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Fix Your Mental Thermostat


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There's a lot of cool hallucinations in mathematics.

Way back in junior high school, I was a super-geek.

I loved reading books about quantum physics.

Books that had all the math taken out, but had all the cool stuff.

Like the idea that a photon is sometimes a particle, and sometimes a wave.

But in pure math there are some doozies.

There are some shapes, that have an infinite circumference, but a finite volume.

Meaning if you took a piece of string and tried to wrap it around the outside, it would go on forever.

But if you measured the area inside this infinite length of string, you'd get a finite measurement.

Another one is tossing a coin.

If you toss a coin an infinite amount of times, something goofy would happen.

The ratio (heads divided by tails) would approach 1.0.

Like 1.0 with a kajillion zeros.

But the difference (heads minus tails) would approach infinity.

Some things are easy to think about.

But the more you keep digging beneath the surface, the less they make sense.

They say human knowledge is like a the shoreline of an island.

The more stuff we understand, the bigger the shoreline gets.

But the bigger the shoreline gets, the bigger the vast ocean representing human cluelessness gets.

Clearly, we aren't built to think about things.

If we had to think about EVERYTHING, we'd be stuck.

Luckily, we have some built in programs to help us.

Things that drive us to behave in different ways.

A kind of "behavioral thermostat."

But it's very easy for this behavioral thermostat to get knocked out of whack.

When that happens, it not only perceives data incorrectly, but the signals it sends us are kind of messed up.

We misinterpret the world around us, and the things we are driven to do are difficult, when they should be easy.

If you had a thermostat in your house that was like this, it would suck.

The thermostat might think it was -20 when it was really 80 degrees. So in the summer, it would keep the heat on high.

If this happened, you'd call some guy to come and fix it.

How can you fix your own thermostat if it's giving you wrong signals?

With this:

Ego Taming

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