Why Bad Odds Can Be Good

in Philosophy

Sometimes I have an idea for something I want to make. If I mention it to friends, eventually I’ll hear “that sounds interesting but odds of it working are slim to none” And I’ll think, yes, I agree. But then the idea stays on my mind, day after day. Slowly I realize I want to […]

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How To Get Out Of A Bad Habit

in ask berkun, Philosophy, Pop Culture

I regularly take the the top voted question from readers and answer them in a post. With 62 votes, today’s winner was: How Do you Get Out of A Bad Habit There is plenty of advice today about habits and how to change them. I’m no expert, and you can find plenty of well regarded books on […]

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Why You Are Not Drowning In Data

in Philosophy, Pop Culture

We love to blame the world because the world can’t blame us back. I recently read Sarah Gooding’s article titled Drowning in Data: When News is Noise. She feels information overloaded makes it hard to cultivate creativity. It’s a sweet article and you should read it, even if I disagree. She writes: It’s never been […]

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Should you ban Woody Allen’s films?

in Philosophy, Pop Culture

The resurfacing of Woody Allen’s past is sad from many perspectives, amplified by how a daughter and a family are still struggling, very publicly, to deal with events that took place decades ago. I’ll leave the conclusions for you to draw, as my question in this post is a practical one. Should you ban an […]

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When Did You Last Change Your Mind?

in Philosophy, Pop Culture

When was the last time you changed your mind about something important? As children we changed our minds frequently since we were continually exposed to new experiences and were encouraged to learn new things and consider different ideas. The very goal of education for children is to accelerate the reconsidering of assumptions, providing tools for […]

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Why do we accept bad systems?

in ask berkun, Philosophy

Each week I take the top voted question from readers and answer it.  With 45 votes, this week’s winner was “Why do we accept and perpetuate bad systems?” by Peter Saumur: Examples – 2 lanes of checkout on a busy day. Automated parking systems that break down with no backup. Sitting in traffic for over an hour […]

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Thoughts on Death to Bullshit & Information Overload

in Design, Philosophy

I recently watched Brad Frost’s interesting talk Death To Bullshit (slides). He takes strong positions about information overload and advertising, and with down to earth charm, explores the evidence he’s found. Since I’ve written before about detecting bullshit, calling bullshit on gurus and BS social media experts I had commentary to offer. You’ll get even more pleasure […]

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What is the meaning of life? (and why do people keep asking)

in ask berkun, Philosophy

Each week I take the top voted topic from readers and answer it.  With 45 votes, this week’s winner was “What is the meaning of life (and why do people continually ask this question).” I’ve yet to hear my dog ask this question. He seems pretty damn satisfied with existence. You could conclude that we’re better off […]

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The law does not guarantee justice

in Philosophy, politics

“The court doesn’t exist to give them justice… But to give them a chance at justice.” -Galvin (Paul Newman), The Verdict America suffers from superficial assumptions about not only our criminal laws, but the details of individual cases. We base our “knowledge” on headlines and soundbites, a thin stream of ignorance for evaluating someone’s guilt […]

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Why is Our Civilization Dying?

in ask berkun, Philosophy

Each week I take the top voted question from readers and answer it.  With 49 votes, this week’s winner was “Why is Our Civilization Dying?”: Why is Our Civilization Dying? Why are we not moving science forward anymore, but instead get fascinated by ridiculous things like new iPhone model or Facebook or Instagram or 3D printers […]

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How to find your niche

in ask berkun, Philosophy

From my Monday question pile Jennifer asked: How do you find your niche? This seems like a simple question but the more I thought about it the less I liked it. It’s a question filled with assumptions. Is there just one niche for every person? Can you make your own niche rather than find one? Is this even […]

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Changing your life is not a (mid-life) crisis

in Philosophy

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” – Thoreau Whenever someone over the age of 25 suggests a profound change, one of their friends will say, mockingly “you’re having a mid-life crisis.” It’s the only response adults know to offer. We have no label […]

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Are you important? (Emotions vs. Actions)

in Philosophy

When people say “you know you are important to me” the best answer is “I don’t know.” Think about it before you answer. There’s great social pressure to say “yes, of course I know that” when asked by a parent, spouse, boss or old friend,  but that pressure confuses your abstract feelings about a person […]

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Why I’m not a fan of teams or religions

in Philosophy

I don’t root for sports teams for the same reason I’m not religious. The divisions between one group and another are too arbitrary to hold my attention. If you ask a fan why they root for their particular team, it takes them some time to answer. Being a fan is not a logical choice, it’s […]

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Truths, myths and lies

in Innovation, Philosophy

There are two different uses of the word myth: A falsehood, as in “the weight loss myth” A story with metaphorical truth even if not factually accurate I spend time on this blog debunking factual myths like Newton’s Apple, even for things as boring as mythical numbers in schedule estimates, because I have expertise and believe people […]

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What rules do good friends follow? (thoughts wanted)

in lifehack, Philosophy

I’ve been thinking about friendships and why some last and others fade away. It seems there is an unwritten set of rules people who stay friends are able to follow, even if they don’t even sit down and discuss them. I’ve certainly never had a friendship where there was an official meeting, where a  friendship […]

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The Meaningful is greater than the Improbable

in Philosophy

In Kevin Kelly’s recent article The Improbable is the New Normal, he points out how we can now see amazing things every minute of the day. Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we’ll see or hear about today. […]

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You are not what you measure

in General, Philosophy

When you die what will your friends and family know of who you were? At work they may try to measure you with numbers, but to your spouse, daughter and friend those measurements are meaningless. They know you from how you have helped them and hurt them. How you loved them or rejected them. What is […]

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Is a college degree worth it?

in Philosophy, reader's choice

Many of the posts I write are inspired by reader questions and requests. Smaranda Calin, one of my awesome fans, asked: what’s the role of a university education in this day and age since so much is changing? Every generation believes they’re exceptional for the same stupid reason: they know nothing about any other generation. They might be […]

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The three things you always have

in Philosophy

You always have three things. The three things are your answers to these questions: What happened? How you feel about it? What are you’re going to do next? It’s common to confuse #2 with #3. Some people get stuck on the feelings for the past and never move on. Feelings are important as that’s how […]

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