I definitely wasn’t doing much in the way of thinking when I fell off a ladder about half an hour ago.
Or maybe the real questionable problem was that I was thinking, just not about what I was doing.
In my defense, the ladder did something it wasn’t supposed to do. That’s the second time it’s done that, but I thought the first time was a fluke. It’s one of those folding ladders with flexible joints, and it unexpectedly decided to buckle one of its knees just as I was climbing up into the attic.
I ended up bashing one of my knees during the fall… I’m fine, I’ve had decades of experience of prat-falling and have become fairly good at it… which is why I am now writing a post instead of doing something else – as I think it, the universe wanted me to write a post instead of doing other stuff = positive reinforcement (a B. F. Skinner pet theory) to go this way instead of thataway.
I thought I’d tackle Melanie’s latest Share Your World…
I’m going to add a question from one of her other posts too – Er, I’m busy? :
What excuses do you use when you don’t want to do something?
because it piqued my interest.
“The feeling of being interested can act as a kind of neurological signal, directing us to fruitful areas of inquiry.”– B. F. Skinner
And it ties in with a random exploration I took the other day into the work of B. F. Skinner (which explains my using his quotes for this post).
When I was a child I started out taking the honest and straightforward approach when I didn’t want to do something – I’d just say I didn’t want to do it.
I took that approach partly because I was told by adults that honesty was the best policy, lying was bad, and if I lied then I was a bad child/person, would be punished for lying because adults always knew when children were lying.
Problem is, adults also punish children for not lying to them, for being honest… when the honesty doesn’t suit the adults and they’d prefer a lie which they could call the honest truth.
“A person who has been punished is not thereby simply less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment.”
― B.F Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Due to adults being so erratic, volatile, consistently inconsistent, and whatnot… I learned how to lie and make it seem honest – which wasn’t all that difficult, I just copied what the adults were doing with each other and with me.
Over the years I became a very proficient excuse generator – although, tbh, I was better at it when making up excuses for others, being a spin-doctor, an apologist for them and their behaviour, than I was for myself. It just never felt quite right doing that for myself because I wanted to… but what I wanted didn’t matter!
Sometime recently, over the past few years, I’ve challenged myself to not use excuses, or even valid reasons, if I can’t or don’t want to do something.
Just say “No”… right? And others will accept your “No” because we’re all supposed to now realise that “No” means “No”. Others hate it when other others won’t take their “No” for an answer, thus when you say “No” to them they’ll turn their hate for their “No” not being accepted by others into a love of accepting your “No” even if it scuppers their plans. Do unto others… right?
I like to make my life more interesting by giving myself odd challenges… think of it as a brain training exercise to encourage neuroplasticity… except plastic is bad!
In other words if I can’t or don’t want to do something I’ll just say exactly that.
I’ve also challenged myself not to explain myself to people…
However certain situations and people require that I give way, be polite, tactful, lie and shit, and not be so weird…
I was going to tell you a story about the local fete and what locals are asked to do to help with it, but… I can’t be bothered to do that, so I won’t.
“It is not a question of starting. The start has been made. It’s a question of what’s to be done from now on.”
― B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
What do fish do all day? What thoughts do you think they have?
Someone’s been watching American Dad…
There’s a pond in my garden.
The previous owner never mentioned that there were fish in it… or maybe he did and I wasn’t listening. He said a lot of things. Some were true, some were not true. Anyway… I was very surprised when I spotted a fish swimming around in it several months after moving in… it turns out there were several rather large carp in there.
What they do remains a mystery since as soon as a human approaches, they hide – and it doesn’t matter how clever the human thinks it is being by trying to secretly creep up on the fish to observe them, the fish are smarter.
So I guess fish spend some of their time outsmarting humans, which isn’t really all that time-consuming or difficult…
And trying to avoid herons…
This is a great blog post – What’s Your Sign: Symbolic Meaning of the Heron – which tells the story of human versus heron and fish… as well as relating the differences between the real natural and the human version of natural.
Whatever fish do and think, it’s too deep and muddy for humans to make sense of it, especially as humans like to think we’re the experts on what doing and thinking is… we invented that shit, therefore it is ours, or something like that.
What celebrity would you have as a SPOUSE, if you HAD to choose?
Does the celebrity get a say in this or are they forced into this relationship against their will?
Seems a bit unfair… and liable to make of this marriage a match made in very human hell.
“Freedom is an illusion, but a valuable one.”
― B.F Skinner
I’m already married, so I’d be committing adultery if I married someone else too.
Funnily enough I said to my partner the other day that the idea of having two husbands was appealing… in my thoughts it was appealing because I can control my thoughts and what the people in my thoughts say and do, and stuff like that, but beyond thought it’s… not going to work at all. Humans never do what you think-imagine-wish them to do… especially those humans known as husbands.
I’d probably pick Keanu Reeves.
He’s around my age, his background and family is weirdish like mine, he’s a bit different, he does his own thing in his own way, he doesn’t feel the need to do what others are doing and be the way others want him to be for them to like him, he doesn’t seem to mind if others like him or not, he doesn’t seem to need others, he runs life and his career the way he wants it.
He appears to be a bit of a deep and unusual thinker, and conversations with him might be interesting… end up in new and unexpected places.
His astrological natal chart is very similar to my partner’s… so I don’t need a new instruction manual – just give him lots of space to be himself and do his himself thing, and don’t interfere.
I don’t have anything to offer him, he doesn’t want or need anything from me… and I don’t want or need anything from him. So it could work out nicely for all three of us and anyone else who happens to become a member of this marriage-community relationship.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever broken?
I’m one of those people who break things even when they’re being extra careful… I once bought a set of four wine goblets as a gift and managed to break two on the way home from the shop even though they’d been packaged to not break in transit.
My breaking things skills seem to be expert level… if you’d like something broken, please let me know.
I can break minds too just by sharing my thoughts, an idea I had… according to what I’ve been told by others.
I broke my parents’ relationship just by being born… further investigation proved that this was total bollocks, a human truth which was a human lie, but humans often believe that kind of thing for reasons, explanations and excuses purposes.
“B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to win friends & influence people
I have tried to break myself on numerous occasions… apparently I’m not a ‘thing’ which would surprise my parents and other people who have convinced themselves that I was an inanimate object which they needed to break to feel something something about themselves.
When was the last time you slept more than 9 hours in a stretch? Why?
Why do I need a reason, excuse or whatnot for being a sleeping beauty? Is sleeping a crime, sin or something along those lines? It’s just sleeping… innit?
Last time I did that was a week, two weeks… !?!… time is so not my thing… whenever I made myself ill and took a day off to sleep it all off. I wrote a post or two… bloody numbers, also not my thing… about it.
My nickname ‘Ursula’ = bear is a spin on my ability to sleep anywhere, anytime, deeply for as long as needed – don’t wake me up if you don’t want to get broken.
Share something you were really grateful for this year (so far).
Very grateful my bones don’t break easily.
Also grateful that not all dreams come true… nope, not explaining that, can’t be bothered.
Namaste, bitches! (can’t recall who started that, but fuck it’s funny!)