If you work in the city long enough, it begins to deal with you on a personal level. Streets reveal their moods. Sometimes the signal light loves you. Sometimes they fight you. When you're hunting for a new building, you hope the city is on your side. You have to use a little bit of thinking--you might call it the process of elimination--and you need a little bit of instinct, but not too much of either. If you think too hard, you overshoot your target and end up at the Pier or the Tenderloin. If you relax and let the city help, the destination does all the work for you.
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One Dilbert Blog reader noted that current research shows that happiness causes success more than success causes happiness. That makes sense to me. There's plenty of research about people having a baseline of happiness that doesn't vary much with circumstances. And given that happy people are typically optimistic, energetic, and fun to work with, I can see how happiness would lead to success.
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Dilbert: Evolution must be true because it is a logical conclusion of the scientific method. Dogbert: But science is based on the irrational belief that because we cannot perceive reality all at once, things called time and cause and effect exist. Dilbert: That's what I was taught and that's what I believe. Dogbert: Sounds cultish.
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Dilbert: It took weeks but I've calculated a new theory about the origin of the universe. According to my calculations it didn't start with a "Big Bang" at all-it was more of "Phhbwt" sound. You may be wondering about the practical applications of the "Little Phhbwt" theory. Dogbert: I was wondering when you'll go away.
You're thinking I'm one of those wise-ass California vegetarians who is going to tell you that eating a few strips of bacon is bad for your health. I'm not. I say its a free country and you should be able to kill yourself at any rate you choose, as long as your cold dead body is not blocking my driveway.
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
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Computers and rocket ships are examples of invention, not of understanding. ... All that is needed to build machines is the knowledge that when one thing happens, another thing happens as a result. It's an accumulation of simple patterns. A dog can learn patterns. There is no "why&rdqo"; in those examples. We don't understand why electricity travels. We don't know why light travels at a constant speed forever. All we can do is observe and record patterns.
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You don't argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn't eat candy for dinner. You don't punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don't argue when a women tells you she's only making 80 cents to your dollar. It's the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.
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What does it mean to be yourself?" he asked. "If it means to do what you think you ought to do, then you're doing that already. If it means to act like you're exempt from society's influence, that's the worst advice in the world; you would probably stop bathing and wearing clothes. The advice to 'be yourself' is obviously nonsense. But our brains accept this tripe as wisdom because it is more comfortable to believe we have a strategy for life than to believe we have no idea how to behave.
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You might argue that my example is bad because Einstein is dead. But according to physicist Erwin Schrodinger, Einstein is neither dead nor alive until we dig him up and open the casket. If he's alive, he might want his brain back, which I understand is in a Ziplock bag in some guy's freezer. And this is a perfect example of why examples always distract from the main point.
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The best plan now is to have as many bosses as possible. I call it boss diversity. If you work for a company and you have one boss and that boss doesn't like you or wants to get rid of you, you're in trouble. But if you work for yourself, you have lots of bosses, who are your customers, and if a few of them decide they don't like you, that's okay.
If you're following the news, you know that the major religions differ in their interpretation of the holy books. For example, one way to interpret God's will is that you should love your neighbor. An alternate reading of the holy books might lead you to rig a donkey cart with small mortar rockets and aim it at a hotel full of infidels. In summary, po-tay-to, poh-tah-to. Religions are very flexible.
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Recently I quit caffeine. My doctor seems to think that 17 Diet Cokes per day is too much. In case you ever consider getting off caffeine yourself, let me explain the process. You begin by sitting motionlessly in a desk chair. Then you just keep doing that forever because life has no meaning.
Simple molecules combine to make powerful chemicals. Simple cells combine to make powerful life-forms. Simple electronics combine to make powerful computers. Logically, all things are created by a combination of simpler, less capable components. Therefore, a supreme being must be in our future, not our origin. What if "God" is the consciousness that will be created when enough of us are connected by the Internet?!!
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The core belief that drives terrorism is the notion of a "holy place," along with the idea that some people belong there and other people don't. That's why the only solution to terrorism is for religious scholars to hold a global summit to agree on the definition of "holy place." Once they agree on a definition, it will be easier to mock it into submission.
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