29 April 2009

Sympathy minus empathy

I feel bad for you, but I don't really know why.

28 April 2009

Those ignorant atheists

Andrew O'Hehir's review of Reason, Faith, and Revolution, by Terry Eagleton.

Seems to be religion more as metaphor or symbolism or an analytic framework concerning the good life than as concrete reality.

Karen Armstrong, interviewed. Historian and former nun Karen Armstrong says the afterlife is a red herring, hating religion is a pathology and that many Westerners cling to infantile ideas of God.

Perceptions/impressions of classical music

Thesis: Carl Stalling has for-ever-after altered our experience of classical music.

Casual Fridays: Can we really tell what a musical work is "about"?, especially Sammy's comment and following.

Also, Even isolated cultures understand emotions conveyed by Western music.

Both from Cognitive Daily.

20 April 2009

Great Society?

Chip Ward on homelessness.

Makes me want to rub people's noses in it. Hard.

Including my own.

Where's LBJ when we need him?

10 April 2009


Dopamine is a: Functions in brain include:
  • behavior and cognition
  • motivation and reward
  • mood
  • attention
  • learning
Dopaminergic neurons chiefly in:
mesocorticolimbic system (?) (reward, cognition, motivation)
substantia nigra
Motor control
arcuate nucleus
lactation, growth hormone and appetite involvement
  • reinforcement
  • anticipatory (wanting) vs consummatory (liking)(the reduction in dopamine did not reduce the rat's consummatory pleasure, only the desire to actually eat)
  • motivation
  • anhedonia
  • social anxiety/withdrawal
  • pain
  • salience