Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big thinkers, big mistakes

I have wondered many years ago, how come that certain really smart and genius people managed to have really big and clear mistakes. I got a theory.

The human mind is limited. Knowledgeable people and smart thinkers must have shortcuts and coding systems to make their brain able to handle so much information.
These coding systems, I suspect are not like the thinking of regular person.

Now, like all optimizations, these have costs. And they may easily lead to some grand mistakes that can even sound amusing to the regular person.

Another facet. Being unusual, generally means having a very different brain, a different life experience, tendencies, and attending to very different aspects of life. This ultimately creates a very different world, and at times makes the big thinkers not to see what the regular person sees easily and obvviously.

PS. It is somehwat of an exaggaration. Many of these big thinkers' mistakes are realtively small, and reading my text too literally makes injustice to some, althought it may be too gentle to some other really stupid "big thinkers".

PS2. brings to mind Milan Kundera's observations about the professor who wanted to to out from his library and books to live in "the real world"
"but he did not understood that his real world is with the books"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Against "delicate taste".

Since all kind of things that cause us enjoyment are mere means, there is no point in having "high quality" tastes.
It can be means for social status, or another psychological mechanism that makes some people happy. But there is no essentail value in it.

PS. Certain kinds of tastes that are considered "delicate" have actual features that make the experience more
interesting. Like when it is a more complex experience and similar things. Then, one should consider the usefulness of the tastes on the instrumental basis and not on the purported "delicate" value itself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Negligible things we find important

It sometimes seems that small things play a very central role in our lives.

Has not I had this small phone call of this annoying person, my mood would have nto worsen.

Have not I eaten this cookie, I would have not felt so bad about myself.

If not this sad song in the radio, I would have not gone so badly.

It is very impossible to manage many little things (although we some times got to).
But this is not the point.

If you find yourself bothering about the small things, you have not got the point.
There are many times bigger issues that you do not know or ignore. Concentrating on the small things is NOT a solution. It is many times a delusion

PS. This is rationally. In terms of experience, many people derive great satisfaction from "doing it right" which works even for very very small things. For others it creates a feeling of order and coherence. (like when cutting the cake exactly may creates some joy)

The confusing effect of small things

Small things do change the course of life and history.

Random encounters. Situational factors that made you happier of angrier and driving a social connection to excellence or to extinction.

The state of mood one got (the garbage machine woke you up at 5:30 am) exactly in the day when a great idea came by, and it went to the garbage can for moody reasons.

The phone call that interrupted writing and cut your strain of thoughts. It can lead to even other and better ideas, or to despair.

Dynamics are even more vicious. Missing the train makes you exhausted, you come with less energy, get an idea you would not get in calm times and so it goes. It may change your whole life.

Small vs. big effects. The non small things have their strong effects, too. They are just less determinal and less general than one thinks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Central points of life, is multiple and variable

Life is complex, especially psychological life.

The most important problems and solutions for life quality, change significantly between people.

It makes it very hard to give any advice, as the most important point differs significantly.

Moreover, certain issues show opposite effects.
Self control, for example, can be destructive, when one is addicted to control and his trouble is being stressed out of control searching.

So some people need to have more self control, while others need to learn to relinquish control.

Others need money, or friends, or to have more fun, more change or more stability, or endless other things.

Are there generalized focal points about happiness and life management?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Reverse imitation of yourself

When you see a mistake, you can get smarter by way of reverse imitation. Learn to do the opposite.

This apply to our own mistakes. We can take notice and decide to do the opposite.

It requires stamina and wit.
Stamina, to accept that we did a mistake. And instead of self-defending, getting smarter for next time.

Wit. 1) maybe it is not a mistake. It is tricky to know which actions are smart and which are not. Sometimes, what seems stupid has some reason.
2) Not every mistake has to be avoided. Our ability to act wisely is limited, and we ought to "manage" ourselves in a smart way. Not just correcting every mistake. Sometimes it is overwhelming.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

localized vs. generalized views of causations

Looking local means that you say "I am not eating now, because I am scheduled to eat later"

Generalized outlook looks at why I am not thinking about changing my plans, why I am not considering eating now and later, and so on.
It will be lack of openness, laziness, not willing to reconsider plans etc.

The local cause is easy to argue about and change.
The generalized cause is way more complex. Harder to understand, and much harder to argue about change.

You can convince a person to change his local plans. But saying that his rigidity is not good, is harder to show (maybe he is better off staying rigid and planned and so on. The value of a trait for a specific person is not easy to gauge).

When you look at life as a whole is indeed hard to decide what is good as a trait. Very hard to think about which constellation of customs etc. is best.

But this is actually a reason to favor local outlook. Because in the local one can easily decide, and manage his life for the better. Still, generalized understanding is relevant. One cannot ignore it. Only the small scale strategy has its value, which does not permit us to be stupid of the facet called global outlook. I only guess that the generalized aspect is generally less crucial than it seems and functionally it is good to focus on the local (without totally forgetting the general).

Generalized is less known. We may know more on local relationships than on global and complex ones.
Thinking about generalized stuff takes more energy. Emotionally, any generalized thinking is way more taxing. Thinking about oneself in a generalized way (self reflecting) is linked to a variety of negative side effects (see "the curse of the self" for a review about these effects)

PS. see Wegner and vallacher research on "Action Identification". Every activity can be looked at from a very generalized view (I want to be a millionaire) to the very local (I got to write this letter (in the check)). They say that too generalized a view is many times less functional than focusing on the lower level. It is after all the very small steps about which we go to concentrate many times in order to get things done.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Personal biasing of what happniess is. And it maybe rational

DIfferent people define happiness differently.
Some of it maybe because personal experience differs, and for every person and situation there are different aspects of life people concentrate about. And different ways people think about themselves.

It can be rational for some to concentrate on pleasures of the mind. If that is where they can find happiness or where they feel comfortable about.
Others feel comfortable only alone. They concentrate of these things.

Others concentrate on doing the right thing.

These tendencies may be mistaken or right. But they maybe practically the right way to manage life and getting the best of it for the individual person.

PS. Much more subtleties can be found in details of emotional attention, and various aspects of self and experiences people do have.