The Mosquito Effect

Many of us impart our views upon the world believing they are gonna hit with the force of mass extinctive astroid impacts.

More often than not they barely delivers the severity of a mosquito flying about while one tries to sleep.

Which is a good thing.

World views should at worst just briefly keep others up at night. It shouldn’t be something that envelops masses of the world in fear for their lives.

We still have a lot to learn when it comes to communicating humanely at the scale of a connected mankind.

One thing that we have yet to understand is the freedom we fuel evil every time we proclaim another human being to be a monster.

Call someone a monster enough times and sure enough the evil within anyone of us will find a breeding ground to roam more viciously and corrupt the growth of benign ideas.

What is it to you?

If you haven’t been in Nuuk you wouldn’t know about our lack of proper sidewalks. Walking within the city often means walking along the roads to some extend.

If you stand close to the road when an ambulance with an active siren drives your way, you take a step back.

You don’t do it for your personal safety, however.

Here, as far as I know, an ambulance responding to a medical emergency has never hit anyone and there is usually enough space everywhere for both driving safely and walking despite the lack of proper sidewalks.

But you do it to respect the ambulance driver and for the ambulance drivers cognitive load. You take your step back to signal to the driver you have seen him and that you will allow him to drive past you without having to worry about your movement.

It’s an instinctive response and we do this for several reasons but I think it mainly comes down to that we care. We’re a small town and anyone the hospital porter is driving out to help could be someone you care about or someone whom you know care about.

Taking a step back is an effortless movement for us. It’s a tiny price we very willingly pay for much-needed peace-of-mind for someone about to help another human being in what may be a matter of life and death.

Likewise, upon stumbling into a funeral procession, regardless of our driving direction, we collectively used to pull over and wait along the side of the road till the procession had passed. A lot of drivers still do this. It feels a lot like a natural response but it’s an unspoken gesture and because it’s not mentioned those whom may not know about this probably won’t do it.

Pulling over and taking a brief pause from the always busy race of commute-travelling is a signal to acknowledging the grief of those participating in the funeral.

Every action you take is a signal to those who may gaze in your direction.

Often I catch myself speaking ill of the sheep of society because I feel like there is so much in this world that could be better and the bystanders help maintain the status quo by providing a sense of righteousness for those who benefit from the status quo.

I do this despite really not liking to talk ill about almost anyone because there’s usually nothing others are doing that I haven’t already done myself or could imagine myself doing at some point.

And it’s kinda bizarre because I think and talk shit to myself about myself all the time. It isn’t till I utter the illness towards others I realise the harm my thoughts and words can convey.

Even the best of us will make mistakes. It’s inevitable as all of us really know nothing in the bigger sense.

Our critics are usually right in some sense. We, when we critique ourselves, are usually right as well in some ways.

But mostly it isn’t important if we are right. Being right is almost always not important. What actually, and eventually, matters most is simply the process of being less wrong.

What ever cause you choose to champion remember to keep in mind why you do it. It will have its price. Whoever and whatever you care about will one day perish. The nature of existence is to cease. As it should be.

“Death is the tax we pay for living.”

So, what is it to you?

Why we are often wrong (or how we perceive things)

Last week I published a post about slavery, mental or otherwise, following up a post I wrote the week before about poverty, financial or otherwise.

I struggled, last weekend, to put my thoughts into written words due to the intoxication of my new medicine. It cost me a lot of cognitive power as well as cognitive energy to convert my few and fragile thoughts into sentences that even gave any meaning. But I forced myself as I refused to let the medicine dictate what I should be able to do.

Today, my cognitive functions are better as my body has adapted a bit more to the new medicine and… Irony will it that I didn’t publish anything this weekend due to almost the exact opposite reason. My lack of publishing during the weekend came about with a form of analysis paralysis. I had way too many ideas and perspectives to be coherent in a single subject and it would either result in a very lengthy (yep, longer than the others) and superficial or shorter and meaningless post.

The increased complication of my thoughts resulted in the most simple solution: temporary in-action.

Temporary in-action is not too bad in itself and delaying gratification is a great concept which holds much value. Master procrastinators know this all too well. A lot of ideas mature really well because understanding also mostly matures quite well.

Last friday we had an awesome party celebrating my friend finalising his education and coming home. We ended up sitting in a big circle in the living room and taking turns telling slightly exaggerated stories from our childhood.

One of the themes was “terrible things we did because we did not know any better” and when I met a dear friend today that asked me what I had done lately I mentioned the party and the stories and some of the terrible things and she was quick to ask “Oh nooo, why would you do that as a kid?”. The only reason I could come up on the spot with was: “We had too much potent boredom”.

The keyword being potent because what I see around me today is that there seems to be far more boredom because people believe there is supposed to be more excitement and the way people handle the lack of excitement is to get their smartphone from their pockets. Which wouldn’t be an issue in my view if that boredom didn’t become impotent.

I struggle with impotent boredom all the time and I constantly try to resist not being on my smartphone. I try to boost the value of the impotent boredom and thereby justify time spent by synthesising everything I come across.

Which leads me only slightly near the thoughts I wanted to bring up so I think I need to just go on with it:

What’s the resolution of your fictive reality?

This question might sound very weird to you and that is partly because it’s not only preemptive but also oxymoronic in its premise.

Reality, however you may understand, view or think of it and what you hold to be real, doesn’t actually happen and we can’t remember or articulate it as it truly was.

So however you think of it, and what is real to you is not the same reality that others have. Neither are not necessarily wrong but aren’t exactly right either. And our perception of it also changes before, during and several times after we experience it.

The word nostalgia stems from the realisation that we apply more value to something than when we experienced it.

Resolution in this sense is the amount of variants you are willing to accept or how many are you capable of carry with you at the same time.

Most demand a yes/no answer. Or a true/false statement. That gives a resolution of 2 which is binary thinking.

Most of my thinking is binary till I recognise the binarity and force myself to expand.

We are raised to believe that anything can be quantified as either true or false.

Many will talk about “the other side of the story” as if there is supposed to be two, and only two, possible variations of reality.

This comes from the binarity of group-identity vs. individuals which I’ll save for another day.

Often group-identity will split people into thinking it’s either us or them and thinking such means that one group is a whole-fully benefactor of a fact and therefor the opposition which does not seem to benefit in any way has “the other side of the story”.

This gives a very superficial an un-nuanced perspective wherein one is the victim and the other is the offender although everyone involved can be everything in-between at the same time.

That is just a matter of how many variations you are willing to accept. Or how many you are capable of accepting.

There are at the very least as many realities of an event as there are observers of the event.

While facts are undeniable the premise of the fact can be argued about and it’s the premises about the facts that people have issues articulating or argue about.

Things that are true can also be not false and that doesn’t always mean the same. One can also be less wrong. Or more right. Or less right and more wrong. And all of those at the same time.

The spectrum is really quite as big as one is capable of maintaining at the same time… And the more you keep several possibilities in mind the harder it is to uphold any of them.

Quantum mechanics taught us this concept and while we are still trying to grasp quantum physics the concepts it brings continue to seem very unintuitive.

If something can be true, false, neither and both at the same time that is a resolution of 4.

Quantum-wise it seems that there is at the very least 3 variants of a physical state within the same timeframe.

If you apply time which means a change over a period and add different environments the many variants will quickly add up and that is not even touching upon the different states that matter can have.

One of my teachers asked me once, and my memory is so incredibly unreliable that I don’t remember the subject or the question that I only remember the event but know I replied with a provocative counter-question which was something a kin to: Maybe it’s because of the evolutionary benefits which has caused a physical and psychological difference between women and men?

My teacher told me that this could not be even remotely true as that is not how evolution works.

Years later not only did I learn that this is exactly how evolution works but even how Darwin described it himself.

My teacher was pretty smart and I was pretty dumb-witted at the time. But I wasn’t entirely wrong and my teacher just didn’t completely understand the concept of evolution that Darwin had developed.

Binary states are the fundamentals of computers. Everything breaks down to either a 0 or a 1 and they can’t be 0 and 1 at the same time.

But they can in quantum computing and quantum computers exists in many labs around the world. I, as a developer, can’t wrap my head around how that would work in practise but I look forward to play with it – should they become economical to mass-produce in my lifetime.

Many things that exists today was once an impossibility. Democracy was once a crazy thought. Abolishing slavery at the time it did did not seem viable at all.

16-hour-workdays being a farmer used to be the most optimal possibility till someone figured it was better for the society and individual at the same time to work closer to 8-hours-a-day.

Agriculture alone must’ve been viewed as witchcraft and insanely far-reached for the hunters and gathers that lived 14000 years ago.

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come.

How many things today is is not a matter of they are right or wrong but mostly because they were more efficient than what was before and that path often brings less wrongness – but that isn’t the case always, either. Sometimes things needs to become more wrong in order to become more right.

How we sometimes get to where we are (or the well-traveled paths we cross)

In my last post I touched on my notion of (non-financial) poverty, how it connects to our behaviour and what understanding poverty in a slightly different alteration can do for us.

In this post I’ll pick up one of the keywords I postponed addressing in the last post: the concept of willingly doing something.

Or perhaps more concisely unwillingly doing something which is the fabric of being a slave.

Sidenote: I’m on a new medication which makes not only a lot of cognitive functions very costly and even inaccessible at times but also manipulates the comfortability and feelings associated with the cognitive functions. My expressiveness suffers quite a bit when translated from thoughts to written words. The medication also cause some angst and a feeling of physically being unwell that result in a much less elegant flow and more frequent, more fragmented leaps which I feel are evident in this post. I don’t intend to come back and change the material when/if I regain clarity because I respect all the parts that make up the sum that this post is. The context from which I wrote this are as much a part of the post as anything else.

In many people’s perception slavery is something which is part of history. It lies distantly in the past.

During anytime there will be some who are stubbornly blind to the existence of a powerful force – like fish can be unaware of the water that grants their existence.

I describe it as stubborn because it’s a choice made that consistently have the same outcome. Right till it doesn’t.

Also know that blindness is an active part of seeing. Our eyes only see a tiny slice of the electromagnetic radiation which we call visible light.

Slavery is a powerful force that bends anything it touches.

Your immediate reaction upon experiencing slavery might be that slavery is bad… which it is… But also be aware of the need to reflect upon what bad means in this context.

How does glass bend? It doesn’t, it shatters.

How does metal bend? Most metals will resist while applying force and then spring back, overshooting slightly till it returns to its equilibrium.

Metals wears out and gets fatigue when having bended too many times and eventually it will break.

Now, the above mentioned physical behaviours depends on the temperature in which these things take place. Molten glass will bend almost fluidly and the many different ways metals can behave depending on their environment has spawned its own spectrum of concepts and vocabulary.

How does gas bend? It doesn’t, it moves and gets out of the way.

Human cultures are environments that cause the same humanness to behave differently.

Experiencing powerful forces always demands action but within some environments the most common action is inaction. The response action will stubbornly be inaction – right till it break its mold and becomes something else.

By the numbers, there are more slaves today than ever before. There even is an online tool to test your behaviour to learn how many slaves work for you.

The nature of slavery is that it’s a forced stability and forced stability is bound to become unstable. Unstable conditions are not sustainable.

What are we if not slaves to this torment?

Is a quote by one of my favourite protagonists/antagonists, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

Like any well-portrayed protagonist/antagonist she walks the very fine line that draws good from evil and vice-versa and her behaviour and expressions gives insights to the fluid state good and evil exists in.

This torment references the nature of existence. Ultimately we will always depend upon the rules that makes up our universe – till we figure out how to leave our universe.

Slaves to this torment touches on the nature of the unwillingness that comes with existence and the struggle it is existing.

If you place a thing in the center of your life that lacks the power to nourish it will eventually poison everything that you are and destroy you. As simple a thing as an idea or your perspective on yourself or the world. No-one can be the source of your contempt. It lies within, in the centre.

This quote is from the intro from the Faithless’ track Liontamer.

I have a few issue with this quote but mostly it has nothing to do with the quote but our common misconception of what simplicity is and what within means. Most of the quote speaks truth to me. I will dwell on simplicity another day.

Slavery at its heart is survival. It’s unwillingly doing something simply because it will prevent us from not existing.

  • Working exhaustively simply to maintain being alive which is to keep working exhaustively is a form of slavery.
  • Addiction is a form of slavery.
  • Being a prisoner of your own habits/thoughts is a form slavery.

You cannot arrest an idea.

There are people whose existence has transcended their physical being and they’ve become an idea because they refused to become slaves of dogma.

Far from everybody is meant to break the mold or transcend into an idea. Most are simply meant to exist for themselves and for those they care about. Nobody is meant to be everything for everyone. We all hold just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

So don’t feel too bad when you notice your own slavery and the prisons you exist in; or perhaps just know that feeling bad is okay.

You will come across things in life that are not what you want but what you need (SPOILER: don’t watch if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight and intend to watch it).

These things will test your willingness/unwillingness. Keep in mind they are two faces of the same coin that reflects living and survival.

In order to survive we also need to live.

To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.

To everyone who carry Kalaallit Nunaat (🇬🇱 Greenland) within their heart, happy national day. 🎉

The tags I append my posts are keywords that’ll help me find a post again. You’ll see Steve Jobs in the tags because I made a reference to his definition of dogma just like The Matrix is tagged because the last quote in the post I learned from the character Mouse in the popular movie The Matrix.

Why we do some of what we do (or some of the fallacies we all believe)

Please note that I will take some leaps due to the nature of how my mind works. I am aware of them but I’ll try tie them together in the process – and some of the leaps hopefully will need less and less explanation as the blog evolves and I evolve as a writer.

The first fallacy I’d like to start with is the word poor. We use it to describe people’s financial situation. In reality the word poor is much, much deeper and contains something very fundamental and intrinsically true about being a live:

Being poor is when you willingly give something up that has much more value in exchange for something of less value.

There are several keywords in that sentence and only some of them I will address in this post.

“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”

People that have experienced financial trouble lasting long enough that it has tainted other aspects of their lives laugh at this saying much differently than those who get it purely on an intellectual level.

In many ways this saying is wrong – except in the ways it is actually right.

Almost all people care about other peoples financial struggles even if they have not experienced it themselves.

But at an abstract level most people don’t understand or care about poverty conceptually.

I sure as hell didn’t understand poverty in any shape till I got too sick to work and lost my job and it caused my financial economy to go into ruins.

That’s despite having experienced plenty of times in my life where I’ve had little-to-no income.

I purposefully say financial economy and financially poor because both economy and poverty are not concepts that are exclusively tied to finance.

Before I continue, know this: There is only one cure for poverty and that is generosity.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

… Is a quote people accept when it comes to relationships, finance, spirituality, philosophy and many other types of contexts.

It’s physically true. If there is no content in a cup you can’t pour anything out of it.

What we collectively forget to talk about is what empty actually means in most cases.

Often after break ups others, and we to ourselves, will tell you that you need to learn to love yourself again before getting into a new relationship.

Which is a big fucking lie. You don’t ever need to love yourself before someone else can love you because no one is unlovable even if they don’t love themselves.

Most parents today don’t want to yell at their children. They don’t want to be perceived as a tough parent as they consider tough parents to be unemphatic because they believe that means unloving.

Which is sort of a paradox because simply knowing and caring about how their behaviour affect their children is the very definition of empathy.

But they are blind to one thing: they haven’t been empathic towards themselves.

And most people aren’t because it’s very challenging to be empathic to yourself… Empathy is about understanding someone. You know all the same as you know – so why would you even need to be empathic towards yourself? It sort of seems like you are self-empathic simply by being self-aware.

However, you are not your thoughts but your thinking deceives you into believing you are your thoughts.

You consists of your entirety: your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, your decisions, your actions, your habits, your desires and goals, your relations… And the list goes on but I think you get the drift of it.

Your thoughts are only one layer of you but it’s where you experience yourself and the nature of thinking tricks you into thinking you are your thoughts.

Our thoughts are so very often so wrong.

A short sidenote about how I learned this:

Because of my brain illness I’ve had to question every thought I ever had because my illness affects the very way my thoughts work. Which is a weird way to say the place where I experience myself I have something which is external from me that makes me experience everything, including others and even myself, faulty and unreliable.

I probably will not know the true difference between my thoughts and my illness although I’ve grown quite experienced in navigating my thoughts.

I will admit that my brain illness most likely is the reason I am able to think about the extremely abstract while maintaining a connection to the practical and tangible which is something I am very grateful to be able to do.

But I could be wrong about all of this. After all, I often am wrong.

Back to the subject at hand:

Parents will yell at their kids at some point. It’s inevitable but there are factors that determines how often it will happen and how it will affect your children.

Both the frequency and the fall out will be different depending on the situation but the real issue isn’t even about how it happened but the conlussion one draws upon reflecting on it happening.

Most often parents yell at their kids because they are under pressure. That pressure can come from many places and sometimes it’s from within.

Thinking that the yelling was bad and that the way to avoid it is to get your shit together and stop doing it… Is sort of why it happens in the first place and adding more pressure will not allieviate the issue. Chances are it will strengthen the cause and it might become a negative spiral.

To be more self-empathic you need to understand yourself better without the context of your own thoughts. The easiest way I know to do that is to try and understand your parents.

Sidenote: Parents is a term I will always use losely. For many it’s the beings that brought them into existence but what a parent is requires and deserves a whole talk in itself.

To understand your parents you can try and talk to them. Ask them about anything that comes to your mind that you think you need to know in order to understand them better. If you don’t know what you need to know to understand them better then lead with that:

“Can we talk? I want to understand you better so I can understand myself better but I don’t know how to ask”.

They can often fill in a lot of blanks for you.

But your relationship with your parents can come with a lot of complexity and talking to them might not be viable. In that case I recommend learning about human behaviour in any subject that interests you using any method that fits your schedule and temper.

And understand that human behaviour is not at all that different from behaviour of any other living being.

Read any book, watch any documentary, take any course on psychology, behaviour economics, human behavioural biology… and reflect on the subject in the context of your parents.

If none of the subjects above interests you I suggest you reach out to me and we can find a subject that you’d like to explore that you can synthesise into a better understanding of human behaviour.

Many products of arts are also capable of increasing your understanding of human behaviour but it’s a deeper exploration process and you might need more time to see the relevancy to your life.

Your parents, regardless of your relationship with them and how they have or have not worked for you, have done the most generous thing for you in your lifetime: they have brought you here.

Bringing you here does not mean you owe them anything because that is not how generosity works.

Generosity is about everyone involved getting more out of it than they put into it.

And I swear: any parent, regardless of their capability to show it, have gotten far more than they put into it from you coming to existence – and so have you.

I am blessed with the quality of friends and family I have. Even at the times I’ve doubted any of them they do something that remind me why I am lucky to have them in my life.

Finally, a persistant fallacy is that charity is similar to or connected to generosity. It isn’t but I’ll save that for another day as I’ve already rambled on for far too long and I have a thousand more ideas for blog posts so I’ll just try to sum it up like this:

Time is our most valuable commodity.

We are only given so much of it and we never know when we will run out of it.

Be generous with you to those you meet, including to yourself – so you get the most out of your time.