Posted by: D. | 10/05/2009

Living in a world of polar extremes

First, educate yourself:

Cognitive Dissonance (via wikipedia)

This is the feeling of general malaise that so many of us poor bastards have to live with.  It comes from having to compromise on virtually everything you do during your typical day.

To give you a simple example.  What did you have for lunch today?  25% of you ate fast food.  Just like you do everyday.  God only knows how many there were counting those who’s “day” was today.

You knew when you ordered it that it was unhealthy right?  Don’t fool yourself, even the so called “healthy” options are crap compared to what you could’ve made at home.  Tasted good though, didn’t it?  So how did you reconcile the yummy goodness with the fact that you likely just nom-nommed 3-5 minutes off of your life?  Consumed 40 grams of fat (or more!) in one sit down? 

Shall we even get into the carbon footprint of that fat-bomb.  The dissonance occurs when your mind and body try to reconcile the yummy goodness of that big Mac with the knowledge that it was absolutely awful for you.

Another example, that feeling you get when you see someone who needs your help, and you choose not to help – correctly (likely) assuming that “someone else” will help them out.  For hours afterwards you will idly think about that, and your brain chastises you for being a jerk, while your body tenses and relaxes while you play out the likely scenarios internally.

It’s fascinating stuff.  Your mind – even subconsciously can “see” and “hear” things that are meaningless to you at the time.  Or sometimes, it can just hotwire itself to a seemingly irrelevant emotion or event.  Here is a study  where they started with perfectly normal people, and “convinced” them that they had once – long ago, eaten SO much ice cream that they threw up horrifically.  During, and even after the study, these folks still get nauseous at the thought of eating it – and it’s a fake memory!

Oh well.  There is nothing that would surprise me anymore.  We humans are capable of stunning highs, as well as depressing lows.

Feel free to contact me at if you would like to see a particular subject crammed into my kaleidoscope.  Keep your sick minds away from that last sentence!


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