To Get What You Want, Ask in Person

Research says it’s significantly more effective than emailing a request

by Tracy Moore

 

Most of us dread being asked for money, time commitments or our signature on a clipboard in person because it’s so difficult to say no when you’re staring a nice, pleading person in the face. It’s just so much easier to skip past or delete an emailed request. New research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology confirmed what you might have guessed: Face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones. Interestingly though, people believe email is just as effective as talking in person.

To test the idea, researchers at Western University asked 45 people to approach 10 strangers each to complete a survey — half in person, half via email. They found that not only were folks much more likely to answer the survey if asked in person than in email, but the participants wrongly assumed they’d be just as, if not more, effective in email than face-to-face.

“Why do people think of email as being equally effective when it is so clearly not?” asks one of the researchers, Vanessa K. Bohns, in a piece at Harvard Business Review. Answer: Because they didn’t consider how the request came across via email when they were the ones sending it.

“In our studies, participants were highly attuned to their own trustworthiness and the legitimacy of the action they were asking others to take when they sent their emails,” Bohns writes. “Anchored on this information, they failed to anticipate what the recipients of their emails were likely to see: an untrustworthy email asking them to click on a suspicious link.”

There are other reasons emails aren’t the greatest tool for communication — it’s hard to detect the sender’s intended tone, and it can prolong the conversation, when a face-to-face request may get a simple yes or no back with less handwringing.

But what’s probably more important here is that when you’re talking to someone face to face, the conversation lacks the distance that makes it easier for someone to deceive you, and in fact allows them to be colder and more “purely cognitive,” according to Dana Carney, assistant professor of management at University of California at Berkeley. If you’re trying to get your way, using email is fighting your own premise, essentially providing the recipient a great cop-out.

Talking in person is more humanizing than a digital veil, so it’s logical to assume it’s also more effective at applying pressure. There are other strategies for how to do the asking, but this research presumes you can get a face-to-face meeting with the person you want to persuade, which is not always an option. But at least you know if you want to be effective, you should still (try to) get a meeting.

https://melmagazine.com/to-get-what-you-want-ask-in-person-312b9a317367

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You Are Not Your Brain, with Alva Noë

Article Image

 

by MEGAN ERICKSON

What’s the Big Idea?

“Contemporary research on consciousness in neuroscience rests on unquestioned but highly questionable foundations. Human nature is no less mysterious now than it was a hundred years ago,” writes philosopher Alva Noë in his book Out of Our Heads.

It’s a bold assertion in an age when fMRI has enabled us to see images of the brain functioning in real time, and when many prominent public intellectuals (Stephen Hawking, Eric Kandel) have argued, either implicitly or vociferously, in favor of reductionism. The “brain-as-calculating machine” analogy assumes that human thought, personality, memory, and emotion are located somewhere in the gray matter protected by the skull. In other words, you — at least, the waking you who gets out of bed in the morning — are your brain.

But you’re not, says Noë. Just as love does not live inside the heart, consciousness is not contained in a finite space — it’s something that arises, something that occurs: a verb rather than a noun. And since the publication of Francis Crick’s influential The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul, scientists have been looking for it in all the wrong places. Watch our video interview:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/htmlFederated?&width=480&height=270&flashID=myExperience&identifierClassName=BrightcoveExperienceID_991&forceHTML=true&bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&playerID=651017566001&playerKey=AQ~~%2CAAAAGuNzXFE~%2Cqu1BWJRU7c26MMkbB19ukwmFB5ysvYz5&isVid=true&isUI=true&dynamicStreaming=true&%40videoPlayer=1602811092001&autoStart=&debuggerID=&startTime=1493204808711&refURL=https://www.google.pt/

What’s the Significance?

The evidence is this, says Noë: we still do not have an adequate theory for consciousness. “Everybody working in this field understands that we haven’t gotten to the stage even of having a back-of-the-envelope sketch of what a good neural theory of consciousness would look like. If I said to you, is consciousness happening in this individual cell?’ you’d laugh.”

A cell is obviously the wrong scale for explaining such a complicated phenomena. Neuroscientists have addressed this by simply expanding their domain: “You get bigger. You look at larger populations of cells and at the dynamic activity of those larger populations distributed in the brain spatially and over time.”

What Noë is advocating is an entirely new approach — what if we were to try expand our conception of consciousness by crossing that boundary out of the skull, to encompass “not just our bodies and our movements over time, but also the dynamic interactions that we have with the larger world around us, including the social world?”

Begin by looking at our connections, he says, and we’ll find the tools for gaining insight into the nature of consciousness. In fact, lots of information that stimulates our nervous system doesn’t get experienced by us. For example: “I might spend an hour talking to you and not notice what color your shirt is. In some sense I saw your shirt. It was there before me and it activated my nervous system and yet I might be unable in any way to make use of that information.” It’s an interesting puzzle: intuition structures our experience in a way that can’t be traced back to the nervous system.

It’s also an invitation to reopen an important debate that has been to some extent buried in a mire of specialization. It’s okay to speculate, Noë seems to be saying, even if you’re not a genius. The question is, will we do it?

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/you-are-not-your-brain

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Now THAT was music

Resultado de imagem para Music fans at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 27 May 1984Music fans at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 27 May 1984. Photo by Daily Record/Mirrorpix/Getty

One grim day (when youth is over) you find that new music gets on your nerves. But why do our musical tastes freeze over?

Lary Wallace is features editor of Bangkok Post: The Magazine. He has written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, The Library of America Reader’s Almanac, and others.

Some of us are more susceptible than others, but eventually it happens to us all. You know what I’m talking about: the inability to appreciate new music – or at least, to appreciate new music the way we once did. There’s a lot of disagreement about why exactly this happens, but virtually none about when. Call it a casualty of your 30s, the first sign of a great decline. Recently turned 40, I’ve seen it happen to me – and to a pretty significant extent – but refuse to consider myself defeated until the moment I stop fighting.

I’ve been fighting it for more than 10 years now, with varying degrees of vigour and resolve. Sometimes the fight becomes too much – one tires of the small victories that never break open into anything larger – and the spirit flags. I continually if not consistently stay abreast of what’s deemed the best of the new – particularly in rap and rock and R&B (which I stubbornly and unapologetically refer to, like a true devotee of its 1960s incarnation, as ‘soul singing’). These ventures into the current and contemporary have reaped dividends so small, they can be recounted – will be recounted – with no trouble at all.

But why should I care? Why should any of us care? Maybe it’s about the fear of becoming what we’ve always loathed: someone reflexively and guiltlessly willing to serve up a load of things-were-better-in-my-day, one of the most facile and benighted of all declarations. If you take pride in regarding yourself as culturally current, always willing to indulge the best of everything wherever it’s found, such taste blockages can be pretty frustrating, even embarrassing. And that hoary old consolation for the erectile dysfunction of the slightly older – ‘It happens to everyone’ – is no consolation at all.

For one thing, it doesn’t happen to everyone. Musicians seem particularly immune, for obvious reasons, and so do certain types of journalists, for reasons touched on in the paragraph above. Still, it’s a very real phenomenon, as real as anything that transpires in the mind. Famously, something similar happens to us with sports, particularly spectator sports, and at a much younger age. But no one really feels too badly about that, because of the inherent meaninglessness of watching other humans engage in physical activity. It’s like ruing the day you ever stopped liking porn. But music is different. Denounce the music of the present day, and you’ve instantly become a walking, talking, (barely) breathing cliché, ripe for ridicule, a classic figure of parody and invective.

It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it could certainly happen to you.

It’s axiomatic in our culture that a sense of wonder is something to be encouraged in others and coveted for ourselves. But a sense of wonder is dependent on an ability to experience surprise, and if as an adult you’re still surprised by certain things, then you haven’t been keeping up the way you should.

Most of us stop responding to new music because we know better. You can read that sentence and its last word any way you want; it’s still going to apply. But even if we don’t know better, per se, we still know just as good, and so we know enough to understand that it’s been done before, whatever this is we’re listening to. All of which is another way of saying: you lose your virginity only once.

This is only compounded by another factor, and it’s something I’ve never seen or heard mentioned in any discussion of this topic. It has to do with the callowness (perceived and real) of musicians younger than ourselves. As something that by its very nature appeals to our emotions, music requires that we be emotionally engaged. This can be a very difficult thing to achieve on behalf of someone who hasn’t endured as much of the world as we have…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/why-do-your-musical-tastes-get-frozen-over-in-your-twenties

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All the Good Things Alcohol Does for Your Body

Why must we always focus on liver disease?

We know all about the awful shit that’ll happen to you if drink too much: Shorter life expectancy. Liver disease. Nerve damage. Ulcers. Decreased cognitive function over time. But what about all the good stuff? Doesn’t a glass of wine a night prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure? And doesn’t a glass of whisky soothe a sore throat? Totally says conventional wisdom — and sometimes science, too. In fact, here are at least seven good things booze can do for your health according to actual scientific findings…

1) It May Be the Fountain of Youth. A 2006 study by the Catholic University of Campobasso in Italy reported that drinking less than four drinks (for men) or two drinks (for women) per day could reduce the risk of death by 18 percent. “Little amounts, preferably during meals, appears to be the right way [to drink alcohol],” explained Giovanni de Gaetano, one of the study’s authors. “This is another feature of the Mediterranean diet, where alcohol, wine above all, is the ideal partner of a dinner or lunch. But that’s all: The rest of the day must be absolutely alcohol-free.”

2) It May Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. In 2005, the School of Public Health at Harvard University found that “moderate amounts of alcohol raises levels of high-density lipoprotein, HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol and higher HDL levels are associated with greater protection against heart disease. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked with beneficial changes ranging from better sensitivity to insulin to improvements in factors that influence blood clotting. … Such changes would tend to prevent the formation of small blood clots that can block arteries in the heart, neck and brain, the ultimate cause of many heart attacks and the most common kind of stroke.”

3) It’s Viagra-Adjacent. Contrary to popular opinion, newer research has found that moderate drinking might actually protect against erectile dysfunction in the same way that drinking red wine might benefit heart disease. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that the chances of erectile dysfunction were reduced by 25 to 30 percent among alcohol drinkers. “Compared with never-drinkers, the age-adjusted odds of ED were lower among current, weekend and binge drinkers and higher among ex-drinkers, said lead researcher, Kew-Kim Chew, an epidemiologist at the University of West Australia, who conducted the study with 1,770 Australian men.

4) It’s Full of Antioxidants. The department of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University found in 1993 that while susceptibility to the common cold was increased by smoking, moderate alcohol consumption led to a decrease in common cold cases for nonsmokers. Almost a decade later, according to The New York Times, Spanish researchers found that drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, could lead to a 60-percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected that this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine.

5) It Can Help Prevent Dementia. In a study that’s included more than 365,000 participants since 1977, as reported in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “Small amounts of alcohol might, in effect, make brain cells more fit. Alcohol in moderate amounts stresses cells and thus toughens them up to cope with major stresses down the road that could cause dementia,” Edward J. Neafsey, a co-author of the study, told Science Daily in 2011.

“We don’t recommend that nondrinkers start drinking,” Neafsey added. “But moderate drinking — if it is truly moderate — can be beneficial.”

6) It Reduces the Risk of Gallstones. Drinking about a beer and a half per day can reduce the risk of gallstones — pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder — by one-third, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia. The researchers believed that alcohol might reduce gallstones through its effects on cholesterol, but the magnitude of the effect hadn’t been calculated.

7) It Can Lower the Chance of Diabetes. Results of a Dutch study in 2005 showed that healthy adults who drink one to two glasses of liquor per day have a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, in comparison to those who don’t drink at all. “The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2,” researchers said in a statement to Reuters.

So drink up! Just don’t get fucked up—too often.

https://melmagazine.com/all-the-good-things-alcohol-does-for-your-body-fcbbb663f3a

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The Occult Archetype Called Vaccination

by Jon Rappoport, Guest, Waking Times

In many past articles, I’ve taken apart the so-called science of vaccines and shown how deceptive it is. Here I take another approach: examining the archetypes and symbols that surround vaccination and give it occult power.

Begun as a crude version of homeopathy (“treat like with like”), in which a mild injected version of a disease would supposedly protect against the actual disease, vaccination soon developed into a military outpost, with the commander ordering the appearance of his scouts: antibodies. “Line up men, now hunt!”

Today, as a revival of ancient symbology, vaccination is a conferred seal, a sign of moral righteousness. It’s a mark on the arm, signifying tribal inclusion. No tribe member is left out. Inclusion by vaccination protects against invisible spirits (viruses).

The notion of the tribe is enforced by dire predictions of pandemics: the spirits of other tribes (from previously unknown hot zones in jungles) are attacking the good tribe, our tribe.

Mothers, the keepers of the children, are given a way to celebrate their esteemed, symbolic, animal role as “lionesses”: confer the seal on their offspring through vaccination. Protect the future of the tribe. Speak out and defame and curse the mothers who don’t vaccinate their children. Excommunicate them from the tribe.

The ceremony of vaccination is a rite of passage for the child. He/she is now more than the offspring of the parents. The child is in the village. The child is property of the village. As the years pass, periodic booster shots reconfirm this status.

Some ancient rituals presented dangers. The child, on his way to becoming a man, would be sent out to live alone in the forest for a brief period and survive. Vaccination symbolizes this in a passive way: the injection of disease-viruses which might be harmful are transmuted into protective spirits in the body. The injection of toxic chemicals is a passageway into immunity. If a child is damaged in the process, the parents and the tribe consider it a tragic but acceptable risk, because on the whole the tribe and the village are protected against the evil spirits (viruses).

The psychological and occult and archetypal impact of vaccination is key: modern parents are given the opportunity to feel, on a subconscious level, a return to older times, when life was more bracing and immediate and vital. That is the mythology. Modern life, for basic consumers, has fewer dimensions—but vaccination awakens sleeping memories of an age when ritual and ceremony were essential to the future of the group. No one would defect from these moments. Refusal was unthinkable. Survival was All. The mandate was powerful. On a deep level, parents today can experience that power. It is satisfying.

The doctor giving the injections is, of course, the priest of the tribe, the medicine man, the holder of secrets. He is the spiritual source of, and connection to, “unseen realms” where opposing spirits carry out warfare and struggle for supremacy. Without the medicine man, the tribe would disintegrate.

The medicine man is permitted to say and do anything. He can tell lies if lies serve a noble purpose and effect greater strength of the tribe. He can manipulate language and truth and meaning. He can turn day into night. He can present paradox and contradiction. No one can question his pronouncements.

 

Loyalty to the medicine man is absolute. In this regard, a rebel is exiled or destroyed.

People living today in industrial and technological societies are relatively numb. Their options and choices seem confined to a range of products they can buy. They yearn for absolutes. They want a command that taps into the adrenaline-stimulating need for, and risk to, survival. The ritual of vaccination, along with the ever-present threat of illness and outbreak and pandemic, awakens that need and risk…

more…

About the Author
Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. 
This article (The Occult Archetype Called Vaccination) was originally created and published by Jon Rappaport’s Blog and is re-posted here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/22/occult-archetype-called-vaccination/

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Join the party of love

Resultado de imagem para Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard

image edited by Web Investigator

Love is not just a feeling given or received, it is an action too. It could be a radical force in politics

Max Harris is a fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. His writing has appeared in the New Statesman and openDemocracy.net, among others. His first book is The New Zealand Project (2017).

Politics is inescapably emotional. Political ideas – such as freedom or equality – are often talked about as if they’re dry concepts, sandpapered down in a seminar room or a theoretical conversation. But political ideas involve feeling. The singer Nina Simone once said that freedom is ‘just a feeling’: a feeling of ‘no fear’. Justice is a state of affairs as well as a state of relief, elation, jubilation. And political advocacy, at its best, involves the passionate expression of strongly felt sentiments and experiences. But not all emotions should necessarily be welcome in politics. Hate and fear, for example, drive exclusionary behaviour. They often result in rash and unfair decision-making.

Perhaps love should be a part of politics. Might it not have a better role to play than hate and fear? In the 2016 presidential election in the United States, opponents of Donald Trump repeated ‘love trumps hate’ at protests and on placards. But Trump also used the language of love before and after his election: he said, for example, that the crowd at his inauguration was a ‘sea of love’. For some, this shows that love is an empty value in politics: an emotion so malleable as to be meaningless. I think they’re wrong, and believe that love has the potential to be a transformative force in politics.

In All About Love: New Visions (2000), the American feminist bell hooks says that men writing about love rarely draw on its practice, and even then tend to focus on the receipt of love, instead of the giving of love or the absence of love.

Bearing these points in mind as a male writer, I want to begin not with some abstract pronouncements about love, but with some reflections on my own personal feelings of love.

When I think of love, I call to mind the kind, caring glow of my mother. I remember the tone in her voice that seemed constant in my years growing up: a register of concern, somewhere between sympathy and pain. I think of her steady presence, in person and other ways, exemplified in a Skype call where she listened, unwavering, as my voice quivered with fear and stumbling self-doubt. ‘Love’ takes me to the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of a romantic partner whose commitment to me feels secure, unequivocal, total. It carries me to the moment when my twin brother held my hand, hour after hour, the day after serious surgery.

When I imagine moments where I’ve given love to others, I think of authentic expressions of closeness – to my parents, for example – that have dragged up a well of good feeling in me. I think of an attempt to be present for a close friend in times of struggle and need, through listening, acceptance, affirmation. I bring to mind spontaneous, unflinching outpourings of affection through words and touch. ‘Lovelessness’ makes me think of moments of absence. I have felt unloved when people from whom I have expected love have been distant, detached or disconnected. I’ve known what it is not to be loved when my romantic feelings of deep curiosity and admiration have been unrequited. I’ve felt a deprivation of love when I’ve faced abrupt, unexplained hostility from those with whom I should have had a loving relationship.

Out of these experiences of the practice of love, it is possible to outline what love might be. I don’t want to define the abstract noun ‘love’ here. Instead, what I am interested in, like hooks, is the verb: what it means to love. It is clear to me, from my experiences, that love involves a deep concern, that love is related to a steady state of support, that love is a force transmitted outwards from one person to another, that love is bounded by relationships in which there are expectations of presence and security.

Love, in sum, is a deep sense of warmth directed towards another. This approach, which I developed with the New Zealand writer Philip McKibbin, highlights love’s depth and directedness. It’s consistent with self-love, which involves a deep sense of warmth being directed towards our own selves. The word ‘warmth’ gets at the outpouring of goodwill that is associated with love. And warmth can take more specific forms, such as affection, attention, care, and concern. To love is a feeling, an emotion, but as Simone said of freedom, that’s ‘not all of it’. Love is between and beyond feeling and emotion. One way of expressing this is to say that love is a feature of the spirit: in other words, that loving is spiritual…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/it-is-time-for-love-to-become-a-radical-force-in-politics

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Holocaust Survivor Primo Levi on Human Nature, Happiness and Unhappiness, and the Interconnectedness of Our Fates

Primo Levi

“A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful.”

“If during the next million generations there is but one human being born in every generation who will not cease to inquire into the nature of his fate, even while it strips and bludgeons him, some day we shall read the riddle of our universe,” Rebecca West wrote in her extraordinary 1941 treatise on survival and the redemption of suffering. One such unrelenting inquirer into the nature of his barely survivable fate was the great Italian Jewish chemist and writer Primo Levi (July 31, 1919–April 11, 1987), who was thrown into a Nazi death camp shortly after West set her timeless words to paper. Arrested as a member of the anti-Fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz in 1944, Levi lived through the Holocaust and transmuted his horrifying confrontation with death into a humanistic force of justice and empathy under the lifelong conviction that “no human experience is without meaning or unworthy of analysis.”

In Survival in Auschwitz (public library), originally published as If This Is a Man, Levi wrests from what he witnessed and endured profound insight into some of the most elemental questions of human existence: what it means to be happy, why we habitually self-inflict unhappiness, how to fathom unfathomable suffering, where the seedbed of meaning resides.

Of the forty-five people crammed into the train car that took Levi to Auschwitz, which he notes was “by far the most fortunate wagon,” only four survived. Toward the end of his memoir, in diaristic form, he offers a harrowing perspective barely imaginable to any free person:

This time last year I was a free man: an outlaw but free, I had a name and a family, I had an eager and restless mind, an agile and healthy body. I used to think of many, far-away things: of my work, of the end of the war, of good and evil, of the nature of things and of the laws which govern human actions; and also of the mountains, of singing and loving, of music, of poetry. I had an enormous, deep-rooted foolish faith in the benevolence of fate; to kill and to die seemed extraneous literary things to me. My days were both cheerful and sad, but I regretted them equally, they were all full and positive; the future stood before me as a great treasure. Today the only thing left of the life of those days is what one needs to suffer hunger and cold; I am not even alive enough to know how to kill myself.

It takes an extraordinary person to not only survive such a devastating extreme of inhumanity but to emerge from it with the awareness that existence always leans toward equilibrium. Reflecting on his experience in the camp, Levi writes:

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite. Our ever-insufficient knowledge of the future opposes it: and this is called, in the one instance, hope, and in the other, uncertainty of the following day. The certainty of death opposes it: for it places a limit on every joy, but also on every grief. The inevitable material cares oppose it: for as they poison every lasting happiness, they equally assiduously distract us from our misfortunes and make our consciousness of them intermittent and hence supportable…

more…

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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