In another study, reducing participants’ inhibition by getting them drunk also increased their rate of finger-pointing, a finding that explains why harmless bumps at the bar so easily escalate to inebriated brawls.  I often say that life would go a lot more smoothly if we just assumed people were idiots instead of assholes.

It’s worth remembering—whether you’re navigating rush-hour traffic or debating public policy—that even humans can be mindless sometimes.

–– Matthew Hutson from The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking p 192

Although to believe in karma (in this loose, Western sense, not the original reincarnation sense) is not necessarily to infer a gavel-wielding god meting out punishments and rewards, it does require at least an expansive notion of Newton’s third law of motion (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) in which moral force is registered alongside physical force.  However, there is a nonmagical analog of karma with very real dominion.  In the world of human relations, what goes around typically does come around.  People reciprocate kindness in kind.  And word and deed travel far, manifesting in mysterious ways.  So, as I like to picture myself as an old man telling my grandkids, don’t put shit on a boomerang.

–– Matthew Hutson from The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking p 228


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