Grading is an intellectually and morally challenging process. A task that will affect how people are judged in the future and what their life prospects will be isn’t simply a commercial transaction, even if grading is your job. No single essay or exam grade determines how a student’s transcript ends up, or what consequences that […]


From The Economist: “Body-disposal teams are credited with checking Ebola in Liberia. But such teams are often attacked in Guinea. Resistance is reported in over a third of prefectures. … At times last year it looked as if Ebola was under control in Guinea, the largest of the affected countries. But health workers have trouble […]


There is a wistful myth that if only we had enough money to spend – the figure is usually put at a hundred billion dollars – we could wipe out all our slums in ten years, reverse decay in the great, dull, gray belts that were yesterday’s and day-before-yesterday’s suburbs, anchor the wandering middle class […]


Yet you have to be abysmally ignorant of history, as well as of current events, not to see that our country and our world have always been changing, are in the midst of great and terrible changes, and are occasionally changed through the power of the popular will and idealistic movements. As it happens, the […]


Lyra’s Moment of Heroism


Two souls

December 6, 2014

in Psychology, Writing

“In me there are two souls, alas, and their Division tears my life in two. One loves the world, it clutches her, it binds Itself to her, clinging with furious lust; The other longs to soar beyond the dust Into the realm of high ancestral minds.” -Faust, Part One. Goethe


“More recently you have the positive psychologists who are deluded enough to believe that happiness is a hallmark of mental health – which has gotta be the stupidest theory that’s come out in the last, I would say, probably 2000 years.”


Language is not a protocol legislated by an authority but rather a wiki that pools the contributions of millions of writers and speakers, who ceaselessly bend the language to their needs and who inexorably age, die, and get replaced by their children, who adapt the language in their turn. Pinker, Steven. The Sense of Style: […]

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But here’s the point. He had made another choice too. He had decided to cast himself as the victim, the wronged, the deceived, the rightly furious. He had persuaded himself that he had said nothing to me about the laundry basket. The memory had been erased, and for a purpose. But now he didn’t even […]


“March and Olsen… began with the assumption that both the rational and incremental models presumed a level of intentionality, comprehension of problems, and predictability among actors that simply did not obtain in reality. In their view, decision-making was a highly ambiguous and unpredictable process only distantly related to searching for means to achieve goals. Rejecting […]