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Alex Fradera
Lives in London/Germany
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Alex Fradera

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Do you know your octothorpes from your pilcrows? A brief history of the # and the @, among other symbols:

http://po.st/KeithHoustonHistoryOf
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The business of story is that it’s telling us about a malaise of us inside as well as the malaise of what’s going on outside. Now that might be unfashionable, it might sound like hippy jargon, but if this stuff is really going to take fire there has to be that, the inner and the outer. I suppose what I’m looking for is people with a little bit of credibility to present those ideas, so you trust them. I think what is going wrong with young folk or what they don’t have, they’re trying to be initiated by siblings, and that’s never happened in any culture before.

In other words, all of their self-esteem, all of their information, everything that they build around them is coming from the horizontal, it’s coming from their age group. It’s never worked like that before: they may have loathed their parents, they may have loathed their uncles and their aunts, but there was a sense of a multi-generationed experience of living. Out of that multi-generationed experience of living, you saw people die for example, and when you see people die it means hopefully you won’t walk backwards into your own death, so you learn to die a little bit every day.

http://transitionculture.org/2012/09/17/an-interview-with-dr-martin-shaw-a-lot-of-opportunity-is-going-to-arrive-in-the-next-20-years-disguised-as-loss/
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Our new podcast has just launched. Just in time for Valentine's Day, check out Dr +Christian Jarrett discussing the ins and outs of romance and attraction with experts in the field in a punchy ten-minute format.
 
I'm the presenter for a brand new podcast from the British Psychological Society called PsychCrunch. The first episode is on dating and attraction.
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Might be interest to some of you who follow me - my latest article

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/01/testing-american-dream-can-right-mix-of.html
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Thinking about getting some over-ear headphones and looking for recommendations. For listening from my Mac laptop or my phone, so I'm never going to get an audiophile listening experience, but I'd like it to be half-way decent. Also, it's likely to travel some, so durability also a factor.
Let me know your likes!
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I'm out of date on that because mine are pretty old - I'm actually going to replace them soon - but I seem to recall they only ever have one or two models available and new ones supercede old ones.
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This one hit Reddit. It was a tricky one to cover - very technical and over 250 citations. One concern is that combining animal data on isolation and human data on loneliness risks equating the two unreflectively. The review had time to untangle across this across its 42 pages, but there is a danger in compression of losing nuance (and you should see what I left out!).

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2014/11/loneliness-is-disease-that-changes.html
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Alex Fradera

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"As much as gay men have faced the brunt of homophobic violence, straight men have been banished to a desert of physical isolation by these same homophobic fanatics who police lesbians and gays in our society."

Excellent article. I have a few male friendships in which we've deconditioned ourselves and enjoy extended touch, hand-holding, stroking. Even so, it takes reminding, especially as we see each other infrequently, that this is our preferred state of affairs and avoid reverting back to the dominant talking-heads, no-touching culture.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/touch-isolation-how-homophobia-has-robbed-all-men-of-touch/
Mark Greene has one clear reason we should all fight for gay rights. Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
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In the performance related stuff I do, there is more touch going on than in typical spaces.  I'm minded of clown camp last year where we gave each other lengthy butt massages, or spent an hour dancing/moving in a space with our eyes closed. Even then, though, when the sanctioned activity is lifted, the men drop pretty far back - maybe huggier or back slappier but very little curling up together like the women do. It's a shame.
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Obeying the same need for meaning, modern thinkers look to numbers for signs that show the emergence of a world founded on rational and moral principles. They believe that improvement in ethics and politics is incremental and accretive: one advance is followed by another in a process that stabilises and strengthens the advances that have already taken place. Now and then regress may occur, but when this happens it does so against a background in which the greater part of what has been achieved so far does not pass away. Slowly, over time, the world is becoming a better place.

The ancient world, along with all the major religions and pre-modern philosophies, had a different and truer view. Improvements in civilisation are real enough, but they come and go. While knowledge and invention may grow cumulatively and at an accelerating rate, advances in ethics and politics are erratic, discontinuous and easily lost. Amid the general drift, cycles can be discerned: peace and freedom alternate with war and tyranny, eras of increasing wealth with periods of economic collapse. Instead of becoming ever stronger and more widely spread, civilisation remains inherently fragile and regularly succumbs to barbarism. This view, which was taken for granted until sometime in the mid-18th century, is so threatening to modern hopes that it is now practically incomprehensible.

Unable to tolerate the prospect that the cycles of conflict will continue, many are anxious to find continuing improvement in the human lot. Who can fail to sympathise with them? Lacking any deeper faith and incapable of living with doubt, it is only natural that believers in reason should turn to the sorcery of numbers. How else can they find meaning in their lives?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/13/john-gray-steven-pinker-wrong-violence-war-declining
A new orthodoxy, led by Steven Pinker, holds that war and violence in the developed world are declining. The stats are misleading, argues John Gray – and the idea of moral progress is wishful thinking and plain wrong
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This looks good.

http://vimeo.com/62084181
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Bringing ItO to a sort of informal IndieMeet tomorrow. Any top-level advice for how to make a one-off fun? And how does the game handle with larger players (eg 5 or 6 + DM)?

Cheers ears
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! Ace! Thank you!
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One thing I would have expanded a lot more on in this study was the social benefit to immigrant groups of nostalgia, as a means of tying people together and giving sustained meaning.

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2014/11/want-to-inspire-group-loyalty-try-some.html
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Have him in circles
466 people
Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard's profile photo
Angel Vallens's profile photo
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Trygve Wakenshaw's profile photo
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Occupation
alexfradera.net
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Writer and psychologist, improvisational performer and teacher.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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Tagline
Make the most of being someone.
Introduction
Perform improvisation, Teach it, too. Write about a bunch of topics, including psychological science. My work borrows from improv and science, and I guess my life does too.
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See the links below for my home page, writings and other updates.
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Currently
London/Germany