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Waiting for the end of the world… as we know it

Waiting for the end of the world… as we know it | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Congressional reports indicate that half or more of the US population will be dead within a year from the anarchy following a major catastrophic event.

What would you do if you knew that the apocalypse was coming? Would you dispense with caution and restraint, or would you start planning for survival? A contemporary subculture of ‘preppers’ and survivalists has chosen the latter: its members, who seem to represent a diverse range of beliefs and political positions, try to prepare for any of a variety of scenarios in which the world might end.
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Great short piece on 'preppers' and the rising tide of Americans ready for the end of times. Just wish it was a longer piece!

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Opening Anthropology: An interview with Keith Hart (Part 2 of 3) | Savage Minds

Opening Anthropology: An interview with Keith Hart (Part 2 of 3) | Savage Minds | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
This interview is part of an ongoing series about open access (OA), publishing, communication, and anthropology. The first interview in this series was with Jason Baird Jackson. The second interview, with Tom Boellstorff, is here. The third installment of this OA series is with Keith Hart.* See Part 1 of this interview here.

Interviews by Ryan Anderson.
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More discussion of the relationship of private property and enclosure to the commercialisation of intellectual life.

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Boom! A Baby Boomer Memoir, 1947-2022, by Ted Polhemus

Boom! A Baby Boomer Memoir, 1947-2022, by Ted Polhemus | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
The media love publishing stories on different generations of humans. Every time a new set of teenagers comes of age, countless authors expound upon what makes this one different from the last.
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Erin Taylor reviews Ted Polhemus' memoir of life as a Boomer, including military service, grad school, life as an anthropologist and how being a boomer shaped his world.

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Pulling Together Increases Your Pain Threshold

Pulling Together Increases Your Pain Threshold | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
A study of rowers has shown that members of a team who exercised together were able to tolerate twice as much pain as when they trained on their own.
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The research found 'significant increase in the rowers’ pain threshold following exercise in both individual and group sessions (a well established response to exercise of any kind). However, after the group training there was a significantly larger increase as compared with training carried out individually.'

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Learning for the western world? The Indigenous education dilemma

Learning for the western world? The Indigenous education dilemma | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Last week the Western Australian Indigenous Labor MP, Ben Wyatt, told a conference in Perth that Aboriginal children in remote communities need a “full Western education”.Wyatt went on to say that the…...
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Bill Fogarty makes the case for locally based education so that attempts to bring positive change for Aboriginal communties don't, by necessity, undermine cultural distinctiveness. A similar approach has been successful in decreasing drop out rates and increasing student performance, even in the dominant language, in a wide range of places.

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Marcia Langton's 'quiet revolution' and what you don't hear about James Price Point

Marcia Langton's 'quiet revolution' and what you don't hear about James Price Point | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Professor Marcia Langton opened this year’s Boyer Lectures with an observation that William Stanner’s 1968 Boyer Lectures had “given credence, perhaps inadvertently” to the idea that Aboriginal people…...
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A fascinating and substantial discussion of the agreements being hammered out along the Kimberley between LNG companies and indigenous communities. An enormously contentious issue, sparking frequent heated debates among Australian anthropologists, the discussion highlights some of the ways that these agreements have actually improved. Also discusses Prof. Marcia Langton's recent Boyer Lecture.

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Is Childhood The Most Important Human Adaptation?

Is Childhood The Most Important Human Adaptation? | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Human infants require more care than they should, if we form our expectations based on closely related species (apes, and more generally, Old World simian primates). It has been said that humans are born three months early.
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Great post by Greg Laden on the evolutionary advantages of neotony and delayed developmental sequence in humans. But, as he points out, it's not just that humans have delayed or extended development: we have developmental stages not seen in other animals.

 

"Years ago, Mel Konner suggested the use of the term “childhood” as the period of development in which humans engage that is absent from the apes.... The word “childhood” existed previously, of course. The term was suggested for use as the technical term referring to the inserted or extended, and evolutionarily modified, extra five years or so of development. Primates have a juvenile stage followed by the transition to sexual maturity, but humans have a pre-juvenile stage as well. This model can be rather clumsy, but suffice it to say that human young are doing something quantitatively and qualitatively different than ape young"

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Buried in Dandora

Buried in Dandora | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Photographer Micah Albert captures the danger, filth and tragedy of Nairobi's massive dumpsite...

 

In his exhibit of images from Nairobi entitled "Buried in Dandora", photographer Micah Albert explores the 30-acre wasteland located just 2.5 miles from the central business district. About one million people live by the vast Dandora dump site that literally spills into their homes and sickens children and adults with respiratory ailments, skin disorders and other fatal diseases. Sanitation problems increase exponentially with the growing population being literally buried in garbage but sadly, Kenya's leadership shows alarming indifference to the plight of the people living in the slums of Dandora. Environmental laws, UN-commissioned health studies and calls for closure from human rights groups have largely been ignored.

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Belcher Murder, Brain Trauma, Linked? : Discovery News

Belcher Murder, Brain Trauma, Linked? : Discovery News | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Did an NFL player's profession play a role in a murder-suicide? And what do we know about the consequences of repeated head trauma?

 

Investigators believe relationship stresses, fueled by alcohol, played a role in NFL player Jovan Belcher murdering his girlfriend and then shooting himself last weekend. But because of his profession, at least some have wondered whether Belcher's behavior –- simultaneously violent yet seemingly calculated -– might be in some way connected to repeated head trauma.

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Step One in Fixing the Brain: Understand How It Works

Step One in Fixing the Brain: Understand How It Works | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
To find better means of fixing the brain, we first need to achieve something more fundamental. We must understand how it works.

 

Sebastian Seung at MIT crowd sources his cataloguing of the retina.

 

When people hear that I'm a neuroscientist, they ask me tough questions. Will grandpa learn to walk again after his stroke? How can my son overcome his dyslexia? What could have caused my best friend to become schizophrenic? When I can't give satisfying answers, they look disappointed -- and I feel embarrassed. To find better means of fixing the brain, we first need to achieve something more fundamental. We must understand how it works.

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Weird neuroscience: how education hijacked brain research

Weird neuroscience: how education hijacked brain research | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

Neuroscience: the word oozes sophistication and intelligence – the very qualities we might want to nurture in our students, our children, our general populace.

 

Maybe that’s why many people involved in education around the world are persuaded that what neuroscientists have learned about how the brain works has important and direct implications for education and classroom practice.

 

This excitement around “brain-based learning” – as if learning could occur anywhere else – and “neuroplasticity” is irrelevant at best, and at worst has been a major distraction without any practical meaning for educators.

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The Global Sociology Blog - The MOOC Experience

The Global Sociology Blog - The MOOC Experience | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

So, the MOOC is over. It has been a very interesting six week but I made it. I completed all the projects and I am now waiting for my completion certificate. So, what has this MOOC experience been like?

 

To recap, the MOOC I took was Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization, offered through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin, and taught by Alberto Cairo. I wanted to take a MOOC because it seems to be the thing right now. You can find almost every day an item about MOOCs in the Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed. I tend to be skeptical of buzzwords. So, I thought, at the very least, and before passing final judgment in MOOCs, I should take at least one. And I did not want to take a sociology course because *yawn*. I thought I might as well try to learn something in the process of testing out the format. After all, I have already let it be known at my college that I wanted to develop MOOCs there.

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Podcasts of interview at EASA Paris with Henrietta L. Moore

Podcasts of interview at EASA Paris with Henrietta L. Moore | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

Podcast of interview with Prof. Henrietta Moore, the William Wyse Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Professor Henrietta L. Moore talks about the meaning of the EASA conference theme “Uncertainty and Disquiet”, the tradition of the discipline in the UK and anthropology´s contemporary challenges. We touch on issues concerning the decline of funding, increasing protests and pressures of mobility as well as open access approaches, such as the HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory.

 

This interview with Professor Moore is the first of three episodes that were produced by Norma Deseke at the 12th conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists in Nanterre, Paris in July 2012. Further talks recorded at EASA provide interviews with Helena Wulff, Professor at the University of Stockholm and Dan Rabinowitz from Tel Aviv University. For more information about EASA please see the official website on http://www.easaonline.org/.

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You Are Not Adam Lanza’s Mother

You Are Not Adam Lanza’s Mother | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
After this blog post was republished on Huffington Post, I thought it necessary to summarise the main reasons why it’s a terrible springboard for further conversation on the subject. 1)      ...
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Great refutation of the link assumed between mental illness and violence and some of the assumptions around mental health more generally.

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Notes on Improving a Graduate-Level Course in the Principles of Physical Anthropology | Welcome to the EvoS Consortium!

Notes on Improving a Graduate-Level Course in the Principles of Physical Anthropology | Welcome to the EvoS Consortium! | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
This semester I redesigned the graduate-level physical anthropology course I teach. Last time around (which was the first time teaching a full-on grad course for me), I taught it as a seminar, based largely around my predecessor Professor Emeritus Jim Bindon‘s syllabus, in that there were articles or book chapters assigned each class with the expectation that we would all discuss them. ...
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Christopher Lynn has been really doing some great work sharing how he is teaching integrative anthropology, including neuroanthropology. This post discusses his approach to a graduate level course on the subject. Discusses different texs and his own approach to teaching, including the texts he now thinks he *should* have used in the class.

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12-year-old uses Dungeons and Dragons to help scientist dad with his research : Not Exactly Rocket Science

12-year-old uses Dungeons and Dragons to help scientist dad with his research : Not Exactly Rocket Science | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Alan Kingstone, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, had a problem: all humans have their eyes in the middle of their faces, and there’s nothing that Kingstone could do about it. His 12-year-old son, Julian Levy, had the solution: monsters. While some monsters are basically humanoid in shape, others have eyes on their hands, tails, tentacles and other unnatural body parts. Perfect. Kingstone would use monsters. And Julian would get his first publication in a journal from the Royal Society, one of the world’s most august scientific institutions.
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Not just a great paper: it's all kinds of win! Geeks will love that the D&D Monster Manual was part of the research design, and everyone else will love that a 14-year-old was the paper's first author.

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BioSocieties - Abstract of article: How cultural is /`cultural neuroscience/'[quest] Some comments on an emerging research paradigm

BioSocieties - Abstract of article: How cultural is /`cultural neuroscience/'[quest] Some comments on an emerging research paradigm | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
BioSocieties is an interdisciplinary journal for the social studies of life sciences. BioSocieties is committed to the scholarly exploration of the crucial social, ethical and policy implications of developments in the life sciences and biomedicine.
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I share the authors' concern with cultural neuroscience, although I think part of the problem is a set of pragmatic limits on the sorts of research that can be done given the distribution of the necessary research infrastructure and the questions that have shaped cultural psychology. From an anthropological perspective, the first wave of cultural neuroscience may be worrying, but I believe that constructive engagement can really help to shape a more expansive and exciting cultural neuroscience, one that I already see some positive signs of emerging.

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Analog/Digital: More open thoughts on anthropology and academia

Analog/Digital: More open thoughts on anthropology and academia | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Since my last blog post got picked up by Ryan at Savage Minds, related discussions on the subjects of academia, anthropology and disciplinary discontent have been taking place around the web, including in the comments thread on Savage Minds, the comments on this blog, the forums at the OAC, on Twitter, Facebook, Anthro-L and in a number of other places that I have not fully managed to keep track
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Fran Barone gives us a really thoughtful, messy piece on the current state of anthropology and academia:

 

'We have to be careful who and what we blame for the situation we find ourselves and academia in today. Fixating on token –isms or blaming university management's bean counters will not solve anything, as cathartic as it may be. This reasoning explains away the underlying fundamental fact that people would like to forget: we are all part of this mess. No more passing the buck. We don't need to wait for administrations to get around to being altogether nice people (don't hold your breath) anymore than they are going to wait around for us to give them a gold star for keeping our campuses running. It is far too easy to avoid finding solutions if we dismiss everything as outside of our control, just like the novice anthropologists' overzealous reliance on cultural relativism to explain the world.'

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Fame of Sharing Anthropology: Valuing and Devaluing Anthropology

Fame of Sharing Anthropology: Valuing and Devaluing Anthropology | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
How might sharing anthropology change anthropological research and presentation? An anthropology of value and the value of anthropology during devaluation.
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Greg post by Jason Antrosio that takes off from the AAA panel on 'Sharing Anthropology,' the effects of social media on our field. Covers a lot of ground, but one of the take-away lines is:

 

'Sharing is one of those words–like the words like or friend–which may be unalterably transformed by the internet age. Even after the ups and downs of KONY 2012 and internet activism, it’s notable how many people seem convinced their tweets are changing the world–that somehow sharing this, or sharing that, is in itself a political activity. Or even more grandly, that these are not simply political activities but transforming politics and human relationships.'

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Prayer bumps, Muslim haters, and the danger of scientific popularization

Prayer bumps, Muslim haters, and the danger of scientific popularization | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

Recently I came across a short article titled: The Muslim ‘prayer bump’ and Traumatic Brain Injury. Since I am interested in both religion as well as neuroscience, I eagerly read the short post. To my disappointment, I had to conclude that this was another, yet more sophisticated and insidious, attempt to demonstrate that Islam has horrible consequences for practising individuals. The gist of the article is as follows. Muslims pray five times per day, and as part of the Muslim prayer (salah), the Muslim prostrates and touches the ground with his or her forehead and nose (sujud). The article proceeds to inform the reader that in doing so, millions of Muslims develop what, in Islamic jargon, is called zebibah (Arabic for raisin), or a prayer bump. In other words, the repeated pressure of the head on the prayer mat will produce a discolouration of the skin in the area of contact, and in some cases, apparently, provoking a ‘bump’.

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Derek Summerfield – Why Export Mental Health? Transcultural Psychiatry

h/t to Eugene at Somatosphere for this video of Derek Summerfield

 

“When we globalize mental health, concepts of mental health, practices, and the ideology behind them, we are globalizing a particular way of being a person, a contemporary Western way of being a person.”

 

Derek Summerfield, honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, University of London provides a critical view on global mental health. Arguing that it is irresponsible to export Western mental health concepts and methodologies that may have questionnable results even in the West to other societies, Dr. Summerfield provides suggestions on how mental health research could move forward.

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Public Anthropology book competition

Public Anthropology book competition | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
The California Series in Public Anthropology is continuing its International Competition in 2013. It seeks proposals for short books oriented toward undergraduates that focus on how social scientis...
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A lost reputation: India banned from Olympics over corruption

A lost reputation: India banned from Olympics over corruption | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

The International Olympic Committee’s drastic step of suspending the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for alleged breaches of the Olympic Code and corrupt election processes has already sent reverberations through the Indian sports world.

 

The ban could have serious consequences for India’s already beleaguered international reputation for corruption and would prevent athletes from competing for India in future games.

 

In fact, two days after the announcement came the news that India now ranks 96th of 176 nations on a transparency and corruption perception index.

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The Flores Hobbit's face revealed

The Flores Hobbit's face revealed | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
An Australian anthropologist has used forensic facial reconstruction techniques to show, for the first time, how the mysterious Flores ‘hobbit’ might have once looked.Homo floresiensis, as the hobbit…...

 

Using techniques she has previously applied to help police solve crimes, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong and specialist facial anthropologist, Dr Susan Hayes, moulded muscle and fat around a model of the hobbit’s skull to flesh out her face.

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Lucid Dreaming Research Reveals Locus of Meta-Consciousness in the Brain

Lucid Dreaming Research Reveals Locus of Meta-Consciousness in the Brain | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

New studies into how we can awaken during dreaming are helping researchers locate the specific brain region where our lucidity originates. I'm not wholly convinced by this, especially prefaced with the weird techno-optimism of becoming 'godlike beings,' but I am interested in lucid dreaming and the neurology of consciousness.

 

In my last column, about the future evolution of technology and the approaching “Singularity,” I began with an invitation to envision what it would be like when the full-flowering of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence arrives, and we become indestructible, super-powered, godlike beings.

 

In this week’s column I reveal how you can do this tonight, if you wish, by awakening in your dreams, and taking control of your dream body as an avatar.

 

This ability to become consciously aware that one is dreaming, while it is happening, is called a “lucid dream.”

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