All posts by jph

Seeing ourselves beyond simplified scripts

So, simplified strategies help us cope with emotional & mental burdens, like too many choices. This article discusses cognitive shortcuts in a similar context: “Our minds are naturally inclined to use simplified strategies to conserve mental energy and reduce cognitive load.”

Although “self-talk is what separates us from other species,” there’s a negative edge. It reveals early stories (scripts) which simplified framing ourselves and the world. Such simplifications (or partial perceptions) can bias our outlook, stand in the way of healthy outcomes.

How do we find the energy and support to reframe those beliefs (“reparent your inner child”)? To overcome fears? To realize “more balanced and realistic self-talk?” And to nurture positive relationships?

Continue reading Seeing ourselves beyond simplified scripts

if choice = freedom, are > choices always better?

I remember reading the book Small Is Beautiful in grad school. About rethinking “when enough is enough.” Does more = happiness? Does “choice” = “freedom?” Is “more, more, more” sustainable?

Freedom of choice can be a luxury, especially when so many people around the world have few choices in navigating life.

And then there’re the more prosaic decisions or choices. Like what to eat, as in ordering from an expansive restaurant menu. Or pondering all the different salad dressings in a grocery store aisle.

Continue reading if choice = freedom, are > choices always better?

Beacons & broken souls – the challenge of modernity

I regularly chat with an aspiring screenwriter about writing stories, narrative arcs, TV streaming series & films, …

So, recently the ‘Beacon 23’ series returned to MGM+ for a second season. I watched the first season on Amazon Prime. There’s something about beacons (and lighthouses) – guides in the void.

• > “‘Beacon 23′ series returns to MGM+ on April 7 with glowing blue rocks and alien artifacts” – Season one was short on action but loaded with compelling personalities whose shifting alliances and motivations made for some intriguing confrontations. [1]

That got me musing about “broken souls” and contours of conflict.

Continue reading Beacons & broken souls – the challenge of modernity

Taking plastic to heart – a health narrative

I sort of cringe when I hear about microscopic images which show “visible, jagged-edged ‘foreign bodies'” in our cells.

And yet, there’s the more familiar lead thing. Who wants lead in our water supply (tap, bottled, etc.)? Aren’t all parents concerned? How have perspectives and perceptions changed in the past? In the present.

Even with modern chemistry, microscopes, chemical analysis, lab research & group studies, what does it take for collective agreement on the data? To trust the science? To take collective (political) action? To change habits?

Continue reading Taking plastic to heart – a health narrative

the social media problem – 230 bloody hands

So, the recent congressional hearing Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis reminded me of social media’s ongoing saga of good, bad & ugly – both its direct impact and parallel political drama. Perhaps there’s a path forward with collaborative bills, updates to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, …

Continue reading the social media problem – 230 bloody hands

more anger does not equal a vision

“Sometimes being angry is easier than facing the truth.” – AppleTV+ Foundation S2E6

“Enraged & engaged.” Is it all just about anger and money (power)?

This year (2024) I’ve already got unsolicited (and somewhat puzzling) emails from novice political candidates in other, far away states. Likely cranked out by the tens of thousands from compiled, commercial mailing lists. The contents always have a dire tone.

The latest one used the political trope of “I’m a fighter,” as if any other advocacy is a cop-out. As if everything’s a smackdown. As if political worthiness is only gauged as a warrior (in a righteous cause).

Continue reading more anger does not equal a vision

Profiling aging well

“Becoming a person of character” is a lifelong process … with challenges of growth vs. stagnation … and meeting “our intrinsic need for recognition and affirmation” [1].

Profiling successful people is an interesting exercise. Trying to characterize their key traits. Two articles …

This article discusses letting go of behaviors which subvert respect.

• Hack Spirit > “If you want to be respected as you get older, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors” by Mia Zhang (January 18, 2024) – The behaviors we hold on to and those we let go can make a huge difference in how others perceive us.

Continue reading Profiling aging well

Gut justice – what could possibly go

Gut justice

[Draft 7-1-2021]

Jared awoke to silence. That was odd. His mempories were clouded, but he felt that noise was a more common experience. And he felt calm. Which also seemed odd.

He was in a sparsely furnished but clean room. Styled with calm colors. Daylight filtered through drapes on a nearby window. A comfortable place. But where?

He heard a door open. A female voice asked, “Jared, how are you feeling? Do you remember our last chat?”

Continue reading Gut justice – what could possibly go