How to have an impossible conversation

Recently I found a review of a book by Peter Boghossian and James A. Lindsay, titled Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide (2019). Here's an excerpt from the review: In our polarised political climate, people on opposite sides of an ideological divide often consume different media, follow different pundits, consult different sources. Since sensationalism sells—colourful …

Some fairy tales may be 6,000 years old

A scene from a classic edition of Jack and the Beanstalk. “Fairy tales are transmitted through language, and the shoots and branches of the Indo-European language tree are well-defined, so the scientists could trace a tale’s history back up the tree—and thus back in time. If both Slavic languages and Celtic languages had a version …

Mindfulness as a symptom

Reducing suffering is a noble aim and it should be encouraged. But to do this effectively, teachers of mindfulness need to acknowledge that personal stress also has societal causes. By failing to address collective suffering, and systemic change that might remove it, they rob mindfulness of its real revolutionary potential, reducing it to something banal …