How To Make Fewer Stupid Decisions

It is a well-known phenomenon that people tend to make stupider decisions in groups. It’s less well-acknowledged that they make especially stupid decisions in peer groups. Take your average 16 year-old. By themselves, they may be polite, intelligent, brave, considerate, even […]

A World Without a School Year

Imagine a world without a school year. It isn’t very hard. I have plenty of issues with compulsory schooling itself. I don’t believe it’s just to treat young people like parolees. I don’t think 14 years of regimentation and control are a […]

The Upside to Falling Off the Wagon

Falling Off the Wagon, “To cease or fail at a regimen of self-improvement or reform; to lapse back into an old habit…” Falling off the wagon isn’t fun. It isn’t satisfying to fail at a goal or revert to old ways. And falling comes with shame. I’ve been trying […]

Stop Calling Humans “Monkeys,” Please

Every now and then in discussions of human psychology and motivation, someone inserts the witty remark that humans are just “advanced monkeys,” or “monkeys with smartphones,” or something of the sort. Everyone laughs. Oh, humans! This smuggest of all YouTube videos […]

How Stories Make Things More Valuable

Why is a handmade candle generally considered better than a manufactured one? The materials and quality may actually be exactly the same: the same candle wax, the wick material, the same kind of burn. So it can be puzzling why most people seem […]

How Not To Fight Rotten Ideas

Impressionable young people are picking the worst ideas these days. Go to most college campuses and you’ll find ideologies not far different from socialism on the left and not far different from fascism on the right. This generation is not […]

The Redemption of Gunpowder

Same flares gave light to summer soldiers Hopeless brothers, sons, and friends Lit skulls and sharp wire, countless fields Last sights for shell-shocked, gored young men   Same flares give light to rooftop youth Young men on dunes and dancing piers High paper shells scream in July night Through burning hues come hope, not […]