Alternative Explanations

June 18, 2012

Where would we be without humor?  And thank you to Wiley Miller for finding some in this polarizing craziness.

 

I have so often been told to visualize the future I want. “Send out positive thoughts. Invite the universe to present it to you.”

I’ve always figured it doesn’t work because I’m too much a skeptic. Perhaps it’s because, as this article suggests, having once visualized what I want, I stop trying. My brain – that so-easily deluded brain that we all trust so implicitly – has decided I’m already where I want to be, so it encourages me to stop trying to get there.

Visualizing the worst seems counter-intuitive at first, but there is much to be said for it. If nothing else, you are planning ahead, even if unconsciously, what you might do if things don’t work out as you’d hoped. So you are better prepared for whatever result eventually arises.

It’s not seeking failure. It’s accepting that you need to be open to learning, to new approaches and new ideas. Turning all life experience into an opportunity to develop yourself, not to stagnate on one only-possible path.

Failure, even if only acting foolishly in a social setting, is an indicator that you are acting at your current limits. The key is to see failure as an opportunity to expand those limits.

From:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/15/happiness-is-being-a-loser-burkeman

Math Class Entertainment

April 17, 2012

This series is great fun. Using the premise of being distracted during class (occasionally by the teacher saying something interesting) she presents all sorts of concepts.

This is one of my favorites:  Slug Cats!

Ennui of the Cat

April 15, 2012

Profound philosophy of the gloomy sort, while ” the white idiot writhes on his chair, begging for cheeseburgers.”

 

Pondering Differences

March 26, 2012

I do a lot of reading, trying to understand what makes people think and act as they do. What motivates us. Why we think this is moral and that is not. I also try very hard to limit my own bias in hopes of actually understanding, even if not accepting other points of view. These two articles were  thoughtful reads.

The first, a review of the book ‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt.

“To the question many people ask about politics — Why doesn’t the other side listen to reason? — Haidt replies: We were never designed to listen to reason. When you ask people moral questions, time their responses and scan their brains, their answers and brain activation patterns indicate that they reach conclusions quickly and produce reasons later only to justify what they’ve decided.”

And, “The problem isn’t that people don’t reason. They do reason. But their arguments aim to support their conclusions, not yours. Reason doesn’t work like a judge or teacher, impartially weighing evidence or guiding us to wisdom. It works more like a lawyer or press secretary, justifying our acts and judgments to others. “

The second post is brief, but pertinent: ” Why Republican Women Vote for Santorum

“I would hypothesize that women who have accommodated themselves to living an evangelical lifestyle have nothing to gain from questioning the premises of Christian patriarchy. Their lives are more comfortable, less fraught with domestic conflict, if they simply decide to be happy and make the most of their assigned roles.”

And, “How many of us want to challenge the social constructs within which we have created active lives that are reckoned as meaningful? “

This is a puzzle I have been pondering, and discussing with others.  We cannot all be activists. And I have often wondered if people, as a rule, aren’t more comfortable with certainty – knowing their role, feeling they can predict and define in black and white. Security feels safe.

Uncertainty  and self-responsibility are hard taskmasters.

Climate Change

March 22, 2012

“Beginning in mid-March, however, its various offices began issuing bulletins that sounded slightly shaken. “There’s extremes in weather, but seeing something like this is impressive and unprecedented,” “

“It’s hard to overstate how impossible this weather is—when you have nearly a century and a half of records, they should be hard to break, much less smash.”

There’s nothing much that needs to be added to this:

90 Degrees in Winter: This Is What Climate Change Looks Like

http://www.thenation.com/article/166917/90-degrees-winter-what-climate-change-looks

Cats Have How Many Lives?

January 15, 2012

I love this meme. Science, silly puns, and cats. What could be better?

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