“Suddenly, I began to reconsider my approach to mental illness, a field I had studied during the psychiatric residency I completed before turning to cardiology. Perhaps a human patient compulsively burning himself with cigarettes could improve if his therapist consulted a bird specialist experienced in the treatment of parrots with feather-picking disorder. Significantly for substance abusers and addicts, species from birds to elephants are known to seek out psychotropic berries and plants that change their sensory states — that is, get them high. The more I learned, the more a tantalizing question started creeping into my thoughts: Why don’t we human doctors routinely cooperate with animal experts?”—Our Animal Natures
“Laura: Classically-trained musicians are forced to cultivate a work ethic for themselves that can sustain them through a lot of physical and emotional exhaustion, which is helpful in this industry. Also, as classical musicians, we’re very aware of subtle elements in music that people inherently respond to, but that they might not be aware of — for example, dynamics in music, phrasing, interacting with the people you’re playing with. Something I’ve struggled with is improvisation and figuring out music on the fly – after years of learning music from a page, the prospect of getting up on a stage without any real musical plan is absolutely terrifying.”—Interview with The Family Crest
“There were stretches when this team would be locked in on defense in a way that no one else could reach, save perhaps Thibodeau’s copycat Bulls. Holes would open, and they would close, with Boston’s frenetic yet exact rotations covering every gap. And suddenly, a startled ball-handler would realize there were four seconds on the shot clock, and that he had to do something, with his defender somehow back in his face and Garnett snarling at the edge of the paint, ready to pounce.”—The Point Forward
“Surely, this is the sign of maturity: we are finally admitting to ourselves that our appetites are not nearly as ravenous as we thought, our bellies not quite so deep. We’ve realized that the way to make sense of this meal may not be to stay seated at the table, but rather to step away for a while and come back. More than this, these anthologies finally make good on the purpose of all our automated archiving and collecting: that we would actually go back to the library, look at the stuff again, and, god forbid, do something with it.”—Frank Chimero, “The Anthologists”
“Then I said, “When this is over, I’m going to write an op-ed titled ‘Women Can’t Have It All.’” She was horrified. “You can’t write that,” she said. “You, of all people.” What she meant was that such a statement, coming from a high-profile career woman—a role model—would be a terrible signal to younger generations of women. By the end of the evening, she had talked me out of it, but for the remainder of my stint in Washington, I was increasingly aware that the feminist beliefs on which I had built my entire career were shifting under my feet.”—Why Women Still Can’t Have It All
“I’m not disheartened by the thought that what takes me years to write may occupy a reader for just a few hours. To have made, perhaps, a benign intrusion into someone else’s life for even such a short duration seems to me quite a feat of communication, and if that communication becomes for readers not just a means of passing those hours, but a time-suspending experience that stays with them well after they’ve closed the book and that they might one day wish to return to, then that’s as much as any novelist can hope for.”—The Narrative Physics of Novels
“This is what art is supposed to do– evoke a curiosity about ourselves, and the lives of others. But while Anderson begins this movement toward expansiveness, his films themselves encourage a too-precious, tongue-in-cheek view of life. Treating something as endearingly precious immediately denies it complexity. Anderson’s films appeal most to people who feel some degree of outsider-ness, looking in some small way for freedom. But because Anderson’s ideas and solutions are so simple and beautiful (i.e., “go ahead, feel like an outsider and do your own thing”) they reinforce a belief in simple contained worlds that allows people to remain untroubled by their lack of curiosity. His world is simple and exterior so the answers are simple and exterior as well. The preciousness of substance holds back the potential expansiveness of form.”—Kartina Richardson, “Wes Anderson’s Arrested Development”
“In the case of YA, discussions about hatred of the genre often come with some serious ageism, as readers are attacked along with the books they love. Since we live in a society where teens are automatically positioned as less-than, it’s troubling to see people using YA as a front for saying nasty things about them, reminding them yet again that they don’t belong and aren’t real people in the eyes of adults. People declaring a vehement dislike for YA and its readers are just reiterating what the dominant class of society says, and they certainly aren’t adding anything particularly original or interesting to the discussion.”—s.e. smith, “I See What You Did There: YA Bashing As an Excuse for Teen Bashing”
“Kafka teaches us how to love ourselves even as we’re being merciless toward ourselves; how to remain humane in the face of the most awful truths about ourselves. The stories that recognise people as they really are – the books whose characters are at once sympathetic subjects and dubious objects – are the ones capable of reaching across cultures and generations. This is why we still read Kafka.”—Jonathan Franzen: the path to Freedom
“You see, I too was a geek growing up, forced to the fringes of society where I encountered comic books, and RPGs, and science fiction. I too found in them an escape from my banal existence. Then I grew up in my own way, too young trading in my Tolkien for Dostoyevsky, my RPGs for Scrabble. I graduated from geek to nerd, so that when I emerged into my kind-of adulthood and into the wider world of literature, I felt perfectly at home.”—I am what’s wrong with literature
“No one would design a system of extreme supervision to prepare people for a decade of extreme openness. But this is exactly what has emerged in modern America. College students are raised in an environment that demands one set of navigational skills, and they are then cast out into a different environment requiring a different set of skills, which they have to figure out on their own.”—It’s Not About You
“Could the show have continued on that same aesthetic trajectory? It’s hard to tell, especially given the splintering plot-lines, but what’s clear is that somewhere along the production line, the writers felt the need to fatten up the show’s significance. At the start of the second season, overly ornate, awkwardly placed symbolism started showing up in every episode. Don’s face turned into stone and Betty started shooting the neighbor’s birds. Everyone began to moderate theirsmoking and drinking and the show, arm-by-arm, donned the heavy coat of meaning.”—Jay Caspian King on Mad Men
“Maybe that’s how Rondo prefers it. In an age of oversharers, Rondo remains a mystery. The 360-degree Rondo Experience may bring highs and lows and perplexing interludes, but like any great mystery, it’s worth following—for the simple reason you never know what is coming next.”—Rajon Rondo: The NBA’s Least Boring Player
More important, their lives have been perversely structured. This year’s graduates are members of the most supervised generation in American history. Through their childhoods and teenage years, they have been monitored, tutored, coached and honed to an unprecedented degree.
Yet upon graduation they will enter a world that is unprecedentedly wide open and unstructured. Most of them will not quickly get married, buy a home and have kids, as previous generations did. Instead, they will confront amazingly diverse job markets, social landscapes and lifestyle niches. Most will spend a decade wandering from job to job and clique to clique, searching for a role.
“The paper that resulted five years later, the abovementioned “Prospect Theory,” not only proved that one of the central premises of economics was seriously flawed—the so-called utility theory, “based on elementary rules (axioms) of rationality”—but also spawned a sub-field of economics known as behavioral economics.”—Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error