What can a 2023 refereeing controversy teach us about power dynamics?

Key Points: Authority usually comes with increased power, privilege, or pay, which leads to increased scrutiny around behavior. In some cases, however, those with soft power enjoy no accompanying perks, but are still held to a higher standard of conduct. Reactions to a recent refereeing incident in English soccer highlights this concept perfectly. Estimated reading … Read more

Is it fair to stigmatize steroid usage?

Key Points: 1. For a multitude of reasons, those who use steroids have incentives to lie about it. 2. Particularly among young people, this dishonesty skews perceptions about what type of physique can be achieved naturally, which contributes to body dysmorphia. 3. The stigma around steroid usage resembles the one around marijuana–concern about health risks … Read more

Is it better to be lucky than (a) good (person)?

Key Points: 1. Sometimes, selfish and dangerous behavior will cause harm to other people. Other times, it won’t. 2. Therefore, we should avoid judging ourselves or others based on a single action. 3. This concept forms an idea known as “moral luck.” Embracing it can help us become more empathetic and forgiving. Estimated reading time: … Read more

Do NFL fans secretly prefer socialism to capitalism?

Key Points: 1. In both the US and Europe, the most popular sport directly contradicts each region’s broadly-accepted economic models. 2. The U.S.’s favorite league, the NFL, follows many principles of economic socialism. 3. In an interesting reversal, Europe’s most-watched soccer leagues are run in an unashamedly capitalist manner. Estimated reading time: 7-14 minutes Listen … Read more

What do you do when you realize you haven’t been practicing what you preach? (Part 2)

Key Points: 1. I’ve long said that (1) fasting and (2) eating only meals, not snacks, are two of the best ways to show ourselves that hunger doesn’t need to control us. 2. This past year, I hadn’t really been taking my own advice. 3. In response, I underwent a challenging but illuminating 90-hour fasting … Read more