Culture

Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

New Health Study Is Good News for the Grumpy

“'Happiness and related measures of well-being do not appear to have any direct effect on mortality,' the researchers concluded... [They] decided to look into the subject because there is a widespread belief that stress and unhappiness cause disease. Such beliefs can fuel a tendency to blame the sick for bringing ailments on themselves by being negative, and to warn the well to cheer up or else..." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

A Believer Reconciles Faith and Psychology

"I had a hard time, for instance, getting over the word 'mindfulness.' I was like, 'But I am not a bleached blonde yummy mummy, and I do not balance crystals on my forehead when I get overwhelmed by yoga pants shopping, so get away from me with your mindfulness nonsense!' Well, it happens that I went in for help changing some behavior that I do out of habit, that I do without thinking, and that I do when I feel like I’m not in control of my responses. So guess what I’m working on? Mindfulness. La di dah." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Daddy-less Daughters and Depression

"...Parental rejection and childhood anxiety predict depression between a young person’s 16th birthday and his or her 21st. But gender makes a difference: consistent with other inquiries, this study finds that 'girls reported more [depression] than boys.' ...This fits hand-in-glove with the results of a 2008 study establishing that 'the effects of parental divorce . . . differ between genders in respect to the development of depression with risk increasing for girls but not for boys.” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Why Coddling Kids is Harmful

"Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. If you deprive children of those experiences for eighteen years and then send them to college, they cannot cope. They don’t know what to do... they are morally dependent on adults or other authorities to solve their problems for them." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

St. Augustine: “I have become a problem to myself”

"It was during the Renaissance that [Augustine's] conception of the self came under serious challenge, most powerfully in Montaigne’s ­'Essays,' which mocked the idea of sin and preached self-acceptance... As modern people we have chosen Montaigne over Augustine. We traded pious self-­cultivation for undemanding self-e­steem. But is love of self really enough to be happy? You know the answer to that, dear reader. And so did Augustine." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Teaching Kids to Think Critically

A research-based approach to controversial issues—one that prevents teacher bias from skewing the discussion, maximizes student participation, and reaps the benefits of cooperative learning—is 'structured controversy.' Developed by cooperative learning experts David and Roger Johnson, this model defines controversies as 'interesting problems to be solved rather than win-lose situations.'" [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Is Michel Houellebecq an important writer?

"...Houellebecq is more important than any Western writer publishing today because he has the courage to confront and not just report our refusal both to think and to accept the consequences [and] our fear of believing in something greater than our individual selves, something that cannot be bought at the mall. In Submission, Houellebecq calmly describes the results of clinging to that fear." [Read Articl
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

From Band of Brothers to Band of Tweeters

"The term 'band of brothers' has become almost a cliché to describe how the close personal bonds formed between soldiers translate into combat effectiveness. Yet my combat experience in Iraq suggests that the kind of unit cohesion we saw in past wars may be coming undone because of a new type of technological cohesion: social media, and too much connectivity." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Death Rate Soars for Large Segment of Middle-Aged Whites

"The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide... [E]conomic insecurity, the decay of communities and the breakdown of families probably have had some impact on death and illness rates... An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union." [Read Article]