Author Archives: N.S. Palmer

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.

Freedom Means Responsibility

My first summer job in high school was as a copy boy for The Indianapolis Star newspaper. Yes, it was so long ago that we were called copy “boys” and nobody got triggered about sexism or patriarchy. Every morning when … Continue reading

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Why Are People So Mean on the Internet?

(Originally written for The Jewish Journal, published on August 16, 2016.) Why are people so mean on the Internet? Political polarization is sad, but it’s not the problem. Every day, we encounter people who disagree with us, but we do … Continue reading

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A Moment from the Middle Ages

Let’s consider a moment from the Middle Ages. Of course, people in the Middle Ages didn’t think they were living in “the Middle Ages.” That term was invented during the Renaissance to denote the era between Late Antiquity (after the … Continue reading

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A Pop Quiz About Government

We’ve got a pop quiz today, kids. But don’t worry: There’s only one question, and it’s multiple-guess. The authors of the U.S. Constitution were greatly influenced by a book called The Spirit of the Laws. It said there were three … Continue reading

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Are You Swimming or Treading Water?

Are you swimming, or are you just treading water? If you’re swimming, then you’re going someplace. If you’re treading water, then you’re just waiting to drown. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that waiting to die is a good … Continue reading

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Don’t Be Misled by Biased News

Note: With a presidential election coming up, the news media are full of misleading headlines, biased reporting, and less often, outright lies. Here’s how to avoid some of the most common traps. (Originally posted on my other blog in 2018.) … Continue reading

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You Are Not Alone

You are not alone. Trust me on that. Right now, someone who loves you is thinking about you. Wondering if you’re all right. Wondering if you’re happy or sad. Wondering if now is a good time to give you a … Continue reading

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Prevent Suicide But Don’t Miss The Point

You might not know it — I didn’t, until a couple days ago — but September is National Suicide Prevention Month. It’s a good cause, but focusing on suicide risks missing the point. The suicide is only the final act … Continue reading

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You Are Responsible for You

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was a poor boy from Illinois who became one of America’s greatest presidents. He was not a perfect person. He failed often, but he never let it stop him. He kept on going. And whether he failed … Continue reading

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Get Happier: Read The Bee

If you’re not reading The Babylon Bee, you should be. Along the same lines as my July 28th blog post “Normies Don’t Care About Ideology” (but funny), The Bee today published this article: “Get A Load Of This Ignorant Moron Who … Continue reading

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