Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help

How imagining the worst case scenario can help calm anxiety.

Stoicism can help overcome anxiety

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  • Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things.
  • It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly.
  • By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way.
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Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something’s in it for them

A study on charity finds that reminding people how nice it feels to give yields better results than appealing to altruism.

How to get people to want to give you money, literal balls of cash not gaurenteed.

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  • A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature.
  • Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group.
  • The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before.
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When great video games make great art

Sometimes, moral lessons can be learned from blowing away zombies.

The Last of Us Part II

Credit: Naughty Dog
  • Most video games are happily escapist entertainment, but some are much more.
  • One of these is The Last of Us Part II (TLOU2), which takes place in a post-apocalyptic pandemic world.
  • Through the innovative use of game play technology TLOU2, radically changes your perspective and elevates this game from entertainment to true art.

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Personal Growth
  • Benjamin Franklin wrote essays on a whole range of subjects, but one of his finest was on how to be a nice, likable person.
  • Franklin lists a whole series of common errors people make while in the company of others, like over-talking or storytelling.
  • His simple recipe for being good company is to be genuinely interested in others and to accept them for who they are.
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Is empathy always good?

Research has shown how important empathy is to relationships, but there are limits to its power.

Videos
  • Empathy is a useful tool that allows humans (and other species) to connect and form mutually beneficial bonds, but knowing how and when to be empathic is just as important as having empathy.
  • Filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Bill Nye, and actor Alan Alda discuss the science of empathy and the ways that the ability can be cultivated and practiced to affect meaningful change, both on a personal and community level.
  • But empathy is not a cure all. Paul Bloom explains the psychological differences between empathy and compassion, and how the former can "get in the way" of some of life's crucial relationships.
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Lessons from the Roman Empire about the danger of luxury

Are we enslaved by the finer things in life?

Credit: Public domain via Wikipedia
Technology & Innovation
  • The Roman writer, Tacitus, argued that the Roman Empire was built by enslaving conquered people who became accustomed to fine living and luxury.
  • Technology today has become so essential to our daily lives that it seems impossible to break free of it. It's as much a cage as a luxury.
  • Being dependent on a thing gives it power over you. To need something or someone is, for better or worse, to limit yourself.
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