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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FACEBOOK AND FRIENDSHIP


Thoughts of some of my Facebook friendships came to mind recently as I read an essay by William Hazlitt. In “The Pleasures of Hating,” Hazlitt talks about the many things we come to hate, especially as we age. “We hate old friends: we hate old books: we hate old opinions; and at last we come to hate ourselves.” He continues:

Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them. Either constant intercourse and familiarity breed weariness and contempt; or, if we meet again after an interval of absence, we appear no longer the same. One is too wise, another too foolish for us; and we wonder we did not find this out before. We are disconcerted and kept in a state of continual alarm by the wit of one, or tired to death of the dullness of another.

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K. E. Colombini — First Things

 

SELF-OPTIMIZATION


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We humans have a tendency to measure everything. For example, what matters for Business is profits and humans are worth only how productive they are, whatever that means.

The ad’s gimmick plays not only to the fantasy that our life force can be captured in some simple unidimensional measure and actively managed but also to the broader, more insidious notion that people should function like phones. The expectations we have for our devices saturate our expectations of others (whether they are friends, family, service workers, or robots) and ultimately ourselves. We should be capable of handling any task we’re hired for, moving seamlessly from one interface to the next, from one application to another, for as long as required. If we can’t, we need to “recharge” ourselves: to find the right drug combination or exercise regimen, or else to sit ourselves out for precisely as long as we need to get back to 100 percent. The idea that we are anything other than self-sufficient and energy independent is suspended for a fantasy of instrumental control.

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Real Life

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What is Stoicism and How Can it Turn your Life to Solid Gold?


The core of the philosophy seems to be this: To have a good and meaningful life, you need to overcome your insatiability. Most people, at best, spend their lives in a long pursuit of happiness. So today’s successful person writes out a list of desires, then starts chasing them down and satisfying the desires. The problem is that each desire, when satisfied, tends to be replaced by a new desire. So the person continues to chase. Yet after a lifetime of pursuit, the person ends up no more satisfied than he was at the beginning. Thus, he may end up wasting his life.

The solution, the Stoics realized, is to learn to want the things you already have, rather than wanting other things. The most interesting technique that will help you achieve this is Negative Visualization.

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Mr. Money Mustache

A Syrian refugee family’s search for home


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The struggle to find a home.

For a while, Poole made an effort to engage with her critics. She spoke at social clubs and Lutheran churches and eventually alongside a man from an anti-refugee group called Sons of Odin. She reached out online, offering to meet her critics for beers. (A local historian said approvingly of Soft Landing, “They don’t scare.”) One man, a Navy veteran and former private investigator, met Poole for coffee and continued a dialogue online. “One wolf isn’t bad,” he said, referring to Muslims coming to Montana. Ten wolves, though, was a different matter. But he liked Poole, because she seemed genuinely interested in hearing him out, and began to feel differently about refugees after one of the Congolese families moved in next door to him. “The truth is not what you think,” he liked to say. “It’s what you discover.” What he discovered was that the family next door made great neighbors.

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Abe Streep — Harper’s Magazine

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The Future of Leisure


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Leisure is a serious business.

The failure to educate for leisure is not just a lost opportunity; it also poses dangers, especially if large-scale job losses really are in the offing. The suggestion that “idle hands are the devil’s playthings” is a moralism long uttered by the idle wealthy to impose work requirements on the poor. Still, it is not always false. As the sociologist Norbert Elias once noted, soccer hooliganism and similar forms of mob violence may stem from a “deprivation of meaning” in the lives of the under- or unemployed. The same could be said for those now succumbing to “deaths of despair” from alcoholism, drug overdoses, or suicide.

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Stuart Whatley — Democracy

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