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Life & Philosophy Psychology

Medicating off the placebo

If you want to instantly feel better, step into a hospital. The placebo works every time. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Hospitals can make the healthy feel a bit ill. Does anyone like hanging out in hospitals? Placebo is a mere expectation. It helps only because we think it helps. But that psychological boon could […]

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Life & Philosophy Psychology Science

Placebos: the lies we make true

What the mind believes, the body can achieve. Look no further than a placebo who’s sole power is in its real effects. If it’s broken, only then do you fix it. But placebos work just as an app’s colors dupe the brain into submission. The slightest taste of sugar helps the medicine go down. The […]

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Arts Creativity Life & Philosophy

The placebo effect of a good luck charm

NASA engineers eat peanuts before every launch as a lucky charm. Picasso held on to his fingernail clippings to maintain his spiritual “essence.” You can more read about artists and their peculiar amulets in Ellen Weinstein’s new book Recipes for Good Luck: The Superstitions, Rituals, and Practices of Extraordinary People. Why do some creators hold […]

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Culture Politics & Society

The bullshit detector

You know it when you see it. Bullshit rings like a magic lantern, giving artificiality a spotlight. More people are susceptible to believing bullshit than ever. Politics is mostly bullshit, as is mass marketing. The irrational tries to take all the mystery out of life. When storytelling becomes manipulation, people lose their heads. Evil spreads […]

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Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to stem the fright

The actor slips over their words; the violinist freezes mid-song; the shortstop misses an easy grounder. Mistakes happen, no matter the expert. But how many errors are due to overthinking? We worry as a preventative, living through hyperbole in our heads before experiencing any such horror in real life. Dizziness of anxiety indicates a lack […]

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Looking for aim and purpose

Persistence is the key that separates the professional from the hobbyist. The professional does three things He sticks to a strict schedule He completes the work, no matter the circumstances He progresses, listening to feedback and strengthening his weak points The professional devours aim and purpose. He is ok with banal routines as a means […]

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Life & Philosophy Psychology

Hopium

Hope is not a strategy. Hope is a selfish emotion — we look it to bolster our well-being. Hope, it is convenient. It’s the nearest dopamine hit in a crowd of external placebos. But hope is sometimes all we have. It never capitulates. The reality is that good things happen — they just take time […]

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Creativity Life & Philosophy Social Media

The only reassurance you need

We treat fame and social media status like currency. We presuppose that anonymity or a lack of engagement trivializes what we do. Even worse, we let TV and Instagram determine our self-worth. But what and who matters is rarely popular. No one wants to pull back the curtain and see the sweat and tears of […]

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Daily Prompts Life & Philosophy Poetry

The effect of expectation

The placebo creates a ceremony of expectation. It builds off novelty and reinvigorates confidence in the possibility of recovery. We all fall victim to the soft mental implantation of a placebo, the oldest medicine in the world. One simple belief kickstarts a chemical revolution. But in reality, the answer just needed to be poked from dormancy. […]

Categories
Life & Philosophy

The irrationality stick

Irrationality runs rampant, pervading every human that dare unthink its power.  Call it karma. Call it branding. Call it exuberance. Absurdity’s long-term effect attrits the reality of facts. What is progress in a sea of lies? The perception of truth arises from the visceral to keep the falsities at bay. But like any other placebo, […]