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  • Robert Oppenheimer wrote a telling letter of recommendation for Richard Feynman in 1943.
  • After praising Feynman's intellectual prowess, Oppenheimer used most of the ink discussing the strength of his character.
  • The letter is a stark reminder of the importance of emotional intelligence.
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How should you react to speech you disagree with?

Disagreements should not equal censorship.

  • Defending someone's right to speak does not mean that you have to agree with what they say. The correct response is not censorship, but more discussion.
  • Physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis argues that in politics, defending the principle of a contested election is not the same as agreeing with or endorsing a candidate. "We should defend that principle even if we don't like the outcome of the vote."
  • The best way to test your ideas and beliefs is to argue them against someone with a different stance/point-of-view.


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Perfectionism wastes everyone’s time. Here’s how.

The goal should be satisfaction, not perfection—why good enough is good enough.

  • According to business psychologist and consultant Melanie Katzman, being a maximizer, or someone who seeks and over works in pursuit of perfection, is a waste of time, energy, and resources.
  • Completion and perfection are often not synonymous, and it is possible to continue tweaking something long after it is done.
  • A desire to demonstrate expertise can overcomplicate the work and muddle the message. To avoid this pitfall, Katzman encourages clients to stop in the middle of a project and reassess.
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Law vs. justice: What is our duty in society?

Laws can't stand by themselves. Professor James Stoner explains why.

  • Can you divorce the rule of law from the virtue of justice? Immanuel Kant said the perfect constitution would work even among a nation of devils, provided they were intelligent devils.
  • Professor James Stoner thinks the opposite is true. The right punishments don't lead people to behave well, we are also guided to make morally good decisions by our conscience—by our internal sense of justice.
  • The ability of all people to pursue their own good is itself a kind of common good of a liberal society.
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The debate is over: Cats care, study shows

A study at the University of Oregon puts a longstanding myth to rest.

Photo by Sercan Kucuksahin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Cats form attachments to their caregivers at the same rate as humans and dogs, a new study shows.
  • Seventy kittens were tested in the initial study, followed by another with 38 cats over one year of age.
  • Cats speak a different language than dogs, which likely caused confusion as to their nature.
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