It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Isms are dangerous things when used thoughtlessly.  The most obviously dangerous is racism: advocating for the rights of one group over another, with corresponding denigration of those not belonging to the racist group. It is easy to point to American racism, typically white-on-black hate so endemic to parts of our culture.  It is...
A new book is promoting a new, mechanistic, theory of why we laugh.  According to the authors of  Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind Human being have a sense of humor because the mind is a computer (“our brains are Chevy engines running Maserati software”) dedicated to constantly making sense of the...
Woody Allen says that he was basically a happy child until around the age of five when he came to realize that “all this,” meaning life, ended at some point. In the recent documentary about his life that aired as part of PBS’s series “American Masters,” this quotation is juxtaposed with a scene from the film “...
Periodically someone will publish the results of a study suggesting that “we” are smarter than our political enemies. Liberals are more open to new ideas, conservatives have more common sense – somehow the idea that our political beliefs are determined by our IQ lets some of us sleep easier at night. Daniel Klein isn’t one...
Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” is about an iconoclast (Roark), a man with a vision and the character to see that vision manifest in the world.  Along the way, he is beaten down and tormented by “second-handers” who not only mock his vision but sue him for ineptitude and steal his company. In the end, this...

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