A recent study demonstrates that having a smartphone within one's sphere of awareness is distracting, reducing one's ability to concentrate effectively. From the Discussion section of Experiment 1 (p. 146):
[T]hese results suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone may reduce available cognitive capacity and impair cognitive functioning, even when consumers are successful at remaining focused on the task at hand.
It seems that it is best to leave the phone out of sight, and preferably even in another room, when doing anything which requires intensive thinking.
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( Nov. 29th, 2015 01:39 pm)
There are always lots of good TED talks, but here are two that have struck me particularly:

Simon Sinek on leadership. (12 minutes) This is what I strive for as a manager; I want to be part of an organization that supports me in it.

Guy Winch on emotional self-care. (17.5 minutes) Help yourselves; help each other. More people than we may know need this.
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Here are a couple of experimental results from FaceBook: one person Liked(tm) everything for 2 days; another person didn't Like(tm) anything for 2 weeks.

LJ doesn't have a Like(tm), +1(tm), or other such general-purpose one-click response option, so we have to, brace yourself, use our words here. This is rather likelier to involve thought, but it takes more effort--effort which people hooked on FB/G+/etc. are unused to putting in. As a result, we get less feedback here than we get on other shiny social media (even though the feedback there is ultimately less genuinely connected), so we post less here.

It's frustrating. The marketers are winning, because we are, more than we like to admit, creatures of reflex and habit, and those things are very manipulable. The only defense is mindfulness: awareness of ourselves, our instincts, reflexes, and habits, and claiming our power of choice.
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( Nov. 10th, 2013 09:05 am)
I wrote this in the context of a discussion in my parish's LGBT & Straight Alliance group. The question of the duality and complementarity of gender as expressed in Genesis (and referenced specifically by Jesus) was raised, and how to square that with homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderedness, etc.1 This is a rather deeper and harder question than addressing the "clobber passages" which refer specifically to various kinds of homosexual activity.

Thoughts on tradition, myth, modernity, and diversity. )
1: ETA; see comments.
ironphoenix: (academia)
( Sep. 8th, 2013 11:33 am)
Michael Kimmel at Dartmouth (1h28m). I don't usually watch, let alone repost, all of long videos; this one is worth it. He addresses two things, and links them; I think each one is worth hearing about, even if I'm not sure I agree with his attempt to make them All One Thing. The two things are: a proposed new phase of human cultural development between adolescence and adulthood, based on cultural practice in the (North)Western world; and markers and rituals of masculinity and their relation to the changes in women's gender.

The first part gets into the question, "why are twentysomethings not acting like 'grown-ups'?" His answers are worth considering.

As to the second part, for those who were asking that famous question, "But what about the men?", this is a pretty good answer. He doesn't ignore women by any means, but there is a really solid treatment of masculinity here.

I'm not sure I buy his attempt to link these two things as closely as he does; I think his fieldwork among the sports teams, fraternities, and sororities of US colleges may have slanted his views a bit there. Still, I think it's a video well worth the considerable time investment.

[Note: there's about a 5-minute intro before Michael comes on.]
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( Jul. 23rd, 2012 03:43 pm)
Living With Voices: an article offering a perspective on psychosis and schizophrenia that I'd never thought of.
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( May. 28th, 2011 11:38 am)
Many of you know about the Milgram experiment; Philip Zimbardo gave a TED talk about it, and his own Stanford prison experiment, which I think distills these results down to their essence, and gives some hope and ideas for what to do about it.

Trigger warning: video contains photos of brutality and nudity; this is not light stuff.
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( May. 23rd, 2011 09:13 am)
I find this infuriating, especially in the context of this. People who seek out and gain power often do so by disregarding boundaries; unfortunately, they all too often carry on breaking rules without regard for others. Most often, nobody calls them on it, and they just keep on getting away with it and feeling entitled to do so.

First link ganked from [livejournal.com profile] dracodraconis!
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ironphoenix: (so deep)
( Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:35 pm)
Here are six simple knee-jerk biases I try to watch for in myself:

1. If a member of a group or category I belong to does something of which I approve, my natural bias is to think that their status as a member of that group or category influenced them to do so.

2. If a member of a group or category I belong to does something of which I disapprove, my natural bias is to think that their status as a member of that group or category had little or no influence on them.

3. If a member of a group or category I don't belong to does something of which I disapprove, my natural bias is to think that their status as a member of that group or category influenced them to do so.

4. If a member of a group or category I don't belong to does something of which I approve, my natural bias is to think that their status as a member of that group or category had little or no influence on them.

5. If I do something of which I approve, my natural bias is to discount the influence of the groups or categories to which I belong.

6. If I do something of which I disapprove, my natural bias is to emphasize the influence of the groups or categories to which I belong.

Group or category membership is pretty broadly defined, and may but need not map strictly to universal labels. The important categories are those in my own head, which are partially but not completely socially defined.

These biases seem pretty much universal to me, but maybe that's a prejudice built on #6 above!
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ironphoenix: (academia)
( Jul. 17th, 2010 10:18 am)
Two excellent links on psychotherapy for the rest of us:

The cover story from the current issue of Therapy Today: Su Connan's article, "A Kink in the Process."

The cover story from the current issue of Psychotherapy Networker: Tammy Nelson's article, "The New Monogamy."

Both of these are shining examples of well-considered, open-minded therapists thinking through how people can be different and still be okay, even if social stigmas might say otherwise.
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So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even.

A thought-provoking article from [livejournal.com profile] issendai. Am I putting up with this? Am I doing this to someone else, or contributing to an environment that does it to people?
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ironphoenix: (flaming)
( Jun. 9th, 2010 11:09 am)
You Are Not So Smart: A blog of articles about how our minds (don't) work. Quite a few people I know need to read this.

How do they get to be that way?: A n article by Roger Ebert about racism as it's exemplified in people's reactions to a mural on a school in Arizona.
ironphoenix: Raven flying (Default)
( Apr. 29th, 2010 04:52 pm)
A serious one, for a change:

Cached Selves: A thought-provoking article on psychological commitment.
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This is a very good explanation of how motivation can be done wrong, and how to do it right.

Less than 20 minutes, and worth it.
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Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] siderea, this one goes out to [livejournal.com profile] soul_diaspora and all the other geek girls in the audience, and to everyone who knew [livejournal.com profile] bwanageek!

Also, This one from Bobby McFerrin is a quite different music-geek connection, ganked from [livejournal.com profile] metahacker.
ironphoenix: (academia)
( Feb. 14th, 2008 02:21 pm)
Two excellent and important articles:

Learning to Lie, an article on how, when and why children lie, and

The Rat Trap, an article on the importance of environmental factors on addiction, based on research from 30 years ago that somehow has never made it into influencing social and political perception policy in the slightest.
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ironphoenix: (getting up now)
( May. 5th, 2007 08:58 am)
Clay Shirky's keynote address from ETech 2003, entitled A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy on the subject of group dynamics and technological tools, is likely to be of interest to a bunch of you. It explains a bunch of things I've seen on- and offline over the years, and gives me a few clues about how to make things I organize work better in the future.
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ironphoenix: Raven flying (Default)
( Jan. 25th, 2007 04:31 pm)
A very good little essay that rang a few bells for me, and might for some of you and/or people you know.

Edit: this too.
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ironphoenix: Raven flying (Default)
( Oct. 28th, 2006 03:53 pm)
An excellent (long) article about psychology and elephants, ganked from [livejournal.com profile] siderea.

I'm encouraged to see us taking the consequences of our actions seriously; hopefully, we'll learn to live so as to prevent these destructive "side effects".
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