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Monday, 14 April 2008

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I am afraid that I am no fun at all. When asked what camera one should buy next or as a replacement for a camera that is just fine and is serving a life sentence as a dust magnet and a weight to keep a shelf in place I am am likely to tell them .....

I think GAS is one of the most effective ways to convince yourself that now is not the right time to actually take some photographs.

Photographers are quite likely to spend a lot of time talking about the superiority of their brand and model choice but using it so little that a used Holga at a fire sale could well be a more rational choice than their much more expensive investment.

If, for example, you believe that Nikon has a much more reliable shutter than Canon does it matter if you use your camera so little that using a lens cap as a shutter would suffice?

Wel, as I said, I am no fun.

Back when I used to work in a camera store, I used to give pretty much the same answer - "Which one do you like?". I'd try to explain that all the cameras in a given format and price range would produce pretty much identical results and some people would appreciate it. Others, not so much. "But, which one's better?!?" At which point, I'd tell them that they couldn't really afford not to buy anything less than a Leica.

NPR offers a page on Dan Arley's book, including him reading from it. I heard the story on All Things Considered while driving home, and laughed at the chocolate vignette.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89233955

Bob

My problem with most of the 'pop economics' books are that they aren't really anything new at all. Quite the contrary, they are thinly vieled course content from any respectable psychology 101.

Social Psychology as a field do much research documenting the factors that influence the decisions that people make...

So in my opinion it is silly when Economists "rediscover the wheel", and cast themselves as the expert on such social phenomenon.

(Mind you, psychologists are not necessarily any better, in some respects.)

I imagine, from my experience of British money anyway, that paying one cent for something results in far more inconvenience than paying fifteen. Chances are you have to give a larger coin in change as you'll already have put yesterdays coppers in a jar, and then you're left with more coins, which weigh more, and are worth less in change. Best just to get rid of the fifteen.

I came to the realization that by the time I sifted through all the data available for all the models of camera possible for my "first" camera of the digital age, said data would be obsolete (2001). So I tossed out the "good little consumer doing his homework" approach and tried the "always wanted a Nikon" approach and bought the low end coolpix 775, figuring (rightly, I was pleased to note) that after I spent time using it, I would know what I liked, disliked, needed, had no use for....way more so than all the cogitation I would ever muster. Then, when the Canon Rebel came out, severe gear-lust set in and all I had to do was pick it up and literally my next move was for my credit card....
So, I think Mike is right on the XSi v. D60 question for a first-timer......"Yep, those are the ones!"
What I do now is rent the equipment I think I want/need, use it and then I know. GlassandGear, on the left side of this page as you read works just great!

Mike: "Although that's seen as, um, unhelpful, it's actually a considered answer: what I mean is that you should stop worrying about the choice, buy one, and get on with taking pictures. It doesn't matter which one you choose. They're both excellent cameras, and you'll get accustomed to either one after you use it for a while."

Yup.

Claire: "I think GAS is one of the most effective ways to convince yourself that now is not the right time to actually take some photographs."

You betcha, Claire. (Aw, I'll bet you're actually great fun.)

The distinctions between today's digital cameras within given price/type strata are tissue-thin and, for the vast majority of purchasers, absolutely immaterial.

Overlooked in the discussion, however, is the bald fact that a significant portion of the enjoyment of the photo hobby for many men (women tend to get down to business) it shopping and debating equipment purchases. I'd wager that many of today's amateur photographers spend exponentially more time on photo sites and forums than they spend on viewing or creating photography.

But that's fine, too. Photography, as a hobby, has become rather like fishing. For many it occupies the mind and imagination during long, boring hours at work. Whether or not you can actually catch anything with all that tackle...well...so what? It's all good.

I think the choice of a Canon camera over the others is driven by the fact that you own Canon lenses (which I do). These may be worth multiples of the cost of the camera, and makes the Canon (or Nikon) purchase a no brainer.

Mike,
I read a review of the book in The Economist - of course our cognitive biases, the fruits of our evolution in a very different environment, don't fully invalidate the "rational man" assumption - we just have to redefine rationality to reflect human cognitive dysfunction.

For a look at how too much choice worse than paralyzes us, take a look at this Barry Schwartz TED presentation, "The Paradox of Choice," - he offers broader global implications of our surfeit of choice: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/93

Adam

"I think the choice of a Canon camera over the others is driven by the fact that you own Canon lenses"

Scott,
Generally not for people who are buying an entry-level DSLR.

And remember I'm talking about people who have asked me for my opinion. They haven't made up their minds already.

Mike J.

You might also like a book titled "Nudge."

If you've ever rolled your eyes upon hearing the phrase "the science of economics" or the phrase "markets are rational" then Dan Ariely is breath of fresh air.

I think the example of the repeat Canon buyer is what the previous commenter was alluding to -- not the entry-level buyer -- and so "herding" doesn't make as much sense here as an explanation (having bought a few Canon L lenses, it would be more irrational to switch to Nikon even for a better body).

Of course, successful companies will find ways to strengthen the herding instinct; for example, I've always bought Sony A/V components (sue me, I'm not an audiophile :) ), somewhat because I always have, but also because the remotes tend to just work like they should with the components, old with new and vice versa.

It's another way of making the buyer feel good about the choice, and salesmen have always known better than economists that "the sale is always emotional."

Another interesting chapter of the book also looks at the impact of introducing a "decoy" where when making a comparison between 2 choices (read cameras) which may not be that similar (read confusing features) that the introduction of a third choice which is similar to one of the two but clearly inferior leads to a bias towards the one which is similar but better simply because it is easier to make the comparison.
Makes me wonder whether this is part of the reason why having more models helps sell more expensive cameras

I also read this kind of stuff. And if you liked "Predictably Irrational," you'll love "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" by a guy named Taleb. The basic thesis is that big movers in history and culture are unpredictable and unknowable. Who would have predicted 9-11, and everything that flowed out of it? Who could have predicted 20 years ago that newspapers and perhaps even network TV would be dying, because of something as improbable as the Internet? Huge industries rise and fall because of unexpected events, like the invention of the transistor. An invasion of Japan might have cost a million allied casualties...except that a bunch of guys working in secret came up with an atomic bomb... In 1930, it would have been impossible even to imagine that fifteen years later -- fifteen years! -- there'd be almost no Jews left in Europe...

Taleb puts the concept into a kind of rigorous theoretical framework that makes very interesting reading -- and argues that most big movers in history are like this. We really can't see them coming, and never could.

Another short piece of his book, mentioned just in passing, concerned reading. He doesn't waste his time on newspapers and or TV news, because if you *really* need to know something, somebody will tell you, and what you get will be just about as accurate as the media. And if you don't need to know it, then getting to know it is a waste of time. Instead, he reads histories and hard-core, serious non-fiction that comes with authority, research and knowledge. He even calculates how many more books you could read if you stopped reading the papers, and devoted yourself to his kind of reading progam. And it's a lot. However, he never discusses the simple joy of slipping into the New York Times on a Sunday morning...

Taleb's certainly not a laugh-a-minute. And he does know how to take a simple concept and explain it for so long that he entirely runs it into the ground. But, I came away something of a believer.

JC

I'm actually in the middle of the very equipment quandary of which you wrote. I'm looking to upgrade my set of Nikon lenses as they're old. I'm stuck between the newer Nikon's and the Zeiss ZF's. I honestly cannot make up my mind and I've been considering this for more than a week. I know I should shut up and go take pictures, but in my mind it's not as easy as that.

So, do I go with the less expensive Hershey's or the pricier, but better tasting, Lindt truffle? I have no idea! These decisions are much easier when you're on the outside looking in.

BTW, I'm NOT looking for advice. Just passing along the related frustrations of someone who should know better.

And should you buy one now or later?
An easy choice if you don't have one. If you do have one its a lot harder decision, especially if the "one" we're discussing is driven by a microprocessor.

Thought-provoking, Mike. I thought, though, that the point of "herding" was that people use the choices others have already made as a proxy for doing their own analysis. Sort of: "I don't know what it is, but if they're lining up for it, it must be worth waiting for." I think your comment about "herding with yourself," is interesting, but misses the point in terms of how folks make decisions. When you make a follow-on purchase of a camera or lens that works with a system you already own, you are not necessarily using your prior choices as a proxy for your current decision-making process -- you are just making a rational choice about how to make your photo-buck go farthest(for the enthusiast, that is, as opposed to a pro who has different financial incentives at work (client funding, depreciation and so on)).

I'd like to mention two other tropes I've noticed: one is a tendency towards tribalization (in camera-speak, the tendency to believe that there is actually something different about photographers who use Canon equipment as opposed to those who use Nikon, for example). This tendency applies to a much broader spectrum of behavior than camera-choice. You see this among the yout' reflected in choice music, hairstyle, clothing, political/social belief: mods, rockers, mockers, goths . . . you get the idea. But a quick look at photo.net or dpreview "chat" (hollar?) rooms shows that this trend is alive and well in the camera consumption world (and its volume goes to 11). I don't mean to suggest that the effects of this tribalism are only negative as there is often a great deal of support in evidence for folks in the in-group. The tendency to marginalize folks not in the in-group is a little alarming, however.

The other point is that economists may be unable to value something that I would call "the ecstasy of indecision" as an entertainment experience in and of itself. This certainly does not apply to everyone, but you can pick your consumer industry (stereo equipment, telescopes, cars, tractors, motorcycles, fishing reels, cooking knives) and there seems to be a mostly-male group that loves to twist in the wind when it comes to deciding which echt product to purchase. There are several magazines per consumer category that feed this and it is fascinating to watch. I always assumed that prolonging this moment-before-the-plunge was a conscious choice on the part of participants (in the sense that they/we are notionally free to go and make art, or consume art or take a walk or what have you).

Ben Marks

Irrational? I find myself arguing with myself! As a current Canon owner, I lust after the new Pentax K20D for its legacy lens capability and in-body IS. But wait! The tiny Olympuses and their fine lenses seem to have a special look. But wait! The new Canon 450D is just as small and has a bigger sensor. But wait! The Sigma DP1 and SD14 have a special 3D look to the images. But... but... do I actually go out seriously taking pictures? Um, well, I would if I had this new lens, but should it be Canon, or Pentax, or Olympus... or should I go back to Nikon?
Rational? No-one accuses me of being rational and gets away with it!

Reminds me of the joke: Two economic rationalists are out walking and one spots a $20 note on the ground. Hey, look, there's a $20 bill, he says to his friend. Can't be, his friend says, someone would have picked it up by now.

Chuck,
I know what you mean. My brother identified this about me many years ago. I knew a lot about stereos, and he identified that I was very good at giving other people advice but very poor at making good choices for myself.

Mike J.

Another interesting read along the same lines is "The Social Atom" by Mark Buchanan. It explores some similar ideas in a more global sense. He's even got a blog at http://thesocialatom.blogspot.com/.

The more I learn, the more I'm convinced that "rational person" is an oxymoron.

I'm having some trouble with this thesis on a multiplicity of levels. The starting point is the word "irrational." While the denotation is correct, it has a pejorative connotation. There is a clear insinuation that the irrational decision will be the poorer decision. That is not demonstrable. When you suggest that someone choose between two similar cameras by picking the one that feels best to them, you are asking them to make an "irrational" choice.

The chocolate experiment is ill-designed in numerous ways. The first and biggest problem with it is that it is actually comparing apples and oranges. We know from an awful lot of solid psychological research that what elicits the hard-wired "altruism" responses in the brain is not the same as what elicits the "this is a good deal" reaction. The two situations do overlap, but they involve different cognitive functions. Most people, if they're sufficiently introspective, can examine this in themselves by simply running the thought experiment of imagining someone offering to sell them a Hershey's Kiss for $.01 and someone offering to give you one. It doesn't FEEL the same. It's not "something for nothing;" it's a different set of neural responses.

Even if one doesn't believe the second experiment invokes the altruism response (and that would be their mistake), the assumption of irrationality still fails. The experiment presumes that people weight purchases by absolute differences rather than relative ones; there's a considerable amount of evidence to the contrary. In other words, in experiment 1 you could say that the subjects are deciding whether the truffle is worth 15 times as much as the kiss. In the second experiment, they are evaluating whether it is worth an infinite times as much. Again, most people can examine this in themselves by considering how they evaluate purchases when they have to decide between something that costs $1 and something that costs $2 versus something that costs $291 and something that costs $292.

Finally, very simple modifications of the experiment change the results in ways that undermine the argument that worth is a simple thing. If instead of offering people a truffle for $.15 and a kiss for $.01 you offered them a truffle for $.15 and 15 kisses for $.15, I think you'd see a very different set of responses. From a rational price value point of view, it's the same as the published experiment. But it is so obviously not that! Or run the experiments the same way but give people only $.15. That will also pretty obviously alter the results.

None of this, then, is evidence of irrationality (in that pejorative sense). It is evidence of someone with a hammer trying to view every situation as a nail.

I have no doubt that many of them are nails. I also have no doubt that many of them are not.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photo-repair.com
======================================

Ctein,
...And "rational" is also probably not the proper term for critiquing his entire thesis based on my one-paragraph summary of it....

;-)

Mike J.

Anybody too attached to the concept of "rationality" should examine how many fundamental decisions we make in our lives are non-rational: who we fall in love with, the work we choose, how we spend our free time, our artistic preferences, our fundamental political beliefs and how we vote, how we raise our children, our nationalism (or lack thereof), our religions (or lack thereof) . . . no, in fact the most important things we say to ourselves about ourselves are specifically not rational. This is why, in my opinion, a list of the richest 1,000 people in the world doesn't include that many professional economists. Rational behavior is simply an economic premise, sometimes true -- often not . . . we shouldn't get too worked up about it. That would be . . . (wait for it) irrational.

Ben Marks

Kahneman and Tversky got to the important parts first (even if Kahneman's wrong about Benthamite utility).

Taleb is much more interesting. ;-)

I may have been one of the data points for the truffle/kiss experiment ... I definitely remember doing that. However, when I chose the truffle, they said "no, it's our last one, but you can have a kiss for free." If only camera dealers work that way when I want my D300...

I am very much with Ctein on this. Experimental economists have a tendency to see the irrational in pretty much everything ("traditional" economists, of course, do the opposite). If they didn't they would be out of a job.

The big problem, though, seems to be that many of the experiments are unable to prove what they claim, either because they are ill thought out (biases, framing effects, flat payoffs, etc.) or because multiple interpretations for the observed behavior exist. The herding phenomenon, for example, may be irrational. Yet, if I have insufficient information about a choice problem, and there is a (small) probability that others do have information, herding is perfectly rational. As to the "herding with oneself", simple risk aversion will lead to the same outcome.

Moreover, it is not clear to me that one can take an observation about a transaction worth 15c and extrapolate to decision making involving much larger decision. Steve Levitt and John List, for example, have noted the discrepancy between experimental outcomes and observed real-world behaviour.

Martin
--------------
Disclaimer: I am an economist, so I have my biases, too ;-)

Martin and Ctein,
Two points here--first, I can't possibly include everything in a blog post. I think it would be wise to assume that Ariely makes his points better in the book than I can synopsize them in the blog post. Second, I tried to indicate in the post that even the recounting of the experiments in the book is simplified to the point of making them appear trivial--that's why I likened them to "play" and speculated that he probably publishes more rigorous versions elsewhere. Giving him the benefit of that doubt. (He's a professor at MIT, so I have to presume he has some chops as an academic.)

There are a number of experiments in the book that indeed seem dubious as they are presented, and support Martin's claim that "many of the experiments are unable to prove what they claim." For instance, that people will tend to choose a free $10 gift certificate over the opportunity to purchase a $20 gift certificate for $7 is presented as evidence of the irrational appeal of things that are free, but I think that choice could be perfectly rational--Ariely's conclusion is dependent on the assumption that there's a 1:1 correspondence between a dollar's worth of gift certificate and an actual dollar. I seldom find this to be the case. When I'm given a $1-off coupon for instant mashed potatoes at the grocery store, for instance, it's not irrational for me to throw it away when I get home, because I don't eat instant mashed potatoes and I never buy them. If a dollar's worth of gift certificate is worth 30¢ to me, it's sensible for me to take a free $10 gift certificate but not sensible to invest $7 in a $20 one.

At another local grocery store (which just went out of business, actually) they never put things on sale unless there was something wrong with them--I noticed again and again that items I bought on sale didn't taste right, or were about to reach their expiration date. I suspected they put things on sale when they got complaints. Consequently I learned to avoid sale items at that store, and I don't think that was irrational.

I didn't make an overall point about "pop econ" in general, but I think I set a much lower bar for the genre than you maybe assume I'm doing. To me it's a species of entertainment. The ideas are often interesting and inventive--but whether you believe them is probably just a matter of how much they appeal *as ideas* to your intuition and how much they might dovetail with your pre-existing notions about the way things are. The one idea I'm really fascinated with--probably because I formulated it for myself before I read it anywhere--is the degree to which people will work harder to make qualitative decisions between two options the closer those options are to each other, when it's probably more rational to do the opposite.

I'll tell you one thing I do believe--that when it comes to camera purchase decision, most males have an irrational aversion to being considered irrational. [g]

Mike J.

A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are on a desert island with only one can of beans for food. They have to get it open or they will starve. The physicist tries building a set of levers from tree branches to try to get the can to implode. Doesn't work. The chemist says to wait until the can rusts, but that will take too long. The economist says, let's just assume it's open.

i once saw a U-Tube video called "street shooters". Three old guys looked like they emerged from their basement caves (i.e. pale, wan and lifeless) for a day of shooting. They stood in a tight knot in front of a coffee shop while a constant flow of people streamed around them like water around a boulder, living, interacting, expressing and moving on while this group of shooters stood paralyzed, hapless and helpless where to begin. They each had enormous D/SLR's with fast wide-angle lenses (read: BIG) and huge flash units perched heavily atop. Apparently, all that time spent analyzing, choosing, buying and assembling their kit had exhausted their creative energies. For three minutes and countless seconds, they discussed their gear and how they couldn't shoot because their lens wasn't good enough, wide enough, fast enough, sharp enough. And by then it was too dark so let's go home.

Claire, i beg to disagree, i thought your post was dead-on and loads of fun.

Sometimes economists really try to make easy things seem hard. So they found out that if you have to choose between a purchase and a gift, you choose a gift, and then they found that if you have to purchase something, you choose what seems the best. Well, where's the news?

Marco

The other night I had a dream that I acquired a Contax 645, and when I woke up I had an irrational impluse to look for one on eBay... had to shake it out of my mind by reminding myself that I don't own a digital back, so if I bought the Contax I'd have to come to terms with film again... etc. ;-)

One must "run away!" at the first sign of impending Gear Aquisition Syndrome.

Ken Tanaka: "Photography, as a hobby, has become rather like fishing. For many it occupies the mind and imagination during long, boring hours at work."

Mike, I had to flag yet another fishing-photography simile (and one could easily substitue "sports" for fishing here). Must be something in the air. I wonder if any economist has dared to take on fishing as a subject?

Obviously, there are interesting conjunctions between Ariely's book and your accumulated wisdom on camera shopping, but it seems, in hindsight, that the chocolate lead is distracting more than helping. I find it odd in the first place that anyone would look to the choosing and enjoyment of chocolate for insight into rationality.

The interesting take-away for me is not that people act irrationally vs rationally, but that we have a very hard time choosing between similarly rational (or irrational) options.

I hope it goes without saying that the rational choice is not always the sensible one. Which leads me to ask: is indecision necessarily a bad thing?

Lest we forget the ineffable lure to bad decision making - the sweet smell of bull****.

It tends to smell like herring. Red herring, that is.

And paradoxically, the more educated we are, the better it smells.

I remember reading the abstract of an interesting experiment where the relationship between susceptibility to bull and education level was looked at.

When presented with a complicated arguments replete with red herrings, thought experiments and the like, which proved white to be black, it was only those who went no further than high school who recognized the bull for what it was. And they made their decision quickly.

Those with more education, however, succumbed to the persuasion of eloquent, intellectually satisfying and bat**** crazy arguments.

Explains a lot about the camera forums. :D

Everyone will make a decision based on their personal wants and economic status. They will want the most they can afford and will most likely be loyal to brands they are familiar with.

View the world through a lens to see what your missing. I discover something new everytime!

Dear Mike,

Oh yes, that irrational fear of irrationality! Boy, I've seen that one a lot. I've developed tricks for dealing with it. Essentially they involve "arguing within the madness" -- very bad therapy, but it's great for manipulating people [ Machiavellian grin ].

When I'm advising a would-be camera buyer who has reached the point where they're choosing between a handful of models, I tell them to pick the one that feels best to them (assuming they can get hands-on access). Before they can ask me how they're supposed to "evaluate the features," I explain that there is a really good reason for doing this, because the camera that feels right to them is one that they are likely to take with them to make photographs with (and the camera you have with you is always better than the one you leave at home) and the one they can work with most comfortably will let them make better photos because they won't be wasting their attention fumbling with the equipment.

In the total scheme of all cameras out there, there is some truth to this (although it's nowhere as absolute as many think). When you're talking about a handful of choices that are basically Tweedledum and Tweedledee, it's bull; so rarely is it going to be true that honestly it must be called a lie. But it gets them to make the right decision without that irrational fear that they are making a bad one.

To the folks who pooh-pooh economics because a lot of it is simple behavioral theory, I would note that I see that going both ways. A lot of behavioral scientists have tied themselves in knots by not knowing basic economic theory. In quite a number of experiments the choices a living creature makes turn out to be pretty simply explained by assuming that the creature is either minimizing cost or maximizing gain (noting that "cost" and "gain" can be extremely complex entities).

The real problem is that precious few researchers out there can do multidisciplinary analysis or research. When you have fields A and B that would strongly benefit from synergy and there isn't enough of it, experts in A tend to think the folks doing B are clueless... and vice-versa. What they're all really doing is confusing their own ignorance with superiority.

This is hardly limited to the sciences; artists who've said that photography can't be art because you just push the button and the camera does all the work are falling into the same trap. What one doesn't don't know may not hurt, but it can easily make one look foolish.


~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photo-repair.com
======================================

Well, it's good to see that being gone for a while, this blog is still a rational place, though I must say that it seems completely irrational to buy Canon; everybody knows it's inferior to Nikon. ( I own both Nikon and Canon; the previous statement is a JOKE. Hah Hah.)

Mike, do you sign yourself Mike, as well as Mike J, or are there several Blogonauts operating here?

For many years now I've worn a hat from Disney World, with a name patch on it; one that my family is in complete agreement with, and so I have a lot of empathy for Mike and his "confrontations"with the world. In reference to David Pogue, who I also enjoy a lot, but understand his position as a generalist. Would any one like to hear me expound on gilding and egg tempera? A generalist is a teacher, pointing a route , that if you're interested, leads to a specialists knowledge.


Bron

Mike -
Have you considered how the following also applies to photo editing, how hard it is to choose between similar photos, each with a small but different "flaw"? I'll have to try the "quick decision" idea to hopefully improve choices. Or at least make such choices less time-consuming.

"Faced with two similar options, a quick decision would be best. However, it turns out that we (irrationally) experience options not chosen as losses, and human being are very averse to loss. "In fact," says Prof. Ariely, "choosing between two things that are similarly attractive is one of the most difficult decisions we can make."

-robert e
I guess I also don't see indecision as necessarily a bad thing, unless of course it is in a time of crisis.

-Gingerbaker
First, I'm assuming that you are not "the" Ginger Baker, although it would be pretty damn cool if you were; Ginger is one of the few drummers that can give me goosebumps.

Second, you know... at this point in my life the results of that study just don't surprise me. I've found that most philosophy is little more than intellectual justification for somebody going about living (or trying to live) the way that they want to live (or the way they want to experience life).

The last few days I've been thinking about a documentary that I recently watched. It is about a group that started a commune in western Massachusetts in the late 60's. The commune was basically the vision of one individual, with the others being kind of "spiritual followers." They were supposed to be anti-materialistic, non-smoking and there was no drinking or drug use. At some point, the leader formed a band in order to earn money and get their message out; next thing you know he was justified in getting the band a Rolls Royce, an airplane and lavish clothing. And then he justified that he needed to smoke cigarettes; it helped him spiritually. And then he needed to drink alcohol, again, it was just necessary. And then -of course- came the drugs. He started creating and following a different set of rules just for himself. These were well-educated people who wanted to believe in something, so these things were all "perfectly justified," to them, just as their original ideas of spirituality through shunning materialism, smoking, drinking and drug use were "perfectly justified" to them.
Babble, babble, babble... blah, blah, blah. Herring, herring, herring.

I guess with enough BS (or BA [or bah-bah]) damn-near anything can be justified; just look at G-Dubya and company.


Personally, when my decision-making is conflicted because of intuition not agreeing with rationale, I try to make it a habit to chose intuition. My rational side is mostly ok with this as it understands that certain things are beyond concept and beyond words, and those things are in intuition's realm; in which case intuition should decide. And my intuitive side says: "yeah, whatever the rationale needs to believe is just fine; blah, blah, blah."


Now it is occurring to me that there are certain things that I don't do BECAUSE they are rational. Going to have to think more about this.

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