Defined: Constitutive Rules, When "Because I Said So" Works

What is the difference between the Battle of Austerlitz and an amazing cocktail party?

Truth Matters Less Than What You Do With It

Stench or scent? Low-class or connoisseur? Spartan or friendly? Poverty or prudence?

Where Does the Power of Faith Come From?

The story of how people pull themselves up by their bootsraps.

Defined: Understanding. What it can teach us about where meaning comes from

What to do when you can't understand the whole until you understand the parts and you can't understand the parts until you understand the whole.

That's all well and good in practice, but how does it work in theory?

 Two-finger typing, an on-coming train, men's nipples, and what it all tells you about scientific theory.

On the value of mythologizing yourself

What Odysseus and Frodo Baggins can teach us about moxie, civilization, being chased by a fury, and the sacralization of the ordinary.

On the Science of Goal-Orientation

If you apply to med school to become a doctor, then is the future (your becoming a doctor) causing something in its past (your applying to med school)?

Defined: PhD, and what the pursuit of reveals about goal-pursuit

 Tricycle, Bicycle, Car, Race Car. What's Next?

On Mastery

Quite correctly, many people will argue that progress involves moving from religion through art and on to science, but here is an example where progress is made by moving from science through art and on to religion.

How David Beats Goliath in Problem-solving

Here's the problem: Your circle of competence is small, but the demands of the world are great. How do you make your circle of competence speak to the problem? 

Defined: Information. It's not the thing you think it is.

What can Annie Oakley, my waistline, and Columbus tell us about Information, Plato, and how there being no there, there may not be such a bad thing after all?

On the Hermeneutics of Evidence

It is increasingly possible to create new knowledge without conducting new research. Indeed, it is increasingly important that we do so, because we currently do not pull nearly enough meaning out of the primary research we do conduct.

The Avatar's Advantage

The avatar's advantage is the process that allows us to create something out of nothing, that gave the West a boost through the ages, that explains the relationship between passion and action, and that shows you how to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. 

Complexity in Action

In a world as complex as ours, to get what you want and avoid getting what you don't want requires sophistication of action. Dorner's experiments show us how to act with sophistication.

On the Existence of Santa Claus

 Proof of the existence of Santa

On the hand-crafting of genius

 How to become a genius

Conception Leads Perception

 Why seeing has less to do with your eyes than you'd think

Become Smarter: Mix it up

There are loads of tricks you can use to become smarter and more effective.Here's one that helps with study, work, and procrastination.

Become Smarter: Recognition Is Stronger Than Recall

There are loads of tricks you can use to become smarter and more effective.Here is a quirk of memory that will help you when you can't recall something.