Psychology

The inhabitants of the Hungry Ghost Realm are depicted as creatures with scrawny necks, small mouths, emaciated limbs and large, bloated, empty bellies. This is the domain of addiction, where we constantly seek something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfillment. The aching emptiness is perpetual because the substances, objects or […]

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I cannot uncritically say “Happy Canada Day”. In part, that’s because of Canada’s genocidal and otherwise unjust history, but there is also my broader skepticism about nationalism itself. It seems a bit akin to following professional sports. It may not appeal to me personally, but I have no reasonable objection to people who support a […]

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Among environmental groups, Greenpeace has a reputation for being hostile to technologies like genetically modified foods and nuclear power, as well as of often saying poorly justified and hyperbolic things about them. As a civil servant, I remember learning never to trust figures or claims found only in a Greenpeace report, but to seek corroboration […]

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Nice to see in a way, but the thought it prompts is: “Will this tolerant society endure as the world grows more chaotic in the decades ahead?”

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Yet what seems to be beyond question is that any social system (not only ours) that has created and maintained a Doomsday Machine and has put the trigger to it, including first use of nuclear weapons, in the hands of one human being – anyone, not just this one man, still worse in the hands […]

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One of the limitations of photography — especially that which eschews unrealistic post-processing — is that it provides limited means for expressing emotions. There is no link between the feelings in your mind and the data your sensor collects, unlike the stroke of a pen in forming a word of brush in making a drawing. […]

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With the decline of archaic magic, the belief in single combat began to die out. The development of the modern, highly organized army and the concept of “total war” seemed to bury it forever. But then an extraordinary thing happened: the atomic bomb was invented, with the result that the concept of total war was […]

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More fighter pilots died in automobiles than in airplanes. Fortunately, there was always some kindly soul up the chain to certify the papers “line of duty,” so that the widow could get a better break on the insurance. That was okay and only proper because somehow the system itself had long ago said Skol! and […]

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As an experiment in living and in an effort to protect my sleep I have set my router to disable internet access from all my devices between 2:00am and 7:00am seven days a week. Especially when I am feeling down and wishing I could avoid things, there is a temptation to just keep clicking through […]

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Even at Google collaborative skills matter more than technical ones: In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, […]

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