On Good & Evil


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Swami Vivekananda’s views,

Good and evil are inextricably combined, and one cannot be had without the other. The sum total of energy in this universe is like a lake, every wave inevitably leads to a corresponding depression. The sum total is absolutely the same; so to make one man happy is to make another unhappy. External happiness is material and the supply is fixed; so that not one grain can be had by one person without taking from another. Only bliss beyond the material world can be had without loss to any. Material happiness is but a transformation of material sorrow.

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The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

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A New York literary agent, editor and author reveal how bestsellers are born


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Budding authors are usually extremely curious about the slush pile, because it’s where their work is most likely to end up. So let’s stop and think about unsolicited submission and their place in an agent’s life for a bit. For Barbara, his reading system is “a pyramid of sorts”. “The things I have to read first are new manuscripts from my existing clients,” he says. “Then come works that arrive highly recommended from clients. We call those referrals, and they’re a great way to find new business. For “slush” – unsolicited manuscripts – we have interns and assistants who comb through those submissions and they might identify certain projects as having promise.”

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Clemence Michallon — The Independent

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How to write a book with a full-time job


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Tips from a writer.

Step 7: Set short-term goals

Or as I like to say: write in chunks. Sitting down to write a whole book is frankly terrifying; nothing makes me want to watch television and eat toast so much as facing down a goal of that size. But sitting down to write, say, 1000 words—you can do that. The writing group is helpful here, too. My group meets once a month and that meant that every month I set myself a goal of what I wanted to have ready to share—usually a chapter, sometimes just a few pages. These short bursts of momentum kept me going through to the end. A book is a marathon, but if you’re busy (and you are, you have a full-time job) it can be far easier to write if you turn it into a series of short sprints.

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Jean Hannah Edelstein — The Creative Independent

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The Strengths And Weaknesses That Will Shape Iran’s Future


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The Islamic regime’s persistent fear of an outside aggressor and its direct military involvement in Syria and Iraq, and proxy actions elsewhere, have contributed to making threat and counter-threat, as well as mutual distrust, the defining patterns in the Islamic Republic’s international relations. The memory of foreign interventions and the hostility of the international community have instilled in the ruling cluster a siege mentality and sense of paranoia. Indeed, the regime’s internal and external defensive measures have aimed primarily to guard against the threat of history repeating itself in another foreign-backed coup or military intervention, similar to the one in 1953. Its regional policy adventures—either directly or indirectly—have been in pursuit of an iron-clad resistance to political dissent at home and impenetrable national security and foreign policy posture.

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Amin Saikal — Task & Purpose

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Nearly Half of You Reading This Have Bullshit Jobs


Goons are the second category. They’re people who work in an industry that is only necessary because there are other people like them. You don’t need a corporate lawyer unless somebody else has a corporate lawyer. Another example is telemarketers: you only need them if your competitors have them. A lot of PR, advertising, and lobbying involves goon-like behavior: There’s an element of aggression. A lot of people in this category wrote and said, you know, our jobs are ridiculous and contribute nothing to society. Most corporate lawyers seem to secretly feel this.

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Nick Romeo — The Daily Beast

The Deep Music of the World


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The title of Michelle O’Sullivan’s This One High Field invokes a similar take on time. The poem from which it comes, “The Measure”, is buzzing with a sense of the moment, its individuality, opening: “Such stillness. And the mouth / of the ditch caught in moonlight.” The attention it demands is laced with wonder and curiosity, the brief lines are packed and jumpy with detail, and then they open out into a sense of a view as a whole: “air-stung trees on this one high field”. The single moment becomes the special place.

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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin — Dublin Review of Books

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Marie Kondo at Work: Can Your Office ‘Spark Joy’?


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To start, set aside a day in the office to de-clutter and put each item through the “spark joy” test, Jefferson said. “Give people time to decide if all those desk tchotchkes, old stale reports, and books they never got around to reading really deserve a home in their space,” she said. Schedule a donation pick-up or ask for volunteers to drop off the stuff. “It creates an awesome ‘reset’ and the end result is a lighter, more spacious office.”

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Knowledge@Wharton

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