Cheery New Years Greeting from Learning How to Learn! Jan 1, 2016

8th January 2017

Happy New Years to our Learning How to Learners!

Learning How to Learn stays in the news!

Here’s an article in the New York Times by leading tech journalist John Markoff (@markoff) about Learning How to Learn’s status as the #1 most popular MOOC of all time. If you want to learn how to learn, you’ve definitely come to a popular place!

Staying On Course

Now’s a good time to plan and register for the On Course National Conference in Orange County, near Anaheim, California, April 8 and 9, 2016. On Course is a conference that’s right in line with the ideas and approaches of Learning How to Learn—Barb will be the opening keynote speaker this year.

Barb’s Research on Pathologies of Altruism

Some of you might like to learn a little more about Barb’s unusual area of research. She’s always interested in how we truly help others. Oddly enough, our own helpful desires, especially when mixed with a bit of egotism (we believe we know what’s best for others), can mislead us into doing profound harm. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Here’s a conversation between Barb and popular radio host Stefan Molyneux about her research on pathological altruism—there is also some intriguing discussion about how Learning How to Learn came to be created. (Video, Audio, Soundcloud.)

If you’d like more insight into Barb’s work, a good place to get started is her book Cold-Blooded Kindness: Just Give Me a Shot at Loving You, Dear, which is a true crime mystery about an eery killer in Utah. (Don’t miss the about-face at the end.) This book grew out of Barb’s earlier effort to explore the origins of nasty behavior: Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend. Despite the tongue-in-cheek title, the book received high critical praise from leading psychologists and psychiatrists. For more scientific explorations of pathological altruism, read Barb’s co-edited volume Pathological Altruism (Oxford University Press), or her article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Concepts and implications of altruism bias and pathological altruism.” And here’s an article by philosopher Stephen Hicks that explores related ideas. Important stuff if you care deeply about others. (Incidentally, Stephen’s book Explaining Post Modernism is terrific!)

Happy learning and Happy New Years!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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