Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy?

 Nuha Kahn writes of “toxic positivity” for The Walrus: It’s an experience most people can relate to: forcing a smile, holding back tears, saying “I’m fine” when you’re far from it. In a survey by Science of People, over 75 percent of respondents said they had rejected or ignored their emotions in an attempt to …

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Prophecies

 Excerpted from the article “Fear of Math” by Ashutosh Jogalekar, posted to 3 Quarks Daily: But I don’t want to digress from the bigger lesson that I learnt and which I have tried to communicate to students I have met over the years. This is that being “bad at math” has very little to do with …

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

 Mona and I went to see the Aretha Franklin movie, Respect, yesterday.  It was unexpectedly boring. Part of the problem is that hers really isn’t a very inspiring story.  She was born wealthy and talented, by the age of 25 she had nine albums under her belt and a very lucrative touring career, then she …

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WHIP

First Simone Biles said she was overwhelmed by being the center of attention.  Next she said that she had inexplicably lost the ability to orient her body in space.  Finally she said that she was sad because her aunt died. I don’t know which one is the truth.  Maybe all of them, maybe none of …

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Wasted Time

  Oliver Burkeman has written a book about distraction, Four Thousand Weeks.  Below is a very short excerpt dealing specifically with the dangers of social media: What’s far less widely appreciated, though, is how deep the distraction goes, and how radically it undermines our efforts to spend our finite time as we’d like. As you …

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Neutrality

In an article posted to TabletMag.com, columnist Blake Smith argues for more neutrality in our lives.  Here are a few excerpts: Conflict has all almost all our cultural heritage in its favor, Barthes complained: “the Western tradition is a problem for me in this respect … it makes conflict into a nature and a value.” That …

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Portmanteau

Portmanteaus are cool: A portmanteau or portmanteau word (from “portmanteau (luggage)”) is a blend of words in which parts of multiple words are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is a single morph that is analyzed as …

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There’s the struggle…

 

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It’s The End of the World

 From Slashdot: Human society is on track for a collapse in the next two decades if there isn’t a serious shift in global priorities, according to a new reassessment of a 1970s report, Vice reported. In that report — published in the bestselling book “The Limits to Growth” (1972) — a team of MIT scientists argued that industrial civilization was …

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“Spiritual Lifeguards”

 I listen to The Dan Patrick Show every morning.  That’s kind of an unusual pleasure for me, since it’s a sports show and I don’t follow sports, but it’s friendly and I like the positive vibes they generate. On today’s show Dan casually referred to the family of cancer patients as “spiritual lifeguards.” I really …

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Another

 

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Kurt and Albert

  Many mathematicians consider Kurt Gödel (l) to be intellectually superior to  Albert Einstein (r).  Einstein certainly thought so. But which one looks friendlier?

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