Self-Obsessed but Not Introspective? How Does That Work?

There's a difference between knowing yourself patly and wondering about yourself. The former is more fun, and more dangerous.

Neither Free Will Nor Determinism

We haven't resolved the free-will debate because we don't know what will is. Here's an explanation from will's origins in chemistry with intuitive implications for your own life.

Corking 45

Trump is going nowhere until he's humiliated to his face.

A Simpler, Smarter Response to Accusations

"Well, of course, I'm biased, like you, like everyone. The only question here is whether I'm biased appropriately."

A Psycho-Proctologist Speaks: What Makes an Ass an Ass?

Psycho-proctology, the study of what makes an ass, focuses on the question of our age: What do Trump, Kim Jong Un, Putin, Stalin, trolls & your jerk ex-partner all have in common?

Myth-busting About Open-mindedness

Becoming more open-minded isn't just saying you're open-minded or deciding to think out the box. It's disciplining yourself to follow out harder thoughts.

Fluid Hard-Lining: A Gaslighter’s Favorite Trick

Gaslighters draw a hard line between good and bad, and fluidly wriggle the line to always put their victims on the bad side.

With Trump on Your Mind, Explore What Makes a Jerk a Jerk

Have a pat answer for what to do about jerks? It's probably wrong. Here's a list of 10 common escape hatches that keep us from facing the question.

Obverse Psychology: A Better Response to Know-It-Alls

How to respond to someone who reverses or deflects every challenge, always claiming the "correct" side of the coin for themselves? You expose how we're all dealing with both sides.

The Root of All Hypocrisy

In a pinch, we pull out bogus one-size-fits-all moral rules that we can't, won't, and shouldn't try to live by.

The Butthead Formula

To reduce conflict while curbing bad behavior, we really need a more objective definition of bad behavior. Here's an attempt at a neutral, objective definition of buttheadedness.

Neither Ghost Nor Machine: The Emergence and Nature of Us

The biggest gap in psychology finally filled, an explanation for why things matter to you but not to your computer, bed or car.


Hate is not the answer. Neither is love. Love is the question, what to love, a question you won't get to if you pretend that you're simply loving.

America's Myopioid Epidemic

Myopium: Myopic (short-sighted) beliefs turning people into closed-minded fanatics, high on themselves, unrealistic about the future.

Cornering a Slippery Child

After decades with an inherently slippery child, I was able to distill his many excuses to three. If I could go back, here's how I would have tried to block each of them.

Bring Back Confession

It's useful to calmly inventory your bad habits, not that they're going to change overnight.

Unpacked, the Serenity Prayer is an Instant Wisdom Upgrade

Decades studying decision-making and I keep coming back to the serenity prayer. Unpack it for a wealth of wisdom.

CEOsiopaths, the Fanatic Formula, and Why We’re in This Mess

Are we playing or replacing the game? In politics, that's a hard distinction to keep straight. The Fanatic Formula and CEOsiopathy help explain why.

Wisdom Made as Simple as Possible, No Simpler

The Golden Rule and other "Always do X" rules are one-sided half-truths posing as whole truths. Learn to see through them for greater wisdom and peace of mind.

Not All Sensitivity and Insensitivity Is Indulgent

The right acts like all sensitivity is indulgent. The left acts like all insensitivity is indulgent. For give and take to prevail, that's got to change.

Living By Simple Moral Codes Makes Us Worse, Not Better

Always be honest, never dishonest, kind, never unkind, open, never closed. We can't live by such always-principles and we pay a big price for pretending we can.

Wonder Woman and Wondering

Everyone is motivated by inspirational movies. This should cause us to wonder more about their lessons, like believing in yourself or that love is the answer.

How to Keep Disagreements from Becoming Fights

Supreening: posturing or preening like you're the supreme judge deciding who's right—you or your opposition.

Beliefs: Twelve Myths You'll Be Relieved to Debunk

Getting realistic about beliefs can go a long way toward peace of mind and better decision-making.

Getting Straight About Love and Hate

We say we have love, not hate, in our hearts. It's not that simple.

Comedy As Church

Comedy, like art or religion, can be a chance for us to commune together in our unrequitable quest for relief from the messiness of life.

The Root of All Evil

Doubt is excruciating. No wonder most if not all of us find alluring some simple permanent formula that supposedly alleviates it once and for all.

How to Protect Yourself Against Pop Inspirational “wisdom"

Nothing stunts our learning of practical wisdom like embracing half-wit wisdom masquerading as whole, universal wisdom.

The Deep Roots of Left vs. Right

The fundamental distinction in politics as in life is between constraint and freedom. We need both.

How Authoritarians Leaders Get Away with It

Authoritarian followers for whatever cause and however motivated, treat life as perfectly manageable with machine-like habits of thought.