Posts by Eric Stephenson

Ten Reasons Why Certain Cities Thrive

The cities most likely to flourish in our increasingly competitive 21st-century world will be the ones that reflect a few simple but often ignored planning strategies. Following is a list that defines a desirable urban environment. Some cities earn more praise than others because of convenience. In a comfortable urban environment, most basic needs can be found in close proximity due to a sensible blend of commercial, community, and residential

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Ten Reasons to Avoid Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a tendency to seek out and interpret evidence that confirms one’s existing opinions while overlooking or dismissing opposing beliefs. In other words, it’s a form of applied prejudice at the expense of objectivity. Following are ten reasons to avoid confirmation bias. In group settings, carefully examining alternative viewpoints while challenging our own assumptions allows us to understand situations more accurately and thereby make better decisions. This means

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Ten Reasons to Appreciate Science

In the mid-1700s, natural phenomena were so poorly understood in the American Colonies that lightning was considered by many to be an indicator of God’s wrath. Accordingly, if lightning struck a house and caused a fire, neighbors often let the home burn to the ground because they figured this was God’s intention. Then in 1753 Ben Franklin invented the lightning rod because he rightly intuited that lightning was a buildup

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Liminal

I glide from one episode to the next, my role transfigured from scene to scene in perpetual subconscious invention until a somber beam of light paints the wall and reminds my other self of unfinished business. I rise, stiff and uncertain, remembering when, in childhood, waking life was an extension of the dream.

It’s All Good

Dennis woke up lying face-first in a field at noon. His car sat twenty feet away with the driver’s door open, engine running, and headlights on. A half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels stood upright on the ground directly between him and the car, and the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” was playing on the radio. He couldn’t remember how he had gotten there, nor could he remember what he

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The Way Things Go Sometimes

Once upon a time, I told my girlfriend she needed to move out. To my surprise, she did so that very day. I figured she’d get lonely and fearful of having to be by herself and wouldn’t be able to live without me. But instead, she got stronger and happier with every passing second. I thought to myself, “Damn, this wasn’t supposed to happen.” But then I finally just admitted that this was

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