Thursday, February 26, 2015

Positive Psycology

Flocking together
How to maintain positive in the face of many negatives in life?

Positive Psychology of course. But they never tell us how to keep positive, just demonstrate the importance of being positive. Keep that Losada ration above three, that is positive emotion count divided by the negatives. Yah. OK. That is 75% positive life. If I did that well in business, I would be rich. A 75% life score will require some effort.  So how does one do that. Look at life through rose tinted glasses, or positive politicization glasses? Well yes and if we classify events as positive, neutral, and negative, include all the neutral with the positive events. Ignore the negative, as some do is not really dealing with reality, but that to helps the Losada ration.

All this reminds me of our local politician, I will call him Stoned Willy, as he was when we were both young. He claims responsibility for the industrial development, where in actual fact, the county only regulated development. Regulation, aka. allowing development is far different from producing development. Regulation is negative from the point of view of the developer, but I digress.

When we look at the old Greeks, they had several methods. Cynics stayed out of everything that was not necessary for life, living rough in public spaces, and living off what they could find lose or what was given to them, limiting themselves to what they could carry. Epicurus was a farmers/gardener, and stayed out of family, commerce, politics; that limits the amount of upset.

Having gratitude for life, liberty, the times we live in, the food we eat, the close we were, heat in our homes, and the like can push the Losada ratio up to overcome all those other negatives. But we must take time to feel those each day, if we can feel them. Staying positive is just work of the mind, manufactured gratitude if necessary. Group of grateful, compassionate people help help foster more gratitude, that may be the function of religions. Groups positive think.  Yah. OK. Avoid the negatives. Hang with the positives.  Even double dipping, or many dips into the same positive is encouraged. Yah. Yah. +++++++++++++++++.

Enough + + + +     

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Steam Power, Rumely Smoke door art
I have thousands of pictures and a filing cabinet full of slides, and then there is the B&W collection and paper pictures from negatives. I think I will just start using them as repurposed images.

Repurposing is simply a change in use of an object, or item, so why not humans. It is recognizing that quzi boredom is one of my many problems. I have been stewing rather than pushing ahead since retirement. It is time to take action. I suffer from boredom, anxiety over my ability and performance, and requiring myself to do things I do not wish to do. These are Maladaptive issues that I must resolve rather than ruminate on and eat over due to indecision and rumination stress. The decision need not be right or wrong, just action, and can later be repurposed.

Muconious Rufus, (Stioc, Epictetus' teacher) said something like "Nature has set us the goal of flourishing, both we as individuals and as a species." Flourishing requires positive emotion, which includes commitment, meaning, engagement, interest, enthusiasm, motivation, and moving forward into life. Of course, if fate permits, we have achievement, satisfaction, and mental joy feeding back into the positive emotions. We can say it is our duty to what is necessary to flourish. So to that end, I will ignore a negatives and ignorants and plunge ahead with positive polarized blinders, and see what happens.

It seems that if flourishing is the goal, we all must get along as a species, else there will be more problems. As a species we have a choice, flourish or die out in the long run. Those are the choices, other than struggle along, just surviving. We look around and see lots of people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Oh well. It would be better if they were doing right for the right reasons. Nobody ever seems to understand what I am saying with this. One must know what are the right reasons are with certainty and confidence to say this. That is where the dispute is. Nature is all there is. Get on with life, abandon supernatural thinking and get on with reason. I need to repurpose my lives to aid flourishing, not just highgrading this rock we live on, and aid in getting the species to flourish, but not to the point of self destruction, as where we are headed. Highgrading is a mining term for taking the best ore and leaving the poorer ore. It is considered bad practice by some, usually those who later go back and try to work the mine for the remaining ore that was not considered economic the first time.

Living generally virtuously and rationally is the place to start. If we accent to the proposition that there is no supernatural, and that the goal of our species should be to flourish, then we need to know how to flourish as individuals and as a species, then to get on with it.

Enough for repurposing of my life.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stoic AM

This AM, in the garden
Warning. DYI psychology concept for today.

Awake with gratitude in our heart for the day, and gratitude for life in general. Arise to do the work of a stoic template man. To make judgements is our first and best ability which is truly our own, prudence must be our first virtue, that is correct use of our abilities. To that end, we must have knowledge, wisdom, virtues, beliefs. These are the foundation of judgements. We must keep these clean and whole, true and right. We must also upgrade these, as better concepts come along.

I need to separate what is up to me and what is not; I need to separate my duty from the duty of others, being aware others may not perform their duty fully, whether out of ignorance of there duty or ignorance of how to perform it, or willful disobedience to reason and the rule of law.  

Temperance, follows prudence; courage, justice, persistence, and compassion for self and others also are high up on that virtues priority list.

We are in control of our beliefs, that is one of the keys to life, but gratitude is the foundation belief.

We are all equal in life, humility includes equal, even if it is not defined that way.  

Monday, February 16, 2015



"It is all about eating a tiny portion and being grateful for even that portion."

OK, so what about the one half of a Standard Deviation of the population that do not feel gratitude?

"it is about the doing of it."

OK, so how does one get themselves to do it when we do not care?

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Things may not be quite as they appear. Jasper, AB.

Ultimatums are one way of creating a fire that must be dealt with. The problem is that the result of an ultimatum may not be what you want, it may be what you do not want; there is also the do nothing choice and the third choice, something you do not want and something you never thought of.  I once knew a young lady who gave her husband an ultimatum, so he created a third option; he hung himself in the basement from the cross braces between the joist. Kick stool, if you changed his mind, how long can you do a chin up for?

The stoics say "if it is too smokey in the kitchen, you can always leave." The stoics also say when you kiss your children and your wife, and say in your mind that these mortals must die, and tomorrow they may not be here. This is preconditioning for the inevitable.

So if you are thinking of giving someone an ultimatum, be aware of all the possible reactions.

It is right to do right. It is even better, and should be the purpose of life to do right, for the right reasons. A philosopher ought not to life a finger without reason. He ought to lay out all the practical actions, and make a decision based on reason, what ever that may be. Is the status qua all that bad that you are willing to gamble with an ultimatum? Can you simple ask for what you want? Is it within the others power to grant your request?

Epictetus: "We are responsible for some things, while there are others for which we cannot be held responsible." Ench. 1. Or as it is often put, Some things are up to us, some are not. The trick is to figure out what is up to us and what is not. What is up to others and what is not. What is simply fate, nature, or the sum of both. It is difficult to change our nature, even when we would like to. We may also be one of natures experiments, but wait, we all are nature's experiments. Just one more variation, the successful reproduce, the failures do not. In the end we all die, so what difference does it all make.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Practice make different 
stimulated my ire this morning. Practice make something different, or perhaps better, but very seldom does anything become perfect. Perfect is a score of 600 on five dozen arrows. It has only happened once in Olympic history. It is all about equipment at that point of perfection. Perfect is not a realistic goal, but change or better is a realistic goal, if you are goal driven. Prefect leads to frustration for most, as do goals.

The concept of perfect and the concept of goals both lead to frustration for the person who does not achieve the point. It is frustration of losing repeatedly that keeps people emotionally down. That is not good. It is better to accept less that ideal, and be content with that then to see ourselves as failures. There is nothing wrong with losing, it is normal, or more common than winning. Consider sports league with 30 teams, on average any one team can expect to go 30 years without winning the annual top of the league. On average, half of us have below average intelligence. Some of us have very bad memories for "literal strings". We just cannot remember how to spell words we do not use often. Oh, well, processes, on the other hand are just recalled perfectly years after without using. Long hand square root. The proof for Pythagorean theorem. But how to spell theorem or Pythagoras? not so much.

What does the research say?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Philosophy vs Theology

Fuzzy until we get it into focus. Oh well, that's life.

What is the difference between a philosophy and a theology, as it applies to a way of life?

A philosophy lays out the reasons that something is better, and allows us to accept, reject, or withhold judgement. A theology make a statement and demands that we accept it, even when it is obviously wrong. Religion is dictatorial and does not change or improve over time. Philosophy changes, the best ideas at a time can be adopted, and upgraded if something better comes along. It becomes down to us to do what is right, to know what is right, and why it is right, from first principals. From these first principals, the right action logically flows. Reasoning becomes the process to resolve the cognitive dissonance. It is our choice, accept, reject or withhold judgement.

What are these first principals? Well, there must be many of these things. Living by nature is likely one of them. We all do much better if we get along, and give up a few things for the common good and security of person. Social contract type of concept. We must not lash out, in order to not be lashed out upon. We were born to cooperate as Marcus Aurelius put it. If we do this, we can avoid much conflict. If we cannot, someone will lose badly, and the victor will carry on, likely need to cooperate anyway for security and peace.

If by nature, it is necessary; if by choice, it is arbitrary. Just what it is is the subject.  Back to diet, food issues. The desire to eat is natural, and for some of us, physical or chemical, it just is too large for our own good. Nature is calling for us to eat; and eating is slow death. We can make a decision to eat and die, or go against nature, live better and longer, yet we die in the end. It is all about the struggle. For some of us there is no reprieve in the desire to eat. Science can do nothing for us. We can make the decision, eat and die slowly, do not eat as much and die slower. It is our choice, it is arbitrary, but either way we die.

There is still no god, we are just opportunistic organic animals living on this big rock. There is no right and wrong, only better and not as good ways of living or of dieing. It is the same decision, but whether we look at the bottom or the top, the half full or half empty. It does not matter.

Is right defined by reason and appropriate actions? So what is the appropriate action in this case? Suffering from the desire to eat and not eating, or the earlier death of eating and obesity. It is that simple. 

Religion says who is right, philosophy says what is right. Which will you decide to follow?