Escape into Meaning: Essays on Superman, Public Benches, and Other Obsessions

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Escape into Meaning: Essays on Superman, Public Benches, and Other Obsessions

Escape into Meaning: Essays on Superman, Public Benches, and Other Obsessions

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It’s open, vulnerable, insightful, and his personal stories speak to me as a fellow nerdy elder millennial who grew up I’m the same cultural milieu and took pleasure in observation and reflection. The point of school was to get good grades, and the point of good grades was to get into a good college, and the point of a good college was to get a good job, and the point of a good job was some or maybe all of the following: (a) to make money; (b) to be happy; (c) to be independent and not live at home; (d) to seem desirable to potential romantic partners; (e) to not be the type of person your parents are embarrassed by when they’re at a dinner party and everyone is talking about their kids. Just like Chuck Klosterman did with Pavement and Stephen Malkmus, Evan Puschak explored a relatable side to a guy who doesn’t necessarily want to come off as relatable. In the years since I first read this essay, I’ve come to see the limits of Emerson’s gospel of the self.

In the title essay, “Escape Into Meaning,” he asks the big question: “What in God’s name drove me to watch Lord of The Rings fifty times? But once I slowed down and began to wonder who I actually was, what I actually believed—something we’re all inclined to do eventually—my tangled self could offer no answers. In “The American Scholar,” he explains how ancient insights get corrupted over time, how “the love of the hero corrupts into the worship of his statue. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take this course of action if you are studying the aforementioned law or medicine, or have an interest in going to grad school of any kind. The book wasnt the greatest thing i have read in my life, (i think u can even find plenty of better essays on Evan’s channel) but it did capture what i wanted from it - the deeply rooted childlike curiosity for „adult” topics. Hell, I declared an archaeology minor thanks to one randomly chosen course about the antiquities trade that turned out to be enthralling. In What We Owe The Future, philosopher William MacAskill argues for longtermism, that idea that positively influencing the distant future is a key moral priority of our time.

Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. His closing essay provided me with a great amount of inspiration and insight into how to make progress on an artistic endeavor. Emerson describes a hollow world of obsolete rules, where scholars squabble over inconsequential details of archaic texts, rather than seek revelations of their own. Even genius can be harmful if it over-influences, if I am knocked “clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.The word evokes iconic figures like Einstein, Beethoven, Picasso, and Steve Jobs, whose cultural contributions have irreversibly shaped society. Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. Whether the good people are good, the bad people are evil and whether the virtuous are rewarded for standing up to peril and oppression. A pioneer of the “video essay” format, his YouTube videos — in which he critiques fine art, film, literature and more — have more than 223 million views. Rather than trying to make a straightforward argument about the distortions of the mind with a distorted mind, Emerson exhibits his psyche for the reader, conflicts and all.

The poet, in utter solitude remembering his spontaneous thoughts and recording them, is found to have recorded that which men in cities vast find true for them also…. Having lost trust in most authority figures and institutions which once were responsible for entertaining healthy discourse around important topics (see what happened with covid19), making sense of "the truth" requires monumental effort from individuals given that even experts in the same camp disagree. Instead, I tried to understand what was the underlying themes behind these topic choices that range from Super Man, to Lord of the Rings, to Jerry Seinfeld and the merits of having friend. In Wanting, Luke Burgis draws on the work of French polymath René Girard to bring this hidden force to light and reveals how it shapes our lives and societies.People of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. It doesn’t resemble a building so much as a great winding river: jump in at any point from the source to the sea and you’ll be propelled with great speed through flourishing terrain, awestruck by iridescent flora you’ve never seen before, passing one after the next.

Each has their own tricks, their own subject matter, but all have the same goal: to say something true, to find “a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing. We learn exactly what our world wants from us, so we can appease it and get back to the stuff we really want to do, like Super Mario Bros. The Hidden Habits of Genius explores the meaning of this contested term, and the unexpected motivations of those we have dubbed "genius" throughout history, from Charles Darwin and Marie Curie to Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol to Toni Morrison and Elon Musk. Here he dissects the blissfulness of sitting on a public bench in Barcelona, watching the world go by during the covid-19 pandemic. It’s responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attractive to some and not to others, and fueling cycles of anxiety and conflict.Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It collects 35 fascinating stories “for the curious mind with a short attention span”.

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