Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

How stupid professorial attitudes towards Wikipedia are making students less savvy

Posted 03 Mar 2015 / 0

Recently I have come to realize that (too) many professors have a profound disdain for Wikipedia. Although I sometimes encounter this disdain directly, most of the time I see contempt for Wikipedia reflected through my students. These stupid professorial attitudes about Wikipedia tend to cast a pretty unflattering reflection off of their students. It is Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Information Literacy, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms, Teaching

PCB Bioaccumulation and Polar Bear Penises

Posted 20 Feb 2015 / 0

National Geographic News “Is Pollution Weakening Polar Bears’ Ability to Mate?” This sounds like fodder for a late-night television laugh line, but this is a pretty scary example of how bioaccumulation of toxins can have important conservation consequences. From a conservation perspective, there is nothing worse than a ubiquitous pollutant reducing the ability of a Read More

A Minor Post, Pollution, Sex and Reproduction, Web

E&E in A&D: Genetic profiling as art?

Posted 13 Feb 2015 / 0

Smithsonian Magazine “Creepy or Cool? Portraits Derived From the DNA in Hair and Gum Found in Public Places” I find a lot of art to be gimmicky. I know as a professor at an art and design school, that could get me into some trouble, so let me explain what I mean. “Gimmicky” art to Read More

A Major Post, Articles, Computer Science, Ethics, Genetics, Human Evolution, Risk & Uncertainty, Science in Art & Design, Sociology

E&E in A&D: The Armstrong Lie

Posted 18 Jan 2015 / 0

I just finished watching the 2013 documentary The Armstrong Lie. I do not get much time to watch movies — and my favorite genre of movie, documentaries — very much these days, but I used to be a big fan of pro cycling in the Armstrong era, so I knew that I had to check Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Film & Video, Game Theory, Group Selection, Play, Punishment, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms

Our paper on a super-rational solution to the tragedy of the commons published in Scientific Reports

Posted 14 Jan 2015 / 0

I am very pleased to announce that a paper that I worked on with collaborators Jun-Zhou He, Rui-Wu Wang, and Yao-Tang Li has been published in the open-access journal Scientific Reports. The paper, entitled “Asymmetric interaction paired with a super-rational strategy might resolve the tragedy of the commons without requiring recognition or negotiation“, considers how Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Cooperation, Game Theory, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Phenotypic Plasticity

Scientific American down on memorization

Posted 28 Aug 2014 / 0

If you have read my posts on Open Information Environments, you know that I think that we should no longer be teaching (or expecting) our students to memorize things. With all of us carrying around smartphones or tablets that allow us to look up anything anytime pretty much anywhere, our brains are free to be Read More

A Minor Post, Cultural Evolution, Education, Higher Education, Information Literacy, Teaching

Review of What We Made by Tom Finkelpearl

Posted 13 Aug 2014 / 0

I study cooperation. I can say this honestly only with some caveats. I am very interested in what allows cooperation to evolve in biological systems, as cooperation seems to defy the Darwinian imperative to serve the needs of self-replication and yet is unexpectedly prevalent in nature. In particular I am interested in human cooperation, which Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Art & Design, Books, Collaborative Art, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Environmental Justice, Play, Public Art, Social Diversity, Social Networks

Water, Alfalfa, China, and a modern Tragedy of the Commons

Posted 12 Aug 2014 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “In Time Of Drought, Arizona’s Alfalfa Exports Are Criticized” There are so many interesting aspects to this story. First and foremost, it illustrates that “tragedies of the common” are entirely, well — common — in modern economies. The rules of resource use dictate whether that resource will be over-exploited: if there are Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Cooperation, Deserts, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Supply