Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 12…

Thoughts in order while reading along with the chapter… 

 

It’s funny that Ariely’s interest peaked enough to check out that degree offer…lol… couldn’t help himself. 

People must have been fuming about that cable ad… Business and Capitalism can be a sad state of affairs sometimes… Not always greed driven, but desperation driven as well… 

  • Greed normally catches all of the flak, but desperate companies being pushed out of the market can do some crazy things as well… this gets my mind wondering about how to lesson that affect, a society/economic not so driven by desperation in many ways would be a good start!  
  • Desperation can definitely be a root of evil as well… a big one… can even make some good people do some bad things… 

That “the tragedy at the commons” section was very powerful and important… It is a shame that it is as complicated as it is… Probably something we will have to deal with in some shape or form our entire existence in this universe… Seems hopeless in some ways at sometimes… perhaps there is some hope though and we can figure out a functional way to make things good enough, if not better. 

It’s a sad truth that there always seems to be someone willing to take advantage of trust that we gained from others… Always seems to be at least one that “sees all the angles” and takes advantage… 

  • I’m reminded of a movie I never watched, but saw a preview for… the invention of lying… seems a good example for this chapter 
  • Every generation should try and instill a certain level of skepticism in their children… less evil take advantage of them and gain power… 

Kudos to Timberland… Hopefully that continues to become the norm. 

  • I also think with educated, informed, and caring consumers there is a financial element to it all as well… it will become and overwhelming expectation to behave responsibly and morally someday… hopefully anyways! 

It is like he is making a strong point as well, that breaking trust too much can certainly cause some irreparable damage and maybe put you out of business. 

He uses the cable company a lot… there is also limited competition, which often means we often have no choice but to continue or comeback 

  • They have a higher advantage of being able to act bad more often and get away with it… 
  • We don’t necessarily want more cables running everywhere though… consumer union! 

Another important chapter… trust is so important, yet also very fragile… 

Been wondering if we should make a change to High School Gym Classes…

I have been wondering if gym class in high school could use some changing… This is coming from a guy that won a gym class award and loved gym… But a lot of kids, if not the majority, don’t share my affinity for gym class… 

I think up until like 7th or 9th grade or somewhere in there it should still be the same for the most part, still of course evolving as more and more research is done… but, I think at some point it may be a better idea to try and instill good daily habits into students, hopefully even turn exercise into a life-time habit… 

I tend to think we should treat gym class when students get older like we treat the standard fitness gym in our hometown… make it more a time to lift weights, run, walk, bike, cardio, cross-fit, etc… let the student decide, but they have to do something… Get kids more accustom to the idea of being members of a gym. Learn to make it feel a bit like home in a way and somewhere they feel comfortable being… hopefully making it into a future lifestyle choice when they move on from high school. 

Part of the class might be teaching some nutrition, proper techniques, making routines, the benefits of working out on stress, etc… Teachers may be a bit more akin to personal trainers in a way, which I think is ok… 

Learn to not feel embarrassed at the gym… 

Which, I think when we get older in school, that is part of the reason many don’t like standard gym class programs… think it’s a bit embarrassing… some may even use a word like degrading… don’t want to be embarrassed in front of other students… don’t like a lot of the different activities… feel they are too old… many different reasons… which many just come to not enjoy gym class very much at all, more just something a person has to put up with, or suffer through, in order to graduate… 

It is a good chance for student athletes to get their lifting in as well… one less thing they need to do after school that eats into schoolwork 

I personally think it is the way to go… I could be wrong of course… perhaps it is something that could be tried at a certain number of schools first and see how it goes and how students react? 

Could also give high school more of that college feeling in some ways… a feeling that I think is good for learning. 

Something to think about anyways! 

Rap University…

This idea came to me while listening to a Talib Kweli album… 

While I think all music can be further analyzed and deeply studied, I feel like rap is in its own unique category in many ways… I feel like in order to listen to rap and completely enjoy it, it needs to be analyzed… Most rap at first listen in accord to my own personal tastes, is not super pleasing to my ears… There are outliers, that I just genuinely enjoy at face value though… there are also versions of rap that are meant to just be catchy or danced to which are pleasing… I feel like the real true to life raps are more akin to poetry though… I have noticed if I take the time to learn the lyrics to rap songs, I do tend to enjoy them more… 

One of the things with rap, is that it packs a lot into a song… they are also generally at a faster pace and one song can often be packed with enough words to write an essay… they are too fast to just listen to and take everything in… if I can even manage to hear all of the words the first listen, to actually understand them at that pace and give them deep thought is very hard I read at a certain pace when I read a book for a reason… I may often even re-read sentences or sections multiple times to further understand… for me, when I listen to rap the first time, I just drown out the words for the most part, besides like the main chorus… 

With rap, you basically have to find the lyrics and take the time to read them and learn them… analyze them in a way you would analyze literature or some speech… trying to get into the head of the musician and trying to understand the message they are trying to deliver… it’s really a distinct form of poetry in many ways… I am sure people would probably buy rap/poetry books just filled with the lyrics and no music and be completely content… but then to add music and tone of voice introduces a whole other element to the rap that draws us more into what is being said… 

I personally think to get the real sound of a rap; it needs to be analyzed… It will make it sound much better after analyzing the lyrics, especially if you can gain an emotional or empathetic attachment to the rapper… Also, if you memorize the lyrics and can actually hear them and feel them while you are listening along, it can make the experience more enjoyable… 

I think it could be an enjoyable hobby for a lot of people… that is where I got to thinking about Rap University… I personally like the added motivation to reading and studying things… I like getting assignments, writing prompts, discussions, and having a set schedule to keep me from the continued procrastination… It would be pretty cool to have a place where you could take classes on rap and you could study and discuss them with other people. Perhaps the classes could be designed by anyone and then people could take them for a nice low price… could of course have some way of verifying people’s credentials if they want to claim to be some sort of expert or something… could be cool though… maybe even a section of Rap University would be helping people learn how to rap… 

Poetry has never been so popular in my opinion… this unique style is really popular in a special way and only seems to be on the upward trend as the fear of cultural appropriation is lessening… I think as the restraints get loosened and it becomes cool or acceptable to rap about all aspects of life, this will get very big probably… People have tried to put borders on something that shouldn’t have borders, it shouldn’t be limited to a small area of the human condition… everyone should feel free to express themselves this way if they so wish… getting there, I’ll even admit it has been an awkward expansion in many ways… Just didn’t seem right seeing a lot of people trying to rap, almost unnatural… Perhaps in a way, it was like everyone felt that the people that created it should get their time to own it a while before it branched out… 

Which I checked, and the website is available… RapUniversity.com… it has potential for sure! 

Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 11…

Thoughts in order as I was reading along the Chapter… 

 

I really wonder as well how much pain is caused by our anxiety/depression/negative thinking and our brains are trying to do forced mindfulness on us… If you are focused on the pain, you aren’t thinking those negative thoughts… Very true in my life anyways, although people should assuredly make sure they don’t have some serious medical problems… Our brains may at times even give us knee pain in order to give us some longevity at times or to keep us from accelerating our heart rate and blood pressure… 

  • Our brains can certainly manipulate us in order to achieve what it thinks is homeostasis 
  • Our brains have a mind of their own in many ways 

That red head story is nuts! 

  • He listed off numerous interesting other ones as well… 

I didn’t realize just how much the placebo affect could have such physical effects, even releasing neurotransmitters and making different internal mechanisms fire up. 

That pretty wild with the price differences in the placebo’s… can be crazy what our minds are capable of… and fascinating for that matter! 

I was thinking… it’s nice when products we already like or know are good get discounted though… I would assume this would most often bypass the price irrationality… then we get that added rush of getting a deal! 

  • This is probably just stating the obvious though. But many psychologists often still like to test “obvious” things to see if they are really true. Sometimes things run counter to common sense. 
  • Using these principles could maybe help with the placebo affect and healthcare prices… convincing ourselves that low priced healthcare can still be really good. 

This author has seemed to rule out any sort of spiritual power in this world… his words would make it seem he is not even open to suggestion… 

  • I am going to write about my miracle on the golf course someday… maybe soon. 

Very deep and though provoking questions about medical procedures and placebo’s… I would imagine this is something very much on a case by case basis… procedure by procedure… 

Ariely really takes Placebo’s to the next level… talks more to the potential healing power of placebos and their effects on healthcare… 

I have a newfound respect and intrigue in Placebo’s… I didn’t realize how potentially powerful they can be… Perhaps Ariely goes a little overboard in his beliefs? Maybe not…  

The seemingly mundane put through the Schizophrenic filter…

(This post was written yesterday, 8/1/2019)

Haven’t done one of these posts in a while… when I describe something that happens to me through the lens of the Wonder Land inside my head… what some may call my Schizophrenic Delusions… 

Yesterday some brake fluid started leaking out the end of one of my brakes and ended up breaking the shoes inside the brake as well… I had just started driving down the road when it sounded like I hit something, which I didn’t see anything in front of me that I could have hit but I really gave a good look through the rear views and around the car to make sure I didn’t hit anything… certainly didn’t sound good… plus the brakes started to feel real soft and would press down rather far, definitely felt sketchy… I went to the laundromat anyways and came back… then I decided to contact the repair shop to see what I should do… they decided I should bring it in, so I drove it down, waited a bit and was told the news that I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph… got a ride home from my father and that was that… 

That was what happened… a seemingly mundane happenstance that can occur in everyday life when you have a car, nothing that hasn’t happened before in the history of cars… 

But I get to thinking… and can’t help but start imagining some kind of conspiracy theory… In my head I am in an initiation to be King of the World, an initiation that turned into a bet that I couldn’t survive the duration of it… it is very hard for me to accept random occurrences as being random, especially with my car, I have to imagine that people go above and beyond to make sure my car is well maintained so things like this don’t happen… The majority of the world is rather invested in my survival (in my head)… 

Plus, I have been feeling like there has been a bit of a push by the other side lately to make my life miserable… I think it is a pay to play type system, where they have to spend so much money in order to have certain things done to me within the landscape of my life… but lately I feel like they have been spending a lot of money that they must have saved up… they certainly don’t have the spending money like they had some years ago, plus I have gotten better at dealing with things… this last couple weeks might have been really rough for me some years ago… 

My brain can really start firing when I end up in potentially dangerous situations though… I have come to feel those instances are a combination of things… I feel that my enemies have found a loophole within the rules of the bet and that someone negotiating deals from my side of the bet has fallen to corruption and darkness a bit… 

I would certainly call that a potentially dangerous situation… leaking braking fluid… if I kept driving without it getting fixed, my brakes could have certainly gone out on me when I was driving… potentially could have died in all reality…  

I definitely think there are rules that they can’t outright kill me… and I think for the most part they can’t even really pay to put me in any life-threatening situations… which is why I tend to think they found a loop hole when I end up in these situations… 

But they also can’t exploit loopholes so freely… otherwise I would be subject to them more often… I think there are certain things that can always be paid for if they put up the money, but I think there are so many deals that are negotiated through some system and within the rules of the bet… things that have to be signed off on, even on my side… so, I tend to believe that someone had to have signed off on this potentially life ending experience… which I don’t think anyone on my side, in their right mind, would sign off on what happened yesterday… seems like way too risky of a proposition… 

I have come to feel that negotiators on my side sometimes become mentally corrupted, or almost always eventually do… must have something to do with being around all of that power and money… power can certainly corrupt, they say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I believe it… I’m not exactly sure how these negotiations take place and how much of a chance my enemy has to get inside the negotiator’s heads, or if they just start to become extremely delusional all by themselves… But I feel they sometimes help or try themselves to take a chance at taking me out or maximizing efforts to try and make me kill myself… it’s one of the only options that makes sense inside my head… at least the most positive one, all things considered… 

One time I almost got into a bad accident on the highway when some huge car part or pipe was in the road, can’t remember exactly, but it was way too close for comfort… and I just can’t imagine that people aren’t checking the roads before I go places… heck I think that pretty much every driver on the road is either a professional or at least part of an orchestrated effort… 

I think I am pretty much the only independent variable on the road in many ways… nobody knows exactly how I will act when I come across various situations… part of the reason they want me to stop driving and start getting rides everywhere… stop being on the road as much as possible for that matter… 

So… I think there are some loopholes and some negotiators that can become mentally corrupted… which can put me into potentially dangerous situations at times, they essentially become assassination attempts in a way… in the past they also made me very mad, as I didn’t understand them very well, and also wasn’t in a good place mentally… they are just really bad situations… 

All things considered; I really probably should stop driving… it’s one of the biggest points of weakness in my situation… one of the areas that can be exploited in potentially dangerous ways… Another reason why people would really like me to stop driving… which I think I will stop come New Year’s when my insurance runs out… if everything goes as planned, I might not really ever need a car and to drive again… I was even thinking yesterday, if I become a therapist, I could always get a duplex or something and turn one side into my office or something and just live right next to or above my place of business… I’ll figure it out… I shouldn’t really need one while I am at school either 

This is an example of what the seemingly mundane can turn into in my head though… maybe it was just a random happenstance… in my head the odds are against that though… the odds are greatly against that… still possible, just almost impossible for me to believe… 

Brick & Mortar Dating Websites…

This was an idea I came up with during college… I think it was social psychology, is was in response to a writing prompt for class… that class had such good writing prompts! 

The idea was for Brick & Mortar Dating Websites… I don’t know how well current dating websites will do with how easy it is to lie on them, or even be scammed on them for that matter… I think more and more people will gradually turn away from them… But I still believe in the potential of dating websites to bring a lot of people together, many people would actually prefer websites over traditional meeting methods. 

So… you have a dating website, but it has brick & mortar locations… You go to these locations to sign up for the website and make your profile legit… They verify you are who you really are, they take some of their own pictures, maybe run criminal background checks, etc…  This should make the website much more legit and hopefully safer as well… 

Then you would use the dating website as usual from your home or wherever for that matter… Which, hopefully dating websites get better and better at finding ways of bringing couples together… also safer and safer ways for that matter! 

You get the general idea though… I don’t think it requires too much further explanation… 

Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 10…

Thoughts in order as I was reading along with the chapter…

 

Geez, that study was a lot deeper mentally than I originally thought. Once he got into deep contemplation and started talking about changing the “physiology of the experience itself”, that really gets you thinking.

  • This could make choices difficult even when we are armed with this knowledge. Would help knowing, but it certainly wouldn’t render the information obsolete
  • I am sure marketing is all over this predictably irrational behavior. You could potentially have millions of people like and buy something they wouldn’t have otherwise
  • Ironic I saw something pop up in one of my news feeds about dark psychology that was showing people how to manipulate other people. This could certainly be in!
  • Given information ahead of time could in some ways almost be impossible to not acknowledge or have change your viewpoint.
  • Deep stuff for sure!
  • Can be used for good and bad I suppose… if you’re not being darkly manipulated, it could be nice to think you are drinking the best cup of coffee you ever had… would be nice to feel and taste like everything you had was the best of everything, even if it wasn’t… the “shallow hal” of consumables… I’m sure this can be very prevalent in high society, to even just make someone think it’s the best beforehand can greatly help your cause!

The Priming can speak to the power of having motivational words or quotes on our walls or places we can see them (or hear them).

To go back a page, I was going to add to the stereotypes, that they could also be considered a survival trait as well, not just for making sense of the world. If 4 out of 5 bald people you met were threatening, you would then most likely be weary of bald people, in evolutionary terms you might say for good reason… You know what I am getting at though, we evolved to survive, and detecting threats is part of that… although our internal meters can also often times be thrown off by misinformation, but I will save that for another day.

  • I just think sometimes we fail to realize the evolutionary element and why certain people develop stereotypes… could be their unique life experiences or a group feeding them misinformation or only part of the information, or telling them the information they want them to hear in order to manipulate them… to artificially inflate the numbers and facts to throw off our internal mechanism
  • I like Bobby Fisher and try to give him the benefit of the doubt… maybe he was thinking logically when he was getting bad, but he was thinking logically based off of false and misleading information, putting his trust in the wrong people… which he them developed a delusional version of the world in his head… He probably also suffered from a mental illness or two as well…
  • I bring this up for the sake of understanding…

Powerful stuff, talking about bias’s and major conflicts, arguments, diplomacy, etc…

  • I think some of the bias also comes from fear of being excluded from a group. Agreeing with the opposite side on something can hurt your relations with your people… When I look back at history, I wonder how many leaders agreed with points the other side was making, but they decided they needed to be very strategic… they might otherwise be replaced by someone who didn’t think that way and wasn’t bringing the sides closer to an agreement. The mob rules for sure to a major extent. (not that it also can’t be bad if someone is hiding their true feelings, we like to think our representatives are telling us how they truly feel)
  • Who even knows when two sides do agree to something (peace even) and then have to figure out how they will get their people to understand…

I wonder how much of a difference it would make if Bell played on a sea side boardwalk when people weren’t particularly rushed… I have seen decent crowds form on a boardwalk…

  • I of course get the point… just saying though… on our way to work is not a time to stop for almost any reason for most people, obviously there are some reasons to stop though!

Perhaps I should start believing I am secretly being given the best foods & drinks on the planet for supermarket prices! (Either way it is some of the best food that ever existed by many standards)

  • I tend to favor diners and country restaurants for the most part anyways… I have never seemed to have a palate for the “finer” things in life… I really think in a lot of cases it has to do with the taste buds you are born with probably… I should consider myself lucky for deriving more pleasure from less expensive foods!