May 3, 2021
Is hygge still a thing? The Danish concept of comfortable conviviality and all things cozy is supposed to capture the essence of Danish culture and has been marketed as the secret for happy living. A few years back, there was a surge of hygge-related books, articles, and household products.
April 29, 2021
Change is hard, but it’s possible. Use motivational interviewing techniques to build your confidence, and take the plunge Struggling to change in the ways we want to is a common human experience. Many of the practical steps required aren’t easy or fun. This makes motivation a challenge.
April 21, 2021
The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021. At first, I didn’t recognize the symptoms that we all had in common. Friends mentioned that they were having trouble concentrating.
April 18, 2021
For generations, the standard way to learn how to ride a bicycle was with training wheels or a tricycle. But in recent years, many parents have opted to train their kids with balance bikes, pedalless two-wheelers that enable children to develop the coordination needed for bicycling—a skill that is not as easily acquired with an extra set of wheels.
April 18, 2021
Consider the Lego structure depicted in Figure 1, in which a figurine is placed under a roof supported by a single pillar at one corner. How would you change this structure so that you could put a masonry brick on top of it without crushing the figurine, bearing in mind that each block added costs 10 cents? If you are like most participants in a study reported by Adams et al. in Nature, you would add pillars to better support the roof. But a simpler (and cheaper) solution would be to remove the existing pillar, and let the roof simply rest on the base.
April 16, 2021
For many on Earth, this is a typical day—a nine to five job, some downtime in the evening ready for the day ahead, and two days off at the weekend. It might come as a surprise to learn that astronauts in space keep a very similar schedule.
April 3, 2021
Sometimes success is just about avoiding failure. At FS, we help people make better decisions without needing to rely on getting lucky. One aspect of decision-making that’s rarely talked about is how to avoid making bad decisions.
March 27, 2021
We are master storytellers. We tell ourselves fanciful stories to motivate ourselves to get vast amounts of work done in small amounts of time. We jot down task after task after task, sure that we can complete them all within a standard workday. And yet, at the end of the day, we’re stunned to find that work remains unfinished and we have to dash to the finish line.
March 21, 2021
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to begin with some shameless nostalgia. Let’s step back a decade, to the heyday of techno-utopia. Back in 2010, the mobile revolution had reached full pace. The whole world, and all its information, were just a tap away. Social media meant we could connect with people in ways we’d never dreamt of: whoever you were, you could find thousands of like-minded people across the globe, and they were all in your pocket every day.
March 11, 2021
I am an inveterate scorekeeper. I can go back decades and find lists of goals I set for myself to gauge “success” by certain milestone birthdays. For example, in my 20s, I had a to-do list for the decade, the items on which more or less told the story of a penniless musician who had made some dubious choices.
March 8, 2021
Every day, your life leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs that tech giants use to track you. You send an email, order some food, stream a show. They get back valuable packets of data to build up their understanding of your preferences.
March 7, 2021
Maybe more people are writing about the real and potential problems of technology today than ever before. That is mostly a good thing. The list of books and articles from the last few years that have nuanced and illuminating perspectives on the contemporary technological situation is rich and long.
February 24, 2021
It felt like stepping on the wrong end of a rake. My relative had asked for my opinion, but when I gave it, he launched into what sounded like a well-rehearsed argument, taking issue with each thing I had said and critiquing my character. I felt like I’d walked into a trap.
February 22, 2021
I am considered a pessimist—the ‘Daria’ of design—whose standards are too high and too critical. Designers, I would argue, are afraid to embrace dissent because it disrupts the positivity bubble. I would describe designers as the very embodiment of the motivational posters in bad typefaces that we constantly critique. We are performing optimism. And I am anti optimism. So why am I against optimism?
February 21, 2021
The future is not a destination. We build it every day in the present. This is, perhaps, a wild paraphrasing of the acclaimed author and futurist William Gibson who, when asked what a distant future might hold, replied that the future was already here, it was just unevenly distributed. I often ponder this Gibson provocation, wondering where around me the future might be lurking. Catching glimpses of the future in the present would be helpful.
February 18, 2021
Consider a day in the life of a fairly ordinary person in a large city in a stable, democratically governed country. She is not in prison or institutionalized, nor is she a dissident or an enemy of the state, yet she lives in a condition of permanent and total surveillance unprecedented in its precision and intimacy.
February 16, 2021
There is something about social media that human beings are not psychologically prepared for. It is a perverse and unnatural abstraction of human social community to which our brain does not react well. As a facsimile of genuine humanity, it plunges into something resembling The Uncanny Valley for social interactions.
February 15, 2021
Anglerfish are famous for the glowing lure they dangle from their heads that they use to catch small fish. But this is not the most interesting thing about them. Their most fascinating trait is how they mate. Males of the species, who are much smaller, lack a functioning digestive system. To survive they must combine, or fuse-mate, with the females.
February 14, 2021
The discourse about a more enlightened future of work that hinges on the enlightenment of business owners and managers is basically a surrender, like handing over your wallet to a thief and asking him to please, at least, give back your driver’s license.
February 7, 2021
A glimpse of an alternative economic and industrial history and future, in which the Luddites were successful in their battle against alienating technology. The Luddites did not hate technology; they only channeled their anger toward machine-breaking because it had nowhere else to go.