Late (or a Post About Cause and Effect)

Today I was late for work again. For three minutes that is.

You may ask why I’m writing on an event as insignificant as this. Hold on a moment I don’t intend this to be a whining or rant post, but a post that you can learn from.

What can we learn about me being late you may ask? Hmmm… let’s learn (or contemplate) about something called “Cause and Effect.”

In some metaphyical traditions as well as science itself, cause and effect is a commonly accepted law of the universe. That is for every cause there is an effect, and for every effect there is cause.

Something to contemplate about, though, is:

  1. A cause may have multiple effects.
    For example, going to the gym to train with weights can be a cause for you to…
    (A) Gain more muscle.
    (B) Lose more fat.
    (C) Become more attractive to opposite sex.
    (D) Be able to wear again your old overgrown clothes.
  2. An effect may have multiple causes.
    Going back to me being late at work I was late for some factors I can think of.
    (A) I didn’t get up in bed early enough.
    (B) I could have skipped taking a bath.
    (C) I could have started walking from the public transportation (Jeepney in our country) when I sensed traffic isn’t moving.
    (D) The traffic. (I know it’s like blaming the traffic, but no one could deny that it was a valid cause.)

  3. There is a chain of causes and effects.
    Meaning that an effect can in turn become a cause for another event, and so on.
    For example: A mother taught her children to be kind to people (cause 1). Her children in turn became kind to other people (effect 1 – cause 2), and because of that those people who were treated with kindness felt good (effect 2 – cause 3…). It could go on and on, like those people who were treated with kindness in turn became kind to other people, too.

There are lots of more to contemplate on the law of Cause and Effect, that I can write another post for it in the future. For now, though, it would be nice to contemplate on these things, even for a moment.

Summary

The law of Cause and Effect is for real, and remember (A) A Cause can have multiple effects; (B) an effect multiple causes; (C) there is chain or link of causes and effects.

The Parable of the Key

I thought of this parable as a common situation in life:

A man arrived into a new town where he was promised a new house. Another man welcomed him and gave him the key for his new house. 

He tried using the key to open the door to his house but it didn’t work.

The second man said, “Keep trying brother. It would work soon enough.” The encouraging words of the second man kept the first man trying to use the key to open his new house.

A little later, a third man arrived and said, “Here brother, try this key. It might work.”

As the man tried to reach for the new key given by the new man, the second man interrupted and said, “No. That key won’t work. The key you’re holding is the real key that will open your house.”

Being more familiar with the second man, the man who’s trying to open his house followed his advice, ignoring the third man.

We don’t know for sure if the third man’s key will work or not. On the other hand, the first man key’s might eventually work, but so
far it didn’t.

You be the one to interpret this parable 🙂

Unread Books (and Ebooks)

I own more than 500 books and ebooks, but I’ve only read a portion of my collection. Most of them are non-fiction by the way.

I’m quite good at rationalizing to myself why I need to buy a book, even though I already own a similar or better book in my library.

Here, I’m going to list the reasons why I haven’t yet read (or stopped reading) the rest of my books:

  1. I buy books (and ebooks) a lot faster than I can read them. In average it takes me 3-7 days to read a book, depending on the number of pages it has.
  2. I stopped reading because the book is full of fluff (unnecessary filler words) or doesn’t get to the point.
  3. The author said something I find offensive so I discontinued reading.
  4. The author oversells his/her other books or courses. It’s okay to advertise, but not too much.
  5. I figured out that I already know what’s mentioned in the book; reading it will be somewhat of a waste of time.
  6. What is contained in the book is not in alignment with my current beliefs. They say we should read material that contradicts what we know, but sometimes my bullshit detector gets really high while reading a book I don’t agree with.
  7. I  started reading another book and I become really engaged; in effect, I forgot about the other book completely.
  8. I became busy at work or other projects.
  9. I lend or sometimes give away books. Hey, it’s nice to share knowledge.
  10. When reading books I somewhat read by chapter or section every day, making it a habit. If I skip a day or two, it becomes easy to stop reading a book altogether.
  11. Some of them are just reference books and are not to be meant to be read completely (by an average person, that is).

There you have it. My reasons (or excuses) why I still haven’t read a lot of my books.

Lately, though, I’ve been reading ebooks exclusively, and I’ve discovered something called Stealth reading. 

Stealth reading basically is just reading whenever you have free time, like while commuting to and from work, waiting at a line, or while eating at a restaurant. It really contributes to my reading time a lot.

But even though I haven’t read a lot of my books, I don’t consider them a waste of money or space. They are my valued possessions. I feel I’m surrounded by knowledge when I see them.  🙂

Blogging has benefited me, really…

Here I am writing a post again. I haven’t blog for quite a while. But in spite of that I’m still grateful I tried blogging even just for a short while (a few months) last year.

Firstly, it improved my writing skills (as well as grammar). Before blogging I haven’t identified myself as writer. Blogging is writing.

Secondly, it gave me blogging experience. I wrote over 100 posts (although some of them are just short quotes). If ever I’m gonna start blogging again I can be confident that I can deliver.

And lastly, I never thought of this before, but the posts that I have written gives a glimpse on how I used to think. What I’ve written so far are my views, values, and ideas on those times.

I may change my outlook completely, but I can always look back on how things used to be.

Those things said, I’ll wrap this short post. Thank you for reading 🙂

 

 

Internet IQ Tests

Yesterday before going to sleep, I randomly thought of taking another of those internet IQ tests.

I was once measured with an IQ of 134 on one of those tests. I forgot the site where I took it, though, and the methodology involved. For that reason I’m not sure if the result of that test was reliable.

I read somewhere that you can only trust the result of an IQ test administered by a real psychologist. Official or not, and no matter how reliable those tests are, they are sure fun to take (at least for me).

I took three tests on different sites, and with varying results.

The first test

The first site I took a test administered it using a true-or-false format, which is fairly easy. I was confident with my answers. That’s why I couldn’t wait to see my results. Have I surpassed the 134 IQ barrier?

After the test, the result wasn’t shown. The site insisted that I enter my email address and then the results will be sent to my inbox. What happened? It’s almost 24 hours, but the results haven’t been emailed yet. I guess I’ll never know the results of that test.

The second test

Not being able to see the results immediately, I went into another IQ test site. This one looks more legit with five choices each question instead of the true-or-false format that I’m skeptical about.

There were 30 questions. A time-limit was in-place though, which is about 15 minutes for 30 questions. The test was harder than the first one, but I didn’t get to answer 3-5 questions before the timer expired and the test result was given: IQ 115.

What? How can it be? My IQ lowered? No way!

Still 115 is above-average. What contributed to the lower score were the questions that were left unanswered, I suppose. I could have guessed, but it wouldn’t be fair.

That incident raised a question in my mind. Do we need to have a time-limit when measuring intelligence?

If only I was given more time, I’m confident that I could have scored higher. Maybe having the ability to think fast is a requirement of having a high IQ. I was reminded of a quote from a great mind:

It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

—Albert Einstein

To think of it, I remembered someone wrote that there are a lot of engineers and scientists who are a lot smarter than Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The reason those two became successful was they were the ones who took action with the problems they have seen.

They worked with their problems longer, while other people either gave-up or didn’t even know that such a problem exists. What was their problem anyway? It’s to make the computer usable for every household, not just businesses.

The last test


To move on. Not satisfied with my new 115 IQ I took another test. This one, though, was all about images and number sequences, which can be confusing sometimes. The result: IQ 110.

No, not again. I guess if I took another IQ test, the result will be and IQ of 100-105. Fascinating.

What I think about it

Right now, I still believe my IQ is 134 (that is until the results of the first IQ test arrives on my inbox with an IQ score of 150 or more).

Why? It’s good for the self-image. I’m not the type of guy who brags about my (speculated) IQ, even though I have mentioned it on this blog post.

Believing that you’re intelligent makes you intelligent. I believe in that and have reap the results. Give it a try — you’ll be happy with the results.

100th Post: Have Your Own Dreams

What do we really want in life? Is the question that we sometimes ask ourselves.

Are we doing the things that we have been doing only because others tell us to do so? Or are we exercising our own free will?

I felt it before, but I can only voice it now: There are external forces that control our lives.

When I say external forces, it can either be people or nature, which we don’t have any control (though, nature can be somewhat affected by man). And, also we can also be one of those external forces — influencing other people’s lives either positively or negatively.

To give you an example, suppose Terry was born in country X, raised by family Y, and influenced by media Z. Do you think Terry’s personality would be a lot different if he was either born in country A, raised by family B, or influenced by media C?

Other people, institutions, or even ideologies, which doesn’t really exist in the material world, teaches us to act in a certain way even if we disagree — silently that is.

Some might say, being one with the group gives us advantages. What if what the group goals are different from yours? Will you give in? Or will you rebel?

I’m probably asking too many questions, so I’ll quote someone whom you might know.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

—Steve Jobs

If you have dreams, go for it, even if you need to smash a wall that is right in front of you. Or, you could simply get a ladder and climb it… or dig a hole under it… or anything else, the possibilities are endless. There’s always a way.

Like Sylvester Stallone said in the movie Over The Top“The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it.”

Don’t be afraid to disagree. Don’t be ashamed to stand out. And, we don’t become crazy — we allow it.

 

Really! That’s News? Thanks Internet

It’s a lot easier to find news now, but I’m not referring to ease of access of sites like CNN, BBC, or New York Times.

As I was in the gym earlier, I saw a news clip from a local television channel that highlights a choir of elderly people singing modern songs.

I agree they are quite remarkable, but, if like me, you’re a child of the internet, you’ll dismiss those kind of stuff as “normal” on the net.

What am I trying to say?

In the past, reporters expend effort to find news. They roam the streets, wait at police stations, or even employ informants. Nowadays, though, all they have to do is to do a random search at Youtube.

I’m not trying to say that reporters should experience hardships to find news, but common, we net surfers can easily find stuff like that. All it takes are some clicks (and typing).

That being said, there are still (a lot) of reporters who are good at what they do. They search for news that is relevant, useful, and sometimes unique.

Even with the aid of modern technology, what they do cannot be matched by your average individual on the net. Those are real reporters.

Thinking as a Hobby

The Thinker

Thinking is one of my hobbies. Thinking, like breathing and walking, is one of those actions we humans naturally do. So it might be absurd for some why I would categorize thinking as a hobby.

How can it be a hobby?

In my definition, a hobby is any activity that we enjoy, whether it has benefits or not. Thinking is an activity, an internal one that is. And, for sure it has it benefits, this blog post is a result of my thinking, for example.

Plus, it’s a portable hobby — you can do it anywhere and anytime. There’s no need to go to a certain place; there’s no need for other people; and there’s no need for equipment. All you need is a brain — and all of us humans on this planet earth have those.

Thinking defined

Edward de Bono, the author of several books on thinking, defines thinking as “The operating skill with which intelligence acts upon experience.”

Notice the two words “intelligence” and “experience.” Intelligence is like the house builder, and experience are his materials. Both are needed to build a house where people can live.

What can we think about?

Anything. Absolutely anything. You can think about your high-school friend you saw again last week. You can think about the Youtube video you watched a while ago. Or, you can think about why I’ve written this post, “What was he thinking when he blogged about thinking?”

However, it’s advisable to think of good things. Things that make us happy, like a cute kitten (or a cute puppy if you’re a dog lover). How about things that can move humanity forward, like the next big idea. (It’s inside us somewhere, we just have to find it inside our inner world.)

Thinking vs Action

I thought about this a long time ago, then I acted upon my thoughts by writing this post.

Have you noticed the above sentence?

Some people think (excuse the pun) that thinking is the opposite of action. It’s not. They both complement each other. It’s another of those cases where dualistic thinking is applied. Instead of thinking using “or,” how about thinking using “and” or “both”?

For instance, to become a good writer, a person must think about what she is writing about, then afterwards she will act upon those thoughts by writing it on paper or typing it using a keyboard. Thought precedes action.

Thinking is an activity

Has it ever happened to you. You’re thinking of something good … then suddenly … someone interrupted you and you’ve lost those precious thoughts. Thoughts that may lead to next big thing, or at least make your life a little better. They may think you’re doing nothing, but the reality is you’re doing something — you’re thinking.

Some people may think that individuals who like to think a lot are lazy, but they judge on appearances alone. Inside a thinker’s head, he’s doing something worthwhile, he’s thinking.

That being said, through this post, I hope people will realize that thinking is an activity as well. In fact, creative people like painters and writers does it a lot. Remember: quality thinking comes before quality action.

I want to think as a hobby too, any tips?

Hmmm. Let me think….

  • Think on your idle time, like waiting in line or while riding public transportation.
  • Think in bed before going to sleep (assuming you’re not that sleepy).
  • Think when solving a difficult problem (but you already know that don’t you).
  • Pretend to browse the internet or read a book while thinking, so people won’t think you’re doing nothing.
  • Think of a random word and search it on Google — sometimes you’ll like the search results.
  • Write down any brilliant ideas you have while thinking, so you won’t forget them.
  • Form a thinking club — yes, they do exist.
  • Think of what you have read here, even for a while.

Summary

Thinking is a common (internal) activity. If you enjoy thinking, then you can consider it a hobby. Thinking isn’t the opposite of action, rather it’s complement. If you’re thinking, it may seem that you’re doing nothing, but inside you know you’re doing something. You’re thinking.

Photo credit: Keith Kissel from Flickr