Cooperation, Competition, and Growth

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 1 2024

We all want our lives to be better tomorrow than they are today. That is the nature of life. Life is growth. But how do you get better most effectively—or how do you get to be the best that you can be? The obvious answer is work/effort: to become more fit, you have to exercise. To improve a skill, you have to practice. To get a higher education,...

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Why Do People Believe Things That Are Wrong?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 24 2024

Probably the thing that drives most people nuts in the world is when someone believes something that they don’t. This is the fundamental issue that has led to wars, genocide, and plenty of arguments on the internet. So what is happening here, and do you need to do anything about

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Critical Thinking and the Primacy Effect

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 17 2024

You will often hear people spout the virtues of critical thinking. Ironically, they can often be the people who are least likely to exhibit it themselves in certain situations. The reason is the Primacy Effect, or when you become biased toward the first explanation you hear about a topic and only then display critical thinking of information...

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What Drives You?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 10 2024

Understanding what motivates you is one of the most important things you can do to improve your sense of purpose in life. When you have a driving force, you will continue forward no matter what it takes. But how do you know what motivates you? There are a few ways to determine this, but let’s start with what motivation is and what things can...

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Consciousness as a Meta-Capability

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 3 2024

They call it “The Hard Problem” of consciousness; it is commonly described as, “What is it like to be a bat?” Effectively, how can you break down consciousness into a definable set of components so that you can both understand consciousness and identify life forms that have it. They test the problem with various thought experiments, such as if...

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On Value, Worth, Self-Esteem, and Objective Standards

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 27 2024

There is a major equivocation/conflation of the words “value” and “worth” going on, and wherever there is a confusion around meaning with regards to life, you know I’ll be here covering it. Let me give you some background on what is going on: millennia ago, humans were not too much more civilized than animals, and so we did have very much a...

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Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 20 2024

What are you supposed to do with your life? It’s a big question that’s become more common more recently since we live in a modern world of relative luxury where want has trumped need to a certain extent. Historically, it was to do whatever was required of you to survive: hunt, forage, construct shelters, etc. Recently, however, with both freedom...

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Responsibility vs. Fault

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 13 2024

You read a lot about “blaming the victim” in modern times, usually when someone tells another person how to change their behavior to get a different result. The most famous one (because people seem to scream it all the time) is, “I shouldn’t have to dress more modestly; men shouldn’t rape!” But, to take a less controversial one, Office Space has...

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On Challenge

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 6 2024

Everyone thinks they just want to live the easy life: being waited on hand and foot, eating junk food and playing video games all day, or living a life without work. People say they want that—no matter how much evidence you provide to the contrary: people who hit the lottery are often miserable or lose it all; animals sit around all day and eat...

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Meaning Requires Meaning

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 28 2024

I was watching a homemade recording of Troy Polamalu’s interception in the 2008-2009 AFC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens from the stands and had one of those existential moments where you realize that millions of people are watching that play and having extreme emotional reactions to it. Staring at it...

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