What Does Narcissism Mean in America Today?
Is there a conscientious struggle to balance rights with obligations in our contemporary political landscape, or does the individual rule our ideology?
What's the Latest?
A revival of Christopher Lasch's treatise on the 20th century American psyche, The Culture of Narcissism, has contemporary cultural critics asking whether we've gone too far in our prioritization of individual rights over obligations to our communities. Lasch's original claim that "having surrendered most of his technical skills to the corporation, [the contemporary American] can no longer provide for his material needs," seems more true now than ever. Still we balk at Lasch's nostalgia for a time when social roles were prescribed so rigidly that institutional subjugation arose.
What's the Big Idea?
The intellectual tradition of narcissism is a storied one, beginning with Sigmund Freud's open lectures in Vienna. The term became the fulcrum of the 60s and 70s when the US struggled to come to terms with social discontent embodied in racial segregation, the Vietnam War, and emerging identity politics movements. But how is the term narcissism relevant today? Is there a conscientious struggle to balance rights with obligations in our contemporary political landscape, or does the individual rule our ideology?
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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