Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “culture”

Einstein’s Dreams: Physicist Alan Lightman’s Poetic Exploration of Time and the Antidote to the Anxiety of Aliveness
Einstein’s Dreams: Physicist Alan Lightman’s Poetic Exploration of Time and the Antidote to the Anxiety of Aliveness

“A life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.”

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An Illustrated Love Letter to Rivers
An Illustrated Love Letter to Rivers

A painted landscape of fact and feeling along the flow of existence.

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Music and the Mystery of Aliveness
Music and the Mystery of Aliveness

“We are a music-making species — always have been, always will be — and music’s capacity to explore, express and address what it is to be human remains one of our greatest communal gifts.”

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Consciousness and the Nature of the Universe: How Panpsychism and Its Fault Lines Shade in the Ongoing Mystery of What We Are
Consciousness and the Nature of the Universe: How Panpsychism and Its Fault Lines Shade in the Ongoing Mystery of What We Are

“We’ve barely begun to understand our place in the cosmos. As we continue to look out from our planet and contemplate the nature of reality, we should remember that there is a mystery right here where we stand.”

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Opaque to Ourselves: Milan Kundera on Writing and the Key to Great Storytelling
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Opaque to Ourselves: Milan Kundera on Writing and the Key to Great Storytelling

A torch for traversing “the territory where no one possesses the truth… but where everyone has the right to be understood.”

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Bob Dylan on Vulnerability, the Meaning of Integrity, and Music as an Instrument of Truth
Bob Dylan on Vulnerability, the Meaning of Integrity, and Music as an Instrument of Truth

“You must be vulnerable to be sensitive to reality. And to me being vulnerable is just another way of saying that one has nothing more to lose.”

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Mary’s Room: An Animated Inquiry into the Limits of Knowledge and the Mystery of Consciousness
Mary’s Room: An Animated Inquiry into the Limits of Knowledge and the Mystery of Consciousness

The gasp beyond fact, contouring the central question of what it is like to be you.

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Recovering the Wonder of Flight: “Little Prince” Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Finding the Miraculous in the Mechanical
Recovering the Wonder of Flight: “Little Prince” Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Finding the Miraculous in the Mechanical

“In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”

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Trees, Whales, and Our Digital Future: George Dyson on Nature, Human Nature, and the Relationship Between Our Minds and Our Machines
Trees, Whales, and Our Digital Future: George Dyson on Nature, Human Nature, and the Relationship Between Our Minds and Our Machines

“Nature’s answer to those who seek to control nature through programmable machines is to allow us to build systems whose nature is beyond programmable control.”

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Water as a Portal to Transcendence
Water as a Portal to Transcendence

“The sea holds an abundance of comfort and inspiration and danger, all that a person needs in order to rise to the full largesse of beauty… If you allow this beauty to become a blank, if you turn your back to the blues and deny your dependence on them, you might lose your place in the world, your actions would become small, your soul disengaged.”

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