The way that most people solve problems reminds me of a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. During the trial of the Knave of Hearts, the King says “let the jury consider their verdict.” The impatient Queen interrupts and says, “No, no! Sentence first. […]
I’m a recovering outcome addict.
Since my teenage years, I’ve been chasing one outcome after the next.
The list is exhausting. Leaving Turkey and getting into a great college in the United States. Going to law school. Passing the bar exam. Finding a federal clerkship. Getting a […]
Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of the country’s most prominent African-American executives, made headlines when he quit President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council. His resignation came in response to President Trump’s attribution of blame to both sides in the violence that ensued in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Teddy Roosevelt was not your typical President. Just for fun, he would memorize obscure poetry and dense state documents and recite them on cue. He would send to Congress book-length messages, complete with graphic illustrations. During his “spare” time, he was a professional author, writing […]
Why do we fear uncertainty to a pathological degree?
Why does uncertainty get the best of us, prompt us to stay the course, and lead us to turn down promising opportunities?
These were the questions swirling through my mind as I headed to Washington, DC last week […]
Dick Fosbury couldn’t stand still.
He was rocking back and forth, wiggling his fingers, eyeing the bar from a distance, and calculating the physics of his anticipated leap, while 80,000 fans watched with held breath.
He began his confident jog toward the bar, concealing the storm brewing […]
In primary school, I didn’t have a name.
I was a number.
In Turkey, where I grew up, each student was assigned a number in first grade, not unlike how livestock are branded for identification purposes. My primary school teacher didn’t call us Ahmet or Ebru. We […]
It was one of my first conferences as a young law professor.
I offered the contrarian argument–now the subject of my forthcoming book–that sometimes democracy comes through a military coup. In these coups, what I call “democratic coups,” the military deposes a dictator and oversees […]
As I write this article, I’m sipping tea in Dublin, Ireland, thinking about Irish bathroom faucets. Specifically, I’m pondering their striking similarity to the Electoral College, the inch-pound system, space shuttle engines, and car headlights.
More on that jumble of thoughts in a minute.
We’re wrapping up […]