Social Influencers

Social Influencers

Donald Trump frequently employs a rhetorical strategy built on the power of social influencers. We pay attention to what happens around us, and adjust our behaviors and even our beliefs relative to the groups that surround us. When we are around people who cuss a lot, we might cuss more. When we are around people … Continue reading Social Influencers

Self-Control & Environmental Effects - Joe Abittan

Self-Control & Environmental Effects

I discount the idea of the self more than most people. I don't think that it is useful to think about ourselves as definable individuals the way most people do, and as a result, I don't think self-control, discipline, and individual responsibility should be as prominent in our economic and political systems as we make … Continue reading Self-Control & Environmental Effects

How Helpful Are We?

"People are willing to help, but the amount they're willing to help doesn't scale in proportion to how much impact their contributions will make." Author's Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson write this in their book The Elephant in the Brain when discussing our behaviors around donations and charity. "This effect," they continue, "known as scope … Continue reading How Helpful Are We?

You Are Not Just Yourself

"Much harm is done by a single case of indulgence or greed," Seneca wrote in a letter saved in the book Letters From a Stoic, "the familiar friend, if he be luxurious, weakens and softens us imperceptibly; the neighbor, if he be rich, rouses our covetousness; the companion, if he be slanderous, rubs off some … Continue reading You Are Not Just Yourself

Awareness in Action

In a later written to James Harmon for the book, Take My Advice, the late Murray Bookchin writes, “Our ideas must always be completed, fully thought out, and richly informed by a knowledge of the past.  To separate oneself from the past, to maintain a sense of mere nowness, to deny what reason has to … Continue reading Awareness in Action