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Posts tagged "achievement"


If I Can Just Understand the Arrival Fallacy, I’ll Be Happy

The latest ‘gimme’ from the world of social science has, er, arrived. I’m referring to the Arrival Fallacy, “the illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness.” Earlier this week The NY Times devoted a whole column to this familiar dynamic, A.C. Shilton’s […]

I Love You Without All Your Accomplishments

This week, I read an article in the New York Times about an Olympic medalist who recently died from suicide. Kelly Catlin was a lot of things in her short life. Beyond Olympic cycling, she was also a horse enthusiast, a triplet, a mathematician, and someone who lived by her own “personal code,” which she […]

Another Week Ends: Overrated Successes, Disappointing Babies, Nostalgia for Human Error, Impossible Repayment and Technocrat Baseball

1. William Deresiewicz’s clickbaity “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League” draws in high-achievers and their parents to, well, pull the rug out from under them. Apologies for the lengthy quotes, but it’s very good, ht MB: These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the […]

Another Week Ends: Capitalist Christians, Parents Teaching Achievement (Not Empathy), Post-Penitent Pantene, Sedaris’s Journey to the Ends of the Law (and Back), Antinomian Aucklanders, and Crooked-Timber Anthropology

1. The New York Times hosted a debate asking the question of whether capitalism has become incompatible with Christianity. It’s a pretty interesting forum, and some highlights with commentary are below: [Gary Dorrien, Union:] The field I teach, social ethics, was founded in the late 19th century as a protest against capitalist ideology. American social gospel […]

Dostoevsky Talks Romans 7, Original Caprice, and Performancism

From his Notes from Underground, in which the great Russian author’s disturbed protagonist questions ideals of human progress, enlightenment, secular humanism, and other naïvetés of the nineteenth century – but timeless, too: But these are all golden dreams. Oh, tell me, who first announced, who was the first to proclaim that man does dirty only because […]

Culture, Language and the Tower of Babel

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave, Awaits alike the inevitable hour. The paths of glory lead […]

From The Onion: Obnoxious Friend Won’t Stop Attaining Major Life Milestones

Another brilliant parody from The Onion on the complex dynamics of judgment in relationships, specifically our obsession with the achievement game, the need to broadcast to everyone when you seem to be succeeding (I’m looking at you, half-marathon runners), and our bitter dislike/envy of those who seem to be #winning. ALEXANDRIA, VA—Annoyed sources confirmed this […]

David Foster Wallace on Love, Identity and the Numbness of Achievement

From the modern bard’s short story collection, Oblivion, specifically the beginning to the stream of consciousness tour-de-force, “Good Old Neon”, ht DJ: My whole life I’ve been a fraud.  I’m not exaggerating.  Pretty much all I’ve ever done all the time is try to create a certain impression of me in other people.  Mostly to be liked or admired.  It’s […]

Another Week Ends: Dead Liberal Arts, Glorious Ruin, Cagematch: Hoffman-Phoenix, Victorians in Baltimore, Creative Anxiety, and Imputed Guilt (by Association)

1. Over at The Daily Standard, writer and lecturer Joseph Epstein asks, “Who Killed the Liberal Arts?” With pre-professional education and a degree of liberal-arts relativizing on the rise, Epstein finds a central problem with American higher education to be the same kind of achievement cult that recent films like Waiting for “Superman” have criticized. Epstein’s […]

Another Week Ends: Rich Exhibitionists, Public Potheads, Political (L)aw, Sons of Bill, Gamer Success, and Dissociative Pornography

1. For every voyeur, there’s an exhibitionist – and social media sites are no exception. We try to post the most enviable pictures of ourselves possible on Facebook or, at the very least, the most desirable. And others obsess over other people’s pictures, thinking, “If I could just be in that group of people, doing […]