Scholars   Notebook


SATURDAY, APRIL 19th   1:30 - 3:30PM

Free and Open to the Public 


Parking in the Gilman Parking Structure



SDIS member Ron Stadsklev, explorer of the outer limits of human potential, will describe his work and that of others who have investigated evidence of paranormal psychological phenomena.

While Director of Experiential Learning Projects at the University of Alabama’s Institute of Higher Education Research and Services, Stadsklev developed Human Potential Seminars based on the work of humanistic psychologist A.H. Maslow. Becoming concerned that other existing seminars were making claims with no scientific basis, he originated and became co- director of Project Outer Limits, intending to discredit them. However research, funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, convinced both directors that the human mind can indeed affect the physical world.

Biofeedback, meditation, altered states of consciousness, extrasensory perception, left/right brain functions and even psychokinesis, long outside the conventional paradigm of science, have become subjects of research activities conducted by respected institutions. Although the surge in paranormal research has waned in the US, the “center of gravity for the field” has swung to Europe, principally to the UK, according to the speaker.

Stadsklev’s Handbook of Simulation Gaming in Social Education, originally published in 1975 by the University of Alabama and used as a text by universities in the US and abroad in their colleges of education, was revised and re-issued in 2013.  In October he presented classic simulation games at the North American Simulations and Gaming Association conference in Florida. “Ghetto,” his volume containing materials and instructions for its use as a game simulating the emotional, physical and social world of the poor, was just published.

As always, Stadsklev’s talk will be followed by a question/discussion period.



My goal here is simply to observe and appreciate all that SDIS offers us, its members — regular lecture/discussions on eclectic topics, a variety of smaller ongoing study groups, the opportunity to join with other SDIS members in the conduct of specific projects, a variety of social events in which members can build friendships with others who treasure a life of the mind, a website and notebook for written communication, and participation in the volunteer management of the organization. And, of course, members often are themselves engaged in individual scholarly studies of the most varied sort.

That said, there are no prescriptions for active participation in this community — and indeed SDIS is at heart a community. We, its members, are the organization and we make what we will of it, each in his or her individual way.

I've chosen, these past few years, to participate within SDIS not only in its intellectual activities but also in the pleasures of helping build the variety of activities which it offers. This is not entirely altruistic. I appreciate affiliations which involve meaningful exchange of viewpoints and information on wide ranging topics at a deeper level than is encountered in what euphemistically is called "cocktail party" conversation. SDIS offers such opportunity. I personally value it. I know that many — I believe most or all — other members do, too. SDIS is so varied in what it now offers that each of us can pick and choose according to our individual interests and temperaments.

Most impressive to me is that we continue along our way as a fully volunteer organization. Somehow, through the interest and goodwill of so many of us, the work of SDIS gets done. And mostly it gets done in ways adapted to the interests and capabilities of the people who do it. This means that the usual bureaucratic constraints of detailed job descriptions are mostly set aside and the repeated question we ask each other is "How would it most please you to participate in getting done what needs to get done in order for SDIS to be what we want it to be?" This makes for a live organization always open to change and adaptation to the interests of those who make it a part of their lives. Very rewarding!

So, I use this “From The President” column to express my appreciation to all of you who with whom I have shared such interesting, informative, and constructive interactions on the Board, in committees, in study groups, projects, and social events. It continues to brighten my life and I sincerely hope it does the same for you.

Sam Gusman


Colloquy Cafe

Our discussion topic for 3/19/14 was "prejudice," a word that means prejudging, an assumption that one knows enough about a person or entity to judge them, positively or negatively, before even meeting them.  For example, feeling superior to people we don't know is an indication of prejudice.  However, fear of the unknown "other" isn't necessarily prejudice but could merely be ignorance.  Prejudice is carefully taught, passed on within a family or group or even a nation and accepted without question. 

Fortunately, we can eliminate a prejudice by learning more about the person or group one has prejudged.  One attendee related a variety of prejudicial attitudes directed at her and her family, including negative judgment of Italians, Jews, and gays.  Several others told of prejudices we had learned as children and how astonishing it was to realize they weren't true.  Most of us accept that we haven't totally shed our own prejudices, let alone identified them.  

The topic for our 4/16/14 meeting is "perception."  Anyone interested in attending can contact Mary Ellen Stratthaus at for information about time and place.  


Culture One

At its March 26th meeting, Culture One reviewed relevant Peer Commentary from the Weird Population article dealing with cultural differences in Walking, Developmental Growth, Brain Research, and Chimpanzee's Pointing, thereby demonstrating the marked effects of culture.  Members also began reporting on chapters they selected to study from the Handbook of Cultural Psychology.

At its upcoming April 23rd meeting, Culture One members will continue to present their individual study of chapters from the Handbook.  Selections offer myriad topics including "Self as a Cultural Mode of Being," "Social Relationships in our Species and Culture," “Language, Cognition, and Culture," "Subjective Well Being," and "Cultural Psychology of Emotion." 

For information about Culture One meetings, contact Sue R. Rosner at


Culture Two  

The Culture Two Study Group continues its focus on globe strategic issues as seen by Zbigniew Brzezinski and described in his book Strategic Vision. The next meeting on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 PM will continue the group’s focus on Part 3 of this book, “The World After America: By 2025, not Chinese but Chaotic,” and perhaps also the remaining chapters of the book. For further information about attending this meeting please contact Sam Gusman at

Film Group

The Film Group meets Wednesday, April 2, at 10:00 a.m. at the home of Barbara Heckler to view a French drama, The Well-Digger’s Daughter, directed by Daniel Auteuil.  This charming film is a remake of a 1940 Marcel Pagnol classic. Contact Barbara at for information about attending. 


Cathy Blecki will be leading the discussion of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's The Leopard on Monday, April 21 at Marla Jensen's home at 10:30 a.m.  Bring a brown bag lunch; dessert will be provided.  Please contact Marla for further information:



The next meeting of the Neuroscience Group is scheduled for Monday, April 21, 2014 at 3 pm in Bea Rose's apartment.  Chapter 6 in David Eagleman's book, Incognito will be the topic of discussion.  Although visitors are welcome, anyone interested in learning more about the group or attending should contact Bea Rose for information and to ensure that there will be seating space: (858) 458-9263 or



Supper with Scholars

The “Supper with Scholars” will be held on the first Thursday of the month at 6 pm at Humphrey’s La Jolla Grill, 3299 Holiday Ct., La Jolla 92037.  The next two meeting dates are April 3 and May 1, 2014.  These Suppers are informal, relaxed get-togethers that are open to all SDIS members and friends.  We will enjoy interesting conversations that evolve in the inimitable SDIS way.   

Food and drink, ordered from the usual Humphreys menu, is “Dutch Treat”.  Food choices range from full dinners to appetizers or desert.  Ample parking is available. Please RSVP to David Parker The menu and other pertinent information are available at

Breakfast Roundtable

We'll meet at Coco's on Monday, April 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast and roundtable discussion.  Coco's is located in University City at the intersection of Genesee and Nobel Drive in the Costa Verde shopping center.  It's across the street from University Town Center.  To make a reservation, contact Barbara Heckler at by Saturday, April 19.  Don't hesitate to call at the last minute - we'll make space!



Sue Rosner has been a member of CARTA for several years. She has asked that we inform SDIS members of an upcoming meeting about "Male Aggression and Violence in Human Evolution" which may be of interest to you.  For registration and more information, please go to: