Monday, December 31, 2012

Wow it has been FOREVER since I posted in this blog.  A lot has happened since my last post - total 100% life changes in work and personal realms.

I'm still committed to completing and publishing Curing the Human Disease but I've actually begun another book which I am going to develop first as it's more aligned to my work in marketing. 

If you're reading this and want to keep in touch with what I'm up to and the new book, visit me at 

Once that project is completed I'll refocus on this one!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting back to it...

It's with great pleasure that I can report I am back to work on the book. It's been a chaotic several months with work and personal and even music/band upheaval. Things are starting to settle in a bit and I'm finding some time to focus on the book.

Not that I'd stopped entirely...I have continued reading and researching. Right now I am going through all of the books I've madly consumed and highlighted and pulling together my notes. The next step is to review the work to-date and weave in some of the research materials. After that I'll need to get back to getting some interviews in place - there are a few gaping holes I need to fill.

So that is the quick update for anyone who anyone who occasionally checks in here :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Continuing Challenge of FOCUS

Perhaps you've come across this blog and are wondering where the hell I have been?

It's a very fair question. Where I've been is full-time employed at Momentum Worldwide and working on new music with my band Passion Project. The new music is (nearly) completed which means the next step is to figure out just what to do with it.

The full-time employment is not complete and won't be...presenting some very real challenges for work on this project.

At issue isn't only time - though finding time to dedicate to pure book research and writing (as I've been able to do a bit of this Memorial Day weekend) is certainly a concern. I've been considering the time challenge and wondering, "should I find a writing partner to help out with this?" It's a consideration.

The real challenge, however, is mental focus. How do I transition from dedicating brain cycles to marketing the latest American Express OPEN offering or Kraft Foods product to a secular analysis of the seven deadly sins? Mental focus is unfortunately not something a writing partner can really help with.

So while I have not been actively writing I continue to research and thinking about the book on a daily basis, whether it's a few minutes of jotted notes on a subway commute or an inspired late night debate with friends.

I will get this book done and it won't be a fragmented mess...that's my mission. It is just a question of when!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Long Overdue Post

It's been months since my last post here - unfortunately (or fortunately depending on one's perspective) I've gotten very busy work-wise, which has meant a general slow down of book progress.

The majority of my work is in marketing and for the most part I have been working with Momentum Worldwide in New York and GamePlan out of Austin, old stomping grounds.

That's not to say all work on the book has stopped. Right now I am reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, which has a number of interesting insights that will surely make it into the book.

I've not been very proactive in trying to secure interviews due to time constraints but I did just get turned down by Daniel Dennett (after months of back and forth e-mails he said he simply doesn't have the time, sigh).

I am also contemplating a different title for the book! I really like "Curing the Human Disease" but it might not have the sizzle you need these days. Or perhaps it isn't direct enough about the content of the book itself. Like an HTML link I guess we need to know what a book is about from the title alone.

At any rate I am just thinking about it right now - not ready to put a new title out there yet!

Things may slow down a bit for the holidays which should mean more focused book time. So perhaps it won't take me another three months to write a post.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Learning from mistakes

A recent MIT study found that people are far more likely to repeat mistakes rather than learn from them - and that it is our successes that we seem to gain the most insight from. Really interesting and somewhat counterintuitive. I think we assume or like to think that we'd learn from failure but apparently that is much harder to do!

In this blog post, addiction specialist Stanton Peele discusses the failure of programs like Scared Straight (where kids are exposed to hardened criminals in prison environments) to actually result in behavior modification. adults we assume that this would work - that a kid would not want that life. But, it doesn't.

It just demonstrates how important empirical data in the design of educational programs, and how lacking this is from our approach to teaching and learning.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bifurcated Decision Making

The Dana Foundation today published an interesting and illuminating review of the book How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

The book, obviously, is all about how we make decisions and the emotional vs. rational processes that go into decision making. Mr. Lehrer apparently spends time discussing the different centers of the brain that are responsible for processing information that goes into decision making. Scott Heuttel's (the reviewer's) response to this is essentially, "Wait a minute - it's not so simple." His point is that recent research has indicated that rational thought is not eliminated when the prefrontal cortex is taken out of the decision making chain.

This is where I am lucky, in a way, not to have the PhD after my name. While I have to strike a balance between keeping things simple and not blowing up the science, I'm not expected to have the same background in neurology of these gentlemen. That said, I do discuss in detail the bifurcated decision making that happens in all of us - but my point of view if more focused on the genetic and instinctual vs. cognitive/rationale processes. And I'm not going to try and slice up which part of the brain handles each process - that's above my pay grade!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Disease of Hatred

Wow two weeks since my last post, bad writer, bad!

As many people have, I have been following the latest media brouhaha about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates by the Cambridge police and the ensuing allegations of racism, which President Obama inadvertently (and dumbly) fueled in his press conference remarks.

The talking heads have been talking about this "disease of racism" which continues to scourge us. I would suggest - and this is to be explored at length in the book - that the disease isn't racism, that is a symptom. The disease is hatred - a trait that can be used with great destructive force.

I'm not talking about the kind of hatred of certain foods that stops you from eating them - or even the kind of hatred we might feel towards someone who has hurt us. The destructive disease of hatred comes from our human desire to destroy a group that is different and therefore perceived as threatening to our survival. It's the hatred of immigrants. It's the hatred of gay people. It's the hatred of Muslims.

These all come from the same place - that emotionally charged fear of the "other" - the other tribe which may encroach upon our territory. Human's are inherently afraid of those that are different and it causes us to hate them...which enables us to lose our empathy...which makes it easier to harm them. It's a pretty vicious cycle.