20-something daydreamer in Cambridge, sharing things that I’m learning, living, and contemplating.

We need to change our rhetoric on ‘The Poor’.

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Photo by Bui Hoang Lien on Unsplash.

I was sitting in a seminar not too long ago, talking about the economics of education and social justice. It was part of a course on Education, Globalisation and International Development, unironically, in the University of Cambridge.

The lecturer gave us a scenario to discuss in groups. In the scenario, we were parents in a developing country, deciding how many years of education to put our children through, and what questions would factor into our decision.

After we’d gone through all the usual economic questions, and our discussion was coming to a close, I added something to my…

Our perception affects all our interactions, but is it learned or inherited?

Woman with face half covered by blue scarf.
Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash.

The ability to recognise faces is important in our everyday social interactions. There is mixed evidence on the causes of individual differences in the perception of faces.

Twin studies, and studies of people with congenital prosopagnosia (CP), support the theory that we inherit how we perceive faces. But there’s also evidence that social factors, like visual input, lead to differences in our abilities to recognise faces.

Twin Studies on Face Recognition

Evidence from twin studies suggests that we inherit differences in our ability to recognise faces.

Psychologists examine the concordance rates of pairs of twins that are either Monozygotic (MZ) or Dizygotic (DZ). …

Have you ever wondered about the mark you’ve left on other people?

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Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels.

Last week, as I was boarding the plane from Istanbul to London, a voice from behind me piped up and asked, “How are you enjoying Great Expectations?”. I turned round to see a man who was so tall he had to crouch slightly under the low aeroplane ceiling gesturing to the book in my hands.

I shrugged, “Actually, it’s pretty disappointing.”

As it turned out, we were both sat next to each other on the plane, and we launched into a discussion of books and plays we loved and hated. It turned out he didn’t really like Siddhartha, although he promised to give it another try, and he said I should really read The Overstory.

When you can, consider hiring people. You could change their lives.

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Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash.

One summer, I was sat in an air-conditioned mall in Qatar, looking through the menu of lava cakes and fondues at my favourite dessert parlour. My aunt, my uncle and myself were debating the benefits of the Belgian-chocolate covered strawberries compared to the apple and cinnamon crepes, when we were interrupted by a loud thud and a toddler’s shrill scream.

We went silent, and turned towards the source of the sound. At the table next to us, a young girl — perhaps 2 years old — had fallen off the table and onto the floor. The girl’s face was bright pink and wet with tears, and she clenched her eyes shut as she tilted her head back and howled at the ceiling. …

And, honestly, that’s just unfair.

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

Several weeks ago, my youngest sister and I were on a night train from Turkey to Bulgaria. We were on a sleeping carriage, made up of two-person rooms.

We crossed the Bulgarian border at around 3 o’clock in the morning. The Bulgarian border control came on board to collect our passports, which they would bring back half an hour later. There was a Bulgarian woman who, like the rest of us, seemed like she desperately wanted to get back to sleep. …

This new approach in psychology can help you manage them.

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Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash.

A relatively new approach in psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), uses a blend of strategies to give you more psychological flexibility. It’s been gaining an impressive amount of traction for one simple reason: it works.

One big difference in this new therapy is that it doesn’t teach you to get rid of your negative thoughts. At all.

  • How many times have you tried to get rid of your negative thoughts?
  • How many time have they just come back anyway?

That’s because negative thoughts are a part of life. Not a nice part of life, but part of it nonetheless. Our aim shouldn’t be to get rid of negative thoughts — we should address what really bothers us, and that’s the effect that they have over us. …

“When there’s a will, there’s a way.” What if there’s no ‘will’?

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Photo by Jakub Sejkora on Unsplash.

We’ve all heard that ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way’. That elusive ‘way’ is hard enough to find when there’s a will. How do we find it when, in fact, we just don’t have the will?

The perils of depression and lack of motivation

A common feature of depression is losing motivation. Depressed individuals find they’ve lost the will to do things they previously wanted to do. …

How to manage depression when you’re extroverted.

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Photo by W A T A R I on Unsplash.

Numerous studies have looked into the relationship between extroversion and depression, and found that the more extroverted a person is, the less likely they are to be depressed.

Looking around, most of us will find that the majority of depressed people we know fall onto the introverted side of the spectrum. The stereotype of the depressed person fits closely with the stereotype of the introvert: spending a lot of time alone, getting anxious around other people, and being low on energy.

Extroverted people do get depressed though. When they do, it can be difficult to manage because most support books and groups are geared towards introverts: those who most commonly get depressed. This means the advice doesn’t usually work for an extrovert, and they don’t identify with other depressed people in support groups or on forums either. …

Little-known secrets from a serial language-learner.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash.

I’ve learnt a number of languages to various degrees of fluency. I’ve used different approaches, and I’m currently using Netflix to learn Turkish. It’s one of the best ways possible to learn a language. Everything I say here is true of any other streaming platform. I use Netflix because it’s easy, it has a variety of options in different languages, and it’s easy to switch between subtitles.

Languages I get by in

My first language is English, and as well as that, I can get by in these:

I’m considered fluent in Arabic and French, and I understand around 70% of what I read and hear in Spanish and Italian. They come and go with practice. When I’m in the relevant country for a week or so, I pick them up again. …

It’s not an accident that you’re hooked on Medium.

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Photo by Grzegorz Walczak on Unsplash.

Medium was founded in 2012 by Evan Williams, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter. He has an excellent track record of getting people hooked onto social media, demonstrated through his work with Twitter, and he’s proven himself once again with Medium.

Spend enough time on this platform, and you’ll hear writers describe their relationship with Medium as addictive. It’s not surprising — it was designed to get people hooked. Here’s how.

1. Gamification

Gamification is a method of using elements of game-playing to motivate engagement from users. …

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