What a difference a word can make: How a single word can change your conversation


Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

British psychologist Elizabeth Stokoe studies the patterns in talk that most of us don’t even notice. She explains how her research can be used to train people to interact more effectively.

People spend a good deal of time talking to one another, and in general we do it pretty well. We might feel excited, angry, embarrassed, or — if we’re lucky — loved, in the course of our daily conversations. So is there any benefit to thinking about a science of talk? Can we really gain anything from scientific analysis of something we “just do”?

I believe we can, and I’ve spent the last 20 years studying real talk from real people talking to each other in real time. And while the linguist Noam Chomsky once described conversation as a “disorderly phenomenon,” I can tell you that it’s no such thing. Conversation is highly systematic and organized … and it tells…

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A Weekend at ROFCON… a Weekend Well Spent!


Last week I was busy reading, viewing lectures, and taking care of the house, the boys, and roomies Christopher and the infamous and dreaded Nimbus the cat!

Friday and Caturday were different, evenings occupied gaming and collecting cool things at Ring of Fire Con 2015 while hanging out with friends.

Being the terrible, horrible person I am, I even played a game of Cards against Humanity, though apparently I’m not terrible or horrible enough to have won…Oh, well, maybe next year, and then I can more realistically pass as a Bond villain.

It was good that I didn’t get too overstimulated incoming data-wise to enjoy the event, and with nothing in the way of my…psychology…causing problems for me, or for that matter, anyone else.

Caturday night we played a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game, our characters getting both some swag from our exploits in the adventure, and more character points to buy cool and awesome traits!

Will I go again next year? Probably, barring anything between now and then that somehow manages to interpose itself in attending.

It’s been almost two decades since my last convention attendance, with perhaps, just hopefully, many more to follow for the gang and I together, we and our geekish pastimes…

Talotaa frang.

The Foundation Beyond Belief — Support the Crisis Response


Hey, guys. The Foundation Beyond Belief is a secular charity now involved in disaster relief work in the aftermath of the Oklahoma Tornado. Please visit their site and donate to assist in their efforts at locating and in helping the recovery of survivors in the wake of this horrid tragedy.

“At 3:01 pm CT on May 20, a massive F-4 tornado decimated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, OK. Scores of severe injuries and deaths have been reported, and intense work is under way to find and rescue those trapped in the rubble.

The Humanist Crisis Response program of Foundation Beyond Belief has opened a donation drive in response to this disaster. Our staff worked through the night to assess the disaster situation and the relief organizations responding. This morning we have selected Operation USA and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to receive our donations. These organizations were chosen for their long records of outstanding work, their high ratings and transparency, and their current direct work in the disaster zone addressing the primary needs of food, shelter, and medical aid.

Donations will be forwarded continuously during the emergency period. FBB retains no portion of donations. All donations to and through Foundation Beyond Belief are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

The staff and board of Foundation Beyond Belief would like to express our deep condolences to the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families and to encourage humanists in this country and around the world to do anything they can to help them put their homes, businesses, and lives back together.”

What’s My Theme Music?


You’re Own Theme Music Is…
Your Result: “Thus Spake Zorathustra” Strauss
 

You are an explorer at heart, maybe a little bit of a geek. You understand the full meaning of the events around you and respond to them with wonder. You may make a great astronaut one day. After all, this is the music from “Space Odyssey”.

“Flight of the Valkyrie” Wagner
 
“Tubular Bells” Mike Oldfield
 
Carmina Burana (“O Fortuna”) by Carl Orff
 
“Mars” by Gustav Holst
 
Peanuts’ Theme Song (“Linus and Lucy”)
 
You’re Own Theme Music Is…
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz