- STOP Falling for Bullshit
- STOP Trusting Your Amygdala
- STOP Indefinitely Sealed Surveillance Investigations
- STOP Losing by Always Having to Win
- STOP Tribal Hatred
- STOP Only Part of the Lying
- STOP the Medical Cabal
- STOP Subverting Capitalism
- STOP Acting Like a Dinosaur
- STOP Rampant Incarceration
- STOP Being a Baby
- STOP Being a Sucker
- STOP Your Brain's Overconfidence
- STOP Arguing the Size of Government
- STOP Helping Bacteria Mutate
- STOP Perceiving Anecdotes as Broader Fact
- STOP Trusting Your Gut
- STOP Fake FICO Scores
- STOP Accepting Propaganda as News
- STOP Being So Delusional
- STOP Voting by Party
- STOP Convoluted Contracts
- STOP Being a Hypocrite
- STOP Invisible Political Donations
- STOP Misusing Education
- STOP the Pathetic Apathy
- STOP the Secret Hold
- STOP Mistrusting Science
- STOP the Death Penalty
- STOP Confusing Events & Trends
- STOP Filibusters
- STOP Brainwashing
- STOP Shorting Long-Term Investments
- STOP Public Name-Calling
- STOP Saying We're #1
- STOP Melding Banking and Securities
- STOP Hiding Graduate Statistics
- STOP Exempting Online Sales from Sales Tax
- STOP Clouding Issues
- STOP Promoting Elections
- STOP the Government Revolving Door
- STOP Confusing Research & Investment
- STOP Nine-Month Schooling
- STOP Controlling Each Other
- STOP Selective Synchronous Behavior
- STOP Complicating the Tax Code
- STOP Manipulating Voting Methods
- STOP the Wars on "Vices"
- STOP Giving Up on People
- STOP Resisting Change
- Category: Belief
A Princeton professor has published a paper titled "On Bullshit" that probably describes a friend most of us have had - the person who says outrageous things and refuses to recognize rational arguments. The author hypothesizes there are three types of people as far as the truth is concerned.
The first type is an honest person, who sees the truth and tries to conform to it in words and deeds. The second type is a liar, who sees the truth and consciously misrepresents it in specific circumstances.
The third type is the "bullshit artist. " He simply ignores, or can't see, the truth. He says and does things that suit him at the moment as a general way of thinking, speaking and acting. So, Bullshit may be more than a mere pejorative - it might be a psychosis. Don't spew, or accept, bullshit - insist on the truth.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
- Category: Belief
If you were raised in an almost solely single-race environment, your amygdala will decide within tenths of a second when you meet a person of another race that he is a Them, not an Us. The amygdala is an ancient part of the brain that is correlated with experiencing fear and anxiety. So what do we do about the fact that most of us were hard-wired in childhood toward racism (not by bad experience, but by lack of early exposure)? Prevention is, of course, preferable: make sure your toddler is raised with inter-racial exposure.
If it's too late for that, you can over-ride that innate reaction by harnessing a stronger one - the love-hate relationships in sports. If you love Chicago and hate Green Bay, carry around Chicago caps and give them to people you meet of another race. You will start immediately feeling less fear and anxiety and more of an Us than Them relationship - honest.
However, for most of us, it is simply a matter of being aware that our immediate innate feelings are false and being willing to treat everyone as an Us until they prove otherwise.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." ― Albert Einstein
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." ― Mark Twain
- Category: Transparency
Thousand of law enforcement requests for electronic surveillance remain sealed from public view long after the investigations that spawned them are over. It has become habitual for government agencies across America to request and receive perpetual sealing of these activities away from public view.
The majority of the secret files are not hidden because of state secrets or other justifiable reasons; it is simply various jurisdictions keeping their activities unavailable and unquestioned, even for as mundane cases as robbery and drug crimes. Nearly all other judicial proceedings are eventually made public and completed surveillance should be also.
Our brains have an affinity for hording and self-preservation as survival mechanisms. Put those together and you can have the senseless result above.
"Secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction." ― Edward Teller
- Category: Politics
Competition to win is ingrained in our brains from the beginning of time as a means of survival and well-being of our selves and our progeny. Cooperation has been a key to the survival and progress of our species collectively and has brought many benefits to the individual - in essence letting us all win. When we get out of balance by always having to win or by trying to do everything by consensus, both we and our species lose.
The current U.S. Congress is an example of this imbalance. Winning has become so much more important than cooperation that they, and we, all suffer due do the gridlock created. Winning is important some of the time, but cooperation is just as important some of the time.
Someone who always has to win is considered a jerk. The admired man wins on the sports field, reaches consensus with his partner on what color to paint the house, and willingly lets his child win at Scrabble.
"All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter." ― Edmund Burke
"The god of Victory is said to be one-handed, but Peace gives victory to both sides." ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Category: Belief
The fear and animosity created by humanity's historic us-versus-them tribal nature (based on religion, family, ethnicity, language, clothing and other factors) is still visibly rampant in many parts of the less developed world. It also exists in the U.S. when a single or predominate "opponent" can be identified. We do this by letting our emotions grow to where we personify evil in another particular person or group as a focus for our anger. When these opponents work themselves up into rabid pro and con forces, disagreement easily transforms into intractable hatred and our irrational brain convinces us it is justified.
A visible example of this is sports. Two-party games with specific "rivals" (football, soccer) foment irrational dislike, even to violence (over what is a trivial event in the grand vista of life). However, sports that do not have the same we-versus-they positioning (auto racing, golf) we root for a participant, but do not vilify a particular opponent. For sporting events, it's okay to be irrational and tribal (sans violence), because it doesn't really matter. In parts of life that do matter, such as a two party political system, human equality and personal freedoms, it is important to recognize this tendency toward tribal demonization of the opponent and overcome our brains' initial fear, hatred and irrationality.
"There are large numbers of people who simply don't have the values and vision necessary to be part of an inter-dependent world. They think their differences -- whether religious, political, tribal or ethnic -- are more important than our common humanity." ― Bill Clinton
"Tribalism makes you stupid." ― Mark Shuttleworth
Thanks to Paul P. for this topic
- Category: Society
Admonishing a child to never lie creates a liar, because they will and then they'll have to lie about it. We often treat adults the same way. The truth is we all lie so we need to differentiate between good lies and bad lies. The difference comes when our lies hurt other people.
- A lie to prevent hurting someone else can be a good lie
- Cheating in any form is lying that harms others and is a bad lie
- When a lie is found out, a connection is irreparably diminished
- Men lie an average of three times a day to protect themselves
- Women lie an average of twice a day to protect others
- Lying can become habitual, to the point where you lie without even receiving a benefit
- In the case of confabulation, your brain actually creates false memories that conform to your lies so you believe them yourself
- Studies show that people who decrease their rate of lying experience better physical and mental health
So we need to slow the reflex of our brain to automatically lie, so that we continue to lie when it helps others, but minimize the lies that harm others. Both parties benefit.
“Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they're used.” ― Max Brooks
- Category: Transparency
Would you rather pay $11,000 or $126,000 for a hip replacement? Would you rather go into a hospital that had a near zero chance of you acquiring an infection while on site or a 15% chance? That kind of range in quality and in value of service is rampant in the medical field. Without this information, a consumer cannot wisely choose the appropriate health procedures and providers and there is little incentive for health providers to improve when their performance is secret.
Providers' self-preservation instinct and fear of loss of control will not allow them to provide this data voluntarily.Though Medicare.gov and others are trying to get this information to the public, the data supplied is generally voluntary, incomplete and impossible to use by regular people. Mandatory reporting, a simple rating system and wide dispersal are the way to use the power of customer choice to improve healthcare.
“The doctor of the future will be oneself.” ― Albert Schweitzer