What dumb, blind, stupid luck I had to even be here at all. What luxury, what privilege! To be an American woman wandering around in such a place, so rich in history and so adjacent but foreign in culture and language. I had only ever noted Dresden before in the name of the cabaret-rock band […]
Read more "Deutschland verlassen (Leaving Germany)"
When I talk to people about my visions for the future and technology, nearly everyone will warn me with a myriad of threats and challenges nested deeply in a core belief system that humans are capable of so much more corruption than love. I disagree. I believe that we are shifting from a world whose […]
Read more "Benevolence and Beauty"
Tim Burners-Lee invented the world wide web with the central premise that it would be a place where all of the knowledge gathered over human history and all over the world would be collected in one central hub with external “links” to other sources. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites on the internet, […]
Read more "Anybody Out There? Reinventing Social Connection During a Pandemic"
The Shannon-Weaver model for communication posits face-to-face as the most immersive, rich, and information-dense mode and medium. I do not disagree with this. The human mind is so nuanced at social perception, and all of our senses can perceive the embodied expressions of another person, and how they receive our own expressions (whether we are […]
Read more "Transformative Social Interaction Technology"
I implore you to consider this question: Does sadness always have to be heavy and burdensome? It is easy for me to be effervescent, joyful, and rapturously excited about beauty, possibilities, and ideas. I’m apt to be excited. And yet, I am not this way all the time. I can’t be. Or at least, the […]
Read more "Easeful Depth: Exploring Sadness as an Asset to Our Emotional Landscape"
The feeling starts when I lay on my back. I love lying on my back and looking up. Instantly, this centers me. It makes me feel calm, and wise. It has always been this way. It grounds me. Lately, something peculiar has started to happen, and I do not know why. I often have this […]
Read more "Embodying Relaxation: The Feeling of Falling and Growing Roots"
Emily Dickinson was perplexed by this notion that access to truth has two dimensions, which she referred to as circumscription and circuitry. Circumscription refers to the outer reaches of what we as humans can possibly understand about the cosmos, the universe, and ultimate truth. The circuit refers to our individual existence, and the scope of […]
Read more "Compassion as a practice of shifting focus from the self on to another"
One of the main limitations of empathy is that it triggers a deep and intense emotional response to another person or persons. As such, empathy is narrow in scope. We empathize most readily with those who are close in proximity and kinship, those who we can easily imagine ourselves to be. Paul Bloom argues that […]
Read more "The Realization that Everyone Else Also Has a Rich and Intricate Subjective Life"
In a 2010 study entitled ‘How do we empathize with someone who is not like us? A functional magenetic resonance imaging study’, Lamm, Meltzoff, and Decety measured empathic neural circuits and connectivity coding for somatosensory, affective, and cognitive aspects of the perception of pain in similar and dissimilar others. Participants in a functional magnetic resonance […]
Read more "Empathizing with Difference"
This is an early post to gather ideas about a project proposal I am developing. My goal is to distinguish underlying processes and and response patterns in empathic distress and empathic concern/compassion. Batson, Fultz, and Schoenrade (1987) regard empathic distress and empathic concern as two qualitatively distinct emotional responses to another person that also produce […]
Read more "Reinforcing Concern and Compassion Versus Distress and Fatigue in Empathic Responses to Psychosocial Stress"