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First chess, now music: just how creative can computers get?

06/07/2010

"Nobody’s original," says composer David Cope.

Here’s what he means: there’s no such thing as "creativity," only endless copying, theme, and variation. "Everybody copies from everybody. The skill is in how large a fragment you choose to copy and how elegantly you can put them together."

Cope is making more than just an argument with the idea that "nobody’s original" – he’s making music. Cope is the world’s foremost creator of computer programs that compose classical music, and his latest program, called "Emily Howell," recently released its first album. In several cases, classical music scholars have been unable to tell an artificial intelligence created work in the style of Bach or Mozart from the original.

That music, Cope says, is proof that creativity, as we commonly understand it, does not exist – and that people are therefore little more than complex machines constantly crunching algorithms.

"The question," Cope says in a recent article in Miller-McCune,"isn’t whether computers have a soul, but whether humans have a soul." His answer is "no."

But what exactly has Cope proved? Very little, according to faculty in Saybrook’s program in Creativity Studies.

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University

Meet "the Market" - a God for the 21st century

06/07/2010

How many times have you heard someone talking about a major policy ask: "How is the market going to respond?"

Or heard someone say that a social problem will be taken care of "if we let the market work?" Or heard that our society is in trouble because "the market lost confidence."

These statements refer, of course, to the financial markets – but in a provocative article in the London Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty asked: if you substitute "God" for "the market" in all of these statements, doesn’t it make about as much sense?

In fact, said Chakrabortty, isn’t this a pretty good indication that "The Market" has become the Western society’s religion?

After all, we have faith in it, and in its power to perform miracles and bestow prosperity, even if we don’t really understand how.  We ask if "the market" will like something, or how "the market" will react, when we try to decide whether or not to do something. 
 
And, when you think about it, the market has a priestly class, temples, and orthodox doctrines, too.

Is Chakrabortt right?

We asked Alan Vaughan, a Jungian analyst and psychology faculty member in Saybrook’s PsyD program who studies both the psychology of global capitalism and the transmission of religions across cultures, to weigh in.

His response is below.

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University

The five stages of coping with sustainability

06/07/2010

We all know we should eat right and exercise, but most of us don’t – and it’s not because we don’t understand the science.

The same dynamic works with sustainability initiatives at even the most progressive companies, according to Dennis Jaffe: going green can be more challenging emotionally than it is intellectually. Companies that don’t take this into account are often headed for trouble.

Read more in his recent Triple Pundit article.

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University

Marc Pilisuk receives SPSSI Distinguished Service Award

06/07/2010

Saybrook Human Science faculty member Marc Pilisuk has been awarded the2010 Distinguished Service Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Founded in 1936, the SPSSI is an association of approximately 3000 psychologists, allied scientists, and others, who are interested in the application of research on the psychological aspects of important social issues and public policy solutions. It fosters and funds research on social issues, influences public policy, and encourages public education and social activism.

Pilisuk, the author of Who Benefits from Global Violence and War: Uncovering a Destructive System, is being offered the award on behalf of his "enthusiastic, dedicated, and enduring commitment" to SPSSI and its values. The award will be presented in New Orleans in late June.

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University

Key positions in Saybrook's administration announced

06/07/2010

Robert Schmitt, PhD and Vincent Pellegrino, EdD have been appointed to leadership positions for Saybrook University and will serve in the administration of the University’s new president, Mark Schulman, PhD, who will assume office on July 1.

Dr. Schmitt has been named the Dean of Saybrook University’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies. Currently serving as Saybrook’s interim president, Dr. Schmitt will take on this permanent position after Dr. Schulman assumes his post in July.

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University

Say hello to the new graduates

06/07/2010

In 2009, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center became Saybrook University. In June of 2010, two of the University’s Colleges have their first graduates.

Saybrook’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies will hold its graduation on Sunday, June 13 from 10 - noon, with 27 students receiving PhDs and 14 students receiving MAs. 

Additionally, the winners of the Rollo May Scholarship will be announced, as will Dissertation Award winners. 

Interim President Robert Schmitt will preside, and incoming President Mark Schulman will be in attendance. Honorary degrees will be bestowed on Jill Zohara Meyeroff Hieronimus and Milton Schwebel, who will give presentations.

LIOS Graduate College will hold its graduation on June 21, 2010, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Bastyr Chapel.  39 students will receive MAs.  LIOS president Shelley Drogin will preside, and LIOS graduate Doreen Cato will offer the keynote address and receive an honorary degree.

 

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University

Honoring those who serve humanity

06/07/2010

This month Saybrook University will award three honorary degrees to individuals recognized for representing a substantial body of work and high achievement in disciplines that embrace the University’s values and principles:

Jill Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus

Milton Schwebel, PhD

Doreen Cato, PhD

Honorary degrees will be awareded to Ms. Hieronimus and Dr. Schwebel at the commencement ceremony for the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies on June 13 and to Dr. Cato at the commencement ceremony for LIOS Graduate College on June 22

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University

You're invited: Saybrook's Board of Truesttes to hold open meeting on Friday

06/07/2010

Saybrook University’s Board of Trustees will hold an open board meeting on Friday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Residential Conference. The meeting will take place in the Aspen Room, Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel. All members of the community are welcome to attend.

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University

Meet the authors of Existential-Humanistic Therapy

06/07/2010

Saybrook University and the Existential Humanistic Institute are pleased to announce that Kirk Schneider and Orah Krug will be speaking about their most recent publication, Existential-Humanistic Therapy, on Thursday night at Saybrook’s June Residential Conference.

Existential-Humanistic Therapy provides an in-depth survey of contemporary existential-humanistic (E-H) theory, practice, and research. In particular, this uniquely American version of existential therapy, currently experiencing a renaissance, highlights E-H therapy’s historical development, theoretical underpinnings, and practical applications alongside the very latest in process and outcome research. This is the first text in existential-humanistic therapy to be published by the American Psychological Association, and as such, represents recognition of the E-H approach.  Kirk Schneider and Orah Krug will sign books after their presentation.

When: Thursday, June 10th @ 7:30 PM.

Where:  Saybrook Residential Conference

    San Francisco Airport Westin Hotel,

    1 Old Bayshore Highway,

Millbrae, CA  94030

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Alumni Messenger

Clinical Students Need Your Help - Saybrook PsyD and Clinical PhD Students Need Practicums

05/28/2010
Dear Saybrook colleague and alumni: We need your support! Help us find clinical placements for our clinical psychology (PhD and PsyD) students. We need your referrals and recommendations for clinical sites/agencies in your area or in our current students' locations. Our Clinical Psychology degrees are part of the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies, which carries forward...

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