Archive for December, 2015


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…I have no idea how Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G character sneaked through my gate to ask Noam outrageous things like, “How many words does you know?” and “What is some of them?” I do remember that Noam came to me afterward looking dazed. “No more men in gold suits,” he said, sighing…

::: click on through for piece in full @ The Chronicle of Higher Education :::

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PAUL BLOOM

DEC 17, 2015    SCIENCE

Can psychological research change your life? Most of the time, no—findings by psychologists don’t usually bear on everyday concerns. My colleagues at Yale, for instance, study topics such as the neuroscience of memory, how babies reason about social groups, and decision-making in psychopaths. Such studies are intended to explore how the mind works, and while their findings might ultimately make the world a better place—at least this is what we say in our grant proposals—that’s not their immediate focus…

::: click on through to the Atlantic for piece in full + open source :::

Paul Bloom is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. He is the author of a forthcoming book about empathy.

The Powers of Ten films are two short American documentary films written and directed by Charles and Ray Eames. Both works depict the relative scale of the Universe according to an order of magnitude (or logarithmic scale) based on a factor of ten, first expanding out from the Earth until the entire universe is surveyed, then reducing inward until a single atom and its quarks are observed.

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Andrea Germanos, staff writer
One presidential hopeful’s assessment is that the child care system in the U.S. is disastrous. And based on the findings of a new survey, many working parents in the U.S. have reason to agree. The Pew Research Center…
Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
Along with a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep government funded…
Nadia Prupis, staff writer
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) on Thursday endorsed Sen. Bernie…

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The risk of Syria becoming a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia became real last week when Turkey and Syrian jihadists used U.S.-supplied weaponry to shoot down a Russian warplane and rescue helicopter, killing two Russians…

Belatedly, at a sidebar meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Paris climate summit on Monday, President Barack Obama reportedly expressed regret for last week’s killing of a Russian pilot who was shot down by a Turkish air-to-air missile fired by a U.S.-supplied F-16 and the subsequent death of a Russian marine on a search-and-rescue mission, apparently killed by a U.S.-made TOW missile.

But Obama administration officials continued to take the side of Turkey, a NATO “ally” which claims implausibly that it was simply defending its air space and that the Russian pilot of the SU-24 warplane had ignored repeated warnings. According to accounts based on Turkish data, the SU-24 may have strayed over a slice of Turkish territory for 17 seconds. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Facts Back Russia on Turkish Attack.”]

Immediately after the incident on Nov. 24, Obama offered a knee-jerk justification of Turkey’s provocative action which appears to have been a deliberate attack on a Russian warplane to deter continued bombing of Syrian jihadists, including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an Islamist, has supported various jihadists as his tip of the spear in his goal to overthrow the secular regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad…

::: click here or above for piece in full + open source @ Common Dreams :::

ray_mcgovernRay McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Marina Abramović’s art pushes the boundary between audience and artist in pursuit of heightened consciousness and personal change. In her groundbreaking 2010 work, “The Artist Is Present,” she simply sat in a chair facing her audience, for eight hours a day … with powerfully moving results. Her boldest work may still be yet to come — it’s taking the form of a sprawling art institute devoted to experimentation and simple acts done with mindful attention. “Nothing happens if you always do things the same way,” she says. “My method is to do things I’m afraid of, the things I don’t know, to go to territory that nobody’s ever been.

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Performance artist…
In her performances she’s been cut, burned, and nearly shot — but Marina Abramović’s boldest work yet is a gargantuan institute dedicated to transformation through art.
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