Archive for February, 2014

Another Metaphor for Life


If you don’t move, you lose by default. Someone else is moving and taking action. Yet if you do move you create openings in your defenses. If you move well, you can still protect what you hold dear. Gaining ground requires adventuring away. Yet if you’re too far from what you care about, you may not make it back. The path takes planning. But you still must take action. Choosing not to decide is still a choice. You don’t want to create circumstances where you are cornered and pressured — not conducive to the best decisions. Brilliance is often found in the most observant.Adapting to the situation is the key to success.

Knowledge and experience are keen advantages.

You have a limited number of moves. Make them good ones.

Torturing Babies

Does anyone who isn’t clinically insane not know it is wrong?

Why? Why do we all know and agree with this?

These points that all mankind adheres to may be socially driven. We have evolved over millions of years to be social animals, tribal, supportive of others and willing to reach a common goal. This could explain much of the morality and meaning we see in life, without the need for it to be revealed by a divine presence. There isn’t any known society so far afield as to turn our common sense on its ear enough that something like torturing babies would be permissible. How does that happen? It’s easy to see how differences emerge across different cultures, but the similarities seem to point to there being some essence of life that’s inherently understood. Maybe it’s just a manifestation of self-preservation, which seems wired into all lifeforms we know of with higher cognition. Add a social component to that and viola!

However it’s possible these sensibilities originate from somewhere else. Some mysterious place that helps give rise to our thinking that there is some higher power, or at least a common source of it all that has ‘stamped’ us with something that remains after so many generations.

What about our sense of beauty? It varies a great deal, but there are certainly common elements we can just about all agree on. Mankind has been inspired accordingly since the earliest days of civilization.


Your Team

girlwdollWho is there when you lose? Who forgives you or looks after you even when you screw up? Who hangs in there when it looks like hope may be lost?

There’s a lot to be learned from these bad times of life, not the least of which is who really cares about you. Don’t miss that.

Who are you there for? What will you do to help and take care of others? Who is worth it to you? There’s also a lot to be learned in what you’re willing to do. Don’t miss that.

It’s something you might find worth being conscious and deliberate about.

Turns Out We’re Not That Interesting

notthatinterestingA current look at the typical feed in Facebook will reveal more posts that are links to other things (photos, articles, etc.). We’ve grown bored with each other’s curated personas presented online.

We just aren’t inherently that interesting to each other.

Most users of services like Facebook have crafted an online persona that may only vaguely resemble their actual life. We all know this intuitively because we all do it to some extent. That gets much less interesting after a while. Further, the audience is much too wide to do it any other way. If it really was limited to our close friends we would probably be much more genuine and open, which would be a lot more compelling for both the poster and the reader.

But these services aren’t interested in us limiting our audience. It’s best for them if things spread widely. In the spirit of keeping as many eyeballs as possible attentive it’s brilliant of them to provide us with so much content to share with friends and acquaintances, and such an easy process for doing it.

Even though it’s not what it once was it’s not always a terrible experience. A compelling article can spawn an engaging discussion sometimes. But we all know it would be personally better if it was more intimate and genuine. The fact that kids don’t really use Facebook anymore is indicative of how it has lost part of its core utility in our lives. They all will continue to evolve.

From the Outside…

mood-swing…your trials and tribulations don’t seem as grand.

Internal monologue amplifies personal drama.

Consider how much the empathy of others really means to you. Do you truly need it? Is it really what’s going to get you going and get you past whatever obstacle there is?

All of that will comes from within. When you succeed at seeing your problems through the eyes of others — all of whom have their own issues — you begin to realize it’s up to you.

It’s easier to turn off that droning monolog of drama once you get to work on conquering whatever the issues are.

Get to work.

The Cost of Facts

spacechimpFacts cost virtually nothing once they have been gathered and published. The internet and television cause many to perceive facts are all readily available. Everything we could want to know (not to mention what we don’t want to know) is up for grabs.

But facts are actually expensive. Someone has to figure it out that first time. An organization has to send reporters or information gatherers, or maybe pay to have a study done, or do rigorous experiments, or real detective work to get to the bottom of it. Someone spent real time and possibly money to acquire the expertise to deliver.

Consumers and information organizations have a choice. News organizations can pay professionals to go investigate and gather facts, not to mention culling it all down and putting it into a relevant context. This costs real money. Or they can pay a couple of people a few hundred dollars to scream at each other on TV for a few minutes.

Both types of information are available on air and online. Consumers choose and the market responds. We can hardly blame the market, and I assume we don’t want any organization “controlling” the news, nor the way it’s presented (more than is already happening).

Opting for free or cheap is easy and usually appears to make pretty good sense on the surface, but someone somewhere will hopefully be willing to pay to truly get the real, factual information we need to make sense of the world. The scary thing is, who? Corporations? Government? Whoever pays has the most control. Period. It’s already happening before our eyes. The value of facts and science is being challenged more and more every day, and you don’t need to pay anyone to tell you that much.

The Selfie

ArtisticSelfieSelfies are all the rage. People rant negatively about them all the time. A teenager’s preoccupation with taking pictures of herself indeed represents a certain amount of self-absorption. But it’s really just a visible sign of an attitude that exists anyway. It puts it out there in a demonstrative way that makes it easier for the rest to see…and be annoyed. The display of vanity. The need for validation. These things aren’t caused by the selfie. It’s just a manifestation of our culture.

How bad of a problem is this really?

Taking photos of oneself is actually a great opportunity to learn about what beauty is. Seeing other people’s selfies is part of that process. One learns how she looks more objectively in photos. The unique features that make you you begin to surface. And the observant eventually starts to recognize that those ARE the things that are distinctive and beautiful.

The feedback pressure cooker of social media, which spawned the need for selfies in the first place, isn’t always the most supportive environment, however that very feedback does serve to validate and inform. It’s a harsh world of subjective assessments, but it’s one you’re in anyway. Since so much in our culture ends up being based on our appearance it’s becoming a necessity that we be more aware of how we actually appear. You ARE going to be judged on your looks. But not just on how well you fit in to a classical interpretation of beauty. Your overall vibe, including a glimpse into your personality, is part of it, and much about that is also conveyed in the look and feel of how you present yourself. All things that the selfie begins to reveal to you and the world. A bit of marketing one learns to refine over time.

There is a more practical side. Text accompanied by selfies much more effectively communicates intent and mood than just text alone.


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