Category Archives: Cogs Two Ice Floes Post

A Few Screws Loose

A Few Screws Loose

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Twice a year, usually in the spring and fall, I haul out one of my extension ladders, fill my back pockets with various wrenches and screwdrivers, and venture up onto our log cabin roof. My purpose is always the same; tighten any loose nuts and bolts on our solar array and conduct a visual inspection of the roof itself.

In the old days they called this type of activity “preventive maintenance” and I always find something that needs tightening or adjusting on the solar array. Nothing major, mind you, just a screw loose here and there which might cause a problem sometime down the road. A quarter or half turn with a 5/8” box end wrench or 5/16” hex key and all’s right in Cog’s solar universe.

Loose screws and fittings are known structural vulnerabilities when generating power from sunlight. The constant heating and cooling of the aluminum frame, combined with high winds out here on the edge of the mountain, present minor challenges easily overcome if one is proactive and not afraid of heights.

Well, not too afraid of heights. I admit to being a little queasy until I get my sea legs properly adjusted. Mrs. Cog, on the other hand, does not like me on the roof and lets me know her displeasure every fifteen minutes or so when she appears outside looking for blood and guts spilled from a fallen Cog. In truth I don’t blame her for her concern. I’m not as young as I once was and balance is no longer my strong suit. Continue reading A Few Screws Loose

The Honor Box

The Honor Box

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

It is commonly said the fish rots from the head down, meaning leadership is the root cause of the failure and demise of any organization, regardless of whether we are speaking of a country, culture or company. I’m not so sure this is true, at least not in all cases.

For this common belief to be correct, those further down the food chain must (essentially) be subservient to those at the top, unable to control or even influence leadership to shape up or ship out. The saying implies we are little more than passive passengers, our fate sealed by those piloting the plane up front.

If this is the case, then the form of government practiced in the US, a representative republic (and NOT a democracy) where those at the top, our elected leaders, are elevated into leadership roles with our consent and support, and can be deposed/removed the same way, does not in actual practice exist.

Either we are victims or we are not. Either we have free choice or we have not. Either they make us do it or they do not. Either we rule “our” leadership or we do not. Continue reading The Honor Box

Animal Spirits and Over Extended Markets

Animal Spirits and Over Extended Markets

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Animal spirits is the term John Maynard Keynes used in his 1936 book “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” to describe the instincts, proclivities and emotions that ostensibly influence and guide human behavior, and which can be measured in terms of, for example, consumer confidence. It has since been argued that trust is also included in or produced by "animal spirits". – Wikipedia

 

Voltaire is alleged to have said "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." Those are wise words indeed and the subject of a future article. For now, though, I wish to modify Voltaire slightly to express my own point of view.

“To learn what controls us, simply find out what we don’t wish to discuss…at least not directly.” – Cognitive Dissonance

I attempt to view us silly humans as would a space alien orbiting Earth in order to observe our terminal insanity from a safe distance. While I freely admit disassociating myself from everyone else is nearly impossible (I can’t just flip a switch and stop thinking like a deeply conditioned and biased human) I still give it the old college try. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Or to quote Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

I just love that one. Continue reading Animal Spirits and Over Extended Markets

Mother Nature Shows Off Her Stuff

Mother Nature Shows Off Her Stuff

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Mrs. Cog and I live on the edge of the Blue Ridge Plateau here in Southwestern Virginia. And by on the edge I mean literally on the edge. Our back property line ends where a very steep wooded drop off begins. Five more steps over the property line and it's a one way trip down for well over a quarter of mile.

I call it the ridge.

Continue reading Mother Nature Shows Off Her Stuff

Control the Narrative and You Control the People

Control the Narrative and You Control the People

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

It is extremely difficult to get where you are going if you don't know where you presently are. And you can't know where you are if you don't know where you have been. Control the narrative and you effectively control the people.

When my son was young (we are talking over 25 years ago when he was around seven years of age) one of the ways I would keep him occupied when on car trips was to place a paper road map (aka a narrative) on his lap and ask him a multitude of questions for the duration of the trip.

The first question when starting a trip was, "Where are we on the map?" Essentially I was asking him to physically and mentally locate us in the present on a two dimensional representation of reality. And unsurprisingly this was initially difficult for my son, since he lives and plays in a three dimensional world. I encountered similar difficulties as a student comprehending plane (two dimensional) geometry. But unlike other students, I quickly understood solid (three dimensional) geometry because it mimicked real life as I perceived it.

Then I would ask "Where are we going?" This was the future, a point in time not yet experienced. Because our perceptual point of view has not yet experienced this (or any) future, the future is infinitely variable. My son had some difficulty with this concept because in his mind the future was set (we’re going to Grandma’s house) but had not yet arrived. While the narrative map represented an infinite number of possible futures, his task was simply to locate one…Grandma’s house. Continue reading Control the Narrative and You Control the People