Tag: Academia

I Can’t Do Math…or Can I?


Math is not my subject. In high school, my average in math was lowest, although surprisingly, my highest average was in the sciences. I “got” physics, in spite of the math, because there, the math made sense. In the abstract, it sent my brain reeling. More than once, my mother had to call my math… Read more »

The Alluring Power of the Milgram Experiments, 50 Years Later


An illustration of the Milgram experiment. The infamous Milgram experiments in 1960 were loosely based on the experiments in conformity of Stanley Milgram’s mentor, Professor Solomon Asch. Since that time, similar experiments have been performed, and largely validated again and again: most recently in 2005 at Eindhoven University of Technology (this time using a robot… Read more »

Feeling My Way Home


I recently wrote about my struggles with small talk, particularly in answering questions about where I am from. As someone who is a bit of a nomad, it’s difficult for me to lay claim to a “hometown.” Including some stints in temporary accommodation, I have lived in seven residences, in six cities and three countries… Read more »

Existentialists Are Prideful And Arrogant (Just Like You)


Jacob Matham’s (ca. 1587) engraving “Pride.” One of my least favorite parts of therapist training was a deep investigation in who I am. What motivates me, what are my weaknesses and blind spots and vulnerabilities. There isn’t room enough in a blog like this to begin to list these weaknesses, and I am certain others… Read more »

The Proper Use of Tradition and Scholarly Authority


Lu Xun Quick to kindle, quick to calm down, an even quick to grow decadent, men of letters [i.e., a type of scholar] can always find reasons and precedents from the classics to justify their shifts of allegiance. (Lu Xun, 1931/2003) One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. (Nietzsche,… Read more »

Seeking Alan Watts


Aboard the Vallejo. Photo by Rick Umbaugh. The following is a (true) tall tale for existential-humanistic researchers demonstrating that not all research has to be tedious. When I first enrolled in the Alan Watts course at Saybrook University, I wasn’t too impressed by Watts. I thought he was sort of a pompous Brit lording it… Read more »

The Relationship in Academia


Photo by Tulane Public Relations. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on May 6, 2014 reported on recent research suggesting that a connection with a caring professor may be an important contributing factor to college success (Carlson, 2014). For existential psychologists, this is not surprising. There is a preponderance of evidence suggesting that… Read more »