The worst ideas of 2012

My Guardian column is taking a one-week seasonal break this week. (I hope it's having fun and getting drunk, wherever it is. Me, I'm working.) But I did write the introduction to Guardian Weekend's Worst Ideas of 2012 special edition, and contributed one of the "worst ideas": the predilection among politicians, and the rest of us, for ignoring reality.

Meanwhile, here's a short remembrance of Susan Jeffers (third item down), author of Embracing Uncertainty and Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, which I was very pleased to be asked to contribute to the New York Times magazine's annual 'The Lives They Lived' edition. Jeffers's works are subversive, anti-positive-thinking texts masquerading as conventional self-help books – and they're all about not ignoring reality. They're well worth reading.

Oliver Burkeman I'm a writer for The Guardian based in Brooklyn, New York. My new book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking explores the upsides of negativity, uncertainty, failure and imperfection. Each week in This Column Will Change Your Life I write about social psychology, self-help culture, productivity and the science of happiness, and make unprovoked attacks on The Secret.

I also blog about things for Guardian US and write a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. Hello.

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