New Here?
Posts tagged "NY Times Magazine"

Amateur Hour in Optimization Nation

I made a mistake when appointing the Most Relevant Onion Article By a Significant Margin in our 2014 year-end wrap-up post. I don’t regret the one we awarded the label (“Area Child Disappointed to Learn Parents’ Love Unconditional”). It stands up. The runner’s up were pretty solid as well, “I’m Sorry, But You’re Just Not […]

Nine Year Old Psychopaths and the Limits of Compassion

If you haven’t read Jennifer Kahn’s lengthy piece about child psychopathy in The NY Times Magazine, “Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?,” it’s eye-opening to say the least. Perhaps not recommended for parents of small children…  Ms. Kahn profiles a few of what are officially classified as the “Callous Unemotional” or “C.U.’s”, children whose […]

Another Week Ends: Immortal Smartphones, Jefferson Bethke, Adolescent Rewards, Profound Comedy, Therapeutic Irony, more George Lucas, Pixar and Hunger Games

1. In last weekend’s NY Times Magazine, Carina Chocano explained “The Dilemma of Being a Cyborg” – AKA what our current obsession with “data” has to say about our humanity – dropping her usual allotment of insight bombs along the way. Not only does she point out the increasingly prevailing illusion that if something wasn’t […]

Another Week Ends: Colbert’s Gratitude, Eagleton’s Jesus, Silent Men, Parenthood, Buck, Twilight Sparkle, and Sendak on Blake

1. Midway through The New York Times Magazine’s lengthy profile of America’s favorite all-around man-of-excellence Stephen Colbert, a bomb drops. To comment on his words might detract from their power. Holy Smokes, ht NM: In 1974, when Colbert was 10, his father, a doctor, and his brothers Peter and Paul, the two closest to him […]

Daniel Kahneman on Taking Credit and the Illusion of Control

From a very interesting, very comforting piece by Nobel Laureate economics and psychology professor/Mbird fave Daniel Kahneman entitled “The Surety of Fools/Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence”; October 23rd issue of the NYTimes Sunday Magazine. His thesis, based on years of research, is that much (i.e. all) of what we attribute to good (or bad) […]

Another Week Ends: Ben Franklin’s Bible, Desperate Millennials, The Costanza Key to Success, Prohibition, Zombie vs. Vampire, Whit Stillman, Craig Thompson and Rango

1. Doubtless you’ve heard, but in a true laugh-or-you’ll-cry moment, Ben Franklin’s notorious “God helps those who help themselves” motto was quoted as Scripture from quite an auspicious, or I should say audacious, pulpit this past week. This just a few weeks after the Atlanta branch of my church put forward an out-of-nowhere (or, you […]

Daniel Kahneman on Overconfidence and the Illusion of Validity

A follow-up to David Brooks’ recent tribute to Noble Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in the form of a new article by Kahneman himself on the perils of confidence as they apply to leadership, finance and intuition, “Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence.” Apparently, there exists demonstrably little evidence that the oh-so-marketable quality known as […]

Failing at Failure: Performancism in the College Admissions Process

It’s no stretch to say that our schools serve as microcosms of society, often casting cultural trends and crises into stark relief. Things we can excuse/support when it comes to the free market are a bit harder to endorse when they’re having a direct and detrimental effect on children. As we all know, nowhere is […]

Understanding Decision Fatigue: Dieting, Shopping, Poverty and Willpower

A veritable goldmine of relevant material in John Tierney’s “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” in The NY Times Magazine this past week. We’ve written about “ego depletion” a number of times before – the verified psychological phenomenon of self-control being a depletable resource – but Tierney does a fine job of drawing out the […]

Living Hell and the Moral Vision Behind Breaking Bad

Now that Friday Night Lights is off the air, there’s really only one contender for the best drama on television: Breaking Bad, obviously. But Breaking Bad is more than just a successor to the breadbowl-drama throne. It is the Old Testament to Friday Night Lights’ New Testament. Or maybe, the Old Covenant to FNL’s New […]

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Win? The End of Friday Night Lights and the Popularity of Glee

You’ve got to hand it to Heather Havrilesky. She had the guts in The NY Times Magazine to expose one of the most egregious cultural travesties currently being foisted on the American public. I’m talking, of course, about the world of high school television dramas and the undisputed commercial and critical victory of Glee over […]

Aspirational Viewing and Cultural Broccoli

A wonderfully honest look at art snobbery in the NY Times Magazine by Dan Kois entitled “Eating Your Cultural Vegetables.” Kois dissects the crucial distinction between “should” and “want,” what is good and what is enjoyable, obligatory vs. desirable, etc when it comes to the music we listen to and movies/TV shows we watch. As […]