Thursday, December 30, 2010

The value of rhythms, and their possible uses

Sometimes you read and it stalls, sometimes it simply runs. Sometimes you ride the bike with the power of will, and sometimes it just flows.

That is a rythm. A flowing dynamic (rather than a toucheable quantity).
These dynamics are of very high value. Because the ease of doing, and the quality of things with a good dynamic are huge, and usually underrated.

A modern way of life, with order, plans, rationality etc. Treats dynamics as if they do not exist. The hour is gone, meeting over, who cares if the discussion is great? Hour not over? Continue a stall talk dynamic not counted.

The greater value of dynamic is in using them for our enjoyment or health.
If you find yourself enjoying ridinng the bike, it makes sense to continue riding even if you got to your destination (you win enjoyable exercise -double blessing). If the flow of cleaning one room got hold on you, it can be the perfect time to finish the house in an surprisingly enjoyable way.

It is good for this to take most of these decisions lightly - life is a game. But the game of moving with the flow is very rewarding.

PS. The understanding of rhythms and their meaning is way more global and relevant to understand life. Rhythm blindness - a most common malady - is al blindness. And there is so much more to that! Think and observe and you may understand the enormous power of rhythms

Two kinds of rationality limits

Starting and functional.
Starting. Most people have starting rationality limited. I.e. Rational logic
just does not talk to them. You can waste your time tiring them with
logic. Saying go there and you will save your life/be happier. This is better obviously etc. Is just irrelevant for them.

Functional limit is more human, and can be overcome with tricks. If
someone accepts reason and wants to act upon it, but accepts that his humanity makes I'm too weak to act upon his understanding, there tricks will help.

Since most humans have the first limit what is a solution for them to
the problem of initiation?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Find new tricks.

There are two ways to handle stuff. "essential" solving and tricks.
Tricks are many times short lived. Refreshing the essentialist fallacy (see post) that essential solutions are always the way. (grandma certaincy that if your first business failed you must turn into accountant or something.

Sometimes, the idea is to find more and new tricks. If one trick did his job for awhile and then stopped working, it is proof that tricks work (for while) and that one should simply look harder ad be more inventive in tricks. And fast switching between tricks.

Taking ideas to their maximum potential

Nassim taleb says that the only thing special about him was that he is taking his ideas to their maximum width and potential.

This strong strategy requires some wisdom. And personal fortitude.

1) you Care about nothing. If you allow limits to stand your way, you will just not max the potential. There is no eat the cake and have it too in maximizing ideas to thier limit. 
The reason people do not go the whole way with their ideas is because they are afraid, and because they are locked in many assumptions and limits.

2) care about everything. 
Avoiding any other considerations is stupidity. The point is to go Bouldlessly, while wisely knowing the value of all other parameters and limits.  (avoiding ruke 1 is being passive and locked. Avoiding rule 2 is being careless and an actor blind to anything out of his focus)

PS. Do not abuse. Once you have a great trick in your hand, it is tempting to use it when it is not good. Example. You use coffee to Improve ocncentration and happiness, which is good. Now it tempts you to sleep less because you have a trick to stay awake. At some point you lose. Same for using money to solve problems, etc.

Be smart. 

Good and bad adaptAtion

Getting used to things makes two differences. The thing changes (you no longer enjoy the ice-cream as before. Even your bodily reaction to the sugar is weaker), and perceptual (you no longer notice it consciously, even though the basic thing stays unchanged).

Walking in Zurich i see people without gloves in the freezing cold. They are used to the cold. I am wondering whether they are actually not suffering from it, or they are just used to the suffering. 

Clearly adaptation reduces the general bodily response to the cold. Hotter country citizens exposed to zurich freeze will suffer in their whole body and mind, a fate saved from the Swiss. Yet some of the suffering may stay with the Swiss where their adaptation is merely a case of being used to a drag. In this case, adaptation makes people unaware to an existing aversive state. (sometimes with the childish glory of "i can stand it" what glory is it to suffer in stupidity?!)

Ankther,point some adaptation means giving up rather than not having pain. Sometimes it is entirely irrational (called learned helplessness)

The realistic good in any bad (practical positivity, not deusion)

The positive aspects of trouble. It is not a delusion, rather realism. Even dying has the advantage of less pain and suffering. Maybe it is worthwhile to live, but do not forget to credit your killer with the fact that he saved you many worries etc.   

It is important, because finding these aspects is very useful in order to take advantage of life. You lose your job, you clearly hate it (the firing, or the job?) But you got lots of free time. You can use it, enjoy it, and so on. It is foolish to say "it was good to lose my job" because overall it was bad (although do not know for sure). But seeing the advantages is simply having open eyes and seeing the whole picture.

It has very practical implication, because seeing these aspects arms you with the relevant view for now to take full advantage of your situation. Hence being happy of the whatever opportunities a disaster opened for you is pretty much wise. Not wishful thinking or positive thinking, just plain opportunism, which is the good trait of using whatever material comes to you, rather than being closeminded and being alive only when circumatances allow.....
P.s If someone tells you you need a "proper emotional response" he is a sucker, and stupid. Wise people do not Have time to whine when there are golden opportunities ahead to fully swallow. Clearly, normal people do not fool around to search for the "proper emotional response". It is entirely human etc. To be sad dejected whatever, yet seeing this as exoected or useful is suckery)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Standing in the aisle when a plane lands is the most ludicrous act

It is ludicrous. A plane lands. Nothing to happen in the next few minutes. Doors closed. Yet everyoe stands there sandwiched In the aisle. Stressed out, suffering, as if something is going to be missed, and all for nothing. You will mostly make an additinal minute, and usually even not this. 

I sit like a king. Enjoy sitting, relax, even may read a book, or music. Sometimes i happen to enjoy these last minutes more than the tme before. 
Why suffer and put on yourself useless stress, and from your own choice?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thentruth delusion

Every piece of knowledge you get has consequences, which are either positive or negative, depending on a complex chain of psychological experiential details. 
Thus, the utilitarian measure of knowing is distinct from whether it is true. 
And ultimately we are utilitarians, so we care more about consequences than about truth (or we should).
Looking at truth as the measure is pure nonsense, therefore.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Manage extremes not midlevel.

Parameters in life you want to track, track rather the extreme cases. If you want to track say your level of stupidity, you can track the wisdom of yourself continously, or rather pay attention to extremely smart,stupid things. This is a bettere way to balance 
Or say you want to track the level of your thirst. You can try to look for weak signs, or use mainoy the extreme signs, namely when ou feel obviously thirsty or obviously saitated. (when drinking after feeling very thirsty, yiu may want to drink until yiu are very satiated)

Two ways to fill a bath

Two ways to fill a bath

You can fine tune the warmth mix to fit exactly to your taste. It involves the very exact measure, is boring and does not account to changes (water temperature in tap and in bath changes throughout filling). But You can put an approximate mix, and when the water becomes too hot or cold change the temperature to the opposite direction. 

This trick works for many things. Instead of fine tuning loneliness vs. Being with people, one may push to one direction, and when feeling fed up going extreme to the other direction for balance.

Filling that way has many advantages. It is more fun. You always have only one thing in your mind, the direction, whereas with fine-tuning, you need to hold constantly in mind both directions and the complex conditionals by which you should measure all the time. 
Local ine sided direction allows you to u fully and intuitively the full current situationand conditions, whereas fine-tuning requires you to consider the LNG term strategy all the time (because you all the time work on the long term optimization formula)

So now I realized that I am underweight, I am single-mindedly aiming to eat. Two days pass, my stomach is tired, I single-mindedly to relax stomach (note tha earlier goals are not deleted, nor heavily factored in, just that I have something new now. Probably these older decisions are somehow there anyway and will showbup somehow)

Cruciality of switching off to the nirmal life after work

Most of us get killed at the job. It is not about suffering per se. It is about the killing of the soul. Of adopting a helpless attitude, and a powerless passive soulless way of thinking. 
The trick is that when one is out of work, to create a life of a real person. To be hapoy in this time.

Needed actions
Reenergize after work (nap, relaxation, caffeine)
Create a cognitive and emotional world for life that is different,

Obviousley, build an undestructible wall that blocks any reminders of work in the non work time. (the personal phone and email shiuld not be known to work people)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Would women want kids if there was no age limit?

Imagine that age 45 (hence 40 and stress starts at 32) would not be there, and kids could be made at any age. 
How much of the want for children comes from the fear that the time will be too late. 
When talking to women, i hear this theme again and again
Then there is the fear of later regret. "i will sure regret it later", and horror stories about women who later regretted it. (there is a little bit of research claiming that this is not so). What a point is theree to decide according to the fear that may e later it will be regretted. Clearly any decision can be regretted, but the only consideration should be those pertinent to the issue. Do i think children will be good for me? Etc. Not whether I will regret etc.

Another fear drive is the imagination that those without children are lonely and sad at old age. A fear factor. There is research showing that are not entirely lonely do not earn much from the contact of the children at old age. It is mainly those who are entirely lonely who earn much from weekly visits of their children (let alone the fact that many children do it visit their aging parents.....)

A strong missing point here is the stupidity of how we think about decisions. At age thirty one considers having or not having kids. Assume that for the next twenty years it is wish not to have children, but for age 60-70 it has some use, but much lower than the cost imposed in age 30-50.
Our guy decides logically to avoid the disadvantageous deal. Times moves and he is now 60, and now he misses having kids. Should he regret it? Not if he has some common sense. He did exactly what reasons says, he won many years of no interruptions etc. Yet now he does get what he would. Have got for a supreme inflated price of many years. 
It is very human pain this. But this is stupid.
Calculating is later stupidity when deciding and going therefore for a bad deal is doubly stupid.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Never allow miserable mentality

Pain and trouble is common to humans,

Yet the full blown miserability personality is problematic on many sides.

It means in a sense giving up on life.

It means exploitation of others.
It means reduce of self

It means bad relationships with others, as good relationships are those where each side is contributing. Being "useful for nothing" is a poor thing for productive relationships

This is the rational approach for life, i always tried to adopt. But i cannot judge poor and miserable people. My advice however, is never allow yourself take this role, it brings bad outcomes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Having an impulse to what we do not enjoy

This is puzzling. You find yourself ding something very much, without a good reason. And without enjoying it. You saY it is an impulse. Maybe you are right, but it is strange. If you love yorlf you act out of loving a did and out of enjoyment, not out of an impulse that you do not enjoy.

This is true. This is what taught me a happy and smart person, whose first advice for life was " do nkt take life seriously"
Yet, I do not advice fighting ferociously one's impulses. Fighting nature can be worse than accepting it, and it's sometimes stupid. Also, sometimes our impulses are smarter than our logic.

All these distorted and contrived logics for impulses etc. Do not hide the fact that I started with. Remember this! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Success of courses and tricks unrelated to stated cause

Principles of. Most interventions
You can learn everything
Optimization of a single parameter (inflation of it's effect relative to average)
Supreme skilled teachers,  convinces and recruiters
The bunch Of effects
Selection who Goes to course

Seeing a course, an experiment, a teach that practically helps people to improve life!

Does it say there is something in the method etc? (assume there'd are tangible real effects)

Following reasons play central role, making it hard to infer about an interesting effect of the putative method.

1) you can learn many things. Proper training. Enouge effort etc. Can make us master very many things. It is no surprise that teaching and training work. 

2) optimization of a single parameter can influence the whole disproportionally. (relative to it's effect in the regular case) 
Jokes maybe a negligible part of most operations, yet some managers will find jokes to be a central cause of their success and ability to motivate. Some people (I.e. Mark twain) make humor their central way to handle life. Some people manage sleep and rest to have their tanks of energy full most of the time, thereby giving sleep a relatively stronger role than usual (maybe sleep is central for all but this is another story). others use positive thinking. Exercise, timing, etc. As well as many seminar effects taken to an. Unusuall strength by making them central optimized etc. Etc. 
Yet that something can artificially under certain conditions have a huge effect does not mean it is easily, generally central. Even that it has the potential for having huge effect maybe very limited to specific people and under very strict conditions.

3) supreme teachers skills, recruiters, sale mans etc. 
Much of the effect of a course etc. Is about the teachers psonalty etc. It may say nothing about the putative method etc. 
In psychotherapy research shows that it is mostly about the counselor and almost nothing comes out of the method (the difference between most methods of therapy is around zero, it is the effect of the meetings and talking)

4) placebo effect. If taking pills can heal many illnesses (most clinical trials show strong placebo effects, it is our moronic culture that somehow disdains using placebo for healing. I cannot find a more pronounced stupidity)
Having a course is clearly stronger in effect psychologically than a pill.

5) the bunch of effects. Most courses u multiple effects to get the results. It is not the central idea but the combination of many tricks etc. Go figure what is making it work?

5) selection effects. The fact that someone came to a course etc. Is itself meaning a lot. Until you take to the course half of the registrants and commpare to the other registrants you know little.

Skepticism is stupid. If something works who Cares about the reason? 
The whole list of logical troubles prevent easy conclusions about the source of successes. But using the tricks etc. May be a good idea. 

Judging yesterday actions and decisions

What a heavy and sorry baggage it is to stay accountable to justify our yesterday's actions!

I am getting caught up at times with decisions made a year or even twenty years ago.
My mind feels obligated to justify these actions and decisions. So stupid is it. And so deteriorating one's thinking.

I love the kid that I was. I understand reasons for whatever miserable decisions I made when, say twelve years of age. I love this little sorry kid, along with his misaken and terrible decisions.

Yet, should I continue to think along the lines of these old days?

Should i spend an iota of my energy on these histories?
These issues also are very prone to bias. There are such strong emotional incentives to so many directions, and wee are far away from giving a good opinion.
In retrospect we have such a different perspective that any opinion is distorted.

Suckerdom! Living the yesterday is pure irrationality, dream living, and stupidity.
Life is now. To experience, to enjoy, to get the best out of it.
Cassanova tells in his memoirs (fantastic read!) that after he lost all his money he started reflecting on the events of his life.
A living person does not reflect on the past. Present Life is simply too precious to spend it on living a yesterday. (if it is a sorry yesterday in particular)

Between well functioning and happiness

Soceity (and somewhat we...) want us to perform well. To be efficacious, our emotions to be in order etc.

 this is very different from the good life, and sometimes even opposes it.

The good life is about feeling good, about enjoying what we are doing, not about being an efficient soldier in the world.

Functioning well has clearly many advantages, and at times functioning well makes a happy experience. The mistake is when one mistakes functioning well to happiness. (or seeing hard work (Puritanism) or well functioning (normalcy etc.) as a goal in life or a reason to stay alive.)

I noticed the functioning happiness seperation clearly when seeing unhappy countries. you still see the full range of human experience in what feels like entirely healthy functioning. Yet the unhappiness is evident and saddening to look at.

In praise of sour grapes

Sour grapes (the fox who convinces himself that the grapes highe up he cannot reach are sour, the employee who beleives that working hard is a great idea erc.) is irrational,  but can be very useful psychologically. 

Beleiving in work ethics makes the lives of many people much happier. 
I believe very much is self delusion. Psychologists found that positive illusions ar good for mental health. And reality is not so important, yet psychological feelings about ones situation etc. Is crucial to his happiness and mental health. 
The one who successfully convinces himself that he is well off will be happier and healthier. 
only loss is that it leads to practical mistakes (he will not try to improve s objective situation). This loss can be much lower than the psychological and health value of believing he is in great shape. (beliefs have a strong effect on happiness and health. Satisfaction with some parts of life etc. Is more important to happiness than actual state)
If the psychological income is higher than the loss, it is very rational. Similar to self illusions that contribute to happiness. Talking about "being rational" here is nonsense and irrational.

No room for bad deals

Bad deals are bad deals. Losing is never a good decision.

But people many times consider it differently. As if a bad deal is not bad. As if it makes the smallest reason to allow oneself to lose. This is stupid.

There are many reasons where allowing to lose makes sense.

Not counting for the small. The general approach to focus on the big and be easy about the small makes sense. (it does not make losing on the small any reasonable, it only justified not paying attention to it)

Not taking life too seriously. And similar reasons.

My issue is with the unstated foolishness opinion that making a bad decision is a possibility. This is entirely stupid. (The only possibility for it to have place is not on its own, but as a false beleif that has psychological usefulness. Because believing in certain untruths can be good for their psychological effects. (see sour grapes post)

Ultimately, no earlier mistake of whatever, justifies taking losses as a reasonable thing. A mistake is a mistake is a mistake. A loss is a loss is a loss. And in a useful life one got to be a fool to think that losing is reasonable. Only eating oneself on losses, fearing them, or guarding too much against them is a mistake. Yet any claim that a loss is not a loss, is examplary foolishness.

the ugly advice of the rich

The rich have options. They can take a stop from work (?). They can do many things.
Same for rich in psychological resources (flexibility, adaptability, ability to convince oneself in stuff, ability to recover from pain, to handle certain emotions, to sleep well etc.)
Same for rich in thinking abilities

The rich tends to tell the poor what he would have done in their place. However, most of the time these ideas are entirely irelevant for the poor. He does not have the money, the job flexibility, the mind tools.

Even when technically able, the poor may not have the overal state of mind enabling him to do and take advantage of these options.

Besides, the rich wants to believe in the high value of his assets and strategies. It makes feel good to think that being rich is very good, even more than it actually is. Sending this message to the poor is doubly ugly. It is like buttressing your false joy with causing pain to the poor.
The poor will naturally. Resort to believing that after all his state is not so bad. Here again, shattering his illusion may not be useful for him (even though truth has value at times).

Ultimately we all want to convince ourselves of the value of what we have, and the lack of value of what we do not have. While it has problems, we also earn much from this as it wants to convince himself for the value of his richness, and the vlidity of the stories he tells hi8mself. Killing useful sour grapes of the poor is inhuman. Maintaining his own stories as to the value of his assets (its good for him to beleive in it but bad for the poor) is ugly

These kinds of advice may actually be inhuman in the sense that they are usually painful because they remind the advicee his general state of poverty aside from his local concern.

These are the folks who are happily (or want to beleive so) in love and terify every single about love. Those who have a stable life and somehow give the degrading message to those who are not so caged that there is a better life out there ( that is by having the delusional happiness of *their* presumed richness).

Ps. All this diatribe against the rich showering advice should not deviate us from the fact that the poor may learn a lot fro the rich. States of mind strategies etc. May actually be more available to. The poor than they feel to him in his contracted mind.
I am ultimately willing the rich to understand the full situation of the poor, yet the poor to understand the tngs he can realistically learn from the rich.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When a happy person gets logical

He was full of life. Energy, enthusiasm. Projects endless. Never having time to anything. 

He would call, ask "bob there?" hearing the "no" he would hang up on the spot.
He told me "I made the calculation that i have no free time for saying bye"

But everyone loved him. Because he was energetic and full of happiness and love to everybody.

His wife was a logical person. And depressed. 
Her arguments were always logical, yet he was happy and successful. It was ironical, but i knew ia very deep and intuitive way, that he is right. Even if there was not always an easy way to explain. 

She always told him that he wants to eat the whole world at once. That he never finishes his projects. He would smile and continue running.

One day he told me "i have started to finish projects. Gonza (wife) had a point"

And i knew that he started dying.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

The action and it's (entirely distinct) psychological construct

Action is what yo do. You eat. You buy. You walk.
It's psychological construct is extremely variable. It is almost entirely independent of the action itself.

You can imbued endless meanings and feelings with an action.
The emotional, experiential, and cognitive involvement with an aciton can change so much!

The very pgisiological feelings that come with an action can be very diverse.

Walking can be a technical got to do. Can be carried out with zero involvement of the psyche. Or it can be an experience. Even the nothing your whole being has then. Even a terrific experience. 

The contruct has a life of its own, and the The distinctiveness of These aspects from the obvious and clear definition of the action are amazing.

Two people work. One enjoys every moment, the other suffers.
One sees the work as a very local experience. I move the chair. The other sees it in connection with his whole life, with his various dreams, goals. With full connectioand relation to his whole psyche.
One has his whole body and psyche involved. When he talks to you, you feel he lives every idea, every saying. The other has delegated the doing to some outer part of his personality

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two reasons for crazy strategies.

People keep getting puzzled at unusual strategies, and sometimes with good reasons. Yet aside .. There are two reason people do NoT get

A. You need to understand the strategy and find it easy to implement, whereas most will not understand what you are talking about, and not have the emotional and cognitive tools to implement them

B. Sometimes you have some inner things that make it harder for o to u the usual normal ways. Thus, it is very rational to ua the tricks etc. The grandmotherly advice do it..... Is simony irrelevant. 

(other complaints include you have to civilize normalize yourself, ignoring the costs involved, both effort emotional and the dehumanizing effect of domestication. Also most believe in normalizing like in religion. Aside form being brainwashed it may be a result of them already being domesticated and enslaved. Sour grapes)

PS just realized i used crazy to name the strategies, implying i am also brainwashed in the propaganda. Alternatively, i perceive crazy as compliment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Normalcy and other pop psychology concepts

Normalcy, emotional balance, relationships, etc. Have some usefulness. But that usefulness is ultimately limited and context delendent. Yet most people take these seriously in
an emotional way (like religion. It has advantages to believe in it, and for many it ismindeed better to believe in it and stupid to be "rational" and lose the utility of belief, like the sucker who maintains to remember in a movie that it is ketchup. With normalcy, too, it si good for many to tqke it naively and emotionally as important and crucial. Alas, usefulness does nit make for truth.

PS. Sour grapes cuts here both ways. Those lacking in the above prefermto think these are worthless. Those having, tend to over value them. A phenomenon call "sweet grapes" our tendency to think grapes are sweet just because we have them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where does applicability come from?

Everyone asks on sources of creativity.

What are the sources of application in reality?

Many ideas in science do not get applied. Many wonderful findings do not find their way to the actual reality. There is less glory in simply improvingbthe world. Or we are nor wired to get excited about that? No aesthetic?


Waiting for development and better understanding etc. Of sources of applicability

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Unnatural strategies fir an unnatural world

Unnatural strategies (earplugs, wakeup clock for naps, following sophisticated advice, using mechanical tools to measure and guide various activities), are both unromantic (aesthetic problem) and are not part of our natural dynamic. We are wired evolutionary to a natural and Normal environment.

Actually, we live in this crazy unnatural world. With electronic connections, with big cities, availability of food etc.

There is no longer the ability to use natural for a living. We live inna distorted world. And there, maybe he best way is to use unnatural tricks.

Additionally, the default of nature as better (or less risky) is no longer there. We are out of nature love it of hate it. We can learn from nature, but in a so faraway environment and habituation of psyche, we cannot easily assume nature to be the default (althought one may think that with evolutionary psychology we have quite strong wired tedencies etc. That are there even with years of alienation from natural environment)

PS. There are claims that the last 10,000 years had much more selection of genes than before. Not sure the numbers but they say it is enormously more (pandora's seed book I now read). Thought provoking

of t nor the default that natural

The one side heuristic

In the introduction to fooled by randomness, nassim taleb handles the following question. He talks against people mistaking nose to signal, yet many times we mistake signal to noise. His answer is illuminating. Mistaking noise to signal is much more common. 

This insight is a great strategy to thinking and to deciding. Everything has two sides, making handling life confusing. But when you know where the usual mistake lies, it gives you a good heuristic to which direction you ought to generally bias your ship. 

It goes for thinking and it goes for deciding. You take it a default to move away from the common error. (as a general heuristic, though, you try to do the right thing rather than avoiding errors.....) 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Against "better solutions"

A common claim I hear when suggesting an improvement for someone is that " there is a better way" that the guy is not doing the better way either is a fact. Yet he avoids the practical improvement because he is deluding about the better way.

It has two sources. One is an excuse. The better solution is a great way to escape acting and changing. The second is a genuine thought that it is good to avoid the improvement until the better one is there. This is usually a practical mistake. The deeper source of this mistake is loss aversion, the possibility of a better way for doing instills a feeling of lose if one does the not so perefct way. And to avoid this imagined loss, one does nothing. Entirely irrational. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reatopnships are over and underestimated at once.

Because its value is extremely variable. Sometimes it is the deal of one's life, and people do not get it that it is worth everything. Other times is it entirely useless or too cpstly, yet people cling to the mistake that love is worth anything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

multi parameter solutions

Attention! do not read while eating or if you are sensitive otherwise.

it is nice neat and simple to have a single and defined solution to a problem.

Many times, the better solution is of multiple steps and tricks.

Example. haemorhoid. it is a devastating chronical suffering for whoever got it. and there are no simple solutions.
There are varoius single parameter solutions. Like operation etc.
The actualization of the illness goes throught a long chain of steps, each of whom is controllable to a level. The kind of excersions one has (stiff etc.), the way one does his excertion, the level of stress, the kind of chair one uses then, whether one uses additional seat and foot support etc. , what one does when pain sarts (does he stops, or does he ignores the pain, thereby making damage) how one approaches the excertion act psychologically (the more stressful and lack of time the less ability to make it right), Which cleaning paper one uses, the kinds of foods one eats, etc.

one can see that there is so much control on the whole chain. Since the end results is the (nonlinear) product of the whole chain, it is clear that controlling it all to the maximum is probably a very strong and effective way to cure this devastating problem.

This strategy can be a great way to solve otherwise unsolvable problems. It can also be the best way with problems that their one route solution is either constly or not effective.

Why is this approach not used frequently? There are the negatives of the multi step way listed below. But I guess it is because the mind likes better a single solution. We find it hard and confusing to approach the complex bunch of causes. There is a lot of laziness about it. Indeed, handling all steps means getting conscious about them which is an effort. Moreover, one needs than to break out of automaticity about them all. Seeing all parts of the whole so automatic process as malable. Not just seeing, but acting upon this true and strange freedom to play with all our cards at once.

Yet it is astonishingly liberating. Give it a try (but please for a better example/ For improving life rather than for solving problems.........)

PS. the downsides of multiple parameters are there. it is easier to handle one parameter that the whole thing. The cost of tackling every step of the chain may accumulate to too much, and the stress etc. involved can also be costly. Yet many times it is the best strategy, and can even solve otherwise unsolvable problems. The most surprising point is that people avoid this angle so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Essentialistic fallacies

Essentialism fallacies
There is an underlying belief that we need things to be well in their essence, and that the only source of well-being is from stable and essential- true sources.

But happiness and health can come from endless directions.

We may enjoy life by fooling ourselves. Pursuing goals or by avoiding goals. We can find five seconds of fun from many sources.

We may improve life by sleeping enough no less than by getting our act together in more essentially sounding ways.

Placebo effects make people healthy. Reading health research makes me extremely sad for the waste of not using placebo to heal. Many drugs have an effect strength way below that of the placebo effect. Yet the establishment is not investing in researching placebo, nor using it, which is a very painful and sad fact. Due to the essntialism fallacy.
Most historical cultures made ample use of the placebo effects via shamans, religious rituals etc. There was no shame in using it. But nowadays stupidity dictates to avoid improving life in "religiously unapproved" means like placebo or other psychological tricks.

Nassim taleb noted that people tend to define relationships as marriage etc. as superior. But in reality we can feel connected and get the benefit of friendship from random meetings, and from connections that have other motifs, as well as many other ways of being connected (even Facebook sometimes brings value).

PS. There are clearly advantages to these so called essential sources of health and happiness. These tend to be more stable, and in aspects more comprehensible. Yet do not be fooled by these advantages. These values are not always there, and their effect can be limited. It is sometimes a mere cultural belief and mind bias.

Essentialism is natural to the human psych so has shown paul blum in many experiments. But as grown up kids, we may try to go for what is good for us, and not be totally fooled by our minds tendencies.

Sour grapes in small comforts of life

Sour grapes = the fox says that then grapes up in them vines are sour, so to not feel pain for not having them. 

Disdain to worldly pleasures, to small comforts of life, to anything positive that you do not have. 

This disdain can be aesthetic, which is above (or be,ow) criticism. Yet this doe snot make it rational. It can be a matter of priorities - I have more important goals to pursue. This is ok. But limited. Having more important things to do is not reducing the value of any other project. It merely makes you invest elsewhere. 
The last reason for devaluing is psychological. If i miss something, it feels better when i think it is worthless. This is very legitimate. Self delusion can work wonders at times. But like all self delusion it's has a price. The biggest price is the developed inability to enjoy the things you contempt. This is a curse of poverty following being poor. One is not only poor now, but he also convinces himself of the blessing in his state that he loses the ability to enjoy anything rich, or the willingness to improve his lot.

There are so many ways to enjoy and to experience life. It is stupid to neglect the ways that are not part of our own repertoire.

PS. We are naturally concentrated on some pleasures and goals, but positive concentration is it not active neglect and contempt to anything out of our focus.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The difference between being smart and being rational

Should we ruminate on our past mistakes? Should we spend time to find out who was right in a technical and insignificant matter?

The stupid choices are clearly stupid. Yet, forcefully fighting them can be even more stupid. You may kill yourself in the way to verify you are not mistaken. This is what i call being rational.

Being smart is another thing altogether. Understanding that something is useless is naturally leading you to avoid it. This is normal and human. Is any person inn. His right mind willing to spend energy on bad adventures? Clearly not. 

The difference is in the naturalness of the process, and whether the is effort involved.  Being smart is usually much more natural, and does not involve inner fights. That is how it is roughly. 

Be smart. Effortlessly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The habitual and the essential

When we eat something unhealthy we feel bad. Same with what we are not used to. But the distinctions is crucial. Because habituation can be changed, and is many times worthwhile. While more ingrained causes are less flexible.

Here is a strong deviation from the idea of "get used to it". Getting used to unhealthy stuff cannot make them healthy. Habituation power is mainly good habits that are not bad by themselves. Where the only problem is psychological.

The same idea applies to the positive. There should probably be more value in inherently positive experiences that inn those who are just made up to create the experience.

Analogy from the financial crises. Illiquid banks are useful to bailout. Yet bankrupt banks (zombie, like in japan) are better off to die, they are better off dying

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We should play kids' games (when it is fun)

Geneva. Went today to the park, there is a swing that kids play. I went on it and had great fun.

I am wondering why do not people play these games once they grow up? does it stop being fun?
I suspect there is a stupid vanity in this is no longer to my level. As if a positive feeling by itself is not enouge a reason to play it.

If so it is indeed stupid, and the wise person will play it to old age (insofar that he enjoys it).

Another intrigiung possibility is physiological. This game is indeed shaking the body. For some people this shakeout is not fun once they grow up. The question is whether it is natural, or it is a certain kind of sickness, that we better grow up of. Play these games until your body is no onger so old.

there are probably more reasons that I do not know, and let me mess you up with more ideas. But I still hold that insofar that it is fun, we should do it and get rid of all the possible bulshit against having fun!

There is the idea of meainng. We want to have meaning in things we do. We want things to fit in what we think we are etc.

There is an identity thing. Works two directions. We do not feel inclined towards activities which do not onform to our identity, and we are afraid that playing kids games will put on us the unforgivable identity of kids (double stupidity. 1) losing fun for self image. 2) the imagination that playing reduces the qualities of grown ups we have. 3) The fantasy that the respected self definition is that of the serious and worked up abult.

With a ... hope of not sounding too grown up

Saturday, May 8, 2010

interminnent fasting and selecting for the delicious

Interminnet fasting is supposed to be healthy.

A good trick to use it is by fasting according to food quality. If you fast when there is low wuality food, you got two rewards at once. You enjoy health benefits of fasting, and you also eat overall better food.

PS. research shows that for 48 hours eating vs. not eating has not discrenible effect on mood and cognitive performance.
(ppl did not know they got no calories, were supplied with a drink which they did not knew caloric content)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

discomfort, pain and risk of pain

Pain is a signal that something is bad. Discomfort, however, is many times not enough of a reason to change our priorities.

It is the confusion between pain - negative, natual alarm - and discomfort that can bring life and activities to a halt.

Risk of pain is another story. Pain is usually not a death sentence. So non fatal pain is acceptable, but not good. Yet, taking a small risk to come to pain, is perfectly reasonable. Again, it is the confusion between pain and possible pain that can bring life to a halt.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When depressed do useful things

There are many things that are useful in their results but are on fun or worse.

When we are depressed and have no fun enjoying, we may take the opportunity to do useful things for tomorrow.

This way we catch two birds at once, we find a time for these utilitarian annoying activities + do something while depressed instead of ruminating.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crooked filtering. enjoy everything. do not take pain in anything

The most stupid attitude I ever saw is not enjoying something because of "a reason"

Fun is almost always good. And thinking before enjoying something is absurd nonsense. (whether it is enjoying low quality music not so delicate jokes like the ones I am distributing, etc.).

Lookingn for better stuff, is another thing altogether. Yet denying pleasure is never a good idea.

The lack of filtering also related to the way we enjoy. SOmetimes we enjoy stuff in kinds of feeling we are not used to, or that are somehow categorized in mind and not great or not appropriate. Yet, I can never see these as reason to avoid experiencing fun.

The idea of filtering is to accept anything that feels good without any standard or gateway.

Opposite for negative feelings. I prefer never to feel bad. Therefore, if not feeling bad following a lose or a mistake, do not question it. Do not mend it!!

Richard Feynman, after his beloved died came to work and said "Arlene died, what's up with the project?"
If you have the slightest thought when hearing this story, check what is wrong with you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

occasional exercise vs. continous states

Life quality is a result of two kinds of activities/involvements with it.

First is the once-off actions, some dedicated exercise or whatever action that is not continous. Here it is easier to be deliberate, controlled etc. And it is usually good to be optimal in these + rational etc.

Continouos moving around is another thing altogether. It has a huge effect, but continouos managemnet is problematic. Yet we cannot avoid the fact that the continouos going on is crucial as well. But it is quite tricky to handle ti wothout getting too much "managed"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Natural/evolutionary psychology?

Reading recently (and getting excited) about evolutionary health. i.e. we are wired to a natural way to living. rather than planning ever5yhting and protecting ourselves etc. etc. (see website of paleo diet and otehrs)

WIll this work for mental/psychological?

Trying to think and figure out, and have no idea.
On the negative it may mean to delte much of psycholigcal slef talk and "sophisticaiton". On the positive?

No idea. Tell me if you have an idea

High intensity mental training>?

research shows that high intensity phisiological training is as effective as long endurance training. Albeit tking 10-25% of time.

Can mental training work same?

short term high intensity self regulation exercises?
short term high intensity meditation etc.?

Much more practical. I hold that part of hte reason most ppl do not do these is because the cost involved. Cheaper methods may lead to much more ppl practiciing these.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I am no longer annoyed by ........

Getting used to things may mean forming a better relatiotship with those. But it may mean muting one's sensitivity and emotions. The dead does not feel pain, so does the emotionally muted. (Nevertheless, it can be a useful strategy when no better option is there).

In the same venue I am not sure about what research found that the older are happier. It is higher satisfaciton with life. Meanig the person things better on his life. But are they indeed happier? or they just got used to a less good life? (Remember the research that as people grow they move form taking control on life, to inside control i.e. getting used to what there is, and conrolling the psych etc.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Local thinking vs. heavy

When you encounter a situation, an idea, a fact, an experience.
You try naturally to understand it. To get the point, or to learn some correction to previously held beliefs.

There may arise the want to verify the belief in a system wide way. If I learned something that reduced the value of money for example, or of prudence etc. I may try to adjust my general beliefs and find out the correct wieght to put upon whatever it is.

This way of thinking is quite heavy and tiresome. It implies that every lesson we learn wil go back to be connected to all our related beleifs and we will consider everything related again.

An entirely different strategy is to Get the lesson in a local way. A local lesson is a local one. Ultimately we build a whole set of beleifs and relationships. This ultimate conclusion is a result of all our local belifs, experiences etc.

The way the brain works is that a local experience and lesson is magnified locally, but our later overal opinions will be a result of multiple local lessons.

Given that, it may even be better to learn each experience in the very local way. This way you can generally invest much more energy and attention towards the local experience. The cummulative aggregated knowledge may be even better this way, and thinking easier.

PS. Note that over generalization, takes your mind out of the current situation, and assumptions theory etc. take a bigger role. Additionally, thinking in a generalized manner seems to require more mental effort, which can be quite tiring, and even decrease the joy of thinking altogether.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

soon and multiply

Just fell upon an economic principle

value creating acitons should be done sooner rather than later.

Another obvious idea is to multiply. If something is good do as much of it as possible (i.e. If you fell upon a great mood for reading and the reading goes perfectly, ignore any other activity appointment etc. Enjoy the momentum to its maximum)

These two principles are much neglected. We are taught about balance, and not to eat like a pig, etc. All of which is utterly nonsense. If something 9is really good eat like a pig in the size of an elephant. And soon.

You never lose from being richer. In any aspect.

Monday, March 1, 2010

love the pain of what you do not have

Being a oprhan with parents, I remember the pain of hanging out with freinds who had intact homes. I walk in, a nice house, organized, a little bit too organized to my taste. and I am getting all anxious. The pain of why I do not have it was unbearable.

Result. One forget what good and nice is. It is different from sour grapes. Because here one does not think his situation is good. He simply cannot bear the pain of seeing the goods he does not have.

Result. One get even more distant from what he addmited is good.

Choosing my company has suffered from a similar problem. I met today a person I consider a real person. a strong person. a person that aside from being strong and sounding smart, knows how to experinece life.

While talking, I spoke theoretically about one of my weakness without eluding to myself. She offered that this level of stupidity ois not worth talking about.

It was so painful to hear. I almost thought that I am not smart talking to her.
It took some hours to realize that I want to be around people whose ideas and perceptions are great and balanced, even if there is pain of experiencing my misdeeds.

I want to be influenced by the smart and happy. EVEN if it reminds me on my sufferings and stupidity. You want to be affected from the best.

PS. It involves pain. But this is yet another expertise to bear pain without getting lost, or escaping at any price.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Optimism and old age (psychological research)

Research found that optimism is negative for old individuals. Why?

I suggest that optimism brings people to make more effort and get stressed (research by Segerstorm and Solberg Nes). WHile stress is negative, the positive results of these actions surpasses the cost, and makes optimism a positive trait.

The old, we know, are slow to recover form stress. It implies that hte cost of short term stress is much higher. This may make optimism an overally negative trait then.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

unconscious happiness and positive affect

Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) is a state where one is entirely consumed in an activity. In such a state one is generally not aware of his very existence. Yet Csikszentmihalyi holds it is a central way to a happy life.

Why is not everybody trying to acheive as much flow as possible? (aside from the regular reasons why people do not improve their lives.....)

Possibly because in flow we are nott conscious of our very existence and therefore we are later less aware of the fact that we had so much fun (or positive affect ;-))

Being happy and not knowing about it is highly interesting idea. I had two periods in my life when I was very anxious etc. but other people thoguht that I looked as happy as never before and after. (I am still not sure how to accout ofr htese experiences....)

A similar idea is promoted by Daniel Kahneman with his observation that moment to moment experience differs from the way we think about our life.
One may similarly wonder what is the meaning and value of happiness at sleep.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

calibration and fine tuning are useless

Knowledge comes in two levels. The idea level, what we know more or less and uisually get the gist of it in the first look, and then comes the exact. I got convinced in this idea, but how sure am I aobut it? 80%, 90%? then you may even ask 84%? 82%.
This is calibration. The futile try to be exact in what one knows, and sometimes to define the borders clearly.

It is futile for several reasons, but most of all because its results are increased stupidity. One usually gets delusions and made up stories rather than information.

Degree of reliability goes down as one goes into smalle measures. One can know whetehr something is probably true or false. But knowing whether it is 70% reliable or 80% reliable is next to impossible.

Value of information goes down as one goes into the smaller. The ultimate meaing of a 10% difference is much lower than that of true false issue.

there is so much to think about or experience that there is no reason to waste precious attention and energy in useless fine-uning. Unless one enjoys it, maybe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

counter opportunity moments

There are moments of opportunity. When a once-in-a-life-time opportunity comes along and one got to learn how to grab it.

There are moments of weakness. Moments when there does not seem to be a suitable acitons around. When the mind in blurred etc.

Here, a very special ability is to abstain from action. Do nothing and you should be proud of it.

It is very hard, though.

A good example or this are moments of emotional overwhelm. For most of us there are times when the mind does not work very efficiently, when we really do not know what to do. But there the feeling comes that "something must be done/said", and this is a mistake. Alas, one got to be able to hold pain for that, which is another rare skill.

Monday, February 15, 2010

depends on: how you do it? how you saw it?

nothing is absolutely good/useful vs. not.

depends on how you do it other situtional parametes.

But the conet also affects learning. We see a smart move by a stupid person and we hate the idea.

So aesthetic context in acuiring knowledgeis suspicious. (it good many times, as our feelings many times convey generalizations as to where and what learn from).

But details of how you do things are crucial.

self control can be go or bad. (sometimes it denotes autism/rigidy/lifelessness + many times the cost of controlling oneself makes the whole xercie ueless and even negative). Love can be harmful. and so on.

A joke, a hug, and writing are not good or bad. Depends on how.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The general decisioin of life: Taking it seriously or not?

There are so many things in life that if only done well can make life nicer. Whether improving one's seat near the computer, getting a quality mattress, exercising and so on.

Yet, I saw two kinds of people, those who are serious about life, i.e. doing the right things always. Those more technical oriented or obssessive. And those who do not care, take life easier.

When viewed from this angle, it is quite possible that not caring too much is a better choice, even if logically it leads to mistaken decisions (the price of heaviness + the cost of unnatural life management [i.e. one "does" things because a formal decisions, instead of the natural tendency to do what one things is better for him, which is a more normal and efficient way to self manage])

I do not know. It is probably a matter of degree (and context etc. as usual).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why do men shave

For Baal's sake! do not take this piece seriously

It is a waste of time.

But women like shaven face (not always, just my experience. Some research I forget says that bearded men are more attractive). So men will waste time to be more attractive. After all getting laid is a central thing in life.

Now it also serves as signalling that you are in the business of women. So you want to look like you are in the talk even if you are remote.

It also signals that you are orderly enough to shave daily, which signals Conscientiousness (a personal;ity trait). Geoffrey miller in "Spent" (great book) says that much of what we do and buy is to signal our personality traits. Having a dog shows you are Conscientiousness as well as it needs constant care (I for one hate doing anything that shows Conscientiousness. The only place to be Conscientiousness is when it brings any real world value)

But the whole question is upside down and silly. Do people live with a utilitarian maximization outlook without exceptions?
Shaving can be enjoyable. grooming oneself is an interesting thing wiht various meanings. It can be kind of meditation relexation. It is always superior to watching TV

Monday, February 1, 2010

The delusion of optimality

In life we usually have to decide. We got to make some assesment of the overall picture and get to the better (optimal) way of doing.

This is how life goes, and I have no argument against it

Yet people tend to get caught in what seems to be better and assume it is an absolute better. Assume the reasons for chooosing were 100% relevant etc.

So, supporters of democracy beleive that democracy is the ultimate way of managing a soceity, it is only good, it is a moral obligation etc.
The reality is that democracy has many failures, its moral value is limited to the situations it is good for soceity, and its betterness depends on context.

Same for experts. Experts have hte advantage of being immersed in a topic and so on. Yet their mind has its limitations + the very disadvantage of being an expert (you program your mind in a certain way and you stop seeing things hte average persons sees).

Same for optimization in general and for science.

Do people want absolutes? do we need something to cling on? Is the value of eleiving worth its drawbacks (in terms of results, not that of process. I do not beleive truth has any inherent value. Its only the value of relating to reality that is sometimes useful)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When the masses have the interest to self delude

It is a human ability to self delude in order to feel better about oneself. It has been found that the depressed are generallly more realistic about their lives than the happy ones. No doubt we should be idiots to want "realism" and get depressed. (unless one is religiously "truth seeking" which is yet another mental illness).

So for some issues most people have a very strong interest to beleoive in what they think is reality.

Two great examples are marriage and kids.

Whether these are good or not is a complex question. (partly because nobody feels comfortable to think lucidly about these, Or it is human nature to get confused here). [The available sceintific data holds that marriage is variable good for some and bad for other in the long term, while most enjoy it in the beginning. Kids are not adding to our happiness usually as far as we can measure happiness and life satisfaction]

Yet those who are married have a strong self interest in beleiving that marriage is crucial for life and happiness. I witnessed it yesterday when visiting an acquitant who is laboring madly with her kids and job. I suspect she was more alive nad happy when single. SOmehow I heard her opinion that the single persons are highly unhappy. I was unable to avoid the thought that she has a vested interst in this beleif.

Same for kids. The majority of people who do have kids (many out of carelessness in sex), love their kids (usually) and cannot change history. Their best psychological tactic is to beleive in a hardcore way that kids are a great thing. (When some one says that the only thing in his life are his kids, cannot avoid the suspicion that he simply does not have anything else in his life. I have heard these words only form people wghose life seems to have ended long ago. But who am I to make fun of the last consolation of the depressed)

Actually, the only problem with these delusions are when it comes to decisions. And when the masses delude themselves it also creates a public opinion that is highly deluded.