Trigger Blessing

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Triggers are good, and rather than avoid reliving intense experiences, we should embrace them.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way and started at the thrilling conclusion, let’s go back and explore the counterintuitive idea that it’s a good idea to embrace the sources of our deepest pain.

The trigger, the beloved bogeyman of social justice warriors eager for a justification to shut down contrarian discourse, nonetheless represents something real. Traumatic experiences, once past, are buried deep within the furthest recesses of our persistent memory, locked away safe and far from our present mind. Triggers are the keys to the holding cells of the brain, threatening to release whatever rampaging monster of pain we keep locked away.

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Achieve or Go Mad With Power

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What’s more destructive to the soul? Power, or powerlessness? Or is it some combination of both?

The prevailing wisdom is that power is what corrupts. Offer someone something great, and you can bet that all kinds of moral compromises are on the way. The eternal search, therefore, is for that mythical creature: the incorruptible man, the individual willing and able to resist the temptations of power and maintain principle and integrity. However, I don’t think it’s that simple. Power means nothing without context. To a national legislator, for example, a million dollars can be significant, while to a fabulously wealthy businessman such a sum is absolutely meaningless.

You know what actually corrupts? Void. That internal emptiness that we all have to some certain degree, customized to our own personal life struggle. For some it’s recognition, to others it’s financial achievement, to still others it’s love and intimate validation. And people with the lowest amount of achievement tend to be those with the largest voids. For the out of shape, nerdy, lonely young guy, a charming young lady’s advances can get him to do just about anything. To the single mother spending her days at a low-paying and soul-sucking job, any recognition and acclaim can make her compromise. The political hopeful living in a trailer with no major accomplishment to his name won’t stick to his principles for long. [Read more…]

The Age of Imagination

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What if anything you could think of could be created out of thin air? What if the product of your childlike imagination would become a reality in a few short months, possibly less? What if I told you that we’re already mostly there?

The last century, especially the last few decades, has seen a veritable explosion in technological progress. Before, in the old school days, you had to keep your wild imagination in check. Think of something awesome? Too bad, it’s probably not happening. If all you’ve got are basic tools, farm animals, and maybe some metals, or even if you had an industrial-age factory, you’d be much better off starting with the limitations of your tools and then trying to come up with creative uses for them. Now, because of the internet, 3D printing, mobile devices, and blockchain technology, the real challenge is thinking up a new “what if” and only later looking into the technological means. It’s no longer about finding out what’s possible, but what would be awesome. [Read more…]