I read an article called the The makeover trap, and one of its quotes,
“What is valorised in makeover culture is not the finished look but the willingness to undertake the neverending process of beautification”
got me to wondering why we would spend so much of our limited resources (time, effort and money) to look good in general.
It’s well known that like the peacock’ oversized tail, many in the animal kingdom have elaborate courtship rituals and/or have fancy features to prove the superiority of their genes, essentially advertising “I can survive and thrive and even have extra energy for unnecessary (and sometimes even hindering) features/actions”. Is it the same instinct in humans, trying to demonstrate their superiority by proving that they can succeed in life AND have the extra resources to keep themselves looking beautiful? Many aspects of what we find beautiful is directly related to how much effort it takes, from a well-toned body (daily workouts) to hairstyle, make-up, home furnishings, etc.. Even in fashion, clothes that look like a lot of effort went into creating, are often considered more beautiful.
How much of your time and resources is spent on looking good? Would you be happier if you could spend even more resources?
Food for thought.
How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon.
By Georgina Kenyon | 6 January 2016 | BBC Future
According to the article below, part of the reason is the internet — but that’s not the whole picture. (Also see post Will religion ever disappear?)
Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use.
April 4, 2014 | MIT Technology Review
Interesting discussion from BBC.
by Rachel Nuwer | 19 December 2014 | BBC Future
Atheism is on the rise around the world, so does that mean spirituality will soon be a thing of the past? Rachel Nuwer discovers that the answer is far from simple.
An evolutionary explanation of why we laugh and smile and cry the way we do. Seems very convincing and eye-opening. Make sure you get to the last paragraph.
From the excellent:
Why do laughter, smiles and tears look so similar? Perhaps because they all evolved from a single root
Michael Graziano is a neuroscientist, novelist and composer. He is a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. His latest book is Consciousness and the Social Brain.
Fascinating read on how our brains deal with repetition. Make sure you go to the article site to experience the audio clips.
Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains
by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis | 7 March 2014 | Aeon Magazine
“…The middle class focuses on saving money, he says; the rich focuses on how to earn it. The middle class worries about money; the rich dream about it. The middle class has a “lottery mentality,” believing their lives are influenced by luck or other external forces; the rich has an “action mentality,” where they determine their own futures…”
From The Globe and Mail, September 21, 2012:
You’d think overconfidence would be a bad trait to have. This article discusses why it can be good. From Discover Magazine, Jan-Feb 2012:
Overconfidence can help explain wars, financial disasters, and collapsed civilizations. Social scientist James Fowler explores how such a destructive social trait manages to thrive.
A recent study analyzing tweets globally suggests that innate biological rhythms play a big role in our moods.