Thursday Review: “Telling Is Listening”

Mechanical and Mutual Exchanges

I was originally introduced to Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay “Telling is Listening” through Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. She has a terrific discussion of Le Guin’s metaphors about communication as we think it is vs. how communication really works.
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Thursday Review: “Forming a Story: The Health Benefits of Narrative”

Telling a story is good for your health

In the Journal of Clinical Psychology, James W. Pennebaker and Janel D. Seagal study a group of students instructed to write about a traumatic experience, and then measure both the mental and physical health outcomes of those students. The results were measured against a control group, who were instructed to write strictly descriptive passages.

The participants who wrote about a traumatic experience recorded significantly fewer visits to a doctor in the months following the exercises.

The authors also review studies across a wide range of demographic groups which reveal that similar exercises produce positive effects on blood markers of immune function, are associated with lower pain and medication use, are linked to higher grades in college, and are even associated with faster times to getting new jobs among senior-level engineers.
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