A must for readers and writers of thrillers:
“A group of researchers at the Center for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University in the U.K. has recently analyzed newspaper articles, court records, and a series of “off-the-record” interviews with informants “who have, or who had, direct knowledge of contract killings” in order to construct what they term a “typology” of British hitmen.” …
“The main thrust of the paper, which will be published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, is that hitmen do not operate with the drama, professionalism, or glamour that mob films and spy novels afford them. In actuality, the majority of killers select jejune settings for their crimes, have occasionally bumbling performances, and are often hired by contractors with lame motivations.”
“Here’s the profile of an average British hitman, who seems more confined by the boxy restraints of reality than the undulating arcs of fiction:”
“He kills on the cheap. The average asking price was £15,180. It was £100,000 at the highest level, and a teenager was shafted with £200 at the low end.” …
“The weapon of choice was a firearm.” …
“Most of the killers were working on first-time contracts, meaning there weren’t many long-distance snipers taking shots from towers.” …
READ MORE: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/how-hitmen-operate-73430/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+miller-mccune%2Fmain_feed+%28Pacific+Standard+-+Main+Feed%29
Posted in spywriter
Tagged Assassination, Books, Death, Fiction, hitmen, Life, Murder, murderers, Psychology, Reading, Science, Writing
“Ten reasons why reading good books is a key to success
* Reading good books has the side effect of inducing feelings of optimism, peace of mind and desire.
* Self-help books and success literature encourage you to focus your viewpoint on the future and not dwell in the past.
* When you read personal development books you get inspired and want to set new goals for yourself.
* Reading about success and successful people gives you something to aspire to.
* The stories and lessons found in many books provide hope that there is always something better waiting in your future.
* Some books will encourage you to imagine and picture what you want for your career and your life.
* Good books open your mind to new ideas and ways of looking at things.
* Books can teach you how to relate to and lead others in more positive and productive ways.
* Reading can increase your value to your employer and your profession.
* Books will open more doors to opportunity, growth and success in all areas of your life.”
“Love of reading is the key not only to further learning and knowledge, but also to a better and more fulfilled life with unlimited enjoyment and participation in the arts and culture.”
“We cannot begin to understand the world without reading books, newspapers and magazines. Reading teaches empathy in a way that the computer games which many [...] children play never can.”
“Earlier this year the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a rich countries’ think-tank, revealed that the strongest indicator of the future success of children was not which school they attended or whether their family was wealthy, but if they read for pleasure at the age of 15. Reading teaches children how to express themselves, to broaden their emotional horizons and to cope with difficult situations. It is not just about learning and widening their vocabulary and experiences, but also about understanding the human condition and the lives of others.”
Furthermore, “our skills, intelligence, the way we behave as citizens and the ability to think critically depend on reading”.
“How come so many people in the world are drawn towards stories and plots that never even occurred!”
“If we explore this dynamic we will see that each reader is compelled to this genre for different reasons, but of course there are always similarities. It is widely believed that reading fiction is an escapist hobby and this is quite true. The world we live in, the world we adapt to and the life we are bound to may not seem fascinating all the time. We get bored by our daily routines and the repetitive process starts looking like a trap. Now to vent out and feel fabulous many of us choose to pick out a more fantasy version of life. A place where everything is possible, where even for a short time you can live someone else’s life! This doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t have grip on the realities of life. It just shows that all of us are humans and that some magical phenomenon always seems appealing.”
“Apart from that, reading fiction is always a treat for your brain. Encouraging you to think beyond the boundaries of society, creatively and filling you with new ideas. So to all those parents who are always chasing their kids to read more of the academic books than fiction, should remember that your kids are doing mind exercises. So instead of scolding, encourage them to read and introduce them to the world of ‘The Books’.”
Sarwat Amin Rattani, in thefrontierpost.com
“many children lack a sophisticated vocabulary for expressing their emotions, and [...] their inability to clearly label their feelings leaves them unable to describe their state of mind in a way that permits teachers to help them.”
“Students should learn to find the language to express the full complexity of human emotion, even emotions that they themselves haven’t yet experienced. The best way to achieve that is to make sure that they [...] read and critique poetry, short stories, and novels. Through literature and the arts they will not merely hear and talk about emotions generally, but they will experience and learn to express the interior lives of other people. As a result, they’ll be not only better students, but better people.”
“When you talk about reading, you should look in the context of food; if you go for a day without eating how do you feel? So that is how we should be hungry for materials to read and that way we will remain healthy mentally. The challenge is to change things from up there. We the adults, if we change, the children will find it very easy to adapt”…
“Reading is not just about novels. It could be any newspaper, and it could books for leisure or any educational material.”
“Reading could be compared to food; you only improve the way you think, the way you do things by reading. That is why when you go to school you will be reminded that the teachers’ contributions on your ability to pass an exam is just about 40 per cent. The rest you have to read.”
“Literature adds to reality, enriches necessary competences that daily life provides and it irrigates the deserts that our life has already become.
…the importance of reading should not be abandoned. Reading novels, magazines and other literary work gives you a broader perspective of viewing things, improves skill, instills knowledge and makes you aware of different facets of life. Reading is a tonic for enhancing your creativity, resounding motivation and the finest form of information base. It lays the foundation of an enriched life and adds ‘life’ to the ‘living’”.
“Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making.Fortunately, new research suggests a simple anecdote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction.”
“So how does literature induce this ease with the unknown?”
Researchers have the answer:
“Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal,“may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.”
“The thinking a person engages in while reading fiction does not necessarily lead him or her to a decision,” they note. This, they observe, decreases the reader’s need to come to a definitive conclusion.
“Furthermore,” they add, “while reading, the reader can stimulate the thinking styles even of people he or she might personally dislike. One can think along and even feel along with Humbert Humbert in Lolita, no matter how offensive one finds this character.
“This double release—of thinking through events without concerns for urgency and permanence, and thinking in ways that are different than one’s own—may produce effects of opening the mind.”
“To understand why we should be concerned about how young people read, and not just whether they’re reading at all, it helps to know something about the way the ability to read evolved. … Unlike the ability to understand and produce spoken language, which under normal circumstances will unfold according to a program dictated by our genes, the ability to read must be painstakingly acquired by each individual.
“The “reading circuits” we construct are recruited from structures in the brain that evolved for other purposes—and these circuits can be feeble or they can be robust, depending on how often and how vigorously we use them.
“The deep reader, protected from distractions and attuned to the nuances of language, enters a state that psychologist Victor Nell, in a study of the psychology of pleasure reading,likens to a hypnotic trance. Nell found that when readers are enjoying the experience the most, the pace of their reading actually slows. The combination of fast, fluent decoding of words and slow, unhurried progress on the page gives deep readers time to enrich their reading with reflection, analysis, and their own memories and opinions. It gives them time to establish an intimate relationship with the author, the two of them engaged in an extended and ardent conversation like people falling in love.
This is not reading as many young people are coming to know it. Their reading is pragmatic and instrumental: the difference between what literary critic Frank Kermodecalls “carnal reading” and “spiritual reading.” If we allow our offspring to believe that carnal reading is all there is—if we don’t open the door to spiritual reading, through an early insistence on discipline and practice—we will have cheated them of an enjoyable, even ecstatic experience they would not otherwise encounter. And we will have deprived them of an elevating and enlightening experience that will enlarge them as people. Observing young people’s attachment to digital devices, some progressive educators and permissive parents talk about needing to “meet kids where they are,” molding instruction around their onscreen habits. This is mistaken. We need, rather, to show them someplace they’ve never been, a place only deep reading can take them.”
“Story-telling has long held a place of prominence in American culture, but only recently has come to be viewed as a having a role in the practice of American medicine … anthropologists, artists, writers, psychologists, physicians and historians … explore the role of stories in medicine and healing.”
“Narrative is gaining recognition in medical schools”.
“Being able to collect better stories from patients helps physicians become better practitioners … Stories are how we get to know each other and how we make sense of our world. When patients read stories about others whose experiences are similar to their own, they know they are not alone.”