Ambigamy

Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

14 Articles In One: From One-Liners to One-Paragraphers

A sampling of recent micro-articles and tweets

600 articles ago, when I started blogging I thought I might run out of ideas, but they keep coming.

I capture ideas first as notes on my Facebook wall. Here are 14 recent ones, each a micro-article. If you like them, FB friend me and you'll have more.

  1. Being catty is a good entry point for well-rounded self-knowledge. For what better way to ease into the hot water of my flaws than to dip toes first into someone else's? May we all get catty and end up introspective, discovering that what others do, we do. Want to explore human nature? Cattiness is the gateway. 

  2. Most dictatorships aren't out to take over the world. The predominant impulse towards dictatorship, which resides in most if not all of us, is to protect the small worlds that we each control. This impulse is revealed in our attempts to ignore, dismiss or otherwise purge awareness of threats and challenges to our control. We don't expand our territory so much as fortress it.

  3. "Think" and "wonder" are contranyms, words that have two opposite meanings: I think as in I know, and I think as in I'm wondering; wonder as inquiry and wonder as awe—not wondering but digging the mystery. And wisdom? I begin to think it's a contranym too, meaning the same polar opposites: Wisdom as knowing, and wisdom as in inquiry. We mostly think of the wise as knowing, which is understandable. My best definition of wisdom derives from the serenity prayer: The wisdom to know the differences that make a difference. But gaining that kind of wisdom is ongoing work (hence the quest or prayer to be granted more wisdom). I wish we associated wisdom a bit more with inquiry. A wise mind is a continually inquiring mind, not a know-it-all mind since you can't know it all, not even just all the differences that make a difference.

  4. When someone doesn’t hear you, it's hard to tell whether they can't, won't, or needn't and it matters because the three suggest divergent responses: if they can't, forgive them; if they won't, insist they do, and if they needn't, put some distance between you. 

  5. "Yes, I also have my doubts about what I'm doing. But this here is my experiment." 

  6. I like life. I'd like to die of a birthday overdose.

  7. For six to eight hours in every 24, my only worldly obligation is not snoring.

  8. "We all become invisible when we die. People forget about us. They stop returning our phone calls. When you've been attractive and then lose it, you get to experience a kind of death in life."

  9. So little time, so much to worry about. I'm fascinated by how we decide. Lately I've noticed that when the going gets tough people tend to become more expediently ideological. We grab some lofty sweeping moral theory that's more self serving than thoroughly considered. It's as if a hurricane is coming and there's a run on milk at the grocery story. People snatch up whatever cosmology gives them a rationale for cutting in the milk line, a reason to feel proudly justified in saying, "I deserve more."

  10. "So let me get this straight," said the homely, accomplished woman, "I'm not worth your attention, but you would eagerly date a bimbo and be proud of how that reflects on your character?" 

  11. I check FB a lot and so fit the bill for being a FB addict. Then again, I also mostly work alone and maybe it’s the lack of face time that makes me compensate with FB time.

  12. I love how Stephen Colbert refers to a furrowed brow as a "six pack forehead," and it occurs to me that furrowing the brow makes one's third eye squint.

  13. I hate when people play games or get passive aggressive, but rarely do they deserve all the blame. Often game playing and passive aggressiveness is people wanting to share their truth with people who have proven unreceptive to it, so all they can do is half-share it, placing it just over/under the radar of the people with whom they wish they could communicate it.

  14. Politicians are mercenary entertainers hired by the highest bidders. Most study how to work a crowd far more than how to lead the country. They're people who by temperament have a voracious appetite for support, obsessed to the core with drawing powerful people into their circle by any means possible. If good causes yielded more support, they'd support good causes. Market imperfections are such that the highest bidders tend to be lousy causes.

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

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