Stop Labelling Other People!

The US election seems to have brought out the worst in people. Democrats call Republican supporters fascists and racists; Republicans call Democrat supporters communists and anti-American. But this isn’t just happening during election time, nor just in the US, but it seems to be happening all the time and everywhere – people are quick to negatively label others they don’t like and dismiss them completely. I scanned Wikipedia and the broader internet (not recommended!) for common negative stereotypes of different social groupings, here’s what I found:

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How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)

JAWS_Movie_poster

Jaws is the most successful “horror” movie of all time. Adjusted for inflation, it also comes in at number seven for all genres of movie*. The film is 124 minutes long. But guess when the shark first makes it full appearance? 80 minutes into the film. So for most the movie, we just hear about the shark, which is what makes it so scary. Continue reading “How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)”

Stop Envy From Hurting You

It’s one of the seven deadly sins and in some traditions it’s thought to be the   root of all evil. Aristotle defined it as feeling pain at the good fortune of others. Immanuel Kant extended the definition to include aiming at destroying others’ good fortune. Contemporary society, however, rarely talks about envy, perhaps because consumerism is fuelled by it. This is all the more reason to shine a light on it.  Continue reading “Stop Envy From Hurting You”

Don’t Doubt, Try the Difference

I was reminded how wise Derek Sivers is when I listened to a recent podcast interview of him where he talked on innovation vs imitation. I’ve featured his insights once before, but in case you don’t remember him, he’s a music entrepreneur turned wise owl. To give you a taste of his thoughts, here’s something he wrote on overcoming doubt by trying the difference:

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Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”

How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)

Raised in western culture, I think of time as an arrow. That is, I feel I’m constantly moving forward to the future leaving the past behind. Implicit within this is the notion that I’m progressing. While this has many benefits, it has many  shortcomings too. A fundamental one is that I’m never happy where I am. But there are there other ways to think about time, which can make life more fulfilling: Continue reading “How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)”

The coronavirus has covered everything.

As we continue living in isolation, the words of Albert Camus in The Plague keep coming back to me. It was published in 1947, yet it captures the mood we are in today so well. I guess plagues and pandemics affect people in the same way, no matter what era we live in. Here are some excerpts and I replace the words ‘plague’ with ‘coronavirus’ and ‘pestilence’ with ‘pandemic’ to make it feel more current:

Continue reading “The coronavirus has covered everything.”