Non-financial: July - September 2011 articles archive home
I've heard it said ...
... some fellows use language to conceal thought; but it’s been my experience that a good many more use it instead of thought.
Friday, September 30, 2011 ... more
The result of the action of a bandit is purely and simply a transfer of wealth and/or welfare. After the action of a perfect bandit, the bandit has a plus on his account which plus is exactly equivalent to the minus he has caused to another person. The society as a whole is neither better nor worse off. When stupid people are at work, however, the story is totally different.
Friday, September 23, 2011 ... more
Yet another deceit
Have you been duped lately? Feel bad about it? Don’t worry, we’ve all been hoodwinked about all sorts of things from the time we started going to kindergarten. Take for instance those schoolroom charts that show the planets in the solar system coming one after the other at neighbourly intervals.
Friday, September 16, 2011 ... more
Imagine you're on a bus ...
... says Vaughan Bell, clinical research psychologist at King’s College London. It’s full of people and you have to jam into an uncomfortable seat at the back. Very little connects you with any of the other passengers and it is unlikely you would even give them a second thought.
Friday, September 9, 2011 ... more
Grit, like underwear
Grit is not just about stubborn persistence. It’ no use persisting, after all, if a goal is truly impossible. While you’ve no doubt been bombarded with successful people telling you that dreams always come true, that we just need to believe, the dismal reality is that not every goal is worth pursuing ...
Friday, September 2, 2011 ... more
How optimism changes reality
Can expectations change reality? To answer this question, cognitive neuroscientist Sara Bengtsson, devised an experiment in which she manipulated positive and negative expectations of students while their brains were scanned and tested their performance on cognitive tasks.
Friday, August 26, 2011 ... more
The need for critical thinking
A critical society is a community of people who value critical thinking. It is a society continually looking to improve.

“Unfortunately there are no critical societies in the world,” maintain Linda Elder and Rush Cosgrove in their book, Thoughts from the Past. “Nor have there ever been."
Friday, August 19, 2011 ... more
As it is
The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. The world, my friend, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment … all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life.
Friday, August 12, 2011 ... more
No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks
My dangerous idea is one that most people immediately reject without giving it serious thought: school is bad for kids — it makes them unhappy and as tests show — they don't learn much.
Friday, August 5, 2011 ... more
Why's nothing so bad
Humanity's always been uncomfortable with zero and the void. The ancient Greeks declared them unnatural and unreal. Theologians argued that God's first act was to banish the void by the act of creating the universe ex nihilo, and Middle-Ages thinkers tried to ban zero and the other Arabic "ciphers." But the emptiness is all around us — most of the universe is void.
Friday, July 29, 2011 ... more
Freedom of thought
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. - CS Lewis
Friday, July 22, 2011 ... more
To avoid making it any worse
Russell Baker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1979 and again in 1983 for his autobiography. In 1995 he gave the commencement address at Connecticut College where he gave the graduates a list of 10 things to help them avoid “making the world worse than it already is.”
Friday, July 15, 2011 ... more
Fear of sucess
Fear of success can be just as paralyzing as fear of failure. Nor is it any less common. People not only fear success because it tests their limits and makes them vulnerable to new situations, but because they’re not sure whether they’re good enough to sustain their success.
Friday, July 8, 2011 ... more
Fortuitous circumstances
A few years ago a man won the Spanish national lottery with a ticket that ended in the number 48. Proud of his “accomplishment,” he revealed the theory that brought him the riches. “I dreamed of the number 7 for seven straight nights,” he said, “and 7 times 7 is 48."
Friday, July 1, 2011 ... more
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