ELASTIC: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change, by Leonard Mlodinow.
“Elastic thinking” is the ability to stretch beyond the bounds of our preconceptions and other deeply held beliefs. Mlodinow tries to understand how this happens in the brain, what it takes to arrive at human creativity, innovation and independent thought. NYT reviewer, Lisa Feldman Barrett, says he “tells an absorbing story” that “skillfully weaves scientific findings with stories of people, events, and the natural world, using clever analogies and metaphors. … His depiction of the brain as an ant colony, with individual neurons as ants, is a true gem.”
ESSAYS FROM THE MONTH:
By Salman Rushdie
The breakdown in the old agreements about reality is now the most significant reality, and the world can perhaps best be explained in terms of conflicting and often incompatible narratives.
“In a way, this is not surprising as large-scale trade publishing in English in India is less than 50 years old. So the market hasn’t reached its saturation point as other markets have. As a consequence, there is a lot of opportunity for writers and publishers who are enterprising and strategic. We assess the opportunities available very carefully and commission over 95 per cent of our books to fit specific gaps we see in the market.”
Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
World over, the onslaught of online giants spelt the death knell for independent bookstores. However, there are signs of revival.
These turnarounds indicate that it isn’t the end of the road for independent stores if they re-look their business models — display curated bestsellers, host events involving citizen groups, stock books catering to local reading habits, and more.
The World Cup shows how money and media saturation have changed the nature of fandom.
A recent Gallup poll found that soccer was the favourite sport to watch for seven per cent of Americans—higher than hockey, and only slightly lower than baseball. Then, there’s the matter of the World Cup’s peculiar pull. The sixty-four matches at the last tournament attracted a cumulative audience of more than three billion. With the possible exceptions of the Olympic Games and the verdict of a papal conclave, no other recurring event is capable of inspiring so much global fervor.
Daniel L. Everett , the linguist argues that all language has a basis in culture and explains how Chomsky is like Freud: crucial, but crucially wrong. He chooses five of the best books on linguistics.
At Hay festival, writers, artists and thinkers were discussing the world we live in today. How do we stay positive and fight for change? Here they reveal the books that give them hope.
recommended by the Economist John Kay.