Doldrums. Doldrums. Eviler than the Devil. Boredom makes men to villains.
— Thomas Wake, The Lighthouse (2019)
With as much complaining as human beings do about their jobs, it’s interesting to note that — based on research done by the Hungarian psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi — most people are happier at work than they are elsewhere.
At first, I wondered how this could be so.
Critics of the current economic system and it’s associated work culture often point to the productivity, profit-obsessed order of things as a major reason that people are being worked to death.
The solution, from their point-of-view, is to relax the work environment through such measures as reducing hours, adding holiday time, more paid leave, etc. …
For all the good the internet has done our society, there can be no denying that it’s also at the root of a lot of deceptive beliefs that have taken hold in popular consciousness.
One such belief is that in order to be significant, our digital presence needs to reach an increasingly larger number of individuals.
That might be true in terms of trying to make a living from the work we do, but it’s not true when it comes to our worth as human beings.
Nevertheless, we take those with high follower counts seriously— even though their numbers may be drastically inflated — while ignoring the perspectives of those with smaller audiences. …
The modern world is one in which people are increasingly beginning to feel confused when it comes to what to do with their lives.
Traditional career paths are dying out, age-old religious beliefs are losing their cultural binding power, and despite the increasing prosperity of developed nations, depression and other forms of mental illness are on the rise.
At the root of much of today’s anxiety is the question of whether or not personal fulfillment will ever be found in life.
If you, dear reader, are anything like me, then you have worried about this exact same thing.
There are a lot of different perspectives on how we should go about finding fulfillment. …
Let me tell you about a problem that has absolutely irked me this past year. Maybe it’s afflicted you as well, rearing its ugly head every time you’ve gone back to read over your freshly written posts.
There have been times when I’ve been so excited to sit down and write that I finish a 1,200–2,000 word post within 30 minutes to an hour.
I think that I’ve made myself clear and that the post is one of the best ones I’ve ever written, only to realize — after taking a break and coming back to read it — that it’s a tangled mess. …
Changing your views is no reason to feel embarrassed.
I’ve got a pretty good hunch that most people — writers in particular — are terrified of saying something that contradicts what they thought in the past.
This fear isn’t irrational.
The internet preserves everything we say (unless we delete it in time, and even then, there may still be methods by which it can be retrieved).
So what we’re each really striving for is two things:
No one wants to come off as a scatterbrained individual with incoherent views that are all over the place. …
One that marries the best of American democracy with the spirit of the Natives who came before.
Most Americans have probably heard of the term “manifest destiny.”
The phrase refers to the spirit of the American republic when it was still in its explosive youth, expanding westward at a breakneck pace.
Pioneers and statesmen in those days believed that it was America’s divinely ordained mission to spread across the continent and settle it — regardless of the native inhabitants that had already been living in their ancestral lands for centuries.
As Eric Foner writes in The Story of American Freedom, “The United States had been selected by God for the greatest experiment in human history, the achievement of liberty, and its expansion was part and parcel of this providential destiny.”¹ …
What will eventually matter more than the presidency is grassroots-level politics. All Joe needs to do is slow down the worst effects of an American system in crisis.
That is what the presidential vote has come to represent.
The best we can hope for, at present, is a leader that will have a slow-down effect on an American system in crisis, one which can no longer tolerate leaders that sprint gleefully toward the erosion of our democratic institutions.
Back in 2016, I was hungry for a Sanders-style presidency that would have been able to push for a progressive platform directly from the Oval Office. …
Politics has always been a nasty business that has brought out the worst in us. But if we have faith in the process, it can also allow our better sides to shine.
I rarely look forward to seeing what’s trending on Twitter.
Color me surprised, then, when I saw #Kierkegaard making the digital rounds.
Immediately, I thought to myself, “Why the hell is a 19th-century existentialist philosopher trending on a website best known for its lack of philosophical nuance?”
Turns out, Joe Biden’s wife keeps a quote of his taped to the mirror, which reads, “Faith sees best in the dark.” …
‘Racecraft,” Part II — America needs a working-class movement that appeals to the self-interest of all its groups, not just a select few.
The following post is the Part II follow-up to the one I wrote yesterday — curated in Medium’s Race category.
The following quotes are selected from the introduction of their book, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American life.
There’s something weird going on in America when it comes to race. …
As well as a warning to my left-leaning friends regarding the dangers of thinking in terms of sweeping, utopic, political prophecies.
The United States has never been all that friendly toward working-class political language. What else would we expect from a nation in which, at the outset, only 6% of the population was allowed to vote?
Both major parties have lambasted left-populist figures — such as Bernie Sanders — as being too “extreme” or “radical,” despite the policies they put forth being more in line with where European democracies have moved since the end of World War II.
Gee, I wonder why those nations closest to the epicenter of fascism decided to become social democracies after fascism had been defeated? …