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When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day isn’t enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.
Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge: By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little: By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:
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"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...
fMRI of individual without a paracingulate sulcus (credit: Jon Simons) Ever wonder why uncle Louie seems to imagine stuff that didn’t happen, and calls you crazy? Well now’s there’s an explanation. Half of you won’t like it, I warn you. A new study of the brain by University of Cambridge scientists explains why some people can’t tell the difference between what they saw and what they imagined or were told about — such as whether they or another person said something, or whether an event was imagined or actually occurred. Turns out it results from a normal variation in a fold at the front of the brain called the paracingulate sulcus (PCS), the scientists said.
If there’s one thing Friedrich Nietzsche did well, it’s obliterate feel-good beliefs people have about themselves. He has been criticized for being a misanthrope, a subvert, a cynic and a pessimist, but I think these assessments are off the mark. I believe he only wanted human beings to be more honest with themselves. He did have a remarkable gift for aphorism — he once declared, “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” A hundred years after his death, Nietzsche retains his disturbing talent for turning a person’s worldview upside-down with one jarring remark. Even today his words remain controversial.