Judgment Day

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My whole outlook on life is, never judge a book by its cover.Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Last week I was at home with my girlfriend. As usual, we were fighting over which movie we would watch. She suggested Paddington. My first reaction was:”It will be total shit“. After a few minutes I surrendered. We watched to whole thing. To my surprise…it was good. Nothing amazing, but good entertainment.

I remember when my brother was reading Game of Thrones.  He introduced me to the TV show right after the first episode was aired. I seriously thought it would be awful. I watch it and I was instantly sold. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I’ve read all five books of the series.

Why am I telling these little stories? Good question. As you can see, both these anecdotes as one thing in common: we make ignorant judgment. The same pattern repeat itself everywhere. This can go from people to cultures to ideas. We judge what we don’t know.

I could say that Winnipeg is a boring city (nothing personnal Winnipeggers). I’ve probably already said it in the past. The truth is that I’ve never set my foot there. I have no idea if it’s boring or not. In that case, I should simply shut my mouth. I could say that “it look boring“, but that I would need to see for myself to make a proper judgment.

The wise abstain from making judgment until he experience. That’s what we should aim for.

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We Are Blind: Our Non-Stop Ignorance

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“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” – George Bernard Shaw

I’ve talked recently about the idea that a little knowledge can be dangerous. Knowledge is a fragile thing. We can be 100% certain about something, but in truth being totally wrong. Take a look in the past and you’ll see many obvious examples of what I’m saying.

We thought that the earth was flat and we were wrong. Medical history has a great record of how many stupid beliefs we had. Bloodletting was used as a treatment for almost 3000 years. Why did it persist for so long? Because of the social, economic and intellectual pressures.

The medical field isn’t the exception. We most likely believe in the wrong for many aspects of life. It’s hard to make society change an idea. In the 1980s, saturated fat was seen as bad for the health. The idea is still around today even if we have evidence of the opposite.

The problem isn’t just about what we know and don’t change. It is also about what we totally ignore. We might be doing things that could lead to irreversible damage by our ignorance. You should be aware of that blindness and remember that a Sword of Damocles might be above your head as you read those lines.

The Everlasting Rush

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“God made time, but man made haste.” Irish Proverb

You’ve probably identified Jason Statham on the picture above. That was from the movie Crank released in 2006. I don’t intend to do a review of that movie…don’t worry! Anyway, if you don’t know about it,  it’s just a popcorn flick to tune the brain at off. To shut the rush in our heads for one small moment. The movie is about Chev Chelios a mobster in Los Angeles. At the beginning of the movie he’s poisoned by a mafia boss for a reason that I forget. He will die in less than 24 hours. The poison affect Statham’s character slowly. With time it is making is heart become slower and slower until the fatal moment. His only way to survive and commit vengeance in the end, is to keep is heart pumping.

All options are considered. The character will take incredible amount of energy drinks, drinking red bull after red bull. Chelios will use drugs to speed is heart. He’ll even have sex in public. And yes…he will us booster cables on his tongue (or what is it in Crank 2? Nobody cares). You see the pattern? The movie goes at an incredible speed. Things are just moving too fast. It last an hour and half with non stop action. I know that the movie in itself doesn’t make sense at all. It’s purely fiction and hollywoodian. The point here is that our life is most likely the same as Jason Statham character. We don’t acknowledge it, but we are in a constant hurry. We finish item A, to start item B, before starting item C.  In other words, we do one thing to do the next. You brain always want the next thing, the new stuff or the new thrill. Your life is on booster cables non stop.

It’s something we tend to lose focus on. We forget about the haste of modern life. It’s just what it is. It’s normal. The rush will most likely only finish when we’ll be 6 feet under. It’s sad but true. I was trying to find where we went wrong. Where did we take the path to always be in a hurry? Most likely it’s not something that come from human nature. We see a lot of examples of cultures that don’t encourage that behavior. We can see that in the last 150 years, our relationship with time has change dramatically. The cause would be the rise of the machines. The industrial revolution. Remember Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Time? This is a great depiction of our modern relation with time. What is ironic is that we thought 60 or 70 years ago, that every work would be done by robots in the year 2000. You don’t have to take a time travel to ask the question, just ask your parents or grand parents.The idea was that robot would do all the work and that human would have all the time in the world. It seem we got in the opposite direction.

More technologies than ever and less time than ever. Instead of finding more time with technologies, we simply do more. We are in an era where time is scarce. The great depression of time. It’s already a start to know that we are part of the everlasting rush. But unlike the movie Crank, the clock will still race in 24 hours. We will still wake up and get some shit done. Probably at an incredible speed. We will cross every stuff on that god damn to-do list. Then, we’ll start again the next day. In truth, we are responsible for all of that. We are the creator of the everlasting rush. We are perpetuating it. And it will never end, unless we choose to. I could end here with crappy self-help stuff like “live in the moment”, “be simple” or “doing less”. I won’t, I just wanted to hit the nails. I don’t have magic pill for all of this. Napoleon Bonaparte is a better teacher than I am. I’ll let him finish. He said:Order marches with weighty and measured strides. Disorder is always in a hurry.The everlasting rush is disorder. Find the order and you’ll find the cure. It’s probably easier to say than to do.