Bookworm (but I sometimes go on real adventures) · Obsessive thinker · Inconsistent writer · “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.” — Douglas Adams

It might not feel like it, but there’s a good chance you are richer than 99% of the world.

The hedonic adaptation theory suggests that humans quickly revert to a stable level of happiness after any positive or negative life changes. For example, you might be pleased with a raise for a while, but it will soon become the new norm, wiping away any gains in happiness¹. While generally…

Can development economics move beyond its obsession with income to become truly human-centered?

Development, at its heart, is an endeavour to better the lives of humans. The pursuit of a good life has fascinated thinkers for millennia, and yet what a good life looks like is as heatedly debated today as it was in the time of Aristotle.

Most philosophers would agree on…

Photo by Brett Sayles.

My steps are measured. Casual, determined, as if I belonged here. My bag with a screaming-orange priority luggage tag betrays me. I ignore it. Head raised high, confidently, but not defiantly. I’m staring ahead, like a horse. What you can’t see won’t scare you. No, not that. I’m staring ahead…

Photo by Romualdas Požerskis.

30 years ago, my Dad taught me what freedom meant.

I remember little of that Sunday. But I can imagine it to the minute detail — the story, repeated by Mum every year, gradually changing like a Lithuanian fairy tale, is my favourite. Dad left, probably on one of those buses that transported thousands of people from every corner of…

Photo by Mitul Grover.

The world is wonderful. The world is terrible. Let’s choose again.

The world is richer, healthier, and more educated than it has ever been. In the last 150 years, we broke out of the Malthusian trap; eradicated smallpox; invented sliced bread, the automobile, the Internet, and the smartphone; and put a man on the Moon. …

Shibuya, Tokyo.

I was about to hop on a plane and start a new life in Europe. Then a global pandemic hit.

6 AM. My alarm rings. It’s Tuesday morning, and I am not going to work. So I snooze. For an hour. All’s fair in wars and pandemics.

7 AM. My alarm rings again. It’s still Tuesday. I snooze for another hour, but my well-honed sense of guilt and duty finally…

Ernesta Orlovaitė

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