Monday, September 03, 2007


Nando Pelusi agrees with me that we are out of our league living in the modern world with a stone-age brain. Pelusi is a clinical pychologist who wrote an article for Psychology Today about our inability to deal with overchoice.

“Our ancestors would be overwhelmed by our selection-saturated world, this orgy of options. We evolved in a world where choice was limited by chronic shortages of food, absence of transportation other than one’s own feet, and few reliable sources of information.”

“Either you ate, found a mate, or you went without. In such a world our ancestors could afford to simplify decision making to always get the best.”

“When scarcity circumscribed choice, there was no reason to blame yourself for a poor outcome. We evolved to survive and reproduce, not to experience what Alexander Herzen called “the summer lightning of personal happiness”.”

Well guess what Pelusi and Herzen. I am all about having the Summer Lightning of Happiness. So we have to limit our choices and say NO to ourselves once in a while. I can live with that.
What I cannot endure is our mindnumbingly slow progress as a species. HELLO! After 400 enlightening years of struggling through a hardfought War of Inches, we finally have an incredibly accurate idea of who and what we are, how we got here, and why we act the way we do!
Overchoice schmoverchoice. What is the point of accumulating all of this info if we don't do anything with it.
Oh sure the overchoice that we experience everyday, both real and imagined, is a huge source of stress. We still lug around a brain that was designed to operate in the bosom of our clan. Sure we had lowered expectations but we knew what was demanded of ourselves and so did everybody else around us. We just didn't know WHY!

There were daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal routines to follow. Aside from unexpected invasions from viruses, other clans, wild animals, and Mother Nature, we had a rhythm.

We lost that soon thereafter when Priests and Politicians enslaved us for thousands of years. Guess what. Been there, Done that, Bought the T-Shirt!

Next Wave please!

You could certainly say that we are indeed suffering from the tsunamic events that Alvin_Toffler spoke of in Future_Shock . What gets me is that we have known about this for decades. SO!

Now we homo escapeons need to assemble the pages of our book in proper order. Instead of being overwhelmed by overchoice let us learn something from the past for a frickin' change.
The truth is out there and it can and will set us free...
well most of us...
alright maybe some of us..
OK dammit a few of us.

After Millenia of bumbling about in the dark, now we really need to say No to thyself, manage our overchoice, deal with the self inflicted stress, and get to KNOW thyself !
In the end, knowing who you are, really is the only show in town.
How well do you know thyself
how often do you say no to thyself?


  1. I say "no" to myself quite often, but I totally understand the frustrations of choice. I've been out of a job for over a year. You'd think it would be am opportunity to jump in a new direction, to try out my dreams. But I've been doing nothing, just about paralyzed with the fear of making the wrong decision.

  2. I'm not much of a seeker of new horizons...Im happy with this yeah, I dun make very big decisions that often...yeah they bore me :)


  3. Anonymous5:48 a.m.

    Too well and not often enough.

    Whenever I say 'no' to myself, I go and sulk in a corner and throw dirty looks at myself over my shoulder. Then I get guilty and go and give myself a big hug and then I end up getting what I wanted anyway.

    Learn from the past HE? I think you're trespassing into realms of fantasy now...

  4. I just asked myself for a date and turned myself down.

  5. miss cellania,
    Isn't it strange? Pelusi said that it is better to make the wrong decision instead of NO decision, because we learn through trial and error.
    Easier said, than done.

    It is called harmavoidance.
    When you are young and hip n happenin' it is easy to go with the flow because you think that you have all the time in the world.
    ((tick tock tick tock))

    You are your own worst enemy and your best friend all wrapped into one entity. I know that there is a technical term for that but who needs more labels, sheesh!

    I think that it shows that you have a conscience and atleast make an effort to do the right thing...
    which is, of course, to deny oneself NOTHING!

    I pronounce you normal.

    Ah the mystery of self love. Why don't you just have a one night stand with yourself just so that you can tell your friends, "yeah I did her"

    Why do they call it a one night STAND? There usually isn't very much standing goin' on when it happens.

    Hopefully you are still talking to yourself by the time that you read this.

  6. That said, if I had to eat from a banquet buffet at every meal, I'd probably weigh about 600 lbs now and there would definitely be no "runs" in my future! :)

  7. I learn more about myself everyday. So I guess I don't really know myself all that well, but at least I'm learning!

    I say no to myself often, but I really don't want to. Life is too short, isn't it? See, this is why I'm still pursuing happiness.

  8. I want yogurt. I know what kind I want, but I have to wait while the man in front of me calls his wife and lists every single brand, flavor and size in the dairy case. After 5 minutes of listening to this, I buy ice cream instead. He's probably still on the phone.

  9. I'm having cocktails with myself now otherwise known as "drinking alone." It's all very pleasant.

  10. They talk about creating but all they do is kill
    They say were gonna mend it but they never will
    Poison in the rain but they say
    No no no we aint to blame

  11. The overchoise indeed is so often overwhelming. Know yourself, choose what is best for yourself and be happy with it, that's wise, but difficult and I do not always manage it.

  12. Knowing? or creating? both maybe? I believe I am very much a work in progress..there is always something new to discover and learn, I enjoy it. For me, I find it not only a great sense of wonder but empowering (not jackboot/whippish kind of way :) ).

    I can say no; if anything infringes upon my core values, it is a very easy decision....the other choices are more a little of the *how can I best do this variety* must mean something for me though, it's rarely ever just materialistic type stuff..

    I love to discover stuff...I don't know what context Alan Alda said this but I really like it:

    *You have to leave the why of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful, what you'll discover is yourself*...Alan Alda.

    My perception of sheep's intelligence is a little different to yours...when I began to acquire knowledge on training my working dogs I learnt so much about stock and stock movement...mainly from this guy:

    A lot of it was about understanding flight zones and how sheep/dogs act,'ve raised sheep, work with them...and found them relatively pet sheep have had very individual personalities and able to learn readily...I do understand people that may think other than that, and have had different experiences...


  13. Homo Escapeon,

    This was a great post. I can feel your passion behind it. You are far deeper than you let on.

    As for knowing myself. I think I was pushed into that young and you know what I mean. I am quite sensitive and have these deep feelings for love. I would prefer not to place judgments or anything that leaves room for discomfort for anyone. just not my style.

    I do say no many times to myself, well except for that cheese cake... yum! but thats only fair. I am not a great person for owning things. I do not see the point. I have what I need. The Jones' can keep what they have.
    On a side note, I think it is fear that makes us not want to dive deeper into the well that we have become. Fear we will not like what we see, fear that we have become what we hate the most. Or maybe it is just that we have become so use to what we show others that we think that is who we are, so why bother taking another look. It could be we are just waiting... either way, we aren't helping ourselves now are we?

    Easy does it,

  14. It's hard to say no. But for some people, they don't even recognise they have a choice. And I find that even more sad.

  15. ur right but in my case HE, I dun hv all the time in the world...thats why i enjoy every moment left.


  16. I have a habit of over thinking, almost every situation...It Can get a little annoying.

    I think for me it is just the age, that why am i here? What is my purpose at this stage of my life.

    To say i know my self, i doubt that i do.. Do to all perceptions being equal, just some more detailed... OR something deep like that.

    I say no to myself mostly out of self control... I say no to the fatty foods, and no to having lazy days... Trying to keep up the effort.

  17. Hmm, this is a real thinker HE.

    I don't think I say 'no' to myself that often, but then, I don't think I put myself in positions where I have to make yes or no decisions. You know what I mean?

    I guess I can say yes or no without really stopping and thinking "so can I or can't I?" or "Should I or shouldn't I?"

    If that makes any sense.

  18. Pelusi said that it is better to make the wrong decision instead of NO decision, because we learn through trial and error.
    Easier said, than done.

    Boy, don't I know that! When I was younger, I would jump at opportunities without debating the choices overmuch. Now, I not only have my past bad decisions to slow me down, but also the responsibility of two kids to consider.

  19. Two songs spring immediately to mind:

    "Freedom of choice is what you've got, freedom from choice is what you want"

    " from pain, and truth, and choice, and other poison devils..."

    Choice is a burden, a responsibility, that most of us would be happier without. And frankly, few of us make many choices on a daily basis. We are told what to do by advertising, tv shows, the government, our bosses. Everywhere you look there's someone telling you what to wear/drink/do/think. I'm not saying that we are TOTALLY devoid of choice, only that we choose less than we probably think we do. Those in control of the world are fully aware of the human propensity to obey rather than think, and exploit that fact to their own benefit.

    Right now I'm going through some self-image issues, causing me to agonize over simple choices like - jeans or skirt? nails chewed or manicured? and so forth. But since I watch no TV and don't listen to much radio, my choices are based on my own opinions and experiences rather than brainwashing. All the while, I am fully aware that my image issues are caused by a perception of what my choice SHOULD be, rather than my own opinion of myself. I suppose you could say it's the conflict between the two causing the problems!

    I ramble a lot, I'm sorry. I'm going to bed now!

  20. I know myself better than I know anyone else, that's not saying much though. I'm getting there. I have to admit that most of the time I do just let things pass me by from fear of failure. I'm working on it. :)

  21. crikey

    heady stuff

    my "know"ing brain is not functioning very well at the mo, even on caveman level (mating and eating)

    and my "no"ing brain seems to be saying "yes" to strange things



  22. I know myself pretty well-but that doesn't mean that the process stops. Learning what works, what doesn't -trial and error, as you mentioned.What has been really important has been the realisation along the way that even making the wrong choices don't mean the end of the world -that it's O.K. to fail sometimes and grow from that. End result being that I don't have to often say no to myself because, at this stage of life, you know yourself and what works for you and what doesn't and naturally make better decisions and see a path through all the shite.Overchoice is only a problem if we let it be. I hope this makes some kind of sense :).

  23. progrumbulus10:56 p.m.

    as always, a thought-provoking read- nicely done, HE!
    many of these "necessities" fall in the self-imposed category, sad to say. but while they're an
    option to us, they're integral to someone else' economic well-being- the other poor schmos in the food chain who make and consume such generica.
    i'm sure that value is being assiduously added, at each step of the process. of course, the nearer we get to zero production costs, the closer the price gets to nothing (to fit the budgets of the unemployed), right?

  24. Varies by day (by moment) for me, how well I know myself and how well I can say no. Sometimes the wanting overshadows common sense. But then again, life is for living so that's not always a bad thing. I like having choices.

  25. i know me & like me... but i do have to learn to say "no" more often!

  26. so what is it with you and cavemen lately...?

  27. btw hop ova to my place n ans my qn when u hv time :) tnxx!


  28. what's wrong with me? i feel like i know myself, and i pretty much know why i do and don't do what i do and don't do.

    why do i think that's true for most of us?

    because i think it's true....

  29. andrea,
    Tru Dat!
    When we are confronted by Schmorgasbords we try a little of everything and end up totally pigging out.

    We learn more about ourselves because hopefully we are evolving and growing all the time. The only time that you should stay put is when you are lost in the forest.

    Oh sweet, sweet, Natural Selection,
    why hast thou 'desserted' us so?

    Yeah! Is that from a song?

    Nobody does...OK we imagine that some people do but if you dig beneath the surface everybody struggles to some degree. Except the know-it-alls.

    Your fascination with life is self evident and treating it like a journey to be shared makes it all the more wonderful.
    I am sorry if I painted all sheep as being dumb. Obviously you would have a much greater understanding so I will rephrase my generalization. Most sheep are dumb except for your pet sheep.
    It is about as reckless as saying that most people are dumb except for the ones that you know.

    and here I thought that I was fooling everyone.
    "we have become so use to what we show others that we think that is who we are, so why bother taking another look"
    Yes there are three of us. Who we are, who we think that we are, who we think others see us as.
    Most of us wouldn't be able to accurately guess 2 out of 3.

    Have you heard Oh Tara by the Knack, the band that did My Sharona?

  30. menchie,
    AND some people believe that they have options that do not even exist! That is the saddest of all.

    Agreed. Go get 'em Tiger!

    Overthinking is an under appreciated Art. The few people who overthink are vastly outnumbered.

    You are a Spring Chicken and you seem incredibly self actualised to me. You will go far in this Life.

    It is called situational ethics and it is the shortest distance to a clear conscience. Enjoy.

    miss cellania,
    No kidding. The catch 22 is that our kids look up to us to see how we handle life. Sometimes they learn by our mistakes but they usually have to screw things up themselves before it sinks in.

    Plan (hope) for the best but prepare for the worst.

    I remember after highschool & college that the microcosm of society that I was so accustomed to suddenly disappeared. It was such a luxury to be a part of demographic of peers who were all neatly labelled and plopped into segments. I knew where I fit in and where everybody else was supposed to be. We never EVER regain that sense of community. That's why they call it the best years of our lives.

    The so called real world seems chaotic compared to those days. School seems like a controlled experiment. A dry run for the real show.

    Now I am rambling.

    We are all works in progress. Some of us get in touch a little sooner some of us do it a little easier and some get completely lost along the way. A few times.
    There doesn't seem to be any restrictions on how bad you can screw things up or how high you can fly.

    The people who find themselves are usually the ones who DARE to try.

    i like the view,
    Saying Yes to strange things can be very rewarding. Of course we should define strange as unusual or out of the ordinary, as opposed to being insanely bizarre.

    I have a strong suspicion that the knowing/no-ing parts of the brain cannot operate independently. Unless the person is a conservative or stark raving mad.

  31. lee,
    You are far too together to be slumming in my convuluted conundrums. How dare you confuse the issue at hand with common sense and quiet confident reason. Now I'll have to say something really stupid..
    oh look at that I just did.

    You are knocking the hell out of high prices. Marketing goods and services to dovetail with the lifestyles of the highly desired unemployed and drone-worker slave demographic is what countries like Albania have been incredibly successful at. It's called Kommanizm! Thank gawd that Ronnie Reagan outspent the CCCP and put 'em in the poorhouse for good! Yee-Haw!

    I have read about the people who rummage through the garbage piles of Kolkutta or Rio or Toronto, who are just as content as others in society. They have a purpose driven life and they see nothing beyond the task at hand.

    I like having choices too. I just wish that I was more efficient at JUMPING at them.

    Welcome to caveman corner. I am wrapping up homo escapeons and around my birthday I will be switching over to

    "Donn 5. D'oh!"

    I have pretended to be some half-assed, Anthropologistical-Psycho/Sociologist long enough. Pretty much said about all that I can say on Homo Escapeons.
    I am nearing 300 posts and that should just about do it.

    It is time to get a little more artistic, introspective, shocking, and completely silly. Enuff said.

    Hop OVA! Nice connection with the latin egg reference.
    Aus-treye-lee-er Four-eh-vah!

    et tu kj?
    You are a very classy and special person and you know that I admire and respect you. But I have to disagree.

    I think that most homo escapeons don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. They don't ASK and they don't LISTEN. They get their cosmology from the easy bake oven and off they go.

    We get fooled because all of the people out here in the blogosphere are so deliciously interesting, intelligent, and entertaining, that we forget..

    I know that there are millions of intelligent people out there in the rw. Unfortunately there 6.6 Billion people out there who still don't access Blogs as their primary source of information.
    How dumb is that?

  32. No, I have not heard it and despite my attempt to locate it on my service I am not finding it....:;sad face;:

  33. I found it! woohoo!!! I like it... makes me feel special... even more if it were about me... oh my, there is my ego! ::blush:::

  34. insider,
    Great Pop song..sort of retro, I mean even back then the Knack were part of the New Wave crowd and this sound somehow captured that 60s kitschy feel, but anyway..

    I am glad that you found it!
    I have thousands of songs to discuss if you like music.

  35. Fascinating stuff, HE.

    You and I have talked about this before.

    I think a lot of it is our caveman brains AREN'T built to handle all the stuff whizzing past us at the speed of light.

    There are too many messages, commercials, bright lights and sounds, the Web, TV...

    I think that's why we're overwhelmed by overchoice. Everyone's trying to sell us something, including a better life.

    The medium IS the message, but it also turns our minds to mush if we let it.

    We're all working too much, watching too much TV, talking too much on our cells or typing on our Blackberries, on the Web too much.

    So emotional issues become harder to focus on with all those synapses firing and misfiring.

    I think I know myself well, despite it all, but it's fitting who I am into what everything else is or who everyone else is.

    I say both yes and no far too often, but sometimes neither often enough.


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