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Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living

Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living
by Maria Popova Reflections on how to keep the center solid as you continue to evolve. UPDATE: The fine folks of Holstee have turned these seven learnings into a gorgeous letterpress poster inspired by mid-century children’s book illustration. On October 23, 2006, I sent a short email to a few friends at work — one of the four jobs I held while paying my way through college — with the subject line “brain pickings,” announcing my intention to start a weekly digest featuring five stimulating things to learn about each week, from a breakthrough in neuroscience to a timeless piece of poetry. “It should take no more than 4 minutes (hopefully much less) to read,” I promised. This was the inception of Brain Pickings. Illustration by Maurice Sendak from 'I'll Be You and You Be Me' by Ruth Krauss, 1954. Illustration from 'Inside the Rainbow: Russian Children's Literature 1920-35.' Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/10/23/7-lessons-from-7-years/

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Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways When you understand how neural pathways are created in the brain, you get a front row seat for truly comprehending how to let go of habits. Neural pathways are like superhighways of nerve cells that transmit messages. You travel over the superhighway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid. You may go to a specific food or cigarettes for comfort over and over, and that forms a brain pathway. Katherine Kam is a journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in health reporting. Baggage Check It’s a tale of two men. Alfred Paine began life in wealth and privilege. His family wasn’t warm or close, but his parents endowed him with a trust fund at birth and later, an Ivy League education. When he died, though, he counted no close friends. He left behind multiple unhappy marriages and adult children…

My Teacher Is a Monster: A Sweet Modern Fable About Seeing Through the Othern... by Maria Popova A gentle illustrated reminder that we can’t love what we don’t know. “Love,” wrote Leo Tolstoy in his poignant letters to Gandhi on why we hurt one another, “represents the highest and indeed the only law of life, as every man knows and feels in the depths of his heart (and as we see most clearly in children)…” Tolstoy believed that if only we managed to see through our superficial differences and our fear of the other’s otherness, we’d recognize instantly the universe’s basic “law of love” — something to which we are born attuned, only to forget as we enter adulthood. Kids, of course, can often be especially cruel in their inability to accept otherness — but that’s why it’s especially enchanting to witness, let alone spark, the precise moment in which a child lets go of some learned bias and sees in another person his or her intrinsic goodness, a return to innocence and Tolstoy’s “law of love.” Suddenly, the leisurely environment strips them of their weekday roles.

Introduction to Political Philosophy About the Course This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course. View class sessions » Course Structure

Information society An information society is a society where the creation, distribution, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity. The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally, through using information technology (IT) in a creative and productive way. The knowledge economy is its economic counterpart, whereby wealth is created through the economic exploitation of understanding. People who have the means to partake in this form of society are sometimes called digital citizens. 8 tips to make your life more surprising — from a “Surprisologist” A closeup of Tania Luna, with glow stick. Photo: James Duncan Davidson In today’s talk, Tania Luna shares her experience of immigrating to the United States from Ukraine as a little girl. Perfectly happy with her family’s outhouse and with chewing a single piece of Bazooka gum for a week, Luna found herself blown away by the wonders of her new country.

Elitism ‘La scultura lingua morta III’, the first solo show at the gallery by Italian artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò. ‘La scultura lingua morta III’ gravitates around sculpture, a discipline that the artist has been following for years, alongside site-specific and performative works. Sculpture is therefore the result of an entropic process of transformation that starts with a human, natural gesture, which extends in space and time and crystallises into an object; an object which represents through its form and material the last stage of the modification of matter. In this way, the form of the Hourglass (Clessidra) provides a synthesis into an absolute form based on the corrosion of wood when left in water, subject to the constant vertical movement of the tide. The wood is copied and is then cast in bronze, a transformation into an incorruptible material which is almost capable of suspending time and revealing it to be static, unmoving. Hourglasses are instruments that measure time.

Learned Optimism: Martin Seligman on Happiness, Depression, and the Meaningfu... by Maria Popova What 25 years of research reveal about the cognitive skills of happiness and finding life’s greater purpose. “The illiterate of the 21st century,” Alvin Toffler famously said, “will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Anarchism and Taoism Anarchism is usually considered a recent, Western phenomenon, but its roots reach deep in the ancient civilizations of the East. The first clear expression of an anarchist sensibility may be traced back to the Taoists in ancient China from about the sixth century BC. Indeed, the principal Taoist work, the Tao te ching, may be considered one of the greatest anarchist classics. The Taoists at the time were living in a feudal society in which law was becoming codified and government increasingly centralized and bureaucratic. Confucius was the chief spokesman of the legalistic school supporting these developments, and called for a social hierarchy in which every citizen knew his place.

Digital citizen A digital citizen refers to a person utilizing/using information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation. K. Mossberger, et al.[1] define digital citizens as "those who use the Internet regularly and effectively".[2][3] In qualifying as a digital citizen, a person generally must have extensive skills, knowledge, and access of using the Internet through computers, mobile phones, and web-ready devices to interact with private and public organizations. 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently This list has been expanded into the new book, “Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind,” by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman. Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context.

Comics This is a comic about the backfire effect. The first big expansion pack of Exploding Kittens is now shipping. It contains 20 game-changing cards, along with a human-sized cone of shame. I made a new thing. Next Page » Viktor Frankl on the Human Search for Meaning by Maria Popova “Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” Celebrated Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, born on March 26, 1905, remains best-known for his indispensable 1946 psychological memoir Man’s Search for Meaning (public library) — a meditation on what the gruesome experience of Auschwitz taught him about the primary purpose of life: the quest for meaning, which sustained those who survived. For Frankl, meaning came from three possible sources: purposeful work, love, and courage in the face of difficulty. In examining the “intensification of inner life” that helped prisoners stay alive, he considers the transcendental power of love:

Anarchism and Other Essays: Anarchism: What It Really Stands For THE history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn. In its tenacious hold on tradition, the Old has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and cruelest means to stay the advent of the New, in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition, difficulties, and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea. The rack, the thumbscrew, and the knout are still with us; so are the convict's garb and the social wrath, all conspiring against the spirit that is serenely marching on. Anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of all other ideas of innovation.

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