Category Archives: Life

We are interwoven beings

Mercedes Valmisa writes: What if I told you that there’s no such thing as an individual action? That every time you eat, walk up the stairs or read a book, you are not the sole agent behind what you are doing, but are engaged in a process of co-creation – as much acted-upon as acting?… Read More »

Human exceptionalism imposes horrible costs on other animals

Barbara J King writes: Human exceptionalism takes many forms but most share an assumption that our species displays singularly complex ways of being, thinking and feeling. On this perspective, other animals’ capacities are inferior, and so other animals’ lives are also seen as inferior. It’s only a myth, though, that other-than-human animals inevitably live moment… Read More »

Caring about the unborn should mean caring about the future of our planet

William MacAskill writes: Humanity, today, is in its adolescence. Most of a teenager’s life is still ahead of them, and their decisions can have lifelong effects. Similarly, most of humanity’s life lies ahead – an estimated 118 billion people have already lived, but vastly more people, perhaps thousands or even millions of times that number,… Read More »

The geometry of life

The New York Times reports: In June, 100 fruit fly scientists gathered on the Greek island of Crete for their biennial meeting. Among them was Cassandra Extavour, a Canadian geneticist at Harvard University. Her lab works with fruit flies to study evolution and development — “evo devo.” Most often, such scientists choose as their “model… Read More »

Cultivating a sense of wonder

Anelise Chen writes: When the marine biologist Rachel Carson was a young girl, she discovered a fossilized shell while hiking around her family’s hillside property in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Those who knew her then would later contend that this relic sparked such intense reverie in her that she instantly felt a tug toward the sea. What… Read More »

The interdependence of all things

Nicholas Cannariato writes: The nature of time. Black holes. Ancient philosophers. The struggle for democracy. Climate change. Buddhist philosophy. In his new collection of essays and articles, Carlo Rovelli, one of the world’s most renowned physicists, broadens his writing to include questions of politics, justice and how we live now. “I look at myself as… Read More »

Ten practical ways to improve happiness

Arthur C. Brooks writes: Here’s some very bad happiness advice based on very solid happiness research: Feel important. Be happily married. Be Danish. Depending on how happiness is measured, all of these things really are associated with a happier life. But they’re unhelpful because they are not actionable in any practical way. Very few people… Read More »

The courage to speak the truth

Timothy Snyder writes: Once, after a debate in 2009 in Bratislava, I looked over at the notes that the Czech thinker (and by then former president) Václav Havel had been keeping for himself. He had written “love and truth” on a sheet of paper, and then doodled flowers around it. Havel was the author of… Read More »