Concentrate On Studies Quotes

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Women: I liked the colors of their clothing; the way they walked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding - whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Take some very deep breaths," Miranda said. "Relax. Concentrate. Then envision a frosty six-pack and wiggle your pinky." A frosty six-pack. Kylie inhaled. He held out her pinky, and right then Della chimed in. "We are talking a six=pack of soda, not a cold guy with good-looking abs, right?" There was a strange kind of sizzle in the air. And suddenly appearing in front of the refrigerator was a shirtless, shivering guy with great abs. His blue eyes studied the three of them in complete bafflement. "What the...!" he muttered. Kylie gasped. Miranda giggled. Della snorted with laughter.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
Some can be more intelligent than others in a structured environment—in fact school has a selection bias as it favors those quicker in such an environment, and like anything competitive, at the expense of performance outside it. Although I was not yet familiar with gyms, my idea of knowledge was as follows. People who build their strength using these modern expensive gym machines can lift extremely large weights, show great numbers and develop impressive-looking muscles, but fail to lift a stone; they get completely hammered in a street fight by someone trained in more disorderly settings. Their strength is extremely domain-specific and their domain doesn't exist outside of ludic—extremely organized—constructs. In fact their strength, as with over-specialized athletes, is the result of a deformity. I thought it was the same with people who were selected for trying to get high grades in a small number of subjects rather than follow their curiosity: try taking them slightly away from what they studied and watch their decomposition, loss of confidence, and denial. (Just like corporate executives are selected for their ability to put up with the boredom of meetings, many of these people were selected for their ability to concentrate on boring material.) I've debated many economists who claim to specialize in risk and probability: when one takes them slightly outside their narrow focus, but within the discipline of probability, they fall apart, with the disconsolate face of a gym rat in front of a gangster hit man.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
For millions of people, “wealth” amounts to little more than a few weeks’ wages in a checking account or low-interest savings account, a car, and a few pieces of furniture. The inescapable reality is this: wealth is so concentrated that a large segment of society is virtually unaware of its existence, so that some people imagine that it belongs to surreal or mysterious entities. That is why it is so essential to study capital and its distribution in a methodical, systematic way.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
Tara. I'm a vampire," Pearl said. "Yeah, whatever, and I'm queen of the sea." "Your Marine Majesty, I'm a vampire," Pearl said. Concentrating, she slid her fangs out. "Tara. Tara!" She curled back her lips to expose the points. "See" Tara screamed. "I won't hurt you," Pearl said. Calm down. Sheesh." Tara continued to scream. Pearl considered biting her merely to shut her up. Regrettably that would be counter productive. Studying her nails, she waited for Tara to quit screaming. She noticed that Tara didn't try to exit the car, which was an interesting choice. "You aren't running away," Pearl said. "Duh, it's raining outside," Tara said.
Sarah Beth Durst (Drink, Slay, Love)
After a moment or two, a strange awareness shot through me, and I looked up to see Aidan Gray slip into the seat directly across the room, facing me. Great. There went my concentration, especially since he sat there watching me, studying me like some interesting bug under a microscope.
Kristi Cook (Haven (Winterhaven, #1))
Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies.... The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves - thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine.
Tony Judt (The Memory Chalet)
In plain words, you’ve got to make up your mind to study whatever you undertake, and concentrate your mind on it, and really work at it. This isn’t wisdom. Any damned fool in the world knows it’s true, whether it’s a question of raising horses or writing plays. You simply have to face the prospect of starting at the bottom and spending years learning how to do it.
Eugene O'Neill
I'll spare you the rest of our conversations. I'm very calm and take no notice of all the fuss. I've reached the point where I hardly ccare whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can't do anything to change events anyway. I'll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
We study better in hostile surroundings than in hospitable ones, a student is always well advised to choose a hostile place of study rather than a hospitable one, for the hospitable place will rob him of the better part of his concentration for his studies, the hostile place on the other hand will allow him total concentration, since he must concentrate on his studies to avoid despairing,
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
Study, concentration, requires an alliance with the mind, and in my teen years I was waging all-out war with mine.
Prince Harry (Spare)
Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense. To make our effort, moment after moment, is our way. In an exact sense, the only thing we actually can study in our life is that on which we are working in each moment. We cannot even study Buddha’s words.” - “So we should be concentrated with our full mind and body on what we do; and we should be faithful, subjectively and objectively, to ourselves, and especially to our feelings. Even when you do not feel so well, it is better to express how you feel without any particular attachment or intention. So you may say, “Oh, I am sorry, I do not feel well.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
Not all activities are equal in this regard. Those that involve genuine concentration—studying a musical instrument, playing board games, reading, and dancing—are associated with a lower risk for dementia. Dancing, which requires learning new moves, is both physically and mentally challenging and requires much concentration. Less intense activities, such as bowling, babysitting, and golfing, are not associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s. (254)
Norman Doidge
Don’t dash off a six-thousand-word story before breakfast. Don’t write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it. Set yourself a “stint,” [London wrote 1,000 words nearly every day of his adult life] and see that you do that “stint” each day; you will have more words to your credit at the end of the year. Study the tricks of the writers who have arrived. They have mastered the tools with which you are cutting your fingers. They are doing things, and their work bears the internal evidence of how it is done. Don’t wait for some good Samaritan to tell you, but dig it out for yourself. See that your pores are open and your digestion is good. That is, I am confident, the most important rule of all. Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. And work. Spell it in capital letters. WORK. WORK all the time. Find out about this earth, this universe; this force and matter, and the spirit that glimmers up through force and matter from the maggot to Godhead. And by all this I mean WORK for a philosophy of life. It does not hurt how wrong your philosophy of life may be, so long as you have one and have it well. The three great things are: GOOD HEALTH; WORK; and a PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE. I may add, nay, must add, a fourth—SINCERITY. Without this, the other three are without avail; with it you may cleave to greatness and sit among the giants." [Getting Into Print (The Editor magazine, March 1903)]
Jack London
America…is being lost through television. Because in advertising, mendacity and manipulation are raised to the level of internal values for the advertisers. Interruption is seen as a necessary concomitant to marketing. It used to be that a seven- or eight-year old could read consecutively for an hour or two. But they don’t do that much anymore. The habit has been lost. Every seven to ten minutes, a child is interrupted by a commercial on TV> Kids get used to the idea that their interest is there to be broken into. In consequence, they are no longer able to study as well. Their powers of concentration have been reduced by systematic interruption.
Norman Mailer
The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition)
Remarkably, studies have examined brains of transgender individuals, concentrating on brain regions that, on the average, differ in size between men and women. And consistently, regardless of the desired direction of the sex change and, in fact, regardless of whether the person had undergone a sex change yet, the dimorphic brain regions in transgender individuals resembled the sex of the person they had always felt themselves to be, not their “actual” sex. In other words, it’s not the case that transgender individuals think they’re a different gender than they actually are. It’s more like they got stuck with the bodies of a different sex from who they actually are.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
It may well be that the chemist or physiologist is right when he decides that he will become a better chemist or physiologist if he concentrates on his subject at the expense of his general education. But in the study of society exclusive concentration on a speciality has a peculiarly baneful effect: it will not merely prevent us from being attractive company or good citizens but may impair our competence in our proper field—or at least for some of the most important tasks we have to perform. The physicist who is only a physicist can still be a first class physicist and a most valuable member of society. But nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist—and I am even tempted to add that the economist who is only an economist is likely to become a nuisance if not a positive danger.
Friedrich A. Hayek (Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Women: i liked the color of their clothing; the ay they alked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. The had it over us: they planned much better and ere better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding whether to accepts us, discard us, exhancge us, kill us or wheter simply to leave us. In the end it hardy mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
His face was a study in concentration and empathy, as if every word I said was of supreme importance. It was that expression, that intensity, that had worn me down, and won me over, history lesson after history lesson, day after day, and he didn't even know I was his.
Amy Harmon (A Different Blue)
I turn, concentrating on Jeb. “No matter what you think happened between the two of us, I love you. We share battle scars and hearts. I don’t want to lose that.” He studies my necklaces and the soldered clump of metal at my neck. “Yeah, I see how well you took care of my heart.”
A.G. Howard (Unhinged (Splintered, #2))
The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is Christ. Each has awaited new partners who will pick them up in a kind of second and adulterous union. Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ. Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supra-individual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentration camps, firing squads, and brain-washings. The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colourless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces, sustained sometimes by academic etymologists who cannot see the Word for the letters, or distorted beyond personal recognition by a dogmatic principle that anything which is Divine must necessarily be a myth. Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears.
Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
Women: I liked the colors of their clothing; the way they walked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding—whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I’d used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime. Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. Knuth
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
According to a much-referenced study, we humans are worse at concentrating than a goldfish. Humans today lose their concentration after eight seconds, while the goldfish averaged nine.
Erling Kagge (Silence in the Age of Noise)
«She sat at the bow of a pleasure craft a stone's throw away, under the shade of a white parasol, a diligent tourist out to reap all the beauty and charm Copenhagen had to offer. She studied him with a distressed concentration, as if she couldn't quite remember who he was. As if she didn't want to. He looked different. His hair reached down to his nape, and he'd sported a full beard for the past two years. Their eyes met. She bolted upright from the chair. The parasol fell from her hand, clanking against the deck. She stared at him, her face pale, her gaze haunted. He'd never seen her like this, not even on the day he left her. She was stunned, her composure flayed, her vulnerability visible for miles. As her boat glided past him, she picked up her skirts and ran along the port rail, her eyes never leaving his. She stumbled over a line in her path and fell hard. His heart clenched in alarm, but she barely noticed, scrambling to her feet. She kept running until she was at the stern and could not move another inch closer to him (…) Gigi didn't move from her rigid pose at the rail, but she suddenly looked worn down, as if she'd been standing there, in that same spot, for all the eighteen hundred and some days since she'd last seen him. She still loved him. The thought echoed wildly in his head, making him hot and dizzy. She still loved him.»
Sherry Thomas (Private Arrangements)
This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in a brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript.
William Strunk Jr. (The Elements Of Style)
Valek's thoughts returned to Yelena. An icy finger of loneliness touched the emptiness inside him. She was in Sitia, where she needed to be to learn aboout her magical powers, but she had taken his heart with her. Cursing himself for being melodramatic, he concentrated on the grim task at hand.
Maria V. Snyder (Assassin Study (Study, #1.5))
I would normally have scheduled my driving time according to published studies on fatigue and booked accommodation accordingly. But I had been too busy to plan. Nevertheless, I stopped for rest breaks every two hours and found myself able to maintain concentration. At 11.43 p.m., I detected tiredness, but rather than sleep I stopped at a service station, refuelled, and ordered four double espressos. I opened the sunroof and turned up the CD player volume to combat fatigue, and at 7.19 a.m. on Saturday, with the caffeine still running all around my brain, Jackson Browne and I pulled into Moree.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
The technique is called distributed learning or, more commonly, the spacing effect. People learn at least as much, and retain it much longer, when they distribute—or “space”—their study time than when they concentrate it.
Benedict Carey (How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens)
I knew they weren’t brown. I didn’t know you were studying Light Manipulation. I’m impressed. But it takes concentration.” He leans forward slowly until his mouth is inches from my ear. My eyes flutter and I know he heard the gasp of air I took no matter how quiet it was. “You got distracted,” he whispers, then grabs his backpack from behind me and leaves.
Kasie West (Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1))
Students of media are persistently attacked as evaders, idly concentrating on means or processes rather than on 'substance'. The dramatic and rapid changes of 'substance' elude these accusers. Survival is not possible if one approaches his environment, the social drama, with a fixed, unchangeable point of view - the witless repetitive response to the unperceived.
Marshall McLuhan
Back in the nineteen-thirties, Duke university did a study with a machine that could throw dice. First they had it throw dice when nobody was in the building, and the numbers came up strictly according to the law of averages. Then they put a man in the next room and had him concentrate on various numbers to see if that would beat the odds. It did. Then they put him in the same room, still concentrating, and the machine beat the odds again, by an even wider margin. When the man rolled the dice himself, using a cup, he did better still. When he finally rolled the dice with his bare hand, he did best of all.
John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil)
The secret of success is concentrating interest in life, interest in sports and good times, interest in your studies, interest in your fellow students, interest in the small things of nature, insects, birds, flowers, leaves, etc. In other words to be fully awake to everything about you & the more you learn the more you can appreciate & get a full measure of joy & happiness out of life.
LeRoy Pollock
Blindness to larger contexts is a constitutional defect of human thinking imposed by the painful necessity of being able to concentrate on only one thing at a time. We forget as we virtuously concentrate on that one thing that hundreds of other things are going on at the same time and on every side of us, things that are just as important as the object of our study and that are all interconnected in ways that we cannot even guess. Sad to say, our picture of the world to the degree to which it has that neatness, precision, and finality so coveted by scholarship is a false one. I once studied with a famous professor who declared that he deliberately avoided the study of any literature east of Greece lest the new vision destroy the architectonic perfection of his own celebrated construction of the Greek mind. His picture of that mind was immensely impressive but, I strongly suspect, completely misleading.
Hugh Nibley (Of all things!: A Nibley quote book)
One reason she had been as successful an assassin had always been her attention to detail, but the weeks of using the cream to maintain her disguise as the hapless dock technician, were taking their toll. Details slipped her mind occasionally, and concentrating was sometimes hard. She’d used the time she had available to study her target, learn his mannerisms and speech pattern, food and clothing preferences. Most of this possible with the right programs and access to the dock AI system. Those hours ‘at work’ in the Fabrication Unit had been well spent, and supplemented by frequenting places where she could observe him. The lack of her usual team of ‘daemons’ had created a number of difficulties, and though she wondered how Security had managed to take them down so quickly, she didn’t waste time worrying over it. Now she knew who he associated with, and his sexuality—all of it vital if she was to escape detection in such a high profile role.
Patrick G. Cox (First into the Fray (Harry Heron #1.5))
To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I had to do my education over again, and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will.
Swami Vivekananda (Meditation And Its Methods: Swami Vivekananda Guides on the Practice of Meditation by Swami Vivekananda)
Why study things of no use? To learn you don't need it and concentrate your efforts on what is important to you.
J.R. Rim
Plants Add plants. Studies have shown that plants help us improve concentration, memory, and productivity. They also have a calming effect on the soul.
Pia Edberg (The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge)
Father, children should be given to themselves; the moment has arrived to study as women and not as men; behind every discipline is the penis and when the penis feels impotent it resorts to the iron bar, the police, the prisons, the army, the concentration camps; and if you don’t submit, if, rather, you continue to turn everything upside down, then comes slaughter.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3))
The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced six-cent-mihaly) has done more than anyone else to study this state of effortless attending, and the name he proposed for it, flow, has become part of the language. People who experience flow describe it as “a state of effortless concentration so deep that they lose their sense of time, of themselves, of their problems,
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Poor black neighborhoods, in which poverty and its demographic correlates are highly concentrated, also lack the web of social networks that can supervise children after school, watch the street, and quickly seek help if it’s needed. Several statistical studies have found close links between violent crime and economic and racial inequality. Usually examining cities or states, these studies
Bruce Western (Punishment and Inequality in America)
I can see her weighing her response, concentrating like a cliff diver studying the ebb and flow of the tide. "Um, well... could you at least give me an idea?" "Two weeks give or take a week or two.
Greg Logsted
Current studies of networks (Newman, Barabasi, and Watts 2006) using notions of community and synchrony within subgroups help to make the niche concept more precise. However, it is noteworthy that few network studies concentrate on the formation of boundaries within a network. And there is even less study of mechanisms for the formation of hierarchies—mechanisms that would explain the pervasiveness of hierarchies in natural systems.
John H. Holland (Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems)
studies have shown that even healthy, non-diabetic pregnant women will have marked elevation in ketones after a 12-18 hour fast, which is akin to eating dinner at 8pm and having breakfast at 8am (or skipping breakfast entirely).[129]  Compared to non-pregnant women, blood ketone concentrations are about 3-fold higher in healthy pregnant women after an overnight fast.[130] Knowing this, I would expect that every pregnant woman experiences ketosis at some point during her pregnancy.
Lily Nichols (Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach)
Over the past fifteen years, the iconoclastic mathematician Irakli Loladze has isolated a dramatic effect of carbon dioxide on human nutrition unanticipated by plant physiologists: it can make plants bigger, but those bigger plants are less nutritious. “Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising,” Loladze told Politico, in a story about his work headlined “The Great Nutrient Collapse.” “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history—[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.” Since 1950, much of the good stuff in the plants we grow—protein, calcium, iron, vitamin C, to name just four—has declined by as much as one-third, a landmark 2004 study showed. Everything is becoming more like junk food. Even the protein content of bee pollen has dropped by a third. The problem has gotten worse as carbon concentrations have gotten worse. Recently, researchers estimated that by 2050 as many as 150 million people in the developing world will be at risk of protein deficiency as the result of nutrient collapse, since so many of the world’s poor depend on crops, rather than animal meat, for protein; 138 million could suffer from a deficiency of zinc, essential to healthy pregnancies; and 1.4 billion could face a dramatic decline in dietary iron—pointing to a possible epidemic of anemia. In 2018, a team led by Chunwu Zhu looked at the protein content of eighteen different strains of rice, the staple crop for more than 2 billion people, and found that more carbon dioxide in the air produced nutritional declines across the board—drops in protein content, as well as in iron, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9. Really everything but vitamin E. Overall, the researchers found that, acting just through that single crop, rice, carbon emissions could imperil the health of 600 million people. In previous centuries, empires were built on that crop. Climate change promises another, an empire of hunger, erected among the world’s poor.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Or maybe she'd just change her concentration from Creative Writing to Renaissance Lit; that would be useful in the real world, a head full of sonnets and Christ imagery. If you study something that nobody cares about, does that mean everyone will leave you alone?
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
If we take the antiquity of Man to be something like 300,000 years, then the antiquity of civilizations, so far from being coeval with human history, will be found to cover less than 2 percent of its present span: less than 6,000 years out of 300,000 . On this time-scale , the lives of our twenty-one civilizations-distributed over not more than three generations of societies and concentrated within less than one-fiftieth part of the lifetime of Mankind- must be regarded, on a philosophic view, as contemporary with one another.
Arnold J. Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
A very different study, in which robots interacted with stroke patients during physical rehabilitation exercises, yielded strikingly similar results. Introverted patients responded better and interacted longer with robots that were designed to speak in a soothing, gentle manner: “I know it is hard, but remember that it’s for your own good,” and, “Very nice, keep up the good work.” Extroverts, on the other hand, worked harder for robots that used more bracing, aggressive language: “You can do more than that, I know it!” and “Concentrate on your exercise!
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
This time of year, the purple blooms were busy with life- not just the bees, but butterflies and ladybugs, skippers and emerald-toned beetles, flitting hummingbirds and sapphire dragonflies. The sun-warmed sweet haze of the blossoms filled the air. "When I was a kid," said Isabel, "I used to capture butterflies, but I was afraid of the bees. I'm getting over that, though." The bees softly rose and hovered over the flowers, their steady hum oddly soothing. The quiet buzzing was the soundtrack of her girlhood summers. Even now, she could close her eyes and remember her walks with Bubbie, and how they would net a monarch or swallowtail butterfly, studying the creature in a big clear jar before setting it free again. They always set them free. As she watched the activity in the hedge, a memory floated up from the past- Bubbie, gently explaining to Isabel why they needed to open the jar. "No creature should ever be trapped against its will," she used to say. "It will ruin itself, just trying to escape." As a survivor of a concentration camp, Bubbie only ever spoke of the experience in the most oblique of terms.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
Implicit in the notion of such education as it is practiced in the United States is the concept of breadth. You concentrate in one field, but you get exposure to a range of others. You don’t just learn to think; you learn that there are different ways to think. You study human behavior in psychology, and then you study it in literature. You see what philosophy means by reality, and then you see what math or physics does. Your mind becomes more agile and resourceful, as well as more skeptical and rigorous. And most important of all, you learn to educate yourself.
William Deresiewicz (Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life)
In a commentary on, Fortune senior writer Anne Fisher reported that scientists have begun to realize “that people may do their best thinking when they are not concentrating on work at all.” She cites studies published in the journal Science by Dutch psychologists who concluded, “The unconscious mind is a terrific solver of complex problems when the conscious mind is busy elsewhere or, perhaps better yet, not overtaxed at all.” That’s why I subscribe to the philosophy of the late Satchel Paige, who said, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.
Phil Jackson (Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success)
Upper-body mass is approximately 75%3 greater in men because women’s lean body mass tends to be less concentrated in their upper body,4 and, as a result, men’s upper body strength is on average between 40-60%5 higher than women’s (compared to lower-body strength which is on average only 25% higher in men6). Women also have on average a 41% lower grip strength than men,7 and this is not a sex difference that changes with age: the typical seventy-year-old man has a stronger handgrip than the average twenty-five-year-old woman.8 It’s also not a sex difference that can be significantly trained away: a study which compared ‘highly trained female athletes’ to men who were ‘untrained or not specifically trained’ found that their grip strength ‘rarely’ surpassed the fiftieth percentile of male subjects.9 Overall, 90% of the women (this time including untrained women) in the study had a weaker grip than 95% of their male counterparts.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
In Boston right around the same time, another criminologist did a similar study: Half the crime in the city came from 3.6 percent of the city’s blocks. That made two examples. Weisburd decided to look wherever he could: New York. Seattle. Cincinnati. Sherman looked in Kansas City, Dallas. Anytime someone asked, the two of them would run the numbers. And every place they looked, they saw the same thing: Crime in every city was concentrated in a tiny number of street segments. Weisburd decided to try a foreign city, somewhere entirely different—culturally, geographically, economically. His family was Israeli, so he thought Tel Aviv. Same thing. “I said, ‘Oh my God. Look at that! Why should it be that five percent of the streets in Tel Aviv produce fifty percent of the crime? There’s this thing going on, in places that are so different.’” Weisburd refers to this as the Law of Crime Concentration.6 Like suicide, crime is tied to very specific places and contexts. Weisburd’s experiences in the 72nd Precinct and in Minneapolis are not idiosyncratic. They capture something close to a fundamental truth about human behavior. And that means that when you confront the stranger, you have to ask yourself where and when you’re confronting the stranger—because those two things powerfully influence your interpretation of who the stranger is.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
Angrily, I concentrated on her flaws, willfully studying the photographs that caught her at awkward ages and less flattering angles - long nose, thin cheeks, her eyes (despite their heartbreaking color) naked-looking with their pale lashes - Huck-Finn plain. Yet all these aspects were - to me - so tender and particular they moved to despair.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
During World War II, the University of Minnesota’s Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene conducted what scientists and relief workers still regard today as a benchmark study of starvation. Partly funded by religious groups, including the Society of Friends, the study was intended to help the Allies cope with released concentration-camp internees, prisoners of war, and refugees. The participants were all conscientious objectors who volunteered to lose 25 percent of their body weight over six months. The experiment was supervised by Dr. Ancel Keys (for whom the K-ration was named). The volunteers lived a spare but comfortable existence at a stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (National Book Award Winner))
It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing. Not only should we study each day, but there should be a regular time set aside when we can concentrate without interference" ("Reading the Scriptures," Ensign, November 1979, p. 64).
Howard W. Hunter
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
In 1944-1945, Dr Ancel Keys, a specialist in nutrition and the inventor of the K-ration, led a carefully controlled yearlong study of starvation at the University of Minnesota Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene. It was hoped that the results would help relief workers in rehabilitating war refugees and concentration camp victims. The study participants were thirty-two conscientious objectors eager to contribute humanely to the war effort. By the experiment's end, much of their enthusiasm had vanished. Over a six-month semi-starvation period, they were required to lose an average of twenty-five percent of their body weight." [...] p193 p193-194 "...the men exhibited physical symptoms...their movements slowed, they felt weak and cold, their skin was dry, their hair fell out, they had edema. And the psychological changes were dramatic. "[...] p194 "The men became apathetic and depressed, and frustrated with their inability to concentrate or perform tasks in their usual manner. Six of the thirty-two were eventually diagnosed with severe "character neurosis," two of them bordering on psychosis. Socially, they ceased to care much about others; they grew intensely selfish and self-absorbed. Personal grooming and hygiene deteriorated, and the men were moody and irritable with one another. The lively and cooperative group spirit that had developed in the three-month control phase of the experiment evaporated. Most participants lost interest in group activities or decisions, saying it was too much trouble to deal with the others; some men became scapegoats or targets of aggression for the rest of the group. Food - one's own food - became the only thing that mattered. When the men did talk to one another, it was almost always about eating, hunger, weight loss, foods they dreamt of eating. They grew more obsessed with the subject of food, collecting recipes, studying cookbooks, drawing up menus. As time went on, they stretched their meals out longer and longer, sometimes taking two hours to eat small dinners. Keys's research has often been cited often in recent years for this reason: The behavioral changes in the men mirror the actions of present-day dieters, especially of anorexics.
Michelle Stacey (The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery)
Critical pessimists, such as media critics Mark Crispin Miller, Noam Chomsky, and Robert McChesney, focus primarily on the obstacles to achieving a more democratic society. In the process, they often exaggerate the power of big media in order to frighten readers into taking action. I don't disagree with their concern about media concentration, but the way they frame the debate is self-defeating insofar as it disempowers consumers even as it seeks to mobilize them. Far too much media reform rhetoric rests on melodramatic discourse about victimization and vulnerability, seduction and manipulation, "propaganda machines" and "weapons of mass deception". Again and again, this version of the media reform movement has ignored the complexity of the public's relationship to popular culture and sided with those opposed to a more diverse and participatory culture. The politics of critical utopianism is founded on a notion of empowerment; the politics of critical pessimism on a politics of victimization. One focuses on what we are doing with media, and the other on what media is doing to us. As with previous revolutions, the media reform movement is gaining momentum at a time when people are starting to feel more empowered, not when they are at their weakest.
Henry Jenkins (Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide)
To deny the reported six million (approximately) Jews who died, or the 11 million people in total, is to ignore all the eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors, the non-Jewish witnesses of the millions who died the open-air massacres around Europe, the concentration camp guards, Nazi officers who admitted to gassings and other related crimes immediately after WW2, and the universal agreement of all mainstream historians who have studied this historical event inside out – not to mention every single scientist who has ever analyzed forensic evidence retrieved from the Nazi genocide. Not even the most corrupt courtroom on Earth could ignore this much evidence – for collectively these confirmations of the Holocaust equate to irrefutable proof that the reported death toll is indeed correct. It is possibly the most well-documented crime of the 20th Century, but remember for religious extremists, Nazi apologists or other anti-Semites it would never matter how much evidence you put in front of them. They would always deny the Holocaust because to admit the event occurred would be to stop believing the Jews are inferior to them. It would also require such bigots to admit the very uncomfortable truth to themselves: that their ‘own kind’ did these despicable things to the Jewish people.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis. Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyse. A chess-player, for example, does the one without effort at the other. It follows that the game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly misunderstood. I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by a the elaborate frivolity of chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed resulting in injury or defeat. The possible moves being not only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied; and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers. In draughts, on the contrary, where the moves are unique and have but little variation, the probabilities of inadvertence are diminished, and the mere attention being left comparatively unemployed, what advantages are obtained by either party are obtained by superior acumen. To be less abstract, let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected. It is obvious that here the victory can be decided (the players being at all equal) only by some recherché movement, the result of some strong exertion of the intellect. Deprived of ordinary resources, the analyst throws himself into the spirit of his opponent, identifies himself therewith, and not unfrequently sees thus, at a glance, the sole methods (sometime indeed absurdly simple ones) by which he may seduce into error or hurry into miscalculation.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales (C. Auguste Dupin, #1-3))
Since the late 1990s, scholars in disciplines as diverse as literary studies, anthropology, sociology, museum studies, and marketing have raised collective eyebrows at hoarding’s pathologization. Together they concentrate on the diagnostic politics of material deviance, the social constructions of an aberrant relationship with your things. One finds extreme accumulation to be “a psychiatric concern with deviance in terms of material culture.
Scott Herring (The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture)
You are the salt of the earth.” Some modern teachers seem to think our Lord said, You are the sugar of the earth, meaning that gentleness and winsomeness without curativeness is the ideal of the Christian. Our Lord’s illustration of a Christian is salt, and salt is the most concentrated thing known. Salt preserves wholesomeness and prevents decay. It is a disadvantage to be salt. Think of the action of salt on a wound, and you will realize this. If you get salt into a wound, it hurts, and when God’s children are amongst those who are “raw” towards God, their presence hurts. The person who is wrong with God is like an open wound, and when salt gets in it causes annoyance and distress and the person is spiteful and bitter. The disciples of Jesus in the present dispensation preserve society from corruption; the salt causes excessive irritation, which spells persecution for the saint.
Oswald Chambers (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount: God's Character and the Believer's Conduct)
The conceptual problem at the center of contemporary healthcare is the confusion between disease processes and disease origins. Instead of asking why an illness occurs and trying to remove the conditions that led to it, medical researchers try to understand the mechanisms through which the disease operates, so that they can then interfere with them. These mechanisms, rather than the true origins, are seen as the causes of disease in current medical thinking. In the process of reducing illness to disease, the attention of physicians has moved away from the patient as a whole person. By concentrating on smaller and smaller fragments of the body – shifting its perspective from the study of bodily organs and their functions to that of cells and, finally, to the study of molecules – modern medicine often loses sight of the human being, and having reduced health to mechanical functioning, it is no longer able to deal with the phenomenon of healing. Over the past four decades, the dissatisfaction with the mechanistic approach to health and healthcare has grown rapidly both among healthcare professionals and the general public. At the same time, the emerging systems view of life has given rise to a corresponding systems view of health, as we discuss in Chapter 15, while health consciousness among the general population has increased dramatically in many countries. The
Fritjof Capra (The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision)
You’ve probably also noted the impacts of virtual distraction on your own and others’ behaviors: memory loss, inability to concentrate, being asked to repeat what you just said, miscommunication the norm, getting lost online and wasting time you don’t have, withdrawing from the real world. The list of what’s being lost is a description of our best human capacities—memory, meaning, relating, thinking, learning, caring. There is no denying the damage that’s been done to humans as technology took over—our own Progress Trap. The impact on children’s behavior is of greatest concern for its present and future implications. Dr. Nicolas Kardaras, a highly skilled physician in rehabilitation, is author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance. He describes our children’s behavior in ways that I notice in my younger grandchildren: “We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.”17 These very disturbing behaviors are not just emotional childish reactions. Our children are behaving as addicts deprived of their drug. Brain imaging studies show that technology stimulates brains just like cocaine does.
Margaret J. Wheatley (Who Do We Choose to Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity)
Interruptions are especially destructive to people who need to concentrate – knowledge workers like hardware engineers, graphic designers, lawyers, writers, architects, accountants, and so on. Research by Gloria Mark and her colleagues shows that it takes people an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from an interruption and return to the task they had been working on – which happens because interruptions destroy their train of thought and divert attention to other tasks. A related study shows that although employees who experience interruptions compensate by working faster when they return to what they were doing, this speed comes at a cost, including feeling frustrated, stressed, and harried. Some interruptions are unavoidable and are part of the work – but as a boss, the more trivial and unnecessary intrusions you can absorb, the more work your people will do and the less their mental health will suffer.
Robert I. Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst)
What did we talk about? I don't remember. We talked so hard and sat so still that I got cramps in my knee. We had too many cups of tea and then didn't want to leave the table to go to the bathroom because we didn't want to stop talking. You will think we talked of revolution but we didn't. Nor did we talk of our own souls. Nor of sewing. Nor of babies. Nor of departmental intrigue. It was political if by politics you mean the laboratory talk that characters in bad movies are perpetually trying to convey (unsuccessfully) when they Wrinkle Their Wee Brows and say (valiantly--dutifully--after all, they didn't write it) "But, Doctor, doesn't that violate Finagle's Constant?" I staggered to the bathroom, released floods of tea, and returned to the kitchen to talk. It was professional talk. It left my grey-faced and with such concentration that I began to develop a headache. We talked about Mary Ann Evans' loss of faith, about Emily Brontë's isolation, about Charlotte Brontë's blinding cloud, about the split in Virginia Woolf's head and the split in her economic condition. We talked about Lady Murasaki, who wrote in a form that no respectable man would touch, Hroswit, a little name whose plays "may perhaps amuse myself," Miss Austen, who had no more expression in society than a firescreen or a poker. They did not all write letters, write memoirs, or go on the stage. Sappho--only an ambiguous, somewhat disagreeable name. Corinna? The teacher of Pindar. Olive Schriener, growing up on the veldt, wrote on book, married happily, and ever wrote another. Kate Chopin wrote a scandalous book and never wrote another. (Jean has written nothing.). There was M-ry Sh-ll-y who wrote you know what and Ch-rl-tt- P-rk-ns G-lm-an, who wrote one superb horror study and lots of sludge (was it sludge?) and Ph-ll-s Wh--tl-y who was black and wrote eighteenth century odes (but it was the eighteenth century) and Mrs. -nn R-dcl-ff- S-thw-rth and Mrs. G--rg- Sh-ld-n and (Miss?) G--rg-tt- H-y-r and B-rb-r- C-rtl-nd and the legion of those, who writing, write not, like the dead Miss B--l-y of the poem who was seduced into bad practices (fudging her endings) and hanged herself in her garter. The sun was going down. I was blind and stiff. It's at this point that the computer (which has run amok and eaten Los Angeles) is defeated by some scientifically transcendent version of pulling the plug; the furniture stood around unknowing (though we had just pulled out the plug) and Lady, who got restless when people talked at suck length because she couldn't understand it, stuck her head out from under the couch, looking for things to herd. We had talked for six hours, from one in the afternoon until seven; I had at that moment an impression of our act of creation so strong, so sharp, so extraordinarily vivid, that I could not believe all our talking hadn't led to something more tangible--mightn't you expect at least a little blue pyramid sitting in the middle of the floor?
Joanna Russ (On Strike Against God)
I had to keep my hands clenched at my sides to avoid wiping my sweaty palms on the skirts of my gown as I reached the dining room, and immediately contemplated bolting upstairs and changing into a tunic and pants. But I knew they’d already heard me, or smelled me, or used whatever heightened senses they had to detect my presence, and since fleeing would only make it worse, I found it in myself to push open the double doors. Whatever discussion Tamlin and Lucien had been having stopped, and I tried not to look at their wide eyes as I strode to my usual place at the end of the table. “Well, I’m late for something incredibly important,” Lucien said, and before I could call him on his outright lie or beg him to stay, the fox-masked faerie vanished. I could feel the full weight of Tamlin’s undivided attention on me—on every breath and movement I took. I studied the candelabras atop the mantel beside the table. I had nothing to say that didn’t sound absurd—yet for some reason, my mouth decided to start moving. “You’re so far away.” I gestured to the expanse of table between us. “It’s like you’re in another room.” The quarters of the table vanished, leaving Tamlin not two feet away, sitting at an infinitely more intimate table. I yelped and almost tipped over in my chair. He laughed as I gaped at the small table that now stood between us. “Better?” he asked. I ignored the metallic tang of magic as I said, “How … how did you do that? Where did it go?” He cocked his head. “Between. Think of it as … a broom closet tucked between pockets of the world.” He flexed his hands and rolled his neck, as if shaking off some pain. “Does it tax you?” Sweat seemed to gleam on the strong column of his neck. He stopped flexing his hands and set them flat on the table. “Once, it was as easy as breathing. But now … it requires concentration.” Because of the blight on Prythian and the toll it had taken on him. “You could have just taken a closer seat,” I said. Tamlin gave me a lazy grin. “And miss a chance to show off to a beautiful woman? Never.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
What makes us endure pain so poorly is that we are not accustomed to find our principal contentment in the soul, and that we do not concentrate enough on it; for the soul is the one and sovereign mistress of our condition and conduct. The body has, except for differences of degree, only one gait and one posture. The soul may be shaped into all varieties of forms, and molds to itself and to its every condition the feelings of the body, and all other accidents. Therefore we must study the soul and look into it, and awaken in it its all-powerful springs. There is no reason, prescription, or might that has power against its inclination and its choice. Out of the many thousands of attitudes at its disposal, let us give it one conducive to our repose and preservation, and we shall be not only sheltered from all harm, but even gratified and flattered, if it please, by ills and pains. The soul profits from everything without distinction. Error and dreams serve it usefully, being suitable stuff for giving us security and contentment.
Michel de Montaigne
I didn’t respond. It would only encourage her. Instead I looked at the display on the dashboard and thought of the dangers of talking on the phone while driving. My small city car had Bluetooth capabilities, but I never used it. I tended to become too focused when talking on the phone, which impeded my concentration on whatever else I was doing. It confirmed the studies that proved that talking on one’s phone, even when using a hands-free system, could impair one’s driving as profoundly as driving while inebriated.
Estelle Ryan (The Vecellio Connection (Genevieve Lenard, #9))
I thought it very likely I might have this sort of untestable power myself. It was kind of logical--no good at sport, alrightish at my studies, there must have been some field in which I excelled. Magic had to be it. It's difficult for adults to picture just what a grip these fantasies can take on a child. There's occasionally a reminder as a kid throws himself off a roof pretending to be Batman, but mostly the interior life of children goes unnoticed. When I say I thought I could be a wizard, that's exactly true. I really did believe I had latent magical powers, and, with enough concentration and fiddling my fingers into strange patterns, I might suddenly find how to unlock the magic inside me. I wouldn't call this a delusion, more a very strong suspicion. I'd weighed all the evidence, and that was the likely conclusion--so much so that I had to stop myself trying to turn Matt Bradon into a fly when he was jumping up and down on the desk in French saying, "Miss, what are mammary glands?" to the big-breasted Miss Mundsley. I feared that, if I succeeded, I might not be able to turn him back. It was important, I knew, to use my powers wisely. There's nothing that you'd have to call a psychoanalyst in for here. At the bottom line my growing interest in fantasy was just an expression of a very common feeling--"there's got to be something better than this," an easy one to have in the drab Midlands of the 1970s. I couldn't see it, though. My world was very small, and I couldn't imagine making things better incrementally, only a total escape.
Mark Barrowcliffe (The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons And Growing Up Strange)
Men as Victims: Challenging Cultural Myths Judith Herman’s recent treatise on “complex PTSD" (Herman, 1992) is an extremely articulate and compelling analysis of some of the failings of the current PTSD diagnosis, and of some of the psychological legacies of prolonged, repeated trauma. However, there was one aspect of the article which concerned me and which I wish to address. Throughout the article, "Complex PTSD: A Syndrome in Survivors of Prolonged and Repeated Trauma," whenever reference is made by pronoun to perpetrators or "captors," the pronoun "he" or "him' is used. There are four such references. Whenever reference is made by pronoun to victims or survivors, the pronoun "her" or "she" is used. There are 11 such references. This is not simply an issue of the use of sexist language, which it is. By uniformly linking perpetration with males and victimhood with females, a misconception is perpetuated, one that is shared by the public and by mental health professionals. While there is evidence that most perpetrators of sexual abuse are male, and that there are more female victims of sexual abuse than male victims, it is not true that all perpetrators are male and all victims are female. In fact, in the article, some of the traumas from which Dr. Herman was deriving her argument—political torture, concentration camp survivors, for example—affect as many males as females. Even in the case of sexual abuse, there is increasing evidence that the sexual abuse of males is far more prevalent than has heretofore been believed. Research on male sexual victimization lags more than a decade behind that of female victimization, but several recent studies have reported prevalence rates near or above 20% (Finkelhor et at, 1990; Urquiza, 1988, cited in Urquiza and Keating, 1990; Lisak and Luster, 1992).
David Lisak
Consider helping your overall ability to focus by practicing “technology fasts.” Take a break once a week from all forms of electronics – turn off the cell phone and don’t turn on your laptop. This clean break from technology will give your mind the break it desperately wants and needs and makes returning to work and focusing cleanly that much easier. If you can’t manage a whole day, try half a day. At the very least, make it an evening. Long-term, consider a technology fast for a weekend every month and a week every year. Start with an evening and notice how much more peaceful your mind feels. This will feed your ability to focus immensely.
John Connelly (10 Books in 1: Memory, Speed Read, Note Taking, Essay Writing, How to Study, Think Like a Genius, Type Fast, Focus: Concentrate, Engage, Unleash Creativity, ... (The Learning Development Book Series))
There,he reminds me of you." Shelby indicated a black panther stretched in a path of sunlight, calmly watching the river of people who passed by. "Is that so?" Alan studied the cat. "Indolent? Subdued?" Shelby let out her smoke-edged laugh. "Oh,no, Senator.Patient, brooding. And arrogant enough to believe this confinement is nothing he can't work with." Turning, she leaned back against the barrier to consider Alan as she had considered the panther. "He's taken stock of the situation,and decided he can pretty much have his own way as things are.I wonder..." Her brows drew together inn concentration. "I wonder just what he'd do if he were really crossed.He doesn't appear to have a temper. Cats usually don't until they're pushed too far just that one time, and then-they're deadly." Alan gave her an odd smile before he took her hand to draw her toward the path again. "He normally sees that he's not often crossed." Shelby tossed her head and met the smile with a bland look. "Let's go look at the monkeys.It always makes me think I'm sitting in the Senate Gallery." "Nasty," he commented and tugged on her hair. "I know.I couldn't help it." Briefly she rested her head on his shoulder as they walked. "I'm often not a nice person. Grant and I both seem to have inherited a streak of sarcasm-or maybe it's cynicism.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
True, the Web produces acute concentration. A large number of users visit just a few sites, such as Google, which, at the time of this writing, has total market dominance. At no time in history has a company grown so dominant so quickly—Google can service people from Nicaragua to southwestern Mongolia to the American West Coast, without having to worry about phone operators, shipping, delivery, and manufacturing. This is the ultimate winner-take-all case study. People forget, though, that before Google, Alta Vista dominated the search-engine market. I am prepared to revise the Google metaphor by replacing it with a new name for future editions of this book.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
The most surprising discovery made by Baumeister’s group shows, as he puts it, that the idea of mental energy is more than a mere metaphor. The nervous system consumes more glucose than most other parts of the body, and effortful mental activity appears to be especially expensive in the currency of glucose. When you are actively involved in difficult cognitive reasoning or engaged in a task that requires self-control, your blood glucose level drops. The effect is analogous to a runner who draws down glucose stored in her muscles during a sprint. The bold implication of this idea is that the effects of ego depletion could be undone by ingesting glucose, and Baumeister and his colleagues have confirmed this hypothesis in several experiments. Volunteers in one of their studies watched a short silent film of a woman being interviewed and were asked to interpret her body language. While they were performing the task, a series of words crossed the screen in slow succession. The participants were specifically instructed to ignore the words, and if they found their attention drawn away they had to refocus their concentration on the woman’s behavior. This act of self-control was known to cause ego depletion. All the volunteers drank some lemonade before participating in a second task. The lemonade was sweetened with glucose for half of them and with Splenda for the others. Then all participants were given a task in which they needed to overcome an intuitive response to get the correct answer. Intuitive errors are normally much more frequent among ego-depleted people, and the drinkers of Splenda showed the expected depletion effect. On the other hand, the glucose drinkers were not depleted. Restoring the level of available sugar in the brain had prevented the deterioration of performance. It will take some time and much further research to establish whether the tasks that cause glucose-depletion also cause the momentary arousal that is reflected in increases of pupil size and heart rate.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I was giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp! All that oppressed me at that moment became objective, seen and described from the remote viewpoint of science. By this method I succeeded somehow in rising above the situation, above the sufferings of the moment, and I observed them as if they were already of the past. Both I and my troubles became the object of an interesting psychoscientific study undertaken by myself. What does Spinoza say in his Ethics? - "Affectus, qui passio est, desinit esse passio simulatque eius claram et distinctam formamus ideam." Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
The great majority of those who, like Frankl, were liberated from Nazi concentration camps chose to leave for other countries rather than return to their former homes, where far too many neighbors had turned murderous. But Viktor Frankl chose to stay in his native Vienna after being freed and became head of neurology at a main hospital in Vienna. The Austrians he lived among often perplexed Frankl by saying they did not know a thing about the horrors of the camps he had barely survived. For Frankl, though, this alibi seemed flimsy. These people, he felt, had chosen not to know. Another survivor of the Nazis, the social psychologist Ervin Staub, was saved from a certain death by Raoul Wallenberg, the diplomat who made Swedish passports for thousands of desperate Hungarians, keeping them safe from the Nazis. Staub studied cruelty and hatred, and he found one of the roots of such evil to be the turning away, choosing not to see or know, of bystanders. That not-knowing was read by perpetrators as a tacit approval. But if instead witnesses spoke up in protest of evil, Staub saw, it made such acts more difficult for the evildoers. For Frankl, the “not-knowing” he encountered in postwar Vienna was regarding the Nazi death camps scattered throughout that short-lived empire, and the obliviousness of Viennese citizens to the fate of their own neighbors who were imprisoned and died in those camps. The underlying motive for not-knowing, he points out, is to escape any sense of responsibility or guilt for those crimes. People in general, he saw, had been encouraged by their authoritarian rulers not to know—a fact of life today as well. That same plea of innocence, I had no idea, has contemporary resonance in the emergence of an intergenerational tension. Young people around the world are angry at older generations for leaving as a legacy to them a ruined planet, one where the momentum of environmental destruction will go on for decades, if not centuries. This environmental not-knowing has gone on for centuries, since the Industrial Revolution. Since then we have seen the invention of countless manufacturing platforms and processes, most all of which came to be in an era when we had no idea of their ecological impacts. Advances in science and technology are making ecological impacts more transparent, and so creating options that address the climate crisis and, hopefully, will be pursued across the globe and over generations. Such disruptive, truly “green” alternatives are one way to lessen the bleakness of Earth 2.0—the planet in future decades—a compelling fact of life for today’s young. Were Frankl with us today (he died in 1997), he would no doubt be pleased that so many of today’s younger people are choosing to know and are finding purpose and meaning in surfacing environmental facts and acting on them.
Viktor E. Frankl (Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything)
First up, Blackwell [1972] did a set of experiments on fifty-seven college students to determine the effect of colour—as well as the number of tablets—on the effects elicited. The subjects were sitting through a boring hour-long lecture, and were given either one or two pills, which were either pink or blue. They were told that they could expect to receive either a stimulant or a sedative. Since these were psychologists, and this was back when you could do whatever you wanted to your subjects—even lie to them—the treatment that all the students received consisted simply of sugar pills, but of different colours. Afterwards, when they measured alertness—as well as any subjective effects—the researchers found that two pills were more effective than one, as we might have expected (and two pills were better at eliciting side-effects too). They also found that colour had an effect on outcome: the pink sugar tablets were better at maintaining concentration than the blue ones. Since colours in themselves have no intrinsic pharmacological properties, the difference in effect could only be due to the cultural meanings of pink and blue: pink is alerting, blue is cool. Another study suggested that Oxazepam, a drug similar to Valium (which was once unsuccessfully prescribed by our GP for me as a hyperactive child) was more effective at treating anxiety in a green tablet, and more effective for depression when yellow. Drug
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
One of the most studied organisms in this context is the tiny polyp Hydra, which possesses only a hundred thousand cells. Its neural network is concentrated in its head and foot: a first evolutionary step toward developing a brain and spinal cord. Hydra’s nervous system contains a chemical messenger—a minuscule protein—that resembles two of our own: vasopressin and oxytocin. A protein of this kind is called a neuropeptide. In vertebrates, the gene for this particular neuropeptide first doubled and then mutated in two places, creating the two closely related but specialized neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin, which have recently become the focus of interest, partly because of their important role as messengers in our social brains (see chapter 9).
D.F. Swaab (We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer's)
All these thoughts flashed through Amelia’s mind in one searing mass. But as she stiffened and waited for the ax to fall, Rohan came to her in two long strides. And before Amelia could move, or think, or even breathe, he had jerked her full length against him, and pulled her head to his. Rohan kissed her with an indecent frankness that sent her reeling. His arms were firm around her, keeping her steady while his mouth caught hers at just the right angle. Her hands moved in tentative objection, her palms encountering the tough muscles of his chest, the catch of his shirt buttons. He was the only solid thing in a kaleidoscopic world. She stopped pushing as her body absorbed the arousing details of him, the hard masculine contours, the fresh outdoors scent, the sensuous probing of his mouth. She had relived his kiss a thousand times in her dreams. She just hadn’t realized it until now. Graceful fingers cupped around her neck and jaw, turning her face upward. The tips of his fingers found the fine skin behind her ears, where it met the silken edge of her hairline. And all the while he continued to fill her with concentrated fire, until the inside of her mouth prickled sweetly and her legs shook beneath her. He used his tongue delicately, exploring without haste, entering her repeatedly while she clung to him in bewildered pleasure. His mouth lifted, his breath a hot caress against her lips. He turned his head as he spoke to whoever had entered the room. “I beg your pardon, my lord. We wanted a moment of privacy.” Amelia turned crimson as she followed his gaze to the doorway, where Lord Westcliff stood with an unfathomable expression. An electric moment passed while Westcliff appeared to marshal his thoughts. His gaze moved to Amelia’s face, then back to Rohan’s. A smile flickered in his dark eyes. “I intend to return in approximately a half hour. It would probably be best if my study were vacated by then.” Giving a courteous nod, he took his leave. As soon as the door closed behind him, Amelia dropped her forehead to Rohan’s shoulder with a groan. She would have pulled away, but she didn’t trust her knees to hold. “Why did you do that?” He didn’t look at all repentant. “I had to come up with a reason for both of us to be in here. It seemed the best option.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
The Yoga system of Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path. 9 The first steps are (1) yama (moral conduct), and (2) niyama (religious observances). Yama is fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. The niyama prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. The next steps are (3) asana (right posture); the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation; (4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life currents); and (5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects). The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration), holding the mind to one thought; (7) dhyana (meditation); and (8) samadhi (superconscious experience). This Eightfold Path of Yoga leads to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), in which the yogi realizes the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension. “Which is greater,” one may ask, “a swami or a yogi?” If and when oneness with God is achieved, the distinctions of the various paths disappear. The Bhagavad Gita, however, has pointed out that the methods of yoga are all-embracing. Its techniques are not meant only for certain types and temperaments, such as those few persons who incline toward the monastic life; yoga requires no formal allegiance. Because the yogic science satisfies a universal need, it has a natural universal appeal. A true yogi may remain dutifully in the world;
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition))
Now let’s turn to the other extreme, to the doves. The leading dove was undoubtedly George Kennan, who headed the State Department planning staff until 1950, when he was replaced by Nitze—Kennan’s office, incidentally, was responsible for the Gehlen network. Kennan was one of the most intelligent and lucid of US planners, and a major figure in shaping the postwar world. His writings are an extremely interesting illustration of the dovish position. One document to look at if you want to understand your country is Policy Planning Study 23, written by Kennan for the State Department planning staff in 1948. Here’s some of what it says: We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity....To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives....We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. PPS 23 was, of course, a top-secret document. To pacify the public, it was necessary to trumpet the “idealistic slogans” (as is still being done constantly), but here planners were talking to one another.
Noam Chomsky (How the World Works (Real Story (Soft Skull Press)))
I hope I have now made it clear why I thought it best, in speaking of the dissonances between fiction and reality in our own time, to concentrate on Sartre. His hesitations, retractations, inconsistencies, all proceed from his consciousness of the problems: how do novelistic differ from existential fictions? How far is it inevitable that a novel give a novel-shaped account of the world? How can one control, and how make profitable, the dissonances between that account and the account given by the mind working independently of the novel? For Sartre it was ultimately, like most or all problems, one of freedom. For Miss Murdoch it is a problem of love, the power by which we apprehend the opacity of persons to the degree that we will not limit them by forcing them into selfish patterns. Both of them are talking, when they speak of freedom and love, about the imagination. The imagination, we recall, is a form-giving power, an esemplastic power; it may require, to use Simone Weil's words, to be preceded by a 'decreative' act, but it is certainly a maker of orders and concords. We apply it to all forces which satisfy the variety of human needs that are met by apparently gratuitous forms. These forms console; if they mitigate our existential anguish it is because we weakly collaborate with them, as we collaborate with language in order to communicate. Whether or no we are predisposed towards acceptance of them, we learn them as we learn a language. On one view they are 'the heroic children whom time breeds / Against the first idea,' but on another they destroy by falsehood the heroic anguish of our present loneliness. If they appear in shapes preposterously false we will reject them; but they change with us, and every act of reading or writing a novel is a tacit acceptance of them. If they ruin our innocence, we have to remember that the innocent eye sees nothing. If they make us guilty, they enable us, in a manner nothing else can duplicate, to submit, as we must, the show of things to the desires of the mind. I shall end by saying a little more about La Nausée, the book I chose because, although it is a novel, it reflects a philosophy it must, in so far as it possesses novel form, belie. Under one aspect it is what Philip Thody calls 'an extensive illustration' of the world's contingency and the absurdity of the human situation. Mr. Thody adds that it is the novelist's task to 'overcome contingency'; so that if the illustration were too extensive the novel would be a bad one. Sartre himself provides a more inclusive formula when he says that 'the final aim of art is to reclaim the world by revealing it as it is, but as if it had its source in human liberty.' This statement does two things. First, it links the fictions of art with those of living and choosing. Secondly, it means that the humanizing of the world's contingency cannot be achieved without a representation of that contingency. This representation must be such that it induces the proper sense of horror at the utter difference, the utter shapelessness, and the utter inhumanity of what must be humanized. And it has to occur simultaneously with the as if, the act of form, of humanization, which assuages the horror. This recognition, that form must not regress into myth, and that contingency must be formalized, makes La Nausée something of a model of the conflicts in the modern theory of the novel. How to do justice to a chaotic, viscously contingent reality, and yet redeem it? How to justify the fictive beginnings, crises, ends; the atavism of character, which we cannot prevent from growing, in Yeats's figure, like ash on a burning stick? The novel will end; a full close may be avoided, but there will be a close: a fake fullstop, an 'exhaustion of aspects,' as Ford calls it, an ironic return to the origin, as in Finnegans Wake and Comment c'est. Perhaps the book will end by saying that it has provided the clues for another, in which contingency will be defeated, ...
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Three researchers at Stanford University noticed the same thing about the undergraduates they were teaching, and they decided to study it. First, they noticed that while all the students seemed to use digital devices incessantly, not all students did. True to stereotype, some kids were zombified, hyperdigital users. But some kids used their devices in a low-key fashion: not all the time, and not with two dozen windows open simultaneously. The researchers called the first category of students Heavy Media Multitaskers. Their less frantic colleagues were called Light Media Multitaskers. If you asked heavy users to concentrate on a problem while simultaneously giving them lots of distractions, the researchers wondered, how good was their ability to maintain focus? The hypothesis: Compared to light users, the heavy users would be faster and more accurate at switching from one task to another, because they were already so used to switching between browser windows and projects and media inputs. The hypothesis was wrong. In every attentional test the researchers threw at these students, the heavy users did consistently worse than the light users. Sometimes dramatically worse. They weren’t as good at filtering out irrelevant information. They couldn’t organize their memories as well. And they did worse on every task-switching experiment. Psychologist Eyal Ophir, an author of the study, said of the heavy users: “They couldn’t help thinking about the task they weren’t doing. The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can’t keep things separate in their minds.” This is just the latest illustration of the fact that the brain cannot multitask. Even if you are a Stanford student in the heart of Silicon Valley.
John Medina (Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School)
The ancient rishi Patanjali6 defines yoga as “neutralization of the alternating waves in consciousness.”7 His short and masterly work, Yoga Sutras, forms one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy. In contradistinction to Western philosophies, all six Hindu systems8 embody not only theoretical teachings but practical ones also. After pursuing every conceivable ontological inquiry, the Hindu systems formulate six definite disciplines aimed at the permanent removal of suffering and the attainment of timeless bliss. The later Upanishads uphold the Yoga Sutras, among the six systems, as containing the most efficacious methods for achieving direct perception of truth. Through the practical techniques of yoga, man leaves behind forever the barren realms of speculation and cognizes in experience the veritable Essence. The Yoga system of Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path.9 The first steps are (1) yama (moral conduct), and (2) niyama (religious observances). Yama is fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. The niyama prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. The next steps are (3) asana (right posture); the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation; (4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life currents); and (5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects). The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration), holding the mind to one thought; (7) dhyana (meditation); and (8) samadhi (superconscious experience). This Eightfold Path of Yoga leads to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), in which the yogi realizes the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Self-Realization Fellowship))
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been studied in the treatment of liver disease. The active component, silymarin, is found in the entire plant but is concentrated in the fruit and seeds. Silymarin is a potent antioxidant and acts as a toxin blockade by inhibiting toxins from binding to membrane receptors on the surface of liver cells (called hepatocytes). Silymarin can protect the liver from being injured by, for example, different toxins, radiation, and iron overload. It has been successfully used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis, and toxin-induced liver diseases. (There are also some studies showing no effect of silymarin and many studies showing that vitamin C is just as good.) While seeds are generally avoided on the Paleo Approach, milk thistle seed extract may be a beneficial supplement (unless the very small amount of alcohol in the supplement is not tolerated; see here). Milk thistle tea is also a good option.
Sarah Ballantyne (The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body)
I remember a personal experience. Almost in tears from pain (I had terrible sores on my feet from wearing torn shoes), I limped a few kilometers with our long column of men from the camp to our work site. Very cold, bitter winds struck us. I kept thinking of the endless little problems of our miserable life. What would there be to eat tonight? If a piece of sausage came as extra ration, should I exchange it for a piece of bread? Should I trade my last cigarette, which was left from a bonus I received a fortnight ago, for a bowl of soup? How could I get a piece of wire to replace the fragment which served as one of my shoelaces? Would I get to our work site in time to join my usual working party or would I have to join another, which might have a brutal foreman? What could I do to get on good terms with the Capo, who could help me to obtain work in camp instead of undertaking this horribly long daily march? I became disgusted with the state of affairs which compelled me, daily and hourly, to think of only such trivial things. I forced my thoughts to turn to another subject. Suddenly I saw myself standing on the platform of a well-lit, warm and pleasant lecture room. In front of me sat an attentive audience on comfortable upholstered seats. I was giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp! All that oppressed me at that moment became objective, seen and described from the remote viewpoint of science. By this method I succeeded somehow in rising above the situation, above the sufferings of the moment, and I observed them as if they were already of the past. Both I and my troubles became the object of an interesting psychoscientific study undertaken by myself. What does Spinoza say in his Ethics? —“Affectus, qui passio est, desinit esse passio simulatque eius claram et distinctam formamus ideam.” Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Two-hands,” Zak said more emphatically. Matron Malice motioned for him to continue, unable to deny the grace of her youngest son’s display. “Could you do it again?” Zak asked Drizzt. With each hand working independently, Drizzt soon had the coins stacked atop his index fingers, ready to flip. Zak stopped him there and pulled out four more coins, building each of the piles five high. Zak paused a moment to study the concentration of the young drow (and also to keep his hands over the coins and ensure that they were brightened enough by the warmth of his body heat for Drizzt to properly see them in their flight). “Catch them all, Secondboy,” he said in all seriousness. “Catch them all, or you will land in Sorcere, the school of magic. That is not where you belong!” Drizzt still had only a vague idea of what Zak was talking about, but he could tell from the weapons master’s intensity that it must be important. He took a deep breath to steady himself, then snapped the coins up. He sorted their glow quickly, discerning each individual item. The first two fell easily into his hands, but Drizzt saw that the scattering pattern of the rest would not drop them so readily in line. Drizzt exploded into action, spinning a complete circle, his hands an indecipherable blur of motion. Then he straightened suddenly and stood before Zak. His hands were in fists at his sides and a grim look lay on his face. Zak and Matron Malice exchanged glances, neither quite sure of what had happened. Drizzt held his fists out to Zak and slowly opened them, a confident smile widening across his childish face. Five coins in each hand. Zak blew a silent whistle. It had taken him, the weapons master of the house, a dozen tries to complete that maneuver with ten coins. He walked over to Matron Malice. “Two-hands,” he said a third time. “He is a fighter, and I am out of coins.” “How many could he do?” Malice breathed, obviously impressed in spite of herself. “How many could we stack?” Zaknafein shot back with a triumphant smile.
R.A. Salvatore (Homeland (The Dark Elf, #1; The Legend of Drizzt, #1))
Arin had bathed. He was wearing house clothes, and when Kestrel saw him standing in the doorway his shoulders were relaxed. Without being invited, he strode into the room, pulled out the other chair at the small table where Kestrel waited, and sat. He arranged his arms in a position of negligent ease and leaned into the brocaded chair as if he owned it. He seemed, Kestrel thought, at home. But then, he had also seemed so in the forge. Kestrel looked away from him, stacking the Bite and Sting tiles on the table. It occurred to her that it was a talent for Arin to be comfortable in such different environments. She wondered how she would fare in his world. He said, “This is not a sitting room.” “Oh?” Kestrel mixed the tiles. “And here I thought we were sitting.” His mouth curved slightly. “This is a writing room. Or, rather”--he pulled his six tiles--“it was.” Kestrel drew her Bite and Sting hand. She decided to show no sign of curiosity. She would not allow herself to be distracted. She arranged her tiles facedown. “Wait,” he said. “What are the stakes?” She had given this careful consideration. She took a small wooden box from her skirt pocket and set it on the table. Arin picked up the box and shook it, listening to the thin, sliding rattle of its contents. “Matches.” He tossed the box back onto the table. “Hardly high stakes.” But what were appropriate stakes for a slave who had nothing to gamble? This question had troubled Kestrel ever since she had proposed the game. She shrugged and said, “Perhaps I am afraid to lose.” She split the matches between them. “Hmm,” he said, and they each put in their ante. Arin positioned his tiles so that he could see their engravings without revealing them to Kestrel. His eyes flicked to them briefly, then lifted to examine the luxury of his surroundings. This annoyed her--both because she could glean nothing from his expression and because he was acting the gentleman by averting his gaze, offering her a moment to study her tiles without fear of giving away something to him. As if she needed such an advantage. “How do you know?” she said. “How do I know what?” “That this was a writing room. I have never heard of such a thing.” She began to position her own tiles. It was only when she saw their designs that she wondered whether Arin had really been polite in looking away, or if he had been deliberately provoking her. She concentrated on her draw, relieved to see that she had a good set. A tiger (the highest tile); a wolf, a mouse, a fox (not a bad trio, except the mouse); and a pair of scorpions. She liked the Sting tiles. They were often underestimated. Kestrel realized that Arin had been waiting to answer her question. He was watching her. “I know,” he said, “because of this room’s position in your suite, the cream color of the walls, and the paintings of swans. This was where a Herrani lady would pen her letters or write journal entries. It’s a private room. I shouldn’t be allowed inside.” “Well,” said Kestrel, uncomfortable, “it is no longer what it was.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
As much as the scientific community currently enthralled with mindfulness would like to set aside the ethical component of the Buddhist tradition to focus their studies on the technology of meditation, we can see from this Abhidhamma treatment of the subject that true mindfulness is deeply and inextricably embedded in the notion of wholesomeness. Although the brain science has yet to discover why, this tradition nonetheless declares, based entirely on its phenomenological investigations, that when the mind is engaged in an act of harming it is not capable of mindfulness. There can be heightened attention, concentration, and energy when a sniper takes a bead on his target, for example, but as long as the intention is situated in a context of taking life, it will always be under the sway of hatred, delusion, wrong view (ditthi, 19), or some other of the unwholesome factors. Just as a tree removed from the forest is no longer a tree but a piece of lumber, so also the caring attentiveness of mindfulness, extracted from its matrix of wholesome co-arising factors, degenerates into mere attention.
Andrew Olendzki (Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism)
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)
Eliot's own reflections on the primitive mind as a model for nondualistic thinking and on the nature and consequences of different modes of consciousness were informed by an excellent education in the social sciences and philosophy. As a prelude to our guided tour of the text of The Waste Land, we now turn to a brief survey of some of his intellectual preoccupations in the decade before he wrote it, preoccupations which in our view are enormously helpful in understanding the form of the poem. Eliot entered Harvard as a freshman in 1906 and finished his doctoral dissertation in 1916, with one of the academic years spent at the Sorbonne and one at Oxford. At Harvard and Oxford, he had as teachers some of modern philosophy's most distinguished individuals, including George Santayana, Josiah Royce, Bertrand Russell, and Harold Joachim; and while at the Sorbonne, he attended the lectures of Henri Bergson, a philosophic star in Paris in 1910-11. Under the supervision of Royce, Eliot wrote his dissertation on the epistemology of F. H. Bradley, a major voice in the late-nineteenth-, early-twentieth-century crisis in philosophy. Eliot extended this period of concentration on philosophical problems by devoting much of his time between 1915 and the early twenties to book reviewing. His education and early book reviewing occurred during the period of epistemological disorientation described in our first chapter, the period of "betweenness" described by Heidegger and Ortega y Gasset, the period of the revolt against dualism described by Lovejoy. 2 Eliot's personal awareness of the contemporary epistemological crisis was intensified by the fact that while he was writing his dissertation on Bradley he and his new wife were actually living with Bertrand Russell. Russell as the representative of neorealism and Bradley as the representative of neoidealism were perhaps the leading expositors of opposite responses to the crisis discussed in our first chapter. Eliot's situation was extraordinary. He was a close student of both Bradley and Russell; he had studied with Bradley's friend and disciple Harold Joachim and with Russell himself. And in 1915-16, while writing a dissertation explaining and in general defending Bradley against Russell, Eliot found himself face to face with Russell across the breakfast table. Moreover, as the husband of a fragile wife to whom both men (each in his own way) were devoted, Eliot must have found life to be a kaleidoscope of brilliant and fluctuating patterns.
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
If a Jewess from the East – her family comes from Cairo, I gather – were to find herself in need of help in Paris, where would she go?’ ‘To her family,’ replied ben-Gideon promptly. ‘I’m not sure she has one in Paris.’ ‘Benjamin, my mother spends eleven and a half hours out of twenty-four going from sister to sister, from aunt to aunt, from the houses of her sisters-in-law and second-cousins to the grandparents of my father’s old business-partners, lugging my sisters along with her, and what do you think they all talk about? Family.’ Ben-Gideon ticked off subjects with his fingers. ‘Who’s marrying whom. Who shouldn’t have married whom and why not. Who’s expecting a child and who isn’t bringing their children up properly. Oh, was she the one who married Avram ben-Hurri ben-Moishe ben-Yakov and is now operating that import business in Prague?  . . .  No, no, that was the OTHER Cousin Rachel who married Avram ben-Hurri ben-Moishe ben-CHAIM and THEY’RE in Warsaw, where THEIR son is a rabbi  . . .  Every rabbi from Portugal to Persia will tell you that women’s minds are incapable of the concentration required for study of the Torah, yet I guarantee you that not a single word of this lore is forgotten. You can drop any Jew over the age of seven naked in the dark out of a balloon anywhere in Europe, and he or she will locate family in time for breakfast.
Barbara Hambly (Ran Away (Benjamin January #11))
High-reactive kids also tend to think and feel deeply about what they’ve noticed, and to bring an extra degree of nuance to everyday experiences. This can be expressed in many different ways. If the child is socially oriented, she may spend a lot of time pondering her observations of others—why Jason didn’t want to share his toys today, why Mary got so mad at Nicholas when he bumped into her accidentally. If he has a particular interest—in solving puzzles, making art, building sand castles—he’ll often concentrate with unusual intensity. If a high-reactive toddler breaks another child’s toy by mistake, studies show, she often experiences a more intense mix of guilt and sorrow than a lower-reactive child would. All kids notice their environments and feel emotions, of course, but high-reactive kids seem to see and feel things more. If you ask a high-reactive seven-year-old how a group of kids should share a coveted toy, writes the science journalist Winifred Gallagher, he’ll tend to come up with sophisticated strategies like “Alphabetize their last names, and let the person closest to A go first.” “Putting theory into practice is hard for them,” writes Gallagher, “because their sensitive natures and elaborate schemes are unsuited to the heterogeneous rigors of the schoolyard.” Yet as we’ll see in the chapters to come, these traits—alertness, sensitivity to nuance, complex emotionality—turn out to be highly underrated powers.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
When we were first born, Spirit was our predominate guide, but as we ‘matured,’ our society quickly cured us of that. I learned later in my studies that any negative moaning I have about my life is only an affirmation of weakness and makes all those around me not want to be there. Life is nothing more than a dance with God; we just need to follow His lead and quit stepping on His toes. We must be able to release the things we hold dearest in order to truly have. I believe you must know the feeling of hunger before you can truly taste and enjoy food, you can only recognize authenticity by experiencing fraud, and you can only experience true love after enduring heartache. Your level of awareness will increase as you experience the rawness of life on your path to becoming more. God never gives you more than you can handle. He is perfect in His teaching. Know that what comes around goes around, and what you’re unable to forgive and let go will stay around. We need to control what we think, what we say, and how we feel. It’s our thoughts that produce our words, and our words lead to our actions. Our actions over time become habits, which form our character. Our character is what unfolds into our reality. Life is not about a future someone, it’s about ‘becoming’ someone and enjoying every step along the way. There’s no need to wait—significance is available right now. If you had to carry your mental seeds of desired reality around with you, growing to an additional nine pounds concentrated in your belly for nine months, and actually give birth to them, they too would become pretty obvious. The problem with most is they don’t care enough to endure the process, so they wind up aborting their dreams before they have a chance to be born. As you begin to do things to close the gap toward your ideal, you will find that life speeds up. Things quicken, and the closer you get to your goal, the faster it comes for you. The ultimate goal is to condition your body and mind so you can manifest ideals instantly—to think like God thinks. Yearning destroys your ability to have. It’s the carrot dangling just beyond your nose that you will never taste. When you’re obsessed with something you become out of balance and this imbalance creates a barrier between you and what you want. You become too emotionally attached to accept it. We must know the price of our obsessions and refuse to pay it. If Spirit cannot overcome ego and move away from the ways of the world, we will be destined to repeat it. We will die only to perpetuate death. In the beginning of my spiritual quest, I felt left out, alone, and cold. Wandering around in the darkness of my human nature, I came upon a door, and on the door was the word heaven. I knocked on the door but no one answered. I returned back every day, hoping to get someone to hear me and let me in. I became increasingly frustrated, finding myself angrily pounding on the door, but it wouldn’t open. Exhausted, I finally fell to my knees at the foot of the door and prayed, “Please, God, let me in!” The door immediately cracked open. I realized I had been knocking from the inside.
Doug Burnett
It used to be that you could get a lot of recognition by writing about Canada, as long as it was about small towns and nature.' 'Really?' 'Yeah. You could have canoes and the prairies or, also, sad women, very sad women who were fat or whose husbands had left them or something. There was a lady who wrote about fucking a bear, which was like a union with the land. There was a lady who wrote about mystical experiences she had at a cottage in northern Ontario. I was never sure what that was about. They were very important at one time, very stern and important. I had to study them in school. Anyway, he was one of them. He concentrated on the prairies, with a lot of native names, and wise native people, like there's a young boy with an Ojibway grandmother who will teach him the ways of the forest, sort of thing, and there's a lot of history, like a lot of the Riel rebellion for example.' 'The what?' 'History. And there's a lot of disaster, on the prairies, like people having to rebuild their sod houses after floods and so on.' They drove on the humming highway for a while. Then Nicola said, 'So you haven't answered my question.' 'What question?' 'Do you think he's any good?' 'Oh. The thing is... it's not, it doesn't matter. It's important. So it doesn't matter if I think it's good or not.' 'Okay. So it doesn't matter. So I'm asking you. What you think. Do. You. Think. It's. Good.' She slapped her bare thigh. James paused for a long moment... He said, 'There's one Boben book, I think it's Cold Season, or maybe it's Comfort of Winter, which ends with the line, "a story which Canadians must never tire of telling." What do you think of that line? A story which Canadians must never tire of telling.' She shrugged. 'I have no idea.' 'I'll tell you what you think of it. You don't give a shit. I'll tell you what I think of it. I don't give a shit either. But I also think it's the worst bullshit I've ever heard. I think,' he said, accelerating, 'that Ludwig Boben is a fucking asshole.
Russell Smith (Noise)
The Extraordinary Persons Project In fact, Ekman had been so moved personally—and intrigued scientifically—by his experiments with Öser that he announced at the meeting he was planning on pursuing a systematic program of research studies with others as unusual as Öser. The single criterion for selecting apt subjects was that they be “extraordinary.” This announcement was, for modern psychology, an extraordinary moment in itself. Psychology has almost entirely dwelt on the problematic, the abnormal, and the ordinary in its focus. Very rarely have psychologists—particularly ones as eminent as Paul Ekman—shifted their scientific lens to focus on people who were in some sense (other than intellectually) far above normal. And yet Ekman now was proposing to study people who excel in a range of admirable human qualities. His announcement makes one wonder why psychology hasn't done this before. In fact, only in very recent years has psychology explicitly begun a program to study the positive in human nature. Sparked by Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania long famous for his research on optimism, a budding movement has finally begun in what is being called “positive psychology”—the scientific study of well-being and positive human qualities. But even within positive psychology, Ekman's proposed research would stretch science's vision of human goodness by assaying the limits of human positivity Ever the scientist, Ekman became quite specific about what was meant by “extraordinary.” For one, he expects that such people exist in every culture and religious tradition, perhaps most often as contemplatives. But no matter what religion they practice, they share four qualities. The first is that they emanate a sense of goodness, a palpable quality of being that others notice and agree on. This goodness goes beyond some fuzzy, warm aura and reflects with integrity the true person. On this count Ekman proposed a test to weed out charlatans: In extraordinary people “there is a transparency between their personal and public life, unlike many charismatics, who have wonderful public lives and rather deplorable personal ones.” A second quality: selflessness. Such extraordinary people are inspiring in their lack of concern about status, fame, or ego. They are totally unconcerned with whether their position or importance is recognized. Such a lack of egoism, Ekman added, “from the psychological viewpoint, is remarkable.” Third is a compelling personal presence that others find nourishing. “People want to be around them because it feels good—though they can't explain why,” said Ekman. Indeed, the Dalai Lama himself offers an obvious example (though Ekman did not say so to him); the standard Tibetan title is not “Dalai Lama” but rather “Kundun,” which in Tibetan means “presence.” Finally, such extraordinary individuals have “amazing powers of attentiveness and concentration.
Daniel Goleman (Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama)
Dom rose from his kneeling position, a keen hunger shining in his eyes. “Was that wicked enough for you, sweeting?” he drawled as he used his cravat to wipe his mouth. With her heart thundering loudly in her ears and her breathing staggered, it took her a moment to answer. “Not quite,” she managed, then tugged at the waistband of his drawers. “You still have these on.” That seemed to startle him. Then one corner of his lips quirked up. “I never guessed you were such a greedy little--“ “Wanton?” she asked before he could accuse her of being one. But he just shot her a smoldering smile. “Siren.” “Oh.” She liked that word much better. Feeling her oats, she gestured to his drawers. “So take them off.” With a laugh, he did so. “There, my lusty beauty. You have your wish.” “Yes…yes, I do.” Now she could study him to her heart’s content. But the reality was rather sobering. His member, jutting from a nest of dark curls, couldn’t possibly be hidden behind a tiny fig leaf like the ones on statues. “Oh my. It’s even bigger and more…er…thrusting without the drawers.” “Are you rethinking your plan for seduction now?” he asked, with a decided tension in his voice. “No.” She cast him a game smile. “Just…reassessing the…er…fit.” “It’s not as fearsome as it looks.” “Good,” she said lightly, only half joking. She looped her arms about his neck. “Because I’m not as fearless as I look.” “You’re a great deal more fearless than you realize,” he murmured. “But this may cause you some pain.” She swallowed her apprehension. “I know. You can’t protect me from everything.” “No. But I can try to make it worth your trouble.” And before she could respond to that, he was kissing her so sweetly and caressing her so deftly that within moments he had her squirming and yearning for more. Only then did he attempt to breach her fortress by sliding into her. To her immense relief, there was only a piercing pop of discomfort before he was filling her flesh with his. All ten feet of it. Or that’s what it felt like, anyway. She gripped his arms. Hard. He didn’t seem to notice, for he inched farther in, his breath beating hot against her hair. “God, Jane, you’re exactly as I imagined. Only better.” “You’re exactly…as I imagined,” she said in a strained tone. “Only bigger.” That got his attention. He drew back to stare at her. “Are you all right?” She forced a smile. “Now I’m rethinking the seduction.” He brushed a kiss to her forehead. “Let’s see what I can do about that.” He grabbed her beneath her thighs. “Hook your legs around mine if you can.” When she did, the pressure eased some, and she let out a breath. “Better?” he rasped. She nodded. Covering her breast with his hand, he kneaded it gently as he pushed farther into her below. “It will feel even better if you can relax.” Relax? Might as well ask a tree to ignore the ax biting into it. “I’ll try,” she murmured. She forced herself to concentrate on other things than his very thick thing--like how he was touching her, how he was fondling her…how amazing it felt to be joined so intimately to the man she’d been waiting nearly half her life for.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))