Are Safe Spaces Helpful?
May24

Are Safe Spaces Helpful?

People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. — Soren Kierkegaard At the commencement address for University of Notre Dame’s 2017 graduating class, Vice President Pence had the following to say: Far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness—all of which amounts to...

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Are You An Imposter?
May10

Are You An Imposter?

It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other. — Emile M. Cioran It’s no fun feeling like a phony. In fact, for my first semester in graduate school, I was certain a mistake had been made. Everyone was extremely smarter than me; it took forever to get through my homework; reading scientific articles was like deciphering a cookbook (I’m not good at cooking). But after four years in the program—after getting my...

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Robot Psychology
Apr26

Robot Psychology

We’re fascinated with robots because they are reflections of ourselves. — Ken Goldberg If you watch The Terminator, robots aren’t really that great to humans—unless being besties in the future entails enslavement and eradication. Indeed, most movies with “sentient” robots paint them somewhat malevolently (e.g., The Matrix; I, Robot; all of the other Terminator movies). In our own reality, though, even Bill Gates, Elon...

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The Mind Club
Apr19

The Mind Club

Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence. — B.R. Ambedkar Would you like to be a member of The Mind Club? Without even knowing what this club’s about, you might already think, Yea, that sounds cool. Minds are good. And indeed having a mind is a good thing–in fact, it may be the best thing that ever happened to you. Because having a mind automatically admits you to The Mind Club, where...

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Trousers Everywhere in Flames
Mar29

Trousers Everywhere in Flames

Politeness is half good manners and half good lying. — Mary Wilson Little I am a liar. But then again—so are you. In fact, one study found that 60% of its participants lied three times in a ten-minute conversation—a practice learned young, as another study showed that over 60% of 3-year-olds lied about disobeying an experimenter. But how can that be? Aren’t we good people? Or more specifically, aren’t you a good person? You...

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