Indefinite Prison Sentences…

I will start with this statement… 

I find a flaw in the logic of the prison sentencing… Take someone locked up 10 years for a murder… our logic is that in 10 years you will no longer be a murderer and no longer a threat to a society. But even if you are still a murderer and a threat to society, we have to let you out. I don’t like how we let out so many people that are still a threat to society. It is just a bad system in my opinion… 

I like the idea of having a minimum amount of time and an indefinite sentence… So, we would give that murderer 10 years and if he was still a threat to society after that, we would keep him in there… 

This gives a lot of leverage to make people actually reform while they are in prison… make them have to get therapy and work on themselves while they are in there… not to mention for the safety of the prison guards, be on good behavior… We don’t give people much incentive to change while they are in prison, it is just do my time and I get out no matter what… 

I like the idea of keeping people that are still dangers to society in prison… I actually find it rather nuts that we have a murderer locked up sometimes and then just let them go because that is our law, seems a bit dumb… then just get out and go right back to their life of crime. 

The system might have been the best we could do before we really got into psychology and started making advances in therapy and things like that… but it is a different period of time now… 

I do have some concerns with this system being taken advantage of… because of the conspiracy theory of prisons as a business enterprise… that we lock people up and keep arresting them to keep the prisons full and in business… while I think this is a conspiracy theory, it is not without merit… humans do some crazy things sometimes to maintain their jobs and careers… I have seen some crazy stories of what humans are capable of in those instances… 

It’s not hard to imagine a scenario then, where people keep denying people parole because they are trying to keep their prison at a certain capacity to stay in business… which would be horrible and is a concern… 

Perhaps there could be an independent organization that is in charge of this, with plenty of oversight… and of course lawyers would also be looking out for the best interests of people… 

I think something needs to change though…  

Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 2…

Some thoughts while reading the chapter, in order as they appeared… 

 

Pearls, diamonds, jewelry, rare, and luxury items in a Perfect Capitalism world… 

  • I am not opposed to high end items for wealthy people, especially if they are of low environmental costs 
  • In my opinion there still needs to be some advantages for people that fulfill certain positions in life. I am not for some lottery system to divide up rare, precious, or limited goods just so that it is fair for everyone. 
  • I do however sometimes think that events like the super bowl should have a certain amount of seating up for a lottery that are affordable to everyone… I don’t think all of those seats should just be just for the wealthy when it is something enjoyed by people representative of all of the economic classes. Such a shared cultural event. 
  • Definitely don’t think that we should all be paid the same though… we need an incentive-based society, it is for the good of the world… helps shape society and get people to fulfill jobs we need done. 
  • I do worry about the psychological impacts and how much self-worth or status is applied to material things… I worry about success going to people’s heads. 
  • People need to keep things in perspective and stay grounded… not think that the wealth makes them better than another person, especially on a soulful level. 
  • I think under perfect capitalism when everyone is taken care of, people will be more accepting of wealth as long as it doesn’t go to people’s heads and other people don’t feel it necessary to put them in their place and bring them back down to earth. 
  • To me it would be nice to offer some low environmental cost, high end incentives to people that are doing more critical things for us and that require hard to achieve skills… you know what I mean… 
  • If we are all doing well, we should try to hook up certain people and try and feel happy for them… Plus people can make money selling them the stuff… 

 

A bit wild to think about that anchoring and how powerful first impressions are… 

  • Books and studies like these can make it easier to achieve meta cognition and observe our own thoughts and tendencies… very helpful… 

 

The power of the mind to see something as work or pleasure… 

  • Before my schizophrenia really set in… there was a period when I really enjoyed work before it became apparent that I couldn’t sustain that level of work for an extended period of time. Plus, I was starting to read the news every day for the first time, that began to take up a lot of my minds limited work capacity at one time… 
  • During that period, I use to joke that if people watched me work for a while, they would want my job because I made it look pleasurable. 
  • An analogy I used to use was… If I was a janitor in a doctor’s office, before long the doctor would be wishing that he were me instead. 
  • I was able to mentally find ways to really enjoy my work and find it meaningful. 

 

His thoughts on the manipulation of the consumer can be largely altered by competition or a consumer union. 

  • A consumer union is an idea for consumers to unionize and hire lawyers and things to read terms and agreements, look into production costs and things like that, try to look out for consumers and make sure they are not being screwed… organize boycotts if necessary… can be particularly useful in industries that are not subject to a lot or any competition. Help achieve what more pure competition can. 
  • If there is no competition the manufacturer/seller/supplier has a higher degree of manipulation and can more easily use psychological tactics against us… Enough competition though can almost completely remove all manipulation or at least greatly curb it… I believe the term might be perfect competition when the market achieves a truer horizontal equilibrium price.  
  • I think that consumer unions could help achieve a better equilibrium in a limited competitive market. 
  • The author does recognize this a bit when he discusses how areas like utilities, the school system, healthcare, etc…  places in general with little to no competition, are subject and exposed to more potential manipulation and consumers being taken advantage of. 

 

A good chapter… Still very much enjoying the read! 

Add a little extra excitement to your fishing experience…

An idea for all you fisherman or future fishermen/fisherwomen… 

This personally made fishing even more fun for me, it adds a bit of competition/goals into the mix, and you can compete against yourself if you want to… 

It is great for the catch and release fisherman that wants to catch tons of fish… 

 

What I did, was assign point values to all the different species of fish within the area, I tried to rate them according to how hard they are to catch or how much of a prize they are generally seen as… for instance a sunfish might only be worth 1pt, but a bass might be worth 15pts… 

Which you can get bonus points for catching a fish over regulation size… say any bass up to 12 inches is worth 15 points, then you get a bonus point for every inch you are over the keeper size. 

For sunfish I did set a 50 per day limit, because in some ponds you can catch so many so fast, and it might be too easy of a way to stack up quick points… although I have found they aren’t always biting! 

Then there is a season bonus for catching a certain amount of different species of fish… so if you caught 10 different kinds of fish during the season you would get x amount of points… then of course the more different kinds you catch, the higher the season bonus you get… This makes you have to learn how to catch a lot of different kinds of fish and go to different places to chase down the different species… 

This was a lot of fun as I kept a notebook with me on all of my fishing adventures and kept track of all of my fish…  

It is an honest man’s competition, although I could see wanting pictures of certain fish as evidence for your friends… some hard to catch fish or a particularly large lunker 

You can compete against yourself on a year to year basis trying to beat your previous scores… 

I thought this made fishing a lot more fun anyways, I always like a add a little competition or incentive to make things a little more exciting… it is also fun to keep track of your fish as well, and you will have a nice journal keepsake for years to come… 

Something to think about as the fishing season is upon us! 

Cautiously Optimistic…

Been doing a lot of ruminating the last few days… a bit of negative thinking as well… a few thoughts wishing I was in heaven already… 

I wish I enjoyed working… a lot of my problems would go away… but as it stands, to work is to fight for my life… 

The last time I worked enough to support myself… I felt like it was me against the world… felt like everybody was trying to kill me while I am in this bet, or should I say trying to make me kill myself… I felt like everyone I passed was whispering things to me… telling me I smelled… telling me I was going to be killed… telling me I was gay… if I bought something, people would ask me why I would buy that or to sell it back… if I had an idea that day, people would tell me it was awful… telling me everyone was a communist… telling me anything and everything to piss me off and to make my life miserable… there was a comment for everything… I even started to think that there were speakers in the walls that were whispering things to make me mad… If I went to church, everyone there, including the preacher was saying things… there was no safe space… 

I isolated myself, showered once a week, had trouble performing basic hygiene, everything felt so exhausting… I would get so mad thinking everyone was trying to make me kill myself that I would just get in my car and rant and yell for hours when I was going somewhere… it would feel like month long rants I was going on… just filled with so much anger and depression… thinking about killing myself all the time… 

I would see the negative in everything… and considering I felt like everyone was in on it, it felt like every little sleight was a planned thing to make me mad… a long line at the store, planned…. a person cutting me off, planned… being asked to do something I didn’t want to do, planned… everything thing was planned against me… something I didn’t like in the news, planned… somebody sneaking into the bathroom before me, planned… 

Then as my trains of thought got so negative… one little negative thing would make me think about every little reason why I should be pissed off and hate the world… 

It was a terrible existence… just filled with hate, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc… what felt like all day everyday… 

That is a little bit of the nightmare I use to live anyways… 

Then, the flood happened, and my place got flooded and I had to move home… not long after was the first time I asked to have my hours cut at the shop… 

Life still continued very much the same in many ways… always fighting the world and the people whispering things or trying to make my life miserable… 

Then eventually I would ask to cut my hours back more and more, and I started to get into meditation and mindfulness… I started taking another medication for anxiety, I went through about 4 before I found one that worked… 

Gradually as I got my stress under a certain level and under control, I would get breaks from the whispers or me jumbling up what people said into something negative… less bouts of anger, less thoughts of suicide, less depression… started to enjoy life a bit again… 

When my stress gets to a certain level… all of that negative stuff starts to come back… when the negative starts to creep back in, my entire life goal becomes getting my stress back under a manageable level… I started to look back over my life and realized how much of how I lived was avoiding getting my stress over a certain level… I never really had a grey area between depression/anger-Happiness… either I am the happiest person in the world or when I am too stressed, I enter into a deep depression and anger/edgy… 

It was really when I first started to care about the world and started work hard that my schizophrenia was noticed… because it was the first time, I really had elevated stress that I was trying to sustain for a prolonged period of time… I started to feel like I was under attack and that someone or a group of people were trying to make me kill myself… I ended up in two mental hospitals… 

I got out of those… eventually had to work full time again and my life became absolute hell once again… felt like I was under attack again and that people were trying to take me out… 

I can’t not feel like I am under attack when my stress gets to a certain level… and it just gets worse and worse as the rest of the more severe symptoms of my schizophrenia slip back in… 

Being schizophrenic and thinking I am still in an initiation/bet… I sometimes wonder if people aren’t always still whispering things and that I just have selective hearing when I am under a certain level of stress… I still feel like I am in a bet to see if I will kill myself… but when I can get my stress under a  certain level, I am rather happy… 

I enjoy doing this and going to school… like I have said before, if I could be a professional student, that is what I would do… I think it is because of all of the years of schooling, that is just how my brain became wired… so I think school actually helps my mental well-being… or at least some sort of school like substitute like reading and posting to my blog… 

But, this is the last week of work for me, the boss is retiring and the company is going out of business… it is the place I have been able to make a living only working 1 to 2 hours a day… it has helped me get my stress under a manageable level… but I am very concerned about having to find a regular job and potentially heading back into the nightmare I use to live… 

I have a disability hearing coming up, that I hope works out… I am constantly back and forth thinking I might get it or not get it and what am I going to do if I don’t?… it feels like life and death a little… like I may have to go back to a life of torture if it doesn’t work out… 

I am trying to remain optimistic and I have enough from my 401k to probably get by for almost a year… so either way, I have like a year off coming after this week… if I don’t get disability, I am going to take that year to really try and make a living writing from home if possible… I haven’t had luck in that department yet, but I remain hopeful… I might even apply for a national scholarship for schizophrenics next fall…  

Just back and forth about this disability right now and trying to make good plans in my head in the instance I don’t get it… Trying to avoid re-entering the nightmare I use to live… The only thing that helps me while I am in this state of flux is thinking up some kind of back-up plan that I don’t think will make my stress level go too high… 

I definitely am trying to avoid getting my hopes up too much, because it will just make the fall all the much worse if I don’t get it... 

Cautiously optimistic… 

Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 1…

I am just going to write my ideas in the order of the notes that I took when reading the chapter… 

 

-To begin… when thinking about relativity at the beginning of the chapter, I find myself in the moment… Imagining that time doesn’t exist and that time is only perceived by our minds and memories… Helps give me that biblical feeling I sometimes talk about, makes everything feel so real… I often feel like there is a cloud over my eyes, so moments like these are rather overwhelming in many ways. Would be nice if they were the norm a bit more often, I think I am ready to begin walking in reality more often…  

-This chapter made me think about how there is like an entire field of psychology devoted on how to sell and get people to buy things. Makes me wonder if there are any books out there that run counter to that field that help teach you on how to not be taken advantage of and to be a better shopper and consumer. Reminds me of how I think the car industry can sometimes be a pretty shady endeavor… at some car dealerships it feels like the goal is take as advantage of you as much as possible, and it is the consumers goal to get the best deal possible… there could be books about selling cars and books about buying cars, then see who comes out on top. The car industry can be a bit shady like that with its grey area, but perhaps it will change or is changing. This book could be seen as rather useful in that regard but might be nice if there were entire books devoted to it. 

-The author’s quick relativity explanation blew my mind a bit… so simple, but a powerful combination of visuals and words. 

-The relativity in comparing ourselves to others made me think of a future blog post that I am going to do at some point… Pondering what effect something like the show “lifestyles of the rich and famous” had on society. Especially with it being aired on cable television. 

-Pretty wild with what happened with the CEO’s… that may be its own blog post someday! 

-This chapter makes a great case for why more people should look into the concept of minimalism… there is a great documentary/video out there now made by a couple of guys. 

-Thought there was a little bit of messed up dating advice given about how to use your friends in what some may say are somewhat malicious ways… Ironic to this, I use to like having girls meet some of my most stellar friends… guess I wanted to give them an idea of the crowd I hung out with… definitely many times I would bring up many of the accomplishments of my friends… perhaps I was a bit delusional in my thoughts?… perhaps my view is a little less cynical that women might change their mind so easily… granted his advice may have been more for initial meetings or catching someone’s eye in a bar or other atmosphere… that is probably more along the line of his thinking, although I think it is a little bit of a messed up thing to do, unless of course you may have some friend that loves the idea or something after reading about it… Also, a little manipulative to the target of affection as well possibly… 

 

Great start to the book, I am definitely hooked… It’s only Wednesday and I already read the first chapter, but I will be doing my book club postings on Sunday’s.  I may actually end up weeks ahead potentially, may have trouble putting it down! Plus, it is a pretty fast read in my opinion, faster than I was planning on… I will see how a few weeks go… if I am getting too far ahead, maybe I will post 2 chapters a week. 

I am in favor of a tiered voting system…

I have been thinking about this for quite some time now, don’t think I have blogged about it yet… 

I think I would be in favor of a tiered voting system… I was thinking like 18-24 you get 1 vote, 25-34 you get 2 votes, then 35+ you get 3 votes… 

Give more powers to the elders in our communities that have gathered life experience and have had lots of time to ponder ideas and thoughts… have had jobs, started families, housing, relationships, marriages, crime, etc… 

I personally think it would be beneficial to society… Plus they even say that our brains aren’t even fully developed until we are about 25 years old… 

I saw some people pushing for voting rights for 16-year old’s, while I understand the desire to get them involved in the voting process at a critical age like that and while they are still in school, I worry about their lack of life experience… I might be willing to give them like a ¼ (.25) vote or something of that nature… that way they would get involved and get a little say… I don’t believe 16-year old’s are that incompetent, in fact most I meet are rather smart in my opinion… like I said, its more about life experience and just not having the same amount of time to think about things. 

I personally like the idea… I am a much better voter now than I was years ago for sure… I thought of this when I wasn’t even 35 yet! 

What if Humans left and something else evolved?

When I think of my plan for Humans leaving the earth… I can’t help but wonder, what will happen if we actually pull it off and humans are no longer at the top of the food chain? 

I wonder if there would be enough time before the Sun dies enough to kill off life here for some other species to evolve into a humanoid type existence? That is wild to think about… perhaps even apes might evolve into humans again?  

I almost think if we as humans leave the planet, we should try and leave something behind that explains that humans existed and that we left… plus why we left… could put these like stations all over the world in case something evolves enough intellectually to understand it… to tell them they should leave too… explain some of the major scientific principles and things like that. 

I feel like this would make a pretty cool movie for sure… a species evolving and then learning our language and figuring out all of this stuff and gaining all of our old knowledge… could be pretty sweet! Of course, could add in many other story lines…