Month: September 2017

#NISIS: Because you don’t bring a book list to a meme war

“Alexander Hamilton is one of American history’s most luminous figures…Yet in 1804 this brilliant man did something that by today’s standards was astonishingly stupid.” – Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature As fans of the hit musical Hamilton know that astonishingly stupid thing was that Alexander Hamilton engaged in a duel with Aaron Burr. As Pinker points out, the source of Hamilton’s stupidity was that he obeyed old cultural intuitions in the face of radically changed technology. Dueling to first blood with a fencing foil is one thing. Dueling to first blood with a giant musket ball...

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Humanity’s First Family Dinner

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one cannot avoid drama at a large family gathering. Within your nuclear family unit, you’ve learned to coexist; you can manage the emotions in that group. But once a year or so, you have to attend a gathering of all the relatives, and you can’t… get… out of it.
 For many Americans, that event is Thanksgiving. For others, it may be Passover, Christmas, Divali, or Iftar. The menus differ, but family dynamics are surprisingly universal. You arrive, happy to see everyone, but your appetizers taste of cheese and dread. Not ten minutes...

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Civilized to Stress?

At first glance, the notion that the color of our thoughts can dye our very biology seems like a giant leap. Upon closer inspection, however, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. Take the placebo effect or the healing power of faith, for example. These are things that – for the most part – have no scientific explanation yet are common and predictable factors in our world. Recently, researchers have operationalized this notion by examining the effects of negative and positive emotions on key markers of human health. Indeed, negative emotions and cognitions including hopelessness, pessimism, and anger have not...

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Staring at a Single Data Point: If You Want to Solve Problems At Home, Look at Your Neighbors’ Problems

Over the last thirteen years, I’ve tutored A LOT of kids and one of the most important things that it has taught me is that you can’t make sense of the world by staring at a single data point. And yet, that is exactly what most parents do because that’s how this culture has taught them to behave. Your kids are your responsibility and anybody else’s kids are none of your business. The result is that most parents have no clue what is really going on with other kids. I do. I get to see lots and lots of...

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RSS Mixed Mental Arts

  • Idea Quickie 7: Know Yourself, Train Yourself (Repost) April 18, 2018
    In this episode, Bryan and Hunter talk about Descartes Error and The Happiness Hypothesis. Humans are bound by their cognitive biases, their emotions, which color their reason. Knowing this aspect of human cognition is critical to better approaching life. From October, 2016. Be sure to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online/, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and […]
  • Ep 339 - Write With Your Body: Ed Solomon and Alex Kurtzman April 16, 2018
    Ed Solomon is a friend of the show and the writer behind Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Mosaic. He brought along Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of Star Trek, Transformers, and People Like Us. Bryan Callen shares his desire to be a great writer, and gets lessons. Hunter Maats giggles and adds the […]
  • Ep 338 - Innovative Metaphor: Ken Gordon April 13, 2018
    Ken Gordon's company helped invent the Swiffer, portable insulin pumps, and much much more. In this episode of Mixed Mental Arts, he shares how his innovation process is based so much on literature and metaphor. Don’t forget to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money […]
  • Idea Quickie 6: Reflections (Repost) April 11, 2018
    From Oct 28, 2013 Bryan and Hunter take this episode to reflect on and synthesize everything they've learned over the course of the last dozen or so episodes recording the show together. From the philosophy of Professor Dan Robinson to understanding human memory with Josh Foer, it's been a wild ride. This was a much […]
  • Ep 336 - Figuring Out Your Own Mind: Kelly Brogan April 9, 2018
    Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist from New York and author of A Mind of Your Own. She began questioning the veracity of Western Medicine after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Bryan and Hunter engage in heated debate over vaccines and science writ large, while remaining curious throughout. Don’t forget to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online for […]

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