Friendliness Resistance

Left to Our Own Devices

Left to Our Own Devices

While I’m waiting impatiently for the rest of the world to calibrate to my ideal technology habits, I’ve started to watch myself watch other people peer into their devices as they walk down the street, sit in coffee shops, and stand at urinals.

This impulse has grown into a challenging, but fascinating attention exercise that has lead to some liberating insights that have shifted my reactions to other people’s observable tech habits.  

Airport Insecurity

Airport Insecurity

Flying provides a steady stream of frustrations: the crowded isolation of DIY check-in, the sock-footed walk on eggshells through TSA, the hypervigilant tracking of an elusive ETA.

All the inevitable discomforts of air travel make it a fertile attentional fitness opportunity. I’ve been developing a strategy that transforms the situation from hell into heaven. Okay, maybe more like a really productive purgatory.

Maybe This Brain Can Be Reset

Maybe This Brain Can Be Reset

"I do know enough as a psychologist about learning and memory. And I know that we learn. How much of this I need to do in order to change, I cannot say. But I can say that there is a point at which this brain is not just elastic in moving to what is being suggested, but that it may be plastic in that it can be reset into a new mold."

~ Mahzarin Banaji

Things We Are Saying To Ourselves

Things We Are Saying To Ourselves

"An inner voice always used to be an outer voice. We absorb the tone of others. A harassed or angry parent. The menacing threats of an elder sibling keen to put us down. The words of a schoolyard bully or teacher who seemed impossible to please. We internalize the unhelpful voices, because at certain key moments in the past, they sounded compelling. The authority figures repeated their messages over and over until they got lodge in our own way of thinking." 

~ The School of Life

Who Would You Be?

"Isn't it funny how no baby is born racist, yet every baby cries when they hear the cries of another. No matter the gender, culture, or color — proving that, deep down, we were meant to connect and care for each other."

~ Prince Ea

The Mighty Strings of Pleasure and Pain

The Mighty Strings of Pleasure and Pain

"The universal war is not limited to the relation between different states, but takes place between villages, between households, and between individuals, and that it takes place even between the different parts of each individual soul."

~ T. K. Seung

We Don't Want to Want

We Don't Want to Want

"We cannot receive love, however, if we are not open to the raw and tender experience of wanting it. Suppressing or denying desire shuts down our openness to receiving nourishment, and thus only intensifies our hunger."

~ John Welwood

Clusters Based on Similarity

Clusters Based on Similarity

Stories cannot demolish frontiers, but they can punch holes in our mental walls. And through those holes, we can get a glimpse of the other, and sometimes even like what we see."

~ Elif Shafak

Solution Aversion

Solution Aversion

"A new study finds that deeply held beliefs can undermine rationality: When confronted with solutions that challenge deeply held values, people may be inclined to disbelieve the problem."

~ Brandon Keim

Stuck in the Same Predicament

Stuck in the Same Predicament

"Will Storr says once you realize how difficult it is to identify your own incorrect beliefs you can better empathize with people on the fringe, because they are stuck in the same predicament." ~ David McRaney