Saturday, October 15, 2022

Excessive optimism

One perennial tendency in humans is our excessive optimism that our view, our team will prevail.

Gamblers know that you can always get the biggest spread in the stands of the home-team.

People who are politically invested cannot see how their favorite candidate or proposal can fail. They are incapable of seeing or hearing any negative views of their preferences and can see and hear nothing favorable of the opposing candidate or viewpoint.

This blindness and deafness has become worse in recent years as the internet made it easy to immerse ourselves in the echo-chambers of our choice.

It is good to have a plan 

While we hope, work and pray for good outcomes to elections there are very real chances that the official results will not fall the way we want.

Rapacious and self-serving governments have been the rule, not the exception throughout history.

The traditional response was to be "as dumb as a peasant". Know nothing. Volunteer nothing.

Another element of the traditional response was to have two sets of books. One that the tax-man saw and another that employed a different kind of accounting.

---Disclaimer: I am not encouraging anybody to break the law---

The other set of books was a ledger that did not exist on paper. It was a ledger that measured character and balance-of-favors.

Suppose there were two men in the village. One had impeccable character. He always honored his promises, especially when it was inconvenient for him or expensive. The other man was a liar, a drunk and a wastrel. Both men need some firewood but cannot pay for the load at this time.

Who gets the load of firewood? In this story it is given as a "gift" and it is not explicitly an economic transaction.

This ledger placed a premium on family and tribe. As a matter of practicality, family and tribe is most likely to have your back when you need them.

All of this is a round-about way to suggest that we all take a ruthless look inward and do what we can to polish how others perceive our character.


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  2. I’ve been saying for a while that the only way some people will make it through the hard times that apparently on the way is for local community (you could say village) to work together and help each other . I sometimes add to the prayers of the faithful at mass “Lord help us to have the grace to see who is in need and the willingness to help those that we can”.

  3. ERJ, there are days I feel like we are skating on civilizational thin ice, with the vasty deep beneath us. And when that ice breaks, many will be looking for help in locations that will not be able to help.

    Rules to live by:
    1) Do not draw attention to yourself.
    2) Never volunteer information.

  4. I’m old.
    Not ancient, but pushing 70, with fewer delusions than I used to have as to my physical abilities. Due to modern science and joint replacements I’m up and moving, and not as crippled as my Grandad was at this age.
    I can put in a day’s physical work, but not remotely as well as once I could.
    I met my wife 48 years ago, and shall always count the day we married, over 43 years past, as the best day in my life.
    We have the rare privilege of watching our two grandchildren several days weekly while our son and his lovely wife work.
    We consider it our task and joy to teach values, resilience, and the importance of tribe to our descendants.
    We do what grandparents of worth have always done. We read to our child’s children, expose them to worthwhile ideas, teach them the value of work and determination and cleverness, tell them the names and the best qualities and quirks lof ancestors long past, and bask in the warmth of vast great dreams we urge these children to envision.
    We do what grandparents of worth have always done.
    We are just wise enough to realize that this world is wrought with turmoil.
    And to marvel at our blessings.

  5. Its one of the pillars of society that has fallen. Pride.
    Welfare? Fine....
    Children out of wedlock? Fine...
    No H S Diploma? Fine....

    Nobody is taught or raised to be proud anymore. It started as "don't brag about _____ because not everybody..." and now we don't have valedictorians at graduation, because the retarded kid's feelings might get hurt? What about the brainiac that busted their butt for 4 years? They don't get to celebrate their achievement because someone else might perceive that as a slight?

    I'm reminded of the line "they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work".
    Hurt feelings has led to full blown communism.


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