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How to Talk with a Conspiracy Theorist: What the Experts Recommend

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpInOs1Fyno Why do people pledge allegiance to views that seem fundamentally hostile to reality? Maybe believers in shadowy, evil forces and secret cabals fall prey to motivated reasoning. Truth for them is what they need to believe in order to get what they want. Their certainty in the justness of a cause can feel as comforting as a warm blanket on a winter’s night. But conspiracy theories go farther than private delusions of grandeur. They have spilled i...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Politics, College, Current Affairs, Reddit, University of Pennsylvania, Vox, Bill Nye, Daniel, Facebook Twitter, Pew Research, Josh Jones, University of California Irvine, Cass Sunstein, MIT Technology Review


How to Talk with a Conspiracy Theorist (and Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories in the First Place): What the Experts Recommend

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpInOs1Fyno Why do people pledge allegiance to views that seem fundamentally hostile to reality? Maybe believers in shadowy, evil forces and secret cabals fall prey to motivated reasoning. Truth for them is what they need to believe in order to get what they want. Their certainty in the justness of a cause can feel as comforting as a warm blanket on a winter’s night. But conspiracy theories go farther than private delusions of grandeur. They have spilled i...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Politics, College, Current Affairs, Reddit, University of Pennsylvania, Vox, Bill Nye, Daniel, Facebook Twitter, Pew Research, Josh Jones, University of California Irvine, Cass Sunstein, MIT Technology Review


Social Psychologist Erich Fromm Diagnoses Why People Wear a Mask of Happiness in Modern Society (1977)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nCzsqKrkhE Modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine. —Erich Fromm There are more think pieces published every day than any one person can read about our current moment of social disintegration. But we seem to have lost touch with the insights of social psychology, a field that dominated popular intellectual discourse in the post-war 20t...
Tags: Psychology, Google, College, Current Affairs, Philosophy, Un, Albert Camus, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Erich Fromm, Camus, Durham NC Follow, Maria Popova, Jacobin, Fromm, Frankfurt School


How Tibetan Monks Use Meditation to Raise Their Peripheral Body Temperature 16-17 Degrees

Tibetan monks in remote regions of the Himalayas have long claimed near miraculous powers through yogic practices that resemble nothing you’ll find offered at your local gym, though they may derive from some similar Indian sources. One such meditative practice, a breathing exercise known as tummo, tum-mo, or g-tummo, supposedly generates body heat and can raise one’s peripheral body temperature 16-17 degrees—a distinctly advantageous ability when sitting outside in the snow-capped mountains...
Tags: Health, Google, College, Boston, Religion, Neuroscience, Harvard, Himalayas, Dalai Lama, Benson, National University Of Singapore, Facebook Twitter, Harvard Medical School, Josh Jones, Robert Wright, Durham NC Follow


How Do Vaccines (Including the COVID-19 Vaccines) Work?: Watch Animated Introductions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb7TVW77ZCs The other day, I found myself reading about what life is like in countries that have successfully minimized the pandemic: worry free holidays, meeting friends and family without the danger of infection, a general air of normalcy thanks to a combination of rigorous public health efforts and public cooperation. I live in the U.S., where the political party currently in power (and desperate to keep it) convinced millions of my fellow citizens that...
Tags: Health, Google, Science, College, America, United States, Current Affairs, Who, Philadelphia, Pbs, Bmj, Johns Hopkins, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Katherine O'Brien


Don’t Think Twice: A Poignant Film Documents How Bob Dylan & The Beatles Bring Joy to a Dementia Patient

It’s often said the sense of smell is most closely connected to long-term memory. The news offers little comfort to us forgetful people with a diminished sense of smell. But increasingly, neuroscientists are discovering how sound can also tap directly into our deepest memories. Patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia seem to come alive, becoming their old selves when they hear music they recognize, especially if they were musicians or dancers in a former life. “Sound is evolutionarily ancien...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Google, Music, College, Washington, Neuroscience, Bob Dylan, Npr, John, Dover, Northwestern University, Ac, Facebook Twitter, Jon, Tchaikovsky


Marina Abramović’s Method for Overcoming Trauma: Go to a Park, Hug a Tree Tight, and Tell It Your Complaints for 15 Minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQmAHmLy5DA One of the most renowned of Chinese poets, Du Fu, survived the devastating An Lushan rebellion that nearly brought down the Tang Dynasty and resulted in an incredible loss of life around the country. His poems are full of grief, as translator David Hinton notes. The opening of “Spring Landscape” contains “possibly the most famous line in Chinese poetry,” and a painful comment on humanity’s place in the natural world. The country in ruins, river...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Amazon, Art, College, Life, Nature, Marina Abramovic, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, David Hinton, Durham NC Follow, The New York Review of Books, Madeleine Thien, Du Fu, Marina Abramovi


A Dictionary of Symbols: Juan Eduardo Cirlot’s Classic Study of Symbols Gets Republished in a Beautiful, Expanded Edition

How, exactly, does one go about making a global dictionary of symbols? It is a Herculean task, one few scholars would take on today, not only because of its scope but because the philological approach that gathers and compares artifacts from every culture underwent a correction: No one person can have the expertise to cover everything. Yet the attempts to do so have had tremendous creative value. Such explorations bring us closer to what makes humans the same the world over: our productive imag...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Art, Greece, College, Washington, India, History, Pandora, Francisco Franco, Campbell, Facebook Twitter, Carl Jung, Dada, University of Copenhagen, Joseph Campbell


John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” & Bach’s “Prelude in C Major” Get Turned into Dazzling Musical Animations by an Artist with Synesthesia

Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul. —Wassily Kandinsky We may owe the history of modern art to the condition of synesthesia, which causes those who have it to hear colors, see sounds, taste smells, etc. Wassily Kandinsky, who pioneered abstract expressionism in the early 20th century, did so “after having an unusually visual response to a...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Music, Film, College, Neuroscience, Munich, Levy, John Coltrane, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Coltrane, Facebook Twitter, Wagner, Bach, Josh Jones


How to De-Stress with Niksen, the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing

Stressed out? Overwhelmed? If you said no, I’d worry whether you have a functioning nervous system. For those of us who don’t get out much now because of the pandemic, even staying home has become a source of stress. We’re isolated or being driven up the wall by beloved family members. We’re grasping at every stress-relief tool we can find. For those who have to leave for work, especially in medicine, reading the headlines before masking up for a shift must make for higher than average b...
Tags: Health, Google, College, New York Times, Ikea, Rotterdam, Facebook Twitter, Marie Kondo, Josh Jones, Hygge, Gottfried, Scientific Research, Durham NC Follow, Erasmus University, Meet Life, Olga Mecking


Why Do People Join Cults? An Animated Primer Explains

As much as we might like to think we make free choices as rational individuals, we are all more or less suggestible and subject to social pressures. Social media marketers aren’t under any illusions about this. Guides for how to exploit psychological vulnerabilities and influence behavior proliferate. (One of the top-selling business books on Amazon is a manual titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.) Such techniques form the basis of a massive, global ad-based industry that also...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Amazon, College, America, United States, Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens, Facebook Twitter, DSM, Josh Jones, Isaac Asimov, Jonestown, Durham NC Follow, California State University Chico, Janja Lalich


Leonardo da Vinci’s Elegant Studies of the Human Heart Were 500 Years Ahead of Their Time

Leonardo da Vinci didn’t really have hobbies; he had passionate, unpaid obsessions that filled whole notebooks with puzzles scientists are still trying to solve. Many of the problems to which he applied himself were those none of his contemporaries understood, because he was the only person to have noticed them at all. The amateur anatomist was the first, for example, “to sketch trabeculae,” notes Medievalists.net, “and their snowflake-like fractal patterns in the 16th century.” These geometric...
Tags: Health, Google, Art, Biology, College, History, Facebook Twitter, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow


What Happened When Americans Had to Wear Masks During the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Medical professionals have had a particularly difficult time getting people in the United States to act in unison for the public good during the pandemic. This has been the case with every step that experts urge to curb the spread of COVID-19, from closing schools, churches, and other meeting places, to enforcing social distancing and wearing masks over the nose and mouth in public spaces. The resistance may seem symptomatic of the contemporary political climate, but there is ample precedent fo...
Tags: Health, Google, College, US, Los Angeles, San Francisco, History, United States, Current Affairs, Paris, Manchester, Portland, Oakland, University Of Michigan, Facebook Twitter, Ewing


Vintage Science Face Masks: Conquer the Pandemic with Science, Courtesy of Maria Popova’s BrainPickings

If you don’t floss or brush your teeth, they will rot and fall out. If you don’t eat fruits and vegetables, you will get scurvy or some other horrible disease. If you don’t use protection… well, you know the rest. These are facts of life we mostly accept if we care about ourselves and others because they are beyond disputing. But the idea of wearing a cloth mask when in public during a viral pandemic spread through droplets from the nose and mouth—a practice endorsed by the CDC, the World Healt...
Tags: Health, Google, Europe, Florida, Science, College, US, Current Affairs, Great Barrier Reef, Facebook Twitter, Flora, Josh Jones, Ernst Haeckel, Durham NC Follow, Maria Popova, Popova


The History of the 1918 Flu Pandemic, “The Deadliest Epidemic of All Time”: Three Free Lectures from The Great Courses

In one cascade of events after another, people are finding out the normal they once knew doesn’t exist anymore. Instead it feels as if we’re living through several past crises at once, trying to cram as much historical knowledge as we can to make sense of the moment. 2020 especially feels like an echo of 1918-1919, when the “deadliest epidemic of all time,” as The Great Courses calls the “Spanish flu,” killed millions (then the U.S. devolved into a wave of racist violence.) By offering e...
Tags: Health, Google, Science, Education, College, America, History, New Orleans, Louis Armstrong, Facebook Twitter, Fleury, Tulane, Josh Jones, FAULKNER, Durham NC Follow, How to Learn for Free


16 Ways the World Is Getting Remarkably Better: Visuals by Statistician Hans Rosling

It certainly may not feel like things are getting better behind the anxious veils of our COVID lockdowns. But some might say that optimism and pessimism are products of the gut, hidden somewhere in the bacterial stew we call the microbiome. “All prejudices come from the intestines,” proclaimed noted sufferer of indigestion, Friedrich Nietzsche. Maybe we can change our views by changing our diet. But it’s a little harder to change our emotions with facts. We turn up our noses at them, or find th...
Tags: Health, Google, College, Environment, Data, TED Talks, David Byrne, Hans Rosling, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Rosling, Durham NC Follow, BBC TED, Simon Kuestenmacher


The Art of the New Deal: Why the Federal Government Funded the Arts During the Great Depression

It’s odd to think that the gray-faced, gray-suited U.S. Cold Warriors of the 1950s funded Abstract Expressionism and left-wing literary magazines in a cultural offensive against the Soviet Union. And yet they did. This seeming historical irony is compounded by the fact that so many of the artists enlisted (mostly unwittingly) in the cultural Cold War might not have had careers were it not for the New Deal programs of 20 years earlier, denounced by Republicans at the time as communist. The New D...
Tags: Health, Google, Art, Congress, College, US, America, History, United States, Washington Dc, Yale, Treasury, Smithsonian, National Gallery, Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Eleanor


How to Find Emotional Strength & Resilience During COVID-19: Advice from Elizabeth Gilbert, Jack Kornfield, Susan David & Other Experts

There are many roads through the coronavirus crisis. One is denial, which only makes things worse. Another is service and self-sacrifice, a choice we honor in the medical professionals putting their lives at risk every day. For most of us, however, the best course of action is non-action—staying home and isolating ourselves from others. Days bleed into weeks, weeks into months. It can seem like life has come to a complete halt. It hasn’t, of course. All sorts of things are happening insi...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Google, College, Life, Ted, David, Current Affairs, TED Talks, Tim Ferris, Anderson, Chris Anderson, Gilbert, Facebook Twitter, Elizabeth Gilbert, Michel de Montaigne


Simulating an Epidemic: Using Data to Show How Diseases Like COVID-19 Spread

Disease modeling as a science has come into its own lately, for heartbreakingly obvious reasons. What may not be so obvious to those of us who aren't scientists is just how critical data can be in changing the course of events in an outbreak. Virus outbreaks may be “acts of God” or acts of unregulated black markets and agribusinesses, but in either case, statistical models can show, concretely, how collective human activity can save lives—and show what happens when people don’t act toget...
Tags: Health, Google, Science, College, Data, Current Affairs, The Washington Post, Facebook Twitter, Stevens, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Kevin Simler, Harry Stevens, Nicholas Jewell, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute


What Happened to U.S. Cities That Practiced–and Didn’t Practice–Social Distancing During 1918’s “Spanish Flu”

Americans have long been accused of growing socially distant, bowling alone, as Robert Putnam wrote in 2000, or worse becoming radicalized as "lone wolves" and isolated trolls. But we are seeing how much we depend on each other as social distancing becomes the painful normal. Not quite quarantine, social distancing involves a semi-voluntary restriction of our movements. For many people, this is, as they say, a big ask. But no matter what certain world leaders tell us, if at all possible,...
Tags: Health, Google, College, History, Current Affairs, Philadelphia, Vox, St Louis, Facebook Twitter, Lopez, Josh Jones, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Bitton, Durham NC Follow, Isaac Chotiner, Robert Putnam


Watch “Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Need to Know,” and the 24-Lecture Course “An Introduction to Infectious Diseases,” Both Free from The Great Courses

COVID-19 is a serious, highly communicable disease. It is not a hoax, and it will continue to spread until it is contained with widespread testing and a vaccine. At present, scientists seem to know little about all the forms of transmission or the possibility of reinfection. Older people and the immunocompromised are certainly more at risk than others, but the virus can kill the healthy and the sick. It doesn’t care where it starts or ends. It doesn’t care if someone is a U.S. Senator or...
Tags: Health, Google, Science, College, Current Affairs, Johns Hopkins, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Roy Benaroch, Barry Fox, COVID, Benaroch


Electronic Musician Shows How He Uses His Prosthetic Arm to Control a Music Synthesizer with His Thoughts

The techno-futurist prophets of the late 20th century, from J.G. Ballard to William Gibson to Donna Haraway, were right, it turns out, about the intimate physical unions we would form with our machines. Haraway, professor emeritus of the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, proclaimed herself a cyborg back in 1985. Whether readers took her ideas as metaphor or proleptic social and scientific fact hardly matters in hindsight. Her voice...
Tags: Health, Google, Music, Technology, College, Neuroscience, William Gibson, Meyer, Kraftwerk, Born, Hari Kunzru, Daniel, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, University of California Santa Cruz, Donna Haraway


The Visionary Mystical Art of Carl Jung: See Illustrated Pages from The Red Book

Carl Jung’s Liber Novus, better known as The Red Book, has only recently come to light in a complete English translation, published by Norton in a 2009 facsimile edition and a smaller “reader’s edition” in 2012. The years since have seen several exhibitions of the book, which “could pass for a Bible rendered by a medieval monk,” writes art critic Peter Frank, “especially for the care with which Jung entered his writing as ornate Gothic script.” Jung “refused to think of himself as an ‘artist’” ...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Art, College, Religion, Jerusalem, Sigmund Freud, Venice Biennale, Freud, Norton, Facebook Twitter, Carl Jung, Josh Jones, Jung, Abraxas, Romain Rolland


When Salvador Dali Met Sigmund Freud, and Changed Freud’s Mind About Surrealism (1938)

The close associations between Surrealism and Freudian psychoanalysis were liberally encouraged by the most famous proponent of the movement, Salvador Dalí, who considered himself a devoted follower of Freud. We don't have to wonder what the founder of psychoanalysis would have thought of his self-appointed protégé. We have them recording, in their own words, their impressions of their one and only meeting—which took place in July of 1938, at Freud’s home in London. Freud was 81, Dali 34. We al...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Art, London, College, Vienna, Salvador Dalí, Sigmund Freud, Freud, Zweig, Facebook Twitter, Dali, Josh Jones, Stefan Zweig, Breton, Paul Gallagher


A Visual Introduction to Kintsugi, the Japanese Art of Repairing Broken Pottery and Finding Beauty in Imperfection

Kintsugi, the Japanese art of joining broken pottery with gleaming seams of gold or silver, creates fine art objects we can see as symbols for the beauty of vulnerability. Surely, these bowls, cups, vases, etc. remind of us Leonard Cohen’s oft-quoted lyric from “Anthem” (“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”) Writer and artist Austin Kleon touches on this same sentiment in a recent post on his blog. “The thing I love the most about Kintsugi is the visible trace ...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Art, Japan, College, Creativity, Leonard Cohen, Marshall, Facebook Twitter, China Japan, Josh Jones, Altman, Austin Kleon, Colin Marshall, Durham NC Follow, Kintsugi


Ram Dass (RIP) Offers Wisdom on Confronting Aging and Dying

After his dismissal from Harvard for researching LSD with Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert left the U.S. for India in 1967. He devoted himself to the teachings of Hindu teacher Neem Karoli Baba and returned to the States a permanently changed man, with a new name and a message he first spread via the collaboratively-edited and illustrated 1971 classic Be Here Now. In the “philosophically misty, stubbornly resonant Buddhist-Hindu-Christian mash-up,” writes David Marchese at The New York Time...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Google, College, Life, India, Religion, Harvard, Philosophy, States, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Bertrand Russell, Omega Institute, Ellen Langer, Durham NC Follow


Discover the Stendhal Syndrome: The Condition Where People Faint, or Feel Totally Overwhelmed, in the Presence of Great Art

Clutch imaginary pearls, rest the back of your hand on your forehead, look wan and stricken, begin to wilt, and most people will recognize the symptoms of your sarcasm, aimed at some pejoratively feminized qualities we’ve seen characters embody in movies. The “literary swoon” as Iaian Bamforth writes at the British Journal of General Practice, dates back much further than film, to the early years of the modern novel itself, and it was once a male domain. “Somewhere around the time of the French...
Tags: Travel, Psychology, Google, Art, Europe, College, Russia, Berlin, Jerusalem, History, Rome, Unesco, New York Times, Italy, Literature, Mark Twain


The Morals That Determine Whether We’re Liberal, Conservative, or Libertarian

An old friend once wrote a line I’ll never forget: “There are two kinds of people in the world, then there are infinitely many more.” It always comes to mind when I confront binary generalizations that I'm told define two equally opposing positions, but rarely capture, with any accuracy, the complexity and contrariness of human beings—even when said humans live inside the same country. Voting patterns, social media bubbles, and major network infotainment can make it seem like the U.S. is...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Politics, College, Yale, Nyu, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, University of California Irvine, Hannah Arendt, Jonathan Haidt, Haidt, Durham NC Follow, Peter Ditto


How Carl Jung Inspired the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

There may be as many doors into Alcoholics Anonymous in the 21st century as there are people who walk through them—from every world religion to no religion. The “international mutual-aid fellowship” has had “a significant and long-term effect on the culture of the United States,” writes Worcester State University professor of psychology Charles Fox at Aeon. Indeed, its influence is global. From its inception in 1935, A.A. has represented an “enormously popular therapy, and a testament to the in...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Google, New York, College, United States, Letters, Rhode Island, James Joyce, Wilson, William James, Facebook Twitter, Carl Jung, McCabe, Josh Jones, Bill Wilson


Watch “Critical Living,” a Stop-Motion Film Inspired by the 1960s Movement That Rejected Modern Ideas About Mental Illness

Along with Michel Foucault's critique of the medical model of mental illness, the work of Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing and other influential theorists and critics posed a serious intellectual challenge to the psychiatric establishment. Laing’s 1960 The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness theorized schizophrenia as a philosophical problem, not a biological one. Other early works like Self and Others and Knots made Laing something of a star in the 1960s and early 70s,...
Tags: Psychology, Google, UK, London, College, Pennsylvania, Animation, British Army, Philosophy, Glasgow, Death Valley, Freud, Facebook Twitter, Foucault, Laing, Duquesne University



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