Anybody who's had to work for a living knows that we have a "work self" that is noticeably different from who we are outside of work.
Maybe we're more guarded, or more serious; maybe there are important parts of our lives we don't talk about.
At Rethinking Complexity, Dennis Rebelo has an interesting post asking about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are at the office. It's a great piece, work a read. It also raises the question: how do we integrate our work selves with who we are the rest of the time? Do we like it's a seperate person? Or a costuem? Or a side of ourselves?
How do we navigate our professional obligations while maintaining personal integrity?
If you have some thoughts or advice, leave them in the comments section below.
Real scientific breakthroughs of that scope don’t have to announce themselves. Fake ones do, because evolutionary psychology never produced a lightbulb and “artificial intelligence” never built a car. They certainly made advances, they contributed, but the wild claims that they would change everything about human society were the lonely mating call of scientists out on a limb.
If your ears are open, you can hear neurobiology making that same sound.
In this month’s Atlantic, neuroscientist David Eagleman is crowing about the way his field is going to forever change the criminal justice system. Apparently it has proven … or is on the verge of proving … or probably will eventually prove … or could in theory at some point arguably argue … that there is no free will, only differences in biology.
Eventually, at some point, probably, possibly, maybe … let’s hypothesize … this will have a huge impact on the way we assign blame in criminal cases.
The fact that it hasn’t done so yet is merely an accident of timing. Science, Eagleman tells us, will come through: We’ll get those flying cars eventually. We always have.
The trouble is that the case he builds is based on two premises – one of which is indisputably true, and one of which is horrifically wrong.
Great advice, Shakespeare, but could you help us a bit with that first part? What’s a “True self?”
“Experimental philosopher” Joshua Knobe recently wrote a New York Times blog in which he suggested that the true self is whatever one is ideologically disposed to believe it is: conservatives think it’s the rational self which tames the impulses, liberals think it’s the romantic impulses that chafe at rationality.
A blog in The Economist, meanwhile, responded that the “true self” is in fact an illusory product of evolution: it’s adaptive if we have “selves” that others can trust, therefore we create the image of selves:
We used to know what "collaboration" meant. But in the 21st century we can collaborate "in person," or through chat, or video chat, or through email, or "waves," or 3D avatars in a virtual environment.
Are they all the same thing? Or does the new technology for collaboration mean new kinds of collaboration?
Organizational Systems PhD student Jan Spencer has looked at the issue, and has an answer.
Let us know what you think. Has technology changed the way you work with others? Is it for the better?
The Dean of Saybrook’s College of Mind-Body Medicine, Dr. James Gordon, is one of the leading global voices calling for a change in the way medicine is practiced.
The Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, he recently served as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He also served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine and is a former member of the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH.
The Saybrook Forum asked Dr. Gordon to talk with us about the changes he sees in medicine as a field, and his recent book Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin Press).
Forum: Are there myths about depression that most Americans hold?
James Gordon: “Basically we’ve decided, with the fervent urging of the pharmaceutical companies and the sometimes active participation of the medical community, that depression is a disease and that it’s best treated with medications we call ‘anti-depressant’ drugs.
This is a misunderstanding, this is a myth, and it goes against the scientific grain as well as the experience of many, many, people.
Depression is a very painful experience, but it’s not the same as diabetes or coronary artery occlusion. There’s no consistent chemical abnormality. Depression is a state of being that we get into when we’re out of balance. Sometimes physically out of balance, to be sure, but also socially, spiritually, emotionally. It has many causes, but the causes are not Prozac deficiency, or even serotonin deficiency. These are often results, rather than causes. So what I’m doing in Unstuck is saying let’s look at the evidence, and the evidence is quite clear that depression is not a disease like these other entities are, that there is no simple biochemical abnormality, and that when you look at the so-called magic bullets that are supposed to wipe out depression, the research shows that they are little better than placebo, than sugar pills. When you look at the history of the research, the published studies make them look like they’re very effective therapeutic agents, but when you put these together with the unpublished studies, you see that they’re of very little use.
It’s an emperor’s new clothes situation. We’ve developed and marketed a cure that doesn’t really work very well.”
Forum: What should we do differently?
How have specific places affected you? Do you think differently in certain spots? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
At the LIOS blog, David Franklin wants to know if celebrating is an appropriate response to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Do we give ourselves a pat on the back, or do we recognize that we have to take our moral obligation to be better just as seriously in victory?
Read the post, and tell us what you think.
by David Franklin
I start to see the reaction amongst many people in the West: celebration, rejoicing, time to party, “it’s about time he got what was coming to him.”
Somehow, I get the feeling he (and many other people he was aligned with) were thinking the same things about us after 9/11.
And we hated them for it.
Which begs the question, “why is it then acceptable for us to feel and react that way?”
Are we better than they are? Are we right and they are wrong? Why do we get to claim the “moral high ground?”
Is it too hard to find a male therapist?
A recent article in the New York Times suggested that only one in five new Masters Degrees in therapy are awarded to men … and that this means patients who are seeking a male perspective, or are more comfortable confiding to a man, are out of luck.
Says the times:
Some college psychology programs cannot even attract male applicants, much less students. And at many therapists’ conferences, attendees with salt-and-pepper beards wander the hallways as lonely as peaceniks at a gun fair.
The result, many therapists argue, is that the profession is at risk of losing its appeal for a large group of sufferers — most of them men — who would like to receive therapy but prefer to start with a male therapist.
Is this a real shift? Or, more to the point, is it a real problem?
The needs of our new farms with their domesticated animals and seasonal crops kept pushing us to bigger and bigger feats of civilization: the idea is that a culture evolves on its stomach.
But an article in National Geographic says maybe the high school text books got it wrong. It's not "food" - it's "spirituality."
The oldest human architectural structure ever discovered – over 11 thousand years old – turns out to be a temple -- and it turns out that our ancestors were building temples before they were making farms.
At a time when human beings were living in nomadic tribes, they were also carving massive stone pillars to provide a better place to worship.
Was it our sense of the sacred – and our need to relate to an awe-inspiring universe – that really inspired civilization?
According to National Geographic, many archeologists say the evidence suggests that’s the case.