You’re an avid reader. You clicked on this because you read a ton of philosophy, yet still feel guilty about being a bad person.
Don’t worry — we’ve all been there.
Being knowledgeable about philosophy doesn’t necessarily translate into great emotional intelligence. When faced with stressful situations, our vices tend to win over our virtues.
In this article, I’ll start by using a real-life example to illustrate how confrontations with someone can still cause your emotional reactions to go haywire — despite having read a considerable amount of Stoic philosophy.
Next, you will learn about reconciling between the internal conflicts…
In 1843, Karl Marx wrote that “religion is the opium of the people”. Now in a secular and individualistic society, ‘self-improvement’ is the new opium of the masses, replacing religion.
By nature, human beings evolved a drive to fill times of boredom with as much productive activity as possible. In modern times, however, this tendency has been exacerbated to the dangerous extreme, with cases of depression skyrocketing — often the reason being that one feels as if one is a ‘failure’.
However, by examining the writings of Freud, Zizek, Foucault, and Camus, the reader will soon understand how the drive…
Severe PMS is a significant handicap for me. For half a month, I can wake up at 4 AM to type more than 7,000 words a day, and it doesn’t feel like work. I cram in as much research, writing, editing, and organizational duties as I can during that period because I know I’ll crash for the other half of the month.
On the happiest times of the month, vulnerability feels like strength. In contrast, during the sadder times of the month, I regret ever coming out as a writer in the first place.
Usually, I am proud of myself…
Today I realized I was wrong about everything.
Previously, I used to internalize the philosophy of, “Be obsessed — or be average.” I believed that an unnatural tenacity required someone to be a master at their craft.
I was also personally motivated due to wanting to beat some people I know. I thought, if I proved what I could do to these people who hurt me in the past, I could finally get over them.
I became obsessive about my projects to an unhealthy extent. I forced myself to keep working until late at night. This does not guarantee productivity…
In August 1563, writer and member of the Bordeaux Parlement, Étienne de La Boétie, died of a stomach illness. La Boétie’s death — him being Montaigne’s best friend — haunted Montaigne for the rest of his life. The Essays contained expressions of longing for his old companion.
Not a physical death, but a spiritual one. Out of nowhere, he told me one night that he was sick of me, he couldn’t bear the thought of me, I suffocate him, and that my very existence brought him so much pain.
Caught off guard, I was at a loss for words. He…
We’ve seen it all. Thomas Frank, Ali Abdaal, Matt D’Avella, Improvement Pill, Motivation Madness — the list seems endless. There’s whole market for self-help content proliferating on YouTube, bookstores, online articles, and literally anywhere else you can read or consume content.
Just like how charity exists to cover up the consequences of capitalism, self-help gurus are now creating content on how to balance your life in response to their audience’s burnout. The burnout, of course, results from the endless motivation and drive to be productive — values hailed divine by the gurus themselves.
In response to the burnout epidemic —…
I’ve been feeling like a tremendous pile of shit.
I come from a small town in Indonesia, and COVID-19 cases are pretty rampant here. In fact, they seem to be getting worse by the hour. All my friends are online, and not seeing another human being — apart from my mother and sister — for so long is bound to take a toll on anyone.
I’ve never met my best friend in real life. We met online and the closest interaction we have is calls. To meet him would mean driving ten hours to the capital city — which I…
The thing about other people disliking you — even if their thoughts have every bit of power over your life as a man minding his own business on the other side of the planet — is that they feel like real threats.
You intellectually know that these people cannot harm you, no matter what they think of you. Yet strangely, you cannot help but to concern yourself with other people’s thoughts — thereby inflicting real harm by lowering the quality of your life.
These emotional reactions to false threats are due to interpersonal conflicts inciting the same biochemical pathways as…
Thomas Erikson’s best quote from the book is one that summarizes the premise of Surrounded by Idiots in a nutshell:
“The most important lesson that you can walk away with is that the idiots who surround you are, in fact, not idiots at all. Instead, they are individuals worthy of respect, understanding, and being valued.”
What I like about the book—though there weren’t many things I liked, as we shall see — is that Erikson makes some great points about human nature in general. In relation to explaining condescending behavior towards those different from us, he wrote:
“At the heart…
We’ve all been there. I regretted buying a ludicrous amount of stuff I don’t even need. What sucks is that it isn’t just me. As a society, we normalize excessive consumerist behavior — it keeps the economy running.
When we get home from our shopping spree, we realize that the item’s actual value doesn’t compare to how it looks under meticulously planned lighting and display racks. After getting home, the item that used to bring you joy when you first bought them now becomes an inconvenience. Where do I even store this?
Seeing how tedious it is not only to…