Checkout Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence by Laurence Steinberg. From the author:
Studies reveal adolescence to be a period of heightened “plasticity” during which the brain is highly influenced by experience. As a result, adolescence is both a time of opportunity and vulnerability, a time when much is learned, especially about the social world, but when exposure to stressful events can be particularly devastating. As we leave adolescence, a series of neurochemical changes make the brain increasingly less plastic and less sensitive to environmental influences. Once we reach adulthood, existing brain circuits can be tweaked, but they can’t be overhauled.
Sigmund became a Freudian when he created the model of an interpreter who showed how our actions and words indirectly expressed conflicts of desire of which we were unaware. The conflicts among our desires never disappeared; they became the fuel of our histories. Making sense of those conflicts, understanding our desires, he thought, gave us an opportunity to give our stories—our histories—meaning.
Checkout The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System by David Skarbek. From The Atlantic article “How Gangs Took Over Prisons:”
Another common misconception about prison gangs is that they are simply street gangs that have been locked up. The story of their origins, however, is closer to the opposite: the Mexican Mafia, for example, was born at Deuel Vocational Institution, in Tracy, California, in 1956, and only later did that group, and others, become a presence on the streets. Today, the relation of the street to the cellblock is symbiotic. “The young guys on the street look to the gang members inside as role models,” says Charles Dangerfield, a former prison guard who now heads California’s Gang Task Force, in Sacramento. “Getting sentenced to prison is like being called up to the majors.”
“It always strikes me as supremely odd that high culture venerates the written word on the one hand, and the fine visual arts on the other,” says Jonathan Hennessey, the author of The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation. “Yet somehow putting the two together is dismissed as juvenilia. Why is that? Why can’t these forms of art go together like music and dance?”
Circle of Abstract Ritual began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing. The destruction end of that thought began in earnest when riots broke out in my neighborhood in Anaheim, California, 2012. I immediately climbed onto my landlord’s roof without asking and began recording the unfolding events. The news agencies I contacted had no idea what to do with time lapse footage of riots, which was okay with me because I had been thinking about recontextualizing news as art for some time. After that I got the bug. I chased down wildfires, walked down storm drains on the L.A. River and found abandoned houses where I could set up elaborate optical illusion paintings. The illusion part of the paintings are not an end in themselves in my work. They’re an intimation of things we can’t physically detect; a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.
Since the ’70s we have shown less loyalty to institutional superstructures. “Family life exerts a greater and greater pull on Americans, native and foreign-born alike,” Matt says. “Families who live within the United States increasingly cluster together.” The arrival of BlackBerrys, iPhones, Facebook, and Twitter accounts promised to end homesickness forever. The soldier with access to Burger King and computer terminals would never complain about the rigors of wartime separation. The immigrant with cheap calling card minutes wouldn’t have to be present to chart the moods of his hometown. “Yet those who have suffered from homesickness know that even with such conveniences and technologies, the distances between an old home and a new one are great, and often unbridgeable,” Matt concludes. “Despite the new inventions and economic connections, homesickness has not disappeared from the panoply of human emotions.”