Wisdom, Age, and Society in America and Japan
"ONE stereotype of wisdom is a wizened Zen-master smiling benevolently at the antics of his pupils, while referring to them as little grasshoppers or some such affectation, safe in the knowledge that one day they, too, will have been set on the path that leads to wizened masterhood. But is it true that age brings wisdom? A study two years ago in North America, by Igor Grossmann of the University of Waterloo, in Canada, suggested that it is. In as much as it is possible to quantify wisdom, Dr Grossmann found that elderly Americans had more of it than youngsters. He has, however, now extended his investigation to Asia—the land of the wizened Zen-master—and, in particular, to Japan. There, he found, in contrast to the West, that the grasshoppers are their masters' equals almost from the beginning.... Japanese have higher scores than Americans for the sort of interpersonal wisdom you might think would be useful in an individualistic society. Americans, by contrast—at least in the maturity of old age—have more intergroup wisdom than the purportedly collectivist Japanese. Perhaps, then, you need individual skills when society is collective, and social ones when it is individualistic."
posted by bookman117
on Jul 23, 2012 -
Back in October,
NYT columnist David Brooks asked his older readers (aged 70+) to send him "life reports." He wanted them to appraise their lives, in an effort to glean some life lessons for all of us to learn by. After receiving thousands of replies, he published his assessment of them a couple weeks ago, in two columns (Part 1: Nov 24, 2011
; Part 2: Nov 28, 2011
). He's also selected specific ones and published them on his blog
. [more inside]
posted by crunchland
on Dec 6, 2011 -
In the tradition of Marcus Aurelius and Montaigne, Ghostface Killah (a.k.a. Pretty Toney) has set down his thoughts on living
. (audio nsfw) (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Nov 19, 2011 -
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert
- "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview
: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
posted by kliuless
on May 29, 2011 -
Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty
- "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 18, 2011 -
Captain Beefheart's 10 rules for guitarists
are also useful life rules for anyone: " Never Point Your Guitar At Anyone: Your instrument has more power than lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.
posted by tombola
on Jun 19, 2007 -
A Child's View of the Army
"....Like every other boy he was going through the little green army men phase....Gabe is roughly five years old and very articulate. Thus it should have come as little surprise when he began having one army man in charge, and the rest start building something.
"Sir, we're ready to build the rocket." "
: Five year old Gabe explains - via stacked creamers and table bricabrac, at an IHOP breakfast - the ramifications of mindless subservience to authority.
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 26, 2005 -
The wisdom of crowds
and the miracle of aggregation
, arguably, are the reasons why markets
work as well as they do. As New Yorker
James Surowiecki explains in his new book
, "consider the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
. When a contestant on the show is stumped by a question, he has a couple of choices in asking for help: the audience or someone he's designated as an expert. The experts do a reasonable job: They get the answer right 65% of the time. But the audience is close to perfect: It gets the answer right 91% of the time, even though it's made up of people who have nothing better to do than sit in a TV studio and watch Regis Philbin." The new, new tipping point?
posted by kliuless
on May 25, 2004 -
Some people claim they never listen to the lyrics, while others listen intently. As they listen to lyrics, some words may be incoherent or misunderstood. Other listeners may not care to know what the words really mean or how they may impact society. Regardless, lyrics are important. They provide expression, communication, and entertainment. They are messages with the potential to be very powerful, and therefore, useful in making points in our daily discourse.
posted by Tarrama
on Jan 25, 2002 -
And I thought The Force was the oldest religion "This is not a new religion. The worship of The Goddess Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, The Home Arts, Womanly Virtue, and Prudent Warfare, has been documented as being well known and commonly practiced since before the founding of the ancient city of Athens in Greece; and is thus a Traditional and Well Established Religion. It has always emphasized individualism, self reliance, thinking for one's self, and personal responsibility; beliefs and values which led to the founding of Athens. Then, as now, Athena sought the brightest minds. Comet riders and cult followers need not apply. "
posted by feelinglistless
on May 13, 2001 -