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News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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Intellectual Humility: The Importance Of Knowing You Might Be Wrong

Julia Rohrer wants to create a radical new culture for social scientists. A personality psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rohrer is trying to get her peers to publicly, willingly admit it when they are wrong.

To do this, she, along with some colleagues, started up something called the Loss of Confidence Project. It’s designed to be an academic safe space for researchers to declare for all to see that they no longer believe in the accuracy of one of their previous findings. The effort recently yielded a paper that includes six admissions of no confidence. And it’s accepting submissions until January 31.

“I do think it’s a cultural issue that people are not willing to admit mistakes,” Rohrer says. “Our broader goal is to gently nudge the whole scientific system and psychology toward a different culture,” where it’s okay, normalized, and expected for researchers to admit past mistakes and not get penalized for it.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

These 4 New Yorkers Are Experts In Living. What Do They Know That We Don’t?

News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Nearly four years ago, I began following six people over age 85 to see what their lives were like: what kept them going, what they hoped for or feared. This past year, I asked Jonas Mekas, now 96, about death and the afterlife.

The question had particular resonance. In summer Mr. Mekas had been hospitalized for a blood disorder that was still mysterious to his doctors. It was the first sign in four years that he was mortal. He canceled a trip to Berlin because he was tired and short of breath, and was now walking with a cane, his complexion grayish. Since his 20s he had used his movie camera to protect him from the outside world. Now his doctors were using cameras to explore the worlds within.

He did not think much about death, he said. He had grown up next to two cemeteries in rural Lithuania, where the gravediggers drank beer and talked between jobs, and so that was how he thought about death, as something commonplace.

“It’s a very normal transition,” he said. “What’s beyond that line, it’s where the mystery begins, where it becomes interesting. There are glimpses in the messages that come from there, some of the old Scriptures. Indications are there, and I believe it all. I believe it much more than anything that’s written since the 12th century.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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Ambient Cruelty

It is a truism, backed with some evidence, that negativity makes a person seem smarter. In the 1980s, Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile took two pieces of literary criticism from the New York Times’ book reviewing section — one positive, one negative — and showed them to 55 students. The students found the writer voicing negative opinions much more intelligent and persuasive than the one voicing praise. In fact, it was the same reviewer, and the two pieces of criticism were adapted versions of the same review. John Stuart Mill wrote, “I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.”

In part, this is because blame is actually more rare than praise. In the past 50 years, cross-cultural studies have demonstrated a phenomenon referred to as linguistic positivity bias: human speech is studded with words like “great,” “adorable,” and “amazing,” while words like “dreadful,” “ugly,” or “terrible” show up less frequently. It may be that people use language primarily as a means of drawing closer together, which raises the frequency of words that create a feeling of community. Negative words stick out because they are not the norm, and this in turn signals to readers or listeners a person who is setting themselves apart from the group.

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist

News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Long before the burglar Vjeran Tomic became the talk of Paris, he honed his skills in a graveyard. Père Lachaise, the city’s largest cemetery, is a Gothic maze of tombstones, in the Twentieth Arrondissement, that covers more than a hundred acres. Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Proust, and Oscar Wilde are among those buried there. Tomic recalled that in the nineteen-eighties, when he was an adolescent, the cemetery attracted hippie tourists, who flocked to the grave of Jim Morrison, and also drug dealers and gang members. Tomic was drawn by the tombstones. In one of twenty letters, written in careful cursive French, that he sent me during the past year and a half, he told me, “Observing them gave me the desire to touch them—to climb up to their peaks.” Tomic and his friends turned the cemetery into a parkour playground, leaping from the roof of one mausoleum to the next, daring one another to take ever-bolder risks.

Tomic avoided his family’s apartment, which was a few blocks south of the cemetery, because he had a tense relationship with his parents, both of whom were Bosnian immigrants. He was born in Paris in 1968, but the following year his mother became seriously ill, and his father, a car mechanic, sent Vjeran to live with his grandmother, in the Ottoman town of Mostar, in Bosnia. By the age of six, he told me, he had developed what he calls “a devious tendency,” adding, “I was showing some unhealthy intelligence.” He tormented his cousins by putting thorns in their shoes. They often played along the banks of the Neretva River, and Tomic became adept at scaling Mostar’s stone bridges; on reaching the top, he would leap into the water below.

At the age of ten, Tomic pulled off his first heist. He broke into a library in Mostar, climbing through a window that was nearly ten feet above street level. He stole two books, each of which appeared to be several hundred years old. (The older brother of a friend learned of the theft and returned Tomic’s plunder.) Tomic said of his early criminal adventures, “It was intuitive. Nobody ever taught me anything.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation

News 01.07.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

“I tried to register for the 2016 election, but it was beyond the deadline by the time I tried to do it,” a man named Tim, age 27, explained to New York magazine last fall. “I hate mailing stuff; it gives me anxiety.” Tim was outlining the reasons why he, like 11 other millennials interviewed by the magazine, probably wouldn’t vote in the 2018 midterm election. “The amount of work logically isn’t that much,” he continued. “Fill out a form, mail it, go to the specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it.”

Tim goes on to admit that some friends had helped him register to vote, and he planned to probably make it happen for the midterms. But his explanation — even though, as he noted, his struggle in this case was caused in part by his ADHD — triggered the contemporary tendency to dunk on millennials’ inability to complete seemingly basic tasks. Grow up, the overall sentiment goes. Life is not that hard. “So this is the way the world ends,” HuffPost congressional reporter Matt Fuller tweeted. “Not with a bang but with a bunch of millennials who don’t know how to mail things.”

Explanations like Tim’s are at the core of the millennial reputation: We’re spoiled, entitled, lazy, and failures at what’s come to be known as “adulting,” a word invented by millennials as a catchall for the tasks of self-sufficient existence. Expressions of “adulting” do often come off as privileged astonishment at the realities of, well, life: that you have to pay bills and go to work; that you have to buy food and cook it if you want to eat it; that actions have consequences. Adulting is hard because life is hard — or, as a Bustle article admonishes its readers, “everything is hard if you want to look at it that way.”

Millennials love to complain about other millennials giving them a bad name. But as I fumed about this 27-year-old’s post office anxiety, I was deep in a cycle of a tendency, developed over the last five years, that I’ve come to call “errand paralysis.” I’d put something on my weekly to-do list, and it’d roll over, one week to the next, haunting me for months.

Read the rest of this article at: BuzzFeed

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