It’s summer and we all need a holiday. This blog is taking a hiatus until next term. Enjoy your break. You deserve it.
I started this blog mainly as a way of remembering things I’d come across during my researches. As I was recording things anyway it seemed reasonable to make it available to everyone.
Based on that extremely slim reasoning the blog has grown until now when I have noticed that it has 3000 email subscribers.
That’s exciting, humbling and terrifying in equal measure. Thanks for dropping by.
To be clear, the chances of me ever clearing out the teetering piles of unread books that litter what used to be my study are approaching zero.
If you possess more will-power this might help.
…Marie Kondo‘s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, [was] first published in Japan in 2011 and in English in 2014. Now people all over the world have read it to learn the simple secrets of Kondo’s “KonMari method” of decluttering — or have given it to friends and relatives they see as badly in need of such a method. Still, all but the most ascetic of us occasionally bend to the hoarder’s instinct in certain areas of life, and it would surely surprise none of us to find out that Open Culture readers have, on occasion, been known to let their bookshelves run over.
Guilty as charged.
There are some words out there that are brilliantly evocative and at the same time impossible to fully translate. Yiddish has the word shlimazl, which basically means a perpetually unlucky person. German has the word Backpfeifengesicht, which roughly means a face that is badly in need of a fist. And then there’s the Japanese word tsundoku, which perfectly describes the state of my apartment. It means buying books and letting them pile up unread.
Any student wondering why ethics compliance is so strict need only look at one of the most infamous experiments ever undertaken to understand where the issues might arise.
For decades following World War II, the world was left wondering how the atrocities of the Holocaust could have been perpetrated in the midst of—and, most horrifically, by—a modern and civilized society. How did people come to engage in a willing and systematic extermination of their neighbors? Psychologists, whose field had grown into a grudgingly respected science by the midpoint of the 20th century, were eager to tackle the question.
In 1961, Yale University’s Stanley Milgram began a series of infamous obedience experiments. While Adolf Eichmann’s trial was underway in Jerusalem (resulting in Hannah Arendt’s five-piece reportage, which became one of The New Yorker magazine’s most dramatic and controversial article series), Milgram began to suspect that human nature was more straightforward than earlier theorists had imagined; he wondered, as he later wrote, “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?”