Science of Us: How Much Can You Really Change After 30?
“It’s not that personality is fixed and can’t change. [snip] But it’s relatively stable and consistent. What you see at 35, 40 is what you’re going to see at 85, 90.” Note in particular what they say about newborns; I reference Hillman’s “acorn theory.” When you have a child you’re not so much creating a personality, as revealing it.
Telegraph.UK: Neil Gaiman - Why Disney’s Sleeping Beauty doesn’t work.
“The point about Snow White is that you can keep fighting. The point about Snow White is that even when those who are meant to love you put you in an intolerable situation, you can run away, you can make friends, you can cope. And that message [he says with a smile of satisfaction] that even when all is at its darkest, you can think your way out of trouble – is huge.”
Brain Mic: There’s a Suicide Epidemic in Utah — And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why.
Altitude, really? Flagging this for further study results.
PBS/Frontline: New Report - Adam Lanza “Did Not Just ‘Snap’”.
“The authors describe a symbiotic relationship between mother and son, with Nancy going to excessive lengths to protect him from stress, which had the damaging effect of isolating him from the outside world. She treated him as a close confidant, but ‘that may have been well beyond his relatively immature emotional capacities.’” Alas I know of more than one tragedy of this kind. I’ll agree with the psychologists who say, “Suffer the little children to grow at their own pace.”
They need goals, don’t get me wrong. But we do them a disservice to ‘adultize’ them too soon. One can begin to accept them as ‘another adult’ and misperceive the actual abilities of the child, allowing them to get into situations where older and wiser heads are required to make safe choices.
SciAm: Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?
“Encouragingly, Uscinski and Parent found that education makes a difference in reducing conspiratorial thinking: 42 percent of those without a high school diploma are high in conspiratorial predispositions, compared with 23 percent with postgraduate degrees. Even so, that means more than one in five Americans with postgraduate degrees show a high predisposition for conspiratorial belief.”
The Luminous Landscape: Vision 13 - Photographer’s Block.
TNR: A Defense of Reason.
PS Mag: The Enduring Allure of Badly Behaved Men.
“Today’s male is listless, it’s said — emotionally paralyzed, indecisive, and insufficiently libidinal, on and off the page. With men transformed into soft-bellied unemployable losers, more and more women are left high and dry in the romance and mating department. They’ve lost it, apparently: their edge is gone, they’re lumpish, unemployed, and increasingly obsolete.” The author of this article does a good job ripping the book to pieces - this is a pullquote from the book being reviewed. Women want the same power, the same entitlements as men. Fine. Browbeating husbands or male offspring won’t turn Sparta into Athens; and if ill-done, the male Athenians will bypass women entirely. There need to be a better strategies than the old and tired ones, if equality is desired. Exactly what, is a fraught subject that I’ll bypass for the moment. Just calling attention to the link, for now.
[Slightly humorously, I blame American male consumption of unfermented soy, the favorite filler of food manufacturers in this country. The symptoms echo the above pullquote. Interestingly, while digging for that link, I found one study that mentions soy is twice the endocrine disruptor that BPA is. It seems we’ve collectively freaked out about the wrong compound.]
Tangential: Stumbled upon this. Inside the world of men and dolls. It seems my theorized Athenians are finding other outlets already ...
Discover Mag: How Your Facebook Updates Reveal Your Personality.
Figured I’d see Seligman credited in the paper. I’ve mentioned his “Learned Optimism” book before.
Pacific Standard: Feelings of Entitlement Boost Creativity.
Museum of Selfies.
Funny once. Other than that, I can imagine people shoving to get near valuable paintings. No offense to those who started it, but I hope it dies as a meme soon. There is also something frightening about forcing modern smartphone narcissism on images of the past. Psychs, analyze away on that one ...
Aeon: How it feels when writer’s block dissolves.
“Now I want to be writing every day, even as I can’t yet say what I want to be writing about. Like I might sometimes want to be walking, with no destination in mind, feeling just the movement of the arms and legs. I want the cadence, only the cadence is inward.” Nuggets of precious creativity, within.
Pacific Standard: The Positive Emotional Impact of Sad Music.
“Music-evoked sadness can be appreciated not only as an aesthetic, abstract reward, but (it) also plays a role in well-being, by providing consolation as well as regulating negative moods and emotions.” For me, it’s like lancing a boil. Sad music draws the tragedy away, leaving a peaceful glow.
BBC/A Point of View: Four types of anxiety, and how to cure them.
“We cannot cure existential anxiety, but we can show that there is no necessity to have big ideas worth dying for in order to find small pleasures worth living for, and that the best use of intelligence is to solve real problems rather than seek imaginary consolations.”
ArtDaily: With some 250 items on display, funeral museum rises again in death-fixated Vienna.
“But unlike at the old museum, visitors can no longer lie in a coffin—some even wanted the lid on—as they used to be able to do once a year during Vienna’s annual Museum Night. ‘The management decided ... it was totally inappropriate.’”
AnotherMag: Hans Eijkelboom on Photography for Aliens.
“... in many ways I believe more and more that we are products of our culture – it’s naïve to think that you are really an individual. But of course a lot of consumer society sells this idea. When you look at advertising it’s always the same, they try to tell you that you’re an individual and you need some stuff to describe that individuality, but what they don’t tell you is that ten thousand others buy the same stuff to describe their individuality.” What ‘uniform’ are you wearing today? View the photos. An important post! Thank you, milov on FB.
ArtDaily: ‘Empire of the dead’ - Paris’ Catacombs still entice visitors.
Mashable: British etiquette manual tells you how to behave in the 21st century.
Pacific Standard: We Are All Confident Idiots.
“The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise.” Sticking people in front of a camera requires folks to multi-task - even those who know better can begin babbling in order to portray themselves in a way they feel is ‘good’. I don’t think it’s a fair test of ‘ignorance’. Certainly not a scholarly study of the phenom.
Mental Contrasting – Effectiveness, Uses, and Precautions.
Saw a related article on the NY Times, but couldn’t link because of the paywall. Hopefully this will be of interest.
DiscoverMag: Most Autistic People Have Normal Brain Anatomy.
Hinted: “Calm breeds calm.” How to handle #stress.
“If you’re always running around with your hair on fire, I promise you’re stressing those around you out and diminishing performance.” Perhaps. After many years in the workforce, I’ve noticed there is a particular kind of person who cannot — will not — calm down until you get as unhinged as they do. If you don’t, they feel you’re not recognizing the severity of the situation and you become a target for their rancor. There’s naught you can do but feign a freakout, and then de-escalate them slowly using the same calmness you would have had otherwise.
Self-absorbed Instagrammer defaces National Parks.
This makes me livid. Most know I spent over half a year working in Big Bend National Park in between years of college. We spent a great deal of our time trying to preserve things for future generations. I cannot even begin to express how impenetrably self-absorbed this young lady is.
I say put her on the Park Service’s lowest payscale job. She works as long as it takes to pay for the remediation of the damage she caused, plus a generous fine. Lives in park housing, eats park meals.
Normally, I’d say she needs to visit a psychologist, but I find hard work often smooths out such narcissism. Working in a park, she’ll learn to appreciate it ... make her work with the public, she’ll learn how obtuse the average park visitor can be. She will experience her behavior as in a mirror, and have to deal with the repercussions. Every. Single. Day.
She must be an example, a deterrent. Otherwise more will follow. More will follow anyway, but a proper balanced punishment will go far to prevent this behavior from spreading.
Guardian.UK: The half-life of disaster.
“As long as disaster capitalism reigns – which no doubt will be as long as capitalism itself reigns – the world will be caught in a vicious circle: that of responding by increasingly draconian and ill-advised means to a threat environment whose dangers the response only contributes to intensifying.” Via wood s lot.
ArtDaily: Japan toymaker unveils tiny talking, singing humanoid.
“When asked to sing a song, the robot will answer, ‘Okay. Then let’s sing along together’ or ‘No. Ask me later because I am busy’, depending on ‘its mood’.” Just what I want to buy ... a moody robot. If you want torture, go talk to Eliza.