Effective

Bridge 127What makes humans so special? Our ability to reason may be what most distinguishes us from other animals. We can consider our motivations, plan ahead, and look back on what we’ve done to understand how it went. But we are far from omniscient: our brains are designed to be efficient rather than perfect (if perfect is even possible). Because of this, we frequently make errors in judgement, and even convince ourselves of having made decisions that others made for us.

Erman Misirlisoy PhD.

Luxury

Sunrising South CarolinaLast year, the New York Times called sleep the “new status symbol.” I’m not sure I accept the idea of a good night’s rest as a status symbol—although I suppose the resulting glowing skin, high-functioning metabolism, and sharp mind may raise one’s standing. But done right, sleep is certainly the ultimate luxury.

Jenni Avins

Freedom

Artist Point. Yellowstone. NPThere’s no doubt that emotional harm can result from being turned away from a business establishment because of who you love. But surely there is also harm when an American is forced to participate in an event that is contrary to his or her deeply held beliefs. A voluntary, market-oriented approach is the best way to reconcile the competing interests in such situations.

Manuel S. Klausner

Moderate

Banff Canada (5)So, once again, to my colleagues: Stop it. Stop claiming that you or others have been “harmed,” because someone expressed a view you disagree with or which hurt your or someone else’s feelings. Stop joining social media mobs, in order to hound people out of their jobs or pressure their bosses to fire them. In fact, stop using social media altogether, when engaged in what should be careful, deliberate discussions and debates. Facebook and Twitter are great for posting pictures of your cat or telling your friends how much you loved the concert you went to last night or congratulating a couple on their wedding. They are absolutely the worst sorts of places to engage in our professional duties, which are supposed to consist of thoughtful scholarship.

Daniel A. Kaufman

Identity

Boulder Overlook, Lassen Volcanic National ParkEvery person goes through a different journey in their search for identity. Some may have a long, short or unpredictable journey. Regardless, each person reaches a dead end where it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Michael Li