Peter Koehler

Our New Moral Dilemmas

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice . . .

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November 28, 2015

Second Nature

Is up to you

The term second nature connotes a layer over one's "first nature."

While first nature may be immutable (a debate for another time), second nature describes behaviors, habits, and automatic responses that we can practice and learn with nothing more than intention and time.

When you google "second nature" - you find . . .

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November 02, 2015

Can vs. How Can

A mental framework

In a recent episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, the guest, Ellen Langer, describes a mental framework she recommends.

Rather than asking "can I do X?", ask yourself "how can I do X?"

She sums it up nicely:

When you ask yourself 'how do you do something?', you are bypassing your ego in some sense, you are . . .

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September 29, 2015

Sunday Roundup

What I have been reading and listening to

Here are some of the things I have been reading and listening to in the past few weeks.

I am currently reading: On The Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks
I recently finished: The Martian by Andy Weir
Before that I read: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I have been slowly browsing through: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

. . .

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September 27, 2015


The benefits of the less obvious path

Last Monday I was on multiple deadlines and in the final stages of a negotiation which was threatening to fall apart at the last minute.

I woke up and glanced at my calendar and realized I had totally forgotten about a previously scheduled lunch on my calendar with an old friend and mentor.

'Not a good day for this' I thought. Too . . .

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September 24, 2015

Ignore Most Advice

(Including this)

Trust your gut. Or make a plan backed by data. Or do a combination of both.

But don't just take someone else's word for it. Or their advice.

Six weeks ago I hiked the Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood (AKA Wy'east) with Keeley.

In order to get to the trail, we had to park at a trailhead for an offshoot path that connected to the . . .

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September 08, 2015

The Myth of Great Decision Making

In this recent interview between Tim Ferriss and General Stanley McChrystal, McChrystal articulated something that I've been thinking about lately:

"A decent decision now is better than a great decision later."

I agree. As a lifelong analyzer myself, recently I have been working on thinking less and doing more. Not eliminating . . .

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August 20, 2015