In April 2021, I submitted five entries to a postcard story (500 words or less) writing contest by Geist magazine. One got short-listed, but not this one. Still, I enjoyed the thinking and writing process, and wanted to share it with you. The picture is the image of the postcard I chose to go with the postcard story. I hope you’ll like it.
If you liked these postcard stories and wanted to see others I had submitted, please click here.
From an article I read yesterday, I learned terms cosmic inflation and the graceful exit. Surprisingly, or not depending on you interpreted those terms if you didn’t know what they meant, cosmic inflation had nothing to do with finance or economics, and the graceful exit didn’t have anything to do with any kind of exit I could fathom, let alone graceful ones. Rather, cosmic inflation involved cosmology, the study of the origin and evolution of the universe, and graceful exit still didn’t have anything to do with any kind of exit I could fathom.
How often do you think you can make sense of something, or find meaning in it, without considering something else for context? Probably not often, not even for some reflex reactions because your brain would likely have some experience relative to which it could compare that to which it was were reacting, like pain or cold.
Three beautiful concepts today, with equally beautiful uses!
Optimal Stopping Theorem
also known as Early Stopping Theorem
A theorem concerned with the problem of choosing a time to take a particular action, in order to maximise an expected reward or minimise an expected cost (i.e. optimal time to stop something, like dating for best chance at permanent or true love). Also widely used in statistics, economics, and mathematical finance. (Wikipedia)
presenting someone, often a mathematician/physicist with a time consuming problem or challenge (often impossible to solve or complete) in the hopes of it appealing to a person’s obsessive tendencies, and/or cause harm from the distraction created.
when the wife becomes so frustrated by her husband that she responds very negatively (low threshold is secret to a lasting relationship)
Theorizes that when under influence of enough alcohol, the here and now is not only what matters most to you, but also influences what matters to you. That is, you don’t think much about the future and potential consequences, but that also in not thinking, you let your environment determine how you act and feel such that you experience very different things under the same influence if in a quiet bar by yourself versus a crowded and rowdy frat party.
A cognitive-physiological theory on alcohol abuse in which many of alcohol’s social and stress-reducing effects, which may underlie its addictive capacity, are explained as a consequence of alcohol’s narrowing of perceptual and cognitive functioning.
The first explanation is a lot easier to understand, in my opinion. I got it from Malcolm Gladwell in this podcast episode below, talking with Oprah Winfrey.