It doesn’t matter if we’re working on a mathematical equation or working through a broken heart: the anatomy of focus is inseparable from the anatomy of melancholy. This suggests that depressive disorder is an extreme form of an ordinary thought process, part of the dismal machinery that draws us…
Shame depression makes us so ineffective at acting on our supposed cleverness.
Glenwright and Pexman presented five- to six-year-olds and nine- to ten-year-olds with puppet show scenarios that ended with one of the characters making a critical remark. This remark could be literal, aimed at a person or situation, or it could non-literal, again aimed either at a person (i.e. sarcastic) or situation (i.e. ironic). To illustrate: two puppets are playing on a trampoline, one falls on his face. ‘Great trampoline tricks,’ the other character says, sarcastically. Contrast this with two puppets playing on a saggy trampoline with little bounce. One of them says ‘great trampoline’, an ironic remark.
To gauge the children’s depth of understanding, the researchers asked them to rate how mean the utterances were (using a sliding scale of smiley to miserable faces) and asked them which character they most identified with - the idea being that in instances of sarcasm they would, out of sympathy, identify more with the target of that sarcasm.
The children’s responses showed that both age groups recognised the non-literal utterances as intending to mean the opposite of what was said. However, only the older age group showed a sensitivity to the difference between irony and sarcasm. They, but not the younger children, rated sarcastic utterances as meaner and were more likely to identify with the target of sarcasm, presumably out of sympathy. The older children’s comprehension was not complete, though. In open-ended questioning they were unable to explain their differential response to sarcasm and irony.
‘By nine to ten years of age, children’s sensitivity to the distinction between sarcasm and verbal irony highlights their impressive understanding of how people’s feelings are affected by others’ speech …’ the researchers said. ‘We investigated one distinction here, but there are other non-literal forms that should be examined, such as understatement and hyperbole.’
“I’ve been very clear about my view of netbooks. I think they are an experience that most people will not want to continue to have. People were interested in the price and they got it home and used it and went ‘Why did I buy this?’ so I think when somebody looks at iPad and compares it to a netbook, I find it hard to believe that people are going to buy netbooks.”—Tim Cook, paraphrased (via marco)
You have no idea how much I love M.I.A.
I got to dance on stage with her in Baltimore a couple of years ago during her gig. It was so fucking awesome. That is one of the hands-down most awesome things I’ve ever done.
Seeing red leads men to view women as more attractive and more desirable despite them not being aware of any change in their perceptions. A delightful study from last year that, as the authors note, has ‘clear practical implications’!
Me:(tries to visit a local restaurant’s website via iPhone) Restaurant website: I require Flash. Fuck off. Me: I just want to know how late you’re open. Website: Nope. Me: But I’m on my phone. Don’t you have a little “HTML Version” link up in the corner or something? Website: I’m ignoring you. Me: What if I’m on my phone because I’m out, looking for a place to eat? Didn’t that ever occur to you? Website: Fuck entirely off. Me:(gives up, switches to computer) Website: Oh! Hi! What can I help you with today? Me: What are your — Website: Hang on, I’m loading the music. Me: Really. Website: You’ll love it. It’s “Girl from Ipanema” arranged for steel drum and keytar. Me: No, you don’t have to — Website: Loading… Me: All I want is — Website: I SAID DOT DOT DOT. Me:(drums fingers on desk) Website: There we go. Isn’t that nice? It’s… what’s the word. Ethnicky. Me: What are your hours? Website: Take a look at our menu! It’s a PDF of a screenshot of a scan of a Word document printed on a dishtowel. With fonts! Me: I don’t care. What are your hours? Website: Don’t worry, the menu loads in a new window so the music won’t stop. Can I show you some broken images? Me: What. Are. Your. Hou. Rs. Website: I… I don’t know. Me:(goes to Denny’s)
I had a heated “FLASH SUCKS” conversation with a programmer at a party this weekend. Quite satisfying.