The “Uh Oh” Effect

Resist the “uh oh” effect. Midpoints—of work projects and training regiments can either discourage (the oh no” effect) or motivate (“oh no, time's running out”). UCLA researchers studying teamwork found that the majority of groups did almost no work until halfway to the deadline then suddenly buckled down. Set interim goals and adopt the “chain” technique: Pick a task and mark a calendar with an X every day you do it—the string of X’s serves as an incentive.

Aaron Fernandez writing in Wired Magazine

Articles of Interest - Jan 15


Here’s how to make sure Facebook shows you the content you want: You can beat the algorithm  Recode

Facebook chooses friends over publishers  Axios

How to post a still frame of a video to Instagram  cNet

This Is the Data Snapchat Doesn’t Want You to See  The Daily Beast


Study finds narcissists like fellow narcissists on Instagram  PsyPost

I deleted Facebook off my phone and you should too  Mashable

Are we raising digital monsters?  Union Tribune

Cutting adolescents’ use of social media will not solve their problems  Economist

Parents’ Biggest Dilemma: When to Give Children Smartphones  WSJ (sub req’d)

When will social media companies get serious about their effect on young kids? (opinion)  Quartz


The Joy of Predictive Text  Chronicle of Higher Ed


The Supreme Court could soon clear the way for states to impose new online sales taxes  Recode


Digital media companies are headed for a crash, Hearst Magazines president David Carey says  Recode

Media Organizations Grapple With the New Facebook  The New York Times

Facebook feed change sacrifices time spent and news outlets for ‘well-being’  Tech Crunch

Axios Media Trends  Axios



After Donald Trump Said It, How News Outlets Handled It  New York Times

Terry Gross, In Conversation  Vulture

A Crash Course in Breitbart’s Conspiracy Journalism (video)  The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper  

Why NPR Decided To Spell Out And Say Vulgar Word Used By President Trump  NPR

Trying to decide if you should publish that dirty word? Here's a step-by-step guide  Poynter

It’s not “citizen journalism,” but it is “citizens taking notes at public meetings with no reporters around”  Harvard’s Nieman Lab

Five Tips For Creating A Reporter Reel  Newsroom Notes

After Donald Trump Said It, How News Outlets Handled It  New York Times

10 resolutions for newsroom managers in 2018  Columbia Journalism Review

'The Post' reminds us of journalism's responsibility, legacy  Chicago Tribune


WaPo hits 2nd year of profitability, plans expansion  Axios

The top 10 newspaper publications in the US Muck Rack

Among U.S. Latinos, the internet now rivals television as a source for news  Pew Research

How virtual reality could change the journalism industry  PBS


Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards’ could violate ethics rules  Politco


CRISPR hits a snag: Our immune systems may attack the treatment  Stat News

Robotic Implants Could Help Remedy a Rare Birth Defect  Discover Magazine

Meet the Woman Using CRISPR to Breed All-Male “Terminator Cattle”Gene editing can change an animal’s sex  MIT Tech Review

Artificial intelligence dominated the Consumer Electronics Show  Economist

One in six Americans owns a smart speaker, according to study  Engadget


Supersymmetry, dark matter, GUTs—“some researchers are becoming open to the possibility that the truth-is-beauty argument is a trap, and that the universe is, in fact, fundamentally messy”  Economist

Visualizing the Uncertainty in Data  Flowing Data

Since we are all digital laborers, a new paper suggests data’s role in the economy might include a data-labor union to protect personal data  Economist

AI system sorts news articles by whether or not they contain actual information  Motherboard

Questions mount over fate of SpaceX launched secret satellite—did the satellite suffer some sort of failure or is it “indeed, in orbit”  Washington Post

Survey considers what’s ahead in 2018 for geospatial intelligence as tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence drive next gen capabilities and influence operating decisions  Geospatial World


Within Arms Reach   Becoming (my blog)

Want to Be Happy? Think Like an Old Person  The New York Times

Why Boys Are Mean To Those They Like (video)  Digg

Improving Ourselves to Death  The New Yorker

The Building Blocks of Personhood: Oliver Sacks on Narrative as the Pillar of Identity  Brain Pickings


How Reading Increases Your Emotional Intelligence & Brain Function: The Findings of Recent Scientific Studies  Open Culture

Redundancy in writing  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Be like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett: If you’re not spending 5 hours per week learning, you’re being irresponsible  Quartz


New Words of 1990  Chronicle of Higher Ed


Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words  Jstor

Haiti’s Resilience as Seen Through Literature  New York Times

A Winter Walk with Thoreau: The Transcendentalist Way of Finding Inner Warmth in the Cold Season  Brain Pickings

Why the First Novel Created Such a Stir  Jstor

Protesting Through Poetry  NPR

How the written word shaped the written world: Literature is a fundamental part of human history  Economist

W.H. Auden on the Political Power of Art and the Crucial Difference Between Party Issues and Revolutionary Issues  Brain Pickings

Why we still love Henry David Thoreau  New Yorker


Women in economics must be “significantly clearer writers than men” to get published in major journals and must wait longer, too  New York Times

A Scientist's Gender Can Skew Research Results  NPR

A Political Scientist Says #MeToo: A professor shares her experience of harassment and sees support as well as backlash, enabled in part by a controversial anonymous online forum for political scientists  Inside Higher Ed

'Dancing Backwards in High Heels' - Study finds female professors experience more work demands and special favor requests, particularly from academically "entitled" students  Inside Higher Ed

Google Memo Author Sues Company For Discrimination Against White Males  BuzzFeed

Am I a bad feminist? (Margaret Atwood)  Globe & Mail


North Carolina's Racial Gerrymandering Was Unconstitutional  The Atlantic

H&M's Apology for Tone-Deaf 'Monkey' Sweatshirt Misstep 'Not Enough'  Billboard

The gap between the number of blacks and whites in prison is shrinking  Pew Research


Medical Charity Brings First Amendment Challenge against U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  Washington Post   

Student Group Sues UMass Over Speech and Rally Policies  US News

Richard Spencer supporter sues university, calling security fee for campus speech unconstitutional  Washington Post  

Germany is silencing “hate speech”, but cannot define it  Economist

Trump calls for review of libel laws (again) in his latest salvo against free press CNN


No Level of Copyright Enforcement Will Ever Be Enough For Big Media TorrentFreak 

Legal Footnote: You Have to Look Hard to See the Supreme…  ProPublica

Army challenges Golden Knights trademark; Vegas responds  ProHockeyTalk


Report Shows It's Increasingly Dangerous To Be A Christian In Many Countries  NPR

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence  The Conversation

Secret Documents Reveal Sex Abuse Scandal in Jehovah's Witnesses Church  Newsweek

An evangelical Catholic movement inspires commitment, stirs controversy

Bonhoeffer at the End of Life: Bonhoeffer, Evangelicals and Pastor Mike Hayes  Patheos

Latino Churches Fear Impact of Homeland Security Decisions  Christianity Today

Arson suspects sought in Pasadena church fire   LA Times

Evangelical Chaplain’s Suspension Intensifies Denomination’s Gay Marriage Debate  Religious News Service

A Brief History of Making Deals with the Devil: Niccolò Paganini, Robert Johnson, Jimmy Page & More  Open Culture

Edwin Hawkins, gospel star known for 'Oh Happy Day' dies at 74  LA Times


Megachurch Pastor admits to assaulting a teen 20 years ago, gets standing ovation  CBS News

Andy Savage’s Standing Ovation Was Heard Round the World. Because It Was Wrong (opinion)   Christianity Today

How California’s Megachurches Changed Christian Culture  KQED

Former pastor says Angley abused him  Akron Beacon Journal

Publisher cancels book by Tennessee pastor accused of sexual assault  USA Today


Trump’s ‘s---hole’ remark rattles evangelicals, other Christians  The Wichita Eagle

Trump’s ‘shithole’ comments have enraged many. But some evangelical leaders still back him  Washington Post 

First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress says sentiment of Trump's vulgar immigration remarks 'on target'  Dallas News

Evangelical rift intensifies over Trump immigration remarks  Associated Press


Mapbreaking  Prototypr

Russia's Underground Art Finds A Home In The U.S.  NPR

Meet your match: Google app finds famous art you look like  CNET

What’s Up With the Helvetica Font in ‘The Post’?  The Ringer


Having rescued recorded music, Spotify may upend the industry again  Economist


Why Economists Make Terrible Fortunetellers  Jstor

The Real Future of Work: Forget automation. The workplace is already cracking up in profound ways, and Washington is sorely behind on dealing with it  Politico 

The 7 Percent Rule: Why a small fraction of visitors drive most online traffic — and profit  Traffic


Removal of John Carroll's newspaper adviser upsets former students  Baltimore Sun


FIRE files lawsuit on behalf of Illinois student detained by police for ‘Shut Down Capitalism’ flyers  The FIRE

Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays: But they are also lonelier and more isolated  Economist

Millennials may be terrible, but they get arrested far less often than their parents did  SFGate

It’s Hard To Study If You’re Hungry: Half of all college students struggle with food insecurity, which is closely linked to lower graduation rates  New York Times


The 10 best places to find a job in 2018  CNBC

Internship opportunities, Summer 2018  NBC, Los Angeles


Time For Harassers To Be Held Accountable, Female Gamer Says  NPR

The Paradox of Protecting Students: In shielding students from sexual harassers, professors support a broken system  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Are men accused of harassment denied due process? Or are the victims?  Vox

U. of Rochester’s President Resigns as Report Supports Handling of Harassment Case  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Studies of sexual violence on campus don't suffer from a self-selection bias according to a new study  Dignity

Why Psychologist John Pryor Created The Likelihood To Sexually Harass Scale  NPR


Most dads say they spend too little time with their children; about a quarter live apart from them  Pew Research

The Grandparenting Generation  New Republic


The economy affects health in an unexpected way  NPR

Severe obesity linked to newly identified gene mutations  Imperial College of London

Researchers find identical twins share molecular similarity  Baylor College of Medicine

How neural stem cells turn into brain cells, may allow treatment of neurological disorders early on  UCLA

A severe flu season is stretching hospitals thin. That is a very bad omen  Stat News

Trump's new assistant Drug Czar: a 24-year-old campaign volunteer with no experience, in charge of billions to end the opioid epidemic  Washington Post

The New Health Care Still Not Convinced You Need a Flu Shot? First, It’s Not All About You  New York Times


Scientists Continue to Use Outdated Methods  The Scientist Magazine

Particle Physics hits a wall  Economist

An Oath for Scientists  Sometimes I’m Wrong Blog


2017’s Best and Worst Brand Names—And 3 Naming Trends For 2018  Fast Company

Star Wars, Meghan Markle, total eclipse drove sales on eBay in 2017  CNBC


Two new books probe the evolutionary roots of creativity   Economist


How America’s infatuation with World War II has eroded our conscience (a graphic portrayal)  The Nib

Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate  Slate

50 Years Ago in Photos: A Look Back at 1968  The Atlantic

Watch the History of the World Unfold on an Animated Map: From 200,000 BCE to Today  Open Culture


The statistical methods used to analyze the data can influence the interpretation of the results  Elife Sciences

Funders should mandate open citations  Nature

We Used Broadband Data We Shouldn’t Have — Here’s What Went Wrong  FiveThirtyEight

That positive p-value we reported yesterday? Um, we screwed that up too  Axovant

A New Citation Database Launches Today: Digital Science’s Dimensions  Scholarly Kitchen


An Insider’s Take on Assessment: It May Be Worse Than You Thought (“assessors have known for sometime now that assessment does not work”)   Chronicle of Higher Ed

How to Survive the Robot Takeover: AI is coming for your job — and only a humanities degree can save you  Traffic

Are Prospective Students About to Disappear? New book says most colleges -- and the vast majority of nonelite institutions -- are about to face severe shortage of potential students  Inside Higher Ed

Higher Education Is Drowning in BS  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Educators must help undocumented students feel safe, supported (opinion)  Atlanta Journal Constitution  Get Schooled

Is there still a place for Christian colleges in American higher ed?  Education Dive

Moody Bible President and COO Both Resign, Provost Retires  Christianity Today


A School's Way To Fight Phones In Class: Lock 'Em Up  NPR 


A Scholar, But Not a Professor  Chronicle of Higher Ed

FIRE sues college for ignoring records requests about its firing of Black Lives Matter advocate  The FIRE

Judge Dismisses Suit of LSU Professor Who Was Fired for Obscenities  The Advocate


Within Arms Reach

Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands. The people who love me and will be there regardless of the outcome are within arms reach. This realization changed everything. That's the wife and mother and friend that I now strive to be. I want our home to be a place where we can be our bravest selves are most fearful selves. Where we practice difficult conversations and share our shaming moments from school and work. I want to look at Steve and my kids and say, “I'm with you I'm in the arena. And when we fail, we’ll fail together, while daring greatly.” We simply can't learn to be more vulnerable and courageous on our own. Sometimes our first and greatest dare is asking for support.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly


99 Movies about Journalism

99 Movies about Journalism (or with a bit of Journalism)

-30- (Jack Webb, William Conrad)

Absence of Malice (Paul Newman-what not to do!)

Ace in the Hole (Kirk Douglas)

Afghan Luke

All the President’s Men

Almost Famous





Bang Bang Club

Broadcast News 


Call Northside 777



China Syndrome (Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas)

Citizen Kane (classic!)

Continental Divide (John Belushi)

Control Room



Deadline USA (Humphrey Bogart)

the Devil Wears Prada


Eight Men Out (sports)


Fear and Loathing Las Vegas

Final Edition

Five Star Final (Edward G. Robinson)

the Front Page (Pat O'Brien)

Frost/Nixon (dir. Ron Howard)


Gentleman's Agreement (Gregory Peck)

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Going the Distance

Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney)



Green Street Hooligans

Guilty by Suspicion


His Girl Friday (Cary Grant)

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days


I Love Trouble



the Innocent Sleep

the Insider (broadcast)


Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty


Keeper of the Flame

Kill the Messenger

the Killing Fields

King of News Boys


Live from Baghdad 


Managing Editor

Medium Cool

Meet John Doe

a Mighty Heart (Angelina Jolie)

Missing (1973)

the Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsburg & the Pentagon Papers



the Newsies (musical)

Nothing but the Truth 


Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism


Page One (documentary)

the Paper (Michael Keaton, Robert Duval)

Park Row

the Parralax View

the Pelican Brief

the People Versus Larry Flynt

the Post


Red Riding in the Year of Our Lord

Resurrecting the Champs

Rum Diary (journalism ethics)

Runaway Jury


Safety Not Guaranteed


Shattered Glass

Silent Cradle


Six O’Clock News

the Soloist

Spider Man


State of Play (print vs blogging)


Sweet Smell of Success (Burt Lancaster)



Talk Radio

This Reporter (documentary)

True Crime 

the Truman Show


Under Fire (Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman)

Up Close and Personal

Under Fire


Veronica Guerin (how far to get the story)


Wag the Dog

War and Truth

War Photographer

the Wire

What’ s the Story Morning Glory?

Where the Buffalo Roam


the Year of Living Dangerously



Not Enough

To me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn't get enough sleep.” And the next one is “I don't have enough time.” Whether true or not, the thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even set up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that revelry of lack... This internal condition of scarcity, this mindset of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudices, and our arguments with life…

Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money

Articles of Interest - Jan 8


Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can't you put it down  The Globe & Mail

There’s a reason using a period in a text message makes you sound angry  Quartz

New Documents Underscore Problems of ‘Social Media Vetting’ of Immigrants  ACLU 


The 50 Best Podcasts of 2017  The Atlantic 


Google's New Search Console Gives Up More Data -- 16 Months Worth  Media Post

How a researcher hacked his own computer and found 'worst' chip flaw  Reuters 


Targeted for Death, Journalists Take US to Court on Kill List  Courthouse News

The Rising Wave of Nonprofit Journalism  Nonprofit Quarterly

Reading List: Data Journalism  Open Corporates

Show your work: The new terms for trust in journalism  Press Think

Study: Competition between TV stations spurs investigative journalism  CRJ

One year in, Facebook Journalism Project gets mixed reviews from publishers  Digiday

Top 10 research studies on digital news, social media in 2017  Journalism Resources


Fewer Americans rely on TV news; what type they watch varies by who they are  Pew Research Center 

How reader funding is helping save independent media across the world   The Guardian

Peter Thiel Is Exploring The Creation Of A Conservative Cable News Network  BuzzFeed

Three reasons why journalism paywalls still don’t work  Quartz


The Post' Is A Crackling Newsroom Thriller With Electrifying Relevance  NPR

As Trump Targets the Press, His White House Is Screening a Journalism Tribute  The New York Times 

Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham in 'The Post' can help fix #MeToo media damage  USA Today

The Post Is an Urgent Reminder of How Much Journalism Matters. Especially Now  TIME


Emmanuel Macron: French president announces 'fake news' law   BBC

How Average People Fall For The Flat-Earth Conspiracy  YouTube

How fake news plagued 2017  BBC

Some Real Data on Fake News  Chronicle of Higher Ed

We’ve been told that facts have lost their power, that debunking lies only makes them stronger. Don’t believe it  Slate

Fake News’: Wide Reach but Little Impact, Study Suggests  The New York Times

This new guide is like a cookbook for investigating fake news  Poynter


Suspicious Spouses Monitor Partners Digitally, Divorce Lawyers Say  NPR

Chess’s New Best Player Is A Fearless, Swashbuckling Algorithm  FiveThirtyEight


4 must have skills every data scientist should learn  Hackernoon

IARPA Throws Down an AI Challenge for Spy Satellite Images: $100,000 in prizes in a competition designed to spawn breakthroughs in imagery analysis  Meritalk

Operationalizing data science—that is, hardening the ops behind data science platforms  Inside Data Science

How the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has been researching  machine learning from the beginning  GCN

Google’s new option cloud computing users: discount processing (with a couple of limitations)  ZdNet

Digital Twins isn't completely new but it is a useful major enabler of event processing  Data Science Central


Farewell To AM Radio, In The U.K.   RBR


We Seek Familiarity Becoming (my blog)


10 Common Grant-Writing Mistakes  Chronicle of Higher Ed


Word(s) of the Year 2017  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Language classes in the US are finally useful  Quartz


Introducing the Librarian Action Figure: The Caped Crusader Who Fights Against Anti-Intellectualism, Ignorance & Censorship Everywhere  Open Culture


Disequilibrium in Gender Ratios among Authors who Contributed Equally  BioRxiv

Female professors are asked for favors more often than male professors  Science Daily


Lecturer’s Critique of Whiteness Crossed the Line Into Harassment, State Investigation Finds  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Supreme Court sides with death row inmate over racist juror claim  Reuters


Arrest of "citizen journalist" raises larger questions about free speech and press freedoms  Texas Monthly

Lawyer Who Orchestrated Citizen Journalist's Arrest Appointed to Superior Court Bench  National Law Review

Woman who accused Roy Moore of unwanted sexual contact sues him for defamation  The Washington Post

Disney's 1998 copyright term extension expires this year and Big Content's lobbyists say they're not going to try for another one  BongBong


The Unlikely Crackup of Evangelicalism: The problems are real—but exaggerated  Christian Today

Thomas Monson, President of the Mormon Church, Dies at 90  Reuters

Nearly one-third of ‘evangelicals’ don’t follow generally held beliefs  The Alabama Baptist 

FEMA allows churches to apply retroactively for disaster aid  Reuters

Biggest Mennonite Conference Leaves Denomination  Christianity Today

Unraveling the Mysteries of Heaven's Gate  Voice of San Diego

Deep Differences Remain Between Mormon And Evangelical Communities  NPR

Memphis mega-church Pastor Accused of sexual assault  Fox 13

Evangelicalism is spreading among the Chinese of South-East Asia  Economist

How Jim and Tammy Bakker's religious Ponzi scheme collapsed (book review)  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


High Museum Of Art In Atlanta Promotes Diversity, Increases Nonwhite Visitors  NPR

Personal Data Safety: The Biggest Breaches In the Last Decade  Daily Infographic


UWM Profs, Staff Accused of Sexual Assault & Harassment But Details Hidden  Media Milwaukee


Will anyone employ media heavyweights canned for sexual harassment?  Poynter

Anniston Star's ex-publisher spanked female employees in the 1970s, reports say

NPR Investigation Finds Hidden Epidemic Of Sexual Assault  NPR


Explore lightly': Palau makes all visitors sign pledge to respect environment The Guardian


Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why  The New York Times

Life expectancy in America has declined for two years in a row  Economist 


Violence against scientists is rare in the United States, but occurred at least three times in 2016  AAPL 

The Replication Crisis in Science  The Wire


Brain-computer interfaces: How brains and machines can be made to work together  Economist

Reading the brain from the outside: Can brain activity be deciphered without opening up the skull?  Economist

The best way of looking at the brain is from within: The hunt for smaller, safer and smarter brain implants  Economist

Turning brain signals into useful information: Once data have been extracted from the brain, how can they be employed to best effect?  Economist

How obstacles to workable brain-computer interfaces may be overcome  Economist


Integrity goes beyond avoiding misconduct, and scientific integrity has a wider domain than research integrity  Taylor & Francis Online 


Why scientists need to do more about research fraud  The Guardian

Research abstracts are commonly inconsistent with their corresponding full reports and thus misleading readers  BMC Medical Research Methodology

Librarians offer a guide to understanding retractions  College & Research Libraries News

The UK’s Research Excellence Framework “forces academics to produce scholarship in greater quantity but of poorer quality”  Times Higher Ed  

An analysis of a paper’s revision history and turnaround time, and the effect on citation  Springer


Most big public colleges don't track suicides, AP finds  Associated Press

Gay Wedding Costs College Pastor Her Job  Inside Higher Ed 

University Will Again Try to Become a Nonprofit  Chronicle of Higher Ed

University announces plans to sell radio station  Andersonian

Moody Bible Institute Lays off one-third of Faculty, Faces Low Student Enrollment  Christian Post

Moody Bible Institute Facing Unprecedented Crisis  Julie Roys Blog


Teaching Newsletter: Don’t Run From Emotions in the Classroom  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Teaching the Literature Survey Course  Inside Higher Ed

The Chronicle’s Best Ideas for Teaching, 2017  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Desktop Automation  Chronicle of Higher Ed

How to Reach Out to First-Generation Students  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Yes, We Should Teach Character (opinion)  Chronicle of Higher Ed


Students Identify With 50-Year-Old Supreme Court Case  NPR

President Trump Throws College Republicans Into Disarray  The Atlantic

Berkeley student arrested by Border Patrol while visiting girlfriend in Chula Vista  Union-Tribune

The Future of Trumpism Is on Campus: At colleges across the country, young supporters of the president are demanding that College Republicans fall into line  The Atlantic 

Millennials And The Economy  NPR


The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sues School over Prof’s firing after she defended Black Lives Matter  MSN

When is it appropriate for a professor to talk about a former student  Washington Post

UCLA lecturer who lost his job has gained another wrinkle: A graduate student who argued on his behalf also lost his position and is claiming retaliation by administrators  Chronicle of Higher Ed


We Seek Familiarity

We believe we seek happiness in love, but it’s not quite as simple. What at times it seems we actually seek is familiarity – which may well complicate any plans we might have for happiness.

We recreate in adult relationships some of the feelings we knew in childhood. It was as children that we first came to know and understand what love meant. But unfortunately, the lessons we picked up may not have been straightforward. The love we knew as children may have come entwined with other, less pleasant dynamics: being controlled, feeling humiliated, being abandoned, never communicating.

As adults, we may then reject certain healthy candidates whom we encounter, not because they are wrong, but precisely because they are too well-balanced (too mature, too understanding, too reliable), and this rightness feels unfamiliar and alien, almost oppressive. We head instead to candidates whom our unconscious is drawn to, not because they will please us, but because they will frustrate us in familiar ways.

We marry the wrong people because the right ones feel wrong – undeserved; because we have no experience of health, because we don’t ultimately associate being loved with feeling satisfied.

The Philosophers’ Mail

The Vulnerability Myth

The perception that vulnerability is weakness is the most widely accepted myth about vulnerability and the most dangerous. When we spend our lives pushing away and protecting ourselves from feeling vulnerable or from being perceived as too emotional, we feel contempt when others are less capable or willing to mask feelings, suck it up, and soldier on. We’ve come to the point where, rather than respecting appreciating the courage and daring behind vulnerability, we let our fear and discomfort become judgment and criticism. 

Our rejections of vulnerability often stems from associating it with dark emotions like fear, shame, grief, sadness, and disappointment—emotions that we don't want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect the way we live, love, work, and even lead. What most of us fail to understand and what took me a decade of research to learn is the vulnerability is also the cradle of the emotions experiences that we crave. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual eyes, vulnerability is the path.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

Our Difficult Side

Knowledge of our own neuroses is not at all easy to come by. It can take years and situations we have had no experience of.  Prior to marriage, we’re rarely involved in dynamics that properly hold up a mirror to our disturbances. Whenever more casual relationships threaten to reveal the ‘difficult’ side of our natures, we tend to blame the partner – and call it a day. As for our friends, they predictably don’t care enough about us to have any motive to probe our real selves. They only want a nice evening out. Therefore, we end up blind to the awkward sides of our natures. On our own, when we’re furious, we don’t shout, as there’s no one there to listen – and therefore we overlook the true, worrying strength of our capacity for fury. Or we work all the time without grasping, because there’s no one calling us to come for dinner, how we manically use work to gain a sense of control over life – and how we might cause hell if anyone tried to stop us. At night, all we’re aware of is how sweet it would be to cuddle with someone, but we have no opportunity to face up to the intimacy-avoiding side of us that would start to make us cold and strange if ever it felt we were too deeply committed to someone. One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.

The Philosophers’ Mail

Articles of Interest - Jan 1


The Biggest Technology Failures of 2017  MIT’s Technology Review

Key trends shaping technology in 2017  Pew Research

This VR Exhibit Lets You Connect with the Human Side of War  MIT’s Technology Review 


Military robots are getting smaller and more capable: Soon, they will travel in swarms  Economist

Machine learning is creating never before heard sounds as neural networks begins to take the simple to create the complex (video)  Google Inhouse vlogger

Why scientists (especially in physics and astronomy) embrace Bayesian statistics  Bloomberg

Neural networks go back to the 1950s. So what’s new? The hardware we can run them on is faster, more efficient, and more powerful. Plus-the data sizes have gotten so much bigger  Logic Mag

Are computers intelligent, or just pattern detectors? Exploring the “Beautiful Mind” of neural networks  ieee Spectrum


Twitter’s No. 1 Topic Of 2017? You Guessed It  Deadline

Snapchat Copies Facebook Feature For Once With 'A Look Back at 2017'  MacRumors

How To Find Your 2017 Snapchat Memories So You Can Relive Your Best Snaps Of The Year  Bustle


Los Angeles is opening a selfie museum  New York Post

How to Stop Apps From Listening in on Your TV Habits  Life Hacker


How Hotmail changed Microsoft (and email) forever  Arstechnica

Forward your spam to and a bot will waste the spammer's time  Boing Boing


Santa Barbara News-Press paper byline sparks controversy  KEYT-TV

A day in the life of a print journalism reporter  Pueblo Chieftain

Polls show Americans distrust the media. But talk to them, and it’s a very different story  Washington Post

MSNBC reporter video-bombed by T-rexes  UPI

Spielberg’s ‘The Post,’ with Streep and Hanks, an inspiring journalism saga  San Francisco Gate


What national news networks were talking about during 2017  Washington Post

Why I started saying ‘reality-based press’ in 2017, instead of ‘mainstream media’  Washington Post

2017 journalism report card  HealthNewsReview


81 reporters were killed in 2017 as threats soared, global journalism group says  CBC News

Mexico: Latest murder highlights blurred lines in journalism   Associated Press


How the Era of the Big-Name News Anchor Crashed to an End  The Daily Beast


Yale University Hackathon Takes Aim At Fake News  NPR

Fake news. It's complicated. First Draft  Medium

Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online  Associated Press 

Outsmarting Fake News and Dubious Data  Harvard Business Review


Three Goals for 2018  Becoming (my blog)

The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions  New York Times

The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel  Brainpickings 

What Is Procrastination & How Can We Solve It? An Introduction by One of the World’s Leading Procrastination Experts  Open Culture

The Best of Brain Pickings 2017  Brainpickings 

Ditch These Seven Bad Habits Before 2018 Start   Fast Company


The difficulty is the point': teaching spoon-fed students how to really read  The Guardian

To Your Brain, Audiobooks Are Not ‘Cheating’  The Cut

How to Get Your Mind to Read  New York Times


The Art of Being Alone: May Sarton’s Stunning 1938 Ode to Solitude  BrainPickings

The best science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels of 2017  The Verge  

Why Should We Read Charles Dickens? A TED-Ed Animation Makes the Case  Open Culture

The Top Tech Books of 2017: Part I  Wired

The Favorite Literary Work of Every Country Visualized on a World Map  Open Culture

The Best Fiction Books of 2017  Booktalk

Flannery O’Connor: Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Ayn Rand  Open Culture


How Mary Tyler Moore's Career-Woman Role Inspired A Generation  NPR

10 things we learned about gender issues in the U.S. in 2017  Pew Research


Germany starts enforcing hate speech law  BBC


The Net Worth of The10 Richest US Pastors   Cheat Sheet

The Museum of the Bible  National Law Review

Atheist Flag Will Be Raised Over Ten Commandments Monument  NPR

Trump Scorns Mainstream News, But Not The Christian Broadcasting Network  NPR


2017 Has Been A Rough Year For Evangelicals  NPR

Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2017  Christianity Today


The Year in Visual and Interactive Storytelling  ProPublica

Fast Company’s Favorite Illustrations Of 2017  Fast Company

Teacher Fired for Showing Students Classical Painting Postcards Containing Nudity  Associated Press

20 best album covers 2017  Creative Bloq

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2017  Flowing Data


The 2017 Storyhunter Staff Picks Awards  Video Strategist


2017: Traditional Media Stocks Underperform, Digital Media Soars  Media Post


How do you define sexual harassment?  Reuters

Who's More Dangerous - the Sexual Predator or the Enabler? (opinion)  TechNewsWorld


Why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work: The proportion of medical procedures unsupported by evidence may be nearly half  Vox

LA Times provides strong overview on study showing vitamin D and calcium supplements don’t prevent fractures  HealthNewsReview

The uninsured are overusing emergency rooms — and other health-care myths  Washington Post

The Haunting Effects Of Going Days Without Sleep  NPR

How to fix the American diet, according to the man who coined the term ‘junk food’  Washington Post

Eat more fish for higher IQ? Announcement skips limitations of an observational study  HealthNewsReview


'Vast Majority' of Online Anti-Vaxxers Are Women  Live Science

How Climate Change Deniers Rise to the Top in Google Searches  New York Times

Longreads Best of 2017: Science, Technology, and Business Writing  Longreads

Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics  Quanta Mag


Depression treatment: 30 years after Prozac arrived, we still buy the lie that chemical imbalances cause depression  Quartz

World Health Organization Thinks Video Games Are Causing a Mental Health Disorder  Newsweek


God's Answer to Nietzsche, the Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard  BigThink  


Why Calendars are More Effective Than To Do Lists  Medium

5 Books To Buy This Holiday To Boost Your Work In 2018  PSFK


Reproducible research: The consequences are somewhat overstated (research opinion)  Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 

Fallibility in science: Responding to errors in the work of oneself and others (opinion)  Peer J

Authorship disputes: How do we avoid “cutting the baby in half”?  Hindawi

City University of New York Looking into why some of faculty published in predatory journals  New York Post

Simply contributing data to a study or serving as a representative of a research consortium does not fulfill criteria for authorship  JAMA Forum

The president of the Swiss Association for Science Journalism interviews Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch (audio)   swissnex San Francisco 

Must Good Science Proselytize?  The Grumpy Geophysicist 


Only half of all Latino students graduate from college. So what are Texas schools doing to help?  Dallas News

No place for 'snowflakes': Conservative Christian college poised to open in 2018   Fox News


Death threats are forcing professors off campus  CNN 

Czech university urged to bar new dean over ‘junk journal’ papers  Times Higher Ed

Professor who tweeted, ‘All I want for Christmas is white genocide,’ resigns after year of threats  Washington Post

Three Goals for 2018

“Kierkegaard cries out for us to live passionately, and worry more about the problem of living life than trying to fit the social order. His philosophy is all about living this way, even to the point where an outside viewer will be unable to understand your motivation,” writes Scotty Hendricks at BigThink.

1. Be passionate,

2. Focus on living not fitting into some predetermined social role,

3. You will know you are on the right track when people have trouble grasping what motivates you.

Three worthy goals for 2018.

Stephen Goforth