- The Alchemist
Societies and individuals obey different, sometimes conflicting, moral systems.
- The Nature of Privilege
Privilege is less about perks you receive than about problems you don't have.
- Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Debt has been transformed from something that ties us together into something that isolates and alienates us.
- The House of Medici
Sometimes, it is better to be influential than powerful.
- The Drunkard’s Walk
We’re naturally poor judges of probability. Correcting our flawed intuitions about chance would leave us feeling less guilty, more grateful, and generally happier.
Information wants to be promiscuous.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
A lot has changed since humans first settled down, but some basic things about who and what we are have not.
- The Forever War
For many returning from war, they might as well be returning to another planet.
- The Three Languages of Politics
The language we use to talk about politics works unconsciously to make up our minds for us.
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects
The future will be a lot like the present, only more.
- Throne of the Crescent Moon
Good fiction can transport you from your own time and place; better fiction can dislodge you from your own culture, as well.
- The Overview Effect
A literal new perspective can lead us to a figurative one.
On the occasion of my 28th birthday.
- Navigating Stuckness
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
- The Politics of Worry
In debates over whether or not we should have the freedom to choose something, we suffer from forgetting that there's a third option: the freedom from having to choose.
- The House I Live In
When a system persists despite repeated failure at its stated purpose, look at what it actually succeeds in doing to understand why it's allowed to endure.
- The Left Hand of Darkness
You can learn a lot from what makes you uncomfortable, if you can just get over that discomfort.
- Invisible Cities
A collection of fantastical descriptions of imaginary cities can nonetheless tell us the truth about ourselves.
- The Shock Doctrine
The most nefarious looters in the aftermath of a disaster are sometimes the policymakers responding to it.
- A Confluence of Desires
Simply making a list of the things you’d like to change about your life can be remarkably cathartic and show you some patterns to make achieving them less daunting.