What we can’t spend

Some things, like money, time, and effort, are scarce resources that need careful budgeting to be used optimally. Some of those, like effort and attention, can return stronger after resting from difficult use, as if they’ve been built up like a muscle through exercise, which makes the calculus of optimizing how much and when to … More What we can’t spend

What we spend

Ever since I learned that the Dutch word for “to spend” (besteden) is used not just with time and money, as in English, but also with attention, I’ve started to wonder what else we have that we spend, and could be spending more wisely. Here is an incomplete list I’ve compiled: Money (of course). Time. … More What we spend

When Morals Collide

Monday night is chore night at the Biesel household, and that usually means a rush hour trip to the grocery store to pick up the week’s supply of ingredients. It often happens, as I’m waiting in line at the checkout, that the person behind me is purchasing a smaller load of groceries than I am. … More When Morals Collide

Sigmoid perception

Sometimes my mental vocabulary isn’t very rich for extreme situations. Rather than thinking of temperature like this: I have different mental “buckets” for various temperature ranges, depending on what I would need to feel comfortable: Notice how the intervals between different experiences get wider the farther you get from the middle, all the way to … More Sigmoid perception

Curating contentment

I remember hearing somewhere about a guy who resolved never to buy a bottle of wine costing more than $10—not because the more expensive wine didn’t taste better, but because he didn’t want his own taste to develop to the point that he had to buy expensive wine if he wanted to enjoy it at all. Clara … More Curating contentment