Over at the terrific new Law & Mind Blog, some Harvard Law students are writing a series of posts reviewing other mind-science blogs. Each post provides a summary of several blogs and features one that the author finds especially valuable. Here’s Part 3 of that series (authored by 1L student Cassie Mathias).
Everyday Sociology: “What if sociologists ran the world?”, begins the “About this Site” section of the Everyday Sociology blog. The description could not be more on point. The blog is a compilation of a wide-variety of commentary from sociologists across the United States about what is going on in the news, or “what should be in the news.” The site truly does provide an entertaining point of view on current events. The writing is informed, funny, and current. The authors truly do put a unique spin on a variety of different topics. For example, in Social Theory and Siblings, Sally Raskoff commented on a recent NPR story that included three theories on why siblings can be so different (i.e., a Darwinian Theory, an Exaggeration Theory, and an Environmental Approach). She explained the theories with ease and cited other relevant examples of the theories to display how one can use theories to explain specific phenomenon.
Other posts are less academic, and are instead stories of the personal experiences and viewpoints of the authors. For example, When Our Baby Was Born, outlined in very personal detail. Tod Schoepflin’s expectations and experience during and after his wife’s childbirth. In Culture and Parties, Janis Prince compared the questions she was asked at holiday cocktail parties depending on the culture of the people with whom she was mingling.
Some posts also apply this sociological analysis to recent laws. There Oughta Be a Law? Formal and Informal Social Control, explores a recent law in San Fransisco banning the sale of toys with unhealthy children’s food through the formal social control theory. She also believes the ban is an example of a symbolic law, designed for their ability to send a message even if they are not enforced. This blog may be more fun than formal and more relaxed than theoretical, but I really enjoyed reading the posts and would definitely recommend skimming through.
Deception. If you’re curious about deception in the news, the Deception Blog provides a compilation of links to various articles, studies, and journal articles about current psychological research on deception. The blog is easily organized and provides succinct, useful, and interesting summaries of everything that it links to. The blog seems to be most useful as a blogroll of sorts, rather than a place where the author writes about his own opinions or research. The author apologizes for his lack of spare time to comment in depth on the articles like he used to, but promises to continue to update it with studies that catch his eye.
Deliberations is self described as “Law, News, and Thoughts on Litigation Consulting by the American Society of Trial Consultants.” Being written by the American Society of Trial Consultants, it is not surprising that the blog provides a more law oriented approach than some of the other blogs I reviewed. However, they put a lot of effort into making the posts easy to read and interesting, and manage to put a more dynamic spin on some current topics regarding litigation consulting. For example, a guest blog from the ASTC Professional Visibility, written by Joe Rice about enlightenments from social media, is accompanied by a picture of a monopoly board about social media. Rice includes antics about his children before delving into how social media is used by trial legal professionals. For example, he describes how Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming growing communities for trial consultants to enhance their professional visibility and professional development.
Developing Intelligence explores the Developing Intelligences over time, across species, and cross-platforms? This blog truly does include commentary on a range of articles on the subject in the media. While the articles I read seem less law-oriented, it is a great place to learn about topics ranging from the surprising cognitive abilities of crows to new research on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
Context Discoveries, a blog created by the American Sociological Association, is inspired by the quarterly magazine Contexts. Some articles explore how society operates, often by introducing unique societies as an impetus for further thought. For example, in “Marry me Not,” Tim Ortyl commented on an article from the Utah Law Review, which explored the Mosuo people of Southwest China to explore the possibility that humans may not require monogamy or matrimony to establish a resilient society. Other topics explored include insanity pleas for felony arrests, the Academy Awards, managing anger in the workplace, and media portrayal of eating issues.
Dr. X’s Free Associations seems to be just that: the free associations of “Dr. X.” Whatever is on this mysterious “Dr. X’s” mind, he is not afraid to share it with his readers. For example, in Seroquel: Softening the Black Box Warnings, he describes a Seroquel XR commercial he saw earlier that evening, describing his disapproval of the amount of time the reader spent listing the potential adverse side affects and how the narrator’s tone of voice offset the negative impact of the script. Earlier, in Study Diseases or Cases?, he compared his experiences as a graduate student, responding to a paragraph of an article that I’m fairly positive he listed as From “Boring Old Man.” This blog is entertaining, zany, and, unpredictable. However, it is more of a traditional blog than a resource for scientific or legal information.