Why change doesn’t happen as quickly as people always think it will

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Image credit: The New Economy

We humans are creatures of habit and the older we get the more difficult it is to change our habits. This basic fact is encapsulated in such folk expressions as “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Well, some old dogs probably can be taught new tricks but most old humans resist change quite successfully.

We seem hardwired to look back to an imaginary version of the past when everything was magically better than it is today, and the older we become the more backward-looking our notions are. Idiocies like Brexit and Trump were significantly more popular among older…

When we peel back the Star Trek fantasy layer, we find… nothing good

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Image credit: NASA

If you are of a charming, sweet, and irredeemably naïve disposition you may find the superficial ramblings of billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos not merely amusing but compelling. You may, like them, have spent a significant portion of your life staring at entertainments purporting to show humans whizzing around in space as though it were as normal as going off on a supermarket shopping trip.

Perhaps, like our aforementioned billionaires, you think the answer to chronic human self-destructiveness is to ship humans from Earth to a whole new planet on which to be equally self-destructive — only this…

Plus ça change.

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Image credit: JSTOR

There’s seemingly no end of chatter about the mythical future of life after the currently fashionable coronapanic loses its ability to generate revenues for the media and we slowly attempt to feel our way back to something vaguely resembling what we think we remember was called “normal.”

Corporate drones with impressive titles such as Director, Senior Director, Vice-President, and Senior Vice-President are all very eager to get “their” people back in the office so that the requisite amount of ego-flattering and kowtowing can resume after such a lengthy interruption.

Cubicle slaves with unimpressive titles such as Assistant to the Assistant…

Sadly, I don't think there's any market for this great product - there isn't a single Republican out there who has even the last tattered vestige of a conscience, so there's no need for the Cleaner. Now if you can concoct a Reality Capsule, there are more than 74 million people who need to have it shoved down their throats in order to enable them to reconnect with an existence not based entirely on infantile toxic lies.

A review of Toyota’s current pseudo-green trendymobile

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Image credit: Toyota Motor Company

The current Toyota Prius is in its official fourth generation, though in reality it’s actually a fifth-generation vehicle as the original petrol-electric hybrid in the line was first sold as a Japan-only model back at the end of 1997. Throughout its history the vehicle has been marketed to middle-class folk eager to do their part for the environment yet unwilling to forgo personal automotive transportation in order to do so. …

How Internet listicles can change your life to bring you love & happiness!

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Image credit: Red Lemon Club

As Medium is pretty much my only exposure to social media and as I ruthlessly dismiss stories and writers whenever they hold no interest for me, I don’t get to see most of the fluff that passes for content in our short-attention-span era. But Medium’s content recommendation algorithm seems determined to prod me to reconsider my preferences and occasionally presents for my reading delectation one of those Five Toxic Things Everyone Does articles, or Seven Behaviors That Will Bring You Love. We humans do love simple primes and our threes, fives, and sevens are apparently irresistible to a great many…

The Senate majority leader speaks on the record

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Image credit: Chicago Tribune

My fellow Americans, I’m proud to say that today we Republicans did our duty. Although we were faced with nearly insurmountable odds, we stuck to our principles and voted to acquit President Donald Trump.

As Republicans, our principles have always been and shall always be inviolate, rising above all the difficulties and challenges presented by any particular moment in time or series of events.

We are strongly conscious of our sacred duty as proud Americans to protect freedom and democracy wherever it is threatened. The freedom of wealthy and powerful white men to say and do whatever they want without…

How ecological catastrophe can be avoided with one simple fix

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Image credit: Modern Dreams

Humanity is inexorably pushing the world past the point of no return. Our carbon dioxide emissions have induced climate change. Our oceans are becoming vast wastelands denuded of all life thanks to massive factory fishing fleets. Our wilderness areas are disappearing as farmers expand their fields and the last vestiges of rainforest are being chopped down to make way for palm oil plantations. We’ve already exterminated more than 20% of all species on Earth and at current rates we’ll have eliminated another 40% of species by the middle of this decade.

But hope is not lost. By making one tiny…

How careful analysis of vital clues leads us to who really wrote all those plays and poems

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Montage by the author

As everyone with even a passing acquaintance with English literature knows, every couple of decades we’re treated to yet another book or weighty magazine article proclaiming that Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written all his plays and poetry. The author then goes on to nominate their favorite candidate for the job. The mass media, always eager for something with which to grab for a few seconds the eyeballs of the public, then promotes this story for a short while before returning to the more reliable fare of sex scandals, accidents, and whatever the fear story du jour happens to be.


Why we no longer need hordes of barbarians to come rampaging over the hill to kill us

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Image credit: NBC News

Several years ago I was working at an NIH-funded research institute that was investigating the mechanisms of aging and of age-related diseases. One research team had been looking at the effects of mild-to-moderate weight-bearing exercises on a cohort of people aged between mid-fifties to late-seventies. A regime of 30 minutes, three times per week, induced quite remarkable changes in the gene expression profiles of the experimental group, while the control group who remained largely sedentary with only daily walks as their exercise showed no changes.

The consequences of the shift in gene expression among the experimental group included improved sleep…

Allan Milne Lees

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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