Wherever you may wander
Go with your eyes wide
Your mouth still
Your ears quiet
Your heart true
Always in the knowledge
That home is in your heart
Where you may return anytime
To always find
Rooting you on
Praying for you
In this place
You are always whole
Just as you are
We see that you’ve used AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the past, so we wanted to let you know that AIM will be discontinued and will no longer work as of December 15, 2017. “
That made me think back.
It’s the end of an era for people who were using the Internet in its earliest days. AIM was the beginning of the mass use of persistent online presence and communication. Texting was for geeks and initially, IM was as well. But that changed fast with Instant Messaging becoming popular in a way that texting wouldn’t for years.
How many services do you use today with built-in presence and chat? It’s so ubiquitous we no longer think of it.
But, it wasn’t that long ago that everything was different.
It was in this article that one of Benchley’s more popular quotes first appeared, a quote that is the sole purpose of this post. Well, the actual purpose I have for publishing this quote is to illustrate my own genius in avoiding the work I am supposed to be doing at this very moment.
I am addicted to choice
and allergic to constraints,
but choice is my poison
and constraints my elixir.
-Julian E. Gude
About: I was thinking about focus and how constraints and containers are the saviors of creative and analytical work. For example, how a book is a container for a story or a deadline is a constraint for a project. Without constraints, we have endless choice and nothing ever gets done. I jotted this thought down a couple of years ago and came across it while looking for something else in the 11,045 other notes I have in Evernote.
I first heard the parable of the Two Wolves on an excellent Podcast (iTunes) called The One You Feed. The One You Feed is a weekly podcast created and produced by Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes that explores various topics related to creating a life worth living by interviewing respected authors, researchers, teachers, mental health professionals, spiritual gurus & other thought leaders about their particular areas of expertise. You can donate to their show on Patreon.
It’s getting harder to find factual information these days. But even when you do get the facts, you’re far from out of the woods. If the new facts challenge your deepest convictions, your brain can double-down on your existing beliefs and reject the facts. It’s a psychological phenomenon known as the backfire effect.
When we come across things on social media and the web these days, we’re all on high alert for propaganda, manipulation, “fake news,” and outright lies. It’s easy to fall into a blanket rejection of alternative viewpoints. And that’s a failure. We owe it to ourselves to deal with reality, even when it’s inconvenient and makes us uncomfortable.
If you’re interested in learning more about the backfire effect, listen to the podcast series linked below from David McRaney, of the You Are Not So Smart podcast.
Here’s more on the backfire effect from David McRaney.
The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.
The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.
Matthew Inman recently published one of his trademark Oatmeal cartoons on the backfire effect. As I was laughing my way through Matthew’s cartoon I was thinking about the aforementioned You Are Not So Smart (YANSS)blog, book, and podcast series, from David McRaney. McRaney’s work is where I first learned about the backfire effect. After finishing the cartoon, I noticed that Matt credited David’s work as inspiration for his cartoon.
Matthew’s cartoon on the backfire effect is up to his normal high standards and well worth the three minutes it will take you to scroll through it while you lie to yourself about when you’re going to finish your next project.
McRaney’s reporting on the backfire effect (along with his other work on bias and fallacies) is approachable and provides insight into the latest understanding and research on psychology and neuroscience. His journalistic roots ensure that his citations and the experts he interviews are first-class.