Monday, October 15, 2012

Nobody Blinked

I was watching a 50th anniversary special on the Cuban Missile Crises presented by CSPAN3 (where else) yesterday. I found it very interesting with new information recently declassified. I do encourage  you to listen to President Kennedy's speech at the American University Commencement after the missile crises. He changed: he identifies globalization, he seems to put human interests, at the very least, on the same level as national interest, he recognizes in this new world of mutually shared destruction that the United States can no longer control events. All these insights stemmed from the 1962 missile crises and still apply today, although the faux toughness of our politicians doesn't seem encourage a 'lessons learned' mindset.

The crises lasted 13 days and this was a blessing as it allowed the "two adults in the room" to avert nuclear war. Those two adutls were Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier, and President Kennedy. If you have the time watch the CSPAN3 program and then read the American University Commencement speech.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You Will Always Be The Bottom Of The Slinky

Last night I was listening to some podcasts from Radiolab and one was entitled "What A Slinky Knows". As the conversation goes on we learn that things happen before we know they happen. The slinky in used as the primary example. Now, you must listen to this podcast here, because I will just mess it up for you.

This program got me thinking back to my undergraduate days and a social psychology class on reality. There are many realities, especially in social communication. The underlying principle is the concept of the perceptual screen*.

To sum up we never ever see things as they happen. They always occur before we know it and thus we will always be the bottom of the slinky. Furthermore, our perceptual screen filters information and thus our very intellectual selves are made up of our own individual realities.

I'm giving myself a headache!

*"Perceptual screens are the windows through which we interact with people in the world. The communicator's and the receiver's perceptual screens influence the quality , accuracy, and clarity of the message. The screen influences whether the message sent and the message received are the same or whether distortion occurs in the message. Perceptual screens are composed of the personal factors each person brings to interpersonal communication, such as age, gender, values, beliefs, past experiences, cultural influences, and individual needs."
[Blogger's note: I corrected some misspelled words in this definition]

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What If Books Came Next?

I was watching an In Depth interview on CSPAN2-BookTV last Sunday with Steven Johnson. Near the end of this long but interesting interview he posed the questioned; What if books came AFTER the internet?

Very likely critics might say that the increasing use of books has limited social intercourse on the internet. Exchange of ideas on social networks is decreasing and books have change the social paradigm to two, the reader and the author. And even here it is one-way communication.

I use this example to illustrate the potential that is taking place in corners of the internet that have nothing to do with celebrity break-ups, Big Bird's premature demise or any number of 'where I ate last' posts on FB.

One new place is Research Gate. To find out more about this social network go here.