The Lives of Illiterate Men

While educational achievement has improved over the last 30 years, there hasn’t been much change in the number of American adults who are functionally illiterate by Eddie Kim For more than 40 years of his life, James Hall couldn’t decipher a restaurant menu by himself unless it had photos. He couldn’t navigate a bus schedule, choosing either to memorize the rhythms of its arrivals, or if he was somewhere unfamiliar, asking another person at the stop. He couldn’t read the details of a bank statement, use a computer to research a recipe or comprehend the front page of the newspaper … Continue reading The Lives of Illiterate Men

The greatest use of life

Arthur Hammond, Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge), no date (thought to be c1930), gelatin silver print. Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum. The pragmatist philosopher William James had a crisp and consistent response when asked if life was worth living: maybe by John Kaag is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is the author of American Philosophy: A Love Story(2016), and his latest book is Hiking with Nietzsche (2018). He lives outside Boston. Edited by Sam Dresser ‘The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.’ – William James, The Thought and Character of William James (1935) A year ago, on a late … Continue reading The greatest use of life

Is social media addiction a new type of psychiatric condition?

by: Zoey Sky (Natural News) When people say that they’re “addicted” to Facebook or social media, is it the same thing as being addicted to drugs or alcohol? According to estimates, the number of social media users around the world can skyrocket from almost a billion in 2010 to over three billion by 2021. Out of all the social networking sites (SNS), Facebook is at the top of the list, with almost a whopping 2.2 billion active users monthly. It’s not just kids on Facebook, though. Even adults spend 50 percent more time on Facebook daily. But why is everyone drawn to social media? It can be that many people … Continue reading Is social media addiction a new type of psychiatric condition?

What’s the Loneliest You’ve Ever Felt?

KRISTEN RADTKE The author started a project on loneliness by asking this simple question. Many people quickly recounted experiences, often with surprising specificity. by KRISTEN RADTKE It’s perhaps not much of a statement to say that movie audiences have been conditioned to expect lonely heroes on the big screen. Westerns have long touted the virtues of the lone cowboy while simultaneously fetishizing the isolation of a dame waiting for rescue. Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock reigned in the ’90s with their portrayals of sad, clumsy dream girls. Superhero films have issued unfailingly sequestered protagonists, their power and responsibility separating them from … Continue reading What’s the Loneliest You’ve Ever Felt?

Your IQ Matters Less Than You Think

In studies of children and historical figures, IQ falls short as a measure of success. BY DEAN KEITH SIMONTON People too often forget that IQ tests haven’t been around that long. Indeed, such psychological measures are only about a century old. Early versions appeared in France with the work of Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon in 1905. However, these tests didn’t become associated with genius until the measure moved from the Sorbonne in Paris to Stanford University in Northern California. There Professor Lewis M. Terman had it translated from French into English, and then standardized on sufficient numbers of children, … Continue reading Your IQ Matters Less Than You Think

Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

Art by Margaret C. Cook from a rare 1913 edition of Leaves of Grass “A passion, like the torrent in the violence of its course, might perhaps too, like the torrent, leave ruin and desolation behind… My love for you… is deep and calm, more like the quiet river, which refreshes and beautifies where it flows.” BY MARIA POPOVA Like Alice James — the brilliant diarist who lived and wrote in the shadow of her brothers, Henry and William James — Jane Welsh Carlyle (January 14, 1801–April 21, 1866), unpublished and shadowed by her famous husband, was a literary genius whose private letters stand as masterpieces … Continue reading Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

The say of the land

The Harbinger of Autumn (1922) by Paul Klee, watercolour and graphite. Photo courtesy Yale University Art Gallery Is language produced by the mind? Romantic theory has it otherwise: words emerge from the cosmos, expressing its soul by Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer, with a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy and other degrees in theology and in physics. His new book using the ideas of Owen Barfield, A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, is published in spring 2019. He lives in London. Edited by Marina Benjamin In conversation at the Hay Festival in Wales this May, … Continue reading The say of the land