In marriage, if something bad happens to one person, or one person becomes a jerk, the system breaks. Any engineer will tell you that is a poorly designed system.

Dilbert cartoonist: Nuclear-family marriage is poor engineering.

La réduction de l’affect à la petite zone humaine qu’est la famille, et encore pire, après, au couple, est quelque chose de terrifiant pour moi. On devrait pouvoir vivre avec l’humanité entière.

(via Lola Lafon)

In fiction, while some characters are ‘two-dimensional’, others seem to have real ‘depth’. They can, indeed, assume in our imagination, a vividness that may equal, or even exceed, that of some of our living acquaintances. We may attribute them with attitudes and beliefs that go far beyond the printed page. Yet such apparent depth is, of course, an illusion: there are no facts about Anna Karenina’s life, save what Tolstoy gives us; no hidden motives lurking between the lines.

The shocking truth is that the behaviour of real people is no different. There are the facts of what people say and what they do; and these, like the lines of a novel, can conjure up a compelling depth – of underlying motivations, beliefs and attitudes from which people’s behaviour appears to emerge. However, as for fictional characters, so with real people: the sense that behaviour is merely the surface of a vast sea, immeasurably deep and teeming with inner motives, beliefs and desires whose power we can barely sense is a conjuring trick played by our own minds. The truth is not that the depths are empty, or even shallow; but that the surface is all there is.

We are fictional characters, in stories of our own invention.

Excerpt from the MOOC 'The Mind is Flat'
© Warwick Business School, the University of Warwick

The Internet has been shown to increase transactive memory, which is sort of a meta-memory of where to find information, like, I no longer remember my birthday so I google it.

A. Macris in People are Getting Smarter... Content is Getting Dumber

It's a funny old world
Full of headaches in turn

So whenever you need space
I guess it's okay
When you're floating away
To feel nothing at all
We can be astronauts
If you want to… get out of here

One eskimO - Astronauts

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