Social Media And Envy

Of the many states of mind I fear–trust me, there are many precincts of my mental spaces where I fear to tread–I dread envy the most.  And a prime domain for the evocation of envy is social media: it is where, after all, your ‘friends’ and those you ‘follow’ let you know how wonderful theirContinue reading “Social Media And Envy”

Perfect Strangers: Seeing And Hearing Ourselves

Here is a familiar phenomenon: we hear an audio recording of ourselves and are surprised and perplexed to find out we are listening to a stranger; we are used to hearing our voices from the ‘inside’; but when we hear a recording, we do so from the ‘outside.’ The timbre and tone of our voiceContinue reading “Perfect Strangers: Seeing And Hearing Ourselves”

On Not Recommending One’s Choices

Recently, all too often, I catch myself saying something like the following, “I took decision X, and I have my fair share of regrets and self-congratulation about it but I would not recommend X to anyone” or “In all honesty, I couldn’t recommend that you take decision X as I did.” Or something like that:Continue reading “On Not Recommending One’s Choices”

‘Don’t Call Me A Philosopher’

I cringe, I wince, when I hear someone refer to me as a ‘philosopher.’ I never use that description for myself. Instead, I prefer locutions like, “I teach philosophy at the City University of New York”, or “I am a professor of philosophy.” This is especially the case if someone asks me, “Are you aContinue reading “‘Don’t Call Me A Philosopher’”

On Not ‘Interfering’ With Others’ Self-Conceptions

Sometimes, when I talk to friends, I hear them say things that to my ears sound like diminishments of themselves: “I don’t have the–intellectual or emotional or moral–quality X” or “I am not as good as Y when it comes to X.” They sound resigned to this self-description, this self-understanding. I think I see thingsContinue reading “On Not ‘Interfering’ With Others’ Self-Conceptions”

Evicted From The Twenty-Twenty Club

In 1998, I learned I no longer had twenty-twenty vision. This knowledge did not come to me suddenly. On a couple of occasions at work–on the open-plan office floor of an online brokerage–I noticed I could not clearly read the lettering on the ticker-tape that ran across some of the large monitors that hung from theContinue reading “Evicted From The Twenty-Twenty Club”