Sam Harris’ podcast Waking Up is utterly brilliant. I don’t always understand everything they talk about, and it does tend to be a bit of a sausage-fest, but I learn about 12 things every episode!

The one I listened to recently gave me so much to think about, but one little throw away line about self-censoring got me thinking. I am a huge fan of self-censoring! The way I see it, this isn’t the same as the inner-critic. This is an awareness that we shouldn’t believe everything we think and we certainly shouldn’t say everything that pops into our minds, like virulent verbal diarrhea! We should all use Rumi’s Three Gates of Speech.

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself “Is is true?”

At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”

At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

~ Rumi

But in writing, they say the story we’re afraid to write, is the one we should write. I am still ruminating (ooo, I wonder if that’s how Rumi got his name…) on this one. I feel writing could Non-Fiction could do well with passing through the same gates.


Some more new words…

Did you know that retrodict is a word? Yup!

retrodict
ˌrɛtrə(ʊ)ˈdɪkt/verb – state a fact about the past based on inference or deduction, rather than evidence.

Who knew? I’m not really sure how I would use it in a sentence…

In retrodiction, getting drunk last night might have been the reason my brunch meeting didn’t go well…

This is what happens to me when I listen to Sam Harris’ podcast. I end up with a huge long list of words to research!

Heuristics

First a little note for whoever wrote this particular dictionary on the web…

This does not help people…

heuristic
ˌhjʊ(ə)ˈrɪstɪk/
noun
plural noun: heuristics
  1. a heuristic process or method.
    • the study and use of heuristic techniques.

Cambridge Dictionary was far more helpful, describing it as a method of teaching allowing students to learn by discovering things themselves and learning from their own experiences rather than by telling them things. Thank you, Cambridge!

Intersectionality

The way in which different types of discrimination (= unfair treatment because of a person’s sex, race, etc.) are linked to and affect each other:

The theory of intersectionality highlights the multiple avenues through which racial and gender oppression are experienced.

Epistemology

The part of philosophy that is about the study of how we know things.

Prisoners dilemma

I’ve heard this so many times on Sam’s Podcast and I feel we really should know what this is! The prisoner’s dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher while working at RAND in 1950.

I guess it’s like this – You are playing Monopoly with your significant other and two friends. Your Love has bought half the board and the rest of you are struggling to pay them, every time you land on a game square. But you’re determined to win, so when another player offers to swap you say, Oxford Street, for your two railways… you say NO, even though you could make a little money that way… Have I got it? I fear I have not…

Then there’s the prisoner’s dilemma used in Economics. This is a paradox in decision analysis in which two individuals acting in their own self-interest pursue a course of action that does not result in the ideal outcome. A bit like Bernie and Hilary…


 

Here’s my post from Medium that I thought was pretty good, but it’s received no reads. I thought I’d give it an airing here, because I am still struggling with my Facebook addiction.

I wrote this intro two weeks ago and I am happy to relate that after deleting the app from my phone and timing myself when I use Facebook on my PC I have greatly cut down my cat-meme watching and still increased my followers to 2220! I schedule posts for the day ahead and get outta there.

1_P2ly9bSClopyi9qqDAkkYAGet thee behind me, Facebook!

I’ve come late to the work-from-home party. I’d always wanted to quit my soul-sucking day-jobs and write and paint all day and finally, upon the demise of that last job (it kinda disappeared before my eyes), I was free!

So I finished the first and second draft of the novel I had been working on since March (the idea first germinated in early 2013). I call it Contemporary Fiction, my darling sister calls it Chick-Lit with Brains. I wasn’t sure what to do with it when the one agent I’d approached knocked me back, so I did a last pass, made a passable cover and clicked publish on Amazon.

Easily the most reckless thing I’ve done since sleeping with my French tour guide in 1994.

Then I went on a trip to Los Angeles, the setting for my next novel. LA is hot and dry, even in the winter but I loved the energy, optimism and Vegan restaurants. My new novel, the draft of which I wrote in Camp Nanowrimo, the April-outpost of the November frenzy. It’s a dystopian-future in which a woman can murder her husband and get away with it, cleverly entitled Mimi Gets Away with Murder. No spoilers.

After returning to the hot dry Gold Coast (more and more Vegan restaurants each year! winning!) I had a bit of a meltdown. I caught some kind of virus in the mountains and came home to lay on the sofa and binge-watch The Crown.

Not a joyous home-coming.

I seem to struggle with coming home, even though my kid and cats are here, it’s not as fun as Away, as a rule.

Then after my (loving) husband told me to get my shit together, I got off the sofa and started writing again. I’m writing short stories set in Paris in all kinds of genres. Paris is an obsession.

I have a good following on Facebook and I joined a bunch of writer’s groups and entrepreneur groups. I was marketing, networking and having a ball! Selling (and giving away) a few books and meeting lots of great people.

The one thing I wasn’t doing was writing! I’d backed away from Facebook about a year ago because it was making me feel really rubbish. I was neck-deep in a project with our business and working body-crushing hours and I just couldn’t take seeing people having fun and generally enjoying life. Mean, I know, but it was tough. Getting back to social media after going through that, which was followed by an awakening of sorts, was a whole different experience. The political or hard-core activist stuff doesn’t trigger me, nor do the selfies piss me off. I love seeing my friend’s holiday snaps. I’ve connected on a whole new level with people from all over the world and rarely see a troll, nasty comment or post that truly upsets me.

Those things are not the problem!

There’s just so much to look at on Facebook! I get so distracted because one minute I’m marketing my book and networking like a true #bossbabe, and the next I’m watching a Michael Beckwith webinar, a couple of music videos, and a compilation of classic cat memes! Two hours go by and I’m thoroughly entertained, but I’ve left Julie and Eric standing on a bridge in Paris waiting for the narrator to tell them what to do.

Damn you Facebook. Damn you to hell.

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