Author Archives: N.S. Palmer

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.

What’s Your Choice?

Some people might get mad at me for saying this, but I’m against kicking puppies. I’m also against being mean to children and old people. I like democracy but I agree with Winston Churchill that “it’s the worst form of … Continue reading

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Compare and Contrast

“Compare and contrast.” It’s a staple of essay questions on college final exams. But be careful about applying it to life. Many people make themselves unhappy by comparing themselves to others who seem better off. They think that the other … Continue reading

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Facing Moral Dilemmas

What makes things moral or immoral? People have lots of different views about it. My own view is that what’s moral: maximizes human happiness, minimizes needless suffering, and avoids doing things that are almost universally considered wrong. But even if … Continue reading

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In Defense of Taylor Swift

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who think that Glenn Miller’s 1941 song “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” absolutely rocks, and those who don’t. I think that the song absolutely rocks, which explains why I don’t know much about … Continue reading

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Which Values Are Most Important?

I don’t live in a bubble. I’m lucky to have friends, family members, and loved ones who disagree strongly with some of my beliefs. That gives me perspective. Challenges to our beliefs help us in three ways: They make us … Continue reading

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Believe in the Future

Many people dismiss faith as “believing what you know isn’t true.” But that’s wrong. At its most helpful, faith is believing what might be true: We will be alive tomorrow. The future can be good. Life has meaning and purpose. … Continue reading

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Bulletproof Happiness: What You Control

You can achieve bulletproof happiness. But you need to know something first: Bulletproof vests make you look fat. In other words, there are trade offs. And you need to know something else: Bulletproof vests don’t make you invulnerable. In other … Continue reading

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