Category Archives: Uncategorized

In love with the land – the real clash of civilizations

What does it mean to love the land? Two very different things, apparently. Today I was reading Ezra Klein’s column in the New York Times, where he was talking about anti-liberalism. Remember, we have multiple meanings for “liberal,” and this … Continue reading

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Mindset and “genius” – life lessons from the Schumanns

One of the most popular – and practically useful – concepts to emerge in psychology in recent decades has been Carol Dweck’s concept of “fixed” versus “growth” mindsets. Dweck, a Stanford researcher, found that in any given context, people tend … Continue reading

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All the “porns”

The last time I was in our neighborhood supermarket, I narrowly avoided buying the latest special issue of Good Housekeeping, full of recipes for the Mediterranean diet. Although I was tempted, $13.99 was non-trivial, and I reminded myself that if … Continue reading

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Wordle, fast and slow

Like so many others on the fun, quick games bandwagon, my partner and I are regular players of Wordle. We’ve been playing for 20 days, and we each have 20 wins. In Wordle, you’re guessing the identity of that day’s … Continue reading

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“Bracketing” – with spoilers for my least favorite episode of Perry Mason

This morning, as I sat down to eat my breakfast with Perry Mason, as one does, I made a disappointing discovery. My DVR had only one new Perry recording on it, and it was the episode I enjoy least of … Continue reading

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Career or hobby? The life-saving work of countering others’ recipes for disaster

I started my day today by reading Ezra Klein’s interview with Holden Karnofsky. He’s the co-founder of GiveWell, an organization that studies charities and helps figure out where donations really make the most impact. And now he’s the co-CEO of … Continue reading

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Practicing music, practicing empathy

Every morning, the first thing I do after checking my email is reading Carolyn Hax’s advice column. I love her sharp sense of humor, and her advice is always sound. This week, two letter writers wondered whether there was something … Continue reading

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What color is your pandemic?

One of the most interesting studies I’ve done during the help-people-quit-tobacco part of my career was a study of the metaphors people use when they think about quitting. Metaphors are so fundamental to how we understand things – if you’re … Continue reading

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A story about family and community, for our time

During these polarized times, when even public health has become politicized, it’s extra-important to build bridges between our two “sides,” and to retain and strengthen the dialogues we already have. That’s why I want to talk today about the new … Continue reading

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The ‘agile dolphin’ plan: Boris Johnson’s meta-narrative vision for Britain

Say what you will about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – the man clearly grasps the political power of meta-narratives. Tom McTague profiled Johnson in the latest issue of The Atlantic, and concluded that to Johnson, “the point of politics … Continue reading

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