Rob

Fear Porn

climate change - fear porn

The internet and TV news is jam-packed with fear porn. Fear porn is stories and ideas that intend to fill us with fear. Unfortunately, many of us are addicted to this kind of information and even seek it out. Even though it isn’t good for us, or even what we want, we keep consuming it, either by choice or because it is the only show in town.

I recently read an article in the Guardian, that was about a woman who decided she wasn’t going to have children because of climate change. The article went into how there is a growing number of people who shared and follow this ideal.

The general position of the movement is that people are the problem. Or better yet, too many people are the bane of all the earth’s ailments. This means to followers that having kids contributes to the existential crisis of global warming. Halfway through the article, it is pointed out that having fewer kids will not have much of an effect on climate change. In essence, the assumptions about the problem are deeply flawed.

It Is About Fearing The Future

At this point, the article changes it’s tone and goes into how these people believe the world is going to hell and that the future will be horrible. It explains that the amounts of pollution going forward, is going to be severe and temperatures will be so high, that the world won’t be a safe place. I may be exaggerating the point, but the general sense is that these people believe we are in environmental end times.

I get the feeling that many people fear that the world is going to hell. Some also believe we are destroying everything mother nature has given us. Along the same lines, some people think we are essentially creating a lifeless future.

No doubt, this could be a possibility. But it seems that a lot of the information we get from the media is full of a sense of fear. This fear, in turn, encourages us to stay inside and avoid all the terrible things that might happen if we go out. Being stuck inside and afraid of going out, we consume more media that then fills us with more fear. As evidence of this, my mother warns me about going for walks at night; she believes it is dangerous to be outside after dark.

It may be true, that the world is headed to hell in a hand-basket; and all our fears could be real. But public intellectuals like Steven Pinker, a Harvard Professor, suggest we live in the safest most peaceful times in all history.

Blame The Media

But the mainstream and alternative media are trying to make us believe the opposite. It is not all their fault; we seek it out and love junk about how terrible the world is. As an example, look at the popularity of true crime stories. These stories are manufactured entertainment about horrific events. In this sense, they make crimes more real, even though most of us would have forgotten about them.

The media is part of the problem; no doubt they make a point of focusing on how horrible things are. In part they have to because that kind of content pays the bills, fixed eyes are great for advertising. And to some extent, this is what people want, at least that is what gets them to read and watch more. And these days, in a world led by ad-clicks and attention, content creators have no other choice.

Of course, amazing things are happening all the time, but they don’t pay the bills, so they get less coverage. But even worse, when it does get covered, we tend to write it off as cynical or sad. In a sense, a lot of good news is instead a different kind of bad news.

Could This Be Fear Porn

This brings us back to the idea of fear porn. I can’t say the only reason why people watch porn is because they want quick and visceral sexual satisfaction. But that seems to be the case and is also the case with fear porn. Rather than beating around the bush, fear porn jumps right into inciting fear.

The reasons why fear porn is so popular may have something to do with our biological responses to it. On one hand, it may induce a fight-or-flight state into our minds. Equally terrifying, we may live in a society addicted to the stress hormone cortisol. Either way, fear porn appears to exploit these two systems for nefarious purposes.

I am an occasional consumer of fear; my flavour of choice tends to be financial information. I’d argue that it is true, but in reality, it is nothing more than fear-inducing facts. You could even argue, it serves no purpose other than filling me with fear about the future. The facts may be accurate, but I can’t do anything to stop what is coming, so being fearful makes little sense.

Watching this kind of ‘news’ makes me feel strange, but afterwards, I seek similar feelings. Along the same lines, I have a friend who is into AI and automation, for him that is the kind of fear he seeks. This is like my fear of the economy and the lady from the articles fear of global warming.

The lady in the article was avoiding having children because of the hellish future she saw. I would suggest, that the only way one could have come to that kind of conclusion, is by watching way too much fear porn.

This isn’t to say the concerns of fear porn aren’t real, who knows what the future will bring. But, all this fearful information is hurting us and making our lives more stressful. Fear, uncertainty and doubt are at memorable highs, yet statistics show, this is one of the safest times in history.

It seems the personalized internet has created a market for fear. Because of this, we end up needing or getting more of it all the time. This pollutes our world views and makes it seem like the world is worse than it is. Like any addiction, growing desensitization leads to an increasing need for a stronger dose.

We Can Get Over The Addiction

If you discover you have picked up a fear porn addiction, it is best to accept that it is happening. From there, you can make a point of trying to control it. The biggest problem with this kind of addiction is that it fills us with fear. But it also convinces us into thinking we need more info as things can only get worse. Of course, we may have an accurate view of the future, but the future isn’t here, so what’s to say we are right? Even more, why worry about things we can’t control or do anything about?

From my personal experience, realizing I was addicted to fear, helped me get over it. Once I changed my consumption, the algorithms picked it up and suggested different content. This, in turn, makes it easier to avoid the fear I was consuming in the past.

It is natural to fear the future because the future is unknown. But rather than seeking lousy news, we should try to create a better world today. Forget about the ‘facts’ and focus on what you can do now. If the future looks terrible, stop looking to the future and focus on making now better. If you can make now better, then the future will follow. It all comes down to the idea that you can only make the world a better place by focusing on what you can do yourself.

Knowing that clicks and attention drive our online lives, it is fair to say that someone is profiting off of our fear. If that is the case, how can we even be sure we are being told the truth? Could instead our fear be feeding the beast in an attempt to increase profits? Either way, too much information about a terrifying topic isn’t doing us any good.

If the above doesn’t work, look around. Things are way better than they seem from the information on our screens. Try it for a day or two, avoid everything online and only watch what happens around you. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how peaceful and calm the world is. Life may be getting worse in some ways, but it is also getting better in many other ways.

We should avoid or ignore fear porn, then it will be easier to embrace a more positive outlook. Because after all, the world is a pretty safe place for most of us.

Having Dreams About Being Back In School

about being back in school

I’ve recently started keeping a dream journal. Keeping a dream journal is something I have done in the past, but have found a new passion for recently. One of my first observations is that I have a lot of dreams about being back in school. Some of these dreams have found me at grade school, others at high-school and some in college.

Reading A Book About Dreams

The reason I got into recording my dreams again, is that I read a book on the science of dreaming. It talked about all the different scientific discoveries related to dreams. This included information about how lucid dreaming was first verified as a real phenomenon.

If you aren’t sure about what lucid dreaming is, in the most basic sense, it is becoming aware that you are dreaming. Many people may have become aware of this idea because of the movie Inception. Inception is about corporate espionage done through tapping into peoples dreams. Though taking control of your dreams the way they did in the movie is a very advanced form of lucid dreaming.

As for the verification, it was done by observing eye movements that had been previously agreed upon. The idea being, that while someone is lucid, they can look around in their dream, following a pattern. The assumption was that those eye movements would be observable in the real world. The experiment was successful and created a foundation for further research on the topic.

Dreams Are About Balance

One interesting idea from the book was that dreams are a way for our minds to deal with the events of our day. In a way, dreams provide us with a way to try and make sense of what has happened. Or, they can be a way for our minds to find balance with what we have experienced. In this sense, they even us out psychologically. This balance can be helpful when things aren’t going well, but it can also provide balance when things are going good. There is also the view that dreams are a way for our minds to reinforce the things we already believe.

In the extreme, when a dramatic event happens in our lives, dreams are there to help us deal with those emotions or help us work them out. From this perspective, reoccurring dreams can be there to get us to take actions on things we have been ignoring or refusing to address. At the same time, they can occur to remind us of the feelings they are inspiring in us. This last explanation is interesting when it comes to dreams about being back in school.

Due to my reoccurring dreams about being back in school, I decided to look up the meaning of those dreams. Many of the descriptions I found suggested that these dreams are reflecting our emotional states in school. The explanations, also said that these sorts of dreams are often negative because many of our experiences in school were negative. School might not have been bad, but for many of us, it was the first time we experienced challenges.

In this sense, we have dreams about school because we are experiencing similar emotions as we had back then. If your life is stressful now, then dreams about school might be a reflection of the stress you first had while you were in school.

For me, my dreams aren’t so negative. But many of them are about missing a class or having an exam or assignment that I am not prepared for. These kinds of themes seem pretty typical from the various dream descriptions I read.

The Meaning Of Dreams About Being Back In School

Putting this in perspective, it would have been stressful to miss an exam or not be ready for an assignment. So our minds have created associations with those emotions and experiences. On top of all of this, because they happened early in life, they are a sort of emotional foundation for many of us.

That said, on a grand scale of potentialities, I could imagine much more stressful dreams, then those about school. At the same time, work isn’t as stressful as school was, at least in part because I’ve been able to work out ways of dealing with it. On top of this, surprise exams aren’t that common anymore, but unexpected events might be.

I get the impression that many of our first emotionally significant events happened while we were in school. Now, our minds use those experiences to try and give context to what is happening in our lives now. When we are young and in school, we lacked experience, so everything is new and an opportunity for learning. As we get older, we have new experiences, but now our minds try to fit them into the templates of our past. This isn’t to suggest that the things we learnt in school were any more important than what we learn now. Instead, they are the first experiences we have so that makes them significant.

Missing an exam would have made us feel unprepared and unready for what was coming. Having a similar experience now feels the same way because it reminds us of those memories. Our school experiences would have been our first glimpse of ‘real life.’ Other things could have happened since, but for our ‘work-life,’ exams and assignments seem like a perfect predecessor.

Saying this doesn’t mean I’m sure that this is the cause of our dreams. The truth is, we don’t often know what our dreams are about, and many factors often influence them. But if we humour the view that a lot about what we know in life came to us as kids. School is the archetypal setting for lessons to be learnt.

What These Dreams Mean To Me

Using that idea and being honest with myself about what these dreams mean, it likely has to do with the time I spend on my writing. As a child in school, writing was often a traumatic event; it would have been a massive point of conflict and self-doubt. Those same emotions are likely haunting me now. Subconsciously, I may be wondering if my work is good enough. Further, it could be about questioning if I am living up to the standards I’ve set for myself.

From my perspective, these interpretations make sense. That said, these aren’t the only possible explanations. What else could explain these reoccurring dreams about being back in school? I’m not sure, but I’m not in school these days, nor am I considering it, so any explanation would likely link back to learning.

Have you had dreams about being back in school? What do they mean to you? Let me know in the comments below.

My Horoscope Was Right!

horoscope was right

Most weeks I check out my horoscope, but this week my horoscope was right. It isn’t so much that I believe in them, or think they are real. But they are usually positive and motivating in some way. I know the argument, horoscopes are written so generally that they apply to everyone. I also realize that they come from random people on the internet, who get paid to make up positive statements. But these facts don’t concern me. No doubt they are valid criticisms, but they don’t have anything to do with why I read my horoscope.

Horoscopes Aren’t That Crazy

In a philosophical sense, there is no denying that the day you were born has some effect on the life you live and the person you become. For a quick affirmation of this, consider the book Outliners by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about how when looking at successful Canadian hockey players, a majority of them are born in the first few months of the year. From personal experience, I can verify that being born at the end of the year makes a lot of things more difficult. I played hockey as a child but was always smaller and weaker than my teammates. By the time I caught up in size, it was the next season and a new league. Once again I was one of the youngest kids on the team.

The thing is, much of life is influenced by coincidences of time. Sure they are often human conceptions, like age ranges for school or hockey teams. But, there is also something deeper to all this, that is not a human creation. Take, for example, the seasons. Being born in the summer versus the winter must play some role in the people we become. For one thing, consider the different foods our mothers may have eating because of the seasons.

All in all, it would be difficult to make an argument that could stand the strict regiment of science, but it doesn’t seem all that crazy a claim to make. When we are born during the year, has some effect on who we become. How much it matters in comparison to genes and other factors would be harder to quantify. Regardless, when we are born is a part of the equation. I’m not claiming that the things a horoscope says are right, only that there is some foundation behind the idea. After all, the idea of a horoscope must have come from somewhere, right?

My Horoscope My Life

Now that we have our investigation of horoscopes out of the way, we can get to the story. A few Fridays ago, I was talking to my manager about work and asking him questions about our company. He seems pretty open-minded, so I can be honest with him. He knows that I like to write and am working on some books. While we were talking, I mentioned my dream was to write books as my job. We also talked about how I’ve been afraid to take chances and do things out of the norm.

In particular, we talked about houses, I said I’d like to buy a home, but they are too expensive in this area. He said I could get out of the GTA or move to another province where prices are more affordable. I said that was an interesting idea, but I couldn’t do it because my family wouldn’t be happy about it. With that idea, we got into talking about doing things because we want to live a life for other people rather than ourselves.

That point resonated with me, because after I had graduated from college, I considered moving back to Korea and teaching English. It wasn’t so much that I liked the job, but rather the different lifestyle and adventure. At the time, that was what I was seeking, yet, that was also the kind of change I was afraid to make. I didn’t pull the trigger because I was worried about what other people, my family and peers, in particular, would think of my life trajectory.

Back To Work

After the conversation and over the weekend, I was working on my book and editing a section related to being yourself. In that section, I talked about jobs and career paths. I point out that we sometimes do things because they are valued by others, rather than being what we want. The advice I was suggesting in the book, is the same advice I should be following myself, but am sometimes afraid too.

After those events, I returned to work on Monday and checked my horoscope, like I usually do whenever I remember it. For context, I work at a media company that publishes horoscopes every week, so those are the ones I read. To be consistent, it seems necessary to point this out.

Based on all the things that happened the week before reading the horoscope, it seems to make sense and be on the same wavelength as me myself. Again, I acknowledge that this is a coincidence, but it still seems too accurate.

Here is what my horoscope said:

You’re the first one to admit that you often end up living your life according to the expectations that others place on you, rather than following your own needs. The New Moon in Aries will stir up the independent spirit within you. No longer will you feel invisible. It’s time to stand tall and make yourself known as a mover and a shaker. Work out your own requirements and make them a priority. If your head starts to spin and your emotions swirl, you’ll know that you’re doing the right thing. You’ll soon be celebrating. My horoscope’s source.

Of course, this isn’t perfect, and I do look at them every week, so I have fifty or so chances a year to find a match. But still, this seems too accurate to be random.

What exactly it means was yet to be determined. But the coincidence of coming across this horoscope after having that conversation is far too significant to ignore. I had something big on my plate at that time, and that was undoubtedly influencing my perspective. But would that awareness make a difference, at the time it was still to be determined. Regardless, it would be a good idea for me to try to be more conscious and aware of what I want. It would be better for my sanity if I were to ‘live my life instead.’

The Horoscope Relates To My Life

It has been a few weeks since I originally wrote this story, but a couple of things have come to light. The first is that my manager announced that he would be leaving his job and moving to another province. An interesting turn of events considering the advice he gave me during our conversation. As for myself, I was oftered a great job, which if I were to do what other people expected of me, I would have taken. But knowing I need to do what is best for me, I decided to stay at my current job. Reason being, it gives me more time and less stress so that I can focus on my goals as a writer.

In some ways, this may seem like a leap. But at the same time, that horoscope helped put the job opportunity in perspective. I considered taking the job, and the reason was that in the rational perspective of having a successful IT career, it would have been the best choice. But that isn’t what I want, and that would be living up to other peoples expectations over my own. On top of this, the week that I was considering the job offer was one of the most stressful weeks in the last year or so. My head was spinning and my emotions were swirling. With that in mind, writing this story is more in line with my wants and desires. By writing more stuff, I am getting closer to the life I want.

Surely things like this don’t only happened to me. Have you had a similar experience with your horoscope? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Finding Money On The Road

finding money on the road

You could say, I’m lucky when it comes to finding money on the road. I used to find lots of money, not only coins but bills, big bills, 5’s, 10’s, 20’s and even a 50.

It could have had something to do with how much I walked. I used to walk all the time, a couple of hours a day. But then again, it even happened, while I was on short walks with my wife in our neighbourhood after dinner.

At other times, I have even been known for finding money on the road while driving. I stopped the car, backed it up a little, opened the door and picked up three 5 dollar bills. My mother and wife were in the car and asked why I was stopping. They were both astounded when I showed them what I found.

My wife also has a collection of money she has found on the ground, loonies($1), toonies($2), dimes, nickels and quarters. If you were to add it all up the money she has found, it would amount to twenty dollars or so.

For full disclosure, finding money on the road is something that has been happening since I moved to the city, a little over five years ago. But in the last year or so, I’ve not been finding money on the road as much as I used to. My lifestyle has changed significantly, and I don’t walk as much. Also when I walk, I am with my child, so I tend to focus on her rather than the things going on around me.

Recently this happened.

My manager, who sits next to me, was organizing an office baseball game. He bought all the tickets and was collecting money from the people who had signed up to go.

On Monday, another co-worker, named Sarah came to his desk to pay for her ticket. I joked with them both by saying, “Can I use Bitcoin to pay for mine? Who even carries cash these days?”

Sarah replied, “I always keep at least $40 in my wallet. It feels like something is missing if I’m not carrying some cash.” I thought about this and realized that recently I haven’t been carrying as much cash as I used to, in fact, I rarely have any cash on me as I always use a credit card.

I told Sarah about how I always used to have luck finding money on the road, the details of which I mentioned above. I finish off my story by saying “Now that I don’t carry cash, I don’t believe in it the same way as I used to. That could explain why I don’t find it so much these days.”

Sarah and the manager laughed at my wishful thinking. Then Sarah said, “Now that you are seeing money changing hands, you can believe in it again. Hopefully, this will help you find cash again.”

Maybe this is a Real Thing

I agreed and suggested that seeing things happen made them more believable and likely to happen again. Sarah said, “Isn’t that kind of like when people say they are thinking of someone and then that person calls?” I wasn’t exactly sure about the connection but remarked that there was actually some research on that phenomenon. Some researchers had suggested that it was a real thing. When test subjects got a random call from a selected list of callers, they correctly guessed who was calling them more than would be expected by random chance alone.

After the conversation, I thought more about the idea and how I would need to go to the bank to get $20. At the same time, I didn’t want to do that, because I’d have to get way more money, and I didn’t want to be carrying around cash at work.

Then something happened.

The next day I picked up my daughter at daycare as I usually do. We stopped at a shop and bought some vegetables, then continued home. As it was summer, we always walked back, so this wasn’t any atypical behaviour.

Halfway home, I spotted something in the grass. I slowed down and took a look. It was a MetroPass, which is a monthly transit card in my city. I leaned over and picked it up, realizing that it was for this month, which was great as there was still a week left. I looked around to see if there was anyone it could belong to, but there wasn’t anyone about. That said 100’s of people could have walked past that very spot over the last day or so.

In the past, I had found a metro pass under similar conditions. I tried to list it online to see if anyone would claim it, but everyone who replied was trying to scam me. When I gave up trying to find the real owner, I brought the pass to the city transit ‘lost and found.’ The guy working there gave me a strange look as did the other people waiting in line. At that point, I knew there wasn’t a way to get the pass back to the actual owner.

At home, I left the MetroPass in the cup holder of my daughter stroller and started making dinner. When my wife came home, she said: “You left your MetroPass over here, don’t forget it.” I explained that it wasn’t mine and went through what had happened. She asked, “what are you going to do with it?” I said, “I’ll bring it to work tomorrow and see if anyone wants it for $10.”

MetroPass into Money

A little while later, while we were eating dinner, my wife said, “I posted the pass you found online. Someone wants to buy it tonight for $20. Is that ok with you?” I replied, “That’s fine, I didn’t really have a plan for it anyway.”

After dinner, and after we had finished our chores, she headed to the subway station to sell the pass. When she came back, I was meditating with my eyes closed. She placed the bill in front of me, beside my timer so I would see it when I finished. Upon opening my eyes the twenty dollar bill was there, and I had ‘found’ money again.

At last, my long streak of not finding money on the road was broken. That said, twenty dollars is a decent amount of money and exactly how much I needed.

The icing on the cake.

The next day at work, I took my seat and waited for my manager to return from his meeting. When he did, I handed him the money and said: “You’ll never guess where this came from. I found it on the road yesterday.” He laughed considering our conversation from two days earlier, though I’m not sure he completely believed me. I said, “I’ve been blessed by the ‘finding money on the road’ gods.”

A little later, Sarah was walking by, and I told her about what had happened. She pointed out how seeing the money changing hands must have helped and laughed at the strange coincidence. I then made a joke about how it was kind of like magic and said: “The world we see has something to do with what we are thinking about in our minds. When we think about things, they happen.”

Another co-worker walked by and asked what we were talking about. I told him my story, and he replied: “As you get closer to nature, you notice more of those kinds of connections.”

Later in the afternoon, Sarah was walking by again. She turned to me and said, “I have to tell you something about our conversation from two days ago.” Sarah went on to say that someone who she had been thinking about sent her an email. She hadn’t heard from them for a couple of years, so it really was random. Finally, she pointed out that this was precisely how she had described my money finding situation earlier.

She said, “After our conversation, I went back to my desk and noticed the email. I was taken aback by our conversation, your coincidence and mine.”

But is it magic?

Some people may write off these stories as either being made up or being some kind of random chance occurrence. Although these are plausible explanations, they miss the point. This all did happen, and I have myself and two other witnesses to confirm the facts. But also, it was not just a random chance as it was meaningful to me in the context of what I had talked about.

The thing is, these kinds of synchronicities happen all the time. It is only a matter of us paying attention to them. Surely, they aren’t magic in the made-up sense of the word, cause that would imply they were some sort of illusion. But they are magical in the mystical sense of the word, which is something we often write off as childish.

There often seems to be some kind of magical force going on behind the scenes. It is not like everyone is always finding money on the road. I’d say, at the very least being aware or welcoming such occurrences helps them happen more frequently. So rather than writing off this story as something made up, see it as the basis for some kind of belief or magical way of thinking that can help you.

Try not to disregard these kinds of things, as they are real and happen all the time. If you want them to happen more often, you need to open your mind and be willing to let the magic happen.

Are you someone who is often finding money on the road?

Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.

Pop Science and Scientism

science in a lab

Scientism is the belief that we have everything figured out. In some ways, it is a problem of pop science vs real science. It suggests that we understand what is happening and assumes there is nothing new under the sun. Simply put, it suggests we know everything there is to know.

Scientism goes deeper, it is the belief that we can quickly explain everything around us. In a sense, there are no hidden forces at play. In other words, it is the idea that we know everything there is to know because of “science.”

Many people, mainly non-scientists tend to hold this belief. Meaning it is often regular people who think they know how the world works. When they talk about a topic, they may say things like, “that isn’t scientific” or “science doesn’t back that up.”

The truth, however, is that these people don’t know much about real science. Often people are fixated on an inaccurate ideology that try to explain how the world works. Even worse, the truth is that people often don’t understand the basics of our day to day experiences or science in general.

There Are Many Unknowns

So much of what we think we know is unknowns or incomplete sets of facts or data. It is estimated that there 45 billion different types of bacteria in the world. So far only about 1 million have been identified.

It is the dominant belief in the scientific community that the universe has more matter than can be explained by observation. So it is assumed that there must be some other type of matter, this additional source is called dark matter. But dark matter has not yet been discovered or observed. In a sense, it isn’t genuinely known to exist, but the math says that it should.

We all walk around with the assumption that we are consciously experiencing the world around us. However, science hasn’t yet found the seed of consciousness or been able to completely map out the parts of the brain that create awareness. Scientists have been able to figure out how parts of the brain relate to parts of the body and functions, like speaking. But a complete overall assessment is not something we can expect anytime soon.

The broader universe is often missing from our understanding and explanations. Put into perspective, we are a tiny little dot next to another tiny dot, next to a vast open space with billions of other small dots. The thing is, we are so small and know nothing about what is happening on all those other small dots throughout outer space.

The point is that there are so many unknowns, that surely we can’t comprehend how much we truly know. Even worse, we don’t know what we don’t know. Being fair, in many fields, like microbiology, as described above, we could say we know less than a fraction of a percent of the facts.

What People Think Scientists Do?

What scientists do, is hard to say, as it isn’t always clear. But there is a seeming belief that scientists know a lot about everything. They are often seen as the authoritative source on all questions related to science, any science at that.

Take Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson as an example. These guys are so-called superstar scientists, although only one of them is a trained scientist. They are often seen on TV and talk about what they know and think. People have faith in their expertise and feel that they are valid sources of information. In many ways this is true, they know lots of things, but to what extent are they an authority on what they are talking about?

People also have a vague sense of what a scientist is due to what they see on TV shows and movies. We like characters like Sheldon Cooper and the other personas on Big Bang Theory. But these are more extreme examples of genius or nerds, rather than scientists per se.

What do Professional Scientists do?

Scientists are generally super experts on super specific niche topics. Which is to say, a scientist may be an expert on the electron spins of a particular atom. Or how species of insects, birds or bacteria interact and reproduce.

To do this, a scientist tends to spend years working hard at making a discovery in a particular niche. Sometimes they even spend years replicating work that has already been done. Or they make developments that are a small addition or update to an already made discovery.

The point is that professional scientists are looking at something very particular. So they spend years becoming a specialist on something that only they and a few others know about. They are not experts on a vast range of topics; instead, as a scientist will tell you, they are experts on something very particular.

All this said, training as a scientist teaches people to realize how difficult it is to know something for sure. For this reason, scientists are often more aware than regular people of how little they truly understand and comprehend.

How is Scientism Applied?

This is the problem, often people don’t know the facts or don’t do the science. They may say they have heard things on TV or read summaries in magazines, newspapers or on the internet. But most peoples knowledge is often limited to what could be called pseudoscience.

Consider the Gell-Mann amnesia effect, which is described as “the phenomenon of an expert believing news articles on topics outside of their field of expertise even after acknowledging that articles written in the same publication that are within the expert’s field of expertise are error-ridden and full of misunderstanding.” [wikipedia] The Gell-Mann amnesia effect is an example of the problem with pop science vs real science.

To honestly know something you must ask an expert or read the original research, but then you only know the facts about one particular perspective. Also, you won’t know all the facts, just some. Science is more of a dialectic than a one answer fits all. There is also the risk of trusting too much in the expertise of other people. Are they indeed an expert in the topics they speak about? Do they know anything more about the subject than you do?

Where Do We Find Scientism?

Scientism often applies to complicated systems or topics that science can’t explain or make sense of. It is true that we can’t prove that God exists, but it is also true that we can’t prove that God doesn’t exist. Herein lies the problem, is the god question even a testable hypothesis? If it isn’t, then it isn’t a topic to be covered by science and is instead a question for a philosopher.

A perfect example of pop science vs real science is Global warming. Inevitably humans pollute and make a mess of the planet. But it is difficult enough to predict tomorrows weather. How can we be sure about a substantially more complex global weather phenomenon? This isn’t to say climate change isn’t a real thing, just that it is incredibly complicated and saying that science has an answer is missing the point of what science can tell us.

Scientism is taking hugely complicated issues, and saying they are solved by science. At the same time not ever having read a single scientific paper nor understanding the methodology or interpretation of the results for yourself. Science and the world are incredibly complicated, the simple answer is often straightforward for a reason, and that is that it isn’t accurate.

More Could Be Possible Than We Think

People often discredited strange ideas quickly based on the assumption that they are not within their expectations of what is possible. It is easy, to say that something has been explained or isn’t real because it hasn’t been proven by science.

But the problem with these sorts of statements is that they are founded on the assumption that the question has been asked. Even worse, often the person making the comments rarely have been exposed to accurate information on the topic. For most people, this is a matter of pop science vs real science. Popular science is what people hear about, real science is mostly out of mind.

Undoubtedly, specific facts have been proven false by science, but on the other hand, many questions have never been put to the test. And that is a concern, how much science has to be done before we can say the science is out on a topic?

Take astrology as an example, admittedly the simplified representation of it sounds fake. But how would you create a valid experiment to test it? How would you gather the evidence, and how would you test your hypothesis? Has anyone done this before? Is it even worth doing?

This is the predicament with many complicated questions. We can’t test them, at least not quickly and they often aren’t profitable enough to honestly examine. In many cases, we can stick with the pragmatic Occam’s razor, which states the most obvious and straightforward explanation is usually correct. At the same time, without evidence, we don’t have an affirmative, just an assumption.

Most of the things we take for granted as being false or fake haven’t been considered, and we have no real reason to believe them to be true or false. We just don’t know. But then, if we are honest, we don’t know many things, and in fact, we hardly know anything. But that isn’t the way we usually act.

Maybe We Don’t Know Much About Anything

This is the thing; science has mostly gone after the low hanging fruit, it has only tested the obvious and practical. There could be way more things to discover, and there are tons of things we know nothing about. This being the case, we should assume that we don’t understand rather than being sure that we do.

We often have the false sense that us humans have got everything figured out, but that just isn’t the case. It is quite the opposite, we hardly know anything about the world around us and are often only grasping at straws.

We can look to experts, and they can give us answers, but for a lot of questions, they are just as limited as we are. I’m not suggesting that you avoid a doctor when you are sick, rather know when an expert is indeed an expert and when they are a talking head.

In truth, we don’t know what is possible or what is right, because, for the most part, the science is still out.

The Problem With Living A Reasonable Life

being reasonable

From an early age, we are taught to be rational and expected to live reasonable lives. Often, we do things because they seem like the logical thing to do. At the same time, we are sure our lives will fall into chaos if we didn’t follow our rules.

What Being Reasonable Is All About

Being reasonable suggests doing what is right, based on a set of internal rules. These rules are self-justified because they came from regulations we have justified in the past.

Economists believe that humans are rational beings who make reasonable choices. When given a choice of one or two dollars, they figure people will always take more.

But this doesn’t seem right, and people often make decisions for a variety of reasons. At times they don’t even seem to care about the reasons that seem obvious to everyone else.

Reasonability comes from science, or so we think. We figure we understand the rules of science, and that they show us the right way to live. We sometimes even pretend that our scientific reasons are a sort of moral guide.

Science itself shouldn’t be a problem. But the way we work with it prevents us from seeing the world outside our own constructed boxes.

People who think they know science often set limitations on what is possible. These limits become even worse when we deny possibilities in our own lives.

Along with this, people often say that nobody has any common sense, but common sense isn’t so common. What makes sense to me, may not make sense to you. So what is common sense to me is not be common sense to you.

On top of this, our sense of responsibility comes from our knowledge and worldview. If we think we are reasonable, which we usually do, then we will act within our frameworks.

We should be careful about assuming what is reasonable for others. Because at times we can’t be sure about what is going on inside our heads.

Why We Try To Be Reasonable?

Our most strong motivation comes from our understanding of the world. We make choices because we think they will bring us where we want to go. Meaning our knowledge of a situation determines which decisions we can make.

At a deeper level, as children, we discover cause and effect. By seeing things happen, we build an understanding of the reasons why they happen.

Being smart exposes us to more knowledge, which in turn creates more rules. These limits create a stricter sense of what being reasonable means. The more we know, the more our choices are confined to our standards.

People who know less may make stupid choices, but for them, they are the best choices they can make. Not knowing the rules in some cases, may even be an advantage.

Being reasonable makes the most sense and sounds like the right thing to do. It is especially true when we ask for advice. We are often told to be rational, which usually means following the same old rules.

Sometimes We Should Be Less Reasonable

Being reasonable can stand in the way of our hopes and dreams. Doing what sounds right, at times can be the worst thing we can do.

As children, we have grand ambitions and dreams about what we can do with our lives. We also have hope and are sure we can make them real.

But often when we ask our parents or someone we trust for advice, they tell us to be reasonable. In other words, they say you can’t make money doing that. This lack of support in a way forces us to choose something more practical.

As we follow their advice, we make choices that don’t feel right in our hearts. After a while, we believe our choices made the most sense. Then we start to forget about our dreams and the other possibilities in our lives.

We rationalize that we need a house, car and vacation. Then we figure we can’t get those things unless we live a reasonable boring life.

With this in mind, we make choices that go against what feels right, but we tell ourselves, at least we get to eat.

Additionally, for something to seem reasonable, we often need to see it happening. It needs to be proven to us by the world. It is challenging to do something you haven’t seen before, which kind of makes it unreasonable.

At times being reasonable sets limitations and barriers to doing what we want. Those barriers may exist, and we shouldn’t forget that. But we also need to realize that they may only be preventing us from trying to do what we want.

At times being unreasonable is essential. Ask someone famous, and they were likely told the most sensible thing was not to try. But they ignored that advice and did something seemingly impossible.

Happiness And Magic

The real magic happens in the moment, which is to say it unfolds quick and without explanation.

When things happen, we try to explain them away with reason and science. Sadly, this approach takes away the mystery which is often what makes them exciting and fun.

As we get older, we forget how to find happiness in what we can’t explain. A great example of this is how children react to a surprise. They get excited and laugh, and they show emotion, but they don’t try to understand or explain.

Kids haven’t had the magic taken away. They still live in a world of mystery and unexplainable things. As adults, we should follow the lead of children and live happier unexplained lives.

Life can be more exciting when we stop worrying about why. Simple things can bring pleasure when they are not understood. We need to try to be open to the unknown and be ok with surprises.

By letting go of rationality, we can see things for what they are, which is often unknowable.

The Real World Isn’t Reasonable

If we focus too much on science, then we will have an explanation for everything. That seems reasonable enough, but can we be sure it is an accurate description of the world around us?

There are lots of things that we can not explain. Popular science gives us the impression that we know a lot about the world around us. But in fact, we know very little about almost everything.

The problem with sticking too hard to what we think we know is that it makes our world small. When we accept our ignorance, we open ourselves up to an expanding universe where things can’t be identified so easily.

Most of what is possible is outside the range of what we can know at any given moment. We can be open and accepting of this explanation, or we can demand proof before taking action. The second, more popular option will only hold us back from doing great things.

Being reasonable isn’t always consistent. The truth is that we don’t understand enough to be too sure about almost anything. Often what we know, is only reactionary, instead, we should embrace the unknown.

A Less Reasonable Life Can Be A Better Life

I am not suggesting you entirely give up on reason. Many real-world risks can and should be avoided. On top of this, throwing all caution to the wind is foolish. Life can always be improved by living well and making good choices.

But we should be careful not to confuse living right with living the best kind of life. Sometimes we need to make irrational choices if we want to be happy and do more meaningful things.

It’s rarely reasonable to follow your dreams, but your happiness often depends on it. At the same time, know that even when you fail, you get satisfaction out of the process. Plus knowing you tried will let you live without regret.

If you want a meaningful life, you need to be willing to step outside what seems reasonable.

While living a sheltered life may feel safe, it won’t force you to look outside of what you know. In the long run, a safe life will rob you of all the most exciting and significant potential happenings.

The best thing you can do right now is live a little less reasonably. Embrace the unknown, and it will bring you more than you would expect.

Don’t let reason get in the way of living the life you want to live.

What Happens When Robots and AI Take Over?

robot and ai

We take our rights for granted, we figure they are a regular part of life. We also assume we will continue to have these rights and privileges forever.

But what if we only have these rights because we were born at the right time in the right place. What if these rights and privileges only exist because they make us more valuable to the state. Said another way, we get them because they make us better workers.

If this is true, does it mean in time things will change? What if our economies stop functioning the way they do, could these motivations disappear? If collected taxes reduce or governments run out of cash, will they stop protecting us?

Even the most fundamental right, the right to vote comes from the idea that we are valuable to our countries. In exchange for working, we have the right to have our voices heard.

Here Come The Robots

Robots and AI are poised to take over the world by doing most of the work. Will we be valued for our ability to work when a computer can do it better? If this were to happen, we would stop being valuable to the economy. If we aren’t of value, our opinions will stop mattering as well.

In Canada, we have what we call free healthcare, though we all pay for it. The main reason our governments use our tax dollars to pay for this service is that it helps us work better. In turn, working better is of value to the corporations that pay taxes to the government, so it works out.

If we get sick, the health care system repairs us so we can return to work. When companies no longer need us, they won’t want governments to pay for our healthcare. The same reasoning would go for education and public transit.

Consider Today’s Homeless

Today, we can already see this happening in ways. Homeless people tend not to contribute to the economy, so they slip through the cracks. In a sense, they become invisible.

In practice, without an address, it is difficult to vote. Even worse, it is hard to get a job or an ID. As people become “useless” they fall away from societal support.

Proximity also relates to our consciousness of people. As we see people less, we have fewer thoughts about them, and their importance to us decreases. Seeing people as useful is unfair but is often how our social connections work.

On a grand scale, as more jobs get replaced by robots and AI, more humans will be forgotten. People, in general, will become less valuable as they will provide less value.

Is there an easy way out of this situation? Will there be a future for the regular people who don’t create AI and robots?

Some companies will try to slow down this transition due to its cost. But at some point, it will become impossible to avoid letting the robots take over.

What Will The Future Bring

In the future, owning a robot or AI may be the only way to make money.

Even worse, the people with all the money now will also have all the robots and AI. With this, the gap between the rich and poor will grow even more extreme.

This future sounds scary, but is there something we can do to avoid it? What can we do to prepare?

We need a better democracy. Also, we need a political system where people matter more than money and efficiency. We need to figure out better ways to reward people for the value they create.

Bitcoin Made Super Simple

bitcoin

Did you know you don’t need to own a whole bitcoin? Parts of a bitcoin can be bought and sold.

If you mention Bitcoin or people hear about it on TV, they will ask ‘What is a bitcoin?’ The answer can be simple, or at least it seems like it should be.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency. Decentralized means there is no bank, government or individual who controls it. Instead, it’s powered by a network of computers that share information.

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset based on cryptography. You can think of cryptography as complicated math.

When people think of currency, they often imagine something they can hold in their hand, like a coin or paper. Handling with your hands is not the case with bitcoin, in fact, you can never have a bitcoin.

Bitcoins are on the block-chain. You can’t ‘have’ or ‘own’ bitcoins, rather you hold the ‘password’ to send and receive them .

You might be wondering, what is the blockchain. It is a chain of blocks. For bitcoin, a block is 10 minutes of transaction time. During this time transfers of bitcoin are recorded in a ledger. A ledger is a digital record of the ins and outs from different accounts. To keep things simple, you can see it as an online spreadsheet.

Say I send 0.005 bitcoin to my mom. The ledger would record: Rob -0.005 -> Mom +0.005 (March 5, 7:18 am)

The ledger keeps a record of all the transactions that occur over the 10 minutes of a block. During this time bitcoins are created, and the transaction is recorded.

During the block, math is done to create a long, complicated number called a hash. The hash then represents the block.

That number is created using the hash from the previous block. It also uses some other input numbers, but the details are not crucial for this explanation.

This new number and the previously created number are now chained together. You can look at one block and figure out the previous block number or hash. The linking goes on forever, all the way to the first block.

Where are bitcoins?

When people have bitcoins, it sounds like they are stashed on a computer or cell phone. On the ‘Big Bang Theory’ bitcoin episode, the guys talked about their bitcoins being on a USB drive.

This is a good metaphor but isn’t correct. You can not hold bitcoins, or put them on a USB drive. Bitcoins only exist on the blockchain, the ledger we talked about earlier.

Bitcoins are exchanged from person to person, but they never go anywhere. The thing that changes is the account or the keys.

When someone has bitcoins, they only have the ‘key’ or ‘password’ for a bitcoin address.

It may seem confusing but think of it like online banking. Your money is in an account. When you make an online payment, the money is transferred from one account to another. But along the way, no one ever holds or sees the money. For the most part, it is stored on computers and is only numbers on screens.

When you use bitcoin, you ‘sign’ transactions with your private ‘key.’ You then use the public ‘key’ of the person you are sending them too. In this case, the ‘key’ is like an account number. Afterward, the blockchain ledger is updated, and the coins are ‘moved.’ In reality, only the permissions on who can move the bitcoin changes.

There are many ways to store bitcoins, but all of them are secure ways of saving the ‘keys’ to your account.

The non-physical aspect could be a problem for some people. Bitcoin isn’t something you can hold, touch or see. But then again, any money in a bank account is the same.

How do you mine Bitcoins?

At the risk of making things complicated, let’s stick to the basics. Bitcoin works on something called proof-of-work. What this means, is that a computer on the network proves its dedication by doing work.

Every ten minutes or so, new blocks are created, for this, work needs to be done. The work consists of trying to figure out a huge number. The number is massive, but it doesn’t need to be perfect, only close enough.

During this time bitcoin transactions are recorded. A unique transaction is written showing new bitcoins that got mined.

There are lots of computers doing this at the same time, so whoever gets there first wins. If many computers get there at the same time, there is a little bit of randomness to determine who wins.

Proof-of-work means showing all the attempts or guesses at getting the right number. That processing is the work, and you could see it if you wanted to.

One way that people make this more manageable is by joining a pool. A pool is a group of computers that pool their computing power and distribute the work. The idea being that with more computers, it takes less time, as one computer doesn’t need to do all the work.

The rewards of mining is an incentive to keep the network alive. You can make money by supporting the system.

One last thing, every four years or so, the size of the reward gets cut in half. Smaller production, in part, limits the number of coins, but could also push up the price.

Who created Bitcoin?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of bitcoin. But, no one knows who he is. The prevailing view is that his name is a pseudonym for someone else or a group of people.

No one knows for sure, and there are lots of theories but nothing substantial. Regardless, whoever they are, they must be smart and knowledgeable.

Part of the mystery of bitcoin is the story of who created it, for now, no-one knows. But if that were to change, that could take away some of bitcoins magic.

How does the price get set?

People are more concerned about the price of bitcoin than anything else. But how does the price get set?

The idea is that there is a limited supply. At the same time, in the future, fewer will come into being each day. In time, there will be no more new coins.

With regular money, more is made whenever the central bank decides it needs it. With bitcoin, there is a predefined limit to the supply. In total, 21 million bitcoins can exist, and only that many will ever be.

The supply is also limited because many bitcoins have been misplaced forever. Meaning whoever owned them, lost the ‘keys’ to the account and will not be able to move them.

Scarcity is part of what drives the price, and people want to have something when there is a limited supply. Others believe that bitcoin is the currency of the future, so they keep it with the hope of getting rich.

It is hard to know how much bitcoin is worth. But for diehard fans, that is not the goal. They want to see a future where Bitcoin is part of our day to day lives. They want to be able to trade bitcoins for products and services, not money.

In this view, the price of bitcoin won’t matter. What will be more critical, is the price of things in bitcoin.

Should you buy bitcoin?

Don’t ask me! Bitcoin is too complicated for most people at this point.

Will it be worth something in the future?

If you are into the technology, it might be worth playing around. And if it stays around, it will get easier to use, and more people will jump on board.

If you want to become rich, that is another question. Some people believe bitcoin will be worth a million dollars, while others see it going to zero.

If you believe in the technology, it is something to try out. And at least if you understand it, you can make a better choice.

The Transformative Power Of Stories

many stories

Our lives are a series of stories, and you define yourself with the stories you tell. You also represent others with the stories you believe about them. In turn, the world is the way it is because of the stories we all know.

On top of this, our brains have evolved to understand, appreciate and create stories.

Even our sense of time is a story. But, many of our stories wouldn’t make sense without our linear view of time. In this regard, our stories about time make other stories possible.

We often think of stories as something found in a book. But instead, they are an essential layer in our lives and concept of reality. Stories play a role in determining where we are, and where we are going. We can’t expect to get anywhere without a good story.

Stories As Explanations For What We Do

Often we do things for reasons that we can’t explain. At times, we may not even understand why we did them at all. Other times, we can not be sure about what happened. It is also easy to construct a story that dismisses our errors.

When we acknowledge something was our fault, we must also admit we were wrong. But even then we may tell a story that will absolve our responsibility.

But often or explanations only come after someone asks “Why did you do that?” This point is when we construct a story for ourselves, otherwise we merely except them.

Usually, we call others explanations excuses. This accusation is especially true if someone doesn’t come out and say “Yes, it was me!” We want to accept people for their mistakes, at the same time, we don’t want to know the reason for them.

Part of the problem is that, inside our heads, there is always an explanation. You closed the door because it was cold. You turned down the radio because it was loud.

But sometimes, things are hiding in our stories, things we don’t want to acknowledge. You closed the door because you didn’t want the bother. You turned off the radio because the song reminded you of your ex.

The point is that we need stories to connect what happens with what we did. A good narrative unites events together. A great story makes sense of things that made no sense before.

At times our stories are not beneficial to someone else when they are only looking for a sorry. But at its core, our stories serve as an explanation for what we have done, even if they aren’t true.

Stories To Excuse Other People

The same way we explain ourselves, we also use stories to describe other people.

We tell stories as excuses for what other people have done. In this sense, we see the things, that we assume happened before, being the cause of what happened later. But there is a choice about what events or points we add to our stories.

Again, we use a story to connect events in a linear order. The need for this stems from the way our minds work. We need explanations, and we need them now. The more straightforward a story is, the better.

The story we tell can go in both directions. We can use a story to explain why someone is evil and should be punished. Or we can use a story to describe why it wasn’t their fault and they aren’t guilty. Sometimes the same narrative can do both.

Either way, we use stories to justify our views of people and the things they have done.

You could argue that we are justifying our opinions and not the things that happened. But, we need our stories to connect the things that happen with the way we feel.

We Use Stories To Explain Who We Are

Often, we have an explanation or an excuse for who we are and why we did the things that we did.

To an outsider, our stories might be random or missing critical facts. A family member could see the events in a different light. They may value one thing over another. Our parents may have grand stories that explain everything about us.

We all have stories, and our stories interact with the stories of the people in our lives.

As we grow old, we forget some stories, while emphasizing others. We may not have much say, over which stories matter to us, our brains decide for us.

In time we have stories that we hold dear and accept that they explain who we are. These grand narratives determine which pieces are essential and those that are not.

At the same time, our stories may not be meaningful to anyone else. They don’t even have to be accurate. Our stories are often only for ourselves, and they play a critical role in explaining who we are and where we are.

Stories Explain Who We Want To Be

In another sense, we use stories to explain where we are going. These stories at their core are meaningful to us, they guide our decision making and tell us what we need to do next.

As an example, consider the story of becoming a doctor. From that, you believe studying is essential and that you can study hard enough to succeed. You also think that studying will get you into the school you want. From there you need to believe that your hard work will pay off.

These beliefs come from stories. You know doctors and assume they studied hard, graduated and passed their tests.

We use stories to tell us where we want to go. Then we use other peoples stories to tell us how to get there or justify them. At its core, there is a story behind every person and choice. We use narrative to explain and justify what we do.

Better Stories Make A Better Life

If we use stories to explain what we do, then we must assume that people who are successful, have better stories. If a story is excellent, then it gets spectacular results.

It is also true that people from wealthy families are more likely to be affluent themselves. The explanation for this may come down to the stories they have about what has happened.

Take the example of someone who grows up without a positive role model. They will not have stories that explain how they can get to where they want to go. If you’ve never seen success, how can you replicate it? How can you see the connection between actions and results without an example?

Someone whose parents create a business will hear stories that explain the success. In particular, what they did right and how someone could replicate the results.

In this sense, it’s obvious what a differences a story can make. If you know someone who did something, you have an account and are more likely to believe. If you have never heard a compelling story, you will not think something is possible.

We Need To Write Better Stories

If the story I have told so far is acceptable, then you can see the importance of stories in your life.

You can also see the difference a good story makes. Thinking something is possible, makes it so.

The first thing you must do is accept that stories matter. In this sense, writing in a journal is an excellent way to get your stories out. You should write about the events that were important to you, those that explain who you are and why.

From these stories you get a better sense of who you are because you have them written down. Having them written down lets you be more reasonable about them.

The next step is to read them and see what could have been different or what you had no control over.

From these understandings, you can gain insights into how to do things better next time. You may obtain the perspective that something wasn’t your fault. You can’t blame yourself for things outside of your control.

Finally, once you understand who and why you are, you also have an appreciation for the effects those stories had on you.

Later you can write a story about the future you want. If you’ve learnt from the past, then you know what is possible. Then you can write a compelling story that will guide you to where you need to go.

Once you’ve written a better story, you have an idea of what you need to do to get there. Think of the story as a blueprint, it tells you what to do, but not all the details.

From here you can write better stories about how to get what you want. Sometimes you may need to write stories about what will happen if you don’t take action. A lousy potential story at times can be enough to motivate you to live a better life.

If you believe stories matter, then you must write better stories for yourself.

8 Ways You Become More Amazing After Having Kids

family being amazing

People tend to talk about negative things when talking about their kids. You are more likely to hear that kids keep you up all night than that they make you a better person.

The problem is that it makes some people think having kids is a bad idea. But that isn’t true, children are a challenge, but they change your life for the better. Having kids forces you to be more amazing.

The reason why this is important is that people often hear complaints about kids. We figure as parents this is normal, but it may discourage good people from having children.

Worse so, lousy information affects people who could be better parents. On the surface, people who plan to have children are conscientious. As a result, too many negative stories are more likely to dissuade them.

People who don’t consider consequences will have a child regardless of what they hear.

The following are eight ways in which you become more amazing after having kids.

1) You Get Your Priorities Sorted Out

Having children is a significant life change. Children change your life, and where it is heading. With this change, you reevaluate what you are doing with your time. From there, you figure out what is essential and compatible with your lifestyle.

For me, having a child made it clear that I needed to work on my writing. It also helped me realize I needed to give up on my fruitless side-projects and freelance work.

Children take up a considerable amount of time, especially in the beginning. As long as they are awake, they need supervision. That said, it gets easier after a year, at that point children are a little bit more independent.

The thing is, you no longer have time to waste. If you want to get something done, you need to do it while the baby is asleep. You will also notice that the baby wears you out, so you need more sleep.

Parkinson’s law says “any project will fill the time you give it.” In this sense, when you have less time, you squeeze in more work. Your projects will have stricter timelines, and you will need focused attention.

When you have less time, you use it more wisely. You are forced to consider everything you are working on and focus on fewer things.

2) You Learn To Have More Patience

Before having a kid, I was annoyed by crying babies on airplanes. It is still annoying, but now I understand and don’t hold it against the parents,

Someone could be a bad parent, so that is why the baby is crying. But more likely, they are trying their best, and the baby is crying anyways.

There are three reasons why a baby gets upset, either they are sleepy, hungry or hurt. On a plane, it is loud, and the air pressure can hurt ears. A baby may have trouble sleeping, and this will make them grumpy, and more annoying.

The thing is, you tend to understand why something happens better when it has happened to you. At first, you learn to deal with your crying baby, then other crying babies.

In general, these experiences will help you deal with other annoyances in the future.

In time, you are prepared to deal with other grumpy babies. With practice, this translates into a better understanding of all your annoying situations.

3) You Learn To Sing

One day, long ago while my mother was singing to my younger brother, he stopped her and said, “Mommy, sing your best!” She stopped and told him she already was.

When you have kids, you need to learn how to sing. You discover at times that nothing else will work and you need to sing. Your skill level doesn’t matter, but your willingness to sing does.

You will realize you’re glad that someone sang to you as a child. Reason being, you still remember the words to some of the songs you heard back then.

Kid’s songs get repetitive fast. For this reason, I’ve started making up songs. My daughter hasn’t complained yet.

The songs I sing match the tempo of songs she already knows, so I only need to make up the words. I mix observations and rhyme, and these songs can go on for as long as necessary.

Singing is satisfying to your creativity and gives you a chance to interact with your child. Songs also help you deal with stress and anxiety, so it’s a win-win.

4) You Learn To Function On Less Sleep

Not getting enough sleep sucks, but it is something you get better at with a child. In the first few months, babies don’t sleep well. You never know when they will wake up and need something.

At first, it was tough, the exhaustion got to my wife and me, and it was a pretty stressful time for us.

But after awhile, we got better at dealing with it. Now, seeing how busy I am when my daughter is awake, I’ve made a habit of waking up before her.

Waking up at 6 a.m. has made me a morning person, this is something I’ve never been before. That said, I’ve come to realized I could work much better in the morning then at night (as a former night owl).

No one wants to be tired all the time, but you learn to deal with it. It forces you to go to bed earlier, which compensates for the early wake ups.

You will be sleepy, especially in the beginning. But in time, this should motivate better habits. When you can start with sleep training, life will be better for everyone.

5) You Get Out More

My wife and I are both introverts, so most of the time we would rather stay in than go out. In the past, a typical weekend may have involved going for a walk or going out for dinner. Otherwise, it wasn’t uncommon for us to stay in our apartment.

Now that we have our daughter, we get restless if we stay in too long. We usually make plans and try to figure out where we can go to do something.

We often go to visit my parents. They love our daughter and can’t wait to see her when we arrive. A visit gives us a break, and them a chance to see her.

When we go sightseeing, our daughter likes to see things she hasn’t seen before. But, the travelling at this point is more for us. We all get something out of it.

Getting out is also breaking our routine and doing something different. For my wife, especially during maternity leave, it was the only chance to get out of the house.

We go places more than ever before, but this doesn’t mean spending too much money. It’s about getting out, going places and seeing things. While at other times, it gives us a break from our baby.

6) You Learn To Make Friends Again

When my wife was pregnant, we met a few couples who were having babies around the same time.

Talking to them, we had something in common and would soon share a similar experience. My wife was also able to chat with women in the same situation as her, who could even speak her language.

Once you have kids, you spend more of your time with people who are in a similar situation. You are all dealing with kids and doing kid stuff. You may also share daycare or sporting events. These events will give you a chance to make friends with your child’s friend’s parents.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much time for old friends or friends without kids. To see them, you need to leave your spouse home alone with your child in the evening. That isn’t something you can do all the time.

It will be easier to be friends with people who also have kids. You will have more in common, and the same obligations and responsibilities.

7) You Learn To Be More Responsible

This one is noticeable and quite significant. Without a child, you are in complete control of your life, and you can do what you want when you want. You can make bad choices, without any consequences.

But with a kid, you always need to make better choices. Moreover, you need to be sure you are doing what is best for you and your family.

You also need to plan, because you can’t jump in the car and go for a drive. You always need to know what you are doing, and you must bring things for the baby.

Also, when driving, you need to consider the lives you are responsible for as well. You need to be more careful and respectful of the law. Speeding may have been fun in the past, but now it is a hazard.

Without a child, you can do whatever you want, but with one, you need to think twice. You always have to work at being a good parent and making better choices.

Even with work, you will need to make better choices. Reason being, you may want to build a better life that will allow you to be a better parent.

8) You Learn To Be More Positive

Being positive is something most of us are always trying to do. But with a kid, you have to be positive, even if you pretend at times.

Kids can sense how you feel, and feed off of it. If you are unhappy, your child will know, and it will cause them stress. You do not want to stress out your child any more than they are already stressed.

Luckily spending time with children makes you happy and more positive. Babies always smile and laugh when they are having fun. As a parent you will enjoy seeing this, so you will want to be cheerful around your child.

My daughter’s smile and laugh always makes me feel better. If I’ve had a bad day, getting home and seeing her puts me in a better mood.

One last thing that I’ve mentioned before. Having a baby may inspire you to work on your goals. In turn, the satisfaction of working on them will make you more positive about life in general.

You should be positive around your kids. Luckily kids make you more positive.

Having Children Makes You More Amazing

We’ve talked about some of the positive changes having a child could cause. And to be fair, children are a challenge that will change your life.

Having a child is a significant decision. But rather than focusing on the troublesome things, consider these positive points too.

In the end, having a child will make you a better person in many ways. So remember this, it isn’t as bad as some parents will have you believe.