Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

Psychological Clutches: Lead-Foot Disengagement As a Crutch

When our rubber hits rough road and we need a break, we often find solace in sweeping popular arguments that nothing really matters. We employ psychological clutches as crutches disengaging us from reality, often in dangerous ways. Read More


Just discovered your blog, Dr. Sherman. Talk about insightful. I've never seen such a comprehensive list like this before.

Has anyone made a project of categorizing each philosophy/religion into these breakdowns? I think that would be interesting.


Great to hear from you and

Great to hear from you and welcome. I'm betting one could categorize religious quotes more easily than whole religions. The only idea religions can hold constant and consistent over their long migration through time and cultures is that they are constant and consistent.

I did write this one a while ago, a very simple categorization that I find useful:

I'm around and happy to talk about anything. Glad you find stuff in my writing.


Jeremy Sherman

Thanks for the reference;

Thanks for the reference; reading it now. Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, but I feel like you're the only one I can find saying these things.

Thanks again,


What I say is between the lines in a lot

of the writers and thinkers I like best, and of course I don't read everyone or even half as many writers as I wish I could. Often I do feel like I'm saying things that don't get said explicitly as much as they should. I started thinking and writing like this about 18 years ago. Back then my greatest fear was that I would be scooped. By now I don't worry about that at all. For better or worse this seems to be me wee niche.

Thank you Mariel for reading and understanding.


Between The Lines

Hi Jeremy, your writings seem to signify that you do not engage very often in ordinary conversation. "What you say" has to be "between the lines" because it is not and cannot be the same as what you write. Saying and writing are two entirely different things. You wrote, you would be "happy to talk about anything", but I wonder, are you just saying that, or, are you just writing that? I mean would you really like to "talk about anything?" You "started thinking and writing about this 18 years ago?" and stated that you were "afraid' you "would be scooped?" Are you trying to say(in this blog) that you have missed out on human interaction and that if you would have said, back then, what you had really thought, you would perhaps not have ended up in your lonely "wee niche" of written words? If you would be more interested in spoken communication than in writing and reading, you would be very different from most academics. In any case, if you would like to talk instead of write, please skype with me. My skype name is limbicease

Kind greetings, Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Behaviorist

Hi Maximus, Thank you for

Hi Maximus,

Thank you for your generous message. Actually though I was writing casually and so was easily misunderstood, for which I'm sorry. More than most I bet, I talk like I write and write like I talk. I engage in lots of ordinary conversation, have lots of local and far-flung friends. What I meant by between the lines is simply that other authors imply assumptions that I work to make explicit. And by "talk about anything" I just meant that since Mariel, a new reader showed interest in my approach if there were any topic Mariel wanted me to address, I'd be happy to.

What country are you in Maximus?


Between The Lines

Hi Jeremy, although writing casually may seem to come close to speaking, it is of course an illusion in which a writer imagines him or her self to be a speaker and the occasional reader thinks that he or she is listening to someone. Nothing is further away from the reality. Not surprisingly, most of what you (and others) have written is misunderstood and must endlessly be explained. Naturally, it cannot be true that anyone talks in the same way that they write or that they could write in the same way they speak. Such an assumption is the inevitable consequence of our common denial of spoken communication, which is perpetuated by just about everything that has ever been written. That being said or, rather, that having been written, you don't really respond to what I have written, because you make it seem as if I actually said these things to you. I didn't say anything, I only wrote something. If you had wanted to be explicit, you would already have skyped with me. Your writing makes your think that you are explicit and others may buy into this, but your indirect words deflect the attention away from conversation. Supposedly, nothing of what you have written was understood by me in the way you had meant it. I wonder, how much of your writing about things that "don't get said as explicitly as much as they should" contributes anything to human dialogue? And, writing what others want to read, in the same way that saying what others want to hear, doesn't enhance the conversation either. I am in the United States, but what has that go to do with anything? If you want to be explicit you must talk and not hide behind written words.
Kind greetings, Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Behaviorist

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Jeremy Sherman is an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.


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