How to Win at Monopoly and Life

One of the more important life lessons I learned as a kid was from the game Monopoly. The way to consistently win at Monopoly is embracing mutually-beneficial trades. Monopoly is all about trading. Human society is all about trading. You start trading early and aggressively work to make a trade. However, you do not attempt to get the best possible trade. You never try to take the other person for all you can. Think from their perspective and get creative to try to get them what they want. In Monopoly…

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Coronavirus Lockdowns have Worked in Trump’s Favor

With the coronavirus lockdowns in place, most of our political interactions are now conducted online where we are able to disconnect from the humanity of the situation. We are able to forget that these are real people we’re talking to with real feelings. We rarely have real discussions online. We have meme-battles and mic drops but we don’t actually talk to each other, even though the capacity to do so is right there in front of us. This is a perfect environment for Trump supporters. They know how to post…

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The Abrasive “Defund” Term is a Result of the Police Using Abrasive Terms

The term “defund the police” does sound aggressive and abrasive. I’ve decided to start using the term “re-invent crime prevention” or something like that – I haven’t quite decided. But remember again where we’re coming from. The police use terminology like “war on crime” or “war on drugs”. But we all know when we say “war on crime” what we really mean is a war on street crimes. We’re not talking about wage theft, embezzlement, environmental damage or any of the crimes rich people commit. Same is true for the…

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I Want a New Way of Looking at Law and Order

I personally will not be satisfied until we have a new way of looking at law and order. It’s not just about banning choke-holds or prosecuting a few bad cops. I want a system based on real mental health science. I want one that recognizes that showing criminals compassion and allowing them basic human dignity is going to push them to a productive life much more effectively than threatening them. I want a system that puts counselors and interventionists first and guns and prisons second. This will reduce crime, increase…

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The Importance of the Baker’s Dozen

I bought a dozen donut holes last night. I could swear I ate five, then my roommate told me she ate one, but the next day there were seven in the bag. This reminded me of when I was very young and my dad explained the concept of a baker’s dozen: it’s about doing that little extra beyond what you promised to ensure no one gets mad at you and to ensure that next time they have an urge for a donut they think of you. This concept works metaphorically…

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The first time I heard a conservative republican speech…

Sorry everyone about the violent subject here. The first time I heard a conservative republican speech, I was in sixth grade. My teacher had just found out two of the students were gay and sexually active. He called everyone together to tell us, and gave an impassioned speech about respect, rules, order, discipline, knowing your place, and all those conservative republican values. I remember it making a lot of sense to me at the time. The next day a bunch of kids dragged those two boys out into the field,…

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Blame Yourself if Someone Lies to You

If someone is lying to me, I like to look at myself instead of blaming them. It’s counter-intuitive but very advantageous. Don’t focus on what might be wrong with them, which you can’t control. Instead, focus on what you can do to make them more comfortable. Think about how you react to what they say and what they might be thinking as a result. People often lie because they don’t trust us to be compassionate. If we show people that we will be kind and caring regardless of the horrible…

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Will Jeff Bezos also Revolutionize Schools?

When Jeff Bezos revolutionized retail and shipping, he did it by giving the power over to the customer and then making himself valuable to us. People don’t remember how time-consuming, manipulative and degrading the retail experience was before Amazon. When he revolutionized the publishing industry, he did it by handing the power over to the authors and readers, then making himself valuable to us. People don’t remember how locked-down, censored and controlled the publishing industry was before Amazon. The old publishing companies didn’t even want readers to be allowed to…

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Trump is Working for Communists

If you look at the Trump administration’s choices, it all seems perfectly designed to make capitalism appear evil, democracy look stupid and communism look more inviting than ever before. Look at Trump’s complete disregard for rule of law while claiming to be the president of law and order, his relentless attacks on the constitution, his choice of words that always seem deliberately designed to offend the maximum number of people, his attempts to destroy our post office and the public parks. Children in cages. Coronavirus denial. Tear gassing for a…

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Trump has Been Sued 400 times by ACLU

The Trump administration has been sued by the ACLU over 400 times. Trump is not an idiot. You don’t get sued by the ACLU 400 times because you are dumb and don’t understand the law. The Trump administration has been sued 400 times by the ACLU because they’ve deliberately and knowingly declared war on our constitution, declared war on democracy and declared war on common human decency.

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Why I’m a Space Nerd

The best reason to be a space nerd is compassion for the unknown millions of people who are suffering because they don’t have access to the vaccines, therapies, artificial organs, and other medical treatments that can only be developed, implemented, or manufactured in low gravity. But you may also like how the space industry improves the technology of practically all the tools we use to make our lives better on a daily basis, from refrigerators, air conditioners, cars, airplanes, computers. You name it. You may also want some ultra-high speed…

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The Psychology of Make Liberals Cry Again

A year or two ago I wound up eating dinner with a guy who was wearing a hat that said “Trump 2020: Make liberals cry again”. It was interesting to think of the kind of mentality he must have to sit across at dinner with someone while wearing a hat openly declaring hatred for that person while pretending to be nice and respectful. His motivation for supporting a political candidate was literally to cause other Americans to suffer and cry. It wasn’t about disagreeing on religion or economics or other…

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