Given its title, it seems strange that this book should have jumped out at me the way it did. But sometimes you only notice the things you want to notice, like when you learn something new and then you see it everywhere.

If you haven't come across it already, I am talking about Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I read it in a few days a couple of weeks ago – it's really fascinating if you are an introvert yourself, or just looking to understand one.

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One of the issues that the book raises is the fact that extroverts are often afforded extra importance, credibility and success purely because they are able to make themselves heard in a way that introverts find more difficult:

Talkative people, for example, are rated as smarter, better-looking, more interesting, and more desirable as friends... research shows that the voluble are considered smarter than the reticent – even though there's zero correlation between the gift of the gab and good ideas. 

Susan Cain examines this in great and fascinating detail, and finds that this distinction is true in most cases, apart from when it comes to the online world, where introverts are able to 'speak' just as loudly as extroverts are, without having to fight to be heard. She references a 2008 Mashable article by Peter Cashmore entitled: 'Irony Alert: Social Media Introverts?', which suggests:

Perhaps social media affords us the control we lack in real life socialising: the screen as a barrier between us and the world.

If you're interested, Susan Cain's TED talk on the power of introverts, in which she basically summarises her book, can be found here.

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Summer On/Summer Off


Summer in England is pretty fickle. It's not like summer in Scotland, when, if it happens at all, its more of a special treat – a bonus that you get if you've behaved for the rest of the year. In England, summer is expected to happen, and then it does – and then it disappears – and then it comes back again. 

I read a tweet from someone in London this weekend that said something like: 'Went to buy picnic supplies, now trapped in shop by monsoon rainstorm', which is quite a good summation of the whole concept of summer in England I think. 

I spent the last week in Ben's hometown, a little place on the English/Welsh border. As you would expect, the rain poured, the sun blazed, and I wandered around photographing things, as I do. Drippy roses, drying wood, damp church walls. It's almost like we get this kind of weather to make everything seem just a little bit prettier when the sun does eventually turn up.


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