Category Archives: Awareness

Artificial Intelligence, us, and becoming superfluous

on October 3, 2019 in Awareness

Going off my usual topics, but when I see people talking about computers reaching and surpassing our intelligence, I only see them talk about it from our perspective. What will the machines or robots do with us? It hit me that if they out-think and out-perform us, first of all, the day they equal us, I expect the next day they’ll out-perform us. Then the following day, or soon after,[…] Keep reading →

Does Personal Action Matter?

on September 6, 2019 in Awareness, Habits, Leadership

If you don’t think personal action makes a difference on big things like elections or the environment, try looking at it this way. I’ll put it in terms of the environment, but it applies to diet, voting, self-expression, and more. Many people do many things against their environmental values. Not just in general, but many times daily. They buy packaged food, they eat packaged food several times daily. They drive[…] Keep reading →

How many times is it normal to be mugged?

on August 24, 2019 in Awareness, Stories

I didn’t share about The five times I got mugged growing up most of my life because I thought everyone had similar experiences. I knew we spent a few years in a particularly economically depressed neighborhood. I sensed it was one of the highest-crime areas of Philadelphia. Still, most of the times happened after we moved from that neighborhood. The time I got sucker-punched by random kids waiting for a[…] Keep reading →

Cold Showers Rock

on August 22, 2019 in Awareness, Exercises, Fitness, Freedom, Habits, SIDCHAs

I write a lot about cold showers. They may sound crazy, but bear with me and you may find them more helpful than you could have imagined. After taking a few in Shanghai because the water took five minutes to warm up that I couldn’t stand wasting, in December of 2013, I took thirty days of cold showers. I can’t tell you how much the discipline, dedication, and so on[…] Keep reading →

Who knew silence and stillness could bring such joy?

on August 5, 2019 in Awareness

Thrive Global is launching a meditation podcast and asked its contributors, including me, to write stories on meditation. I updated my 2009 post Jumping for Joy. The new story is also called Jumping for Joy. My Thrive Global piece begins . . . By the second day at a recent five-day silent meditation retreat, the mental static of everyday thoughts had mostly passed. Silent meant the whole shebang: no reading,[…] Keep reading →

Do you think like an addict?

on June 19, 2019 in Awareness, Perception

For at least 20 years, I always had ice cream in my freezer and pretzels or potato chips in my cupboard. Somewhere inside, I knew I didn’t want them. I told myself I couldn’t help buying and eating them, but I could. I didn’t stop. When I bought them, I would tell myself why buying them was okay, even though I thought I shouldn’t. How addicts think Addicts tell themselves[…] Keep reading →

“Published” in the New York Times

on June 4, 2019 in Awareness, Nature

Sorry for the click-bait title. I commented on an article in the Times and it got included in Readers Picks. Hence the quotes in my title. The article was “If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It, Should We Stay Home?“, subtitled: “In the age of global warming, traveling — by plane, boat or car — is a fraught choice. And yet the world beckons.” You can read the article. From[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter