I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

April 02, 2018 - 11:45 a.m.

Believe in Yourself, but Don't Take It Too Far

I must have slept a long time, I woke up to find snow. It must be December. My computer's calendar says April 2 but how am I supposed to believe that? If the calendar is right I have a Met game tonight. Might watch the game from the club. I'm not sure which club we are allowed to use.

I didn't go out yesterday, couldn't we have had this weather then? The highlight of the day was dinner, bangers and mash. I am out of half & half and had to use milk. To make up for that I used more butter and added olive oil. You can make mashed potatoes with no gravy and just oil. The important part is the fat. I should try it with bacon fat.

I finished watching Jessica Jones. The second season was disappointing. It started great, perhaps even better than the first, then the writers decided to have everyone to make the worst decisions possible and to act out of character.

I'm going to tackle something I've been trying to write for months. The problem is that I don't know the right approach. I need to say it so I'm just going to jump in and not worry if it's not the best thing I could write on the subject.

Building self-confidence has become an important part of helping people. My therapist praises me all the time. People are taught to have faith in themselves. I'm all for that. I know so many people that don't have enough faith in their abilities. The problem is that people take it too far. No, you can't do anything if you put your mind too it. The odds are very high that no matter what you do you can't become a professional athlete, an opera singer, or a brain surgeon. Most people know that, but they still have too much faith in themselves. Studies have shown not only that people are terrible at multi-tasking, but they are far worse than they think they are. This kills people. People can't accept that they can't safely text and drive. I've talked to people that think that other people can't drive drunk but that they can because they are experienced.

People are not as good at judging other people's character as they think. That is the basis for an entire industry, confidence games. The biggest sucker is the one that thinks he knows it all.

People don't realize how prejudiced they are. They think they are color blind and don't have gender stereotypes. They think they are making their decisions objectively when they aren't.

Everyone knows how complex their job is and that other people don't appreciate how difficult it is. Then they turn around and think that someone with no relevant experience can run a city, a state, or even a country. They don't realize that they lack the basic knowledge to make that judgement.

If there is science involved people's overconfidence is off the charts. This is most obvious when it comes to health. When someone says, "I read about this study … " I stop listening. People that know science know that you can rarely believe one study. Few laymen know how to judge a study. They judge it by how much the like the conclusion. Most popular accounts don't give enough information to know if a study is reliable. They do sometimes give enough to let you know it's not.

This doesn't stop people from thinking that their opinion is just as valid as that of people who have spent their lives studying a subject. You don't like the changes we need to make to fight global warming? Fine just reject the scientific consensus. Evolution makes you uncomfortable? Let any gap in our knowledge overwhelm the weight of evidence and don't believe it.

When the medical community decides on the wisdom of using a treatment they consider the benefits and the risks. Yet all the time I hear people talk about the risks as if the doctors are unaware of them. No, your gut is not as accurate as people's brains.

Have confidence in yourself. You'll feel better and might well do better. But if you think everyone else can't concentrate on texting and driving then realize that you can't either.

It's ironic that I resisted writing this as I did not have enough faith in myself to do this justice. Now that I wrote it I don't think I did it justice. I'm posting it anyway as there are some conclusions I'm confident about. Even if you don't accept what I say at least you'll know that's how I feel. Secondly, I'm writing something and won't have to look at an empty page or a missed day of Wise Madness.

Now to make breakfast. I have one banger left over; maybe I'll incorporate it in breakfast, a bangereggandcheese roll.


I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.





Mari Don't Bar Me - April 07, 2018
The Argument Clinic - April 06, 2018
Is This Any Way to Broadcast a Baseball Game? - April 05, 2018
Survey Says - April 04, 2018
People Who Write Personal Blogs Don't Worry About Privacy - April 03, 2018



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