We often optimize by looking for a nice middle partway along a spectrum: Exercising means challenging your body enough to respond but not so much that you hurt yourself. Astronomers look for potentially habitable planets in the”Goldilocks zones” around other stars, the bands where it’s not too hot and not too cold. It’s appropriate to … More When is a mixture better than a middle?
Recently I discussed my new project for trying to benefit the people I talk to and make them feel more comfortable. One of the ways I’ve been trying to do this is to find two ways of saying the same thing (like “Have you taken out the trash yet?” and “Have you taken out the … More Dual Adverbs
I’m what you could call shy. Here’s what happens when I am in a conversation with people I don’t know very well. My joints start to feel stiff and my breath gets shallow. Everything feels hard to move and I have to concentrate on breathing normally and not clutching one arm with the other. When … More On not exuding confidence
We did a lot of walking around on the last few days we were in Leiden, for a couple reasons: We had to transport several large objects (including four suitcases and a couch) across the city, which meant lots of walking to and fro. On our last day, we sold our bikes as one of … More Enjoying Leiden on foot
I noticed recently that I’ve been trying to live my life according to two conflicting principles. On the one hand, I am always trying to give my life the structure of good habits. I journal every day, I write a blog post once a week, and I am currently working on the habit of washing … More Habits of Variety