Category Archives: Choosing/Decision-Making

If you would have done what Thomas Jefferson didn’t, do you act now?

on February 26, 2023 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Leadership

Do you believe we should remove statues of people who held slaves? I can see both sides of people taking down statues of Thomas Jefferson. He was President of the United States and helped write its founding documents. He advanced freedom. Yet he was a racist who believed men in Africa mated with orangutans (he spelled oranootan in his 1784 Notes on the State of Virginia) and owned slaves. Since[…] Keep reading →

Freedom exists in structure; it’s not chaos, randomness, or luck. Here’s my structure and freedom.

on February 25, 2023 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Fitness, Freedom, Habits, SIDCHAs

Freedom exists in structure. It’s not chaos, randomness, or luck. When I find something works in my life, I make it automatic. For many people, diet and exercise seem horror shows, or mysteries, wondering what they should do, how often, how much, and so on. When the most important bases of my life are automatic, I don’t have to think about them. I can focus on everything else. People might[…] Keep reading →

NYU in 2019: We will stop buying bottled water. NYU in 2023: Here’s some bottled water from us.

on January 23, 2023 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Doof

I don’t look for this stuff. It’s impossible to miss. Where is the leadership in sustainability? Why is everyone so slippery? (I know the answer, of course. Lincoln said it best: “Nothing does more damage to you than to do something you believe is wrong.” When you do, you will lie, cheat, deny, and suppress to avoid facing the internal conflict.) I start teaching this semester at NYU tomorrow. The[…] Keep reading →

Imagine a drug where you get the pleasure and others suffer the harmful side effects: that’s polluting activities.

on January 3, 2023 in Addiction, Choosing/Decision-Making, Doof

The title says it all, but let’s look in more detail. Take heroin and you get euphoria, but you also suffer the addiction and ruination of your life. You cause others to suffer too, but not directly from the drug. They suffer from your degradation, running out of money, isolation, and so on. In principle, you could use heroin and not cause others to suffer. Gamble and you occasionally win,[…] Keep reading →

The Root of Our Environmental Problems: Individuals Refusing to Change Themselves

on January 2, 2023 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Leadership, Nature

We were all born into a culture with certain values. When I was a child, flying was an unalloyed good. It meant spreading culture, learning new cultures and cuisine, and so on. In principle we knew something about jet exhaust and that extraction caused people to be displaced from the lands and occasionally spilled. Cars meant freedom. The solution to pollution is dilution. But the world changed and our understanding[…] Keep reading →

Who should decide if public transit should be free? What the answer means for sustainability.

on December 18, 2022 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Leadership

A friend commented that public transportation should be free. I texted back “I concur.” I’ve considered the issue from many angles before. There are many pros and cons and I’ve concluded the benefits outweigh the costs. Many agree. “Around 100 cities in the world offer free public transit, the vast majority of them in Europe, especially France and Poland,” according to the New York Times’ piece Should Public Transit Be[…] Keep reading →

Your money or your vote

on October 29, 2022 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Leadership

Elections are coming up. They happen about once a year. People fly all the time. We buy takeout and bottled water all the time. We buy cars all year round and fill up our gas tanks daily. Which of your actions impacts the world more: voting once a year or two or spending thousands of dollars every year on polluting industries that grow from our purchases, infiltrate government, control legislation,[…] Keep reading →

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