Change Your Mindset, Achieve the Impossible?

“Becoming is better than being.” Dr. Carol Dweck predicates this poignant statement in her exceptional book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, in reference to her theories of the power that our perception of personal development holds over our performance in any given aspect of life. In Mindset, Dweck coins the terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset:” two cognitive models of ability that can describe an individual’s attitude toward the development of their capabilities. These two “mindsets” have been proven to affect the productivity and contentment a person ultimately experiences in life.


The Technology Dividing a Profession: How Computer Aided Drafting Has Altered the Artistic Culture of Theatre Design in the USA

Is computer aided drafting destroying the artistic culture of theatre design, or is it being fundamentally altered? Is this for better or for worse? Is this causing a division within the theatre design community? I believe that to accurately consider these demanding questions, one must understand the nuances between lighting and scenic design, the implications the introduction of a new technology brings to a ‘fine art,’ and the social and psychological definitions of artistic beauty. As I elaborate on this point of contention of the theatre world, I’d like to note that the abbreviation ‘CAD’ stands for ‘computer aided drafting’ in this context.

In both lighting and scenic hand drafting, a seemingly multitudinous array of separate supplies is required to make a clean, accurate portrayal of one’s concept. The price adds up quickly and one often needs to replace these items after extensive use. The price for an average set of necessary drafting tools (including but not limited to a drafting table, lamp, paper, pencils, pens, triangles, stencils, a compass, a pantograph, an architect’s ruler, a T-Square, erasers, etc.) can add up to be around $2,036 to sustain. In CAD programs, all of the tools are on the computer. One does not have to ‘keep track’ of separate physical objects in order to successfully draft a plot. Overall, the prices range in the low to mid thousands (depending on the release date and plug-ins included). VectorWorks Designer can be found on the market for around $2,988, while several different AutoCAD programs range from $1,180 to $3,995.


He Who Never: The Passion Behind The Piano

Aaron Rosell, a college student who goes by the musical alias of He Who Never, sits confidently in front of a piano. His fingers run across the keys expertly, producing enchanting euphonic chords and whimsical, heartfelt melodies with practically a flick of the wrist. Through his captivating musical scores combined with his poetic lyrics, the independent singer and songwriter He Who Never’s songs can easily leave one mesmerized.

He Who Never’s completely original acoustic piano music encourages personal reflection. The drums in the background, whose beats and rhythms are also composed by Rosell himself, provide a ground line to reality as their solemn sounds induce contemplation. His lyrics are hauntingly beautiful, and his soft, rich baritone expresses the honest emotion behind each and every one of his songs.

I had the distinct privilege of having a conversation with Aaron Rosell, the musical mastermind behind He Who Never, about his music and his inspiration last week.


Pathologies of Grief

Photo Credit: Mike Cygan

The American Psychiatric Association has stirred up controversy again with its proposal to add grief to the impending fifth addition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5). The DSM-5, the anticipated official diagnosing guide employed by virtually every mental health professional in America, will be released in March 2013. While some professionals believe that this new classification will help grieving people recover more easily, many other people believe that this classification is insensitive to mourners and even an unnecessary money making scheme.


Sabina Spielrein: The Forgotten Psychoanalyst

Sabina Spielrein

When people hear the name Sabina Spielrein, they immediately think of psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s alleged patient-turned-lover (that is, if one even recognizes her name at all). It’s a shame that the only modern associations we have with Spielrein are of her romantic liaisons rather than her brilliant contributions to early 20th century psychoanalysis: the study of the relation between subconscious and conscious thoughts in psychological processes. She even was the first woman to write a psychological dissertation. In fact, there wasn’t a single reliable English-translated account on Spielrein’s psychological work until 1993. The image of Sabina Spielrein has been sexually objectified and academically overlooked. The widely renowned psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, as well as the prominent developmental psychologists Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky have borrowed ideas from Spielrein to formulate some of their most influential concepts without giving her the credit that she deserves.


Morality: As Told By Neurophilosophy

Morality: As Told By Neurophilosophy

Neurophilosophy is a branch of philosophy that focuses on explaining the nature of the mind, mental functions, consciousness, and other elusive mental properties, and their relationship to the physical brain. It is a growing interdisciplinary field that seeks to offer neuroscientific explanations and philosophical insight for concepts of contention in the philosophy of the mind, such as the topic of human morality. In her recent book Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Dr. Patricia S. Churchland presents a series of valuable challenges and arguments in addressing the “roots” of morality. She provides thorough neuroscientific evidence of the biological components that play highly specific roles in morality. This challenges the current priority given to “absolute truth,” pure reason, and religion as explanations of the origins of morality. This is an exceptional example of how neurophilosophy deconstructs the philosophies that we’ve held dear and exposes the raw science behind some of our most cherished values.

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