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.
The most dangerous beliefs are those considered “settled” or “consensus”. Those are the ideas that close minds, kill curiosity, and end exploration. Those are also the ideas that have people supporting the harassment, caging, and killing of dissenters.
In the middle of the chaos of the world right now, what can we do to take care of ourselves? Let’s talk about a handful of simple mindfulness practices that can be helpful.
The world is in a state of fear and uncertainty right now, and it’s stressful and overwhelming for most of us. This kind of fear, stress, uncertain and overwhelm can have some really strong effects on our lives. So how do we cope with this?
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 (novelists,…
Being forced to help isn’t helping. Complying with a threat doesn’t make you a compassionate or moral person. It shows you can be manipulated and easily scared into doing what someone else thinks you should instead of acting on your own values.
Mindfulness has (amazingly, wonderfully) become quite a buzzword in the last decade or so, and for good reason. It’s powerful, and can help us to become more present, happier, more focused, and much more.
Over the past year, I came to realize how hungry people are to tell their stories. All you have to do is be willing to listen to them. With the rush of modern life, and with everyone’s nose seemingly stuck to their phone screen, listening to someone is one of the simplest acts of compassion you can perform.
Different people have different values. It’s not that anyone’s values are necessarily wrong for them, it’s that when you impose a “win/lose” system someone is going to be on the losing side.