This post contains loads of articles categorised under Psychology and Philosophy. These are handpicked articles over the course of years for CAT Aspirants. This is the first of 2 posts. This post contains articles I had shared in 2018. Click on the following link to go to the next post: LINK here.
Every Article will have blurb, either written by me or an extract from the original post (mostly the latter) followed by the link to reach the article.
This is a piece about people who do not undergo any kind of mental illness, or depression or anxiety in their life, inspite of going through ups and downs. The author also cites a couple of researches and points out that the temperamentally blessed people have low “Life Satisfaction” compared to others. “I regard such temperamentally blessed people with awe, and I’m more than a little curious about the source of their endurance. Why is it that, after what psychologists call an ‘adverse event’, I have a near-irresistible urge to wallow and curl into myself, while the temperamentally blessed deploy their emotional stabilisers and sail on blithely? Is it genes, upbringing or something less easily defined? And should we seek to follow their example – or are emotional ups and downs a natural and integral part of a life well-lived? Is it even mentally healthy to stay so even-keeled when chaos descends?”
Wonderful article that delves into the unknown, the part where stopping/getting off an anti depressant drug has never been studied or published so far.“Had I been told the risks of trying to come off this drug, I never would have started it,” Ms. Hempel said. “A year and a half after stopping, I’m still having problems. I’m not me right now; I don’t have the creativity, the energy. She — Robin — is gone.”
Please find in this link, a follow up article created from readers’ contribution by NYT.
“Science should inform values such as vaccine and climate policy, but it must not determine all values. For instance, life scientists are pricing new drugs as high as the market will allow: a gene therapy to restore vision for $850,000; the first genetically engineered immune system T-cell to fight cancer for $475,000, eight times the median income in the United States despite manufacturing cost estimates of $25,000. Medicine or extortion? Humanitarians, not scientists, must decide.”
This article is not for everyone. Read it at your own risk, if you can be easily offended, or if you have addressed people as anti nationals, or if you have very strong political affiliation. Absolutely wonderful article that talks about masculinity and feminism and power, want of power, show of masculity being equated to power and otherwise. Long article, definitely worth spending time on it.
“Historians have emphasised how male workers, humiliated by such repressive industrial practices as automation and time management, also began to assert their manhood by swearing, drinking and sexually harassing the few women in the workforce – the beginning of an aggressive hardhat culture that has reached deep into blue-collar workplaces during the decades-long reign of neoliberalism. Towards the end of the 19th century large numbers of men embraced sports and physical fitness, and launched fan clubs of pugnacious footballers and boxers.”
“In Timaeus, Plato recognised beauty as the harmony and proportion of parts, made manifest in the ‘forms’ of the world. Following suit, Aristotle claimed that ‘the chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness’. However, in the Symposium, Plato also acknowledged beauty as a splendour only dimly apprehended. Beauty is not, he explains, found in ‘a creature or the earth or the heavens’, but only ‘in itself and by itself’.
The early philosophical tradition that sought to understand beauty was characterised by the impulse to capture and quantify its features. This is the Euclidean position that identifies beauty with a particular idea of ratio and the symmetrical relation of parts to a whole. (Euclid uses the specific example of the line, which, divided into two unequal parts, results in the whole that is to the long part as the long is to the short.) Following Euclid, the beautiful is repeatedly formulated in the elegant terms of his golden ratio, crystallised in the magic number 1.618 and plotted in the Fibonacci sequence. Here, the beautiful is a numerical pattern, expressed in the arrangement of leaves on the stem of a plant, the measures of a building, or the relative length of limbs in well-proportioned people. It’s an idea of beauty that unfolds in the various forms of an orderly world: the realisation of an inexorable mathematical law.”
Absolutely breathtaking article that talks about two types of Nirvana, and how Mindfulness is a path to it. This article is not prescriptive, is rather informative, and helps clear myths behind the ideas of nirvana, mindfulness etc.
“It is here in this space between feeling and craving that the battle will be fought which will determine whether bondage will continue indefinitely into the future or whether it will be replaced by enlightenment and liberation.”
“Meaning’ could mean purpose or function in a larger system. Could human life play that role? Again, it could, but yet again, this seems irrelevant. In Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s books, the Earth is part of a galactic computer, designed (ironically) to reveal the meaning of life. Whatever that meaning might be, our role in the computer program is not it. To discover that we are cogs in some cosmic machine is not to discover the meaning of life. It leaves our existential maladies untouched.”
Human beings have made such strides in controlling the forces of nature that, with the help of these forces, they will have no difficulty in exterminating one another, down to the last man. They know this, and it is this knowledge that accounts for much of their present disquiet, unhappiness and anxiety.
It’s fashionable to talk about there being no essential self, and it’s a tantalisingly liberating idea, in its way – but it’s a damn hard way to live. From within the skull, it feels like our view of the long walk from cradle to grave matters, matters an awful lot – and that the kaleidoscope of experience coalesces continually into a strange bright point still deserving of that outmoded label: soul. I have to agree with Solms; it can feel like a great slow-motion tragedy, this relegating of the mind. Friedrich Nietzsche believed that we hadn’t arrived at a real atheism yet, and had just hoisted humankind onto a pedestal that was secretly divine.
“In the 1990s, neuroscientists made a major breakthrough in understanding personal space with the discovery of a network of neurons in the brain that keeps track of nearby objects. Sometimes called peripersonal neurons, these individual brain cells fire off bursts of activity when objects loom near the body. In my own experiments, I came to call them bubble-wrap neurons. They monitor invisible bubbles of space, especially around the head and torso, and when they rev up, they trigger defensive and withdrawal reflexes.”
“Wolff argued that Confucius showed that it was possible to have a system of morality without basing it on either divine revelation or natural religion. Because it proposed that ethics can be completely separated from belief in God, the lecture caused a scandal among conservative Christians, who had Wolff relieved of his duties and exiled from Prussia.
Kant is easily one of the four or five most influential philosophers in the Western tradition. He asserted that the Chinese, Indians, Africans and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are congenitally incapable of philosophy. And contemporary Western philosophers take it for granted that there is no Chinese, Indian, African or Native American philosophy. If this is a coincidence, it is a stunning one.”
“Damion Searls, whose new book offers the first history of ‘probably the ten most interpreted and analysed paintings of the 20th century’, doesn’t argue, as others have, that the Rorschach is ‘the most powerful psychometric instrument ever envisioned’, but neither does he say that it’s hogwash. He thinks that the blots are beautiful – ‘not exactly art, but not not art either’ – and he’s interested in the modern testing industry, brought about by the Rorschach and predicated on the assumption that people are knowable, and that just by asking a few questions it’s possible to determine if someone is fit for promotion, or to be released from prison, or to lose custody of their children. The Rorschach promised a short cut to the psyche, an ‘X-ray of the soul’. People might be mysteries unto themselves, but anyone can be figured out.”
A small article that discusses the veracity of marshmallow test. If you are not aware what that is, should read about it. Usually b-schools talk about it at one point or the other, through HRM courses or even in strategy.
“The failed replication of the marshmallow test does more than just debunk the earlier notion; it suggests other possible explanations for why poorer kids would be less motivated to wait for that second marshmallow. For them, daily life holds fewer guarantees: There might be food in the pantry today, but there might not be tomorrow, so there is a risk that comes with waiting. And even if their parents promise to buy more of a certain food, sometimes that promise gets broken out of financial necessity.”
If I had to describe it in one word, breathtaking would be the word.
Absolutely brilliant article that starts with an anectode, builds on Research work of two scientists, goes on to discuss their experiences, results and outcomes. Also discusses the cause and working of clinical depression in amazing detail. Loved every word of it.
“It’s hard to describe, like describing the difference between a smile and laughter. I suddenly sensed a sort of lift. I feel lighter. Like when it’s been winter, and you have just had enough of the cold, and you go outside and discover the first little shoots and know that spring is finally coming.”
Starting out as fear of another’s malice, my paranoia morphs into layers of anger over fear, over anger over fear. It doesn’t occur to me to question the validity of the malice or the appropriateness of my reaction. I don’t recognise that the problem is largely inside me, that I’m projecting it onto someone whom I’ve judged out to get me. I have signs on the bulletin board behind my computer, to alert me at just such a time: ANGER IS A SYMPTOM and ASSUME THAT IT’S PARANOIA. But in the heat of the moment, I find the idea that I might be paranoid, well, ridiculous
In our societies, we experience fabricated leisure – a kind of planned ‘free time’ that is sandwiched between typically unpleasant work times. And we are bombarded with advertisements that promise we will have a great time if only we get the latest phone or the latest computer game. Ours is a culture that, under the guise of consumption, actually counsels the renunciation of enjoyment. In such a society, wants come apart from pleasures. If you get an expensive car because that’s what you think your status requires you to have, that is not the same as enjoying it. The individual who succumbs to this idea does not relish owning the car. She just thinks she must have and display it.
It creeps up you on. When you’re in your 20s you imagine nights in the pub, long weekends in far-off lands and chains of giggle-inducing messages with people with whom who share a common way of thinking that will last forever. But you get older, some of you get married or have children, and gradually the ties weaken. Contact reduces, chains of messages become one here or there, and before you know it, months have passed without you seeing or speaking to people you once couldn’t go more than two days without. That’s life – people get older, their priorities and responsibilities shift, but that doesn’t make it easy.
As children we learn most of everything we understand about love from our caretakers. Observing them, being nurtured by them, or being abandoned by them condition how we form romantic bonds as adults. As we mature, we often gain perspective on our parents’ mistakes, and empathy towards them. But that doesn’t usually offset the attachment style we’ve already developed as a result – broadly categorised today as secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, or fearful-avoidant.
From an audience perspective, start to empathise, however briefly, and you’ll start to invest in the outcome – and keep watching. Add to this the chatter from Twitter, and water-cooler gossip with friends and family about why and who deserves to win, and we begin to see why this show inflames us – how to love is so rarely cross-examined that to hear someone we know and care for profess an entirely opposing view on it enthralls and infuriates us in equal measure. At this point, we may even continue to watch – and keep debating it – to keep the mutual personal excavation going.
But what did Aristotle mean by ‘happiness’ or eudaimonia? He did not believe it could be achieved by the accumulation of good things in life – including material goods, wealth, status or public recognition – but was an internal, private state of mind. Yet neither did he believe it was a continuous sequence of blissful moods, because this could be enjoyed by someone who spent all day sunbathing or feasting. For Aristotle, eudaimonia required the fulfilment of human potentialities that permanent sunbathing or feasting could not achieve. Nor did he believe that happiness is defined by the total proportion of our time spent experiencing pleasure, as did Socrates’ student Aristippus of Cyrene.
Bentham’s disciple, John Stuart Mill, pointed out that such ‘quantitative hedonism’ did not distinguish human happiness from the happiness of pigs, which could be provided with incessant physical pleasures. So Mill introduced the idea that there were different levels and types of pleasure. Bodily pleasures that we share with animals, such as the pleasure we gain from eating or sex, are ‘lower’ pleasures. Mental pleasures, such as those we derive from the arts, intellectual debate or good behaviour, are ‘higher’ and more valuable. This version of hedonist philosophical theory is usually called prudential hedonism or qualitative hedonism.
“So, imagine a doughnut – the classic kind that is round with a hole in the middle, rather than the jam-filled kind. The dough of the doughnut is an example of what is called the ‘host’ of the hole – the stuff that surrounds the hole. Now imagine you put your finger through the hole in the doughnut, and wear the doughnut like a ring. Your finger is then an example of what is called a ‘guest’ in the hole – the stuff that is inside the hole. But now consider the doughnut in an early stage of its creation in a factory, about to get the hole cut out of the dough. What do we call the part of the dough that gets removed to create the hole? Should it be called a guest-in-residence, about to be evicted?”
Absolute universalism, in which we feel compassion for every individual on Earth, is psychologically impossible. Ignoring this fact carries a heavy cost: We become paralyzed by the unachievable demands we place on ourselves. We can see this in our public discourse today. Discussions of empathy fluctuate between worrying that people don’t empathize enough and fretting that they empathize too much with the wrong people. These criticisms both come from the sense that we have an infinite capacity to empathize, and that it is our fault if we fail to use it.
Sexual harassment and assault is emerging as one of the biggest concerns in India. The following article discusses the alarming mortification of our moral values and questions our rectitude on the grounds of mutual respect to the opposite gender.
Psychological research often upholds this optimism about the efficacy of meditation. Indeed, studies on the prosocial effects of meditation almost always support the power of meditation – the power not only of transforming the individual but of changing society. So it appears well-grounded that meditation might improve socially advantageous behaviour. This brings with it the prospect of applications in a variety of contexts, where it might find its use in social conflicts, such as mitigation of war and terrorism. The problem, however, is with the research that bolsters such claims.
“How did I become that person? It happened because it was exhilarating. Every time I would call someone racist or sexist, I would get a rush. That rush would then be reaffirmed and sustained by the stars, hearts, and thumbs-up that constitute the nickels and dimes of social media validation. The people giving me these stars, hearts, and thumbs-up were engaging in their own cynical game: A fear of being targeted by the mob induces us to signal publicly that we are part of it.”
It’s a strange loop: we are asking the same area of brain to both generate a coherent sense of self, and simultaneously step outside this frame of reference to get a fresh, unbiased perspective on another’s thoughts. Talk about running uphill against basic physiology.
Despite the inadequacy of these leading neuroscience explanations of ToM, it remains hard to shake the belief that we can step inside another’s mind. Saxe begins her TED lecture with the question: ‘How is it so easy to know other minds?’ To illustrate her point, she shows two photos. The first is a mother gazing at her young child; the second is of a teenager jumping off a high cliff into the ocean below. ‘You need almost no information, one snapshot of a stranger, to guess what this woman is thinking, or what this man is.’
“At a very basic level, especially when you’re younger, those connections to emotion are [formed],” says Allen. For instance, we may associate the taste of a hamburger with the emotional warmth of a family barbecue. “You’re not aware of them, and then there’s something that evokes them that’s similar. It’s really convergence, but really we’re saying let’s exploit that convergence and hit those pathways we’re not even aware exist.”
Luck. Is luck important? Do we realise the role luck plays in our lives? Are we really lucky to be where we are?
A brilliant dialogue!
“Maybe there was a teacher who helped steer you through trouble in the 11th grade. You don’t remember that. Maybe you got a promotion early on when one of your colleagues who was slightly better qualified had to turn it down because he had to stay and take care of an ailing parent. You don’t remember that either. Then there’s all this work on the asymmetry of memory.”
These results resonate with the experience of clinicians. ‘It is often not one’s initial response to a situation (the primary emotion) that is problematic, but their reaction to that response (the secondary emotion) that tends to be the most difficult,’ says Sophie Lazarus, a psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. ‘This is because we are often sent messages that we shouldn’t feel negative emotions, so people are highly conditioned to want to change or get rid of their emotions, which leads to suppression, rumination, and/or avoidance.’
That is what is so different about their intuitions and ours. To put it simply, if you are not a Stoic philosopher – if you have not been training yourself, year in and year out, to calmly face life’s vagaries and inescapables – and you feel no hint of sadness when your child, or spouse, or family member dies, then there probably is something wrong with you. You probably have failed to love or cherish that person appropriately or sufficiently while they were alive, and that would be a mark against you.
In the summer of 2007, King spent 75 days in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) of Fishkill Correctional Facility, a 19th-century asylum-turned-prison in Dutchess County in upstate New York. ‘Some rat told a correctional officer I was selling weed,’ he recalls. ‘So they gave me a Tier 3 ticket [a disciplinary hearing for violating prison rules], and 75 days in the Box.’ He found himself inside a 7ft x 10ft concrete cell with a small bed and toilet. It had a solid metal door with a small window made of hard plastic, out of which he could see a catwalk. A few times a day he saw correctional officers walking past, and once a day, a nurse dispensing medication.
“It is no wonder, then, that the world we inhabit together feels ever more ugly, coarse, and trivial. When the boundary between public and private becomes as extremely porous as it is today, we lose far more than “that kingdom of the mind, that inner world of personal thought and feeling in which every man passes some time,” which would have been disastrous enough.”
Today, moral philosophers ponder the ethics of shaping human populations, with questions such as: what is the worth of a human life? What kind of lives should we strive to build? How much weight should we attach to the value of human diversity? But when it comes to thinking through the ethics of how to treat simulated entities, it’s not clear that we should rely on the intuitions we’ve developed in our flesh-and-blood world. We feel in our bones that there’s something wrong with killing a dog, and perhaps even a fly. But does it feel quite the same to shut down a simulation of a fly’s brain – or a human’s? When ‘life’ takes on new digital forms, our own experience might not serve as a reliable moral guide.
With inner speech clearly established as a chisel for the young mind, many more questions remained. Do people in adulthood experience inner speech in the same way as children – or even as each other? Do most of us even have an inner voice – an internal commentator narrating our lives and experiences from one moment to the next?
Brilliant(not so long article of) first hand account of Anxiety and how one tries/tried to battle it. For Several Year. And How it worked out? Or did it not?
“Yes, I know. My method of dealing with my public-speaking anxiety is not healthy. It’s dangerous. But it works. Only when I am sedated to near-stupefaction by a combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol do I feel (relatively) confident in my ability to speak in public effectively and without torment. As long as I know that I’ll have access to my Xanax and liquor, I’ll suffer only moderate anxiety for days before a speech, rather than sleepless dread for months.”
Why do some people seem to be at ease most times, even if the task at hand is gruelling, and needs perfection and humongous effort? I believe the answer is this. Some realise this is what happens, some do not. I know people who do things effectively, and effortlessly, as in a Flow state (which in a way is finding the most effective, path of least resistance in doing a thing and being able to execute it that way). It takes patience, experience and being aware of oneself to reach there, however, once one can be at peace and got through such things, there is no stopping the joy in doing things. For instance, once you find that effortlessness in reading daily passages, none can stop you. Not even a difficult, absurd passage that is thrown at you. “My guess is that we have all experienced this combination of effortlessness and effectiveness at some point in our lives. While we are completely absorbed in chopping and sautéing, a complex dinner simply assembles itself before our eyes. Fully relaxed, we breeze through an important job interview without even noticing how well it’s going. Our own experiences of the pleasure and power of spontaneity explain why these early Chinese stories are so appealing and also suggest that these thinkers were on to something important. Combining Chinese insights and modern science, we are now in a position to understand how such states can actually come about. “
Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.
In truth, most of us are surprisingly poor at gauging the probabilities of events, so when we receive that phone call from the friend we’re thinking of, we’re prone to ascribe to it a significance disproportionate to its relative commonness.Given that there are 365 days in a non-leap year, and that most people you know probably don’t have the same birthday, you might reasonably suppose that you’d need quite a high number to find an exact match. Hundreds, perhaps, and even then you’d be lucky to find two people with the same birth month and day. Statistically, however, you need only 23 people in the room for a greater than 50 per cent (hence ‘statistically probable’) chance of finding two people with the exact same birth month and day. For a 99.9 per cent chance, you need only 70 people.
A brilliant conversation on a gamut of things including loneliness and youth. “I now have taken to clipping out. When I see a description of joy, I clip it out. They often involve rhythmic movement with groups of people marching or dancing. But they’re often a sense of what was formerly inside yourself merging with something outside yourself, and a sense that people get caught up in the sense of spiritual transcendence, whether you’re marching across a bridge in Selma or Emerson being the universal eye when he was out in the forest. It’s always the loss of sense of where the self ends that seems to produce joy.
Well written article that talks about taboo surrounding mental health and professionals. It also talks about evolution of DSM (aka bible of psychiatry) and psychiatry in general and our perceptions towards mental health issues. “That reluctance is understandable. Although most of us crave support, understanding, and human connection, we also worry that if we reveal our true selves, we’ll be judged, criticised, or rejected in some way. And even worse – perhaps calling upon antiquated myths – some worry that, if we were to reveal our inner selves to a psychiatrist, we might be labelled crazy, locked up in an asylum, medicated into oblivion, or put into a straitjacket. Of course, such fears are the accompaniment of the very idiosyncrasies, foibles, and life struggles that keep us from unattainably perfect mental health.”
One of the trickiest things about blackouts is that you don’t necessarily know you’re having one. I wrote a memoir, so centered around the slips of memory caused by heavy drinking that it is actually called “Blackout,” and in the years since its 2015 release, I’ve heard from thousands of people who experienced them. No small number of those notes contain some version of this: “For years, I was having blackouts without knowing what they were.” Blackouts are like a philosophical riddle inside a legal conundrum: If you can’t remember a thing, how do you know it happened?
Wonderful article about IQ and how it is paraded as something that needs to be at extremely high levels for success. This article proves that this is not the case and that persistence matters in real life in addition to IQ. Reading this could be helpful for the average CAT aspirant thinking, “I cannot solve the reminder question in 15 seconds like 8 other people from that Facebook group, will I do well in life?” Yes My friend, you shall do well, perhaps much better, as long as you have Persistence. “The result was a group of 1,528 extremely bright boys and girls who averaged around 11 years old. And to say they were “bright” is a very big understatement. Their average IQ was 151, with 77 claiming IQs between 177 and 200. These children were subjected to all sorts of additional tests and measures, repeatedly so, until they reached middle age. The result was the monumental Genetic Studies of Genius, five volumes appearing between 1925 and 1959, although Terman died before the last volume came out. These highly intelligent people are still being studied today, or at least the small number still alive. They have also become affectionately known as “Termites”—a clear contraction of “Termanites.”
Brilliant write up on Gamification and how it is used to socially direct people, sculpt their thoughts and actions and how we have almost no control over most gamification processes that we are involved in. It also talks about evolution of games in human history”While this whip was cracking, the workers sped up. ‘We saw a higher incidence of injuries,’ Topete said. ‘Several people were injured on the job.’ The formerly collegial environment degenerated into a race. The laundry workers competed with each other, and got upset when coworkers couldn’t keep up. People started skipping bathroom breaks. Pregnant workers fell behind. ‘The scoreboard incentivises competition,’ said Topete. ‘Our human competitiveness, whatever makes us like games, whatever keeps us wanting to win, it’s a similar thing that was happening. Even if you didn’t want to.’”
Wonderful eyeopening writeup on fallacies at multiple levels, including open-mindedness, gullible nature, rigidity, prejudice etc.
“I want to argue for something which is controversial, although I believe that it is also intuitive and commonsensical. My claim is this: Oliver believes what he does because that is the kind of thinker he is or, to put it more bluntly, because there is something wrong with how he thinks. The problem with conspiracy theorists is not, as the US legal scholar Cass Sunstein argues, that they have little relevant information. The key to what they end up believing is how they interpret and respond to the vast quantities of relevant information at their disposal. I want to suggest that this is fundamentally a question of the way they are. Oliver isn’t mad (or at least, he needn’t be). Nevertheless, his beliefs about 9/11 are the result of the peculiarities of his intellectual constitution – in a word, of his intellectual character.”
How does someone get where they dreamt of, or more often what could have happened to take someone there? Is there luck? Is there Quality? Do both have a tangible sway in where a piece of art ends up/ how is it rated? Brilliant discussion on the same, and how algorithms are trying to predict better. Do they fare well? or do they not?
“Take 52metro, a punk band from Milwaukee, whose song Lockdown was wildly popular in one world, where it finished up at the very top of the chart, and yet completely bombed in another world, ranking 40th out of 48 tracks. Exactly the same song, up against exactly the same list of other songs; it was just that, in this particular world, 52metro never caught on. Success, sometimes, was a matter of luck. Although the path to the top wasn’t set in stone, the researchers found that visitors were much more likely to download tracks they knew were liked by others. If a middling song got to the top of the charts early on by chance, its popularity could snowball. More downloads led to more downloads. Perceived popularity became real popularity, so that eventual success was just randomness magnified over time.”
“I made an appointment, first, with a pet behavior specialist and, five months later, when her initially helpful suggestions didn’t change Lucas’s behavior, with a vet. The vet described Lucas’s condition as “anxiety” and prescribed fluoxetine, a generic for Prozac that’s often prescribed for animals. While I had felt a mixture of frustration and pity toward Lucas, in that moment I experienced a surprising stir of recognition. Over a decade ago, during six months in college, I had panic attacks every other day. I was given a similar diagnosis—panic disorder being a major anxiety disorder—and was prescribed a similar medication.”
“The problem is a quantitative one. A small fluctuation that makes an ordered structure in a small part of space is far, far more likely than a large fluctuation that forms ordered structures over a huge region of space. In Boltzmann and Schuetz’s theory, it would be far, far more likely to produce our solar system without bothering to make all of the other stars in the universe. Therefore, the theory conflicts with observation: It predicts that typical observers should see a completely blank sky, without stars, when they look up at night.”
“The unconscious can perform astonishing feats of memory, but it can also play a remarkable role in creativity: sudden insights, solutions and life-enhancing ideas sometimes surface unbidden when the mind is adrift in unconscious reverie. If such chance awakenings are possible, how can you replicate those conditions to become more the author, and less the reporter, of your own meaningful life story? To find that elusive voice, we’ve got to search in the ‘now’, in the moment of true, lived experience that fleetingly exists between past and future. It is within that space that we must seek the locus of personal transformation and change.”
“Freud was hugely impressed by Jung’s intellect, but his desire to sweep Jung into the psychoanalytic world was also politically motivated. As an intellectual movement, early psychoanalysis resembled a political party – perhaps even a nascent religion – with Freud as its immoveable centre. He called the expansion of psychoanalysis ‘the Cause’, to be furthered by converting mainstream psychiatrists and ruthlessly expelling wayward epigones, such as Wilhelm Stekel, who had once called Freud ‘my Christ’.”
Abhishek Mukherjee works for 2IIM. Apart from solving interesting math questions he likes to eat biriyani and watch movies.