I don't believe in spirits or ghosts, but if I would, I'd be pretty sure there's one in my apartment that keeps hiding my freakin' keys!

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, outdoor and nature

People often seek these enlightenment experiences where all of a sudden, the most intricate aspects of life become clear to them. I find that a lot more often, gaining this kind of clarity is a slow, long and gradual process, which results from a combination of practical experience, book learning, discussion, and rational, analytical reflection. There are no quick fixes.

“When you’re only thinking about yourself and you make poor decisions as a result, regret tends to be a byproduct. So let’s try not to confuse stupidity and self-interest with romance and valor.”

Well said.

Arguers: People who have seen 'Titanic' Argument: Jack didn't have to die (because he could have floated on that debris with Rose). Counter-Argument: Jack di...

When a person comes to a conversation with one or more strong but delusional beliefs, since beliefs act as filters and foundations for assigning meaning, you'll often say one thing and they will hear a completely different thing. You'll say "You look lovely tonight" and they'll hear "You look terrible the rest of the time". There goes your compliment.

Okay: exaggerated, but still makes a good point.

Directed by Daniel Brea FOLLOW DANIEL ON INSTA @TheDanielBrea Stars: Melissa Tucker, Tom Katsis Contact:

“In virtual worlds, you can face challenging encounters—with scoundrels and wizards and spells—that you know for sure will work out in the end. Or you can die and be reborn. Real people, with their unpredictable ways, can seem difficult to contend with after one has spent a stretch in simulation.

From the early days, I saw that computers offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship and then, as the programs got really good, the illusion of friendship ...without the demands of intimacy. Because, face-to-face, people ask for things that computers never do. With people, things go best if you pay close attention and know how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Real people demand responses to what they are feeling. And not just any response.”

- Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

See More

"When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” - George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Lying to someone may spare their feelings and earn their approval for the moment, but in time it erodes their trust and respect, which are critical ingredients of strong relationships. Being willing to tell them the harsh truth on the other hand, is one of the best ways to build trust and respect.

"Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy." - Isaac Newton

The highest form of empathy is being able to see an experience somebody is going through, through the lens of their needs, values, personality and beliefs, not your own.

I found this revealing table in the 2017 book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, which I'm currently reading.

Bottom line, as the author puts it: "don’t trust what people tell you; trust what they do."

No automatic alt text available.

"A rather frustrating way in which the law of combinations can generate lottery matches is illustrated by what happened to Maureen Wilcox in 1980. She bought tickets containing the winning numbers for both the Massachusetts Lottery and the Rhode Island Lottery. Unfortunately for her, however, her ticket for the Massachusetts Lottery held the winning numbers for the Rhode Island Lottery, and vice versa."

- David J. Hand, The Improbability Principle

"The mind is what the brain does; specifically, the brain processes information, and thinking is a kind of computation. The mind is organized into modules or mental organs, each with a specialized design that makes it an expert in one arena of interaction with the world. The modules’ basic logic is specified by our genetic program. Their operation was shaped by natural selection to solve the problems of the hunting and gathering life led by our ancestors in most of our evolutionary history. The various problems for our ancestors were subtasks of one big problem for their genes, maximizing the number of copies that made it into the next generation. On this view, psychology is engineering in reverse."

- Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

"The truth is that from about 2 million years ago until around 10,000 years ago, the world was home, at one and the same time, to several human species. And why not? Today there are many species of foxes, bears and pigs. The earth of a hundred millennia ago was walked by at least six different species of man. It’s our current exclusivity, not that multi-species past, that is peculiar – and perhaps incriminating."

- Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

"Ecological turmoil might endanger the survival of Homo sapiens itself. Global warming, rising oceans and widespread pollution could make the earth less hospitable to our kind, and the future might consequently see a spiralling race between human power and human-induced natural disasters.

As humans use their power to counter the forces of nature and subjugate the ecosystem to their needs and whims, they might cause more and more unanticipated and dangerous side effects. Thes...e are likely to be controllable only by even more drastic manipulations of the ecosystem, which would result in even worse chaos.

Many call this process ‘the destruction of nature’. But it’s not really destruction, it’s change. Nature cannot be destroyed. Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but in so doing opened the way forward for mammals. Today, humankind is driving many species into extinction and might even annihilate itself.

But other organisms are doing quite well. Rats and cockroaches, for example, are in their heyday. These tenacious creatures would probably creep out from beneath the smoking rubble of a nuclear Armageddon, ready and able to spread their DNA. Perhaps 65 million years from now, intelligent rats will look back gratefully on the decimation wrought by humankind, just as we today can thank that dinosaur-busting asteroid."

- Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

See More