Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Perfect" Rules Are a Distracting Pipe Dream

Humans seem to constantly seek an ultimate set of never-changing rules against which all decisions can and should be made. Such a list will never exist, however, because we can't know the future and therefore can't come up with rules for every possible situation, letting alone the problem of getting agreement on the validity of such a list. Yet, we still chase this fantasy as if it's real, even reaching back into the distant past to mangle ancient texts in hopes of finding this artificial treasure we've imagined to exist. This flaw is perhaps the most damaging one that humans posses because it stops us from doing the work of taking responsibility for ourselves within a world and a universe that never stops changing.

Fool's Gold Apologies

People don't really want apologies. What is really desired is a sincere acknowledgment of a mistake or something deliberately done wrong that results in a genuine apology; the apology is only an emergent property that follows. The delivery of an apology without honest recognition of mistakes is like being given fool's gold as if it's real; both are worthless and insulting when offered. If more widely understood, this idea could be used to produce fewer lawsuits & political battles along with a wide variety of better personal relationships.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Disfigured Fetish

Fox News: Serving those with a fetish for disfigured facts.

Justify This!

Students will one day get advanced degrees studying the Ferguson affair because it seems to be a perfect example of how people can't wait for the next piece of information to be released (true or not) and figure out how to twist it to match their long-held prejudices which allows them to feel justified for holding them.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Humanity Can't Handle The Truth

We have a really awful tendency to ignore what we don't want to know, so much so that we end up with a great deal of discord and harm that we will accept over the full picture of just about anything. This includes history, when we try and pass along only a pretty picture of the past (even when it's lies), sex education (where knowledge is seen as disgusting), corporate actions (where the chain of actions behind any business always eventually leads to a massive group of people somewhere not being treated with respect), food processing (where the process of slaughter is never revealed), climate science (cherry picking and lying about isolated sections of data), religion (ignoring when a claim – all of them, really – fails), and more. We are creatures who can't handle the truth and work very hard to keep it at bay.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Treat Trolls Like Junk Mail

Article: "Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases"

This is a real problem and I think it's beginning to get increased attention. Trolling not only negatively changes attitudes when encountered, but also wastes time for people to manage by deleting and banning people. I suspect that more attention will be paid to creating automated filters to ban trolls and their comments, similar to how email filters were created after junk mail became a massive nuisance. Social media will die if trolls are allowed to continue as is.

This whole thing is just one more unfortunate example of how way too many humans need chaperones.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Demolishing Help

In some places the long-term behavior of the police make calling them for help synonymous with calling a demolition crew to repair a sink.

Silent Speech

If people were to truly begin thinking before they speak, the world would become close to silent.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

End Uninformed Judgments

One thing we often seem to forget can be summed up by Jimmy Buffet when he said, "Don't try to describe the ocean if you've never seen it." If you've never suffered from depression, don't make declarations about those who do. Ask and learn instead. Same thing about issues such as addiction and minority discrimination.

Depression is NOT something that is "fixed" or even compensated for by other conditions or circumstances in anyone's life. It is a condition that stands on its own. Those who think depression is just another word for a bad mood are simply wrong.

Part of the problem is language itself where the clinical/scientific use of a word gets confused with what becomes its twisted meaning in everyday use, just like the word "theory."

Facts before judgment, and even then make it mild and conditional because there's always more to know.

Depression is Exhausting

With the topic of depression now so prominent following Robin Williams' suicide, I wanted to share this short World Health Organization video. (It's only 4:18 long.) One of the things it talks about that I haven't seen too much in other posts is the exhausting nature of depression.

The maintenance of a public persona that masks what's underneath is authentically tiring. The desire to be free from that energy-sucking fake character can be overwhelming, but the anticipated relief of solitude attached to the end of each "performance" fails to be rejuvenating. The repeated disappointment is an additional drain on top of everything else.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wasted Intelligence

When looking for informational aids, be sure not to choose sources that find elevated value in the ideas of people left over after eliminating people generally considered to be among our most intelligent.

A Winning Silence

A repeatedly unparalleled perfect response is silence.

Fearsome Agreement

Atheists and theists agree: Those who fear a god have nothing to fear.

U.S. Disqualified as Role Model

When I see people who unconditionally promote the U.S. as a leader to emulate, I want to remind them that we often are the equivalent of a J.V. team with a long losing record, regular suspensions for bad behavior, and a tradition of self-inflicted injuries, traits that disqualify us for title of role model to the world.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Pain of Self

In a recent review of the book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect the an observation of the author plays into an idea similar to something I've often said about how everyone's identity of the self is more than just about the physical body. The author's quote:

"We intuitively believe social and physical pain are radically different kinds of experiences, yet the way our brains treat them suggests that they are more similar than we imagine."
 I think it is important for us to realize that we identify who we our--our self--as something more intricate and connected to everything else than we realize. When we accept that changes to any of the things we assign as being part of the self can be as traumatic as a physical change that comes through things like accidents or diseases. It helps to explain quite a bit of our behavior if we look at our self-defense mechanisms as being more broadly in play than we usually think. When we lose anything we've designated as part of the self (or it is radically altered) or it is threatened, there is little relevant difference in how we act when compared to a physical attack.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

God's Desire For Dicks

I think there is something fishy going on when almost all the people who say their god speaks to them claim it's a directive for them to be a dick.

Listener Overload

Any attempts at communication contain virtually an unlimited number of contexts, giving the listener the nearly impossible task of picking the ones intended.

Noisy Writers

A true writer is someone who, on paper, won't shut up.

Acting Like Animals

Humans are no exception to the actions individual animals take to stand out in size, color or volume in order to claim leadership and power.

Respecting Unatainable Knowledge

I think there is a common path upright people take while pursuing knowledge. First, when at the start of a learning curve there is a tendency to let the excitement of new wisdom fuel an increase in sharing what's been learned. But eventually a realization sets in that the amount of knowledge we'll never obtain is enormously colossal. This then results in a reducing in sharing that approaches silence, which is the only way to appropriately match and respect that void.