"Why do we do this? The depressing statistics leave us cold, even when they are truly terrible. That's because our emotions can't comprehend suffering on such a massive scale. This is why we are riveted when one child falls down a well, but turn a blind eye to the millions of people who die every year for lack of clean water. And yet, the good news is that we're still wired to care about each other. We feel pleasure when someone else feels better."
You might call this the engineering of quirkiness.
"The digital age continues to refashion what we want and expect from our cultural preservationists. The vaults at places like the Library of Congress and Smithsonian have long contained far more than could be displayed or appreciated in physical space. Curators cut a narrow path through all that information; they told tell stories. That part of the job hasn't gone away, but now we also want to be able to tell our own stories."
Always find ways to stay stupid, try new things, make ourselves uncomfortable. "The larger lesson is that the brain is a deeply constrained thinking machine, full of cognitive tradeoffs and zero-sum constraints. Those chess professionals and London cabbies can perform seemingly superhuman mental feats, as they chunk their world into memorable patterns. However, those same talents make them bad at seeing beyond their chunks, at making sense of games and places they can’t easily understand."
4 in 5 Americans feel attached to at least one old t-shirt. One of those stats that make the world seem utterly simple and disturbingly complex at the same time.