An Index of my Medium Articles

I’ve indexed my posts by topic below so you can dive into my writing without endlessly scrolling on my profile page.

I believe that the wisdom that comes with the study of philosophy, culture and history can help you live a better life. If I can help you, or if you can help me help others, drop me a line:


I’ve written lots on philosophy. This subject is my number one passion. …

The biggest questions and an attempt to answer them.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

What’s the meaning of life?
This is the wrong question to ask. It’s like asking “what’s the meaning of water?” So there’s no meaning to life, because life can’t have a meaning. But you can live a meaningful life. What meaning you give your life is not only up to you, it’s what you have to live with.

What’s the best philosophy for life?
The best philosophy for life is your own philosophy for life. Take inspiration from others, but make your own way for yourself, don’t mindlessly follow a pack.

Should I have children? For me, this is the…

How uncertainty may be its own cure

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

“I think the people of this country have had enough of experts.”

So said a British government minister on the eve of Brexit. The minister in question was an architect of the so-far-so-bad act of self-harm that the British public brought on itself, despite warnings from experts.

The break with Europe was the long-fought-for victory for the so-called “Euroskeptics”. This formerly fringe coalition of nationalists and libertarians gained mainstream traction as Britain became mired in economic and political crises from 2008 onwards.

We’re now at peak skepticism it seems. It leaves society pallid with the sickness of wilful ignorance. A…

No Yoga Mat Necessary

The Downward Dog. Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Yoga is not sunset asanas on Bali beaches, nor is it retired ballerinas in $100 leggings scratching their heads with their toes.

Yoga is a practical way to sharpen your mental health whilst building strength, flexibility and balance. You don’t have to be a yogi to reap the benefits either. Simple sequences can help us counteract the forces of modern life that pull our body and mind out of shape.

During the pandemic many of us have been desk-bound at home. We’ve been called on to improvise our working environment while juggling working with all the other stresses of isolation…

The idea of a “medium” is that it’s a carrier for something else. Like a canvas on which you paint, it shouldn’t be visible. Blood is a medium too. If you notice it, something is very wrong.

And yet Medium’s tribulations have bled all over the platform, culminating in a clutch of news articles in the last 24 hours. As a Medium reader and writer I feel invested, and a little annoyed by the snarkiness of some of the coverage, which belittles Medium’s championing of ordinary bloggers.

Readers like me, who hand over $5 a month, will not be surprised…

Will You Give Birth to a Dancing Star?

Nietzsche wrote: “It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope. His soil is rich enough for it. But this soil will one day be poor and weak; no longer will a high tree be able to grow from it.” Painting: Vincent Van Gogh, ‘The Sower (After Millet)’, 1888 (Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia)

Why do things change?

It’s an odd question, isn’t it? But it’s also an oddly obvious question to ask. Most people would understand change to be a fact of life that we’d never hope to understand. But if we come somewhere towards a theory of why things change, we may come close to how change can be harnessed positively.

Why things change has been a matter of speculation for thinkers since the beginning of western philosophy. Parmenides (born circa 515 BCE) believed that change is an illusion, that all things are one and the same. …

It’s not what you write, it’s the way you write it

Photo by shahin khalaji on Unsplash

Eloquence. What a beautiful word. Here’s how to achieve it as a writer.

The problem most novice writers have is as follows. You’re a hive of ideas and energy, you want to write about what you love. Who doesn’t? But you’re failing at something because the readers aren’t arriving. Your hard work, your great idea, and, most importantly, your passion isn’t being received. Nobody reads, nobody comments, nobody seems to care.

What’s happening? Well, the question should be “What’s not happening?” The answer is usually “eloquence.”

Steve Martin joked, “Some people have a way with words, other people do not…

Photo by Alicia Razuri on Unsplash

So this is interesting.

Another article about the “Stoicism” of a historical figure. Fine, whatever floats people’s boats. Each to their own.

Then read the comments and things explode. This dead pale male, as significant as he was, wasn’t the most exemplary human being to make a representative of philosophy.

The “hero” of this story, “Josh 12”, points out in the comments that Jefferson hypocritically ignored his own “life advice” in the article.

Then Josh gets to the main point: It’s better to read the philosophy itself than to put people on pedestals as exemplifying a philosophy:

“I’d rather go…

Photo by ARTHUR YAO on Unsplash

This is a great read by Erik Brown about striving. Erik examines the Japanese concept of Dō, the progress of an art, which hones not just the object of your craft but also your own soul. Getting better slowly, methodically, and fastidiously is underrated — much to our detriment.

We all want it easy, don’t we? Wishful thinking is a humongous industry. Self-help gurus thrive in the chasm between our aspirations and our lazy reality in an instant gratification culture. The fact is that what we really desire, deep down, isn’t the outcome, but the journey.

Dō, Erik tells us…

It was a Powerful Experience

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What do you write to yourself in ten years?

I was suddenly choked. Blood rushed to my fingers. My hands felt heavy over the keys. What to type?

It’s difficult to convey how powerful the experience was. I write emails every day — dozens in a work day. But not all emails are created equally.

I had recently stumbled on a new feature on Gmail that you can schedule emails. I’m a frequent self-emailer. My inbox is always open, and it’s easy to send yourself files and reminders that you can pick up elsewhere. …

Steven Gambardella

The lessons of philosophy and history, their practical benefits for your life and work. Feel free to get in touch:

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