Musing, News, and the Past

72 notes

theatlantic:

Vladimir Putin: Narcissist-in-Chief?

Among the world’s many politicians to be regularly called a narcissist, Vladimir Putin may be given the label the most, and with the most serious intent, especially since the Sochi Olympics and the Russian invasion of Crimea. During a recent segment on the PBC NewsHour, for example, New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that U.S. attitudes toward Putin have “hardened to an amazing degree” and the current administration now views him as a “narcissistic autocrat.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, has accused Putin of “narcissistic megalomania.” The Financial Times referred to the Sochi Olympics as “Putin’s narcissistic self-tribute.”
Photos of the Russian president scuba-diving, piloting a plane, behind the wheel of a race car, demonstrating his skill in martial arts, and baring his chest on horseback only contribute to this view and evoke the predictably derisive response: Putin is a narcissist.
But is it accurate to describe Putin as a narcissist in the clinical sense of the word? Can an understanding of the psychological roots of narcissism help us to gain deeper insight into the man and how we should respond to his aggression, rather than using the label to deride him?
Maybe.
Read more. [Image: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP]

theatlantic:

Vladimir Putin: Narcissist-in-Chief?

Among the world’s many politicians to be regularly called a narcissist, Vladimir Putin may be given the label the most, and with the most serious intent, especially since the Sochi Olympics and the Russian invasion of Crimea. During a recent segment on the PBC NewsHour, for example, New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that U.S. attitudes toward Putin have “hardened to an amazing degree” and the current administration now views him as a “narcissistic autocrat.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, has accused Putin of “narcissistic megalomania.” The Financial Times referred to the Sochi Olympics as “Putin’s narcissistic self-tribute.”

Photos of the Russian president scuba-diving, piloting a plane, behind the wheel of a race car, demonstrating his skill in martial arts, and baring his chest on horseback only contribute to this view and evoke the predictably derisive response: Putin is a narcissist.

But is it accurate to describe Putin as a narcissist in the clinical sense of the word? Can an understanding of the psychological roots of narcissism help us to gain deeper insight into the man and how we should respond to his aggression, rather than using the label to deride him?

Maybe.

Read more. [Image: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP]

236 notes

theatlantic:

The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science-Fiction

When I’m introduced to someone as a writer, a now familiar pattern of events often follows.
“Oh, really! How interesting!” the someone—let’s call her Jane—says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “What do you write?”
“Science fiction,” I say.
Jane instantly glazes over. “I’m afraid I never read science fiction.”
In other instances, people who know me have read a book of mine out of curiosity and then told me, in some surprise, that they liked it—“even though I don’t normally like science fiction.” Indeed, when a short story collection of mine won a non-genre prize, it was apparently a surprise to the judges themselves: According to the chair of the judging panel, “none of [them] knew they were science-fiction fans beforehand.”
The assumption seems to be that a book that comes with a genre label like “science fiction” must necessarily be lightweight stuff—not really comparable with “non-genre” works.
This may partly be due to the fact that the word “genre” has two different meanings which are often muddled up. The basic meaning of “genre” is simply kind or category or form of fiction, and in that sense, any work of fiction can be assigned to some genre or another. But “genre” is also used in a different way to make a distinction between “genre” and “non-genre” fiction. “Non-genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed on the “general fiction” or “fiction and literature” shelves in Barnes and Noble. “Genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed in its own designated corners: Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction.
Read more. [Image: Phil Whitehouse / Flickr]

theatlantic:

The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science-Fiction

When I’m introduced to someone as a writer, a now familiar pattern of events often follows.

“Oh, really! How interesting!” the someone—let’s call her Jane—says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “What do you write?”

“Science fiction,” I say.

Jane instantly glazes over. “I’m afraid I never read science fiction.”

In other instances, people who know me have read a book of mine out of curiosity and then told me, in some surprise, that they liked it—“even though I don’t normally like science fiction.” Indeed, when a short story collection of mine won a non-genre prize, it was apparently a surprise to the judges themselves: According to the chair of the judging panel, “none of [them] knew they were science-fiction fans beforehand.”

The assumption seems to be that a book that comes with a genre label like “science fiction” must necessarily be lightweight stuff—not really comparable with “non-genre” works.

This may partly be due to the fact that the word “genre” has two different meanings which are often muddled up. The basic meaning of “genre” is simply kind or category or form of fiction, and in that sense, any work of fiction can be assigned to some genre or another. But “genre” is also used in a different way to make a distinction between “genre” and “non-genre” fiction. “Non-genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed on the “general fiction” or “fiction and literature” shelves in Barnes and Noble. “Genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed in its own designated corners: Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction.

Read more. [Image: Phil Whitehouse / Flickr]

418 notes

thatforeignchick:

The first picture is the day when the bridge was destructed. The second picture was taken before the Bosnian War and rest of the pictures are of the new bridge that was built in 2004. This is one of the most beautiful cities and I recommend anyone who gets a chance to go visit. Don’t Forget November 9, 1993!!!!! Mostar u srcu <3.

(via theactofhistory)

62 notes

detroiturbex:

Detroit: Evolution of a City

Today we’re launching a new section of the website. Detroit: Evolution of a City is an expansion of the Cass Tech Now and Then pictures from a few years back, only instead of one school, we’re taking a look at the history of the city and how it has changed. There are five interactive sections, starting with the growth of the city from 1880 to 1950, loss of industry, unrest, decay, and lastly, revival.
If you like it, please share it. Your feedback and criticism is always welcome.

detroiturbex:

Detroit: Evolution of a City

Today we’re launching a new section of the website. Detroit: Evolution of a City is an expansion of the Cass Tech Now and Then pictures from a few years back, only instead of one school, we’re taking a look at the history of the city and how it has changed. There are five interactive sections, starting with the growth of the city from 1880 to 1950, loss of industry, unrest, decay, and lastly, revival.

If you like it, please share it. Your feedback and criticism is always welcome.

(via theactofhistory)