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His future girlfriend has a terrible sense of direction

1223208609_resized.gif?width=400. I thought this comic was kind of sweet. I used to think of my future girlfriend/wife as well before I met her.

The Epicurus remedy for leading the happiest possible life

Tetrapharmakos – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – StumbleUpon. Interesting. I had never heard of this before now. Our history books are woefully incomplete aren’t they?

Beautiful pastoral scene

3831414_large.jpg 1238×702. I’m not exactly sure how pastoral this is but it looks good to me.

10 ways to catch errors in thinking

I have been reading about bias in thinking and it occurred to me that it was too much to try to remember all of those situational bias. So I thought it would help to formulate some general guidelines to make sure you didn’t fall into any errors.

  1. Is this true if the situation was reversed? Things like equality and justice become easy to determine if you apply the same rules in an opposite way. The biggest thing that the way that others want to judge others they don’t want to be used to judge themselves. For example, people who talk about “family values” and then lie and deceive and do the behavior that they condemn in others.
  2. Has any part of it been assumed to be a foundation of thought? In the past people thought the earth was the center of the universe because it was taught that the earth was the center of everything. Challenging assumptions is difficult because often we become conditioned to believe in the way that assumes something is true. If something is an assumption, it probably is something that has no good evidence. For example Dark Matter is an assumption, because there is no evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt it is true.
  3. Something is not true because it is convenient. Some people claim God exists because he must. I find this a little strange. Regardless of the truth of this, things are not true because we need them to be true. Our perception isn’t reality, and our rules of logic don’t apply to other dimensions. You only need to study quantum behavior to see the evidence of this. So believing something “has” to be, is a folly of the first order. It presupposes that the universe is understandable to our limited intellect.
  4. Does believing this require you to believe in other things? Almost everything requires to believe in more than just that thought. People want to pick their beliefs without any realization of the inconsistency of their beliefs. Isn’t it funny how many people don’t believe in the death penalty but are ok with drinking and driving or smoking? People don’t follow through the fact that if they choose to believe in something, they can’t just apply it selectively. They have to apply it consistently.
  5. Does the person asking you to believe something stand to benefit financially from it? Religions may do a great deal of good, but as long as they financially benefit they are suspect. If truth is natural, unavoidable and perceivable then why do you need money for it? Money has taken the new place of the sword. In the old days it was either “Convert or die”. Now it is believe mainstream thought or become a social outcast. Anytime that something becomes a business any truth that was in it dies. You can’t sell truth. The most you can do is help lead people to it.
  6. Is the person someone who believes in black and white thinking? Seeing things as either/or situations is an easy way to think. Dualistic thinking can be hard to perceive but the results certainly aren’t. It was something that took time to understand in myself. The idea that things are able to be separate seems logically true but isn’t. It takes therapy and time to resolve this.
  7. Does this belief require the non conscious mind to accept it or the inability to analyze? I once had a well-meaning teacher give me the Mormon (LDS) bible and ask me to read a certain chapter and pray. She said that God would help “open my heart”. Well I tried that and didn’t get any messages. If the evidence of something is true is something that depends on nothing more than indigestion well that isn’t going to be convincing. If you find yourself deciding something and you can’t put your finger on it, its probably not true but just what you emotionally want to do.
  8. Does the idea assume that this reality is the only one? Religious people like to say there is a higher reality than what we can perceive. Scientific people say there are mathematically and scientifically veritable dimensions that exist besides this one. So when someone says that this is the only reality there is, they are nuts.
  9. Is the belief one that is repeated often? Is it any surprise that the things that are most repeated like commercials are things that are not true? In fact, you should examine anything that repeated more. This goes back to Rule #5. The most pervasive lies are the ones that we want to be true because it makes us feel good as a species. We want to believe that we are compassionate and wise, yet thousands of people starve to death everyday because of lack of food, water or medicine. How compassionate are we when we place having shiny things over the well-being of everyone?
  10. If this hurts a person it will help society. Nothing can help society if it hurts a person. The lie that we see is that personal pleasure doesn’t harm society and ourselves. There is a point where our happiness is maxed out, and seeking to pass that point repeatedly and without enjoyment is not only irresponsible but a waste of time and energy. Life is experiencing many things, not being stuck in a treadmill of the same stimulation over and over.

Stories from my past: You know more than my son

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Image via Wikipedia

One of the companies that I worked for was a university. It was lots of fun to work and some very dedicated people worked there. One of the people who I helped was a mature Jewish lady who I’ll call Jana.

“So the problem is that it does X when I want it to do y.” Jana said.

“Oh no problem. Let me fix that.” I said.

While I was working I was making small talk and somehow I made a joke about this problem not being kosher. She smiled and asked “Do you know what that means?”

I said sure. “Kosher is confirmation to dietary laws or religiously pure.” She seemed surprised.

“You know more than my son.” Jana said. “He isn’t observant. It is nice to see other people who know.”

“Well I’m open for adoption” I joked.

Sometimes people say that things they learn they doubt they will ever use. To me, it isn’t a matter of using or not using stuff. Just being familiar with something is enough to make someone feel special.

EL RIO GUAREÑA photo


EL RIO GUAREÑA

Originally uploaded by Jesus Bravo

Nice stream of water. I wonder if you can drink from it.

Recover An Unsaved Document When Word Crashes on the Mac

Boggle

Image via Wikipedia

Recover An Unsaved Document When Word Crashes.  This just happened to a woman I spoke on the phone with.  How frustrating this can be!