supporting skeleton for the larynx and tongue). Furthermore these movements occur at a rate of about 5 cycles per second, the same as speech, and are much faster than chewing movements (about 2.5 cycles per second). Thus, although lip smacking superficially resembles "fake chewing", it is in fact very different, and more like speech.

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Psychopathy: An Evolutionary Perspective Thesis Are psychopaths the result of human evolution? The goal of evolution is to maximize a specie's chance of survival, and there is evidence to show that...

Psychopathy: An Evolutionary Perspective Thesis Are psychopaths the result of human evolution? The goal of evolution is to maximize a specie's chance of survival, and there is evidence to show that... | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Thesis Are psychopaths the result of human evolution? The goal of evolution is to maximize a specie's chance of survival, and there is evidence to show that the basis of psychopathy is an heritable predisposition to the disorder, a disorder which enhances the psychopathic individual's chance of survival. Therefore, is psychopathy indeed the result of human evolution?

Why Psychopathy? There are few altruistic societies(most of which are insect societies), but is this altruism by choice or instinct? Ants, for example, live in a society based on a caste system in which ants with different roles in society are physiologically different than others. This physiological difference renders them incapable of selfishness, for each ant must depend on the others for survival, as others are depending on them. Some would argue that if humans were an altruistic creature, we may not survive. This view has been represented timelessly through many different vehicles in societies throughout the world (with the most widespread probably being anti-communism and/or capitalism). Each human must set a goal for themselves of survival, and quite often the means by which this goal is reached is selfishness, and lack of regard toward other humans, for to survive you must be strong, and this is where psychopathy comes into play. If we carefully examine the idea of a conscience we soon realize that it may not always be an advantage in terms of our species' survival. In fact, conscience could very well be the downfall of our species. It is in this sense that I put forth the proposal that psychopathy is the antidote to this human dilemna. Evolution The process of evolution is slow and gradual, changing a species in a manner so as to enhance the likelihood of survival. For an evolutionary change to occur it must be a necessity for the survival of the species. When studying human behaviour we must ask ourselves, do we truly act of free will, or are our responses to external stimuli instinctive? Do we behave instinctively? Are we born a 'certain way' or are we the product of our environment? From an evolutionary standpoint I would argue that many of our behaviours are governed by genetic predispositions but they are also subject to revision and shaping by our environment (Mealey, 1994).

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American studies out, culture and films in | The National Business Review

American studies out, culture and films in    | The National Business Review | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
The University of Canterbury has scrapped its American studies courses and several in management sciences.

Enrolments for the courses have been stopped from today.

But the university council voted against discontinuing the cultural studies, and theatre and film studies programmes.

Four staff and 24 students are affected.

The university is forecasting a $20 million loss this year, largely arising from the after-effects of the Canterbury earthquakes, including fewer students and skyrocketing insurance costs.
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Studies say atheists, believers both do good, but for different reasons

Studies say atheists, believers both do good, but for different reasons | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Atheists and others who don’t adhere to a religion often say they can be good without God. Now, three new studies appear to back them up.

 

“Across three studies, we found compassion played a much bigger role in the way that less religious people treated others. Religious people, in contrast, tended to behave as generously as they would regardless of how compassionately they felt.”

At the same time, Willer said, the view of nonreligious people as cold and amoral needs adjustment. “We find that nonreligious people do feel compassion for others, and that those feelings are strongly related to whether they choose to help others or not.”


Via Edwin Rutsch
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The Twitter Essay | Digital Pedagogy

The Twitter Essay | Digital Pedagogy | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

"I’ve recently experimented in my composition classes with an assignment I call the Twitter-essay, in which students condense an argument with evidential support into 140 characters, which they unleash upon a hashtag (or trending topic) in the Twitter-verse. Tweets often attempt to convey as much information in as few words as possible. A tweet could be seen, then, not as a paragon of the many potential horrors of student writing, but as a model of writerly concision. In composing their Twitter-essay, I have students proceed through all the steps I would have them take in writing a traditional academic essay, including brainstorming, composing, workshopping, and revising. I also have them consider and research their audience, the Twitter members engaged in discussion around a particular hashtag. Finally, I have them work dynamically with the Tweets of their peers, responding to them on Twitter and close-analyzing them in class. I ask the students to consider their word-choice, use of abbreviation, punctuation, etc. To model the activity for them and to give them a sense for the shape of a Twitter-essay, I compose my instructions for the assignment in exactly 140 characters and post them to Twitter."  Jesse Stommel

 

A beautifully written post in which Jesse shares details and illustrations of the assignment she set for her students. Worksheet provided.


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Mobile phone boom in developing world could boost e-learning

Mobile phone boom in developing world could boost e-learning | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
A study of young people Ghana, Morocco, Uganda and Maharashtra aims to encourage networks to improve education through mobile technology (@clarehanbury Grist to your mill: RT @guardiantech Mobile phone boom in developing world could boost e-learning...
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Brands are learning to "Say Cheese" - CNNMoney

Brands are learning to "Say Cheese" - CNNMoney | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
CNNMoneyBrands are learning to "Say Cheese"CNNMoneyThe meteoric rise of Pinterest, Tumbler and Instagram has changed the way marketers from Whole Foods to American Airlines think about and use images to sell their products.
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google - the first google image for every word in the dictionary

google - the first google image for every word in the dictionary | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
the massive, bound book contains 21,000 words found in an average english dictionary observed as the first image displayed when the characters are used in a google image search.
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Scholars at Harvard

Scholars at Harvard | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is the Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New Republic, The New York Times, and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, and is listed in Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals" and in Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today." His latest book is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

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10 Free Tools to Help You Organize the Internet

10 Free Tools to Help You Organize the Internet | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

A great mix of 5 old and 5 new tools. Workflowly is new to me.  Buffer is the first free one that I have seen for multiple platform management.

Ken

 

The internet is a big place. For a long time, I found the task of organizing and remembering all the articles, images, videos, posts, tweets, and sites to be formidable. The mass of information only continues to grow, but I have latched on to 10 free tools that help me organize my online journey. 5 are common, and 5 are just getting big on the scene. I hope you can find some that help you as well.


Via Donna Browne, Ken Morrison
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Social Media: Help or Hindrance to Education Reform?

Social Media: Help or Hindrance to Education Reform? | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
I recently had a lengthy discussion, ironically on Twitter, with a very tech-savvy educator friend about his concerns that big ideas in education might be getting drowned out as a result of the con...

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Why You Should Say 'Hello' to Strangers on the Street

Why You Should Say 'Hello' to Strangers on the Street | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
On sidewalk psychology. (Why You Should Say ‘Hello’ to Strangers on the Street | http://t.co/K6BtWC0g #psychology rt @TheAtlantic @PrioBook @torque10...)...

From Darin--because it's nice??
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An Ambitious Project to Turn the Literary Canon Into Comics

An Ambitious Project to Turn the Literary Canon Into Comics | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
The Western literary canon has long been debated and criticized by academics, and rightly so. Which books belong and which don't? Now The Graphic Canon: The World's Great Literature as Comics and Visuals, a three-volume series edited by Russ Kick (Seven Stories Press), which presents classic lit as comic strips, adds a bit more fuel to the intellectual fires.

"Whether we like the idea of a canon or not, there is a canon," Kick says. "There simply are certain works that have stood the test of time, that are still debated and written about in academia, that are taught in schools, that are constantly kept in print, that continue to be made into other art forms, that are referenced and alluded to in pop culture and 'high' culture, and so on."

Kick's notion of the literary canon conforms to the poet and scholar Harold Bloom's, although he has included various works that are not on Bloom's list. Peppered throughout all three volumes are some of the greatest pieces of science, erotic literature, religious/spiritual literature, children's literature, and science fiction. He also found some of his canon in Asia, India, and indigenous cultures.
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10 Ways That Mobile Learning Will Revolutionize Education | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

10 Ways That Mobile Learning Will Revolutionize Education | Co.Design: business + innovation + design | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Smartphones and tablet computers are radically transforming how we access our shared knowledge sources by keeping us constantly connected to near-infinite volumes of raw data and information. We enjoy unprecedented instant access to expertise, from informal cooking lessons on YouTube to online university courses. Every day people around the globe are absorbed in exciting new forms of learning, and yet traditional schools and university systems are still struggling to leverage the many opportunities for innovation in this area.

Recently frog has been researching how learning models are evolving--and how they can be improved--via the influence of mobile technologies. We’ve found that the education industry needs new models and fresh frameworks to avoid losing touch with the radically evolving needs of its many current and potential new constituencies. These range from a generation of toddlers just as comfortable with touchscreens as they are with books, to college-aged men and women questioning the value of physical campuses, to middle-aged and elderly professionals hoping to earn new skills in their spare time to secure a new job in turbulent economic times.

We have been focusing on the concept of mLearning--where "m" usually stands for "mobile" but also just as easily for "me.” The near-ubiquity of handheld devices and their constantly lowering costs will enable the idea of "education that you can hold in your hand," so it becomes a widespread reality in so-called developed markets and resource-challenged parts of the globe alike. Thanks to findings from a frogMob--an open research tool that allows people to upload and contribute their own observations from around the globe--along with additional research and other insights contributed by our partners at the World Economic Forum, we have arrived at 10 key themes that are likely to drive the development of mLearning initiatives in innovative directions.

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Study: Nature Inspires More Creative Minds

Study: Nature Inspires More Creative Minds | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

The more you get away from the stresses of daily life and the more time you spend outdoors, the greater your level of creativity. That's the conclusion from a new study that found a team of backpackers were 50 percent more creative after they had spent four days on the trail.

The study — which has not yet been published in a scientific journal — was conducted by Ruth Ann Atchley, department chair and associate professor of cognitive/clinical psychology at the University of Kansas. It was discussed in the Wall Street Journal this weekend.

"There's a growing advantage over time to being in nature," Atchley said in a press release about the research last month. "We think that it peaks after about three days of really getting away, turning off the cellphone, not hauling the iPad and not looking for Internet coverage. It's when you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment that you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works. "

Atchley and her colleagues gave a standard test of creativity called the Remote Associates Test to four groups of backpackers, totaling 60 people, before they left on long hikes. A second set of 60 backpackers got the same test, but they took it four days into their hikes. The second group of hikers — the ones deep into their nature journeys — scored nearly 50 percent higher in creativity. The results were the same regardless of the participants' ages, which ranged from 18 into their 60s. The research was conducted in partnership with the outdoor leadership nonprofit Outward Bound.

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Tiny Genetic Variations Led to Big Changes in the Evolving Brain

Tiny Genetic Variations Led to Big Changes in the Evolving Brain | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
Changes to just three genetic letters among billions contributed to the evolution and development of the mammalian motor sensory circuits and laid the groundwork for the defining characteristics of the human brain, Yale University researchers report.
In a study published in the May 31 issue of the journal Nature, Yale researchers found that a small, simple change in the mammalian genome was critical to the evolution of the corticospinal neural circuits. This circuitry directly connects the cerebral cortex, the conscious part of the human brain, with the brainstem and the spinal cord to make possible the fine, skilled movements necessary for functions such as tool use and speech. The evolutionary mechanisms that drive the formation of the corticospinal circuit, which is a mammalian-specific advance, had remained largely mysterious.
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Psychologist Takes a Deep Look Behind Batman's Mask in New Book

Psychologist Takes a Deep Look Behind Batman's Mask in New Book | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

G: Why did you choose Batman, as opposed to other comic book characters?

 

TL: He's the superhero without superpowers. His personality and behavior define him more than anything else. Same goes for his enemies. Their personalities, their habits and quirks, define most of them, not superpowers.

 

Superman is worth analyzing, as are Wonder Woman, Captain America, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and every hero Stan Lee and his collaborators ever created, but the very first superhero to get his own psychology book had to be the most famous one with no superpowers and no fantastic origin. Admittedly, that's the explanation I came up after I'd already embarked on this path. The plain fact is that Batman was my childhood hero, and this is about bringing together all my life's greatest interests -- psychology and superheroes, education and entertainment, and my need to write.


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Kansas pastor calls on U.S. government to kill LGBT people | The Raw Story

Kansas pastor calls on U.S. government to kill LGBT people | The Raw Story | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians.

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Ways for students to learn new vocabulary words quickly - by Jose Juan Gutierrez - Helium

It is little effective to try to learn vocabulary by memorization, without giving the student the chance to relate the new words visually and in a..., Jose Juan Gutierrez (http://t.co/tvh1Knix How ...
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Lost in translation: The hilarious foreign signs that don¿t get their English quite right

Lost in translation: The hilarious foreign signs that don¿t get their English quite right | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it
Everyone has come across signs on their travels that are clumsily translated into English. Now a website has compiled a list of the most hilarious, including the bra in Japan advertised as 'dairy comfort'.
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Darin L. Hammond's Home

Darin L. Hammond's Home | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

"I am a master professor of English and Humanities, applying new technology, methods, pedagogy, and cognitive science to my student centered, active classrooms. My skill sets include advanced creative, nonfiction, and academic writing; Spanish reading and writing; technology, social media, and computer applications, and I apply these in communications, public relations, web applications, social media, technical/business writing, and teaching environments. Please feel free to explore my pages, and return soon as it is always under construction and remodeling."

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Evolutionary Epistemology

Evolutionary Epistemology | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

Evolutionary epistemology is an approach that sees knowledge in the first place as a product of the variation and selection processes characterizing evolution. It notes, first, that the original function of knowledge is to make survival and reproduction of the organism that uses it more likely. Thus, organisms with better knowledge of their environments would have been preferred to organisms with less adequate knowledge. In that way, the phylogenetical evolution of knowledge depends on the degree to which its carrier survives natural selection through its environment.
Second, evolutionary epistemology notes that the individual, ontogenetic development of knowledge is also the result of variation and selection processes, but this time not of whole organisms, but of "ideas" or pieces of potential knowledge. Thus, the typical pattern of scientific discovery is the generation of hypotheses by various means (variation), and the weeding out of those hypotheses that turn out to be inadequate (selection).

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The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity

The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity | Empathy, Evolution, and American Literature | Scoop.it

In terms of intellectual fulfillment, creativity, networking, impact, productivity, and overall benefit to my scholarly life, blogging wins hands down. I have written books, produced online courses, led research efforts, and directed a number of university projects. While these have all been fulfilling, blogging tops the list because of its room for experimentation and potential to connect to timely intelligent debate. That keeps blogging at the top of the heap. […]
by Martin Weller via @Ideas_Factory

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