Danish Aftab Rabbani

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Good Writing vs. Talented Writing

The secrets of good writing have been debated again and again and again. But “good writing” might, after all, be the wrong ideal to aim for. In <b>About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews</b> (<i>public library</i>), celebrated author and literary critic <b>Samuel Delany</b> — who, for a fascinating …

Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential

The question of what sets us apart from other animals has occupied humanity for millennia, but only in the last few decades have animals gone from objects to be observed to fellow beings to be understood, with their own complex psychoemotional constitution.<p>Hardly anyone has contributed more to this …

Trust in Mass #Media Returns to All-Time Low... Read more from Gallup.com: http://on.gallup.com/1r8RUUs.

Stephen King has named his most hated expressions. What are yours?

The Atlantic’s fantastic interview on teaching, writing and reading with Stephen King is well worth reading in full. “It’s such a horrible idea to try teaching Moby-Dick or Dubliners to high school juniors. Even the bright ones lose heart. But it’s good to make them reach a little. They’ve got to …

Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers, Penned in a Letter to His Lover and Muse

More than a century before Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing inspired similar sets of commandments by Neil Gaiman, Zadie Smith, and Margaret Atwood, one of humanity’s greatest minds did precisely that. Between August 8 and August 24 of 1882, <b>Friedrich Nietzsche</b> set down ten stylistic rules of …

Neuroscientist Sam Harris on Happiness, Spirituality Without Religion, and How to Cultivate the Art of Presence

Nietzsche’s famous proclamation that “God is dead” is among modern history’s most oft-cited aphorisms, and yet as is often the case with its ilk, such quotations often miss the broader context in a way that bespeaks the lazy reductionism with which we tend to approach questions of spirituality …

How Repetition Enchants the Brain and the Psychology of Why We Love It in Music

<i>“The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism,”</i> Haruki Murakami reflected on the power of a daily routine. <i>“Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue,”</i> Mary Oliver wrote about the secret of great …

George Orwell on Writing and the Four Questions Great Writers Must Ask Themselves

George Orwell was a man of unflinching idealism who made no apologies for making his convictions clear, be they about the ethics of journalism, the universal motives of writing, or the golden rules for making tea — but never more so than in his now-legendary essay “Politics and the English …