Posts tagged with the category Benjamin Wachs
A society that only does technology well will age badly
The first American baby boomer reached retirement age this year. By 2030, one-in-five Americans will be a Boomer past 65. This "silver tsunami" as it's been called, will carry much of what we know about American culture with it: when one-in-five people are over 65, our economy is just one aspect of society that will...
The 21st century suffers from an "existential famine"
In response to several studies showing that empathy has declined significantly among the young, and that social media is correlated with narcissism, a new group of educators are hoping to counter the trend by teaching empathy in college classes.
Previous research, some by Saybrook University’s Joel Federman, has shown this...
The problem isn't feminism: the problem is that you can't become happy by proxy
In 2009 a major study (pdf) showed that women were increasingly unhappy in the modern world – and a host of pundits, psychologists, and sociologists asked “What’s happened to the fairer sex?”
Was it feminism that was making women less happy? Economic inequality? Higher expectations? Loneliness? Feminism? (That one came up a...
Psychology Needs Poetry - Part II
In an extraordinary article in Poetry Magazine, poet Joshua Mehigan examines the popular link between “poetry” and “madness.” After all, aren’t poets visionaries and eccentrics? Aren’t they taken over by the muse and privy to the depths of the human experience?
Well, maybe those last two. But...
Third world call centers are a peek into the future of depression
A must-read article at Mother Jones describes the existential condition of the new global workers: college educated Indian call center employees.
Never before in history have people lived and worked the way they do. Because call center companies don’t trust India’s infrastructure, they operate in walled cities of their own (...
The link between existentialism and spirituality is Awe
Shortly after becoming an existential therapist, Bob Edelstein remembers having a conversation with Rollo May.
“I asked if one could be both existential and spiritual. He responded that it was essential to be both.”
Edelstein recounts that story in his recent review of Kirk Schneider’s book Awakening to Awe, and it...
Why existentialism's fortunes rise and fall
The Existential perspective in life (and psychology) used to be tremendously … well, one hates to use the word “popular,” but there it is … in this country. Then something changed, and seemingly almost overnight it moved from being near the center of intellectual life to the balcony.
Yes, there was...
Psychology isn't engineering - and is better for it
In 2010, The American Psychological Association’s 2009 Presidential Task Force on the Future of Psychology published a report arguing that that psychology needs to be recognized alongside other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines.
After all, doesn’t psychology occur in a laboratory? Doesn’t it use math, and...
Neuroscience is starting to sound suspiciously like the 21st century's version of phrenology
You know a scientific field has turned into a scientific fad when it says it’s changed EVERYTHING.
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...
Artificial Intelligence's biggest success isn't making computers smarter -- it's making people dumber
Back in 1997, when IBM’s computer “Deep Blue” beat the world’s (human) champion at chess, the news world erupted: were human beings on the way out?
Well, were they?
Today it doesn’t seem like it. I doubt you can come up with a single substantive way that a computer being better at chess than Gary...
How to help schools help creative kids
There are a lot of things kids can do to get in trouble in school, and being more creative than the test they’re taking may be near the top of the list.
Overwhelmed teachers say they’re having trouble finding the time to work with creative students, and an increasingly tight regimen of standardized tests means that creativity is often...
First chess, now music: just how creative can computers get?
"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."