Are We the Same Person Throughout Our Lives? In Essence, Yes

by Miguel Rubianes Summary: The continuity of self remains stable throughout our lifetimes, while other components of the “self”, including physical appearance, attitudes, beliefs, and physiological processes change. A psychobiological study led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) on personal identity and its modification over time in parallel with the changes that individuals experience has shown that the essence of our being remains largely stable over the years. “In our study, we tried to answer the question of whether we are the same person throughout our lives. In conjunction with the previous literature, our results indicate that there is a … Continue reading Are We the Same Person Throughout Our Lives? In Essence, Yes

Sniffing Out the Vast World of Smell. Book Review

In “Nose Dive,” Harold McGee offers a sensory guide to the many odors, often unnoticed, that swirl around us. BY SARA HARRISON THERE’S A WEALTH OF information floating in the air, though we rarely take the time to notice. Olfaction, or the ability to smell, may be the least appreciated of the five senses. A 2011 poll by the marketing firm McCann Worldgroup, for instance, found that 53 percent of young people would prefer to give up their sense of smell than to give up their use of technology.  But that was before the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly made us acutely aware of the dangers in the air around us: the droplets expelled from unmasked … Continue reading Sniffing Out the Vast World of Smell. Book Review

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ‘REAL’ ONLINE WHEN YOU CAN NEVER FULLY LOGOFF?

by Joseph Longo  Religion and philosophy professor Chris Stedman talks ‘IRL’, his timely new book that attempts to define the ways in which life on the internet can be both well-lived and authentic Chris Stedman didn’t expect his new book on curating digital authenticity to be released during a pandemic when we’re all forced to be online. But it sure does help prove to readers (and his publisher) that he knows what the hell he’s talking about.  The author of Faitheist and professor of philosophy and religion at Augsburg University in Minnesota is what he’d diagnose as extremely online. In fact, the first people he … Continue reading WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ‘REAL’ ONLINE WHEN YOU CAN NEVER FULLY LOGOFF?

Alain de Botton on Emotional Generosity and the Difficult, Largehearted Art of Charity of Interpretation

How to master a singular flavor of kindness we rarely afford others but always demand for ourselves. BY MARIA POPOVA Goethe, who lived and died by the indivisibility of art and life, insisted that we ought to treat the works of others, however imperfect, the way we treat their actions — with “a loving sympathy.” And yet one of the most damning paradoxes of our condition is that, again and again, we withhold from others the loving sympathy and empathic understanding we demand for ourselves. When we lose the reins of our own character, when we lash out or sulk or act … Continue reading Alain de Botton on Emotional Generosity and the Difficult, Largehearted Art of Charity of Interpretation

On the same wavelength

The urge to align our minds and emotions with those we care for, whether they are near or far, makes our species unique Hayden Kee is a philosopher researching issues in philosophy of mind and language. He works as a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor and the University of Prince Edward Island. Edited by Pam Weintraub In his memoir Wind, Sand, and Stars (1939), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – author of the novella The Little Prince (1943) – relates the tale of his friend and fellow pilot Henri Guillaumet. The two men flew for the French airmail service in its early days. One winter, … Continue reading On the same wavelength

Erasing consciousness

Can we live a good life without experience? by Chris Ranalli  Epistemologist, value theorist and philosopher of mind at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Robert Nozick argued desirable experiences weren’t sufficient for living a good life. But are they even necessary? If you could give up your conscious life to better achieve your dreams and ambitions, wouldn’t you still be living a good life? An artificial or even an unnatural life can be one that is worth living, write Chris Ranalli. Do you need conscious experience to live a good life? On its face, this sounds like an absurd question. For experience, you … Continue reading Erasing consciousness

Would Moving to a New City or Country Make You Happier?

New research examines geographical effects on people’s happiness. by Mark Travers Ph.D. A long-standing debate in the field of psychology has been whether moving to a new location makes people happier. One school of thought says yes. In fact, it may be exactly the type of “fresh start” people need to re-calibrate their happiness. Another suggests that while a move might provide us with a temporary lift in mood, it is most common for our happiness to return to its baseline, pre-move level.  A new analysis provided in this year’s World Happiness Report adds context to this unsettled debate. The authors of the report, led by a … Continue reading Would Moving to a New City or Country Make You Happier?

SCIENTISTS: THE HUMAN BRAIN AND THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE HAVE ODD SIMILARITIES

by Justin MacLachlan, The Mind Unleashed Waking Times An astrophysicist at the University of Bologna and a neurosurgeon at the University of Verona have claimed that the brain resembles the universe. The two Italian researchers came up with the galaxy-brain theory that is out of this world: The structures of the perceptible universe, they say, are astonishingly comparable to the neuronal networks of the human brain. University of Bologna astrophysicist Franco Vazza and University of Verona neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti document the extraordinary similarities between the cosmic network of galaxies and the complex web of neurons in the human brain. The detailed … Continue reading SCIENTISTS: THE HUMAN BRAIN AND THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE HAVE ODD SIMILARITIES

Brain Scans Confirm There’s a Part of You That Remains ‘You’ Throughout Your Life

by MIKE MCRAE At the very core of your identity a kernel of self awareness combines memories of the past with the fleeting sensations of the present, and adds a touch of anticipation for the future. The question of whether this ongoing sense of ‘you’ is as robust as it feels has intrigued philosophers and psychologists throughout the ages. A new, small psychobiological study weighs in, looking at brain scans to conclude that at least some part of you is indeed consistent as you grow and age. “In our study, we tried to answer the question of whether we are … Continue reading Brain Scans Confirm There’s a Part of You That Remains ‘You’ Throughout Your Life

Women watch porn, too — but why?

Almost every man watches porn. But in recent years, the proportion of women in the porn audience has been growing. What does this shift mean? DW asked a sociologist and an evolutionary biologist. Women do not usually watch porn. Or do they? According to recent surveys by popular porn websites such as PornHub and xHamster, nearly one-third of the porn-viewing audience is made up of women, and that share is increasing. First, let’s go a little into the science of the matter. The neurons that cause humans to become aroused by pornographic content are called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons make … Continue reading Women watch porn, too — but why?