Assuming Positive Intent

Context: Multiple friends of mine have recently (independently) reported to me that they feel like they’re under conversational attack. Multiple friends have also independently told me that they are »

Dive in

I often bump into people who want to do something big, interesting, or important, but who utterly lack the ability to commit themselves to a particular action (often because they »

Deliberate Once

Here's a question I get asked pretty regularly: OK, I'm sold on this whole "do the best you can" thing, but how do you actually commit? When I look at »

Conviction without self-deception

"Believe in yourself" is perhaps the most common trope to be found in self-help books and motivational texts. It appears in fiction (especially children's books), film (especially sports films), and »

You're allowed to be inconsistent

I often see friends run into a failure mode I call "false consistency," especially in the Effective Altruism and Rationality circles, where consistency is an important virtue. The False Consistency »

Conclusion of the Replacing Guilt series

Today marks the end of my series on replacing guilt (table of contents). I began the series by discussing the "restless guilt," that people feel when some part of them »

How we will be measured

After nearly a year of writing, my "replacing guilt" sequence is coming to a close. I have just one more thing to say on the subject, by pointing out a »


The third dubious virtue is defiance. As with the other dubious virtues, it can get you into trouble. Remember the law of equal and opposite advice. Used correctly, it can »