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March 2013
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Guy Evans and James Wilson discuss the purpose of the Christmas holiday and look forward to the New Year in this special edition of Smells Like Human Spirit. Enjoy!

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Direct download: SLHS116.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT

In this episode of Smells Like Human Spirit, Guy Evans is joined by blogger and activist Kenny Fuentes and community activist Leiha Maldonado for a discussion regarding several pertinent news items related to corporate power. Topics of discussion include the ongoing Fast Food Workers' Strike, Walmart's food drive for their own employees, and the Costa Rican government being sued by a corporation. Enjoy!

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Direct download: SLHS115.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:36am EDT

Last month, progressive ad agency Incitement Design launched a new campaign entitled 'War on Irrational Fear', inspired by Edward Snowden's courageous actions in exposing NSA abuse and mass surveillance. Taking a satirical spin on the 'war on terror' through fact-based research, graphics, and video, the campaign aims to display that our preoccupation with domestic terrorism is both a costly and harmful distraction. Robert Arnow, creator of the campaign, joined Guy Evans to discuss the initiative, as well as the wider issue of the true threat of terrorism. Enjoy!

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Direct download: SLHS114.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

Thomas Gokey is the Vice-President of The Rolling Jubilee Fund, an initiative of Strike Debt. The Rolling Jubilee has raised, as of December 2013, over $638,000 in donations - which in turn has eliminated nearly 15 million dollars of debt.

Thomas previously appeared on Smells Like Human Spirit in April and joined Guy Evans once again to discuss the latest in the movement. Enjoy!

Direct download: SLHS113.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:27pm EDT

Dr. Henry Giroux is an author, Professor, and cultural critic. He is one of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, and in 2002 was named by Routledge as one of the top 50 educational thinkers in the world. Today he currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department, and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University.

Dr. Giroux joined Guy Evans for Episode 112 of the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast. Topics of discussion include power, Education, celebrity culture, and much more! Subscribe, spread the word, and enjoy!

Direct download: SLHS112.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:14pm EDT

The classic ‘nature vs. nurture’ argument has long confounded social psychologists, researchers, and students alike – but new research could provide us with greater insight into the role that our genetics play  in determining who we are, and who we eventually become.

Although the traditional view of personality suggested that our behavior was largely determined genetically, since the 1970s authors such as Walter Mischel have argued that personality traits are learnedcharacteristics, and that personality development is both a cognitive and social learning process. It is a cognitive process in the sense that individuals consciously process the information that they receive, and it is a social learning process in that people learn from social interactions and their consequences, and subsequently reorient themselves to the environment.

If one holds the view that personality is inherited, the logical conclusion is that in any given situation, personality determines behavior.

Proponents of the interactionist view of personality however argue that the characteristics of a person and the situation interact with each other to influence behavior.

We also know that our cultural upbringing plays a tremendous role in shaping who we are. For example, independence and competitiveness are values cherished in Western countries such as the United States, but these values are not fostered in Asian cultures, according to organizational management expert Packianathan Chelladurai (2006).

A person’s immediate family and social groups also help define one’s personality dispositions. Family and social groups interpret and inculcate the values and norms derived from a culture. They define roles, and establish the appropriate behaviors for each role, for example what is expected of a parent, child, leader, follower, and so on.

Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory, formerly known as social learning theory, suggests that personal experiences and perceptions of others’ experiences shape our behavior.

Therefore, the growing consensus among psychologists is that heredity does play a part in the development of personality, but personality is also modified through exposure to culture, family, and environments.

What can be derived from this is a sense that we do have a distinct measure of control over how we act, and how we are likely to act in the future. This assumption makes a fairly recent biological discovery all the more fascinating, and important.

A relatively new field called ‘epigenetics’ – the so-called hidden influences upon the genes, could affect,  researchers say, every aspect of our lives.

The central idea of this new field is a straightforward, yet highly contentious one – it’s the idea that our genes possess a memory. Therefore, it may in fact be possible that the lives of our ancestors – their experiences, and their behavior in certain situations – could significantly impact how we act today.

Epigenetics proposes that a control system of ‘switches’ turns genes on and off, and suggests that things people experience, like nutrition and stress, can control these switches (Gallagher, 2013). Professor Wolf Reik has spent years studying the possibility of this hidden genetic inheritance. He has found that manipulating mice embryos is enough to set off the switches that turn genes on and off.

His work has shown that the memory of an event could be passed through generations. This suggests that our genes and the environment are not mutually exclusive, but rather act together in  influencing both our behavior and the environment.  In other words, our experiences may be influenced in part by our genetic propensities – people may react to us in certain ways because of a genetically influenced personality, and we may choose certain experiences over others because they fit best with our innate preferences (Azar, 1997).

This new science could cause a revolution, or at the very least, a paradigm shift, in scientific thinking. If in fact it is true that our actions really do affect the lives of future generations, this should prompt a great degree of self-reflection in all of us. We see instances all the time of selfish, ego-centric behavior, often in the pursuit of profit and/or material gain, that counts human suffering as the cost of doing business.

If we could all truly see that what we do today not only affects tomorrow, but our successors for centuries to come – perhaps this would be enough to spark the kind of revolution of consciousness so many claim the planet desperately needs.

FURTHER READING

Dias, B.G. and Ressler, K.J. (2013). Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations. Nature Neuroscience. 1st December 2013.

Gallagher, J. (2013). Memories ‘pass’ between generations. BBC News.

Hurley, D. (2013). Grandma’s experiences leave a mark on your genes. Discover Magazine. May 2013 edition.

Chelladurai, P. (2006). Human Resource Management in Sport and Recreation. 2nd ed. Champaign, Il.: Human Kinetics.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Mischel, W. (1973). Toward a cognitive social learning re-conceptualization of personality. Psychological Review80(1), 252-283.

Direct download: SLHSBonus120313.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:03am EDT

Five decades to the day since John F. Kennedy met his untimely demise, many questions remain unanswered; pieces of a puzzle never likely to be filled. An undoubtable fact however is that November 22nd, 1963 changed America forever - and to talk about it, Guy Evans enlisted the expertise of the prolific author and fiery lecturer Dr. Michael Parenti. Enjoy, share, and peace!

Direct download: SLHS111.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Each day, we reach for our phones an average of 150 times; spend nearly 8 hours using some sort of electronic device; and tweet, Instagram and Facebook excessively, often about the most inane things. Are we truly addicted to technology? In this edition of the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast, Guy Evans examines the extent of our technological dependence, and discusses the potentially damaging effects that new technologies may have on our ability to read and understand each other. Enjoy!

Bonus - also included in this episode is an update on the latest in the Rob Ford saga. Ford, who has now been stripped of most of his powers by the Toronto City Council, vowed an 'outright war' in a bizarre rant to Councillors yesterday.

FURTHER READING

Becker, C. (2013). Confessions of a Phone Addict. The Huffington Post Thomspon, D. (2013). We are all addicts now. Salon.com.

Brzycki, C. (2013). Technology - why are we so addicted? Northwestern University.

Shontell, A. (2013). 10 stunning facts about what people are really doing on the Internet. Business Insider.

Facebook and Twitter are magnets for narcissists. CBC News. June 11 2013.

Ritchel, M. (2012). Does Technology Affect Happiness? The New York Times (blog).

Pearse, D. (2012). Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism. The Guardian.

Pacheco, W. (2012). Professor says teens' social-media lingo hurts writing skills. The Orlando Sentinel.

Barcelona, R.J. (2010). Dimensions of Leisure for Life. Champaign, Il.: Human Kinetics.

Stout, H. (2010). Antisocial Networking? The New York Times.

Bauerlein, M. (2009). Why Gen-Y Johnny Can't Read Nonverbal Cues. The Wall Street Journal.

Buffardi, L.E. and Campbell, W.K. (2008). Narcissism and social networking web sites. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin34, 1303-1314.

Direct download: SLHS110.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

Jeffrey Tucker, the Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, joins Guy Evans to discuss the fallout of Russell Brand's BBC Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman, an appearance that has provoked much discussion about the role and existence of government. Other topics of discussion include the prison-industrial complex, silk road, the Occupy movement, and more. Enjoy!

Direct download: SLHS109.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:11pm EDT

The NFL has been rocked over the past two weeks in the wake of a series of revelations concerning bullying within the Miami Dolphins organization, revelations that have reignited the debate concerning what constitutes abuse within the sub-culture of sports. In this episode of the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast, Guy Evans outlines the underlying issues and asks if the sports world has some catching up to do with the rest of society.

BULLYING

NFL Bullying Scandal

On October 30, Jonathan Martin, a second-year offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, suffered an "emotional breakdown," seemingly triggered by a lunchtime prank pulled by his teammates.

According to reports, Martin has been the victim of a sustained period of bullying by one teammate in particular, Richie Incognito, since his rookie season in the league. This torment included intimidation on and off the field, including racist voicemail messages and what can only be described as extortion.

CHANGING TIMES

Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe writes that "the game must evolve past the idea that hazing, intimidating, or belittling teammates is a necessary part of NFL team-building. It’s not."

"NFL players need to stand up and recognize hazing and bullying for what it is and recognize that society has evolved. Now, their locker rooms have to evolve along with it.”

A 'ROOKIE TAX'

The case has raised awareness of the "rookie tax", a custom in which new players do monetary favors for older ones.

A ‘Rookie’ tax, according to former Dolphins player OJ McDuffie, is a relatively new term. "We just called it paying your dues as a rookie," said McDuffie. "It happens at every team in every position and it was happening before I got there."

If you enjoyed this podcast, an iTunes review would be greatly appreciated!

Direct download: SLHS108.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm EDT

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