Jack Uldrich
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The Wider World Around You

Posted in Behavior, Culture, Health Care, Social Networks

Nicholas Christakis provides a fascinating look at the powerful role social networks play in a range of human behaviors, including obesity, smoking, drinking, divorce as well as a range of emotions such as happiness and sadness. 

There is much to admire about the presentation but as someone who is always striving to unlearn, I love how Christakis admits that a simple finding "changed how he viewed the world." I submit that if you are open to unlearning your views will also be constantly changing. (I know this presentation changed my views.) 

On a different front, I also liked how Christakis noted how differently the American and European press reacted to his study about the social networks of obesity. The New York Times ran a headline that said, "Are you packing it on? Blame your friends," while the European press positioned it this way, "Are your friends gaining weight? Perhaps you are too blame." The difference is yet another example of why the way we see the problem may be the problem.
The full video is below. Enjoy.

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