Nov 19

The Johari Model heuristic exercise

The Johari model is a useful mental model/exercise.

Made (in)famous in 2002 by Donald Rumsfeld’s “there are known knowns…” statement.

Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window

Some examples of definite utility:

And here is a handy conceptual diagram:

May 19

A Sense Of Meaning In Life Is Linked To Health

The NPR article is an Interesting read and, while it intuitively seems obvious, the core premise of meaning radiating out to positive health benefits is wonderful.

Core idea the article: “People who didn’t have a strong life purpose — which was defined as “a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals” — were more likely to die than those who did, and specifically more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases.”

And this bombshell: “This association between a low level of purpose in life and death remained true despite how rich or poor participants were, and regardless of gender, race, or education level. The researchers also found the association to be so powerful that having a life purpose appeared to be more important for decreasing risk of death than drinking, smoking or exercising regularly.”


Grateful for the reminder.

Jun 13

How proximate is animal consciousness to our own?

Just read a moving story in the NY Times about how chimps deal with mortality.
It’s pretty hard to deny that animals have some sort of consciousness; I’m not even sure I would want to meet someone who denies this, let alone debate this subject/conjecture with them. There’s been mounting evidence for decades now that may animals may have some sort of ‘advanced consciousness’ — actual awareness of their existence beyond impulse and instinct — when you hear about empathic responses like what is described in the Times article above…it gets even harder to deny, for me anyway.
If you’ve ever spent extended time with any animals you probably are aware of animal personality, choice and maybe even consciousness, on some level. I’ve anthromoporphized some animals myself, especially with the dogs I have loved, but this is something on a whole other order. Rational thinking on the subject calls into question my key beliefs about nature and my relationship to it — especially whether one can see nature (and most importantly animals) as a resource, as human tools and/or fodder in particular.

Related reading: the announcement of the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness.

Apr 11

What is being creative?

I like this: Creativity…

the ability and urge to make something of value

What is being creative? from Kristian Ulrich Larsen on Vimeo.

creativity is no longer a word reserved for the musician or artist
it’s something you can find in anyone
it’s the ability and urge to make something of value
it can be big
it can be small
but making something new
something different
something that surprises
something that makes you think
something that makes you smile
it’s making something beautiful
it’s telling a story
it’s telling your story
expressing yourself
it’s about being passionate
it’s creating something that other people can use
sharing your creativity
it’s realising that there isn’t always a right way or a wrong way of doing things
and that there’s not always a correct answer
only the answers that we create
but common for creativity is that is comes from inspiration
inspiration found in the world that we live in
and the people we live with
it’s found in what we share with them
building on what’s given from the diversity of people’s thoughts and perspectives
so try and drop the assumption that you know how to do things
and already know the solution
stray away from the direct path
take risks
don’t be afraid to make mistakes
because it’s only from the mistakes that we learn
and it’s from the mistakes that the really interesting things happen
we may not always create or invent
but we always learn when we try

Kristian Ulrich Larsen

Posted via email from Lance’s miscelanny

Jan 11

Religious Bigot Smack-Down

Culled from Yurica Report: full context and back-story available there.

I always love seeing (or hearing about) a religious bigot taken down a notch…especially demagogues like Dr. Laura

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law.

I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge

with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly
states it to be an abomination. … End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of
God’s Law and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They
claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I
don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27.
How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of
getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we
just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people
who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable
expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,



Posted via email from Lance’s miscelanny