The Faulty Walnut

The Faulty Walnut

Our brains are brilliant instruments, able to reason, synthesise, remember and imagine at an extraordinary pitch and rate. We trust them immediately and innately – and have reasons to be deeply proud of them too. However, these brains – let’s call them walnuts in honour of their appearance – are also very subtly and dangerously…

PHILOSOPHY – David Hume

PHILOSOPHY – David Hume

The 18th century writer, David Hume, is one of the world’s great philosophical voices because he hit upon a key fact about human nature- that we are more influenced by our feelings than by reason. This is, at one level, possibly a great insult to our self image, but Hume thought that if we could…

Not Liking One’s Looks

Not Liking One’s Looks

Is it better this way, or that way? It’s horrible whichever way. It’s not very respectable, really to feel frustrated with one’s appearance. Mature and reasonable people are not supposed to go around regretting the shape of their nose or the way their hair falls. Yet, you gaze in the bathroom mirror and think: Why?…

How To Be Confident

How To Be Confident

In well-meaning attempts to boost our confidence ahead of challenging moments, people often try to draw our attention to our strengths: our intelligence, our competence, our experience. But this can – curiously – have some awkward consequences. There’s a type of under-confidence that arises specifically when we grow too attached to our own dignity and…

Where Do Lice Come From?

Where Do Lice Come From?

♪ Hi, Squeaks, how’s it going? [Squeaks squeaks] Oh, I’m doing all right, and I’m really glad my head isn’t itchy anymore. [Squeaks squeaks] Well, actually, I had head lice last week, but it’s gone now! Lice are little tiny bugs that like to live in people’s hair. And they’re really itchy! [Squeaks squeaks] Don’t…

On Feeling Melancholy

On Feeling Melancholy

Melancholy isn’t exactly a word on everybody’s lips. But we should pay more attention to it, even seek it out from time to time. Melancholy is a species of sadness that arises when we are open to the fact that life is inherently difficult and that suffering disappointment are core parts of universal experience. It’s…