Weekend Reads – Dec 17, 2016

Joan Didion on Self-Respect

For the past half-century, Joan Didion (b. December 5, 1934) has been dissecting the complexities of cultural chaos with equal parts elegant anxiety, keen criticism, and moral imagination.

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

…I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.

One way to think about talent

Being jealous of talents that are actually skills is a great way to let yourself off the hook and make yourself miserable at the same time.

Weekend Reads – Dec 10, 2016

Attentional Bias: Why You Talk Yourself Into Buying the Thing You’re Obsessing Over in Your Head… and How to Stop It

Attentional bias is the tendency of our perception to be affected by our recurring thoughts. For example, people who frequently think about the clothes they wear pay more attention to the clothes of others.

Opinion: Big-Data Algorithms Are Manipulating Us All

The age of Big Data has generated new tools and ideas on an enormous scale, with applications spreading from marketing to Wall Street, human resources, college admissions, and insurance. At the same time, Big Data has opened opportunities for a whole new class of professional gamers and manipulators, who take advantage of people using the power of statistics.

What Should I Do With My Life?

For most of my life, I’ve just drifted. I would work passionately at one thing for a while, then I’d burn out on that thing and move on to something else. I felt like I had a good grip on what I needed to do today, but in terms of thinking about the big picture of my life, I just didn’t have any idea.

The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Long before scientists began shedding light on how our minds and bodies actually affect one another, an intuitive understanding of this dialogue between the body and the emotions, or feelings, emerged and permeated our very language: We use “feeling sick” as a grab-bag term for both the sensory symptoms — fever, fatigue, nausea — and the psychological malaise, woven of emotions like sadness and apathy.