The science of love: How "positivity resonance" shapes the way we connect by Maria Popova The neurobiology of how the warmest emotion blurs the boundaries by you and not-you. We kick-started the year with some of history’s most beautiful definitions of love. She begins with a definition that parallels Dorion Sagan’s scientific meditation on sex: First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike. Fredrickson zooms in on three key neurobiological players in the game of love — your brain, your levels of the hormone oxytocin, and your vagus nerve, which connects your brain to the rest of your body — and examines their interplay as the core mechanism of love, summing up: Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: first, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care. This is no ordinary moment.
Restructuring the economy with empathy as its center Democracy is lost unless we re-structure our economies, and re-structuring our economies requires a new operating system based on different values. That’s what empathy provides, not in its “thin” form as a vague appreciation of peoples’ feelings, but in its “thick” form that commits everyone to foster the wellbeing of others, and do no harm. Photo credit: Joseph Hanania for Aslan Media Excerpted from EDGAR CAHN : “Democracy is lost unless we re-structure our economies, and re-structuring our economies requires a new operating system based on different values. At present, our economic systems afford us only the narrowest view of human potential. What would change if the economy was re-structured with empathy at the center? In markets prices vary according to supply and demand. Secondly, the importance of money would decline, to be replaced by currencies that value things like time, care and service – the things that enable us to put empathy into action.
Coca-Cola Small World Machines In 1971, taught the world to sing through its iconic “Hilltop” ad. More than 40 years later, the brand invited the people of India and Pakistan – two groups used to living with conflict – to share a simple moment of connection and joy with the help of technology. An inspiring film released today shows that what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart. High-tech vending machines installed in two popular shopping malls in Lahore, Pakistan and New Delhi, India – two cities separated by only 325 miles, but seemingly worlds apart due to decades of political tension – invited consumers to put their differences aside and share a simple moment over a Coke. The “Small World Machines” provided a live communications portal linking strangers in two nations divided by more than just borders, with the hope of provoking happiness and promoting cultural understanding around the world. ‘We Pulled it Off’ Slideshow: Small World Machines Making Memories “We couldn’t get them to stop,” Pall said.
Goethe on the Psychology of Color and Emotion Color is an essential part of how we experience the world, both biologically and culturally. One of the earliest formal explorations of color theory came from an unlikely source — the German poet, artist, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in 1810 published Theory of Colors (public library; public domain), his treatise on the nature, function, and psychology of colors. Though the work was dismissed by a large portion of the scientific community, it remained of intense interest to a cohort of prominent philosophers and physicists, including Arthur Schopenhauer, Kurt Gödel, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. One of Goethe’s most radical points was a refutation of Newton’s ideas about the color spectrum, suggesting instead that darkness is an active ingredient rather than the mere passive absence of light. YELLOWThis is the color nearest the light. Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.
note note note The “I” of the Beholder: What Is the Self? by Maria Popova “The fate of the world depends on the Selves of human beings.” “I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations,” Anaïs Nin wrote to Harper’s Bazaar editor Leo Lerman in history’s most gracious turn-down of a major magazine profile, “I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles.” And yet despite how much science may disprove it and philosophy may debunk it, most of us cling to the notion of the permanent self with unparalleled zest. In her seminal book The “I” of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child (public library), education pioneer and Roeper School co-founder Annemarie Roeper considers the origin and nature of identity and of the self as it relates to developmental psychology and our formative years. Roeper writes in the introduction: [We have] a sense of the mystery of life, the mystery of the universe that surrounds us, and the mystery that is within us. Stop judging me, evaluating me, categorizing me.
Empathy: A Short Conceptual History and An Anthropological Question Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger LINDSAY A BELL In my first post, I proposed that anthropology might be particularly well suited to thinking through the concept of empathy. In North America, “empathy” has come to be a prominent term across the caring arts. Last weeks’ commentators aptly pointed out that “empathy” has become a gloss for broader concerns. In 1909, Edward Titchener coined the English “empathy” while working on the psychology of perception at Cornell. The 19th century German psychologist Theodor Lipps provided the most thorough account of Einfühlung. The concept of Einfühlung has influenced thought on a variety of intellectual problems, in a variety of contexts, but in most cases has not inspired the kind of grand claims we see in contemporary talk about empathy. Empathy’s Clinical Crossover Grand aspirations for empathy seem tied to more recent developments in Anglo-American psychology. We are now closer to the views of empathy in Brown, Obama, and Rifkin. Like this:
Best Career Advice: Learn How to Sell No matter what career you're planning, there's no smarter move than learning how to sell. That's especially true for entrepreneurs. You may have the greatest idea in the business world, but if you can't sell that idea, you won't and can't attract investors, customers, or talented employees. It's true for everyone else, too. Finding a great job always involves selling yourself and your skills. And being successful at any job means constantly selling the value of the services that you're providing. Here's the truth: a mediocre performer who knows how to sell will ALWAYS beat an exceptional performer who doesn't. There's a reason for this. With this in mind, here are some posts that are the most useful to anyone who wants to learn to sell, and therefore achieve a more successful career:
A Map of Woman’s Heart: Rare Vintage Gem from the 1800s by Maria Popova From coquetry to selfishness, or what the Sea of Wealth has to do with the City and District of Love. Nineteenth-century ideals of womanhood and beauty expressed as much about women as they did about the society in which they were germinated. At a time of radical sociocultural and economic shifts — rapid urbanization, new modes of transportation and communication, increasing mechanization of industry — the expectations for women’s role in society shifted as well, with an idealized version of what was known as “True Womanhood” underpinning pop culture representations of women in everything from newspaper advice columns to art. A Map of the Open Country of a Woman’s Heart was a map created by D. W. For a fascinating look at the expectations of True Womanhood, marvel at Bernard O’Reilly’s 1883 classic The Mirror Of True Womanhood: A Book Of Instruction For Women In The World. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month.
La gelosia: analisi di un sentimento (tra letteratura e scienza) Willy Pasini analizza la gelosia e indica una possibile strada per imparare a gestirla Uno dei poteri della gelosia, consiste nel rivelarci quanto la realtà dei fatti esterni e i sentimenti dell’anima siano qualcosa di ignoto che si presta a molte supposizioni. Crediamo di sapere esattamente le cose e quel che pensano le persone, per la semplice ragione che non ce ne preoccupiamo. Ma non appena abbiamo il desiderio di sapere, come chi è geloso, allora tutto si trasforma in un vertiginoso caleidoscopio, in cui non distinguiamo più nulla. Così scrive Proust nella sua opera più famosa: À la recherche du temps perdu. Si potrebbe addirittura parlare, in Proust, di una casistica della gelosia: una sorta di disposizione psicologica che nasce soprattutto dall’impossibilità di guardare interamente nella persona amata, di conoscerne i pensieri. Proust era uno scrittore; la letteratura -si sa- ci insegna a orientarci, a dare un senso al nostro essere nel mondo.
The Science of Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Maria Popova “The self is more of a superhighway for social influence than it is the impenetrable private fortress we believe it to be.” “Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind,” Einstein wrote, “life would have seemed to me empty.” It is perhaps unsurprising that the iconic physicist, celebrated as “the quintessential modern genius,” intuited something fundamental about the inner workings of the human mind and soul long before science itself had attempted to concretize it with empirical evidence. Now, it has: In Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (public library), neuroscientist Matthew D. Lieberman, director of UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience lab, sets out to “get clear about ‘who we are’ as social creatures and to reveal how a more accurate understanding of our social nature can improve our lives and our society. Our sociality is woven into a series of bets that evolution has laid down again and again throughout mammalian history. Donating = Loving
How Should We Live: History’s Forgotten Wisdom on Love, Time, Family, Empathy, and Other Aspects of the Art of Living by Maria Popova “How to pursue the art of living has become the great quandary of our age… The future of the art of living can be found by gazing into the past.” “He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth,” Goethe famously proclaimed. Thomas Hobbes extolled “the principal and proper work of history being to instruct, and enable men by the knowledge of actions past to bear themselves prudently in the present and providently in the future.” It is this notion of “applied history” that cultural historian and philosopher Roman Krznaric — who gave us How to Find Fulfilling Work, one of the best psychology and philosophy books of 2013 — places at the center of How Should We Live?: Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life (public library). He writes in the introduction: How to pursue the art of living has become the great quandary of our age.[…]I believe that the future of the art of living can be found by gazing into the past. The Histomap by John Sparks, 1931.
How to Influence People with Your Ideas - John Butman by John Butman | 11:00 AM April 30, 2013 One of my young clients, let’s call her Julie, is on a mission. Julie has an idea, one that has been gestating in her mind for quite some time, but now she realizes that for her idea to have any impact at all she will have to “go public” with it. Julie believes there are countless intelligent, talented but disadvantaged kids who, for a variety of reasons, have been shut out of traditional educational pathways and are therefore at risk of never achieving their full potential. She asked me: What do I have to do to get my idea out there? In essence, Julie wants to become what I call an “idea entrepreneur” — a person who builds a coordinated effort around a deeply-felt idea with the goal of achieving influence, affecting how people think and behave, and thus making some change in an organization or system. Aspiring idea entrepreneurs are everywhere: in businesses, classrooms, and communities of all kinds, all over the world. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Happy 130th Birthday, A. A. Milne: "Happiness" and the Origin of Winnie-the-Pooh by Maria Popova On rainy days and the simplicity of happiness. Though Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) is best-known for authoring the Winnie-the-Pooh book series, among the most beloved children’s books with timeless philosophy for grown-ups, A. The third poem in the book is a short gem titled “Happiness” — a wonderful meditation on how little it takes to find happiness. John had Great Big Waterproof Boots on; John had a Great Big Waterproof Hat; John had a Great Big Waterproof Mackintosh– And that (Said John) Is That. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount: Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. Share on Tumblr