Excellent book forum hosted by the Cato Institute:
Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler have written a book about the hidden motives in all of us: quite often, our brains get up to activities that we know little or nothing about. This isn’t just a question of regulating hormone levels or involuntary reflexes. Many of these involuntary behaviors are social signals, such as laughter or tears. Involuntary motives appear to underlie many forms of human sociability, including family formation, art, religion, and recreation. What are the implications for public policy? How can we understand politics and governance better in light of our hidden motives? Our discussion of The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
will focus on just these questions.
Source: The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life | Cato Institute
See also Robin Hanson’s TedX talk on this book.
That’s partly my title, anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed this very insightful and humorous lecture (72 minutes). Excellent. The summary posted at the YouTube video:
Twenty-first century depictions of love and marriage are shaped by a set of Romantic myths and misconceptions and with his trademark warmth and wit, Alain de Botton explores the complex landscape of a modern relationship, presenting a realistic case study for marriage and examining what it might mean to love, to be loved – and to stay in love.
If you want to listen to the lecture, as I did, e.g, in the car, convert the video at a site such as SaveTube.
How Romanticism Ruined Love, and corresponding video, which is a five-minute summary of the above lecture.
If you’re interested in improving the quality of your writing, watch or listen to this lecture by Steven Pinker based on his book The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Or check out his recent articles in The Guardian, and other publications, such as Passive Resistance – The active voice isn’t always the best choice in The Atlantic.
When kids don’t get a chance to play on their own, they grow fearful and depressed because only during playtime do they get to be the adults—to learn how to make decisions, deal with consequences, solve problems and really be a person instead of a precious possession or pet.
Source: Does Helicopter Parenting Turn Kids into Depressed College Students? – Hit & Run : Reason.com
I highly recommend if you plan to travel, and I just listened to it (during my commute). Surely it’s better with the video. It’s based on the author‘s book The Art of Travel.
THE ART OF TRAVEL, presented by Alain de Botton (and based on his bestselling book of the same name), looks into the philosophical impulses behind travelling and in doing so offers a profound and often witty view of some of the deeper issues underlying travel and our desire for it.
Thanks to Russ Roberts for interviewing Alain de Botton at EconTalk about his book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.
I highly recommend this recent EconTalk interview with literary critic D.G. Myers. Here’s the summary:
D.G. Myers, literary critic and cancer patient, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he has learned from receiving a cancer diagnosis six years ago. Myers emphasizes the importance of dealing with cancer honestly and using it as a way to focus attention on what matters in life. The conversation illuminates the essence of opportunity cost and the importance of allocating our time, perhaps our scarcest resource, wisely. The last part of the conversation discusses a number of literary issues including the role of English literature and creative writing in American universities.
More: D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty.
Thank you Russ Roberts and D.G. for engaging in and sharing this wonderful conversation.
From the American Psychological Association:
When the task at hand requires some imagination, taking a walk may lead to more creative thinking than sitting, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.“Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking,” said Marily Oppezzo, PhD, of Santa Clara University. “With this study, we finally may be taking a step or two toward discovering why.”
More: Taking a Walk May Lead to More Creativity than Sitting, Study Finds.
Via Steve Goldhaber.