disney/ pixar "inside out movie", emotional intelligence cyber zeitgeist/ links

hi all. saw disney "inside out" movie last sunday & liked it, usually like pixar movies.[a1] it was imaginative and well acted, the characters multidimensional. liked the idea of conflicting emotions as separate personalities on a team attempting to achieve consensus and a sort of paradoxical chaotic equilibrium ensuing. and the internal microcosm reflecting the outer macrocosm.

there is an old idea in philosophy and AI (artificial intelligence), the concept of a "homunculus" or a little man in our head that helps us make decisions. its rejected in philosophy as a kind of joke or (maybe one of the original) "infinite regresses" like looking in a hall of mirror and only seeing more mirrors.

so the movie is a good excuse to unleash a bunch of saved links on nearby topics saved over many months... note these are all links below & click on the hyperlinked link #s to go to the page. (alas our salon has some goofy linking layout that cant be user-overridden.)

have a new book on "positive psychology". have studied psychology quite deeply over many years & lately to thrive-or-merely-survive relationship(s). psychology is a powerful tool but it also has limits. this is gonna sound crazy or codependent but sometimes in life the biggest obstacles are other people. HAH! recently studied the book "cognitive behavior therapy for dummies" and find it really useful and powerful. it puts emotions as subservient to logic which appeals to my scientific side.

there is a ton of new research into psychology and at least lots of excellent information for us to utilize in our daily lives if we so choose. and the choice between functional and dysfunctional patterns becomes more obvious and the understanding more widespread. there is a mass/ wealth of material and resources for those who choose the path of insight so to speak. and stuff like ancient religions such as zen are meshing with modern theory about eg "mindfulness" which is non secular.

religion used to fill some of this role, but there are remarkable statistics that the next generation considers itself the least religious ever. religions are fading! this is a staggering thought, a massive paradigm shift after millenia of religion guiding human behavior. what is filling in the vacuum? it may sound sacreligious to suggest that psychology is taking this role, but it really is!

is it a sign of deterioration? think not because the field of psychology is so vast. in some ways its even larger than religious ideas. its scientific and increasingly meshes with insights from real neurobiology.

so here we are and deep psychological insights are boiled down to little listicles shared on popular web sites and splattering around facebook. pinging around mass/ popular consciousness. hey maybe there is hope for humanity. evolution is a slow process. but there seems to be tangible advances in the last few years.

in my younger years in college "emotional intelligence" hadnt even been labelled (the concept came about in the mid 1990s with Golemans breakthrough book). however teachers talked about "people skills". the dean said that companies gave the feedback that some kids had high grades but couldnt communicate well or interact well on teams. so my curriculum included significant electives and stuff like speech class, engineering presentations, many papers written, etc.

so its cool to see more awareness, and even kids are getting these advanced ideas in popular entertainment like disney/ pixar movies.

psychology started out with Freud in a therapeutic mode, working with dysfunction, somewhat crisis management/ oriented (as the term is in business... "never let a good crisis go to waste" —Rahm Emanuel). but the relatively new field of positive psychology has a quite different slant and is useful to high functional people. so psychology is not just about fixing whats broken now but understanding what makes people thrive. hey now then all we have left to do is deal with our (mass?) dysfunctional environments eg in workplace, families, and the mass economic/ political/ social systme right? dont worry, be happy!

this concept is recognized in psychology as the idea of "adapting to WHAT" problem! there are a few essays/ analyses in this area. what if psychology sometimes gets people to adapt to maladaptive environments? thats a whole other can of worms, but a looming one for mindful thinkers! actually there is some new research that highly intelligent people may be more prone to depression and some other psychological downsides. sometimes it seems nearly everything in life is a double edged sword eh?

hope you find something interesting/ engaging/ enjoyable/ thought provoking, do enjoy comments & will probably reply to most!

a. emotional intelligence
  • 1. What Disney Pixar's 'Inside Out' Film Teaches Us About Embracing All Sides Of Our Emotions | Kristen Lee Costa
  • 2. How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? Here's How To Tell
  • 3. What Is Emotional Health? | Jenny Florence
  • 4. BDSM Correlated With Better Mental Health, Says Study
  • 5. How Awe-Inspiring Experiences Can Make You Happier, Less Stressed And More Creative
  • 6. How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Opposing Views | MIT Technology Review
  • 7. If I Could Tell My Adolescent Self What I Know Now | Lena Oh
  • 8. It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity. - NYTimes.com
  • 9. What Is Mindfulness? 10 Answers From 10 Teachers | Kellie Edwards
  • 10. What your PERSONALITY says about your health | Daily Mail Online
  • 11. 9 Things Successful People Won't Do | Alternet
  • 12. Social-Emotional Learning: Why Now? | Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D.
  • 13. 7 Skills of Extraordinarily Likable People | Jeff Haden
  • 14. The Upside of Not Fitting In - Pacific Standard
b. intro/extravert
  • 1. 5 Myths About Introverts and Extraverts at Work | Adam Grant
  • 2. Are You Really an Introvert? Extrovert? | Todd Kashdan
  • 3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking: Susan Cain: 9780307352156: Amazon.com: Books
  • 4. The Rise of the New Groupthink - NYTimes.com
  • 5. Will the Real Introverts Please Stand Up? | Scott Barry Kaufman
  • 6. Welcome to Generation Overshare: Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, and the Politics of Self-Disclosure - The Daily Beast
  • 7. 10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World
  • 8. An Open Letter From Introverts To Everyone Else | Kali Rogers
  • 9. Susan Cain: The power of introverts | Talk Video | TED.com
  • 10. How Much Can You Really Change After 30? -- Science of Us
  • 11. Attention Extroverts: Your Introverted Coworkers Are Quietly Judging You | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
  • 12. Finally, Some Unflattering Research About Introverts
  • 13. Revenge of the Introvert | Psychology Today
  • 14. Dear Introverts, We're Sorry. -- Extroverts | Melissa Deuter, MD
  • 15. 9 Signs You're In An Introvert-Extrovert Relationship
  • 16. Extraversion may be less common than we think -- ScienceDaily
  • 17. 10 Things Only Those Who Love an Introvert Would Understand | Shelley Emling
c. gossip
  • 1. Gossip can be GOOD for you: Talking about others can PREVENT bullying | Mail Online
  • 2. Why We Gossip: It's Really All About Ourselves - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
  • 3. Why We Love to Gossip | Dr. Peggy Drexler
  • 4. Why Gossip Can Save Your Life - The Daily Beast
  • 5. Talking about other people boosts self-esteem, claims study | Daily Mail Online
d. empathy
  • 1. 6 Habits of Highly Empathic People | Alternet
  • 2. Blade Runner-style 'empathy workout' could make you more altruistic | Mail Online
  • 3. Six Habits of Highly Empathic People | Alternet
  • 4. Why a problem shared is a problem DOUBLED: Empathy is so strong in humans that we confuse our friends' problems with our own | Mail Online
  • 5. 5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men | Alternet
  • 6. This Professor Uses Great Literature, Including Slave Narratives, To Teach Empathy To Future Public Servants
  • 7. Some Personalities Are More Likely to Apologize -- Science of Us
  • 8. The secret of the popular kids: Researchers find 'mind reading; abilities make children more likeable | Daily Mail Online
  • 9. Thinking alike changes how we speak : NewsCenter
e. "negative"
  • 1. 13 Sentences That Never End Well
  • 2. 8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day -- And How to Avoid Them | Belle Beth Cooper
  • 3. Can You Rewire Your Brain to Change Bad Habits, Thoughts, and Feelings? | Alternet
  • 4. How To Lose Your Self-Esteem: A Psychologist's Fascinating TED Talk
  • 5. Can Being Too Smart Ruin Your Life? | Alternet
  • 6. The Dark Side Of Emotional Intelligence
  • 7. Worrying About Stuff Is a Sign of Intelligence -- Science of Us
  • 8. 7 Habits of Highly Defective People | Alternet

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Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 2, 2015 at 1:19pm

My problem with "Inside Out" is that it's being hailed as original and innovative, when in fact it is derivative of several other movies and TV series that go back to the 1960's.  Like "The Abyss/ The Atomic Submarine" and "Avatar/ Dances with Wolves" it is most likely an unconscious form of plagiarism. I don't mind remakes such as "Titanic" but at least make a nod to those who preceded you.

As for the mysteries of the mind, well over 90% of the people I meet on a day to day basis are anything but self aware; rather they are so self absorbed as to be unconscious of the world beyond the tips of their noses. 


Comment by Alysa Salzberg on July 2, 2015 at 1:39pm

It's great that you can write so much about "Inside Out." I went to see it when the boyfriend and Julien were out of town (at the reenactment of Waterloo and with French grandma, respectively), thinking that it was going to be funny.  And it destroyed me. I couldn't stop crying.  It just said so much about how things change no matter what we do - and being a parent, it like doubly bummed me out because it all applied to myself and to my son.  Plus, there was the whole Bing Bong thing.  I....have to stop thinking about it all now.....

Comment by koshersalaami on July 2, 2015 at 2:53pm
I also found the movie sad, as did my daughter.

Quite an index.
Comment by vzn on July 2, 2015 at 4:47pm
hey JM what movies/ tv shows do you think it is derivative of? the thing is, we have such a mass inundation of media these days that can there be anything really novel any more? there are only so many themes/ archetypes to explore eh? tv was just born a few decades ago & maybe it all seemed new then...
KS agreed the movie has some real serious moments, pixar sometimes tends to put "big" adult themes into kid movies.
AS hey you! wow! cmon guys its "killer" for some of the movie but it basically has a happy ending, right? but maybe they should have focused on that more eh? anyway pixar has been doing this forever eg with finding nemo, the mom dying within a few minutes. pixar seems to sense it gets them adult audiences and critical acclaim...
Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 2, 2015 at 5:41pm

Haven't seen the movie so I can't say it's bad.  I'm not going to argue about that but for critters in yer head pulling emotional levers,making executive decisions and such, right off the top the tiny Alien prince inside the head of the antique dealer from Men in Black comes to mind:

...and I seem to recall similar plot lines from Warner Brothers cartoons, the sci-fi anthology Outer Limits and other episodic TV including a short lived series from the 1980's or 90's Inside Chuckie's Head or something like that.  Anyway somebody said there are only seven stories to be told and everything is just a variation on those themes.  R&L ;-D

Comment by vzn on July 2, 2015 at 6:20pm
lol yeah forgot about that little alien in MiB. actually the recent Home movie ends with a similar plot device/ reveal (not bad movie either, and hey voice acting by rihanna and jlo, cant beat that, er, unless one incls their BODIES)
Comment by Alysa Salzberg on July 3, 2015 at 12:27am

Vzn, I definitely liked the happy ending - it cracked me up, though I wish they'd done more with the cat.  But it was overall still such a sad, emotionally destroying movie. I can't imagine taking young kids to it - not that they'd necessarily get the same vibe, but it just didn't seem particularly funny or goofy or approachable to me, unlike other Pixar movies like "Finding Nemo" (which had so many joyful moments despite that sad mother thing) and my all-time favorites when it comes to just being entertained, "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille" (which both also have such a great message for kids: be yourself, and don't let other people dictate what you do).

And Jmac, I am a HUGE fan of the MIB movies and the little alien in the guy is nothing like "Inside Out": the guy wasn't being controlled by the alien - the guy was the alien's costume.  The characters in "Inside Out" each have these emotions in their heads (different versions for each person/sentient being) and they truly are part and parcel of what makes that person up.  Sorry - I just had to say that. MIB movies are so great in their own right, and so different.  They also didn't make me sob like a baby. :-)   There are other shows and movies that do follow the same kind of idea as "Inside Out" - I've heard that "Inside whoever's head" mentioned as well - but then again, how many stories aren't copies of other stories?  When you study literature or mythology or religion or art, you see the same motifs appearing over and over again. I think the point isn't necessarily not to repeat stories that have come before, because that's nearly impossible.  It's to put your own original insights and ideas into that timeless basic story and make it your own. We've heard references to, or vaguely remember stories similar to "Inside Out", but will "Inside Out" stand out from the pack because of its emotional impact, insights on time, memory, and growing up, etc, or will it, too, one day be something barely remembered?

Comment by vzn on July 3, 2015 at 8:11pm
spoken like the great writer you are wink :)
yes "motif" is maybe a better word for "copying" :)
thought the inside out plot device was clever & multidimensional overall, probably significantly unlike anything that has gone before.
was just thinking after the movie that the imaginary boyfriend was a justin bieber inside joke.
& felt that the imaginary boyfriend xeroxing thing triggered my own "uncanny valley creepy" response.
the movie did seem to switch some scenes a little too fast, it barely gives the audience time to register some scenes....
Comment by James Mark Emmerling on August 11, 2015 at 9:22am

homunculus is a fine metaphor for ego consciousness

which must die and be



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