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Old 22-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
Diane
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Default Robert Sapolsky on depression

Fabulous you tube video on depression, by Robert Sapolsky, not quite an hour. The discussion of the vegetative symptoms are pertinent to our work, our understanding of pain. Also stress.

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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

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Old 10-04-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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1. Introduction to Human Behavioural Biology

Looks like there will be a series of these lectures by Sapolsky.

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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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Really great videos!!!

Thanks for posting this, Diane.

Will
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:53 AM   #4
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Second lecture in Human Behavioural Biology.

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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 23-04-2011, 04:38 AM   #5
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Really liked the Intro to Human Behavioral Biology lecture and his discussion on troubles with thinking in buckets (categorical thinking).
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Old 23-04-2011, 04:59 AM   #6
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The whole series is great. I'm on #11 right now. A few of the lectures are by other people.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 24-04-2011, 03:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimney3pt View Post
Really liked the Intro to Human Behavioral Biology lecture and his discussion on troubles with thinking in buckets (categorical thinking).
His bucket analogy reminded me of the "levels of analysis" idea.

It seems like buckets are extremely important. Important enough that he has to use them to teach anything. But I take his point of pathologically living in a bucket. It's advice I need to heed.
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Old 24-04-2011, 03:59 AM   #8
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I like that too. I also like his style, his way-over-the-top anthropomorhizing, analogizing, metaphorizing, Sapolsky-izing.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 24-04-2011, 11:21 PM   #9
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While I think anthropomorphizing is important for story telling and story telling is important for communicating, I also think anthropomorphizing is in the same bucket as "buckets" in that there are troubles with thinking/teaching this way.

The concern formed the part of the basis of the Ernst Mayr essay, The Multiple Meanings of Teleological.

From the essay

Quote:
(4) Teleological language seemed to represent objectionable anthropomorphism. The use of terms like purposive or goal-directed seemed to imply the transfer of human qualities, such as intent, purpose, planning, deliberation, or consciousness, to organic structures and to subhuman forms of life.
Intentional, purposeful human behavior is, almost by definition, teleological. Yet I shall exclude it from further discussion because use of the words intentional or consciously premeditated, which are usually employed in connection with such behavior, runs the risk of getting us involved in complex controversies over psychological theory, even though much of human behavior does not differ in kind from animal behavior. The latter, although usually described in terms of stimulus and response, is also highly "intentional," as when a predator stalks his prey or when the prey flees from the pursuing predator. Yet, seemingly "purposive," that is, goal-directed behavior in animals can be discussed and analyzed in operationally definable terms, without recourse to anthropomorphic terms like intentional or consciously.
As a result of these and other objections, teleological explanations were widely believed to be a form of obscurantism, an evasion of the need for a causal explanation. Indeed some authors went so far as to make statements such as "Teleological notions are among the main obstacles to theory formation in biology" (Lagerspetz 1959:65). Yet, biologists insisted on continuing to use teleological language.
It seems that some vehicles for delivering information come with the danger of people being more interested in the vehicle than the information that it contains.
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Old 25-04-2011, 12:16 AM   #10
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Yes, it has its dangers; do you think Sapolsky ever skates close to the edge? I don't think so because of the humor and blatant exaggeration.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 25-04-2011, 12:36 AM   #11
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That, and the questions he writes for tests, and grades he gives out, ideally help control for what students end up taking away. I'm guessing that his test questions aren't phrased in objectionable anthropomorphic terms or that maybe "distractor questions" are.

I have to continue to watch the series to see if he makes any attempt to address such concerns. Maybe since he teaches in buckets, only to later destroy the buckets, he will likewise use anthropomorphic terms only to later disabuse people of such a notion.

Or maybe not. Maybe he's not as concerned about that as the buckets issue.

Regardless, it's just an utterance by someone (me) participating on a discussion board and not an important critique of someone whose qualifications are so far beyond my own that I ought to be embarrassed to write anything at all.

I didn't have the intellectual muster to appreciate his teaching when I was taking undergrad bio, but today, I would love to be a student of his regardless of his anthropomorphizing bucketless style.
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