Non-financial: July - September 2010 articles archive home
A reminder from Amazon’s CEO that we are what we choose.
What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy -- they're given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you're not careful, and if you do, it'll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
Friday, September 17, 2010 ... more
Smart move or insincere decision?
What reason have they for saying that we cannot rise from the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into existence than to return to it? Habit makes the one appear easy to us; want of habit makes the other impossible.
Friday, September 10, 2010 ... more
Wish there was something real
People think that because money is exchanged for work performed, said work is somehow adding to our pool of resources, but paper-money is just a form of compensation, not something with intrinsic value. And so many jobs are detached from natural wealth that money is literally cloning itself.
Thursday, September 9, 2010 ... more
Lords of our own skull-sized kingdoms.
Truth is, you get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship. Because here's something else that's true: In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
Friday, September 3, 2010 ... more
Sparring with scarecrows on the side of the free-market.
“Nasty, greedy folk, these free market capitalists,” says Julian Baggini, in his book, The Duck That Won the Lottery, “if you hold values other than the maximization of profit, you can’t possibly be on their side. Better to join the anti-capitalists, for whom human dignity, solidarity and environmental sustainability count for something.”
Friday, August 27, 2010 ... more
Otherwise this thing is going to require endless repair.
The world shifts under our feet. The rules change. Not the Bill of Rights, or the rules of tenting, but the big unspoken truths of a generation. Exhaled by culture, taken in like oxygen, we hold these truths to be self-evident: You get what you pay for. Success is everything. Work is what you do for money, and that’s what counts. How could it be otherwise?
Friday, August 20, 2010 ... more
Even people who want to go to Heaven don't want to die.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Friday, August 13, 2010 ... more
Everything you need to know about global warming in 5 minutes.
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, after at least several hundred thousand years of remaining within a constant range, started to rise with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It has increased by almost 40% and is rising each year. This is certain and straightforward. This is just physics.
Friday, August 6, 2010 ... more
Thing is, you get to decide how you're going to see it.
If you want to operate on your default-setting - then you will not want to consider these sort of possibilities. But … it is actually within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things.
Friday, July 30, 2010 ... more
Might spoil things, but would you want to be without it?
A great deal has already been written about the relationship between money and happiness but researchers are now finding that money’s impact on our ability to enjoy other things, such as a piece of chocolate, may be greater than we’d previously realized.
Friday, July 23, 2010 ... more
Disputation, semantics, and the adoption of alternate mindsets
Cognitive restructuring theory holds that psychological well-being is a function of how we view the world. We can choose to interpret events in a way that cause anxiety, anger, fear, or depression, or think in a way that results in a sense of well-being.
Friday, July 16, 2010 ... more
Parables from Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism.
By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied … a man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.
Friday, July 9, 2010 ... more
Wherever I go then, it will be well with me.
Epictetus (AD 55–AD 135) was a Stoic philosopher.

Stoicism, a philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC, considered destructive emotions to be the result of errors in judgment, and that a person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.
Friday, July 2, 2010 ... more
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