Mind Readers Dictionary, for reading the people you work and play with more successfully. Terms and tools for tracking motives in everyday thought and conversation, for reading between the lines with greater comprehension.

This blog is written and produced by me, Jeremy Sherman. I’ve been putting out a professionally edited article, podcast and podfast (150% speed audio) once a week for the past five years as a labor of love and insight. Recently I’ve been writing a blog for Psychology Today as well.

I’m a professor. It’s my second career. Before that I was an activist. I had lived for six years on The Farm, the world’s largest hippie commune. I co-founded 20/20 Vision a National environmental organization. I ran a foundation. I was director of Public Affairs at The Body Shop International. I consulted to green companies like Ben and Jerry’s. I developed water projects in Guatemala villages and earned a degree in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley.

During a mid-life crisis (my marriage was ending, my eldest was in trouble, my activism seemed low leverage, I admitted I was floundering) I got very interested in evolutionary Theory. I earned a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Epistemology (Philosophy of learning and its parallels to evolutionary adaptation) and started collaborating with Berkeley Biology Professor Terrence Deacon.

I teach critical thinking at De Anza College in Cupertino. With Deacon and other collaborators I research and write academically about some of the greatest and grandest of mysteries, the origins of life, how hierarchies emerge (like from physics to chemistry to life to consciousness), the physical origins of purposive systems (about how mattering emerges from matter) the relationship between energy and information and the nature of information.

I have three children ages 28, 25, and 18. I play upright and electric bass (including 7 string) and sing in jazz, funk, soul, rock and folk bands. I kid around a lot. My students say I teach as though my hair were on fire. I love a good conversation. I’m pretty bad at small talk. I speed listen to audio books and prefer it to reading texts.

A few months ago I heard the only definition of spiritual that I’d subscribe to: An open channel between intellect and feeling, rationality and gut, taking theory to heart and heart to theory. Most academics don’t trust this approach. They think it distorts the theory and that detachment is better. I think it certainly can distort, so my main aim is to figure out how to create the open channel without distorting. I’m primarily interested in how to cultivate a sophisticated gut–wisdom–by means of more skillful and subtle critical thinking skills and methods.

My more academic collaborations are at www.teleodynamics.com

My Psychology Today blog is at http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy

Contact me any time at [email protected]

Ask a question or send a topic. It could well turn into an article.