What we are. What we will be.

Everyone is always on their perennial journey of Self-Actualization.

Every day, we inch closer to the consummate version of “Me”.

This interesting epitome of our existence, that we constantly and considerably study from both a first-person perspective and a third.


We’re constantly growing, learning, teaching, improving & enjoying.

We’re also constantly yearning to be something more than all of this enables us to be.

We’re constantly making decisions about what to do both on the day right before us and the first day of the rest of our lives.

But what exactly are we trying to achieve?


Maslov had it right, but I’d like to believe, probably not in the right order.

Every day, we unchangeably question whether every decision we make is for the best or not. We constantly worry, plan, and engage with our psyche in the endless pursuit of an argument that actually makes sense for once.

Once done vigorously enough, we turn in for the night and have it begin all over again the next day.

But rarely, do we find ourselves on the brink of completely questioning every decision you made in the past. That’s usually seen as a failure. A huge no-no in the world of positive mindsets and cliched emotional cop-outs.

Must we hold ourselves up to the standards we set for ourselves, 5 years back?

Would that person even begin to be able to understand the kind of changes one could go through in that time? The kinds of truths and reality-shattering epiphanies the world one would witness, completely mash into their bubble?


We’re constantly growing, and so are our priorities. Decisions, talents, abilities, and needs once held in high regard, now barely see the light of day.

And that my friend, is the joke of reality. Believing something is eternal. Believing that something is divine and all-encompassing.

Our world is constantly shifting, inside our heads, if not always in front of our eyes.

Are we ready to hold on to the whirlwind, and let it take us far away from where we once dwelled?

Or are we going to ignore that it exists?

See the World in a Different Light,

Signing Off

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

The Human Condition

It’s very popular to ward off most of our perceived inadequacies with the phrase “We’re human”.  


“Don’t be so hard on yourself, We’re all human beings after all!

“It’s okay that you can’t do this. You’re human, not machine!

“I’m allowed to be emotional. I’m a human being, you know.

Today, I want to talk about a specific concept, something I personally consider the quintessential human quality:


To acknowledge this, we need to take a step back and be a little honest with ourselves about a few things.

Typically, we either constantly plan and look forward to a point in our life when things will be better than they are (“It’ll be great when…I get that promotion, get into a relationship, have kids, etc”) or indulge in nostalgia (“I had a better drive when I was a child”).


Talking about nostalgia, it’s the ‘Pollyanna Principle‘, which aims to explain our tendency to remember the positives of life. It tells us this:

“We typically process pleasant items more accurately and efficiently than unpleasant or neutral items, and we tend to make positive judgements about a wide variety of people, events, situations, and objects.”

This means our brains process and handle positive information better compared to unpleasant information. This also means that we tend to remember past experiences more favorably than they actually were (Except in cases of legitimate Clinical Depression).

So, we’re innately wired to constantly work on and change (Improve? Not entirely sure about that) every existing aspect of our lives and the world around us. Why? Perhaps, actual perpetual bliss, if ever possible, would completely eradicate our need to accomplish anything at all. Perhaps contentment has been evolved out of us to impede that. 

Nietzsche states in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885/1954):

And life itself confided this secret to me: “Behold,” it said, “I am that which must always overcome itself…where there is perishing and a falling of leaves, behold, there life sacrifices itself—or power…Only where there is life is there also will: not will to life but—thus I teach you—will to power. “There is much that life esteems more highly than life itself; but out of the esteeming itself speaks the will to power.”

Growth is important. The dynamics of growth find their enemy in all-encompassing satisfaction. Even the mere demand of contentment in some minor setting takes a stab at growth. 

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We realize that truly authentic behavior cannot exist without vital dissatisfaction.

So, where do we go from here?

The challenge that fundamentally attacks us is the need to control cognitive unrest and maintain some balance between these extremes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.


We cannot grow without dissatisfaction and we cannot live without some semblance of stability. Routines are cumbersome and boring but to experience something exciting, we need to have them to be able to break out of.

Perhaps setting your life up to be able to smoothly transition between the two is worth putting some effort into. 

See the World in a Different Light,

Signing Off

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

The Arrogance of Creativity

Creativity is a phenomenon that most people think eludes them with a vengeance. It’s incredibly easy to execute an idea that’s already been planned out by someone. It’s monumentally difficult to come up with that idea in the first place.


Creative individuals turn novel and imaginative ideas into actual content. They have an interesting ability to perceive the world in mind bending ways. Connecting two unrelated entities and finding patterns seems effortless.

To come across people that are extremely creative is to also come across an intriguing feature of the human psyche: Arrogance.

“I won’t be happy till I’m as famous as God.” – Madonna

“You need a big ego to be an artist” ~ Damien Hirst

“Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix” – Kanye West

“There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction” – Salvador Dali

The most notable strides in human history were made by individuals that defied what were thought to be absolute truths, challenging the very fabric of reality in the process. These creative geniuses almost always have a reputation for arrogance. But why so?

It becomes threateningly difficult to defend a unique position while social and moral coercions are trying to push you back. Imagine the mental strength needed to take on the world with a novel idea. Only by vehemently protecting an idea, shielding it from lashes of criticism and unapologetically trusting the potential of that idea, would it ever be given the chance to become something more.

You probably now realize that we come across creative individuals all the time. They are sometimes difficult to work with, bringing in their perspective into every situation you face together. Never accepting things as they exist. To accept something the way it is means that it needs no improvement.

A Study called “Cantankerous creativity : Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, and the HEXACO structure of creative achievement” recently explored the concept.

They found that people lower in Honesty-Humility had higher creativity scores, consistent with past work on arrogance and pretentiousness among creative people. This is proof that the concept is more than a mere anecdote.

Another study: “Narcissism and the art market performance” explored the artworks of more narcissistic artists and found that they have higher market prices, higher estimates from auction houses, and higher out-performance compared to the art market index.

This suggests that people also sit up and take notice.

So what do we learn from all this?


Perhaps now, we can be a little more accommodating of arrogance around us with the hopes that it can bring around revolution.

Or maybe we can take it as a reminder to push a little (or much more) harder to get that one idea that’s been calmly tugging at us, off the ground.

Be crazy, be offensive and be wild about it. You might just change the world.

See the World in a Different Light,

Signing Off

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

Say it!

Freedom of Speech and Expression is akin to Rocket Science for most. It’s mentioned as a clichéd cop-out in most forums and very few know what it really is and how to approach it.


We explore the technicalities of it all:

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”.

Article 19 additionally states that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.

It’s unfortunate that the last passage, while intended to prevent intellectual anarchy, is also where it all can go wrong. People get offended by ideas, opinions and concepts. We need to be weary of this governing what people can express simply because:

What offends people is incredibly subjective.

Remember the last person/object/movie/book/song that truly offended you? Think about why it happened.

You will realize how specific it is to you and how it wouldn’t even be nearly as offensive to even the person sitting right next to you in that situation.

As a musician, Pop Music is can be insanely offensive to me. The world of pop is littered with blatant, unapologetic advertisement, lifestyle marketing, hyper-sexualized actors and actresses (not musicians) whose music is designed by specialized teams of content creators to guarantee the best market penetration.

The intricate art of writing music and the power of unfiltered artistic expression is destroyed by the commercial angle it takes. Innovation takes a back seat as catchy melodies and predictable rhythms rake it all in. This only affects me on a personal level because of how invested I am in it all and how much I value artistic expression. A person who listens to music occasionally for a good time wouldn’t find it nearly as important.


I am an Agnostic Atheist and very public about it. This leads to situations where I’m frequently in debate with people over organized religion. Drawing some inspiration from said debates, we come across some more arguments that accurately portray exactly how subjective it all is:

  1.  “You have to respect my belief.  You can’t talk about it the way you do.” 

    A typical rejoinder pushed around when you start handling an incredibly religious person’s beliefs. The very concept that any topic is beyond the scope of discussion for mere mortals is dangerous.A glaring feature of faith is that it is almost always, intensely personal. Now, to say that human beings should react to everything without letting emotions cloud their judgment is an incredibly difficult idea to stand behind. Human beings are complex, emotional creatures. We find it difficult to separate the emotional context from any kind of situation. The personal factor of those beliefs make people scramble to defend them when questioned.

    However, a concept does not objectively gain any weight because of that emotional context.

    When it comes to beliefs, we all must remember that:

    You may respect a person’s right to belief. There is absolutely no obligation to respect the belief itself.


    And this where we learn that while a person has the absolute right to hold a belief and even publish it, so does another person have the right to criticize it. This is something that people with an appreciable amount of power tend to forget since they’d rather use that power to defend their belief and shut down those who question them.

  2.  “Oh, so you have the opinion “X”?  You should keep it to yourself!”

    One fundamental concept behind the absolute freedom of expression is that a group of people is able to process many different opinions to come to a clearer and well-founded solution to a major problem.ignorance.gif.png
    Decisions cannot and should not be made without taking into account every piece of relevant information. The information is only given focus if there exists a way to push it out into the public domain.

    When one opinion is given more weight over another by default for reasons other than its validity, it leads to an imbalance. One that threatens every individual’s right to a fair and equal experience in life.


I leave you with the directive to try to re-examine the world around you and your approach towards free speech in it. Perhaps you will realize its importance and protect it fiercely from those who want to monopolize the game.

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes


Moral Theories

A while back, I  explained how morality can never be objective.

Having said this, I have come across my fair share of systems of morality that people follow everyday. Even if we don’t believe in the concept of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and can’t objectively define them, we still do try to do things that we find find generally ‘good’ according to varying standards.

So how exactly do people decide that?

In my earlier article I mentioned empathy as one of the most prominent attributes of human beings that would guide them not to cause harm to their fellow human beings and that human beings do have an actual objective sense  of morality which is limited to how to deal with other human beings.

But we cannot deny the fact that there is a huge level of uncertainty with human beings when they try to follow their instincts and they almost always do try to stick to some established moral system.

On investigation I discovered that alongside the two moralistic systems that I already knew (Faith-Based Morality and Reason-Based Morality) there exist quite a few other systems.

I decided to describe the four most prominent/important systems according to my personal opinions and here they are for your deliberation:

  1. Faith Based Morality:
    In this system, supernatural subjectivism is at play. A ‘god’s’ will is the standard of truth and moral value. Whatever this ‘god’ or his/her earthly agents says is good is what is good. You know this by having faith, sometimes ignoring evidence to the contrary.There is use of force since if you refuse to obey the god, the earthly agents might force you to obey. There are grave consequences (Usually the concept of suffering in a ‘hell’) if you don’t obey.
  2. Consensus-Based Morality:
    When social convention (or consensus) is the standard truth and moral value, a product of social subjectivism, we find this system of morality in play. Whatever the collective says is moral is deemed moral.Being part of this system means accepting the collective will, obeying its dictates, sacrificing yourself or others for the greater good of the group and being humble before its greatness. You are subordinate to desires and needs of the group.
    Some societies will use strict force to deal with those who refuse to comply.
  3.  Whim-Based Morality:
    Here, moral values are whatever you want them to be. The most important value is your feelings, which you should revere above all else and use as your guide to action.  Among these virtues could be worshiping your whims, doing whatever you feel like doing and ignoring any facts that suggest otherwise.Force can be utilized if the whim sets the individual up to to allow it. Rights are whatever you want them to be. If you want to use force or commit fraud or the like against others, then you have that right.
  4.  Reason-based Morality:
    Here, Human life is the standard of moral value. Each individual’s own life is his own ultimate value. Whatever you rationally conclude will promote your life and long-term happiness is the ultimate goal.The way you know this is by observing reality, conceptualizing your observations and using logic.

    Besides the moral values that are realized by observing what a human beings needs in order to live and prosper, the most fundamental value is reason. The proper social system would consist of law via pure, laissez-faire capitalism, in which the sole purpose of the government is to protect rights.

So what system should we follow exactly?

Well, I leave that up to the person who’s reading it really but I must mention that I strongly disagree with Faith Based Morality because until the time that any kind of supernatural entity has been proven to exist, all it really becomes is a Consensus-Based Morality that was in use when the so called ‘Holy Books’ were drafted. And the factors which led to the public choosing those specific rules rules and defining those values simply don’t exist today.

A combination of Whim-Based Morality and Reason-Based Morality seems like the way to go for me personally but I can’t expect everyone to resonate with it.

Whim-Based Morality is a great system when the chances of the people around you not allowing you to/punishing you for following it, is sparse and where your actions will not affect others in any way. In the event of the lack of such a society, Consensus-Based Morality will suit survival the best.

What works for you and the people around you depends on a lot of factors like where you live, which system you grew up using and how you differ as an individual. Each system mentioned here also requires at least one or more entirely unjustified assumption to be made.

My deeper intention with this article is to make people aware of which system they follow ,question whatever system they follow and only follow them after careful deliberation and examination.

You’re the one in control of at the very least, some factors that will dictate how your life will turn out! Open your mind to the possibilities and ensure your full potential!

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

P.SL Read related material here: https://ethicalrealism.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/ethical-theories/

Nothing Is True

“Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted”

-Robert Anton Wilson (Originally credited to  Hassan i Sabbah)

“Nothing Is True”

To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. It is we humans who have decided what is wrong and what is right and we actually did this with respect to our own conscience. It is purely our own judgement which decided the verisimilitude of things.

Nothing like an ultimate ‘truth’ can ever exist. And to believe that it does is to delude yourself.

Yes, there are certain facts that may appear to be ‘true’ relative to a frame of reference or a time period but only with those alone.

Let me give you a simple example: Say today, you define yourself as the person you see in the mirror. Down the line, you quite clearly change and not just physically. You cannot and will never be the same person you saw in the mirror years back. The fact that you were who you saw in the mirror was true only for the second you made that statement. Even a millisecond after that, biological processes took place and your chemical makeup altered ever so slightly.

Nothing such as an objective morality can ever exist. Standards for morality are ever changing. We need to adapt if we are ever to survive. And along with that, nothing that anyone says about how you should be, you should act or you should decide things can ever be true. Things can only really be true with respect to yourself in the broader definition of the word.

“Everything is permitted”

To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are in charge of every action we carry out. We are the architects of our actions. There really exists no authority and the only thing that limits us is our conscience.

Many people tremble at this realization and refuse to accept it. Very few take on responsibility for their actions early on.
Our actions are what define us and if we work towards our freedom, those actions are the only things that can affect us.

Reality is a projection in the physical realm, of a complex ethereal algorithm we have yet to understand, and in which possibilities and knowledge can go as far as man is willing to imagine, wish and pursue it. The rules, morals and social norms by which we abide have no value or truth in the now broader definition of what our universe is.

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

Yin and Yang

As a person growing up, developing ‘morals’ and ‘values’ and learning to evaluate and distinguish ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is something that is considered critical to being an excellent individual.

Learning to discern what’s right and wrong lets you live in harmony with those around you.

However, being a realist you come to learn that when you analyze the matter down to it’s core, there really is nothing such as ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’.

Everything is a mere subjective experience.

But this can’t be right now can it? I mean, obviously killing a person is bad…

Or is it?

What if you were defending yourself from an attacker who intended to murder you and you happen to kill him in the process? There was a knife next to you and you picked it up to protect yourself and in the process, the assailant gets stabbed. Does it mean you did a bad thing? Isn’t the kill justified when you were the one in danger?

This argument can be applied to an amazing number of situations. Take drugs for example,

Using drugs is considered immoral. Even the mere possession is a criminal offence in most countries.

Of course, most people know what effects drugs have on an individual. It produces a sense of euphoria or in general, various ‘pleasant’ emotions. It can grant a person happiness? So then why is it a crime?
Because of the side effects? Of course, drugs can have a negative effect on the overall well-being of a person. Addiction can ruin a person’s life and is fatal in a majority of cases.

However, we are skipping a glaring fact here. Drugs make a person happy. If a person has a right to his own life and body, shouldn’t he have the right to be happy?

Scary arguments, these. Justifying murder and use of drugs. Then we reach the point of this whole article once again.

There’s nothing that can be rightfully defined as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and be given proper reasons for being called so. What we usually take for ‘morals’ is basically widespread construct.

‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are defined by humans. The standards of good or bad are sometimes socially constructed. That is, we create them with reference to others and what they have said. Good and bad hence act as tools of social conformance, providing means by which those who deviate from social norms can be judged and criticized.

A parent’s view of what a good or bad child does is hence based on their conversations with others, their experiences of reward and punishment as a child, television features on parental discipline and so on.

Sometimes these concepts are even defined personally.

Up until now I’ve told you how we can’t ever conclude some action can be called as right and wrong. But, many people feel this inner sense that killing a person (and many other actions) is wrong even if he hasn’t been told so (eg. an Atheist).

Why? Turns out we have an answer.

Empathy as it turns out is what gives people their sense of morality and this is one of the only things that can truly define things as good and bad at least from the viewpoint of our human society. Empathy is the ability of a human being to feel the emotions and the experiences of another one from this other human’s being’s point of view. All humans are born with this ability except for those who might be differently-abled (mentally).

We know it’s wrong to kill a person because we wouldn’t want someone else to kill us. We know it’s wrong to steal from another person because if it happened to us it would cause us a great deal of suffering.


If you are one to take ideas as seriously as I do you may face a crisis with such a conclusion. So, we can’t define good or bad, how do I know what to do in life from now on? And even if I feel something is good or bad, how is that justified?

That is a question we might never get an answer to. And it’s a disturbing conclusion.

Personally, I make it a point to do what makes me happy as long as I give every other person a chance to do the same.

Don’t let other people lose their chance to do what they want to with their life. Everyone deserves a fair chance because we’re all born equals.

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

Questioning things

The Monkeys and Bananas Experiment

Ambitions, innovations, and dreams

An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.

The monkeys immediately spot the bananas and one begins to climb the ladder. As he does, however, the experimenter sprays him with a stream of cold water. Then, he proceeds to spray each of the other monkeys.

The monkey on the ladder scrambles off. And all 5 sit for a time on the floor, wet, cold, and bewildered. Soon, though, the temptation of the bananas is too great, and another monkey begins to climb the ladder. Again, the experimenter sprays the ambitious monkey with cold water and all the other monkeys as well. When a third monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other monkeys, wanting to avoid the cold spray, pull him off the ladder and beat him.

Now one monkey is removed and a new monkey is introduced to the cage. Spotting the bananas, he naively begins to climb the ladder. The other monkeys pull him off and beat him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The experimenter removes a second one of the original monkeys from the cage and replaces him with a new monkey. Again, the new monkey begins to climb the ladder and, again, the other monkeys pull him off and beat him – including the monkey who had never been sprayed.

Reference- http://johnstepper.com


Let’s try to apply this experiment to our modern world.

How many times have you found yourself doing things behind which you haven’t personally found a reason for doing so? Maybe it’s something as innocuous as us replying with “You’re Welcome” when someone says “Thank you”. (Read more on this here)

Slightly dabbling into religion, we find many people mindlessly chanting prayers without the slightest idea as to what those sentences mean (All the while feeling immensly ‘holy’).

Not questioning authority and practices is something that’s hammered into us rather heavily as we grow up. Certain truths forced upon us without ever being questioned as to whether they are as ‘true’ as they claim to be.

A lot of good comes out of questioning things in your life. Studying all the benefits we arrive at the conclusion that in essence, there are some amazingly damaging things in our lives that we take as ‘normal’ and ‘true’ which we don’t even realize are slowly poisoning our growth and general happiness in life.

Question everything about yourself and the world around you. Learn, apply, grow.

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

Opinions and Why They Matter!

Ever got into a situation where everyone’s aggressively discussing a particular subject, putting across amazing points and you’re just standing there listening to them wondering how you’re the only one who can’t put down your own thoughts?

Well, you’re not alone. This happens to a lot of modern kids.

While awareness of general facts, current events etc. is a different and subjective concept altogether the previously mentioned situation takes place because of one really important process which most people avoid doing:

Forming your own opinion.

I’ve witnessed many people answering some questions of mine with statements like “My mom thinks so” or “My friends like it so I like it too” and the like. These kind of statements show that the person hasn’t given any thought to how the matter affects him/her and what he or she wants,

Let me tell you why forming your opinion about certain subjects is important.

1) Opinions are an integral piece of how we define ourselves and our own individuality. For people to take you seriously in the real world it’s really important that you have a unique identity. Also, when you have a strong opinion on any matter it will lead people to assume that you are well versed with the topic (Although this may not always be the case).

2) Having an opinion makes you aware of what you want for yourself in life. If you take the time to form an opinion on a matter like politics then you’ll realize that you know which politician or which party will be able to benefit/help you and those around you.

3) If you have a strong opinion on a subject that you’re debating abut with one or more people you’ll realize that you can make a better argument because you know exactly what your stance is. We come across such situations at all points in life.

4) Your opinions give you independence. If you didn’t form your opinions and took everything everyone else said as cold hard facts then we might as well live in a “Big Brother” society like in the George Orwell novel “1984” and have everything dictated to us. Society can’t progress in these circumstances because there is no veering away from what has already been established as cold hard fact.

Now this list can go on forever but I’m sure you get the point.

If you feel the need to now establish your opinions in some fields, here are some pointers to help you on the way:

Learn as much as you can on the matter. Have an internal argument with yourself about how it affects you. Talk to other people, get their opinions on the subject, and weigh the reasons they feel like they do.

Learn to throw out sensationalized or motive generated stories on the subject. Ask yourself if what you hear or read is reasonable, logical, and realistic.

Now as with any kind of experiment, here are some final words of caution and advice on the matter:

1)Never put across your opinions while claiming them to be fact. They are not and will never be facts. Everything is subjective and a mindset which benefits you may not benefit the person you’re talking to. Your opinions are tailored to you as an individual and you should never force them upon others.

2) Now, obviously your opinions will change with time and that’s okay. You aren’t static — your opinions are always evolving because every second of every day you’re experiencing new things and that’s a basic part of living, the act of educating yourself and learning anything about everything. It’s called being alive, and it’s pretty sweet.

So, in closing:

Have an opinion


Know what you want.

Its what makes you, you!

See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes

Correlation and Causation

On September 16, 2013, Lone gunman Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) inside the Washington Navy . Barely after the incident took place  it was discovered that the shooter was obsessed with video games.

And as was expected, the top headline for the near future was an accusation that video games cause violence.

Rep. Louie Gohmert even stated that  “It obviously has an effect, and it’s interesting that these people seem to have a common tie with extremely violent video games”

Now, such accusations always get me disgusted. And it was because of this that I wanted to write a little about one dear line of logic that I feel everyone should start utilizing:

Correlation does not imply Causation

The concept is really simple.

If A is related to B, you can’t conclude that A causes B or B causes A just because they are related.

Simple enough right?

Yet, to this day, even adults almost religiously do the opposite. Even highly cultured and educated individuals make the mistake once in a while. Which is why, I’m going to give you some examples of seemingly obvious situations where one would assume this and also explain what’s really going on. Hopefully, it will help you look at such situations differently in the future:

1)  Let’s consider the relationship between reading ability and shoe size across the whole population of the United States. If someone performed such a survey, they would find that the larger shoe sizes correlate with better reading ability, but this does not mean large feet cause good reading skills. Instead it’s caused by the fact that young children have small feet and have not yet (or only recently) been taught to read. In this case, the two variables are more accurately correlated with a third: age.

2.) We often hear it bandied about that men, especially young men, are more likely to commit suicide than are women.

Now consider the fact that women make three times as many suicide attempts as men. How then can a higher correlation exist between the opposite sex and suicide? The answer lies in success rate, influenced by differences in methodology: Women resort to pills, while men tend to favor guns.

Now, for a little humour:

3) In the world of parody and pop culture, to battle the unfair assumptions,  a key “belief” that global warming  is caused by a lack of pirates sailing the oceans was made popular!

This is shown by a graph correlating increasing surface temperatures of the earth with a decline in the number of pirates. While it is certainly true that piracy has decreased and temperatures have gone up, there is nothing directly connecting the two trends!

Correlations seem to tap into a deep part of human psychology. People will often take two completely unrelated events and decide that they must cause each other because they seem to correlate. Someone may decide that when they wear a given shirt they have good luck; this is often combined with a powerful confirmation bias to create that magical thinking.

Now that you’ve read these you may find yourself thinking twice before making assumptions! And that is a really important if you want to develop a powerful mindset. You may start to see the world in a different way. Take the first step, and the rest will fall in place.


See the world in a different light.

Signing Off,

Shawn Kenneth Fernandes