Salvo Issue 23 Plus Other Good Stuff

The latest issue of Salvo has gone to press! Take a look at the table of contents to find out more. The articles and fake ads will be up online in about a week or so, so stay tuned.

Below you will find some articles of interest from around the web:
The Neuro Transformers
Culture & the Malleability of the Human Brain

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason,” wrote Robert Jastrow in God and the Astronomers, “the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Jastrow’s words come to mind whenever I hear about professional scientists being obliged to abandon, or at least to seriously modify, their Darwinian assumptions. From cutting-edge work in genetics to the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the evidence is increasingly pointing to one fact: Darwin was wrong.

This has been impressed upon me recently, as I have been studying the way culture affects the human brain. Contemporary neuroscientists have been making some fascinating discoveries about the way our cultural preoccupations and artifacts alter the physiological structure of our brains, and, once again, Darwinian orthodoxy is being compelled to yield to new findings. read the rest.
Unlocking the Science of Habits
How to Hack the Habit Loop & Become the Man You Want to Be

For better or for worse, our habits shape us. A good habit is a strong ally in our journey to becoming the men we want to be, while a bad habit acts like a millstone around our necks. (Want to know why? Read this Manvotional.) To achieve our goals, whatever they may be, it’s necessary to defeat our bad habits and encourage the good ones. But how do you go about doing that? We’ve written about making and breaking habits before, but honestly, most of what I suggested  was based off of anecdotal evidence of what’s worked in my life. Sure, those tips can work, but since then I’ve continued my search for more efficient, science-based ways to improve my habits.

Fortunately for me, a book was published earlier this year that highlights the latest research by psychologists and neuroscientists on the science of habit formation. It’s called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and it’s among the top five books I’ve read in 2012. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg explains how habits work in our brain. More importantly, he reveals the process by which a habit becomes a habit. By being aware of what he calls the “Habit Loop” we can take control of the habits in our lives. read more.
How to Save Your Marriage

Young people are good at dating. Some are good at hooking up. Some have even mastered the skills required to conduct a relationship.

Yet, many young people do not have the skills required to sustain a good marriage.

Laura Doyle is addressing women, and we will maintain her rhetorical posture. She sums up the problem:

Unfortunately most women didn’t have good relationship role-models. We are largely the product of single parents, broken homes or marriages that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy — the equivalent of learning oral care from parents with false teeth.

Surely, Doyle is correct.

But, let’s not overlook the role that the culture plays.

As a culture we are much more interested in marital dysfunction than we are in marital success. The former is dramatic; the latter is boring. read more.

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