I don’t like to post a big list of “here are interesting things”; I’d rather formulate them into useful and easily-digested stories to make a coherent point. However, I haven’t had time. So here are interesting things.
- Carbs are good for test performance. First time in a while I’ve heard of carbs being good for anything.
- What defines a good working life? What indeed. Maybe I’ll post more about this.
- Steve Jobs’s Buddhist influences. Ooh aah. What is the sound of one hand unlocking an iphone. I guess I like to be contrary, but I’m a tiny bit sick of the Cult of Steve. I mean, really, some of his advice, and some of the “wise Steve” stories we tell, are self-fulfilling; the fact that Steve said “never settle” and ended up extraordinary doesn’t mean that “never settle” is good advice. It’s like a lottery winner saying “play the lottery.” Also, he was a terrible jerk. Again: what defines a good working life? I don’t think Steve Jobs is a role model here. And if he is, he’s the one in a million.
- I thought I was so clever reading this xkcd about maps, like “ooh I’ve got a Peters map, it’s great, let’s see what he has to say about that!” And then I got to the end, read up on explain xkcd, and realized I am an idiot. Hah!
- Another bit about segmented/two-stage sleep: monks who did it basically found it unnatural and hard to get used to. They did dream/hallucinate a little more though. Given the limited support for two-stage sleep (basically three people, Wehr, Ekirch, and Gamble), I’m not so interested anymore.
- Wow, Facebook is good for you. Or at least, it provides social support like people hoped it would, and doesn’t isolate you like critics say.
- We keep taking risks up to age 50. 50! I used to think that interesting life was over at 25, or 30, or 35, but I guess we keep on being awesome for a lot longer. (not to say that post-50 is not-awesome. indeed, 50 seems to me a good age to settle down a bit. spend more time improving or enjoying what you’ve got, rather than trying new stuff.)
- Women are becoming the dominant sex, basically because we don’t need men to lift heavy things or fight people so much anymore. Women are better at college. Furthermore, the numerical gender balance is tipping towards women too, and marriage is taking a hit. Fewer desirable men means men screw around and women don’t want them. But this is okay: rather than “destroying marriage” or whatever, maybe we’re returning marriage to a reasonable level of importance, down from the 1950s nuclear family obsession.
“the cultural fixation on the couple blinds us to the full web of relationships that sustain us on a daily basis. We are far more than whom we are (or aren’t) married to: we are also friends, grandparents, colleagues, cousins, and so on. To ignore the depth and complexities of these networks is to limit the full range of our emotional experiences.”
- Tangentially relatedly, but interesting on its own: obesity is caused by snacking. Not by poor people eating at McDonald’s. Huh! This seems very counter-intuitive to me, but I can believe it. Incidentally, “only buy foods that require significant preparation” is pretty similar to “keep nothing immediately edible in my house”, which I proposed a few weeks ago.
Whew! Man, I could talk about these for ages. Okay, off the computer now.
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