PoW: Philosophy clubs make you happier. FACT.

I have to start the newsletter this week with congratulations to the CERN scientists for finally finding Higgs. Fancy, all that time, he was right there in the middle of the press conference. He sure fooled them! Anyway, if like me your mind is blown by particle physics, here is an excellent animation of one of the CERN scientists explaining how work at the Hadron Collider is shedding light on the unknown world of sub-atomic particles. The Higgs Boson is just the beginning, hopefully...

Here's the latest Guardian Books podcast, which has Oliver Burkeman and I discussing Stoicism, CBT, and the politics of well-being.

Great news from the much-mocked (by me) Office of National Statistics project on well-being measurements. The ONS’ new report explores the connection between education and well-being, and finds the better educated you are, the more you are likely to be satisfied with your life. And - here’s the important bit for philosophy clubs - people involved in formal or informal adult learning are also likely to have higher well-being than those not involved. That's an encouraging statistic for organisations like the London Philosophy Club: we’re officially well-being multipliers!

Here’s Melvyn Bragg telling me about the rise of the mass intelligentsia over the last 20 years, and how it has fed into a boom in book festivals and ideas clubs. And below is the beautiful pic from my FT piece on philosophy clubs, by Greg Funnell:

Now that homo sapiens has found the Higgs Boson, would someone explain the plot of Prometheus to me? That shit don’t make no sense. Over at cinemablend.com, they try to unravel the mess of sticky black goo.

In philosophy-land, some bright spark has mapped the history of philosophy into a graph. Who the hell is Murray Rothbard, and why is he bigger than Thomas Aquinas?

Here is Maria Popova, also known as @brainpicker, getting excited about a new book on John Cage, creativity and Zen Buddhism. Sounds a great read.

Here’s a piece I did on a new report from Sweden, suggesting that psychodynamic therapies perform just as well as CBT for depression and anxiety. In fact, all talking therapies perform equally well, according to the study’s lead author, who I interview. This is the so-called Dodo theory of therapies, from Lewis Carroll's dodo, who declares 'everyone has come first, and all must have prizes!' There's no more contentious issue in psychotherapy - and critics of the theory respond in the piece and in the comments.

Here’s a TED talk from a brave lady who works at Yale School of Law and also suffers from schizophrenia, talking about how she’s learnt to manage her condition and stay out of hospitals.

Here are some of my awesome colleagues from the Centre for the History of the Emotions, talking about what the subject means to them and how they got into it. Are you an academic and want to write for the history of emotions blog? Email me with an idea for a story.

Finally, here are photos from a list of the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world. Yummy.


See you next week (and as usual feel free to leave comments).