Category Archives: Essays

Five Reasons to Embrace Your Inner Perfectionist


Recently, the people at Emotional Intelligence 2.0 posted about the 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do. As could be expected, one of the items was that they won’t “prioritize perfection”. “Human beings,” they say, “by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure.” And, with a single short paragraph, they write off perfection as something that no successful person would even consider.

It struck me as odd primarily because I can think of a dozen perfectionists off the top of my head–and they are all successful. Think about celebrity perfectionists–Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, Serena Williams. These kinds of people are extremely talented and extremely successful. And, if you ask them, their success is largely dependent upon their drive for perfection. Why would the EI people suggest that successful people aren’t perfectionists when it’s clear that at least some exude the trait?

steve_jobs_perfectionist

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In Defense of Photoshopping

August 2, 2014

Photoshop is killing our self-esteem.

At least, that is the consensus  on a growing trend throughout our media and culture: Advertising and editorials have combined to present an image of men and women—especially women—that is unrealistic, unattainable, and downright unhealthy.

The culprit? Photoshop and to some extent its users have singlehandedly distorted reality and made it impossible for girls and boys to be appealing. The photo editing software allows users—art directors and photographers alike—to remove wrinkles, cut fat, and emphasize tans, making women and men look flawless everywhere we turn. Take for instance, the image of a 55-year old Madonna. While the original shows her age, lines, and presents her as a little Smeagol, the final product is bright, vivid, and perhaps even youthful. In the original, she’s like a Gollum; in the final, she’s “Like a Virgin”.

2010.02.02-Madonna-Before-After-Retouching2010.02.02-Madonna-Before-After-Retouching

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This Book is 11,856 Pages Long

fromdawntodecadence

August 2008

After having read Jacques Barzun’s suma thirteen times, I have concluded that this book is not really 912 pages long as it appears in the product details, but rather 11,856 pages. Every time I read this masterpiece, I find new ideas and fresh material on every page. Seemingly, the book is an endless fount of intellect, culture, etiquette, morals, art, science, politics, and genius that serves as the capstone of the last era and the cornerstone for the next. Continue reading

Politics in a Social Age

crowd_2July 2004

Extremist propaganda isn’t the only place one can hear the prospect of ‘civil war’ uttered these days. It can be heard on national television by credible sources; it is mentioned somewhat casually in daily political conversation. It is as if something as horrible as civil war—perhaps the most horrible of wars—is a logical resort for the political condition we face. Continue reading