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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Shocking Statistics
May17

Shocking Statistics

In America, the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. — Ronald Wright Let’s begin today with a little game: First, I want you to click on this link and read the instructions/description on that page. Once you’ve done that, I’d like you to actually ask yourself: How do you believe the wealth is currently divided in the US? For example, of the top 20% earners, how much of...

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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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The Let-Down Effect
May03

The Let-Down Effect

There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is to be expecting evil before it arrives! — Lucius Annaeus Seneca With the final days of the 2016-2017 school year, I found myself in perilous straits: manuscripts to finish, final talks to give, papers and exams to grade, this whole “sleep” thing to do. But through those two weeks of high stress, my immune system and body were functioning at...

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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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