Tag: brains

Links I: A Link to the Vast

I come across lots of cool and interesting stuff on the internet, so I thought it’d be good to keep track of the very best things and share them here.

And so, welcome to the Inaugural Links Post. Enjoy!

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Compulsively and Without Joy

The Big Lebowski is one of my favourite movies.

I could go on – at length – about why. Although I’m not going to, so this GIF will have to suffice:


One quote from the film that’s always stuck with me is “compulsively and without joy“.

I’m not sure why, perhaps there’s just something about the wording. For whatever reason, the phrase wiggled its way into my brain and has lived there ever since.

And I’m pretty pleased about that, because it turns out this particular quote is useful.

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Oh no, I’m Motivated By Fear!

fear based motivation 5

Now that I’m (mostly) successfully managing my anxiety, everything should be great forever… right?!

Well, no.

Obviously life isn’t magically perfect. (Though of course “less anxiety” is a huge improvement!)

This is fine. I never expected perfection.

But something else I didn’t expect was that managing anxiety better could itself cause problems.

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Telling Emotions Apart

[post status: a quick, experimental, half-formed thought]

You know how when you feel something in your body, and you’re not quite sure what it is?

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Are You A Waste of Time?

Time by Kinchan1, on Flickr

The world’s least comfortable waterslide.

Original Photo © Kinchan1, Kinchan1 on Flickr.
CC BY 2.0

Recently I got a haircut. And, as you might expect, nothing particularly surprising happened.

But, as I was paying, the hairdresser asked a question. “Do you have 50p by any chance?”

Immediately I sprang into action. I searched rapidly, poring through my wallet, tipping coins into my hand and picking out the right change for her.

She whispered something to me I could barely hear. “Relax, no-one’s throwing you out!”

I laughed and smiled and gave her the money. I hadn’t been feeling especially anxious, so I assumed she was joking.

But as I walked away I realised she wasn’t joking. More than that… she was right.

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Is The Whole World In Our Heads?

We’ve Got The Whole World (In Our Heads),
We’ve Got The Whole Wide World (In Our Heads),
We’ve Got The Whole World (In Our Heads),
We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Heads.

This homage to an old hymn gets weird rapidly after verse one, so let’s end it there.

Question: Is the whole world in our heads?

Answer: Depends on what you mean by “in our head”.

Let me explain, using this Highly Scientific Diagram of how we experience the world:


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My Life Is Not Worth Living

Entrance into darkness by d26b73, on Flickr

Entering the darkness. (Or possibly leaving it.)

Original Photo © d26b73, d26b73 on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Minds May Say…

When things go wrong, my life is not worth living…

If I don’t get a degree, my life is not worth living.

If I don’t have a partner, my life is not worth living.

If I fail at work, my life is not worth living.

If I spend an evening alone while others are out having fun, my life is not worth living.

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I Am Seriously Not My Thoughts

thoughts by e³°°°, on Flickr

Thinking about thinking.

Original Photo © Eddy Van 3000, Eddy Van 3000 on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

Just a short post today, following on from the idea that it’s useful to see ourselves as separate from our thoughts.

How can we know that we are separate from our thoughts?

What does it even mean to not be your thoughts?

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Who Thinks My Thoughts?!

Sometimes my head is too heavy with thou by David Blackwell., on Flickr

A head heavy with thoughts.

Original Photo © David Blackwell, David Blackwell on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License

One day at school we had one of those special days when we abandoned normal lessons and had someone else take over.

I guess the justification was to broaden our minds, but, looking back, it was probably a handy excuse for our regular teachers to catch up on marking and planning while we were handed over to some other sucker.

Anyway. One thing always stuck out to me from this day in particular. We were asked to answer the question “What is a thought?”

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Oh God Why All The Lies: Part One

35th U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition by US Army Africa, on Flickr

A non-imaginary, non-made-up, completely real cooking competition that was genuinely won by real people.

Original Photo © US Army Africa, US Army Africa on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

One night at university, my friends and I came up with a game.

That night, each of us would tell one lie, and whoever convinced the most people to believe it would be the winner.

Harmless fun, right?

I forget what lie everybody else told. But mine went on to become legendary. It was this:

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