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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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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The Truth and Ethics of When Life Begins

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 7 2024

Note: This blog touches on a hugely controversial topic and is not meant to persuade anyone to change their minds but is rather meant to discuss the various factors in people's understanding of the issue and ethical/legal conclusions that they draw from said understanding. One of the seemingly toughest questions that is actually one of the...

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If What You Say Is True, Why Doesn't Everyone Know About It?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 31 2024

Years ago, I was waiting for a train to the airport wearing a suit. I walked past, and someone asked me about my shoes. I explained them, and she asked, "Why don't you tell everybody about them?" I was fascinated by the question because I don't typically care to discuss anything that doesn't come up in conversation. Little did I know that this...

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The Universe

The Magic of the ‘How’ in Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 27 2023

Most people focus on the “why” in life as the big questions—mainly because they feel more personal, more subjective, and more unanswerable and so they can be analyzed for a lifetime. But “how” questions are just as interesting, just in a different way and susceptible to the human arc of

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Evidence and Belief

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 19 2023

Belief is discussed thoroughly in The Meaning of Life: A Guide to Finding Your Life’s Purpose. It discusses how a belief is anything that you accept as existing or true and how knowledge is a subset of beliefs that you can prove to be true. The problem is that—if you were getting technical—you can only truly know something (e.g., “Did I leave the...

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Neuroscience and Determinism

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 2 2022

Possibly the most surprising, amazing, and contentious finding in the last 20 years of the study of neuroscience is the idea that the brain’s decisions might be made up to 10 seconds before person is consciously aware of it. The most famous popular psychology assertion on the topic of free will comes from Sam Harris, who stated that free will is an...

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The Science and Meaning Behind Limited Lifespans

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 10 2021

At some point, all living things die.  Why does it have to be that way?  Well, it depends on whether you’re asking that question scientifically or metaphysically.  Let's take a look at why lifespans are limited from a scientific perspective and then derive some positive meanings that one could find in that fact from a "meaning of life, the universe...

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Flow: Optimal Experience for Optimal Growth

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 27 2021

Dedicated to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934-2021) Photo courtesy of Ehirsh and Wikimedia (Public Domain). When I first heard of the idea of positive psychology, i.e., the study of living a healthy, happy life, the first names that came up were Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Considered to be the pioneers and leaders in the field, these...

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Where Psychology and Spirituality Overlap

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 2 2021

Law of Attraction, or self-fulfilling prophecy?  The power of faith, or the Placebo effect?  Science and spirituality make different arguments for the cause and effect happening between human thoughts and behaviors and the outcomes that they see.  What is really going on here, and (why) does it matter?  Let’s explore.

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