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Universal truths were not designed for human consumption.

Saying stuff like this out loud confuses people and makes them mad at me, but I’m just the messenger here — please don’t shoot me.

Think about it. Which came first, truth or a human mind capable of understanding it?

Obviously I’m not religious, but even those who are firmly rooted in their Judeo-Christian faith have to admit that God laid down some rules first before he made the first pair of people.

Evolutionarily, we came about 13 Billion years after the rules of our universe were set. And as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is famous for saying “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.”

Why? Because we are within its domain, it is not within ours. So it’s safe to infer that universal truths will never fit in our puny human brains. They were here first, after all. Truths precede people.

Therefore, a good rule of thumb that I live by is:
“If I can understand it, I’m probably wrong.”

While this stance never interferes with my own unstoppable curiosity, it does keep me humble about my conclusions and mostly unfettered by my loosely-held personal beliefs.

This is exactly why I’m not religious. Religion was designed for human consumption, and it is constantly being reinterpreted for this express purpose.

I have no quarrel with any religion and nothing to prove, just count me out, thanks. Such beliefs may be helpful to certain ends, but they are not, in the end, true. So best not to treat them like they are. That’s what I think, anyway.

…And yes, I am very out of place in rural Utah :D

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Q. Why does it seem like learning content always going stale?
A. Because you can’t spell OLD without L&D ;)

But seriously, I think it’s simply because we don’t tend to track our “Best By” dates.

We could do that, y’know. We could totally capture how long we estimate a given learning experience is likely valid for AND we could choose to present to our learners upfront before they even register for training. Often in the initial analysis, we do the first part anyway, we just don’t have the practice of presenting this to the people it impacts for some reason that I’ve never understood.

Just like with food, a Best By date does not guarantee that the contents have been handled properly. It is not a promise of goodness or of badness, it is an indication of iffy-ness that people can judge for themselves — when they have the info they need to do so.

Though I’ve been talking about this simple concept for years now, and helping organizations implement solutions around it, to my knowledge it hasn’t made much real difference to learners because the people who could be providing consistent labeling don’t tend to keep doing that on their own. Metadata like this is deemed optional and skipped after a while, thereby risking giving people what I call “learn poisoning” all over again. And after a bad case of that, can you blame people if they don’t want to consume the same kind of training ever again?

We don’t tend to forget such events. Our survival biases go crazy with assumptions and pick up a ton of false positives as they have done for millennia (“avoid ALL courses at work!”). In a battle against the limbic brain’s evolutionary training, the humble training we make will loose. It deserves to.

A label can put us on the right side of human evolution and change the outcome. Not all at once, but over time, if we’re consistent, I still believe it can.

What do you think?
Would you be willing to try?
Or have you tried already? And how did that go?

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If you plan on living another 20 years or more like I do, it’s sometimes daunting to think ahead. There’s so much sliding into chaos and instability, so much danger and destruction happening now, how could we possibly have a better future?

Well, first off, there’s no guarantees that we will. Getting psychologically prepared for that likelihood is an important prerequisite to any further exploration. Me? I’m good with it. And I’m emotionally ready to navigate the best I can to avoid things getting worse for myself and those I love.

Secondly, just because things change doesn’t mean that they change for the worse. The old ways of the human world weren’t really working out anyhow, so while letting them go is scary, it’s hard to judge it as a bad thing. While it seems we’re in an extended make-it-or-break-it moment for much of civil society and our relationship to the planet, it could be that this time is the time when we finally do learn to “make it”.

Lastly, even if things do get worse overall, which would be very sad indeed, that doesn’t mean they need to get worse for you or me or our families. I believe it’s imperative that we first provide for ourselves as best we can so that we’re not a drain on anyone, and next for our families so that they aren’t either. Society doesn’t get better when we expect it to come to our aid, but instead when we are willing and available to come to its aid.

With that in mind, here’s some fantastic and interactive data to explore: https://projects.propublica.org/climate-migration/

This is about a year old, but it’s still an assembly of some of the best US-focused climate modeling that is publicly available today. You can use this tool to look up the anticipated impacts of climate change by county. When you do, I’m sure you’ll see that even though things are going to get less stable and more destructive, things that go catastrophically bad in some places can lead to fantastic opportunities in others.

Here’s to using the best of what we have to stay on the better side of our history yet to come!

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Family was just asking about my gift list for this year. I don’t think I’m difficult to shop for, but ever since I started purging stuff years ago, nobody ever knows what to get me that I really want.

So no obligation or anything, but just in case you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season (or anytime really), here’s an easily accessed and infrequently updated list of possessions I’d actually enjoy.
https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/34GGQ7XDO1L7X

Giving to a charitable organization with the same funds is always a most welcome alternative! Here are a few of my perennial favorites

Thanks :)

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There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening in the world now that falls in the “First Time Ever” and “All Time High” buckets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t see what happens next.

Here’s one clear example that sums up our Endgame really well.

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