I first heard Jon Ronson on This American Life a while ago, and now he’s written a book about psychopathy. It’s gotten a lot of press, too — I read an excerpt on the Guardian, and it’s been reviewed everywhere, and here’s All Things Considered interviewing him.
It seems like it could be a little squishy at the center, though. Mental disorders are so trendy nowadays. Is everyone a psychopath?
As inspired by: What I say every time I get discouraged by my career prospects. Roughly estimating that this happens five times a day, minimum.
Problem: It would appeal primarily to humanities majors, who — let’s face it — don’t really have the money to blow on random t-shirts. So it wouldn’t quite nab a million dollars … or any dollars, really.
A compilation of short documentaries on the theme, “Recycled,” exploring aspects of human life that get repeated and re-used, for better and for worse. Produced by students in the Duke University class, The Short Audio Documentary, and hosted by John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.
"You never know if you’ve said the right thing, but you are always thinking about it. You figure most people are always thinking about it, most people care about making others happy or about what others think of them so that’s pretty normal. When someone does something you don’t like you think ‘they’re fucked’ because it reassures you that you still stand in the correct arena. And there are those people you know who seem to say whatever they want, to gallop through the world really heedless of what they are trampling, lip flaps peeled off a horse’s grin, and you wonder if you should admire them [via YOU ARE YOU AND THAT IS IT] or if that tiny flickering anxiety light ever hovers over their shoulder. Aberration, aberration."
“When I’m writing, I try to have the mask of my character on as I’m walking through the world. When I’m not at my desk, the rest of the time, I try to stay in that character and see the world the way that character would … It’s almost like method acting in a way — keeping the character close the way the actor keeps a script close and always tries to be in character.”—Stewart O’Nan, on fiction-writing. (via nprfreshair)
Well, it’s about English majors in college. So. But also it’s just about people, especially scared people. Sugar always makes me cry.
"It’s really condescending to tell you how young you are. It’s even inaccurate. Some of you who are graduating from college are not young. Some of you are older than me. But to those of you new college graduates who are indeed young, the old new college graduates will back me up on this: you are so god damned young. Which means about eight of the ten things you have decided about yourself will over time prove to be false. The other two things will prove to be so true that you’ll look back in twenty years and howl."
“Some critics claim that the [rational addiction] model in Stigler and Becker (1977) … is unsatisfactory because it implies that addicts are “happy,” whereas real-life addicts are often discontented and depressed… . However, they would be even more unhappy if they were prevented from consuming the addictive goods.”—
Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy (“A Theory of Rational Addiction,” Journal of Political Economy, 1988)
Laughably outdated, and just laughable in general.
"The pervasive yet mistaken idea that neuroscience does fully account for awareness and behavior is neuroscientism, an exercise in science-based faith. While to live a human life requires having a brain in some kind of working order, it does not follow from this fact that to live a human life is to be a brain in some kind of working order. This confusion between necessary and sufficient conditions lies behind the encroachment of “neuroscientistic” discourse on academic work in the humanities, and the present epidemic of such neuro-prefixed pseudo-disciplines as neuroaesthetics, neuroeconomics, neurosociology, neuropolitics, neurotheology, neurophilosophy, and so on.”