Human Condition
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Human Condition
An examination of challenges facing humans in general
Curated by James Burns
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Should you empathise with your father's killer?

Should you empathise with your father's killer? | Human Condition | Scoop.it

One of the greatest challenges of leading an empathetic life is trying to step into the shoes of people who we consider to be ‘enemies’ or whose views and values are very different from our own. If you’re on the receiving end of a racist comment from someone at the pub or a torrent of unfair verbal abuse from your boss, the idea of trying to empathise with them would probably be the last thing on your mind. If you came face to face with the person who had recently burgled your house, could you overcome your anger to see the crime from their perspective, and understand the circumstances that may have driven them to it?

 

By Roman Krznaric


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Per Square Mile: Urban trees reveal income inequality

Per Square Mile: Urban trees reveal income inequality | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Wealthy cities seem to have it all. Expansive, well-manicured parks. Fine dining. Renowned orchestras and theaters. More trees. Wait, trees?
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Last Saturday My Son Found His People at the Maker Faire

Last Saturday My Son Found His People at the Maker Faire | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Last Saturday my seven year old son found his people at the Maker Faire. It started on the train ride from the Menlo Park station. Normally the 9:34am train heading North on a Saturday is about as ...
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Letters of Note: I refuse to be cheated out of my deathbed scene

Letters of Note: I refuse to be cheated out of my deathbed scene | Human Condition | Scoop.it

I don't understand why you wanted me three months ago and don't want me now. I wish I knew why that were so. It's something I can't understand, something I despise. And the worst of it is that if I despise you I rage because you stand between me and peace. Of course you're quite right. I haven't anything to give you. You have only a passion for excitement and for comfort. You don't want any more excitement and I do not give people comfort. I never nurse them except when they're very ill. I carry this to excess. On reflection I can imagine that the occasion on which my mother found me most helpful to live with was when I helped her out of a burning house.

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'Prince of Persia' creator Jordan Mechner on telling stories in 48 kilobytes or less

'Prince of Persia' creator Jordan Mechner on telling stories in 48 kilobytes or less | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Ever since he began programming from his dorm room at Yale University, Jordan Mechner has wanted to make games that tell stories. Rising to prominence as a game designer during a time when the...
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What do you project into the silence? – Superhero Journal

What do you project into the silence? – Superhero Journal | Human Condition | Scoop.it

The email that goes unanswered for several days. The phone call that doesn’t get returned. What do you project into the silence? They don’t love me. They hate me. They’re mad at me. They think my idea is stupid. I’m bugging them. Maybe they didn’t get it? No, they got it, they just don’t like my idea. I asked too much.

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Schneier on Security: Amazing Round of "Split or Steal"

This is the weirdest, most surreal round of "Split or Steal" I have ever seen. The more I think about the psychology of it, the more interesting it is. I'll save my comments for the comments, because I want you to watch it before I say more. Really.

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Letters of Note: It is only adults who ever feel threatened

When released in the early-1970s, Maurice Sendak's children's book, In the Night Kitchen, caused quite a stir for one particular reason: its protagonist — a young boy named Mickey — was drawn nude in some illustrations. Fearful of their children seeing an innocent picture of a fictional boy's genitals, some parents and librarians took the liberty of drawing nappies/diapers on Mickey (see above); others thought it easier to just burn the entire book.

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Letters of Note: Things will just get better and better

Letters of Note: Things will just get better and better | Human Condition | Scoop.it

While YOU get to do the opposite: Things will just get better and better for you. And here's the best part: It turns out that girls like geeky smart guys much more than dumb sports guys. For many reasons. You'll see. So relax, man. Just relax. And I can even pass along this shocking piece of information: You will enjoy your life in your 40s! You heard me. It's gonna be great!

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Letters of Note: Things to worry about

Letters of Note: Things to worry about | Human Condition | Scoop.it

I feel very strongly about you doing duty. Would you give me a little more documentation about your reading in French? I am glad you are happy — but I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed pages, they never really happen to you in life.

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Dacher Keltner on Touch

Dacher Keltner, the UC Berkeley psychology professor and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, shares his insights from the new science of tou...
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Spirituality of Imperfection through Personal Storytelling Thrives in both AA and Toastmasters - A Storied Career

Spirituality of Imperfection through Personal Storytelling Thrives in both AA and Toastmasters - A Storied Career | Human Condition | Scoop.it

The following is the text of a speech I gave last week in Toastmasters. My assignment was to explain an abstract concept. I chose “the spirituality of imperfection,” which I’ve written about here a number of times. I wove a bit of my personal story into it, something I’ve also written about here. A new addition had to do with Toastmasters itself and how it is a safe place to tell personal stories.


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Peer to peer food growing takes root

Peer to peer food growing takes root | Human Condition | Scoop.it

Neighborhood Vegetables is a grassroots network of 2,500 volunteers who help each other plant urban vegetable gardens in their yards. Laurence is a long-time Bay Area community and political activist known for his tenacity. He helped develop a barter exchange called the “Labor Gift Plan,” was involved in civil rights and anti-war organizing during the 60′s, and created food coops called “Food Conspiracies” in the 70′s. At the ripe age of 69, he never stops. Everywhere he goes his message is, “We need to organize neighborhood by neighborhood.”


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Storytelling our energy future | SmartPlanet

Storytelling our energy future | SmartPlanet | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Energy columnist Chris Nelder muses on the stories we tell about our energy future, and explores some behavioral and cognitive research about the powe...

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Letters of Note: The most beautiful work of all

Letters of Note: The most beautiful work of all | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Fascinating letters. Interesting correspondence.
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What is philosophy and why should I care?

What is philosophy and why should I care? | Human Condition | Scoop.it
It happened again. This time in a public place. I was walking with the crowd into Central Station when I stopped to talk to one of the charity workers who hover like butterflies about the station e...
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Letters of Note: It has never got easier

Letters of Note: It has never got easier | Human Condition | Scoop.it

The basic rule you gave us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from writer to reader and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, you said, there were no rules. A story could be about anything and could use any means and technique at all—so long as it was effective.

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The Sharp Dropoff In Worker Happiness--And What Your Company Can Do About It

The Sharp Dropoff In Worker Happiness--And What Your Company Can Do About It | Human Condition | Scoop.it
Worker happiness has fallen every year for the last 25 years--in good economic times and bad. Today, over half of American workers effectively hate their jobs.
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The Invention of Jaywalking

The Invention of Jaywalking | Human Condition | Scoop.it

“If a child is struck and killed by a car in 2012, it is treated as a private loss, to be grieved privately by the family,” Norton says. “Before, this stuff was treated as a public loss – much like the death of soldiers.” Mayors dedicated monuments to the victims of traffic crimes, accompanied by marching bands and children dressed in white, carrying flowers.

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naughty fun — DeepFUN

naughty fun — DeepFUN | Human Condition | Scoop.it

Being naughty is fun because it makes you feel, however temporarily, free. You are heading towards the arena of pure want to – outside the boundaries of both have to and should do. Heading, but not quite there, because for naughty to be fun you have to be close enough to should do and have to to feel their frowning presence.

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Assimilate Or Go Home: Dispatches from the Stateless Wanderers: The Wedding.

Assimilate Or Go Home: Dispatches from the Stateless Wanderers: The Wedding. | Human Condition | Scoop.it
In the car, Hali asked me to do the makeup at her wedding. She was a junior in high school. She was gorgeous, polite, and severe when things didn’...
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Letters of Note: Sorrow passes and we remain

Letters of Note: Sorrow passes and we remain | Human Condition | Scoop.it

In July of 1883, the novelist Henry James received an emotional letter from Grace Norton — a good friend and fellow writer who, following a death in the family, had recently become depressed and was desperate for direction. James's beautiful response can be seen below. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest letters of advice I've ever had the fortune to read.

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The Transparency Grenade

The Transparency Grenade | Human Condition | Scoop.it

"If you thought WikiLeaks was a disruptive idea, the transparency grenade is going to blow you away. This tiny bit of hardware hidden under the shell shaped like a classic Soviet F1 hand grenade allows you to leak information from anywhere just by pulling a pin. The device is essentially a small computer with a powerful wireless antenna and a microphone. Following 'detonation,' the grenade intercepts local network traffic and captures audio data, then makes the information immediately available online."


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