The entropic brain theory

This is the best academic paper I have ever read. It is a working theory of human consciousness. It is awesome. You should read it.
 
Here is my understanding of the paper.
 
The brain filters your view of reality. This is hard to notice in every day life. However there are clues.
 
If you learn of a new word or concept you will notice that you see it more. This is most likely caused by lack of suppression within your mind. It isn’t that the new word is more common, it is that everything you don’t know is actively suppressed at all times. So there is a tremendous avalanche of information that your mind is actively suppressing at all times because your mind can’t handle the volume.
 
This is done because there doesn’t exists a proper system for sorting the information. Once we have a system for sorting information our perception changes. We can now sort the information so we don’t have to discard it. When this happens the stimuli becomes conscious within our mind. This might be because the sorting itself is a process that uses our conscious mind since the conscious mind is needed to guide the process of memory formation. 
 
With more knowledge you will see the world more clearly. I’ve been painting for a few months and I can tell you that this is an observable process (for me). If you know how to draw you will find the world more interesting. Shapes and color holds more information.
 
You can also gain an understanding of the world by using a chemical substance that removes the filters temporarily from your reality. We call these substances psychedelic drugs.
 
By using these substances you can make a scientific experiment where you watch the difference in the brain of people who are under the influence of the drug with people who are sober.
 
Since the drugs work by removing the filters of consciousness you can now form a scientific hypothesis of how consciousness works.
The hypothesis states that psychedelic drugs gives a human access to a primary cognitive state that is similar to how the brain filtered information during infancy. This is similar to other altered states cognitive states such as temporal lobe epilepsy,  REM-sleep and onset of psychosis.
This means that our normal cognition has a constrained quality where information is discarded without first becoming conscious. This constrained quality is useful for overcome wishful and paranoid fantasies and promotes realism and careful reflection. It also narrows our view of reality.
In the same way as some laws in society are not useful for increasing safety or improving society some constraint to our cognition might not be useful for our own ability to protect our safety or our own pursuit of happiness.
This concept of constraint can be seen on all levels of the world and can be used to compare concept on all levels. The US champions individual freedom over safety and is by far the most powerful nation in the world and houses capitals for both economy (New York), culture (Los Angeles and knowledge(Boston) as well as places where these forces meet (San Francisco, Silicon Valley.
Nations who constrain the individual freedom of its citizens to promote safety such as the socialistic Scandinavian countries report the happiest citizens on earth and are often ranked as the best nations on earth to live in with a combination of a high standard of living and a functioning social contract . At the same time they have higher rates of suicide and mental health problems because citizens who refuse to conform face immense pressure.
Is individual freedom more important than having a functional society that takes care of its citizens? There is no correct answer.
Magical thinking is an important concept within the paper and is more likely in primary consciousness. It is wishful thinking when an explanation that lacks evidence is used to explain a phenomena. The dark side of magical thinking is paranoia. Negative thoughts that lacks evidence.
All drugs have a potential to be dangerous because they might strengthen an individuals beliefs of the world. This is done irregardless if these beliefs are rational or superstitious and if the beliefs are wishful thinking or paranoia. There are legitime reasons both for legalising and restricting the drug use of citizens within a country. The best argument for legalisation or de-criminalisation is that negative effects of drug use are likely reversible if stigma is lessened and access to therapy is given to individuals at risk.
 
Because the theory is scientific it ties into the combined knowledge within the scientific community. This makes it possible for researchers in other areas to use this research to further our understanding of the human mind.
 
If this theory of the human mind holds true you can form a new interesting hypothesis. Many people already know how the human mind works. They might not fully understand that they know, but they can still act how a person person who understands the human mind would act. 
 
These are the geniuses of our time. The great artists, great scientists and great engineers who have formed the world we live in today.
 
The great artists and the great scientists are the kindest. Because they use this knowledge selflessly to try to teach you how the human mind works. You just need to listen.

The painter of light

the-burning-of-the-houses-of-lords
The burning of the houses of lords by J.M.W. Turner.

This is a painting by the British artist William H Turner. He is commonly known as the painter of light.

He was an extremely productive painter who never suffered from low mood. He also painted with light colours.

This is an oil painting I made.

themindseye2
The minds eye by Birger Moëll

I’m a fairly productive painter who is also a really happy guy. I also paint in light colours.

How light affects perception

It is hard to notice how color and light affects our perception and mood since it is a process that is mostly unconscious. There are so many variables to choose from when we think about mood that you are seldom wrong when you say that you are sad because you forgot to eat lunch.

The truth is instead that there are many factors that influence our mood. Everything matters. Light and color is just one factor. However to be happy you need to get most of the factors right.

Drawing with light is an important thing to get right because it gives you the power to create your own happiness. If you can create your own happiness you can worry less about validation from others.

Mood

Okay. So first off. Mood is a very complex and simple topic at the same time.

I tried to sum up some of my thoughts regarding depression. I hope you find them helpful.

It is sometimes hard to write things for a larger audience because we all have different experiences. I would never dream of claiming that overcoming depression is easy. It is hard. However it must be done. Extended sadness is not a good thing. It doesn’t help you and there are ways of overcoming it.

The most important thing to remember is to take one thing at a time.

This might be a long post but I didn’t want to cheat you by leaving things out. I hope my writing can be of help. Think of it as a work in progress.

You can think of your mood as the famous glass of water. It can be either full, half full, half empty or empty. Or anything in between.

Everything you experience is viewed through this lens. How full the glass is shapes your view reality. If you feel 100% everything will work out. If you feel 50% it’s okay. If it is below 50% you start to question your reality. 0% is the famous rock bottom. From rock bottom there is only one way! Up!

Calm is the feeling that you are correct in your computations of reality and there is nothing that you need to do. You can just relax.

Happiness is the feeling that you are correct in your computations of reality and you want to spread that energy to other people.

Sadness is the feeling that you are wrong in your computations of reality. This might be accompanied by a wide range of shitty emotions such as shame, guilt, disgust or anger.

It doesn’t matter why you are feeling sad. It isn’t a helpful emotion. You should do your best to make it stop.

In one sentence here is how to overcome depression.

Take care of your body, drink well, eat well, sleep well, exercise, experience more new things every day, view or make art, listen to music, learn science, interact with good people and be more compassionate.

The brain is hard-wired for compassion because it is the most useful way to live your life for the entire human race (even though it might not always be the most useful thing for you in a modern western style capitalist democracy).

When you give you increase the energy in the system. You give knowledge and love and even though you might not get as much love in return people can always use that energy to spread love in the system. So it improves life for everyone. Make sure to give the most to people who give love in return.

If you give a lot or feel fantastic that is awesome. However it is good to remember that your gains are temporary. You can think of Burning Man as a great mandala in the sand with 70 000 people all making an incredible drawing.

I believe a reason for the mandala is for the buddhist monks to remember that the state of being holy is temporary. It fades with the passing of time and the interaction with the world.

So you have to remember to do what is necessary to keep feeling good every single day. If you forget you will start to feel sad. The sadness might not pass. The only way to guarantee that your sadness will pass is to do things that make you feel great.

Everything you experience has a positive or negative charge. A happy song will make you happy. A sad song will make you sad. A black t-shirt and a cigarette are cool things but they will make you feel sad. You might not notice this but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

A sad song or a cigarette might make you feel okay for the moment, which is fine, but doing things that matches your mood when you are sad will keep you feeling sad. When you are sad it is important for you to break the mood. You need to go against your feelings. This is hard but it is what needs to happen.

You have survived millions of years of unbroken evolution to read these words. Your ancestors spread across the earth on foot. They survived unimaginable harsh conditions so you could be here today.

You have the strength to get out of bed and go take a shower and go out for a walk. The first step is always the most important one.

We sometimes forget what is needed to be happy. I sometimes feel sad and realise I forgot to eat food or drink water. Still I’ve spent almost a decade learning about psychology and the human mind. We are all forgetful.
That is why you need a buddy to remind you. I can’t really look to hard at my flaws without feeling sad, but a friend can help me by steering me in the right direction with love. Together we can look out for each other which helps us all become better people.

Every single person and every single thing you experience has the ability to impact your mood both for good and bad. If you do nothing you will eventually become depressed because of a lack of stimuli. If you are social you might become depressed because some people suck.

Finding this balance is something that good people struggle with their entire life. Richard Feynman (who’s widely considered to be the smartest man who ever lived) spent time drumming in the woods. Probably because he thought it was way more fun then spending time with people he couldn’t understand.

What is needed when you interact with others is to always respond with compassion. This means that you do your best to make sure that you both feel okay after you have spoken. You don’t judge or blame the other person because you understand that it will only increase their suffering. You should do this in all your interactions with people.

This is not the same thing as not speaking about hard subjects. I’m a psychologist and I can speak of most topics in this way. My job is to facilitate a safe environment where anyone can speak about anything and I respond with compassion. I help people cope with what has happened and help them find a way forward. The environment is not the room I do therapy in. The environment is myself.

There is nothing magical about me. The only thing that I have is knowledge. With knowledge you gain the strength of a true conviction based in science. This will help you when you are feeling sad because you will know that you are right.

It is right to be a good person. It is right to always be good to others. You aren’t confused. The world is.

Kopplingen mellan galenskap och genialitet

richardfeynman

Under 2015 arbetade jag tillsammans med Peter Hagström och Simon Kyaga på ett projekt för att hitta kopplingar mellan psykisk ohälsa och genialitet bland uppfinnare.

Under sommaren har jag varit i USA och där umgåtts mycket med min underbara vän Sam som gör en PhD i computational neuroscience.

Där har jag plockat upp idéer som har ökat min förståelse för mänsklig kognition. Utifrån detta har jag sedan själv klurat vidare och kommit med några hypoteser.

Detta gör att jag nu jag har en hypotes över hur kopplingen mellan psykisk ohälsa och genialitet ser ut.

Till att börja med har jag en teori kring kognition. I en mening kan den förklaras på följande sätt.

Kognition består i huvudsak av tre delar, humör, perception och erfarenhet.

För att bli ett geni behövs alla tre.

Vi behöver ett gott humör (för att snabbt få nya idéer), vi behöver en sann perception (för att inte lura oss själva) och vi behöver erfarenhet (med fördel all världens kunskap inom ett visst fält).

För att förstå mer om genialitet är det bra om vi studerar universalgenier. Jag gillar Leonardo Da Vinci och Richard Feynman.

Det finns ett citat av Leonardo Da Vinci som är spännande i sammanhangen,

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo Da Vinci.

Det är rimligt att anta att det som anses är ett tillstånd av stark eufori eller mani. Däremot blir det svårt att argumentera för att Leonardo Da Vinci var psykiskt sjuk. Istället kan vi nyansera bilden och säga följande.

Hur farligt ett tillstånd av stark eufori är beror på individens erfarenheter och bild av världen. Beräkningar sker snabbare när vi är glada så tillstånd av extremt stark lycka är användbara för att kunna bearbeta information i den hastighet som krävs för att bli ett geni.

Det finns vanliga tillstånd som kan liknas med mani som vi inte ser negativt på, brainstorming, flow, en bra semester och kärlek är alla liknande tillstånd.

Samtidigt är det naivt att tro att vi någonsin har 100% rätt och att det är enbart positivt. Vetenskap är kvalificerade gissningar och om vi är vetenskapsmän måste vi stå ut med att vi ibland har fel.

Om vi däremot inte har en vetenskaplig syn på världen och upplever stark glädje kan det bli farligt. För vi kanske känner att vi har rätt i allt det vi tänker men vi har ingen vetenskaplig grund för våra påståenden. Det kan dels göra att vi gör misstag när vi är maniska eller att vi drabbas av förtvivlan när någonting händer som inte stämmer med vår syn på verkligheten.

Rent matematiskt kan vi tänka oss att vi i ett maniskt tillstånd upplever mer stimuli. Eftersom all stimuli kommer in i vår hjärna leder detta självklart till fler beräkningar. Ju fler beräkningar vi gör desto större är chansen att vi kommer på någonting som är korrekt (framförallt om vi har en vetenskaplig förklaringsmodell över verkligheten).

Anhöriga med bipolär sjukdom

Om vi har en anhörig med bipolär sjukdom är chansen stor att de har mycket kunskap men eventuellt har svårigheter att fungera bra i samhället. En förälder med bipolär sjukdom kan däremot dela med sig av sin kunskap (vilken med stor sannolikhet är väldigt stor) till sina barn. Det gör att barnen har mycket kunskap vilket självklart är en förutsättning för genialitet.

ADHD

Till att börja med måste vi förstå att ADHD är ett påhittad begrepp. Det är ett sätt att beskriva ett antal symtom hos individer.

Jag har forskat och behandlat ADHD hos vuxna i flera år och det är tydligt att mycket av svårigheterna vid ADHD i själva verket är kunskapsbrister. Personer har inte lärt sig hur de organiserar och strukturerar sitt liv, hur de bibehåller uppmärksamhet eller inte agerar impulsivt. Detta är färdigheter som kan förbättras med hjälp av träning.

Jag tror inte att det är personer med ADHD som är dem som oftast blir genier. Utan snarare är det personer med ADHD som lär sig strategier för att hantera sina svårigheter så de inte längre har ett handikapp. På så sätt har de kvar alla styrkorna men lär sig hantera svagheterna.

Ett personligt exempel. När jag gick i högstadiet hade jag högsta betyg i stort sett alla teoretiska ämnen och godkänt i praktiska ämnen som syslöjd, teknik och bild. I dessa ämnen var det viktigaste att sitta still någonting som 14-åriga Birger hade väldigt svårt med.

ADHD handlar om hyperaktivitet, impulsivitet och svårigheter med att bibehålla uppmärksamhet. Hyperaktivitet kan gissningsvis kopplas till medfödd aktivitetsnivå.

Hög aktivitetsnivå är användbart för att bli ett geni eftersom du orkar göra mer saker. Ju mer saker du gör, desto mer stimuli får du in. Ju mer stimuli du får in, desto fler beräkningar gör din hjärna. Desto fler beräkningar din hjärna gör, desto större är sannolikheten att du kommer på nya idéer.

Svårigheter med att bibehålla uppmärksamheten är i sig inte direkt användbart för att bli ett geni. Däremot finns det en bakomliggande nyfikenhet inför världen som är användbar.

Personer med ADHD orkar sällan lyssna på saker som är tråkigt utan inhämtar istället ny information. Om den nya information som inhämtas är vetenskaplig så kommer det med tid leda till att en person med ADHD har mer kunskap än en person utan ADHD.

Jag har aldrig någonsin tänkt att jag har ADHD (trots att många insisterat på det motsatta) men jag har alltid försökt inhämta ny vetenskaplig information. Jag har läst parallellt under nästan hela min studietid. Jag har läst biologi och fysik på min fritid och jag har själv lärt mig programmera och måla.

Det är en process som hos mig drivs av uttråkning och nyfikenhet. Precis samma process som gör att en person med ADHD inte orkar lyssna på en föreläsning. Den enda skillnaden är vilken kunskap som inhämtas. Inhämtar du vetenskaplig information kommer du med tiden förstå mer än andra.

ADHD och perception

När vi försöker fundera kring mänsklig kognition kan det vara bra att komma ihåg det mest grundläggande. Vi är människor vars mål är att sprida våra gener vidare till nästa generation.

ADHD kan förklaras delvis som en vilja att gå tillbaks till ett naturligt tillstånd. Att leva som vi gjorde innan vi byggde samhällen. Detta kan vara fördelaktigt för kognition eftersom det gör att vi lättare kan se världen som den verkligen är (alla regler är skapade av människor) istället för hur samhället ibland kan vilja att vi ska se det (regler är absoluta sanningar).

En person med ADHD som tycker att det är meningslöst att svara på ett mail på jobbet har ju faktiskt helt rätt i det. Vi är djur vars funktion är att ha sex och föra våra gener vidare till nästa generation. Jobbmail är i högsta grad en distraktion från detta.

Jag tror att vi alla har kognitiva regler som styr hur vi tänker. Där kan vi tänka oss att barn inte har dessa regler i samma utsträckning utan fritt kan tänka hur de vill.

När barn går i skolan ger vi de kunskap men vi formar också barnen att ha kognitiva regler som styr deras tänkande. Du måste skaffa dig ett bra jobb. Du måste köpa en lägenhet. Du måste skärpa dig.

Problemet med dessa regler är att de kan styra kognitionen till en sådan grad att individen inte klarar av att forma tankar som ligger utanför de här reglerna. En person som är psykiater (hej Simon!) kanske har svårare att förklara varför människor trodde på häxor än en person som inte kan någonting om psykiatri.

När vi lär oss ny kunskap formar det oss och styr hur vi tänker. Vi måste därför se till att både ta in ny kunskap men ha kvar en nyfikenhet och en sann bild av verkligheten.

Personer med ADHD kan ofta ha vägrat formas av andras regler när de växt upp. Det betyder att de kan ha kvar en korrekt lins över verkligheten som liknar den som barn har.

De ser verkligheten precis som den är och förstår att mycket av det som pågår i den är relativt meningslöst. Rika män spenderar hela sina liv på att bli ännu rikare. Nästan alla andra människor arbetar på något sätt åt dessa rika män och hjälper de få mer pengar. Som tack får vi lite pengar så vi kan klara oss.

I already got the prize, the prize is the pleasure of finding things out and the kick in the discovery – Richard Feynman om sitt Nobelpris i fysik.

På samma sätt förstod Richard Feynman att mycket i samhället är sådant som vi inte behöver bry oss någonting om. Han kunde se verkligheten mer som den verkligen är precis som många med ADHD gör.

När vi kombinerar korrekt perception, en stor källa kunskap och ett positivt humör har vi ett tillstånd där nya idéer lätt kan formas.

Hur påverkar personer med ADHD och bipolaritet genialitet hos andra

Många med ADHD har viktig information som de kan sprida till andra människor. Synen på hur världen borde vara. Det är en kognitiv lins som används för att se verkligheten. Den hjälper individen att se verkligheten som den är och att hjälpa andra att också se verkligheten som den är. På detta sätt kan vi säga att vår personlighet smittar av sig på andra. Vi färgar andra med vår syn på världen.

Många med ADHD har helt rätt i sin syn på verkligheten och vägrar därför att ge med sig i detta. Det är bra. På det sättet kan de sprida denna medvetenhet till andra. De kan också förändra samhället till det bättre genom att vägra att gå med strömmen.

Samtidigt är det viktigt att förstå att många svårigheter vid ADHD är kunskapsbrister. De går att se världen som den är och vara produktiv och organiserad.

Bipolära personer hjälper andra lära sig mer på två sätt. Genom att göra andra glada och att dela med sig av sin kunskap. Vid ett tillstånd av stark glädje ökar förmågan till inlärning eftersom hjärnan inte behöver göra lika många beräkningar på negativa scenarier (allt löser sig!). I detta tillstånd kan individen därför lära sig mycket information snabbt. Denna information kan sedan föras vidare (vanligtvis till anhöriga) som får med sig kunskapen vilket förbättrar deras förmåga till inlärning.

Personer med ADHD och bipolära har varsitt verktyg som förbättrar inlärning.

Personer med ADHD har en mer korrekt lins för att se världen.

Bipolära individer har en förmåga att ta till sig kunskap mycket snabbare vid tillstånd av stark glädje och sedan sprida denna kunskap.

Doing good

Humans feel the best when they are giving to others.

Small actions is a great way to start. Smile at a stranger. Ask a friend if you can help them with something.

By doing good actions you gain momentum. Momentum helps you to keep doing good. With this force you can build great things.

Start now.

Overcoming low mood

Depression is a shitty disease. It warps your perception of reality and makes you self-sabotage attempts at overcoming it.

Luckily there are ways to overcome it.

The most important thing to understand is that mood warps your perception of reality. When you are feeling sad you are experiencing a different world, a sad world where nothing is possible. Being in this world is not good for you and you should always do your best to improve your mood. There is nothing positive about being in this world.

Your mood shifts both during a single day and during a week, a month, a year and a lifetime. It is the same process on different timescales. Depression is what we call a sustained period of low mood.

There are many ways of overcoming depression and they all focus on the same thing. Experiencing more stimuli that will make your mind happy.

Stimuli can have many forms.

The famous example of the glass of water

If the glass is half full or half empty is similar to asking question as:

On a scale of 0 to 100 what is your belief in the goodness of life the universe and everything and are you a good person and is the world a good place?

Everyone makes mistakes but it is still important to keep a positive view of yourself and the world. Because the positive view is what gives you the energy you need to act as a good force in the world.

You should think about life as a million moments each day that each have a positive or negative charge.

When too many things have a negative charge our mood changes and we start to feel sad or depressed. If this goes on for too long we might become clinically depressed. Then the glass is half empty.

The problem is that when we are depressed almost everything that used to have a positive charge looses their charge, so it is much harder to overcome depression once we are depressed.

Water food and physical activation

Water, food and physical activation are stimuli that are needed for a healthy life that affects your body and in turn your mind. You should always first ask yourself if your physical needs are met when you are feeling sad.

The problem is that your mind isn’t very good at keeping track of this so you might have to keep telling yourself to eat, drink water and exercise. I would advice you to use reminders or notes to remind yourself of this.

Sleep

We also have a need for sleep. When we sleep our mind updates our view of the world and processes the things we experienced during the day.

Try to do things that are enjoyable before you go to bed. That way it is more likely that you feel better when you wake up in the morning. However try to make it no too exciting, otherwise you will struggle to fall asleep.

This is why we tell our children bedtimes stories. So they will wake up feeling happy. Grownups need stories too.

Once your physical needs are met we move on to the psychological needs. These are safety and love.

Safety

Safety is the feeling that our environment is without any dangers. The most important environment is your home. Make your home a place that you feel comfortable being at all times. Fill it with things you love, plants and perhaps a pet. Color and light matters when decorating a home. Avoid black and use bright colours to stay happy. Make sure there is plenty of light.

The reason why light is important is because this is a stimuli that is processed in your mind. The more stimuli, the more our mind will have to work. The more our mind has to work, the more computations it will perform. The more computations it performs, the more correct the computations. When a computation is correct, we feel happiness.

Like any computer your mind might need a moment to boot up. When you are starting out on a new task it is good to remember that it takes time for your mind to be ready.

Love

Love hurts the poets sang. The reason is that if we accept a person as they are our mind forms a mental model of them inside your own mind. They also shape our own perception of reality. When a person we love does something we disagree with we feel pain.

The good news is that friendship is also a bond held together with love. So is the bond between family members.

If you are searching for love you should first look in the places where you are most likely to find good people.

Psychologists give you love even though we have another name for it. We call it unconditional positive regard. It means that we support and help you no matter what you tell us.

Speaking with a good friend is also a process where you give and receive love. A milder form of love is called kindness. It is a great idea to be kind to everyone.

The reason why kindness feels great is because humans are programmed to be perfect empaths. That is why a baby feels sad if someone else is sad.

With time many forget this. It is a frustrating cycle because many are forced to focus on their own self-interest because everyone else focuses on their own self-interest.

Even though this might be how society works it is a reason why many feel bad. You might feel bad because you are frustrated that society is killing its poets, you might also feel bad because you are acting too much in your own self-interest. You might also feel bad because you forgot to eat a sandwich.

My advice would be to start with friendship. Find good people who encourage you and help them. Takes turn helping each other out.

Everything is temporary

Buddhist monks make mandalas in sand. One of the reasons is to remind themselves and the world that everything is temporary.  You should also remember this.

This too shall pass.

Work and happiness

In our professional life we sometimes have to make a choice between doing good and making money.

You are free to make any choice you want but understand that if you become successful millions have stayed behind to make sure society functions.

Social workers, nurses, teachers and construction workers are all examples of groups that forego financial success to make sure that society works.

Don’t be naive and think this is because they are foolish. Nothing can be more wrong. They give up their life for civil service because it is the right thing to do.

Achieving financial success and giving back can also be the right thing to do.

Remember everyone who helped you become who you are and then make a choice for how you want to shape society for the better.

If you need more help the wonderful non-profit 80 000 hours can help you make a decision.

Intimate relationships and happiness.

There is no greater source of happiness and sadness then an intimate relationship with another human.

A good way to build a solid foundation in a relationship is to talk continuously about your view of the world.

Work in progress

This post is a work in progress. It will be updated. Feedback is always welcome. This is version 1.0.

Always remember

How people respond to what you say and do is a reflection of their mind, not yours. Your words go into the world and a response is the reflection of your words touching another humans mind.
A response that isn’t calm is the response of a mind that isn’t calm.
A response that isn’t brave is the response of a mind that isn’t brave.
A response of love is the response of a mind filled with loved.
Responding with love is always better.
To respond with calmness you have to learn that you are a good person and the world is a good place.
To be brave you have to learn that you are kind, beautiful, strong and smart.
To respond with love you have to learn that your love for yourself is unconditional, that your love is a gift you give to the world and that the more love you give the more love you possess.
Love you.

A chance encounter

Just had a nice moment waiting for the train.

I was alone on the platform waiting and started talking to the only other person waiting for the train. A young well dressed handsome man.

He spoke with the elegant grace of a man with an american liberal arts degree. In excellent Swedish he told me he had studied Swedish for a single month. He fluently conversed me in Swedish occasionally used google translate for difficult worlds like twin. His grace reminded me of the late Muhammed Ali.

An intelligent man who refused to deceive the world by pretending he wasn’t. He told me he studied business before he came to Sweden. He came by way of Damascus 18 months ago. His name was John.

Technically he is a Syrian refugee but those words does nothing to describe him.

I asked for his number and he reluctantly gave it to me.

The person I met was me, only smarter and more well dressed. If you understand that we are the same it us much easier to  make the right choices concerning immigration and refugees.

The world is an extremely connected place where all cultures are merging. Sweden has done an excellent job of giving people a place to stay. It doesn’t matter if this is costly for Sweden because in the end all human beings have equal value. So of course we have the moral imperative to act to ensure that all people have the right to a good life.

I think immigration is great for a country and I believe that there is no choice but the choice to give every single person the same chance to live in country with liberty and justice for all.

Embrace the suck

I think one of the most important concepts for every single individual to grasp is the fixed and growth mindset view of intelligence.
 
There is very robust science that tells us that just by changing the way we view our own intelligence from something that is fixed to something that is able to grow and strengthen through practice we become smarter.
 
This is really exciting because it means that just by becoming an acolyte of the growth mindset (which can happen while you read this post) you have the ability to increase your intelligence.
 
In things I try the fear of failure always gets me before a hard-wired limit to my brains understanding and I think that this is true for most people.
 
On of my all time favourite people is the physicist Richard Feynman who describes how he through years of consistent failure finally managed to solve extremely complex problems in physics. Only by building a habit and a framework to deal with the constant failures was he able to finally make progress and he is considered to be one of the most brilliant physicists who ever lived.
 
In the past couple of years I’ve learned to program computers. A hard skill to learn and something I’m still a novice at compared to many. However I’ve amazed myself many times over by building things that I thought were outside of my own ability.
 
This I think is because we are terrible at making judgement about what we can and can’t accomplish. So we simply shouldn’t do it.
 
Instead we should master the art of doing things we are terrible at. Embrace the suck.
 
It doesn’t matter if you fail at doing things. It doesn’t say anything about your abilities or how you are as a person. If you instead view your failures as a learning experience you will in time grow and become better at things.
 
The article linked talks about how parents view of failure shapes their children’s view of intelligence.
 
If parents believe that failures are debilitating their children will view their intelligence as fixed rather than malleable. So don’t do it!
 
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/04/23/0956797616639727.
 
Embrace the suck!
 
Peace!