04 August 2014

Items to Share; 3 August 2014

Education Focus
  • Feeling Unable to Learn | Faculty Focus 'I’ve just had one of those in-your-face learning experiences. In fact, it was so unnerving that I’m not sure I can even write about it. It all started when I bought a new computer and, as a result, had to learn an entirely new email system. Although not an unusual or difficult situation for most college teachers, it turned into an absolutely awful experience for this learner. I haven’t felt such frustration, anger, and despair for a long time.'
Other Business
  • The Way We Live Our Lives in Stories | Edge.org [Jonathan Gottshall] 'No matter where you go in the world, no matter how different people seem, no matter how hard their lives are, people tell stories, universally, and universally the stories are more or less like ours: the same basic human obsessions, and the same basic structure. The structure comes down to: stories have a character, the character has a predicament or a problem—they're always problem-focused—and the character tries to solve the problem. In its most basic terms, that's what a story is—a problem solution narrative.'
  • Against happiness: Why we need a philosophy of failure | Prospect Magazine '[T]he spread of depression is partly a side-effect of our addiction to happiness. Conversely, understanding why we are so miserable should liberate us from being too miserable about it. We can feel good about feeling bad. In other words, we need a decent philosophy of failure to save everyone from thinking what failures they are.'
  • Playing an Instrument Is a Great Workout For Your Brain: New Animation Explains Why | Open Culture 'Neuroscientists using fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) technology to monitor the brain activity of subjects listening to music saw engagement in many areas, but when the subjects traded in headphones for actual instruments, this activity morphed into a grand fireworks display. [...] This massive full brain workout is available to anyone willing to put in the time with an instrument.'
  • Experimental Theology: Search Term Friday: Strange Loops and Theology I don't usually include links to religious material, but this meditation from Richard Beck on the relevance of Douglas Hofstadter's exploration of logic and maths to thinking about aspects of religion is fascinating—as anything to do with Hofstadter is pretty well bound to be. 

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