Essays

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Unconditional Positive Regard

Being Loved for Who You Are

Conditional love promises the child love, but dangles it before its eyes like the carrot and stick before a donkey until it meets the right ‘conditions’. Conditional love threatens with “the withdrawal of love when [the child] does not obey”, a powerful weapon in the hands of parents to make the child exhibit desired behavior.1

As a consequence thereof,...

The Myth of Violence in the Media

The Only Way to Learn Violence Is by First Experiencing It Yourself as a Victim

The deadly assaults American teenagers committed against their classmates, such as Kip Kinkel at Thurston High School, and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine, shocked many in the Western world and outside. Each time after such tragedies, we lean in great detail about the shooters’ personal lives, but the true motives, as well as the true causes for those motives, often remain meticulously hidden from public view.

The Darkness at the Bottom of the Soul

Understanding the Four Mechanisms that Drive People to Suicide

At some point in our lives, we may all experience a minor depression, for example after a death in the family, or when we fail to pass an exam. To most people, a light depression is short-lived, but victims of child maltreatment can suffer negative thoughts about themselves, others and the world around them a whole life long. Without professional help, they can’t heal.

The Will to Meaning

Who, after All, Moves Whom First, Man or His Reality?

“What is the meaning of life?” That question is wrong, because life doesn’t have meaning. Life is meaning. Moreover, a meaning in life isn’t something you claim for yourself, but that which you grant others. Life grants the universe its meaning. We create meaning by making room for meaning. Meaning fights a counter force it must push away—a counter-meaning. Life is that pushing force.

The fact that life is meaningful suggests a free will...

On the Matter of Earliest Memories

By Vincent van Gogh

Great Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci once recollected a childhood memory from the first year of his life. From the Codex Atlanticus,

“It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the kite [a bird], for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a kite came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail

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Permissionless Culture

How Decentralized Technology Will Forever Change the Way We See Art

Painting by Piet mondrian

After literature and music, fine art remains a last bastion of cultural elitism. Arguably, the centralization of paintings and sculptures by the world’s best artists in private collections has robbed society of emotional growth. How much longer will we tolerate this egotistical crime against humanity? Today, emerging internet technologies not only enable permissionless innovation, but also provide tools for people to both create and copy culture in ways that cannot be censored. Like a Beethoven...

Why Pegida Exists

Root of Evil, or Response to Self-Hatred?

Imagine, hypothetically speaking, that in the near future all native German women would give birth to four children per woman, even though they knew they could only raise and educate two of them. Perforce, because German society could no longer provide for its people, chancellor Merkel decided to send this population surplus to Turkey, for example, first as guest workers, next in the light of some kind of family reunion, and lastly as so-called refugees. The first and...

On the Purpose of Socialism

Self-Determination or Managed Freedom?

Der Rhein bei Säckingen (1864) by Hans Thoma

In On Anarchism, famed intellectual Noam Chomsky writes,

“And that’s one of the main purposes of socialism, I think: to reach a point where people have the opportunity to decide freely for themselves what their needs are, and not have the ‘choices’ forced on them by some arbitrary system of power.”1

...

The Trouble with Diversity

Diverse Societies Offer No More Stability than Monocultural Ones

Photo by AM Renault | CC BY

The historical events that gave rise to multicultural nations and cosmopolitan cities also institutionalized new and upcoming forms of social oppression, notably racism. Since people can never change their ‘race’—unlike their religion or nationality—racial discrimination both corners its victims and persecutes their offspring. But in the globalizing West, the public preoccupation with racial inequality obscures an undercurrent of failing multiculturalism. The West is in a...

On Language Versus Metaphor

Ohhh ... Alright ... (1964) by Roy Liechtenstein

Similar to the chicken or egg problem, which came first, language or metaphor? The classic book Metaphors We Live By (1980) by Lakoff and Johnson explores how metaphors shape our understanding of the world, because they help us understand one thing in terms of another. The authors provide many examples, such as Time is Money or Life is Hard. But they do not explore the origin of metaphors. What was the evolutionary advantage to think about the world in terms of metaphors?...