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

New Ethics

On the beach Moeraki.NZIf you’ve ever dabbled in role-playing games – either online or in old-fashioned meatspace – you’ll know how easy it is to get attached to your avatar. It really hurts when your character gets mashed by a troll, felled by a dragon or slain by a warlock.

Phillip Ball

Loneliness

Tide lines at Sunset.The term ‘loneliness’ first crops up in English around 1800. Before then, the closest word was ‘oneliness’, simply the state of being alone. As with solitude – from the Latin ‘solus’ which meant ‘alone’ – ‘oneliness’ was not coloured by any suggestion of emotional lack. Solitude or oneliness was not unhealthy or undesirable, but rather a necessary space for reflection with God, or with one’s deepest thoughts. Since God was always nearby, a person was never truly alone. Skip forward a century or two, however, and the use of ‘loneliness’ – burdened with associations of emptiness and the absence of social connection – has well and truly surpassed oneliness. What happened?

Fay Bound Alberti

Rescue

Image from page 226 of "North Carolina journal of education" (1897)Jessica Lahey, a middle-school teacher and author, writes in The Gift of Failure that we sometimes seem to be more worried about raising happy children than competent or autonomous ones. “We think, ‘I have plenty of time to teach them,’” Lahey writes. “And then they are 17.” Don’t rescue your kids, she advises. Play the long game—raising the competent kid—not the short one, attempting to fix every problem. If they own their mistakes, they are more likely to learn from them.

Jenny Anderson

Avatar

Audrey Watters Takes on The WorldIf you’ve ever dabbled in role-playing games – either online or in old-fashioned meatspace – you’ll know how easy it is to get attached to your avatar. It really hurts when your character gets mashed by a troll, felled by a dragon or slain by a warlock.

Phillip Ball