Mind/Brain Candy

Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out Disconfirming Evidence

Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out Disconfirming Evidence.
The desire to be right is the thirst for truth.
Other research has revealed our single-minded need to enforce ideas.
At the conclusion of the study, the majority of participants stuck to their original views, pointing to the data which supported it and discarding that which did not.
Do not read it at all and you will not feel a thing.
When first learning about the existence of confirmation bias, many people deny they are affected.
We are bombarded by information.
They ignore evidence to contradict these conspiratorial ideas, instead of using it to confirm what they already think.
Supporters cling to any evidence to support homeopathy while ignoring that which does not.
There are many cases of scientists interpreting data in a biased manner, or repeating experiments until they achieve the desired result.

A Laboratory for Feeling and Time: Pioneering Philosopher Susanne Langer on What Gives Music Its Power and How It Illuminates the Other Arts

A Laboratory for Feeling and Time: Pioneering Philosopher Susanne Langer on What Gives Music Its Power and How It Illuminates the Other Arts.
“Music is at once the most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts… and the most sensual,” Susan Sontag wrote in one of the most beautiful meditations on the power of music.
Langer revisited the subject a quarter century later in her final work, Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling (public library), exploring what makes music different from all other forms of creative expression and how, paradoxically, understanding the source of its power illuminates the other arts.
Langer writes: Music, like language, is an articulate form.
Unlike language, where words function as its primary forms of fixed meaning and association, music allows us to fill its forms with our own meaning.
She writes: What is “created” in a work of art?
What, then, is being created when music is made?
Like its elements, however, this duration is not an actual phenomenon.
Such passage is measurable only in terms of sensibilities, tensions, and emotions; and it has not merely a different measure, but an altogether different structure from practical or scientific time.
It creates an image of time measured by the motion of forms that seem to give it substance, yet a substance that consists entirely of sound, so it is transitoriness itself.

The Doom and Glory of Knowing Who You Are: James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist

The Doom and Glory of Knowing Who You Are: James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist.
On May 17, 1963, Baldwin appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as part of a major story titled “Nation: The Root of the Negro Problem,” whose lead sentence read: “At the root of the Negro problem is the necessity of the white man to find a way of living with the Negro in order to live with himself.” Although Baldwin’s civil rights advocacy was the focus, the piece shone a sidewise gleam on Baldwin the artist and raised the broader question of the writer’s role in society.
The following week, the May 24 issue of LIFE magazine — which was owned by the same company — built on that cultural momentum with an extensive profile of him by journalist Jane Howard, where under the dated title “Telling Talk from a Negro Writer” Baldwin’s timeless wisdom on life and art unfolds.
Beneath the spectacular subhead “Doom and glory of knowing who you are,” Baldwin — who had read his way from Harlem to literary celebrity — considers the unparalleled empathic gift of reading: You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.
It was Dostoevsky and Dickens who taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who ever had been alive.
Only if we face these open wounds in ourselves can we understand them in other people.
A year after he formulated his abiding ideas on the artist’s role as a disruptor of society, and more than a century after Emerson insisted that “only as far as [people] are unsettled is there any hope for them,” Baldwin considers this vital commitment to generative unsettlement as the central animating force of the creative spirit: An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian.
His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are.
I’m just trying to outline what the problems are.
Two decades before he shared his advice on being a writer in The Paris Review, Baldwin reflects on the inevitability of the calling: The terrible thing about being a writer is that you don’t decide to become one, you discover that you are one.

In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs

In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs.
“The garden of life is strewn with such dormant seeds and so much of art blossoms from their unwilled and unwillable awakenings.” And now for something a bit out of the ordinary: When editor Andrew Blauner invited me to contribute to an anthology of essays by some of his favorite writers about their favorite Beatles songs, I did something I rarely do — I accepted, because a particular Beatles song happens to be a significant animating force in my family story.
by Maria Popova My parents fell in love on a train.
They continued to summon each other, and eventually me, by whistling “Yellow Submarine.” Although I didn’t know at the time that it was originally written as a children’s song, it came to color my childhood.
Somehow, he hacked his transistor radio into the frequency of the BBC World Service and, well into his fifties by that point, set about teaching himself English.
This question of the song’s meaning reached a crescendo when it was adapted into an animated feature film two years later.
But what made the Beatles a cultural force was precisely the stubbornness with which they continued to experiment forward into greatness.
“Yellow Submarine” was a particularly successful experiment.
“Yellow Submarine,” more so than the average song due to its nonsensical nature, has meant different things to every person who has ever heard it and filled it with subjective sense.
“Once a poem is made available to the public,” teenage Sylvia Plath once wrote to her mother, “the right of interpretation belongs to the reader.” It is by this right of interpretation that popular music, popular culture, and perhaps all culture belongs to us at all.

When Netflix Is Attacked at Cannes, Will Smith Steps Up

Two of the films in competition at this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival were produced by and for Netflix.
It may be a watershed moment for films, given that the two movies — Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories — were produced for a TV streaming service, and not for a movie theater.
At the festival’s opening press conference on May 17, renowned Spanish filmmaker and Palme d’Or prize juror Pedro Almodovar read a pre-written statement that said in part, “I personally do not conceive, not only the Palme d’Or, any other prize being given to a film and not being able to see this film on a big screen.” Pedro Almodovar (Laurent Emmanuel) When Will Smith raised his voice in defense of Netflix a while later, a conversation began that reflects a seismic shift — and for some, a sobering one — in the film industry.
“West Philadelphia is a long way from Cannes,” the star said, noting that, “I was probably 14 years old the last time I watched three movies in one day.
And there will likely always long be movie theaters showing films.
There are movies that are not on a screen within 8,000 miles of them.
About 18% of Americans live in rural areas where they’re lucky to have even a single theater, and that would be a theater showing only “tentpole” movies starring, well, Will Smith.
Netflix — either via DVD or streaming service — is the only way many people can see non-blockbuster films.
Where Do You See Film?
For many who do have access to movies in a theater or on their TV, the decision involves a personal calculus that depends on how much they enjoy watching a movie in a theater or at home.

MDMA and Psilocybin: The Future of Anxiety Medication?

MDMA and Psilocybin: The Future of Anxiety Medication?.
If you’re suffering from mild or moderate anxiety or depression side effects likely outweigh benefits.
And yet in numerous countries they are the most commonly prescribed group of pharmaceuticals for treating emotional distress.
Given all those drugs things are not getting better.
If placebo is an effective mechanism without crippling side effects then alternate means should be considered.
Lewis and Shelly entertain another solution: MDMA.
Studies have catalogued the relief of end-of-life anxieties, alcoholism and depression with psilocybin.
Research on its efficacy in reducing depression and PTSD is also promising.
An anxious or depressed life is not a life well-lived.

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