Joan Slonczewski, the Kenyon College microbiologist and award winning science fiction author of A Door into Ocean, recently launched her own blog: Ultraphyte. I believe that it is worth adding to your reading list.
Mind Hacks is one of my favorite brain and neuroscience blogs. Here are some recent links to things that I found interesting on their site.
The cool thing for me about reading blogs like Mind Hacks is that, as you see in second and third summaries below, they helped me generate new connections related to your research or teaching.
Burying your head in the sand
In this post, they link to a video of anatomically correct sand carvings on a beach. The event was organized by a neuroscientist.
Why the truth will out but doesn’t sink in
Vaughan Bell discusses a recent study that demonstrates how initial reports often cloud any subsequent corrections in the news media. For example, the reports of Bin Laden using his wife as a human shield while brandishing a pistol–two things initially reported by the White House, but later retracted. According to the research, even those people aware of the changing narrative may not remember or believe the updating information. It is possible that this effect is used on purpose by governments (I would say corporations might do this too–consider the recent PSN/Sony case and the changing stories).
The death of the mind
In this post, Bell discusses a Business Week article about corporations using large data sets of human behavior to model and influence outcomes in favor of their business models. Technology to anonymize or combat what I see as an eventual abuse of human behavior might be one solution. I am also envisioning a future course that raises student awareness of how their behavior is used, studied, and exploited by big corporations. It would be a theory course with several modules on application.