Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

One more reason why I love Norway

I love living in a country where relatively recent leaps in technology have created a total paradigm shift from the extreme poverty of 100++ years above, to the dizzying heights of affluence of today … WHILE some of us still remember the old days well enough to appreciate the contrast.

I love living in a country where the cultural values still reflect attitudes that were necessary during all those years of poverty: Self discipline, thrift, long-term planning, and a sense of responsibility for one’s neighbours.

I’m not sure that the next generation will manage to keep those advantages alive.

Categories: economy, environment, Personal


Mobs are terrifying. The sense of individual rationality disappears into the black hole of crowd psychology, while the onlookers get paralyzed by the bystander effect.

We’ve seen it so many times now that it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. When it still does, I believe it’s because of the pretense that we’re rational, thinking beings who are always trying to be “good”.

For whether or not we like it, whenever human beings are in a crowd, many of them are going to let the crowd do a lot of their thinking for them. Read more…

Categories: Personal, Politics

Advice to a young person

1. Life is like a sewer.

What you get out of it
depends on what you put into it..

2. Life is also like a bank account.

What you get out of it
depends on what you put into it
and what you’ve already taken out of it.

3.  Life is like a sewer and a bank account.

Some of the things you put into it
will ferment and multiply, and pay you back
many times more than you put in.

4. Life is long.

If you learn to solve one small problem today
and one more tomorrow, and one more the day after that,
you’ll know 11,680 different things by the time you’re 50.
One of them will save your life.
One of them will save your marriage.
And you’ll still (probably) have over 30 years left
to enjoy the rest of the benefit.




Categories: Personal, rationality

Christmas 2011

Dear friends,

You are often in our minds.

Like yesterday, when I went for a 6-mile walk in the forest, with only my new iphone for company. The GPS tracking software that I installed, worked beautifully, but storing the trip in the phone’s memory was not the same as having it shared with a person. So let me try.

Imagine a warm winter’s day. Try to imagine one that’s dark the way midwinter is here, even when the sun is out, and wet, with gurgling streams in every ditch. Read more…

Categories: Personal

Hiding our weaknesses

I was 50 when I found out that hiding my weakness was mostly futile, for two reasons.

1) One is that I get found out pretty quickly anyway. Better get it over with.

2) The other is that my areas of weakness are mostly a reflection of my strengths. Look at your strengths as the tools that you’ve learned best how to use. When you get yourself into a jam, those are probably the tools you’re going to try first. Well, sometimes those are inappropriate tools for the situation.

If we’re open about our weaknesses, we’ll find out sooner who the people are, who want to exploit our strength, rather than our weakness. Those are the people we want to be together with.

Categories: Personal, rationality


We put our 22 year old Merceds up for sale last night, with a stern warning that the only straight and shiny surface on the car was the windshield. Everything else is full of rust and dents, the engine has an oil leak, and it’s gone as far as to the moon and part of the way back (literally). Karyn set the asking price to 6000 NOK = 1000 USD. The ad went online at 10:30 PM, and I was astonished to wake up to two eager buyers.

What on earth is going on? Do they think we’re kidding about the rust? Read more…

Could this be why I never got fat?

April 19, 2011 2 comments

Throughout my grown-up life, I’ve been at the receiving end of a lot of envy. “How on earth can you manage to eat so much and stay so slim?”. Two articles from the NYTIMES of the last week have suddenly helped me come up with answers. Read more…

Categories: Health, Personal