My Visit to the World’s First Gym for Your Face

Self-improvement imperatives always offer the seductive notion of untapped potential: it’s a bummer to feel like you have to change, but a thrill, sometimes, to imagine that you can. The trouble is that there is no feasible end to this process.

And this, too:

Today, young female professionals have an unprecedented amount of economic and social capital; at the same time, our adulthood has been defined by constant visual self-surveillance, a market-friendly feminism that favors any female acquisitive behavior, and an overwhelming redirection of anxiety into the “wellness” space.

Why Walking Helps Us Think

When we choose a path through a city or forest, our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward, and translate that plan into a series of footsteps. Likewise, writing forces the brain to review its own landscape, plot a course through that mental terrain, and transcribe the resulting trail of thoughts by guiding the hands. Walking organizes the world around us; writing organizes our thoughts.

– Ferris Jabr.

In “Collateral Beauty” and “Passengers,” Two Tales of Gaslighting – The New Yorker

Fantasy, even when it’s rooted in practical details and doesn’t involve any metaphysical impossibilities, is the hardest genre to pull off, for the simple reason that life is interesting. A drama or a comedy that sticks close to experience has the intrinsic virtue of documentary—and, as with documentary itself, less is usually more.

In “Collateral Beauty” and “Passengers,” Two Tales of Gaslighting – The New Yorker

My Writing Education: A Time Line – The New Yorker

George Saunders is a gem.

There’s this theory that self-esteem has to do with getting confirmation from the outside world that our perceptions are fundamentally accurate. What Doug does at this meeting is increase my self-esteem by confirming that my perception of the work I’d been doing is fundamentally accurate. The work I’ve been doing is bad. Or, worse: it’s blah. This is uplifting–liberating, even—to have my unspoken opinion of my work confirmed. I don’t have to pretend bad is good. This frees me to leave it behind and move on and try to do something better.

My Writing Education: A Time Line – The New Yorker

Enlightenment on Your iPhone

To pluck some things from the list, while ignoring others, strikes many Buddhists as absurd. McMahan said, “It would be as if somebody went to the Catholic Church and said, ‘I don’t buy all this stuff about Jesus and God, but I really dig this Communion ritual. Would you just teach me how to do that bit? Oh, and I want to start a company marketing wafers.’

Enlightenment on Your iPhone

We make ourselves lists in order to know if we think what we think.

Sasha Frere-Jones.

There is no finality in a list, just a promise that we will argue about everything listed, adjust our thoughts, and watch our feelings change over time.

Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete

Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete

The U.S. Open’s Federer-less Final – The New Yorker

The U.S. Open’s Federer-less Final – The New Yorker