How our brains feed us fake news about our lives.

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Across a vast array of literary canons, many great thinkers have reminded us that our brains often interpret reality in distorted ways, turning neutral events into negative ones. There’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet who says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Then there’s Milton who writes in Paradise Lost that “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

This reminder isn’t just found in literary canons, it’s also found in both Eastern and Western philosophical texts, with the Buddha saying that “Our life is the…


Can metaphors help us understand human experiences?

Illustration by author

Like most people, I discovered the world of metaphors in English class. I must have been around 12 or 13. The teacher was Mrs. Turnbull, the text was Romeo and Juliet, and the metaphor was Juliet is the sun. Mrs. Turnbull explained that a metaphor was a linguistic device that compares two seemingly unrelated things: “ Juliet is the sun tells us how important Juliet is to Romeo — she’s as important as that celestial body that powers all life on earth.”

Metaphors Are Everywhere

For over a decade after I first came across them, I treated metaphors merely as fancy ornaments to…


Getting Started

A statistical concept that is easy to understand but easy to forget

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Here are some things I have either read, heard, or said in the past. Can you spot anything wrong with these statements?

  • A teacher laments: “When I praise my students for good work, the next time they try, they tend to be less good. When I punish my students for producing bad work, the next time they try, they tend to do much better. Therefore, punishments work but rewards do not.”
  • An aspiring athlete marvels: “Wow, yesterday my foot was really painful and I soaked it in a hot bowl of garlic-infused water, now it feels much better. …


Book Summary of “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott

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This is one of the first books about writing that I’ve read. The title, “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life”, nicely captures Anne Lamott’s philosophy on writing. “Bird by Bird” refers to her mantra that you need to do little bits of writing/work daily in order to produce something big — little birds add up! “Some Instructions on Writing and Life” expresses what idea that to write well is to live well.

This book summary is divided into the following sections:

(1) What is good writing?

(2) What writing process should I follow?

(3) What should I…


Is data privacy just for people with something to hide?

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I share my data on the internet daily, but I barely think about what I’m sharing or whether it matters. When a website invites me to read its Cookie Policy, I automatically click “I accept”. When the General Data Protection Regulation was passed in 2016, I was annoyed at the flurry of emails I got about changes to data policies. I didn’t think “Great, the government’s doing more to protect my data!”. When I found out that Google Photos provides unlimited storage, I was ecstatic and immediately used it to free space up on my iPhone. …

Ines Lee

Researcher by day; Writes & reads at bogglespace.com by night || Medium newbie; Feeling inspired.

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