Archive for February 2012


February 29, 2012

Men willingly believe what they wish.–Gaius Julius Caesar

Not sure I agree with the “willingly” part. But we definitely tend to believe things that match our pre-existing beliefs. That’s at least in part because we unconsciously (or not) build blind spots to any data inconsistent with those beliefs. We’ve go a lot of time and energy invested in our existing beliefs and we don’t want to mess with them.


February 28, 2012

There is no goal in life worth having unless the journey makes it so.–unknown

That is unless the goal marks the beginning of a new journey.


February 27, 2012

I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like to be taught.–Winston Churchill

Everything that happens presents us with an opportunity to learn. Things that scare, bother, annoy or depress us offer the greatest opportunities. Unfortunately it’s difficult to take advantage of these opportunities when you are scared, annoyed or depressed. It’s only possible if we stay in the present moment accepting the feelings and trying to understand them.


February 26, 2012

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.–Victor Hugo

The voice inside our heads makes up stories, myths really, about who we are and what’s going on. Listening to those stories, taking them too seriously is the source of our suffering. Laughing at those stories restores our perspective, removing much of our suffering even if the pain behind that suffering remains.


February 25, 2012

The ego wants what it wants when it wants it. That is, until it gets it then it wants something else.–me

The human ego is a needy thing. It tells us that we are incomplete, which is true enough. It tells us we will be complete whenever we get…well something. But when we get that something, we find we are still incomplete. So, the ego finds something else to complete iself. The underlying myth behind all this is that there is something we could have, something we could to that would complete us. All that’s required is to figure out what that something is and either get it or do it. Question is: how many times must we try and fail before we figure out that this is all nonsense?


February 24, 2012

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.–Stephen Leacock

Or to paraphrase Neuroscientist Robert Orenstein: If the mind is a squadron of idiots, the purpose of advertising is to put the wrong idiot in charge of making an important decision. According to this model, the mind is made up of idiot savants each good at a narrow set of tasks. One for example that knows how to make quick decisions under pressure and another that might be good at gathering all the facts befor making a key decision. Advertising wants to make sure the first is in charge when we are considering a purchase. It takes us out of the present and throws us into a place of need and risk to make sure.


February 23, 2012

In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.–Jean Paul Getty

Experience is a way of predicting future outcomes based upon past observations. It’s a key facet of how our brain works. Of course in times of rapid change, things may well work differently. Then past observations may no longer be good predictors of outcomes. In such cases experience may well be a very poor basis for making choices.