Posted 20 hours ago

Escape into Meaning: Essays on Superman, Public Benches, and Other Obsessions

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Whether you’re interested in the philosophy of Jerry Seinfeld or how Clark Kent is the real hero, there’s something for everyone in this effervescent collection.

Our greatest need is to be recognized—to be seen, loved, and embedded in rich relationships with those around us. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. I’m not going to go over every essay individually evaluate whether or not I agree with Evan Puschak’s ideas. Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse.As he says in one of his most famous lines, from “Self-Reliance”: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. Perfect for fans of Trick Mirror and the writing of John Hodgman and Chuck Klosterman, Escape into Meaning is “a passionate, perceptive” (Hua Hsu, author of Stay True ) compendium of fascinating insights into obsession. But we need not worry, says Emerson, for “the sour faces of the multitude, like their sweet faces, have no deep cause, but are put on and off as the wind blows and the newspaper directs. In the title essay, “Escape Into Meaning,” he asks the big question: “What in God’s name drove me to watch Lord of The Rings fifty times?

It is, in the words of David Foster Wallace, a dialogue between consciousnesses in the purest sense of the term. I just wish everybody would express themselves a little more like that instead of cringing in conformity. In What We Owe The Future, philosopher William MacAskill argues for longtermism, that idea that positively influencing the distant future is a key moral priority of our time. When I picked up the book again, I read it with new eyes, the eyes Emerson gave me, and sure enough, it expanded my mind, just like my teachers hoped it would. It seemed to me as if I had myself written the book, in some former life, so sincerely it spoke to my thought and experience.The more it seemed like my decisions and beliefs were based on a hodgepodge of old, drifting thought-fragments, corrupted after years without reflection.

Their job is to articulate our opinions in clever ways, to evoke that startling laughter of recognition. Puschak selflessly shares some of his sharpest insight not only about the culture that shaped him, but also how he sees the world.The poet, in utter solitude remembering his spontaneous thoughts and recording them, is found to have recorded that which men in cities vast find true for them also….

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