Going Solo: A Brief History of Living Alone and the Enduring Social Stigma Around Singletons by Maria Popova “Despite its prevalence, living alone is one of the least discussed and, consequently, most poorly understood issues of our time.” In the 4th century BC, Aristotle admonished: The man who is isolated, who is unable to share in the benefits of political association, or has no need to share because he is already self-sufficient, is no part of the polis, and must therefore be either a beast or a god. Indeed, the ancient world held exile as the most formidable form of punishment, second only to execution, though in Greek tragedies it was often regarded as a fate worse than death. For more than two millennia, this fear and loathing of solitary life endured and permeated the fabric of society. The nuclear family is a universal human social grouping. Yet our relationship with solitary life has undergone a radical shift in the recent past. Until recently, most of us married young and parted only at death. Klinenberg paints an even more vivid picture by the numbers: Donating = Loving
The Smiley Book of Colors By Maria Popova When Freud came to believe he was going to die between the ages of 61 and 62, and subsequently began seeing the two numbers everywhere he looked, which only intensifying the urgency of his superstition, he came to observe the value of selective attention in focusing the unconscious. But what if we engineered this selective attention purposefully and aligned it with our emotional and mental well-being? Four years later, The Smiley Book of Colors was born, at once teaching (eternal) kids basic color theory and instilling in them the habits of optimism — a charming, light-hearted complement to the recent grown-up exploration of the science of smiles. (Yes, let’s throw in a cat photo for good measure — after all, that’s the hallmark of curatorial achievement according to Jennifer Daniel over at BloombergBusinessweek. Skeptical, still?
Why We Love: 5 Must-Read Books on the Psychology of Love It’s often said that every song, every poem, every novel, every painting ever created is in some way “about” love. What this really means is that love is a central theme, an underlying preoccupation, in humanity’s greatest works. But what exactly is love? No superlative is an exaggeration of Alain de Botton‘s humble brilliance spanning everything from philosophy to architecture. Every fall into love involves [to adapt Oscar Wilde] the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. You might recall biological anthropologist Helen Fisher‘s work from this fascinating discussion of how antidepressants impact the experience of romantic love. Sample her work with this fantastic TED talk on the brain in love: Originally written in 1988, The Psychology of Love is an anthology of 16 academic, though highly readable, papers dissecting various aspects of love. For many people, love is the most important thing in their lives. Is love really blind?
New Collection Of 35 Creative Photos This is a fresh collection of 35 creative photos that will fuel up your creativity. When you are out of idea its always great and helpful to see some professional work to inspire you to do better. Little Bird: A Beautifully Minimalist Story of Belonging Lost and Found by Swiss Illustrator Albertine by Maria Popova “There are no greater treasures than the little things.” Children’s picture books — the best of them, at least — have this magical quality of speaking to young hearts with expressive simplicity, but also engaging grown-up minds with subtle reflections on the human condition. It tells the tender story of a big-hearted man who halts his truck at a cliff’s edge. The two have lunch together and, eventually, the man tries to encourage the bird to fly off and join the others by attempting a comic demonstration of flight himself. The humorous situation deepens the tenderness between the two creatures and soon the bird departs, the man drives away, and the story seems to end — but! There are no greater treasures than the little things. A lovely quote from an e. e. cummings poem graces the first page: may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living Korean designer Young-jun Kim created this charming animation based on the book: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr
The LEGO Gender Gap: A Historical Perspective “Why does all the girls have to buy pink stuff?” Even a child can see something is wrong in our toy stores. The gender gap* that frustrates Riley in the above video does more than tell her which toys it socially appropriate for her to play with, it separates her from a whole realm of experience - masculinity. As Riley grows older and decides what sort of person she wants to be, she will encounter this gap again and again. While crossing the gender gap is not impossible, it is difficult and doing so risks stigma and ostracism, just ask the boy who dressed up as Daphne or the girl with the Star Wars water bottle. The gender gap is evident in nearly every aspect of our society, but one of the first and most striking examples is toy choice. The LEGO Gender Gap: A Historical Perspective Last month’s splashy introduction of the new LEGO** friends line has stirred up a lot of controversy. 1932-1977: The Brick Era The 70s also saw TLG experimenting with different types of human-like figures.
The Book of Symbols: Carl Jung's Catalog of the Unconscious by Kirstin Butler Why Sarah Palin identifies with the grizzly bear, or what the unconscious knows but doesn’t reveal. A primary method for making sense of the world is by interpreting its symbols. Beginning in the 1930s, Jung’s devotees started collecting mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic imagery under the auspices of The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS), an organization with institutes throughout the U.S. You can browse through ARAS via a list of common archetypes, or search by word, producing a cross-indexed result with thumbnail images and a timeline of where and when that idea appeared throughout history. Nonetheless, to access this treasure trove you still have to be a member of ARAS online, or take trip to one of its four physical locations. Kirstin Butler is writing an adaptation of Gogol for the Google era called Dead SULs, but when not working spends far, far too much time on Twitter. Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.
6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job. You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza. Now you have others to do all that and it's time for you to "be strategic." Whatever that means. If you find yourself resisting "being strategic," because it sounds like a fast track to irrelevance, or vaguely like an excuse to slack off, you're not alone. This is a tough job, make no mistake. After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what's required of you in this role. Anticipate Most of the focus at most companies is on what’s directly ahead. Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industrySearch beyond the current boundaries of your businessBuild wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better Think Critically “Conventional wisdom” opens you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing. Interpret Ambiguity is unsettling. Decide
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