MotherJones: Science Says Your Soul Is Like a Traffic Jam.
“Every time we remember something, we are rebuilding it. [snip] We’re not actually remembering what happened, we’re remembering what happened the last time we remembered it. And as a result, we embellish, little bits and details get changed.” More and more reason to keep a journal. Not many reviews on the author’s book yet.
AllFacebook: Facebook Users Ignore Brands’ Content.
Anyone surprised? Our physical ability to block inputs is becoming more and more sophisticated.
Salon: Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness.
It’s been a litmus test among some social groups in Santa Fe for a while now.
NY Times: Why Must the News Be So Newsy?
“‘The news takes us to the edge of something deeply interesting – but then abandons us to the process Aristotle calls catharsis,’ he said, referring to the way modern news lays out the facts but resists coming to any conclusions or exposing bias. ‘That explains the background anxiety that the news consistently creates.’” His book has received somewhat lukewarm reviews from the news media (perhaps predictably); it sounds interesting nonetheless.
99U: Do Antidepressants Stifle Creativity?
Yes. But. And it’s a very big “but.” Depends on individual tolerance. Both of depression and medication.
99U: How to Effectively Manage Your Inner Critic.
A couple of good suggestions. I like “I’m not really going to do x, I’m just getting ready for it.”
Public Books: Stop Defending the Humanities.
“This negative stereotyping takes wing, in part, from the sense that humanities academics and the students whom they send into the professions acquire their privilege too easily, exempt from the hard scrabble of working in small business, farming, factories, supermarkets, and so on.” Yet the ‘liberal arts’ universities are the crucible for future captains of industry. Bite (and amputate) the hand that feeds you. Go figure.
nakedcap: What Good Are Children?
“Recent work by Benjamin et al (2013, 2014) confirms that people do not exactly maximise their wellbeing when making life decisions, but they often come very close. If so, those whose wellbeing will be improved by having children will have children, and those whose wellbeing would be worsened by having children will not. ”
New Republic: Technology’s Mindfulness Racket.
NY Times: When May I Shoot a Student?
Mixing guns and young men’s first experiences away from home is a supremely bad idea. The anarchy and idiocy I experienced in my first years in college remain a mental trauma.
Slate: Breast-feeding study - Benefits of breast over bottle have been exaggerated.
“When children from different families were compared, the kids who were breast-fed did better on those 11 measures than kids who were not breast-fed. But, as Colen points out, mothers who breast-feed their kids are disproportionately advantaged—they tend to be wealthier and better educated. When children fed differently within the same family were compared—those discordant sibling pairs—there was no statistically significant difference in any of the measures, except for asthma.” Higher risk of asthma. You’re not subjecting your child to a guaranteed life of asthma. Now, can people stop fearing the occasional bottle?
Pacific Standard: What, Me Biased? Our False Sense of Fairness and Impartiality.
“Newly published research suggests this problem is actually worse than we thought. It finds that even when people use an evaluation strategy they concede is biased, they continue to insist their judgments are objective.” What, me, biased? I’ve got WHAT tattooed on my forehead?
Boston Review: Does Reading Literature Make You More Moral?
Jury’s out, IMHO. “Of Mice and Men”, “The Scarlet Letter”, “Oliver Twist”, “Slaughterhouse Five”, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” … did little to civilize my compatriots in high school. As Norton Juster said in “The Phantom Tollbooth”: “You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.”
PS Mag: Why Are TV’s Talking Heads So Angry All the Time?
“misrepresentative exaggeration.” New phrase for my vocabulary.
Guardian.UK: Should meat be displayed in butcher shop windows?
“In fact, his meat delivery arrives in a van from the abattoir round the time that children are walking back from school, past the butchers. ‘They’re not squeamish at all,’ he says. ‘The whole pig carcasses come off the back of the lorry, and it doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest. If anything, they’re intrigued, and their parents like it, because they know they’re buying meat cut from the whole carcass.’” Beats bleach-soaked, gas-pumped shrinkwrapped bits, if you ask me.
Correction: See comments.
New Yorker: The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking.
There’s nothing like a good fustercluck to get your rear in gear. Serial optimists of my experience tend to not be doers; talking when they should be getting rubber on the road.
Gawker: Ex-U.S. General: Jesus Is Returning to Earth With an AR-15. Really.
Yep, safe to say cat butts are going to be the highlight of the news day ...
NotCot: Coca Cola Social Media Guard!
Oh, I’ve got a use for this.
Pacific Standard: Not-So-Tortured Artists - Creativity Breeds Happiness.
“New research finds college students are happier than usual when they are engaging in creative activities.” Unless they attend RISD and have a crit the next morning … (wink) …
The Atlantic: Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators.
“… first, I put it off for two or three weeks. Then I sit down to write. That’s when I get up and go clean the garage. After that, I go upstairs, and then I come back downstairs and complain to my wife for a couple of hours. Finally, but only after a couple more days have passed and I’m really freaking out about missing my deadline, I ultimately sit down and write.”
Twitter has its share of whack jobs.
Dude wants to convince me I’m wrong, that astrology IS science. Goooooood grief.
Mother Jones: More and More Americans Think Astrology Is Science.
Cnet: Eterni.me lets you Skype with the dead.
“Eterni.me collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms. [snip] Then it generates a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to, your family and friends after you pass away. It’s like a Skype chat from the past.” I expect an Eliza-like experience. Even in primitive form, Eliza was surprisingly appealing.
NY Times: Impatience Has Its Reward - Books Are Rolled Out Faster.
Guardian.UK: Does the world care more about Russia’s animals than humans?
“Online, people like and support causes and charities having to do with animals almost 2 to 1 over causes having to do with just about anything else, according to a study that came out last summer.” Walking around town, dogs are always kept on a tight leash at stoplights. I’m considered something of a beast for asking young mothers to pull their strollers onto the sidewalk, and not shove their children into traffic at crosswalks. I really don’t get it.