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There’s No Good Way to Kill a Bad Idea

May 2, 2017 Millions of people refuse to recognize man-made climate change. Americans spend billions on homeopathy. Around 12 million people believe that lizards are secretly ruling the world. The world is filled with bad, baseless, factually inaccurate ideas that refuse to die. Philosopher Russell Blackford, a lecturer at the University of Newcastle...

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Rhetoric Scholars Pinpoint Why Trump’s Speaking Style Is So Persuasive

April 24, 2017 President Donald Trump does not sound like a traditionally impressive orator. His sentences are grammatically awkward, repetitive, and composed of highly simplistic words. Trump’s remarks when he announced his campaign for presidency presents a typical example of his rambling, incoherent speaking style: “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds...

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There’s a Very Deep Reason Why You Can’t Kick That Bad Habit

December 27, 2016 Chances are, you’re still doing whatever bad habit you tried to quit for last new year’s resolution. The months and years go by and, perhaps your job or relationships change, but your routines and behavior likely stay overwhelmingly the same. That’s because the vast majority of our actions aren’t conscious....

Silicon Valley Tech Workers Are Using Ancient Greek Philosophy as Life Hack

December 19, 2016 Stoicism is having a moment. The ancient Hellenistic philosophy, more than 2,000 years old, has recently been profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times and the Guardian. And as these articles note, Stoicism has caught on among those pioneers of social trends: Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Ryan Holiday, who’s...

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How to Beat a Bully in a Debate

September 26, 2016 When Hillary Clinton steps up to debate Donald Trump on Monday, her situation will be utterly unique in several respects. Not only is she the first female presidential candidate to be nominated by a major US political party, she is also the first Democratic candidate to face off against a...

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The Art of Changing Someone's Mind

September 13, 2016 The 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal is perhaps best known for Pascal’s Wager which, in the first formal use of decision theory, argued that believing in God is the most pragmatic decision. But it seems the French thinker also had a knack for psychology. As Brain Pickings points out, Pascal...

An Early Internet Pioneer Says the Construction of the Web is Crippling Our Thinking

September 12, 2016 Ted Nelson is not a programmer, and his vision for what the internet could be is still in the early stages of practical realization. But the man who came up with the term “hypertext” in 1963 is nevertheless seen as an internet pioneer and visionary, worthy of being a visiting...

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Research Backs Up the Instinct That Walking Improves Creativity

August 12, 2016 For centuries, great thinkers have instinctively stepped out the door and begun walking, or at the very least pacing, when they needed to boost creativity. Charles Dickens routinely walked for 30 miles a day, while the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” But in...

Instead of Asking, 'Are Robots Becoming More Human?' We Need to Ask, 'Are Humans Becoming More Robotic?'

July 25, 2016 For more than 65 years, computer scientists have studied whether robots’ behavior could become indistinguishable from human intelligence. But while we’ve focused on machines, have we ignored changes to our own capabilities? In a book due to be published next year, "Being Human in the 21st Century," a law professor...

from govexec

The Biggest Productivity Myth is that Rigid Rules are for Everyone

July 25, 2016 The internet is filled with advice and lifehacks on how to improve productivity. We all want to achieve more, it seems, to cram more into our days. There always seems to be that one overachieving colleague who has it all figured out, and uses a complex routine involving butter-filled coffee,...