fortune cookie wisdom (mcnugget wisdom)

fortune cookie flaws

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“What does this remind you of?

“I believe in hope, not fear.”

“I’m a leader, not a politician.”

“It’s time for an American leader.”

“America’s earned a change.”

“I before ‘E’ except after ‘C’!”

It’s the fortune-cookie candidacy!

These are important thinkers, and understanding them can be very useful and it’s not ever going to happen at a four-hour seminar.

When the President’s got an embassy surrounded in Haiti, or a keyhole photograph of a heavy water reactor, or any of the fifty life-and-death matters that walk across his desk every day, I don’t know if he’s thinking about Immanuel Kant or not.

I doubt it, but if he does, I am comforted at least in my certainty that he is doing his best to reach for all of it and not just the McNuggets.

Is it possible we would be willing to require any less of the person sitting in that chair?

The low road? I don’t think it is.”

West Wing clip on Youtube

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Josh Lyman on West Wing

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<heads up – this is a rant>

 

 

 

Ok.

 

 

 

Life deserves, no, demands more than fortune cookie wisdom.

understand your crazy

 

I thought of this the other day as I was embroiled in a maddening email exchange debating entitlement programs and benefits.

 

He is a smart savvy business guy sending instagram images which ‘capture’ the essence of the issue … but they do not.

Frankly, we all do this on occasion … send some visual, cartoon, image, snippet quote to encapsulate what we feel, and believe, with regard to an issue.

 

 

It is … well … fortune cookie wisdom.

 

It is parsing wisdom in mcnugget form.

 

 

And while I will rant today for quite some time … my point isn’t that we are stupid people or lazy thinkers … in fact … I would suggest most people who really took the time to think about shit are pretty insightful and understand most issues. My point is that sometimes Life, and issues, DEMAND we invest thinking in an issue. It demands more than fortune cookie wisdom and demands more than lazy/easy thinking.

 

 

That said.

 

The topic which drove this rant.

 

It is so simple to say everyone who is receiving some benefit from a welfare system as lazy <despite the fact when asked over 90% unequivocally want a job and be working at a salary which they need not receive any assistance>.

 

 

It is so simple to say almost 50% of Americans receive some benefit but forget almost 90% are actually WORKING as they receive benefits assistance.

 

 

It is so simple to say everyone on food stamps abuse the system <despite the fact research shows that something like less than 6% abuse the system>.
behavior deep thoughts

 

Josh on West Wing nailed the issue … we are constantly using phrases & images that sound deep and meaningful while completely missing the bigger point … or using a soundbite or image to showcase the issue without delving into the complexity of the issue.

 

 

When you take one-liners out of context, or make complex issues into little phrases it makes for a great sound bite but often seriously misleads people.

 

 

<sigh>

 

 

I have always been fascinated by how people think.

 

 

What always makes me scratch my head is why seemingly smart and intelligent people think, say and believe crazy things. Mostly I chalk it up to lazy thinking <hopefully not actually ‘not thinking’>.

 

 

 

Look.

 

 

I know we all do this at least some of the time. a guy named Daniel Kahneman <“Thinking Fast and Slow”> points out that human brains are hard-wired to process and function in ways that are easy and fast. Uh oh. That means our brains are actually, most of the time, not really thinking <although in our own minds … we all think we are constantly thinking>.

 

 

For efficiency purposes our brains tend to process information in one of two ways.

 

– automatic response to input

 

 

– actual thinking

 

 

The difficult one is the latter … thinking can be difficult, tiring, vexing and time consuming.

 

Therefore our brains typically default to the fast automatic response mode.
We do this unconsciously.

 

 

Ok.

 

 

Then … what happens when we do actually think?

 

 

morons stupidity

 

On key issues it seems like our default beginning point is ‘motivation’ … as in ‘what is in it for this person.’

 

Therefore we are automatically thinking the worst and then forcing ourselves to actually consider the best scenario.

 

 

What a wacked way of thinking about this shit.

 

 

Particularly when you actually look at the research … or speak with people … we, people in general … everyday schmucks … actually WANT to do the right thing more often than not.

 

 

And that is the evil of fortune cookie wisdom.

 

 

There is a huge swath of Americans who dismiss the almost 50% of Americans who access at least some component of benefits offered by the government as “takers” … the people who mooch off the government. This means the remaining ‘wealthy people’ are viewed as the “makers” in U.S. society.

 

 

This almost seems like I am reading from an Ayn Rand book.

 

Let’s be very clear.

 

These so called “takers” are not kicking back and relaxing or sitting at home watching bad television eating steak all funded by generous government benefits.

 

 

They are working.

 

They are trying to figure out how to get out of the hellhole of ‘never enough money to get ahead.’

 

 

And to all the fortune cookie politicians out there I would like to point out that, according to the Washington Post, Congress was only in session for a full week nine times in 2014 <for the record … I believe it is the least productive congress in over 50 years>.

 

So every politician who is railing against entitlements and welfare probably should recognize they are earning over $100+k a year working part time <with benefits>.

 

 

So who’s lazy?

 

 

Ok.

 

 

How about some reality … non fortune cookie style.

 

 

Lots of research states the poverty/poverty line folk who do access some welfare option are working their asses off <less than 6% shown to abuse the

CodeCarvings Piczard Image

system>.

 

Lots of research suggesting households with higher than median income are more likely to abuse some aspect of the welfare system. and an even higher % of what would be considered ‘wealthy’ <not uber rich> are more likely to take advantage of the system.

 

 

Uhm.

 

This means that research shows that the people who truly don’t need the money are more likely to abuse the system in some way <simply to maintain their ‘way of life they believe they deserve’>.

 

 

Therefore if you cut back welfare programs in the current environment the ones who pay the largest price for that are the ones who need it the most.
Next.

 

 

The harsh reality of shifting someone off of benefits nobody seems to talk about.

 

 

Say I am working <something like 90% of low income people who access some aspect of welfare are working> and I have a family of three and I earn 28k and access some welfare <which means I most likely have a net income of maybe $35-$39k>… to move off of welfare I need to jump to that net income 35k or 40+k to make the move off of benefits and still be able to afford … well … only what I already have.

 

Uh oh.

 

And I am already working a full time job <or 2 part time jobs>.

 

How do we, as a society, help them jump the gap? Because you & I know that if you are only earning 28k it is most likely because you are not qualified to have a $50k job at that time. By the way … this means not that person does not want to stop benefits … they cannot.
Welfare is set up as a safety net. And for 90+% of people with a low income that is exactly what it does.

 

 

Unfortunately it also serves as ‘supplemental income’ for something like 10+% of non low income people who don’t need the safety net.

 

Lastly.

 

 

Just because someone is accessing some benefits doesn’t mean they don’t read what’s going on in the world or be in touch with greater societal discussions <some of the discussions I see on television or hear on the radio are so diminishing in tone I am almost embarrassed … don’t people, in general, deserve to be treated better? … we act like they are not there as we talk>.

 

 

People with a low income are also looking at the numbers and cost of living and how people with a low income have an incredibly difficult time getting OUT of low income situations.

 

In addition … they hear people continuously say how lazy they are <boy … that’s some good positive psychology at work from the so-called intellectuals with some money>. And all the while they look around and see wealthy people working not as hard <yes … many of the wealthy work … but the work is relatively speaking> and that others, not working so hard to deserve earning so much, have so much.life is good vision

 

 

All that to say they feel like the system is rigged against them … even if they do work hard.

They haven’t quit … they feel like the system has quit on them.

 

 

How do we solve that? Because if we solve that research shows over & over again that if people DO feel like they have a chance they will work for it.

 

 

So maybe I should discuss the easiest way to give people their dignity while providing governmental support … that is to create a job governmentally so that they get their ‘welfare’ funds via actual work … therefore what they receive is tangibly linked to working.

 

 

Oops.

 

 

While that is socialism <bad, bad word> … we then have to go back to the fact they are already working and earning some money … so that job we have created for them can’t just be at the value of what they were receiving as their welfare safety net but it also has to cover the amount they were earning that they can no longer do so because we are ‘giving them work.’

 

 

This is complex stuff.

 

 

Fortune cookie wisdom drives me fucking crazy.

 

 

If major country issues were as easy as fortune cookie wisdom don’t you think we would do it?

 

 

 

Big issues are complex.

 

 

All I can say about benefits <or entitlements as called negatively> … it is complex … the only simple fact is that 99% of people want to work … not to simply work … but because the output of what they do validates who they are as people.

 

 

But.

 

They want to work.

 

 

They just want to know that if they peddle as hard as they can that they, or their children, actually can get somewhere.

 

 

And as for fortune cookie wisdom?

 

 

Pleeeeeeeeeeease <said sarcastically>.

 

 

We need to step away from our ‘easy’ thoughts, including the negative ones, because far too frequently we simply accept them as the truth.

 

challenge assumptions fortune ibm thinkThinking takes work.

 

Challenging what you think takes work.

 

Refusing fortune cookie wisdom takes work.

 

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“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.

There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.

Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Now.

 

This ‘hard work’ actually can be achieved.

 

There was a guy named Burns who suggested we needed to strengthen our ‘emotional reasoning’. He defined emotional reasoning as assuming “that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are, i.e.,  ‘I feel it, therefore it must be true.’ ”

 

 

I call it ‘focus group of one’ <one being yourself> in that your own feelings & experiences guide your interpretation of reality.

 

 

I should just call it lazy thinking.

 

 

We need to stop being lazy because we deserve conversations better than fortune cookie wisdom.

 

 

We deserve leaders, and people, who can rise above fortune cookie wisdom.

 

impatient think question look

I get absolutely fucking steamed when anyone makes these simple blanket statements with regard to large complex issues.

 

But I get disappointed when people smart enough to know better do it.

 

 

We should never yield the privilege of thinking for the cost is high to do so.

 

We should never be satisfied with the mcnugget version of what we need to hear nor should we accept fortune cookie wisdom as true solutions for issues that need to be discussed … and resolved.

 

 

—-

“When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.”

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Thomas Paine

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Written by Bruce