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Column & chat

Today’s column — the whole thing — is online here. And this week’s chat is here as well — my apologies for not posting it earlier.

Last week turned into a work-at-homeathon, as whenever my allergies took a break from beating me up, my stomach problems took over the job. However, this week features both Rosh Hashanah and the Ig Nobel festivities, so style palettes will abound!

Chat today

I’ll be chatting today from noon-1pm EST here. Come by and join the fun, or read the transcript afterward.

Sorry for the radio silence around here. I got hit with a bit of a bug earlier this week. Now I’m playing catchup in the rest of my life, so it may yet be a day or two before regular posting resumes. In the meantime, here’s a mysterious picture to whet your appetite. What is this ghostly place? Who is that figure in the mirror? What does that television prefigure?

Stay tuned …

Chat today

I’ll be doing a live chat today from noon-1pm EST here. If you’ve never logged in for a live chat before, join us! They’re fun. And if you can’t make it at noon, you can always read the transcript later.

Regular chatters know that the chats aren’t just about me solving problems, they’re about all of us untying social knots together. Thinking with other people helps you think better — and, interestingly, it looks as though thinking for other people can help you think better, too. According to a summary on the British Psychological Association blog,

The next time you’re struggling to solve a creative problem, try solving it for someone else. According to Evan Polman and Kyle Emich, we’re more capable of mental novelty when thinking on behalf of strangers than for ourselves.

Have you ever done this? I have. Sometimes when I have a problem, I think, “How would Miss Conduct tell a reader to solve this?” It usually works, too. Miss Conduct gives good advice, although sometimes it’s mighty hard to follow.