Winter 2020 discussion prompts

  • What is humanity’s situation with respect to surviving long-term with a good quality of life? (Frame the core opportunities and obstacles.)
  • What attributes of our evolved, experientially programmed brains contribute to this situation? (What are the potential leverage points for positive change within our body-brain-mind system?)
  • What courses of research and action (including currently available systems, tools, and practices and current and possible lines of R&D) have the potential to improve our (and the planetary life system’s) near- and long-term prospects?

Following is a list of (only some!) of the resources some of us have consumed and discussed online, in emails, or face-to-face in 2019. Sample a few to jog your thoughts and provoke deeper dives. Please add your own additional references in the comments below this post. For each, give a short (one line is fine) description, if possible.

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Edward Berge
Editor

The Neural Basis of Human Prosocial Behavior, a new Frontiers in Science ebook here. The blurb: With the rise of laboratory and field experimental economics, the famous prisoner’s dilemma, public good, dictator, ultimatum, and trust games have become the classical paradigms of studying prosocial behavior. Due to the increasing use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with human subjects playing economic games, the neural basis of prosocial behavior has been uncovered by a large amount of neural imaging and stimulating research. A wide range of brain areas including, but not… Read more »

Edward Berge
Editor

From this article in the ebook: “The Dual-process System claims that there are dual subsystems in fairness-related decision making: one is automatic, with an immediate response and an emotional system with no cognitive effort, whereas the other is controlled and comparatively slow, with a rational system of cognitive effort. The emotional system represents the intuitive response; however, after learning and calculation, the rational system requires an adaptive response to different situations by regulating the emotional system (Loewenstein and O’Donoghue, 2004; Sanfey and Chang, 2008; Feng et al., 2015). Fairness-related decision making is influenced by systematically and effectively regulating responders’ fairness… Read more »