Category Archives: Social Technology

Mindfulness

For years now, I have used mindfulness with patients, in my personal life, and as a scientist, conducting randomized controlled trials funded by the NIH (e.g., MacCoon, et al., 2012). In fact, my interest in mindfulness led to my graduate studies and subsequent Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on the role of attention […]

NOVA: Becoming Human (2009) – Donal’s Notes

Episode 1: First Steps Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged discovered fossil called “Selam,” also known as “Lucy’s Child.” Lucy and Selam are 3.3 M years old but humans and chimps split around 6 M years ago = first biped. But brains not necessarily bigger as a result. Small-brained bipedal apes were around for 4 million years, flourishing […]

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers (2014) – Donal’s Notes

Introduction Hunter-gatherers: term defined by William Solas in 1911 in which he also recognizes for the first time this distinctive way of life. Leslie White (location 536), neo-evolutionary thinking: Organize humans on continuum of evolution based on how much control they had over energy flows. Early humans relied on muscle, later humans harnessed fossil fuels […]

The Canary: A New Symbol for Gratitude

Here’s my Thanksgiving toast to our loved ones who suffer: Just as real canaries can save us from poison gas, our cultural canaries can help us know reality and live better. So, long live our cultural canaries. May we pay attention to them, honor them, love them, and help them. In so doing, we honor, love, and help ourselves. By listening to all of who they are, we listen to all of who we are. What better way be whole? What better way to love thy neighbor as thyself? What better way to express gratitude? #thankcanaries

Why We Work

Barry Schwartz has written a book and given a TED talk on this subject of “Why we work?” He asserts that a small group of people work for meaning and purpose and, perhaps, because the work is important, but that most people work in jobs that give them none of these things. For those people, […]

(Dis)Honesty, the Documentary Movie – Donal’s Notes

Humans are liars. A great deal of scientific research demonstrates that most people lie, especially under the “right” circumstances. Do a search for Dan Ariely, a Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and you will find many mainstream press articles summarizing his work. This article is about the documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About […]

Real Communication: The Empathy Dialog

What is a real conversation? One in which both people can speak and hear each other. Unfortunately, much of what passes for conversation does not meet this simple standard. This becomes more true as unpleasant emotion increases, with people often simply hearing what they expect to hear and acting from their own reactive scripts, some […]

The Four Horsemen of a Relationship Apocalypse

John Gottman’s Four Horsemen of a Relationship Apocalypse are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Replace these with healthy halos — complaints, self-compassion, realistic thinking, and negotiated breaks — for a better relationship.