So you can read my books

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
― Voltaire

How much of you is really you?  Your thoughts are your true essence.  But do you really think thoughts or do you replay the thoughts of others?

B.F. Skinner thought we were merely programed bundles of learned responses.

“5% of the people think; 
10% percent of the people think they think;
and the other 85% would rather die than think.”

― Thomas Edison

The general goal of thinking is to “figure out the lay of the land” in any situation we are in.

We all have multiple choices to make. We need the best information to make the best choices.

“Poirot," I said. "I have been thinking."
"An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.”

― Agatha Christie, Peril at End House

What is really going on in this or that situation? Are they trying to take advantage of me? Does so-and-so really care about me?

Am I deceiving myself when I believe that . . .? What are the likely consequences of failing to . . .?

If I want to do . . . , what is the best way to prepare for it? How can I be more successful in doing . . .?

Is this my biggest problem, or do I need to focus my attention on something else?

"The world is what it is.  It don't pay no never mind to what we think it is.  We mistake a shark for a guppy, we get ate."
- Samuel McCord

What have you learned about how you think? Did you ever study your thinking? 

What do you really know about how to analyze, evaluate, or reconstruct your thinking?

Where does your thinking come from? How much of your thinking is vague, muddled, inconsistent, inaccurate, illogical, or superficial?

Are you, in any real sense, in control of your thinking? Do you know how to test it?

Do you have any conscious standards for determining when you are thinking well and when you are thinking poorly?

If anyone asked you to teach them what you have learned, thus far in your life, about thinking, would you really have any idea what that was or how you learned it?

“Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...”
― A.A. Milne


Be on the lookout for questions. The ones we ask. The ones we fail to ask. Look on the surface. Look beneath the surface.

Listen to how people question, when they question, when they fail to question. Look closely at the questions asked.

What questions do you ask, should you ask?

Examine the extent to which you are a questioner, or simply one who accepts the definitions of situations given by others.

Be on the lookout for reasonable and unreasonable behaviors — yours and others. Look on the surface. Look beneath the surface.

Listen to what people say.

Look closely at what they do. Notice when you are unwilling to listen to the views of others, when you simply see yourself as right and others as wrong.

But above all, try to stay a child in your heart and mind ...

This post is dedicated to the genius of Bill Watterson.

In true gratitude. 

The extended GOTHAM trailer:


  1. I like this:
    “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
    ― Voltaire
    Questioners are curious by nature and don't accept the status quo. They need to know why, and how.

    We had a lunch in Le Voltaire, in Paris, and it still has that 'period' look.

  2. I adore Calvin and Hobbes - but am often grateful not to have a Calvin in my world.
    I would love to be a thinker. Sometimes I am. Others I am a reactor, and perhaps most commonly I muddle along.
    A work in progress. A life in progress.

  3. Sometimes I think.
    Sometimes I'm on autopilot.

  4. One of the things that my therapist has me doing is Grading my migraine level on a scale of 0-5 every hour or every day. When it is more severe, I need to think back on that last hour to "What Was I Thinking?" Once I nail that down, the next question is "What is True?"

    Since doing this exercise, I am now extremely aware of how my thoughts affect the severity of my migraine. For instance, this morning I woke up with a bonecrusher of a migraine. And I KNOW it was a direct result of my dreams. And those dreams were all of my pent-up frustration and anger unleashed via my subconscious.

    Other times, when it amps up during the day I can pinpoint it right to its source. I am thinking something about myself or someone else that is upsetting. Sometimes the thoughts are valid and sometimes not. "Is that true?" Well, that is one of the best questions we can ask ourselves. Right there with it... is that thought hurting me or helping me?

  5. Like many introverts, I probably think too much, but I wouldn't consider myself a thinker. I do believe we should question rather than dismiss. Our goal shouldn't be to disprove but to understand.

    VR Barkowski

  6. B.F. Skinner put his daughter in a Skinner box air crib...Lovely father.
    I'm with Alex I go into autopilot quite a bit.
    I do hope FOX doesn't mess up and cancel Gotham before its time, like all the other shows I grow attached to.

  7. D.G.:
    I envy you that lunch in Le Voltaire, in Paris. We questioners should always seek the deeper answer, right?

    Elephant's Child:
    Yes, I love Calvin & Hobbs -- but like all amusing characters, Calvin is better read than endured!

    And aren't we all works in progress? :-)

    Autopilot can be comforting. And sometimes it saves our sanity!

    Man, migraines are the worse! They can sap our lives from all enjoyment some days. Isn't there new migraine medications these days?

    I'm an introvert, too. Yes, to understand the world around us, the world within us -- that is the thing! :-)

    I'm glad you like the title: THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT.

  8. David:
    Skinner was a cold-blooded man all right! I hope they give GOTHAM a chance, too!

  9. Hi Roland, I just want you to know that I was here, that I read this post, and it is a great post. I doubt I can leave a good comment right now, because now you have me wondering how much do I think these days. I have never lived as much in the present as I do now. I remember thinking forward when I was young. I remember thinking about being in the present, finding answers to life's issues, when I was middle aged. But then I don't know what happened. I too like the Voltaire quote.

  10. Inger:
    You always leave a good comment!

    The wisest of the sages urge us to live in the present. And Samson is glad that you do!

    Your Sweden video on your blog was lovely and healing!