These consequences are at the heart of Daniel Golemans timely new book, Social Intelligence. Innocently beginning as an expos of social neuroscience the new science of human ecology Golemans book. Similar to sociobiology, a framework introduced by E. O. Wilson in 1975, social neuroscience examines the interplay between universal, adapted physiology and social organization, emphasizing but not restricted to human ecology. In the past, this was the domain of social psychology, but with the advent of neuroimaging technology, we can now explore the inner workings of the mind while it processes social information, such as ideas about what others are thinking and doing. The high/low metaphor is also useful for framing social intelligence, which Goleman characterizes as a combination of social awareness and social facility. At the individual level, we can apply the principles of social neuroscience to everyday life, cultivating social awareness and facility at home and work. If we know, for example, that population density decreases educational opportunity, or that excessive work-hours increases anxiety and in turn long-term health consequences, we can obviate these problems by developing social neuroscientifically informed public policiesin other words, social neuroscience is a vehicle for euthenics. To be sure, one of the most important themes of Golemans book is how to restructure social institutions, such as hospitals and businesses, so they do not clash with human nature. So whats to be done? Now that neuroscience can put numbers to that raw buzz of fellow feeling, quantifying its benefits, writes Goleman, we must pay attention to the biological impact of social life. Despite its many shortcomings and oversimplifications, Social Intelligence contains the seeds for social reform.
City of Miami Beach Compassionate Parks Program
CITY OF MIAMI BEACH COMPASSIONATE PARKS PROGRAM. Sleeping in parks now allowed by mayor’s reform regime. By David Arthur Walters MIAMI MIRROR. City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and City Manager Jimmy Morales in cooperation with Police Chief Daniel Oates, Homeless Outreach, and the ACLU have informally developed a much lauded Compassionate Parks Program that allows vagrants, homeless, gypsies, and anyone else for that matter to sleep in South Beach parks free of charge. A few people objected to the informal program instituted by the reform regime, but they were dissuaded when it was pointed out that many distinguished people picnic and sleep in Central Park in New York City, the most civilized city in the world. An Allied Security officer who had been instructed by his superiors not to allow sleeping in Lincoln Park was corrected by a peace officer who instructed him to let houseless people sleep in the park because, “This is their house.” The Compassionate Parks Program is expected to become very popular as winter sets in up north and tourists flock to the beach. Food is available at the Lincoln Road Community Church, whose minister said at a recent meeting that he came to South Beach for the express purpose of feeding the homeless. It was noted at the meeting that other cities are far more compassionate than the City of Miami Beach. Los Angeles County, for example, accommodates 44,000 homeless, with large camps established to that end in the City of Angels. Mayor Levine, an affluent propagandist and real estate developer, well known for his compassion, wants to convert the big parking lot behind the South Beach convention center into a park. Anyone interested in supporting the Miami Beach Compassionate Parks Program should contact the mayor’s office.
Political upheaval, a heavy burden of national debt, huge pressure on public spending, a major international rupture, religious conflict, bubbling popular unrest… The 1760s and 1770s were a tumultuous time in British history. In between the country had not one or two but seven different prime ministers, a political merry-go-round accompanied by escalating populism. In 1794 the Jay treaty would reveal the new nation of America pivoting away from its French allies and back towards Britain, laying – with more than the occasional later snafu – the foundations of the modern international trading order. History never quite repeats itself, but it nudges us: to recall how much worse things have been, how resilient and dynamic this country often is, how swiftly events can reverse themselves, how even apparently intractable problems can yield unexpected solutions. In 1770, Edmund Burkehad set out in canonical form the basis of representative government, and emphasised the central importance of political parties, in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents. These great works are the hinges of our political and economic modernity. Burke understood how language could be debased through the rhetoric of abstract nouns such as “Liberty” or “Equality”, which move people without enlightening them. A century and a half before George Orwell, he saw how political discourse in France was degraded from respectful disagreement with opponents to labelling, to personal contempt, and ultimately to public denigration and hatred of them as enemies of society. Signs of political extremism are being normalised, and becoming ubiquitous, made ever easier by the echo chambers of social media. Our political and legal institutions, our monarchy, our courts, have an interlocking logic of their own.