How do minds work, and how do you teach them things? Actually, what are minds?

The more prosaic version: this is a blog about psychology and education, with occasional forays into topics like history, philosophy, design, strategy, marketing, advertising, political science, other sciences, and cognitive science more broadly.

And me? I’m a psychologist. If you keep up with the world of psychology blogging, you may already be familiar with some of my work. Specifically, you may have seen Things could be better, a paper I wrote with my friend Adam Mastroianni:

Experimental History
Things could be better
Some scientists get their ideas while beholding the wonders of the cosmos. Some scientists get their ideas while cutting their way through the Amazon with a machete. I get my scientific ideas while eating omelets with my friend Ethan. One day we were at the diner, trying to figure out why some things seem good and other things seem bad…
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What is a Mod?

I got my undergrad degree at Hampshire College, and more recently, I taught psychology there for two years.

In addition to a standard set of undergraduate dorms, Hampshire College has three districts of apartment-style modular housing, or “mods” for short. Students tend to move out of the dorms and into the mods in their second or third year. The mods come in three flavors: suburb, space tower, and donut.

When I was a student, I lived in Mod 71 (Enfield) in my third year and Mod 100 (Prescott) in my fourth year. Mod 171 is transparently a combination of those two numbers (actual mod numbers run from Mod 1 to Mod 105), and the title of this blog is a nod to the influence Hampshire had on my understanding of psychology and educational philosophy, especially in my last two years of college.


I don’t plan to follow any particular blogging schedule, though I will probably put out a new post about once a month. And right now I don’t plan to do any posts that are only available to paid subscribers. Everything I want to write about, I want to make freely available.

That said, I’ve turned on paid subscriptions so that you can support this project if you want to. If you do, I really appreciate it.

Subscribe to MOD 171

How do minds work, and how do you teach them things? Actually, what are minds?