I had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Haidt on Monday at the RSA. Haidt, as you all know, wrote The Happiness Hypothesis, which really inspired me. I gave him a copy of my new book, so if you see it in a bin near the Strand, it’s yours! Haidt’s own new book is called The Read more…

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The New Inquiry has a great piece asking if TED has jumped the shark: So many of the TED talks take on the form of those famous patent medicine tonic cure-all pitches of previous centuries, as though they must convince you not through the content of what’s being said but through the hyper-engaging style of Read more…

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You’d think philosophy was in quite a healthy state, considering the growing number of popular philosophy books, clubs, debating events, podcasts, evening schools and festivals in our culture. And yet, at the level of schools and universities, the picture is quite different. At A-Level in 2010, the subject attracted a mere 1.1% of students – Read more…

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This is an interview I did way back in 2002, with Kalle Lasn, the founder of Adbusters, which is a Vancouver-based collective of ‘culture jammers’, the inventors of Buy Nothing Day, and the trouble-makers behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. You can read my account of Occupy London here. What was your first foray into Read more…

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In a 1961 study called Disasters and Mental Health: Therapeutic Principles Drawn From Disaster Studies, the sociologist Charles Fritz pondered: “Why do large scale disasters seem to produce such mentally healthy conditions?” Fritz noted that disasters often seemed to bring out the best in people – calm, courage, organization, interconnectedness, self-sacrifice – while these virtues Read more…

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