“Why does the universe exist” and why I prefer living life to philosophizing about it

on November 5, 2013 in Blog, Nature

A reader contacted me and suggested I read the book “Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story,” by Jim Holt. The author writes for the New Yorker among other things, which implies I’ll enjoy his writing. The book promised to explore the question why the universe exists as opposed to not existing. Why being and not nothingness. I borrowed the book from the library. I hadn’t considered its[…] Keep reading →

Convenience at what cost?

on November 2, 2013 in Blog, Fitness, Nature

The other day I passed a guy blowing leaves with a gasoline-powered leaf blower on a paved area in a park by City Hall. This post isn’t about him. It’s about us, including you. What is wrong with us? We buy oil from countries we have adversarial relations with, pollute the environment, create loud, unpleasant noise, so a fat person can work less, and cart away what would create topsoil,[…] Keep reading →

Choosing idealism in the face of contrary evidence of what works is a recipe for disaster

on October 10, 2013 in Blog, Education, Leadership, Nature

I posted the following in response to a bunch of articles I’ve read about a report co-authored by over a dozen science-related organizations describing how reducing funding for science has led to research and the benefits it brings to society leaving the U.S. — The writing on the wall became apparent to me with the 1993 cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider, when I was getting my PhD in physics.[…] Keep reading →

Silent Spring

on October 7, 2013 in Awareness, Blog, Leadership, Nature

I finished a book the other day I’d been meaning to read for at least a decade — Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, released in 1962. I posted a summary below. I also understood it influenced thought a lot. I had to speak to a few people who were adults when it came out to understand its impact at the time, which they assured me was colossal — a common-sense[…] Keep reading →

I never take responsibility for someone else’s emotions.

on September 30, 2013 in Blog, Nature

I try to understand people. I think doing so improves my relationships with them and my understanding of myself. I find feeling compassion for others helps me improve my relationships with them too. Same with empathy. I find taking responsibility for my emotions helps me improve my life and keeps me from blaming others. I see taking that responsibility as improving my life as much as anything. Taking responsibility for[…] Keep reading →

Start with emotions if you want to motivate yourself … or anyone else

on September 26, 2013 in Blog, Fitness, Nature

I find Americans try to get precise and scientific about food and exercise, in contrast to how incredibly unfit the country is. I write “try to” because I don’t think they succeed in being precise or scientific. The term carbohydrate, for example, used to have a specific scientific meaning. I think it still does, but I think in standard American usage it means “bad” or “evil,” like the term fat[…] Keep reading →

How would you improve the world if you had supernatural powers?

on September 22, 2013 in Awareness, Blog, Evolutionary Psychology, Nature

Here’s an exercise to see your values from a new perspective. I used to do it all the time until I learned my lesson from it, which I’ll write at the bottom. Answer the question “how would you improve the world if you could have a magical wish come true?” and follow through to see if the change would, in fact, improve your life. To clarify, I mean a supernatural[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter