Viewing entries posted in January 2011
Sleep, as a human endeavor and aesthetic pursuit, is in a
terrible state of decay. The great sleepers of our age go
uncelebrated, and are even despised for the appearance of
effortlessness that pervades their work. It is time that we
addressed our culture...
For the ancient Greeks, philosophy was close to what we'd
think of today as self-help. Philosophy, it was claimed,
made you wiser, better and happier, by teaching you various
'skillful means' to cope with difficult emotions or
situations. It was like a form of...
Travel does different things to different people. So what
does it do to you? The Bulgarian philosopher of fantasy,
Tzvetan Todorov, drew up a list of voyaging types. Here are
some of them. What type are you?
He begins with the 'assimilator'. This is...
*We're jumping on the slow bandwagon....*
We're jumping on a bandwagon. First there was slow food,
then slow travel and now we've 'invented' slow words. Good,
honest, simple words that don't hide in fancy phrases and
Slow words work just as well if...
The craftsman is proud of what he has made, and cherishes
it, while the consumer discards things that are perfectly
serviceable in his restless pursuit of the new - Richard
Sennett, The Culture of the new Capitalism
We believe that human beings have a...
In South Korea electric fans come with 'life-saving' timers
that ensure they shut off after a preset number of minutes
to protect users against the syndrome of 'fan death' the
idea that sleeping in a closed room with a running fan can
result in asphyxiation....
A good sermon is like a shard of magnetized iron set in our
moral compass. But upon hearing that Richard Layard, leading
economist and founder of The Happiness Movement, delivered a
rousing sermon to the revolutionary congregation of The
School of Life this past...
Heddon Street off Regent Street: I've got a friend who works
there and we've eaten in the French bistro on the corner
many times. But only this week did I discover it was the
setting for the cover of one of the most...
Sigmund Freud might be the last person you'd want to get
stuck with at a drinks party, but he certainly had some
interesting things to say about what it means to be
human. We're hosting our next Conversation Drinks at
Freud's home in Hampstead on...
Our living standards are unprecedented but our happiness
is no higher than fifty years ago. That is the bad news,
which reliable surveys reveal. The good news is that
happiness depends mainly on the quality of our human
relationships and our philosophy of life...
Self-help. Can it make you happy, develop your power, save
your life? Or are it's advocates peddlers of snake oil? Or
again: given the genre is hugely diverse, is it possible to
separate the dross from the gold?
These questions and more were tackled...