On observing one’s past


An apt one today to observe my past.

Let me share a memory with you. It’s a childhood memory, about an event from when I was around 13 or 14 years old. My father and I are playing soccer together. He is the goalkeeper, standing between the posts, I am the striker, taking shots from outside the box. My dad has been encouraging me to shoot with my weaker left foot, to develop the skills that come more easily on my more natural right side. He throws the ball to me, I control it on my chest, let it drop, and hit a sweetly-timed volley with the outside of my left foot. The ball arcs perfectly towards the goal. My dad moves across to save, although I’m not sure he has it covered, and then the ball thunders off the crossbar. Even though I didn’t score, I have an intense feeling of satisfaction, of executing a near perfect left foot volley, the quality of which I have struggled to reproduce in the intervening years. This memory has a rich phenomenology: it involves visual and motor imagery as well as emotion. Yet there’s an important feature of this memory, which is perhaps not apparent in the way I describe it. As this dynamic and evocative memory unfolds, I see not only my father, the ball, and the goal, but myself too. I see myself in the remembered scene, from the outside, as if someone had filmed us playing together and I am watching the old footage.

Such memories are called “observer memories.”

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Christopher McCarroll — OUPblog

What can we learn from people who succeed later in life?


Late bloomers.

The key to long-term success from a creator’s perspective is straightforward: let the qualities that give you your Q-factor do their job by giving them a chance to deliver success over and over. In other words, successful people engage in project after project after project. They don’t just count their winnings; they buy more lottery tickets. They keep producing. Take writer J.K. Rowling, who followed Harry Potter by creating a successful mystery series (under the name Robert Galbraith). Each time she publishes a new book, her new fans go back and read the older volumes as well. Each new book, then, breathes life into her career, keeping her whole body of work present and relevant.

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Albert-Laszlo Barabasi — TED

How to Stop Saying Sorry When Things Aren’t Your Fault


So I did what I thought was right: I said sorry. I’d say sorry when we had to walk too far to carry our groceries home, even though it wasn’t my fault we couldn’t yet afford a car. I’d say sorry for the bad days at work where they were forced to repeat their perfect English in Australian twangs so their colleagues could grant them some level of acceptance. I’d say sorry when they couldn’t resolve arguments they had because my mother felt they were repeating old patterns in a new country, where she was the one looking after the children as my father threw himself into his job. I’d also say sorry at school. I’d apologize to my teacher when I already knew the answers to the basic mathematical lessons he taught since I covered the same lessons in India. I’d say sorry to classmates because I couldn’t yet understand the slang they uncompromisingly spoke to me.

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Kamna Muddagouni — Catapult

I’m on Death Row for Punching a Man


Once I got to death row, I thought I’d get executed right away, or at least within months. But then the years started passing. My mind cleared. People said, “You shouldn’t be here forever for a fist fight.” I started reading. I read that the law requires you get an “impartial tribunal” that “preserves both the appearance and reality of fairness.” I read that some courts have ruled that two guys who start a deadly fight are equally guilty, so then why did Schoolboy get manslaughter? I was meeting guys on death row with two or three bodies in their past.

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J.T. KIRKSEY as told to MAURICE CHAMMAH — The Marshall Project

Passionate Love: The Forgotten Emotion


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That is why those early days are special.

Passionate love is a fleeting emotion. It is a high, and one cannot stay high forever. Hatfield and her colleagues (2008) interviewed couples (dating couples, newlyweds, and long-married couples). They found that, as expected, passionate love decreased markedly over time. When asked to rate their feelings on a scale that included the responses “none at all,” “very little,” “some,” “a great deal,” and “a tremendous amount,” steady daters and newlyweds expressed “a great deal” of passionate love for their mates. However, starting shortly after marriage, passionate love was shown to steadily decline, with long-married couples admitting that they felt only “some” passionate love for each other.

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Elaine Hatfield, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii and Richard L. Rapson, Department of History, University of Hawaii

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When Your Name Doesn’t Feel Like You


Do you feel your name is apt for you?

The explanation that the study authors offered for their results echoes Alter’s point: In most cases, a name is “a self-fulfilling prophecy,” explains co-author Yonat Zwebner, a marketing researcher at Wharton. “Your parents and society treat you according to the spirit of your name, and then you grow up and you fulfill those expectations, eventually even the way you look.” In the study, Zwebner and her colleagues attributed their “face-name matching effect” to both factors within the person’s control, like hairstyle, and factors created by life experience, like smile lines.

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Cari Romm — The Cut

Searching for the ‘angel’ who held me on Westminster Bridge


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Sometimes you find your angel in the worst moments of your life. Goodness and evil always balance each other out.

“It’s amazing how our friendship came out of something so horrific and terrible,” Will says.

“We wouldn’t ordinarily have crossed paths. We’re different ages, have different professions and live and work in different areas.”

It’s a year later and he’s sitting with Cristina at the back of a busy brasserie in Soho. The sun is streaming through the windows and on the street outside office workers are mingling and sipping their first post-work pints.

Both have just come from work – Will, 25, from his job rejuvenating the area around Baker Street and Cristina, 34, from a meeting with an advertising firm. While Will grew up in London, Cristina moved to the city from Portugal 12 years ago.

It was an act of terror by Khalid Masood that brought them to the same place at the same time. On 22 March 2017, he drove a hired car into dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed to death an unarmed police officer, before being shot and killed himself.

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Claire Bates — BBC

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