At Neuroanthropology, Greg Downey commented on the site and also complimented Medina on his accessible way of presenting information.
The website contains a wealth of Flash-based audio-visual elements from the book, bibliography, graphics, and a host of other resources. I’m struck by several things about it; first, Medina is very savvy — he’s pitched this book brilliantly for a general audience. I don’t mean that as a backhanded compliment; in fact, it’s something that I aspire to in my own writing, and it’s educational to see such a good practitioner. Second, he’s done a great job of distilling some complicated ideas into bullet-point amenable, succinct statements.
Interested in a good, non-technical, summary of the implications of recent brain science in our daily lives? Biologist John Medina offers that in his article below (as part of our Author Speaks Series) and in his new book: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. Enjoy!
A leading member of the legal blogosphere (not to mention the swami and guru of going it solo) is featured in an article today in Legal Times. The story begins:
There's no name on the door to Carolyn Elefant's K Street office in Washington, D.C. In the waiting room, a chubby man slouches on a black leather armchair, dozing. Elefant appears, smiling and gracious. She takes us on a slightly confusing circular journey through the halls before she finds the conference room where she left her coffee cup and briefcase.
The fact is this isn't really Elefant's base of operations anymore, although she occasionally uses the conference room to meet clients downtown. After her second daughter was born, Elefant started working out of her Bethesda, Md., home. But her business card still lists this K Street address, and her Web site describes her practice as "located in our nation's capital with easy access to the federal agencies and Congress."
Welcome to the pieced-together world of the solo practitioner. While some may shy away from its less-than-glamorous trappings, others are attracted to the idea of building a career unique to their own interests, time constraints and even whims, without the restrictions a larger firm might impose.
Uh, oh. The dog is supposed to be saying SMELL! (At the blog site, the last two letters are missing. I believe they show fine in readers.) In the upcoming year, I need to learn how to change the size of images. I like this dog so well that I am leaving him here, missing letters and all.
Another year? Today idealawg is two! Time has flown like a speeding rocket. The blogoshere is a wonderful, welcoming, stimulating place, and time certainly does fly when I am having fun. This morning I am very grateful.
Hope is the thing with Feathers That perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words And never stops at all. -Emily Dickinson
Too frequently patients will complain, "The doctor gave me no HOPE," as if it were a sample or prescription that should have been offered along with the rest of the treatment. If HOPE were a medicine and listed like other drugs in the PDR, the entree might look like this.
HOPE is a naturally occurring substance created by an individual’s ability to project himself into the future and imagine something better than what exists in the present. It serves as a co-factor for most purposeful behavior and is necessary for coping with fluctuating feelings of despair, depression, fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
HOPE has three components: The individual hoping; the projection into the future (expectation); and the object, event, or state desired.
Individuals experiencing HOPE vary with respect to the density and binding constants of HOPE Receptors. There is both up- and down- regulation of receptors depending on the danger of the circumstances , the individual's sense of vulnerability, and the support system available. Certain individuals have a pathological need for HOPE and are susceptible to False HOPE.
Expectation, comprised of the subunits Credibility and Attainability, is conveniently measured as a vector having units of distance and difficulty (X,Y). Even if there is a strong belief that a goal is possible (Credibility), if the individual perceives it to be too difficult to attain, or that it is impossible to project himself into the future, Expectation will be low. Both intellectual and emotional Expectancies must be above threshold levels for HOPE to be effective.
The Object Desired is the most visible aspect of HOPE and may be expressed concretely or implied, (e.g. "I hope the surgery will cure the cancer. I hope everything turns out all right.") The strength of HOPE often depends on the meaning or importance (Preciousness) of the Object.
In the past, I have posted both here and at Brains on Purpose™ about how to makes changes in your life that are effective and long-lasting. Those posts usually have been from the perspective of neuroscience because I think that lens is the most efficient and helpful.
A very brief review: In order to create a change, you need to create new neuron pathways. Because the brain wants to conserve energy, it will prefer defaulting to old pathways rather than taking the energy and making the effort to create new ones. So you must engage in self-directed neuroplasticity (SDN)—with your mind, take control and deliberately change your brain, deliberately create new neuron routes and grooves.
SDN requires the ability to observe yourself, to be self-aware, so that you know when it is time to shift your thoughts and attention. This shifting will create new pathways—which create new habits. Pretty simple but not often easy to do.
I always like to find others who are writing in an easy-to-understand style about the brain and change; each person has a different way of explaining the steps and process. Click to read "It's time to rethink the way you think." In that article, Dan Bobinski talks about neurons and how we should think about change. He says, "Essentially, three things work together to foster change: Focus, Expectation, and Attention Density." I recommend the article. Find out how Bobinski describes the process of change.
A mediation team with some of the world’s leading experts in ceasefires, transitional justice, power-sharing and constitutional arrangements is now on standby to help resolve crises around the world, the United Nations’ top political official announced today.
The new UN Mediation Standby Team is part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the ability of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs to help prevent conflict through assistance to diplomacy, according to B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
“What we are trying to do in this process is to make sure that not only do we carry out the Secretary-General’s efforts to be there fast in mediation and to be there very quickly on the ground when we’re asked by