The Sleep Myth

How do we construct our cultural narratives?
One way, it seems, is that we look at data points in our own lives, then cast about for friends’ and families’ stories, to see if they match. Then, once we have a loose hypothesis, we look for some authoritative voice to back it up. This can be a statistic, a study, a figure like the surgeon general, etc.
Th… read more »

BNET roundup: Spousonomics

Over at BNET this week, I have two posts, one on avoiding all-or-nothing thinking, and the other is a Q&A with Paula Szuchman, one of the authors of Spousonomics. Her book argues that much of marriage can best be understood as a question of how to allocate resources: time, attention, affection, money, and so forth. Many of us don’t get our incentive… read more »

4 Questions to Ask About Your Schedule

I see from Google Analytics that we have a few new folks visiting us this week. If you’re new here, I write a lot about how we spend our time. One of the first things I ask people who claim to be “starved for time” to do is keep a time log. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that nutritionists tell you to keep track of what you’… read more »

A Tale of Two Requiems

If anyone reading this lives in New York City, I’m singing in a performance of the Brahms Requiem at Symphony Space on Friday night. Please come hear me sing!
I first learned the Requiem my senior year of college. Indeed, it was exactly 10 years ago that we started rehearsing it. I devoted a lot of time to learning the often chromatic fugues, listening to t… read more »

The Marginal Cost of Kids

Everyone knows that kids are expensive. Every year, the US Department of Agriculture publishes some high number, like $222,360, and says this is the cost to raise a child to age 18. This doesn’t even include college. No wonder, in the recession, the US birth rate has fallen quite a bit in just 2 years.
But what’s interesting is that the USDA also pu… read more »