Alain de Botton is an atheist, but his perspective on religion is far more complicated.
Instead of debunking religion in thinking that all pious people are idiots — as some atheists may presume — he shines a light on some of the things where religion excels: in values, wisdom, communions, and “the wonders of religious architecture.” As he says nearly eight minutes in:
“These religions at their highest points, at their most complex and subtle moments, are far too interesting to be abandoned merely to those who believe in them.”
Alain de Botton
His book is therefore not for atheists alone, but for the believers who may find Botton's perspective reconfirming. Above all, Botton proposes toleration, not necessarily that we agree with each other but we “make space for the stranger” who holds different views and accepts them as is. ‘Developing emotion intelligence' is at the heart of Botton's own academy, The School of Life.
Flipping through apps like we used to surf through channels, expecting a variable reward but more often getting caught in a ludic loop.
Getting hugged in a web of inspiration porn and motivational quotes without actually getting off the computer to do the work is insanity.
The paradox is staring at us right in the face: Having unfettered access to an entire web is a recipe for distraction.
Contemplating off the grid is free — it's not a luxury.
The optimistic expectancy that we can cut the cord and chase real life is a worthy endeavor. Most people can't resist pushing buttons on the nearest screen, snacking on a perpetual hit of chemical satisfaction.
Like placating a nagging worry with good thoughts, we tend to technology as an instrument for coping with idleness. But we experience a virtual suck of life beforehand.
Anna Wintour, the indomitable editor of Vogue and Condé Nast’s most senior editorial figure, is the latest teacher to join the ranks of Masterclass to teach creativity and leadership.
In 12 lessons, Anna Wintour gives unprecedented access to her world, teaching you how to lead with vision and creativity—and without apology. A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving our cultural conversation for more than 30 years.
The Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast takes off her signature sunglasses and gives you unprecedented access to her world. See how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions, and evolves a brand. Learn how to lead with impact from a visionary creative leader.
Anna Wintour on how to be a boss
“I know many people are curious about who I am and how I approach my work,” Wintour says. “This is a class for those who want to understand my leadership style and then understand the experiences that have helped me become an effective leader.”
“Own your decisions and own who you are, but without apology.” – Anna Wintour
Tethered to the phone hanging on the wall, we forfeited our anonymity to the unknown stranger.
Every call felt like a cold call, with no indication of who was on the other line. Yet it felt surprisingly safe to answer even if it was a telemarketer. “No thanks, we’re eating dinner. Please call back later.” Hang up.
Now we expect every phone call to be preceded by a text, even if it’s our closest friends and family members. And we’re sure as hell never going to answer an unknown number because chances are it’s a Chinese spammer.
With screen time the default, if we’re going to answer the phone to take us away from whatever else we’re doing — emailing, texting, scrolling Instagram — there better be someone we know or think we know on the other line.