Mango Banana

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Compassion and the Real Meaning of the Golden Rule

<i>“Have compassion for everyone you meet,”</i> Lucinda Williams sings, for <i>“you do not know what wars are going on down there, where the spirit meets the bone.”</i> This ode to what should be our baseline behavior to one another echoes like a great secular psalm in the cathedral of the human experience — a …

Mark Twain

Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read

In December of 2011, <b>Neil deGrasse Tyson</b> — champion of science, celebrator of the cosmic perspective, master of the soundbite — participated in Reddit’s Ask Me Anything series of public questions and answers. One reader posed the following question: <i>“Which books should be read by every single</i> …

Freud on Creative Writing and Daydreaming

<i>“Writing is a little door,”</i> Susan Sontag wrote in her diary. <i>“Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.”</i> <b>Sigmund Freud</b> (May 6, 1856–September 23, 1939) — a key figure in the making of consumer culture, deft architect of his own myth, modern plaything — set out to peek through …

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

<i>“Find something more important than you are,”</i> philosopher Dan Dennett once said in discussing the secret of happiness, <i>“and dedicate your life to it.”</i> But how, exactly, do we find that? Surely, it isn’t by luck. I myself am a firm believer in the power of curiosity and choice as the engine of …