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A Message from the Calm to the Angry

Dear Angry Person, I can tell that you're angry at me again. I think I understand your complaint, though I have trouble understanding why this specific issue is upsetting you on this specific day. But based on past experience, asking for clarification will only make you angrier, without helping me avoid your future anger. As usual, then, I plan to appease you. Read the full thing

Will it Still Matter 100 Years From Now?

We live in an amazing world. Our ability to communicate across vast distances in real-time is unlike anything that has ever been witnessed in human history. I can know what you had for breakfast today, what my cousin Jimmy did for his birthday last night, which NBA teams are discussing trades, and which countries are angry at each other all in a single glance of my newsfeed on Twitter. There are literally thousands of things to react to in any given minute. So much to react to. So little time. Read the full thing

Con Trolling

Here’s how it works: a troll preys on your need to be affirmed. Nearly everything that a troll does is to signal a message to you that says “I don’t like you and I’m not going to grant you the gift of my approval.” Once you start using arguments as a means of begging the troll to become your ally, the troll wins. Now he/she can simply play the easy and endless game of using everything you say as a basis for offering responses that make you feel more desperate for their acceptance and more frustrated for not receiving it. Read the full thing

Do Unto Others

The golden rule doesn’t mean you should buy chocolate ice cream for others merely because you like chocolate ice cream. It doesn’t mean you should throw surprise birthday parties for your friends just because you happen to love surprise birthday parties. The golden rule is a principle of moral symmetry. It simply means that you should consider other people’s unique needs, concerns, and sensitivities just as you would like them to consider your unique needs, concerns, and sensitivities. Read the full thing