Summary of “Make Peace With Your Unlived Life”

The idea of a “True self” and a “False” or “Shadow” self has long preoccupied psychologists.
Donald Winnicott elaborated on the idea of the “True self” and “False self.” He explained that beginning in infancy, all of us, in response to perceived threats to our well-being, develop a defensive structure that may evolve into a “False self.” He suggests that if our basic needs are not acknowledged-not mirrored back to us by our parents-we may presume they are unimportant.
In our efforts to please others, we hide and deny our “True self,” which in turn leads to self-estrangement.
If that’s the case, the “False self” will get the upper hand.
If there is too great a discrepancy between the “True” and the “False” self, it will make for a vulnerable sense of identity.
In her case, the tension between “False self” and “True self” came to a head, contributing to a renewal of the confusion she had experienced at an earlier stage of life.
Not living a full, complete life-not integrating these other parts of herself, call it her shadow or negative identity-turned out to be extremely draining, contributing to life choices that didn’t accommodate her real needs.
Although a person might view these parts of herself as a representation of her unlived life, a delayed identity crisis can also contain the seeds of psychological renewal-the motivation to enter new directions in life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Protein Conquered America”

Protein has emerged as an undisputed Good Choice over the past 50 years of warring scientific studies slagging fat and carbs, endless opportunistic fad diets, and skyrocketing obesity in America.
As a powerlifter, I have a particular need for protein to keep my muscles strong, and drinking protein powder is a mildly unfortunate reality on most days – few foods have as much protein, gram for gram.
A creamy protein drink would help a dieter coast toward their required protein intake for the day and sate a sweet tooth in a hurry, without requiring them to commit to a whole tub of protein powder.
In the pre-supplement era, if protein had a downside, it was that it couldn’t be eaten isolated from other kinds of calories – milk has fat, beef has fat, soy has fat, and any substantial amount of plant-derived protein is high enough in carbs to make Gwyneth Paltrow faint.
It’s difficult to put a number to how big the protein industry is or will be, as the line between supplements and food continues to blur; as part of the projected trillion-dollar wellness industry, there is plenty of room to grow.
If protein in general is hardly a panacea, the health outcomes of consuming protein supplements are downright murky.
Another common claim against protein products, including Muscle Milk’s ready-to-drink ones, is that they don’t contain as much protein as their label says – 10 grams instead of 15, according to Labdoor’s tests on a Muscle Milk drink.
The sheer count aside, there is also a lot of mysticism and conflicting research about how much protein bodies can even process at once.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why willpower is overrated”

People with a lot of self-control – people who, when they happen upon a delicious food they don’t think they should eat, seemingly grin and bear the temptation until it passes – have it easy.
For many years, Inzlicht explains, psychologists assumed that the self-control measured by the questionnaire measured the same thing as the behavioral tests of willpower.
Inzlicht and his collaborators wanted to answer a simple question with rigorous methods: Do these two measurements of self-control relate to each other? That is, are people who say they are good at self-control in the broad sense actually good at summoning willpower in the moment?
The paper stumbled on a paradox: The people who were the best at self-control – the ones who most readily agreed to survey statements like “I am good at resisting temptations” – reported fewer temptations throughout the study period.
What’s more, the people who exercised more effortful self-control also reported feeling more depleted.
2) People who are good at self-control have learned better habits.
In 2015, psychologists Brian Galla and Angela Duckworth published a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, finding across six studies and more than 2,000 participants that people who are good at self-control also tend to have good habits – like exercising regularly, eating healthy, sleeping well, and studying.
“People who are good at self-control seem to be structuring their lives in a way to avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place,” Galla tells me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Living in a Poor Neighborhood Can Change Your Biology”

The people who did move to better neighborhoods didn’t change their diets or daily lifestyles.
The people who moved out of poor neighborhoods were healthier.
The HUD study, and subsequent research, have shown that something more than race, individual behavior, or genetics is taking a toll on the health of people who live in poor neighborhoods: stress.
In its early stages, drugs that increase sensitivity to insulin, along with diet and exercise, can restore some cell function in people with Type 2; later, people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to keep high blood sugar in check.
A recent Pew Charitable Trusts study found that 66 percent of African Americans born between 1985 and 2000 lived in neighborhoods where at least 20 percent of people were poor.
African-Americans and whites living at or near the poverty line had higher rates of diabetes than their wealthier peers.
That’s not the case: Black Africans have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression than their distant cousins in the U.S. And Hasson says Type 2 diabetes among blacks and Hispanics drops just as fast as among whites in response to changes in exercise or diet-powerful evidence that there’s no inherent physiological difference at play.
“Hasson, of the University of Michigan, praises Obama.”She’s bringing attention to the fact that people need to get out and start moving, and people are starting to ask: “How can we motivate people to start moving again?” Hasson says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Humans Could Halt Climate Change By 2050”

Last year, the world’s climate scientists put out a report showing what it will take to limit global warming to 1.5 °C by the end of this century, averting the worst consequences of climate change.
Sally Benson, director of the Climate and Energy Project at Stanford, is so ready to take the leap and imagine this zero-carbon world 2050, it’s a little startling.
Different guides to this 2050 world show me slightly different things.
“You know, it’s like a historical artifact, but you know, they find it very touching. They are appreciative, because they’re living in a world where they don’t need to worry about climate change anymore.”
Years ago, he wrote a big report on cities and climate change for the World Bank.
We’re looking at an essential part of a world without climate change.
In a world without climate change, this is what cattle grazing looks like, all over the tropics.
It’s 2050 and there are almost ten billion people in the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Do You Talk to Your Patients About Death?”

Instead of admitting patients from the emergency room and addressing all of their medical problems throughout their hospital stay, I saw patients only when another doctor requested a consultation for a patient, usually to treat certain symptoms and to talk with patients and families about their treatment goals-what patients considered most important and dear to them when living with a serious illness.
I’d gone from assuming that many of my patients would live for years after their hospital stays to knowing that some of my patients would die within the coming weeks or months after returning home.
“No, it’s your first day! So on our team we have two nurses and an attending physician and me. Everyone usually shows up for rounds at 9:30 or so, and we will talk about each of the patients on our list. The attending this month is Dr. Harris, and she’ll assign you a few patients to see. Oh, and you’ll need that,” she said, motioning to a pager on the corner of my cubicle.
Businesslike and efficient as she introduced herself, Dr. Harris told me that her day was packed with meetings, but that she would assign me several patients to see and we would talk about them later in the afternoon.
Almost all of our patients required family meetings, and some also required better control of pain.
The biggest shift was my new relationship to language, my attention newly focused on the words I used with patients and colleagues, and the words I heard them use.
“Take note of how long the oncology fellow talks before allowing the family to speak.” The oncologist, a brown-haired man with a kind face, spoke for twenty-five minutes about the gravity of the patient’s diagnosis, the chemotherapies that theoretically could be used, and all the reasons why the patient was too sick to qualify for them.
A patient with a failing liver asked me how much time I thought he had to live and begged me not to mince my words.

The orginal article.

Summary of “and learned to refuse invitations without guilt”

To me, there are few things more unendurable than counting down the minutes until you can reasonably leave a party without causing offence.
Lots of introverts become very good at hiding their discomfort, and I was one of them.
Every day, I had to speak to strangers, often asking them extremely personal and probing questions – an odd career choice for an introvert, perhaps, but I am very interested in other people’s lives and I hoped it would help me to overcome my fear.
With my newfound acceptance of being an introvert, I started saying no to things.
No to parties with free booze, bowling with colleagues after work or university reunions.
Here’s the thing: no one notices whether you leave a party early, because you are never as entertaining as you think you are.
Introverts are often unfairly maligned, framed either as troubled loners or posturing snobs.
So please don’t ask me to talk to strangers, or come to a party.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality”

Back in 1961, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner outlined a thought experiment that demonstrated one of the lesser-known paradoxes of quantum mechanics.
The experiment shows how the strange nature of the universe allows two observers-say, Wigner and Wigner’s friend-to experience different realities.
Physicists have used the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment to explore the nature of measurement and to argue over whether objective facts can exist.
That’s provided some entertaining fodder for after-dinner conversation, but Wigner’s thought experiment has never been more than that-just a thought experiment.
Last year physicists noticed that recent advances in quantum technologies have made it possible to reproduce the Wigner’s Friend test in a real experiment.
Their conclusion is that Wigner was correct-these realities can be made irreconcilable so that it is impossible to agree on objective facts about an experiment.
Wigner has no information about his friend’s measurement and so is forced to assume that the photon and the measurement of it are in a superposition of all possible outcomes of the experiment.
In other words, the experiment suggests that one or more of the assumptions-the idea that there is a reality we can agree on, the idea that we have freedom of choice, or the idea of locality-must be wrong.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Seem More Competent, Be More Confident”

One important reason this happens is that people are simply not great at assessing competence – a crucial trait for succeeding at work – and perceptions of competence are just as important for success as actual competence.
Because of this, people tend to evaluate competence based on other factors, meaning you have to do more than produce results to convince them of your expertise.
Lo and behold, the person’s prediction had a strong influence on how subjects perceived their competence: Observers evaluated those who made optimistic predictions as much more competent than their modest contemporaries – no matter how accurate those predictions were and how well they actually performed.
A negative forecast may lead you to be perceived as distinctly less competent – no matter how well you actually perform.
Why do people view confident others as more competent, even when their performance suggests otherwise? One explanation is that we have a tendency to believe what we are told, and to confirm our beliefs by selecting information that supports them.
To feel more authentic demonstrating confidence, you may first have to convince yourself.
Do you think they have a good sense of your competence and expertise? If not, could you be demonstrating more confidence in your tasks? This doesn’t necessarily mean praising yourself at every opportunity; rather it means projecting an optimistic attitude.
By displaying more confidence in your abilities, you set yourself up to be recognized for your competence and your contributions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon: A Lyrical Illustrated Meditation on Loneliness, Otherness, and the Joy of Belonging Found – Brain Pickings”

“You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people,” Olivia Laing wrote in her lyrical exploration of loneliness and the search for belonging.
Our need for belonging is indeed the warp thread of our humanity, and our locus of belonging – determined in part by our choices and in part by the cards chance has dealt us in what we were born as and where – is a pillar of our identity.
For those who have migrated far from their homeland, and especially for those of us who have migrated alone, without the built-in social support structure of a community or a family unit, this rupture of belonging can be particularly disorienting and lonesome-making.
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place,” Maya Angelou told Bill Moyers in their fantastic 1973 conversation about freedom – a freedom the conquest of which can be a whole life’s work.
Poet JonArno Lawson, author of the wondrous Sidewalk Flowers, and artist Nahid Kazemi take up these complex questions with great simplicity and thoughtful sensitivity in Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon – a spare, uncommonly poetic meditation on belonging and what it means to be oneself as both counterpoint and counterpart to otherness, as a thinking, feeling, wakeful atom of life amid the constellation of other atoms.
One day, something subtle but profound shifts in the bird – the gaze of a young girl sparks a quickening of heart, a certain opening to the possibility of belonging, a new curiosity about the nature of life – about what it means to be.
In this foreign-looking land, which Kazemi’s palm trees and Middle Eastern architecture contrast with the deciduous crowns and Western cityscapes of the melancholy world, the bird finds a homecoming among other birds – a newfound joy in being “Alone and together, over the rooftops and under the moon.”
For a grownup counterpart, revisit Alfred Kazin on loneliness and the immigrant experience and Amin Maalouf on belonging and how we inhabit our identity.

The orginal article.