Boredom, the Risk-free Emotion

Thursday, April 8th 2010

Most people hate the classic Unforeseen Disaster. A statement of the obvious. Everyone hates those! Even the unforeseen benefits can be threatening; they can change the hierarchy of organisations, change who has the power. Be a threat over time by changing the previously stable order of things. So the natural reaction of most is to quash unforeseen events. Avoid them. Censor them. Flee from them. Take no risks!

How do you quash something you can't see coming? It is unforeseen after all. Answer: you can't! But you can pretend it's not happening. And deny everything until the moment of realisation: yes, this is happening. I can't deny it. Oh wait - no - it's not really happening ... :-)

Here's how I think it works.

You're Not Paul McCartney

Wednesday, April 7th 2010

Well, obviously. Unless you are. In which case: hello Mr McCartney, love your work!

When I do things, I often have an ideal in my head. Writing a song: the ideal might be, say, the Beatles. Or Metallica. Or a mixture of Beatles and Metallica (look up Beatallica in a search engine). For the conversation: a level of suaveness that was tragically absent :-). For the picture, a really surprising beast that makes me think twice about going outside in the dark.

What I really had, for a given song, or picture, or piece of writing, conversation, or whatever it was, was an ideal. And I would then measure the actual work - the stuff you could actually see, hear, touch, etc - by how close it was to the ideal. Hint: it wasn't close.

Some Advice for the Smug from A Smug Person

Wednesday, April 7th 2010

It is a rare person who really thinks about things. If you do, there may be tendency to think other people are stupid. But if you use simpler language and don't put as much emphasis on information recall, you may be surprised by how intelligent most people are.

Jungle Technique

Tuesday, April 6th 2010

You'll never look at a pot plant the same way again.

Metaphysical Bureaucrats Don't Trust the Unconscious

Monday, April 5th 2010

The prefrontal cortex is limited. It is quite small and not that powerful compared to other parts of the brain. It gets overwhelmed by sensory inputs. It gets overwhelmed by emotion. Even by verbiage. And it can only do so much processing.

The After Life

Sunday, April 4th 2010

'Arrrrrdgdtgdmshdy,' groaned Derek.

A religious figure appeared. He was bathed in golden light. Clothed in flowing white robes. He was tall, faintly angelic, and adjusted his halo. He let go a long, deeply felt, spiritual sigh.

'Welcome the after-life,' said the figure. H ewas expecting the revelation to engender a certain sense of revelation or some other appropriate emotion. But Derek was not forthcoming.

'Oh,' said Derek.

'You know, eternal life. I'm sorry, what was your belief system again?'

We're at the bottom of page 296.

Click a page number above to go to that page.