Don’t make eye contact

“Look at me when I’m talking to you!” we might say when trying to get through to a child we are trying to discipline.  “He looked me straight in the eye,” we might say of someone trying to sell us something.  “Keep eye contact,” we might remind ourselves in a job interview.  According to the latest research, though, eye contact can actually make it harder to win someone over. [Read more...]

Introverts strike back

The ideal in the business world, especially for corporate leaders, has been the glad-handing extrovert.  Consequently, private offices have given way to open cubicles so that everyone can mix and collaborate, even though that seldom happens.  Also, everyone has to go to brainstorming meetings, even though research has shown that the best ideas come not from groups but from individuals thinking alone.  But now a new appreciation for introverts in the workplace and in leadership positions is emerging.

Susan Cain has written a book on the subject:  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  After the jump, an interview with her about her findings.

[Read more...]

Abandoning the mentally ill

Before Charles Krauthammer became an influential conservative pundit, he was a medical doctor; specifically, a psychiatrist who worked the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital.  So what he says about Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at Washington’s Navy Yard, carries some weight. [Read more...]

Pathological generosity

In Brazil a man  suffered a stroke, whereupon he started giving away his money, giving food to street children, and being so kind to everyone that he has been diagnosed as having “pathological generosity.”  Interestingly, his condition made him lose his job as a manager for a large corporation. [Read more...]

Sexual orientation change vs. gender change

New Jersey has passed a law forbidding counseling or therapy that tries to change a minor’s sexual orientation.  But it specifically allows for counseling or therapy that tries to change a minor’s gender.  Matthew Schmitz sees a contradiction here. [Read more...]

Murder by reason of boredom

Three teenagers in Duncan, Oklahoma, shot and killed a college student from Australia just jogging by.  Why?  Because they were bored.

This happened not in some big city but in a small Oklahoma town of less than 24,000.  Boring, perhaps (speaking as a product of a small Oklahoma town).  But after the jump we see that the teens, aged 15, 16, and 17, were all involved with social media, videos, iPhones, a giant TV, and rap music.  They had lots of stimulation.  So why were they so bored, bored enough to kill?

The fact is, constant stimulation such as our entertainment technology provides INCREASES boredom.  A person gets tired of all this stuff and requires higher and higher levels of stimulation before they can have an effect.  So in this case, they got that thrill of transgression from killing someone.

The ancients considered boredom to be a dangerous spiritual condition–a deadening ungrateful insensitivity to God’s gift of existence–and it has been described as a major spiritual problem of our times.  It doesn’t always lead to murder, of course.  But it can lead to cheating on one’s spouse, abandoning one’s children, substance abuse, and soul-destroying attitudes such as ingratitude, hatred of life, and despair.  If the answer isn’t more stimulation, what’s the solution to this kind of boredom? [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X