It is the little things

[M]an is easily fooled, either by cleverly thought out manipulation of man, by circumstances occurring by accident, or by very effective manipulation practices that man has stumbled into during “practice evolution” and kept in place because they work so well. One such outcome is caused by a quantum effect in human perception. If stimulus is kept below a certain level, it does not get through.
. . .
And even when perception does get through to man’s brain, it is often misweighted, because what is registered in perception is in shockingness of apparent contrast, not the standard scientific units that make possible science and good engineering against often-wrong effects from generally useful tendencies in his perception and cognition.
. . .
Inadequacy of contrast-based perception (i.e. stick one hand in hot, one hand in cold, and now both in luke warm and they are both hot and cold respectively). One thus sees perception so easily fooled by mere contrast, where a simple temperature gauge would make no error, and realizes cognition mimics perception in being misled by mere contrast. Thus, one is the way to understanding how magicians, and life, fools one. This can occur, through deliberate human manipulation or otherwise, if one doesn’t take certain precautions against often-wrong effects from generally useful tendencies in his perception and cognition.

The Psychology of Human Misjudgment, by Charlie Munger (27-page PDF)

If people could learn to be mindful and always perceive the choices available to them, [Ellen] Langer says, they would fulfill their potential and improve their health. Langer’s technique of achieving a state of mindfulness is different from the one often utilized in Eastern “mindfulness meditation” — nonjudgmental awareness of the thoughts and feelings drifting through your mind — that is everywhere today. Her emphasis is on noticing moment-to-moment changes around you, from the differences in the face of your spouse across the breakfast table to the variability of your asthma symptoms. When we are “actively making new distinctions, rather than relying on habitual” categorizations, we’re alive; and when we’re alive, we can improve. Indeed, “well-being and enhanced performance” were Langer’s goals from the beginning of her career.

What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set? by Bruce Grierson

There are probably dozens of universes visible right from a front porch. In the car zipping by with the couple inside disputing something or the lady walking down the street. It’s more than we can ever know. The pile of charity things — which are there even now — are tokens of a rich cavalcade of experience of a single individual, far too great for me to understand.
. . .
Maybe every day is a gift, just as the views outside our plain porches open on a field of miracles which we never notice. Perhaps the saddest thing about life is not that it ends, but that we let it pass us by, as we wait for something extraordinary (like Kim Kardashian) to happen when all along the wonderful was right outside our window.

Rear Window, by Richard Fernandez

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him,

“Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:35-40

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