On Active Listening and Mental Fatigue

I’ve recently become interested in active listening due to some internal projects on the subject at work. People, especially today, mainly engage in passive listening. We hear the other person’s words but not their message. Mainly, we’re simply waiting for our turn to speak without even weighing the other person’s arguments, opinions, and points. This makes…

Against the Wisdom of Crowds

The popular phrase “the wisdom of crowds” is derived from James Surowiecki’s 2004 book of the same name. The book contains its premise in its subtitle: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. Simply put, the opinions of many people are, in the aggregate, more…

MAYA: Most Advanced Yet Acceptable

First off, I’d like to wish you a happy new year! Here’s hoping 2017 treats you well; may you find what you seek. To start this year off, I’m following up on last year’s “familiar with a twist” piece. As it so happens, an industrial designer named Raymond Loewy came up with a theory surrounding…

The Success Myth

As Mark Twain once said in a letter to Helen Keller: “It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite —…

How to Make Anything Interesting: Familiar With A Twist

At work, I’ve been working on a project for a major food producer and have gotten to learn about some fascinating trends in the industry. One of the most powerful of these trends is “familiar with a twist,” which refers to an old favorite that has one or two distinct changes. Examples include adding Korean BBQ…

The “Trading Up” Phenomenon in Modern Dating

This summer, I read Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. I initially thought it was just another comedic romp a la Master of None, but guided by Professor Eric Klinenberg’s academic insight, Modern Romance turned out a witty, accurate depiction of its titular theme. One thing I found particularly fascinating was the “trading up” phenomenon. Ansari pointed out that, in…

How to Memorize Anything Quickly

When I was first starting this blog, I wrote a well-received article about speed-reading. I said that I wanted the power to read at superhuman speeds and have perfect recall of everything I read. I went on to remark that perfect recall was a topic for another day. Today happens to be that day. People can train themselves…

Here’s Why Depression Incidence Will Increase

Depression is one of the most powerful forces in the human mind. It makes us less productive, less social, and even less human. It practically represents anti-life because it traps you in a box in which you can no longer express yourself adequately. It can be a confusing, frightening, soul-sucking ordeal. And despite our best efforts, our…

Mediated Knowledge: How Do We Know What We Know?

How do human beings know things? On the surface that seems like a stupid question. We know things because we learn or experience them. For example, I know that Barack Obama was the first African-American president because I was alive for his election. I remember watching the news and reading articles about his victory over…

Nostalgia, Traditionalism, and Economics

Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” Between the late 1600s and early 1900s, nostalgia was considered a psychological illness particular to the Swiss. Swiss mercenaries traveling into the lowlands to fight expressed an almost crippling homesickness, along with bouts…