Tag Archives: happiness

The Exercise

“Let’s do an exercise,” my husband says. It is something he last did 20 years ago, at Harvard; this is the piece he wrote about it at the time. Dinner is over. Our friend Musa, the scientist, says that he thinks he has heard of this exercise. Tonight, the conversation has ranged from Neal Stephenson’s…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

How much money is enough?

By Mario Meyer Aristotle, in The Nicomachean Ethics, makes the following assertion: “The life of money-making is one undertaken by compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.” One of the intractable questions of moral philosophy is the question of…

12 Comments Continue Reading →

Homo and Gyna Consumens

One of the most perspicacious social theorists of our time, Zygmunt Bauman, has given us a compelling, if not wholly original sketch of the contemporary consumer, or what he calls “Homo consumens”. I prefer to add “Gyna” (woman) to “Homo” (man), not only for feminist reasons of representing all the members of the human race,…

27 Comments Continue Reading →

Poverty, empty hands, little smiles

Wooosshh! I upended the large bin and hundreds of colourful Lego-like blocks and bally-shaped thingies scattered across the floor in front of the delighted Chinese four-year-olds that I am currently teaching. The floor was now a rainbow that had come crashing and splintering down from the heavens. “Pick up the green,” I roared, “the green,…

10 Comments Continue Reading →