Archive for July, 2013

As a mother of a young African-American boy growing up in America…

July 19, 2013

The president spoke with his usual eloquence, but this time his topic was the most difficult for him to face as a black president, the pain of the Martin family and possible black violence as a reaction to the Trevon Martin verdict. He tried to calm down the rhetoric among black leaders who don’t help the situation at all and emphasize the unity and not the division. I salute him for implying that mothers of young black men growing up in America among prejudice and anxious Whites, could help their young black sons relate better to whites by changing aggressive behavior and helping white folks more relax among them. My job here as a psychologist is to add that this change in behavior will advance blacks acceptance in society, get better jobs when Whites shed their fearfulness.  The president’s speech brought up two  important points: America is racist and blacks are aggressive and it doesn’t add up! White forks can not continue to behave differently when young black men are around, and young black men need to tune down their racial rhetoric and aggressive behavior. Justice works both way. Better relationship has its implication in hiring, promoting and social acceptance. Both sides need to change. Blacks will benefit the most from a non-racist America.

Buy for use only, what a wonderful principle!

July 19, 2013

Every time you make a decision to purchase or sell something, you take a risk that sooner or later you won’t use it. Then come the “explanations” that make you feel that you didn’t  waste money. Did you? Yes, of course you did. This is what I call a life of quite deprivation. Do I live like that? I used to, but not today. I use everything that I bought, especially weight programs, swimming plans, etc., that is why I “buy” very few plans, ideas, explanations, etc. Do I leave food on the plate? Hell no, I use to teach in hospitals that it’s good….. today, “You took too much food, kid, eat it.” This principle is awesome. It builds happiness! It’s not about money, it’s about having a great life!

The rule of law.

July 15, 2013

The law says that Zimmerman is not guilty of killing Trevon Martin. The law says the killing was in self-defence. A large segment of American society is right now demonstrating against the law. The law says they have the right to not accept the legal verdict issued by a court of law, as long as their resistance is not violent. As a psychologist, I am alarmed by the thought that if we still lived in the days of lynchings in the US past Mr. Zimmerman would be lynched by a mob in the name of the – law! Of course that would be the law of the jungle, but the demonstrators wouldn’t believe that…and when the US economy lays in ruins as a result of lack of respect for the law, the demonstrators wouldn’t blame themselves, they’d blame the – courts! Let’s face it, you give up your economic progress and prosperity when you choose emotions over the law, no matter how you feel! Look around at the world of poor nations. Failed economies are directly correlated with negative emotionally of crowds and cultures, who disastrously believe their feelings are more important and valid than the law of the land they live in, as express by a court of justice. I feel for the future of the United States of America!

Americans will lose the “good life” if they…

July 15, 2013

Let me quote for you what my favorite contemporary historian Niall Ferguson says in his new book The Great Degeneration of America (page 84). “Few truths are today universally acknowledged more than the rule of law – particularly as so far as it restrains the “grabbing hand” of the rapacious state – is conducive to economic growth. According to Douglass North, “The inability of societies to develop effective, low-cost enforcement of contract is the most important source of both historical stagnation and contemporary underdevelopment.”

Let me write all this verbosity in a simple most understandable psychological sentence without losing meaning. The rule of law means that the law must be behavioral to be highly understood without need for lawyers or interpretations. You get a description of  what you did and the punitive consequences for it. Americans will lose the “good life” if they do not punish people who break the law with fixed punishments without the need to have many discretion studied in court to get you off/on the crime. Judge for yourself, is America a country of laws or a country of lawyers? Have you lost the “good life” already? Can you change your attitude before the next election? Soon it may be too late.

Zimmerman: A trial by lawyers, not by law.

July 13, 2013

We say in Europe, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” because the Trojan Horse lead to the death of innocent people. I say in America, “Beware of the English bearing justice,” because  the “Jury trial by your peers,” lead to innocent men being locked up and guilty men set free. Daniel Kahneman the Nobel laureate concluded in a study that sometimes your lunch break determine whether you set a guilty man free of give him additional years in jail.” The Zimmerman trial is a farce from start to end, worse than even what the English intended. They said, “The job of a jury is to deal with facts.” In the Zimmerman case the job of the jury was to discount the 80% emotional testimony from the 20% fact. The British said, “A jury of your peers,” and the American agreed. But, never follow. Are six women the peers of the man Zimmerman? How do 5 women with children represent the defendant? The English said, “A simple jury should understand the laws of their country enough to follow proceedings.” In 2013? Are you kidding me. I watched the trial, even the lawyers didn’t understand the laws involved. That is why they vacillated and argued a lot, and brought up things in the last-minute. A fishing expedition. It was political, not legal. This trial was not about finding the truth. It was about winning a case at all costs, even at the chance of losing your self-respect bringing up “child abuse.”  This was trial by lawyers, not trial by law.

A much better system of justice would have to wait for the American day of enlightenment in the year 2100.  It would be a trial by 12  trained certified jurors from different backgrounds, selected randomly from a pool, who can follow the complexity of a modern justice system, who will not tolerate a farce in the court room by anyone creating a frivolous jury trial. These 6 women must have felt like kids in a show by the theatric of the prosecution lawyer, my God, what a joke at tax payers expense.

Why did the plane crashed in San Francisco?

July 9, 2013

I was sitting at my computer formulating the differences between economics and behavioral economics in preparation for my presentation in Rome next January 24 – when the plane crashed. My immediate intuitive reaction was sadness that there was no “behavioral aviation” system in place that could have prevented this air disaster. You see, the 2008 recession gave birth to a new behavioral economics system laden with psychological insight that could have prevented the bankers from selling fake mortgages causing the 2008 recession. Ones, in a paper I predicted that one day at the end of the 21st century humanity will have a behavioral politics too, but I never thought about behavioral aviation – the use of psychology to prevent air disasters.

The San Francisco air disaster is easy to explain (although the experts won’t get it without new schooling). It is called in psychology a “Risky shift,” a classic case when 3 experienced pilots are in one cockpit and each rely on the other two for flight information (conversations). Thus, each of these experienced pilots enters the subconscious mode of risk elevation cause by distraction or desire to please –  the attention to the other two pilots. Did you ever drive your car with your wife as a back seat driver? It’s a ‘risky shift.” In a future behavioral avionics system, there will be only two pilot in place and have clear roles to play, never equal! Oh, how I wish behavioral aviation was here today, to save lives, but, ladies and gentlemen, history is more insightful  than a committee of aviation officials!

My response to Justin on LinkedIn.

July 8, 2013

Dr. Eli Kinarthy • Your challenge is welcome but because my response will make no difference in your life, I will not continue a “healthy dialogue.’
1. A state of happiness (Maslow’s self actualization), once achieved, does not change by circumstances, Feelings come and go.
2. Happiness is a state of self-programing, better “software,” alcohol, dopamine, sex, etc. can add temporary feelings, great “stuff.”
3. Why would I want to read a book on happiness when my decision-making skills puts me at the top 1% of society (look at my picture, it’s recent!).
4. Justin, time to enrol in graduate school and advance beyond empirical observations.
5. Great books, but you missed the point of “knowing what is as it is.” Missed by almost everyone!
6. You got this one right if you meant “perfection” as awareness of reality and not the absent of problems.
7. Keep searching. Please do not respond. You are a contrarian person, not a seeker of truth.

My response to an article someone wrote in Psychology Today.

July 5, 2013

Dr. Eli Kinarthy • At 76, having been a psychologist since 1975, here is what I discovered:
1. Happiness is like pregnancy, you are either pregnant of you are not.
2. Happiness is a sustainable state of being, you are happy when you don’t feel it.
3. Happiness is a “magical” state, most of the decisions you make work well with small risk.
4. Happiness is a state of an active relationship with a supreme being.
5. Happiness is knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita. What you know is so!
6. happiness is a “perfect behavior.’

7. To be continued…