I heard DW Gibson on KPCC's The Story last night talking about his book Not Working, a collection of interviews with people who've been laid-off since the 2008 Great Recession.
Losing money and a house and relationship, Gibson says, is devastating, but he points out that there is an even deeper trauma of lost identity and being uprooted that presents the greatest existential challenge of all.
Author of the fascinating The Culture Code (in which he says our Reptile always wins with the battle against our Cortex), Clotaire Rapaille was the one who came up with oversized bathrooms in hotels and restaurants because these latrine palaces became hideouts, a need deep in our "codes." His ideas have proven so successful that he gets paid millions to consult dozens of corporations. His work is featured in the documentary The Persuaders.
My students from China taught me this Chinese proverb or idiom: "Wu ji bi fan":
"Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme."
This statement applies to a Thomas Berger novel Meeting Evil in which the protagonist, a repressed ninny who tries to follow the rules, succumbs to his evil side. One of Berger's more tautly written novels.
I may want to teach this novel in my critical thinking class. There are compelling lessons on the Jungian Shadow, the alter ego, the Id and the Super Ego, the morality of conviction vs. the morality of convention (think Kafka who said we must reproduce the truth inside of us or perish), the Last Man as articulated by Nietzsche, wish-fulfillment fantasies
Author of Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety Daniel Smith was on a recent WTF Marc Maron podcast and he said he was skeptical of the narratives patients give their therapists. These narratives, and I paraphrase, become dogmas and mythologies that obscure us from a messy truth that defies the tidy, cohesive narratives we churn out to make sense of ourselves to ourselves. Something to think about.
Whereas we used to be a country who could find common ground to achieve greater strength and improvements, we've fragmented into a bunch of petty-minded tribalists, competing with one another to show who's right.
I heard about this book Time to Start Thinking on PRI's The World and it addresses America's abrupt shift to political tribalism. This sounds like a must read.
For my critical thinking class, I'm exploring the possibility of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister. We often discuss the tension between free will and determinism and this book appears to show ways people can strengthen the former. Of course, some will argue the interest in strengthening willpower is predetermined. Looks good. I'll be reading it over the next few weeks.
I've read the first 50 pages of Cronin's 900 plus page novel The Passage and so far find it riveting. I'm getting the same rush I get from watching HBO's Game of Thrones or Showtimes Homeland. A guest on Luke Burbank's podcast TBTL recommended the novel. Now to find time to get through the next 850 pages.