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In the News 28.08.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 28.08.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Photos: @jaredchambers / @aialahernando / @alice_gao

Why We Can’t Get Over Ourselves

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”

—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

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You and I are members of one of the most social species on the planet. No human being succeeds in life alone. Getting along and getting ahead requires coordinating with others, either in cooperation as friends, spouses, teammates, and coworkers, or in competition as adversaries, opponents, or rivals. Arguably our brain’s greatest skill is its ability to think about the minds of others to understand them better. Our daily lives are guided by inferences about what others think, believe, feel, and want. This is your sixth sense at work.

But over the past two decades in my research as a psychologist, my experiments and research from many other scientists demonstrate the ways in which our sixth sense works well, but not nearly as well as we might think. The truth is that you are likely to understand much less about the minds of your family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, competitors, and fellow citizens than you would guess.

One of the biggest barriers to understanding others is excessive egocentrism. You can’t see into the mind of others because you can’t get over yourself. You can’t overcome your own experiences, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, knowledge, and visual perspective to recognize that others may view the world differently. Copernicus may have removed the Earth from the center of the universe, but every person on this planet is still at the center of his or her own universe.

Read the rest of this article at Nautilus

The Meaning of Serena Williams

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There is no more exuberant winner than Serena Williams. She leaps into the air, she laughs, she grins, she pumps her fist, she points her index finger to the sky, signaling she’s No. 1. Her joy is palpable. It brings me to my feet, and I grin right back at her, as if I’ve won something, too. Perhaps I have. There is a belief among some African­Americans that to defeat racism, they have to work harder, be smarter, be better. Only after they give 150 percent will white Americans recognize black excellence for what it is. But of course, once recognized, black excellence is then supposed to perform with good manners and forgiveness in the face of any racist slights or attacks. Black excellence is not supposed to be emotional as it pulls itself together to win after questionable calls. And in winning, it’s not supposed to swagger, to leap and pump its fist, to state boldly, in the words of Kanye West, ‘‘That’s what it is, black excellence, baby.’’

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

Quentin Tarantino: The Complete Syllabus of His Influences and References

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Quentin Tarantino is undoubtedly one of the (if not the) most influential American film directors of the last quarter-century. His gritty, ultraviolent, fast-paced, and impeccably hip writing style and visual eye have made a mark on both underground and mainstream film like no other. Following the one-two punch of 1992’s Reservoir Dogs and 1994’s Pulp Fiction, Hollywood was (and arguably still is) flooded with style-aping films that could be referred to as Tarantino-esque. Indie filmmakers of all stripes have surely benefited from the increased exposure that his quick ascension gave to subterranean cinema.

Read the rest of this article at Vulture

Podcast #117: What Craftsmanship Can Teach Us About the Good Life With Peter Korn

What is it about making things with our hands that provides so much satisfaction? Why are we so drawn to the archetype of the craftsman? In his insightful book, Why We Make Things and Why it Matters, furniture builder and woodworking instructor Peter Korn explores the philosophy of craftsmanship. In the podcast today, I talk to Peter about the ethos of craftsmanship, what craft can teach us about living the good life, and why you should get out in the garage and try building something with your own two hands.

Read the rest of this article at The Art of Manliness

Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site

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When hacker group Impact Team released the Ashley Madison data, they asserted that “thousands” of the women’s profiles were fake. Later, this number got blown up in news storiesthat asserted “90-95%” of them were fake, though nobody put forth any evidence for such an enormous number. So I downloaded the data and analyzed it to find out how many actual women were using Ashley Madison, and who they were.

What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.

Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.

Read the rest of this article at Gizmodo

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.