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The Haves and the Have-Nots

The Haves and the Have-Nots | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
A chart showing that America's poorest are about as rich as India's richest.
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Brief review of, including a great chart from, a recent book by economist Branko Milanovic that highlights the global income inequality in particularly vivid ways.

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Anthropology News - 2012 AAA Photo Contest Winners

Anthropology News - 2012 AAA Photo Contest Winners | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
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AAA congratulates 2012 Photo Contest Winners Pat Foley, Drew Gerkey, Matthew Michel Gervais, Ann Gold, Matt Hale, Amir Hampel, Tracey Heatherington, Andrea Heckman, Jesse Karnes, Barry Kass, Damon Lynch, Julie Maldonado, Mark Moritz, Christopher Morris, Stephen Pavey, Roberto Mesquita Ribeiro, Bonnie Ruder, Amina Tawasil, Matthew Trew and Ming Xue.

 

Some really wonderful photos, a reminder of the visual richness of our field(s).

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TEDxObserver - Robin Dunbar - Can the internet buy you more friends?

Robin Dunbar Anthropologist, evolutionary psychologist Robin, currently director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology of the Universit...
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Dunbar uses Facebook data on the people we actually talk to online to argue that 'Dunbar's Number' -- the idea that humans deal best groups with around 150 people -- applies even online. Of course, this also assumes that we have no, or very few, non-Facebook linked friends, and that technology does not affect us socially, although it has obvious effects on other dimensions of human life.

I'll admit, I find Dunbar's Number (he actually uses the expression) problematic for a number of reasons, probably because he seems to really want to over-extend it to every area of social life and so easily dismisses counter-vailing data. I do agree, however, that cognitive limits do affect us socially, but it's also the case that we come up with lots of ways of simplifying complicated cognitive activities to get better at them (for example, treating people as members of a group to simplify how we relate to them). That is, I'm not persuaded that many 'limits' on cognition are quite as hard as some evolutionary psychologists think.

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luiy's curator insight, January 3, 2013 6:12 AM
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Dunbar uses Facebook data on the people we actually talk to online to argue that 'Dunbar's Number' -- the idea that humans deal best groups with around 150 people -- applies even online. Of course, this also assumes that we have no, or very few, non-Facebook linked friends, and that technology does not affect us socially, although it has obvious effects on other dimensions of human life. 

I'll admit, I find Dunbar's Number (he actually uses the expression) problematic for a number of reasons, probably because he seems to really want to over-extend it to every area of social life and so easily dismisses counter-vailing data. I do agree, however, that cognitive limits do affect us socially, but it's also the case that we come up with lots of ways of simplifying complicated cognitive activities to get better at them (for example, treating people as members of a group to simplify how we relate to them). That is, I'm not persuaded that many 'limits' on cognition are quite as hard as some evolutionary psychologists think.

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Culture, bereavement, and psychiatry : The Lancet

Culture, bereavement, and psychiatry. By - Arthur Kleinman
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Kleinman:

'My own experience, together with my reading of the literature, suggests caution is needed before we answer yes and turn ordinary grieving into a suitable target of therapeutic intervention. My grief, like that of millions of others, signalled the loss of something truly vital in my life. This pain was part of the remembering and maybe also the remaking. It punctuated the end of a time and a form of living, and marked the transition to a new time and a different way of living.... What would it mean to reframe that significance as medical? For me and my family, and I intuit for many, many others such a cultural reframing would seem inappropriate or even a technological interference with what matters most in our lives.'

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The Crisis in Higher Education | MIT Technology Review

The Crisis in Higher Education | MIT Technology Review | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Online versions of college courses are attracting hundreds of thousands of students, millions of dollars in funding, and accolades from university administrators. Is this a fad, or is higher education about to get the overhaul it needs?
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It's not the first time that educators have feared that technology will make them obsolete. The article is from September, but well worth the read.

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Gun Violence Anthropology: The AAA and the NRA | Anthropology Report

Gun Violence Anthropology: The AAA and the NRA | Anthropology Report | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
What does anthropology reveal about gun violence? Reflections between tweets from the American Anthropological Association and the NRA gun defense.
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Short but well-linked post on the anthropological response to Newtown, preppers, and lousy arguments used by gun rights advocates about human nature. Jason Antrosio has found some excellent posts at less-trafficked sites and pointed us to them.

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The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012 | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012 | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Recent years have brought considerable riches for those of us interested in human evolution and 2012 proved no exception. New fossils, archaeological finds and genetic analyses ...
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Kate Wong gives us her list of the discoveries that most caught her interest in human evolution in 2012.

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Sworn Virgins: Men by Choice in the Balkans

Sworn Virgins: Men by Choice in the Balkans | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
“Sworn virgins” are Albanian women who decide to ignore their female identity and live as men in the Balkans.
Greg Downey's insight:

Great photo essay by Daphnee Denis on 'sworn virgins,' women who become social men in Albania. The photos are fascinating, but I'd also love to see video, to see how the 'sworn virgins' move and comport themselves. The portraits are well worth a look.

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Neurology News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9

Neurology News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9 | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it

Phantom Eye Syndrome: When People Without Eyes Can Still See. 

We've all heard of phantom limb syndrome, but what if you lose something less mechanical? A much more complicated syndrome out there - one that produces a phantom eye.

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The punch line is that in some of the most extreme cases, one way that a sufferer can be distracted from phantom perceptions of the ey is to run an electrical current into the eye socket. Or, as the author, Howie Le, puts it: 'They taser their phantom eye into submission.'

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The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2012

The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2012 | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
More than any year before, 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture. From mind-controlled robot hands to cyborg animals to TV specials to triumphant books, brain breakthroughs were tearing up the airwaves and the internets.
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It's getting serious. The best technological breakthroughs in brain science of the year, including some stories we've covered over at PLOS Neuroanthropology.

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luiy's curator insight, December 26, 2012 4:52 AM

1. Videos of Thoughts

Our most exciting neuroscience discovery of 2012 is also one of the most controversial. A team of researchers from the Gallant lab at UC Berkeley discovered a way to reconstruct videos of entire scenes from neural activity in a person’s visual cortex. Those on the cautionary side emphasize that activity in the visual cortex is fairly easy to decode (relatively speaking, of course) and that we’re still a long, long way from decoding videos of imaginary voyages or emotional palettes. In fact, from one perspective, this isn’t much different from converting one file format into another. On the other hand, though, these videos offer the first hints of the technological reality our children may inhabit: A world where the boundaries between the objective external world and our individual subjective experiences are gradually blurred and broken down. When it comes to transforming our relationship with our own consciousness – and those of the people around us – it doesn’t get much more profound than that.

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Revisioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health

Revisioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
The concept of mental illness in the West is largely shaped by the DSM diagnostic model. The DSM categorization of psychiatric disorders has been useful in driving research, and psychiatric neurosc...
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Humanities Research Vol XVIII. No. 1. 2012 - ANU E Press - ANU

Humanities Research Vol XVIII. No. 1. 2012 - ANU E Press - ANU | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Citation for issue 'Humanities Research Vol XVIII. No. 1. 2012' of journal 'Humanities Research Journal Series'.
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Free online issue of Humanities Research on ethnographic film.

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Explainer: the brain

Explainer: the brain | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
If I had been asked 15 years ago to write a short piece about what the different parts of the brain did, it would have been a fairly straightforward task.
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Really nice general discussion at highest level of brain organisation. Points out the interactional and network model of the brain. If you're a follower of neuroanthropology, this is probably the article you give your nephew or mother if they keep asking you about whether you're 'left brained' or 'right brained'.

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Anthropology film festival accepting documentaries [Worldwide] | IJNet

Anthropology film festival accepting documentaries [Worldwide] | IJNet | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
IJNet.org is the premier global website for journalists and media managers to learn about training and networking opportunities. The site and its weekly e-mail bulletin reports on the latest innovations, resources and awards.
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The eight edition of the First Russian Anthropological Film Festival (RAFF), organized by the Ural Federal University and Ethnographic Bureau, aims to promote the integration of Russian anthropological cinema into the world of cinematographic community.

 

DEADLINE IS 14 JANUARY!

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2012′s SMH (also known as “Africa is a Country”) Moments

2012′s SMH (also known as “Africa is a Country”) Moments | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
There are times we shake our heads or roll our eyes. When we could not invent some of the things that we spot in the media. For some reason especially New York Times journalists can’t help th...
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The year in bad journalism and other insensitivity towards the great 'country,' Africa. Some absolutely painful groaners in this one, but the worst has got to be celebrities lecturing Nigerians that they really need a Lagos version of Rodeo Drive to stop capital flight. Yeah, that'll do it.

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Professor spent time with lowriders in Texas

Professor spent time with lowriders in Texas | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
LAWRENCE — When Ben Chappell was a graduate student in the anthropology and folklore program in the mid- to late 1990s at the University of Texas in Austin, he became fascinated with the lowriders he would see cruising the streets or parked in lots...
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Profile of Ben Chappell and his new book on lowriders.

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Bring the noise: has technology made us scared of silence?

Bring the noise: has technology made us scared of silence? | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
“When there is no noise in my room it scares me”, emails one of my undergraduate students.
Greg Downey's insight:

Fascinating discussion of the 'third parent,' the presence of media in the home. Of special interest to me is the way that the students report to have adapted to constant low levels of mass mediated noise, so much so that silence disturbed them. Would be fascinating to see changes in capacities for attention -- I know that, for me, a Gen X geezer, it's virtually impossible to write seriously or edit with competition from any coherent noise.

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Defining Culture Project: Call for Definitions

It’s been sixty years since Kroeber and Kluckhohn published their compendium of definitions of culture. I thought it might be fun to engage with this project again. So if you have a favorite ...

Via DrMarranci
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Gabriele Marranci and I discovered that we do not agree on the strategy to use when dealing with the conceptual problems surrounding the culture concept. Gabriele tended to favour -- at least as I understood him -- getting rid of the concept. I tend to favour recognizing that it is too broad, that the concept covers too much ground and attempts to solve too many distinctive problems simultaneously. But I still strongly favour the concept, especially as a way of fighting both genetic determinism and universalism.

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DrMarranci's curator insight, December 25, 2012 8:21 PM

Maybe we need to understand again the world and our environment by avoiding  the concept of culture? 

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Kenyan Women Create Their Own 'Geek Culture' : NPR

Kenyan Women Create Their Own 'Geek Culture'  : NPR | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Say the words "high-tech startup" and chances are you picture a world that's mostly white, male and set in Silicon Valley. Now, a group in Nairobi, Kenya, is working to get more female entrepreneurs into the male-dominated world of tech.
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Women programming mobile apps and contributing to Kenya's push to use high tech to become a 'middle-class' country. Short piece but interesting stuff on how high tech is being used to solve local problems.

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Top Books of 2012: Human Evolution and Anthropology

Top Books of 2012: Human Evolution and Anthropology | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Jump to another list: Environmental and Climate Change; Evolution; Historical Geology; History of Science; Palaeontology; Zoology These are books about human evolution, anthropology, and related su...
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Marc Srour picks his 10 favourite books on human evolution at the blog, Teaching Biology. Some noteworthy choices and some familiar covers, but also a couple of surprises I'm going to have to look for.

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Michael Coe reads from 'Breaking The Maya Code' | AAAS MemberCentral

Michael Coe reads from 'Breaking The Maya Code' | AAAS MemberCentral | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in what is now modern day Mexico and central America, they encountered the Mayan civilization.
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Podcast of Michael Coe, emeritus professor at Yale University, reading from his book on the story of how Mayanists eventually cracked Mayan orthography. The passage in the podcast focuses on 'Russian scholar Tat’yana Proskuriakova, who in the 1950s and 60s discovered that the writing on the monumental stela and other buildings was historical, dealing with the birth, accession, and death dates for the Maya rulers. With further analyzation, she was able to demonstrate a sequence of seven rulers who ruled over a span of two hundred years.'

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Steven Feld Jazz Cosmopolitanism Interview, IASPM-US Site

Steven Feld Jazz Cosmopolitanism Interview, IASPM-US Site | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Steven Feld chats about his most recent book, Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra, as well as Sound and Sentiment, with Mark Pedelty for the IASPM-US Interview Series.
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Hard to believe it's been thirty years since Sound and Sentiments was published!

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Semi-Automatic Anthropology: Confronting Complexity, Anthropologically

Semi-Automatic Anthropology: Confronting Complexity, Anthropologically | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
It really is not so complicated. The massacres are made possible by semi-automatic weapons. The answer is simple: a semi-automatic weapons buyback.
Greg Downey's insight:

The discussion of Newtown in the anthropology blogosphere is great, although I still get sick if I think about what happened too much. Jason Antrosio adds his view, responding to Daniel's post over at Neuroanthropology.

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Newtown and Violence – No Easy Answers | Neuroanthropology

Newtown and Violence – No Easy Answers | Neuroanthropology | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
I just dropped my two young children at elementary school. They were bright and smiling, one off to practice handbells for a Christmas concert, another to chat with friends before the first bell.

Neither noticed the police car newly parked beside the school. Neither had a penny for my thoughts, of what it must have been like for those parents in Newtown, dropping off beloved children and then not having them only a few minutes later.
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I love Daniel's stuff, but he even surprised me with this one. Powerful, thoughtful, patient reflections on mental health, violence, and how we think about them. It's not enough to condemn 'evil' when we see it but to understand how it is nurtured within our society.

But I still think, especially from my perspective overseas, that gun culture in the US is a kind of national insanity...

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An astrobiological view of cancer's evolutionary origin

An astrobiological view of cancer's evolutionary origin | Neuroanthropology | Scoop.it
Life originated on Earth about four billion years ago. Death, sex and multicellularity came along about a billion years later.According to our new atavistic model, cancer came with multicellularity…
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A fascinating theory that cancer is not just a random mutation but a cellular atavism, a revival of old powers of cells that are counter-productive when they are part of larger cultures of tissue in a multi-celled organism. I'm going to have to really think about this one, but it is bloody fascinating.

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