The 365 Commitment

God or Fate, Whatever

So I have decided to just learn stuff. I do not need a piece of paper, degree or anything else that demonstrates that I “know” something. I do not need an advanced degree to prove to anyone that I have merit. In fact, I have yet to actually use my college degree and/or my graduate degree for any real purpose. I think my graduate degree did get me a small pay raise once upon a time, so perhaps that degree actually paid for itself, but barely. So I am just going to learn stuff from the best sources that I can find.

Now there is an explosion of content out there. You can learn almost anything you want nowadays from books, of course, most of which downloadable for free or low cost. You can also participate in online open source courses published by the some of the most brilliant professors from prestigious universities. Content abounds today. You can learn just about anything that tickles your fancy. So I started to today learning, psychology. I found an open source course being taught by Paul Bloom from Yale and listened and reviewed his first several course sessions.

After which, I went and looked around and learned that he has this research facility called the Mind and Development Lab. They do clinical research on psychology there. I browsed several papers published recently. He co-published the following study with Konika Banerjee, “Why did this happen to me? Religious believers’ and non-believers’ teleological reasoning about life events.” You have to register and all that to view this study, but well worth the trouble.

As it turns out, we humans generally believe that things happen for a reason. It does not matter if you are religious or not, you tend to believe in the hand of God or the hand of Fate, or both at work in your life. As quoted by the researchers, that humans “reflect a general cognitive bias to view the world in terms of agency, purpose, and design.” The researchers do not come out and say this directly, but I feel like they make the implication. This is not a bad thing, it is a natural inclination reinforced by cultural tradition. It is not a bad thing, because it helps people lead happier, more productive lives.

Leads me to the conclusion that Jesus can guide me to heaven, or Odin can shepherd me by the hand of fate to Valhalla – either way I am all in. God and / or Fate has brought me to this time in life and I intend to do everything I can to take advantage of that fact.

Guy Reams

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