Academic Publications of Moti Nissani: A Sampler

For recent political and historical writings, please explore the following links:  Revolutionary's Toolkit       /      Reflections on Revolution, Freedom, Social Justice, Peace, and Survival


Click below a selection. For additional, hard-copy references, click Resume and Contact Information.

Climate Disruptions (or:  How and why does the majority allow a few tycoons to wreck the planet and the global economic system?)

Brass-Tacks Ecology (The greatest obstacle on the road to justice, peace, and environmental sanity is not greed but psychology; not governments and tycoons, but well-meaning reformers! More than 25 years later, I now realize that although this is by far the best non-violent strategy at our disposal, its chances of being assimilated by enough people, and then working, are very low) (resumen en castellano)

Conservation: One of the Best Kept Secrets of the 21st Century

Roots of Environmental Decline

A New Behavioral Bioassay for an Analysis of Sexual Attraction and Pheromones in Insects (A 1975 essay showing for the first time that sex mosaics can be used to study sexual attraction, that Drosophila melanogaster males probably know a female by her smell, and that the probable anatomical location of scent production is the posterior integument)

Elephant Cognition:  1. Theory of Mind and Insight in Chimpanzees, Elephants, and Other Animals? (Nissani, 2004)  2. In Defense of Anecdotes (Nissani, an internet essay).  3. Absence of Mirror Self-Referential Behavior in Two Asian Elephants. (a copy is available here).  4. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants (Nissani, Hoefler-Nissani, Lay, & Htun, 2005). 5. A. Elephant Intelligence (in MS WORD Format--an earlier, more informal, informative, and fun, version of a January 2006 J. of Experimental Psychology article). B. Elephant Intelligence (the formal article; a summary is available here).  6. Elephant Cognition: A Review of Recent Experiments (2008).  7.  Do Elephants, Chimpanzees, and Dolphins Think?

Belief Perseverance  (aka: conceptual conservatism; when theory fails; cognitive inflexibility):   1. Cognition & Instruction Essay.  (The complete study of 19 science Ph.D.'s., and its astounding, scarcely credible, demonstration that we tend to cling to spurious convictions, despite conclusive hands-on proofs to the contrary, and that in the process of doing so, we can even force our very observations into the Procrustean Bed of our convictions).  2. An Experimental Paradigm for the Study of Conceptual Conservatism and Change (first preliminary study, PDF). 3. Belief Perseverance: An Understated Variable in Human Affairs? (an informal exploration of the devastating impact of conceptual rigidity in human affairs"When faced with choice between changing one's miend and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof"--John Kenneth Galbraith ) 4. Belief Perseverance in Literature  5. Milgram: A Cognitive Reinterpretation (an article arguing that Milgram’s interpretation of his wonderful experiments may be mistaken, and that obedience may be just one more manifestation of the "when-theory-fails" principle.)

History of Science: The Plight of the Obscure Innovator in Science (A cautionary historical tale for young scholars or artists who think they have a chance of making great discoveries.  No one, my friend, will beat a path to your door--unless you are well-connected.  If you are one of those rare people who will not play the political game, your only likely reward will be the elation of the search and discovery, and the hope that you have done something meaningful with your life.)

History of Science:  The Mendelian Paradox (Mendel most likely did fudge his data--and had every right to, given the sorry record of the history of science)

Language Teaching (We could teach languages to both native and non-native speakers so much better than we do now)

Science Education: Lab Exercises and Instructional Materials on the Nature of Science (The science laboratory could provide--if we just cared enough about our students--wonderful opportunities for teaching science!)

Science Education:  Persistence of Misconceptions in the Science Classroom (Contemporary traditional science instruction up to--but not including-- the graduate level is a scandal; and yet science could be taught well!)

The Curbside Solution  (If you agree with Tom Paine that your mind is your church, if you want to see the world clearly and do something with your  life, you ought to give television, newspapers, and radio the slip)

Book Online:  Lives in the Balance: An Interdisciplinary Perspective of the Cold War and American Politics, 1945-1991 (The only holistic, fully interdisciplinary, history of that first part of  the Cold War, containing fresh insights about subjects as diverse as freedom, totalitarianism, American foreign policy, roots of human irrationality and misbehavior, and reform strategies--all still as relevant today as they were in 1992, when the book first appeared.  Any attempt to understand our even more reckless confrontation with Russia and China can be richly informed by reading about that earlier standoff)

Book online (2013):  A Bird’s Eye View of Contrived Terror:  I. A Preview      II. Backdrop of Terror      III. The Gladio Conspiracy      IV. 19 Telltale Signs of Fake Terror     V. History: Read it and Learn      VI. Give me Logic or Give me Terror

Lessons From the Past: The Spartan-Athenian Rivalry (History's uncanny proclivity of repeating itself suggests that it is either impossible, or excruciatingly difficult, to alter its course without altering human nature or, at the very least, the educational system)

Interdisciplinarity:  1. Case for  (en castellano: Diez Aplausos por la Interdisciplinaridad)  2. Definition     3. Essence of (paper written for students) 4. Updated, revised, version of my conception of interdisciplinarity:  Keynote Address: “Interdisciplinary Journeys,” 72nd annual conference of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, December 5-9, 2016, Colombo:   I. Powerpoint version.  II. Article version.  (These 4 contributions cut through much of the confusion surrounding the subject, dispose of such verbal and conceptual misnomers as "transdisciplinarity, pluridisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity . . ." and offer a commonsense definition of interdisciplinarity, a way of ranking interdisciplinary enterprises, an explanation of where interdisciplinarity can be found, an extensive discussion of the pluses and minuses of interdisciplinarity, and a passionate insistence that interdisciplinarity should not be turned into a new, meaningless, academic field: Interdisciplinarity should be practiced, not talked about). 

Bruxism:  1. Hypertext.      2.  A taste-based approach.      3. En Español: El bruxismo: Consejos, Enlaces, Recursos.   4. A bibliographical survey of bruxism with special emphasis on non-traditional treatment modalities. (The first thing to do, if you suffer from teeth clenching or grinding--or from any other health problem--is to take charge of your health and educate yourself.  Your average dentist is not in a position to educate himself about the subject, and the remedies he dispenses are almost always useless--or worse than useless!  These links will help you take charge)

Fiction: Study Artificial Intelligence, Young Man (If I had to do it all over again, I'd study artificial intelligence--conscious, intelligent machines could well be our best hope of living a legacy behind us, if and when we destroy ourselves.  Moreover, the blueprints for the next generation of conscious beings--if such things could indeed be constructed--could be put together a bit more carefully than ours were)

What is Science? (A Commonsense, Eclectic, Portrayal of the Nature of Science)

Sample Book Reviews