Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thoughts on Turning 66

I wrote this during the hour before I turned 66.  My thoughts:

I'm filled with gratitude for my health, the opportunity to be productive, and for my good wife. We've been contentedly together for almost 43 years now. Oh, I  must also mention my preternaturally loving doggie Einstein.

Aware that most men my age are on the downswing, I'm working longer hours than ever. That's in the spirit of Isaac Asimov, who had written 450 books and was asked, "What would you do if you had six months to live?" His answer: "Type faster."  Most people can't relate to this but, for me, the life well-led is about using as many heartbeats as possible being productive.

For a very long time, I've been afraid of dying and tried everything to cure myself. What works best for me is simply to distract myself the first moment the fear enters consciousness. 

I'm very disciplined but not about eating. Ironic, I care so much about staying healthy and yet can't stop myself from overeating. I guess few of us are fully explainable by the rational.

Also ironic in that I used to be a committed liberal, I'm sad about the leftist bias of society's mindmolders: the schools, colleges, the media, and GoogleSearch. The relentless message is that Left is always right, that redistribution is justice. While I am liberal on many issues, I deeply believe that wisdom can be found across the ideological spectrum. Yet dare an idea veer right of center, it's censored or censured from society's major mind-molders. For example, Fox News, which, perhaps surprisingly, was found by Pew Research Center  to provide the most balanced coverage, is dwarfed in impact by the leftist-biased New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, CNN, PBS, NPR, Time, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, etc., etc., etc. Ironic that the Left continues to harp on Joe McCarthy's censorship from the Right of 70 years ago while today it exerts censorship that's far more pervasive.  I don't want to go into details here lest I be viewed as self-pitying but suffice to say that I have often been a victim of that.

Even if I were a leftist, I'd worry about how much control the aforementioned societal mind-molders have over policy. Whatever control the "military-industrial complex" had is dwarfed by society's mind-molders' power. That concentration of power cannot ultimately be good for humankind. 

In closing, thank you for having read my writings. That adds much meaning to my life.

Cultivating Charisma

I wish the world focused more on its steak than its sizzle but charisma is key to influence, and it's learnable. 

In my article today, I offer tactics derived from our most charismatic leaders.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Supercourse: Education Truly Reinvented

I believe the best idea I've ever developed is SuperCourses, an approach to reinventing education that would allow every child, worldwide, to receive an education far superior to the standard one. I lay it out in my article today.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Does Your Self-Concept Match How Others See You?

As my article today, I offer an easy way to compare your self-concept with how you're perceived.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What is it Really Like to be a Social Worker?

After 20 years as a social worker, Jessica Ritter ran Pacific University’s social work program and is the senior author of the book 101 Social Work Careers, now in its 2nd edition. I had a conversation with her today on my NPR-San Francisco radio program. I offer a distillation as my article today.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Choose a Career Already!

Dan Moyle, CC 2.0 

In my article today, I offer a fast yet effective way to choose a career.

The Multi-Ring Circus Career

More and more people will be having a multi-ring-circus career and will be happier for it. I describe it and make the case for it in my article today.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Waiter Wants to Change Careers

Despite a learning disability, a client of mine got a bachelor's degree in sociology  from a prestigious public university.

That was 15 years ago. Since then, he's been a waiter and desperately wants a new career. In my article today, I describe our first session.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We're All Automatic LIars

I saw comedian Tom Devenport at the Napa Valley’s Lucky Penny Community Arts Center. He closed with a bit that cut close to many of our bones. We lie and get lied to so often—especially in an election year--that we don’t even register common lies as lies.

Sure, a white lie for politeness isn't a mortal sin but when fibs fall so trippingly from our tongues that we don’t even recognize them as fibs, it suggests that maybe we could all use a little consciousness raising. In my article today, I list about 30 of our automatic lies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Case for Men Marrying an Older Woman

Many men are attracted to younger women. Mainly it's a visceral, physical thing although some men may value a younger woman because she is more likely to look up to him if only because he may have advanced more in his career.

But there are reasons men should consider older women as a potential marriage partner. I describe them in my article today.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Different Approach to "Making America Great Again"

What might the planks of a Psychology Party look like? I describe them in my article today.

Trust Yourself or Psychology Experts?

At some point, we've all been reluctant to follow an expert's advice: "S/he's the expert but somehow the advice just doesn't feel right."

Of course, there are times to trust the expert but the purpose of my article today is to provide some basis for not too quickly dismissing your own opinion. It lists a number of consensus expert recommendations that have since given way to new ones.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

You Don't Have to Be Paranoid to Think Someone's Out to Get You

Sergeant Phil Esterhaus daily send-off to the cops in the iconic TV series Hill Street Blues was "Hey, let's be careful out there."

Indeed, there's plenty to be vigilant about. I offer a list in my article today. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Earning Father's Day: Ten Things Dads Can Do to Be Great Dads

Somehow, when the greeting card companies tell us to buy a Father's (or Mother's) Day card we jump to, even if our fathers aren't so worthy of an honorific.

What if a father had to earn his special day? We fathers can't turn back the clock but perhaps one or more of these things I suggest in my article today we could do now might make us more worthy.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Not Your Usual Father's Day Presents

Many dads (stepdads count too)  don't need another tie, gadget, or bottle of booze. Even if they did, such gifts bear the odor of obligation rather than of affection.

Even if your dad's far from perfect, as long as you'd like to express some appreciation and/or build your relationship, Father's Day is a natural opportunity.  In my article today, I suggest presents that These might help.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Decline of Duty: A Cause of America's Decline...and You?

For time immemorial, discipline, responsibility (duty,) and impulse control have been key to improving humankind.

Today, alas, they often are deemed less important than creativity, celebrating difference, and questioning authority.

In my article today, I argue that's reason for lament. 

Come See My One Man Show

Come see my one-man show, Odd Man Out in Napa on Aug 6 at 7:00 PM.
For info, click HERE

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Case for Justice Over Mercy

We're in an era that seems to value mercy over justice: Grade inflation, bankruptcy laws, reduced sentences, the media's replacing "hoodlums" with "under-served," even some  psychologists blaming bad behavior largely on externalities.

Mercy feels good and is consistent with religion's valuing of forgiveness but does it yield a net good?  In my article today, I make the argument that it doesn't.

Monday, June 13, 2016

My Favorite Ideas

At memorial services, they often play a continuously running video about the deceased. I'd want mine to list my favorite ideas. My article today lists them.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Making the Most of College

More important than where you go to college is whether you make the most of it. The tips I offer on today should help.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Advice You Probably Won't Hear in a Commencement Address

I've given only one commencement address, at Columbia College (MO.) Perhaps because it was my first, it was fairly conventional.

On reflection, I wish I had been brave enough to give different advice. The graduates have and will hear plenty of conventional exhortations but perhaps not the ones I offer in  my article today.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Life-and-Death Dilemmas

My article today is a short-short story that looks at one man's life-and-death confrontation with the truly  least among us and the bigger ethical dilemmas that encounter triggered.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Musings of a Grumpy Old Man

I worry about the how-to article's pontification and aridity. So in some of my recent articles, I've genre-bended: I've attempted to embed a psychological issue within a short-short story, for example, Unhinged and Should You Give Up on Finding Mr/Ms Right?
Today's offering looks at a man's confrontation with his aging and being out of step with the times.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Should You Home-School Your Child?

A Google search today on the term, "closing the achievement gap" yielded 363,000 results. Indeed, many public schools now focus on low achievers.

That's one reason that many parents of average and above-average-achieving children home-school them. That can be especially enticing because private school tuition can, in high-cost areas, reach $35,000 a year. 

So it's not surprising that the number of home-schooled U.S. kids has more than doubled from 850,000 in 1999 to 1.77 million in 2011, the most recent year studied.

But what about your child? Should you consider home-schooling? Perhaps the internal debate I wrote as my article today will help clarify.

In Defense of The Artist's Life

In previous posts, I've denigrated the artist's life. To restore a measure of balance while not being pollyannish, in my article today, I take my best shot at describing the life of a typical artist who's not making much money but is glad she has chosen The Artist's Life. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Honest Response to an Aspiring Journalist

An aspiring journalist wrote to me asking for an "in" into a journalism job.

I posted my response as my article today.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Life and Death

A silver lining in being a lifelong hypochondriac is that I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about life and death. In my article today, I share my thoughts.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Does Pet Therapy Help?

Most people, especially animal lovers, believe that animals can heal us.

But what does more rigorous analysis suggest? And where might animal-assisted interventions (AAI) be of greatest value?

To answer those question, on, I interview two eminents.

"I'm Tired": A short-short story about an average person's aging.

Sooner or later, we all lose energy and drive. Now what? I explore that in a short-short story that's my article today.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Should You Vacation in Some Faraway Place?

We're getting to that time of year when we have to decide what do during our vacation days.

Should you take a staycation? A quickie car trip to the relatives? Or fly off to some far-flung place? 

Perhaps the internal debate I offer today on  will provide a bit of clarity.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What's Up With Illegal Drug Use?: An interview with National Institute of Drug Abuse Director, Dr. Nora Volkow

Illegal drug use is a hot topic, for example, marijuana legalization, vaping, and opioid abuse. To help sort out the issues, in today’s The Eminents interview on, I spoke with Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.