In the fall of 2012, fifteen UMBC researchers assembled to submit a cutting edge proposal to a fledgling and somewhat marginal program at the National Institutes of Health. The request for applications the program issued was to explore the basic mechanisms that connect culture and health. Though we did not get the grant, the discussion [...]
I am writing you from the Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. My students and I identified you as someone doing research in a human behavior-related discipline. Everyday, new public policies, health campaigns, education strategies, etc. are beings created based on outdated and misguided ideas about behavior. Too often, excellent research [...]
This Tuesday night, 7/5 at the Windup Space, we’ll be holding a focus group of people who have become interested in WhoWeAm. The event is part of the D:Center’s monthly Design Conversations series. We’ll be showing a few short films and getting peoples thoughts and feedback about WhoWeAm: what it’s saying, where it’s going, and [...]
The current passivity of Democrats in the Senate is instructive. Even though the vast majority of Americans support raising taxes on those making over a quarter of a million dollars a year Senate leaders are convinced they won’t lose their seats if they don’t respond to majority opinion, and they may be right. The majority [...]
So, parts of the government less essential than bombing distant lands are shutting down. We have an impasse over the budget. But if you read WhoWeAm you are used to entertaining the idea that politics aren’t about the issues. Issues are symptoms. The actual problem is hidden underneath—a clash of culture with some biology mixed [...]
Why aren’t they looting in Japan? Surely, under those circumstances citizens are owed whatever they can grab. Who are they kidding? Who could blame them? You’d be a fool not to. If you don’t someone else will. At times like these, it’s every man—now person, for his or herself. But somehow, they don’t.
I’ve been thinking about winners and losers lately. Have you noticed that political contests on the US seem to be more about who’s winning and who’s losing—who’s scoring points, rather than developing support for ideas and leadership? Duh. Okay, less obvious: I’m wondering if one of the reasons many in the US seem unmoved by [...]
The other night, I was talking with Richard Tryzno Ellsberry, who founded the excellent, increasingly legendary email discussion group, Artmobile. We were talking about recent politics, in particular, the NPR funding controversy. Richard said he’d like to see some discussion in the media as to whether or not just BEING a journalist attracts and/or promotes [...]
The Your Input page of WhoWeAm gives you a place to upload images of things you might see everyday in the US, that make a person want to ask: what kind of culture would produce such a thing? Why is it so important to understand our culture? Because if you are interested in social change—in [...]
Yesterday, I heard columnist David Brooks of the New York Times talking about his new book, The Social Animal. He says his whole perspective as a journalist has changed. He now sees the policymaking—the human decision-making he’s been covering for decades very differently than he did before.