Both autism and psychopathy entail a lack of empathy. Psychologists, though, distinguish between the “cognitive empathy” deficits of autism (difficulty understanding what emotions are, trouble interpreting other people’s nonverbal signs) and the “emotional empathy” deficits of psychopathy (lack of concern about hurting other people, an inability to share their feelings). The subgroup of people with neither kind of empathy appears to be small, but such people may act out their malice in ways that can feel both guileless and brutal.
Andrew Solomon interviews Peter Lanza, father of Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza, for The New Yorker
3:27 pm • 10 March 2014 • 1 note
Sunday morning with a penitent Saint Jerome (1419) #art #thatredhat #princeton (at Princeton University Art Museum)
10:32 pm • 9 March 2014
#icahn #princeton (at Carl Icahn Laboratory / Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics)
12:36 pm • 9 March 2014
Secret cinema found beneath Paris.
In September 2004, French police discovered a hidden chamber in the catacombs under Paris. It contained a full-sized movie screen, projection equipment, a bar, a pressure cooker for making couscous, a professionally installed electricity system, and at least three phone lines. Movies ranged from 1950s noir classics to recent thrillers.
When the police returned three days later, the phone and power lines had been cut and there was a note on the floor: “Do not try to find us.” (via)
10:58 am • 7 March 2014 • 277,512 notes
standing room only for @vermeerandcompany at the inaugural HiFi Reading Series (at Hi•Fi)
11:00 pm • 5 March 2014
a disorienting Doug Wheeler for #artforlunch (at David Zwirner Gallery)
2:40 pm • 5 March 2014
#winter #bushwick #wakemewhenitswarm
12:15 am • 4 March 2014 • 1 note
“I’m not going to pretend to be neutral here. I hope [Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey] succeeds and that everyone watches it … because we all need a unifying dose of curiosity and wonder.”
— Dennis Overbye in The New York Times
11:10 pm • 3 March 2014
Farrar, Straus and Giroux revealed the jacket art for a new novel by John Darnielle! Wolf in White Van will be published in October 2014. More from Darnielle’s editor, Sean McDonald, over at Work in Progress.
4:43 pm • 3 March 2014 • 8 notes
Philip Roth on the novel in America
You belong to an exceptional generation of postwar writers, who defined American literature for almost half a century: Bellow, Styron, Updike, Doctorow, DeLillo. What made this golden age happen and what made it great? Did you feel, in your active years, that these writers were competition or did you feel kinship — or both? And why were there so few female writers with equal success in that same period? Finally: What is your opinion of the state of contemporary American fiction now?
Philip Roth: I agree that it’s been a good time for the novel in America, but I can’t say I know what accounts for it. Maybe it is the absence of certain things that somewhat accounts for it. The American novelist’s indifference to, if not contempt for, “critical” theory. Aesthetic freedom unhampered by all the high-and-mighty isms and their humorlessness. (Can you think of an ideology capable of corrective self-satire, let alone one that wouldn’t want to sink its teeth into an imagination on the loose?) Writing that is uncontaminated by political propaganda — or even political responsibility. The absence of any “school” of writing. In a place so vast, no single geographic center from which the writing originates. Anything but a homogeneous population, no basic national unity, no single national character, social calm utterly unknown, even the general obtuseness about literature, the inability of many citizens to read any of it with even minimal comprehension, confers a certain freedom. And surely the fact that writers really don’t mean a goddamn thing to nine-tenths of the population doesn’t hurt. It’s inebriating.
Very little truthfulness anywhere, antagonism everywhere, so much calculated to disgust, the gigantic hypocrisies, no holding fierce passions at bay, the ordinary viciousness you can see just by pressing the remote, explosive weapons in the hands of creeps, the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events, the unceasing despoliation of the biosphere for profit, surveillance overkill that will come back to haunt us, great concentrations of wealth financing the most undemocratic malevolents around, science illiterates still fighting the Scopes trial 89 years on, economic inequities the size of the Ritz, indebtedness on everyone’s tail, families not knowing how bad things can get, money being squeezed out of every last thing — that frenzy — and (by no means new) government hardly by the people through representative democracy but rather by the great financial interests, the old American plutocracy worse than ever.
You have 300 million people on a continent 3,000 miles wide doing the best they can with their inexhaustible troubles. We are witnessing a new and benign admixture of races on a scale unknown since the malignancy of slavery. I could go on and on. It’s hard not to feel close to existence here. This is not some quiet little corner of the world.
(via New York Times)
12:35 pm • 2 March 2014
#color #princeton #gehry (at Peter B. Lewis Science Library)
12:12 pm • 2 March 2014 • 1 note
Keats is like watermelon, soft and sweet and crimson, whereas poetry should be hard and clear like a flame. Reading half a dozen pages of Keats is like yielding to seduction. J.M. Coetzee // Youth
5:09 pm • 25 February 2014 • 2 notes