A Message by George Carlin

The Paradox of our Time
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

  • Peace means someone has the biggest stick. If we were all equal, we’d be fighting all the time.
  • The core of humor is what I call the 2-of-6 rule. In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:
    • Cute (as in kids and animals)
    • Naughty
    • Bizarre
    • Clever
    • Recognizable (You’ve been there)
    • Cruel
  • People are often more accountable to someone they care about than to themselves.
  • A high social status / power increases our testosterone (in both men and women). This is largely why CEO’s, politicians, and other high status people have high rates of infidelity.
  • Testosterone inhibits oxytocin release, and vice versa. Oxytocin is the hormone that allows us to feel connected to other people (released via physical contact with others, such as hugs, sex, cuddling, etc. – give people hugs to have them remember you!). Therefore, high testosterone males can lack caring/compassion/empathy for others. Example: boy teenagers are entirely focused on themselves. This also why men’s testosterone decreases when they are in a committed relationship, and then further more when they have kids.
  • The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
  • We never really get used to that which brings us shame, such as something that reminds of when we were bullied. This is why plastic surgery has actually been shown to increase happiness to some degree, and it can remove/reduce the shame.
  • Our actions and results are dictated by our paradigms, which is a system of beliefs based on repetitive set of information. Paradigms are naturally imbued in us as we grow up, but they can be manipulated. There is a difference between intellect and our paradigm.
  • People value things more the more they pay for it.
  • The great historian Will Durant says in “The Lessons Of History”: “The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection. In the competition for food or mates or power some organisms succeed and some fail. In the struggle for existence some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival. Since Nature has not read very carefully the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, we are all born unfree and unequal: subject to our physical and psychological heredity, and to the customs and traditions of our group; diversely endowed in health and strength, in mental capacity and qualities of character…Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization…every invention or discovery is made or seized by the exceptional individual, and makes the strong stronger, the weak relatively weaker, than before.”
  • Success creates more dopamine and testosterone receptors in our brains. Conversely, those receptors diminish in a state of learned helplessness. (This may explain why executives tend to have and crave sex). 
  • Untold truths of the world
    • 1.Since roughly 1998, with the advent of the cell phone, all Telecom companies signed off with the main global governments to have each phone carry a microphone with the ability to hear and record your conversation. This is one of many things that will lead to a digital revolution.
    • 2.Hollywood/Entertainment has perpetuated the lie that it takes some time before someone on the other end can track your location (it actually occurs instantaneously.)
    • 3.The stock market, since being digitalized, is 100% random. Worse yet, there is much more insider trading occurring that most are led to believe.
  • People are working at the limits of their understanding.
  • For tasks requiring even moderate cognitive function, intrinsic motivators: autonomy, mastery and purpose are much more effective.

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