January Monthly Roundup

January Monthly Roundup January 27, 2019

Here are four things you should read that have challenged, informed, and fascinated me lately.

1. Finding God in the Cosmos, from America Magazine (here).

An interview with Vatican astronomer David Brown, S.J. Specializing in stellar evolution, Brown continues the long Church tradition of the study of the stars. This is a great reflection on how science cultivates love and wonder at the work of the Creator’s hands — primarily through beauty. He also touches on the proper relationship between science and faith in revelation.

[My work as a scientist] affirms my faith in God… when I look up into the sky or down at whatever data I have, I’m filled with a profound sense of awe for what God has made: its beauty, its mystery, its order.

2. The Empty Brain, from Aeon Magazine (here).

In this awesome piece, research psychologist Robert Epstein dismantles a prevalent misconception: that the human brain is like a computer. This idea, called the information-processing (IP) model, now dominates scientific and public thinking about cognition. Interestingly, this model assumes that the mind operates on symbolic representations, rather than direct and embodied interactions with reality. But Epstein shows that the metaphor is based in error.

Neuroscientists understand that much of IP language is metaphorical. However, it’s important to consider the ramifications of such language for the non-scientific public.

3. Remembering That Health Is Impossible Without Justice, from Fortune (here).

In the words of MLK,

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

4. When Self-Help Just Makes Your Life Worse, from Medium (here).

An alternative perspective on the self-help movement, showing that it can actually be counterproductive or even harmful. Sometimes, taking on self-improvement projects merely serves as a distraction, a source of stress and anxiety, and a form of enslavement to artificial rules, goals, and schedules.

For a more reflective approach to personal growth, check out my series on habits.

Find my other monthly roundups here.

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