The art of walking: How this everyday act can bring you inner peace

Here's how to exercise your curiosity and truly experience the world.

  • "[T]oday, most people are sitting on their arses in a chair looking at the screen to discover and explore the world," says Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge. "And that's a huge misunderstanding. You're missing out on some of the greatest things in life."
  • There is an inner silence to be found through walking, says Kagge. You exercise your curiosity and the movement of your body, which are two ancient and important things for Homo sapiens.
  • Some people experience silence through meditation, mindfulness, or yoga. But Kagge emphasizes that you don't need any formal techniques. If you are interested in finding inner silence, you can create it anywhere, just by walking.
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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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Why helicopter parenting backfires on kids

Childhood is an important developmental feature of being human. Helicopter parenting disrupts that.

  • "Helicopter parenting, and all of its associated forms, prevents children from exploring their emotional and intellectual landscape, and often their physical landscape as well, such that they become adults in body only," says evolutionary biologist Heather Heying.
  • Childhood is an important developmental stage that trains kids for messy, uncontrollable reality. If adults don't teach kids how to solve their own problems, or if they prevent them from experiencing harm, children become less capable adults who don't know how to deal with real injury and insult.
  • Parents can help their children by teaching them to be anti-fragile. Children grow from being exposed to ideas with which they disagree, encountering negative emotions, and engaging in activities with real-world outcomes like sport, cooking, and DIY.

Yann Martel: ‘Transgression is central to art’

Is it acceptable to write a story from the perspective of someone who is completely unlike you?

  • Man Booker Prize-winning writer Yann Martel, a Canadian man, has written from the perspectives of a man with AIDS, a body-switching woman, an Indian boy, and 20th-century Portuguese widowers.
  • Is it acceptable to write from the perspective of someone who is completely unlike you? Martel believes these transgressions put empathetic imagination into practice, allowing your mind to go where your body cannot.
  • In Martel's case, it's the recipe for great art—books that have been loved and read by millions. "[W]e are who we are in relation to others," says Martel. "But the key thing is the empathetic imagination, and the empathetic imagination is the great traveler. And travelers necessarily cross borders. And not only do they have to but it's a thrill to do so. It's a thrill encountering the other."
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Why would NASA outsource missions to SpaceX?

When it comes new PR disasters, NASA isn't taking any risks.

  • Tragedies at NASA, such as Challenger and Columbia disasters, have impeded the organization from taking risks, critics say. Indeed, in terms of PR, these tragedies were particularly baleful.
  • Although NASA was once a contractor, its staff spearheading missions, today they are more a client. SpaceX is basically selling NASA a ride to the ISS.
  • Essentially, NASA has put the risk on private companies — if anything bad happens, it's on SpaceX, for example. This switch may better further space colonization goals, though, because the private sector has more flexibility, in terms of how business is conducted. Also, NASA, as a national entity, avoids the pall of a possible disaster.
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