Tag Archives: correlation

Magic Cats

Magic Cats

I saw an article in the news the other day about Diet Coke.

Somebody in Europe did a study and they found a “link” between people who drank diet coke (or other drinks sweetened with fake sugar) and those who had heart attacks.

The way it was presented though, made it sound like if you took a sip of diet coke you were immediately going to drop dead from a heart attack.

The thing about us humans is that there is usually TONS of variables going on at once.

And from a scientific standpoint, PROVING that A causes B is very, very difficult.

In fact, it’s nearly impossible.

So why are we so likely to believe one thing CAUSES something else when they are merely “linked”?

Some evolutionary psychologists believe it was a shortcut in thinking. Like most of our “triggers,” seeing all sorts of “cause-effect” relationships where none exist simply made it easier on the brain.

Now, this type of thinking didn’t do much damage back in the days when life was simple.

But now there is SO MUCH data flying every which way you can “link” some pretty interesting things.

Like certain marketing studies have found that “cat people” tend to like a certain brand of salsa.


Who knows.

But it certainly doesn’t mean if you EAT that particular salsa a bunch of cats would magically appear.

That would be just silly.

But strangely enough, a lot of us live our lives according to such silly notions.

That girl didn’t smile back at me MEANS that I suck.

The teacher didn’t call on me when I raised my hand MEANS I’m an idiot.

My first attempt didn’t make any money MEANS I’m destined to be homeless.

The truth is that reality is much, much more open to interpretation then we believe.

Which means (lol) that if you only take action consistently, and are open to all the feedback you get, you’ll get a lot more than most people.

Who are PARALYZED by the fear that all of those imaginary “cause-effect” relationships create in their brains.

She didn’t laugh at your joke doesn’t MEAN that she doesn’t like you. It could mean that she’s nervous. It could mean that she didn’t get it. It could mean that she didn’t hear you. It could mean a lot of things.

Unfortunately, one aspect of our brains is that we often and AUTOMATICALLY choose the WORST possible meaning.


Because those that did so in our ancient history were the most likely to survive.

Luckily, most things you are “afraid” of aren’t going to kill you.

Not even close.

So long as you LEAVE the meaning to anything open to interpretation, and RE-interpretation later, it can mean anything.

Which means you can do anything, get anything, be anything.

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