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David Brooks: The social animal

David Brooks: The social animal

Top Ten Psychology Studies Ten studies that have changed psychology and the way we see humanity. After being told about these psychology studies, generations of psychology students have wandered out into the world seeing themselves and other people in a new light. In this series of posts I look at ten studies that have changed psychology and the way we see humanity: “What do babies understand about the world and how can you possibly find out, given that babies are not so hot on answering complex questions about their perceptual abilities?” “It’s not just Miller who was persecuted by this number though, it’s all of us. “It seems incredible that a successful form of psychological therapy could be based on telling people their thoughts are mistaken. “Imagine it’s the 1960s and you’re a first year psychology student at the University of Minnesota. “What psychological experiment could so be so powerful that simply taking part might change your view of yourself and human nature? Image credit: Patrick Q

High-tech apps help drivers evade police By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY Updated 03/21/2011 02:47:10 AM | Drivers looking to avoid pricey citations for traffic offenses such as red-light camera violations and speed-trap busts are turning to technology to level the playing field. By Ethan Miller, Getty Images By Ethan Miller, Getty Images As red-light cameras proliferate across the USA and cash-starved police agencies pump up coffers with traffic-ticket revenue, many drivers are using devices and applications that give them a heads-up when it's time to stop or slow down. One of the most popular is PhantomAlert, an online database that drivers can download to GPS devices or smartphones. The apps' DUI checkpoint feature — which sends alerts about drunken-driving checkpoints that have been reported by other drivers — is troubling for some police agencies. "They're only thinking of one consequence, and that's being arrested. For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's.

BLAH Therapy - Need someone to talk to? Talk Therapy Online and Counseling Services. Customer-centricity Begins with Creating a Culture of Change Brian Solis inShare564 Customer-centricity or getting closer to customers is often the focus of many executive meetings I attend these days. The question always arises, “how can we use new media to get closer to customers?” The answer is not, develop a social media strategy to start engaging with customers. Social media is as rewarding as it is complex. Its importance lies in maturation and the stages we experience as we experiment and learn. Innovation and collaboration is an outside-in and an inside-out process. It’s time to take new media to the next critical phase, the need to understand the needs of the market and deliver against them. The future of business isn’t created, it’s co-created. Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook ___The New ENGAGE! ___ Get The Conversation Prism: ___ Image Credit: Shutterstock

Sasha Frere-Jones: Good Things About Twitter Several light-years ago in Web time, Jonathan Franzen spoke at Tulane University and said that he found Twitter “unspeakably irritating,” expressing a concern for “serious readers and writers” and the medium’s inability to “cite facts or create an argument.” I like that Franzen doesn’t sound like a celebrity worried about reducing friction and shifting units. He is the Kanye West of fiction: popular, gifted, influential, and willing to make unpopular statements without the intervention of handlers. But Thomas Jones at the London Review of Books points out that Franzen makes a “category error” by pitching Twitter users against serious readers/writers. One of the most felicitous uses of Twitter is to promote long-form nonfiction by circulating a blurb leading to the full text. Four years ago, the New York Times Magazine published a cover story by Emily Gould that included anecdotes about her blogging while young and appearing on television because of that blogging. That’s the vegetables.

Essay on Thomas Kinkade An old rule of etiquette -- still endorsed by Miss Manners, at last report -- says not to talk about politics or religion while in mixed company, or among strangers. Civility demands keeping the passions in check, and nothing inflames them like those two topics. By extension, one should also avoid discussing Thomas Kinkade, who died over the weekend. His paintings of lighthouses, cozy cottages, and nostalgia-tinged city streets inspire adoration or disgust, but very little in between. Kinkade was the single best-known artist working in the United States over the past two decades, and almost certainly the best-paid. Even stating these seemingly inoffensive facts will offend some readers -- either for calling Kinkade an artist (which makes people in the art world unhappy) or for failing to say that he dedicated his life to the Lord, not the dollar. In a culture supersaturated with imagery, we tune much of it out just to get by. There’s no accounting for taste, as another old saw runs.

Is the Digital World Killing Creativity? [INFOGRAPHIC] Sure, you can use that smartphone to create an emotionally stirring Instagram of the waffles you had for brunch in mere seconds. But that same device can also serve as a ball and chain for the working world: emails constantly arrive, even during off hours; LinkedIn requests buzz after networking events; and has that important new contact followed you on Twitter yet? While our current age of digital disruption has opened a cornucopia of new casual creative endeavors, the networked generation's ability to multitask — and the constant need for instantaneous action — may also be hindering creativity. Consider this: In a recent global study, three-quarters of respondents said their creative potential is being stifled. More than 60% of American said their education systems squelch creativity, and a majority of total respondents said pressure at work hurts creativity. Yet 80% of respondents worldwide said allowing creativity to flourish is critical to economic growth.

Google Knowledge Graph Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. Type in “François Hollande,” and you are offered a capsule history (with links) to his children, partner, birthday, education, and so forth. In the short-term, Knowledge Graph will not make a big difference in your world—you might get much the same information by visiting Hollande’s Wikipedia page, and a lot of people might still prefer to ask their friends. But what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. Since its beginning, Google has used brute force as its main strategy to organize the Internet’s knowledge, and not without reason. Sometimes, of course, power has its advantages. Google’s algorithm doesn’t know a thing about doubled letters, transpositions, or the psychology of how humans type or spell, only what people tend to type after they make an error. Illustration by Arnold Roth.

Six Early Short Films By Tim Burton Frankenweenie by Tim Burton (1984) by Flixgr If you've gone to the movies lately, you may well have seen the trailer for Tim Burton's upcoming Frankenweenie. While its black-and-white stop-motion animation looks nifty — and it'll surely look even niftier in IMAX 3D — Burton enthusiasts know full well that the film isn't entirely new. The original Frankenweenie, a much shorter and rougher-edged but nevertheless uniquely charming picture, came out 28 years ago, and you can watch it free on Youtube today. A live-action film with a kinetically askew visual sensibility, this first Frankenweenie tells the same story as the new one: a boy brings his beloved dead dog back to life using the reviving power of electricity, but few residents of his small town approve of the resulting bolt-necked, stitched-together creature. Some viewers like Burton's movies better the more resources he has to make them; others prefer the fruits of his more constrained (and thus restrained) years. Related content:

Writers and Rum: Why Authorship and Alcohol Have Gone Together “Writers in this office used to drink,” a grizzled veteran of these corridors once said sternly to a couple of pup reporters, whom he had discovered taking turns trying on a good-looking cashmere jacket in another cubicle. The moral, abashing if not shaming, was that in the halls where once real men had roamed, or drank in peaceable closets, now mere jacket-fanciers wandered. Certainly, it’s impossible to turn the past pages of this magazine, or the pages of American literary history, for that matter, without being reminded of how inextricable the drinking life and the writing life—or, to put it more bluntly, alcoholism and art—once were. I’m just old enough to be able to have seen the tail end of that literary culture of really big drinkers—and a real culture it was, as Laing understands. Of course, ballplayers and ballerinas and aluminum-siding salesmen, for that matter, all drink, too, or used to. If a theory is called for—and when is it not, in these woods? Or was.