On the Mind, Brain, and Bob Knight

There’s a book on the Korean War by Bruce Cumings that I bought a few years and still haven’t properly started reading.  It is among the handful of other books (fiction and non-fiction) that I still have not finished reading.



And yet, what do I keep doing?  Buying more books and reading a few of them back-to-back and then starting/stopping a couple others. After my trip to my neighborhood Barnes & Noble today, looks like The Korean War is going to have to continue waiting for its turn to be read.  I went to the bookstore with the intentions of getting Unbroken (Angelina Jolie, 2014) and The Blind Side (John Lee Hancock, 2009) so I could write about them and potentially re-evaluate my thoughts concerning their presentation and themes.

Upon browsing the science and sports sections, though, I came away with three books:

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nibsett
— I read his book Geography of Thought many years ago and enjoyed it.  I even emailed him about the concept of amaeru (and he responded!  This was back in the day before social media was an appropriate way of contacting published scholars, writers, artists, athletes, companies, etc).

A Season On the Brink: A Year With Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers by John Feinstein
— John Feinstein possesses such a pithy and humorous narrative voice.  See previous posts about his work.

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
— I like reading about cognition; I also like the way this book smells.

Oui.  I’m probably going to read them concurrently; I’m a few pages in already on A Season on the Brink.  Before the inevitable waxing poetic on Mr. Feinstein’s writing, though, I am going to address whether or not the NBA, MLB and possibly NHL have teams whose websites need footer updates.  After clicking through half a dozen NBA teams’ sites, their footers are much more consistent (if not identical) in text and display and reflect the current calendar year…unlike the NFL’s teams every-which-way UI/UX.

Je vais finir, je vais finir.


6 thoughts on “On the Mind, Brain, and Bob Knight

  1. Christopher

    “Amae” (“amaeru?) appears a little like the southern African humanist philosophy of “ubuntu” (we are people only though the other people around us).

    Whether “amae” or “ubuntu”, they imply our dependence upon others. They therefore seem the very opposite of what goes into being a “real” American – the self-made “rugged individualist” who is beholden to no other man.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      Ubuntu — not the linux distro. ^_^

      Herbert Hoover on rugged individualism:

      we have builded up a form of self government and a social system which is peculiarly our own. It differs essentially from all others in the world. It is the American system…. It is founded upon the conception that only through ordered liberty, freedom and equal opportunity to the individual will his initiative and enterprise spur on the march of progress. And in our insistence upon equality of opportunity has our system advanced beyond all the world.

      During [World War I] we necessarily turned to the government to solve every difficult economic problem. The government having absorbed every energy of our people for war, there was no other solution. For the preservation of the state the Federal Government became a centralized despotism which undertook unprecedented responsibilities, assumed autocratic powers, and took over the business of citizens. To a large degree, we regimented our whole people temporally into a socialistic state. However justified in war time, if continued in peace-time it would destroy not only our American system but with it our progress and freedom as well.

      When the war closed, the most vital of issues both in our own country and around the world was whether government should continue their wartime ownership and operation of many [instruments] of production and distribution. We were challenged with a… choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines ­ doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. The acceptance of these ideas would have meant the destruction of self-government through centralization… [and] the undermining of the individual initiative and enterprise through which our people have grown to unparalleled greatness.

      Being an American is simultaneously about being unlike others and also somehow transcendent above others; primarily in cases of transatlantic nostalgia or non-American intellectual curiosity and disillusionment would that archetypical American mindset seek out something different.

  2. Christopher

    “……..Being an American is simultaneously about being unlike others and also somehow transcendent above others…….”

    By electing the ignoramus George W Bush into office not just once, but twice; and, in the matter of this year’s Presidential election, having no other feasible option than to choose between the narcissist Donald Trump and the might-be jailbird Hillary Clinton, Americans have shown, and are still showing, that they are indeed unlike others. Whether, though, they are transcendent above others depends on what one means by “transcendent”.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      The motif within American cultural identity that we’re better than others. When I read about the histories of other nations and cultures inflicting colonial tidal waves into neighboring lands, the mindset tends to be more of “we’re just better than you…forget being different, nope, we’re just better than you and everybody.”

      Not “transcendent” in any zen buddhist way, more of “transcendent, how precious, you think you’re better than others.”


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