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The Minimalist » Blog Archive » Income distribution vs. happiness. Americans generally have more spending power now than 50 years ago, across almost all income levels.

The Minimalist » Blog Archive » Income distribution vs. happiness

But the perception is that lower income families are losing ground. Of course, some are, but generally, pretty much all of us can buy more and better stuff than we ever could in the past. In 1909, many things we consider absolute necessities didn’t even exist. So why the perception of slipping back? The answer is that income distribution is indeed diverging. Chart from the Afferent Input blog. A rich class of people are becoming much more wealthy, and most other people are becoming somewhat more wealthy. Recognizing this human frailty – that our built-in happiness meter is relative rather than absolute, and therefore set more by how much stuff we see our neighbors have rather than by how much we have, is the only way to counter its effect. This also explains the discomfort I feel about credit card debt in the US. Have doubts? A Brief History of the To-Do List and the Psychology of Its Success.

By Maria Popova On reconciling the fussy with the fuzzy, or what Benjamin Franklin has to do with Drew Carey.

A Brief History of the To-Do List and the Psychology of Its Success

“The list is the origin of culture,” Umberto Eco famously proclaimed. (Leonardo da Vinci, John Lennon, and Woody Guthrie would have all agreed.) But the list, it turns out, might also be the origin of both our highest happiness and our dreariest dissatisfaction. So argue New York Times science writer John Tierney and psychologist Roy F. These anecdotes and pieces of cultural mythology are interwoven with ample psychology experiments from the past century and, ultimately, distilled into insight on how to make the to-list a tool of fulfillment rather than frustration. Franklin, for instance, demonstrated one of the greatest pitfalls of the to-do list: trying to do too much at once, letting different goals come into conflict with one another: Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. The result of conflicting goals, the authors argue, is unhappiness instead of action.

101 Simple Truths We Often Forget. Post written by: Marc Chernoff Email It‘s not where we stand but in what direction we are moving.

101 Simple Truths We Often Forget

Sometimes we find ourselves running in place, struggling to get ahead simply because we forget to address some of the simple truths that govern our potential to make progress. So here’s a quick reminder: The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing. Photo by: Alexander Steinhof If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book. And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)... Gossip is basically only thing holding society together, says science. Prosocial gossip is so barely gossip.

Gossip is basically only thing holding society together, says science

Isn't it more like a news report? If I know someone's being cheated, is there any way I can inform them of this that you can't apply the definition of gossip to? I mean, we're talking first-hand witness report here, of something directly relevant to the hearer's wellbeing in some form or another. By the time you've satisfied the requirement for "prosocial" you've largely departed from the common understanding of the word, and you might as well call it something else or always use the modifier, because it's going to be confusing. However, I note lower on the page there seems to be the implication that "bitch" is a term with some gender associations, so who knows? 8 ways that money can buy happiness. Can you use hostage negotiation techniques to improve your life at work and at home. The Science Behind a Bad Mood and What You Can Do About It. Can Passion and Security Coexist? Reflections on Cronenberg’s "A Dangerous Method"

"Where such men love, they have no desire, and where they desire they cannot love.

Can Passion and Security Coexist? Reflections on Cronenberg’s "A Dangerous Method"

" Freud , S. Collected Papers. IV, Hogarth, 1925. Once you've built a home, a family, a life together, how do you make sense of the fact that the thrill is–or seems to be–gone? Can passion and security coexist? In the new David Cronenberg film, , a tortured Carl Jung struggles with these very questions. With Freud's help, Jung uncovers the source of Sabina's troubles– traumatic , sexual memories , of course (no spoiler there)–and on she goes, almost completely cured, to become a doctor, herself. Sabina is Freud's id incarnate–raw, unbridled passion and anger ; and Jung, a staid Protestant, constantly searching for power and mystery beyond the tame domestic existence with his rich, heiress wife, finds her completely irresistible.

Jung, for his part, gives into his desires. What, if anything, can we do about this? Jung, of course, couldn't have understood this yet. 30 Very Funny Books. It's a dreary day, so I thought I'd indulge myself and come up with a list of my favorite comedies.

30 Very Funny Books

A caveat, however: this is not a fancy English-professor-y list of the finest, most exquisitely crafted, most erudite or intellectually sophisticated works on paper in the language. This is a list of the books that make me laugh until my mascara starts to run. These are books to read over your first cup of coffee or just before you go to sleep . Remember: a day you've laughed is day you haven't wasted--even if you didn't get out of bed. Some days you need a jump-start to get to the funny parts of life.

You've probably heard of most of these titles, and maybe you've already read several of them. You ready? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. And of course this is just the beginning. Beyond Brainstorming. Creativity is an idea-shaping process.

Beyond Brainstorming

Ideas themselves are a source of other ideas—and a useful strategy to remember something is to associate it with other ideas. One method of catalyzing the processes of creativity and memory is Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping technique. Developed in the 1960's (Buzan & Buzan, 2010), Mind Mapping is a multi-purpose tool for note-taking in meetings and classes, analyzing study materials for better retention and comprehension, brainstorming ideas for event planning, problem-solving, decision-making , presentations, writing, research, and development.

Mind Mapping is remindful of Sigmund Freud's method of free association for uncovering repressed or unconscious memories. To construct a mind map, start with a central theme (or image) in the middle of a sheet (or computer screen, if you prefer software). Some Mind Mapping Applications (Based on Buzan & Buzan, 2010; Created by using Freeplane, ) References Buzan, T., & Buzan, B. (2010). The story of the self. Memory is our past and future.

The story of the self

To know who you are as a person, you need to have some idea of who you have been. And, for better or worse, your remembered life story is a pretty good guide to what you will do tomorrow. "Our memory is our coherence," wrote the surrealist Spanish-born film-maker, Luis Buñuel, "our reason, our feeling, even our action. " Lose your memory and you lose a basic connection with who you are. It's no surprise, then, that there is fascination with this quintessentially human ability.

This is quite a trick, psychologically speaking, and it has made cognitive scientists determined to find out how it is done. When you ask people about their memories, they often talk as though they were material possessions, enduring representations of the past to be carefully guarded and deeply cherished. We know this from many different sources of evidence. Even highly emotional memories are susceptible to distortion. What accounts for this unreliability? "Keep Giving Them You, Until You Is What They Want"

The 11 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2011. By Maria Popova What it means to be human, how pronouns are secretly shaping our lives, and why we believe.

The 11 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2011

After the year’s best children’s books, art and design books, photography books, science books, history books, and food books, the 2011 best-of series continues with the most compelling, provocative and thought-provoking psychology and philosophy books featured here this year. We spend most of our lives going around believing we are rational, logical beings who make carefully weighted decisions based on objective facts in stable circumstances. Of course, as both a growing body of research and our own retrospective experience demonstrate, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For the past three years, David McRaney’s cheekily titled yet infinitely intelligent You Are Not So Smart has been one of my favorite smart blogs, tirelessly debunking the many ways in which our minds play tricks on us and the false interpretations we have of those trickeries.

Originally featured in November.