"No, he replied, that wasn’t the main thing that compelled him to write. The main thing was his weakness. Because being brave in solitude, without witnesses, without the reward of others’ approbation, face to face with himself, that took great pride and strength. Fucik needed an audience. In the solitude of his cell he created at least a fictitious audience for himself. He needed to be seen! To be nourished by applause! Even if only fictitious applause! To turn his cell into a stage and make his lot bearable not only by living in it, but by performing it, exhibiting it!"
— Milan Kundera, The Joke A thought | Hark, Hark, the dogs do bark
1 day ago

“Jasper: Life is sweet, brother

Narrator: Do you think so?

Jasper: Think so! – There’s night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon and stars brother, all sweet things. There’s likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet brother; who would wish to die?”

1 day ago
"La luna cuenta los perros.
Se equivoca y empieza de nuevo."
— Lorca (via tizon)
3 days ago 3 notes

starbuqzz said: Why is yawning contagious?


Mirror neurons, These are neurons with a curious property: they fire both when you do something, but also when you observe the same action in others. Much speculation surrounds the functional role of mirror neurons, and in particular how they might factor into developing empathy, and whether defects in the mirror neuron system could contribute to autistic spectrum disorders, which are characterized by poor cognitive empathy.

In this instance, we’re seeing a primitive kind of “motor empathy,” which might underlie cognitive empathy, our ability to understand others’ thoughts, feelings, motivations and so on from their outward behavior. Brodmann’s area 9, a part of the mirror neuron system in the brain, lit up when test subjects engaged in contagious yawning. This area of the brain has also been implicated in mentalizing, i.e., precisely in understanding other people’s mental states. Interestingly, in people with Major Depressive Disorder, we have found neurons in this area to be smaller, and glia—the support cells which are more numerous than neurons, and increasingly are understood to play more than just a passive role in thought—to be fewer and further between.

It remains to be seen exactly what role mirror neurons play in human empathy, but they’re certainly interesting. It’s fascinating that not only we can automatically do something because we saw someone else do it; this automatic act is caused by parts of our perfectly healthy brain not being able to distinguish between ourselves and our fellow human beings.

6 days ago 482 notes
7. Flares fired by the Israeli military are seen above the northern Gaza Strip. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

7. Flares fired by the Israeli military are seen above the northern Gaza Strip. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

6 days ago

Why is it that in a society with a Puritan heritage we have such completely ambivalent feelings about Work? We feel guilty, do we not, if not busy? But we feel somewhat soiled, on the other hand, if we sweat overmuch?

I can only suggest that we often indulge in made work, in false business, to keep from being bored. Or worse still we conceive the idea of working for money. The money becomes the object, the target, the end-all and be-all. Thus work, being important only as a means to that end, degenerates into boredom. Can we wonder then that we hate it so?

We should not look down on work nor look down on [our early works] as failures. To fail is to give up. But you are in the midst of a moving process. Nothing fails then. All goes on. Work is done. If good, you learn from it. If bad, you learn even more. Work done and behind you is a lesson to be studied. There is no failure unless one stops. Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous and therefore destructive of the creative process.

1 week ago