Money

How empiric investigation can cause pain

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Who would have imagined that studying 17th century philology can cause one to lose considerable amount of money? Apparently, the relationship between one and the other is all about the perspective you are looking from. Philology, to remind those of you who don´t use this word on a daily basis (such as everyone before beginning actually studying it), is the study of textual expression of practically any sort. While the most common application of it is in Literature, one can certainly be engaged in a philological research on mathematic treaties, on city planning and of course on Politics and Economy.

Quentin_Massys_moneylender and wife
Quentin Massys, Moneylender and wife

The difficulties begin when an investigator is too absorbed in her research, then, some changes in her life are unavoidable. My friend’s investigation entails different reflections on political theory and economics from both pragmatically and philosophical (the latter from mainly a moral-philosophy perspective). As an inspired investigator, she as well, wanted to experience some of the understanding (or lack) of the issues that occupied her days and began being more mobilize in different areas. Hence, she confided in her banker her curiosities et viola, her first investment in the stock market. Little did she know, this will exhaust her, causing sleepless nights and anxiously staring at the computer screen watching every minute and each movement of the undulation of the market’s points. She thought that after few texts she already understood the essence of a transaction, a visible exchange and the commercial movements, at least until she had entered the beast. Consumed by fluctuating human emotions in an unimaginable speed between the joy of winning, despair of uncertainty, depression of losing and the long, arduous seconds between one update and another.

crisisToday, on the threshold of a new recession, she sees her banker on a daily basis. She already got used to the smell of lack of morning shower, just as she tried earnestly not to be bothered by the amount of scalps accumulated on his shoulders. She told me once how she knows with all her senses and intuition that this person should be the last person anyone should listen to an advice from. However, an unknown, incredible force, prevented her from backing down. Is it the fear of judge oneself as a looser? Is it a gambling addiction? Or maybe simply the adrenaline mixed with the thought of being linked to the writers she is working on? Surely, there are many reasons, some coherent and understandable while others are mysterious and hollow.

Angelo_Bronzino_Alegoria del amor detalleThe living mind that is called The Stock Market has a life of its own. It is responding to the panic from one hand and euphoric emotions from the other. There is no way to predict where the next point will be. With Trispectivism it is quickly observed how the result of the stock market is, in fact, the sum of millions of individuals interacting at different levels while at the same time its idiosyncratic existence is as one magnanimous entity (a more elaborate post about Economy viewed by Trispectivism in the near future).

In his work, Confusión de Confusiones (1668), José Penso de la Vega concluded in a conversation between a philosopher, a merchant and a broker, how the stock market is an indissoluble knot that no sword can cut. There is nothing else to do but buy and sell in the dark, do little, be armed with patience, and if you lose, pay the difference and prolong the game, constantly following opinions, if a new detail doesn´t appear suddenly.

Cover, Confusión de confusiones
Cover, Confusión de confusiones

Patience, -she said in the end,- patience…! – while in her eyes the sound of the falling hard-earned silver coins hitting the floor with the pronunciation of her every syllable Pa tience.

Weekly choice, by peers

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Self-Victimizing Again?

“Whether it is your weight, your emotions, your spouse, your children, your paycheck–if you continually find yourself feeling angry, resentful or upset by the events in your life, reflect on who you blame for life’s ups and downs. (…)How a person internalizes a particular point of view about control speaks volumes about their ability to live with a sense of wellbeing and contentment. If your philosophy about control is outside of your conscious awareness then you are essentially a slave to it, repeating the same negative dynamics again and again, all the while feeling at the mercy of circumstance. Over time, repeatedly reenacting the same problematic patterns of behavior causes a self-fulfilling prophesy to manifest. A person comes to believe that they truly cannot impact their own future; thereby sealing their fate as nothing more than a cog in a wheel that goes nowhere.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/having-sex-wanting-intimacy/201312/self-victimizing-again

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The Power of Empathy: A Quick Animated Lesson That Can Make You a Better Person

EmpathyRSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) created a series of distinctive animated shorts where heavy-hitter intellectuals presented big ideas, and a talented artist rapidly illustrated them on a whiteboard. This clip features Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, providing some quick insights into the difference between sympathy and empathy, and explaining why empathy is much more meaningful.”

http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/the-power-of-empathy.html

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High Emotional Intelligence Dramatically Improves Decision-Making

images“A new study finds that people with high emotional intelligence make smarter decisions because they aren’t swayed by their current emotional state. Yip and Côté (2013) ran two experiments to test how different people deal with spurious emotional states that are not related to the decision at hand. In one, participants were made to feel anxious by being asked to prepare an impromptu speech. Then they were asked whether they wanted to sign up to a flu clinic.

The results showed that people with higher emotional intelligence were more aware that the experimentally-induced anxiety they felt was not related to the decision about the flu clinic.

Those with high levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to ignore those emotions that have nothing to do with their decision. For those who find it problematic making sense of their emotions, the easiest solution is simply stated (although not always easy to execute): wait until later.”

http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/12/high-emotional-intelligence-dramatically-improves-decision-making.php

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TED’s best of the week

Paul Piff: Does money make you mean?

How does being rich affect the way we behave? In today’s talk, social psychologist Paul Piff provides a convincing case for the answer: not well.

“As a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases,” he says in his talk from TEDx Marin. Through surveys and studies, Piff and his colleagues have found that wealthier individuals are more likely to moralize greed and self-interest as favorable, less likely to be prosocial, and more likely to cheat and break laws if it behooves them.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean.html

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Book of the week! Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses_(1967_film_dvd_cover)Ulysses is a  novel written by the Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. It is considered to be one of the most important works of Modernist literature, and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”. Joyce’s devoted fans can be seen celebrating June 16th every year, Bloomsday, the day in which all of the action of Ulysses takes place in the spinning clockwork of Dublin in 1904.

The celebrated novel was banned in America until 1934 because of its “pornographic” nature, a comical artefact of the country’s prudishness. The novel was also labeled as dirty, blasphemous, and unreadable.

The two main characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of indelible Dubliners. We watch them teach, eat, stroll the streets, argue, and (in Bloom’s case) masturbate. And thanks to the books stream-of-consciousness technique–which suggests no mere stream but an impossibly deep, swift-running river–we’re privy to their thoughts, emotions, and memories. As for the result, almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordion folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism.

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

An interesting documentary about the author and his masterpiece:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI7ZnHIF0Xo