“If dark energy were slightly stronger the universe would have blown apart before stars formed. Any weaker and the universe would have imploded long ago. Its incredibly anemic value has been seen as circumstantial evidence for parallel universes with their own flavor of dark energy that is typically destructive. It’s as if our universe won the lottery and got all the physical parameters just right for us to exist.”
“Seligman spent almost as long struggling out of the mode of traditional psychology. He did his most revolutionary work on helplessness in dogs, discovering that those who received electric shocks in a high-walled pen (from which they could not escape) probably wouldn’t try to escape once they were moved to a low-walled pen, even though they could.
This phenomenon, which he called “learned helplessness,” earned him an enduring place in the field. It was a heartbreaking, pathbreaking finding, one suggesting how easy it is for living things to become prisoners of their own habits, virtual shut-ins of their own minds.”