navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • Trust

    According to a Pew survey millennials are not trusting:

    Millennials are less trusting of others than older Americans are. Asked a long-standing social science survey question, “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people,” just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.

    I think this mistrust informs our perception of value.  Pretend you are in a casino at a poker table.  But you don’t trust that the poker chips can be cashed out so you don’t bother playing.  For a lot of us, a thing’s value isn’t derived from what it is claimed, it is derived from how easily it can be cashed out.  Think of the “you have innate worth” trope that gets trotted out time and time again in modern psychology.  We ask, why can’t our supposed “worth” be cashed out anywhere but the therapist’s office.  Why can’t it be cashed out at the job interview or in church or at the club?  And if it can’t be is this worth worth anything in the first place?

    When there is mistrust in the financial markets everyone flocks to gold.  When there is mistrust present in a generation people flock to things that can be seen and felt.  We flock to pets, platonic relationships and nature.  Religion, marriage, and political parties not so much.  The bigger of a group of people involved in something generally the worse the results.  As I wrote in my other blog, trusting is deferring to a person or institution with power with a best case scenario of breaking even.

  • Song for the times: I’d Never Lie to You

    Perhaps my favorite Christian song ever written is Never Lie by Daniel Brindley (brother of Luke Brindley, who is a lyrical force in his own right).  I’m not actually sure if it was titled Never Lie or not because I got it from the artist himself when we roomed on the same floor my freshman year of Wheaton.  Just a ton of heart and talent and the lyrics have never been more relevant in the rule we seem to be under now.  You can listen to the song below or download it here.


    because I need to
    I will follow
    I will be there
    the sound of your all mighty voice
    I’ll be your servant by choice

    because I need to
    all my painting
    my creating
    I must surrender to you
    lies to be known what’s true

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    because I need to
    I will bow down
    make a pleasant sound
    to you who are all full of light
    sent out the call to arise, arise, arise, arise

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

  • Trump Winning

    Why Donald Trump will be our next president:

    Trump is not simply leading “Republican voters”—that was not his strength, to begin with. You will hear or read many commentators saying that what Trump could achieve in a Republican primary contest is not the same thing as what he can do in a general election. Maybe—if this were just another of the preceding elections where the status quo was safe. The fact is that Trump won by bringing in voters who were neither identifying as Republican (many if not most of them being Independents), nor prepared to vote Republican, nor were some even considering voting (ever) until Trump. The fact therefore is that Trump has already been campaigning in a general election. The Republican contests have been the sites of the greatest voter turnouts thus far, and in some critical electoral states more have already turned out to vote for Trump than for Clinton. All of the excitement this time is on the Republican side, the side on which Trump needed to win in order to win the general election.

  • Offensive Holding on Fourth Down in Field Goal Range

    There was a play in the Super Bowl, not sure which team, where they were near the end zone and on fourth down there was an offensive holding call on a play they made a first down on.  That offensive holding was probably what allowed them to make the first down.  The penalty was accepted but since the call was before the play they still got to replay the down to kick a field goal.  This didn’t seem fair to me, kind of like a loophole that is bound to be exploited more and more as the game goes on.

  • eye opening

    If Google with high altitude balloons and Facebook with high altitude drones do succeed in giving the entire developing world internet access some governments will do everything in their power to suppress it.  Governments aren’t too keen on free flow of information so I’m sure there will be censorship at some level (I think at least Facebook’s plan internet is beamed to cell towers where the traffic could be monitored).

    The other problem I see is HD quality video of how fucked up the Gaza Strip is isn’t going to put a smile on Israel’s face.  I think it would be plausible that the Palestinian territories could have their internet jammed or banned.

  • Happiness

    From a comment by MS on an article about moral courage featuring a Nobel Prize winner:

    Much is made of the pursuit of happiness in US society but rarely do we talk about the two main types of happiness as delineated by ancient philosophers — hedonic vs. eudaemonic happiness. The former, centered around the usual things we think of as making us happy (status, money, love, food, sex, etc.), is overemphasized where as the latter, which is about living a meaningful life, is rarely discussed. People like Mr. Sayarthi have the latter in spades.


  • …envious of people who can play mind games

    The difference between a mind that can play mind games and a mind that cannot is as big of a difference between a smartphone and a landline.  The former can run all manner of apps while the latter is stuck just being a phone.  I’m envious of people who can shift in and out of magical thinking at the snap of a finger.  And they can do this with the goal of getting something in the hereafter.  Meanwhile I’m here stuck in the mud of logical thinking.  Therapy only really works if one can play mind games, tricking yourself into thinking differently about the actors and situations in your life.  Change inside of you only happens with a human authority as a proxy (though admitting this weakens the authority figure’s power over you so one must pretend the change is of their own volition).  But you have to buy into said authority figure (pastor, therapist, or someone else) and play mind games with their authority stories they tell you.

    I look at mind games as the bacteria in one’s gut.  We have this knee-jerk response, “oooo bacteria’, but without those bacteria we wouldn’t be able to digest our food properly.