Why Selfishness Is Not a Virtue

Who could disagree with self-fulfillment and self-cultivation? These values, however, which are centered on expressive individualism, leave the values of future generations up for grabs. 

What's the Latest Development?

In sociologist Eric Klinenberg’s new book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, figures get in the way of assessing the value of important cultural mores, explains Benjamin Schwartz. Based on data explaining that people living alone make up 28% of US households, a historical record which makes the loner more numerous than the nuclear family, Klineberg says: "living alone is an individual choice that’s as valid as the choice to get married or live with a domestic partner. ...it’s a collective achievement—which is why it’s common in developed nations but not in poor ones.”

What's the Big Idea?

Facts and figures seem to rule our social lives: Quarterly earnings reports and monthly unemployment figures determine our assessment of our culture's worth. This misstep, which glosses over non-quantifiable values, is what allows individualism to be mistaken as a virtue. In reality, says Schwartz: "The values of expressive individualism guarantee that the values of future generations will be more or less up for grabs for the simple reason that expressive individualists have a difficult time replicating (the demographic data don’t lie) and an even more difficult time socializing a child."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

This prophetic 1997 Jeff Bezos interview explains the genius behind Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He saw the innovative potential of the online marketplace.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

TESS telescope has found eight new planets, six supernovae

It has found several bizarre planets outside of our solar system.

NASA/Kim Shiflett
Surprising Science
  • The Kepler program closed down in August, 2018, after nine and a half years of observing the universe.
  • Picking up where it left off, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found eight planets, three of which scientists are very excited about, and six supernovae.
  • In many ways, TESS is already outperforming Kepler, and researchers expect it to find more than 20,000 exoplanets over its lifespan.
Keep reading Show less