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Too much thinking
Posted: 12 September 2007 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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A sympathetic friend sent me this and I thought I would share.

It started out innocently enough.  I began to think at parties now and then—just to loosen up.  Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than a social thinker.  I began to think alone—"to relax", I told myself—but I knew it wasn't true.
Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.  That was when things began to sour at home.  One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.  She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job.  I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.  I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I
could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly that we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in.  He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts
me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't
stop thinking on the job, I'll have to let you go."

This gave me a lot to think about.  I came home early after my conversation with the boss.  "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking…"

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver, "You think as much as a college professor and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we be broke!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.  She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library!" I snarled as I stormed out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.  I roared into the
parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They
didn't open. The library was closed.  To this day, I believe that a Higher
Power was looking out for me that night.  Leaning on the unfeeling glass,
whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye:  "Friend, is heavy
thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line.  It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.  This is why I am what I am today:  a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting.  At each meeting we watch a non-educational
video; last week it was "Porky's".  Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job and things are a lot better at home.  Then we pray
together and praise God for giving us the Bible so we don't have to think
about what's right or wrong.  Life just seems easier, somehow, since I've
stopped thinking.  I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I took the final step.  I joined the Republican Party.

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The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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One little thing about thinking,
when you start a thought,
its linear progression across time,
don’t you already know how it ends?

So why think it?

Think about it….

Or give it a try, if you dare,
when the thought starts
just jump to the ending of it.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Ummm, burt?

I think (though my natural skepticism prevents me from being sure) that eucaryote was relating a shaggy dog story.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]Ummm, burt?

I think (though my natural skepticism prevents me from being sure) that eucaryote was relating a shaggy dog story.

Nah, that dog ain’t so shaggy.  Now if you want a real shaggy dog story…

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Posted: 13 September 2007 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]Ummm, burt?

I think (though my natural skepticism prevents me from being sure) that eucaryote was relating a shaggy dog story.

Well, I thought that a few of us on SH might relate. My own wife thinks I spend too much time on the SHF. I don’t know if I call that thinking, but…...

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Posted: 03 October 2007 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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“I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I
could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka.”

You call that thinking?

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 03 October 2007 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 09:43 AM

“You call that thinking?

“I don’t call it anything,”
Said Frankie Lee with a smile.
“All right,” said Judas Priest,
“I’ll see you after a while.”

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/frankielee.html

So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’,
Help him with his load,
And don’t go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.

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Posted: 03 October 2007 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Salt Creek - 03 October 2007 03:34 PM
SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 09:43 AM

“You call that thinking?

“I don’t call it anything,”
Said Frankie Lee with a smile.
“All right,” said Judas Priest,
“I’ll see you after a while.”

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/frankielee.html

So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’,
Help him with his load,
And don’t go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.

Of course, as I would expect, nothing of what you wrote manages to defend any of those “thinkers” as being actual rational thinkers.

From Rober Bidinotto’s Green Cathedrals
Transcendentalist writers did their part, too. Upon entering a forest, Emerson was reduced to babbling worthy of Hegel. “I become a transparent eyeball,” he wrote. “I am nothing, I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a part or particle of God.”

“The earth I tread on,” echoed Thoreau, “is not a dead, inert mass; it is a body, has a spirit, is organic and fluid to the influence of its spirit.” From his own private Eden, Walden Pond, he wrote, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world . . . The most alive is the wildest.” Hostile to the growing industrialization of the nation, he complained, “Thank God, men cannot yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”

Then there was their friend and student, John Muir—the mystical, misanthropic Scotsman and founder of modern preservationism. The pivotal day in Muir’s life was when he came across two wild orchids in a field. “I never before saw a plant so full of life; so perfectly spiritual, it seemed pure enough for the throne of its Creator. I felt as if I were in the presence of superior beings who loved me and beckoned me to come. I sat down beside them and wept for joy.”

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”

These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Saul, little did Thoreau know that we could lay waste the sky even without flying, though flying hasn’t helped.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 15 October 2007 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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unsmoked - 15 October 2007 03:37 PM

Saul, little did Thoreau know that we could lay waste the sky even without flying, though flying hasn’t helped.

I enjoyed looking at the sky today. It was nice and clear blue this morning with a few clouds and vapor trails criscrossing it. It made me feel good about being alive, despite the ungodly hour. :/

Whats wrong with it to your mind?

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 15 October 2007 03:41 PM
unsmoked - 15 October 2007 03:37 PM

Saul, little did Thoreau know that we could lay waste the sky even without flying, though flying hasn’t helped.

I enjoyed looking at the sky today. It was nice and clear blue this morning with a few clouds and vapor trails criscrossing it. It made me feel good about being alive, despite the ungodly hour. :/

Whats wrong with it to your mind?

I was thinking of the hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Peking, etc. etc. who die from air pollution every year - millions in Tokyo and elsewhere walking around wearing surgeon’s masks.  I lived in Los Angeles for 6 months - eyes and sinuses running - a very bad smell (the natives told me I’d get used to it and come to love the place).

Greenhouse gases in the sky, are going to change the planet for hundreds of years, and you are not going to like it even if you can grow an avocado tree in your back yard. 

For the sake of discussion, suppose things happen the way Al Gore says they will happen, who or what will you blame?  (I know you don’t agree with Al Gore, but I mean, just suppose).

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 15 October 2007 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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unsmoked - 15 October 2007 04:09 PM

I was thinking of the hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Peking, etc. etc. who die from air pollution every year - millions in Tokyo and elsewhere walking around wearing surgeon’s masks.  I lived in Los Angeles for 6 months - eyes and sinuses running - a very bad smell (the natives told me I’d get used to it and come to love the place).

Did you know that before the industrial revolution, and now in third world nations, more people died of air pollution? They used wood fires to cook, light and heat their homes. This generated a lot of smoke right where it got concentrated most, inside their own homes. New forms of energy, like oil and electricity, actually made us healthier. Its easy to demonstrate how bad things are. It takes a bit more thinking to understand that they are better now than in the past.

Greenhouse gases in the sky, are going to change the planet for hundreds of years, and you are not going to like it even if you can grow an avocado tree in your back yard.

Change is normal, and we need to adapt to it. Simply in order to deal with storms we can expect even without global warming, we need energy, to build stronger homes, to evacuate, to rebuild afterwards. Remember that the hurricane scale always went up to 5, long before anyone ever thought about the effect of CO2 on the climate. There have been force 5 hurricanes now and then since we started keeping records of such things. Do you think we can deal with a force 5 hurricane by abandoning our cars, construction equipment, and turning off the electricity?

For the sake of discussion, suppose things happen the way Al Gore says they will happen, who or what will you blame?  (I know you don’t agree with Al Gore, but I mean, just suppose).

If millions of people die from exposure to the elements because you have cut off their access to energy resources, “alternative energy” proves to be inadequate, and we don’t experience any more warming, who will YOU blame?

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 17 October 2007 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Saul, I take it that you are in favor of change, improved technology - better forms of heating, so that homes aren’t smoky etc. 

I understand that a comfortable, peppy, two-seater, 3-wheeled car will go on the market within a year or 2 that can get over 300 mpg.  If such a car was mass-produced, standardized, so that it cost less than ten thousand dollars, and worldwide we all switched over to such vehicles, this would help clear the air and help combat global warming.  Are you in favor of such changes?  Are you in favor of applying new technology to solve serious problems?  Are you in favor of applying new technology to help PREDICT serious problems?

A few days after reading about this 300 mpg car, I read where the price of oil could soon go over $100 per barrel, that is, practically double its present price.  Hmmmmm . . .

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 17 October 2007 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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unsmoked - 17 October 2007 05:43 PM

Saul, I take it that you are in favor of change, improved technology - better forms of heating, so that homes aren’t smoky etc. 

I understand that a comfortable, peppy, two-seater, 3-wheeled car will go on the market within a year or 2 that can get over 300 mpg.  If such a car was mass-produced, standardized, so that it cost less than ten thousand dollars, and worldwide we all switched over to such vehicles, this would help clear the air and help combat global warming.  Are you in favor of such changes?  Are you in favor of applying new technology to solve serious problems?  Are you in favor of applying new technology to help PREDICT serious problems?

Better fuel efficiency is a good thing, but think what you might be sacrificing for it. A two-seater, 3 wheeled car doesn’t sound very crash-survivable. And it probably won’t carry much cargo. Not everyone can drive such a car, and we will still need big trucks to deliver groceries to the store. 

And I am skeptical of this story. Where did you hear it? What car manufacturer is going to build it?

A few days after reading about this 300 mpg car, I read where the price of oil could soon go over $100 per barrel, that is, practically double its present price.  Hmmmmm . . .

You haven’t been paying attention to the price of oil very well. Its been around $80 per barrel for a few months now. The reasons are political. It just jumped to $89 recently because of problems with Turkey and Iraq. Without such problems, and if America’s government were to allow drilling in Alaska and off the US continental shelf, it would drop like a rock. Well, maybe not that fast. It takes time to drill new wells and prove them productive.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 17 October 2007 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Oh, and the only thing I believe that we can predict about the future is that people will continue to try to predict the future, and those on the political left will predict that we’re all going to die unless we hand over control of our lives to them.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 17 October 2007 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Truly Saul,

Don’t you think think that maybe you are in a rut? I mean, do you ever try to confront the world fresh of it? I know it’s hard to do, I work on it myself, but I get the impression that you don’t even try. You seem to revel in an unvarying, absolute world view?

I get your point, had the poor fellow been reading Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, you would have given him a pass on “thinking”. We all know the drill.

SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM
Salt Creek - 03 October 2007 03:34 PM
SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 09:43 AM

“You call that thinking?

“I don’t call it anything,”
Said Frankie Lee with a smile.
“All right,” said Judas Priest,
“I’ll see you after a while.”

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/frankielee.html

So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’,
Help him with his load,
And don’t go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.

Of course, as I would expect, nothing of what you wrote manages to defend any of those “thinkers” as being actual rational thinkers.

From Rober Bidinotto’s Green Cathedrals
Transcendentalist writers did their part, too. Upon entering a forest, Emerson was reduced to babbling worthy of Hegel. “I become a transparent eyeball,” he wrote. “I am nothing, I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a part or particle of God.”

“The earth I tread on,” echoed Thoreau, “is not a dead, inert mass; it is a body, has a spirit, is organic and fluid to the influence of its spirit.” From his own private Eden, Walden Pond, he wrote, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world . . . The most alive is the wildest.” Hostile to the growing industrialization of the nation, he complained, “Thank God, men cannot yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”

Then there was their friend and student, John Muir—the mystical, misanthropic Scotsman and founder of modern preservationism. The pivotal day in Muir’s life was when he came across two wild orchids in a field. “I never before saw a plant so full of life; so perfectly spiritual, it seemed pure enough for the throne of its Creator. I felt as if I were in the presence of superior beings who loved me and beckoned me to come. I sat down beside them and wept for joy.”

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”

These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

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The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

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