The title of this article is a bit misleading, because every moment is already perfect and doesn’t need to be improved. But our experience of the moment can be fraught with difficulty, and we have the power to create a new experience in each moment. The problems we face stem from our narrative about the moment: we are constantly interpreting things in a certain way, so that we don’t even notice that we have this interpretation or narrative.
It is both fun and informative to consider lists. To debate the list is a sign that you have engaged with someone who knows what she is talking about. This morning, I asked Google to find Web pages that opined as to whom might be included on a list of the greatest American fictionalists.
Let me be clear: I consider suicide a tremendous tragedy. It has touched my life and my family very deeply, and personally. It seems to me that there are a thousand and one options, in most cases, before one should undertake such a dramatic, final, and irreversible course of action. That said, in the final analysis, the decision to live or not to live is – and should be – 100% the exclusive choice of the owner of that life – and never some outside party. Ever.
Episode 034 looks at why we shouldn’t expect an angry person to be able to reason or think clearly, especially children; having empathy and compassion for someone acting rudely, as they’re likely dealing with something difficult; how to calculate your expenses in work hours instead of money, and the benefit of doing so; why a laser printer is more economical for home use than an inkjet; and how Skyler utilizes Google Calendar and Gmail to keep track of recurring tasks, events, and reminders.
Many people have killed — sometimes a few, sometimes millions — in order to put their ideology in the saddle. I am deeply invested in my ideology; I have great confidence in its coherence and its foundational values; I have little doubt that if it were to become a society’s reigning belief system the members of that society would reap enormous benefits.
As far as I know, intolerant, thin-skinned, anti-intellectual educators have been around for… well, forever. What has changed is the Orwellian nature of their reaction to dissent.
One of the most powerful switches I ever made when changing my entire life was switching up my identity.
Oh, you’re anti-racism, hmm? You believe women should have equal rights? You’re against war? You think Nazis are bad? Good. But that belief (and repeating it on social media, etc) doesn’t make you a hero. Being “more enlightened” than your ancestors in these ways doesn’t actually make you smarter or wiser.
In the last few years, social scientists have started heavily appealing to “state capacity” to explain the wealth of nations. Why do some countries prosper? Because they have great state capacity. Why do others flounder? Because they have crummy state capacity. What do floundering countries need to do in order to prosper? Build state capacity, naturally.
It’s time for us to accept that this pandemic, and social isolation, are here for awhile. But in addition to that, our reality has changed, possibly for good. We’re in a new normal.