Can You Treat Loneliness By Creating an Imaginary Friend?
Tulpamancers imagine talking to the tulpa, sometimes for more than an hour a day, and eventually, perhaps after several months, the tulpa will start talking back.Photo Illustration by LeaDigszammal / Shutterstock Did you ever have an imaginary friend? If you didn’t, chances are you know someone who did. Imaginary companions, as scholars call them, are […]
The Neural Similarities Between Remembering and Imagining
The act of recalling something that happened to you looks very much like what happens when you imagine something new.Photograph by HBRH / Shutterstock Imagine a living room. Not yours or your friend’s or one you saw in a home makeover show, but one purely from your imagination—perhaps your ideal living room. You should have […]
Taking Another Person’s Perspective Doesn’t Help You Understand Them
To understand someone, we should not imagine their point of view but make the effort to “get” their perspective.Pixabay / Public Domain No moral advice is perfectly sound. The Golden Rule—do unto others as you would have them do unto you—is only as wise as the person following it. A more modern-sounding tip—take the perspective […]
Why Do We Get Transported by Stories We Know Are False?
In Jasper Fforde’s lighthearted “Thursday Next” series of books, people can use a “prose portal” to enter the world of a book, to change the plot or kidnap a character. The prose portal is an imaginative metaphor for a familiar experience: feeling taken away by a narrative, sucked into a good book so that we […]
Clever Apes, a Busted Telescope & the Adjacent Possible
The Kepler spacecraft had a pretty good run. Launched in 2009, it soon settled into its intended orbit around the Sun, trained its image sensors up at a patch of sky about as big as your fist held at arm’s length, and began watching, which it’s been doing ever since. Kepler’s job is to find […]