How we make emotional decisions

Craig Sunter (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Craig Sunter (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via EurekAlert:

CAMBRIDGE, MA — Some decisions arouse far more anxiety than others. Among the most anxiety-provoking are those that involve options with both positive and negative elements, such choosing to take a higher-paying job in a city far from family and friends, versus choosing to stay put with less pay.

MIT researchers have now identified a neural circuit that appears to underlie decision-making in this type of situation, which is known as approach-avoidance conflict. The findings could help researchers to discover new ways to treat psychiatric disorders that feature impaired decision-making, such as depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.

“In order to create a treatment for these types of disorders, we need to understand how the decision-making process is working,” says Alexander Friedman, a research scientist at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the lead author of a paper describing the findings in the May 28 issue of Cell.

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The Age Of Disinformation

I couldn’t resist posting this article at Medium by meteorologist James Spann, pretty much because of the title, although he makes a very good point about modern news communication:

I have been a professional meteorologist for 36 years. Since my debut on television in 1979, I have been an eyewitness to the many changes in technology, society, and how we communicate. I am one who embraces change, and celebrates the higher quality of life we enjoy now thanks to this progress.

But, at the same time, I realize the instant communication platforms we enjoy now do have some negatives that are troubling. Just a few examples in recent days…

I would say hundreds of people have sent this image to me over the past 24 hours via social media.

 weather

Comments are attached… like “This is a cloud never seen before in the U.S.”… “can’t you see this is due to government manipulation of the weather from chemtrails”… “no doubt this is a sign of the end of the age”.

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Fantasy Coffins Make Death Seem…Fun!

Hennensarg von Kudjo Affutu 2008.jpg

Hen coffin by Kudjoe Affutu (CC)

 

If you’ve ever had to pick out a coffin, you know that the choices are all pretty bland and boring. Unless you live in Ghana, West Africa, that is, where Atlas Obscura finds all sorts of fantasy coffins, from lobsters to beer bottles:

The workshop of one of the most well-known fantasy coffin carvers in the world is squeezed between a barbershop and a clothing store, in the shadow of a three-story Melcom supermarket. In front of the workshop, children skitter through the dirt and women sell fried yam, cell phone credit, and balls of fermented corn mash called kenkey. A generator’s incessant hum fills the air, alongside the echoing calls of the passing tro-tros and the ubiquitous tune of high-life music. Above the shop, a faded wooden fish hangs above a plank with “KANE KWEI COFFINS” painted in black block letters. Inside, Eric Adjetey Anang and his carpenters are spearheading the creation of Ghana’s most fascinating and internationally renowned artistic product: abebuu adekai, or fantasy coffins.

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Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers


Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers from Dress Code on Vimeo.

Emory Douglas was the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. Through archival footage and conversations with Emory we share his story, alongside the rise and fall of the Panthers. He used his art as a weapon in the Black Panther Party’s struggle for civil rights and today Emory continues to give a voice to the voiceless. His art and what The Panthers fought for are still as relevant as ever.

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The 4 Archetypes Of Psilocybin [Clip]

This clip is a partial discussion of the content in ‘Decomposing The Shadow: Lessons From The Psilocybin Mushroom‘ by James W Jesso

Learn more about the book
~ http://www.decomposingtheshadow.com
Author’s Homepage
~ http://www.jameswjesso.com
Listen to full interview via Free Radical Media here
~ https://youtu.be/XkU7p-cv_ZI

Decomposing The Shadow presents a psychological model for the experience of the magic psilocybin mushroom. It explores what the experience of this psychedelic medicine exposes to us about the nature of mind, emotion, society, psychospiritual maturity, and reality itself. This book is about facing the darkness within each of us, developing the courage of emotional honesty, and investigating how the unacknowledged aspects of self, the shadow, can make the grounds of personal growth fertile again. The psilocybin mushroom offers us the opportunity to experience life from a point of amplified emotional, psychological, and spiritual significance. It unlocks a perspective of self and other that is naturally occurring within us, but culturally suppressed to the point of nearly complete omission.… Read the rest

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I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 11.17.50 AMIf you’re a sucker for fad diets based on the latest nutritional miracle, you’d better read John Bohannon’s expose of how he was able to fool millions of people into thinking that eating chocolate promotes weight loss, at io9:

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on television news shows. It appeared in glossy print, most recently in the June issue of Shape magazine (“Why You Must Eat Chocolate Daily”, page 128). Not only does chocolate accelerate weight loss, the study found, but it leads to healthier cholesterol levels and overall increased well-being.

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Wrongfully Treating Academic Debate as Anti-Semitism

Shannon Kringen (CC BY 2.0)

Shannon Kringen (CC BY 2.0)

Saree Makdisi writes at the Los Angeles Times:

The principle of academic freedom at our universities is under attack by those seeking to shield Israel from criticism by silencing dissent, shutting down discussion and imposing a stifling atmosphere of intimidation at the University of California, in particular.

A coordinated set of petitions, including a letter signed by 57 rabbis, asks UC administrators to adopt the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism as a means to “accurately identify” and “publicly condemn” it in campus debate, protest and discussion. That problematic definition conflates principled criticism of Israeli policies with genuine anti-Semitism; if the university accedes to this demand, such criticism — and academic freedom — could be suppressed by administrative fiat.

The State Department definition explicitly draws on a formulation provisionally adopted by a European Union body but long since discarded. It stretches the concept of anti-Semitism to include “demonizing” Israel, comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis and “denying Israel the right to exist.”

Such emotionally charged language attempts to preempt criticism of Israeli policies.

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