Sunday 12 January 2014


Photo via The New Yorker.

You've probably heard about the polar vortex already. Unless you have taken your holidays more seriously than me, and I doubt that. What you've may lost is The Borowitz Report about it. Worry not, here it is: "The so-called polar vortex caused hundreds of injuries across the Midwest today, as people who said “so much for global warming” and similar comments were punched in the face." Read more in The New Yorker.

Photo: David Salafia/flickr via The Atlantic.

Charles Montgomery explores in The Atlantic, why we are sometimes kind without reason? "The eminent sociologist Erving Goffman suggested that life is a series of performances, in which we are all continually managing the impression we give other people. If this is so, then public spaces function like a stage in the same way that our own homes and living rooms do. Architecture, landscaping, the dimensions of the stage, and the other actors around us all offer cues about how we should perform and how we should treat one another.

A man might urinate in a graffiti-covered alleyway, but he would not dream of doing so in the manicured mews outside an old folks’ home. He would be more likely to offer a kindness in an environment where he felt he was among family or friends, or being watched, than in some greasy back alley. In Goffman’s world, these are conscious, calculated responses to the stage setting. But recently we have learned that some of our social responses occur even without conscious consideration. Like other animals, we have evolved to assess risks and rewards in the landscapes around us unconsciously." This is a really interesting article, read the rest of it in The Atlantic. E.T.P. 12'

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