Posts by Tait Colberg

Four Principles for Becoming an Adult

Here are a few ideas to consider if you are tired of the foolishness and frustrations of childhood and ready to begin a happier, healthier grown-up life. 

1. The world is complex. Your thinking should be too.

Children oversimplify the world into black and white categories: “This is the best thing ever! That is the worst thing of all time!” or “You’re my best friend forever! Now I hate you!” Adults appreciate that the world is full of subtle degrees, containing few genuinely polar opposites. The world is irreducibly complex; to oversimplify is to misrepresent, and to act upon misrepresentations is to make mistakes. We cannot settle for cartoon versions of the world simply because they are easier to handle in our heads. As the philosopher Alain de Botton once quipped: “Maturity is the confidence to have no opinions on many things.” Be slow to reach any conclusion once and for all…

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Just Because You’re Good At Something Doesn’t Mean You Can Be A Dick

Boys of all ages, including over-grown ones, often mistake technical abilities for the whole of intelligence. Possessing specialized information and narrow analytical skills, like playing complicated guitar riffs, building a tricked-out sports car, or humiliating an opponent in a vicious political debate, are perhaps the weakest measure of how “smart” a person may be.
 
At most, activities like these require opportunity and labor: first you see someone else shred on his guitar, then you get your own an axe and practice, practice, practice. Exposure, time, and effort: these are the requirements of becoming deeply knowledgeable and highly skilled in the technical sense…

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