The cheery image of humanity projected by social media selfies isn’t an attempt to fool us into believing in the contentment myth; it’s how we want to see ourselves.
Sartre famously wrote that “l’enfer, c’est les autres”: hell is other people. But I’d rather suggest that “other people” are both hell and heaven. Strung between community and individuality, the umbilical cord of identity is a tenuous one.
Some quirky math conjures up a time machine of sorts, letting you look at the world through the eyes of someone who may be more like you than you think.
Books are treasure troves of humanity. But what do you do when a damaged gift book comes into your possession—twice?
It’s an attractive proposition to believe that humans are in essence inclined to do good. But there is also a case to be made for the opposite: that humans’ true nature is driven by base and amoral appetites. These two views of human nature seem to be irreconcilable—but are they?
Boredom is the mind searching for something to do. We experience it as unpleasant, but tedium can help us grow into better, more well-rounded people.