Every human being is tried this way in the active service of expectancy. Now comes the fulfillment and relieves him, but soon he is again placed on reconnaissance for expectancy; then he is again relieved, but as long as there is any future for him, he has not yet finished his service. And while human life goes on this way in very diverse expectancy, expecting very different things according to different times and occasions and in different frames of mind, all life is again one nightwatch of expectancy.
Søren Kierkegaard, Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses: “Patience in Expectancy”
related post, William James on Expectation
A simple experiment, so simple as to seem trivial, will bring us directly to the heart of the matter. Take any two unequal objects, such as a pen and pencil or two unequally filled glasses of water, and place them on the desk in front of you. Then, partly closing your eyes to increase your attention to the task, pick up each one with the thumb and forefinger and judge which is heavier. Now introspect on everything you are doing. You will find yourself conscious of the feel of the objects against the skin of your fingers, conscious of the slight downward pressure as you feel the weight of each, conscious of any protuberances on the sides of the objects, and so forth. And now the actual judging of which is heavier. Where is that? Lo! the very act of judgment that one object is heavier than the other is not conscious. It is somehow just given to you by your nervous system. If we call that process of judgment thinking, we are finding that such thinking is not conscious at all. A simple experiment, yes, but extremely important. It demolishes at once the entire tradition that such thought processes are the structure of the conscious mind.
This type of experiment came to be studied extensively back at the beginning of this century in what came to be known as the Wurzburg School. It all began with a study by Karl Marbe in 1901, which was very similar to the above, except that small weights were used. The subject was asked to lift two weights in front of him, and place the one that was heavier in front of the experimenter, who was facing him. And it came as a startling discovery both to the experimenter himself and to his highly trained subjects, all of them introspective psychologists, that the process of judgment itself was never conscious.
Jaynes, Julian. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
But S.’s ability to remember was also a hindrance in everyday life. He had a hard time understanding abstract concepts or figurative language, and he was terrible at recognizing faces because he had memorized them at an exact point in time, with specific facial expressions and features. The ability to forget, scientists eventually came to realize, was just as vital as the ability to remember.
“We’re inundated with so much information every day, and much of that information is turned into memories in the brain,” said Ronald Davis, a neurobiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. “We simply cannot deal with all of it.”
Researchers like Dr. Davis argue that forgetting is an active mechanism that the brain employs to clear out unnecessary pieces of information so we can retain new ones. Others have gone a step further, suggesting that forgetting is required for the mental flexibility inherent in creative thinking and imagination.
A new paper, published Thursday in the journal Science, points to a group of neurons in the brain that may be responsible for helping the brain to forget. Akihiro Yamanaka, a neuroscientist at Nagoya University in Japan, and his team stumbled across the cells, known as melanin-concentrating hormone, or M.C.H., neurons, while studying sleep regulation in mice.
California, the country’s wealthiest and most populous state, also has the most homeless, an unremitting crisis that has confounded the state’s political leaders for decades and exposed one of the most extreme manifestations of economic inequality gripping the country.
Tent encampments — Oakland city officials count 90 of them — are now as much a part of the landscape as the bars and restaurants that cater to the city’s rising affluence. Many Americans are one medical emergency, one layoff, one family disaster away from bankruptcy or losing the roofs over their heads.
I was driving around Downtown Denver earlier today and drove past three people sleeping on the street, a few blocks from the ballpark. They didn’t have much baggage – no tents or sleeping bags, and one of them was in a large electric wheelchair. You see a lot of homeless people in Denver so I might not have registered these three, but that I had read this article earlier in the day, and I can’t see how someone survives being homeless in an electric wheelchair.
Theresa and I joined the regulars who hung out at night in the Sunset Strip parking lot between the Rainbow and the Roxy. That spot was the late-night nerve center of L.A.’s rock scene. Between eleven P.M. and two A.M., rock stars and wannabes, groupies and insiders gathered there and waited for something to happen, though looking back I realize the party itself was in the parking lot and that just by being there we were where it was happening.
If only we’d known. But everybody who was anybody in music hit the Rainbow. It was the place for exchanging news and information, seeing stars, finding drugs, and finding out where the best party was that night.
If you were a poseur, this was where you posed. If you wanted to pass around a joint or score quaaludes, you showed up there. The lot was always filled with shiny Rolls-Royces and Excaliburs, clues that a VIP was having a good time inside. It was also the best pickup spot in the entire city. Everyone was on, as if playing a part in their own movie.
Carlisle, Belinda. Lips Unsealed
Non-cashiers of Reddit: What’s the "It didn’t scan, so it must be free hur hur hur" of your profession? from AskReddit
I used to be in the beer industry (selling to supermarkets) and I’d get
“you can just load that pallet into my truck” every day.
Now I’m in the elevator industry and about once a week I get
“I bet that has its ups and downs.”
When I worked at a ski shop setting up snowboard rentals I’d ask how they wanted their stance, regular or goofy, so I could set the bindings up. At least 3 times a week, for the 6 months a year we did rentals, for the 4 years I worked there, I heard from dads “well he rides regular, but he’s pretty goofy hahaha.” By the end of my time there I never even bothered with a fake chuckle anymore, I just didn’t have it in me.
Selling lottery tickets.
I’m like what numbers would you like?
Everyone be like “the winning ones”.
Mail carrier here.
“You can keep the bills !” hur hur hur
I’m obligated to ask those visiting my work place if they have any weapons to declare.
“These guns!” flex
As a church musician, I’ve heard things like:
“How does it feel to have the largest organ in town?”
from September 21’s selection:
Tolstoy, Leo. A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul
From Los Feliz to Long Beach, the 1997 classic exposes rot beneath the glamour of Los Angeles
“I remember the first time I got off the plane in LA. I came up to Hollywood, on La Brea or La Cienega, I can’t remember, through the oil fields,” says L.A. Confidential production designer Jeannine Oppewall. “And I thought to myself: ‘What the hell kind of city is this, with oil fields in the middle of it?’”
For Oppewall, who spoke to Curbed LA on the eve of the 1997 neo-noir’s 20th anniversary, the illusory romance of the City of Angels was stripped away in an instant. That’s what the movie does too, puncturing our inflated ideas of Old Hollywood glamour by plumbing the psychological depths of its key characters and (sometimes literally) exposing the rot underneath.
By Chris Eggertsen, la.curbed.com
What Worked –
Uninstalling and Re-installing Kindle App
What Did Not Work –
Closing app and re-opening app
Turning tablet off and then back on again
Settings –> Applications –> Kindle App –> Force Stop
from the footnotes:
8) Somebody has only to spend one term trying to teach literature in school to realize that the quickest way to kill a writer’s vitality for potential readers is to present that writer ahead of time as “great” or “classic.” Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetable, something that the authorities have declared “good for them” that they “ought to like,” and then the students’ nictitating membranes come down, and everybody’s dead. Should this surprise anybody? We could learn a lot from bored students who hate to read, in my opinion.
Whole article here:
Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.
“Hic et Ille”, p. 96
In societies with fewer opportunities for amusement, it was also easier to tell a mere wish from a real desire. If, in order to hear some music, a man has to wait for six months and then walk twenty miles, it is easy to tell whether the words, “I should like to hear some music,” mean what they appear to mean, or merely, “At this moment I should like to forget myself.” When all he has to do is press a switch, it is more difficult. He may easily come to believe that wishes can come true.
Interlude: West’s Disease”, p. 245
The surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it.
“Reading”, p. 6
The poet who writes “free” verse is like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island: he must do all his cooking, laundry and darning for himself. In a few exceptional cases, this manly independence produces something original and impressive, but more often the result is squalor — dirty sheets on the unmade bed and empty bottles on the unswept floor.
“Writing”, p. 22
A vice in common can be the ground of a friendship but not a virtue in common. X and Y may be friends because they are both drunkards or womanizers but, if they are both sober and chaste, they are friends for some other reason.
“Don Juan”, p. 403
No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
“Notes on Music and Opera”, p. 472