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While Brain Food has over 45,000 smart readers, I realize it's not for everyone. If you're finding that you're not getting any value out of it, I'd ask that you unsubscribe

If you missed last week's edition, which included: A look at what matters most, A no-nonsense path to becoming 10% happier, The keys to happiness according to a Harvard Researcher, The lost writings of Wu Hsin, and so much more catch up.

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The most popular article this week was How Sugar Affects the Brain. You might want to dump that Halloween candy now. 

What else was interesting? 

  • John Steinbeck's 1958 letter to his son on love — "First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you."
  • The Ten Pillars of Cutthroat Zen — #9 Nonattachment to results + self compassion = a supple relentlessness that is hard to match. Push hard, play to win, but don’t assume the fetal position if things don’t go your way. This, I came to believe, is what T. S. Eliot meant when he talked about learning “to care and not to care.”
  • What is Time? — St Augustine, the theologian and philosopher, famously posed the question ‘What is time?’ in The Confessions. After waxing on for a bit about what he can say about time he admits that he’s in a â€œsorry state, for I do not even know what I do not know!”. Augustine is not alone.
“If you don't go to bed smarter than you woke up,
it really wasn't a productive day.
— Tracy Britt Cool

Still Curious?

+ The Great Paper Caper — "After his plea deal had been signed, it became clear that Bourassa had purchased enough paper to print $250 million. 'The deal was already done when they figured out that the $50 million was missing, so there was nothing they could do. So they're pissed. They're as pissed as pissed could be.' Bourassa isn't saying where the extra $50 million went."

Do Financial Experts Make Better Decisions Than the Rest of Us? — "No, says a new study of mutual-fund managers."

Learning To Be Who We Are — "The body is an incredibly precise machine, and it gives us specific and clear signs. It tells us when we need to rest, when we are overworked, when we are stressed, when we are about to have a heart attack… If we listened to our body, our relationship to everything would be different. We are talking of a microcosm that reflects a macrocosm."

+ Don DeLillo, the author of White Noisereviews Taylor Swift’s “White Noise” — "Track 3, the latest release from Taylor Swift’s 1989, explores the dropped pin, uniting the past and present—the now, the then—with the sharp pangs of its own absence. White noise. Black hole. The gravitational pull of nothingness. The silence’s soft ecosystem, nourished by Apples and Cokes and plotted upon plastic products whose names begin with i. On the Internet, it is always spring. It is every season. It is any season. It is the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone. In the silence, there is solitude. In the solitude, there is silence. This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature."

Is This a Golden Age for Essayists? — "In this insular yet influential milieu — where the measure of success has nothing to do with book deals or best-seller lists but is quite simply many people posting a link preceded by a sentiment along the lines of You have to read this — the personal essay is king."

Hunger Is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making — "Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making."

The Secret Fantasies of Adults — "FIVE MINUTES ALONE IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM You beat your highest Candy Crush score without a single cheat, and, later that day, though you’re sure you’re imagining it, people treat you with a little more respect."

+ Elon Musk at MIT — A friend of mine commented: "This dude is seriously switched on and quite funny as well - he took some really technical questions from the audience and crushed them. He talked about AI (he doesn't like), elevator to the moon project (he thinks it's ridiculous - he said, "build a bridge from LA to Tokyo first then come talk to me") and electric/interplanetary travel..."

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture — "Nobody grows up anymore, but everyone gets older."

Facebook Offers Life Raft, but Publishers Are Wary — A great look at how we consume information. News specifically. "Increasingly, people want their news curated by friends rather than editors."

+ The Science of Conquering Your Greatest Fears — "Physiologically speaking stress resembles fear."

Thanks for reading,
Shane Parrish