• PARTNERSHIP DISSOLUTIONS – BUSINESS OR MARRIAGE – ARE EMOTIONALLY STRESSFUL, and parties on all sides are understandably vulnerable to Trusted Advisors, particularly attorneys or therapists (family, clergy, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.) who try to “instill their dogma into a client’s psyche… by rallying around a one-size-fits-all approach… causing more harm than good.” The economic, financial, taxation and (often most important) ‘family’ impacts of the strategy & approach to Dissolution settlements in most cases have massively critical implications for all future life-plans and balance – as well as time, energy & cost of resolution. Dennis has decades of expertise and experience in Mediating these matters; the wisest decision is always to at least call for (courtesy) consultation before embarking on a specific track. [PHILLIPSLERNER NWSLTR – Apr 8, 16]
  • MODERN SOCIETY IS INFUSED WITH FOUR DISPARATE ‘FORCES’ which have “liberated the individual, or at least well-educated individuals, but have been bad for national cohesion and the social fabric”: (1) Global migration is leading to demographic diversity, but challenges cultural cohesion as different ethnic groups rub against one another; newfound emphasis on personal choice combined with (2) the Internet, which allows easy choices over what to buy and pay attention to, challenges community cohesion and settled social bonds; (3) Economic globalization is creating wider opportunity but also inequality which challenges economic cohesion as the classes divide; and (4) A culture of autonomy valorizes individual choice and self-determination, but so much that isolated teenagers shoot up schools, political polarization grows and racial animosity stubbornly persists as people live in fragmented, disorganized neighborhoods not interacting with those on the ‘other’ side, even prompting some alienated young men to join ISIS for a sense of belonging.  [LEVINE BRIEFING NOTES – Apr 5, 16]
  • ANOTHER ADVERSELY INFLUENCING FORCE IS COLLEGE FACULTY – where ‘diversity’ is vigorously demanded by Administrators, but only so long as that definition is limited to genetic, racial or ethnic minorities. To the contrary, holding political or ideological diversity – which would involve association with “heretic conservative or libertarian points of view” is outwardly and strongly discriminated against and enforced by provosts, deans and deputies. “It is claimed that a “diverse academic environment better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce, which can only be developed through exposure to diverse cultures, ideas and viewpoints,” so long as none are at variance with liberal progressivism. The result is that currently only .3% of professors in social psychology, 5% of those in humanities & social science departments, and 12% in the engineering & professional schools identify as politically right of center, while their different perspectives are consistently viewed (and labeled) as politically incorrect or ‘racist.’ [WALL STREET JRNL – Mar 31, 16]
  • DREAMS ARE GENERALLY PERCEIVED AS ‘NEURAL NONSENSE: a series of random scenes & images, with few discernible health benefits, that distract us while we sleep. But modern neuroscience contends that dreams can prime us to be spiritual… through extremely active networks responsible for visual imagination, emotional memories and instinctual responses.” Research with the ‘Sleep and Dream Database’ purports to find 75% of women & 68% of men saying they’ve had dreams “involving lucid self-awareness,” with 51% of women & 38% of men claiming “at least one visitation,” collectively suggesting that dreams “offer a way to expand their sense of reality and attain a higher level of being – not unlike religion.” [TIME – Apr 4, 16]
  • THE IMPACT OF MUSIC ON OUR THINKING PROCESS is an emerging field of study called ‘music cognition’ which encompasses psychology, neuroscience, brain scanning and other technology to focus on “how our brain receives different types of music, and the interactions & emotions it triggers on a very, very personal level… Why we hear some sounds as music and others as noise? Why we disagree about which is which? And how exactly does music make us feel happy or sad?” The goal is to develop context for “(1) how patterns constitute musical conventions (think of guitar introductions to ‘Oh, pretty Woman,’ the Beatles’ ‘Day Tripper’ and Temptations’ ‘My Girl’), and how those relate to conventional patterns in language; also (2) the role of analogy – functions of shared relationships – in our comprehension of music.”  [BATES.EDU NEWS – Mar 31, 16]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “Ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they’re flashing behind you…  

     “Our youth have bad manners, and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders; they contradict their parents, and tyrannize their teachers.” – Socrates, born 370 BC