The Antidote to Prejudice


There has been a lot of debate happening on the Kashmir issue. Friendship tested over political views.

Yet a people without prejudices, a people with altogether neutral vision, is so unthinkable in any civilization of which it is useful to think, that no scheme of education could be based upon that ideal. Prejudice can be detected, discounted, and refined, but so long as finite men must compress into a short schooling preparation for dealing with a vast civilization, they must carry pictures of it around with them, and have prejudices. The quality of their thinking and doing will depend on whether those prejudices are friendly, friendly to other people, to other ideas, whether they evoke love of what is felt to be positively good, rather than hatred of what is not contained in their version of the good.

The complete article

Maria Popova — Brain Pickings

The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease


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We all know this intuitively, but ignore the consequences of excess stress.

These effects of stress exist on a bell curve — that is, some is good, but too much becomes bad: As the nervous system secretes more and more stress hormones, performance increases, but up to a point; after that tipping point, performance begins to suffer as the hormones continue to flow. What makes stress “bad” — that is, what makes it render us more pervious to disease — is the disparity between the nervous system and immune system’s respective pace.

The complete article

Maria Popova — Brain Pickings

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An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety


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Today’s needull looks at overcoming anxiety through the writing of Alan Watts. Watts died in 1973, but what he wrote about the reason for anxiety is more valid than ever in this age of hyper-productivity and connections.

The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the “I” out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate “I” or mind can be found.

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening.

The article

Brain Pickings — Maria Popova

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Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers


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Weekend special for all the writers out there! This is a list of advice on writing by the greatest writers. Some sample below,

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing
“If it sounds like writing … rewrite it.”

Stephen King: The Adverb Is Not Your Friend
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.”

Neil Gaiman: 8 Rules of Writing
“Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.”

Jorge Luis Borges on Writing: Wisdom from His Most Candid Interviews
“A writer’s work is the product of laziness.”

Schopenhauer on Style
“Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes.”

The complete list

Brain pickings

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