This is a great way to have teens participate from the comfort of their own homes! Parents can preview the TED talks to determine if they approve of the content.
On the second Sunday of every month, American Mensa’s online Community hosts Community Symposi-Ms, our virtual symposium series, and all Mensa members are welcome! Participation is easy but the opportunity to obtain new knowledge and perspectives could be profound.
The Feb. 12 Community Symposi-M will be on “The Origins of Pleasure” by psychologist Paul Bloom. Dr. Bloom studies our common-sense understanding of the world — how we know what we know, why we like what we like. In this course, he argues that human beings are essentialists — that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure is.
Dr. Bloom heads the Mind and Development Lab at Yale and is a passionate teacher of undergraduates. His popular Introduction to Psychology 110 class has been released to the world through the Open Yale Courses program. Many of the projects he works on are student-initiated, and all of them, he notes, are “strongly interdisciplinary, bringing in theory and research from areas such as cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, linguistics, theology and philosophy.”
Watch the free 16-minute video (www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/paul_bloom_the_origins_of_pleasure.html ) and then attend the live Mensans-only online discussion at 3 p.m. central on Sunday, Feb. 12, in the General Chat room of the Mensa online Community (http://www.community.us.mensa.org). Following the chat session, a dedicated online discussion thread will be created in the Events section of the “Mensa and You” forum in the Mensa Online Community to continue discussions and to allow those who are not able to attend the chat to participate.
Plan ahead for the March 11 Community Symposi-M on “Making Matter Come Alive” by Lee Cronin. Dr. Cronin, a chemist, is investigating the emergence of complex self-organizing chemical systems or “inorganic biology”; in this course, he argues that we can define inorganic life using Darwinian concepts and that the creation of such inorganic life is possible. To prepare for this Symposi-M, watch the 15-minute video at http://www.ted.com/talks/lee_cronin_making_matter_come_alive.html.