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Thread: great paragraphs from what you're reading

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    (Currently soothing my enneagram 3 soul with this, I find these so important so here it goes)


    7 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough


    By Madison Sonnier

    1. The people you compare yourself to compare themselves to other people too.


    We all compare ourselves to other people, and I can assure you that the people who seem to have it all do not.
    When you look at other people through a lens of compassion and understanding rather than judgment and jealousy, you are better able to see them for what they are—human beings. They are beautifully imperfect human beings going through the same universal challenges that we all go through.

    2. Your mind can be a very convincing liar.

    I saw a quote once that said, “Don’t believe everything you think.” That quote completely altered the way I react when a cruel or discouraging thought goes through my mind. Thoughts are just thoughts, and it’s unhealthy and exhausting to give so much power to the negative ones.

    3. There is more right with you than wrong with you.

    This powerful reminder is inspired by one of my favorite quotes from Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.”
    As someone who sometimes tends to zoom in on all my perceived flaws, it helps to remember that there are lots of things I like about myself too—like the fact that I’m alive and breathing and able to pave new paths whenever I choose.

    4. You need love the most when you feel you deserve it the least.

    This was a recent epiphany of mine, although I’m sure it’s been said many times before.
    I find that it is most difficult to accept love and understanding from others when I’m in a state of anger, shame, anxiety, or depression. But adopting the above truth really shifted my perspective and made me realize that love is actually the greatest gift I can receive during such times.

    5. You have to fully accept and make peace with the “now” before you can reach and feel satisfied with the “later.”

    One thing I’ve learned about making changes and reaching for the next rung on the ladder is that you cannot fully feel satisfied with where you’re going until you can accept, acknowledge, and appreciate where you are.
    Embrace and make peace with where you are, and your journey toward something new will feel much more peaceful, rewarding, and satisfying.

    6. Focus on progress rather than perfection and on how far you’ve come rather than on how far you have left to go.

    One of the biggest causes of self-loathing is the hell-bent need to “get it right.” We strive for perfection and success, and when we fall short, we feel less than and worthless. What we don’t seem to realize is that striving for success and being willing to put ourselves out there is an accomplishment within itself, regardless of how many times we fail.
    Instead of berating yourself for messing up and stumbling backward, give yourself a pat on the back for trying, making progress, and coming as far as you have.

    7. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.

    Telling yourself what a failure you are won’t make you any more successful. Telling yourself you’re not living up to your full potential won’t help you reach a higher potential. Telling yourself you’re worthless and unlovable won’t make you feel any more worthy or lovable.
    I know it sounds almost annoyingly simple, but the only way to achieve self-love is to love yourself—regardless of who you are and where you stand and even if you know you want to change.
    You are enough just as you are. And self-love will be a little bit easier every time you remind yourself of that.

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    Default Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

    There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we.

    __________________________


    This deep breathing did not make the pains less. Then the contractions became even more intense. Seeing that I was scared, Ina May suggested that I kiss my husband during the next contraction. This was the furthest thing from my mind but I did what she said. I should say here that my relationship had been rather rocky around this time, and the way we kissed each other had never been very satisfying to me. Anyway, while kissing the contractions continued to be strong. Ina May was sitting on the end of the bed, and she advised me to open my mouth enough to surround my husband's. It was at this point that I became more aroused than I had ever been in my life! There was no pain – only the most extreme sexual pleasure and complete openness. It was orgasmic. I'm sure that all of this happened within just a few seconds, but I passed through transition, and before I knew it, I was starting to push the baby out....I tell my kid's about my son's birth, because I know that this birth experience helped me through the years in my marriage – it confirmed the trust in such a vulnerable and sacred place.

    __________________________


    Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    Thank you - VERY important read, more of that. I want to add that those you addressed not to read it are exactly the ones that must read it. You displayed the very submissive behavior described in the text to appease potential attackers, perfect example. And: That ain't needed, encourage exactly those attackers to be confronted with this. Attackers are the ones with fear, otherwise they would have no need to control someone. So you don't have to be careful to post this - in fact, you are in a dominant position with this knowledge and therefore safe. The truth is like a lion, it defends itself Anddd on another note: please rest well <3
    Nah. Been there, done that. Getting dogpiled with sexual taunts and orders to make a sandwich is emotionally exhausting, I'd rather donate to planned parenthood or something.

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    "The worship of the senses has often, and with much justice, been decried, men feeling a natural instinct of terror about passions and sensations that seem stronger than themselves, and that they are conscious of sharing with the less highly organized forms of existence. But it appeared to Dorian Gray that the true nature of the senses had never been understood, and that they had remained savage and animal merely because the world had sought to starve them into submission or to kill them by pain, instead of aiming at making them elements of a new spirituality, of which a fine instinct for beauty was to be the dominant characteristic. As he looked back upon man moving through history, he was haunted by a feeling of loss. So much had been surrendered! and to such little purpose! There had been mad wilful rejections, monstrous forms of self-torture and self-denial, whose origin was fear and whose result was a degradation infinitely more terrible than that fancied degradation from which, in their ignorance, they had sought to escape; Nature, in her wonderful irony, driving out the anchorite to feed with the wild animals of the desert and giving to the hermit the beasts of the field as his companions."

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    "The somewhat less esoteric musical world came calling in early 1996, as Eno won his second Brit, this time a ‘Freddie Mercury Award’ (presented for outstanding consciousness-raising) for the Help! album. Eno collected the statuette accompanied by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Bryan Ferry was at Eno’s table; nearby sat Prime Minister-in-waiting (and King Crimson fan) Tony Blair and his entourage. The event was most memorable, however, for what occurred during a messianic, self-adulatory performance by Michael Jackson – a rendition of his preposterously overwrought ‘ecological power ballad’, ‘Earth Song’, replete with legions of innocent, frolicking young children. As the performance reached a histrionic climax, Jarvis Cocker, lead singer with then-cultish Britpop band Pulp, along with a friend, Peter Mansell, invaded the stage – Cocker executing a hilariously mocking, buttock revealing waggle-dance. Eno applauded loudly. In the onstage melee that ensued, according to Scotland Yard, one eleven-year-old boy was punched, another received a cut ear and a third was pushed offstage. Cocker was arrested, but released later with no charges pressed (it was elsewhere alleged that the injuries had been inadvertently caused by Jackson’s over-enthusiastic bodyguards).

    The following day, the mighty British tabloid press rounded on Cocker, apparently more willing to regurgitate an ‘outraged’ press release from Sony (Jackson’s record company) than they were to ask why anyone had seen to disrupt the questionable spectacle in the first place. Eno took an advert in the broadsheets the following week, reiterating his support for Cocker’s protest and lambasting Jackson’s performance."


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    "Neurosis and Human Growth"

    "The NEUROTIC in his search for glory goes astray into the realm of the fantastic, of the infinite, of boundless possibilities. To all outward appearances, he may lead a "normal" life as a member of his family and of his community, attend to his work and participate in recreational activities. Without realizing it, or at least without realizing the extent of it, he lives in two worlds—that of his secret private life and that of his official life. And the two do not jibe; to repeat a patient's phrase quoted in a previous chapter: "Life is awful; it is so full of reality!"

    No matter how averse the neurotic is to checking with evidence, reality inevitably obtrudes itself in two ways. He may be highly gifted, but he still is in all essentials like everybody else—with general human limitations and considerable individual difficulties to boot. His actual being does not jibe with his godlike image. Nor does the reality outside himself treat him as though it found him godlike. For him, too, an hour has but sixty minutes; he must wait in line, like everybody else; the taxi driver or the boss may act as though he were simply an ordinary mortal."
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Stromberg
    Let's stop using this outdated measure - which has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign.

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    This made me feel at peace.

    The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably wouldn’t be angry at an empty boat, you might well become enraged if someone were at its helm.
    The point of the story is that the parents who didn’t see you, the other kids who teased you as a child, the driver who aggressively tailgated you yesterday – are all, in fact, empty, rudderless boats. They were compulsively driven to act as they did by their own unexamined wounds, therefore they did not know what they were doing and had little control over it.

    Just as an empty boat that rams into us isn’t targeting us, so too people who act unkindly are driven along by the unconscious force of their own wounding and pain.


    Until we realize this, we will remain prisoners of our grievance, our past, and our victim identity, all of which keep us from opening to the more powerful currents of life and love that are always flowing through the present moment.


    — Claudia Azula Altucher

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    This made me feel at peace.

    The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably wouldn’t be angry at an empty boat, you might well become enraged if someone were at its helm.
    I've actually read about the same story in the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard's book... although I guess the interpretation of it is a little different. It says that the only reason you feel hurt is because of the illusion of the ego.

    We can see this crystallization of “I” and “mine” in many situations of daily life. You are napping peacefully in a boat in the middle of a lake. Another craft bumps into yours and wakes you with a start. Thinking that a clumsy or prankish boater has crashed into you, you leap up furious, ready to curse him out, only to find that the boat in question is empty. You laugh at your own mistake and return peaceably to your nap. The only difference between the two reactions is that in the first case, you’d thought yourself the target of someone’s malice, while in the second you realized that your “I” was not a target.

    Likewise, if someone punches you, your irritation will be long-lasting. But consider the physical pain — it fades quickly and is soon imperceptible. The only thing that continues to hurt is the ego’s wound. A friend of mine had come to Nepal from Hong Kong to attend some teachings. Thousands of people had gathered and were jam-packed on the floor of our monastery’s vast courtyard. As my friend was moving back and forth trying to seat herself a bit more comfortably, cross-legged on her cushion, someone punched her in the back. As she told me later: “I felt irritated for a whole hour. How could someone attending Buddhist teachings behave in such a rude and uncompassionate way toward me, who had come so far to receive these teachings! But after a while I realized that although my irritation had been long-lasting, the actual physical pain had faded quickly and had soon become imperceptible. The only thing that continued to hurt was my wounded ego! I had one minute of body pain and fifty-nine minutes of ego pain!” When we see the self as a mere concept and not as an autonomous entity that we must protect and satisfy at all costs, we react in completely different ways.

    Here is another example to illustrate our attachment to the idea of “mine.” You are looking at a beautiful porcelain vase in a shopwindow when a clumsy salesman knocks it over. “What a shame! Such a lovely vase!” you sigh, and continue calmly on your way. On the other hand, if you had just bought that vase and had placed it proudly on the mantle, only to see it fall and smash to smithereens, you would cry out in horror, “My vase is broken!” and be deeply affected by the accident. The sole difference is the label “my” that you had stuck to the vase.

    Ricard, Matthieu. The Art of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Stromberg
    Let's stop using this outdated measure - which has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign.

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    Of all the senses, touch is most linked to emotion and feeling. To be “touched” or “moved” by words or things implies the process of identification and separation by which we apprehend the world aesthetically. I have noted that we do not see our eyes when we see or hear our ears when we hear, but tactile perception involves perception of our own bodily state as we take in what is outside that state. The pressure involved in touch is a pressure on ourselves as well as on objects.
    — Susan Stewart, Poetry and the Fate of the Senses


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    The little girl’s sense of secrecy that developed at prepuberty only grows in importance. She closes herself up in fierce solitude: she refuses to reveal to those around her the hidden self that she considers to be her real self and that is in fact an imaginary character: she plays at being a dancer like Tolstoy’s Natasha, or a saint like Marie Leneru, or simply the singular wonder that is herself. There is still an enormous difference between this heroine and the objective face that her parents and friends recognise in her. She is also convinced that she is misunderstood: her relationship with herself becomes even more passionate: she becomes intoxicated with her isolation, feels different, superior, exceptional: she promises that the future will take revenge on the mediocrity of her present life. From this narrow and petty existence she escapes by dreams.
    — Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, Vol II Chapter II: The Girl


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    Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

    1. Never open a book with weather.
    2. Avoid prologues.
    3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
    4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
    5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
    6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
    7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
    8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
    9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
    10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

    My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

    If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
    I think he make some good points, even if I would probably consider myself far from full agreement.
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    What are the implications of claiming that the Earth is a planet? Copernicus did not discuss the question; but his successors were bound to. In the summer of 1583 a strange little Italian gave a series of lectures in Oxford.64 We know him as Giordano Bruno, but he liked to invent long names and titles for himself, names, it was said, longer than his body. The opening words of this letter of his provoked laughter:

    Philotheus Jordanus Brunus Nolanus, doctor of a more sophisticated theology, professor of a more pure and innocent wisdom, known to the best academies of Europe, a proven and honoured philosopher, a stranger only among barbarians and knaves, the awakener of sleeping spirits, the tamer of presumptuous and stubborn ignorance, who professes a general love of humanity in all his actions, who prefers as company neither Briton nor Italian, male nor female, bishop nor king, robe nor armour, friar nor layman, but only those whose conversation is more peaceable, more civil, more faithful, and more valuable, who respects not the anointed head, the signed forehead, the washed hands, or the circumcised penis, but rather the spirit and culture of mind (which can be read in the face of a real person); whom the propagators of stupidity and the small-time hypocrites detest, whom the sober and studious love, and whom the most noble minds acclaim, to the most excellent and illustrious vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, many greetings.65

    When he walked to the lectern he rolled up his sleeves, as if he were a juggler about to perform a trick. As he spoke he bobbed and dipped like a dabchick or little grebe. He lectured, as all academics did, in Latin, but he spoke Latin with a Neapolitan pronunciation; the dons of Oxford (who found their own English pronunciation of Latin civilized and sophisticated) laughed at him for saying chentrum, chirculus and circumferenchia (which, as it happens, is now the approved pronunciation). But mostly they took exception to his Copernicanism. Twenty years later, George Abbott, who would eventually become Archbishop of Canterbury, remembered it as if it were yesterday: ‘he undertooke among very many other matters to set on foote the opinion of Copernicus, that the earth did goe round, and the heavens did stand still; wheras in truth it was his owne head which rather did run round, & his braines did not stand stil.’66

    It was forty years since Copernicus had published On the Revolutions. His new astronomy had certain evident advantages over the established astronomy of Ptolemy. According to Plato and Aristotle, all movement in the heavens should be circular and unchanging and, as we have seen, in the Renaissance there were still philosophers (such as Girolamo Fracastoro (1477–1553), the first to think seriously about contagious diseases) trying to construct a simple model of the universe which consisted of spheres nested around a common centre. But, try as they might, the philosophers could not get such models to fit what actually happens in the heavens. What Ptolemy had managed to achieve was a system that accurately predicted movements in the heavens. The Ptolemaic system, like those of Plato and Aristotle, claimed that the moon, the sun and all the planets circled around the earth. But in order to predict accurately the movement of these heavenly bodies it employed a complex system of deferents (circles), epicycles (circles on circles), eccentrics (circles rotating around a displaced centre) and equants. The equant was a device for speeding up and slowing down the movement of a body in the heavens by measuring its movement not from the centre of a circle but from another point. By this means the movement could be described (or misdescribed) as constant; it was thus a method of cheating on the fundamental principle insisted on by the philosophers that heavenly movement should be circular and unchanging. (For strict Aristotelians, even the epicycle was a cheat, as they wanted all the circular movements to have a common centre.)

    Copernicus proposed to abolish the equant, and to eliminate an epicycle for each planet further from the sun than the Earth by showing how the movement of the Earth created an apparent movement in the sky equivalent to an epicycle. Copernicus also claimed that his system was preferable because it specified more tightly the characteristics of the system as a whole. Ptolemaic philosophers had never been sure, for example, whether Venus or the sun was closer to the earth (the right answer, in our terms, being that sometimes it is one, and sometimes the other, but this was an unacceptable answer within the Ptolemaic system), while Copernicus’s system placed the heavenly bodies in a fixed order.67

    It used to be thought that Copernicus initiated an intellectual revolution – indeed Thomas Kuhn called his first book The Copernican Revolution (1957). But in this Kuhn was mistaken. Throughout Europe astronomers took a keen interest in what Copernicus had to say, but, with only a very few exceptions, they took it for granted that his account of a moving Earth was simply wrong. If the earth moved, we would be aware of it; you would feel the wind in your face. If you dropped an object from a tall tower, it would fall towards the west. If you fired a cannon to the west, the ball would go further than if you fired it to the east. Since none of these things happened, all the leading astronomers – Erasmus Reinhold (1511–53), Michael Maestlin (1550–1631), Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Christoph Clavius (1538–1612) and Giovanni Magini (1555–1617) – were confident that Copernicus was wrong. Still, they were fascinated by the simplicity of his techniques for calculation, and thrilled at the idea that it might be possible to junk the equant. In an extraordinary labour of love, every surviving copy of the first (1543) and the second (1566) editions of On the Revolutions has now been studied to identify the marginal comments written by its first readers, with the result that we can tell very reliably what they liked and what they disliked, what they found credible and what they found incredible.68 They liked Copernicanism as a mathematical device; they had no time for it as scientific truth. They read it as the prefatory letter (now known to have been written by Osiander, and added without Copernicus’s permission) encouraged them to read it, as a purely hypothetical construction.

    In 1583 there were, as far as we know, only three competent astronomers in the whole of Europe who accepted Copernicus’s claim that the Earth travelled around the sun: in Germany, Christoph Rothmann (who did not publish, and eventually abandoned Copernicanism); in Italy, Giovanni Benedetti (who published a few sentences on the question in 1585); and, in England, Thomas Digges (who had published in support of Copernicanism in 1576).xii So it must have simply astonished the dons of Oxford to hear this peculiar Italian, as he dipped and dodged, chucked and chirred, defending Copernicanism as the literal truth.

    We do not know how far Bruno got in his exposition of Copernicanism. He was stopped after he had given three lectures; he was accused of merely reciting passages from the Renaissance Platonist philosopher Ficino (who had written in praise of the sun), while giving the impression that the words were his own. This is quite possible – Bruno does similar things in his published texts and, as we have seen, the concept of plagiarism was a novel one.xiii But we know what Bruno wanted to say because, after he was driven out of Oxford, he took refuge with the French ambassador in London, and there he set about writing a series of works, of which the most famous is The Ash Wednesday Supper, in defence of his position.69 In the course of eighteen months Bruno published six books in London, all of them written in Italian.xiv Before and after his time in England, Bruno published only in Latin (with the solitary exception of a play, Il candelaio, published in Paris in 1582), so his choice of Italian, when his books must have mainly been sold to Englishmen (though some will have been carried to the great book fair in Frankfurt), seems odd. But Italian was the language of Dante and of Petrarch. Educated Englishmen could read it; by using it, Bruno signalled that he was addressing himself to poets and courtiers, not to professors of mathematics or philosophy.

    The English were hostile to foreigners and to Catholics. If you were too obviously foreign, as Bruno was, you risked being beaten up in the street. Bruno hardly dared venture outdoors. In the dialogues he wrote he describes himself as mixing with the elite of English society, but he later claimed this was fiction not fact.70 Still, his books must have sold, or his printer would have stopped printing them. Bruno himself was penniless, and astonished to see that the dons of Oxford wore great, jewelled rings on their fingers – we can be sure there were none on his – so he cannot have been providing his printer with a subsidy.

    These books mark a true revolution. Copernicus had described a spherical universe with the sun at its centre. He had acknowledged that it might be possible to conceive of an infinite universe, but he had refused to pursue that line of thought, saying, ‘Let us therefore leave the question whether the universe is finite or infinite to be discussed by the natural philosophers’ (Copernicus himself being a mathematician, not a philosopher).71 Bruno seized on Copernicanism to argue for an infinite and eternal universe. The stars, he said, were suns, and the sun a star: here he was following not Copernicus but Aristarchus of Samos (310–230 BCE). Thus there could be other inhabited planets in the universe; even the sun and the stars might be inhabited, for they could not be equally hot all over, and there might be creatures, quite different from ourselves, who thrive on heat. Moreover, there was nothing to show that the other planets were different from the Earth. Bruno argued that the moon and the planets could be presumed to have continents and oceans, and that they shone, not by their own light (as was generally assumed; even the moon was assumed to be translucent at least), but solely by reflected light.72 Thus, seen from the moon, the Earth would look like a gigantic moon; seen from even further away, it would be a bright star in the sky. The Earth, Bruno thought, would shine brightly because the seas would reflect more light than the land. (Here, as Galileo later showed, he was wrong – which is why when astronomers, after the discovery of the telescope, began to make maps of the moon they named the dark patches, not the light patches, seas.) Thus Bruno imagined an infinite universe, with numberless stars and planets, all possibly inhabited by extraterrestrial life forms.73 Since Bruno did not believe that Christ was the saviour of mankind (he was a sort of pantheist), he did not have to worry about how the Christian drama of sin and salvation was played out in this infinity of worlds.

    Bruno was not the first to imagine an infinite universe with extraterrestrial life. Nicholas of Cusa, in his On Learned Ignorance (1440), had argued that only an infinite universe was appropriate for an infinite God. Nicholas thought the earth was a heavenly body which from a distance would shine like a star, an idea which caught Montaigne’s attention.74 But Nicholas assumed that the earth and the sun were similar bodies. A habitable world was, Nicholas thought, hidden behind the shining visible surface of the sun; as for the earth, it, like the sun, was surrounded by a fiery mantle which was invisible to us, and which you would see only if you viewed the earth from outer space. Thus Nicholas made the earth into a heavenly body, but simultaneously he made the sun into a terrestrial one.xvBruno, by contrast, was the first to distinguish stars and planets as we do now, making the sun a star and the planets, including the Earth, dark bodies shining by reflected light.

    Bruno tried to resolve the standard arguments against Copernicanism by adopting the principles of the relativity of location and of movement; in his universe (unlike in those of Aristotle and Ptolemy) there was no up or down, no centre or periphery, no left and right and no way of telling if one was moving or stationary except by comparison with other objects.xvi Oresme and Copernicus had adopted the principle of the relativity of movement when considering two bodies, the sun and the earth – the movement of the sun that we perceive can equally be caused by the sun moving or the Earth turning – but they had not extended the argument to the more complicated circumstances considered by Bruno. Thus, Bruno argued, you can be in the cabin of a ship sailing across a calm sea and be quite incapable of telling whether you are moving or stationary; and if you throw something straight up in the air, it falls back into your hand, it doesn’t drift backwards towards the stern of the ship as the ship moves on.75 And Copernicus’s universe had a centre; he could not imagine (or at least could not acknowledge the possibility of) a universe in which location was purely relative. Bruno also made some radical and ill-judged alterations to the Copernican system, designed in part to eliminate basic objections to it (such as that Mars and Venus should greatly change in size if they are sometimes quite near and sometimes very far from the Earth).76

    In 1585 Bruno’s host, the French ambassador, was withdrawn from England, and Bruno had no choice but to leave with him. He wandered around Europe (carrying with him his copy of Copernicus, which is now in the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome), and in 1592 he was arrested in Venice and handed over to the Roman Inquisition. After eight years of solitary confinement in the dark, and after prolonged torture, he was burnt alive in one of the main squares of Rome, the Campo de’ Fiori, on 17 February 1600. He had refused to recant his heresies, including his belief in other inhabited worlds.xvii His books were banned throughout Catholic Europe.

    Bruno is important to our story not because he was brave (though he was), or brilliant (though he was), but because he was, on occasion, right. Bruno’s revisions to, and misunderstandings of, Copernicus were misconceived. The infinite and eternal universe theory has been replaced, in the course of the last fifty years, by the Big Bang theory (so recent that it was named only in 1949).77 But we now know that the sun is a star, that other stars have planets, and there is every reason to think that there is life elsewhere in the universe. We are not at the centre of the universe: rather, the Earth is just another planet. Bruno would find himself more at home in our universe than would Cardinal Bellarmine, the man who played the key role in his trial, as he played the key role in the Catholic Church’s condemnation of Copernicanism in 1616. On crucial points Bruno was right before anyone else: he was the first to say in print that the preface to On the Revolutions was not by Copernicus, and he was the first modern to insist that the planets shine by reflected light.xviii

    ~ The Invention of Science: The Scientific Revolution from 1500 to 1750 by David Wootton

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    [...] Einstein is a twentieth-century icon. He was once asked to stage his own three-week show at the London Palladium. Women fainted in his presence. Young girls mobbed him in Geneva. Today this sort of adulation is reserved for pop singers and movie stars. But in the aftermath of the First World War, Einstein became the first superstar of science when in 1919 the bending of light predicted by his theory of general relativity was confirmed. Little had changed when in January 1931, during a lecture tour of America, Einstein attended the premiere of Charlie Chaplin's movie City Limits in Los Angeles. A large crowd cheered wildly when they saw Chaplin and Einstein. 'They cheer me because they all understand me,' Chaplin told Einstein, 'and they cheer you because no one understands you.
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    On 10th May 1940, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, the day Germany invaded France. His son Randolph came to Downing St and found him nearly naked shaving in a silk undershirt:
    "'Sit down, dear boy, and read the papers while I finish.' After two minutes, he turned and said: 'I think I see my way through.' He resumed shaving. I was astounded and said: 'Do you mean we can avoid defeat?' (which seemed credible) or 'beat the bastards?' (which seemed incredible). He flung his razor in the basin, swung around, and said: 'Of course I mean we can beat them.'
    'I'm all for it, but I don't see how you can.'
    He dried and sponged his face and turning round to me, said with great intensity: 'I shall the drag the United States in.'"
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    When Freud visited me in Zurich in 1908, I demonstrated the case of Babette to him. Afterward he said to me, "You know, Jung, what you have found out about this patient is certainly interesting. But how in the world were you able to bear spending hours and says with this phenomenally ugly female?"

    haha what a dick

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    As discussed in the preceding few entries, the fate of the universe is unknown, and some theories posit the continual creation of universes that “bud” from our own. However, let’s focus on our own universe. One possibility is that our universe will continue to expand forever, and particles will become increasingly sparse. This seems like a sad end, doesn’t it? However, even in this empty universe, quantum mechanics tells us that residual energy fields will have random fluctuations. Particles will spring out of the vacuum as if out of nowhere. Usually, this activity is small, and large fluctuations are rare. But particles do emerge, and given a long amount of time, something big is bound to appear, for example, a hydrogen atom, or even a small molecule like ethylene, H2C=CH2. This may seem unimpressive, but if our future is infinite, we can wait a long time, and almost anything could pop into existence. Most of the gunk that emerges will be an amorphous mess, but every now and then, a tiny number of ants, planets, people, or Jupiter-sized brains made from gold will emerge. Given an infinite amount of time, you will reappear, according to physicist Katherine Freese. Quantum resurrection may await all of us. Be happy.

    Today, serious researchers even contemplate the universe being overrun by Boltzmann Brains—naked, free-floating brains in outer space. Of course, the Boltzmann Brains are highly improbable objects, and there is virtually no chance that one has appeared in the 13.7 billion years our universe has existed. According to one calculation by physicist Tom Banks, the probability of thermal fluctuations producing a brain is e to the power of −1025. However, given an infinitely large space existing for an infinitely long time, these spooky conscious observers spring into existence. Today, there is a growing literature on the implications of Boltzmann Brains, kick-started by a 2002 publication by researchers Lisa Dyson, Matthew Kleban, and Leonard Susskind that seemed to imply that the typical intelligent observer may arise through thermal fluctuations, rather than cosmology and evolution.
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    We live in an increasingly united world. The boundaries that once existed between peoples are steadily dissolving; ancient divisions between tribes and families, villages and parishes, even between nations, are everywhere disintegrating. The nation-state, with which most of the peoples of the Western world have lived since the seventeenth century, may yet have a long time to live. But it is becoming increasingly hard to see it as the political order of the future. For thousands of years, few people went more than thirty miles from their place of birth. (This, it has been calculated from the places mentioned in the Gospels, is roughly the farthest Jesus Christ ever traveled from his home, and, in this respect, at least, he was not exceptional.) Today places that less than a century ago were remote, inaccessible, and dangerous have become little more than tourist sites. Today most of us in the Western world will travel hundreds, often thousands, of miles in our immensely prolonged lives. And in the process we will, inevitably, bump up against different peoples with different beliefs, wearing different clothes and holding different views. Some three hundred years ago, when the process we now label “globalization” was just beginning, it was hoped that this bumping into others, this forced recognition of all the differences that exist in the world, would smooth away the rough edges most humans acquire early in life, making them, in the process, more “polished” and “polite”—as it was called in the eighteenth century—more familiar with the preferences of others, more tolerant of their beliefs and delusions, and thus better able to live in harmony with one another.
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    The Garden of Eden is always painted as a lush and sultry place. From biology's point of view, too, the tropics are a great and ancient city, with more inhabitants, more energy, more water, more production and, because the land has not been wiped clean by glaciers, more time for specialists to evolve than in the icy north and south. A fifth of all the world's kinds of plant are found on a two hundredth of its land. Such centers of origin are tropical, in Madagascar, Malaysia or Central America. Arctic Canada possesses ten kinds of ant, compared to two thousand in the same area of tropical South America; and Hong Kong, at four hundred square miles, has more kinds of birds, mammals, insects and plants than the whole of the British Isles.
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    The first second of 1913. A gunshot rings out through the dark night. There’s a brief click, fingers tense on the trigger, then comes a second, dull report. The alarm is raised, the police dash to the scene and arrest the gunman straight away. His name is Louis Armstrong.

    The twelve-year-old had wanted to see in the New Year in New Orleans with a stolen revolver. The police put him in a cell, and early on the morning of 1 January they send him to a house of correction, the Colored Waifs’ Home for Boys. Once there, his behaviour is so unruly that the only solution the institution’s director, Peter Davis, can come up with is to hand him a trumpet. (What he really wants to do is slap him.) All at once Louis Armstrong falls silent, picks up the instrument almost tenderly, and his fingers, which had been playing with the trigger of the revolver only the previous night, feel the cold metal once again, except that now, still in the director’s office, rather than a gunshot, he produces his first warm, wild notes from the trumpet.
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    A species in which everyone was General Patton would not succeed, any more than would a race in which everyone was Vincent van Gogh. I prefer to think that the planet needs athletes, philosophers, sex symbols, painters, scientists; it needs the warmhearted, the hardhearted, the coldhearted, and the weakhearted. It needs those who can devote their lives to studying how many droplets of water are secreted by the salivary glands of dogs under which circumstances, and it needs those who can capture the passing impression of cherry blossoms in a fourteen-syllable poem or devote twenty-five pages to the dissection of a small boy’s feelings as he lies in bed in the dark waiting for his mother to kiss him goodnight.… Indeed the presence of outstanding strengths presupposes that energy needed in other areas has been channeled away from them.
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    Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.
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    In a classic canny maneuver, Franklin corrected an early typo—he had reported that someone “died” at a restaurant when he meant to say “dined” at it—by composing a letter from a fictitious “J.T.” who discoursed on other amusing misprints. For example, one edition of the Bible quoted David as saying he was “wonderfully mad” rather than “made,” which caused an “ignorant preacher to harangue his audience for half an hour on the subject of spiritual madness.” Franklin then went on (under the guise of J.T.) to praise Franklin’s own paper, point out a similar typo made by his rival Bradford, criticize Bradford for being generally sloppier, and (with delicious irony) praise Franklin for not criticizing Bradford: “Your paper is most commonly very correct, and yet you were never known to triumph upon it by publicly ridiculing and exposing the continual blunders of your contemporary.” Franklin even turned his false modesty into a maxim to forgive his typo: “Whoever accustoms himself to pass over in silence the faults of his neighbors shall meet with much better quarter from the world when he happens to fall into a mistake himself.”
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    World-class chess players, in addition to being considered awesomely smart, are generally assumed to have superhuman memories, and with good reason. Champions routinely put on exhibitions in which they play lesser opponents while blindfolded; they hold the entire chessboard in their heads. Some of these exhibitions strike the rest of us as simply beyond belief. The Czech master Richard Reti once played twenty nine blindfolded games simultaneously. (Afterward he left his briefcase at the exhibition site and commented on what a poor memory he had.)
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  24. #184
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    I was looking for a quote for the quotes thread and found some interesting paper.

    Reason, when taken to an extreme, is outright dangerous. The French Revolution is an
    apt example of how rational thinking can create chaos. Grounding abstract concepts such as
    freedom, justice, and liberty into reality result in violence and terror. Consider, for example, the
    September Massacres in 1792 France. Radicals, supported by their reasoning, decide that the
    nobility must suffer for their oppressive crimes. Are revolutionaries then rationally justified in
    butchering nobles in the name of freedom? While any ordinary person might denounce such
    abhorrent acts, the perpetrators would reason their acts were justified. How else could the mobs
    sing songs while hacking people to pieces? Although Goethe criticizes reason for its limitations,
    especially regarding linear thinking, he does not explicitly address its potential dangers. He
    utilizes Mephisto as a mouth-piece to argue for the importance of not driving “... the spirit out of
    the parts” (199). Weaving, for Goethe, represents order because it does not travel in a single
    direction like logic. The idea of single-minded reasoning implies a much more sinister problem:
    extremism. If extremists rationally develop a narrow viewpoint, they will pursue their goal - at
    all costs. Consider Hitler’s rise to power in the 20th century. A twisted individual murders
    millions in concentration camps because of a devotion to a “rational” cause: the extermination of
    Jews and other ‘undesirables.’ The problem with logical thinking is that anything is arguable,
    provided that one sets forth a certain premise. If one declares a race of people are detrimental to
    the rise of a nation, then it follows logically that removing the aforementioned individuals is
    beneficial and patriotic. By censuring and restricting free speech, a powerful dictator can
    indoctrinate the populace with absurd logic. Goethe, by emphasizing the importance of weaving
    and non-linear thinking, perhaps indirectly foretold some of the great evils in human history:
    WWII, the rise of extremism, etc. If reason possesses limitation and inherent danger, then should
    humans embrace emotion? In accordance with the Romantic idea, Goethe positions the belief in
    divinity of human spirit as reason’s superior.


    (Emphasis mine)

    I thought forever ago that "the problem with logic is that if you're smart enough, you can literally justify anything" and ended up finding the same idea expressed in this paper when looking for a quote. Cool.

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    Yet to hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don’t want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other. Larvatus prodeo: I advance pointing to my mask: I set a mask upon my passion, but with a discreet (and wily) finger I designate this mask. Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator: at the moment of his death, Captain Paz cannot keep from writing to the woman he has loved in silence: no amorous oblation without a final theater: the sign is always victorious. [...] In order to suggest, delicately, that I am suffering, in order to hide without lying, I shall make use of a cunning preterition: I shall divide the economy of my signs. The task of the verbal signs will be to silence, to mask, to deceive: I shall never account, verbally, for the excesses of my sentiment. Having said nothing of the ravages of this anxiety, I can always, once it has passed, reassure myself that no one has guessed anything. The power of language: with my language I can do everything: even and especially say nothing.
    Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments


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    The religious experience of a guy on nitrous:

    "A great Being or Power was traveling through the sky, his foot was on a kind of lightning as a wheel is on a rail, it was his pathway. The lightning was made entirely of the spirits of innumerable people close to one another, and I was one of them. He moved in a straight line, and each part of the streak or flash came into its short conscious existence only that he might travel. I seemed to be directly under the foot of God, and I thought he was grinding his own life up out of my pain. Then I saw that what he had been trying with all his might to do was to change his course, to bend the line of lightning to which he was tied, in the direction in which he wanted to go. I felt my flexibility and helplessness, and knew that he would succeed. He bended me, turning his corner by means of my hurt, hurting me more than I had ever been hurt in my life, and at the acutest point of this, as he passed, I saw. I understood for a moment things that I have now forgotten, things that no one could remember while retaining sanity. The angle was an obtuse angle, and I remember thinking as I woke that had he made it a right or acute angle, I should have both suffered and 'seen' still more, and should probably have died.

    "He went on and I came to. In that moment the whole of my life passed before me, including each little meaningless piece of distress, and I understood them. This was what it had all meant, this was the piece of work it had all been contributing to do. I did not see God's purpose, I only saw his intentness and his entire relentlessness towards his means. He thought no more of me than a man thinks of hurting a cork when he is opening wine, or hurting a cartridge when he is firing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrd View Post
    I was looking for a quote for the quotes thread and found some interesting paper.



    (Emphasis mine)

    I thought forever ago that "the problem with logic is that if you're smart enough, you can literally justify anything" and ended up finding the same idea expressed in this paper when looking for a quote. Cool.

    The system is incomplete. Godel. The system cannot prove itself within itself. Socionics is the same thing.

    I had a philosophy professor ask an interesting question, "How did Mr Godel know he was incomplete?"

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    For me, an amorous subject, everything which is new, everything which disturbs, is received not as a fact but in the aspect of a sign which must be interpreted. From the lover’s point of view, the fact becomes consequential because it is immediately transformed into a sign: it is the sign, not the fact, which is consequential (by its aura). If the other has given me this new telephone number, what was that the sign of? Was it an invitation to telephone right away, for the pleasure of the call, or only should the occasion arise, out of necessity? My answer itself will be a sign, which the other will inevitably interpret, thereby releasing, between us, a tumultuous maneuvering of images. Everything signifies: by this proposition, I entrap myself, I bind myself in calculations, I keep myself from enjoyment.
    Every object touched by the loved being’s body becomes part of that body, and the subject eagerly attaches himself to it. [...] From the loved being emanates a power nothing can stop and which will impregnate everything it comes in contact with, even if only by a glance: if Werther, unable to go see Charlotte, sends her his servant, it is this servant himself upon whom her eyes have rested who becomes for Werther a part of Charlotte (“I would have taken his head between my hands and kissed him then and there, had not human respect prevented me”).
    The loved being is recognized by the amorous subject as “atopos” (a qualification given to Socrates by his interlocutors), i.e., unclassifiable, of a ceaselessly unforeseen originality.

    Confronted with the other’s brilliant originality, I never feel myself to be atopos, but rather classified (like an all-too-familiar dossier). Sometimes, though, I manage to suspend the action of the unequal images (“If only I could be as original, as strong as the other!”)
    Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments


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    No comment needed

    According to a 2012 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology, our brains have actually been trained to see men as a whole, and women as a sum of their parts. Using photos of men and women, the scientists found something terrifying: "When presented with images of men, perceivers tended to rely more on "global" cognitive processing, the mental method in which a person is perceived as a whole. Meanwhile, images of women were more often the subject of "local" cognitive processing, [which] underlies the way we think about objects: houses, cars and so on." Both men and women, therefore, think of women has less of a whole, which makes women seem weaker and of less value than men.

    x

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    A very good example of [introverted feeling] is the Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. He once wrote... "I love you, but it's none of your business"! That is love for love's sake. Feeling is very strong, but it does not flow toward the object. It is rather like being in a state of love with oneself. Naturally this type of feeling is very much misunderstood, and such people are considered very cold. But they are not at all; the feeling is all within them.
    Marie-Louise von Franz, Lectures on Jung's Typology


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    When I lean on the shoulder of the woman I love, and can see, let's say, the peace of twilight over a mountain landscape, gold-green fields, the shadow of trees, black-nosed sheep motionless behind hedges and the sun about to disappear behind craggy peaks, and know - not from the expression on her face, but from within the world as it is - that the woman I love is seeing the same world, and that this convergence is part of the world and that love constitutes precisely, at that very moment, the paradox of an identical difference, then love exists, and promises to continue to exist. The fact is she and I are now incorporated into this unique Subject, the Subject of love that views the panorama of the world through the prism of our difference, so this world can be conceived, be born, and not simply represent what fills my own individual gaze. Love is always the possibility of being present at the birth of the world.
    The relationship between the theatre and love is also the exploration of the abyss separating individuals, and the description of the fragile nature of the bridge that love throws between two solitudes.
    Alain Badiou, In Praise of Love


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    "These are times of laughter, but unlike previous times these laughs will not slit your throat.

    As you laugh today all the wounds of your past battles are healing and finding their peace inside your everlasting soul. Like a soldier home from war, it is sometimes hard to understand that the combat is truly over. But it is time you see that you are in fact coming home and that everyone who ever saw your light and laid a hand upon you is now cheering you on, welcoming you to rest in happiness and develop freely from now on.

    No one is here to hold you back anymore, and even if that is a good thing it can be a terrifying thought for one whose wings were cut by countless hateful hands. But don’t be alarmed. There is really nothing to fear and such is the truth today. It wasn’t always so but today it is and so you must accept that, just as you once accepted to fight your way through the storms. Today you have clear blue skies and a light breeze pushing you forward on your journey.

    The sun shines bright upon your face and the moon pulls you wherever you need to be. She, the moon, has watched you in your darkest hours and seen you swivel your sword and stain your hands with the blood of those whom once tried to stop you. But she has also seen your grace and your caring ways when no one else could see. She, the moon, asks you to forgive yourself just as she has long ago.

    Him, the sun, shows you the brightness of your being and asks you not to hold it back.

    Rains have watered the earth and your feet have danced upon it with grace no matter what. You are the one you’ve always been, whom you’ve been punished and feared for, worshiped and loved for and whom you are now free to be. In this life you are truly unlimited.

    In this life you are free."

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    Without those forerunners, Jane Austen and the Brontës and George Eliot could no more have written than Shakespeare could have written without Marlowe, or Marlowe without Chaucer, or Chaucer without those forgotten poets who paved the ways and tamed the natural savagery of the tongue. For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.
    — Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own


  34. #194
    Tearsofaclown's Avatar
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    Both the bodies were naked, and both were free from any sexual characteristics, either primary or secondary. That, one would have expected. But whence came this curious difference between them? He found that he could point to no single feature wherein the difference resided, yet it was impossible to ignore. One could try—Ransom has tried a hundred times to put it into words. He has said that Malacandra was like rhythm and Perelandra like melody. He has said that Malacandra affected him like a quantitative, Perelandra like an accentual, metre. He thinks that the first held in his hand something like a spear, but the hands of the other were open, with the palms towards him. But I don’t know that any of these attempts has helped me much.

    At all events what Ransom saw at that moment was the real meaning of gender. Everyone must sometimes have wondered why in nearly all tongues certain inanimate objects are masculine and others feminine. What is masculine about a mountain or feminine about certain trees? Ransom has cured me of believing that this is a purely morphological phenomenon, depending on the form of the word. Still less is gender an imaginative extension of sex. Our ancestors did not make mountains masculine because they projected male characteristics into them. The real process is the reverse. Gender is a reality, and a more fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adaptation to organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created beings. Female sex is simply one of the things that have feminine gender; there are many others, and Masculine and Feminine meet us on planes of reality where male and female would be simply meaningless. Masculine is not attenuated male, nor feminine attenuated female. On the contrary, the male and female of organic creatures are rather faint and blurred reflections of masculine and feminine. Their reproductive functions, their differences in strength and size, partly exhibit, but partly also confuse and misrepresent, the real polarity.

    -CS Lewis, Perelandra

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    Sartre: Anti-Semite And Jew (1946).


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    People who are blind from birth will gesture when they speak. I always like pointing out this fact when I teach classes on gesture, because it gives us an an interesting perspective on how we learn and use gestures. Until now I’ve mostly cited a 1998 paper from Jana Iverson and Susan Goldin-Meadow that analysed the gestures and speech of young blind people. Not only do blind people gesture, but the frequency and types of gestures they use does not appear to differ greatly from how sighted people gesture. If people learn gesture without ever seeing a gesture (and, most likely, never being shown), then there must be something about learning a language that means you get gestures as a bonus.
    Blind people will even gesture when talking to other blind people, and sighted people will gesture when speaking on the phone - so we know that people don’t only gesture when they speak to someone who can see their gestures.

    Earlier this year a new paper came out that adds to this story. Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow looked at the gestures of blind speakers of Turkish and English, to see if the *way* they gestured was different to sighted speakers of those languages. Some of the sighted speakers were blindfolded and others left able to see their conversation partner.

    Turkish and English were chosen, because it has already been established that speakers of those languages consistently gesture differently when talking about videos of items moving. English speakers will be more likely to show the manner (e.g. ‘rolling’ or bouncing’) and trajectory (e.g. ‘left to right’, ‘downwards’) together in one gesture, and Turkish speakers will show these features as two separate gestures. This reflects the fact that English ‘roll down’ is one verbal clause, while in Turkish the equivalent would beyuvarlanarakiniyor, which translates as two verbs ‘rolling descending’.

    Since we know that blind people do gesture, Özçalışkan’s team wanted to figure out if they gestured like other speakers of their language. Did the blind Turkish speakers separate the manner and trajectory of their gestures like their verbs? Did English speakers combine them? Of course, the standard methodology of showing videos wouldn’t work with blind participants, so the researchers built three dimensional models of events for people to feel before they discussed them.

    The results showed that blind Turkish speakers gesture like their sighted counterparts, and the same for English speakers. All Turkish speakers gestured significantly differently from all English speakers, regardless of sightedness. This means that these particular gestural patterns are something that’s deeply linked to the grammatical properties of a language, and not something that we learn from looking at other speakers.

    References

    Jana M. Iverson & Susan Goldin-Meadow. 1998. Why people gesture when they speak. Nature, 396(6708), 228-228.
    Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow. 2016. Is Seeing Gesture Necessary to Gesture Like a Native Speaker? Psychological Science 27(5) 737–747.
    Asli Ozyurek & Sotaro Kita. 1999. Expressing manner and path in English and Turkish: Differences in speech, gesture, and conceptualization. In Twenty-first Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 507-512). Erlbaum.

  37. #197
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    EII-Ne
    5w4 or 1w9 Sp/So

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    EII-Ne
    5w4 or 1w9 Sp/So

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    It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.

    -Nin
    'Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.'

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    "To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures."

    -Nietzsche
    'Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.'

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