Alain de Botton: ‘Cynics are only idealists with awkwardly high standards’

“…a decision to avoid people shouldn’t imply that one has no desire whatever for company. It may simply reflect a dissatisfaction with what is available. Cynics are only idealists with awkwardly high standards. In Chamfort’s words: ‘It is sometimes said of a man who lives alone that he does not like society. This is like […]


‘Writing a book is like telling a joke…’

Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to know whether or not it was funny. Alain de Botton True, books can’t be instantly graded like a Tweet. But giving a book at least two years of work enables the author to go deeper and explore the magic wand […]

Alain de Botton — A School of Life for Atheists

On the latest On Being podcast with Krista Tippett, philosopher and best-selling author Alain de Botton talks about his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. Alain de Botton is an atheist, but his perspective on religion is far more complicated. Instead of debunking religion in thinking that all […]

We’re all weird

Inspired by Alain de Button’s tweet, below is a collection of highlights of the word weird from Seth Godin’s 2011 book, We’re All Weird. Weird by choice, on the other hand, flies in the face of the culture of mass and the checklist of normal. The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo […]

Alain de Botton on Fusing Ancient Greek Wisdom with Modern Capitalism

What we’re seeing today is the fusion of Ancient Greek philosophy and modern philosophy into daily business life. Technology companies like Facebook exist for the purpose of solving the human desire to connect with others. “Facebook is a psychological need to solve loneliness.” AirBnB exists to deliver “happy travel,” not just deliver on the false […]

Newsletter # 62: Air Jordans, Teju Cole’s “Open City,” and Alain de Botton on How Philosophy Can Change Your Life

Arts & Culture Why We Look Down on People Who Don’t Earn Very Much A hitman makes a lot of money because there’s few people that can do the job. Meanwhile, craftspeople and teachers get paid little. Instead of judging people by their salaries, we should judge them by their contribution to society. Art helps […]

‘The map is not the territory,’ Alain de Botton’s Atheism, Seth Godin on social media, NEW beats and more

Read of the week: ‘The map is not the territory’ Scroll down to hear the tracks of the week 🔻 Arts & Culture Start before you’re ready Inspiration can be a distraction. Producing something original requires concentration and distance. Roger Smith is a watchmaker at Hodinkee on the remote Isle of Man, far away from Switzerland and […]

Newsletter: The end of theory 🤔

Hi everyone, below is a list of links worth checking out this week. web gems “Marketing is knowing how to communicate what’s special about what you’ve made to the right people.” In this video, author Ryan Holiday explains why artists should take responsibility for both making and marketing their own work. Creative side = business […]

Alain de Botton: Art for Life’s Sake

I would argue that art matters for therapeutic reasons. It is a medium uniquely well suited to helping us with some of the troubles of inner life: our desire for material things, our fear of the unknown, our longing for love, our need for hope. Art is more than what you see. It’s visceral.