The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism.

The key to happiness is being less optimistic and accepting a certain amount of unhappiness.

  • The centuries old philosophy of Stoicism may hold the key to a kind of happiness that is more grounded in reality.
  • The two main ideas of stoic happiness are that problems are caused by your reactions to events not the events themselves, and the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.
  • Choosing strategic pessimism over optimism and positive thinking is one way to avoid "unnecessary disturbance and anxiety."
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The philosophy of protest: Thoreau, King, and Civil Disobedience

The protesters on the street aren't just taking up space, they carry on a well thought out tradition.

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  • Nonviolent protests designed to effect change are a common occurrence around the world, especially today.
  • While they may seem to be a sign of sour grapes or contrarianism, there is a serious philosophical backing to them.
  • Thinkers from Thoreau to Gandhi and King have made the case for civil disobedience as a legitimate route to change.
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How the Sagan standard can help you make better decisions

The noted astronomer and author Carl Sagan came up with a famous dictum acronymed ECREE.

  • Carl Sagan famously shared the aphorism "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence."
  • This approach can help us fight off fake information.
  • Scientific thinkers in centuries before Carl Sagan also expressed similar sentiment.
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Why the singular “They” is Merriam-Webster's word of the year

"They" has taken on a not-so-new meaning lately. This earned it the scrutiny it needed to win.

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  • Merriam-Webster has announced "they" as the word of the year.
  • The selection was based on a marked increase in traffic to the online dictionary page.
  • Runners up included "quid pro quo" and "crawdad."
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How much does it cost to save a life?

Our personal choices can help to effectively combat poverty, says Peter Singer.

  • For the amount it costs to save one life in the United States, several hundred or a thousand lives could be saved in developing countries.
  • You can make small sacrifices to fuel your personal philanthropy. Instead of giving, "we're buying ourselves things that we don't really need," says philosopher Peter Singer. "Things that might range from expensive cars to simply buying bottled water when we can drink the water out of the tap."
  • Peter Singer is the founder of The Life You Can Save, an organization that aims to help change the culture of giving in affluent countries and increase donations to reputable and effective nonprofits.
  • A free download of the 10th anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty is available here.
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