One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is how our universe can be so thermally uniform—the vast cosmos is filled with the lingering heat of the Big Bang.
These stories have stood the test of time, and continue to be some of the most-saved, read, and shared stories on Pocket. They're just as relevant today as the day they were published.
One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is how our universe can be so thermally uniform—the vast cosmos is filled with the lingering heat of the Big Bang.
The rapid evolution of a wordless tongue. Consider the tilde. There it is, that little squiggle, hanging out on the far-upper-left-hand side of your computer keyboard.
As a teacher who has long witnessed and worried about the impacts of technology in the classroom, I constantly struggle to devise effective classroom policies for smartphones.
I have thought and continued to think a great deal about the relationship between critical thinking and cynicism — what is the tipping point past which critical thinking, that centerpiece of reason so vital to human progress and intellectual life, stops mobilizing our constructive impulses and top
Here are two things that are both true. Neuroplasticity is real — that is, the brain really can change and learn and improve based on experience. And there’s little evidence that brain-training games are any better than placebo.
I woke up this morning to discover a tiny birch tree rising amidst my city quasi-garden, having overcome unthinkable odds to float its seed over heaps of concrete and glass, and begin a life in a meager oasis of soil. And I thought, my god*, what a miracle. What magic.
My cat has been dying for the last two years. It is normal to me now — it is simply the state of affairs. There's a rhythm to her medication: prednisone and urosodiol in the morning, urosodiol again in the evening, chemo every other day, a vitamin B shot once a week.
If David Tran were a more conventional CEO, he would be a fixture at conferences, a darling of magazine profiles, and a subject of case studies in the Harvard Business Review.
I go to this boot camp-style class sometimes at a gym near my apartment. It’s one of those classes where a coach stands there and yells at you to do more pushups and squats until you think you’re going to puke. Then you go home and struggle to sit on a toilet for the next three days.
There are two primary mental shifts that occur in the lives of all highly successful people. Many make the first, but very few make the second. Both of these shifts require a great deal of mental stretching from conventional and societal ways of thinking.
Few post-9/11 security measures have proven as enduring as the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, which effectively nationalized airport security and dramatically increased screening procedures on flights.
Though their numbers are growing, only 27 percent of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United States are female. The gender gap only grows worse from there: Just 18 percent of American computer-science college degrees go to women.
In May of 1995, Ruth Patras realized that something was wrong with her 5-week-old daughter, Ciara. Initially happy and healthy, about a month after Ciara was born, the whites of her eyes started to turn yellow. Over the next few days, the color deepened, and her appetite diminished.
One November night in the 1870s, legendary Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky (November 11, 1821–February 9, 1881) discovered the meaning of life in a dream — or, at least, the protagonist in his final short story did.
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work? It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.
We follow others no matter how hard we try. The notion that our choices are driven by our own personal thoughts and opinions seems so obvious that it is not even worth mentioning,” Jonah Berger writes in the opening of his 2016 book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior.
Procrastination comes in many disguises. We might resolve to tackle a task, but find endless reasons to defer it. We might prioritize things we can readily tick off our to-do list—answering emails, say—while leaving the big, complex stuff untouched for another day.
The reason I study productivity is because I’m an unproductive person. I truly am. If it wasn’t for my productivity system, I wouldn’t get anything done. I wouldn’t even write this article. But if you browse social media, all you see is super productive, healthy, and wealthy people.
Please answer me this: Why do we work 8–9 hours a day so that we can earn free time, while we endlessly waste that hard-earned free time? Have you ever looked at it this way? It’s an absurd way of living. And yet, everyone with a traditional job lives that way.
Do you have a long list of goals, desires, and wants for your life? Do you want to learn more? Earn more? Improve your skills? Get the most out of your relationships? Live better? All those things are good. Life is about moving forward and making consistent progress.
Emerging science is putting the lie to American meritocracy. On paper alone you would never guess that I grew up poor and hungry. My most recent annual salary was over $700,000. I am a Truman National Security Fellow and a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Literature’s evolution has reflected and spurred the growing complexity of society. Reading medieval literature, it’s hard not to be impressed with how much the characters get done—as when we read about King Harold doing battle in one of the Sagas of the Icelanders, written in about 1230.
Here's how it changed my life.
I know what you’re thinking. “This guy probably read a motivational quote on social media and now he’s telling us that nothing is impossible. Yeah right.” I think the world has no shortage of motivational articles, books, videos, or Facebook posts.
“Sahara is too little price / to pay for thy Right hand,” Emily Dickinson wrote in a poem. “The right hand = the hand that is aggressive, the hand that masturbates,” Susan Sontag pondered in her diary in 1964.
There’s that project you’ve left on the backburner – the one with the deadline that’s growing uncomfortably near. And there’s the client whose phone call you really should return – the one that does nothing but complain and eat up your valuable time.
“Feeling helpless and confused in the face of random, unpatterned events, we seek to order them and, in so doing, gain a sense of control over them,” the great psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom wrote in his magnificent meditation on uncertainty and our search for meaning.
Since my tips to improve your writing in two minutes were so popular, I thought I’d share some similar tips to improve your next conversation.
When you have a goal — whether it’s starting a business or eating healthier or traveling the world — it’s easy to look at someone who is already doing it and then try to reverse engineer their strategy. In some cases, this is really useful.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten about thinking came from a private-company CEO who has a thirty-year track record that’s up there with Warren Buffett’s. One day he said to me, “Shane, most people don’t actually think. They just take their first thought and go.” We’re all busy.
Language bends and buckles under pressure of climate change. Take the adjective 'glacial.' I recently came across an old draft of my PhD dissertation on which my advisor had scrawled the rebuke: ‘You’re proceeding at a glacial pace. You’re skating on thin ice.
One of the most important habits that I’ve formed in my life is daily writing. Without question, writing every day has brought me many great things: A better career, fulfillment, self-improvement, and most importantly, the ability to share my ideas with you, the reader.
Depending on your perspective, Immanuel Kant was either the most boring person on the planet or a productivity hacker’s wet dream. For over 40 years, he woke up every morning at 5:00 AM and wrote for exactly three hours. He would then lecture at the same university for exactly four hours.
Your character is defined by values. And your core values are the result of your behavior. Aristotle said it best: For example, when you always tell the truth, you become an honest person. It’s as simple as that. And yet, we collectively underestimate the importance of values.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we assume we always learn from our mistakes. I’ve met enough people who learned little from their own stupidity. We all know these people. In fact, we probably are these people. You know why? It’s damned hard to learn from your mistakes.
Your teenager has a science project due. He hates science. He hates projects (as do you). Do you: If, out of love or a desire to bolster your child’s self-esteem, you picked A or B, teacher and author Jessica Lahey thinks you’re wrong.
On a double-decker bus from Dublin airport to Drumcondra early one June morning, a young lad stretched out on the back seat and started to rap. What he lacked in talent he made up for in gusto.
"Do you need a prod?" the poet Mary Oliver asked in her sublime meditation on living with maximal aliveness. “Do you need a little darkness to get you going?” A paralytic prod descended upon Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819–March 26, 1892) in his fifty-third year when a stroke left him severely disabled.
Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Hating exercise isn’t the same as being lazy. Exercise motivation is a complicated subject, but if getting off the couch is the hardest part for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to finally start working out, no matter how much you might hate it.
In an age of all-knowing algorithms, how do we choose not to know? After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East German citizens were offered the chance to read the files kept on them by the Stasi, the much-feared Communist-era secret police service.
Is this a silly decision not deserving deliberation? Maybe. But I bet you’ve been there. If not about food, then about something else. We spend an inordinate amount of time, and a tremendous amount of energy, making choices between equally attractive options in everyday situations.
Not long ago, I had the chance to speak to a networking group for job seekers over the age of 40. Many of the people in attendance had worked for over 10 years at companies and were then let go.
When it went public in 2011, over a decade after the company’s founding, Pandora employed fewer than 40 engineers.
The sheer stress of an environment contributes to obesity and diabetes. It was the most ambitious social experiment ever conducted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. And one of the most surprising.
It has happened to all of us. You’re standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular?
In a 2016 interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates argued that serious thinkers and writers should get off Twitter. It wasn’t a critique of the 140-character medium or even the quality of the social media discourse in the age of fake news.
Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says.
People with a lot of self-control — people who, when they happen upon a delicious food they don’t think they should eat, seemingly grin and bear the temptation until it passes — have it easy. But why? For a long time, the thinking was that these people are good at inhibiting their impulses.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book.
Before Christmas I took a young relative to a jazz concert. The thought of it ruined his whole day. He scuffed around the house like an alt-right voter at a refugee camp. In the event, even he acknowledged that we had a fine time.
When I was growing up in New York City, a high point of my calendar was the annual arrival of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus — ‘the greatest show on earth’. My parents endured the green-haired clowns, sequinned acrobats and festooned elephants as a kind of garish pageantry.
Shortly after turning fifty, Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828–November 10, 1910) succumbed to a profound spiritual crisis.
Just as fish presumably don’t know they’re wet, many English speakers don’t know that the way their language works is just one of endless ways it could have come out. It’s easy to think that what one’s native language puts words to, and how, reflects the fundamentals of reality.
How long does it take to become elite at your craft? And what do the people who master their goals do differently than the rest of us? That's what John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wanted to know.
There were only about three or four ramen shops on Oahu when Hidehito Uki founded Sun Noodle in 1981. Ramen in America was pretty much just a cup of noodles you cooked in the microwave.
A few months ago, my friend Tim took a new sales job at a Series C tech company that had raised over $60 million from A-list investors. He’s one of the best salespeople I know, but soon after starting, he emailed me to say he was struggling.
I want to ask you a question. How many hours per day do you think? “I never thought about that.” So let me get this straight. You’re thinking all the time, and yet, you never think about how much time you spend thinking.
If there’s one pattern I’ve come across in dozens of articles, books I’ve read, and the 100’s of people that I’ve interviewed, it’s that the most prolific, productive and successful ones don’t depend on to-do lists, they depend on a calendar.
You can train your brain to think better. One of the best ways to do this is to expand the set of mental models you use to think. Let me explain what I mean by sharing a story about a world-class thinker.
Before the smartphone backlash, before apps were likened to cigarettes for kids or Facebook co-founder Sean Parker mused that “God knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains” or Tim Cook revealed he doesn’t let his nephew touch social media, and before the demands for studies and regul
Aristotle is credited with saying these 15 famous words. And for most of my life…I didn’t believe him. Know what I discovered?
"Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love," Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother. “Why is love rich beyond all other possible human experiences and a sweet burden to those seized in its grasp?” philosopher Martin Heidegger asked in his electrifying love letters to Hannah Arendt.
“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love.
The reason I research productivity is simple. I think that a productive life equals a happy life. Also, if you’re more productive than average people, you’ll advance faster in your career. You learn more. You do more. And eventually are rewarded more.
Twelve years ago, I penned an essay for a Salon series called “To Breed or Not to Breed,” about the decision to have children or not. It began this way: “When I tell people that I’m 27, happily married and that I don’t think I ever want children, they respond one of two ways.
What does love mean, exactly? We have applied to it our finest definitions; we have examined its psychology and outlined it in philosophical frameworks; we have even devised a mathematical formula for attaining it.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from reading books, interviewing smart people, and having conversations with my mentors is that questions are more important than answers. But that goes against everything you learn in school where you’re rewarded for the quality of your answers.
Walter Pitts rose from the streets to MIT, but couldn’t escape himself. Walter Pitts was used to being bullied. He’d been born into a tough family in Prohibition-era Detroit, where his father, a boiler-maker, had no trouble raising his fists to get his way.
“Live as if you were living already for the second time,” Viktor Frankl wrote in his 1946 masterwork on the human search for meaning, “and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” And yet we only live once, with no rehearsal or reprise — a fact at once so
I'm going to cut the preamble here and get straight to the chase: what the hell is going on in this GIF? How did it all happen? Did a troupe of butterflies flap their wings really hard on the other side of the planet, and through the Super Chaos Theory cause this everyman's Cirque du Soleil? I don'
Because having fun outdoors shouldn’t be complicated, here’s a reminder that even some of the most important skills are simpler than we often make them out to be. Fire requires fuel, air, and heat. Start with the smallest, driest fuel source you can find or make.
My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22. I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.
Most jobs that exist today might disappear within decades. As artificial intelligence outperforms humans in more and more tasks, it will replace humans in more and more jobs. Many new professions are likely to appear: virtual-world designers, for example.
I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends…
Ever had an argument with your partner and wished they could just read your mind? If they only knew how you were feeling, they’d stop putting up a fight. That’s sort of the idea behind the concept of love languages: they let you in on what makes your partner tick.
Some of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime will occur while you feel stressed and anxious. From medical decisions to financial and professional ones, we are often required to weigh up information under stressful conditions.
Digital transformation, ugh! It hurts just to say it. I’ve just returned from an amazing conference, hosted by Insight Venture Partners, where C-level leaders and board members discussed the opportunities and frustrations of digital transformation.
Contrary to popular belief, peace and quiet is all about the noise in your head. One icy night in March 2010, 100 marketing experts piled into the Sea Horse Restaurant in Helsinki, with the modest goal of making a remote and medium-sized country a world-famous tourist destination.
View the high resolution version of the infographic by clicking here. Out of all the interventions we can do to make smarter decisions in our life and career, mastering the most useful and universal mental models is arguably the most important.
I’ve said before the first 3 hours of your day can dictate how your life turns out. And this often begins with the very first thing that you decide to put in your brain.
For most of the history of our species, in most parts of the world, bathing has been a collective act. In ancient Asia, the practice was a religious ritual believed to have medical benefits related to the purification of the soul and body.
Today, if there's traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there's a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you're committing a crime: jaywalking.
There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe we read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be.
I recently had a wonderful conversation with my friend, Beck Tench. During our chat, Beck told me about an interesting shift in thinking that occurred while she worked at a science museum. During her time there, Beck said that she learned how to treat failure like a scientist.
When I was a child in the 1950s, my friends and I had two educations. We had school (which was not the big deal it is today), and we also had what I call a hunter-gather education. We played in mixed-age neighbourhood groups almost every day after school, often until dark.
You can’t change yourself, so don’t even try. I know that’s not what the infomercials and self-help seminars tell you. But fuck it. They’re wrong. You can’t change. Like a thirsty man in a desert chasing a mirage, or a fat man peering into an empty fridge—there’s nothing there.
If you’re not sure what Odd Things in Odd Places is and why I’m in Iraq by myself, here’s why. On the morning of Saturday, August 2nd, I got in a taxi in Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdish Iraq, and asked the driver to take me to the Khazir refugee camp.
Things are bad, and it feels like they are getting worse, right? War, violence, natural disasters, corruption. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and we will soon run out of resources unless something drastic is done.
Maybe it’s the Viking heritage. There is an icy open-air pool in the waters of Copenhagen’s harbour, and although it is mid-winter Danes still jump in every day.
What does success look like? What do you want from life? What career do you want? And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. And yet, we think it’s the worst thing in the world if you don’t know what you want to do in life.
One of our most firmly entrenched ideas of masculinity is that men don’t cry. Although he might shed a discreet tear at a funeral, and it’s acceptable for him to well up when he slams his fingers in a car door, a real man is expected to quickly regain control.
I am arriving in Brussels. The train from London is full of the usual Chinese tourists and bored businesspeople. The city doesn’t, contrary to the impression given by CNN, resemble Kabul. Rows and rows of untouched houses scream bourgeois calm (actually, they gently whisper bourgeois calm).
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution. A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers.
Let me tell you something you already know: Your housekeeper spies on you. We work alone. We get bored. What do you expect?
You know, thinking, worrying, stressing, freaking out — call it whatever you want. I call it a preoccupied mind. And with what? All my life I’ve been obsessed with practical things. Practical philosophy, practical knowledge, practical books, practical work, and practical advice.
For the longest time, I believed that there’s only one purpose of life: And that is to be happy. Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It’s to achieve happiness in some way.
“It is our knowledge — the things we are sure of — that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from seeing and learning,” Lincoln Steffens wrote in his beautiful 1925 essay.
This is Eater Voices, where chefs, restaurateurs, writers, and industry insiders share their perspectives about the food world, tackling a range of topics through the lens of personal experience. First-time writer? Don’t worry, we’ll pair you with an editor to make sure your piece hits the mark.
Last week was not a good week for those hoping to permanently lose weight.
This summer, a friend called in a state of unhappy perplexity. At age 47, after years of struggling to find security in academia, he had received tenure. Instead of feeling satisfied, however, he felt trapped. He fantasized about escape. His reaction had taken him by surprise. It made no sense.
When I was in my late twenties, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Doctors operated and told me to hope for the best. I returned to Japan, where I was working, and tried to forget about it. The tumors returned a year later, this time in my liver.
On a Saturday morning in May, 2015, a group of law enforcement agents, the FBI among them, knocked on the front door of the Montgomery Homestead Inn in Damascus, Virginia. The proprietor, a retired kindergarten teacher who lives across East Laurel Ave. from the inn, happened to be there at the time.
Kim Scott had one thing to do that day. She was going to price her product. It was the year 2000, she was the founder and CEO of Juice Software, and she had blocked off her whole morning to make this decision.
Why did the busiest person in the world, former president Barack Obama, read an hour a day while in office? Why has the best investor in history, Warren Buffett, invested 80% of his time in reading and thinking throughout his career?
I sent out the call the week before my wedding: Anyone who has been married for 10+ years and is still happy in their relationship, what lessons would you pass down to others if you could?
In the summer of 1865, just after he began writing Crime and Punishment, the greatest novelist of all time hit rock bottom. Recently widowed and bedeviled by epilepsy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (November 11, 1821–February 9, 1881) had cornered himself into an impossible situation.
When I was in high school, I found out that my friends didn’t like me. One of the girls in my “group” told me I wasn’t invited to a birthday party because “everyone” thought I was annoying—which, to be honest, at 15 I probably was—and for months I was ostracized.
One day, when my brother was 18, he waltzed into the living room and proudly announced to my mother and me that one day he was going to be a senator. My mom probably gave him the “That’s nice, dear,” treatment while I’m sure I was distracted by a bowl of Cheerios or something.
Life is complicated. And I find it fascinating that people tend to make it even more complicated by not thinking practically. One of the things that we never think about is the way we think. We waste a lot of time trying to solve problems that are not even problems.
I sit down at the table, move my napkin to my lap, and put my phone on the table face-down. I am at a restaurant, I am relaxed, and I am about to start lying to myself. I’m not going to check my phone, I tell myself. (My companion’s phone has appeared face-down on the table, too.
I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’m not one. The good news is it’s not just me — or you. We are all irrational, and we all make mental errors. For a long time, researchers and economists believed that humans made logical, well-considered decisions.
As an athlete, if you want to improve something—your 100-meter time, say, or your deadlift PR—you’ve got to apply a challenge, some sort of “stressor,” and then follow it with a period of rest and recovery. Too much stress without enough rest and you get injury, illness, and burnout.
Hanna, a finance director at an international home care retailer, works long hours. She’s usually in the office from 9am to 5pm, but at home, when her three children go to sleep, she’ll work another four hours, not closing her laptop until midnight. She sometimes also works on weekends.
If most of us, myself included, were completely honest about our balance between consumption and creation, we’d see that it’s pretty out of whack. We consume far more than we create when it should be the opposite. Every day our consumption diet includes any of the following
Meeting Pablo Escobar’s brother turned out to be one of the more disappointing moments of my life. In Medellin, Colombia, you can go to the Escobar house. In fact, there’s a whole tourism industry that’s sprouted up around Escobar and the old cartel.
It takes commitment and time, but you can learn to manage your money even when there's not much of it. Follow these steps to set up a budget if you're broke. We've discussed how to create a basic, real-world budget, but that advice often doesn't apply when you're struggling to make ends meet.
If Cassidy Sokolis ever needs to wake up before 11 am, she scatters three alarm clocks throughout her bedroom. Even then, she still often sleeps through the clamor. "It's really frustrating," Sokolis, a 21-year-old junior at Northern Arizona University, tells me.
SYRACUSE—This office looks like a pretty typical co-working space, what with the guy with a ponytail coding in one corner, the pile of bikes clustered in another, and the minimalist desks spread across a light-filled room.
By 1918, Charles M. Schwab was one of the richest men in the world. Schwab was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in America at the time.
Recently, Bic launched a campaign to “save handwriting.” Named “Fight for Your Write,” it includes a pledge to “encourage the act of handwriting” in the pledge-taker’s home and community, and emphasizes putting more of the company’s ballpoints into classrooms.
Kim Scott, co-founder of Candor, Inc., has built her career around a simple goal: Creating bullshit-free zones where people love their work and working together. She first tried it at her own software startup.
A few years ago, as the co-owner of a direct-market vegetable farm, my life revolved around harvests and freeze dates, farmers’ market sales and enrolment numbers for our Community Supported Agriculture programme.
“Traditional approaches to staying focused don’t work for me.” “I know what I should do to be more productive, but I just don’t do it.” I hear sentences like these repeatedly from coaching clients.
There are many creative tools a designer uses to think differently, but none is more counter-intuitive than “wrong thinking,” also called reverse thinking.
This week, the Cut brings you True Romance: five days of stories about love as it’s actually lived. I’m an advice columnist, so sometimes people ask me about how they can “keep the romance alive” in their marriages.
Given a little information about me, both Facebook and my friend alight on the same recommendation because my constellation of interests is far less special, and thus more predictable, than I’d like to believe.
With well over 50 billion dollars to his name, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world. Out of all the investors in the 20th century, Buffett was the most successful.
The stories we tell about the epidemic get things backward. My sister Camilla and I stepped off the passenger ferry onto the dock at Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard’s main port, with a group that had already begun their party. They giggled, dragging coolers and beach chairs behind them.
Few people have enchanted the popular imagination with science more powerfully and lastingly than physicist Richard Feynman (May 11, 1918–February 15, 1988) — the “Great Explainer” with the uncommon gift for bridging the essence of science with the most human and humane dimensions of life.
From our knees to our eyeballs, our bodies are full of hack solutions. The Greeks were obsessed with the mathematically perfect body. But unfortunately for anyone chasing that ideal, we were designed not by Pygmalion, the mythical sculptor who carved a flawless woman, but by MacGyver.
In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote.
2018 will go down as the year when it became impossible to ignore the increasing advancements of Chinese smartphone hardware, from superlative camera arrays and super-speed charging to in-display fingerprint scanners and creative ways to stretch the display across as much of the front of the phone a
Modern society has not advanced one bit ever since it started. Sure, technology has advanced. And the world is safer. But when you talk about society itself, nothing has changed. People have not changed. The problems you’re facing today are not new. And one of those problems is that we are needy.
Thomas1 was a highly successful and mild-mannered lawyer who was worried about his drinking. When he came to see me at my psychotherapy practice, his wine intake had crept up to six or seven glasses a night, and he was starting to hide it from his family and to feel the effects at work.
Most of us think “perfect” memory means never forgetting, but maybe forgetting actually helps us navigate a world that is random and ever-changing. So say two neuroscientists in a review published today in the journal Neuron.
I had lived thirty good years before enduring my first food poisoning — odds quite fortunate in the grand scheme of things, but miserably unfortunate in the immediate experience of it.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it – isn’t it? According to language analysts, we may have this wrong. ‘‘We are pushed and pulled around by language far more than we realise,” says Elizabeth Stokoe, professor of social interaction at Loughborough University.
A year after James Cadbury, the 30-something great-great-great-grandson of the British chocolatier John Cadbury, launched his luxury cocoa startup in 2016, he introduced an avocado chocolate bar. Cadbury Jr.
Have you ever made a decision that seemed illogical looking back? We’re all highly illogical beings even though we think the opposite! Every person creates their own social reality. The way you view the world is completely subjective because we all have cognitive biases.
Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his day job?
It is 9:00AM in our New York City office, and one of us (Jordan) stops by the fifth-floor kitchen to pick up a free piece of fruit — a healthy perk that Weight Watchers offers its employees. When he arrives, he faces a familiar sight: the bananas are already gone and only the oranges remain.
“What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as-you-were?” Mary McCarthy asked her friend Hannah Arendt in their correspondence about love.
In every Amazon annual report, Jeff Bezos publishes a shareholder letter where he provides a broad overview of the company’s operations throughout the year.
We talk about metabolism like it's something we can manipulate by gulping a pill, downing some green tea, or running faster. You've seen the articles headlined "Boost your metabolism" or "Try this high-metabolism diet to lose weight."
In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his groundbreaking book, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which described his three laws of motion. In the process, Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.
Why the central problem in neuroscience is mirrored in physics. The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will.
Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
Cheap and effective, CBT became the dominant form of therapy, consigning Freud to psychology’s dingy basement. But new studies have cast doubt on its supremacy – and shown dramatic results for psychoanalysis. Is it time to get back on the couch?
If you’re not learning you’re standing still. So what’s the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? There are two types of knowledge and most of us focus on the wrong one. The first type of knowledge focuses on knowing the name of something.
Emma Perrier spent the summer of 2015 mending a broken heart, after a recent breakup. By September, the restaurant manager had grown tired of watching The Notebook alone in her apartment in Twickenham, a leafy suburb southwest of London, and decided it was time to get back out there.
Immortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it’s now the subject of serious investment – both intellectual and financial – by philosophers, scientists and the Silicon Valley set.
You’ve probably gotten in a political argument in the recent past, whether with your nutso cousin at Thanksgiving or your militantly ignorant co-worker at a happy hour. And you’ll probably get in another political argument sometime in the near future.
I was halfway through a job interview when I realized I was wrinkling my nose. I couldn't help myself.
Elon Musk thinks it's almost certain that we are living in a computer simulation. In short, we are characters in an advanced version of The Sims — so advanced that it creates, well, us.
The traditional 9–5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working world we now live in.
PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading.
Do you have a list of priorities or goals that you want to achieve this year? And do you struggle with allocating time to them? I’m no different. Life can be messy. Most of us juggle a lot of different things at the same time.
We all know the story. A team creates a groundbreaking new innovation only to see it mired in internal debates. When it is eventually launched in the market, there is an initial flurry of sales to early adopters, but then sales cycles become sluggish.
Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933–December 28, 2004) spent a lifetime contemplating the role of writing in both the inner world of the writer and outer universe of readers, which we call culture — from her prolific essays and talks on the task of literature to her devastatingly beautiful letter to
Procrastination has been around since the start of modern civilization. Historical figures like Herodotus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and hundreds of others have talked about how procrastination is the enemy of results.
To paraphrase Rousseau, man is born free, yet everywhere he is caged. Barbed-wire, concrete walls, and gun-toting guards confine people to the nation-state of their birth. But why? The argument for open borders is both economic and moral.
An ex-convict on how to set your mind free. With a sigh, Johnny Perez rises from his plastic chair, unfolds his lanky frame and extends his wingspan until the tips of his middle fingers graze the walls. “It was from here to here,” he says. “I know because I used to do this all the time.
What really makes whiskey taste like whiskey? If flavor truly just came down to a simple formula of distilling ratios of grains plus time spent in a barrel, then there wouldn’t be an infinite range of tastes, profiles and qualities.
Taco Bell is the best Mexican food I ever ate. I will say this to your face over a plate of enchiladas suiza. You will shake your head at such transparent provocation. What a shocking thing to say at a restaurant that has the best tacos in New York City! I won't even correct that assertion.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes. I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
In the past, time management experts would recommend that you divide up your work into A tasks, B tasks, and C tasks. The concept was to do the A tasks first, then the B tasks, then the C tasks, when you can get to them. If priorities changed, you just changed the order of your As, Bs, and Cs.
There’s one question I hear as a personal finance writer more than any other. It’s not how to game the stock market, or become a billionaire—it’s simply how to make a budget work while still saving enough to retire comfortably.