Monthly Archives: April 2010

51 Pragmatic Suggestions: Mix, Match, Dismiss, Do!

1. Learn how to enter and exit the daily vortex (it will swallow you if you don’t)

2. Don’t give people the power to direct your life (because if you do, they will)

3. Beware those with an inflated sense of self (they’re always trying to expand their pyramid scheme)

4. Become a negotiator (it’s not a business term, it’s a life term)

5. Be nice (but not only nice)

6. Be tenacious (if you think you’re persistent enough, you probably aren’t)

7. Learn how to resolve into strategy (problem-solving must eventually rise to the top of consciousness even during the hardest times)

8. Stay grounded while you’re spiritualizing (and beware spiritual etherealites who aren’t)

9. Don’t become a sycophant, and don’t abide those who are

10. Don’t let a pursuit of your “purpose” short-circuit your passion (purpose isn’t verifiable, passion is)

11. Use mediocrity to find your edge (even doing poorly at something can be useful)

12. Know what you want (or at least try hard to figure it out)

13. Beware the mystification of entitlement (it’s a delusion that distorts reason)

14. Learn to enjoy competition (the race and the win)

15. Develop a love of “play” (it’s not kid stuff, it’s human stuff)

16. Beware the myth of predestination (and those who believe it)

17. Learn to use escapism, but don’t get lost in it

18. Learn to love culture, but don’t get drunk on it

19. Learn to appreciate business, but don’t deify it

20. Learn to manage expectations (yours and others’)

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Filed under About Perception, Books and Ideas, Noggin Raisers

What Makes Us Human?

I’ve posted below three videos that I think collectively do a nice job of addressing major issues underlying the perennial question: what makes us human? 

In the first video, the always engaging neurobiologist, primatologist and stress expert Robert Sapolsky talks about human-animal similarities and differences, at the 2009 Stanford commencement.  Skip to the 5:00 minute mark to go directly to Sapolsky’s talk. 

The second video, entitled “What Makes Us Human?”, was produced by The Leakey Foundation, and effectively summarizes several interesting findings from leading researchers on what distinguishes us from other primates.  The final and longest video (about 57 minutes) is a presentation by cognitive neuroscientist Martin Sereno that focuses on the origin of the human mind and why humans have significantly more cognitive power than other primates.


Filed under Videos