MEMO

Issue #274

The Diderot Effect: When we buy stuff we don't need

The Diderot Effect is a tendency to overconsume, mostly caused by our natural need for betterment. Why is it called the Diderot Effect, and how can we manage his overconsumption tendency?

How to manage “Can I pick your brain?” requests

You open your inbox, see an email from someone unfamiliar, read it, and see the dreaded “Can I pick your brain?” request. No context, no offer to compensate you for your time, just this vague demand to extract value from you without contributing anything in return. What are some ways you can reply to these emails without sounding rude, and how can you avoid being the offender when you need advice from someone?

You Are Immune Against Every Disease

You are not a person, you are a planet, made of roughly 40 trillion cells. There is so much of you, that if your cells were human-sized, you would be as big as 20 Mount Everests. For your creepy-crawly inhabitants, this makes your body an ecosystem, rich in resources and warmth and space. A perfect place to move into and have a family. While some of these guests are welcome, most are not. Your immune system is the guardian of this planet, the force tasked with protecting yourself against the constant danger of invasion.

Why We Keep Choosing Bad Partners

There is a particular kind of person who is always – it seems – unlucky in love. Despite their best intentions and efforts, they seem to move from one unsatisfying candidate to another without ever being able to settle. One lover turned out to be secretly married to someone else, another – after an initial period of enthusiasm – never called back, a third turned out to be alcoholic and violent… We can only express sympathy for what seems like so much bad luck.

How to raise emotionally intelligent kids

How did your parents respond to you as a child when you were upset? Can you see the impact of their imprints in your life as an adult? What is the magic ingredient when raising an emotionally intelligent child?


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