Getting What We Want Isn’t What We Really Want

by David Cain at Raptitude

There was a fascinating piece in The New Yorker recently about a man who, in the 1960s, bought a motel just so he could spy on his guests. He had always been captivated by other people’s private moments, by how differently they behave when they think they’re alone. He admits he also wanted to see them have sex.

The article is fascinating for many reasons (check it out here). But perhaps the owner’s most interesting discovery was that human beings are quite typically miserable on vacation.

Alain de Botton has written about this phenomenon: that our vacations never actually resemble the week of bliss and relaxation we expect them to be. In his short documentary The Art of Travel, he describes the hilarious—and all-too-familiar—way in which his long-awaited Mediterranean cruise unfolds as a parade of mild disappointments, even though there was nothing particularly wrong with any of it.

Getting what we want, or think we want—in those brief moments when we actually do—always seems to be more complicated and fraught than what we pictured. Continue reading Getting What We Want Isn’t What We Really Want

Two Ice Floes – A Case Study

The concept of Two Ice Floes came about years back when Cog was explaining to me his view of reality and the difference between the world we seem to live in and our inner self. The world as it is presented to us, dubbed the Matrix for those Hollywood savvy moviegoers, appears to be a linear system where we are born, programmed, attain levels of success or failure according to systems in place, and then we eventually die. Often the world supplies us with a navigational belief system through family, church, government education, hard knocks or a lack of/combination of them. Deep down inside, most people know there is more, even if they never venture far enough to put their finger on it.

For people who are bold enough to look for the elusive missing piece of the puzzle, they often discover a whole new world inside themselves without limits or constraints or rules. Venture in far enough and one finds we are each an artist with the ability to create the very reality we exist in. Understanding this has provided Cog and I with a platform to discuss everything at home in a conversational way most people avoid like the plague.

Why do humans measure their worth in money? Do we even need money to trade value in an advanced civilization? Does freedom lie outside us, granted by ruling bodies, or is it inside our Self once we unlock our own magic doors within? If power is always corruptible, thus corrupted, is self-governance the real solution? How do we act accordingly once we understand the nature of people and the systems that direct them?

Now imagine being a typical American teenager, armed with an iPhone, social media, and bombarded with all the programming vehicles of public education and popular culture used to mold modern kids. It seems impossible that upon reaching 18, a young adult would be able to think for themselves or regularly apply true critical thinking.

Miraculously, this is just what has happened to our teen, the youngest of our six children. Continue reading Two Ice Floes – A Case Study

The Case For Real Smiles

by David Cain at

If people in the far future were to unearth troves of 20th and 21st-century photographs, the first thing they might ask is “Why are they always smiling?” It would look as though something happened around 1920 that made people perpetually giddy, or even loopy.

On closer inspection, though, the researchers would realize that most of those smiles weren’t genuine, and perhaps were the product of some kind of oppressive force in 20th century society. Maybe an eccentric monarch demanded everyone appear elated all the time, not unlike how North Koreans were clearly afraid to be seen not crying at Kim Jong-Il’s funeral.

Our compulsively smiley photo culture isn’t quite as totalitarian as North Korea, but if you ever assert your right not to smile in a group photo you will definitely be viewed as a subvert. The camera operator, and maybe your fellow subjects, will scold you for trying to ruin the photo by letting it capture your actual face. Continue reading The Case For Real Smiles

The New Normal: From $34.00 an hour to $2.65 plus tips.


Cognitive Dissonance


As is our custom, about once a month Mrs. Cog and I venture out from our homestead up here on the mountain and seek out civilization. While the Beverly Hillbillies considered this to be movie stars and swimming pools ('ceement' ponds actually) in our case, civilization is defined as more than two retail stores per square mile.

Normally we head south towards that North Carolina city with the Phallus Palace (aka The Wells Fargo Center) where they have 11,592 retail stores per square mile, more than enough to quell the withdrawal symptoms from our shopping addiction.

But Saturday morning was different. Normally at the end of our mile long dirt road, where tires first hit pavement, we turn left and head down the mountain towards thicker air and warmer climate. This time we turned right towards a new destination, a place we had repeatedly heard mentioned by the locals, but had not yet visited. Continue reading The New Normal: From $34.00 an hour to $2.65 plus tips.

This is What Government Sponsored Mass Surveillance is Doing to Your Mind

Alex Pietrowski at Waking Times

Big Brother is watching you and he wants you to believe that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

This is a lie, of course, and as we move deeper into the era of state sponsored technological surveillance, we see more evidence that the loss of privacy and confidence in inter-personal communications is transforming the individual into a compliant, self-policing ward of the state. Continue reading This is What Government Sponsored Mass Surveillance is Doing to Your Mind

Thoughts From Cognitive Dissonance Ψ ψ