Summary of “The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy”

Photo by VICE.What if I told you there was a paper on climate change that was so uniquely catastrophic, so perspective-altering, and so absolutely depressing that it’s sent people to support groups and encouraged them to quit their jobs and move to the countryside?
“Climate change is going to fuck us over. I remember thinking, Should I just accept the deep adaptation paper and move to the Scottish countryside and wait out the apocalypse?”.
Professor Jem Bendell, a sustainability academic at the University of Cumbria, wrote the paper after taking a sabbatical at the end of 2017 to review and understand the latest climate science “Properly-not sitting on the fence anymore,” as he puts it on the phone to me.
“Jem’s paper is in the main well-researched and supported by relatively mainstream climate science,” says Professor Rupert Read, chair of the Green House think-tank and a philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia.
“Emerald requested the author correct their blog post to reflect the facts. This request was unfortunately ignored. The post continues to imply the paper was rejected because it was deemed too controversial. The paper was not rejected, and was given a Major Revision due to the rigorous standards of the scholarly output of the journal.”
Bendell’s paper appears to have hit a unique nerve, especially given that the average scientific paper is estimated to be read by only three or so people.
She had read the IPCC report warning that the world is nowhere near averting global temperature increases, as well as the 1,656-page National Climate Assessment on how climate change is now dramatically affecting our lives-and then she read Bendell’s paper.
Reading the paper, she says, helped to crystallize her increasing uneasiness about the pace and scale of climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “14 Things About Life I Need To Remind Myself Of Every Day”

No matter how much I read, journal, and process all the wisdom of life, I keep on forgetting the things that make life better.
You also nurture your brain by reminding yourself of all the things that make life better.
What matters is that you have good intentions and that you do your best to make today the best day of your life.
The funny thing is, that the middle IS our life.
Who are you? What kind of life do you want? Shape your life by your decisions.
Believe me, I try hard to convince myself that I don’t need to work out every day.
So you want to wake up, meditate, read, go to the gym, work, have lunch with a friend, pick up a few things from the store, work on your hobby, AND go to the movies?
All of a sudden, we think we can do 10 things on one day instead of the regular 4/5. Make a decision.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Line Editing a Lost Art?”

Line editing is the ultimate union of writer and editor; the line-edit means we cede control, and the pen, to someone else.
George Witte, editor-in-chief at St. Martin’s Press, has said “Many copyeditors do the work that line editors should have done.” Often copyediting is done from a distance, but as with Erskine and Ellison, Gottlieb and Heller, line editors have a direct relationship with the writer.
In a pair of essays for The Guardian, Blake Morrison and Alex Clark struck elegiac notes about such personal line editing.
Instead of thinking about line editing as a forgotten art, one callously consumed by the book business, we should consider it a privilege-a gift-enjoyed by some writers, but not most.
Rust Hills-the fiction editor at Esquire before, and after, Gordon Lish-said that “Teaching fiction writing and editing magazine fiction have many odd differences,” but “They do have the same rather odd ultimate purpose in common: trying to get someone else to produce a fine short story.” Line editor as teacher and guide feels like a useful metaphor-and one that I’ve experienced myself.
“I look at a line and know pretty much immediately what changes, deletions, movements of phrase, would make it better, stronger, tighter. Clarity, meaning, sense, as Frank Conroy told his grad students. It’s harder of course to edit oneself, but I can’t help reading even published writing as a line editor.”
Her method brings me back to her office in Newark, where I learned that editing is not something we do to writing; editing is writing.
“Intention can make for an interesting conversation, but it doesn’t write a book. So often, the writing is sparking, throwing off sounds, smells, glows, meant to draw us deeper in as writers-but we enter through the line itself, always.” When I got back my manuscripts from Jayne Anne, the pages were warped with marks; they felt heavier, worn.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Starting Your Day on the Internet Is Damaging Your Brain”

I’ve said before the first 3 hours of your day can dictate how your life turns out.
You can either start you day with junk food for the brain or you can start the day with healthy food for the brain.
Anytime I start my day with junk food for the brain, the quality of the day goes down.
As Mark Manson so brilliantly said, cell phones are the new cigarettes, And a significant amount of what’s on the internet is nothing more than junk food for the brain.
The idea for this article was actually the result of giving my brain some health food to start the day.
When you start the day with health food for your brain, you don’t end up depleting your willpower, and as a result you get more done in far less time.
So how exactly do you start the day with health food for your brain? To wean ourselves off of junk food for the brain, we have to actually replace it with something else.
You can accomplish extraordinary things in just one focused hour a day of uninterrupted creation time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Three Writing Rules to Disregard”

Certain prose rules are essentially inarguable-­that a sentence’s subject and its verb should agree in number, for instance.
I swear to you, a well-­constructed sentence sounds better.
A good sentence, I find myself saying frequently, is one that the reader can follow from beginning to end, no matter how long it is, without having to double back in confusion because the writer misused or omitted a key piece of punctuation, chose a vague or misleading pronoun, or in some other way engaged in inadvertent misdirection.
No, do begin a sentence with “And” or “But,” if it strikes your fancy to do so.
You may find that your “And” or “But” sentence might easily attach to its predecessor sentence with either a comma or a semicolon.
One thing to add: Writers who are not so adept at linking their sentences habitually toss in a “But” or a “However” to create the illusion that a second thought contradicts a first thought when it doesn’t do any such thing.
Let me say this about this: Ending a sentence with a preposition isn’t always such a hot idea, mostly because a sentence should, when it can, aim for a powerful finale and not simply dribble off like an old man’s unhappy micturition.
To tie a sentence into a strangling knot to avoid a prepositional conclusion is unhelpful and unnatural, and it’s something no good writer should attempt and no eager reader should have to contend with.

The orginal article.

Summary of “from practical primers to sci-fi short stories”

Experts are already building a future world brimming with artificial intelligence, but here in the present most of us are still trying to figure out what AI even is.
Questions like, “What is the nature of creativity?” and “How do we define consciousness?” Posing the question “How can I understand AI?” is nearly as daunting as asking “What is the meaning of life?”.
In order to help, The Verge has assembled a reading list: a brief but diverse compendium of books, short stories, and blogs, all chosen by leading figures in the AI world to help you better understand artificial intelligence.
It’s an eclectic selection that ranges from practical primers to Golden Age sci-fi, and while reading everything listed below won’t get you a job at Google, it will give you much-needed context for this confusing and exciting time.
Superintelligence is the book about the threat posed by artificial general intelligence, or AGI, written by Oxford philosophy professor Bostrom.
It’s inspired some questionable pronouncements from tech leaders on the threat from killer robots, but is the best introduction I’ve read to the problem of making smart machines safe; a problem which applies whether they’re super-smart or actually quite dumb.
Despite the gloomy topic, this non-fiction book is a surprisingly fun read, feeling closer to science fiction at times.
The Master Algorithm is a broader read that provides an excellent introduction to the technical aspects of AI. It walks you through all the basic components and concepts, from evolutionary algorithms to Bayesian probability, while showing how machine learning as a field cross-pollinates with disciplines like neuroscience and psychology.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Read the Good Books”

When we enter into sacred texts as readers, rather than as worshippers-treating them, the way we might the Odyssey or “Beowulf,” as ancient vessels of meaning crafted by people who, like all writers, had their good moments and their misses-we gain much, but we lose much, too.
By searching around for the good bits, we read past the point, and past their point of view: intending to honor the texts by humanizing them, we insult them by aestheticizing them.
Curiosity about what the sacred texts say, and about how we ought to read them even if we don’t think them sacred, is a persistent preoccupation of our era, and has produced not a few robust publishing projects.
The experience is of going back to school, where a superb professor is paraphrasing the text from the original as he comments on it: “You might say that it says … but that doesn’t quite capture it, so perhaps the best equivalent would be …” The K.J.V. rose to meet a moment when growing literacy and Protestant feeling made the individual connection with the text matter: it was for men reading on their own or preachers seeking a passage to elucidate.
This Bible is aware of how much awareness reading a sacred text demands.
Showing outsiders to Islamic traditions how to navigate this text, as a literary and historical document, is an intimidating challenge, and no more splendidly intimidating book has appeared in the past year than “The Qur’ān and the Bible”, by Gabriel Said Reynolds, a professor of Islamic studies and theology at Notre Dame.
It can seem mysterious that Quranic references to the Biblical texts are nonetheless so frequent and so deft, until you stop to think about just how much can be transmitted by shared storytelling, even in a hyperliterate culture like ours, let alone in a bardic oral culture like that of seventh-century Arabia.
The nonbelieving reader of sacred texts has the advantage of being undisturbed by the countless alienating passages that they contain: why be distressed, such a reader might ask, by the relentlessly patriarchal tone of either the Bible or the Quran-or by their tolerance of slavery, or, for that matter, by the tribal genocide regularly urged in Exodus? If one is taking the texts not as divine rule, or even as contemporary moral discourse rather, as inspired ancient poetry, episodes in the history of civilization, one can be serenely unsurprised that they share the values of their time and place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties”

There aren’t just books to read but books I’ve already read. Lives I’ve lived.
No one reads everything, nor even all the books they’d like to.
John Muir’s famous quote about ecology might as well have been about choosing what books to buy: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” The bookstore is a liminal space.
Entering a bookstore now, at 44, with the benefit of hindsight, the choices I made as a young writer seem almost inevitable.
As luck would have it, the story of that half-year became my first published book, and the book helped me land a teaching job in Massachusetts.
There waiting in an inconspicuous bookstore in Concord, Massachusetts, in a glossy oversized coffee table book, was a glassy-green piece of my heart, a glimpse of a life I couldn’t get back.
As my father so eloquently reminded me last year when I mentioned I’d been shoveling snow: “Be careful, Bud: You’re in the heart-attack zone.” How many books do I have left to read?
How does reading evolve? Are books to us as leaves are to trees, feeding us while we hold them, then decomposing and feeding us again after we’ve let them go? I’m heartened by my elders.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Pop-Up Book Imagines Animals’ Future”

Read: Are we living through climate change’s worst-case scenario?
Sheehy’s project was initially inspired by paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey’s 1995 book The Sixth Extinction.
“That was the first time I’d ever thought about the Earth’s five big extinction events, and that the sixth one, which might have the same sort of drama, is our fault,” Sheehy says.
Read: How I talk to my daughter about climate change.
Sheehy, a former elementary-school teacher, is careful not to burden his young readers with real horrors.
As in his previous pop-up book Welcome to the Neighborwood, a much cuddlier tale about real-life animal builders, his primary goal is to provoke curiosity about “What else is out there that we don’t know about yet”-whether “Out there” is the backyard or the distant future.
The creatures of Beyond the Sixth Extinction, like the scientifically informed inventions of novelists Paolo Bacigalupi and Jeff VanderMeer, are just familiar enough, and plausible enough, to root in the imagination, and its passing place references-the “Cagoan District” includes the “Ohare Site,” infamous among 21st-century travelers-add to its eerie believability.
As a contemplation of adaptability, resilience, and the many possible consequences of the present for the future, Beyond the Sixth Extinction can be an adventure for former teenagers, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What It Felt Like When “Cat Person” Went Viral”

I tried to explain to her what was happening, and then she went online herself and, at some point, she said, “Oh, my God, Kristen, someone Barack Obama follows just retweeted your story.” Then she burst into tears.
The story is told in the close third person, and much of it is spent describing Margot’s thought process as she realizes that she does not want to have sex with Robert but then decides, for a variety of reasons, to go through with it anyway.
I received many in-depth descriptions, from men, of sexual encounters they’d had, because they thought I’d “Just like to know.” I got e-mails from people I hadn’t talked to in years who wondered if I’d noticed that my story had gone viral.
I’d wanted people to be able to see themselves in the story, to identify with it in such a way that its narrative scaffolding would disappear.
Perhaps inevitably, as the story was shared again and again, moving it further and further from its original context, people began conflating me, the author, with the main character.
This isn’t true, even if you haven’t had a story go viral.
Here’s the catch: when you read a story I’ve written, you’re not thinking about me-you’re thinking as me.
After “Cat Person” went viral, I sold my first book, a story collection.

The orginal article.