Due to my lack of Internet this week, Browsy Sunday was delayed to Wednesday.
I’m still working through How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil. Here are some more quotes I liked this week:
“The natal brain is a distinctly human brain with a human neocortex by the time it reaches the third trimester of pregnancy. At this time the fetus is having experiences, and the neocortex is learning. She can hear sounds, especially her mother’s heartbeat, which is one likely reason that the rhythmic qualities of music are universal to human nature.”-Page 62
“The actual content of a dream, to the extent that we remember it, is again a series of patterns. These patterns represent constraints in a story; we then confabulate a story that fits these constraints. The version of the dream that we retell (even if only to ourselves silently) is this confabulation. As we recount a dream we trigger cascades of patterns that fill in the actual dream as we originally experienced it.”-Page 70
My family was sick of listening to Mastery this week during our road trip so we started listening to How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’ve read it before, but it was interesting re-visiting it. Carnegie’s ideas have completely permeated our culture, but the book was written in the 30s, and there are parts of the book that are dated. Remix, anyone?
Once my parents were gone I finished up Mastery by Robert Greene. It was a long read, and not very useful in the self-help department, but I enjoyed all the biographies that were worked into the book: Temple Grandin, Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Faraday, and many others. Greene talks a lot about the kinds of social skills you will need to develop to become an expert of your field, including how to have a mentor-mentee relationship, which was interesting but seemed straightforward to me. If you feel that you are awkward and don’t understand how people work, I would recommend How to Win Friends before I recommended this book. Read this for the biography tidbits or don’t read it at all.
I enjoyed this passionate longread post about arranged marriage. As the world gets smaller (and divorce rates in America remain high), it might help to consider how other cultures view love. Americans have the luxury of getting to choose who they marry, but does this mean they are spoiled into thinking that marriage will be easy? I share the idea with the writer’s Indian parents that if you “Act lovingly towards a person…you will eventually feel love for them.” If you like thinking about this sort of thing, I recommend Love 2.0 by Barbara Fredrickson.
I’m getting ready to start school again, so of course I’m reading about how undergraduate degrees are not that valuable, overly expensive, and need a re-vamp. And maybe my whole education up to this point shouldn’t have been compulsory, because the modern school system is built for the average student and the world doesn’t need the average student anymore. Speaking of misfits, Wired magazine did a profile on Edward Snowden this week. Here’s another Wired article you should read if you’ve ever tried to take a picture of your computer.
Your education and marriage choices won’t matter if you’re dead soon because of cardiovascular disease caused by too much salt. Or depression, which may be related to your gut microbes. Or getting sick despite using hand sanitizer (I hope the use of hand sanitizer dies with our generation, especially in schools). Or obesity fueled by antibiotics (more gut microbes, yay!). Or starvation, which may be allayed by insects. Even brain-eating amoebas have to be watched out for.
I’ve reached the end of this post without working in these articles I found this week about how men and women run marathons differently and Maria Popova’s daily routine. Maybe I could have worked them into the marriage paragraph?