I Thought I Knew What I Wanted. I Was Wrong. This Is What I Learned

Fuck. Waking up, I was happy and found myself eagerly thinking about the super interesting amazing blog that I would write later today. I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen. While making my morning coffee, I realized something. I couldn’t spend any time on writing cool stuff today because I had a deadline for […]

Friedrich Nietzsche On The Secret Ingredient For Happiness

Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the great philosophers of the 19th century. Taking himself “philosophize with a hammer”, Nietzsche analyzed the way people think about a topic, took out his hammer and went to work. One of his targets was the most famous theory about the role of happiness in life. That sounds interesting. Happiness should not be your goal […]

In Defense of Philosophy

Philosophy is under attack. While universities are shutting down their humanities faculties, the profession of philosophy is taking hits all over the place. For example, here on Medium, Rachel Anne Williams (here), Mr Nemo (here), Secular Stoic (here) and Martin Rezny (here) have written forceful critiques of the enterprise. Evidently, something is going on. It would be interesting to know what exactly. Academic philosophy’s wrong turn […]

Figuring Out What It Means To Win The Game Of Life

When, exactly, have we won the game of life? That question is not philosophical nitpicking, but an essential one to answer if we are going to be any good at it. When playing a game, it helps to know its conditions for victory. The first thing that comes to mind is that winning the game of life means […]

The Threat Of Freedom And The Forgotten Value Of Being Powerless

“Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.” — Martin Luther Newsflash: sometimes, I can’t get what I want. Let’s envision getting what I want as a two-step process: 1) Discover what the cause-effect relationships that govern reality are. 2) Figure out how set theright cause-effect relationships in motion. At step one, I can’t attain my objectives due to a lack of […]

Work: Ask Less To Get More

“You shouldn’t be here.” I am sitting in a sweaty classroom when I hear the voice again. I sigh. Not now please. I am not in the mood for this. I am attending the umpteenth conference talk I feel I couldn’t care less about. “You have made the wrong choice.” The voice is my own’s. It’s in my head, urging me to re-evaluate my […]

The Seekers Mode: What Steve Jobs And Richard Feynman Have In Common

If you’re like most people, you think that some statements are true and that other statements are not. That’s something that is inevitable. It’s harmless to have this or that mental model of reality and to use it to determine whether things people say to you are true or false. I believe that the earth is […]

The Difference: Living Well vs. Living Great

So many writers advertise their blog by promising ‘a better life’. On my Dutch website, I used to do the same, feeling increasingly uncomfortable about my pledge. Reading an essay and thinking about it is one thing, but changing your behavior is a whole different ballgame. I found it hard to imagine that my writings had a […]

The Truth about the Unexpected Danger of Being Yourself

I felt a splitting headache — hangover, again, I concluded. I was awakened by the beeping sound of my alarm. That, I realized, meant that it was noon and that I had to get up and that I could attend the late afternoon lecture if I would be really fast. (I had stopped caring for morning classes […]