[FoRK] Fwd: How love rewires the brain, George Orwell on the four universal motives to create, Nora Ephron's most timeless quotes, and more.

Law Nun lawnun at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 09:17:42 PDT 2012


I love brain pickings, though I usually just scan it in flipboard.  Good stuff.

Carey

On Jul 1, 2012, at 5:09 AM, geege schuman <geege4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thought some of you might want to subscribe.  Easy fun weekly read.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Brain Pickings Weekly" <newsletter at brainpickings.org>
> Date: Jul 1, 2012 8:04 AM
> Subject: How love rewires the brain, George Orwell on the four universal
> motives to create, Nora Ephron's most timeless quotes, and more.
> To: <geege4 at gmail.com>
> 
> ** **
>  **  **
> How love rewires the brain, George Orwell on the four universal motives to
> create, remembering Nora Ephron in her most timeless quotes, and more.
> **
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> View it in your
> browser<http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8f6e359cc3&e=6f1048f89b>.
> 
> **  **  **  **  **
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=35d7c83e22&e=6f1048f89b>
> **  **   **     **
> 
> Hey Geege! If you missed last week's edition – anatomy of boredom, the best
> definitions of art from antiquity to today, happiness for people who hate
> positive thinking, 18-year-old Sylvia Plath on loving everybody, and more
> – you can catch up right
> here<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=13a20e18e3&e=6f1048f89b>.
> And if you're enjoying this, please consider supporting with a modest
> donation<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=ba18ed606d&e=6f1048f89b>
> .
> Why I Write: George Orwell's Four Motives for
> Creation<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=430c8e94cf&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> *"Sheer egoism... Writers share this characteristic with scientists,
> artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen – in short,
> with the whole top crust of humanity."*
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=94917cf095&e=6f1048f89b>Literary
> legend *Eric Arthur Blair*, better known as George
> Orwell<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=a6e9d68eed&e=6f1048f89b>,
> would have been 109 this week. Though he remains best remembered for
> authoring the cult-classics *Animal
> Farm*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=b34b18057a&e=6f1048f89b>and
> *Nineteen Eighty-Four*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=beda309974&e=6f1048f89b>,
> he was also a formidable, masterful essayist. Among his finest short-form
> feats is the 1946 essay *Why I
> Write*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=833edf738a&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=550506592f&e=6f1048f89b>)
> – a fine addition to other timeless insights on
> writing<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=ecff3e619a&e=6f1048f89b>,
> including *Kurt Vonnegut'*s 8 rules for a great
> story<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8148030739&e=6f1048f89b>,
> *David Ogilvy'*s 10 no-bullshit
> tips<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=d20243af46&e=6f1048f89b>,
> *Henry Miller'*s 11
> commandments<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=0338ed833f&e=6f1048f89b>,
> *Jack Kerouac'*s 30 beliefs and
> techniques<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=555a794687&e=6f1048f89b>,
> *John Steinbeck'*s 6
> pointers<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=cdcb864c8f&e=6f1048f89b>,
> and various invaluable insight from other great
> writers<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=139484ae7e&e=6f1048f89b>
> .
> 
> Orwell begins with some details about his less than idyllic childhood –
> complete with absentee father, school mockery and bullying, and a profound
> sense of loneliness – and traces how those experiences steered him towards
> writing, proposing that such early micro-traumas are essential for any
> writer's drive. He then lays out what he believes to be the four main
> motives for writing, most of which extrapolate to just about any domain of
> creative output.
> 
> I give all this background information because I do not think one can
> assess a writer's motives without knowing something of his early
> development. His subject matter will be determined by the age he lives in –
> at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own – but
> before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude
> from which he will never completely escape. It is his job, no doubt, to
> discipline his temperament and avoid getting stuck at some immature stage,
> in some perverse mood; but if he escapes from his early influences
> altogether, he will have killed his impulse to write. Putting aside the
> need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at
> any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every
> writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time,
> according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:
> 
> *(i) Sheer egoism.* Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be
> remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed
> you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive,
> and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists,
> artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen – in short,
> with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are
> not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the
> sense of being individuals at all – and live chiefly for others, or are
> simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted,
> willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and
> writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the
> whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested
> in money.
> 
> *(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm.* Perception of beauty in the external world,
> or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in
> the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the
> rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is
> valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in
> a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have
> pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or
> he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the
> level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic
> considerations.
> 
> *(iii) Historical impulse.* Desire to see things as they are, to find out
> true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
> 
> *(iv) Political purpose.* – Using the word 'political' in the widest
> possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter
> other peoples' idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.
> Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that
> art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
> 
> It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and
> how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.
> 
> After a further discussion of how these motives permeated his own work at
> different times and in different ways, Orwell offers a final and rather
> dystopian disclaimer:
> 
> Looking back through the last page or two, I see that I have made it appear
> as though my motives in writing were wholly public-spirited. I don't want
> to leave that as the final impression. All writers are vain, selfish, and
> lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing
> a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful
> illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on
> by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows
> that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for
> attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable
> unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose
> is like a windowpane. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are
> the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. And looking
> back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a
> POLITICAL purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple
> passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug
> generally.
> 
> This, of course is to be taken with a grain of salt – the granularity of
> individual disposition, outlook, and existential choice, that is. I myself
> subscribe to the Ray Bradbury
> model<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=5ef3810f8b&e=6f1048f89b>
> :
> 
> Writing is not a serious business. It's a joy and a celebration. You should
> be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say 'Oh, my God, what word?
> Oh, Jesus Christ…', you know. Now, to hell with that. It's not work. If
> it's work, stop and do something else.
> 
> *Why I Write*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=5c8a2a6a04&e=6f1048f89b>is
> part of Penguin's
> *Great Ideas* series<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=25713e020f&e=6f1048f89b>,
> excellent in its entirety.
> 
> *:: SHARE ::*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=06a446fdfc&e=6f1048f89b>
> Learned Optimism: Seligman on Happiness, Depression, and the Meaningful
> Life<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=631f3891ec&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> *What 25 years of research reveal about the cognitive skills of happiness
> and finding life's greater purpose..*
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=3bdc84ebf3&e=6f1048f89b>
> *"The illiterate of the 21st century,"* Alvin Toffler famously
> said<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=df99988dc5&e=6f1048f89b>,
> *"will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
> unlearn, and relearn."* Our outlook on the world and our daily choices of
> disposition and behavior are in many ways learned patterns to which
> Toffler's insight applies with all the greater urgency – the capacity to
> "learn, unlearn, and relearn" emotional behaviors and psychological
> patterns is, indeed, a form of existential literacy.
> 
> Last week, Oliver Burkeman's provocatively titled new book, *The Antidote:
> Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive
> Thinking*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=0e31132071&e=6f1048f89b>,
> prompted me to revisit an old favorite by *Dr. Martin Seligman*, father of
> the Positive Psychology<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=466ac12617&e=6f1048f89b>movement,
> who was once elected President of the American Psychological
> Association by the largest vote in the organization's history and under
> whom I studied in my college days. *Learned Optimism: How to Change Your
> Mind and Your Life*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=126ef0c662&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=f1700b1dfd&e=6f1048f89b>),
> one of these 7 must-read books on
> optimism<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=316754530b&e=6f1048f89b>,
> was originally published 20 years ago and remains an indispensable tool for
> learning the cognitive skills that decades of research have shown to be
> essential to well-being – an unlearning those that hold us back from
> authentic happiness.
> 
> Seligman begins by identifying the three types of happiness of which our
> favorite psychology grab-bag term is composed:
> 
> 'Happiness' is a scientifically unwieldy notion, but there are three
> different forms of it if you can pursue. For the 'Pleasant Life,' you aim
> to have as much positive emotion as possible and learn the skills to
> amplify positive emotion. For the 'Engaged Life,' you identify your highest
> strengths and talents and recraft your life to use them as much as you can
> in work, love, friendship, parenting, and leisure. For the 'Meaningful
> Life,' you use your highest strengths and talents to belong to and serve
> something you believe is larger than the self.
> 
> He then defines optimism and pessimism, pointing out the challenge to
> self-identify as either, and offers a heartening, heavily researched
> reassurance:
> 
> The optimists and the pessimists: I have been studying them for the past
> twenty-five years. The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they
> tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything
> they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with
> the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite
> way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its
> causes are confined to this one case. The optimists believe defeat is not
> their fault: Circumstances, bad luck, or other people brought it about.
> Such people are unfazed by defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they
> perceive it as a challenge and try harder.
> 
> [...]
> 
> I have seen that, in tests of hundreds of thousands of people, a
> surprisingly large number will be found to be deep-dyed pessimists and
> another large portion will have serious, debilitating tendencies towards
> pessimism. I have learned that it is not always easy to know if you are a
> pessimist, and that far more people than realize it are living in this
> shadow.
> 
> [...]
> 
> A pessimistic attitude may seem so deeply rooted as to be permanent. I have
> found, however, that pessimism is escapable. Pessimists can in fact learn
> to be optimists, and not through mindless devices like whistling a happy
> tune or mouthing platitudes...but by learning a new set of cognitive
> skills. Far from being the creations of boosters or of the popular media,
> these skills were discovered in the laboratories and clinics of leading
> psychologists and psychiatrists and then rigorously validated.
> 
> Seligman, however, also corroborates what's perhaps Burkeman's most central
> admonition<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c037da8bb8&e=6f1048f89b>–
> that the extreme individualism and ambition our society worships has
> created a culture in which the fear of
> failure<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=4c957da404&e=6f1048f89b>dictates
> all. As Seligman puts it:
> 
> Depression is a disorder of the 'I,' failing in your own eyes relative to
> your goals. In a society in which individualism is becoming rampant, people
> more and more believe that they are the center of the world. Such a belief
> system makes individual failure almost inconsolable.
> 
> [...]
> 
> Teaching children learned optimism before puberty, but late enough in
> childhood so that they are metacognitive (capable of thinking about
> thinking), is a fruitful strategy. When the immunized children use these
> skills to cope with the first rejections of puberty, they get better and
> better at using these skills. Our analysis shows that the change from
> pessimism to optimism is at least partly responsible for the prevention of
> depressive symptoms.
> 
> Ultimately, Seligman points to optimism not only as a means to individual
> well-being, but also as a powerful aid in finding your
> purpose<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1af7e1c029&e=6f1048f89b>and
> contributing to the world:
> 
> Optimism is invaluable for the meaningful life. With a firm belief in a
> positive future you can throw yourself into the service of that which is
> larger than you are.
> 
> *Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your
> Life*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=14b5da510a&e=6f1048f89b>was
> followed by
> *Authentic Happiness*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=3a12d0c8ed&e=6f1048f89b>and
> *Flourish*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=3dc3b1cef8&e=6f1048f89b>,
> which was among best psychology and philosophy books of
> 2011<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=9776ee9de2&e=6f1048f89b>
> .
> 
> *:: SHARE ::*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=af776d5d2b&e=6f1048f89b>
> Nora Ephron on Women, Love, Happiness, Reading, Life, and
> Death<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=2bfa50cf57&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> *"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."*
> 
> What a tragic year it's been for literary and creatives heroes, with losses
> as inconsolable as Maurice
> Sendak<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1d15bb165b&e=6f1048f89b>,
> Ray Bradbury<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c770f0ca4e&e=6f1048f89b>,
> and Hillman Curtis<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=776a9be0e1&e=6f1048f89b>.
> Last night, we lost the great Nora
> Ephron<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=6c9d2ec0c2&e=6f1048f89b>(1941-2012)
> – prolific and thoughtful filmmaker, novelist, journalist,
> playwright, essayist, and blogger, a feminist with fierce wit, whom *The
> New York Times*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=0f6e29dcfc&e=6f1048f89b>describes
> as being "in the Dorothy
> Parker<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c5a059b33c&e=6f1048f89b>mold
> (only smarter and funnier…)."
> 
> Today, let's take a moment and celebrate Ephron with some of her most
> memorable insights on women, politics, happiness, love, intellectual life,
> and death.
> 
> On reading, in *I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a
> Woman*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=142865ad54&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=622101732f&e=6f1048f89b>
> ):
> 
> Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished
> something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me
> smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the
> unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself.
> Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact
> with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making
> contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.
> Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
> 
> On money and creative incentive, in *My Life as an
> Heiress*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=5317916f9e&e=6f1048f89b>
> :
> 
> I was extremely lucky not to have ever inherited real money, because I
> might not have finished writing 'When Harry Met Sally…,' which changed my
> life.
> 
> Addressing young women in her 1996 Wellesley commencement
> speech<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=ec5dfebaef&e=6f1048f89b>,
> a fine addition to some modern history's
> finest<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=e1f99795b0&e=6f1048f89b>
> graduation<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=e0017b4b8d&e=6f1048f89b>
> addresses<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=a094eeca01&e=6f1048f89b>
> :
> 
> I want to remind you of the undertow, of the specific gravity. American
> society has a remarkable ability to resist change, or to take whatever
> change has taken place and attempt to make it go away./p>
> 
> [...]
> 
> Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
> 
> On the difference between controversy and political incorrectness, in the
> January 1976 issue of *Esquire*:
> 
> I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in
> distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
> 
> On the evolving metrics of "happiness" for women, in *Crazy Salad: Some
> Things About Women*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=394db686b3&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=7813d2164d&e=6f1048f89b>
> ):
> 
> We have lived through the era when happiness was a warm puppy, and the era
> when happiness was a dry martini, and now we have come to the era when
> happiness is 'knowing what your uterus looks like.'
> 
> On the joy of being awake to the world, in
> *Heartburn*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=7998ebc4f3&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=f4e003d5b9&e=6f1048f89b>
> ):
> 
> I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people
> on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's
> greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.
> 
> On the politics of the public encroaching on the private, in her 1996
> Wellesley commencement
> address<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1f428005ba&e=6f1048f89b>–
> remarkably timely, despite the dated references, in light of today's
> ongoing debates about publicly-private issues like marriage equality and
> abortion:
> 
> One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don't take
> it personally, but listen hard to what's going on and, please, I beg you,
> take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not
> knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks
> are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When
> Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn't serious about her career, that is an
> attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move
> to limit abortion rights is an attack on you – whether or not you believe
> in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court
> today is an attack on you.
> 
> On love and the capacity for romantic rebirth, in *I Feel Bad About My
> Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a
> Woman*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=9174882c34&e=6f1048f89b>
> :
> 
> Why hadn't I realized how much of what I thought of as love was simply my
> own highly developed gift for making lemonade? What failure of imagination
> had caused me to forget that life was full of other possibilities,
> including the possibility that eventually I would fall in love again?
> 
> On death, in *I Remember Nothing: And Other
> Reflections*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=e4ab5ebc16&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=62956c1aad&e=6f1048f89b>),
> her final book:
> 
> Everybody dies. There's nothing you can do about it. Whether or not you eat
> six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God.
> 
> *:: SHARE ::*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=6019431be0&e=6f1048f89b>
> Limbic Revision: How Love Rewires the
> Brain<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8793ee8d9c&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> *On the capacity for transformation and its prerequisite of letting go.*
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=329ac2d855&e=6f1048f89b>Last
> weekend, at a dear friend's
> wedding<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1b5c504c39&e=6f1048f89b>,
> the groom's sister read an excerpt from one of my favorite books, *A
> General Theory of
> Love*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=ae8904f54f&e=6f1048f89b>(
> *public library*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=286a04e7bb&e=6f1048f89b>),
> which you might recall
> from<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1776d327fa&e=6f1048f89b>
> pickings<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=d29e9dd3a2&e=6f1048f89b>
> past<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=7a4f51ef9c&e=6f1048f89b>.
> The passage framed beautifully the remarkable union we had gathered to
> witness, but also speaks powerfully to love's greatest, most universal
> blessing:
> 
> In a relationship, one mind revises the other; one heart changes its
> partner. This astounding legacy of our combined status as mammals and
> neural beings is *limbic revision*: the power to remodel the emotional
> parts of the people we love, as our Attractors [coteries of ingrained
> information patterns] activate certain limbic pathways, and the brain's
> inexorable memory mechanism reinforces them.
> 
> Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.
> 
> The bride'<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=b049a7e044&e=6f1048f89b>s
> vows reinforced and complemented this message with the kind of succinct
> eloquence that sends shivers of Truth down your spine, then makes your
> heart explode with warmth:
> 
> Real, honest, complete love requires letting go.
> 
> *A General Theory of
> Love*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=eb389a78dc&e=6f1048f89b>is
> one of 5
> favorite books on the psychology of
> love<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=e8379ee0e7&e=6f1048f89b>and
> the kind of read you keep coming back to again and again, finding a
> new
> layer of insight into a different stage or aspect of your life each time.
> 
> *:: SHARE ::*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=865a519a3e&e=6f1048f89b>
> Happy Birthday, Milton Glaser: The Greatest Graphic Designer Alive on Art,
> Purpose, and the Capacity for
> Astonishment<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=0297f983c0&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> *"That's the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for
> learning never disappears."*
> 
> Today marks the 83rd birthday of Milton
> Glaser<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=35c2f774be&e=6f1048f89b>,
> considered by many – myself included – the greatest graphic designer
> alive<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c96b271aa9&e=6f1048f89b>,
> and frequently celebrated alongside Saul
> Bass<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=81b5579350&e=6f1048f89b>as
> the most influential graphic designer of all time.
> 
> Today also marks 10 weeks since beloved Brooklyn-based designer, author,
> and filmmaker Hillman
> Curtis<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=5c1af499fd&e=6f1048f89b>passed
> away after a fiercely fought battle with cancer. Last week, I joined
> much of New York's design community in a celebration of Hillman's films,
> among which is his extraordinary artist
> series<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=eaa3a23aea&e=6f1048f89b>profiling
> prominent creators. So, today, let's take a bittersweet moment to
> celebrate a great legacy and a great life with Hillman Curtis's beautiful
> and affectionate profile of Milton Glaser:
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=1960969dd9&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> Glaser adds to this omnibus of history's finest definitions of
> art<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=9a2bf4cd25&e=6f1048f89b>
> :
> 
> Art performs this pacifying function in culture… Its practitioners create
> commonalities… I always quote a guy named Lewis
> Hyde<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=73e2c96551&e=6f1048f89b>,
> who wrote about primitive cultures, where there's an exchange of gifts that
> cannot be kept but have to be passed on. And the passing on of gifts is a
> device to prevent people from killing one another, because they all become
> part of a single experience. And his leap of imagination occurs when he
> says, 'And this is what artists do in culture – artists provide that gift
> to the culture, so that people have something in common.'
> 
> And I think that for all of us who identify with the role of artists in
> history have that intuition about things, and want our work to serve that
> purpose.
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=d7d1b8ebe6&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> Glaser echoes other great minds' insights on
> purpose<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=6c001a40a3&e=6f1048f89b>,
> articulating something many of us relate to on a deep level:
> 
> There's nothing more exciting than seeing someone whose life has been
> affected in a positive way by something you've said. There's nothing more
> exciting than to see somebody change from a sort of condition of inertness
> or inattentiveness into a mind that begins to inquire about meaning.
> 
> I think if you don't do something to project into the future that way, the
> possibility for total self-absorption and narcissism becomes very much
> greater.
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=05e9c6eac8&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> Finally, he offers some invaluable advice on the progression of the
> creative life into old age, wrapped in a broader meditation on the
> universal power of art:
> 
> If you can sustain your interest in what you're doing, you're an extremely
> fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people's professional
> lives, and perhaps in their emotional life as well, is that they lose
> interest in the third act. You sort of get tired, and indifferent, and,
> sometimes, defensive. And you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment –
> and that's a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place.
> 
> What I feel fortunate about is that I'm still astonished, that things still
> amaze me. And I think that that's the great benefit of being in the arts,
> where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically
> have to admit you never learn it.
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=6aa480227d&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> For the definitive collection of Glaser's most memorable work, treat
> yourself to the 1973 tome *Milton Glaser: Graphic
> Design*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=48f7ee16d1&e=6f1048f89b>
> .
> 
> *:: WATCH / SHARE
> ::*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=3b3cca7d69&e=6f1048f89b>
>  **    **   **
> 
> Bringing you Brain Pickings takes over 450 hours a month. If you find any
> joy and stimulation here, please consider showing some love with a modest
> donation<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=b84bbd7ed0&e=6f1048f89b>
> .<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=7dbcf31108&e=6f1048f89b>
>      Like on Facebook<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=f9fc144305&e=6f1048f89b>
>    Follow on Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/brainpicker/>
>    Forward to a
> friend<http://us2.forward-to-friend.com/forward?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8f6e359cc3&e=6f1048f89b>
>    ** **
>   *Susan Sontag on Censorship and the Three Steps to Refuting Any
> Argument*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=36c300eb4f&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=09f0699f07&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> ""A just/ discriminating censorship is impossible."
>  *Creative Legend George Lois on Ideas as the Product of Discovery, Not
> Creation*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=641c806d14&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=4179db66c9&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> How to cultivate the mental medley that sparks the alchemy of ideas.
>  *The Scientific Cure for
> Hangovers*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=5052ecbf5a&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c0bd0703f6&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about the aftermath of partying, and
> then some.
>  *Powershift: Alvin Toffler on the Age of Post-Fact Knowledge and the
> Super-Symbolic Economy
> (1990)*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=40130d4517&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=9db6fd9284&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> A visionary lens on how social, political, and economic power structures
> are changing at the dawn of the information age, presaging many of today's
> cultural paradigms.
>  *Alice in Wonderland Pop-Up
> Book*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=38dfcdc80f&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=c7da84d5c9&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> "Oh, I've had such a curious dream!"
>  *7 Lessons on the Creative Life from the U.S. Forest
> Service*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8ed381cae9&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=63e1033e48&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> Simple rules to follow when you're lost in the woods, literally and
> creatively.
>  *Isabella Rossellini's Kooky Educational Films about
> Bees*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=3a57fe5d9b&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=13cee18990&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> What Shakespeare and Aristotle got wrong, how bee spit becomes honey, and
> why having sex all day makes one totally helpless.
>  *America's Other Audubon: A Victorian Woman's Radical Journey of Art,
> Science and Entrepreneurship*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=9353cb9152&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=0041b542db&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> The bittersweet story of a young woman and her family, who triumphed
> through tragedy to bring a passion project to life and change the face of
> science illustration.
>  *Talk to Me: Design and the Communication Between People and
> Objects*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=af0cbe569b&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=337e111d43&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> "The bond between people and things has always been filled with powerful
> and unspoken sentiments going well beyond functional expectations and
> including attachment, love, possessiveness, jealousy, pride, curiosity,
> anger, even friendship and partnership."
>  *Alice in Wonderland as a Subway
> Map*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=af1303570d&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=2acae7b23e&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> "'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat."
>  *Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: Tracing the Evolution of Women's Rights in a
> Victorian Lady's
> Journals*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=57512e0b27&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=d0664abfd6&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> How the most private of frontiers became a public front for the gender
> dialogue.
>  *Happy Birthday, Sartre: Why "Being-in-the-World-Ness"" is the Key to the
> Imagination*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=719171ecfd&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=013c2ff98a&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> On the figure-ground relationship between the real and the irreal.
>  *On Scientific
> Taste*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8edae4a47e&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=e816432dac&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> "Our taste derives from the summation of all that we have learnt from
> others, experienced and thought."
>  *Henri Matisse's Rare 1935 Etchings for James Joyce's
> Ulysses*<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8f12eb3e68&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=051267c787&e=6f1048f89b>
> 
> A 22-karat creative cross-pollination.
> 
> <http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=d6b1d69ed5&e=6f1048f89b>
>  [image:
> Mail Chimp]<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=635e2759eb&e=6f1048f89b>
>  [image:
> Holstee Manifesto]<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=48bd37248d&e=6f1048f89b>
>  **   **  **   **  **
>    unsubscribe<http://brainpickings.us2.list-manage.com/unsubscribe?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=179ffa2629&e=6f1048f89b&c=8f6e359cc3>|
> forward
> to a friend<http://us2.forward-to-friend.com/forward?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8f6e359cc3&e=6f1048f89b>|
> open
> in browser<http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=13eb080d8a315477042e0d5b1&id=8f6e359cc3&e=6f1048f89b>|
> Brain Pickings 10 Jay Street Ste 612A Brooklyn, NY 11201
>  **  **
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