Blogging forces you to write down your arguments and assumptions. This is the single biggest reason to do it, and I think it alone makes it worth it. You have a lot of opinions. I’m sure some of them you hold strongly. Pick one and write it up in a post—I’m sure your opinion will change somewhat, or at least become more nuanced. When you move from your head to “paper,” a lot of the hand-waveyness goes away and you are left to really defend your position to yourself.
Highlighted by Rian van der Merwe in Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson
Small human beings learn by mimicking and so they learn patience by mimicking patience. Perhaps this means that a larger human being somewhere many thousands of generations back took a long and patient breath as the smaller human being in his or her arms squirmed. Perhaps the smaller human being saw this long and patient breath and internalized it and began to understand. Perhaps all of the patience in the world is a copy of one sigh.
Similarly, living in cities—with their cramped dwellings and pounding noise—stresses us out on a straightforwardly physiological level and floods our system with cortisol, as I discovered while researching stress in New York City several years ago. But the very urban density that frazzles us mentally also makes us 50 percent more productive, and more creative, too, as Edward Glaeser argues in Triumph of the City, because of all those connections between people. This is “the city’s edge in producing ideas.” The upside of creativity is tied to the downside of living in a sardine tin, or, as Glaeser puts it, “Density has costs as well as benefits.” Our digital environments likely offer a similar push and pull. We tolerate their cognitive hassles and distractions for the enormous upside of being connected, in new ways, to other people.
Highlighted by Rian van der Merwe in Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson
Small human beings learn by mimicking and so they learn patience by mimicking patience. Perhaps this means that a larger human being somewhere many thousands of generations back took a long and patient breath as the smaller human being in his or her arms squirmed. Perhaps the smaller human being saw this long and patient breath and internalized it and began to understand. Perhaps all of the patience in the world is a copy of one sigh.