VEDANTAM: Iain argues that the right hemisphere of the brain is supposed to play the role of the wise master of our mental kingdom. The left hemisphere is supposed to be the emissary. Iain says we have grown infatuated with the skills of the emissary. We prize the details but scorn the big picture. He makes an analogy about the relationship between the hemispheres.
MCGILCHRIST: I want to emphasize that I resist very strongly the idea that the brain is a computer. It’s just nothing like a computer, actually. But in this one, limited sense, the left hemisphere is a little bit like a very, very smart computer. So you know what the data you’ve collected mean, but you haven’t yet been able to analyze them. You put them into a machine that is just very clever at carrying out a routine. It doesn’t understand. And then it spews out a result, which it also doesn’t understand. But you then take back into the world where the data come from and go, I see.
So that is the relationship. Your left hemisphere is busy processing things to make sure they’re consistent and unpacked, but your right hemisphere’s seeing everything. I am suggesting that we have arrived at a place, not for the first time in the West, where we have slipped into listening only to what it is that the left hemisphere can tell us and discounting what the right hemisphere could have told us.
Boltzmann tried out some of his ideas on Brentano, who had the grace and sometimes the courage to take his philosophical striving seriously. But Boltzmann’s fundamental skepticism was never far from the surface. “Is there any sense at all in breaking one’s head over such things?” he asked Brentano in 1905. “Shouldn’t the irresistible urge to philosophize be compared to the vomiting caused by migraines, in that something is trying to struggle out even though there’s nothing inside?”
The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. […] Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
Frears is carefully and patiently teasing out the power and subtlety in Shashi by getting him to act simply and underplay everything. You can see the performance developing take by take. After eight or nine takes Shashi is settled, a little tired and bored, more casual and relaxed. Now he is able to throw the scene away. And this is when he is at his best, though he himself prefers the first few takes when he considers himself to be really ‘acting’. Sometimes he can’t see why Frears wants to do so many retakes.
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid Screenwriters Diary
Noun. anthropomorphization (countable and uncountable, plural anthropomorphizations) endowing with human qualities. attributing human characteristics to something that is nonhuman.
I thought of the countless hours I had spent in math classes determining how long it took those three musketeers of math pedagogy, A, B and C, rowing at different speeds, to reach a certain bend in the river. No suspense about the outcome relieved the monotony of those races, for the three rowers were as foreordained as figures in a morality play to finish in the same order. It was a matter of character. A was strong and handsome, honest and decent, patriotic and God-fearing; B was plucky but flawed, fated to catch his oar on a rock just when victory seemed possible; and C was the amiable bumbler who is every one of us, capsizing in the stream. I always hoped for an upset—for C to redeem the best dreams of life’s losers, or at least for B to redeem the best dreams of life’s runners-up. It was not to be; in algebra textbooks, life’s races were rigged.
Zinsser, William. Writing to Learn
We laugh at dogs getting excited when they hear a bark on TV, but if TV was a nonstop stream of unintelligible noises and then someone suddenly spoke to you in your language, you’d be pretty fucking startled too.
Being able to tolerate the sound of your own voice in a video is probably the highest form of self acceptance.
If elevators hadn’t been invented, all the CEOs and important people would have their offices on the first floor as a sign of status.
We do not check the refrigerator multiple times to find new food, we check to see if our standards have dropped enough to eat what was available.
You aren’t paid according to how hard you work, you are paid according to how hard you are to replace
Most of the trash you see on the ground is unhealthy food packaging because people who don’t care about their own health don’t care about the Earth’s either.
As a kid, teenagers seemed so big and scary because in most TV shows they were actually played by adults in their 20s.
Superman’s most unappreciated power is his extraordinary fine motor skill. He has almost unlimited strength and can literally move mountains, yet is also able to shake someone’s hand without inadvertently ripping off their arm.
The kids growing up gaming on tablets are going to have all the internet addiction without any of the computer skills.
Telling kids that a cop will arrest you as a disciplinary tool, then expecting kids to tell a cop if something bad is happening to them, must be confusing as hell.
People who respond with “That’s not how the world works” when told to be nice are the reason that’s not how the world works.
If a morgue worker dies they’d still need to come in to work one more time
Technically, your alarm tone is your theme song as it starts every episode
Spider-Man almost certainly has auto-rotate turned off on his phone.
A subreddit for sharing those miniature epiphanies you have that highlight the oddities within the familiar.
“Showerthought” is a loose term that applies to the types of thoughts you might have while carrying out a routine task like showering, driving, or daydreaming. At their best, showerthoughts are universally relatable and find the amusing/interesting within the mundane.
Recently, I won’t say exactly when but embarrassingly late in life, I realized that books had been lying to me. Movies were slightly better, but still untruthful. To put it another way, I realized that nothing is connected. Nothing is central. Not all things happen at the same time, or a millisecond before or after that time, or at midnight, or on anniversaries.
Nobody jogs down a street and sees a sign that says SIMPSON and then later that afternoon drives to their dentist and finds a new receptionist, surname Simpson, caressing the desk with nails of plastic coral.
Her eyes are never the precise whimpery blue of an April morning in the Southwest. They may bear a passing resemblance to that shade, they may be very, very close, but they are never the same, no matter how hard one overworks one’s eyes.
Unlike apothegms and tragedies, detective stories presume that a rational method exists. The genre believes in social science. It embodies the same set of assumptions that have led so many thinkers since the seventeenth century to assume that what Newton accomplished in astronomy will soon be accomplished with human beings. Governed by natural laws no less than any star or planet, we must be as knowable to rational investigators. “Moral Newtonianism,” as Elie Halévy famously called this assumption, is above all the belief in method guaranteeing answers.
Morson, Gary. The Long and Short of It: From Aphorism to Novel
SATURDAY PUZZLE — It’s not really a secret that we all see, feel, smell and hear things differently. If you have ever sat through a course in philosophy, you know that our perception of what is “real” is based not on what something actually is, but what we say it is. Which is always incredibly disappointing to a teenager who has come to college to discover the “real” world (“That’s it?! That’s all there is to it? Can I go now?”)
The quote that is normally attributed to the writer ANAÏS NIN, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” is also a Talmudic idea about dream analysis: People can only dream about things they have encountered or thought about, and so their dreams consist not of reality — whatever that is — but is instead a version filtered through the lens of the dreamer’s experiences.
Let’s look at 52A, for example. I make my living on the internet. I spend a good deal of time interacting with people — most of them very nice — online. But when I first read the clue “On-line jerks?” I immediately thought that the answer must be TROLLS, because in my mental neighborhood, that’s what online jerks are called.
Whoops! Not enough squares for TROLLS. Also, I didn’t notice that hyphen in “On-line.” My bad. Maybe the clue means something else.
Do we have any fishing hobbyists out there?
Maybe you got it right the first time. If you have a fish on the line (“On-line”) and the line jerks, those are called BITES.
Deb Amlen, NYTIMES
Author’s Note: Long before Derrida and deconstruction, the Talmud said, quite sagely, “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” As far as I am concerned, every word of this book is the complete and total truth. But of course, it’s my truth. So to protect the innocent—as well as the guilty—I have changed most names. Otherwise, unfortunately for me, every detail is accurate.
Wurtzel, Elizabeth. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America