Paul Auster is associated with two things, both in constant flux: the novel and New York City. The author of "The New York Trilogy," "The Brooklyn Follies," and the new "Invisible" estimates in his Big Think interview that he's spent at least 55 total years in the Big Apple, during which he has witnessed countless changes to the "gracious place" of his childhood. Yet while he remains unsure as to whether the city is ascending or declining, he has no doubts about the future of his other passion: people, he says, will never stop telling stories.
On this last point he disagrees "strenuously" with his fellow novelist Philip Roth, who has gone on record as believing the book will be dead in 25 years. At the same time, the advice he gives youngsters aspiring to write is: "Don't do it!"—unless, of course, they have a taste for "poverty and obscurity and solitude."
Auster hasn't spent his whole life writing in New York: he also lived abroad in France for a few years in the 1970s, translating French poetry. He reminisced about that period and suggested that it helped him as a writer, liberating him from the claustrophobic self-regard of his home country and affording him "space to breathe."
Setting a simple intention and coming prepared can help you — and those around you — win big.
- Setting an intention doesn't have to be complicated, and it can make a great difference when you're hoping for a specific outcome.
- When comedian Pete Holmes is preparing to record an episode of his podcast, "You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes," he takes 15 seconds to check in with himself. This way, he's primed with his own material and can help guests feel safe and comfortable to share theirs, as well.
- Taking time to visualize your goal for whatever you've set out to do can help you, your colleagues, and your projects succeed.
The Amazon Rainforest is often called "the planet's lungs."
- For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
- Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
- There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
How do we combat the roots of these hateful forces?
- American Psychological Association sees a dubious and weak link between mental illness and mass shootings.
- Center for the study of Hate and Extremism has found preliminary evidence that political discourse is tied to hate crimes.
- Access to guns and violent history is still the number one statistically significant figure that predicts gun violence.