Confidence

What often distinguishes fulfilled from unfulfilled lives is an ingredient that’s not part of the educational curriculum, and that can sound vague, silly, and Californian in the bad sense. Confidence It’s humbling to realize just how many great achievements haven’t been the result of superior talent or technical know-how, merely Continue Reading

How to Understand Sexiness

When it comes to sex, we are – in theory – living in wildly liberated times. So you’d think it would easy to feel at ease owning up to certain sorts of sexual desires. But for most of us, the world doesn’t actually feel that generous about fetishes. It’s very Continue Reading

What’s Education For?

Everyone agrees that education is hugely important The thing is we’re not particularly sure what we want from it The aim of education should be to prepare us for the challenges of adult life Yet from this perspective it’s clear that schools fail all but for tiny portions of their Continue Reading

The Perfectionist Trap

We typically aim for a particular career because we have been deeply impressed by the exploits of the most accomplished practitioners in the field. We formulate our ambitions by admiring the beautiful structures of the architect tasked with designing the city’s new airport, or by following the intrepid trades of Continue Reading

Status Anxiety

The first question you tend to get asked when you meet someone at a party is “So what do you do?” And according to how impressive your answer is, people are either keen to get to know you better, or swiftly leave you behind by the nuts. We’re anxious because Continue Reading

SARTRE ON: Bad Faith

In being and nothingness written in 1943 the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre identified a problem which he believed plagued modern life. Mauvaise Foi, literally “bad faith” Bad faith occurs when we lie to ourselves in order to spare ourselves short term pain, but thereby suffer from long term psychological Continue Reading

SOCIOLOGY – Theodor Adorno

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt in 1903 into a wealthy and cultured family. His father, a wine merchant, was of Jewish origin but had converted to Protestantism at university. Until his twenties, Adorno planned for a career as a composer, but eventually focused on philosophy. In 1934, he Continue Reading

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM

For most of history, the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s inhabitants have owned, more or less, nothing. The clothes they stood up in, some bowls, a pot and a pan, perhaps a broom and, if things were going really well, a few farming implements. Nations and peoples remained consistently poor. Continue Reading

PHILOSOPHY – Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre made thinking and philosophy glamorous. He was born in Paris in 1905. His father, a navy captain, died when he was a baby – and he grew up extremely close to his mother until she remarried, much to his regret, when he was twelve. Sartre spent most of Continue Reading