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Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Why Being Too Self-Conscious Will Make You Less Happy

"In study after study, experimental subjects thought that other people would notice them much more than they actually did... This [is] the 'spotlight effect.' We are naturally conscious of ourselves, what we are thinking, how we look, and what we are doing. As David Foster Wallace put it, 'There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of.' And so it’s hard to block the inference that others share this focus. But research finds that they don’t..." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Marilynne Robinson: Don’t Let Neuroscience Banish Mystery From Human Life

" I find the soul a valuable concept, a statement of the dignity of a human life and of the unutterable gravity of human action and experience... I am not prepared to concede objectivity to the arbitrarily reductionist model of reality that has so long claimed, and been granted, this virtue. The new cosmologies open so many ways of reconceiving the universe(s) that all sorts of speculations are respectable now... These new cosmologies preclude almost nothing, except 'the physical' as a special category. The physicality enshrined by neuroscientists as the measure of all things is not objectivity, but instead a pure artifact of the scale at which, and the means by which, we and our devices perceive. So to invoke it as the test and standard of reality is quintessentially anthropocentric." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Has Digital Culture Destroyed the Humanities? 

“Forever glued to screens of one kind or another, growing more itchy and agitated by the day, allowing our consciousness to be fragmented and dispersed... The fact that an Internet culture undermines the habit of sustained attention in a way that is bound to have repercussions for literature and indeed for our experience of selfhood — it is hard not to agree with Birkerts, although… this does seem a rather reductive vision of human destiny.” [Read Article]