Social media sours the soul

“There’s no such thing as the season of goodwill when it comes to political debate on social media. It’s all about fury and outrage. Even when tweets are funny, you can taste the “anger inside the sugar coating of smug satire”. Rage is contagious – it spreads like an infection across online forums, which have …

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Are American men in crisis?

According to some commentators, American men are in crisis. For Democrats declining workforce participation rates, rising suicide rates and increasing drug use are symptomatic of an economy that is too weak and rigid to offer men the opportunity they need to thrive. Republicans prefer to focus on social causes of men’s woes: the rise of …

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The traditional dinner party, part 1

It seems that the formal dinner is on life support. No one is setting out different wine glasses or (horror!) seating interesting strangers next to one another if they have special things in common. Entertaining is now informal, from a buffet to a casual get-together. Here are the modern do’s and don’ts for dinner party …

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Children returning home? Bad news for parents!

A quarter of young British adults now live with their parents, more than at any time since records began in 1966. According to a new study by the London School of Economics, adult children who return to the family home after a period away – often at university – cause a significant decline in their …

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Genuine complaints received by from customers by Thomas Cook Vacations

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.” 2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.” 3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had …

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Seneca on achievement and ambition

Seneca is particularly skeptical of the double-edged sword of achievement and ambition — which causes us to steep in our cesspool of insecurity, dissatisfaction, and clinging:. “It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They …

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Thought for the day: making advances

To The Times In your report “Ex-director goes on sex offender register for making pass at friend”, you write that the judge told the defendant: “You do not make advances towards women who don’t want you to.” In other words, a woman must first indicate that an advance is welcome before a man can make …

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Trending today: Persuasion Art (a modern poem)

I have always wanted to be an artist. I have dabbled in painting, drawing, singing, acting, Pottery, writing, poetry, verse and music composition. But these days the most celebrated art is Concept Art. How could I muscle in on it? Unmade beds have been done, along with Sitting opposite someone, stock still, saying nothing all day. …

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How to raise children, Epicurean-style

It goes without saying that raising children is one of the most important things humans do. But there is so much bad advise on how to raise your children. In this post I’ll try to address what both the liberal secularists and the religious conservatives get wrong on parenting, and how to do it in …

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A refreshing story about a Yale psychology course

The most popular, wildly popular, course at Yale is a psychology course run by Prof. Laurie Santos. Prof. Santos, in mid-semester, told her students that her hour and a quarter session was on no account to be used for work and study, but should be used for relaxation and enjoyment. Stop worrying about grades if …

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Triumph of the extroverts

“Does anyone live a life of quiet despair these days? The question struck me with some force, one Sunday evening last summer, when I found myself on the Leatherhead bypass. These proud detached villas, still with their net curtains and tidy front gardens, were exactly the sort of houses where people sighed in Betjeman’s poems …

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Aristotle and self-interest

Aristotle believed that happiness was central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. That is, happiness depends on the cultivation of individual virtues, including physical as well as mental well-being. He argued that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between two excesses. Aristotle is a main advocate of …

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The kindness paradox: why be generous?

Humans are one of the rare animals to be altruistic. An ancient form of giving holds secrets about why we help one another without any promise of reward. In the Maasai tradition known as osotua – literally, umbilical cord – anyone in need can request aid from their network of friends. Anyone who is asked …

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Epicurus, politics and the world of business

Epicurus thought that the worlds of commerce and politics “constrained the mind, limiting it to the conventional, acceptable thought”. Leaving those worlds mean that you can begin to think of more general, and arguably more important, matters. Without the pressures of business you can read and research matters that eluded you during your money-making days. …

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