Month: August 2017

Intuition Can Save Your Life

    I think that rationality is important. However, I recently learned about the significance of emotion and intuition, and that they are almost inexorably linked with rationality. On their Mixed Mental Arts podcast, Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats helped me understand this by discussing research by scientists like Jonathan Haidt and David Sloan Wilson. To summarize and simplify my perception of the science, our rational decisions are influenced by our intuitions. So for the most part, it seems like our emotional impulses make us think we’re behaving rationally, while we really are rationalizing our preconceptions. I’m not a neuroscientist or...

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The Attention Economy: What Do We Do About People Who Sell Attentional Crack?

In the age of social media, it has become fashionable to talk about The Attention Economy. Everyone is competing for eye balls. Nowhere is this competition more clear than to someone who spends their time educating children. Little kids are helpless. They don’t know that red means stop and green means go. They don’t know what they can eat and what they can’t. They don’t understand that one day they will be responsible for paying their own bills and that they’d better have marketable skills to make money with. And they certainly don’t understand that advertisers constantly hijack their...

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Learn, Unlearn, Relearn: Is it Time to Change Your Tune?

A few weeks ago, I was at a program from what we often call troubled teens. As I browsed the library of books available for the kids to read, I spotted a copy of The Tao of Pooh. I like Winnie the Pooh. I wanted to know more about Taoism. It’s a great title and so I picked it up and started reading it. [mbm_book_grid id=’9365′] In there, I found a fantastic analogy for how to think about emotions. Each emotion is like the key of a piano. They all serve a function. The challenge is playing each one...

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Unlearn: There is no distinction between entertainment and education

Twelve years ago, I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I’d just read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning on an elliptical machine at 24 Hour Fitness and it really struck a chord. In high school, I’d DESPERATELY wanted to go to Harvard. That had helped focus, structure and organize my life for me. Harvard inspired me when I didn’t want to study. Harvard pushed me to do higher quality work. Harvard got me to do extra-curricular activities that I probably would have avoided otherwise. Harvard did all that for me BEFORE I even...

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Culture Matters: Is Switzerland Really So Picture Postcard Perfect?

Switzerland. What comes to mind? Swiss Cheese? Skiing in the Alps? Alpine meadows?!? Yodeling? Switzerland is a picture perfect postcard of a country. Switzerland’s tourism board has been bending backward to present a clean, proper, idyllic and somewhat fairytale image of our country. Sanitized cuteness, served with a side of gold. To round this off, Zurich repeatedly ranks as one of the top three cities in terms of standard of living.  And yet, as someone who has spent her life living in Switzerland, I am aware of what lies behind the postcard and the terrible price that Switzerland’s quest to look perfect can take...

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