The Creative City’s Potential for Urban Improvement

The creative city is a contestable model for urban redevelopment because of its repercussions on displaced members of community, on artists, non-profit organizations, as well as on nearby neighbourhoods of lesser affluence. Downtown Toronto has pockets of redevelopment that have focused on carrying out the creative city model in the hopes of placing Toronto on a national and international competitive scale for talent. The case of the creative city is outlined by Charles Landry who suggests that cities of the future can be better because they can harness the potential of creative employers as well as creative governance to improve city life (Landry xxi). The origin of this model is a positive and hopeful one that could be more successful over time if participants of urban development move forward considering the impacts of the creative city on the ground. Continue reading The Creative City’s Potential for Urban Improvement

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Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

I read self-improvement books and articles online sometimes but I’ve never really enjoyed their blinding prospects of staying positive. This one did much better than most in my opinion! Honestly before I wrote this, I went and read some of the reviews on goodreads. It’s a pretty alright book but the content, according to most people, is a repackaging of Buddhism and psychology for today’s young adult audience living by “Western” values. Aside from the fact that Western values are not set in stone, Manson refers to the effects of some American socio/economic trends in recent years; the surplus of economic opportunity, increased amount of media/advertisement that is presented to us, larger platforms on social media. Due to these factors, Manson basically suggests that the average influential young adult has become a person who feels self-entitled and avoids responsibility for their problems.

Self-entitlement plays out in two ways according to the book (55).

  1. I am awesome and the rest of you all suck, so I deserve special treatment.
  2. I suck and the rest of you are all awesome, so I deserve special treatment.

At this point you could basically decide how comfortable you are reading on but hear the rest of the review out or you could just skip to the summarized ideas I’ve compiled below. I’ve read some similar concepts in multiple other books but I like the way Manson packages them all up for a particular audience. The book is structured and organized well. Its language is clear, simple, and unfiltered. Switching between anecdotes, research studies, and personal experiences keeps the narration interesting. The book can be divided into two significant sections: the three subtleties to not giving a f*ck and the five counterintuitive approaches to living a good life. These are summarized as follows.

Continue reading Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Anxiety: Why We Fear Things That Don’t Actually Harm Us and How We Can Cope With The Struggle

This article does not mean to say that every anxiety is an unnecessary fear. But unnecessary fears can and do lead to generalized anxiety. The focus will be as such.

I’ve been wondering how to conquer fear. What is fear? Fear is a physiological reaction where the body is signaled to recognize you are in danger. It elevates the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and simultaneously suppresses the activity of the parasympathetic system. This leads to several changes in physiological function that you recognize as distressing. Some of these include constriction of blood vessels, secretion from sweat glands, sped up heart rate, and peristalsis of the digestive tract.

Signals come from the brain. A major area of the brain responsible for our sensation of fear is the amygdala. Other brain regions that are part of the limbic system are also involved in processing and signalling fear. Smell and memory are strongly linked to this system too. The amygdala is the prime center for processing basic emotion that is responsible for our survival. What is known as the “flight or fight” response stems from a working amygdala. An “amygdala hijack” is our body’s way of telling us that we are in danger.

How do we know what to fear? What threatens our survival is fearful. We can fear pain; both physical and emotional.

Continue reading Anxiety: Why We Fear Things That Don’t Actually Harm Us and How We Can Cope With The Struggle

Essay – The Pardoner’s Tale from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Pardoner Uses Religion to Identify Himself as an Orator

Religion plays an important part in The Pardoner’s sense of identity as a great orator. On pretense of working for the church as a Pardoner, the individual behind the official role may sell relics and use his skill as an orator to establish an identity for himself where he can feel needed and can be remembered for his skills. He takes pride in his ability to persuade through rhetoric and makes a profit from it. The Pardoner does not believe it matters what his intentions are because he considers the profession more like a job that will get him food and drink as long as he can convince others to trust him. Making money means he could just buy his way out of sin from someone else so it perpetuates the very idea of greed. This is possibly the whole irony of the Pardoner’s sermon against avarice.

Continue reading Essay – The Pardoner’s Tale from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer