Best Of The Web
“My oldest daughter turns 10 this month. I say this with disbelief, as I am under the mistaken impression that I am still new to parenthood—and that I have ample time to improve at it. I’m still eagerly awaiting the moment when I stop second-guessing the millions of decisions we make every day, which may or may not influence the people she and her younger sister become.
But when I get worried, I try to remember Alison Gopnik’s advice in The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells us about the Relationship Between Parents and Children. In my opinion, it’s the only parenting book I really need because it uses science to put me in my place.
Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s got a mean way with metaphors, and her main idea is that we should raise our children like gardeners, creating the right conditions for our children to grow and bloom, rather than sculpting them—acting like carpenters who attempt to shape and create their children with a desired outcome in mind. Carpenters often try to build replicas of themselves. Gardening involves a bit more humility: it acknowledges that you can’t make a shy child become outgoing, anymore than you make a loud one shut up. But you still can play huge role in supporting the shy one to become more comfortable in groups, or teaching the loud one how to create space for others.
A gardener, Gopnik writes, “works to create fertile soil that can sustain a whole ecosystem of different plants with different strengths and beauties—and with different weaknesses and difficulties.” We can create the conditions to help our kids thrive, but we can’t create the kids who will meet our definition of success.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"The bear market in crude has vastly different implications for the U.S. and euro zone. Also, fun with emerging markets and (in)efficient markets."
"That Trump would threaten California in the midst of this tragedy is, on its own, an act of cruelty. But his tweet was also plain wrong... there’s no dense forest surrounding the cities hit hardest by the fires."
"The integration of ultra-orthodox society into Israeli society at large and internal divisions within the ultra-orthodox world have caused many ultra-Orthodox Jews to vote for candidates in municipal elections who are not themselves ultra-orthodox.
"Lee isn’t just responsible for the super hero movies of Marvel and DC, but his influence can be felt in Star Wars, Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and dozens of blockbuster franchises."
"Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution."
"The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin. So why do the digital elite adore him so?"
"Should the acquired item prove absolutely useless, as its original owner clearly felt it to be, there is always something else to do with it, provided one has ingenuity, a high tolerance for clutter, and, ideally, a range of demented enthusiasms."
"If it were true that novelists needed “quietude, time and space” to produce novels, Preston would be right to declare a state of crisis. But Bellow wrote his first novel while serving on a merchant marine ship during the Second World War."
"It’s an all too common story. Each Veterans Day, Americans recognize our active-duty military and veterans. We should also recognize their spouses."
"They’ve been maligned in nutrition circles for decades, with links to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But they’re also highly satisfying and provide many essential nutrients."
"Arguing that our current understanding cannot rule it out, Hawking, it seems, was cautiously optimistic. So where does this leave us? We cannot build a time machine today, but could we in the future?"
"Shiva was unfamiliar to me, and required asking a lot of questions. I grew up without formal Jewish education, so I didn’t know the rules. I wasn’t sure if I was “supposed” to observe the rites since my dad wasn’t Jewish..."