Judson Moore

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The Self Is Other People - Facts So Romantic

<i>“We’re constantly bouncing off other people and looking at other people as a mirror of us. Our very sense of who we are is intertwined with what we</i> …

Lemony Snicket
Happiness

Where Do You Go When You Die? The Increasing Signs That Human Consciousness Remains After Death

Philosophically, though, our definition of death hinges on something else: the point past which we’re no longer able to return. Those two were more …

Scientists studying psychoactive drugs accidentally proved the self is an illusion

Philosophers and mystics have long contemplated the disconcerting notion that the fixed self is an illusion.Neuroscientists now think they can prove it or, at least, help us glimpse this truth with some help from psilocybin, the psychoactive property in magic mushrooms.<p>Researchers around the world …

The Philosophy of the Midlife Crisis

When he was thirty-five, Kieran Setiya had a midlife crisis. Objectively, he was a successful philosophy professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who had written the books “Practical Knowledge” and “Knowing Right from Wrong.” But suddenly his existence seemed unsatisfying. Looking inward, he felt …

The idea that everything from spoons to stones is conscious is gaining academic credibility

Consciousness permeates reality. Rather than being just a unique feature of human subjective experience, it’s the foundation of the universe, present in every particle and all physical matter.<p>This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue …

Consciousness

Weird, Wonderful Photos From the Archives

While doing my job researching photos for various stories, I always come across more interesting images than I need, or photos that are unrelated to the story yet are still remarkable, strange, hilarious, or just great shots. The best of those, I’ve been tucking into a folder without a clear plan …

New Jersey

Radical dimensions

Relativity says we live in four dimensions. String theory says it’s 10. What are ‘dimensions’ and how do they affect reality?<i>By Margaret Wertheim</i>Read …

Physics

The Japanese words for “space” could change your view of the world

When you are the first person to arrive in a meeting room, do you think of it as being empty or full?<p>If you were raised in the West, a meeting room is made for people to meet. Therefore, if there are no people in that room, then of course it must be empty. As philosopher Henk Oosterling remarks, in …

Why do we feel so guilty all the time?

Food, sex, money, work, family, friends, health, politics: there’s nothing we can’t feel guilty about, including our own feelings of guilt. By Devorah Baum<p>I feel guilty about everything. Already today I’ve felt guilty about having said the wrong thing to a friend. Then I felt guilty about avoiding …

Economic Justice

Consciousness Goes Deeper Than You Think

An article on the neuroscience of infant consciousness, which attracted some interest a few years ago, asked: “When does your baby become conscious?” …

Consciousness
Self-help

What All Christians Need to Know About the Enneagram

By now, you’ve probably either heard about the enneagram or heard people identify their personality type based on its numeric scale.<p>In his new book,</i> …

Spirituality

The purpose of life isn’t to be happy—it’s to be fulfilled

The term “happy” was traditionally synonymous with good fortune.<p>It found its way into the English language around the 14th century, and it wasn’t something that people actively pursued. It was thought that you either stumbled onto it or you didn’t. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the word …

Happiness

It’s Okay to “Forget” What You Read

I write a lot about reading, and one of the most common questions I get is<p>“What’s the point of reading if I just forget it all anyway?”<p>Paul Graham, …

Books

Resilience isn’t just being tough; it’s a skill you can develop. Here’s how I did it.

Maybe it’s just coincidence that resilience is trending during these troubled times, but it does seem to have become the buzzword du jour. Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant examine it in their best-selling book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy,” which is one of …

Sheryl Sandberg

Being more comfortable around strangers could come down to a simple mental shift

In its video and accompanying article, the educational company The School of Life presents a new way of thinking about shyness — suggesting that it results when we exaggerate our differences from others.<p>Our brains are wired to notice and exaggerate our differences<p>Research from psychology lends …

Psychology

One of the most common questions in American small talk is considered rude in much of the world

There is something daring in seeking out an exchange with someone, especially a stranger. For such occasions, cultures around the world develop a repertoire of easy conversation starters. In the United States and Canada, however, one opener dominates: what do you do?<p>Whatever the reason—the …

Gig Economy

Stop being positive and just cultivate neutrality for existential cool

You’ve likely been asked how you see the proverbial glass: half full or half empty? Your answer allegedly reflects your attitude about life—if you see it half full, you’re optimistic, and if you see it half empty, you’re pessimistic.<p>Implied in this axiom is the superiority of optimism. Culturally, …

Spirituality

“I just choose to not listen”: why Trump supporters are tuning out the scandals

Motivated ignorance, explained.<p>Objectively, Donald Trump’s presidency is flailing. Regardless of what you feel about his core politics and policy, the Trump administration is caught in a cycle of scandals of its own creation. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, with the possible intent of …

Donald Trump

It took a century to create the weekend—and only a decade to undo it

We made up the weekend the same way we made up the week. The earth actually does rotate around the sun once a year, taking about 365.25 days. The sun truly rises and sets over twenty-four hours. But the week is man-made, arbitrary, a substance not found in nature. That seven-day cycle in which we …

Cormac McCarthy Explains the Unconscious

This past week, the novelist Cormac McCarthy published the first nonfiction piece of his career, a three-thousand-word essay titled “The Kekulé Problem,” in the popular science magazine <i>Nautilus</i>. It is studded with suggestive details about the anatomy of the human larynx, what happens to dolphins …

Literature

5 Reasons Social Media is Dangerous For...

Since I’m a recovering bulimic, I have to keep a close eye on my relationship with food. Lately, I’ve been struggling with food a bit. More …

Moneyball

Living without expectations

Last year I wrote how I’ve never had a goal. I was reflecting on how I just move from one thing to another without feeling like like I’m aiming for …

Positive Thinking

Compassion and Politics

For a brief moment earlier this month, it seemed as if McDonald’s had gone political. From nowhere, the company’s Twitter account began attacking the …

Want To Be Happier And More Successful? Learn To Like Other People

Research suggests that the best self-help advice may have very little to do with yourself.<p>Self-help advice isn’t exactly in short supply. There are research-backed tips out there for boosting confidence, resilience, risk taking, and adaptability. The message is pretty clear: Feel better about …

Self-improvement

Survival of the Friendliest - Issue 46: Balance

Violence has been the sire of all the world’s values,” wrote poet Robinson Jeffers in 1940. “What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine the fleet …

Biology

Ancient technique can dramatically improve memory, research suggests

A memory technique invented by the ancient Greeks can make dramatic and long-lasting improvements to a person’s power of recall, according to research that suggests many of us have extensive untapped memory reserves.<p>After spending six weeks cultivating an internal “memory palace”, people more than …

The Brain

5 research-backed secrets for making friends as an adult

When you were a kid it was a lot easier. In college you almost had to be trying not to make friends. But then you're an adult.<p>You get busy with work. Your friends get busy with work. People get married. Have kids. And pretty soon being "close" means a text message twice a year.<p>You're not alone … …

Happiness