What the idea of “anti-fragility” tells us about why university students increasingly see free speech as potentially dangerous to their physical safety.

Source: TreadHunter

In the 1990s, parents were told to stop giving their young children peanut butter. The purpose of this recommendation was to reduce peanut allergies later in life. Unfortunately, this advice was not backed by any firm science.

But, experts also didn’t know whether introducing certain foods early in life was a good idea. Enter Gideon Lack, Professor of Paediatric Allergy at King’s College London. He set out to test the outcomes of early exposure to peanuts.

In 2010…


If so, this could help explain the growing political divide.

Source: Click On Detroit

This article is based on Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Highly recommended!

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to talk to people on the other side of the political spectrum? We call them words like “crazy”, “stupid”, “racist”, and “naive”. But, could it really be that simple? Or, could something else be going on that makes understanding each other difficult at the best of times, and impossible at the worst?

Moral Foundations Theory, examined by Jonathan Haidt in his…


The hypocrisy of the world’s first “multicultural” country.

Photo by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash

When you think of my home country, Canada, several cliches apply: igloos, beavers, and people saying “eh” at the end of each sentence.

While I’ve never seen an igloo nor a beaver outside of a zoo, I am somewhat embarrassed to say I use the word “eh”. But, I digress…

Canada is also known for being a country that is accepting of all peoples. It has one of the highest immigration rates globally, and more than 20% of its total population are immigrants with permanent resident status.

Canada is also the world’s…


What the new science of self-discipline and willpower is teaching us about creating new habits.

Source: HowUDish

When you think of someone who’s “self-disciplined”, what do you imagine? Is it someone who consistently does the “right” thing, regardless of the situation? Someone who works out even after a long day in the office. Who gets up early even after a late night with friends. Who is productive even when distractions abound.

We admire these people, don’t we? We think they have a strength of character that’s worthy of praise. We believe they summon power from some eternal wellspring and use it to…


But something we all do.

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Have you ever wished the past was different? Do you regret something you did or didn’t do? Do you think that if only you’d made a different decision your life would be so much better today?

If you do, you’re not alone. We humans are great at imagining different endings to our stories. But, what if those endings are overly simplistic? What if our minds are not good at understanding the consequences of changing past events? …


Part 3: Bruce Lee’s simple advice to open your mind by emptying it.

Photo by Man Chung on Unsplash

This is part three of a three-part series on Bruce Lee that examines an aspect of his philosophy of life. Part 1 focused on overcoming obstacles. Part 2 focused on adapting to your circumstances. Part 3 focuses on emptying your mind.

Bruce Lee is considered one of the most influential martial artists of the past century, especially in North America. In the early 1970s, his movies kickstarted a martial arts revolution. …


Part 2: Bruce Lee’s simple recommendation on how to adapt to any situation.

Photo by Man Chung on Unsplash

This is part two of a three-part series on Bruce Lee that examines an aspect of his philosophy of life. Part 1 focuses on overcoming obstacles. Part 2 focuses on adapting to your circumstances. Part 3 focuses on the benefits of emptying your mind.

Bruce Lee is considered one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century, especially in North America. In the early 1970s, his movies kickstarted a martial arts revolution. …


Part 1: Bruce Lee’s simple recommendation for overcoming any obstacle.

Photo by Man Chung on Unsplash

This is part one of a three-part series on Bruce Lee that examines an aspect of his philosophy of life. Part 1 focuses on overcoming obstacles. Part 2 focuses on adapting to your circumstances. Part 3 focuses on the benefits of emptying your mind.

Bruce Lee is considered one of the most influential martial artists of the past century, especially in North America. In the early 1970s, his movies kickstarted a martial arts revolution. …


The tension between empathy and economics.

Photo by Jonathan Kho on Unsplash

When we think of the well-being of others, we often fall into one of two camps.

One camp trusts the economic system to dole out resources to those who are willing to work hard. They think that if you haven’t “made it” it’s because you haven’t put in the effort. Some exceptions apply, of course.

The other camp is a little wary of the economic system. It, too, values hard work, but it’s concerned that some people who work hard still can’t seem to make ends meet. …


And be more content while you do it.

Photo by Robby McCullough on Unsplash

A couple of years ago, I was wall climbing with a friend and it wasn’t going well. I couldn’t complete the route and was getting frustrated. My friend could tell.

He then said something to me that I’ll never forget: “When your focus is on reaching the end, your attention isn’t on the next step you need to take to get there.”

This simple truth hit me like a ton of bricks — the more I focussed on my desire to reach the end, the less I focused on what I was…

Jeff Valdivia

Following my curiosity and hoping it will lead me to wisdom. I write about science, meditation, and spirituality.

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