April 29, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:49 am

A while ago I posted on things I used to believe, but have since discarded.  I intended to follow-up the next day with things I did believe.  However, I got a bit derailed because my concept of what it means to accept something as true has changed so much, the things I have replaced those postulates with are not even of the same nature.  Without going on a long-winded  exercise of describing and justifying that, I’ll just toss out some of my current beliefs and call it good.

Interdependent arising sounds compelling.

Paradox is unavoidable.

Descartes was right, but accept the external world anyway.

I am highly impacted by cognitive dissonance.

There is such a breadth to humanity, we don’t even agree on what the big questions are, much less the answers.

Hedonic adaptation is a big deal.

I am very bad at predicting which of the things I want will actually promote my own happiness.

Index funds are a really good idea (at least for me).

April 27, 2010

They don’t know who they are

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:28 am

warning shot

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:39 am

For the last several years, I have shifted away from traditional web browsing, and become increasingly reliant on RSS feeds to bring me the content I want.  As an aside, from the visitor tracking software available, people who access my content tend to use RSS readers over direct surfing by nearly 5 to 1.  Looks like I’m not alone in my RSS-iness.

My preferred reader has been bloglines.  I’ve been quite happy with them for a long time.  However, this weekend, they had a catastrophic outage which made even my subscriptions unavailable for days.  A bit of web research shows that they are in a bit of trouble as a product line.  Therefore, despite my deep and abiding aversion to google products, I have temporarily moved over to Google reader for my RSS needs.  I’m just not willing to risk loosing all my subscriptions because someone pulls the plug without warning…

April 25, 2010

Fortunately, it wasn’t the right answer

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:17 pm

As is well known, I have a darker skin tone than my wife.  This comes up from time to time because of the cultural implications, but I was a bit suprised by the following exchange:

Daughter #2:  I spy with my little eye, something brown.

Daughter #1: Ummm, Daddy’s skin?


April 21, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:57 pm

Over the Christmas break, life demands required that I drop rugby from my schedule line-up.  Since that time, I have had a rolling battle with sickness and so forth, but have really missed it.  Now that things are settling down a bit, I’ve been planning a return to the sport.  However, I recently read this update on my team (the only option for Beirutis):

For those of you who might not want to click through, they basically got cranky with the ref, and so decided to leave the field at the 67th minute.

This is absolutely ridiculous, shameful behavior, and a disaterous strategy for the team.  One of the thigns rugby prides itself on is the absolute respect for referees.  They are treated with respect (no matter how bad they are), and their decisions are final (no matter how much you might disagree).  To storm off the field in protest is. not. done.

Why would this ever be a winning strategy?  If the ref was really that bad everyone will know it.  If they aren’t that bad, then it is a matter of opinion, and you just need to deal with it.  Referees are a field condition.  Sometimes you get a bad one.  Deal with it.

Given that this team somehow felt comfortable breaking this rugby convention, I’m not all that sure I want to join in with them…


April 20, 2010

That’s really old news…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 pm

Recently my gym added a piece of equipment that has proved quite popular:

This confuses me, because these devices have been known to be useless for what? 20 years at least?  I don’t get why people use them.  I understand the whole ‘get something for as little as possible’ thing, but this has zero chance of being helpful.  It also comes are very little cost.  Still, you give up a little, for absolutely nothing.  To me, this is the economic equivalent of the drunk guy asking if you can spare any change.

I also wonder about some the folks I meet at the gym.  Obviously it’s none of my business, but there is a certain group of people who are just never going to achieve anything in the gym.  As there have been times when I was also highly ineffective (because I didn’t understand what real effort was), I wonder if it would be doing them a favor to encourage them, etc. etc.

Yes, that makes me the obnoxious guy at the gym, so I’ve never actually done this.  I just sort of quietly wonder in my head if they think they are really exercising but aren’t seeing results because ‘insert excuse here’.

April 14, 2010

There is meaning

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:24 pm

The gods of the Internet presented me with this screen today.  There is a message here, I just need to find it.

April 13, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:45 am

My sister asked me to look for a certain photo in my archives.  While I didn’t find that, I did come upon this gem.

April 6, 2010

A bit of a list

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:57 am

Despite the fact that the vulgarities of life have forced me to pursue an actually marketable career, I maintain an interest in more humanistic areas such as social psychology.  As such, I have become somewhat obsessed with the field of cognitive bias.  Learning to understand the pitfalls of human cognition has helped me in a wide variety of ways.  While much has been written about whether or not we can ever achieve an unbiased rationality, I am convinced there are great benefits to trying.  One sign that you are doing it right is the number of beliefs you previously accepted, but now understand to be false.

Un-learning is an important indicator of meta-cognitive ability.

To wit, I have taken a moment to tick off a few of the things I once believed, but now know to be false:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Pure supply-side economics (Milton Friedman style)
  3. The idea that:  If it doesn’t matter to me, it isn’t important to me.
  4. Most people have an accurate view of themselves.
  5. The world is getting worse. (Depends on how you look at it.  In many ways it is getting much better.)
  6. That America is the best country in the whole world.  (It might be, depending on how you judge ‘best’, but there are plenty of reasonable measurement systems in which the USA is not #1)
  7. That I was a good dancer.
  8. That if I was very confident about something, I was probably right.
  9. If the people around me thought I was right, I probably was.
  10. That there should be (Christian) prayer in (all) schools.
  11. That if I treated others the way I wanted to be treated, they would reciprocate.

Later, I’ll do an update on things I have learned.

April 1, 2010

Mix it up

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:38 am

In contrast to the previous post, I’m going to go with something more frivolous.  I present you:

Tyrothus, my World of Warcraft Paladin!

I think he needs bigger shoulders.

This character is my main WoW figment, and is highly awesome.  He is a healer and has saved many a group from inglorious death.

Thus far, I have played three of the four different healing classes in Warcraft, and I have to say the Paladin is my favorite.  Durable, mana efficient, and powerful.  The thing about Paladins though, is that if you don’t really understand the mechanics of the game, you end up being very inefficient and falling behind the competitors, such as druids and priests.  I think this effect is responsible for their somewhat lackluster reputation among the community.

Editors note:  One purpose of this post is to raise my mockability quotient so high, that Cris will find it irresistible.  Unfortunately, this material is so easy, she may find it beneath her.  We shall see.

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