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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Watch | Technologies of Ecstasy

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Reality, it seems, is multiple, and tightly coupled to perception. The conditions of perception can be varied within a broad range by a variety of psychedelic technologies.”

Read | Martin Luther King – Power and Love

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“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. … What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Watch | Why ‘follow your passion’ is bad careers advice

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Author Cal Newport  professor of computer science at Georgetown University explains why he thinks the American (and arguably Western) idea that following your passion will bring you happiness and success in your career is a bad piece of advice. He argues we have no pre-existing passion. Instead, passion is found by first building a rare and valuable talent and using it to take control of your career path. In other words, be so good and work so hard that no one can ignore you.

It kind of aligns with the writer Neil Gaiman’s 3 secrets to success. It’s with reference to being a freelancer but can apply to all areas I think:

You get work however you get work, but people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

Listen | James Earl Jones reads Walt Whitman

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James Earl Jones reading excerpts from Walt Whitman’s 52 section poem Song of Myself. Specifically sections, 6, 7, 17, 18, and 19.


Read | Faith as Addiction: Reviewing Steve McQueen’s Shame

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Faith as Addiction

In a week in which addiction is being much discussed, due to the sad death of talented actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, this article looks at faith as addiction. Reviewing Steve McQueen’s film Shame and written by a professor of religious studies, it tackles the idea that religious faith can be regarded as an addiction

S. Brent Plate is visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. He is the author of Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the WorldBlasphemy: Art that Offends


Look | Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha

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The amount I love this cannot be described. I hope it comes to London some time. Thanks Colossal .

The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.

Anila Quayyum Agha

Read | Neuromyths

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We’ve all come across popular misconceptions concerning psychology and how the mind works. You’ll know doubt recognise some of the big ones:

Myth #1: We Only Use 10% of our Brains
Myth #2: It’s Better to Express Anger Than to Hold it in
Myth #3: Low Self-Esteem is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems
Myth #4: Human Memory Works like a Video Camera
Myth #5: Hypnosis is a Unique “Trance” State Differing
in Kind from Wakefulness
Myth #6: The Polygraph Test is an Accurate Means of Detecting Lies
Myth #7: Opposites Attract
Myth #8: People with Schizophrenia Have Multiple Personalities
Myth #9: Full Moons Cause Crimes and Craziness
Myth #10: A Large Proportion of Criminals Successfully use the Insanity Defense

This article from explains why each of the myths above is false and uses peer reviewed scientific research to explain how.

On a related note there a number of myths about learning which are affecting how children are being taught. For example 93% of of UK teachers in a sampled in a survey  thought that “Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic),” This view has no scientific basis and has been proved to be false.

This article from Sense about Science explains how Brain Gym, Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences have been disproven. Be sure to follow the links to the various research papers. Papers such as this one ‘Neuromyths in Education: Prevalence and Predictors of Misconceptions among Teachers’

Helpfully The Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation have got to together to launch a £6million fund for research on the use of neuroscience in the classroom.


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