Sunday, April 8, 2012

Plains Pops: Links From The Weird To The Sublime Edition

The Weird:  Ordinary Batman:  Some animated Gifs depicting what Batman does when he's not fighting crime. (HT:

Only Slightly Less Weird: Superhero Movies (Sort of):  Bill Murray as one of the Guardians from Green Lantern and Selina Kyle in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Some Common Sense from Corporate America:  (Of course the only tools they care about are the ones that they sell, but the principle is still sound.)

A Little More Reflective Common Sense: This Manifesto from Susan Cain, author Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.
2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.
3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.
4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronyous, non-F2F communication.
5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with the children while all the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the model.
6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength. 
7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always time to be quiet later.
8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.
9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.
10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.
11. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.
12. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.
13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immortality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.
14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.
15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.
16. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi
A Major Musing About Mystery:  (This is sublime in case anyone is wondering.) From Maria Popova at Brain Pickings.

What emerges is an elegant definition of science:
Real science is a revision in progress, always. It proceeds in fits and starts of ignorance.
(What is true of science is actually also true of all creativity: As Jonah Lehrer puts it “The only way to be creative over time — to not be undone by our expertise — is to experiment with ignorance, to stare at things we don’t fully understand.” Einstein knew that, too, when he noted that without a preoccupation with “the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific research, life would have seemed… empty.” And Kathryn Schulz touched on it with her meditation on pessimistic meta-induction.)

In highlighting this commonality science holds with other domains of creative and intellectual labor, Firestein turns to the poet John Keats, who described the ideal state of the literary psyche as Negative Capability — “that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable teaching after fact & reason.” Firestine translates this to science:
Being a scientist requires having faith in uncertainty, finding pleasure in mystery, and learning to cultivate doubt. There is no surer way to screw up an experiment than to be certain of its outcome.


D.E. Bishop said...

Nice. This is all very nice. Thank you.

caheidelberger said...

All praise unto Susan Cain! I paint and write best when I am alone.

LK said...

I think her introvert analysis is spot on. I just started her book. It will be my first ebook,

I'll try to do a review here when I finish it.