Weekly choice, by peers

What is Morality?

We speak about morality in many occasions. This time I want to present a link to a more scientific article. In «How does morality work in the brain? A functional and structural perspective of moral behavior»


“Neural underpinnings of morality are not yet well understood. Researchers in moral neuroscience have tried to find specific structures and processes that shed light on how morality works. Here, we review the main brain areas that have been associated with morality at both structural and functional levels and speculate about how it can be studied. Orbital and ventromedial prefrontal cortices are implicated in emotionally-driven moral decisions, while dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to moderate its response.”



Leadership crisis

While today’s column could focus solely on the government shutdown or various components thereof, a lack of leadership isn’t just a problem in the United States; it’s a global problem. It’s also much more than an indictment on global politics; it’s a systemic problem that pervades every level of society. I don’t think there’s much debate the world is ensnarled in a crisis of leadership. The question becomes what do we do about it?”




Through his personal experience, Scott Smith goes through 4 concepts that tent to put an end to our motivations. His revision of those problematic discouraging points might help us recognize it in ourselves and contribute to another small progress of eliminating and overcoming them.



TED’s best for the week:

“What is jealousy? What drives it, and why do we secretly love it? No study has ever been able to capture its “loneliness, longevity, grim thrill” — that is, except for fiction, according to Parul Sehgal, an editor for “The New York Times Book Review”. In an eloquent meditation she scours pages from literature to show how jealousy is not so different from a quest for knowledge.”



Book of the week!

Benito Cereno – Herman Melville

The question of interculturality is a constant theme in many books. Whenever there is an encounter between characters from different origin, the reader witness a way of unveiling the notion of the otherness in our fellow human kin. However, there are very little books that present this interaction in such an overwhelming way. Melville’s Benito Cereno is certainly one of them. While Herman Melville is known for his literary canon Moby Dick, the novella Benito Cereno is an incredible story that not only teaches us about the painful truth of the slave trade but also shows us a reality of three cultures. This encounter between the African, the European and the American is a mastery of a constant change of roles of the Hegelian Master & Slave. As we see in the selected quotes below:

Famous Quotes from the book:

  • “In fact, like most men of a good, blithe heart, Captain Delano took to Negroes, not philanthropically, but genially, just as other men to Newfoundland dogs.”
  • “All this, with what preceded, and what followed, occurred with such involutions of rapidity, that past, present, and future seems one.”
  • Forget it. See, yon bright sun has forgotten it all, and the blue sea, and the blue sky; these have turned over new leaves.”
    “Because they have no memory,” he dejectedly replied; “because they are not human.”
    “You are saved, Don Benito,” cried Captain Delano, more and more astonished and pained; “you are saved; what has cast such a shadow upon you?”
    “The Negro.”
  • “Benito Cereno, borne on the bier, did, indeed, follow his leader!”

Benito Cereno, Melville (pdf / audio book).


Person of the week!

Antoni_Gaudi_1878For whoever visited the great city of Barcelona in Spain must have visited one or more of the sites designed and constructed by Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926). The world known architect designed some of the most fascinating buildings and parks in the world. Gaudí, a prominent Catalan cultural figure studies, worked and lived in Barcelona. With his work he developed a particular architectural language of the highest esteem. The same esteem this great man had for nature, his great inspiration, as he once said: “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”

In Homage to Catalonia, (1938) George Orwell wrote on the Sagrada Familia: “For the first time since I had been in Barcelona I went to have a look at the cathedral–a modern cathedral, and one of the most hideous buildings in the world. It has four crenellated spires exactly the shape of hock bottles. Unlike most of the churches in Barcelona it was not damaged during the revolution–it was spared because of its ‘artistic value’, people said. I think the Anarchists showed bad taste in not blowing it up when they had the chance, though they did hang a red and black banner between its spires.”

La Sagrada Familiahttp://www.gaudisagradafamilia.com/. For a Short clip on its magnificence, Click here. Moreover, Gaudí was so responsible for its work that he made instructions for the continuance of the construction postmortem.  The magnum opus that began in 1883 is destined to end on 2026. Here is how it will look:

Park Güellhttp://www.gaudidesigner.com/uk/parc-guell-visite-parc.html

Casa Batlló  – http://www.casabatllo.es/

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