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  1. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov24Post.mp4 I love horror movies. Good horror movies are hard to find. But the ones that ARE good, are really good. Believable character arcs. A careful calibration of deep and ancient human fears. Especially ones that have a really SICK reveal at the end. Who the villain is, etc. One such movie is "Orphan." Good build up, horrific ending. Starts out pretty predictable. Couple is thinking about adopting. They adopt a kid that SEEMS normal, but then everything falls apart. I remember one scene i
  2. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov23Post.mp4 My very first experience with legal, commercialized gambling was as an observer. Way back in college, my buddy knew this guy that was a big time gambler. We drove a couple hours to watch him play. All I knew were the characters on TV. This guy was nothing like that. Since then, I've been to a lot of casinos. And most gamblers are, more or less, like the dudes on TV. But this guy was different. My buddy and I followed him around the casino. Finally he stopped at a table. A card game. He s
  3. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov23Post.mp4 My very first experience with legal, commercialized gambling was as an observer. Way back in college, my buddy knew this guy that was a big time gambler. We drove a couple hours to watch him play. All I knew were the characters on TV. This guy was nothing like that. Since then, I've been to a lot of casinos. And most gamblers are, more or less, like the dudes on TV. But this guy was different. My buddy and I followed him around the casino. Finally he stopped at a table. A card game. He s
  4. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov21Post.mp4 Jigsaw puzzles are fun. When I was a kid, way back in the day, they were fun. They are fun today. Go to any hobby type shop and you'll find tons of jigsaw puzzles. They say humans like puzzles in general. It feels good when we solve them. It feels good when we find two missing pieces that are supposed to be together. This ancient instinct, of solving puzzles, helped us to find food when it wasn't obvious. Stick a bunch of atoms in a container, add a little bit of heat and they'll start hooking up.
  5. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov08Post.mp4 One of the curious things about us humans is our self awareness. The concept is incredibly simple, but it's also extremely baffling. Neurologists and other scientists really have no idea what it is. We sort of know how to describe it, and we know when it's gone (when we're sleeping or passed out). But exactly HOW it works is a mystery. All we know is we are aware of our own thinking process. But this can make us think we have much more power than we really do. Being aware of something doesn't mean you can c
  6. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Nov05Post.mp4 A very important aspect of human nature is our dreaming mind. Ever since humans invented fire, the battle for hierarchical supremacy has been a thinking contest. All the young cave kids would look up at the stars at night and dream. Now they might somebody slay the monster like the hero of the stories. Life way back then was VERY harsh, but very simple. The two critical things for ANY living entity is food (energy) and sex. For humans, this was manifested through the dreaming mind. The storytelling and stor
  7. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct29Post.mp4 One of the reasons we love fiction so much is it's much more entertaining that regular life. From a purely instinctive standpoint, ancient stories and archetypes served to give us something to live up to. This same idea showed in Dale Carnegie's books and trainings. If you want to motivate somebody to do something, give them a positive idea or image to live up to. Imagine little cave kids sitting around a fire. They're listening to the old storyteller tell another story about hero's and monsters. They hero kills
  8. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct24Post.mp4 One of my favorite shows from a few decades ago was the X-files. Not just because it was about aliens or anything. But how it was written. Specifically, the two characters could each describe what had happened, during any particular episode, according to their own viewpoint. The doctor could always and legitimately describe things scientifically. The UFO guy could always describe things paranormally. Many movies that this kind of ambiguity build in. When it ends, nobody's sure what really happened. Som
  9. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct21Post.mp4 It's very compelling to take a sideline approach. To take a break, study the game, and get ready to get back in. But it's easy to "stay" on the sidelines. Much longer than we need to. There's an interesting parallel between reading self help books and reading fiction. When we read fiction, a really good story, it "pulls us in." A good story has relatable characters. A compelling story arc. Both resonate with our ancient instincts. Stories are just as necessary as food or sex or social validation.
  10. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct12Post.mp4 Feedback loops are critical. Not just for humans, for all living things. Even species require the necessary constraints of nature's feedback loop. For example, consider a human technique for self improvement. You have an objective in mind. Something simple, like playing a simple song on the piano. You look at the notes as your guide. You take your understanding of the notes, through your eyes, into your brain, and try to make your fingers move. If they move at the right rhythm and hit the right keys at
  11. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct10Post.mp4 Self deception is one of our most powerful traits. This was very necessary back in the old days. If humans were like Vulcans, who only were based on pure logic, we would have died out a long, long time ago. Imagine a group of ancient "logical" hunters finding some wooly mammoth tracks. They followed them, and found some wooly mammoth poop. Then they'd calculate how far ahead of them the wooly mammoth was based on how dry the poop was. If they were purely logical, they would have had a certain cutoff. Maybe
  12. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Oct03Post.mp4 If you want to get a girl to like you, you've got to spark her ancient interest. Logic won't do the job. Attraction between humans works pretty much like attraction between humans and food. I know, silly metaphor, but go with me on this. You're hungry, and glancing over at the various things at the buffet. Fries, chicken wings, potatoes, maybe some baked lasagna. Your brain is not going over a bunch of logical proofs to help you decide what to get. You are looking and see which food makes you FEEL the best
  13. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept21Post.mp4 One of our biggest worries is knowing what to say. Job interviews, meeting new friends, talking to cute guys or girls. When two people meet each other for the first time, even with random strangers, we go into a kind of "defense mode." Everybody has a whole bunch of different layers. When you are with old and close friends, you can "let it all hang out." Fart, burp, drop as a many f-bombs as you want. But if you did that during a job interview, or on a first date, it would probably backfire. This makes rat
  14. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept18Post.mp4 The world is a messed up place. The world has always been a messed up place. The world will always be a messed up place. Everybody has to compete for scarce resources. If you can organize a society with enough forethought and patience, you can make it pretty fair. But even then, people will figure out how to scam the system. Historians and anthropologists recognize this. During the caveman days it was really hard to be a slacker. Everybody knew everybody. And the more you produced, the more love
  15. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept17Post.mp4 If you've seen the movie, "Idiocracy," it's pretty funny. Guy goes into the future where dumb people have way more kids than smart people. Since corporations control everything, they try and water their crops with a sports drink. Modern society is like that in a lot of ways. There's plenty of reason to believe that we are in some kind of potentially devastating transitional phase. Things, in a lot of places, seem to be coming apart at the seems. But you still gotta eat. You still gotta get some, or at leas
  16. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept14Post.mp4 There are a lot of harsh truths in life we don't like. In fact, we don't like these truths so much, we pretend they don't even exist. Sometimes, these are blatant and conscious. So our avoidance of these is blatant and conscious. Like you get a letter in the mail from your bank. You're afraid to open it. You might look at your balance and find you owe the bank a few thousand dollars. Egads! But sometimes our fears are so deep we don't even know they exist. And we layer a ton of self deceptive bas
  17. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept11Post.mp4 Most people's brains are filled with a lot of complex ideas. Complex ideas that have zero bearing on reality. This is based on an idea of "excess capacity." For example, suppose a small town is booming. They keep booming. So somebody comes in and opens up a huge restaurant, to serve food to all the people in this booming town. The restaurant is really huge. Fifty tables, six full time chefs, 20 waitresses. But as the years go by, the town booms less and less. Pretty soon there are HALF of the peo
  18. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept10Post.mp4 A long time ago I was at a bike shop. I was buying something for a mountain bike I used to have. I was telling the guy at the shop how much I LOVED riding up hills. Not just riding up, but also riding back down. While I did that, I would always think of the line from the Beatles' "Helter Skelter": "When I get to bottom I go back to the top of the slide, where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride, till I get to the bottom and I see you again..." I LOVED the thought of going down hill as fast as I could. Th
  19. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept02Post.mp4 One common truism is that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. This can mean a lot of different things. If you're driving a car on a road trip, and you see a gas station, you stop and fill up. Without GPS or a plan, you don't know where the next gas station will be. Our hunger instinct was calibrated under the same premise. Whenever you see food, you eat food, since you don't know when the next food opportunity will be. But if you are riding a horse, and you see some water, you can't fil
  20. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Sept01Post.mp4 One of Cialdini's laws of persuasion is "liking." Meaning the more we "like" somebody, the more we'll take whatever they say at face value. For example, imagine you're in some store, looking to maybe purchase something. Let's say it's something you've been wanting for a long time, and it's a few hundred bucks. And just when you're about to turn away, and think about getting it later, you see an old friend. A good friend. A friend you've helped bury bodies, and they've helped you bury bodies. A friend that
  21. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/July30Post.mp4 A common piece of advice is to leave everything on the field. If you are playing in a championship game, this is good advice. But sometimes, it's pretty bad advice. More so in some sports than others. Maybe in football, where each game is pretty important. And you've got a week in between games. But for sports like baseball, if you "left everything on the field" every single game, you'd risk injury. The COSTS (potential injury) wouldn't be worth the benefits, of MAYBE eking out a win when you might have ot
  22. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/July18Post.mp4 Most strategies aren't really strategies. They are explanations of desired outcomes. The reasons for this can be pretty complex. And you can go way down the rabbit hole trying to figure out why. For example, whenever politicians try and make promises in order to get elected they always do what marketing experts recommend. They "sell the sizzle." They say things like, "bring back jobs." Or "jump start the economy." Or "increase the social safety net." These are all very vague. Which means the
  23. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/July16Post.mp4 The other day I was watching this TV show, "Hell on Wheels." It's about the early beginnings of the American railroad. Lots of social issues. Recently freed slaves working along side whites. Cutting across territory still "occupied" by natives. One of the main characters is the typical cowboy archetype. Maybe 51% good guy, and 49% bad guy. Kind of like a cowboy Han Solo type. He was trying to escape a bad, mysterious past, fighting for the South in the civil war. And the more he kept running away
  24. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Jun24Post.mp4 Losing weight is tough. Or it can be tough. If you've got a good reason, it can be pretty easy. This requires you have some kind of a counter balance against the desire to eat. For example, if you were going to be in a movie where you had to take off your shirt, this would be a pretty decent motivator. You imagine the short term pleasure of eating a big plate of chili cheese fries. But that short term, NOW, pleasure is immediately outweighed by both the positive and negative implications. IF you DO enjoy th
  25. https://loopvids.s3.amazonaws.com/Jun22Post.mp4 When I was much younger, I was in Boy Scouts. The best parts were the long hikes. Especially the multi-day backpacking trips. The first day was always the worst. Very long, very steep, very difficult. But once we got over the first high mountain pass, life was fantastic. Huge valleys with very few people. Big lakes, nobody around, fantastic fishing. When most people go camping, they think about car camping. Of loading up their cars with as much junk as possible. Big coolers filled with beers
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