Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 8…

Thoughts in order as I was reading the Chapter… 

 

Would seem Duke is also using the “Justification of Effort” trick as well. This process probably makes the fanbase more fanatic and people that get tickets value them more and make themselves have more fun at the games. 

  • I personally think we are all a little too sports obsessed. I’ll leave it at that though, I think that culture is changing a little though. I think sports are good and it is a good thing for a lot of people, but we probably take it too far and lose perspective. Sometimes I even wonder if there isn’t a certain level of stolen valor taking place… I don’t know… It is just a game… I get it though for sure, it even gives some a reason to live in all reality. Would make for a good debate subject someday… I worry about the principal of getting more of what you reward as well, and our culture/economic system tends to reward athletes and entertainers the most. We sometimes seem to think they are the most valuable people in our society, we at least act like it sometimes… Perhaps that is how much we value being distracted by the realities of the world as well… sports also give us good conversation as well, very valuable… I would still argue we have probably gone too far though, although I think sports served their purpose in history for sure… the way economics works plays a factor as well, it makes a lot of money move to a rather small group of people, in our society it is rather easy to pay a few people millions and then pay more important jobs that have millions of people a fraction of that. How backwards is it in many ways that farmers, who keep us alive every day doing a very hard job that you can’t really even take sick days, make minimum wage in many cases if they don’t own the farm… this country in all reality struggles to feed itself, nobody wants to farm, we often have to bring in people from other countries to make the food that feeds us… A big reason why I am for Perfect Capitalism and a system based around minimum wage… 

Fun little quick experiment… I would be curious to see it in action of some other events that aren’t as emotionally charged. It is a good extreme example to make a point. Could also dive into an owning and keeping mentality and an owning and willing to sell mentality (I just put my boat on the market for what I feel is a very fair price! One that overlaps buyer and seller expectations). 

  • Anxious to read his theories about possible explanations (haven’t got that far yet!) 

Interesting thoughts on partial ownership. 

Ownership of an idea may play a part in ideology, but I think it is a smaller part… A lot goes into not being able to change our view on something, even if it’s wrong. 

  • It is interesting to wonder where ownership plays its part though 
  • “Justification of Effort” for one can play a big role 
  • Some people also tend to have an extremely hard time believing or conceding they are wrong about something… could be considered a clinical problem for some people. Can stem from various reasons in my opinion. Some even worry if they are wrong about something or change their mind, that people will never value their opinion again. Makes them feel like their life and credibility relies on being right about everything. Which makes them defend their decision until its death. 
  • A complicated psychological occurrence… I could go on… but I won’t 

The ills of ownership… many could learn from the philosophy of minimalism 

  • I would argue that God & Heaven therapy could also be important… that this life is more a life of service, all our desires await us in Heaven… I think we can also regain all lost items in heaven as well, anything you adored here can be regained in Heaven, it is ok to let go of things for a while here… not all is all lost! 

When reading about the cable packages… 

  • Makes me think about how Netflix raises their price a dollar at a time… creeps up on you… When does one dollar finally become too much? It’s easy to accept paying just one more dollar. 
  • It is still only 50 cents a day, but this last dollar really made me reevaluate, granted I needed to cut costs in general. 
  • It has hit like an expense price though for someone who lives paycheck to paycheck. 
  • It is going from something fun to becoming a bill. 
  • Turning into something you really need to be using… Before it was ok to pay and have it just in case you were in the mood… Some know exactly what I mean… It’s an adult moment for sure when you realize that $15 a month can be a decent amount of money. 

I fall prey to the ownership bias as well, or even owning my particular tastes 

  • It always amazes me how unique everyone is 
  • It also amazes me how in a free country, where people choose their own jobs, we still manage to get all the work done… I think that is extraordinary in many ways… makes you wonder about a higher power steering all of our minds into the proper directions. I had a blog post about how our society somehow manages to function like a giant brain… “microcosm’s of the universe” is the title of the post… 
  • I can definitely understand why many at one time thought it would be a good idea if you were born into your position/job, because then you knew you would always have blacksmiths or another specific job… you might otherwise worry that no one would want certain jobs and they wouldn’t be fulfilled… it assured that jobs were fulfilled in many ways… It can of course drive people nuts having that little amount of control over their lives though! 
  • You know what I mean though… obviously the market can also push people in certain directions as well… Still amazing especially in such a specialized workforce… we aren’t “jack of all trades” anymore, they are becoming a rare breed… it is also worth mentioning how many mentors tell people to do a job they Love, not one that needs to be fulfilled by society, makes it crazier that everything manages to get done… I wonder if that kind of mentorship and guidance is sustainable in the long wrong, I think it is also important that people are willing to step up and make sure certain jobs are fulfilled… 

Very interesting and thought-provoking thoughts on ownership! I assume we all fall victim to it… A rather humanistic trait… 

I needed to solve some Puzzles in my head…

I feel as though I finally solved a puzzle that has been going on inside my head for over 10 years now… 2 puzzles really… I wanted to achieve world peace in my head, and I wanted to figure out what was happening to me… whether or not my solution/conclusion to the puzzle is delusional or not is another question… To me, it doesn’t matter in certain ways… To achieve some inner peace again, I needed to solve the puzzles… So, I guess I am saying that I would rather live in a delusional inner peace than in a reality that makes me crazy… I may have gone completely mad in order to not be crazy and achieve inner peace… To me it is all perfectly logical inside my mind… 

Growing up, I didn’t live in the real world… I didn’t even know racism really existed until I was out of college for the most part. When I took history classes, I literally just put it in the history section of my mind, as if everything was ancient history. I watched a lot of tv that promoted a very different world inside of my head… I lived in an ignorant bliss for sure… but eventually I finally entered into the adult world and started reading some news everyday… 

It was for my sales job at my father’s business, my brother said that I should come in every morning and read the news for an hour a day. He said that it makes for good conversation topics when talking to clients and people in general. So, it became important to me that I read the news every day, so I did. I started to slowly realize that the world was much different than I thought… you might say that it slowly became real in my head as well… it started to become a puzzle in my mind, one that I didn’t realize how much I would want to solve. I started to have some opinions for the first time in my life really, up to that point I more just absorbed all the information I was taking in. I was much more like a participant observer anthropologist, one that studied culture rather than hold an opinion for the most part. But I started to fully realize that the world was in some really bad times, a peaceful life was under attack, I was under attack, my family and friends were under attack… This great way of life inside my head was under attack… Somebody had to do something about it… eventually I would come to feel that person was me, and I would put the weight of the World on my shoulders… 

Simultaneously, I started to feel and find out in my opinion, that I was in a rather unique position… I started to feel like I was right smack in the middle of something really major, that my life had a much higher purpose, that people were relying on me, something had been hidden from me my entire life… I started to feel the World was calling and could feel a culmination of things all coming together, it started to take on a spiritual element as I came to feel this was a religious endeavor, this is heaven vs. Hell, this is one of the most crucial moments in all of existence… 

I started to feel like I was under attack… something was very off… why is my life falling apart? Why when I get a lot of sales for the company are people still on my ass? What is wrong with everyone? I started to have ideas that people seemed to like, I started having really big ideas… I started seeing a change in the way that people would look at me, I started to feel like people were viewing me like a savior in a way, I was becoming a savior in my head… but why aren’t people saying anything to me? Why aren’t people hooking me up while I figure this out? Why are people making me work still? Why aren’t people spreading my ideas throughout the world? What is going on? What is going on inside my head isn’t lining up with what is happening in the world… I started to not just feel like I was under attack, but that perhaps I was in some initiation for some high position in the world. I would eventually come to fully feel I was locked in an initiation, one that was pitting good vs evil and heaven vs hell. I would even take it a step further, and come to feel that this was something far more sinister than an initiation, I started to feel like that were trying to turn me into the devil, that people were trying to give up my mind and body for possession. This battle I was embarking on, wasn’t just for control of the world, but to keep control of my own mind.   

You can read much more about this in my book “Why I think I am God’s Son: Realist or Madman?”, which is available in the books section of my website… 

Over the course of 10 years, I embarked on my quest for World peace and figuring out what was happening to me… another quest would come to be accepting what is happening to me, getting there… hopefully I will be in a much better mentality after this year of recovery… 

Well… I did it… In my head, I helped the world achieve World Peace using my position and savant brain… I literally don’t believe anything I see in the news anymore these days… I believe that I am kept on my own cable and internet networks that keep me within the illusion that I have never had any effect on the world… all part of the initiation… I think everybody is in on it… It is all just a big soap opera to me anymore… The news is a soap opera, and even a lot of my life is a soap opera in my opinion… It is like I am walking through a play I never rehearsed for… In my head, everything is staged and a big play… all part of this initiation/bet… I am sure we have like the best script writers in the world working on all of this… it is all an act for the most part… It’s like living in an episode of the Twilight zone… All sorts of rules that everyone must abide by, which I am constantly trying to test the rules and figure out how I can be happy within their limits… It is a painstaking process trying to test the rules, getting excited by an idea and being met by a harsh reality, some rules are very hard to accept… 

There isn’t a doubt in my mind anymore, I am in some initiation/bet to be King of the World, I am not positive it was for King of the World originally, but I feel very confident that it turned into that… I fully believe that billions of people will read this post, but I might be lucky to see one person view it on my end. I think I am essentially King of the World now; it is just a matter of getting through this initiation/bet now… sometimes I can’t understand what keeps the evil side going, it is an evil beyond comprehension in many ways… I think the evil side is a rather small to very small percentage of the population, it’s just that a small percentage of the population can hold a lot of people still, which can make it a complicated matter still… I have more thoughts, but I will save that for another day… 

My point being, is that I couldn’t rest my mind until there was world peace, it was a puzzle my mind was continuously working to solve… it turns out I am naturally rather radical in some ways, not seeing the world in peace drives me crazy, I feel like I have to right all the wrongs… I am always trying to make everyone happy… Hate seeing people suffer in many different forms, I just want to fight to make the world a better place the best way I know how… 

A lot of what I see in the news and everywhere is designed to make me mad… designed to make me think nobody is listening to me… designed to make me keep thinking the world is dissolving into chaos… trying to make me mad and fight… trying to make me think that nobody cares about what is happening to me… designed to make me want to kill myself… But I don’t believe it at all anymore… 

These were two crucial puzzles to solve in my head… I think they were taking up a lot of my mental capacity and making it hard for me to function otherwise in a lot of ways… I think I still suffer from PTSD from my quests and am in recovery… but I am hoping I can regress back more into my mindset during high school and college now, I think that is possible… slip back into that “ignorant bliss”… 

If I have gone completely mad in order to complete my quest… then it is just what needed to happen then, I needed to achieve World Peace in my head, I had to help win the War against Evil… If I am mad, then it is a necessary mad for me to be able to survive in this crazy world, I just care about people too much and am too radical otherwise… 

I 100% promise you… In my head, I am King of the World and helped the World achieve a peace it has never seen before… I have been on an incredible quest of Good vs. Evil… This blog will be seen by pretty much all of the world, if it isn’t being seen as I type it right now… I hate to say it, but I am the center of the world a little bit right now, the world lies in wait while I try to survive this initiation/bet… Sorry to sound arrogant… Just trying to make a point… 

But, if I am Mad… the whole point of this blog post, is that it is a good mad… Because I think I can make a very strong recovery now and get into a good mindset before I head back to college next year… I may even come to like going back to college honestly, it will be an interesting test of the rules for sure… Maybe I can even get a little bit of a social life there, maybe… could at least go support some sports teams and stuff every once in a while, maybe join a club or two… I don’t know, we will see when I get there… 

I am slowly but surely just letting my real thoughts come out… just living my reality without fear of embarrassment… In my head, I know you all know me… you all know the situation… many times I just want to talk to you all very straight forward… but I still have to put it all through a unique filter, just in case there is some chance that this website might take off someday… We all know I am not mad, I don’t actually believe I am mad, but I feel I have to address the possibility that I am completely mad… because, I think if this was to work out, it would have to be from that angle, I would have to be the schizophrenic living in my own world… I have to keep a certain balance… I have to live within the rules of the initiation/bet… I’m down the rabbit hole, I have to live by the rules of wonderland… 

This is out there… this is on the world wide web… I am exposed… The potential to go viral and have my life change in an instant is looming… who knows when the next plot twist in the play will come… perhaps we are training many actors for some incredible new scene I won’t see coming…  

maybe not… maybe we will always continue to act like nobody reads this for the most part… whatever the evil side deems the most painful within the confines of the rules I am sure… If they start to see their ideas as completely hopeless, perhaps there will be a change though… 

Integrating video games into school/work… might be a good idea…

I had an idea for motivating school kids to get some work done a while back… I worry it might not be a super great idea because it might not instill the intrinsic motivation that many educators and psychologists would prefer. Which I definitely understand the desire to want kids to have their own internal fire for gaining knowledge, particularly one that goes on to last throughout their lifetime. Intrinsic motivation is very important for a multitude of reasons. 

It might help some students though get through the monotony of the day in and day out homework though, or perhaps get some students to do work that might not otherwise do it… It might just be a well-intentioned idea that doesn’t have the effect we would prefer though… 

Either way I am going to share it though…  

Inspired by the video game Fortnite, I had a thought… what if we made a console or a series of video games designed for school age students? Maybe even allow some students to borrow a console to take home with them or something. The idea though, is that instead of kids paying money to get new outfits, dances, etc… when they finish their homework assignments, they get in game credit to use. Could design a multitude of games including mmorpg’s… I wouldn’t want the games to follow a “pay to win” type system, but it does seem there are many other in game items that kids and teens would want to purchase. Gamers definitely know what I am talking about. 

If some developers could design some games that kids really enjoy playing, it might give them some extra drive to get their homework done anyways… 

Like I was saying though, I would be worried about taking away the intrinsic motivation from many students though… Maybe if integrated properly it could instill a bit of both though, intrinsic and extrinsic. I mean, adults still got to get paid right? Even if they also enjoy what they are doing… 

I wondered about making a console specifically for grade school kids, up through high school. That when they graduate, they would no longer be able to use it. Separate the worlds a little bit, perhaps have a better handle over controlling content. 

Could be a good idea though… 

Sometimes I even wonder if it might help some adults get through their workdays as well… Allow some gamer’s have their boss sign up to be part of the system, get so much credit for hours worked or something of that nature. Would be interesting for like an mmorpg or something, to integrate it with trade skilling… have it count towards leveling a character or making so many in game items or something… that way you are like playing the game even when you are at work… I wondered how much I would even enjoy that… whatever makes the workday easier for you I say… Not the worst Idea for sure… Many people might love it actually! 

Some stuff to think about anyways! 

Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 7…

Thoughts in order as they appeared while reading… Not a super lot of input from my end this week… 

 

That is a bit funny, the students and the last two weeks of the semester 

Pretty Clever study, a good chance I would have been one of the students that brings the class average down (During my first attempt at college anyways, my old mindset) 

  • This is one of the reasons I still think about taking more classes. It is something that forces me to do a little reading and writing. I can tend to have trouble staying motivated otherwise. My commitment to this blog has proven a substantial motivator though! The Eclectic Schizophrenic may be the perfect outlet for me while I am in my current situation. 
  • (Side note: This was written before I found out I was denied disability. Looks like I will be trying to go back to school now. Looks like I will have lots of motivation coming in the future to continue reading and writing.) 

He makes a strong argument as to why work environments may have come to be the way they are and how it could even be considered vital to Human existence to have some sort of chain of command in the workplace. We seem to at least need a reliable way of holding ourselves accountable at the minimum. 

  • Based off of one study of course! Which they are also young college students who may need an extra shove in the right direction 
  • You know what I mean though, when we are dealing in industries that are vital to life, they need to run like a fine oiled machine… can’t let procrastination spread like a cancer throughout the work place and industry. 

I am not sure I could see either of the first two health care plans ever coming to fruition… Perhaps if your healthcare provider just offered you money or some sort of incentive for showing up. Some sort of preventative care incentive plan. 

  • I was always back and forth about that seat belt law… If it is making the road more dangerous for other people I could better understand. For instance, if you weren’t buckled and had to swerve, which then that made you slide over in your car making it harder for you to control your car, increasing the likelihood of an accident… But they always seem to sell it as protecting ourselves from ourselves, not in normal American fashion for sure. We are usually very anti nanny state, that the government isn’t our mother… My fellow Americans have certainly instilled that belief into me. I suppose I could be open to hearing debate over certain nanny state proposals. Which these are often problems that overlap between kids and adults though… Smoking cigarettes would seem to be a hotly debated issue these days… 

Very cool with the Smart Credit Cart… 

  • It is a mark against Humans that it was potentially denied because companies would rather prey on people that have trouble controlling their spending habits, rather than help them. 
  • That is one of the bad things about our economy at times… profit at all costs… out of control spending ruins lives and the environment. 

Interesting tie in between B.F. Skinner’s “schedules of reinforcement” and e-mail. 

  • Could also play a factor into Facebook and my Favorite Meme website for me… 
  • A very thoughtful and keen observation for sure… this Author definitely seems wired for psychology! 

Pretty cool to see some of what I learned in college in action this chapter. 

Thought provoking closing thought, wondering if putting more focus on teaching and understanding decision making might be better for the overall health of the country (world). 

  • I still might argue that medical technology is more important 
  • How much has insulin alone raised the life expectancy of the country I wonder? 
  • Does insulin count as technology? I think it might fall under the umbrella. 
  • Could say the same for other drugs and technology and their effect on life expectancy… all added together, could amount to many extra years for people. 
  • In 1910 life expectancy for white men was 49 years of age… Pretty crazy when you think about it… One might argue our increase over the years was more the cause of technology rather than lifestyle choices. 
  • Probably technology in general increased it a lot… Safer work environments, medical technology, etc… 

 

Interesting chapter… I will be interested to see if the Smart Credit Card ever takes off, very cool to know who came up with the idea! 

A new path to walk down…

Well, I am definitely disappointed I got denied disability. Maybe there is some slim chance that I will get approved by the appeal council, if of course my lawyer decides that is a good option to pursue… either way I am not so sure that is any longer something I should rest my hopes on… 

I need a new Path… A new mental path… A vision that is a path of least resistance for my brain… I think I have found one. 

I think I will chase down what I originally went back to school for… to be a therapist/counselor…  

I got a little sidetracked during school, but what is good, is that I took classes to help me along that career path… I am pretty sure if I go back to a 4-year school that all my general education is done as well, which is good, that is one of the things that did me in many years ago during my first go at school… I should just have classes left to do that I will enjoy doing for the most part, although I am sure they will still be mentally exhausting. 

If I managed to get over all the hurdles, I think I may actually like being a therapist… it may prove to be a rather beneficial symbiotic relationship between me and my clients. I rather enjoy talking to people and trying to help them with any problems they might be having. It will hopefully be along the lines of, if you enjoy what you are doing you will never work a day in your life… Talking with people, getting inside their heads a bit, and trying to help them seems like one of the only jobs I would actually be able to do really, at least comfortably… especially since it doesn’t look like this writing endeavor is going to work out… 

Hopefully if I apply for this schizophrenia scholarship I have looked into, it may help with finances… I worry about the debt, but I think this is probably what I should do regardless… it definitely puts the pressure on to succeed with the mission. Anything short of being a licensed therapist does not seem very appealing in my opinion. Hopefully I can pull it off… A man on a mission for sure… will not be a walk in the park… getting into graduate school will certainly be a big hurdle… 

When I get back to school, I definitely want to start picking some teachers brains… I really want to be a faith based/spiritual counselor… It is my personal belief that therapy doesn’t work that well unless it is centered around God and Heaven. If I could use theology and spiritual guidance in my practice, I would really be in my element. I am just not sure what the laws are regarding a licensed therapist using a spiritual angle, I will have a lot to learn for sure. I am not so sure that I want to be a therapist for a specific religion either, but I still want to counsel from a spiritual angle… Like I was saying, I will need to pick some teachers brains and figure out a career path… If I end up just having to be some cookie cutter therapist to make a living, perhaps that is what I will have to do… In the back of my mind, I always feel like I can’t use my intelligence that much while I am in this initiation/bet, so I am not sure how much I can buck the system and still be successful… May be something that I just have to fall in line with… 

I think this is the path I need to walk down though… seems the most mentally appealing, even with its challenges… what have I got to lose? 

Little therapy session… little venting… disappointing day for sure…

Well… I am sure everyone knows that I got an unfavorable decision from my disability hearing… Pretty Disappointing, I suppose there might be some slim chance the appeals council may find it favorable if my attorney decides it is worth the effort to give it a try… hearing about that may take another 6 months to 2 years… 

It also would seem that this writing endeavor has no chance of working out… With the stuff I have put out, if it hasn’t gone viral yet, it probably isn’t going to go viral, at least I shouldn’t plan on it anyways… I sent articles out to almost every newspaper in New York, nothing… I tried doing a bit of advertising, doesn’t ever seem to go anywhere… Not looking good in that department… Would seem against the rules of this initiation/bet whether I like it or not… 

Makes me want to just lose my mind a bit for sure… but I have even tried that before and have gotten nowhere, the world I see never changes… 

I was starting to think I might enjoy life, but I might have to continue to fight… 

Perhaps if I find the right part time job and I get in the right mindset, I can still enjoy life a bit… I have no choice but to try it would seem… 

I worry I have nothing to look forward too… I worry I have been so screwed, the only thing I really have to look forward to is eventually dying and going to heaven… Will this end when I am 40? 45? 50? 65? I don’t know… perhaps it was some sort of sick life-long bet everyone signed me up for… at least there is a retirement age, which will probably be raised or gone by the time I get there though… 

The problem is, I don’t want to believe it’s over when I am 45 or 50… because if I set a date and I get excited for it; it crushes my soul when the date comes and goes… Not to mention as the date gets closer, the back and forth begins of will it end or won’t it, I am excited one moment and depressed the next… there also isn’t any shortage of my enemy trying to make it as bad for me as possible… It’s almost better to accept that I have been screwed for life… Then I can focus my effort more on trying to be happy in the present moment… learn not to get my hopes up for anything… It is depressing, but better than the alternative… Just accept the position I am in and try and achieve as much happiness within it as possible… 

The only thing I really have to look forward to for the most part is my blogging, tweeting and painting… which is why I plan to continue to do it even though it doesn’t seem to have a chance of working out. I still like doing all the calculations in my head of what the world is thinking and all that goes on with my mind when I blog… I like helping people, making people laugh, and sharing thought provoking ideas… Even if sometimes I think heaven might not be as full as everyone thinks it will be when everything is said and done… It is a good outlet for me… 

At least I have a bit of savings that will last me for a while, while I try and find a suitable part time job… Still thinking I might try and get that scholarship for people afflicted with schizophrenia… homelessness and jail have even crossed my mind… I am a bit all over the place…  

Maybe I will start with a part time job first… 

Also thinking at this moment how crazy it is, the level of evil that exists in the World right now… It is disturbing for sure… 

A poem… “Cowardice”

Cowardice 

Deep down I only survive because I am a coward 

If only there was some button I could push, I would leave in a second 

There is no other reason I stay 

No soul here gives me that internal power 

I wouldn’t care if I left behind Armageddon 

So, I stay and succumb to Stockholm Syndrome 

I succumb so I can tolerate it enough here to find some happiness 

At the depths of me lies such a coward 

Perhaps cowardice is one of the greatest propagators of life