The invisible dog or how being hard headed does not pay off

2 November 2018

The invisible dog or how being hard headed does not pay off

Sometimes I doubt our border collie’s intelligence. Django always perfectly senses when we plan to go somewhere. He picks up on small signals - even before we take any real action like putting on our coats. And then he furtively disappears into the garage, to his pillow, tail between his legs. As if he thinks he will become invisible to us over there. This is quite peculiar as he loves going for walks.

But we know why he behaves in that way - once in a while “getting ready” means he needs to get into the car, which he hates profoundly. When he was a puppy, he always got car sick. But most of the time “getting ready” means just going for a walk, not going for a ride. He seems to think that as long as he keeps trying to hide, one day he will succeed in getting invisible. His behaviour reminds me of one of my favourite quotes “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

Humans excel in that. We somehow believe that if we keep trying harder we will ultimately succeed, even if we keep ending up with the same result, time and time again. You see it on all levels: individual, collective and societal. An example that comes to mind is how we deal with reward and punishment for so-called right and wrong behaviour. The basic idea is that wrong behaviour needs to be punished so that the person concerned will do better in future and others will be warned. You would think that after all these centuries of locking up and punishing, crime would no longer exist. Quite the opposite is true of course - and our response is to build more and larger prisons. You see the same happening in education, the school system, but also in our companies, organisations and our social and political system.

Should we not question the way of thinking that causes these problems? Einstein put it like this: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. This kind of questions is on my mind these days. I have not found an answer yet. What I do know is that I am completely rethinking my website, to better reflect what I am working on nowadays and what I can offer. You will hear more about it soon. This also means that I will apply my creativity more to that specific project, which will leave me with less inspiration to share here with you. Maybe I will even decide to replace my current blog by something completely different, who knows?

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