In identity politics the knives are always out, slicing up your mind.

Accidents of birth are nothing to be proud of.

Assumptions are always dangerous, but implicit assumptions are even more dangerous. One of the most prevalent implicit assumptions in current American society is that identification–with a racial or ethnic group, with a gender, with a sexual orientation, with a political outlook, with a nation–is a good thing. But is it?

We constantly hear references to certain people being “proud women of color,” or “proud Latinos” or to “gay pride” or “patriotism” or to any number of other categories, and the sheer number of categories of which we are supposed to keep…

A Proposed Rate Schedule

Ascend the heights of better interactions through a strict system of penalties.

We’ve all been there. Someone starts talking, and you realize that what they are saying they have already told you, perhaps many times before. What should you do? Tell them politely you’ve already heard it? Listen without protest, pretending you haven’t? Silently stew, hoping your resentment won’t eventually become an explosion?

No. You should just charge the person a reasonable fee, say $20 for the privilege of making you listen to something you’ve already heard from them. …

Personal solutions to the climate crisis

Your personal choices can help improve Earth’s environment, as well as improve your own life at the same time.

A few years ago, my wife and I became two of the few people in the world to actually have a negative carbon footprint. This means that rather than adding more than 20 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere every every year like most Americans, we are actually removing CO2 from the atmosphere every year. Looking back, we’re amazed at how easy it was. Not only that, but becoming “neggies” (people with a negative carbon footprint) has deeply enhanced the quality of our life, made us happier, made us healthier, and filled us with…

You just might need an update

Just kick back, relax and think for a while about the software that is you.

You are not a computer, yet there are thousands of software programs installed in your brain. This software is also known as you. Yet somehow, despite the installation of thousands of pieces of software in your brain over the course of years, you never managed to get any documentation, and may not even know what programs were installed in you, what those programs do, who or what installed them, why they were installed in the first place, or whether at this point they help you or hinder you.

You may also have lost track of programs that were installed long…

Personal innovation brings power and freedom

Every change you make in yourself creates new ripples in both yourself and your life.

Innovation reclaimed and redefined

When you see the word “innovation,” what appears in your mind? If you’re like most people, what appeared in your mind was a technology product, and nothing else. This is deeply unfortunate for many reasons, not least of which is that there is an area of innovation far more valuable than anything the tech industry is selling, or will ever develop.

A small minority of people associate innovation with services, but even in this case the association is usually one of services combined with technology. This second response also misses the mark entirely because the deepest…

Wherever you are, there you are.

We all know the experience. We hear of a belief commonly held in the past, immediately recognize its absurdity, and marvel that anyone could ever have believed such nonsense. We flatter ourselves in no longer holding such beliefs, and often our self-flattery is mixed with a certain condescension and disdain for the poor benighted fools of bygone times. …

Most of what you experience as your “needs” are only desires that were inculcated into you.

Minimalism is a hot topic these days, and like most hot topics is commonly addressed in detail but not at depth. Most discussions of minimalism are rife with details of the how and why one object or another was kept or discarded, and much time is given to personal anecdote regarding a vast array of personal possessions: the sentimental attachments to such possessions, the difficulty of giving them up, the emotional and behavioral adjustments to their absence. …

Firinn Taisdeal

I am an author and inventor. My first book was about people’s relationship with their possessions and how possessions change us, for better and for worse.

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