Humans don’t have a great track record of ‘knowing it all’

photo by Evan Dennis, Unsplash

We have all seen the videos of a certain president who proclaims that he knows “more about [blank] than anybody.” Whatever it is — trade, ISIS, technology, walls, military, spray tans — he knows more than the so-called experts.

And we all laugh.

But do we act much differently in our own lives? Sure, we may not have the audacity to claim that we know everything, but we often act like it.

I’m guilty as charged.

At least, until I take a step back and realize how often that I’m wrong.

In fact, when we look back at recent human…

It was scary at first, but now I would never go back.

photo by Renate Vanaga | Unsplash

I’ll never forget the night when my husband confronted me after finding my profile on Grindr, a gay dating and hookup app.

I had never cheated on him, but I still felt put in a corner. I knew that I had two choices: either get defensive or admit to it proudly and truthfully.

This was news to both of us. At that point, we had never overtly talked about opening up our relationship, per se. …

We should focus on our internal values, not just what society tells us is important.

Source: Unsplash | Vasily Koloda

Recently, I was in a small social setting with people who seemed to be having a contest — with me as a bystander — for who had the fancier, better life.

Though these were definitely good people, I had to wonder whether they were coming at these topics from a wise perspective.

The issues moved quickly from talking about their high-salary (yet boring-sounding) jobs, their exclusive alma maters, how young they appeared relative to their age, and moved on to discuss the materialist aspects of certain real estate prospects, travel experiences, friend groups, and more.

There was no talk about…

Reflections on the fragility of existence, both plant & human.

Spring — San Juan River, Southern Colorado, USA

I’m sitting alone by a river in my camping chair in the middle of the San Juans, listening to the fierceness of spring snowmelt, and trying to figure out the reason the water is rippling where it’s rippling.

I picked this spot in particular because I knew that something — maybe multiple things — would draw me out of my internal, worried world.

I notice a little yellow flower poking out of the rocks by the water. There is no other greenery within 10 feet of this little thing. It looks a bit like grass, but it’s more special than…

She doesn’t worry, despite the imperfections in her life.

photo by Nathan Fertig, Unsplash

Have you ever noticed that cats don’t notice themselves in mirrors?

At least mine doesn’t.

I always wondered why they weren’t more fascinated by their own image or even thought it was another cat they could play with.

Heck, my cat will play with her own tail.

Then it hit me: It’s not that cats don’t notice themselves in mirrors — it’s that they don’t care.

They don’t care the same way they can sleep through a loud action movie, or people talking, or me petting their heads.

It’s background to them.

They have assimilated.

And despite their own limitations…

Whereas human beings, here on Earth, are immobilized by pettiness and the religion of personal accountability.

Sometimes, all I can do is imagine it: A more-sophisticated extraterrestrial traversing inch by inch through my night sky, connecting dots that my little eyes cannot resolve as two separate and distinct objects, because they are so far away.

While I sit in my little house, wondering what my finite existence has to offer within my 80 earth years, these creatures cross light-years with ease. As my world gets smaller, with plague and poverty and war destroying any possibility of contentment, an alien race confidently uncovers more and more of the deep mysteries in our universe.

Somewhere, there is a…

How I reconcile my desire to go off the grid with my need to make positive change.

Last week, I was driving on a dirt road in the barren desert of eastern Utah, where I was looking for a place to park my car for the night. Arches National Park was “full,” and the lighted sign there said to check back in three hours. I said, screw it — I’m just gonna find a good spot to chill for the day. And I found it.

The spot was against a hill just south of the park and would act as a great back wall for my camping ground. It was sunny and hot at that moment, but…

You don’t have to like it, but you aren’t allowed to shut off the mike.

photo by Matthias Wagner | Unsplash

Back in 1896, the owner of The New York Times stated a goal was “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.” Unfortunately, this is not currently the situation.

But it’s not just at The Times — this is the case across the mainstream media with regards to what stories are written, how stories are written, and who writes them. …

Am I afraid of a semi-hostile world?

It’s raining outside.

I’m in a forest somewhere in Colorado.

My car is full of things that should be outside.

I’m in here, because the ground is soggy, and the atmosphere is intimidating.

I have blankets.

I have dry socks.

I hear the rain on my roof, and it’s melodic, like someone gently touching my leg while I drive.

But I remain, parked under the trees.

The mountains in the foreground, spots of blue and gray in the back.

My back is hurting.

But I’m not alone.

The forest has chattering insects, timid squirrels, and maybe hungry bears.

There are…

Am I really alone or is there something that I can’t see?

photo by Azfan Nugi | Unsplash

I’m blind in my right eye for some reason. But maybe it’s for the best.

I don’t mean to be negative, but it’s very discouraging to see how unevolved much of America is. So many of these people appear to be uninspiring, cookie-cutter, quiet, and uninteresting followers.

At least they look that way.

Maybe they’re not when you actually talk to them.

Maybe they’re not if I could actually see.

It’s possible they’re more like me than I realize. But perhaps they are less like me as opposed to me being more like them. Will I ever know?

It may…

Cee Vinny

PhD from Harvard • Scientist • Dreamer • Trying to make sense out of a seemingly senseless universe • I may be wrong

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