Jamming a Resolute Resolution
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny...”― Isaac Asimov
With a new year comes….yes…new year’s resolutions. And since new year’s resolutions are something that people do, there has been a lot of data around them and research on what makes them important in the first place. Reading up on-line, there are different studies with different conclusions about this phenomenon, but in general: around 40% of us make new year’s resolutions and about 12% of us who make them feel like we have done a good job in achieving them (yes, even Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson examined this in a video segment during their strange New Year’s Eve TV party [and for those who watched it: why did the last 2 minutes of 2021 have to be so damn boring?]).
While those numbers don’t seem so great, there is goodness behind the action of making resolutions at the same time every year. Research scientists Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, and Jason Riis published a paper naming this “Fresh Start Effect” which to put it simply shows how there is a positive rationale to pick a traditional moment in time as an annual marker to start attempting behavioral change and to look back on to see if that change occurred.
So why the 12% success rate? It also seems that we often frame these goals with very ambiguous results with no real action plan, making the resolutions impossible to accomplish. Instead of saying, “In 2022 I am going to condense my record collection…”, what I really should be saying is, “Over the next 12 months I am going to get rid of XXX many records while only buying XX many and I am going to do this by doing YYY every month.” And while that sounds really obvious (and apologies to those who already know it), I realized when reading up on new year’s resolutions that I often fall into the overly-ambiguous-new-year’s-resolutionary category.
So my new year’s resolution is to be better about making and keeping my new years resolutions (which for some reason, feels very Gen X) and to take a few swings at specific ones I am going to keep. I’ll see how it goes…and let you know next year.
Happy New Year!
Mushrooms hold the keys to so many answers we need to help heal this world and benefit our life This is a fantastic article looking into a trend of artists incorporating mushrooms into their work…or at least how mushrooms are inspiring (in-sporing?) their craft and why.
“Mick Jagger has shed some light on why he visits local haunts while touring with The Rolling Stones instead of doing “typical tourist things” – excursions he documents on his Instagram account.”
What do you think that the “best book of the past 125 years” is? I actually was not surprised by it…but I was by both the runners-up and what was NOT on the list. What would be your best few books of the last 125 years (throw ‘em in the comments section below)? One that didn’t make the list that I would have definitely included is James Joyce’s Ulysses. Thank you David Pescovitz and BOING BOING for calling this to my attention.
I was sent this through a local community e-mail. Within the almanac that is focused on, there is some fascinating data on how we lived our lives 100 years ago…a nice way to check in on our past as we begin the new year.
QUOTES FROM ISAAC ASIMOV
Isaac Asimov, whose 102nd birthday was yesterday, has been dead for 30 years, and yet his thoughts are still so relevant today (his essay The Relativity of the Wrong is an incredible example). Some choice quotes from his novels and interviews:
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
“Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”
“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”
“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”
“Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.”
“To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.”
“They won't listen. Do you know why? Because they have certain fixed notions about the past. Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes, even if it were the truth. They don't want the truth; they want their traditions.”
“There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.”
“Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.”
“Isn't it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us - and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run.”
“We're forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can't be understood.”
“Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty.”
“Nothing has to be true, but everything has to sound true.”
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