The Diderot Effect: why we buy things we don’t need

Did you really need everything you bought? Except if you are one of the most extreme minimalists out there, the answer is likely to be: probably not. Even so, we keep on buying new products, upgrading to the latest version, and filling our lives with possessions we don’t need. That’s the Diderot Effect at play: …

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Sophrosyne: the art of mindful moderation

From the doctrines of Confucianism to the cardinal virtues of Christianism, modern humanity has always sought to define the most desirable traits of mind and character. For the ancient Greeks, sophrosyne was an important concept describing a sound mind and an excellent character—a combination of moderation, self-control, and temperance. In today’s chaotic world, this ancient …

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The genetics of happiness: does happiness really depend upon ourselves?

“Happiness depends upon ourselves” is a quote often attributed to Aristotle. It is supposedly up to the individual to create their own happiness. Throughout the centuries, people have spent lots of time, energy, and money in the quest for happiness. Today, billions are being spent on self-help books, aromatherapy, coaches, and even mood-enhancing crystals, all …

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