Monthly Archives: July 2015

Op/Ed Fridays: The misunderstanding behind “There ought to be a law against hate”

on July 31, 2015 in Awareness, Freedom

I read with sorrow and disdain a New York Times editorial the other day, “There Ought to Be a Law Against Hate.” I feel compassion for a man who lost a mother to a neo-Nazi, but don’t agree with him about outlawing a human emotion. The part I object to most is the title, that there should be a law against hate. Hate is an emotion that all humans have.[…] Keep reading →

The nature of emotional challenges

on July 30, 2015 in Awareness, Perception

People expect challenges to be like physical. They take on a long project that might make them lonely, anxious, or some emotion they don’t like. When they think about it now, they think they’ll just take a deep breath and power on. First of all, they underestimate the intensity emotions can have. More important, though, is that they don’t realize what emotional challenges feel like. They can be incredibly hard[…] Keep reading →

SIDCHAs in the wild

on July 29, 2015 in Exercises, Fitness, Habits, Leadership, SIDCHAs, Stories

After driving a smelly twenty-seven-year-old pick up truck with wobbly steering and a barely functional clutch all night from my cousin’s wedding outside Pittsburgh to my friend’s networking day-long workshop in Manhattan, one of the session leaders asked the attendees to describe ourselves. I was too tired for small talk. He gave us paper and crayons do illustrate our descriptions. I asked if I could demonstrate instead of illustrate. He[…] Keep reading →

Learning to communicate beyond words and talking

on July 28, 2015 in Creativity, Education, Freedom, Stories

I once read that the difference between activities that cool kids do and uncool kids do is that uncool kids’ activities tend to be based in rules and cool kids’ less so. I don’t know how you’d verify the idea, but I found exploring it told me about myself. Uncool kids play chess, which has clear rules. You can count the possible states. Cool kids play football. Football has rules,[…] Keep reading →

The hardest problems I’ve solved

on July 27, 2015 in Creativity, Education, Nature, Stories

How did it begin? After the first two years of classes in graduate school I had to take Qualifying Exams to continue to research. Columbia’s Qualifying Exams are three days of about six hours a day. You get eight problems and have to solve six of your choice. They can cover any physics subject covered in classes to that point. If you remember high school or college physics being difficult,[…] Keep reading →

Non-judgmental Ethics Sunday: Should I Ask My Secretary to Fix Her Teeth?

on July 26, 2015 in Ethicist, Nonjudgment

Continuing my series of alternative responses to the New York Times column, The Ethicists, looking at the consequences of one’s actions instead of imposing values on others, here is my take on today’s post, “Should I Ask My Secretary to Fix Her Teeth?” I have a small law practice with several employees. My secretary, who is the face of the firm to every client or prospective client who walks through[…] Keep reading →

How media represent and misrepresent leadership: A reader’s questions

on July 25, 2015 in Art, Leadership, Relationships

A reader asked for follow-up on how media shows leadership, following three posts from a couple weeks ago—This is not leadership. It makes people think it is and that’s part of why we have poor leaders, part 1; part 2; part 3; and Learning about relationships ruins most movies and TV. Before the questions, I don’t want to overstate what I know about relationships and how media shows them, so[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter