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Alex Fradera
Lives in London/Germany
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Alex Fradera

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I also meant to post this out as it speaks to some of the social justice concerns shared my many of the people I know. 

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/05/poverty-shapes-how-children-think-about.html

Again, consider it food for thought for a conversation within your circles.
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A book that shows how children are affected by their poor environment is INSIDE CHILDREN'S MINDS, which is a collection of free stories told (not written) by children .
INSIDE CHILDREN'S MINDS, edited by Valerie Yule, Queensland: Bookpal. 2014.
Illustrated with children's drawings, 470 pages, $31.95..
Paperback ISBN 13: 9781742844299 ISBN 10: 1742844294.
Hardback .ISBN: 978174284537.Available from Bookpal, online booksellers and
select Australian bookshops. The book is the fruit of 40 years of research during the author’s work as a clinical child psychologist, schools psychologist and academic, in Australia, Scotland, England and Belfast.
It is important that people reading this book do not riffle thru
it at first. Read the table of contents first.
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Alex Fradera

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My friend Keith writes an interesting introduction to Hate Music and ways we can approach a complicated subject. Interesting takeaways for me:
- the contrasting of avowedly racist or politically hateful music with other scenes, such as black metal, where extremist views may be more common, but are secondary to the music. 
- that punching up/down binary, touched on here because it's often complicated who has power (see ragga) 
- play and irony

My thoughts haven't settled on any of these, so if you want to pick up a conversation thread, do.

https://www.academia.edu/3261705/The_Aesthetics_of_Hate_Music
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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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Alex Fradera

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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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Alex Fradera

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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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Alex Fradera

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My latest article - creativity and territoriality. Reckon it speaks to a lot of the innovation I'm seeing in various circles. If you want to talk about it in a smaller circle, please do (and I'd be happy to be invited in).

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/05/help-me-out-but-hands-off-how-idea.html
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I see it like this:
Someone X sees attention and accolades poured on someone else with already higher status Y. X and Y then find themselves in dialog one day, and they find each others' ideas interesting and start a productive collaboration/discussion. They then attempt to share their ideas with the world. X shares them, and a few people respond. Cool. Y shares them on their massive platform, doesn't quite credit X in the act of doing so, and gets not only attention and accolades for the idea, but also full credit for coming up with it -- winner takes all. X is lower status anyway and doesn't really want to rain on Y's parade, but convinces her/himself that next time they will make damn well sure to claim credit for the ideas early on.

And that is how you get a proprietary arms race around status and ideas in creative communities.

We want to pretend like we can fight this by "not shutting anyone down," but we also don't come into these conversations on neutral playing fields. Ever.
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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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Alex Fradera

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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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Alex Fradera

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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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alexfradera.net
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Writer and psychologist, improvisational performer and teacher.
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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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London/Germany