Monday Miscellany: Weatherwax, Wish Lists, Wanderers

Alt text: They also showed activation in the parts of the brain associate with exposure to dubious study methodology, concern about unremoved piercings, and exasperation with fMRI techs who won't stop talking about Warped Tour. [Source]
Alt text: They also showed activation in the parts of the brain associate with exposure to dubious study methodology, concern about unremoved piercings, and exasperation with fMRI techs who won’t stop talking about Warped Tour. [Source]
1. Proust was definitely not a neuroscientist and I usually have little patience for reworking classics to claim they contain deep theories. However.

Edited by philosophy professors and Pratchett fans James South and Jacob Held, the collection of essays examines questions including “Plato, the Witch, and the Cave: Granny Weatherwax and the Moral Problem of Paternalism”, “Equality and Difference: Just because the Disc Is Flat, Doesn’t Make It a Level Playing Field for All”, “Hogfather and the Existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard”, and “the Importance of Being in the Right Trouser Leg of Time”.

South, associate professor of philosophy at Marquette University, is adamant Pratchett’s novels “hold up to sustained philosophical reflection”.

“Pratchett is a very smart man, a gifted writer, and understands as well as any philosopher the power of storytelling and the problems humans face in making sense of their lives and the world they live in,” South said. “Or, as Death puts it so well: ‘DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR TRUST IN ROOT VEGETABLES. WHAT THINGS SEEM TO BE MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY ARE.’ This is a truth that Pratchett relatedly acknowledges and tries to get his readers to acknowledge as well.”

2. Julia’s wish list for the prison system.

3. Two posts on old asylums: the brains of the Texas State Hospital and volunteers who are trying to label the 55,000 unlabeled graves of those who died in institutions.

4. Ozy on labels.

5. Technology lets you watch animals. For instance, take this puppy cam. It also might eliminate the need for zoos.

6. Holidays are hard on kids and parents alike. This season, let’s keep in mind that kids often have lower frustration tolerances. Treating kids as miniature humans who need more help and cueing: A+.

7. I will continue to talk about why Sybil is an unethical, distorted story. Or, you know, I will let these people talk about it.

8. “Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.”

Things I read this week:

Mindset, Carol Dweck
Much less research investigation and analysis than I would have liked, but because I was comfortable that Dweck’s research is solid and replicates, I still enjoyed it a lot. If you’re looking for a book to motivate you to pick up more growth mindset, this is exactly it.

Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
I’d enjoyed Isaacson’s biography of Jobs immensely, and this one was amazing as well. Prompted me to pick up Incompleteness (Gödel and Einstein were friends! I had no idea) and put Three Wise Men (Six Friends and The World They Made), another bio by Isaacson and Evan Thomas, on hold at the library.

Thank You For Your Service, David Finkel
A journalist, PTSD, and soldiers after the Iraq War. Intense and brilliant. (Do not advise if triggered by suicide; descriptions are long and detailed.)

3 thoughts on “Monday Miscellany: Weatherwax, Wish Lists, Wanderers

  1. The landscapes in the film are awesome but I wouldn’t leave the planet unless it was to make contact with an alien race.

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