Thursday, April 12, 2018

Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure

Responding to a New York Times article, Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure:

Although some can argue that art does more for pleasure, it seems to make more sense to think of art appreciation as a pure pleasure that invokes less, as opposed to those that also involve other senses such as hearing or touch. The experience of art, although it can include tactile and auditory aspects, is often the ideation of objects and concepts, minimally as an aesthetic and emotional experience.

In the same way that intelligence can be thought of as g, or general mental ability, it does not mean that one no longer studies what makes for great specific ability, or the influence and effect of learning.

Although pleasure might be processed the same way, that does not mean one should stop there and be done with it. It seems to make more sense, assuming one accepts that pleasure is the same, to find the ways that such things are different. On an experiential level, it seems that the various pleasures are different, in that they seem to engage additional pathways.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Love is Love

Love is Love Love is Love by Marc Andreyko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful and touching, but a hard read. Gorgeous drawings, many insightful comments, but it can be painful, tearing every few pages, and I am sure for some, heavy cries.

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Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Gender Balance of The New York Times Best Seller List

I was struck but how disproportionately male my reading genres are - I ran across a comment decrying Infinite Jest as one of those 'jerk off bro books' - so started examining some of my reading habits. It should have obvious to me when I was reading Beckett 15 years ago, and a woman I was chatting with not understanding who or why,  said that it "must be a guy thing." I still love some science fiction and will finish off the few remaining Dick and Vonnegut I haven't read, and the non-fiction I read will, for now, stay focused on systems sciences and programming, but I have stopped Infinite Jest - great writing, but the story devolved into themes around drug rehab and  cross-dressing amputee assassins - and I am now on one a search for authors. I'll start maybe with Austen and Highsmith - I loved the Ripley series, although the genre is lopsided male - and will peruse the Nobel list as one avenue for better female representation.

The Gender Balance of The New York Times Best Seller List

Monday, January 15, 2018

Karl Ove Knausgaard Answers the Proust Questionnaire | Vanity Fair

Reading this piece only makes me want to read his works more than I do now. This was the first:

Which living person do you most admire? I found Barack Obama’s dignity as a president remarkable, and even more so when I think about it these days.

With more responses that I so identified with, and then maybe not, but, still...

Source:Karl Ove Knausgaard Answers the Proust Questionnaire | Vanity Fair

The Patriarchs Are Falling. The Patriarchy Is Stronger Than Ever. - The New York Times

The US, as a traditional work-oriented culture, is unlikely to every move forward easily on social welfare and equality. It's a long, uphill battle, and for every two steps forward, there will another step back.

The culture is the problem, not women. In gender-equal countries, life is focused on quality of life for both men and women, while in masculine countries, as per Hofstede's cultural dimensions, life is work and success-oriented but focuses on male success and as such discriminates against women.

My spouse and I often consider moving to a country where we would better fit, either Sweden or the Netherlands, and not suffer living in such a moronic and backward country. The fight for equality is only going to be much harder in a traditional country, that's all. I think the fight is a worthy one, but in the words of Prince, "If you like to fight, you're a double-drag fool, I'm goin' to another life, how 'bout you?"

The Patriarchs Are Falling. The Patriarchy Is Stronger Than Ever. - The New York Times

Some Thoughts on Social Media Is Making Us Dumber

I don't think social media is making anyone dumber, but mass hysteria and fringe ideas seem to be more prevalent, even if we are only more aware of them than before. Anyway, it's a good piece, focused on a very nuanced speech, that was turned into something simplistic.

The article: Social Media Is Making Us Dumber. Here’s Exhibit A. - The New York Times

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review for The Edge of the World: A Visual Adventure to the Most Extraordinary Places on Earth

The Edge of the World: A Visual Adventure to the Most Extraordinary Places on EarthThe Edge of the World: A Visual Adventure to the Most Extraordinary Places on Earth by The Editors of Outside Magazine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've enjoyed the fantastic photography of Outside for decades, back from when I first got involved with fitness, and these photos, along with the accompanying vignettes, are some of the most awe-inspiring shots you will ever see. More than the acrobats, and I am certainly not one of them, the sheer immensity and subtlety of nature brought tears to my eyes, many times. Just wow!



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Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure

Responding to a New York Times article, Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure : Although some can argue that art does more for pleasur...