Summary of “Burned out and overwhelmed: should you embrace the joy of no?”

It is on the cover of two new books, The Joy of No by Debbie Chapman, published at the end of last year, and The Joy of Missing Out, by the philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann, published earlier this month.
As Brinkmann writes in The Joy of Missing Out – his reversal of the Twitter phenomenon #Fomo, the fear of missing out – there is intense and growing pressure to go out more, acquire more, and just be more.
The wish to say no instead of saying yes, to stay in instead of going out, to discard instead of to accumulate – these are all logical responses to our feelings of being overstretched, overtired and overwhelmed.
He says: “I think that once a tendency or a counter-tendency starts to trend in this way, it becomes part of the culture it wants to critique or resist. It enters the circuit of anxiety.” Inevitably we begin asking ourselves, are we saying no enough? Are we missing out enough? Are we not working enough? As we strive to embrace the virtues of restraint, of doing less, of leaving space, we risk destroying that which we seek.
You are missing out on absolutely everything and feeling very smug about it, too.
Such big questions can be addressed by psychoanalysis, says Cohen, since, “Uniquely to itself, it encourages us to ask questions about how we live that we are allowed to sit with, and turn over, and not feel under pressure to resolve. It asks us to be with the question rather than leap to the answer.” He also suggests taking a long walk with no destination in mind, or meeting a friend without a time limit or agenda – in other words, trying to create an expanse in your life that is not hemmed in by time, space, or purpose.
As for #Jono and #Jomo – well, for me, saying no and missing out are not where I find my joy.
Cohen says: “If you read the great poets of joy, like Rilke, they think of joy as something fleeting. There is something sad about it, because one feels its passing as one experiences it – it is not some kind of permanent aspiration, a solid state.” It is a word that loses all meaning when it is part of a hashtagged acronym.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nature and the Serious Business of Joy – Brain Pickings”

“Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity,” Rachel Carson wrote in reflecting on our spiritual bond with nature shortly before she awakened the modern environmental conscience.
The rewards and redemptions of that elemental yet endangered response is what British naturalist and environmental writer Michael McCarthy, a modern-day Carson, explores in The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy – part memoir and part manifesto, a work of philosophy rooted in environmental science and buoyed by a soaring poetic imagination.
The natural world can offer us more than the means to survive, on the one hand, or mortal risks to be avoided, on the other: it can offer us joy.
Referring to it as joy may not facilitate its immediate comprehension either, not least because joy is not a concept, nor indeed a word, that we are entirely comfortable with, in the present age.
On glimpsing the planet from deep space, we saw not only the true wonder of its shimmering blue beauty, but also the true nature of its limits.
Shelley did so with his skylark, and Keats with his nightingale, and Thomas Hardy with the skylark of Shelley, and Edward Thomas with his unknown bird, and Philip Larkin with his song thrush in a chilly spring garden, but we need to remake, remake, remake, not just rely on the poems of the past, we need to do it ourselves – proclaim these worths through our own experiences in the coming century of destruction, and proclaim them loudly, as the reason why nature must not go down.
That most unquantifiable, most precious value of nature to human life, McCarthy insists, is the gift nestled in the responsibility – the gift of joy.
The union can be found, the union of ourselves and nature, in the joy which nature can spark and fire in us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Strange, Uplifting Tale of “Joy of Cooking” Versus the Food Scientist”

So it came as a shock, in 2009, when the prestigious scholarly journal Annals of Internal Medicine published a study under the pointed headline “The Joy of Cooking Too Much.” The study’s lead author, Brian Wansink, who runs Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, had made his reputation with a series of splashy studies on eating behavior-in 2005 his famous “Bottomless Bowls” study concluded that people will eat soup indefinitely if their supply is constantly replenished.
For “The Joy of Cooking Too Much,” Wansink and his frequent collaborator, the New Mexico State University professor Collin R. Payne, had examined the cookbook’s recipes in multiple “Joy” editions, beginning with the 1936 version, and determined that their calorie counts had increased over time by an average of forty-four per cent.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Wansink said that he’d decided to analyze “Joy” because he was looking for culprits in the obesity epidemic beyond fast food and other unhealthy restaurant cooking.
With the help of Rombauer’s biographer, they posted a response on the “Joy” Web site criticizing some of Wansink’s methods and calling attention to his sample size-out of the approximately forty-five hundred recipes that appear in later editions, he’d chosen eighteen, a mere 0.004 per cent of the book’s content.
The study turned up again and again over the years, becoming part of the conventional wisdom on obesity-a “Stand-in,” as Becker puts it, for the “Sad American Diet.” A cartoon that was commissioned by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab and published with the original study depicts a beefy newer edition of the book haranguing an older edition, jeering at its brother, “I have 44% more calories per serving than you do!” Wansink’s tiny sample set, especially, gnawed at the couple.
In his study report, Wansink explained the size as a methodological necessity, writing that “Since the first edition in 1936, only 18 recipes have been continuously published in each subsequent edition.” But, in researching the cookbook’s ninth edition, Becker and Scott had created an encyclopedic catalogue of thousands of legacy “Joy” recipes, and they counted several hundred recipes that had remained comparable from one edition to the next.
Lee’s article-which was based on interviews with Cornell Food and Brand Lab employees, and also private e-mails from within the lab, which were obtained through a public-records request-showed that Wansink regularly urged his staff to work the other way around: to manipulate sets of data in order to find patterns and then reverse-engineer hypotheses based on those conclusions.
Around the same time, Becker sent his own vast archive of material related to Wansink’s study-including a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet tracking the calorie count of hundreds of “Joy” recipes over time-to several academics, including to James Heathers, a behavioral scientist at Northeastern University.

The orginal article.