“Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted.”
Aesthetic consumerism and the violence of photography — what Susan Sontag’s timeless 1977 meditation teaches us about today’s era of Instagram, Tumblr, and visual culture online:
“Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.”
The science and philosophy of friendship – lessons from Aristotle on the art of connecting
"You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness … has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me."
A revealing and prescient conversation with young David Foster Wallace
“Though antidepressants are effective at managing negative emotions, they don’t in themselves provide the sense of meaning and direction that a person equally needs in order to find her way in life.”
Absolutely fascinating and necessary read on how antidepressants affect selfhood, teenage sexuality, and our quest for personal identity
Graham Wallas’s timeless 1926 model for the four stages of the creative process – preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification – and how to master them.
"Metaphorical thinking … is essential to how we communicate, learn, discover, and invent."
Fascinating read on what children’s minds teach us about the evolution of the imagination
“Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.”
The Art of Looking – what 11 experts, from an artist to a geologist to a dog, teach us about seeing our familiar city block with wide new eyes
“You are what you remember — your very identity depends on all of the events, people and places you can recall.”
How to optimize your brain – why refining emotional recall is the secret to improving your memory, and how to do it
“Like works of literature, mathematical ideas help expand our circle of empathy, liberating us from the tyranny of a single, parochial point of view.”
Autistic savant Daniel Tammet on synesthesia and the poetry of numbers, by way of Borges – fantastic read
Fascinating read on sleep and the teenage brain – or how school schedules are sabotaging well-being.
“Time perception matters because it is the experience of time that roots us in our mental reality.”
A fascinating read on why time slows down when we’re afraid, speeds up as we age, and gets warped when we’re on vacation:
“Attitudes toward beauty are entwined with our deepest conflicts surrounding flesh and spirit.”
The science of beauty
“Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend.”
Helen Keller on optimism – a timeless read, timelier than ever:
Beware of beauty overload — fascinating study on how looking at gorgeous women is harmful for both men and women, but in different ways
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”
Maya Angelou in conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom: